Showing posts with label Joseph T Webb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph T Webb. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Tuesday Evening, July 26, 1864

Tuesday evening, July 26, 1864. 

DEAREST: — We reached here today after two nights and one day of pretty severe marching, not so severe as the Lynchburg march, and one day of very severe fighting at Winchester. We were defeated by a superior force at Winchester. My brigade suffered most in killed and wounded and not so much in prisoners as some others. The Twenty-third lost about twenty-five killed and one hundred wounded; [the] Thirty-sixth, eleven killed, ninety-nine wounded; [the] Thirteenth, fifteen killed, sixty wounded (behaved splendidly - its first battle) ; [the] Sixth, four killed, twenty-seven wounded. In [the] Twenty-third, six new officers wounded and two killed - Captain McMillen late of [the] Twelfth and Lieutenant Gray, a sergeant of Company G. Morgan again wounded, not dangerously. Comly very slightly. Lieutenant Hubbard, late commissary sergeant, fell into [the] hands of Rebels. The rest all with us. Lieutenant Kelly slightly three times. Lieutenant Clark (late sergeant) not badly. All doing well. Lieutenant-Colonel Hall (Thirteenth) twice badly but not dangerously — a brave man, very. My horse wounded. This is all a new experience, a decided defeat in battle. My brigade was in the hottest place and then was in condition to cover the retreat as rear-guard which we did successfully and well for one day and night. 

Of course the reason, the place for blame to fall, is always asked in such cases. I think the army is not disposed to blame the result on anybody. The enemy was so superior that a defeat was a matter of course if we fought. The real difficulty was, our cavalry was so inefficient in its efforts to discover the strength of the enemy that General Crook and all the rest of us were deceived until it was too late.* 

We are queer beings. The camp is now alive with laughter and good feeling; more so than usual. The recoil after so much toil and anxiety. The most of our wounded were brought off and all are doing well. — Colonel Mulligan, commanding (the) brigade next to mine was killed. Colonel Shaw of [the] Thirty-fourth killed. 

As we were driven off the field my pocket emptied out map, almanack, and (a) little photographic album. We charged back ten or twenty yards and got them! 

There were some splendid things done by those around me. McKinley and Hastings were very gallant. Dr. Joe conspicuously so. Much that was disgraceful was done, but, on the whole, it was not so painful a thing to go through as I have thought it would be. 

This was Sunday, about 2 P. M., that we all went up. We shall stay here some time if the Rebels don't invade Maryland again and so give us business. 

I thought of you often, especially as I feared the first reports by frightened teamsters and cavalry might carry tidings affecting me. It was said my brigade was crushed and I killed at Martinsburg. By the by, the enemy followed us to that place where we turned on them and flogged their advance-guard handsomely So much, dearest, as ever.


* See Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Marietta Cook Webb, July 28, 1864

 [August 27, Hayes's command marched fourteen miles down the river road toward Harpers Ferry and camped below Sandy Hook. The next day the Potomac was crossed and a camp was established in the woods near Halltown, Virginia, a good location except that it was "too far from water.” Here the weary soldiers rested two days. Then, Saturday night, July 30, they marched back in the darkness, through dust, heat, and confusion, fourteen miles into Maryland; and Sunday ten miles farther on through Middletown to a wooded camp. Hayes writes: “Men all gone up, played out, etc. Must have time to build up or we can do nothing. Only fifty to one hundred men in a regiment came into camp in a body.”]

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 485-7

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Marietta Cook Webb, July 28, 1864

[July 28, 1864] 

All this misfortune was occasioned by the infernal cavalry. They were sent out to guard our flanks and failed to do so. Had they done their duty, Crook would never have thought of fighting. There were about twenty thousand Rebels, while we had some six or eight thousand, all told. Our calvary is a miserable farce. They are utterly useless, in fact they were in our way. Had we not depended on them, we never would have been caught. They (cavalry) cut loose from their artillery and we, with our infantry, hauled off their guns, at the same time driving, or rather keeping, back the Rebels. 

