JULY 27, 1861.--From Bellaire  to  Clarksburg  in  Vir-

ginia.  All the way, one hundred and thirty miles, in Vir-

ginia, greeted by shouts and demonstrations of joy. The people

had seen many three-months men going, leaving western Vir-

ginia for home. This, with the defeat at Washington perhaps,

led the people to fear that the Union men were left to the Rebels

of the eastern part of the State.   Our coming relieved them

and was hailed with every demonstration of joy. [Today],

Saturday, at 2 P.M. [A.M.] reached Clarksburg.  Worked like

a Turk in the rain all the morning laying out a camp and getting

it up, on a fine hill with a pretty scene before us. Clearing off

towards the close of the day. Tried to dry clothes. A busy day

but a jolly.

  In the evening General Rosecrans came over here and ordered

Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews to march at 2 A. M. with the right

wing in seventy-five waggons, leaving us with left wing and

baggage to move at 7 A. M. to Weston. Order of march for

our column, ten pioneers, three hundred or four hundred yards

in advance of main body; advance guard of thirty, one hundred

yards in advance of main body; next, main body; waggon train

with baggage, twenty-eight wagons; rear guard of thirty, one

hundred and eighty yards in rear of wagons.

  (I write one letter for all friends and want Lucy to keep all

these scrawls for future reference.)

            CLARKSBURG, VIRGINIA, July 27, 1861 (?) (I

                                believe) Saturday (I know).

  DEAR WIFE:--Our second day, from Bellaire to this place,

was an exceedingly happy one. We travelled about one hun-

dred and thirty miles in Virginia, and with the exception of one



deserted village of Secessionists (Farmington), we were received

everywhere with an enthusiasm I never saw anywhere before.

No such great crowds turned out to meet us as we saw from

Indianapolis to Cincinnati assembled to see Lincoln, but every-

where, in the corn and hay fields, in the houses, in the roads,

on the hills, wherever a human being saw us, we saw such honest

spontaneous demonstrations of joy as we never beheld elsewhere.

Old men and women, boys and children--some fervently prayed

for us, some laughed and some cried; all did something which

told the story.  The secret of it is, the defeat at Washington

and the departure of some thousands of three-months men of

Ohio and Indiana led them to fear they were left to the Rebels

of eastern Virginia. We were the first three-years men filling

the places of those who left. It was pleasant to see we were not

invading an enemy's country but defending the people among

whom we came. Our men enjoyed it beyond measure. Many

had never seen a mountain; none had ever seen such a reception.

They stood on top of the cars and danced and shouted with de-


  We got here in the night. General Rosecrans is with us. No

other full regiment here. We march tomorrow up the mountains.

All around me is confusion--sixteen hundred horses, several

hundred wagons,--all the preparations for a large army. Our

own men in a crowded camp putting up tents. No time for

further description.

  Captain McMullen will go to Columbus to return. He will

get my pistols of Mr. Platt, if they come to Columbus in time.

  You would enjoy such a ride as that of yesterday as much as

I did. It was perfect. Now comes the hard work. Good-bye;

love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--Colonel Matthews showed me a letter from his mother

received at the moment of his leaving. She said she rejoiced she

was the mother of seven sons all loyal and true, and that four of

them were able to go to the war for the national rights.

  The view from where I sit is most beautiful--long ranges of

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          47

hills, a pleasant village, an extensive sweep of cultivated country,

the fortified hill where an Indiana regiment prepared to defend

itself against overwhelming odds, etc., etc.

  Direct all letters and express matters to Clarksburg, Virginia,

with my title and regiment until further directions. This is the

great depot for operating in western Virginia, and all letters, etc.,

will be sent from here forward to me.


  July 28.  Sunday.--Busy from 4 A.M. packing baggage,

striking tents, and preparing to move.  Baggage enormous and

extra; great delays; great stew. Our new Irish quartermaster--

a failure so far. Got off about 11 A. M., in a great shower. I

rode backwards and forwards; got wet; weather hot after the

showers; face and nose, softened by the rain, begin to scorch;

a peeling time in prospect. Still it was novel, scenery fine.

Blackberries beyond all experience line the road; road good.

Camped at night in a meadow by the road. Rain-storm soon

followed.  Many put up no tents; wearied with the day's

march, they threw themselves on the ground and slept through.

I got wet through trying to get them sheltered.

  In the enemy's country, although all we meet are Union men.

Many fancied threatening dangers in all novel sights. A broken

limb in a tree top was thought to be a spy looking down into the

camp; fires were seen; men riding by were scouts of the enemy,

etc., etc.

  July 29. Monday.--A bright, warm day. Marched yesterday

fourteen miles; today, nine miles to Weston, which we reached

soon after noon. A pretty county town of one thousand people

or so, surrounded by hills, picturesque and lovely. Encamped

on a hill looking towards the town, my tent where I now sit

opening upon a sweet scene of high hills, green smooth sward,

or forests. The west fork of the Monongahela flows at the bot-

tom of the hill, just below the rear of the field officers' tents.

  July 30. Tuesday.--Warm, bright morning. Damp in the

tent with the fogs of the night.  Hang out my duds to dry.


Have met here divers Cincinnati acquaintances and Lieutenant

Conger and Dr. Rice, of Fremont. Just now a fine young first-

lieutenant (Jewett of Zanesville) was accidentally shot by a gun

falling on the ground out of a stack. A great hole was torn

through his foot. The ball passed through three tents, barely

missing several men, passed through a knapsack and bruised

the leg of one of Captain McIlrath's men.

       WESTON, VIRGINIA, Tuesday Morning, July 30, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--If you look on the map you can find this

town about twenty-five miles south of Clarksburg, which is about

one hundred miles east of Parkersburg on the Northwest Vir-

ginia Railroad. So much for the general location; and if you

were here, you would see on a pretty sidehill facing towards and

overlooking a fine large village, surrounded by lovely hills, al-

most mountains, covered with forest or rich greensward, a pic-

turesque encampment, and on the summit of the hill overlooking

all, the line of field officers' tents.  Sitting in one of them, as

[Henry] Ward Beecher sat in the barn at Lenox, I am writing

you this letter.

  I have seen Conger, acting assistant quartermaster of [the]

Tenth Regiment. He wishes a place. I ventured to suggest that

he could perhaps raise a company in your region by getting an

appointment from the governor. All here praise him both as a

business man and as a soldier. He must, I think, get some place.

His reputation is so good with those he is associated with.

  Dr. Rice also called to see me; he looks well and is no doubt

an efficient man. Dr. Joe has had a consultation with him and

thinks him a good officer.

  We enjoy this life very much. So healthy and so pretty a

country is rarely seen. After a month's campaign here the

Tenth has lost no man by sickness and has but seven sick. Gen-

eral Rosecrans takes immediate command of us and will have

us with him in his operations against Wise. We shall have

mountain marches enough no doubt. So far I stand it as well as

the best. . . .

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          49

  This is the land of blackberries. We are a great grown-up

armed blackberry party and we gather untold quantities.

  Here there are nearly as many Secessionists as Union men;

the women avow it openly because they are safe in doing so, but

the men are merely sour and suspicious and silent. . . .

  Men are at work ditching around my tent preparatory to a

thunder-shower which is hanging over the mountain west of us.

One of them I hear saying to his comrade: "This is the first

time I ever used a spade and I don't like it too well."

  But you have had enough of this incoherent talk. Colonel

Scammon and Matthews have both been absent and left me in

command, so that I have been exposed to numberless interrup-


  Good-bye. Direct to me by my title "Twenty-third Regiment,

Ohio troops, Clarksburg, Virginia," and it will be sent me.

                                              R. B. HAYES.

  Send this to Lucy.



               RIVER, WESTON, VIRGINIA, Tuesday, P. M.,

                                              July 30, 1861.

  DEAREST:--We are in the loveliest spot for a camp you ever

saw--no, lovelier than that; nothing in Ohio can equal it. It

needs a mountainous region for these beauties. We do not know

how long we shall stay, but we suppose it will be three or four

days. We have had two days of marching--not severe march-

ing at all; but I saw enough to show me how easily raw troops

are used up by an injudicious march.  Luckily we are not likely

to suffer in that way. We are probably aiming for Gauley Bridge

on the Kanawha where Wise is said to be fortified. General

Rosecrans is engaged in putting troops so as to hold the principal

routes leading to the point.

  The people here are divided. Many of the leading ladies are

Secessionists. We meet many good Union men; the other men

are prudently quiet. Our troops behave well.



  We have had one of those distressing accidents which occur

so frequently in volunteer regiments. You may remember that

a son of H. J. Jewett, of Zanesville, President of [the] Central

Ohio Railroad, was on the request of his father appointed a

first-lieutenant in Captain Canby's company.    He joined us at

Grafton in company with his father. He had served in Colonel

      ----'s regiment of three-months men  in all the affairs in

western Virginia and is very promising. A loaded gun was

thrown down from a stack by a careless sentinel discharging a

Minie ball through young Jewett's foot. I was with him in a

moment. It is a painful and severe wound, perhaps dangerous.

There is a hope he may not be crippled. He bears it well. One

of his exclamations was, "Oh, if it had only been a secession

ball I wouldn't have cared.    Do you think you can save my

leg," etc., etc. The ball after passing through his foot passed

through three of McIlrath's tents, one full of men lying down.

It cut the vest of one over his breast as he lay on his back and

stirred the hair of another; finally passed clean through a knap-

sack and struck a man on the leg barely making a slight bruise

and dropping down. Dr. Joe has the flattened bullet now to give

to Jewett.

  My horse came over the hills in good style.-- Pshaw!  I

wish you were here; this is a camp. The field officers' tents are

on a high greensward hill, the other tents spreading below it in

the sweetest way. As I write I can turn my head and from the

entrance of the tent see the loveliest scene you can imagine. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  July 31.  Wednesday.--Another warm, bright day.  Orders

from General Rosecrans direct Colonel Lytle to go with his

regiment to Sutton and put this place in command of Colonel

Scammon.  This is supposed to indicate that we are to remain

here for some weeks.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          51

                         CAMP NEAR WESTON, VIRGINIA,

                           Wednesday, P. M., July 31, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--How you would enjoy sitting by my side

on this beautiful hill and feasting your eyes on the sweep of hills

that surrounds us. Nothing in Vermont is finer. The great

majority of the people here are friendly and glad to have us

here to protect them from the Secessionists. This is agreeable;

it puts us in the place of protectors instead of invaders. The

weather is warm, but a good breeze is blowing. The water is

good; milk and blackberries abundant, and the location perfectly

healthy. . . .

  The village is a pretty one with many good residences and nice

people. The State is, or was, building near where we are en-

camped a large lunatic asylum--an expensive and elegant struc-

ture. The war stops the work. This part of Virginia naturally

belongs to the West; they are now in no way connected with

eastern Virginia. The only papers reaching here from Richmond

come by way of Nashville, Louisville, and Cincinnati. The court-

house and several churches are creditable buildings, and the

shrubbery and walks in the private grounds are quite beautiful.

  Do not allow yourself to worry if you do not hear often. I

think of you often. Love to Laura and all.

                   Affectionately, your son,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


              [WESTON], July 31, [1861], Wednesday P.M.

  DEAREST:--We are to stay here and keep in countenance the

Union people for several days--or a week or more--until others

come in to take our places. It is safe, which would please

Mother; it is pleasant as a camping ground. I wish you were


  I tell Mr. Schooley to bring me an India-rubber havelock and

cape to keep water out of neck--or some such thing; also strong

black buttons--a few--and a pair of yellow spurs, regulation



   Young Jewett sleeps well and is in no great pain--so far do-

ing well. His chance of saving his foot is about even--a sad

case. We are to be alone in this locality; possibly we may be

divided so as to occupy two or three places. Kisses for the boys.




   August 1, [1861].--Another hot, moist day; deep fogs in the

night. Two gentlemen, suspected of secession proclivities, clerks

of the courts, were required to take the oath of allegiance to the

new State Government of Virginia and to the United States.

   They say it is not always so rainy here; they lay it to the

presence of our troops.

   Colonel Matthews left with the five right-wing companies for

Bulltown and Sutton at 1 P. M. today. I felt a little melancholy

to see the fine fellows leaving us.

  A year ago today was with Lucy travelling from Detroit on

the Grand Trunk Railroad eastwardly for pleasure. A telegraph

line is completed to this point connecting us with all the world.

