CAMP ROUTINE AND IMPATIENT WAITING, WEST VIRGINIA
CAMP Union, Fayetteville, Virginia, Wednesday, New
Year's Day, 1862. -- Sun shone brightly an hour or two;
mild winter weather, then windy and threatening. Rode with
Colonel Scammon four or five miles southwest of town. Wind
blew all day as if a storm were by brewing, but no rain or snow.
I set it down as a pleasant day. Number I for January 1862.
At dinner, speaking of naming my boy, I said: "The name
was all ready if I had heard that a daughter was born." "Fanny
Lucy" or "Lucy Fanny"--linking together the names of the
two dear ones, wife and sister. Dear Fanny! what an angel
she was, and, may I hope, now is.
Heard from home. Sergeant [John] McKinley, with letter
and watch--tight, drunk, the old heathen, and insisting on
seeing the madame! I didn't dream of that. He must be a
nuisance, a dangerous one too, when drunk. A neat, disciplined,
well-drilled soldier under rule, but what a savage when in liquor!
Must be careful whom I send home.
Thursday, January 2, 1862.-- Cleared off moderately cold;
quiet and beautiful weather. Remarkable season. Rode with
Colonel Scammon about the works. Major Comly reports
finding about one hundred and twenty muskets, etc., concealed
in and about Raleigh; also twelve or fifteen contrabands ar-
rived. What to do with them is not so troublesome yet as at
the East. Officers and soldiers employ them as cooks and
servants. Some go on to Ohio.
Nobody in this army thinks of giving up to Rebels their
fugitive slaves. Union men might perhaps be differently dealt
with--probably would be. If no doubt of their loyalty, I sup-
pose they would again get their slaves. The man who repu-
diates all obligations under the Constitution and laws of the
174 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
United States is to be treated as having forfeited those rights
which depend solely on the laws and Constitution. I don't want
to see Congress meddling with the slavery question. Time and
the progress of events are solving all the questions arising out
or slavery in a way consistent with eternal principles of justice.
Slavery is getting death-blows. As an "institution," it perishes
in this war. It will take years to get rid of its debris, but the
"sacred" is gone.
FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, January 2, 1862.
DEAREST:--I hope you all enjoyed New Year's Day. I dis-
patched you "a happy New Year's" which I suppose you got.
We had nothing unusual. The weather still good. Twenty-six
fine days in December, and a start of two for the new year.
Dr. Jim got a letter from Joe yesterday. Sergeant McKinley
was drunk. I doubted him somewhat, but thought if trusted
with an errand, he would keep straight until it was done. A good
soldier in camp--somewhat obtrusive and talkative, but always
soldierlike. He got into the guard-house for raising Ned at
For convenience of forage, and at the request of Union citi-
zens, a detachment of five companies--two of Twenty-third, one
of Twenty-sixth, and two of Thirtieth--have occupied Raleigh.
All quiet there. One or two other places may be occupied in the
same way, in which case I shall go with the next detachment.
This all depends on the continuance of good weather and roads.
I do not mean to let it prevent my going home the latter part
of this month, and it will not unless the enemy wakes up again.
At present their attention is so occupied on the seacoast and
elsewhere that we hear nothing of them. . . . Dr. Hayes is a
quiet, nice gentleman. Jim likes him very much. Jim is now act-
ing surgeon of the Twenty-third under employment by Dr.
* Mrs. Hayes wrote, January 5: "Your Sergeant McKinley is a
curiosity. . . . Don't say anything about the sergeant's condition
when he called, for getting home had overcome him and it did not affect
me in the least."
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 175
Hayes as "a private physician"--that is, at a hundred dollars
As detachments are likely to be sent off if this good weather
lasts, Dr. Joe better return when it is perfectly safe for him
to do so--not before.
I shall come home as soon as possible. Nothing but these
good roads and fine weather keeps me here now. If the weather
and roads were bad I would start within a week; but in such
weather I don't feel that it would be safe to leave. We may be
required to move forward, or to be ready for movements of
the enemy. Such weather puts us into a campaign again. We
have had men sixty miles further south and forty east within a
week or ten days. No symptom of enmity anywhere. . . .
Friday, January 3.-- Last evening threatened snow but too
cold. Today cold and dry. P. M. 4 o'clock began to rain; may
rain for a month now.
Charles, an honest-looking contraband -- six feet high, stout-
built, thirty-six years old, wife sold South five years ago,--
came in today from Union, Monroe County. He gives me such
items as the following: Footing boots $9 to $10. New boots
$18 to $20. Shoes $4 to $4.50. Sugar 25 to 30 [cents a pound],
coffee 62 1/2, tea $1.50, soda 62 1/2, pepper 75, bleached domestic
40 to 50 [cents a yard.] Alex Clark [his master], farmer near
Union (east of it), Monroe County, one hundred and fifty (?)
miles from Fayetteville--fifty miles beyond (?) Newbern.
Started Saturday eve at 8 P. M., reached Raleigh next Monday
night; crossed New River at Packs Ferry. (Packs a Union man.)
Companies broken up in Rebel army by furloughs, discharges,
and sickness. Rich men's sons get discharges. Patrols put out
to keep slaves at home. They tell slaves that the Yankees cut
off arms of some negroes to make them worthless and sell the
rest in Cuba for twenty-five hundred dollars each to pay cost
of war. "No Northern gentlemen fight--only factory men
176 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
thrown out of employ." They (the negroes) will fight for the
North if they find the Northerners are such as they think them.
Union is a larger and much finer town than Fayetteville. Wil-
liam Erskine, keeper of Salt Sulphur Springs, don't let Rebels
stay in his houses. Suspected to be a Union man. Lewisburg
three times as large as Fayetteville. Some Fayetteville people
there. People in Greenbrier [County] don't want to fight any
General Augustus Chapman the leading military man in Mon-
roe. Allen T. Capelton, the other mem[ber] of Legislature,
Union man, had his property taken by them. Named Joshua
Seward, farmer. Henry Woolwine, ditto, for Union, farmer,
[living] near Union--three and three and one-half miles off.
Dr. Ballard a good Union man (storekeeper) on the road from
Giles to Union, twelve miles from Peterstown, also robbed by
Floyd. Wm. Ballard and a large connection, all Union men--
all in Monroe. Oliver Burns and Andrew Burns contributed
largely to the Rebels. John Eckles in Union has a fine brick
house--a Rebel colonel. Rebels from towards Lynchburg and
Richmond would come by way of Covington, forty-five miles
from Union. Landlords of principal hotel Rebels -- one at
Manassas. Two large, three-story high-school buildings, oppo-
site sides of the street, on the hill this end of town. "Knobs," or
"Calder's Peak," three miles from town. A hilly country, but
more cleared and better houses than about Fayetteville.
They "press" poor folks' horses and teams not the rich folks'.
Poor folks grumble at being compelled to act as patrols to keep
rich men's negroes from running off. "When I came with my
party, eleven of us, in sight of your pickets, I hardly knew what
to do. If you were such people as they had told us, we would
suffer. Some of the party turned to run. A man with a gun
called out halt. I saw through the fence three more with guns.
They asked, 'Who comes there?' I called out 'Friends.' The
soldier had his gun raised; he dropped it and said: 'Boys, these
are some more of our colored friends,' and told us to 'come on,
not to be afraid,' that we were safe. Oh, I never felt so in my life.
I could cry, I was so full of joy. And I found them and the
major (Comly) and all I have seen so friendly--such perfect
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 177
gentlemen, just as we hoped you were, but not as they told us
Saturday, January 4, 1862. -- Major Comly calls his camp at
Raleigh "Camp Hayes." It rained last night as if bent to make
up for the long drouth. Foggy this morning; warm and muddy
enough to stop all advances. Besides, yesterday the Twenty-
sixth Regiment was ordered from here to Kentucky. Two other
regiments go from below. Ten regiments from New York in
same direction. Such an immense force as is gathering ought
to open the Mississippi River, capture Memphis, New Orleans,
and Nashville before the heat of summer closes operations on
that line. Oh, for energy, go-ahead! With horses here we
could do wonders, but such a rain as last night forbids any
Sent today as recruiting officers for the regiment Captains
Lovejoy and Skiles, Sergeants Hicks and Powers, privates
Seekins and Lowe, to report at Camp Chase to Major McCrea,
U. S. A.
No rain today, but mist and clouds with occasional flakes of
CAMP UNION, FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, January 4, 1862.
DEAR MOTHER:--I have a chance to send letters direct to
Columbus by a recruiting officer this morning and write in great
haste. We are still in good quarters and good health. The peo-
ple we meet are more and more satisfied that it is best to return
to their allegiance. Our men, pickets and outposts, are daily
pushed out further into what has been the enemy's country, and
everywhere they meet friends, or at least people who no longer
behave like enemies. Part of our regiment is fifty miles south of
here, and no signs even of hostility from anybody. Not a man
has been fired at in this brigade for more than a month. If no
disaster befalls our armies on the Potomac or in Kentucky, the
masses of the people in Virginia are ready--would be glad--
to submit. England out of the way, and a little patience and
determination will crush the Rebellion.
178 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
You say you are glad I am coming home--that you didn't
expect it. I hope to start the latter part of this month. All the
officers but five have been home and returned or are now absent.
My turn is next to the last. I shall go before Colonel Scammon.
Of course, events may occur to prevent my leaving, but I don't
Affectionately, your son,
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. SOPHIA HAYES.
CAMP UNION, January 4, 1862.
DEAR DOCTOR:--You have probably learned that Dr. Mc-
Curdy has gone home to recruit his health. If Dr. Jim does not
break down (I have some fears on that score) this absence of
Dr. McCurdy need not hasten your departure. Our men are
generally very healthy; the sick are daily returning, for the most
part well. Captain Skiles and Captain Lovejoy are to recruit in
Ohio. It is possible that I may not come, if Lucy gets on well,
until you return. If we do not move the Twenty-third on to
Raleigh, I would prefer to wait, if possible, until you get here.
If we go on to Raleigh where Major . At this point, I
learned that the Twenty-sixth is ordered to Kentucky. If so,
it will stop our going on to Raleigh; besides, it has just begun
to rain, so I suppose we are fixed. If so, I shall be coming
home in two or three weeks, I think. Possibly not. You need
send me nothing except newspapers. The Commercial via Galli-
polis by mail comes in good time.
We have some interesting contrabands coming in daily.
Eleven came in yesterday. The rain seems to be a "settled" one.
If so, all movements in this quarter are at an end. Sorry, but
it can't be helped. . . .
