Alexandria Hospital, April 5th.
My Dear Mrs. Howland: Yesterday was one of the brightest, pleasantest days I have known for a long time. The wards were more inviting, and the men more cordial than usual. All day I seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and by a glad intuition, to discover the avenues which were unfortified and the doors which were unbarred. I have told you this because I am fully convinced that it was owing wholly to the good start that you gave me by that early morning visit. By some skillful adjustment, which I failed to notice at the time, you left me in tune. . . .
Please thank your sister Abby for the bundle of Independents. They were very welcome and I gave them away, each with the charge: “Be sure and read the Rainy Day in Camp.” Did I tell you that I read it after each of my services last Sabbath? and I think that it did more good than all that went before it. The men listened in perfect quiet. I feel sure that, if I could have looked up myself, I should have seen tears in the eyes of more than one who had been “skulking in the rear.”