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 486

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard, Sunday, July 31, 1864

Sunday, 31st. — I write this at Middletown, at the table of my old home when wounded — Jacob Rudy's. They are so cordial and kind. Dr. Webb and I are at the breakfast table. All inquire after Lucy and all. Send this to Lucy. Such is war — now here, tomorrow in Pennsylvania or Virginia. — Goodbye. — R. 


SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 489

Monday, August 10, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sophia Birchard Hayes, June 30, 1864

Camp [piatt], Ten Miles Above Charleston,
West Virginia, June 30, 1864.

Dear Mother: — We got safely back to this point yesterday after being almost two months within the Rebel lines. . . . We have had a severe and hazardous campaign and have, I think, done a great deal of good. While we have suffered a good deal from want of food and sleep, we have lost very few men and are generally in the best of health. . . . General Crook has won the love and confidence of all. General Hunter is not so fortunate. General Averell has not been successful either. We had our first night's quiet rest all night for many weeks.

Dr. Joe went to Ohio with our wounded yesterday and will see Lucy. He has been a great treasure to our wounded.

We have hauled two hundred [wounded men] over both the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies and many smaller mountains, besides crossing James River and other streams. Our impression is that the Rebels are at the end of their means and our success now will speedily close the Rebellion.

R. B. Hayes.
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 477-8

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 2, 1864

Charleston, Camp Elk, July 2, 1864.

Dearest: — Back again to this point last night. Camped opposite the lower end of Camp White on the broad level bottom in the angle between Elk and Kanawha. My headquarters on one of the pretty wooded hills near Judge Summers.

Got your letter of 16th. All others gone around to Martinsburg. Will get them soon. Very much pleased to read about the boys and their good behaviour.

Dr. Joe went to Gallipolis with our wounded, expecting to visit you, but the rumors of an immediate movement brought him back. We now have a camp rumor that Crook is to command this Department. If so we shall stay here two or three weeks; otherwise, only a few days, probably.

You wrote one thoughtless sentence, complaining of Lincoln for failing to protect our unfortunate prisoners by retaliation. All a mistake, darling. All such things should be avoided as much as possible. We have done too much rather than too little. General Hunter turned Mrs. Governor Letcher and daughters out of their home at Lexington and on ten minutes' notice burned the beautiful place in retaliation for some bushwhackers' burning out Governor Pierpont [of West Virginia.]

And I am glad to say that General Crook's division officers and men were all disgusted with it.

I have just learned as a fact that General Crook has an independent command or separate district in the Department of West Virginia, which practically answers our purposes. We are styled the "Army of the Kanawha," headquarters in the field.

I have just got your letter of June 1. They will all get here sooner or later. The flag is a beautiful one. I see it floating now near the piers of the Elk River Bridge.

Three companies of the Twelfth under Major Carey are ordered to join the Twenty-third today — Lieutenants Otis, Hiltz and command them, making the Twenty-third the strongest veteran regiment. Colonel White and the rest bid us goodbye today. What an excellent man he is. I never knew a better.

You use the phrase "brutal Rebels." Don't be cheated in that way. There are enough "brutal Rebels" no doubt, but we have brutal officers and men too. I have had men brutally treated by our own officers on this raid. And there are plenty of humane Rebels. I have seen a good deal of it on this trip. War is a cruel business and there is brutality in it on all sides, but it is very idle to get up anxiety on account of any supposed peculiar cruelty on the part of Rebels. Keepers of prisons in Cincinnati, as well as in Danville, are hard-hearted and cruel.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 478-9

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, June 30, 1864

Camp Piatt, June 30, 1864.

DEAREST: – We reached here ten miles above Charleston last night. Dr. Joe will tell you all the news. It has been a severe but very pleasant campaign. We did not do as much as we think might have been done, but we did enough to make our work of great importance.

We are now talking of rumors that we are to go East via [the] Ohio River and [the] Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. It is generally believed to be true, although as yet we have no other evidence of it than camp rumor.

