Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey
I rec’d two nice little letters fr you this eve, so I should suppose you would
think I ought to give you one. I get yr letters just before night generally.
Make anything to keep me warm you please. I wish you could get a head & neck
covering for [Lute]. I have worked her so hard for a week past
she can hardly step to-day. Head to get another horse to ride on drill this P.M.
a green horse, could’nt get her near the line at first & would jump at every
movement like a cat, but I finally broke her so she would move at nothing. There
were two or three batteries, drilling on our parade ground & they would fire
20 guns at a time
but she would stand fast. I don’t know but I shall buy her as I need another horse, & I should’nt like to expose in a fight if knew when to avoid it. I am greatly amused as the vast amount of advice I received fr home about what to do in emergencies. You seem to think we are going fight than we have of trying a cause pending. The truth is we never know when the fight is coming. We are near enough to the enemy to get one up at any moment & a good officer is always ready for one, therefore he would have to leave his uniform off all the time. But it strikes me I sha’nt doff mine for any rebel just yet. I have got a nice field glass, have a sabre also but don’t like it & shall get another. Keep the old line
sword for an ornament. It is pretty well used up but the blade is good. A common cavalry sabre is the best thing for a horseman. How does Mr Willis get along? Hope he has better luck than our Chaplain. He put on a uniform some time ago & the other day came out with cavalry Capt. straps on so the Adj. sent him a detail to go out on picquet the next morn. He used to have a good many prayer meetings but reckon he thot they did not pay & I dont think he has any now. I should think Mr Willis would be a good one, but generally as far as I can learn they are the greatest humbugs in the army. Col Hyde is about well. The Major is sick now & Gen Smith. Gen Hancock has been in com’d of the Division
He is commander of the 1st brigade & a splendid officer. Everything military is perfectly familiar to him yet he is a gentleman. He has sent me out several times lately on scouting & reconnoitering tours so I got well acquainted with him. He is very exact & severe, yet he has a little compassion. He has given me some very good compliments, & recommended some works on military for me to read. I think he likes to send me out for I always just go to the extent of my orders & stop, no matter how great the tempatation. I could have got my name in the papers a good many times by taking a step beyond my orders when out on Expeditions & probably as in most cases of that kind got myself in arrest when I returned. Any of the generals despise an officer who wants to do some dashing thing, something big. A Lt. of cavalry was sent out with a small party a definite distance awhile ago & went beyond
fell in with a large party of rebels, shot one & got fired at a good deal, but not hit. when he come in Genl. Smith ordered him in arrest & said he was sorry to regret the rebels were such poor shots, but the next day the N. York papers were filled with an account of this “gallant Lt’s daring exploit”. None of these exploits ever accomplish anything except generally the loss of a man or two. When I am out with a command, if a subordinate transgresses an order I give him, I put him in arrest at once, however much I want his assistance. Its the only way to keep these brainless fellows within reach Proctor did not get in arrest I find as he had leave of absence fr his Col. but the Col. got into trouble for granting it. I intend to call on his wife to-morrow.
How glad I would be to see you to-night. Dont you be alarmed about peoples talking about a fight here, if we have one it will be when people wont foretel it. Our course will depend very much on the result of the Efforts of our fleet. Am very glad to hear of Genl. Foster’s promotion. Please extend my congratulations to Mrs. F. I should like a trip so with a fleet. Good night my love, be very careful about yr health. You have spoken several times lately about being not very well. I am so fat I can hardly see.
Yr devoted husbandW. G. Veazey
Mrs. J A Veazey