   Governor Wise, it is said, has continued his retreat up the

Kanawha towards eastern Virginia. It is said that he has left

Gauley River and burnt the bridge. If so western Virginia is now

in our undisputed possession. But it is also said that General Lee

is coming with a large force to look after General Rosecrans. I

suspect that all the movements of the Southern army look to

operations about Washington and Baltimore, and that all move-

ments of troops in other directions are merely feints.

                                    WESTON, August 1, 1861.

  DEAREST:--Do you remember a year ago today we were rid-

ing on the Grand Trunk Railroad from Detroit by Sarnia east-

wardly? Jolly times those. If you were here, these would be

as pleasant. The water in the river below our camp flows past

you in the Ohio; in these low water days, about a month after

they leave here.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          53

  We are now in telegraphic communication with the world. Dr.

Joe receives dispatches about medicines and Colonel Scammon

about military matters from Columbus and Cincinnati.  We had

the two county court clerks before the colonel taking the oath of

allegiance to the United States and to the new Government of Vir-

ginia. They squirmed a little, but were required to do it or go

to Camp Chase.

  Colonel Matthews left this noon with five companies--right

wing--for Sutton, a place forty-four miles south of this place.

We suspect that Wise has left western Virginia. If so, our

campaigning here is likely to be pacific and uninteresting.

  August 2.--I have been out to report myself at reveille, and

not feeling like resuming my nap, am seated on my trunk

jotting down these lines to my darling. Colonel Jewett arrived

last night from Zanesville.  He finds his boy doing well.  It is

still very uncertain what is to be the result. It is probable that no

amputation will be necessary, and there is hope that he may not

be more than very slightly crippled, He will be unable to use

his foot, however, for perhaps months.

  Our news is that Wise has continued his retreat burning the

bridges after him. This confirms our suspicions as to his aban-

doning all west of the mountains. There is, however, a report

from the East that General Lee is to be sent out here to look

after General Rosecrans, with a considerable force. I do not

believe it, but if so, we shall have lively times. Colonel Ammen

with the Twenty-fourth is reported in our neighborhood.  We

shall be glad to be with them again.

  Puds, here it is Saturday, the 3d, and my foolishness isn't off

yet and won't be until Monday. It is so hot and pleasant. I am

so lazy and good-natured. Joe says, "I wish Webb was here";

I say, I wish you were all here.  We may be ordered to move

any hour, and it may be [we] shall be here a week hence. We

have got our camp into good order--clean and pretty. Joe was

pretty sick last night, but is under a nice shade today, as lazy

and comfortable as possible. The effect is curious of this fine

mountain air.  Everybody complains of heat, but everybody is

in a laughing humor. No grumbling reaches me today.

  I have called on divers leading lawyers and politicians, gen-


erally Union men, and find them agreeable people. The court-

house here is a good one and is used as a hospital for all these

regiments. About one hundred sick are there. When Joe gets

perfectly well, which I advise him not to do, he will have charge

of all of them.  We have four or six there.

                   Very affectionately, your


  "Love me?" I have heard nothing from Ohio except an oc-

casional newspaper.  Write about Uncle and everybody.  Our

men sing beautifully tonight.


  August 2, 1861.--A. M. fired pistol with Captain Zimmerman

and P. M. Enfield rifle with Captain Sperry. My pistol shooting

rather poor. Rifle shooting at one hundred yards good, at three

hundred yards, tolerable. Weather hot. In the evening passed

the sentinels to try them, back and forth several times. Found

them generally defective; they took instruction kindly and I hope

they may do well yet.

  August 3, 1861.--Called on James T. Jackson, a Secessionist,

for a map of Virginia--one of the Board of Public Works

maps. He said he once had one but his brother had sold it to

a captain in [the] Seventh Regiment. Called then on William

E. Arnold, a lawyer and Union man. He offered every facility

for getting information and gave such as he could; also lent

us a good map. Hottest day yet. Dr. Joe ailing. Young Jewett

doing well, but getting tired and sore.

  August 4.  Sunday.--Visited the hospital.  It is airy and com-

fortable--the court-house of the county, a large good building.

The judge's bench was full of invalids, convalescent, busily

writing letters to friends at home.  Within the bar and on the

benches provided for the public were laid straw bedticks in some

confusion, but comfortable. A side room contained the very

sick, seven or eight in number. The total inmates about seventy-

five. Most of them are able to walk about and are improving;

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          55

very few are likely to die there. One poor fellow, uncomplain-

ing and serene, with a good American face, is a German tailor,

Fifth Street, Cincinnati; speaks little English, was reading a

history of the Reformation in German.  I inquired his difficulty.

He had been shot by the accidental discharge of a musket falling

from a stack; a ball and several buckshot pierced his body. He

will recover probably. My sympathies were touched for a hand-

some young Canadian, Scotch or English. He had measles and

caught cold.  A  hacking cough was perhaps taking his life.

Nobody from the village calls to see them!

  A hot day but some breeze. We hear that Colonel Matthews

with the right wing was, on the morning of the third day from

here, near Bulltown, twenty-seven miles distant. Governor Wise

is somewhere near Lewisburg in Greenbrier County. Cox [Gen-

eral J. D.] is in no condition to engage him and I hope will not

do it. I rather hope we shall raise a large force and push on

towards Lynchburg and east Tennessee. Jewettt is doing well.

                        WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 4, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I write often now, as we soon pass out of

reach of mails. We hear the news by telegraph here now from

all the home towns, but mails are uncertain and irregular. We

are very healthy, but the weather is hotter than any I have known

in a great while. Our wounded lieutenant, Jewett, is doing well.

His father is here nursing him. The fine large hospital for all

this region of country, having one hundred patients belonging

to different regiments, is in charge of Dr. Joe. It is the court-

house. The people here do not find us much of a nuisance. Of

course, in some respects we are so, but all things considered, the

best of the people like to see us. I mean to go to church this

pleasant Sunday.  My only clerical acquaintance here is an intel-

ligent Catholic priest who called to see Colonel Scammon. I have

been cross-examining a couple of prisoners--one a Methodist

preacher--both fair sort of men, and I hope not guilty of any

improper acts. Good-bye.


                                              R. B. HAYES.



                 NEAR WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 4, 1861.

  DEAR LAURA:--As  we  ride about this exceedingly pretty

country and through this reasonably decent village, I am re-

minded of young ladies in Ohio by occasionally meeting a damsel

wearing a stars-and-stripes apron, or by seeing one who turns

up her nose at the said stars, etc.

  We are leading camp life again--watching Secessionists, study-

ing geography, sending and receiving scouts and couriers and

sich like. Colonel Matthews has gone with the five companies of

the right wing forty-four miles further up into the hills. We

shall follow him if there are any hostile signs up there, and he

will return to us if such sign fail him.

  You and Jeanie A- have been of use. The bandages are used

in dressing the shocking wound of young Jewett of Zanesville--

a lieutenant, handsome, gallant, and intelligent. Just the person

you would wish to serve in this way. Dr. Joe hopes he will not

be crippled. At first it seemed that he must lose his foot; but

your bandages or something else are bringing him up. It will

be perhaps months before he can walk.

  The court-house here (about like yours) is a hospital for the

sick and wounded of all the regiments hereabouts. It would

be a glorious thing if some Florence Nightingales would come

here. They could be immensely useful, and at the same time

live pleasantly in a pretty mountain village, safe as a bug in a

rug. Won't you come? It is easy getting here and cheap stay-

ing. Too hot under canvas to write much. Love to all.

                         Your uncle,




  August 5.--Cloudy and showery and sunny at intervals this

Monday morning.  Went out shooting pistol with Adjutant C. W.

Fisher.  No good shooting by either.  I did the worst, pistol dirty

--cleaned it.--More couriers, more rumors of Wise down to-

wards Greenbrier County.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          57

  August 6.--Warm, beautiful weather. A busy day, settling

disputes between citizens and their quarrels. I held a sort of

police court.  Dr. Joe also decided cases.  The parties under

arrest, we hear their stories and discharge or put on bread and

water as the case seems to require. All local tribunals suppressed

or discontinued.  We also are full of courier and express duty.

Colonel Withers, a Union citizen of the old-fashioned Intelli-

gencer reading sort, called. He is a true patriot. We sent out a

courier to meet Colonel Ammen with the Twenty-fourth, pre-

paratory to greeting and escorting him. But he isn't coming yet.

Colonel Scammon is policing and disciplining in a good way.

The colonel improves. As soon as taps sounds he has the lights

put out and all talk suppressed.

  When we came to Weston, Colonel Lytle was here with four

companies.   The  Seventeenth  returning home  (three-months

men) passed through here about the second or third. The Nine-

teenth about the first.  Colonel E. B. Tyler with the Seventh

is beyond Sutton. Colonel Bosley with the Sixth is at Beverly.

           WESTON, VIRGINIA, Tuesday P. M., August 6, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I have just read your letter, with Brother

William's of the 2nd,--the first I have had from anybody since

we came to Virginia. I am sitting in my tent looking out on the

same beautiful scene I have so often referred to. It is a bright

and very warm afternoon, but a clear, healthful mountain air

which it is a happiness to breathe. . . . 

  My horse shows a little weakness in the fore shoulders, but

as he can probably work well in an ambulance, I can exchange

him for a good government horse, if he gets worse. We have

plenty of business. A good deal of it is a sort of law business.

As all civil authority is at an end, it is our duty to keep the peace

and do justice between the citizens, who, in these irregular times,

are perhaps a little more pugnacious than usual. Dr. Joe and I,

under direction of the colonel, held courts on divers cases all the

forenoon. It was rather amusing, and I think we dispensed very

exact justice. As there is no appeal, a case decided is for good

and all.


  I am so glad you and Uncle are both getting well. If Uncle

wishes to travel, and we remain here, he couldn't please him-

self better than by a trip this way. He would enjoy a few days

very much in our camp, or at the hotel in the village.

  Young Jewett leaves with his father for Zanesville tonight.

I hope he will stand the trip well. I will hand them this letter to

mail when they get out of these woods. Send me sometime a

neat little New Testament. I have nothing of the sort. I have

clothes enough. I am cut short by business. Good-bye.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  August 7, Wednesday.--Another bright, warm day.  With

Adjutant Fisher pistol shooting this A. M. Tolerably good

firing. Last night a picket shot through the hand; said he fired

twice at his assailant; doubted. Supposed to be an accidental

wounding. Letters from Ohio.

  August 8. Thursday.--Rumors of the approach of a great

army under Lee from eastern Virginia are still rife. The enemy

is said to be near Monterey, the other side of the Alleghanies and

aiming to come in this direction to reoccupy western Virginia,

capture our stores, and to dash the war if possible into Ohio.

The United States ought promptly to push into western Virginia

an army of at least fifty thousand men to repel any such attack

if made and to push on to the railroad leading from Richmond

southwesterly through Lynchburg towards east Tennessee. This

would cut off Richmond from the southwestern States and be

otherwise useful. Horsemen and waggons are now passing

towards Bulltown. This is the hottest day yet; it must rain be-

fore night.

                         WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 8, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I am glad to learn by a letter from Mother

that you are getting well enough to ride about town. I hope

you will continue to gain. If you should want to take a short

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          59

trip this fall, I am not sure but a journey this way would be as

enjoyable as any you could make. By getting a note from Gov-

ernor Dennison, you could travel on railroad (now run by the

Government) to Clarksburg, and thence, there are all sorts of

conveyances, from a teetering ambulance to an old-fashioned

Pennsylvania six-horse waggon.

  Our regiment is divided for the present.  One half under

Colonel Matthews has gone forty-four miles south. We remain

in charge of a great supply depot, and charged with keeping

in order the turbulent of this region. The Union men are the

most numerous, but the other side is the more wealthy and noisy.

We are kept busy enough with them.

  This town is about as large as Fremont was ten years ago,

has a fine court-house and other county buildings. A lunatic

asylum for the State of great size was building when the war

broke out. It is a healthy hilly country, very picturesque, and

hotter today than the Cincinnati landing. We are so busy that

we do not complain much of the tediousness of camp life. We

are now constantly hearing of the approach of General Lee

from eastern Virginia with a force large enough to drive us out

and capture all our stores, if one-fourth that is told is true. He

is said to be about seventy-five miles southeast of us in the

mountains. Whether there is truth in it or not, I have no doubt

that troops will be urged into this region to hold the country.

