Saturday, February 11, 2017

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Monday, July 7, 1862

Camp Jones, Flat Top. — The warmest day of the season. The men are building great bowers over their company streets, giving them roomy and airy shelters. At evening they dance under them, and in the daytime they drill in the bayonet exercise and manual of arms. All wish to remain in this camp until some movement is begun which will show us the enemy, or the way out of this country. We shall try to get water by digging wells.

The news of today looks favorable. McClellan seems to have suffered no defeat. He has changed front; been forced (perhaps) to the rear, sustained heavy losses; but his army is in good condition, and has probably inflicted as much injury on the enemy as it has suffered. This is so much better than I anticipated that I feel relieved and satisfied. The taking of Richmond is postponed, but I think it will happen in time to forestall foreign intervention.

There is little or no large game here. We see a great many striped squirrels (chipmunks), doves, quails, a few pigeons and pheasants, and a great many rattlesnakes. I sent Birch the rattles of a seventeen-year-old yesterday. They count three years for the button and a year for each rattle.

There is a pretentious headboard in the graveyard between here and headquarters with the inscription “Anna Eliza Brammer, borned ——

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 298-9

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