Camp on Flat Top Mountain. — Monday, 19th, marched from camp on Bluestone River to this point (yesterday) — a hot dry march — with knapsacks. I supposed we were to go only five miles; was disappointed to find we were retreating so far as this point. Being out of humor with that, I was out of sorts with all things; scolded “some” because the column was halted to rest on the wrong side of a stream which had to be crossed single file; viz., the near instead of the opposite side; mad because Colonel Scammon halted us in the sun half an hour — no water — without telling us how long we were to halt, etc., etc. But got good-humored again soon. Must swear off from swearing. Bad habit. Met Dr. Jim Webb, assistant surgeon of [the] Twelfth, yesterday as we approached here. March fourteen miles.
[Today], Tuesday, 20th, rains occasionally — a cold rain. No tents, some trouble, but men are patient and hardy. Heard of Ike Nelson's wounds, four to six in number and twenty bullet holes in his clothing. Left for dead but got well.
Avery and Captain Drake go to Raleigh this morning. We are holding on, waiting for supplies in the place of the tents, etc., we have lost. No news yet of Richmond's having been taken, but it is likely soon to fall unless we are defeated.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 272