At any rate, as it is on the route to east Tennessee, and on a route

to cut off the railroads from the southwest, I am sure there

ought to be a splendid Union army assembled here. I suppose

it will be done.

  Lucy and the boys are in Pickaway County. Dr. Jim was

taken prisoner at Manassas, but escaped; lost his carpet-sack, but

captured a secession horse which he brought home. Dr. Joe

enjoys it well. Colonel Scammon is an agreeable gentleman

to associate with.  We have a great deal of amusement.  Dr.

Joe visits the secession folks, and reports a great many good

things. They say that in two weeks they will see us scattering

like sheep before the great army of Lee and Wise.

  When you write, direct to me, "Twenty-third Regiment, Ohio

Volunteers, Clarksburg, Virginia," and it will be sent wherever


I may chance to be.  We are now connected by telegraph with

the whole country. A dispatch to or from Weston, is more cer-

tain of delivery than a letter. Love to all.


                                             R. B. HAYES.


  August 9. Friday.--The colonel is out of humor with Lieu-

tenant Rice for letting men on guard go to their tents to sleep

and scolds him severely in the presence of his men. A little less

grumbling and more instruction would improve the regiment

faster.  The men are disconcerted whenever the colonel ap-

proaches; they expect to be pitched into about something. A good

man, but impatient and fault-finding; in short, he is out of

health, nervous system out of order.  Would  he had sound

health, and all would go well. He gives no instruction either in

drill or other military duties but fritters away his time on little

details which properly belong to clerks and inferior officers.--

Begun to rain at noon, refreshing rather.

  Our men returning from Sutton report our right wing under

Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews gone on to Summersville. Also

that a party in ambush fired on two companies of Colonel Lytle's

regiment, killing one and wounding four. This sort of murder

must be stopped. The colonel is busy issuing passes to citizens,

the patrol or picquets having been ordered to stop all persons

travelling on the roads without passes. This must be a great

annoyance to the inhabitants.  Is there enough benefit to be

gained for all the hate we shall stir up by it?

  The mother of our adjutant at Camp Chase seeing a boy

walking up and down on his sentinel's beat took pity on him,

sent him out a glass of wine and a piece of cake with a stool

to sit on while he ate and drank.  She told him not to keep

walking so, to sit down and rest! She also advised him to


  More rumors of the approach of Lee with fifteen thousand

men to attack our forces at Buchanan [Buckhannon].  Lieutenant

Reichenbach with his party of twenty men marched yesterday

twenty-eight miles and today, by noon, fifteen miles.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          61

  Joe Holt* makes the best war speeches of any man in the land.

It always braces my nerves and stirs my heart when I read

them.  At Camp Joe Holt, near Louisville, he said:  "Since the

sword flamed over the portals of Paradise until now, it has

been drawn in no holier cause than that in which you are en-


             CAMP NEAR WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 9, 1861.

                                           Friday Afternoon.

  DEAREST:--I have just read your letter postmarked the 5th at

Kingston. Right pleased with you. Very happy to get your

good letter. It has been bright, warm (hot) weather since Sun-

day, but today at noon a fine rain began to fall, and this after-

noon I was loafing about in the tents, hard up for occupation.

Lying alone in my tent, your letter came in with one from Uncle

written Sunday. Wasn't it so lucky? I've nothing to tell you,

I believe.  Dr. Joe is well--perfectly--again; busy changing

his hospital from the court-house and jail to a secession church

which doesn't run now. The colonel is busy giving passes to

citizens wishing to travel roads guarded by our picquets.

  Colonel Matthews under Colonel Tyler has gone to Summers-

ville about seventy miles south of this. They are looking for

Wise. In the meantime we have rumors that General Lee is

marching over the mountains to push the Union forces in this

region out of the State, and to seize the stores so abundantly

gathered hereabouts. We have no means of knowing the truth

here; if there is anything in it, we shall be called to Buchanan

[Buckhannon], sixteen miles east, where the first attack is ex-

pected. There is a little more activity among the enemy in this

quarter since these rumors became rife. Our party from the

   *Joseph Holt, born in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, January 6,

1807; died in Washington, August 1, 1894. Famous as a jurist and an

orator. He was Postmaster-General in Buchanan's Cabinet for a time

and in 1860, when John B. Flood resigned, he became Secretary of War.

He was a vigorous Union man, urging his fellow Kentuckians "to fly to

the rescue of their country before it is everlastingly too late." In Sep-

tember, 1862, President Lincoln appointed him Judge-Advocate General

of the army, in which capacity he served long with great distinction.


south, returning today, report that an attack was made up the

road on two companies of Colonel Lytle's men by a party in

ambush, who fired one volley and ran off into the hills. One man

killed and four wounded.  Captain Gaines  (our prosecutor)

called to see me last night. His company is detached from his

regiment, guarding a party putting up telegraph wires. Mr.

Schooley returned from Cincinnati with late news last night.

He says, it [was] so lonely he really wished to get back to camp.

I am sorry to have Colonel Matthews and the right wing gone,

but except that we are doing nicely.  Colonel Scammon is in bet-

ter health and things go on very smoothly.

  The soldiers fare very well here, and stand in little need of

sympathy, but when I have an opportunity to smooth matters

for them, I try to do it, always remembering how you would

wish it done. What a good heart you have, darling.  I shall try

to be as good as you would like me to be.

  Young Jewett got safely home. He is likely to have a long

and serious time getting well, but will probably be very slightly,

if at all, crippled. Colonel Ammen is at Clarksburg. If we

have any force sent against us, we shall be with him; otherwise,

not at present.

  I am glad you are visiting at Aunt Margaret's this hot weather.

Do you recollect when we were up [the] Saguenay a year ago

at this time? Here Colonel Scammon came in full of pleasant

gossip, feeling happy with letters from his wife and daughters.

No more chance to write in time for tonight's mail. Continue

to address me at Clarksburg until I direct otherwise. Love to

all at Elmwood. Kiss the boys all around.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  August 1O.  Saturday.--Rained a good part of the night.

We learned that while the right wing of our regiment occupied

the court-house at Sutton, many records, etc., etc., were torn up.

It is said the old clerk cried when he saw what had been done.

Disgraceful! What a stigma on our regiment if true! We have

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          63

had and deserved to have a good name for our orderly conduct,

respect for rights of citizens, etc., etc. I hope nothing has been

done to forfeit our place.

   August 11. Sunday.--Raining this morning, very warm. Ar-

rested, on complaint of a Union man, H. T. Martin, a secession

editor, who is charged with holding communication with James

and William Bennett, leaders of a guerrilla party.       He was

formerly from Ohio. Is a Southern state's-right Democrat

in talk, and makes a merit of holding secession opinions. Having

been engaged in getting up troops for the Southern army, the

colonel will probably send him to Ohio.

    Colonel Lytle's men fired on near Bulltown; one killed, four

wounded; guerrilla party in the hills out of reach. Our regiment

did not destroy records. We have sent two captains and eighty

men after the guerrillas.

   August 12. Monday.--Showery all day.  Sent to Clarks-

burg H. T. Martin. He will probably be sent to Columbus for

safe keeping. I gave him a letter to my brother-in-law to insure

him attention there in case he should need. It is impossible to

avoid mistakes in these cases. Union men may make charges

merely to gratify personal animosity, knowing that in the nature

of things a full investigation is impossible.

   During Monday night a squad of the Tenth Regiment returned

from the Buckhannon road with the body of one of the wild men

of the mountains found in this country. He followed their regi-

ment, shooting at them from the hills. They took him in the

  Bulltown region. He wore neither hat nor shoes, was of gigantic

size--weighing two hundred and thirty pounds; had long hooked

toes, fitted to climb--a very monster. They probably killed

him after taking him prisoner in cold blood--perhaps after a

sort of trial. They say he was attempting to escape.

                        WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 12, 1861.

   DEAR UNCLE:--We are still getting on nicely. We have a

 good deal more excitement now than usual. Wagon and cattle

 trains and small parties are fired on by guerrillas from the hills


on two of the roads leading from here. Dr. Joe has about eight

or ten in charge who have been wounded in this way. Two only

have been killed. None in our regiment. The men all laugh at

"squirrel guns" and the wounds they make. Several would have

been killed if shot in the same part by the conical balls of our

military guns. The "deadly rifle" of olden times shoots too small

a bullet, and is too short in its range; but as Cassio says, it is

often "sufficient."  We send out parties who bring in prisoners--

sometimes the right men, sometimes not. All this keeps up a

stir.  In a week or two we shall get up a regular system of

scouring the country to get rid of these rascals. The Union men

here hate and fear them more than our men.

  The threatened invasion by Lee from eastern Virginia hangs

fire. They will hardly venture in, unless they come in a few days,

as we are daily getting stronger. I hope you are still getting



                                              R. B. HAYES.


  August 13.--Still rain.  My horse hitched to a tree on the

brow of a hill very near my tent broke loose during the night,

and, it is said, rolled down the steep hill and swam the river.

This morning he was seen trotting about in high feather on the

opposite side of the river. He was caught and brought back

unhurt, to the surprise of all who saw the place he must have

gone down. Our right wing has been sent for to return to

Bulltown. Captains Drake and Woodward who are out guerrilla

hunting are still absent and not heard from for twenty-four

hours.--P. M.  Still raining.  Captains Drake and Woodward

have returned. They caught two of the pickets of the guerrilla

party they were after but failed in surprising them, owing to a

boy who gave information of their coming.  They found a few

good Union men; the mass of the people most ignorant. [They]

describe the country in the edge of Webster County as precipitous

and difficult; the people timid but cunning. They also brought

two other prisoners, men who have been in the secession army.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          65

  August 14.  Wednesday.--The weather has changed to cool,

and although the sky is still clouded I hope this long rain is now

over. Our prisoners turn out to be Hezekiah and Granville

Bennett, cousins of the notorious James and William Bennett,

aged forty-nine and twenty-two, father and son, and Moss and

George W. Brothers, aged fifty-eight and forty-eight. Our in-

formation is not definite as to their conduct. One or more of

them belonged to the Southern army, and all are accused by their

Union neighbors with divers acts of violence against law-and-

order citizens.

  Last evening Lieutenant Milroy came over from Glenville

reporting that Captain R. B. Moore feared an attack from three

companies of well armed Secessionists in the region west of them,

say Spencer, and was fortifying himself. The people immediately

around him are friendly, he having conducted himself with great

prudence and good sense and by kindness and justice made friends

of the people of all parties.

  August 15.  Thursday.--A bright, lovely day and the prettiest

evening of the month. The bright moonlight exhibits the land-

scape enough to show its loveliness and the lights and shadows.

The hills and woods are very picturesque. It makes me long

for wife and boys and friends behind. How Lute would enjoy

roaming with me through camp tonight.

  More rumors of attacks by guerrillas, or "bushwhackers" as

they are here called, on our couriers and trains. A courier and

captain and some wagoners are reported killed or taken below


  My box containing pistols and sash, etc., by mistake sent from

Clarksburg to Buckhannon. Made arrangements to send Lieu-

tenant Richardson and two men with ambulance after it.

                     WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 15, 1861.

                                         Thursday Morning.

  DEAREST L--:--We had four days of rain ending yesterday

morning--such rain as this country of hills and mountains can

afford. It was gloomy and uncomfortable but no harm was done.



It cleared off beautifully yesterday morning and the weather has

been most delicious since. This is a healthful region. Nobody

seriously sick and almost everybody outrageously healthy.  I

never was better. It is a luxury to breathe. Dr. Joe--but don't

he go into the corn? He has it three times a day, reminding me

of Northampton a year ago and your order for supper on our

return from Mount Holyoke.

  Our regiment has had divers duties which keep up excitement

enough to prevent us from stagnating. Colonel Matthews and

right wing is fifty miles south. Captain Drake and Captain

Woodward, with their companies, spent the four rainy days

scouring the steepest hills and deepest gullies for the rascals who

waylay our couriers and wagon trains. They captured three or

four of the underlings, but the leaders and main party dodged

them. Captain Zimmerman and his company have gone west

forty miles to escort provisions to Colonel Moor (Second Ger-

man Regiment of Cincinnati in which Markbreit is Lieutenant)

and to clean out an infected neighborhood between here and there.

