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

Post image for Rutherford B. Hayes.

Rutherford B. Hayes.

April 5, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, April 5, 1863.

Dearest: — The weather is good, our camp dry, and everybody happy. Joe has got a sail rigged on his large skiff and he enjoys sailing on the river. It is pleasant to be able to make use of these otherwise disagreeable spring winds to do our rowing.

Visited the hospital (it being Sunday) over in town this morning. It is clean, airy, and cheerful-looking. We have only a few there — mostly very old cases.

Comly heard a couple of ladies singing Secesh songs, as if for his ear, in a fine dwelling in town. Joe has got his revenge by obtaining an order to use three rooms for hospital patients. The announcement caused grief and dismay — they fear smallpox (a case has appeared). I think Joe repents his victory now.

Enclosed photographs, except Comly’s, are all taken by a Company B man who is turning a number of honest pennies by the means — Charlie Smith, Birch will recollect as Captain Avery’s orderly.

Five companies of the Twenty-third had a hard race after Jenkins. They got his stragglers. Colonel Paxton and Gilmore are after him with their cavalry. General Jenkins has had bad luck with this raid. He came in with seven hundred to eight hundred men. He will get off with four hundred to five hundred, badly used up, and nothing to pay for his losses. We lost half a dozen killed. They murdered one citizen of Point Pleasant, an old veteran of 1812, aged eight-four. They will run us out in a month or two, I suspect, unless we are strengthened, or they weakened. General Scammon is prepared to destroy salt and salt-works if he does have to leave.

I think of you and the boys oftener than ever. Love to ’em and oceans for yourself.

Affectionately ever,


P. S. — I sent by express three hundred and fifty dollars in a package with two hundred dollars of Joe’s. It ought to reach Mother Webb in a day or two after this letter. Write if it doesn’t or does.

Mrs. Hayes.

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