Showing posts with label Lucy Webb Hayes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucy Webb Hayes. 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

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 29, 1864

HARPERS FERRY, July 29, 1864. 

DEAREST: — A fine day in a pleasant shady camp, resting. That sentence contains a world of comfort to our weary, worn-out men.

All are clothed and shod again, and general good feeling prevails.

We are joined by a large force under General Wright, who commands the whole army. It looks as if we would move up the Valley of Virginia again. If so the papers will inform you of our movements and doings.

I sent you a dispatch and letter after our return from the reverse at Winchester, but am not certain that either was forwarded.

I can only repeat what I have written so often, my love and esteem for my darling and my wish that she may be as happy as she has always made me. — Love to the boys and all the dear ones.

Affectionately ever, 

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 487-8

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

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sophia Birchard Hayes, July 12, 1864

Parkersburg, West Virginia, July 12, 1864.

Dear Mother: — We are here on our way East. I managed to slip ahead of my command and spend Sunday with Lucy and the boys at Chillicothe. I should have been very glad to get to Columbus and would have done so if it had been possible. But we are being hurried forward as fast as possible to aid in putting an end to the trouble in Maryland. I know very little about it but hope it will turn out much less serious than is now represented.

I found my family well homed and in good health. It was an unexpected but very happy meeting.
My love to all the family. Letters directed to me in Crook's Division, via Cumberland, will probably find me. I think all your letters have finally reached me.

My health, after all our severe campaigning, is excellent.

Your affectionate son,
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 482

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Sunday, July 17, 1864

Martinsburg, July 17 (Sunday), 1864.

Dearest: — A week ago, about this time, we were enjoying our pleasant ride like young lovers on the Kingston Pike. Now we are widely separated.

I am semi-sick — that is the boil I told you I was threatened with on my hip is actively at work. The worst is over with it. I am lying on my blankets in the barroom of a German drinking saloon that was gutted by the Rebels. The man is a refugee but his excellent frau is here ready to do anything in the world for a bluecoat. She wants me to go [to] a chamber and a clean bed, but I like the more public room better.

Half my brigade went this morning to General Crook, thirty miles east. We go in a day or two. The combinations to catch the Rebels seem to me good, but I expect them to escape. Raiding parties always do escape. Morgan was foolhardy and Streight lacked enterprise. They are the only exceptions.

You will probably see some correspondence about your flag gift in the papers. Don't blush, it's all right. — “S’much.” Love to all.

Ever, darling, your
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 482-3

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 20, 1864

Harpers Ferry, July 20, 1864.

Dearest: — I am here with my brigade, merely to get ammunition and grub. Have been fighting and marching three days; lost only three killed and twelve wounded. Shall remain all day. All well. My boil does me no harm, but it is an awful hole. Doctor well. Can't give you much news. I am on a scout after Crook who is lost to the bureau! It is very funny. He has caught some Rebels and many wagons, I know, and I think he has got a good victory, but I don't yet know. . . .

In our hunt we have had hard marching and plenty of fighting of a poor sort. Rebel cavalry is very active and efficient, but it don't fight. Our losses are ridiculously small for so much noise. . . .

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 484

Friday, August 21, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, July 5, 1864

Camp Crook, Charleston, July 5, 1864.

Dearest: — Your last from Elmwood, June 16, reached me last night. Very glad to get so good and cheerful talk.

It is not yet quite certain whether I shall be able to come and see you for a day or two or not. I think it is hardly best for you to attempt coming here now, but if I can't come to you, we will see about it.

Sunday morning the veterans of the Twelfth under Major Carey were united to the Twenty-third and that evening your flag was formally presented to the regiment at dress parade. The hearty cheers given for Mrs. H— (that's you) showed that you were held in grateful remembrance. I do not know whether you will get any letters from Colonel Comly or not. You certainly will if he does not think it will be a bore to you.

You have no doubt seen the proceedings of the non-veterans on giving the old flag to the governor at Columbus. I send a slip containing them to be kept with our archives. Secretary [of State, William Henry] Smith's allusion to me was awkward and nonsensical; but as it was well meant I, of course, must submit to be made ridiculous with good grace.

The fracture of Abbott's arm turned out like mine, a simple fracture without splintering and he saves his arm in good, condition. He is doing well.

