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.

November 5, 2013

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

November 5, 1863. — A warm fall evening. How I am moved as I read the letter below. My own dear boys, and my feelings towards the soldiers who are kind to them; Willie too — the name of sister Fanny’s lost boy. Oh, and my dear sister too. How many will love General Sherman for that letter who would never care for any laurels he might earn in battle.

[Pasted in the Diary is a copy of General Sherman’s famous letter to Captain C. C. Smith of the Thirteenth Regulars, thanking the regiment — in which his little son Willie had fancied himself a sergeant — for the “kind behavior” of its officers and soldiers to his “poor child.” “Please convey to the battalion,” the letter says in conclusion, “my heartfelt thanks, and assure each and all that if in after years they call on me or mine, and mention that they were of the Thirteenth Regulars, when poor Willy was a sergeant, they will have a key to the affections of my family that will open all it has, that we will share with them our last blanket, our last crust.”]

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