Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Tuesday, July 15, 1862

Green Meadows. — Captain Drake with Companies H and I returned this morning. The mounted men crossed the ford just above Bluestone on New River. The water was too deep and current too strong for footmen. They (the horsemen) called at Landcraft's, Young's, etc., etc. They learned that the only enemy now in Monroe is probably the Forty-fifth [Virginia], some cavalry, and artillery; and they have withdrawn from the river towards Centreville or some other distant part of the county. All others gone to or towards the Narrows or railroad.

At 9 o'clock I took four companies, A, C, E, and K, and the band and went to Packs Ferry. There the men went in swimming. Crossed 262 of them in the flying bridge — an affair like this [a crude pen sketch is given] — which swings from side to side of the river by force of the current alone. The bow (whichever way the boat goes) is pulled by means of a windlass up the stream at a small angle. The men enjoyed the spree.

We returned at 6:30 P. M. The scenery is of the finest; the river is a beautiful clear river. Strange, no fish except catfish, but they are of superior quality and often of great size.

The enemy shows signs of activity in Tennessee again. Our men will have a hard time during the next two or three months trying to hold their conquests. We will have our day when cold weather and high water return, not before. About Richmond there is much mystery, but supposed to be favorable.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 303-4

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