HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, March 7, 1863.
Before this reaches you, you will have seen Alexander Coxe, who left this morning for home. I am most truly sorry to lose him, for he has not only rendered himself most useful to me, but has attached himself to me as a friend, from his manly character and social qualities. I sincerely hope he will be benefited by rest and medical treatment at home, and will be able to return.
Captain Jay has joined me, and seems quite a clever gentleman. We have also had at our mess John Williams, who has been taken away from Ricketts and ordered to report to this army for duty, but who has not yet been assigned to any general.
The bill amalgamating the two corps of Engineers has passed, so the old Topographical Corps is defunct, and I shall have the honor of being borne on the register as a Major of Engineers. The bill makes one brigadier general (Totten), four colonels (of which Bache will be one), ten lieutenant colonels, twenty majors (of whom I shall be the tenth), thirty captains, thirty first lieutenants and ten second lieutenants. It don't make much difference to me, if the war lasts as long as I expect it to and I survive it.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 356