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 7, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Camp White, October 7, 1863.

Dear Uncle: — I am very glad to hear that you are having so little trouble with Birchie. He is of an affectionate disposition, conscientious and truthful. His natural sense of duty is, I think, unusually strong. … I much prefer that he should work or ride or hunt in the open air than read in the house or go to school. I do not care if he is far behind other boys of his age in what is taught in schools. If he has health enough to become a scholar or prepare himself for a learned profession at sixteen, he will have enough time to do it then. If he hasn’t a constitution that will bear a sedentary life, there is more reason for trying to build it up now by work and exercise in the open air.

Lucy is well and enjoys our camp life as well as she could be expected to do away from her boys. In about a week from now I shall probably be able to settle the question as to our winter quarters and as to whether it will be worth while to send for the boys. It looks as if the coming winter would be one of active operations, and if so any plan I may form is likely to be interrupted before spring. Indeed, is liable to be interrupted at any time. In any event, I think we shall stay here watching the gaps in front of us for six or eight weeks longer. After that I think a somewhat smaller force will suffice to defend this region, and we may be sent elsewhere. I think there is no danger of our being seriously disturbed here. . . .


R. B. Hayes.

S. Birchard.

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