Major James Cornell Biddle, An Important Member of General Meade’s Staff Writes Home Telling about the Presentation of a Sword for General Meade
Offered is a 3+ page letter in nice dark ink with its original stamped envelope. James Biddle joined the staff of Major General George G. Meade in May of 1863 and served him throughout the war, first as Major and Aide-De-Camp and then as Lieut. Colonel and finally Colonel.
Here is the content:
- Head Quarters Army of the Potomac Germantown, August 18th, 1863. My own darling Wife, I received your letters of the 15th yesterday. The mail arrives very regularly, and I have only missed receiving daily letters twice since arrival at Warrenton. I need not tell you what a comfort they are to me, and I often think how much I have to be thankful for that all at home have been so well since I have been away. am very sorry you had such a disagreeable occurrence at Miss Castners. It must for some days cast a gloom over the place.
- All is quiet. There is no sign of a forward movement on our part, and I do not think Lee has any such intention, but in the course of 10 days I am in hopes of hearing more good news.
- All is working well and I feel confident of a speedy ending of these troubles. Movements are in progress that I know of and the Armies of the Union are not remaining idle.
- THERE IS A REASON FOR OUR INACTIVITY, BUT IT IS NOT FOR THE INABILITY TO WHIP LEE. OUR ARMY IS IN SPLENDID CONDITION, WHEREAS THE REBEL ARMY IS VERY MUCH DEMORALIZED. THEY ARE TIRED OF THE WAR AND SEE THEY ARE FIGHTING AGAINST HOPE.
- GENERAL MEADE JUST MADE THE REMARK IF THE WEATHER CONTINUES IN THIS WAY, BEFORE LONG WE SHALL WANT STOVES. It is quite cool & fresh, and I am in hopes the intensely warm weather is over. It is much cooler here than in Philadelphia.
- At first I did not like our camping ground, but SINCE WE HAVE MADE PINE ARBORS ALL OVER THE CAMP, WE HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF SHADE AND BEING ON THE HIGHEST GROUND, IN AN OPEN COUNTRY GET THE BENEFIT OF EVERY PUFF OF AIR THERE MAY BE.
- GENERAL MEADE IS TO BE PRESENTED NEXT MONDAY WITH A SWORD BY THE PENNSYLVANIA RESERVES. THE PRESENTATION WILL BE AT GEN. CRAWFORD’S HEAD QUARTERS. I AM INVITED WITH THE REST OF GEN. MEADE’S STAFF.
- Charley Cadwalader had one of his horses stolen the night before last. He feels very much vexed, especially as it was a horse he has had since he came out with Rush. [Rush’s Lancers] He went all over the country looking for him yesterday and is going again today.
- I want very much to have you with me, my own darling wife, and I hope the time is not far distant. I know how happy we shall always be together as my only wish is to have you alongside of me and all my happiness rests with you. I love you with an overflowing heart and am always looking forward to a speedy return.
- AN ORDER WAS ISSUED A DAY OR SO AGO FORBIDDING ANY LADIES FROM COMING TO THE ARMY AND ORDERING THOSE WHO WERE HERE AWAY.
- Charley Cadwalader persists in distracting my attention. He picked up Household Words and is reading therefrom. I told him I would not listen till I had finished my letter, as I was very much afraid the mail would leave before I finished. Take good care of yourself, my own darling wife. I want you to stay at Castner’s as long as it is pleasant, and then go to Aunt Latimer’s & pay her a visit. I wish you could take one of the girls there with you to keep you company. It would make it so much pleasanter for you. It makes no difference as far as hearing from me is concerned, whether you are at Wilmington, Philadelphia or Haverford, as they are all equally easy of access.
- I do not expect to be able to leave here for some time, so I do not want you to be bent too much upon it. I would give anything to be able to get a leave, but I do not think it right to ask for one. If you should be sick or there was anything important calling me home, I could go, and there is a great consolation feeling this to be so. Where is Willie? Has he been in town all summer? I wonder where John will go. Give my love to Lilly, Cassie, Sallie, Tom & the children. I am very glad to hear such good reports of Cassie, & I must now say Good Bye or I will be late for the mail. With heaps of love Your devoted Husband
Check out the website Searching for George Gordon Meade and you will see a photo of Meade’s sword.
#L8-18-63 – Price $295