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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > George Dyer on Burnside Transcript

George Dyer on Burnside Transcript

[EXCERPT]

Baileyville has really filled her quota, Calais having had two [of] her men. As Calais has a surplus, I will have two transferred to Baring and send you the names. Baring’s quota ought to be cancelled.

I sympathize with you General, in your trials and afflictions in regard to quotas.  I agree with you that a draft cannot be made with any justice next week, and it might be postponed at least one week, and perhaps a longer time may be necessary.  It will be necessary to draft in about four or five towns in this County, but nearly all the men except for those towns which don’t pay bounty will be recruited here and mostly for the 7th.  We are now after some good Union “bounty catchers” who are about to take up residence within the State.  It is certain the longer the draft is delayed, the more volunteers will be obtained, up to the time when men are engaged to go into the woods.

I hope in the matter of a boarding place you may be successful. I should miss it sadly, not to be able to enjoy the light and warmth of your countenance in the short, dark and cold days of winter. It would be equal to a gain of five degrees of something.

I am happy to inform you that I have gotten a militia law nearly matured in my mind. I believe it will work. There are some novel features in it, but I think as they are not based on novel ideas, the Legislature can’t find fault with them.

Talking of military matters, I don’t like the way Burnside begins. He is too modest for a General. A Gen’l who is not as vain as a peacock never was, or can be a General.  For why?  Because he must think he is the best soldier living, or he won’t be worth a straw. If he thinks so he must show it, and then he exhibits vanity. Vanity alone won’t make a General – example, General Webster. Neither will learning - example McClellan. Neither will brains – example Frank Blair.  Good reasoning facilities, enormous perceptive facilities, the vanity of a pretty girl, and the energy and stoutness of a stud horse – these make a General. Wherefore I don’t believe in B.

Yours truly,
G.W. D.