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.

September 4, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, September 4, 1863.

Dearest: — Yours mailed 31st came last night. McKinley (the former sergeant), tearfully and emotionally drunk, has been boring me for the last half-hour with his blarney. He uttered a great many prayers for “madame and those little boys, God bless them.” So, of course, I was civil to him.

We are less and less likely to be moved from here as the fall weather sets in. The change to cold weather was a most grateful one in our hot camp. It takes the long cold rain-storms of November to make our camps put on their most cheerless aspect.

You inquire about Mrs. Comly and how we like her. She is an excellent sweet young woman, and all who get acquainted with her like her. She is affable and approachable, but of course she can’t make friends as you do. Your gifts are rare enough in that line. The colonel is not well. He is living too luxuriously!

I would be glad enough to see you enjoying a faith as settled and satisfactory as that of Mrs. Davis, but really I think you are as cheerful and happy as she is, and that is what is to be sought, a cheerful and happy disposition.

Tell the boys that Dick and Guinea are still fast friends. They travelled with us up into Dixie as far as Raleigh, and down into Ohio after Morgan. Dick has a battle with each new rooster which is brought to headquarters, and with the aid of Guinea, and perhaps a little from Frank or Billy, manages to remain “cock of the walk.” . . .

Love to all — girls and boys. Tell Fanny [Platt] if she ever gets time in her Yankee school to write to outsiders, I wish her to remember me.

Affectionately ever,


Mrs. Hayes,

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