Our prisoners wounded at Cloyd's Mountain were well treated by the citizens of Dublin and Newbern, etc., and by the Rebel soldiers of that region. Morgan and his men, however, behaved badly towards them — very badly — but as they were with them only a few hours, they were soon in better hands again. At Lynchburg the people behaved well also.

Don't let Uncle Scott be pestered with the little sorrel. He may give him away if he can't dispose of him otherwise.

We are gradually getting over our sore feet and weak stomachs and shall be in good condition shortly. Captain Hood is here again in command of his company. Major Mcllrath, Captain Warren, Lieutenants Deshong and Nessle and perhaps one or two others leave us here. The Twenty-third is now a large and splendid regiment again, better than ever, I suppose. — Love.

Affectionately, ever,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 481-2

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

Friday, July 17, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Sunday, June 12, 1864

Lexington, Rockbridge County, June 12 (Sunday), 1864.

Dearest: — I just hear that a mail goes tomorrow. We captured this town after an artillery and sharpshooter fight of three hours, yesterday P. M. My brigade had the advance for two days and all the casualties, or nearly all, fell to me. [A] first lieutenant of [the] Fifth Virginia killed and one private; three privates of [the] Thirty-sixth killed and ten to fifteen wounded. [The] Twenty-third had no loss. Very noisy affair, but not dangerous.

This is a fine town. Stonewall Jackson's grave and the Military Institute are here. Many fine people. Secesh are not at all bitter and many are Union.

I am more pleased than ever with General Crook and my brigade, etc., but some things done here are not right. General Hunter will be as odious as Butler or Pope to the Rebels and not gain our good opinion either. You will hear of it in Rebel papers, I suspect.

Weather fine and all our movements are successful. The Rebels have been much crippled already by our doings. We are probably moving towards Lynchburg. If so you will have heard of our fortunes from other sources before this reaches you.

I got a pretty little cadet musket here which I will try to send the boys. Dear boys, love to them and the tenderest affection for you. — Good-bye.

[R. B. Hayes.]
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 474

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, June 8, 1864

Staunton, June 8, 1864.

Dearest: — We reached the beautiful Valley of Virginia yesterday over North Mountain and entered this town this morning. General Hunter took the place after a very successful fight on the 6th. We seem to be clear of West Virginia for good. We shall probably move on soon.

Our march here over the mountains was very exciting. We visited all the favorite resorts of the chivalry on our route, White Sulphur, Blue Sulphur, Warm, and Hot Springs, etc., etc. Lovely places, some of them. I hope to visit some of them with you after the war is over.

We know nothing of Grant but conjecture that he must be doing well. We are now in Crook's division, Hunter's Army, I suppose. General Crook is the man of all others. I wish you could have seen the camps the night we got our last mail from home. It brought me two letters from you, one of [the] 26th. I told General Crook, Webb sent his love. “Yes,” said he, “Webb is a fine boy; he will make a soldier.”

We have enjoyed this campaign very much. I have no time to write particulars. It is said that the prisoners will be sent to Beverly tomorrow and that the men and officers of [the] Twenty-third whose time expires will go as guard. I shall perhaps send my sorrel horse by Carrington and if he can't sell him for two hundred dollars to take him to Uncle Moses to do just what he pleases with him. If he can't keep him he may give him away or shoot him. He is a fine horse and behaved admirably at Cloyd's Mountain, but he is too fussy and noisy.

I feel the greatest sympathy for you during these long periods of entire ignorance of my whereabouts. I trust it will soon be so that I can hear from you and send news to you often.

[R. B. Hayes.]
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 471-2

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, June 9, 1864

Staunton, Vieginia, June 9, 1864.

Dearest: — I wrote you yesterday a letter which if it reaches you at all, will be some days in advance of this. I send this by the men whose term of service has expired and who go to "America" in charge of prisoners captured a few days ago by General Hunter at the battle of Piedmont or "New Hope."

All operations in this quarter have been very successful. We reached here yesterday morning after an exciting and delightful march of nine days from Meadow Bluff. . . .

The men not enlisting (one hundred and sixty) with nine officers left our camp this morning to start tomorrow in charge of Colonel Moore. The hand played “Home, Sweet Home.” The officers who leave are Captains Canby, Rice, Stevens, Sperry, and Hood; First Lieutenants Stephens, Chamberlain, Smith, Jackson, and Hicks. We have left seven full companies and twelve good officers. The old flags go to Columbus to the governor by the color-bearer. We shall quite certainly get more men from the Twelfth in a couple of weeks than we now lose.

