Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, August 30, 1862

Camp On Munson's Hill, Near Washington,
(say Eight Miles), August 30, 1862.

Dear Lucy: — Things all seem to be going well with General Pope and the rest. I am not sure, but I think the day for an important Rebel success in this region is past. Colonel Scammon with the Eleventh and Twelfth Ohio had a severe fight at Bull Run Bridge with a superior foe. They behaved gallantly and saved our arms from a disgrace which was imminent in consequence of the ill conduct of four New Jersey regiments. Colonel Scammon behaved with unexpected coolness and skill. He was good-natured and self-possessed, both unexpected.

Well, we do enjoy the change. We, of course, are full of perplexity, getting into the new schoolhouse, but we feel pretty proud of ourselves. All of McClellan's army is near us, but we see nothing superior to General Cox's six Ohio regiments.

We were in Washington two or three days. All arrangements there are capital; fine hospitals, good police for arresting stray soldiers; a soldiers' retreat, where all lost and sick are lodged and fed well, and a place where all were furnished with cooked rations to carry on marches. The people near our camp furnished us with fruit, melons, and nice things unlimited. We staid in Alexandria two or three days. Not like Washington, but so-so. We are here with other troops looking after three fine forts built here by the Rebels, intending, I suppose, to occupy them if the Rebels should get near Washington again.

The Rebels have been making a strong effort to rush on to Washington and Baltimore, but as I have said, I think they are just too late. It looks to me as if we would remain here a few days, perhaps a few weeks, until the new army is gathered and organized. I feel hopeful of the future.

Well, I love you so much. I wrote you a loving letter from Flat Top or Green Meadows, which I wish you to think of as my good [-bye] words for you in case of accident. — Love to the boys.


P. S. — The Eastern correspondents do no sort of justice to the gallantry of the Eleventh and Twelfth Ohio, nor to the poltroonery of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth New Jersey.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 333-4

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