I thought of you often while I was gone — of your anxiety about me and the suffering that all rumors of disaster to us would cause you. But I hoped you would keep up good courage and live it through. Oh, darling, I love you so tenderly. You must always think of me pleasantly. You have been the source of such happiness to me that I can't bear to think that anything that may befall me will throw a permanent gloom over your life.

The Twenty-third was lucky on this campaign, losing less than any other regiment, etc. The Fifth lost most, [the] Thirty-sixth next. All together, killed, wounded, and missing, my brigade does not lose over one hundred, if so much [many].

I am very fortunate in my brigade. It is now to me like my own regiment, and is really a very good one, perhaps the best to be found, or one of the best, in the army. General Crook is the favorite of the army. We hope to be organized into an independent command with Colonel Powell's Cavalry Brigade and two batteries. Then we can raid to some purpose.

If we are not sent East, we shall stay here three or four weeks recruiting, etc. — My love to the boys. Dr. Joe will have plenty of stories to tell them. The doctor was a most important person in this raid. He did more for the wounded than anybody else. Colonel Turley had his thigh broken at Lynchburg and was hauled over two hundred miles over all these mountains. His admirable pluck and cheerfulness has saved him. Nothing can exceed the manliness he has exhibited. — Love to friends all.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 475-6

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Marietta Cook Webb, May 24, 1864

[Meadow Bluff, May 24, 1864]

The more we learn of the Rebels, etc., at Cloyd's Mountain, the greater was our victory. It is well ascertained now that in addition to their strong position and works, they had more men in the fight than we had, and also more killed and wounded. They not only expected to check us there, but fully counted on capturing our whole force. Their officers whom we captured complain bitterly of their men not fighting. Our new recruits, whom we were disposed to smile at, did splendidly. One of them, whom Captain Hastings on inspection at Camp White told he must cut off his hair, as men with long hair could not fight, meeting the captain in the midst of the fight, the fellow at the head of his company, playfully remarked, shaking his locks at the captain: “What do you think of longhair fighting now?”

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 462

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: December 18, 1863

December 8. Started P. M. for Gauley (a campaign to Lewisburg). Avery, Mather, McKinley, Dr. Webb; one hundred men under Captain Warren of Twenty-third, whole of Fifth Virginia under Colonel Tomlinson, Ninety-first and Twelfth of Colonel White's brigade, General Duffie's Cavalry, General Scammon and staff, to co-operate with General Averell in an attack on the railroad at Salem. Stopped at Clark Wyeth's, five miles above Piatt, evening of 9th [8th]. 9th to Gauley Bridge at Mrs. Hale's, Warren and Twenty-third — twenty-six and one-half miles, 10th, nineteen miles to Lookout (Mrs. Jones's), 11th, twenty-two miles to Hickman's. 12th, twenty-three miles to Lewisburg, to Mrs. Bell's. 13th, return thirteen miles to Jesse Thompson's, where my pistol was stolen by young ladies; got it back by threat of sending father and mother to Camp Chase. 14th, three miles to Meadow Bluff. Stopped with Sharp. 15th, at Meadow Bluff. 16th, returned twenty-seven miles to Mrs. Jones'. 17th, to Gauley, Loup Creek, and steamer Viola to Charleston. — A good trip for the season. What of Averell?

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 447

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: November 9, 1863

The ground is white with snow for the first time this year. Drs. Mussey and Blaney called Saturday. It is intimated that there will be difficulty, or is danger of difficulty, on account of Dr. Webb's long absence.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 445

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard, October 21, 1863

Camp White, October 21, 1863.

Dear Uncle: — I received yours of the 17th this morning; also one from mother of the 16th. Lucy left for home this morning with Dr. Joe. She will rent our house in Cincinnati, and return with our family two or three weeks hence, if things remain as now. I gave her a letter to send for the pony, as well as Birch, if agreeable to you. I am now entitled to two more horses than I am keeping, and if we remain here, would like the pony both for Birch and myself. I find little horses, if they are stout, much better for the mountains. My sorrell stallion I want to sell, because he is troublesome sometimes. He is a beauty and good stock; worth two hundred or three hundred dollars.

