Camp Flat Top Mountain, May 25, 1862.
Dearest: — Dr. Joe has a letter from McCabe in which he speaks of your anxiety on my account. I hope that it has not been increased by my dispatch. You will always hear the precise truth from me. You may rely on it that you hear exactly the state of things. It would be idle to say that we have been in no danger, or that we are not likely to be in peril hereafter. But this is certain, that there is not half the danger for officers in a regiment that can be trusted to behave well, as there would be in a regiment of raw troops; besides, the danger on this line is much diminished by a victory which one of our brigades under Colonel Crook gained day before yesterday at Lewisburg. He routed the army under General Heth, which drove me out of Giles Court-house, captured their cannon, etc., etc. Now the drift is again all in our favor.
This is a lovely Sunday morning, after a cold storm of about thirty hours. It brings great relief to men bivouacking on the ground without tents, to have the sun shining out bright and warm. The weather, except two days, has been good this whole month. This is the department to spend the summer in — healthier and pleasanter than any other.
I received Uncle's letter written when he was with you. I am rather gratified to hear that you are not going to Fremont this summer. It pleases me that Uncle likes the boys so well. Dear little fellows, they must be so interesting. I think of them often.
We expect to move from here southward in a few days. Our army is under General Cox, and consists of the First Brigade, Twelfth, Twenty-third, and Thirtieth under Colonel Scammon; Second Brigade, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-seventh, and Thirty-fourth under Colonel Moor; Third Brigade, Eleventh, Thirty-sixth, Forty-fourth, and Forty-seventh under Colonel Crook, besides a due proportion of cavalry and artillery. It is a good army, but too small for the magnificent distances we have to operate over. We expect to be able to unite with Fremont's larger body in about three or four weeks. In the meantime, good luck at Richmond and Corinth may pretty nearly take away our occupation.
P. M. — Recent news indicate [indicates] that we shall see no enemy for some time. I believe I told you my Commercial has stopped again. Try to start it so it will hold out. It comes to subscribers here pretty regularly and promptly.
Tomorrow a couple of men leave here for Camp Chase with a prisoner. I shall send a Mississippi rifle with them. This is the most formidable weapon used against us in this region by the Rebels; they will leave it either with you or at Platt's in Columbus.
I enclose for Uncle a fifty-dollar bill. It was worth fifty dollars when I got it. I could buy a pretty fair horse with it.
Love to all the boys and kisses all round. Ever so much affection for your own dear self.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 278-9