DR. J. T. WEBB.
Fayetteville, Virginia, Sunday, January 5, 1862. -- Ground
frozen, moderately cold. A slight swelling of the left gland
of the throat -- the first symptom of influenza since I came to
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 179
war. Generally with the first cold weather in November and
frequently again in the latter part of the winter, I have a week's
pretty severe influenza. I think I shall escape it this year, not-
withstanding this slight symptom. Orders issued for a march
to Raleigh early Tuesday morning -- Twenty-third and Thirtieth
to go, with intention to push farther if possible. But I suspect
the weather and roads forbid. In the evening rain and sleet.
Monday, January 6.--Snow on the ground. Rainy and
blustering--turning into a big fall of snow soon after noon.
. . . A big snow-storm--wind whistling in its wintriest way.
Not so severe as the northwest storms of the lake shore, but re-
FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, January 6, 1862.
DEAR JOE:--I yesterday received yours of the 26th; at the
same time the Commercial of the first--six days later. Am
glad to know you are doing so well at home. . . .
We go up to Raleigh tomorrow. A considerable march in the
winter, if the mud thaws, as now seems likely. There is no
difficulty in teams reaching [there] with goods and stores, but
footing it, is, to say the least, disagreeable. Don't buy a new
chest for me or anybody now. In the spring will be time enough.
It is possible you will start for here before this reaches Cin-
cinnati; if not, come on, unless you hear by telegraph, without
delay, if the condition of the family will allow. Love to all
the dear ones --"wee" one and all.
DR. J. T. WEBB.
FAYETTEVILLE, January 6, 1862.
DEAR MOTHER:--I yesterday received your letter dated
Christmas. It was very welcome. I also got a letter from home
of one day's later date. Glad to know you are all well. It is
impossible yet to fix the time of my visit home. It may be a
month yet. If the weather allows, we are going tomorrow to
Raleigh -- twenty-five miles further from the steamboat landing,
180 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
and rendering our communications with home somewhat more
precarious. We are now in a region where the resident population
is friendly, and we are urged to come to Raleigh by Union citi-
zens for protection. We have established a camp there, and
may, perhaps, push our movements further toward the interior.
I am busily engaged getting ready to move.
January 7. -- It has been snowing steadily for several hours,
and all thought of going further is indefinitely postponed. We
shall stay in our comfortable quarters until the snow melts, and
the floods abate, and the weather again allows the roads to settle.
This, very likely, will not be until after my visit home, so I shall
not see "Camp Hayes," as my friend Major Comly has called
the post at Raleigh, until after I see some other Hayeses who are
in another direction. I suspect I shall get home in between three
and four weeks. I know no reason which will prevent my visit-
ing you at Delaware and uncle at Fremont for a day or two each.
MRS. SOPHIA HAYES.
Tuesday, January 7, 1862. -- Snowing scattered flakes. Not
more than three inches of snow has fallen. The weather is not
cold for the season. Seven companies here now.
Joseph Bean resides nine miles from Boyer's Ferry on the old
road between pike and river, five miles from Sewell (Mount)
Camp; a Union man. . . . Mr. Bean is on the common
errand, justice (possibly, vengeance or plunder) against his
Rebel neighbors. Very unreliable stories, these.
The day before Christmas private Harrison Brown, Company
B, stole a turkey from a countryman who came in to sell it. I
made Brown pay for it fifty cents and sent him to the guard-
house over Christmas. I hated to do it. He is an active, bright
soldier, full of sport and lawless, but trusty, brave and strong.
He just came in to offer me a quarter of venison, thus "heaping
coals of fire on my head." He probably appreciated my disagree-
able duty as well as any one and took no offense.
Lieutenant Avery (Martin P.) and Lieutenant Kennedy are
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 181
my messmates. Avery is a capital soldier. He joined the regular
army as a private, five or six years ago, before he was of age,
served a year and a half; joined the Walker expedition to
Nicaragua, was in several fights and saw much severe service.
He joined a company in Cleveland as a private-- was made a
second lieutenant and has since been promoted to first and was
by me appointed adjutant. He is intelligent, educated, brave,
thoroughly trained as a soldier and fit to command a regiment.
Kennedy is of Bellefontaine, an agreeable, gentlemanly
youngster, dead in love, reads novels, makes a good aide, in which
capacity he is now acting. Took a long walk with Avery in the
Tuesday, January 7, 1862.
DEAREST L--:--The enclosed letter to Dr. Joe did not get
off yesterday and thinking it likely he may be off, I enclose it
with this to you.
Since writing yesterday a deep snow has fallen postponing
indefinitely all extensive movements southward. We shall have
a thaw after the snow, then floods, bad roads for nobody knows
how long, and so forth, which will keep us in our comfortable
quarters here for the present at least. Write me one more letter
if you can before I come home. I shall not leave for home in
less than three weeks. I trust my absence will not continue
much longer than that time. Take care of yourself and you
will be able to be up with me and about long before I leave.
I must visit Columbus, Delaware, and Fremont (unless Uncle
happens to be at Cincinnati) while at home, besides doing a
great many chores of all sorts. I don't expect you to be able
to go with me, but I hope you will be well enough to be with
me a good deal while we are in Cincinnati.
I just ran out in the snow to detail four men to run down a
suspicious character who is reported as hanging around the hos-
pital and lower part of the village. A queer business this is.
I sent Laura some letters written by lovers, wives, and sisters
to Rebels in Floyd's army. The captured mails on either side
afford curious reading. They are much like other folks--
those Rebel sweethearts, wives, and sisters.
182 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I trust we shall crush out the Rebellion rapidly. The masses
South have been greatly imposed on by people who were well
informed. I often wish I could see the people of this village
when they return to their homes. On the left of me is a pleas-
ant cottage. The soldiers, to increase their quarters, have built
on three sides of it the awkardest possible shanty extensions--
one side having a prodigious stone and mud chimney, big enough
for great logs ten feet in length. On three of the prominent
hills of the village considerable earthworks have been built.
There are no fences in sight except around the three buildings
occupied by leading officers. Such is war. One young lady
writing to her lover speaks of a Federal officer she had met,
and laments that so nice a gentleman should be in the Union
. . . . You must be ever so careful for a good while yet.
Good night, dearest. Much love to all and, as about forty
affectionate Rebels say, a large portion for yourself.
Wednesday, January 8.--"New Orleans," "The Union--it
must and shall be preserved," "Old Hickory forever." These are
the watchwords of today. This is our coldest day--clear,
bright, and beautiful. Not over three inches of snow.
Rode with Adjutant Avery and two dragoons to Raleigh,
twenty-four miles. A cold but not disagreeable day. The village
of Raleigh is about ten to twelve years old; three or four hundred
inhabitants may have lived there before the war; now six or
eight families. Two churches, two taverns, two stores, etc., etc.,
in peaceful times. Our troops housed comfortably but too
scattered, and too little attention to cleanliness. (Mem.:--
Cooking ought never to be allowed in quarters.) I fear proper
arrangements for repelling an attack have not been made.
Thursday, January 9, 1862. Raleigh, Virginia, (Beckley's
Court-house). Cloudy; rained during last night, thawing,
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 183
foggy, etc., etc. Rode with Avery to the mill of young Mr.
Beckley on Piney River. Found it a most romantic spot. Beck-
ley's family, a pretty wife and daughter, there in a cabin by
the roaring torrent in a glen separated from all the world. I
shall long remember that quiet little home. -- One man of com-
pany --- died at Fayetteville.
Friday, January 10.-- Heard rumors from Fayetteville of a
great battle and victory at Bowling Green. Three thousand of
our men killed and wounded. Enemy driven into the river --
camp taken. One adds thirteen thousand taken prisoners.
Floyd captured, says another. Fort Sumter retaken, says a
third, and so on. Rode to Raleigh [slip of the pen for Fayette-
ville] with Avery, -- very muddy--twenty-five miles in five to
six hours. Rumors of the battle varied and conflicting. We
ask all pickets and all we meet. As we approach Fayetteville
the rumor loses strength. At Fayetteville, "Nothing of it,
Colonel," says a soldier. So we go.
Fayetteville, Camp Union, January 11. Saturday. -- Pleasant
weather--warm and very muddy. A soldier of Company C
died last night. Few cases of sickness but very fatal; calls for
great care. Must see to clean livers at once. Made the com-
mander of the post vice Colonel Eckley who is to leave with the
Twenty-sixth (he to command the Eightieth) in a day or two.
Sergeant McKinley brings me a letter from Lucy, the first since
her confinement. She says she is well again; calls, as she speaks
of him, the little fourth "Joe." Well, Joe it shall be--a good
name, after the best of brothers and uncles.
Reports of preparations southward to meet and cut off our
expedition to the railroad and the impassable roads have fast
bound our intended enterprise.
Sunday, January 12, 1862. -- Very warm, threatening rain all
day. Three of our men died yesterday and today--two of them
just recruited. Good letter from Dr. Joe. Bothered about our
not going to Kentucky and such nonsense, but full of interesting
particulars about the boys and family.
184 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, Sunday A. M., January 12, 1862.
DEAREST LUCY:--I was made very happy by your letter of
the 6th per Sergeant McKinley, and again this morning by a
capital account of the boys--rose-colored by his affectionate
partiality, but very enjoyable -- from Dr. Joe. Such letters from
home are next to meeting you all again. You speak of the fourth
boy as "Joseph." Well, "Joe" it shall be if you wish it. Indeed,
I thought of suggesting that name but I didn't know what you
might have thought of, and one dislikes sometimes to disregard
suggestions even on such subjects, and I thought to be, like
Lincoln on the Mason and Slidell question, prudently silent.
I hope you are not getting about the house so early as to put
in hazard your health. Do be very careful.
We are letting a good many of our soldiers go home now that
the snow, rain, and thaw have spoiled the roads. Joe seems
worried that we are not holding somebody's horses in the "grand
army" (a foolish phrase) in Kentucky. We are, or rather, have
been, having our share of enterprises towards the jugular vein of
Rebeldom--the Southwestern Virginia Railroad, and have cap-
tured arms, etc., in quantity.
I was out beyond Raleigh ("Camp Hayes") last week and
returned the day before yesterday. Such consternation as spread
among the Rebels on the advance of our troops was curious
to behold. The advance party went fifty miles from here.
