LT: August 27, 1864 Theodore Lyman

   

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in Lyman Theodore

Editor’s Note: Theodore Lyman was General George G. Meade’s aide-de-camp from the fall of 1863 through Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  An intelligent and outspoken individual, Lyman’s letters to his wife provide great insight into the happenings at Meade’s headquarters.  These letters, taken from the now public domain book Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865; Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox and written by Lyman to his wife, appear here at the Siege of Petersburg Online exactly 150 years to the day after they are written.  Since this site is concerned solely with the Siege of Petersburg, the letters start on June 12, 1864 and end on April 3, 1865.  See the bottom of this and every other letter for a list of all the letters which have appeared to date.

August 27-September 27, 1864

The next day [August 27, 1864] Lyman was surprised to have Meade say to him. “I think I must order you home to get me some cigars, mine are nearly out!” But, as the former remarked, “It’s hard to surprise a man out of going home, after a five months’ campaign.”

General Williams gravely prepared a fifteen-day leave, and the aides tendered their congratulations. Lyman was bound for Richmond on secret service! So the Staff persuaded the inquisitive Biddle, who talked about it all over camp, and got very mad when undeceived. He recovered, however, when tendered a cocktail as a peace offering.

Lyman’s visit to the North proved longer than he expected. For, shortly after his arrival in Beverly, where Mrs. Lyman was passing the summer, he had an attack of malaria which kept him in bed for some time. According to the doctors, “The northern air, with the late cool change, had brought to the surface the malaria in the system.” Consequently, he was not able to rejoin the army until the end of September.

Meanwhile, the gloom was lifting, that had settled on the North after the failure to take Petersburg. For Sherman’s capture of Atlanta, and Sheridan’s victories over Early in the Shenandoah, had somewhat changed the situation, although the Army of the Potomac still lay before Petersburg, where it hovered for many weary months.1

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