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Genl H. J. Hunt

St Louis March 26/86

My dear General

I had Yours of 21st mailed at Columbia on 22nd reached

me on 24th and today I have yours of 24th written from Washington. You

are, indeed, beset with trouble. Lawyers have a rule—at any rate they

Know a rule—which declares unasked advice to be a great indiscretion

and I am running flatly against this rule when I ask whether it might not

be better that your Son, when he sets off for the North, should go by sea? Of

the difficulty of getting on board, and of the greater Coolness and dampness of Sea

air, I am ignorant. I only Consider(?) the Comparative freedom from roughnesses

such as are incident to land travel. Very probably I am talking nonsense.

Difficulty of

I confess I do not like the plan of travelling by day only. The stopping—the ob-

at night on the way

taining of comfortable quarters —the great delay, and as it seems to me, the

increased fatigue—all require to be taken into account. It now seems to

me that I did not at all appreciate the degree of exhaustion of your Son(a).

[(a) is written in the left margin of the page at 90 to the main text and reads:]

(a) I mean that I had no idea that his disease had made such progress before he left home

After considering all that you say expecting the advantage to him of be-

ing at Your house, I remain fearful of a premature return. I have often

known very bad results from it. Since the 15 March we have had all

varieties of weather here. Until the 20th it was unusually mild. On the

22nd it was cold and snowy—It is growing milder now—but until the

15 April, tho’ we maybe incommoded for several days by heat ,

we are constantly liable to a return of harsh weather—and this lia-

bility does not really cease until a month later, tho’ some of the

most oppressive weather I have ever felt has come in April—not

so absolutely torrid of course as in July and August, but distressing

by its unseasonableness—something like the first days of October

1884—which, if you chance to remember them, were peculiarly hot

and disabling. The worst of what the objections to his remaining in

South Carolina seems to be the poor food obtainable there. This is

set off

Really unpardonable and will constitute a serious drawback to the

milder air of that region. I have always a great disinclination

when unwell, to leave home—but I have set down much of that feeling

to the account of indolence—If your son can carry out the first advice

of his doctor--"to come home with the strawberries‘- and not come home to

renew acquaintance with the lingering frosts, it would seem to me

better—But no one can, under such circumstances be confident that

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any line of conduct will prove judicious—that is, that it will escape

untoward accompaniments. They may not be consequences—they

may be inevitable—but we are always prone to think that some

other course of action might have been better. Now, it would

for your son

look as if it was unwise to have left home at all. But who can

be sure that the feeling(?), if he had remained at home, would not have

been that a step promising much benefit, had been neglected?

--It is vain to regret that we were not able to foresee the future.

--I imagine you will return to Columbia before your son leaves it,

and, in the nature of things you can only do what seems best and

safest, by the light of the hour.

I expect to hear from you again soon.

--I Cannot Conceal my regret that the view you take of 1st, 2nd & 3rd July ’63

is so different from that of Swinton & Warren. You will consider me

strongly brassed(?) against Howard. So I am—and I am also strongly favorable

to Hancock. I need not enter into any discussion with You—indeed I am

wholly unfit for anything of the kind. You were on the ground, and moreover

have had access to all the sources of second hand knowledge—historical informa


tion that—to say whether derived from the reports of those who were there with

You, or the official reports of the Commanders on either side.

There are growing objections to the grant of pensions and any

thing like pensions to Officers. One would have supposed that Mrs Hancock

had eminent claims for a larger pension than was given to the widow of Genl

Thomas or Admiral Farragut: ??? one member remarked that it was the

last of that amount likely to pass Congress. I hope that similar

narrowness will not obstruct the passage of Your bill. My main objection

to the general pension laws is the frightful temptation they give to

the practice of fraud. Men who are not entitled to pensions under the law

This objection does not ? to those who are by special acts placed on the rolls

are placed on the rolls by false swearing. I have read the report of the de-

bate on your bill, on 19th inst. I can only repeat my good wishes.

When you hear from your brother, remember that I am one of those

Much interested in his welfare. I sympathise with him most heartily.

Yours always Thos T Gantt