People prepared to go as far up as Dublin Depot. Regiments
were sent for to Richmond. Rumor said two bodies of Yankees,
one thousand strong, were approaching, one on each bank of New
River. The militia of five counties were called out, and a high
time generally got up. There are many Union men south of
here who kept us well posted of Rebel movements. Major
Comly is left at Raleigh, and I feel somewhat apprehensive
about him. Since the Twenty-sixth has been recalled, I am put in
command of the post here.
I just stopped writing to give a pass to Ohio for a man belong-
ing to the sutler department of the Thirtieth who turned out to
be a Kinsell of Delaware. He promised to see mother.
I wrote a short note to you or Joe this morning, saying he had
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 185
better come home (camp is always spoken of as home) if he
can safely leave you. Colonel Scammon is really quite unwell,
and while he likes Dr. Hayes as a gentleman, would prefer Dr.
Joe as a physician. Dr. Jim or I can perhaps go to Cincinnati on
his return. My going is rendered doubtful for the present by the
departure of Colonel Eckley of the Twenty-sixth and the sickness
of Colonel Scammon. Colonel Ewing of the Thirtieth will not
return until the first week in February. I may possibly be
obliged to await his return.
13th. -- The newspapers from the Commercial office still get
here three or four days in advance of other news, except dis-
patches. I shall send home a sabre captured by Company G
on the late trip up New River towards the railroad. It is one
of about a dozen taken, which belonged to a company of Rich-
mond cavalry commanded by Captain Caskie. I send you the
letter I got from Major Comly with the sabre.
You will send Joe off as soon as it is safe for him to go.
I am always amused with his talk on one subject. He is re-
solved to consider our regiment as a much abused and neglected
one. We were in about the only successful campaign made the
past summer. We have the best winter quarters in the United
States. He thinks we can't be favorites of General Rosecrans
because he don't send us away to Kentucky or somewhere else!
And so on. But old bachelors must grumble at something, and
as he seems now to be enjoying everything else, it is perhaps right
that he should be unhappy about the regiment. . . .
I feel a little embarrassed about Joe. He says, "Telegraph if
you want me," etc., etc. Now, the truth is, he ought not to be
absent without or beyond his leave. I have constantly said that if
it was not safe to leave you he ought to stay, and I would see it
[made] all right. This I repeat. But what annoys me is, Joe
seems to feel as if something was wrong about the regiment;
as if he would like to leave it, etc., etc. Now, if he isn't satis-
fied with it, I will do all I can to get him a place in another
regiment. Don't let him stay in this on my account. I am liable
to leave it at any time, and I really don't want anybody in high
position in the regiment who is dissatisfied, and particularly if
he is a friend or relative of mine. I feel a duty in this matter.
186 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
The happiness of several hundred men is affected more or less
if one of the prominent officers allows himself to be habitually
out of sorts about things. You may show this to Joe. Don't
let there be any misunderstanding. I prefer greatly that Dr.
Joe should be our surgeon, but if he feels that he can't return
to western Virginia, or go anywhere else that the chances of
war may take us, without feeling injured and soured, then my
preference is that he do not come. I will do all I can to get
him another place, as I said before, but I don't want to see
him with us if he feels "snubbed" because we are not sent to
I ought not to trouble you with this, but it is written and you
will not think me unkind, will you? Love to all the dear boys,
little Joe and all. Very glad Mother Webb is so well.
Affectionately, as ever your
Sunday, January 12, 1862.
DEAR JOE:--. . . Generally healthy; less sickness than ever,
but more fatal. Come as soon as you safely can. Jim or I will
return as soon as you get here. Can't come now.
Don't think our position an insignificant one. We make more
captures and do more than any regiment I have yet heard of in
Kentucky. Worrying on such subjects is simply green. It
makes me laugh.
I was much interested in your account of the boys; very glad
to have such favorable stories of them all. Love to 'em.
R. B. HAYES.
DR. J. T. WEBB.
Monday, January 13, 1862.-- As commander of the post have
charge of the pass business. Have deputized to do the
clerkly part, and private Gray, Company I, to do the orderly
and department part, an erect, neat, fine old soldier; like him
much. . . .
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 187
The Twenty-sixth preparing to leave. Will take William
Smith, a crack shot and well known bushwhacker, to Charleston
or Columbus. James Phillips the owner of this cottage was in
the habit of going to Miller's Ferry to shoot at our men. Mr.
Mauser opposed it, said the town would be burned. To no
purpose. Phillips kept at the business.
Tuesday, January 14, 1862. -- My old veteran orderly, Gray,
says it makes his flesh creep to see the way soldiers enter offi-
cers' quarters, hats on, just as if they were in civil life! [The]
Twenty-sixth Regiment left today. Three or four inches snow.
Spent the afternoon looking over a trunk full of letters,
deeds, documents, etc., belonging to General Alfred Beckley.
They were buried in the graveyard near General Beckley's at
Raleigh. Some letters of moment showing the early and earnest
part taken by Colonel Tompkins in the Rebellion. The general
Union and conservative feeling of General Beckley shown in
letters carefully preserved in his letter-book. Two letters to
Major Anderson, full of patriotism, love of Union and of the
Stars and Stripes--replies written, one the day after Major
Anderson went into Sumter, the other much later. His, Gen-
eral Beckley's, desire was really for the Union. He was of
West Point education. Out of deference to popular sentiment
he qualified his Unionism by saying, "Virginia would stay in
the Union as long as she could consistently with honor."
General Beckley's note from "J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of
War," informing him of his appointment as a cadet at West
Point, and many other mementos, carefully preserved, were in
the trunk. Title papers and evidence relating to a vast tract
of land, formerly owned by Gideon Granger and now by Francis
Granger and brother, were also in it. All except a few letters
as to the Rebellion were undisturbed.
January 15. Wednesday. -- A swashing rain is falling on top
of the snow. What floods and what roads we shall have!
No more movements in this quarter. Yesterday a party from
Camp Hayes went out after forage to the home of a man named
Shumate who had escaped from the guardhouse in Raleigh a
188 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
few days ago. They stopped at his house. As one of the
men were [was] leaving, he said he would take a chunk along
to build a fire. Mrs. Shumate said, "You'll find it warm enough
before you get away." The party were fired on by about thirty
bushwhackers; two horses badly wounded. Four men had nar-
row escapes, several balls through clothing.
Two more contrabands yesterday. These runaways are bright
fellows. As a body they are superior to the average of the un-
educated white population of this State. More intelligent, I
feel confident. What a good-for-nothing people the mass of
these western Virginians are! Unenterprising, lazy, narrow,
listless, and ignorant. Careless of consequences to the country
if their own lives and property are safe. Slavery leaves one
class, the wealthy, with leisure for cultivation. They are usually
intelligent, well-bred, brave, and high-spirited. The rest are
Rained all day; snow gone. I discharged three suspicious
persons heretofore arrested; all took the oath. Two I thought
too old to do mischief, Thurman and Max; one I thought pos-
sibly honest and gave him the benefit of the possibility. He
was from Logan County. Knew Laban T. Moore and my old
friend John Bromley. John, he says, is "suspect" of Secesh.
Thursday, January 16, 1862.--Bright, warm weather. Col-
onel Scammon moved from Mrs. Manson's house to Dr. Stites'.
Lieutenants Warren and Smith start for Ohio. I send letters
to Mother, Uncle, and Lucy. Warm and so muddy. The Ka-
nawha up. Three steamboats at Loup Creek. Navigation
good. Not having written "Thursday" above until this moment
I thought it was Wednesday, and by a bet with Lieutenant
Reichenbach lost a bottle of wine and the sardines. Present
Dr. Jim W. [James Webb]; Lieutenants Reichenbach, Avery,
and Kennedy. I fear Avery loves liquor "not wisely but too
well." Major Comly says he has captured two hundred and
five law books.
FAYETTEVILLE, January 16, 1862.
DEAR LUCY: -- Lieutenants Warren and Smith leave today.
We are very well. Mud awful deep and streams overflowing.
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 189
I shall apply for leave of absence soon after Captains Sperry
and Zimmerman return, provided Dr. Joe is here. Of course
it would not do for two prominent officers of the same family
to be absent at the same time. These leaves of absence are so
abused, that in the absence of some great necessity, I would
not leave my regiment unless plenty of officers remain. I shall
leave about the last of the month, I think, unless Dr. Joe should
be detained on your account.
I am writing in much haste with a host of citizens growling.
Love to all.
R. B. HAYES
FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, January 16, 1862.
DEAR UNCLE:--I am in receipt of your favor of New Year's.
So Allen got along. I hope he will not cause you more bother
than he is worth. He was a good man here. I shall not be
at all surprised if some day his owners undertake to recover him.
You need not say this to him. His master still refuses to come
in and take the oath of allegiance although an opportunity has
been given him. He is a Rebel in the Rebel service.
We are doing well in all respects. I was at Camp Hayes,
twenty-five miles further south, last week. They have pretty
active times there with a few Rebel bushwhackers that infest
the roads. Men are occasionally slightly wounded, but the
shooting is from such great distances, and with common rifles,
that no serious harm is done. The vast majority of the people
As soon as four or five absent officers return, I shall ask
for leave of absence. Say, in about three weeks.
R. B. HAYES.
Friday, January 17, 1862. -- Froze last night to harden mud;
cold and clear this morning; warm and bright all day. We feel
rather lonely--so many gone. One regiment departed.
190 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
We hear of the resignation of Cameron and Welles. What
does this mean? I think we must gain by it. I hope such
men as Holt and Stanton will take their places. If so, the
Nation will not lose by the change.
Read Nat Turner's insurrection of 1831. I suspect there will
be few such movements while the war continues. The negroes
expect the North to set them free, and see no need of risking
their lives to gain what will be given them by others. When
they discover their mistake and despair of other aid, then trou-
bles may come.
Saturday, January 18, 1862. -- Attempting to rain this morn-
ing. All important movements everywhere stopped by the rain
and mud already. Still further "postponement on account of
weather." How impatiently we look for action on Green River
[and] at Cairo. As to the Potomac, all hope of work in that
quarter seems to be abandoned. Why don't they try to flank
the Rebels--get at their communications in the rear? But
patience! Here we are in a good position to get in the rear
via two railroads. Suppose two or even three or four bodies of
men were to start, one by way of Lewisburg for White Sulphur
Springs and Jackson Depot, one via Peterstown and Union,
east side of New River, for Central Depot, one via Princeton
and Parisburg [Pearisburg] right bank of New River, for Dub-
lin, and another via Logan Court-house for some point lower
down on the railroad.
