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 10, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, April 10, 1863.

Dearest: — Your most welcome letter reached me this morning. Tell Webby the little rooster is in fine feather. He has had a good many fights with a big rooster belonging to the family near our camp, but holds his own very bravely.

Yes, a coat of course. I am afraid about pants — they should be long and wide in the legs for riding if you get them. No vest is wanted. — Did the cash come to hand?

Our large flag at home would look well flying over this camp if you will send it by Mr. Forbes. As for the new regimental flag, you shall get it some day if you wish to do it.

The fine weather of a few days past has brought us out. We are very happy here again.

Colonel Matthews is perfectly right. He no doubt leaves the army on account of the impossibility of serving in the field. He was barely able to get through his first campaign. . . .

I am as glad as anybody that the Union ticket [in Cincinnati] was carried. The soldiers all feel happy over the recent indications at home. A few victories over the Rebels now would lift us on amazingly. — Yes, “cut off” sounds badly, but it was a very jolly time.

I have Captain Gilmore and Lieutenant Austin and two rifled guns camped here, besides four howitzers with gun squads on the steamboats. General Jenkins and about eight hundred men left the railroad at Marion, Smith County, southwestern Virginia, and crossed the mountains to the head waters of Sandy River and so across towards the mouth of Kanawha. They reached our outpost twenty-four miles from here and demanded a surrender. Captain Johnson with four companies of [the] Thirteenth Virginia declined to surrender and, after a good fight, repulsed General Jenkins. He then crossed Kanawha twenty miles from the mouth or less and attacked Point Pleasant at the mouth. Captain Carter and one company of [the] Thirteenth Virginia occupied the court-house. They could not keep the whole town clear of Rebels but defended themselves gallantly until relieved from Gallipolis. General Jenkins then retreated. Colonel Paxton and Captain Gilmore followed by different routes, worrying him badly and getting about forty prisoners.

Does Birch remember Captain Waller, a cavalry captain who took care of Colonel Paxton and sat opposite us at table often? Perhaps he recollects his little boy. Well he, the boy, rode with his father in the pursuit and captured two armed men himself!

Captain Stevens and all the others are commissioned. Naughton is wroth at Dr. Webb and me! . . . More photographs. Preserve with the war archives, and be sure of one thing, I love you so much.

As ever,


Mrs. Hayes.

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