Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Diary of Lieutant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: August 31, 1862

Upton's Hill (near Washington). — Mustered the men for July and August. A rainy, cool day. The great battle of yesterday and the day before, so near here that we heard the roar distinctly, is supposed to have resulted favorably to our arms. How decisively is not yet known here. We hear all sorts of rumors, such as the capture of Jackson and sixteen thousand men and the like; but nothing definite is known. The appearances are favorable. We inquire of every one to get facts and get only vague rumors.

This Sunday evening the reports from the battlefield are less favorable than the morning rumors. There is talk of “no result,” a “drawn battle,” and the like; that our army has fallen back four miles to Centreville. Another [report] says McDowell withdrew a division from one outlet and let Jackson escape. A report says our loss is ten thousand; the enemy's much heavier. No firing all day today. This evening after dark firing of heavy guns was heard for a few minutes, apparently in the same place as before.

Received a dear letter from Lucy dated August 13 and directed to Flat Top. She says she is happy in the thought that we are doing our duty. This is good. Darling wife, how this painful separation is made a blessing by the fine character it develops, or brings to view! How; I love her more and more!

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 334-5

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