R. B. Hayes.
S. Birchard.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 441

Friday, December 7, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Birchard A. Hayes, October 2, 1863

Camp White, West Virginia, October 2, 1863.

My Dear Son: — I received a letter today from Uncle Birchard. He says you appear to be very happy learning to chop and work, and that you are helping Allen. Your mother tells me, too, that you have learned the names of a good many trees, and that you know them when you see them. I am very glad to hear so much good of you. It is an excellent thing to know how to work — to ride and drive and how to feed and hitch up a team. I expect you will know more about trees than I do. I did not learn about them when I was a little boy and so do not now know much about such things. There are a great many things that are learned very easily when we are young, but which it is hard to learn after we are grown. I want you to learn as many of such things now as you can, and when you are a man you will be able to enjoy and use your knowledge in many ways.

Your mother took a ride on Lieutenant McKinley's horse this morning, and enjoyed herself very much.

Uncle Joe has a big owl, such a one as Lucy saw at Uncle Birchard's. A corporal in Company E shot its wing off, so it couldn't escape. It snaps its beak very fiercely when we poke sticks at it. The band boys have a 'possum and there is a pet bear and deer.

I think Uncle Birchard will find a way to stop his chimney from smoking. If he doesn't, you must tell him to build campfires in front of his house as we do here. We find them very pleasant.

I am sure you will be a good boy and I hope you will be very happy.

Your affectionate father,
R. B. Hayes.
Birchard A. Hayes,
Fremont, Ohio.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 438

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: August 5, 1863

Camp White, August 5, i863.

Dearest: — Yours from Elmwood, dated 2nd, reached me this morning. You were not in as good heart as it found me. I am feeling uncommonly hopeful. The deaths of officers and men to whom I am attached give me pain, but they occur in the course of duty and honorably, and in the prosecution of a war which now seems almost certain to secure its object. If at any time since we were in this great struggle there was cause for thanksgiving in the current course of things, surely that time is now.

Our prisoners left at Wytheville were well treated, and a chaplain has been allowed to go there to see if the bodies of Colonel Toland and Captain Delany can be removed.

I am grieved to hear that Uncle Scott is in trouble about Ed. If he recovers from his present sickness it is likely he will be able to stand it better hereafter. The process of acclimating must have been run through with him by this time. If he gets good health he will soon recover from the trouble about the promotion. Let him make himself a neat, prompt, good soldier and there need be no worry about promotions. It was not lucky to put so many cousins in one company. I could have managed that better, but as it's done they ought to be very patient with each other. Ike Nelson was placed in a delicate position, and while he perhaps made a mistake, it was an error, if error at all, on the right side. Too much kinship in such matters does not do, as Governor Dennison found out a year or two ago.

I am glad you are going to Columbus. I had a chance to send one hundred and eighty dollars by Colonel Comly to Platt where you can get it as you want.

By the by, who has the money left at Cincinnati? I sent an order to Stephenson and he had none.

Poor boys, they will get to have too many homes. I fear they will find their own the least agreeable. Very glad Birch is getting to ride. Webb will push his way in such accomplishments, but Birch must be encouraged and helped. Rud will probably take care of himself.

Yes, darling, I love you as much as you can me. We shall be together again. Time is passing swiftly. . .

Joe was never so jolly as this summer. He is more of a treasure than ever before. — Love to all.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 425-6

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 22, 1863

Camp White, July 22, 1863.

Dearest: — Home again after an absence of two weeks, marching and hurrying all the time. The last week after Morgan has been the liveliest and jolliest campaign we ever had. We were at all the skirmishes and fighting after he reached Pomeroy. It was nothing but fun — no serious fighting at all. I think not over ten killed and forty wounded on our side in all of it. Unluckily McCook, father of Robert and the rest, was mortally wounded. This hurt me but all the rest was mere frolic. Morgan's men were only anxious to get away. There was no fight in them when attacked by us. You will no doubt see great claims on all sides as to the merits of his captors. The cavalry, gunboats, militia, and our infantry each claim the victory as their peculiar property. The truth is, all were essential parties to the success. The cavalry who pursued him so long deserve the lion's share. The gunboats and militia did their part. We can truly claim that Morgan would have crossed and escaped with his men at Pomeroy if we had not headed him there and defeated his attempt. It is not yet certain whether Morgan himself will be caught. But it is of small importance. His force which has so long been the terror of the border, and which has kept employed all our cavalry in Kentucky is now gone. Our victorious cavalry can now operate in the enemy's country.

