Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Saturday Morning. May 3, 1862

Saturday morning. — I intended to send this by courier this morning, but in the press of business, sending off couriers, prisoners, and expeditions, I forgot it. Telegraph is building here. Anything happening to me will be known to you at once. It now looks as if we would find no enemy to fight.

The weather yesterday and today is perfect. The mountains are in sight from all the high grounds about here, and the air pure and exhilarating. The troubles of women who have either been burnt out by Secesh or robbed of chickens and the like by us, are the chief thing this morning. One case is funny. A spoiled fat Englishwoman, with great pride and hysterics, was left with a queer old negro woman to look after her wants. Darky now thinks she is mistress. She is sulky, won't work, etc., etc. Mistress can't eat pork or army diet. There is no other food here. The sight of rough men is too much for her nerves! All queer.

We are now eighty-five miles from the head of navigation in time of flood and one hundred and twenty-five in ordinary times; a good way from “America,” as the soldiers say.

“I love you so much.” Kiss the dear boys. Love to Grandma. Ever so affectionately,

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 247

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