Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes.

Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes.

July 24, 2012

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp Green Meadows, July 23, 1862.

Dearest: — I today received a dispatch from Captain Clements that I have been appointed colonel of the Seventy-ninth Regiment to be made up in Warren and Clinton Counties. I shall make no definite decision as to acceptance until I get official notice of it. I suppose it is correct. I shall much hate to leave the Twenty-third. I can’t possibly like another regiment as well, and am not likely to be as acceptable myself to another regiment. If there was a certainty of promotion to the command of the Twenty-third, I would certainly wait for it. But between you and I [me], Colonel Scammon is not likely to deserve promotion, and will perhaps fail to get it. If he gets it he will probably keep command of the Twenty-third — that is, have it in his brigade. Besides, I begin to fear another winter in these mountains. I could stand it after two or three months’ vacation with you in Ohio, but to go straight on another year in this sort of service is a dark prospect. Altogether, much as I love the Twenty-third, I shall probably leave it. I shall put off the evil day as long as I can, hoping something will turn up to give me this regiment, but when the decision is required, I shall probably decide in favor of the new regiment and a visit to you and the boys. I know nothing of the Seventy-ninth except that a son of the railroad superintendent, W. H. Clements, is to be major. I knew him as a captain in the Twelfth, a well-spoken-of youngster. It will be a sad day all around when I leave here.

Last night various doings at headquarters of brigade disgusted me so much, that before I went to sleep I pretty much resolved to get up this morning and write in the most urgent manner soliciting promotion in a new regiment to get out of the scrape. But when this morning brings me the news that I have got what I had determined to ask, I almost regret it. “Such is war!”

Write me all you learn, if anything, about the new regiments — what sort of people go into them, — are they likely ever to fill up? Etc., etc.

24th, A. M. — A year ago tonight you and I walked about Camp Chase looking at the men cooking their rations to be ready to leave the next morning. A short and a long year. Upon the whole, not an unhappy one. Barring the separation from you, it has been a healthy fine spree to me.

Since writing to you yesterday I learn from Dr. Joe, who is now here, that there really seems to be a fair prospect of Colonel Scammon’s promotion. This will probably induce me to hold off as long as I can about the Seventy-ninth business. You can simply say you don’t know if you are asked before hearing further as to what I shall do. — Love to all the boys.



Mrs. Hayes.

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