Friday, March 17, 2017

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes August 5, 1862

Green Meadows, August 6 [5], i862.

Dearest: — Adjutant Avery, Lieutenant Hastings, and some good men go home on recruiting service.

I have nothing to say this hot day. I have still some hope that things will so work together as to allow me to see you during the next month or two. At present no leaves of absence are granted to officers appointed in new regiments. I do not know how this will affect the appointees for the Seventy-ninth. If they choose to turn us out, all right. I am indifferent. Indeed, leaving the Twenty-third is an unpleasant thing to contemplate. When I look at the neat, hardy, healthy, contented young fellows who make up nine-tenths of the regiment, and contrast their appearance with a mob of raw recruits — dirty, sickly, lawless, and complaining, I can't help feeling that I should be a great fool to accept the new position.

But there are other considerations which influence me in the other direction, and so I quietly dodge the question for the present. To see “all the boys” and your own dear self, that is a great matter, and I think, if things go on as I anticipate, that circumstances will decide me for the Seventy-ninth, always provided these stringent orders as to absence don't cut me out of the chance.

Dr. Joe has been for three or four days quite sick. He is now up and about again. He complains that he gets no letters.

Later. — Dr. Joe is content. He has got two letters — one from you and one from Mother. I have yours of the 26th. Yes, we feel a good deal alike about leaving the Twenty-third. Well, I have no official notice as to what I am to do. But I have official notice that no leave of absence is granted for the purpose of recruiting new regiments. So the question as to whether I go or stay is likely to decide itself. So let it do. Love to all the boys.

Affectionately ever,

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 317-8

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