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.

October 2, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, West Virginia, October 2, 1863.

My Dear Son: — I received a letter today from Uncle Birchard. He says you appear to be very happy learning to chop and work, and that you are helping Allen. Your mother tells me, too, that you have learned the names of a good many trees, and that you know them when you see them. I am very glad to hear so much good of you. It is an excellent thing to know how to work — to ride and drive and how to feed and hitch up a team. I expect you will know more about trees than I do. I did not learn about them when I was a little boy and so do not now know much about such things. There are a great many things that are learned very easily when we are young, but which it is hard to learn after we are grown. I want you to learn as many of such things now as you can, and when you are a man you will be able to enjoy and use your knowledge in many ways.

Your mother took a ride on Lieutenant McKinley’s horse this morning, and enjoyed herself very much.

Uncle Joe has a big owl, such a one as Lucy saw at Uncle Birchard’s. A corporal in Company E shot its wing off, so it couldn’t escape. It snaps its beak very fiercely when we poke sticks at it. The band boys have a ‘possum and there is a pet bear and deer.

I think Uncle Birchard will find a way to stop his chimney from smoking. If he doesn’t, you must tell him to build campfires in front of his house as we do here. We find them very pleasant.

I am sure you will be a good boy and I hope you will be very happy.

Your affectionate father,

R. B. Hayes.

Birchard A. Hayes,
Fremont, Ohio.

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