Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: September 13, 1862

Frederick, Maryland, September 13, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — We retook “Old Frederick” yesterday evening. A fine town it is, and the magnificent and charming reception we got from the fine ladies and people paid us for all the hardships endured in getting it.

The enemy has gone northwest. They are represented as in great force, filthy, lousy, and desperate. A battle with them will be a most terrific thing. With forty thousand Western troops to give life and heartiness to the fight, we should, with our army, whip them. I think we shall whip them, at any rate, but it is by no means a certainty. A defeat is ruin to them, a retreat without a battle is a serious injury to them. A serious defeat to us is bad enough. They left here, for the most part, a day or two ago, saying they were going to Pennsylvania. They behaved pretty well here, but avowed their purpose to ravage Pennsylvania. We had a good deal of skirmishing and a little fighting to get this town. General Cox's Division did it. We lost Colonel Moor of [the] Twenty-eighth Ohio, Cincinnati, wounded and taken prisoner. We captured five hundred to six hundred sick and wounded Rebels. A few of our men killed and wounded. The whole body (Ohio infantry) behaved splendidly.

R. B. Hayes.

P. S. — Cannon firing now in front.

S. Birchard.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 352-3

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