May 26, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, near Brooke’s Station.

Dearest: I received a letter from you Sunday afternoon, and felt sorry indeed that seeing your friends had proved so bad for you, but I hope after a little quiet you and yourself again.  I am not so sure that my coming might not excite you even though I belong there.  I do not think I can go home now.  I will tell you my reasons.  My Corps did not do very well at Chancellorsville.  Now everybody who is to blame tries to shift the responsibility upon somebody’s elses shoulders.  The Germans and the Americans are many of them against me.  It was my first trial with them.  Now I must drill & discipline my command & get it in hand.  I must work to get good officers in the command of Brigade and regiments.  I must be here to head off wire-pullers.  I want the command to learn me and I wish to learn it.  Again I rather apprehend an attack here, after the affair at Vicksburg which is so disastrous to the rebels.  They will try some game to retrieve their hopes.  Most probably will accumulate a very large force against Rosencrantz.  In that case we should not be attacked, but perhaps now something desperate will be attempted and Lee will cross above us & attack us hoping to crush this army now that we have lost so many two years & nine month regiments. … I am under a little cloud, tenderly excused but yet unsuccessful, and I have not been accustomed to succumb under difficulties. …

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]