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Charles H. True Transcript
Newspaper clipping attached to a letter:
THE MAINE CAVALRY REGIMENT.
We have received a long communication from our correspondent "F," reiterating, with additional details, his account of the unfortunate condition of the Maine cavalry regiment now in camp at Augusta, which Adjutant General Hodgdon undertook to refute. Our correspondent, who is in a position to know the facts, makes out a very strong case, but our columns are too crowded to leave space for further controversy. From all we can learn concerning this cavalry regiment we are inclined to think that the sooner it is disbanded the better, unless something can be done at once to put it in a state of efficiency.
Feb 13, 1862
Genl J. L. Hodsdon-
I enclose a paragraph which I cut from the Boston Journal of Wednesday thinking perhaps you might not have seen it. I call it very impertinent and had a strong mind to write him a private note and tell him a few facts about his correspondent "B" (whom he calls "F") and to let him know that in my opinion he made a fool of himself- I told you (as the old women say) that I thought "B" would reply and it seems he has—I believe I will write a letter to the Editor tomorrow and if you don't think I'd better send it to him, telegraph to me after you get this not to do it, and if I get no dispatch I will send it.
Chal. H. True
[copy of the letter that he wrote to the editor enclosed]
Boston February 14 th 1862.
James A. Dix Esq.
Editor of the Boston Journal-
The paragraph on the Maine Cavalry Regiment, in the issue of Wednesday morning seems to me dictated by a spirit at once uncalled for and unjust. After refusing to publish further articles on the subject, it would seem to be the merest fairness to allow the communications already inserted to pass for what they were worth and drop the matter without editorially taking sides with either party. But not one can fail to see from the paragraph that your sympathies and opinions are with your correspondent "B" — whom you erroneously style "F" — and that the communication of General Hodsdon — whose name you misspelt - was considered false and insufficient, as you say he "undertook to refute" the statements made by your correspondent, plainly showing that you think he did not succeed.
As well as you think you know your correspondent, I can assure you that I know him better, and be it is who is in "the unfortunate condition" – not the Maine Cavalry Regiment as you assert. Your correspondent "B" – whom you call "F" – I have known for years, in fact from a child up, and he is a mere stripling to this day. The real explanation of his disaffection to the regiment, I apprehend, is that he holds a strong dislike to his Captain and also to his colonel and since the novelty of camp life has worn off, he is rather disgusted than otherwise with the whole thing; and as he is a person who was never regarded by those who knew him best as being over nice in his expressions, but remarkably prone to strong rather than accurate ones, he is, in his present discontented , prepared to make almost any statement, particularly when he can do it anonymously through a newspaper. On the other hand General Hodsdon—whose name you spell with a g — comes out honorably and candidly and signs his own name to his communication. Which, probably, would be most guarded in his statements? Moreover, General Hodsdon was not induced by feelings of personal enmity or spite to write his letter, but by a sense of justice to the regiment and to the public. In this feeling he was supported by Governor Washburn who not only approved but urged the preparation of his communication. Begging these gentlemen's pardon for the comparison, I will say that you will find it difficult to convince the public that they know less of the regiment in question than your correspondent "B" whom you call "F," and it seems to me you would betray as many of the requisites of a fair dealing conductor of a public journal by at least allowing that there may be a side to any question different from the one which is first presented. Every one who is acquainted with the Maine Cavalry Regiment knows that it is composed of a superior class of men and horses and that the colonel has succeeded in making it the best behaved regiment raised in the state.
I write this to you privately with no view of publication, but merely to hint that some persons may conceive that possibly you may sometimes get a wrong impression. Should you deem me officious and say that my opinion would be asked for if wanted, I might reply by saying that the State of Maine knows as well what to do with her troops as any person who would write such an article as yours of Wednesday and that your advice is no more required upon that point than you consider mine on this.
Chal. H. True.
I enclosed a card in the envelope written in these words: "Should you not recollect my name and wonder who I am I will say that I am a clerk of General Hodsdon and that I read the proof of his communications. I write this without his knowledge however. C.H.T.
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