A sergeant and six men are at Clarksburg escorting a prisoner

destined for Columbus. Lieutenant Rice and twenty men are es-

corting cattle for Colonel Tyler's command south of here. A part

of our cavalry are gone west to escort a captain and the surgeon

of the Tenth to Glenville, thirty-seven miles west. On Saturday I

go with Captain Drake's company to meet Captain Zimmerman's

company returning from the west, and with the two companies,

to go into the hills to the south to hunt for a guerrilla band who

are annoying Union men in that vicinity. I shall be gone almost

a week so you will not hear from me for some time. The tele-

graph is now extended south to a station near where I am going

to operate, so that we are in reach of humanity by telegraph but

not by mail.

  Dr. Joe has got the hospital in good condition. A church

(Methodist South) in place of the court-house for the merely

comfortable, and a private house for the very sick. None of our

regiment are seriously ill. The sick are devolved upon us from

other regiments--chiefly lung complaints developed by march-

ing, measles, or exposure. Very few, if any, taken here. Divers

humane old ladies furnish knickknacks to the hospital and make

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          67

glad the poor fellows with such comforts as women can best


  We find plenty of good Union men, and most of our expedi-

tions are aided by them. They show a good spirit in our behalf.

A large part of our friends in the mountains are the well-to-do

people of their neighborhoods and usually are Methodists or other

orderly citizens.

  Good-bye, dearest. I love you very much. Kiss the boys and

love to all. Tell Webby that during the rain the other night,

dark as pitch, my horse, Webb, fell down the hill back of the

camp into the river. Swam over to the opposite shore, and at

daylight we saw him frisking about in great excitement trying

to get back to his companion Birch. When we got him he was

not hurt or scratched even. He stumbles a little, which doesn't

do for a riding horse, so I have taken a government horse which

looks very much like him; same color and size but not quite so

pretty, and given Webb to Uncle Joe for an ambulance horse.

I shall call my new horse Webb, so there are to be two Webbys in

the regiment.  My  next horse I shall call Ruddy.  Love to





  August 16. Friday.--A  morning of small excitements.  A

wagon train stopped on its way towards Sutton to search for

arms or ammunition concealed in boxes of provisions. . . .

Drake, Captain, and Woodward search train in vain for con-


  August 17. Saturday.--Dispatches came last [night] from

Colonel Matthews. He can't return as ordered for fear of losing

his command between Summersville and Sutton; rumors of Wise,

etc., etc. Colonels Tyler and Smith go with him nine miles back

towards Gauley Bridge to fortify. The colonel thinks this is a

mistake of judgment and is disgusted with it. I think Colonel

Scammon is right.


  Lieutenant Rice's men report that three men named Stout

were taken near Jacksonville by some of Captain Gaines' men

and part of his command and that afterwards Gaines' men killed

them, alleging orders of Captain Gaines, etc., etc. This is too

bad. If any of my men kill prisoners, I'll kill them.

  Captain McMullen with four mountain howitzers arrived this

morning--12-pounders. Good! My horse, not Webb first but

Webb second, by hard riding foundered or stiffened. Mem.:--

Lend no horse; see always that your horse is properly cared for,

especially after a hard ride.

          HEADQUARTERS 23D REG'T, O. V. INF., U. S. A.,

                                             August 17, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We are kept very busy, hunting up guerrillas,

escorting trains, etc., etc. Attacking parties are constantly met

on the roads in the mountains, and small stations are surrounded

and penned up. We send daily parties of from ten to one hun-

dred on these expeditions, distances of from ten to forty miles.

Union men persecuted for opinion's sake are the informers.  The

Secessionists in this region are the wealthy and educated, who

do nothing openly, and the vagabonds, criminals, and ignorant

barbarians of the country; while the Union men are the middle

classes--the law-and-order, well-behaved  folks.  Persecutions

are common, killings not rare, robberies an every-day occurrence.

  Some bands of Rebels are so strong that we are really in doubt

whether they are guerrillas or parts of Wise's army coming in to

drive us out. The Secessionists are boastful, telling of great

forces which are coming. Altogether, it is stirring times just

now. Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews is nearly one hundred miles

south of us with half our regiment, and is not strong enough to

risk returning to us. With Colonels Tyler and Smith, he will

fortify near Gauley Bridge on [the] Kanawha.

  Dr. Rice is here sick in charge of Dr. Joe. He got in safely

from a post that was invested about thirty miles west. He will

get well, but has been very sick. This is the healthiest country

in the world. I have not been in such robust health for a great

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          69

while. My horse is not tough enough for this service. I had

better have taken Ned Jr., I suspect, although there is no telling.

The strongest horses seem to fail frequently when rackabones

stand it well. The Government has a good many horses, and I

use them at pleasure. When I find one that will do, I shall keep

it. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                        WESTON, VIRGINIA, August 17, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--Nothing new to tell you. We are kept

more busy than heretofore with watching and hunting after the

robbers who are plundering the Union men in our neighborhood.

We have rumors of invading forces from eastern Virginia strong

enough to drive us out, but we know nothing definite about them.

Captain McMullen arrived safely with my box. His company

of artillery is a great addition to our strength.

  Our men are very healthy and busy enough to keep them out

of mischief. Dr. Joe finds a number of old ladies who do all in

their power to make our sick soldiers comfortable. One poor

fellow who was thought to be gone with consumption is picking

up under their nursing and strengthening food, and will, perhaps,

get well. None of our regiment are seriously ill. We were

never in so healthy a country. . . . .

  The war brings out the good and evil of Virginia. Some of the

best and some of the worst characters I ever heard of, have

come under our notice during the last fortnight. It is not likely

that we shall move from here for some weeks. We are required

to send expeditions to protect Union neighborhoods and wagon

trains, and to drive off scamps almost every day. We are prob-

ably doing some good to the better sort of people in this country,

besides the general good which we are supposed to be doing in

the cause of the country.

  My love to all.--Affectionately,

                                              R. B. HAYES.



           HEADQUARTERS, 23D REG'T, O. V. INF., U. S. A.,

                                          August 17, 1861.

  DEAREST:--Your letter to Dr. Joe did me much good. Bless

the boys. I love to read your talk about them.

  I had just started this letter when a dispatch came from Cap-

tain Zimmerman. He had a little brush with some guerrillas in

the mountains twenty-five miles from here and had three men

wounded. This is the first blood of our regiment shed in fight.

He scattered the rascals without difficulty, making some prisoners.

We have had a picquet wounded on guard and accidental wound-

ing but no fighting blood-letting before.  This is the expedition I

expected to go with when I wrote you last, but the accounts of

the enemy not justifying the sending of more than one company,

I was not sent.

  There is a general rising among the Rebels. They rob and

murder the Union men, and the latter come to us for help. We

meet numbers of most excellent people. We have out all the

time from two to six parties of from ten to seventy-five or one

hundred men on scouting duty.  There are some bloody deeds

done in these hills, and not all on one side. We are made happy

today by the arrival of Captain McMullen with an excellent

company of artillery--four mountain howitzers and complete

equipments. They will be exceedingly useful. Lieutenant-Col-

onel Matthews is nearly one hundred miles south of us with

Colonel Tyler and others. The road between here and there is

so infested with "bushwhackers" that we have no communication

with him except by way of Gallipolis in Ohio. He has been

ordered to return here but deems it unsafe to attempt it.

  Colonel Scammon has fallen in love with Joe.  He says if his

qualities were known he would get a high place in the Regular

Army medical staff, and brags on him perpetually. We have very

few of our own men sick, but numbers in the hospital of other


  My new horse doesn't turn out any tougher than the other.

But Captain McMullen says he has one which I am to try to-

night. I shall get a "Webby" that can stand hard work and poor

fare one of these days.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          71

  How about the pants?  If they are reasonably good blue, put a

light blue stripe down the outside seam and send them to me

when you have a chance. I don't care about the color. The blue

stripe is enough uniform for this latitude. Hard service for

duds.  I am well supplied--rather too much of most things.

  August I8. Sunday P.M.--Since writing the above we have

received word that the enemy in force is coming towards us

through the mountains to the southeast, and have been ordered

to prepare three days' rations and to be ready to march at a

moment's notice to attack the enemy. I am all ready. My little

knapsack contains a flannel shirt, one of those you gave me, two

pairs of socks, a pair of drawers, a towel, the what-you-may-

call-it you made for me to hold scissors, etc., etc. This is enough.

We are to go without tents or cooking utensils. A part of

Colonel Moor's Second German Regiment are to go with us.

Markbreit is among them. They reached here last night.

  It will be a stirring time if we go, and the result of it all by

no means clear. I feel no apprehension--no presentiment of evil,

but at any rate you know how I love you and the dear boys and

Grandma and all will take care that I am not forgotten. You

will know by telegraph long before this reaches you what comes

of the anticipated movements. I suspect we are misinformed.

At any rate, good-bye, darling. Kisses for all.




  August 18.  Sunday.--Last night, about ten or eleven, five

companies  of  Colonel  Moor's  (Second  German  Regiment)

Twenty-eighth Regiment arrived from Clarksburg under Lieu-

tenant-Colonel Becker. My partner, L. Markbreit, is sergeant-

major. This morning, raining hard. Exciting rumors and news.

A Tennessee regiment and force coming through the mountains

east of Sutton--a battery of four guns, one thirty-two-pounder!!

What an anchor to drag through the hills! Absurd! Danger of

all provisions below here with vast stores being taken by the

enemy. We are ordered to cook three days' rations and be ready


to move at a moment's warning, with forty rounds of ammuni-

tion. All trains on the route to Sutton are ordered back or to

take the way to Buchanan [Buckhannon] via Frenchtown.

Eighty thousand rations are ordered to same place from here.

All is war. I pack my portmanteau and prepare to move. Oh,

for a horse which wouldn't founder, or get lame, or stumble!

At night no order to move yet.

  August 19.  Monday.--No more rumors.  A tolerably pretty

day. At 12 M. [midnight] got orders to quietly strike tents and

with three days' rations and the minimum amount of baggage

move to Buckhannon. Two companies, Captain Drake's and

Captain Zimmerman's, had just returned from a scouting expe-

dition to Walkersville, etc. No rest yet. After a world of con-

fusion, aggravated by an incompetent quartermaster, we got off

at daylight.

  August 20. Tuesday.--After marching three miles we stopped

for water and to let the teams come up. One man reclining was

accidentally shot by another hitting his foot against the hammer

of a musket. Poor Carr received the ball in the heel of his shoe;

it passed up his leg, grazing it merely, grazed his body and arm

and shoulder, and left him without a serious wound! Fortunate.

Reached Buckhannon about 3:30 P. M.--so sleepy; no rest

or sleep the night before.  Stopped at noon--got good bread and

milk, honey and blackberry jam, and slept nearly an hour in a

barn. Buckhannon a pretty place.

  August 21.--Changed camping place at Buckhannon to a fine

spot one and one-half miles on road to Cheat Mountain.  Got

settled with McMullen's Battery just as rain set in at night.

Had letters from Jim and Will Scott and Uncle George.

                  BUCKHANNON, VIRGINIA, August 21, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--You may send this letter, showing my

whereabouts, to Lucy. I have no time to write much. On Sun-

day night, about 12 o'clock, we were ordered to quietly pack and

march rapidly to this place. Some of our men had just returned

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          73

from long scouting expeditions. They were weary with march-

ing over the hills in rain and mud, and here was another march

without sleeping. It was borne cheerfully--the men supposing

it was to meet an enemy.

  We find this a lovely spot, superior in some respects to the

scenery about Weston. We have a beautiful camp about one and

one-half miles from the village. There are here parts of five

regiments--all but this from Cincinnati. Men are constantly

arriving, showing the rapid concentration at this point of a large

body of troops. We are ignorant of its purpose, but suppose

it to be for service. We are all so healthy. I meet many Cin-

cinnati friends and enjoy the greetings.

  I received a letter from Uncle, directed to Clarksburg. I sup-

pose that is still the best place to direct my letters. Write often.

Let Uncle know where I am and how lately you have heard

from me. Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


   [August] 22. Thursday.--At our nice camp. P. M. rained

and blew violently. In the midst of it we got orders from Gen-

eral Rosecrans to prepare to march to Beverly. "Early" in the

morning would do. Slept in my wet boots. Wrote home and to

mother and Uncle.