A heavy rain falls -- warm, spring-like, copious. The scen-
ery of New River is attractive. The river runs in a deep gorge
cut through the rock to a depth of one thousand to two thou-
sand feet. The precipitous cliffs, occasionally cut through by
streams running into the river, the rapid rushing river, and
brawling mountain streams furnish many fine views. The
Glades, a level region near Braxton and Webster Counties,
where streams rise, and a similar region, called the Marshes of
Cool, are the cattle grounds of this part of western Virginia.
Braxton and Webster are the haunts of the worst Rebel bush-
whackers of the country. Steep mountains, deep gorges and
glens afford them hiding-places. They are annoying but not
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 191
dangerous except to couriers, mail-carriers, and very small par-
ties. They shoot from too great a distance at large parties to
do much harm. . . .
Fayetteville, Virginia, January 19, Sunday A. M.--It rained
almost all night; still falling in torrents. A great freshet may
be expected. . . .
Great war news expected. Burnside's expedition sailed; near
Cairo, a great movement forward; Green River, ditto. What we
need is greater energy, more drive, more enterprise, not unac-
companied with caution and vigilance. We must not run into
ambuscades, nor rush on strongly entrenched positions. The
battle of New Orleans and many others in our history teach
the folly of rushing on entrenchments defended by men, raw
and undisciplined it may be, but all of whom are accustomed
to the use of firearms. Such positions are to be flanked or
Camp Union, Fayetteville, Virginia, January 20, 1862. Mon-
day.-- This is the birthday of sister Fanny. Dear, dear sister,
so lovely, such a character! She would have been forty-two
years old today. Now six years -- six years next June -- since
she left us.
Rained during the night. Warm, and probably more rain
today. This is the January thaw. The mud is beaten down by
the rain. The thunder roaring now. Very few thunder-storms;
not more than three or four since we came to western Virginia.
A pleasant lull in the storm gave me a chance for a parade
last evening, or rather the adjutant asked if we should have
one. I, supposing him to be joking, said, "Yes, the weather is
so favorable." He ordered it and I was caught. I got a cap-
tured Caskie Cavalry sabre, slung it across my shoulder, and
went through with [it]. We returned in column by companies
closed in mass. The men marched well in the mud and it went
off with spirit.
Spent the evening reading the [Cincinnati] Gazette of the
16th, eating peaches with Avery and Gardner, and listening to
their tales of life on the plains and in Mexico. Avery's story
192 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
of the Navajos running off goats and sheep and his killing an
Indian will do to tell Birch.
Tuesday, January 21, 1862. -- Colder, but still raining. What
a flood this will cause if it's general, as I think it is.
After being aroused by Thomas building a fire, I fell into a
doze and dreamed. I thought Lucy had come and was in the
room opposite to mine. I seemed to be partially asleep, and
couldn't awake. She came in and stood by the bedside, not
very affectionate in manner. I tried to arouse and succeeded
in telling her how much I loved her. She was kind but not
"pronounced." I thought, as I happened to see little Joe in her
arms, that she was waiting to see me notice him and was hurt
that I had not done so sooner. I spoke up cheerfully, held out
my arms for him. I saw his face. He was a pretty child --
like Webb, with sister Fanny's eyes, a square forehead, but his
face looked too old, bright, and serious for a boy of his age;
looked as a child of two or three years who had lost flesh.
I also dreamed during the night of being at home--anxiously,
so anxiously, looking at the newspapers for news from the Cairo
expedition; feared it would be defeated; reflected on the ad-
vantages the enemy had in their fortifications over an attacking
party, and began to feel that the news must be disastrous.
Wednesday, January 22, 1862.--Cold, threatening rain or
snow all day. . . . In the evening reports from Raleigh.
Three of Company K, Thirtieth, and young Henderson, scout
Company H, captured by the enemy. Report says no fighting
except by Henderson. No other fired a gun. Rumor says they
A great bushwhacker captured with three others. In the night
bushwhacker taken with pains in his bowels--rolled over the
floor, etc., etc., suddenly sprang up, seized two muskets and
escaped! This is the official (false!) report. The other prisoners
report that the sentinels were asleep, and the bushwhacker merely
slipped out, taking two muskets with him.
Report says that three thousand milish of Mercer [County]
are on or near Flat Top Mountain twenty miles from Raleigh
and thirteen hundred cavalry!!
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 193
Three prisoners brought down last night. Captain McVey,
a bushwhacking captain, armed with sword and rifle, was ap-
proaching a Union citizen's house to capture him, when [the]
Union man, hearing of it, hid behind a log, drew a bead on
Secesh as he approached, called out to him to lay down his arms,
which Secesh prudently did, and thereupon the victor marched
[him] to our camp at Raleigh. Another prisoner, a son of
General Beckley, aged about sixteen. Why he was taken I don't
understand. He carried dispatches when the militia was out
under his father, but seems intelligent and well-disposed. Dis-
liking to see one so young packed into a crowded guardhouse
(thinking of Birch and Webb, too), I took him to my own
quarters and shared my bed with him last night. He talked in
his sleep incoherently, otherwise a good bedfellow.
Thursday, [January] 23.--A pretty fair day, warm and no
rain. Dr. Joe arrived.
Friday, [January] 24, 1862. -- A cold morning, ground frozen;
promises to be a fine day. Snowed all the afternoon. A busy
day. Had a good confidential talk with Colonel Scammon. He
gains by a close and intimate acquaintance.
Alfred Beckley, Jr., left with a pledge to return if he failed
to get exchanged for young Henderson, Company H, Twenty-
third, the captured scout.
Two women wanted me to compel a neighbor to pay for
tobacco and hogs he had stolen from them. One had a hus-
band in the Secesh army and the other in the Union army.
An old man who had been saved by our soldiers because
he was a Mason, so he thought, wanted pay for rails, sheep, and
hogs; another, for hogs; another would give security for his
good behavior, having been discharged, on condition he would
do so, from Columbus, Ohio.
Sixteen Rebels captured in Raleigh County by Captain Haven
sent in. Thirteen of our men found thirteen of them in a
house armed to the teeth. They surrendered without firing a
shot!! A mail-carrier caught with letters of the 17th. Many
from soldiers of the Twenty-second Virginia to their friends
in Boone County.
194 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Dr. Joe in a stew and much laughed at by Dr. Jim and myself
because he left his trunk, etc., on the river in a big skiff in
charge of a blacksmith he had never seen before.
Saturday, January 25. -- Snow thawing into the deepest mud
and slush imaginable. Thawed into water; sky cleared off; a
drying wind and a pleasant evening. Examined the eighteen
prisoners; generally gave me truthful answers; a queer lot of
Yesterday had pictures taken--Avery, Sperry, Adjutant
Bottsford, Thomas (our colored man), and Gray, the Scotch
veteran orderly, at dinner table and fencing. Great news of a
victory at Cumberland Gap. I hope it is true.
Sunday, [January] 26.-- A lovely winter day, frozen in the
morning, warm and thawing before noon. Inspected with Ad-
jutant Avery the quarters; creditably clean. Feel happy today;
fine weather, good health, the probable victory over Zollicoffer,
the prospect--this chiefly--by next Sunday of seeing my dar-
ling Lucy and the boys--"all the boys."
A pleasant trip with Lieutenants Avery and Ellen and two
riflemen of Company B to Long Point, with its romantic views
of New River. The only dash to this pleasure is the report
that my friend Bob McCook is seriously wounded. --- Later,
not seriously only gloriously wounded. Good! He and I were
friends before the war and more intimately since. His regi-
ment and ours also fraternized very cordially--Yankees and
Germans. Sperry went to Raleigh last night with Company B.
Monday, [January] 27, 1862. -- Snow, sleet, finally rain. Ru-
mors of "Secesh" cavalry and troops in various directions. Six
hundred crossing Packs Ferry, threatening Raleigh. A like
number of cavalry crossing to Princeton, ditto. Colonel Tomp-
kins and a regiment above Camp Lookout, etc., etc. All prob-
ably with very slight foundation in fact. Two howitzers sent
to Camp Hayes. Houses prepared to resist an attack by Major
Comly. The major is plucky beyond question. All safe in that
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 195
Tuesday, January 28, 1862. -- Dr. Jim left this morning for
home, taking letters to Lute, Mother, Uncle, Platt, and others.
Warm and bright all day, but oh, so muddy! Called on by two
really good-looking ladies -- Mrs. Thurman (husband Secesh sol-
dier) and Miss Mary Mars.
General Rosecrans replies to my application for thirty days'
leave: "Ask Hayes if thirty days isn't too long for these times?"
I construe this as friendly, but the colonel thinks it is another
instance of injustice to him. He thinks after he has recommended
it, and in view of the fact that Colonel Ewing has over sixty days,
Colonel Fyffe ditto, Lieutenant-Colonel Eckley about the same,
Majors Ferguson and Degenfeld and Lieutenant-Colonel Jones,
all of this brigade, and all our company officers, it looks unfair.
"Ah, but," said I, "circumstances may have changed." "Yes,"
said he, "but I have judged of that in asking the leave, and he
don't take my judgment."
Well, well, I have made up my mind to do my duty and do
it cheerfully in this war, and if orders don't suit me I shall
obey them without demur.
Captain Gunckle, ordnance officer, Gauley, will furnish new
bright muskets, shoulder-straps and plates, and ball and buck
[FAYETTEVILLE], January 28, 1862.
Tuesday A. M. -- before breakfast.
DEAR LUTE:--I am getting impatient to be with you. I have
sent for leave of absence during the month of February. I
expect to get a favorable answer so as to leave here by the last
of the week. If so, nothing but some inroad of the enemy
south of us will delay my coming. They are threatening
"Camp Hayes"--must n't let that be taken--and we sent
Captain Sperry's company and two of McMullen's Battery there
in the night, last night. I suspect that will settle the thing.
I am delighted with the Kentucky victory, and particularly that
my friend McCook and his regiment take the honors. We were
good friends before the war, but much more intimately so since
196 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
we came into service. Our regiments, too, fraternized more
cordially with each other than with anybody else.
Do not give it up, if I should not come quite so soon as I
wish. I am bent on coming as soon as possible--am getting
ready. Sold my horse. Sorry to do it, but he was unsafe--
would sometimes stumble. Will get another in Ohio. I do want
to see you "s'much," and I love you "s'much." Good-bye.
FAYETTEVILLE, WESTERN VIRGINIA, January 28, 1862.
DEAR BROTHER WILLIAM:--The excellent glass has reached
me. It is all I could ask. I will settle with you when I see you.
In the meantime, accept thanks.
