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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Saturday 13th

13 September 1862

Monday 15th

15 September 1862
14 September 1862
Sunday 14th
Norman Court

Cloudy with light drizzling showers. Received from Henry in London a telegram very contrary to my expectation, and indicating a series of reverses until our troops fell back upon Washington. So that all the promises held forth by General Pope’s telegram were delusive. The war at once takes a new character, and we are placed upon the defensive. I scarcely know now what to think of the issue of the struggle. It must rest with a higher power, for it seems as if we scarcely showed ourselves competent to control it. My spirits were depressed all day, and the more for anxiety as to Charles’s position of which we hear nothing since the 29.th A portion of us attended Divine service in a very small church about a mile from the house. Owing to the weather it was not much attended, but the church would hardly accommodate a hundred. Two persons officiated198 as formally as if in Westminster Abbey. We returned home where we amused ourselves with books or drawings. I took a volume of the papers of Jerome Bonaparte, and was soon interested in the narrative of his visit to America and his marriage with Miss Patterson of Baltimore. It is a curious specimen of youthful heedlessness on the one side and of disappointed ambition of the other. That Mr Patterson knew his daughter’s marriage would not be valid seems property clear. The girl may have been infatuated, but he never was. Missing my accustomed exercise I went out in spite of the rain and strolled through some of the private roads of the Estate. They ran through roads in which the pheasants seemed to abound. Here and there they were in the road, but little heeding the step of a solitary traveller. The word is principally beech with some oaks and ems. In the evening we had some rather indifferent attempts at ghost stories, one of the recreations of country houses. Mr Lear sang one or two of Tennison’s mournful ditties. He says he plays by ear only, but he must have attains his present ability by no small practice.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA62d257