William Latham Candler
Papers, 1861-63, Ms1997-007
October 22, 1861; letter written from camp Union Bladenburg, MD
Bladensburg Oct. 22 1861
My dear Brother
I received your letter this afternoon, and was very much surprised and pleased to hear that you were coming on. I guess I can arrange things so as to get you a pass over the other side, in which case you will be more than repaid for your trip. I hope we shan't move before you come on, we are as uncertain in our stay in one place now, as the Irishman's flea. We have been expecting orders to move, everyday for ten days, but we are here, and to all appearances likely to remain. Something must be done within three weeks, then it will be an impossibility to move an army. It seems to us that this past month of splendid weather aught not to have been thrown away; but there are wiser heads than ours at the helm. I wish old Scott, however, did not have the main brace in his hands. He has been a great man, but
it is evident that he can't steer the old ship Union out of the present shoal waters - I can talk over the matter of promotion with you better than I can write it. Cowdin's staff, I would not think of, there would be too much glory and too little foundation to it. I would like a staff appointment, but care for it only under a man whom I can respect, and from whom I can learn military. I have never tried for any place or position, and never want to take a position which any one else can say they got for me. I can and have tried to do my duty in the position I am now in, and am satisfied to remain here until I can get somewhere's else without much wire pulling. I have seen enough of military to know that it is not policy to work too hard to shove oneself ahead. Going ahead too fast has been the custom, any man can get ahead by wire pulling, but many a one finds that sliding down hill is a mighty sight easier than dragging the sled up.
I am, of course, anxious that whereever our name may appear in connection with this war,
it may be in such a manner as to make my friends proud of it. But I don't care to back
down on anything I get hold of. Our Regt is improving wonderfully under Lt. Col. Wells,
if he can only have us for a couple of months we will be ----- anything in this part of
the country. We are stationed at Bladensburg, about four miles from Washington, the best
way to get here, in fact to only reliable way is to take a carriage, any of the drivers will
know where Hooker's Brigade is. I had a "How do you do!" call from Dwight Babcock
on Sunday, he brought a friend with him. Give my love to Mother and Uncle Charles.
Tell mother I received her letter and will answer it in a day or two.
Your Aff Bro
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