I have applied for leave of absence during February, and
if granted, shall leave for home the last of the week. We are
a good deal in the field just now, and have made some good
moves lately, considering the weakness of our forces, and that
we have but forty cavalrymen. I see in the papers a good deal
said about "too much cavalry accepted." If we had only five
hundred now, we could do more injury to the enemy than has
yet been done by the Port Royal expedition. We are elated
with the victory in Kentucky. I am especially pleased that
McCook gets the plumes.
R. B. HAYES.
W. A. PLATT,
Thursday, January 30, 1862.--Rained heavily last night,
nearly all night; cloudy this morning. Received permission for
twenty-one days to go home, from headquarters, seven days
additional from Colonel Scammon, and an assurance of three
days' grace. Total thirty-one.
People constantly come who are on their way to Ohio, Indi-
ana, or other Western States. Many of them young men who
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 197
are foot-loose, tired of the war. No employment, poor pay,
etc., etc., is driving the laboring white people from the slave
Mr. Ellison and his wife and little boy are here to see their
son John R., who is a prisoner in our guardhouse; to be sent
to the government prison at Columbus as a prisoner of war.
They seem glad to find their son safe out of the Rebel ranks
and not at all averse to his going to Columbus as a prisoner of
war. Their only fear seems to be that he will be exchanged into
the Rebel army again.
Spent the evening in a jolly way at headquarters with Avery,
Kennedy, Hunter, etc. Colonel Scammon gone to Raleigh; ex-
pected his return but didn't come. Read the "Island," in "Lady
of the Lake," to Avery.
Camp Union, January 31, 1862.--Inspection day. Good
weather until dark when a rain "set in." Had a review and
inspection. Satisfactory. Cannon firing with a new brass six-
pounder, cast by Greenwood. First two shots four hundred
and fifty yards, plumb in line, two and one-half feet below the
centre of the target. At parade, had practice in musket firing --
six rounds--eight hundred shots. Put one hundred and fifty-
four balls in a board five feet high by twenty inches broad -- one
hundred yards. Very good. A jolly evening. Read the letters
in the 27th and 28th Commercials to Avery, Bottsford, Captain
Moore, Dr. Webb, etc.; then a talk and laugh at campaign jokes.
Colonel Scammon returned from Raleigh; thinks the mud too
deep for forward movements for a month or six weeks.
Camp Union, Fayette, Virginia, February 1, 1862. -- Rain all
night last night; mud indescribable and unfathomable. Lieu-
tenant Avery and Secesh prisoners start today.
At 2 P. M., having heard that General Schenck would perhaps
reach camp in a day or two, and fearing that he would object
to my absence (he having himself been away two months
and over!!) I started on the doctor's stumbling gray for Loup
Creek Landing. It rained a cold storm, mud deep. Thomas,
the gay, dramatic colored servant of Dr. Webb, and my orderly
(Barney) in a waggon with my baggage. I got to Loup Creek
198 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Landing, sixteen miles, after dark alone. Stayed there in a
cabin, fitted up with bunks for soldiers, with Lieutenant Avery's
guard of the seventeen Secesh prisoners. Bill Brown the life
of the party. Poor accommodations for sleeping. Little sleep-
ing done. So ends the first.
Loup Creek Landing, five miles below Landing, February 2.--
Sunday morning finds us waiting for a steamboat to get down
Kanawha River. General Meigs took us aboard about 12 M.
A cold ride -- occasional gleams of sunshine -- down the Ka-
nawha to Charleston. A picturesque valley, high hills, ruins
of salt-works, etc., etc., a fine river, make up the scene. A
servant girl of Mrs. Mauser, apparently under the auspices of
Thomas (he passed her on the steamer as his wife!), was met
by our team yesterday and taken aboard a half mile out of Fay-
etteville. She must have been there by preconcert with Thomas.
The feeling of the soldiers, a sort of indifferent satisfaction, eas-
ily roused to active zeal, expressed itself, "Another shade of
Mrs. Mauser's lost." Not another syllable by way of comment
in a circle of six around the camp-fire.
Reached Charleston before dark. Avery and I took quarters
at the Kanawha House, a good hotel. Visited General Cox; a
good talk; a sound man; excellent sense. I wish he commanded
our brigade. . . . Heard the church bells at Charleston--
the first for six months; a home sound.
Monday, February 3. Charleston, Virginia.--Leave this morn-
ing on the steamboat ---- for Gallipolis. Reached there at 2
P. M. A drizzly, cold day, snow on the hills, mud, snow, and
slush at Gallipolis. With Avery and Bill Brown over town;
oysters, eggs, and ale. At nine P. M. on Dunleith down the
Steamboat Dunleith, Ohio River, Tuesday, February 4, 1862.
--A bright cold winter day; a good sail down the Ohio. Banks
full. Beautiful river.
Reached home as the clock finished striking 12 midnight. A
light burning in front room. Wife, boys, Grandma, all well.
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 199
[The entries in the Diary for the next few days are very
brief. Tuesday, February 11, Hayes went to Columbus to visit
his brother-in-law, W. A. Platt, and family; two days later to
Delaware where he remained two days with his mother. The
week-end he spent "happily at Fremont with Uncle. All the
talk is of battles--the late victories at Roanoke Island, Fort
Henry, and the pending struggle at Donelson." Monday, the
17th, returning to Cincinnati, he hears "of the decisive victory
at Fort Donelson as we reached Crestline and Galion. Joy and
excitement, cannon, flags, crowds of happy people everywhere."
The following days at home in Cincinnati "getting ready to re-
turn to his regiment."]
DELAWARE, February 14, 1862. Friday morning.
DEAREST LUCY:--I reached here last night. Mother, Mrs.
Wasson, and Sophia, all well and happy. Old Delaware is gone;
the bright new town is an improvement on the old.
Snow deep, winter come again. Old times come up to me --
Sister Fanny and I trudging down to the tanyard with our little
basket after kindling. All strange; you are Sister Fanny to me
I go to Fremont this evening. Mother sends love. Write
to her. Love to all.
CINCINNATI, February 18, 1862.
DEAR UNCLE: -- It will be agreeable to Lucy to go to Fremont
with the family as soon as you wish. She proposes to take all
of our furniture that may be wanted there--to store the rest,
and to rent the house--thus in effect moving to Fremont until
the war is ended. This or any other plan you prefer will suit.
Our furniture will be enough for all purposes--unless you
wish to show off in some one room or something of that sort.
All well here. The great victory is a crusher.
R. B. HAYES.
200 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
CINCINNATI, February 22, 1862.
DEAR MOTHER:--I am ready to start back to Virginia on
the first steamer for the Kanawha River. I expect to get off
tomorrow or next day.
I found Uncle in good health for him. The other friends were
as usual. . . . I returned home Monday finding all here as
I left them.
The recent victories convince everybody that the Rebellion can
be conquered. Most people anticipate a speedy end of the war.
I am not so sanguine of a sudden wind-up, but do not doubt that
the Confederacy is fatally wounded. We are having a gaudy
celebration of the 22nd here with the usual accompaniments
which delight the children.
Affectionately, your son,
MRS. SOPHIA HAYES.
Cincinnati, February 25, 1862. Tuesday.--A. M., 8:30,
bright, cold, gusty, started in cars on Marietta Railroad; reached
Hamden, junction of railroad to Portsmouth, about 2 P. M.;
twenty-five miles to Oak Hill on this railroad; Cuthbert, in
quartermaster department under Captain Fitch at Gauley
Bridge, my only acquaintance. Took an old hack--no cur-
tains, rotten harness, deep muddy roads--for Marietta [Galli-
polis]. The driver was a good-natured, persevering youngster
of seventeen, who trudged afoot through the worst holes and
landed us safely at Gallipolis [at] three-thirty A. M., after a
cold, sleepless, uncomfortable ride. He said he had joined three
regiments; turned out of two as too young and taken out of
the third by his father. Poor boy! His life is one of much
greater hardship than anything a soldier suffers.
Wednesday, 26. -- Spent in Gallipolis waiting for a steamboat
going up the Kanawha. Quartermaster Cuthbert and I slept,
walked, and watched the clouds and rain.
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 201
GALLIPOLIS, February 26, 1862.
DEAR UNCLE:--On my way to the wars again. Left all
well and happy at home. Your letters reached me. There will
be no difficulty about "camping down" in your house. Lucy
could get up out of her furniture a camp chest which will be
ample for comfort without buying anything.
I shall be away from mails soon. Shall not write often. You
will hear all important things by telegraph.
R. B. HAYES.
Thursday, [February] 27. -- Clear, cold, windy. On steamer
Glenwood passed up to Camp Piatt. Left Gallipolis about
9 A. M., reached Charleston 7 P. M., Camp Piatt at 1O P. M.
Fayetteville, Virginia, Febraury 28, 1862. Friday. -- Reached
here after a hard ride of forty miles from Camp Piatt. Found
the Twenty-third men pleased to see me; felt like getting home.
Had been absent four weeks, less one day, on furlough. Road
from Camp Piatt a good part of the way very good; but from the
ferry to Fayetteville execrable. The weather moderate, windy,
threatening a storm.
CINCINNATI -- NO, FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA,
Saturday, March 1, 1862.
DEAR L--:--I reached here in good condition last night.
Find Dr. Joe very well. How he loves the boys! All things
look bright and cheerful.
Colonel Scammon goes home today. People seem glad to
see me, and I am glad to see the Twenty-third again. They
greet me a good deal as the boys did at home.
Darling, you will be pleased to know, and so I tell you, I
never loved you more than I do as I think of you on my late
visit, and I never admired you so much. You are glad I feel
so? Yes; well, that's "pretty dood." No time to write much.
Love to Grandma and kisses for all the boys.
202 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I brought all the grub in my haversack except three biscuits
clear here. More welcome here than on the road. Ask Dr.
Jim to see that my Commercial and Joe's Gazette are sent. They
Monday, March 3. -- Still raining, some sleet, cold as blazes
at night. Ride my new horse, a yellow sorrel of Norman stock;
call him Webby.
Tuesday, 4. -- Bright, cold, snow on ground. Ride with Dr.
Joe, A. M. Webby doesn't like the bit; it brings the blood. A
good horse, I think.
