Title: George Washington Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 17 September 1864
Date: September 17, 1864
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from George Washington Whitman, Civil War Letters of George Washington Whitman, ed. Jerome M. Loving (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1975), 131-132. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Whitman Archive ID: duk.00362
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Gillian Price, and April Lambert
Near Weldon Rail Road Va.
September 17th 1864
Here we are yet in the same place, and everything goes on just the same as when I last wrote. We have been expecting a big fight here, but so far we have been disapointed, We have a very strong position and are having pretty good eaysy times. I rather think Lee has about made up his mind that this Rail Road is a gone case, but if he thinks he can drive us away I wish he would pitch in, as we are all prepared for him, and I would about as soon fight it out on this line as any other, and if they will only attack us here it will suit us first rate. Recruits have been coming to this Army pretty fast lately and I think Grant will soon have force enough for another movement. Our Regt. has received about 650 since we left New York last winter, and now numbers about 800 men, (on paper,) We have about 400, men here, and the rest are on Detached Service, and in Hospitals. I received yesterday a map and newspaper from home, the last letter I got was from Walt. and dated Sept 8th Walt. said Ed was not very well when he wrote but I hope he is all right again before now, all the rest he said were very well indeed. He spoke of going to Vermont to see Hannah I hope he will, and if possible bring her home with him to stay awhile. I suppose Mother, you have considerable excitement in Brooklyn now about election, as far as I can see Little Mac.1 is not very popular in the Army, and I dont think he has the least show to be elected, There has been lots of rumers flying aroun about Burnside's having a command seperate from the Army of the Potomac and taking the 9th Corps with him,2 but I dont see much sign of it yet, but our Corps never had a fair chance since we came in this Army. In the first place when we stared on this campaign we were not organized and equiped any thing like Meade's Amry, for while we were marching all over the Country they were lying quietly in Camp preparing and organizing, besides we dont get much credit for what we doo, but I dont care much who gets the credit as long as the work is done, and I know that we have done a good deal of hard work in this campaign whether we have credit for it or no. Well Mother I am Brigade Officer of the day to day, and must take a walk out to the picket line to see that things are all right. It is very quiet here to day and there is no picket fireing going on. sometimes the johnies come out and fire a few shots at our pickets but it dont amount to much, and they evidently dont like the idea of tackling us here.
Mother, give my love to Mattie and the little gals.
G. W. Whitman
1. General George Brinton McClellan (1826–1885) was General-in-Chief of the Army of the United States from November 1861, until July 1862, when he was replaced by General Henry W. Halleck. In 1864, when McClellan ran for the presidency, the Democratic party split between war Democrats and peace Democrats. To satisfy the war Democrats McClellan was nominated; to satisfy the peace Democrats C. L. Vallandigham and his followers were allowed to draft the platform. Thomas Jefferson Whitman evidently considered the entire Democratic party as "the peace party" as evidenced from the letter to his brother Walt dated July 7, 1863. [back]