Upton's Hill (six Or Eight Miles From Washington),
Virginia, September 1, 1862.
Dear Mother: — We are in the midst of the great acts. The roar of the battles of the 30th and 31st was perfectly distinct here. We were in readiness to join in if needed. We are placed here, however, I conjecture, for a few days with a few other old regiments, to hold Forts Ramsay and Buffalo in case of disaster in front. I think the result thus far, though not at all decisive, upon the whole, favorable.
You will feel some anxiety when you hear of battles, but I tell Lucy no news, after a fight, from me is good news. If safe I have no opportunity to communicate. If injured or worse, officers are taken to Washington and tidings sent. I am glad to say all things pertaining to soldiers, sick or wounded, in Washington are managed most admirably. Few private families could provide equal comforts and accommodations. I write this for Uncle as well as for you.
I saw Captain Haynes the day before yesterday. He is thin and worn, but gaining. He was uncertain whether he could join his regiment (the new one) or not. I suppose it is settled that old officers can't go to the new regiments. This settles' my chance for the Seventy-ninth also. All right, as far as I am personally concerned. The rule is a bad one — a very bad one — so bad that it will perhaps be changed, but it is no hardship to me personally. I see no regiment here that I would prefer to the Twenty-third. General Cox's six regiments from Ohio are among the crack troops of the army in the opinion of everybody.
Colonel, Scammon distinguished himself the other day and will, I doubt not, be made a brigadier. . . .
Affectionately, your son,
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 338-9