Camp Near Gauley, December 22, 1862.
Dear Mother: — I received your letter of the 10th. Yes, the Vermont colonel's speech, etc., at Bennington came safely. A cool old colonel he was, as well as pious. I see that the One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment is consolidated with some other. How does it affect Colonel Mitchell? I hope he does not lose his position. . . .
Dr. Joe Webb has gone home on thirty-days leave of absence. Colonel Comly, on an order from General Scammon, is with him at Fayette. Major McIlrath has gone home for a twenty-day visit. This leaves me the only field officer here, but there is very little to do. The men still busy with their quarters and all quiet in front. My health is perfect; I was never so heavy as now.
You will enjoy the return of the children, or the young ladies rather. What charming girls they are! My love to them and Ruddy and all. I hope you will have happy holidays.
Affectionately, your son,
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.
SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 379