My Dear Colonel
John told me you had not received my acknowledgement of the check you sent me last month.
I am quite sure I sent it and would have written again but he informed you of it and as I was very busy at the time I postponed "for a short time" writing again. For my long delay I have no excuse to offer. In that ? slippery circle that Dante describes I think I shall find that I have laid myself a good footwalk(?), and will have firm standing ground of my own construction, if the old adage is true as to the good intentions with which the place is paved, and my intentions to write will be conspicuous(?) in the composition.
Mary I suppose is with you and you are all together by this time. I hope you will not spoil the babies and especially Conway but with so many to pet him I have no doubt that the youngster will form a good impression of himself.
The elections seem to have gone all one(?) way. I am by no means down cast by it. In revolutionary times six or eight months is a long time and a year is an age. I expect to see a revulsion(?) by the time the presidential election takes place. I cannot say that I respect the success of the 'Union' ticket. The opposition suffices itself to include the "peace" men. It's touched pitch and become defiled. The determination to prosecute the war so far as the country is concerned is now pronounced fully enough and I trust the Democratic party will rid itself of the weights of a peace faction and as of old, refuse to compromise its principles for 'expediency'. Unless the war is rigorously prosecuted and with more ability than has characterized past operations it - the party in power - will be swept out of all branches of the government - that is my opinion. And unless radical changes are made in certain quarters the war will not be prosecuted with such ability.
We shall probably be actively engaged before you receive this. Lee will not and need not fight us unless it is his choice. I do not look for anything decisive. In this country I do not look for decisive results unless the attacking party is double the other in number. The advantages every where offered to the defensive by the nature of the ground is equivalent to the disproportion in numbers. So long as the two armies approach any where near equality you may read the future in the history of the past. I shall be delighted if I can be proved a false prophet in this.
I have been very busy for the last three months but I trust I shall soon have my ? ? regulations as to give me since ? I have not yet got my reports of Gettysburg, and Chancellorsville copied into my book. When they are I shall send you my ? copies for presentation.
John is well. He has a greater deal to do comparatively(?) since the duties have been defined.
I shall try and write to Mary tomorrow. I wrote to her yesterday.
With all my love to all at home.