Friday, July 7, 2017

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Wednesday, December 3, 1862

A bright, fine winter day. We moved our quarters fifty yards up the river into a house lately occupied by a daughter of Mr. Riggs. Its windows on the north side afford a good view of the river and of the Falls of the Kanawha. With our new cooks, two soldiers, we are living sumptuously — better than ever before since I have been in camp.

Signed a recommendation for Sergeant Chamberlain, Company A, as second lieutenant. Introduced to Captain Rigdon Williams, of the Twelfth. While at Middletown, Maryland, wounded, I heard he was killed, and on my return to Ohio I reported him killed. It was a Captain Liggett who was shot at South Mountain in the head.

The Rebels did not carry the American flag at Antietam to enable them to get into the rear of the Ohio troops. It was their battle-flag. Yet I have reported this, on good authority, as I thought. Our sergeant-major was probably killed attempting to escape from the enemy, although Lieutenant Ritter thinks — and I have reported — that he was killed pushing ahead of the regiment. So difficult it is with the best intentions and no motive to deceive, to get the truth of these battle incidents even from eyewitnesses. The men are building the new city very rapidly.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 369-70

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