Camp, December 18, 1862.
Dearest: — Joe goes this morning, thanks to General Ewing for the leave, contrary to general orders. Don't let him spend more than two weeks at home.
I love you all to pieces this cold morning. Kiss the boys. Merry Christmas ’em for me. I mean to have the cousins to dine with me on Christmas. We shall have a good dinner. Our cooks are splendid. . . .
Send me about two or three yards carpet (old will do) to light out on these frosty mornings. Thunder, but it's cold this morning! If the water doesn't rise, we freeze up “shore,” as darkies say.
Well, dearest, think of mo lovingly during the holy days.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 376