Cloud’s Mills, March 20, 1862.
Dear Father, — I received your two letters containing the two photographs one of which I gave to General Porter, he asking for it first. I liked the full face better than the other, which General Porter took.
I saw Professor Low the aeronaut the other day. He is a very good-looking man and still enthusiastic about the balloon’s crossing the ocean.
Our staff gave General Porter quite a handsome sword last evening. Curiously enough it was the anniversary of his wedding, which together with this sword presentation were, he said, the two pleasantest occasions of his life.
I attended a review of General Franklin’s division with General Porter yesterday. The troops made a fine show, being well drilled and disciplined. Porter’s (Mass.) Battery is in this division. General McClellan was there and rode, of course, at the head of the reviewing column, which consisted of any amount of generals and their staffs. Generals Franklin, Porter, McDowell, Slocum, Heintzelman, who commands our corps d’ armee, Kearny, Barry and numerous others were there. The soldiers cheered McClellan heartily as he rode up and down the lines, followed by about fifty officers.
I think I was mistaken in what I wrote you about McClellan. It came from one of his enemies and I am confident was wrong. If you notice what Burnside says in his report of the battle at Newberne you will see what he says about following out the minute orders given him by McClellan. That will rather knock the N. Y. Tribune, which has been abusing McClellan abominably. I hope you never take the paper.
The whole force of the Army under McClellan is 257,000 men, including Burnside and Sherman, I suppose.
I hear that Sherman is to be superseded by General Hunter. The administration are not satisfied with him, and with good reason.
We are waiting here for our transports, which have already taken some troops, and landed them, and are on the way back for more. I don’t see how we can start before Monday. We shall probably go to the place I wrote you about, in a short note. Don’t speak of it until you hear we are there. . . .