On Steamer Monitor, Kanawha River,
August 18, . Evening.
Dear WifE: — I am four hard days' marching, and a few hours' travel on a swift steamer nearer to you than I was when I last wrote you, and yet I am not on my way home. You will see in the newspapers, I suppose, that General Cox's Division (the greater part of it) is going to eastern Virginia. We left our camps Friday, the 15th, making long and rapid marches from the mountains to the head of navigation on this river. We now go down to the Ohio, then up to Parkersburg, and thence by railroad eastwardly to the scene of operations. My new regiment fills slowly, I think, and it may be longer than I anticipated before I shall be called for at Cincinnati, if at all. There is talk of an order that will prevent my going to the new regiment, but I think it is not correctly understood, and the chance, it seems to me, is that I shall go home notwithstanding this change of plan.
Our men are delighted with the change. They cheer and laugh, the band plays, and it is a real frolic. During the hot dusty marching, the idea that we were leaving the mountains of west Virginia kept them in good heart.
You will hereafter direct letters to me “General Cox's Division, Army of Virginia.”
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 328