                             BUCKHANNON, August 22, 1861.

   DEAR JIM:--I have written hastily to Mr. Warren.  I hope

he will not be so much disturbed after he reflects on matters.

Have you had a formal application before the governor for a

place? It should be done by yourself or by a friend in person.

 I suppose examination may be required. If so, attend to it. Dr.

Joe is well. We are expecting an enemy soon.


                                               R. B. HAYES.



                  BUCKHANNON, VIRGINIA, August 22, 1861.

  DEAREST:--It is a cold, rainy, dismal night. We are all pre-

paring for an early march. I have made up a large bundle of

duds--all good of course--which must be left here, to be got

possibly some day but not probably. All are cut down to regu-

lation baggage. Many trunks will stop here. A tailor sits on

one end of my cot sewing fixings. All is confusion. The men

are singing jolly tunes. Our colonel takes his half regiment, the

left wing, and half of McCook's Germans, and we push off for

the supposed point of the enemy's approach. We shall stop and

camp at Beverly a while, and then move as circumstances require.

  How are the dear boys ? Will Scott writes me that he goes into

the Kentucky Union regiments.

  Good-bye, darling. Joe wishes to write and wants my pen.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Friday 23.--Clear, bright day; mud and water in the road

but a bracing air and blue sky overhead. Men marched with

spirit. Lovely mountain views and clear mountain streams al-

ways in sight. Camped on the mountainside in the road; no tents

pitched. Colonel and Dr. Joe slept in ambulance. I fixed up our

cots under the blue canopy, near a roaring mountain stream, and

with Adjutant Fisher watched the bright star near the Great Bear,

perhaps one of that constellation, which I conjectured was

Arcturus, until the moon came in sight. Slept in snatches and

was refreshed.

  Saturday 24.--Doctor and I laughed at a soldier who said

it was Saturday. We thought it was Thursday. The finest day's

march yet.  Streams, mountain views, and invigorating air!

Reached Buckhannon [Beverly] at 2 P. M.; greeted by friends

in the Guthries warmly--Captain Erwin, Captain Bense, Cap-

tains Tinker, Clark. Saw Tatem, sick, Charles Richards, Tom

Royse, and others. Danger here; men killed and an enemy com-

ing or  near Cheat  River.     Ambulance  guide  and men of

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          75

"Guthries" killed. We camped on a pretty spot. Captain Mc-

Mullen's howitzers and one-half of McCook's regiment with us

on the march. Ours the only band here.

        BEVERLY, VIRGINIA, August, Saturday, 24 or 23, 1861.

  DEAREST:--Your letters are all directed right--to Clarksburg,

Virginia--got one from you, one from Uncle and one from

Mother with a nice Testament today.

  We marched from Buckhannon as I wrote you; but the rain

stopped, the air was delicious, the mountain scenery beautiful.

We camped at night in the hills without tents. I looked up at

the stars and moon--nothing between me and sky--and thought

of you all. Today had a lovely march in the mountains, was at

the camp of the enemy on Rich Mountain and on the battlefield.

Reached here today. Saw Captain Erwin and friends enough.

It is pleasant. We had one-half of our regiment, one-half of

McCook's German regiment and McMullen's Field Battery. Joe

and I led the column. The Guthrie Greys greeted us hospitably.

Men are needed here, and we were met by men who were very

glad to see us for many reasons. We go to the seat of things in

Cheat Mountain perhaps tomorrow.

  I love you so much. Write about the dear boys and your

kindred--that's enough. Your letter about them is so good.



  P.S.--My favorite horse has come out fine again (Webby

first, I mean) and Webby second is coming out.

  Joe and I vote these two days the happiest of the war. Such

air and streams and mountains and people glad to see us.


                       BEVERLY, VIRGINIA, August 24, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Thank you for the postage stamps.  The

traitors at home, you need not fear.     .  . We are needed

here. Shall march towards the enemy tomorrow again. I am


better pleased with this than with the main army at Washing-

ton. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                                  BEVERLY, August 24, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--Fifty miles further in the mountains. Most

lovely streams and mountains. My tent now looks out on a finer

scene than any yet. Thank you for the Testament. I see war

enough. I prefer to read something else. We expect to move

on soon. We are at the jumping-off place. You will not hear

often now.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Beverly, August 25.  Sunday.--A  cold night.  Clear but

foggy this A. M. No orders to march yet. Good! Provisions

and provender, i. e. rations and forage, scarce and poor. Captain

Clark, a spirited German (Prussian) officer of the "Greys,"

dined us yesterday at Widow What's-her-name's hotel,  Got let-

ters here from Lute, Uncle, and Mother, with a Testament from

Mother. Shall read it "in course"--through I mean; begin


        BEVERLY, VIRGINIA, August 25, 1861, Sunday A. M.

  DEAREST:--Supposing I might have to go on towards Cheat

Mountain this morning, I wrote you a very short note last night

I now write so soon again to show you how much I love you

and how much my thoughts are on the dear ones at home.

  I never enjoyed any business or mode of life as much as I do

this. I really feel badly when I think of several of my intimate

friends who are compelled to stay at home. These marches and

campaigns in the hills of western Virginia will always be among

the pleasantest things I can remember. I know we are in fre-

quent perils, that we may never return and all that, but the

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          77

feeling that I am where I ought to be is a full compensation for

all that is sinister, leaving me free to enjoy as if on a pleasure


  I am constantly reminded of our trip and happiness a year

ago. I met a few days ago in the Fifth Regiment the young

Moore we saw at Quebec, who went with me to see the animals at

Montreal one Sunday. Do you remember the rattlesnakes?

  Young Bradford goes to Cincinnati today.--We have our

troubles in the Twenty-third of course, but it is happiness com-

pared with the Guthries--fine fellows and many fine officers,

but, etc., etc.

  We saw nothing prettier [last year] than the view from my

tent this morning.  McCook's men are half a mile to the right,

McMullen's Battery on the next hill in front of us. The Vir-

ginia Second a half mile in front, and the Guthries to the left.

We on higher ground see them all; then mountains, meadow, and

stream. Nothing wanting but you and the boys.

  I want to say to you it will be impossible often, as we get

further in the hills, to write, and when I do write it will be

only a few lines. Don't think I am getting weaned from

you and home. It is merely the condition of things compels me.

  I saw young Culbertson, looking strong and healthy, Channing

Richards, the Andersons, etc., etc., all ditto. Young Culbertson

is now in a scouting party that is after guerrillas who murdered

some of their men in an ambulance.

  I have got a new boy--a yellow lad in Guthrie Gray uniform,

aged about sixteen, named Theodore Wilson.

  Sunday evening.--Just got orders to go to Huttonsville. Look

on my map of Virginia and you will see it geography style, but the

beautiful scenery you will not see there. We are to be for the

present under General Reynolds, a good officer, and then General

Benham or General Rosecrans.  All good.  The colonel takes our

one-half and the German half of McCook and the battery of

McMullen. The soldiers are singing so merrily tonight. It is

a lovely sweet starlit evening. I rode over to Colonel Sanders-

hoff (I think that is the name of McCook's soldierly and gen-

tlemanly lieutenant-colonel) to tell him about the march, and

from his elevated camp I could see all the camps, "sparkling


and bright." I thought of the night you walked with me about

Camp Chase.

  Good-night. Our most advanced outpost is connected by

telegraph, so that in Cincinnati you will know what happens at

an early date; earlier far than any letter of mine can reach you.

Kisses to all the boys. Love to Grandma and affection enough

for you, dearest.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--It would do mother good to know that I read three

chapters in the Testament she sent me. Send a quarter's worth

of postage stamps in your next.


  Monday evening, August 26.-- Marched today up the beau-

tiful valley, "Tygart's Valley" I believe, to this pretty camp in

the hills, eighteen miles. Saw our general. About forty-five, a

middle-sized, good-looking man, educated at West Point. An

army man, good sense, good talker--General Reynolds. Oh,

what a lovely spot!

                                           August 26, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We are camped somewhere near, I think, the

head of Tygart's Valley, near Cheat Mountain Pass. Several

regiments are in sight, and the enemy under Lee so near that

our outposts have fights with his daily. We are under a capital

general, and are fast getting ready. I think we are safe; if not,

we shall be within a very short time. We expect to stay here

until we or the enemy are whipped, or back out for fear of a

whipping--probably weeks.

  We are in [a] lovely little valley on a fine clear trout stream,

with high mountains on all sides and large trees over us. A per-

fect camp, perfectly protected by entrenchments for miles up the

valley, pickets and scouts in all directions, etc., etc. A telegraph

finished to headquarters of our general from General Rose-

crans' at Clarksburg, and rapid mail carriers daily to the same

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          79

place. For instance, your letter of the 19th was handed to me

at my tent by the courier within half an hour after our arrival


  Glad Fanny is with you. Lee will not whip us unless we

attack him with a force too small. If he attacks us, we are

the best off. The postage stamps are all gone.


                                            R. B. HAYES.

  I got four Fremont Journals.  Much obliged.



                 MOUNTAIN PASS, VIRGINIA,

                        August 26, Monday evening, 8:30

                P.M., after a march of eighteen miles, 1861.

  DEAREST:--You will think me insane, writing so often and

always with the same story: Delighted with scenery and pleas-

ant excitement.

  We are camped tonight in a valley surrounded by mountains

on a lovely stream under great trees. With the Third Ohio,

Thirteenth Indiana, one-half of McCook's Ninth and the Michi-

gan artillery, which Mother remembers passed our house one

Sunday about the last of May, and McMullen's Battery, all in

sight.  Our General Reynolds makes a good impression.  We

are disposed to love him and trust him. We expect to remain

here and hereabouts until the enemy, which is just over the

mountain, either drives us out, which I think he can't do, or

until we are strong enough to attack him. A stay of some weeks,

we suppose.

  What a lovely valley! Joe and I will always stick by Ohio

River water. It must be in the summer chiefly made up of these

mountain streams than which nothing can be purer. Our mails

will come here daily. I got a letter from Uncle delivered at

my tent within half an hour after it was up, dated 19th and

directed as all letters should be, Clarksburg.

  We sent back our band to escort in the Germans who were


three hours behind us. I built a bridge for them, etc., etc. How

polite they were. We like them so much.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  Have the daily Commercial  sent me directed, "Maj. R. B.

Hayes, 23d Ohio Regiment, Clarksburg."


  Tuesday, [August] 27.--Ordered to make a forced march,

without tents, knapsacks, or cooking utensils, to French Creek

by a mountain path scarcely practicable for horsemen.  At about

3 P. M. set out. I led the column afoot, Captain Sperry on

Webby. Reached a river over the mountain after dark; kindled

fires and slept on ground. Thirteen miles.

  Wednesday, 28.--A long march over a bad path--thirty

miles--to French Creek, or Scotchtown. Boarded with Mrs.

Farrell. A fine Union settlement. Forty years ago a Massa-

chusetts colony came here, and their thrift, morality, and patriot-

ism are the salt of this region. Slept in tent of Culbertson and

Lieutenant--of Captain Remley's Fifth Regiment. Noble

and generous treatment from them.

  Thursday, 29.--Moved into the Presbyterian church to await

our tents and train.

  Friday, 30.--Last night Dr. Joe and I did our best to house

in Mrs. Sea's barn (a good Union lady, two sons in the army),

the Germans of the Ninth, who lay in the mud, without shelter.

Spent today in a jolly way, resting.

            FRENCH CREEK, August 30, 1861, Friday Night.

  DEAREST:--"The best laid schemes of mice and men," etc.,

especially in war. That beautiful camp at the head of the valley,

where we were to stay so long, had just been gotten into fine

order, when the order to leave came:  "Make a forced march

to French Creek by a mountain path, leaving tents, baggage, and

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          81

knapsacks to be sent you." We obeyed, and are yet alive. A

queer life. We are now as jolly as if we never saw trouble or

hardship. Two nights ago and three nights ago we lay in the

rain in the woods without shelter, blankets, and almost without

food, and after such hard days' toil that we slept on the moun-

tains as soundly as logs. All the horses used up, Uncle Joe's

Birch among the rest, except my pretty little sorrel, Webby,

which came through better than ever.