Today a German soldier, Hegelman, asks to marry a girl living
near here. She comes in to see me on the same subject; a
good-looking girl, French on her father's side, name, Elizabeth
Ann de Quasie. A neighbor tells me she is a queer girl; has
belonged to the Christian, Baptist, and Methodist church, that
she now prefers the Big Church. She has a doubtful reputa-
tion. When Charles Hegelman came in to get permission to
go to Gauley to get married by the chaplain of the Twenty-
eighth, I asked him why he was in a hurry to marry; if he
knew much about her; and what was her name. He replied,
"I like her looks"; and after confessing that he didn't know her
name, that he thought it was Eliza Watson(!), he admitted that
the thing was this: Eight hundred dollars had been left to him
payable on his marriage, and he wanted the money out at in-
A jolly evening with Drs. Webb and McCurdy and Lieuten-
ants Avery and Bottsford at my room. Bottsford giving his
California experience--gambling, fiddling, spreeing, washing
clothes, driving mules, keeping tavern, grocery, digging, clerking,
etc., etc., rich and poor, in debt and working it out; all in two
or three years.
News on the wires that the Rebels have Murfreesboro; that
Pope takes four or six guns from Jeff Thompson; that there is
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 203
appearance of a move at Centreville and also of a move on
Charleston, Virginia, and the capture of six hundred barrels
Fayetteville, Virginia, Wednesday, March 5.--Snow, raw
weather. Rode with Dr. Joe four or five miles. The new
horse doesn't seem to care for pistol firing. Open-air exercise
agrees with me so well that I often feel as if an indoor life was
unworthy of manhood; outdoor exercise for health ! Read news
of the 28th and [March] I, Cincinnati. Rebel papers afford
good reading these days.
Thursday, 6. -- Snow two or three inches deep on top of the
mud. Dr. Webb and Adjutant Avery started for Raleigh in the
storm, or rather on the snow and mud. There is no storm,
merely snowing. P. M., with Captain McMullen and Lieu-
tenant Bottsford rode out toward Bowyer's Ferry; horses
"balled" badly; fired a few pistol shots. My Webby (new)
shies some and was decidedly outraged when I fired sitting on
his back. Practiced sabre exercise. Evening, heard the tele-
graphic news; General Lander's death, the only untoward event.
How many of the favorites are killed! General Lyon, Colonel
Baker, Major Winthrop, and now General Lander. I should
mention Colonel Ellsworth also. He was a popular favorite, but
by no means so fine or high a character as the others. Army
in Tennessee "marching on." The newspapers and the telegraph
are under strict surveillance. Very little of army movements
transpire[s]. On the upper Potomac a movement seems to be
making on the enemy's left in the direction of Winchester.
Night, very cold--very.
FAYETTEVILLE, March 6, 1862.
DEAREST: -- Dr. Joe has been in his happiest mood every since
my return -- all the regiment are perfectly healthy. Avery and
he started for Raleigh with Thomas this morning. Snowing--
snow three inches on mud twelve inches. All of the Twenty-
third goes up soon. We shall be "to ourselves" a little while
up there. . . . The telegraph line will extend to Raleigh
204 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Lieutenant Bottsford says the picture I bring of you is not
so pretty as you are! What do you say to that?
Saturday, March 8.--Ground frozen; sun came out bright
and warm, speedily thawing all snow. Company C and four
wagons carry all the "plunder" of the company and the ad-
jutant's office to Raleigh.
P. M. A glorious ride to the scenery of New River at and
about Long Point; a rapid ride back; Doctors McCurdy, Twenty-
third, and Potter, Thirtieth, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, and Ad-
jutant-General Hunter for companions. How the blood leaps
and thrills through the veins as we race over the hills! Physical
enjoyments of this sort are worth a war. How the manly, gen-
erous, brave side of our people is growing! With all its evils
war has its glorious compensations.
News by telegraph this evening very meagre. A fine, affec-
tionate letter from my dear wife, written last Sunday. She is
so distressed at my absence but would not have me do otherwise.
FAYETTEVILLE, March 9, 1862. Sunday P. M.
DEAREST:--I received your letter last night--sent by Mr.
Schooley. You wrote it a week ago. A rainy, gloomy day here
too, but made rather jolly by Dr. Joe's good nature, with Avery
and Bottsford to help me laugh. Dr. Joe is in his best humor
these days and makes all around him happy. Today is a lovely
spring day--but getting lonely here. I am a hen with one
chicken. All but one company, I have sent to Raleigh since
Colonel Scammon left. We have been here almost four months.
The men are pleased to go. I shall start in a day or two when
the hospital goes. No sickness -- not a man who can't go about,
and only four who need a hospital. Eight hundred well men
here and at Raleigh.
There is a real gloom among the men caused by a report that
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 205
I am to be colonel of the Sixth. It is no doubt a repetition of
an idle rumor I heard in Cincinnati. But as the thing may
come up, I wish you and Stephenson to know that I would not
want the place unless it was agreeable generally that I should
have it. Young Anderson is probably entitled to it, and I would
not want it in opposition to him or his friends. The place is,
perhaps, not preferable to my present position and I do not
desire it, unless it is all smooth--particularly with Anderson.
If I were sure of continuing my present command of the Twenty-
third, I would not wish a colonelcy of any other regiment; but
in the present uncertainty I am willing to take a certainty in
any good regiment.
My new horse performs beautifully. I am in the best of
health. There is only one thing: You are not here. Don't you
think I love you as much as you do me? Why, certainly. There,
I have fixed this letter so you can't show it to "Steve." I'll
write him a note. . . .
R. B. HAYES.
Monday, 10.--Captain Moore (R. B.), of Willoughby, has
resigned. I yesterday invited him to quarter with me, his com-
pany (I) having gone to Raleigh. The weather is warm and
threatening rain. Last night there was a thunder-storm.
Tuesday 11.--A warm bright day. Dined at the hospital
with our excellent assistant surgeon, Dr. McCurdy. Sent Com-
pany E to Raleigh. The last of the Twenty-third quartered in
Fayette is gone. Camp Hayes, Raleigh, headquarters henceforth.
Heard of the evacuation of Manassas by the Rebels. If so,
it is evidence of a breaking away that almost decides the con-
test. But how did they do it undisturbed? What was McClel-
lan doing? A great victory over the combined forces of Van
Doren, Price, McCulloch, and McIntosh reported to have oc-
curred in Arkansas.
Wednesday, March 12.-- A bright warm day. I go to Raleigh,
bidding good-bye to Fayetteville. We entered Fayetteville
206 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
either the 13th or 14th of November; four months in
one home, not unpleasant months, considering the winter weather
of this region. Rode to Fayetteville [slip of pen for Raleigh]
on my new bright bay -- a good ride. Reached Fayetteville
[Raleigh] just as our regiment was forming for dress parade.
Eight companies in line looked large. Was greeted warmly. I
gave them the news of the evacuation of Manassas and the victory
in Arkansas. Three cheers given for the news; three more for
General Curtis, and three for the colonel! All seemed pleased to
be again together. How well they looked. The band is in
capital condition. How I love the Twenty-third. I would
rather command it as lieutenant-colonel than to command
another regiment as colonel.
Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, Thursday, [March] 13.--
Spent the day arranging quarters, guards, etc., etc. I room
with Avery. Messed three meals with Colonel Burgess. Hash--
such hash! Colonel Burgess was a venomous Secesh but is now
mollified and so strong a Union man that with a body of our
troops he attacked a gang of his old Secesh friends at Jumping
Branch and killed one of them! Before noon it began to rain.
Cleared a little in time for evening parade.
Read confirmation of good news of yesterday. Five,
only think, five!! Secesh prisoners captured! Negligence in the
Potomac army. A new division and assignment of commands
gives great satisfaction to us all. General McClellan no longer
acts as Commander-in-Chief. Three great divisions created.
General McClellan commands the Potomac, General Halleck the
Mississippi, and General Fremont the Mountains (supposed to
be our case). General Fremont has a strong hold on the hearts
of the people and of the soldiers. We all feel enthusiasm and
admiration for him.
CAMP HAYES, RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 13, 1862.
DEAREST:--I came up last night just as the regiment was
forming for dress parade. For the first time in months we are all
together; health good; ranks very full. Oh! it was a beautiful
sight; we had plenty of cheering, music, and our best marchnig.
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 207
The men were never in finer condition. You would enjoy seeing
the Twenty-third now; well dressed, bravely looking, and soldier-
We expect to remain here until a forward movement is made
--perhaps two to four weeks, possibly longer. Dr. Joe very
well and in good spirits. My new Webby still does finely. It
is just daylight. Captain Slocum who left us at Camp Chase,
has visited us and goes home this morning. Love to all.
Most affectionately, your
Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, Friday, March 14, 1862.--
A fine pleasant morning. About 11 A. M. Captain Gilmore of
Company [C, First] Pennsylvania [Virginia] Cavalry, came in,
saying, "My scouts sent out this morning have all been killed
or captured"; two only returned. It turned out that eight cavalry
patrols of his company, who left here about 8:30 A. M., this
morning, were fired upon by a gang of men concealed in the woods
about seven miles from here on the Princeton Road near Hunly's.
Two were killed, two wounded, one taken prisoner. One of
the wounded men and two unhurt galloped into camp, having
taken a circuitous route over the hills and through the woods.
At this writing our loss is two killed and one taken prisoner.
I think the manner of this scouting or patrolling very objec-
tionable. Six to ten men every morning about the same hour
have been in the habit of riding out six to ten miles on this
road. Nothing was easier than to lay an ambush for them.
I suspect that the enemy fled instantly, that they are bushwhack-
ers or militia. I sent out the whole cavalry company under
Captain Gilmore and Companies B, H, and K, under Captain
Drake, to get the bodies of the dead and the wounded man.
Hunly is suspected to communicate intelligence to the enemy.
None of these people are perfectly reliable. They will do what
is necessary to protect their property.
Henderson, of Company H, taken prisoner last January, re-
turned last night. He was exchanged and left Richmond Feb-
ruary 23. He is called "Cleveland" by his company from the
208 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
place of his enlistment. Others call him the "Pet Lamb," from
his delicate and youthful appearance. He is a quiet, observing,
enterprising youngster; slender, sickly-looking, amiable; runs all
risks, endures all hardships, and seems to enjoy it. A scout in
fact, he is in constant danger of being taken for a spy. I must
watch him. I suspect he is a genius. His father and mother
died when he was a child.
HEADQUARTERS, CAMP HAYES, RALEIGH, VIRGINIA,
March 14, 1862.
