William Latham Candler
Papers, 1861-63, Ms1997-007
November 6, 1862; letter written from National Hotel in Washington D.C.
Nov. 6, 1862
My dear Brother
I received yours of Nov. 1st and have only been waiting to get some idea of our probable time of leaving here to answer it. The General has improved wonderfully in the last few days and is now able to walk, without his crutches. He said today he should report on Monday if not before that time, so any day, now, you may look to see that we have started for the Army. He had no idea what they were going to do with him, I hardly think they can remove McClellan now, that the Army is moving. And to order Hooker back to his old Corps under McClellan is I think as much out of the question. I don't see how Hooker, after the stand he has taken against McC can take a command under him. I say that
that Hooker has no idea where he is going, I ought to say that he says he hasn't. For I believe he knows as well as he wants to. The plan of making three Armies, and placing Hooker, Burnside & Sumner in command, is an idea which wouldn't be entertained for one minute. In the first place, no one would be insane enough for one moment to think of placing Porter and Franklin under Hooker, unless they did it to have their heads cut off; for I think Genl. Joe. would have both their heads clean, in twenty four hours after he took command of an Army would be a greater piece of folly than has been committed yet. The President told a gentleman yesterday that he should give Hooker the Army of the Potomac as soon as he was able for duty; but the Pres. is nothing but a petty lawyer any way, and he must putter around in the great case as he did in small ones. He has no more idea what he wants to do than a
child. One day he says he is going to uphold McC. in everything he does and the next he is down on him. He must take a step now that Hooker is well, and either throw aside party and gain solely for saving the Union or he must throw himself wholly into the hands of the Democracy, and do their bidding. I am confident that the policy of the Democratic Leaders is to bring about peace, in some way or other; which peace could of course only be a disgraceful out to us. The supporters of McC. have handled him very well politically, and I don't see how in the world the Administration can help observing the glaring manner in which he has been used to defeat them. The question is, now, has Lincoln the backbone to put his foot down and take an independant stand for the country; I greatly fear not, for he is afraid of the Democracy, and will cater to them rather than lose them. The result will of course be a disgrace-
ful compromise. McClellan is advancing, has had no fighting yet, Genl. Ward came in from the front yesterday he says that the enemy have all fallen, or are falling back to Gordonsville as fast as they came. That the fighting which has been at the Gaps, has not even equalled a common picket skirmish. To attack Gordonsville so late in the year as this, I consider, and think it is generally considered, would be madness. I don't see how anything is to be gained in this fall's campaign. Unless, as may be, the enemy will give battle in the Shenandoah valley. There is not much time to be wasted if any glory is meditated. I see Ned Parker here nearly every day, he has not received his commission yet but is expecting it every day. Captain & Asst. Adjt. Genl. Lawrence, Austin & I were invited to dine a few nights ago with Genl. Martindale, Parker and young Martindale. They gave us a very elegant supper and we passed an unusually pleasant evening. Martindale I was much pleased with, he is a per-
fect gentleman and a most accomplished scholar. Parker is looking forward to active service with great pleasure. Frank + Lindsay Howe were both here last Sunday, Frank has been ordered to duty with Genl. Banks; but I suppose only for the time he is fitting out the expedition. It is beginning to get quite cool here, and thick clothes are a necessity. I have never heard any thing from Caoney[?] & Lent about my breeches, they have never come to me, and altho' I have written to them I can get no answer. Please give them a nudge. We are going to have some hard work and some cold work too, but I trust we shall come out all right. I'm afraid I shall have to draw on you again before we get out of Washington; but I trust that with the departure from W. there will also be an end to the big ex-
penses. Give my love to all at home. Fannie sends her love.
Your Aff. Bro.,
P.S. If you come across Naumberg again just freeze to him and give him up to Chamberlain as deserter. He deserted from me.
-- 10 P.M. --
I have just heard from the "front", McClellan's Head Qts are at Centreville. Fort Monroe is threatened and government is buying everything in the shape of a steamer to take troops there. Perhaps this may be a sudden move on Richmond under Hooker, from the South, in conjunction with Mac. from the North, perhaps again, that while Mac. has been smelling around the enemy have made a hard march and are really throwing themselves on Fort Monroe. I have as yet formed no opinions about it.
Return to Candler Finding Aid