This morning snow on the ground, spring very backward. The grass just beginning to start. I wrote to Annie L. Dean.
We heard again from Rufus and Ephe. After being marched and countermarched in the mud Rufus was still near Alexandria on the 22nd and a little impatient under the inglorious inaction in a belligerent point of view, of the army of the Potomac. He says it will not do for him to say anything either in approval or condemnation of his commanding general but he has thought he was something of a Rip Van Winkle. His brigade is now commanded by Col. Cutler and is called " Cutler's Brigade". Rufus was offered a place on his staff but declined it. He says "he enlisted to fight, not to act the gentleman." The fleet up the Tennessee has now one hundred and five boats with a formidable army on board. Ephe wrote on the 16th from Pittsburg on the Tennessee river. Had just received orders to disembark prepared to march at a moment's notice, probably on Corinth, Mississippi. He had been sent on an expedition to take possession of the Memphis and Charleston R. Road but was prevented by sudden rise in the streams from doing so. Many of the soldiers are sick. Great rise in all the rivers there from excessive rains. Lizzie has been all day with Maggie who has had an attack of pleurisy.