Thursday, November 21, 2013

Saturday, November 21, 1863

We were very pleasantly surprised this morning to see Rufus -- he came on the cars with Lucy, Mary Gates, and Annie.  He was on the cars yesterday when Sarah went up.  He has but seven days furlough and starts back Monday night.  He has been and has been through “Fitz Hughes Crossing” “Chancellorsville” & “Gettysburg” since we saw him.  Rufus took tea at Mr. Burgess’s.  A. S. Bailey called.

Peggy's comments:
Since his engagement to Mary Gates, Rufus Dawes, Julia's nephew, had applied several times for a leave to return to Marietta to see her.  Rufus later recalls this event in his book, Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers:
In making a third effort to secure a leave of absence, I went in person to corps headquarters.  My application had the usual "urgent" endorsements which plaintively appealed that I should be granted the favor.  General John Newton, now best known as the man who blew up Hell Gate, looked my paper over and I saw no hope in his eye.  "Colonel," said he, "you give no reason for this application!"   "What's the use of giving a reason! " said I, "sickness or death in the family, or business complications are rejected as reasons in the orders."  "Yes," said the General.  "Have you any other reason?"  "I have," said I, "I want very much to see my girl."   "All right, Colonel, you have stated a reason not forbidden in the orders, and I will endorse that you have 'a good and sufficient reason.'"  I got all I asked, ten days leave of absence to visit Ohio.  General Newton made two friends by this level-headed, official action.

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