I thought of you often. We were quartered on steamboats — men were singing, bands playing. Our band was back and with us, and such lively times as one rarely sees. Almost everybody got quantities of trophies. I got nothing but a spur and two volumes captured from the Twentieth Kentucky, Captain H. C. Breman, and now recaptured by us. Morgan's raid will always be remembered by our men as one of the happiest events of their lives.

Love to the dear boys and Grandmother. Joe is unwell and is in a room in town.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 421

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 6, 1863

Camp White, July 6, 1863.

Dearest: — Dr. Joe got back yesterday — twenty-four hours from Chillicothe. Very glad to hear his cheerful account of you.

I am in the tent occupied by Captain Hood and wife in front of the cottage. We all miss you. You could not have felt the loss of me more than I did of you. Notwithstanding the loss of the dear little boy, your visit leaves a happy impression. I love you more than ever, darling.

The Ninth has gone to Fayette. If the good news from the East holds out, I think the Twenty-third will follow soon.

We had a good Fourth. Salutes from Simmonds and Austin. A good deal of drinking but no harm. We let all out of the guard-house.

I send you a deed to execute and send to Stephenson. Do it before a notary. I will ask Uncle to put twenty-five hundred dollars stock in his bank in your name.

I am sorry to hear Uncle Scott is in poor health. I think the news from the East will be a good tonic. We shall whip the rascals some day. — Love to all.

R. B. Hayes.
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 416

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Web Hayes, April 15, 1863

Camp White, April 15, Evening.

Dearest: — Your short business letter came this afternoon. I do not yet know about your coming here during the campaigning season. If we fortify, probably all right; if not, I don't know.

Lieutenant Ellen is married. His wife sent me a fine big wedding cake and two cans of fruit. Good wife, I guess, by the proofs sent me.

You speak of Jim Ware. What does he think of the prospects? I understand Jim in a letter to Dr. Joe says Dr. Ware gives it up. Is this so?

I send you more photographs. The major's resignation was not accepted and he is now taking hold of things with energy.

We are having further disasters, I suspect, at Charleston and in North Carolina. But they are not vital. The small results (adverse results, I mean,) likely to follow are further proofs of our growing strength.

What a capital speech Everett has made. He quite redeems himself.

Always say something about the boys — their sayings and doings.

Affectionately ever,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 405

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, April 5, 1863

Camp White, April 5, 1863.

Dearest: — The weather is good, our camp dry, and everybody happy. Joe has got a sail rigged on his large skiff and he enjoys sailing on the river. It is pleasant to be able to make use of these otherwise disagreeable spring winds to do our rowing.

Visited the hospital (it being Sunday) over in town this morning. It is clean, airy, and cheerful-looking. We have only a few there — mostly very old cases.

Comly heard a couple of ladies singing Secesh songs, as if for his ear, in a fine dwelling in town. Joe has got his revenge by obtaining an order to use three rooms for hospital patients. The announcement caused grief and dismay — they fear smallpox (a case has appeared). I think Joe repents his victory now.

Enclosed photographs, except Comly's, are all taken by a Company B man who is turning a number of honest pennies by the means — Charlie Smith, Birch will recollect as Captain Avery's orderly.

Five companies of the Twenty-third had a hard race after Jenkins. They got his stragglers. Colonel Paxton and Gilmore are after him with their cavalry. General Jenkins has had bad luck with this raid. He came in with seven hundred to eight hundred men. He will get off with four hundred to five hundred, badly used up, and nothing to pay for his losses. We lost half a dozen killed. They murdered one citizen of Point Pleasant, an old veteran of 1812, aged eight-four. They will run us out in a month or two, I suspect, unless we are strengthened, or they weakened. General Scammon is prepared to destroy salt and salt-works if he does have to leave.