I send Carrington with the little sorrel to sell or leave with Uncle Moses if he fails to sell him, and Uncle Moses can do what he pleases with him.

I send a pistol captured at Blacksburg from Lieutenant-Colonel Linkus, Thirty-sixth Virginia, Rebel. Also pencil memorandum of no account. Preserve the handbill showing Lee's appeal to the people of this (Augusta) county.

I have just visited the very extensive hospitals here. They are filled with patients, two-thirds Secesh, one-third our men. Nothing could be finer. In a fine building (Deaf and Dumb Asylum), in a beautiful grove — gas and hydrants — shade, air, etc. The Secesh were friendly and polite; not the slightest bitterness or unkindness between the two sorts. If I am to be left in hospital this is the spot.

Direct to “Second Infantry Division (or General Crook's Division), Department West Virginia, via Martinsburg.”

Love to all. — Affectionately ever,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 472-3

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: Sunday, May 29, 1864

MEADOW BLUFF, May 29, 1864.

Dear UNCLE:— Contrary to my expectation when I wrote you a few days ago, we are still here. We are detained, I suppose, by different causes, but I suspect we shall move soon towards Staunton. We may drift into the army of Grant before a month. My proper brigade is now here and all of it camped in sight of where I now sit, viz., Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth Ohio, Fifth and Thirteenth Virginia. I have seen them all in line today. They form a fine body of troops. We are soon to lose the enlisted men of the Twenty-third who did not become veterans. I think a good many officers will leave at the same time. It is probable that the veterans of the Twelfth will go into the Twenty-third. If so it will make the regiment better and stronger than ever before.

We are not informed how Grant succeeds in getting into Richmond. You know I have always thought he must get the Western Army there before he can whip Lee. It looks a little now as if he might do it without Western help. We shall see,

R. B. Hayes.

I hear from Lucy that she is settled in a good boarding-house at Chillicothe.

S. Birchard.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 467-8

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: Sunday, May 29, 1864

Meadow Bluff, Sunday, May 29, 1864.

Dearest: — Still here getting ready — probably delayed some by the change in Department commanders, but chiefly by rains and delays in obtaining supplies. All the brigade now here, camped in sight of where I now sit. We hardly know where we are to come out, but there is a general feeling that unless Grant succeeds soon, we shall turn up in his army.

You notice the compliment to Major Avery, “bravest of the brave.” A good many officers of [the] Twenty-third are talking of going out at the end of the original term, ten days hence. Major McIlrath bid us good-bye this morning. Major Carey is likely to take his place with the veterans of the Twelfth. . . .

My staff now is Lieutenant Hastings, adjutant-general, [Lieutenant William] McKinley, quartermaster, Lieutenant Delay, Thirty-sixth, commissary, and Lieutenant Wood, Thirty-sixth, aide — all nice gentlemen. I enclose Colonel Tomlinson's photograph which he handed me today.

Well, this is a happy time with us. — You must not feel too anxious about me. I shall be among friends.

A flag of truce goes in the morning after our wounded left at Cloyd's Mountain. There were four doctors and plenty of nurses left with them. . . . Love to all the boys.

Affectionately ever,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 468-9

Monday, March 30, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: Wednesday, May 25, 1864

Meadow BLUFF, May 25, 1864.

DEAREST:—We are preparing for another move. It will require a week's time, I conjecture, to get shoes, etc., etc. It looks as if the route would be through Lewisburg, White Sulphur, Covington, Jackson River, etc., to Staunton. The major came up this morning with a few recruits and numbers of the sick, now recovered. They bring a bright new flag which I can see floating in front of [the] Twenty-third headquarters. I suspect it to be your gift. Three hundred more of the Thirty-sixth also came up. The Fifth and Thirteenth are coming, so I shall have my own proper brigade all together soon.....

Brigdon carried the brigade flag. It was knocked out of his hands by a ball striking the staff only a few inches from where he held it. It was torn twice also by balls.

I see the papers call this “Averell's raid.” Very funny! The cavalry part of it was a total failure. General Averell only got to the railroad at points where we had first got in. He was driven back at Saltville and Wytheville. Captain Gilmore is pleased. He says the Second Virginia was the best of any of them! . . .

I am now on most intimate and cordial terms with General Crook. He is a most capital commander. His one fault is a too reckless exposure of himself in action and on the march — not a bad fault in some circumstances.

