Camp Number 5, Princeton, May 4, 6 A. M. .
Sir: — At this time I have received no communication from [you] written after you heard of the capture of this point. I shall hold this until 10 o'clock if I don't sooner hear from you.
I send you enclosed a list of Captain Foley's men, the “Flat Top Copperheads,” taken from the pocket of one killed by Lieutenant Bottsford's men. You have the precious document with spelling, etc., etc. It should be copied for all who are likely to catch any of the scamps. Foragers yesterday found considerable quantities of well-cured bacon and fresh meat. With the new grass coming on and this meat, an enterprising army is not going to starve. This move was not made a day too soon; a further advance while the panic prevails is a plain duty and I doubt not you will order it as soon as you arrive. Company C will be very anxious to come here to be ready to go forward with us. If a guard is required when you reach them for their wounded, I suggest that you order a detail of say two men from each company of this regiment, to do that duty and thus relieve the company.
Two citizens of Kanawha County fled here with their slaves soon after our forces entered the valley, — Colonel Ward and Blain, or some such names. They hesitated about taking the oath to support Governor Pierpont's Government. They will take the oath to the United States. This simply means secession. One of them got a pass from General Cox, dated December 17.
I think these wealthy scoundrels ought to be treated with the same severity as other Rebels. They want food for their slaves. We have none to spare to such men. Colonel P. [Paxton] will perhaps pass them to you. If you allow quartermaster Gardner to furnish them, let them pay sutler's prices the same as our soldiers do. If I hear that you put them in the guard-tent, I shall be pleased. They may not leave here until you come.
I have stricken Rev. Amos Wilson's name from the rolls. If he sends his resignation, all well; if not the order will be published if you approve. I enclose Major Comly's remarks on the Foley list.
R. B. Hayes,
Lieutenant-colonel 23D Regiment O. V. I.,
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 248-9