I think of you and the boys oftener than ever. Love to 'em and oceans for yourself.

Affectionately ever,

P. S. — I sent by express three hundred and fifty dollars in a package with two hundred dollars of Joe's. It ought to reach Mother Webb in a day or two after this letter. Write if it doesn't or does.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 402-3

Friday, October 20, 2017

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Saturday, March 28, 1863

Rain all night. Yesterday, a clear, cold morning; a white frost; cloudy and hazy all day; rain at night.

P. M. Rode with Dr. Webb, Lieutenant McKinley, and a dragoon out on road to Coal Forks as far as Davis Creek, thence down the creek to the Guyandotte Pike (river road), thence home. Crossed the creek seven times; water deep and bottom miry.

Today a fight between four hundred Jenkins' or Floyd's men and two hundred and seventy-five Thirteenth Virginia [men] at Hurricane Bridge. Rebels repulsed. Our loss three killed and six wounded, one mortally. Floyd's men coming into Logan, Boone, Wayne, Cabell, and Putnam [Counties], reporting Floyd dismissed and his troops disbanded. The troops from being state troops refuse to go into Confederate service but seem willing to fight the Yankees on their own hook.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 398

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Thursday, March 26, 1863

A cold, rainy day. Last night the coldest of the season. Yesterday with Dr. Joe and four oarsmen rowed in his large skiff up Elk, three or four miles; caught in a wild storm of rain and sleet.

Had a dispatch today from Captain Simmonds at Gauley; he reports rumors of an early advance on all our posts. "Sensational!" General Scammon in a "stew" about it.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 397

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard, January 12, 1863

Camp Reynolds, Near Gauley Bridge, January 12, 1863.

Dear Uncle: — Yours of the 6th came duly to hand. The death of Magee is indeed a public calamity. No community has such men to spare. There is, I judge, no doubt of the death of Leander Stem. More of my acquaintances and friends have suffered in that than in any battle of the war except those in which my own regiment took part. It was Rosecrans' personal qualities that saved the day. He is not superior intellectually or by education to many of our officers, but in headlong daring, energy, and determination, I put him first of all the major-generals. He has many of the Jackson elements in him. Another general, almost any other, would, after McCook's misfortune, have accepted a repulse and turned all his efforts to getting off safely with his shattered army.

Sherman has been repulsed, it seems. No doubt he will get aid from below and from Grant. If so, he will yet succeed.

I do not expect a great deal from the [Emancipation] Proclamation, but am glad it was issued.

Notice Governor Seymour's message. It shows what I anticipated when I was with you — that the logic of the situation will make a good enough war party of the Democracy in power. If you want to see eyes opened on the slavery question, let the Democracy have the power in the nation. They would be the bitterest abolitionists in the land in six months. I am perfectly willing to trust them.

I received a letter from Dr. Joe saying he would bring Lucy and Birch and Webb back with him. They will enjoy it, I do not doubt.

I am now in command of [the] First Brigade of [the] Second Kanawha Division. General Ewing has gone South with six regiments from this quarter. This leaves us none too strong, but probably strong enough. I shall probably have command of the extreme outposts. I am not yet in command at Gauley Bridge. I say this because I think it very insufficiently garrisoned, and if not strengthened a surprise would not be remarkable. If I am put in command, as seems likely, I shall see it fixed up very promptly.

R. B. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 387-8

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Sunday, January 11, 1863

Moved into my new quarters last night. Ratherish damp; roof and gables of “shakes,” a little open; no ceiling or flooring above; altogether cool but not unpleasant. A letter from Dr. Joe. Lucy and Birch and Webb to come up and give me a visit. Right jolly! A letter from Uncle also.

Rosecrans by his fiery and energetic courage at Murfreesboro or Stone River saved the day. Not intellectually an extraordinary man, but his courage and energy make him emphatically the fighting general of this war.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 387