Friday, August 14, 1863

Camp on the Big Black River, Near Vicksburg, Mississippi

In this time of rest, I continue to drill my troops. As a nation we must not commit the Fatal blunder of Supposing the war over. Our Enemy has a large force in the Field, an army that would even in Europe alarm Crowned heads. If we slumber, the tide will again turn against us. Our Ranks are very thin. I conceal from myself the fact even that some Regiments have less than 100 men. We have not yet established a discipline that in Europe would be called respectable. Officers & men yet do as they please, have no more fear of the Law in their minds than militia. The Southern troops are better disciplined, and we must be careful. If we Can hold the Mississippi with a firm stiff hand, time will work for us.

The Capture of Morgan’s entire command is creditable to Ohio, but the State should not let her Regiments in the Field dwindle down to tens instead of hundreds. There is no danger of either Grant or Sherman being ordered to the East. For my part I would not go. I rather think it would be a good thing if Lee could hold Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington with a good firm hand for a few years. It would teach them some sense. At all events I want to stick by the Mississippi and go with it as spite of Democrats, or Whigs or Know Nothings. It will run down stream in spite of them altogether.

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