SIR:--A scouting party consisting of Sergeant A. H. Bixler,
and seven men belonging to Captain George W. Gilmore's Com-
pany C, First Virginia Cavalry, was this morning attacked
about seven miles from Raleigh on the pike leading to Princeton,
by about fifty bushwhackers. Sergeant Bixler and Private James
Noble were killed. Privates Jacob McCann and Johnson Mal-
lory were dangerously wounded, and Private Thomas B. Phil-
lips was taken prisoner. Three escaped unhurt. The attacking
party rendezvous on Flat Top Mountain. Major Hildt will,
perhaps, recognize the names of some of them. Christ Lilley,
Daniel Meadows, and Joshua Rowls were certainly of the party.
On hearing of the affair I dispatched Captain Gilmore with
his cavalry, and Captain Drake with three companies of infantry
to the scene of the occurrence. They found that the bush-
whackers had instantly fled to their fastnesses in the hills, barely
stopping long enough to get the arms of the dead and to rob
them of their money. Captain Drake followed them until they
were found to have scattered. Two horses were killed, one
captured, one wounded, and one lost. Vigilant efforts will be
made to ascertain the hiding-places of the bushwhackers and
when found, unless orders to the contrary shall be received, all
houses and property in the neighborhood which can be destroyed
by fire, will be burned, and all men who can be identified as of
the party will be killed, whether found in arms or not.
Will you direct the brigade quartermaster to procure tents
enough for Captain McIlrath's Company A, Twenty-third Regi-
ment 0. V. I., as soon as practicable, and send that company
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 209
here as soon as the tents arrive. There will be no quarters for
them until the tents are obtained.
I desire to have your views in the premises.
R. B. HAYES,
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL TWENTY-THIRD REGIMENT 0. V. I.,
[GENERAL J. D. COX (?)]
Saturday, March 15.--Changed the manner of scouting.
Hereafter the cavalry are to scout at irregular intervals on
routes changed daily, and an infantry scouting party of twenty-
five to a full company will be sent in the general direction of
apprehended danger to skirmish the woods and by-roads. Lieu-
tenant Hastings with twenty-five men of Company I does this
P. M. Rained and cleared up half a dozen times during the
day; a heavy thunder-storm. April weather. Lieutenant Hast-
ings with a man he found four or five miles out on the Prince-
ton Road, named --- Hull, scoured the country near the scene
of the attack on the cavalry patrol; found where about twelve
to fifteen of the bushwhackers staid during the night after the
affair at an empty house owned by Saulsbury; burned it, also
burned two other houses owned by bushwhackers. Captain
Drake burned three. James Noble buried yesterday.
Sunday, 16, A. M. -- Another change -- a snow-storm; March
fuss and fury. Received a note from Lieutenant-Colonel Jones,
directing vigilance and to be in readiness for an attack by the
enemy or for a forward movement, -- the abandonment by the
Rebels of eastern Virginia on the Potomac rendering it likely
that the enemy will come here or we go there!!. . .
CAMP HAYES, RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 16, 1862.
DEAR UNCLE:--I am in most respects pleasantly fixed here.
I am here in command of nine companies of the Twenty-third,
210 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
one section (two guns) of an artillery company (thirty men)
and one company of cavalry. We are quartered in the court-
house, churches, and deserted dwellings. It is near the spurs
of the Alleghany Mountains, which about twenty miles from
here are filled with militia. A few regulars and bushwhackers
are just in front of us. We are kept on the alert all the time
by such events as the one referred to in the enclosed notes. As
a general rule, we get the better of the bushwhackers in these
affairs. There is no hesitation on our part in doing what seems
to be required for self-protection. Since writing the note en-
closed, have done a good deal towards punishing the cowardly
We have April weather, for the most part -- thunder-storms,
rain, and shine. Today we are having a winter snow-storm.
Since the rumored abandonment of Manassas, we have been
notified to be in constant readness to move. My letters will
probably be more irregular than usual after we get started, but
all important events occurring with us will be sent you by tele-
graph. We take the wires with us. Love to all.
R. B. HAYES.
Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, Monday A. M., March 17,
1862.--Cold raw morning; snow at last lying on the ground
enough to whiten it. Stormy (rather Aprilish) and bright by
turns all day.
Mrs. Beckley (General) called (with another lady) in tears
saying her husband, the general, was at home. Had concluded
to surrender himself; that she hadn't seen or heard from him
for three months, hoped we would not send him to Columbus,
etc., etc. In his letter he pledged his honor not to oppose the
United States; to behave as a loyal citizen, etc., etc. I called
to see him; found him an agreeable old gentleman of sixty;
converses readily and entertainingly; told an anecdote of General
Jackson capitally; he said, Old Hickory's hair bristled up, his
eyes shot fire, and his iron features became more prominent, as,
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 211
in a passion, raising both hands, he said (speaking of a postmaster
General Beckley wished to retain in office, and who had him-
self taken no active part against General Jackson but whose
clerks had been against the general): "What if the head is still
when both hands are at work against me!"--shaking his hands
outstretched and in a tearing passion. The lieutenant (then)
subsided in the presence of such wrath.
General Beckley thinks western Virginia is given up to us,
and that his duty is to go with his home -- to submit to the
powers that be. I agreed to his views generally and told him
I would recommend General Cox to assent to his surrender on
the terms proposed.
Sent Captain Zimmerman and company out scouting the
woods in our vicinity; Captain Harris out to break up a bush-
whacking party he thinks he can surprise.
Tuesday, March 18.--A. M., very cold but looks as if the
storm was at an end and bright weather come again. P. M.,
a lovely day. Rode with Avery on the Logan Road three miles
to Evans' and Cook's. Drilled the regiment. Adjutant Avery
drilled skirmish drill. P. M., drilled sergeants in bayonet exer-
cise, and regiment in marching and squares. Spent the evening
jollying with the doctors and reading Scott.
A queer prisoner brought in from New River by Richmond.
Richmond, a resolute Union citizen was taken a prisoner at his
house by three Rebels--two dragoons and a bushwhacker. One
of the dragoons took Richmond up behind him and off they
went. On the way they told Richmond that he would have to
Thereupon Richmond on the first oppor-
tunity drew his pocket-knife slyly from his pocket, caught the
dragoon before him by his hair behind and cut his throat and
stabbed him. Both fell from the horse together. Richmond
cut the strap holding the dragoon's rifle; took it and killed a
second. The third escaped, and Richmond ran to our camp.
Jesse Reese brought in as a spy by Richmond, says he is a
tailor; was going to Greenbrier to collect money due him. Says
he married when he was about fifty; they got married because
they were both orphans and alone in the world!
212 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
[Dr. J. T. Webb, in a letter, of March 12, to his sister (Mrs.
Hayes), tells the story of Richmond's feat in the following
"About thirty miles from here, on New River, lives an old
man (Richmond) and several sons. His boys are all grown
and living to themselves, some four and five miles from the
old man. They have lived out there many years and for this
country are all rich. Besides being wealthy they are all very
powerful (physically) and are the leaders, as it were, of society.
They have the best horses, cattle, etc. of any one out here.
They are noted for their fine horses. They are all strong Union
men, and have been very much angered by the Rebels taking
their cattle, sheep, etc. -- stealing them. A few days since some
Rebel cavalry concluded they would arrest the squire and take
his horses. Accordingly day before yesterday, just at daybreak,
three Rebel cavalry called at the squire's and took him prisoner.
They also took three of his fine horses. They put the squire
on a horse behind one of the cavalrymen, and started off with
him. After they had gone some ten miles, they came to a noted
Rebel's house, and all cheered at the capture of the squire.
This was too much for him, and he determined to make his
escape. They had gone but a short distance when the Rebel
behind whom he was riding fell back behind the other two some
distance. Now was the time for the squire. So drawing a long
knife from his pocket, he caught the Rebel by his hair, drew
him back, and cut his throat. Both fell off the horse together.
As they fell he plunged the knife into the Rebel's bowels. Then
he took the Rebel's gun, and got behind a tree when one of
the others returned, and the squire shot him dead. The third
took to his heels and left the squire victor of the field. There
is no mistake about this; he came to camp with their two guns.
His knife and coat-sleeve is covered with blood. Richmond is
a trump and two hundred such men would clean out this country
Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, March 19, 1862.--Before
breakfast. A lovely day. Captain Haven returned last night
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 213
after an extensive scout; burned seven empty houses--occu-
pants gone bushwhacking. Burned none with women in them.
About noon a gentleman rode up and inquired for the colonel
commanding. He turned out to be Clifton W. Tayleure, a
local editor, formerly of Baltimore American, lately of Rich-
mond Enquirer. Left Richmond a week ago to avoid the draft.
All between eighteen and forty-five to be drafted to fill up the
old regiments; all between sixteen and eighteen and forty-five
and fifty-five to be enrolled as home guards to protect the homes
and guard the slaves. He is a South Carolinian by birth; lived
there until he was fifteen; came North; has been a "local" in
various cities since; has a family in Baltimore; went to Rich-
mond to look after property in August last; couldn't get away
before; got off by passes procured by good luck, etc., etc.; is
a Union man by preference, principle, etc., etc. This is his
story. He is about thirty-three years of age, of prepossessing
appearance, intelligent and agreeable. Gives us interesting ac-
counts of things in the Capital of Secession. Says the trades-
people are anxious for peace--ready for the restoration of
the old Union. He seems to be truthful. I shall give him a
pass to General Cox there to be dealt with as the general sees
fit.--Will he visit them (Colonel Jones and General Cox) and
report himself, or will he hurry by?
Thursday, 20. -- Cold; no rain falling this morning, but the
storm not over. Fremont at the head of our department, the
Mountain District, western Virginia and east Tennessee. Good!
I admire the general. If he comes up to my anticipations, we
shall have an active campaign.
Colonel Scammon returned, also Major Comly, to Fayette-
ville. They send no news and bring no newspapers. Thought-
less fellows! No, I must not call the colonel fellow. He put
down a countryman who came in with, "Are you the feller
what rents land?" Colonel Scammon: "In the first place I
am not a feller; in the second place, take off your hat! and
in the third place, I don't rent land. There is the door"
Friday, 21. -- Storm not over yet; snows P. M. . . . News
of retreat of enemy after leaving Manassas. If McClellan pur-
214 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
sues vigorously he will thrash or destroy them. A vic-
tory that crushes the Rebellion as a power. It may be a
great annoyance afterwards but nothing more. Vigor, energy
now for a few weeks and the thing is done. He (McClellan)
ought not to have allowed them to steal away from him, but if
he now crushes them he redeems it all and becomes the Nation's
idol. I hope he will do it. I do not quite like his views of
slavery if I understand them; but his cautious policy if now
followed by energy will be vindicated by the event.
