Mitchell, a soldier of the 22nd regiment, O. V. M. staid here last night. He was one of company B who guarded trestles on the Union railroad. He says they would have starved if it had not been for the provisions our family sent them. His regiment was about two months in Virginia but he was not in any fight. Government has paid them every dollar due, and most of the men will re-enlist.
We get frequent letters from Rufus who is still at Meridian Hill near Washington. He is in Gen. Rufus King's brigade. M'Clellan promises the the post of honor in the next advance. It is the post of danger, too, God keep our dear Rufus in life and limb. We hope in God. Our enemies have compassed us about but He will deliver us. President Lincoln has appointed Sept. 26th a day of fasting and prayer. I trust Christians will faithfully observe the day but surely they will also in the meantime feel bound to be instant in prayer, that God may bless our country and speedily subdue this fierce rebellion.
Rufus Dawes, Julia's nephew, had not yet seen battle. On August 24, 1861 he wrote to his brother Ephraim Dawes:
We are here at Washington yet, and I think likely to stay a week or so. We were reviewed yesterday by the Brigadier (Rufus King,) and our regiment never before appeared so meanly. It was enough to try the patience of a martyr, the performance of that contemptible brass band of ours. They played such slow time music that we passed the reviewing officer at about forty-seven paces a minute. We had to hold one leg in the air and balance on the other while we waited for the music. By the way, old Kanouse belongs to the band. He is sick and I do not wonder at it. He goes along, pumping up and down on a big toot horn. He wants to get out of the band. I should think he would, for if a man in the regiment is caught in a rascally trick, the whole regiment yells, "Put him in the brass band."
(Theodore Kanouse was a college friend of Rufus's from Wisconsin.)