  Let me describe my kit:  Portmanteau containing two pair

socks, one shirt, a towel containing bread and sugar, a tin cup,

a pistol in one holster and ammunition in the other, a blanket

wrapped in the India-rubber you fixed, and a blue (soldier's)

overcoat. Seven miles we made after 2:30 P. M. on a good road

to Huttonsville, then by a bridle-path part of the way and no

path the rest, following a guide six miles over a steep, muddy,

rocky mountain. At the foot of the mountain I put Captain

Sperry, who was footsore, on Webby, and pushed ahead afoot.

I could see we would not get over the mountain to a stream we

wished to camp on until after night, unless we pushed. I put on

ahead of [the] guide and reached the top with Lieutenant Botts-

ford, the keen-eyed snare-drummer, Gillett (Birch remembers

him, I guess), a soldier, and the guide alone in sight. We waited

till the head of the column came in sight, got full instructions

from the guide, directed him to wait for the column, and leaving

him, re-enforced, however, by the silver cornet player, we hurried

down. In half an hour it was dark as tar. I led the little party

blundering sometimes, but in the main, right, until we could hear

the river. Long before we reached it, all sound of the column was

lost, and the way was so difficult that we agreed they could not

get down until daylight. We got to the river at 9:15 with three

matches and a Fremont Journal to kindle fire with, no overcoats

and no food. It was a wet night. Didn't we scratch about and

whittle to get dry kindling, and weren't we lucky to get it and

start a great fire with the first precious match?

  Now for the column: It reached almost over the mountain

single file. 1st, Pioneers under a sergeant, ten men; 2nd, Lieu-

tenant Smith with advance guard of thirty men; 3d, Colonel

Scammon and the five companies, Twenty-third; 4th, Captain



McMullen and his four mountain howitzers and mules and

eighty men; 5th, Lieutenant-Colonel Sandershoff with five com-

panies of McCook's regiment. The head of the column got

down to us to our surprise at 10 P. M. McMullen gave it up

at 11 P. M. half-way up the mountain, and the Germans were

below him. The next day we toiled on thirteen and a half hours'

actual marching over the hills to this place, thirty miles. About

three hundred of our men reached here at 8 P.M.--dark,

muddy, rainy, and dismal--hungry, no shelter, nothing. Three

companies of the Fifth under Captain Remley (part of Colonel

Dunning's Continentals) were here. They took us in, fed us,

piled hay, built fires, and worked for us until midnight like

beavers, and we survived the night. Our men will always bless

the Cincinnati Fifth. A friend of the doctor's, Davis, named

Culbertson, looked after [me] and Dick Wright and others

took care of Joe. Those who seemed unable to keep up, I began

to order into barns and farmhouses about 6:30 o'clock. The

last six miles was somewhat settled and I took care of the rear.

  In the morning we found ourselves in a warm-hearted Union

settlement. We got into a Presbyterian church. We made head-

quarters at a Yankee lady's and fared sumptuously; but Mc-

Mullen and the Germans were still behind. They got in twenty-

four hours after us in another dark wet night. Dr. Joe was in

his glory. He and I took charge of the Germans. They were

completely used up.  The worst off we took into a barn of Mrs.

Sea. I mention the old lady's name for she has two sons and

a son-in-law in the Union army of Virginia and gave us all she

had for the Germans. We got through the night work about 12

M. [midnight] and today have enjoyed hugely the comparing

notes, etc., etc. Our tents reached us just now, and I am writing

in mine. The colonel was used up; Joe and I are the better for

it. The move is supposed to be to meet the enemy coming in

by a different route. We march on tomorrow but on good roads

(reasonably so) and with tents and rations.

  I love you so much. Kisses for all the boys and Grandma.

Good night.


             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          83

  Tell Mother, Uncle, Laura, etc., that I get all letters, papers,

Testament, etc., that are sent. I have lost nothing, I am sure.

Such things are carefully forwarded from Clarksburg.

  I am in command of the battalion and write this in the bustle

of pitching tents preparatory to marching again as soon as

fairly settled.


  Saturday, [August] 31,--Mustered today.  I called the roll of

our five companies and of McMullen's Battery.

  Sunday, 1 [September].--Drummed three men (youngsters)

out of Captain Drake's company, by [the] colonel's order.  The

men all approve it but it makes me sick.  The boys all probably

confirmed thieves before they joined the army, but it makes me

sick. Also sent back a waggon-master and drivers.  This pleased

me.  The rascals refused to drive further unless certain con-

ditions were complied with.  Sent off, all right!  Took  the

mutinous waggon-master off his horse.

  Tuesday, September 2 [3].--Twelve miles from Walkersville

to Bulltown. Found McCook and had a good time with him.

  Wednesday,  3  [4].--Saw  General  Rosecrans  and  staff.

Caught our guard without a salute. We go with him south today. A

good time with McCook and his Ninth. Marched from Bulltown

to Flatwoods on road to  Sutton, about ten or eleven miles.

Camped on a hill with Captain Canby's Company F of our right

wing and Captain Moore's Company I, ditto. How pleasant to

meet them after our long (five weeks) separation. They have

had troubles, hard marches, and fun; one man shot resisting a

corporal, two men in irons for a rape, and one man arrested for

sleeping on post (third offence penalty death!)

   BULLTOWN, September 3, [4], 1861.  Wednesday Morning.

  DEAREST:--Let me say first that the army mail arrangement is

perfect. All letters are got promptly here. We march forty or


sixty miles to a new point.  We are hardly stopped at our des-

tination on a sidehill, in a wood or meadow, before a courier

steps up and hands us, privates and all, letters just from Clarks-

burg. For instance, we are seventy miles over mountains from

our last camping place. I had not got off of Webby before a

fellow came up, "Are you the Major?" and handed me a letter

from you, 27th, from Mother, 26th, from Uncle, 26th, and half

a dozen others all late. The same thing is happening all the


  We have had a forced march without tents, cooking utensils,

or knapsacks over a mountain road--bridle path.  I came out

first best.  All the horses injured except Webby. . . .

  Good time here. McCook gathered his whole regiment. They

serenaded us and we them. The Ninth and Twenty-third swear

by each other.  They Dutch, we Yankees.  General Rosecrans

takes command here. We go south to Sutton, etc., until we

meet the enemy. Shall not write often now.

  Good-bye. Blessings, love, and kisses for all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                        BULLTOWN, September 3, [4], 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--All your letters come safely; got one of the

26th yesterday. Mail facilities coming this way are perfect.

  We are now under General Rosecrans in person going south

toward Summersville, through Sutton, until we meet the enemy

unless he leaves western Virginia. Unless overwhelming[ly]

superior in numbers, we shall beat him, accidents always ex-

cepted. Our numbers are not, perhaps, as great as we would

wish, but you must remember we are over one hundred miles

from a railroad and bad roads (not very bad) to haul supplies.

It is physically impossible to supply a very large army without

a very long preparation.  The wagon-trains would actually im-

pede each other, if you were to attempt to crowd too fast,

faster than we are now doing.

  Take it easy, we shall clean them out in time, if the people

at home will hold on and be persevering and patient.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          85

  We have had the severest experience soldiers are required to

bear, except a defeat; viz, forced marches without shelter, food,

or blankets over mountain bridle-paths, in the night and rain.

Many fail. My little horse came out well and sound again, the

best in the regiment.  The doctor's gave out and was left.  I

gain strength and color; a little flesh perhaps.  Never before

so healthy and stout.  You will hear first of our welfare in the

[Cincinnati] Commercial.  Their "special correspondent" wrote

a letter in my tent this A. M. Good-bye.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                     ON ROAD TO SUTTON, SOUTH FROM

                            WESTON, September 3 [4], 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--We  are having great times with forced

marches over the hills. It agrees with me. I get all letters by

couriers very promptly. . . .

  We go south under General Rosecrans. All things look en-

couragingly. We meet friends constantly and unexpectedly. . . .

On Sunday we had church in camp, with a Presbyterian Con-

gregation of Yankees who came here forty-five years ago. We

occupied their church for shelter. They treated us most hospit-

ably. All from Massachusetts and retaining the thrift, morality,

and loyalty of their native State, or rather of the State of their

fathers, for most of them were born here.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


      SUTTON, OR SUTTONVILLE, VIRGINIA, September 5, 1861.

  DEAREST:--We are in another camp of fine views. This is

the last stronghold of our army as we advance toward the enemy.

We are now part of an army of from six to eight thousand and

are pushing towards an advancing enemy stronger in numbers,

it is said. Some time will perhaps elapse before we meet, but we

are pretty certain to meet unless the enemy withdraws. This,


I think, they will do. I like the condition of things. Our force,

although not large, is of good  regiments for the most part:

McCook's Ninth, Colonel Smith's Thirteenth, Lytle's Tenth

(Irish), are all here; also Colonel Moor's Twenty-eighth (Mark-

breit's regiment), Colonel Lowe's Twelfth, our regiment, and

Colonel Porshner's Forty-ninth (Wilstach regiment) coming;

also one part company of Regulars; four companies artillery,

four companies cavalry. An army about as large as can well

manoeuvre in these mountains. General Rosecrans is in com-

mand in person with General Benham of the Regular Army to

second him. We are camped on both sides of Elk River, con-

nected by a beautiful suspension bridge. Camps on high hills;

fortifications on all the summits. "A gay and festive scene," as

Artemus Ward would say, especially about sundown when three

or four fine bands are playing in rivalry.

  Elk River empties into Kanawha, so that the water now drip-

ping from my tent will pass you, perhaps, about a fortnight

hence; the clearest, purest water it is too. From the tops of the

high hills you can see the rocks in the river covered by ten or

twenty feet of water. Nothing finer in Vermont or New Hamp-


  I have just got a letter from Dr. James [D. Webb]. Say to

him, let all my letters be opened, and if any are important, send

them; otherwise, not, unless from some especial friend. Send

me some stamps and tell me how you are off for cash. We ex-

pect to be paid soon; if so, I can send you some three hundred

to six hundred dollars.

  We are to have a bore here in a few days--a court-martial

on some officer in the Tenth or Twelfth, and I am to be judge-

advocate, unless I can diplomatize out of it, which I hope to do.

  We got today papers from Cincinnati--the Times of the 28th

and the Commercial of the 2d.  Think of it; only three days old!

It has rumors that General Rosecrans is captured. Well, not

quite. He is in good health, and the Twenty-third Regiment is

his especial guard. No force can get him here without passing

my tent.

  Among the interesting things in camp are the boys. You recol-

lect the boy in Captain McIlrath's company; we have another

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          87

like unto him in Captain Woodward's. He ran away from Norwalk

to Camp Dennison; went into the Fifth, then into the Guthries,

and as we passed their camp, he was pleased with us, and now

is "a boy of the Twenty-third." He drills, plays officer, soldier,

or errand boy, and is a curiosity in camp. We are getting dogs

too, some fine ones; almost all the captains have horses and a few

mules have been "realized"--that's the word--from Secession-


  It is clearing off, so we shall be happy again. I am sorry you

are unwell. Don't get down-spirited. We shall get through and

come home again. Love and kisses for all the boys. Affectionate

regards to Grandma. Jim's letters will be very acceptable. Good-

bye, darling.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--If you could see the conveniences  (?) I have for

writing, you would see how such a scrawl as this becomes a

possibility. I have found out the day of the week and month;

it is Thursday, the 5th September, 1861.


  Friday, [September] 5 [6].--As judge-advocate, with Gen-

eral Benham, Colonels Scammon, Smith, et al., I tried two cases.

J. W. Trader, etc.

  Saturday, 6 [7].--Marched to Birch River.

  Sunday, 7 or 8.--As officer of the day, I rode all day--

up Birch, crossing it forty times and going fifty to sixty miles.

Rode out to pickets with General Benham.

  Monday, 9.--Marched  over Powell Mountain and camped

eight miles from Summersville. Enemy near us; a battle to

come soon.

  Tuesday, 10.--Marched seventeen miles, drove enemies' pick-

ets out of Summersville, followed nine miles to Gauley river.

Enemy entrenched on a hill, high, steep, and hidden by bushes,

three to six thousand strong.  We get ready to attack.  We

have been divided into three brigades: First, General Ben-


ham's,  consisting of Tenth  (Colonel Lytle's Irish),  Twelfth

(Colonel Lowe's), and Thirteenth (Colonel Smith's) regiments;

Second,  Colonel  McCook's--the  Ninth,  Twenty-eighth,  and

Forty-ninth; Third,--Twenty-third and Thirtieth and Mack's

Battery.  McMullen's Battery attached to McCook.  Stewart's

Cavalry, West's to headquarters, and Schaumbeck's Cavalry to


  First Brigade led the attack.  We  stood near half an hour

listening to the heavy cannon and musketry, then were called

to form in line of battle.  My feelings were not different from

what I have often felt before beginning an important lawsuit.

