HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, February 27, 1863.
I wrote you a few lines yesterday from Major Woodruff's office, advising you of my detention in Washington.
I met hundreds of people whom I knew, such as Generals Cadwalader, McCall, Hartsuff and others. I had seen Hudson (McClellan's aide) in the morning, and he asked me to come at six and dine with the general. I declined the invitation on the ground of previous engagements, but said I would drop in after dinner. As it was past eight o'clock when I got back, I went in to the private parlor where McClellan was dining, and found a party of some dozen or more, all officers but one, a Mr. Cox, Democratic member of Congress from Ohio. Among the party were Andrew Porter, Sykes, Buchanan, General Van Allen and others. McClellan received me with much distinction and seated me alongside of himself, and asked very kindly after you and the children, etc. The subject of conversation at the table was general, and referred principally to military matters and pending acts of legislation. My friend –––, who doubtless had heard of my confirmation and was in consequence disgusted, said he heard I was to be given an Army Corps of Niggers. I laughingly replied I had not been informed of the honor awaiting me, but one thing I begged to assure –––, that if the niggers were going into the field and really could be brought heartily to fight, I was ready to command them, and should prefer such duty to others that might be assigned me. As this was a fair hit at –––'s position, it silenced him, and I heard nothing further about commanding niggers. After spending an hour in pleasant chat, I withdrew, and meeting Cram, we spent the night till near twelve o'clock, talking and walking about among the crowd in the hotel. This morning I left at eight o'clock and reached here about one P. M., being half a day behind my time. On the wharf at Acquia Creek I met Reynolds, on his way out, having just received his leave, and having been, as I expected, awaiting my return to have his granted.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 355-6