I shall probably send my valise back to Gallipolis from here to Mr. James Taylor. It will contain a leather case with Roman candles for the boys, a sabre will go with it for one of them, a wooden-soled shoe, such as we destroyed great numbers of at Dublin, and very little else. If it is lost, no matter. . . .

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 465-6

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: May 26, 1864

May 26. — Just received your welcome letters of the 6th and 14th. Very glad you are so fortunate. Write to Uncle and Mother when you feel like it.

We shall start soon — perhaps in the morning. We take only one wagon to a regiment. The Fifth is now coming into camp. The general is pleased with Colonel Tomlinson's conduct and Colonel Tomlinson will remain. The Thirteenth will be here tonight. All my brigade together. The rest of the Thirty-sixth is here, six hundred and fifty in all. We feel well about the future. General Crook is more hopeful than ever before.

You need not believe the big stories of great victories or defeats at Richmond. But I think we shall gradually overcome them.

Good-bye, darling,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 466

Monday, March 9, 2020

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Wednesday, May 25, 1864

Major McIlrath with seven hundred of various regiments came in at 10 A. M.; Lieutenant Hicks, Dr. McClure, and forty men of [the] Twenty-third; about three hundred of [the] Thirty-sixth. Wrote to mother and Lucy.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 465

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: Thursday, May 19, 1864

Meadow Bluff, May 19, 1864

Dearest: — We got safely to this point in our lines, two hours ago, after twenty-one days of constant marching, frequent fighting, and much hardship, and some starvation. This is the most completely successful and by all odds the pleasantest campaign I have ever had. Now it is over I hardly know what I would change in it except to restore life and limbs to the killed and wounded.

My command in battles and on the march behaved to my entire satisfaction. None did, none could have done better. We had a most conspicuous part in the battle at Cloyd's Mountain and were so lucky. You will see the lists of killed and wounded. We brought off two hundred of our wounded in our train and left about one hundred and fifty. But we have good reason to think they will fare well. . . .

We took two cannon which the regiment has got along here by hard work. The Thirty-sixth and Twenty-third are the only regiments which went into the thickest of the fight and never halted or gave back. The Twelfth did well but the "Flatfoots" backed out. The Ninety-first well, but not much exposed. The Ninth Virginia did splendidly and lost heavier than any other. The Potomac Brigade, (Pennsylvania Reserves, etc., etc.,) broke and fled. I had the dismounted men of the Thirty-fourth. They did pretty well. Don't repeat my talk. But it is true, the Twenty-third was the Regiment. The Thirty-sixth I know would have done as well if they had had the same chance. The Twenty-third led and the Thirty-sixth supported them. General Crook is the best general I have ever known.

This campaign in plan and execution has been perfect. We captured ten pieces of artillery, burned the New River Bridge and the culverts and small bridges thirty in number for twenty miles from Dublin to Christiansburg. Captured General Jenkins and three hundred officers and men; killed and wounded three to five hundred and routed utterly his army.*

We shall certainly stay here some days, perhaps some weeks, to refit and get ready for something else. You and the boys are remembered and mentioned constantly.

One spectacle you would have enjoyed. The Rebels contested our approach to the bridge for two or three hours. At last we drove them off and set it on fire. All the troops were marched up to see it — flags and music and cheering. On a lovely afternoon the beautiful heights of New River were covered with our regiments watching the burning bridge. It was a most animating scene.

Our band has been the life of the campaign. The other three bands all broke down early. Ours has kept up and played their best on all occasions. They alone played at the burning of the bridge and today we came into camp to their music.

I have, it is said, Jenkins' spurs, a revolver of the lieutenant-colonel of [the] Rebel Thirty-sixth, a bundle of Roman candles, a common sword, a new Rebel blanket, and other things, I would give the dear boys if they were here. — Love to all.

Affectionately ever
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 461-3

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Friday, May 13, 1864

Monroe County, In Bivouac, May 13, 1864.

Dearest: — We are all right so far. Burned New River Bridge, etc., etc. A most successful campaign. The victory of Cloyd's Mountain was complete. The Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth and part of Thirty-fourth fought under me. All behaved well. The Twenty-third led the charge over an open meadow to the enemy's works and carried them with a will. It cost us one hundred and twenty killed and wounded. . . . This is our best fight. [The] Twenty-third captured two cannon and other trophies. General Jenkins and other officers and men captured. — Love to all.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 458