As we waited for our turn to form, we joked a great deal.

Colonel Matthews, Scammon, Captains Drake and Woodward,

and privates--all were jolly and excited by turns.

  Finally our turn came. I was told to take four companies

and follow one of General Rosecrans' staff.  I promptly called

off Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth companies. We marched

over a hill and through a cornfield; the staff officer and myself

leading on, until we reached the brow of a high hill overlooking

the Gauley River and perhaps three-quarters of a mile from the

entrenchments of the enemy. He [the officer] then said to me

that I was to be on the extreme left of our line and to march

forward guided by the enemy's guns, that he had no special

orders to give, that I was an officer and must use my own judg-

ment. He never had been over the ground I was to pass over;

thought the enemy might retreat that way.

  I marched to the wood; found it a dense laurel thicket on the

side of a steep hill, rocky and cavernous; at the bottom a ravine

and river and up the opposite hill seemed to be the enemy. I

formed the four companies into order of battle, told them to

keep together and follow me; in case of separation to push

forward in the direction of the declining sun and when the firing

could be heard to be guided by it. I handed my horse to one of

the unarmed musicians, and drawing my sword crept, pushed,

and struggled rapidly down the hill. When I reached the bottom

but four or five of Company K (Captain Howard) were in sight.

Soon men of Captain Zimmerman's came up and soon I gathered

the major part of the four companies. I had sent Captain Wood-

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          89

ward and twenty scouts or skirmishers ahead; they were among

the unseen.

  By this time it was getting late. I formed a line again extend-

ing from the river up the hill and facing towards the enemy,

as we supposed.  The firing had ceased except scattered shots.

We pushed slowly up, our right up hill, where I was soon en-

countered  [by]  the Twenty-eighth--lost.  Had  a laugh and

greeting with Markbreit who was on the left of the Twenty-

eighth (he was my partner).  The head of my column was near

enough to be fired on.  Two were wounded, others hit; none

seriously hurt. The face of the hill on which the enemy was

posted was towards precipitous rock.  We  could only reach

them by moving to the right in front of the Twenty-eighth,

Forty-seventh, and Thirteenth.

  I have heard nothing clear or definite of the position, either

of the enemy or ourselves.  The above [drawing]  is no doubt

very erroneous, but is my guess. I got up nearer than anybody

except the Tenth and Twelfth but was down a steep hill or

precipice and concealed. Some of my men bore to the right and

pushing in front of the Twenty-eighth and Forty-seventh mixed

with the Thirteenth. It soon got dark; all firing ceased. I drew

off single file, Captain Sperry leading; got up the hill just at

complete dark; found messengers ordering us to return to the

rest of our regiment, on the extreme right. Some thirty of my

men were missing--Captain Woodward, Lieutenant Rice, etc.,

etc. I left ten sentinels along the brow of the hill to direct them

where to find us. The greater part soon overtook us. We

marched  through  lost  fragments  of  regiments--Germans

mostly, some Irish, talking of the slaughter, until we got into

an old field near our regiment. There we waited. Nobody

seemed nervous or anxious--all wishing for light. Talked

with McCook who criticized the orders, but was in good tem-

per; had lost three horses. Finally found our regiment and

all marched off to bivouac. In the morning great cheering near

the fort. Enemy had run away in a panic by a road over the

hill back of their works, leaving flag, etc.



                                       September 11, 1861.

  DEAR LUCY:--Well, darling, we have had our first battle, and

the enemy have fled precipitately. I say "we," although it is

fair to say that our brigade, consisting of the Twenty-third, the

Thirtieth (Colonel Ewing), and Mack's Battery had little or

nothing to do, except to stand as a reserve. The only exception

to this was four companies of the Twenty-third, Captains Sperry,

Howard, Zimmerman, and Woodward, under my command, who

were detailed to make an independent movement.  I had one man

wounded and four others hit in their clothing and accoutrements.

You will have full accounts of the general fight in the papers.

My little detachment did as much real work--hard work--as

anybody. We crept down and up a steep rocky mountain, on our

hands and knees part of the time, through laurel thickets almost

impenetrable, until dark. At one time I got so far ahead in the

struggle that I had but three men. I finally gathered them by

a halt, although a part were out all night. We were near half

an hour listening to the cannon and musketry, waiting for our

turn to come.

  You have often heard of the feelings of men in the interval

between the order of battle and the attack. Matthews, myself,

and others were rather jocose in our talk, and my actual feeling

was very similar to what I have when going into an important

trial--not different nor more intense. I thought of you and the

boys and the other loved ones, but there was no such painful

feeling as is sometimes described. I doubted the success of the

attack and with good reason and in good company. The truth

is, our enemy is very industrious and ingenious in contriving

ambuscades and surprises and entrenchments but they lack pluck.

They expect to win, and too often do win, by superior strategy

and cunning. Their entrenchments and works were of amazing

extent. During the whole fight we rarely saw a man. Most of

the firing was done at bushes and log and earth barricades.

  We withdrew at dark, the attacking brigades having suffered

a good deal from the enemy and pretty severely from one of

those deplorable mistakes which have so frequently happened in

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          91

this war--viz.,  friends attacking friends.  The  Tenth  and

Twenty-eighth (Irish and Second German of Cincinnati) fired on

each other and charged doing much mischief. My detachment

was in danger from the same cause. I ran upon the Twenty-

eighth, neither seeing the other until within a rod. We mutually

recognized, however, although it was a mutual surprise. It so

happened, curiously enough, that I was the extreme right man

of my body and Markbreit the left man of his. We had a jolly

laugh and introductions to surrounding officers as partners, etc.

  The enemy were thoroughly panic-stricken by the solid volleys

of McCook's Ninth and the rifled cannon of Smith's Thirteenth.

The Tenth suffered most. The enemy probably began their flight

by a secret road soon after dark, leaving flag, ammunition, trunks,

arms, stores, etc., etc., but no dead or wounded. Bowie knives,

awful to look at, but no account in war; I have one. One

wagon-load of family stuff--a good Virginia plain family--

was left. They were spinning, leaving rolls of wool, knitting,

and making bedquilts.  I enclose a piece; also a pass--all queer.

  They [the enemy] crossed the Gauley River and are said to be

fortifying on the other side. We shall probably pursue. Indeed,

Colonel Matthews and [with] four of our companies is now

dogging them. We shall probably fight again but not certainly.

  I have no time to write to other friends. The men are now

talking to me. Besides, I want to sleep. Dearest, I think of

you and the dear ones first, last, and all the time. I feel much

encouraged about the war; things are every way looking better.

We are in the midst of the serious part of a campaign. Good-

bye, dearest. Pass this letter around--bad as it is. I have no

time to write to all. I must sleep. On Sunday last, I rode nine-

teen hours, fifty to sixty miles, crossed a stream with more water

than the Sandusky at this season at Mr. Valette's from thirty to

forty times--wet above my knees all the time and no sleep for

thirty-six hours; so "excuse haste and a bad pen", as Uncle says.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--Joe and his capital assistants are trumps.




                     SUTTON, VIRGINIA, September 14, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I have no time to write letters.        We  are

getting on finely. Our battle on the 10th at Gauley River, you

have no doubt heard all about. Nothing but night prevented our

getting Floyd and his whole army.  As it was, we entirely

demoralized them; got all their camp equipage even to their

swords, flag, and trunks (one of the best of which the general

gave me). I had an important and laborious part assigned me.

An independent command of four companies to be the extreme

left of our attacking column. We worked down and up a

steep rocky mountain covered with a laurel thicket. I got close

enough just at dark to get two men wounded and four others

struck in their garments.

  This is not a dangerous business; after tremendous firing of

cannon and musketry, we lost only thirteen killed, about fifteen

badly wounded and fifty or sixty slightly wounded. The enemy

are no match for us in fair fighting. They feel it and so do

our men. We marched rapidly seventeen miles, reaching their

vicinity at 2:30 or 3 P. M. We immediately were formed and

went at them. They were evidently appalled. I think not many

were killed. Governor Floyd was wounded slightly.

  On yesterday morning I was sent on a circuitous march to

head off parties hastening to join Wise or Floyd. Four com-

panies of my regiment, two companies of Colonel Ewing's, and

a squadron of Chicago cavalry are under my command. We

marched up Gauley River to Hughes Ferry. There we were

fired on by a lot of guerrillas concealed in rocks. It was more

dangerous than the battle.  Three of us who were mounted

and in advance were decidedly objects of attention, but for-

tunately none were hit. We chased them off, getting only one.

  I am now here relieving a small party of our folks who are

entrenched and who have been in constant dread of an attack.

We are without tents and expect to return to the battle-ground

in six days.

  In the battle only one commissioned officer was killed, Colonel

Lowe. One acquaintance of yours, Stephen McGroarty, an

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          93

Irish Democratic orator, formerly of Toledo, now of Cincin-

nati (a captain), was shot through the body, but kept on his

feet until the fight was stopped by the darkness. He will recover.

One of my comforts is that my horse has come out in better

plight than ever. I think he never looked so well and spirited

as he did today as we marched over Birch Mountain.

  If no disaster overtakes us at Washington, we shall soon

see signs of yielding by the South. The letters, diaries, etc.,

etc., found in Floyd's trunks and desks, show that their situa-

tion is desperate. Thousands are in their army who are heartily

sick of the whole business.

  We retook a large part of the plunder taken from Colonel

Tyler as well as prisoners. The prisoners had been well treated,

very. The young men in Floyd's army of the upper class are

kind-hearted, good-natured fellows, who are [as] unfit as pos-

sible for the business they are in. They have courage but no

endurance, enterprise, or energy. The lower class are cowardly,

cunning, and lazy. The height of their ambition is to shoot a

Yankee from some place of safety.

  My regards to all. Send this to Mother and Lucy.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--The enclosed picture of a lieutenant in the army we

routed is for Laura.



                     MERSVILLE, Sunday, September 15, 1861.

  DEAREST:--We are as happy and care-for-nothing [a] set of

fellows here today as you could find anywhere. I have now for a

while an independent command of four companies, Twenty-

third, Captain Moore, Captain Lovejoy, Woodward, and Drake,

two companies of the Thirtieth and a squadron of the Chicago

Dragoons. We are now about thirty miles from the battlefield,

heading off (if there are any, which I doubt), reinforcements

for the enemy. The men are jolly, the anxieties of the battle


all forgotten. We seem to be in most prosperous circumstances.

I shall rejoin the main army in three or four days.

  You have heard about the fight. It was a very noisy but not

dangerous affair. . . .   Where I was a few balls whistled

forty or fifty feet over our heads. The next day, however,

with Captain Drake's company I got into a little skirmish with

an outpost and could see that the captain and myself were

actually aimed at, the balls flying near enough but hurting no-

body. The battle scared and routed the enemy prodigiously. . . .

  I hardly think we will [shall] have another serious fight.

Possibly, Wise and Floyd and Lee may unite and stiffen up

the Rebel back in this quarter. If so we shall fight them. But

if not encouraged by some success near Washington, they are

pretty well flattened out in this region. We shall be busy with

them for a few weeks, but as I remarked, unless we meet with

some serious disaster near Washington, they will not, I think,

have heart enough to make a stiff battle.

  My "Webby," tell the boys, pricked up his ears and pranced

when he heard the cannon and volleys of musketry. He is in

excellent condition.

  Dr. Joe and McCurdy were very busy with the sick and

wounded during and after the battle. Our troops who were

taken from Colonel Tyler and retaken by us say they were very

well treated by the enemy. McCurdy is now with me. Colonel

Scammon couldn't spare Joe.

  The last week has been the most stirring we have had during

the war. If in all quarters things go on as well as here we

shall end the war sometime. The captured letters show that

Governor Floyd's army were getting tired of the business.

  Did I tell you General Benham gave me an awful bowie

knife and General Rosecrans a trunk out of the enemy's spoil?

The last much needed.

  Well, dearest, this is one of the bright days in this work.

