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 21, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

September 21, P. M. — “Rosecrans [at Chickamauga] has been badly beaten”! Such is the shock the dispatch gives us this evening. After months of success one of our great armies is defeated. A concentration of Rebel armies has overwhelmed our noble Army of the Cumberland. How these blows strike my heart! I had just read a joyous dispatch from “L. W. H.”, “Billy Rogers has a baby.” But nerve ourselves, we must. We shall recover from the blow.

I have thought over it and feel easier. I suffer from these blows more than I did from the loss of my sweet little boy. But I suffer less now than I did from Bull Run, or even Fredericksburg. Can Rosecrans hold Chattanooga? Has he lost his army? Will he be driven across the Tennessee? He ought to have stopped his campaign with the capture of Chattanooga, fortified the place, and awaited events. Easy to say so now, but impossible before, I suppose. Jim McKell, Lieutenant Nelson, Colonel Mitchell (Laura’s husband), all with Rosecrans. Anxious hearts at home.

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