Camp Maskell, Near Gauley,
Monday Morning,, December 8, 1862.
Dear Mother:— I got your letter, mailed the 2nd, yesterday morning. It was my first letter since I left home and was very welcome. I like the coolness of the old Yankee colonel and admire his earnestness. My speech at South Mountain was not quite so religious, but I suppose it answered very much the same purpose. I don't value what comes out of the mouth on such occasions so much as the spirit of it.
We are having severe, but pleasant and healthful winter weather. The men work hard getting up our log village and enjoy it much. I spent Thanksgiving on the Ohio River very pleasantly with an intelligent crowd of passengers. . . .
Affectionately, your son,
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 373