Saturday, December 10, 2016

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, May 22, 1862

Camp Flat Top Mountain, May 22, 1862.

Dearest: — I have written you one or two letters which I suspect fell into the hands of the enemy, but ere this, I do not doubt, you have received dispatches and word by Thomas which relieves you of all trouble on my account.

We have had a good deal of war this month. More than half the time during two weeks we were in the presence of the enemy. Most of the time they [we] were either pursuing them or they were crowding us. The number killed and wounded, considering the amount of firing, was not large. I suppose the total loss of this army would not exceed two hundred. Our force is not strong enough to do the work before us. We have so many points to garrison and so long a line of communications to protect, that it leaves a very small force to push on with. . . .

Before this reaches you, the great battles of the war will probably be fought. If successful, we shall not meet with much determined opposition hereafter. I was sent to meet a flag of truce sent by General Williams and Humphrey Marshall this morning. The officers talk in a high tone still, but the privates are discouraged, and would be gladly at home on any terms.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 276

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