Saturday, 22.-- Still snowing. I write home and to Mother
Captain R. B. Foley, of Mercer County signs himself Captain
of Confederate Company; Captain Michael Hale, Raleigh, ditto;
Joel F. Wood, James N. Wood, Wm. A. Walker, Geo. A. Walker,
[and] Charles Walker (Rev.), all of Raleigh.
The foregoing people agree to remain peaceably at home if
we will not molest them. I wrote as follows: "No citizen who
remains peaceably at home and who neither directly nor in-
directly gives aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States
will be molested in person or property by the troops under my
RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 22, 1862.
DEAREST: -- Your letters, 13th and 15th, reached me yesterday.
Also the gloves and [percussion] caps. They suit perfectly.
You don't know how I enjoy reading your accounts of the
boys. Webb is six years old. Dear little fellow, how he will
hate books. Don't be too hard with him. Birch's praying is
We are in the midst of one of the storms so frequent in these
mountains. We call it the equinoctial and hope when it is over
we shall have settled weather. It is snowing in great flakes
which stick to the foliage of the pine and other evergreen trees
on the hills, giving the scene in front of the window near me
a strangely wintry appearance.
To kill time, I have been reading "Lucile" again, and you
may know I think of you constantly and oh, so lovingly as I
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 215
read. When I read it first we were on the steamer in the St.
Lawrence River below Quebec. What a happy trip that was!
It increased my affection for you almost as much as my late
visit home. Well, well, you know all this. You know "I love
you so much."
We are all feeling very hopeful. We expect to move soon
and rapidly, merely because Fremont is commander. I do not
see but this war must be soon decided. McClellan seems de-
termined, and I think he is able to force the retreating Manassas
army to a battle or to an equally disastrous retreat. A victory
there ends the contest. I think we shall be months, perhaps
even years, getting all the small parties reduced, but the Rebel-
lion as a great peril menacing the Union will be ended.
General Beckley, whose sword-belt Webby wears, came in
and surrendered to me a few days ago. Mrs. Beckley brought
me his note. She is a lady of good qualities. Of course, there
were tears, etc., etc., which I was glad to relieve. The old
general is an educated military gentleman of the old Virginia
ways -- weak, well-intentioned, and gentlemanly; reminds one of
the characters about Chillicothe, from Virginia--probably of
less strength of character than most of them. A citizen here
described him to Dr. McCurdy as "light of talent but well edu-
Gray, "the blind soldier" you saw at Camp Chase, is, I notice,
on duty and apparently perfectly well. Gray, the orderly, you
saw drunk is in good condition again, professing contrition, etc.
McKinley is bright and clean, looking his best. Inquires if you
see his wife.
So, you go to Fremont. You will once in a while see our
men there, too. Some five or six Twenty-third men belong in
You ought to see what a snow-storm is blowing. Whew!
I had a tent put up a few days ago for an office. Before I
got it occupied the storm came on and now it is split in twain.
Our regiment was never so fine-looking as now. It is fun
to see them. No deaths, I believe, for two months and no sick-
ness worth mentioning. Chiefly engaged hunting bushwhackers.
216 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Our living is hard, the grub I mean, and likely not to improve.
Salt pork and crackers. The armies have swept off all fresh
meats and vegetables. A few eggs once in a great while.
Love to Grandma and all the boys.
Affectionately, as ever,
CAMP HAYES, RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 22, 1862.
DEAR WEBBY: -- You are six years old -- a big boy. I want
you to be a very good boy; tell the truth, and don't be afraid.
Learn to read and write, and you shall have horses to ride and
a gun when you get a little bigger. You must learn to spell
well, too. A man is ashamed if he can't spell.
Tell Birch that the tall fifer that took Spencer is now playing
the bugle, and plays well. His name is Firman. Good-bye.
R. B. HAYES.
MASTER WEBB HAYES.
RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 22, 1862.
DEAR MOTHER:--. . .We are in the midst of one of the
storms so common in this mountain region. We hope it is the
equinoctial and will be followed by good weather. It is a driving
snow-storm. The pine trees are crusted with it giving a peculiarly
wintry appearance to the hills. Fortunately we are all com-
fortably housed, except two companies who are on a scout in
the mountains after bushwhackers. I hope they will find some
sort of shelter these stormy nights.
We all feel more hopeful than ever about an early close of
the war. It looks to us as if General McClellan must succeed
in forcing a battle that will decide the fate of the Rebellion.
I do not expect we shall be released from duty for months,
perhaps years, but it seems almost certain that a victory in
eastern Virginia will decide the war.
I hope you will be able to see the little folks all gathered at
Fremont as you anticipate. The boys look forward to it im-
patiently. Webb was six years old the day before yesterday.
CAMP ROUTINE--WINTER 1862 217
He is now to go at his books. His mind runs on horses more
than on books. Birch is a very sincere believer in the efficacy
of prayer in our common affairs and is finishing the war in that
way, famously, as he thinks. . . .
Love to all. -- As Fremont is commander of this division, we
expect prompt and rapid movements. I shall write to you rarely
when we once set out. All important events occurring to me or
this army you will know by telegraph. The wires still follow
us wherever we go.
Affectionately, your son,
MRS. SOPHIA HAYES.
Monday, A. M., Raleigh, March 24, 1862. -- It is snowing still.
What a climate! This storm began Wednesday last.
Captain Drake returned. He was very lucky -- caught fifteen
bushwhackers, captured twelve horses, eighteen rifles and mus-
kets, fifteen hundred pounds bacon, ten sacks flour, six canoes;
destroyed the Rebel headquarters and returned safely. Abram
Bragg and Wm. C. Richmond with fifteen or twenty Union men
joined them and acted as guides, etc., etc.
RALEIGH, VIRGINIA, March 24, 1862.
DEAR UNCLE:--Your letter of the 14th came to hand the
day before yesterday. We all feel pleased to be in Fremont's
division. The only drawback is that it seems to keep us in the
mountains, and we have had about enough of the snows, winds,
and rains of the mountains. We have had a five-days snow-
storm. It seems to be now clearing off bright. We occupy
ourselves in these storms very much as you do, reading news-
papers and discussing the war news. The recent victories con-
vince a great many in the region south of us that the game is up.
On the other hand, the Government at Richmond is making
desperate efforts to get out under arms nearly the whole male
population of military age. Many are running away from the
drafting. Being the extreme outpost we see daily all sorts of
218 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
queer characters. They sometimes come in boldly, sometimes
with fear and trembling. I am often puzzled what to do with
them, but manage to dispose of them as fast as they come.
An odd laughable incident occurred to Joe the other day.
You know his fondness for children. He always talks to them
and generally manages to get them on his knee. Stopping at
a farm-house he began to make advances towards a little three-
year old boy who could scarcely talk plain enough to be under-
stood. The doctor said, "Come, my fine little fellow. I want
to talk to you." The urchin with a jerk turned away saying some-
thing the doctor did not comprehend. On a second approach
the doctor made it out "Go to Hell, you dam Yankee!" This
from the little codger was funny enough.
I send you a dime shinplaster. -- Good-bye.
R. B. HAYES.
Thursday, March 27.--A wintry morning--snow two or
three inches deep, ground frozen; the ninth day since this equi-
noctial set in. P. M. The sun came out bright and warm about
9 A. M.; the snow melted away, and before night the ground
became [began] to dry off so that by night we had a very fair
News of a battle near Winchester in which General Shields
was wounded. Union victories. I am gradually drifting to
the opinion that this Rebellion can only be crushed finally by
either the execution of all the traitors or the abolition of slavery.
Crushed, I mean, so as to remove all danger of its breaking out
again in the future. Let the border States, in which there is
Union sentiment enough to sustain loyal State Governments, dis-
pose of slavery in their own way; abolish it in the premanently
disloyal States, in the cotton States -- that is, set free the slaves
of Rebels. This will come, I hope, if it is found that a stubborn
and prolonged resistance is likely to be made in the cotton States.
President Lincoln's message recommending the passage of a
resolution pledging the aid of the general Government to States
CAMP ROUTINE -- WINTER 1862 219
which shall adopt schemes of gradual emancipation, seems to
me to indicate that the result I look for is anticipated by the
Administration. I hope it is so.
Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, March 28, 1862. Friday.--
. . . Dr. Webb received an order from the medical director
on General Rosecrans' staff to report for examination before a
medical board at Wheeling. If he is singled out, it is an in-
dignity and I do not blame him for resigning rather than submit.
I have written to see what it means. I hope we are not to lose
Captain Sperry returned with thirteen prisoners and a few
horses. Several of the prisoners wished to come in but feared
to [do] so. The Rebels are vindictive in punishing all who
yield. Abram Bragg and Wm. C. Richmond with other Union
men never sleep at home; they hide up on the hills during the
night. This they have done for two months past. . . .
Saturday, March 29.--Raining like fun again, Two fine
days in ten. I dispatched Dr. Clendenin that Dr. Webb had
been ordered to Wheeling for examination and asked him if
they were aware he had already been examined. He replied:
"Yes, and I have remonstrated; rather than submit, he ought
to resign." The doctor will leave me his resignation, go to
Wheeling, and if he finds the examination insisted on, will re-
sign by telegraphing me to that effect.
RALEIGH, March 30, 1862. Sunday night.
DEAREST: -- I received your good letters tonight. I will recol-
lect Will De Charmes and do what I can properly, and more too.
I wish you and the boys and Grandma were here tonight to
enjoy the sacred music of our band. They are now full
(eighteen) and better than ever. The regiment is also strong
and looks big and effective. Eight companies on dress parade
looked bigger than the regiment has ever seemed since we left
Camp Chase. The service performed the last ten days, breaking
up bushwhackers and Governor Letcher's militia musters, is
prodigious. They have marched in snow four to six inches deep
220 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
on the mountains sixty-five miles in three days, and look all the
better for it. -- Much love to Grandma and the dear boys.
Ever so lovingly yours,
I hear of Lippett's arrest and Whitcomb's death; both sad
for families, but Lippett better have gone into the army and
Monday, 31. -- A lovely day; a glorious inspection How
finely the men looked! Dr. Webb left us today. I hope so
much that he will return. We are being paid off today. Mr.
Walker, clerk of Major Cowan, attends to it. I send home by
Dr. Webb three hundred and fifty dollars for my wife. . . .
Took advantage of the fine day to march off to a field half a
mile or more and drill "charge bayonet, with a yell." Good--
very; first-rate! Will do it more. Saw the moon accidentally
and honestly over the right shoulder!
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