Friday, February 10, 2017

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 6, 1862

Flat Top Mountain, July 6, 1862.

Dearest: — Sunday afternoon about 4 P. M. — hotter than ever. I have just finished reading your letter written last Sunday at Chillicothe. I am very glad you are so happily homed at Uncle Scott's. It is far better- up on that beautiful hill with such kind friends, young and old, than in a hot and dirty city. You cannot think oftener of me than I do of you and the dear ones around you; no, nor more lovingly.

I knew you would be troubled when Fremont was relieved from duty, and perhaps still more when you hear of McClellan's repulse before Richmond. These things appear to postpone the termination of the war; but are such disasters as must be looked for in such a contest. We must make up our minds that we have a heavy work, and that reverses must frequently occur.

We have no right to complain of our lot. We have a beautiful and healthy camp, with the enemy in front, strong enough to keep us busy holding our position, without much danger of losing it. It is the common opinion that if the reverse before Richmond has been serious, we shall be sent to eastern Virginia, and I may add that it is the universal wish that we may see some of the movements that are going on there.

Drs. Joe and Jim are both very well and with little to do. Our loss by sickness during the last three months is only three.

Dr. Joe and I sent early in June to your address nine hundred and fifty dollars. Did you get it? It is important we should know if it has failed to reach you. As letters miscarry sometimes, be sure to speak of it in two or three letters.

I got from Mr. Stephenson a Harper and Atlantic for July today. All reading matter is in the greatest demand. . . .

It is not of much consequence to Boggs whether he returns or not; yet he ought to be allowed to do it. If a soldier is well enough to be a nurse he can be useful with his regiment. If he can neither nurse nor march, he can get his pay or a discharge easier here than elsewhere. But we will do our best for the man.

Think of it, the Fourth was a lovely day but we sat around a fire in the evening and slept under blanket and coverlid. . . .

Good-bye, darling. Don't get downhearted about the war and our separation. It will all come right, and then how happy we shall be — happier than if we had not known this year's experience.

Affectionately ever, your
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 297-8

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