I am prepared for all sorts of days. There will be dark ones

of course, but I suspect there is a gradual improvement which

will continue with occasional drawbacks until we are finally

successful. Love and kisses for all. Good-bye, darling.

                       Affectionately,        R. B. HAYES.

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          95

  P.S.--Captain McMullen who was wounded is well enough

for another battle. Since writing in comes a mail carrier out

on this road and your letter of the 5th and postage stamps is

in his budget. So I put a stamp on it and if I had another

envelope would direct it again.

  Tell Webb that my pretty horse is the original Camp Chase

"Webby," the finest horse in the regiment. I tried one or two

others, but Webb plucked up and beats them all.

  Glad, very, you are at home and happy. We are here happy,

too. This is all Cincinnati nearly--this army. Yes, Joe, is a

great favorite with the colonel and with all. The colonel leans

upon [him] entirely. He is really surgeon of the brigade and

should Colonel Scammon be a brigadier, Dr. Joe will become

his brigade surgeon permanently.  All glad to get letters.  I

love you so much. Good-bye.




  September 19.--Offered the place of judge-advocate general

by General Rosecrans. Have served in five cases--[on the]

5th and 6th at Sutton, 16th, 17th and 18th at Cross Lanes (also

the 12th)--and a few days between those dates preparing re-

ports of proceedings.


                  SUMMERSVILLE, VIRGINIA, September 19,

                                   Thursday A. M., [1861].

  DEAREST:--I fear you do not get the letters I have written

the last ten days, as we are out of the reach of mail facilities.

I got your letter of the 5th about forty miles north of here out

of a waggon-train that I stopped. You can always know of my

welfare from the correspondence in the Gazette and [the] Com-

mercial. They are informed directly from headquarters. I see

their correspondents daily. Colonel Scammon being at the head of

a brigade (a very little one), Colonel Matthews commands our


regiment.  On the day of the fight, and most of the time since,

I have had an independent command.  Most [of] the time al-

most a regiment, made up from our regiment, the Thirtieth, and

small parties of cavalry. I have thus far been the sole judge-

advocate also of this army; so I am very busy.  We tried three

cases yesterday. It is a laborious and painful business. And

after writing so much I would not write you but for my anxiety

to have you know how much I think of and love you.  Love and

kisses to all the boys.

  My impression is that the enemy has left our bailiwick en-

tirely, but there are rumors of re-enforcements, etc., etc. If so,

we shall have another fight within ten days.  With anything like

management and decent luck, we shall surely beat them. But

there is a great deal of accident in this thing.  Not enough to

save them unless they do better than heretofore.

  Dr. Joe is well. All of us getting thin and tough. Matthews

has lost twenty-five pounds, Dr. Joe five pounds. I have lost

five to eight. The soldiers generally from ten to twenty pounds.

I never was so stout and tough. You need not send my pants

unless you see somebody coming direct or get a chance with Mr.

Schooley's things. I am well fixed. Dr. McDermott is here,

one week from Ohio. We now get news by way of Kanawha in

two days from Cincinnati.

  You need have no fear of my behaviour in fight. I don't know

what effect new dangers might have on my nerves, but the other

day I was several minutes under a sharp guerrilla fire--aimed

particularly at Captain Drake and myself (being on horseback),

so I know somewhat of my capacity. It is all right. In the noisy

battle, for it was largely noise, none of our regiment was under

fire except the extreme right wing of my little command; two

were wounded, and I could hear the balls whistle away up in the

air fifty feet over my head; but it amounted to nothing. A por-

tion of Colonel Lytle's men caught nearly all the danger, and

they were under a very severe fire.

  It is beautiful weather--lovely moonlight nights. A great

many well cultivated farms; plenty of fruit, vegetables, and food.

Good-bye again. The paymaster is expected soon. I shall be

able to send you lots of money if he does [come], as I now

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          97

spend next to nothing. Kisses for all. Dearest, I love you

so much.



  P.S.--This letter is so incoherent by reason of interruptions.

Joe wants me to say that we had peaches and cream just now.


                          CROSS LANES, September 19, 1861.

  DEAREST:--It is a lovely moonlight evening.  I mailed you

a letter this morning, but as Lieutenant Wall of Captain McIl-

rath's company has resigned to go with the navy, and will go

to Cincinnati tomorrow, I thought I would say a word further

while our band plays its finest tattoo tunes. They are sweet,

very. You see by the enclosed the scrape I am in. I have

tried four or five cases on general orders, and here comes an

order making me permanently a J. A. [judge-advocate].  It is

not altogether agreeable.    I shall get out of it after a while

somehow. For the present I obey. It is pleasant in one re-

spect as showing that in my line I have done well.  Lieutenant

Wall will, I hope, call and see you. He is a good soldier and

we  are sorry to lose him.     If this reaches you before other

letters from here and Birch River, you may know  that two

older and longer ones are after you.

  One thing in the new appointment: If I can't get out of it,

you may see me one of these days, sooner than you otherwise

would, as it confers some privileges, and that would be sweet.

Love to all.


                                                R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--We hear tonight of the death of Colonel Lorin An-

drews at Kenyon.*  We feel it more deeply than in most cases.

  *Lorin Andrews born at Ashland, Ohio, April 1, 1819. Studied law,

but soon gave up the practice to devote himself to work of education.

He was President of Kenyon College at the outbreak of the war and

was the first man in Ohio to offer his services to the country.  He was

colonel of the Fourth O. V. I. in the first campaign of the war and

"died, a martyr to the Union, September 18, 1861."


He was my classmate--a fellow student of Colonel Matthews.

He took a great interest in our efforts to get a place in the war,

and rejoiced with us when we got a fine regiment. McCook

gave me Andrews' spurs when he left for home, to wear until

his return. Alas! we are not to see him. He was an earnest,

true man.  Hail and farewell!  We have been so full of humor

tonight and this saddens us. Good-bye again, dearest.

  MRS. HAYES.                                              R.

                     CROSS LANES, NEAR GAULEY RIVER,

                      SOUTH OF SUMMERSVILLE, VIRGINIA,

                                        September 19, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I am in the best possible health. Since the

retreat of the enemy I have been too busy to write. You must

look in the correspondence of the Commercial or Gazette for

my welfare. If I should lose a little toe, it will be told there

long before a letter from me would reach [you]. Their cor-

respondents send by telegraph and couriers every day from this

army. Their accounts, making proper allowance for sensa-

tional exaggeration, are pretty truthful.

  Dr. Joe and his assistant performed their duty and the duty

of about half a dozen other surgeons during and after the fight.

Everybody was well cared for--even the enemy.  The number

of killed and badly wounded did not exceed twenty-five; other

wounds about seventy-five, mostly very slight. The suffering

is not great. Gunshot wounds are accompanied with a numb-

ness which relieves the wounded.      Laura's bandages figured


  We are now enjoying ourselves very much; beautiful weather;

fine fruit, vegetables, and other food, also pretty nights. Love

to all.

                   Affectionately your son,

                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P.S.--You must excuse my short letter.        I have a pro-

digious amount of writing to do. I am acting judge-advocate

and have tried five cases lately.--H.


             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          99

  September 20.--I am  ordered to the place of judge-advo-

cate and to be attached to headquarters. I dislike the serv-

ice but must obey, of course. I hope to be released after a

few weeks' service. In the meantime I will try to qualify my-

self for an efficient discharge of my new duties. I agree with

General Rosecrans that courts-martial may be made very serv-

iceable in promoting discipline in the army.  I shall try to

introduce method and system into the department. I will keep

a record of cases, collect a list of sentences proper for different

cases, etc., etc.

  September 21, 1861.--Equinoctial storm today.  Our regi-

ment does not move. I am getting ready for my new quarters

and duties. Just got ready for bed; a dark, dismal, rainy night.

Visited the hospital tonight. Saw several of Colonel Tyler's

men who were wounded and taken prisoners in his surprise a

month ago and were retaken by us after the fight at Carnifax

Ferry. Intelligent men from Oberlin, one Orton; one from

Cleveland. They have suffered much but are in good spirits.

The enemy boasted that they would soon drive us out and would

winter in Cincinnati.

  September 22. Sunday.--Cold, raw, and damp--probably

will rain. I must get two flannel or thick shirts with collars,

also one or two pairs of thick gloves.

              CROSS LANES, VIRGINIA, September 22, [1861].

                         Sunday morning, before breakfast.

  DEAREST:--It is a cold, drizzly, suicidal morning. The equi-

noctial seems to be a severe storm.        Part of our force has

crossed [the] Gauley to operate in conjunction with General

Cox who is near us. The enemy have retreated in a broken

and disheartened condition twenty or thirty miles to near Lewis-

burg. Unless largely reinforced, they will hardly make another

stand. The first fair day our regiment will cross [the] Gauley

and the rest will follow as weather permits. We have such a

long line of transportation and as the wet fall months are at

hand, I suspect we shall not attempt to go further than Lewis-


burg, possibly to the White Sulphur Springs, before we go into

winter quarters.

  You know I am ordered to be attached to headquarters. As

soon as my regiment moves they will leave me. This is hard,

very. I shall feel badly enough when they march off without

me. There are some things pleasant about it, however. In

the first place, I shall probably not be kept away more than a

month or two before I shall be relieved. Then, I shall be in

much more immediate communication with you. I can at any

time, if need be, dispatch you; so you are within an hour of me.

I shall travel a good deal and may possibly go to Ohio. I

began my new duties by trying to do a good thing. I have

sent for Channing Richards to be my clerk. He is a private

in the Guthries. Enough said. If he comes as he is ordered

to by the general, and as no doubt he will, I can easily see how

his education, brought to notice as it will be, will get him into

the way of promotion. I have also a soldier of the Twenty-

third, who has been a sailor, an ostler, and a cook, and will be

able to look after me in his several capacities.

  The wounded are all doing well. The number now in the

hospital is small. The doctor has been getting discharges or

furloughs for our sick. The rest are getting hardened to this

life and I hope we shall continue healthy. Colonel Matthews

has been slightly, or even worse, sick, not so as to confine him

to his quarters except one morning. His health generally has

been excellent. The "poor blind soldier," as Birtie called him,

is perfectly well again.

  It is coming out a bright warm day. Weather is a great matter

in camp. A man so healthy and independent of weather as I

am can keep up spirits in bad weather; but [to] a camp full,

on wet ground, under wet tents, hard to get food, hard to cook

it, getting homesick, out of money, out of duds, weather be-

comes an important thing.

  Speaking of duds, I ought to have a neckerchief, a pair of

officers' thick gloves, two soldiers' shirts with collars, flannel

collars same as the shirt. I have worn but one white shirt in

two months, and as only one of my thick shirts has a collar,

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA --1861          101

I am more or less bored for the want of them. I shall get

soldiers' shirts by the first arrival.

  Love to the dear boys.  I am hoping to send you money soon.

If the paymaster will only come! Love to all the rest as well and

bushels for your own dear self.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P. S.-- Dr. Clendenin arrived today and is brigade surgeon

of our (Colonel Scammon's) brigade. This pleases Joe and all.

We are lucky in doctors. Colonel Scammon says, "No doubt

Dr. Clendenin is a good man, but I would prefer Dr. Webb."


        CROSS LANES, VIRGINIA, Sunday, September 22, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:-- . . . We are waiting for good weather

to go in pursuit of the enemy.  Unless some calamity occurs to

us at Washington, so as to enable the Rebels to reinforce Wise

and Floyd, I do not think they will fight us again. We shall

probably not pursue more than forty miles to Lewisburg or

White Sulphur Springs, and then our campaign closes for the

season. You see, probably, that I am appointed judge-advo-

cate for the department of the Ohio. This includes the State

of Ohio, and, should I continue to hold the place, I shall prob-

ably be required to go to Columbus and Cincinnati in the course

of my duties. But I shall get out of it, I hope, in a month or so.

It will separate me from my regiment a good deal, and the

increase of pay, about forty or fifty dollars per month, and

increase of honor, perhaps, is no compensation for this separa-

tion. I have acted in all the cases which have arisen in General

Rosecrans' army. I shall be with my regiment soon again, I

hope. While the general is in the same army with them, we

are together, of course. I am constantly interrupted. I am

today in command of the regiment, Colonel Matthews being

unwell, so I am perpetually interrupted. Good-bye.


                                              R. B. HAYES.





                 BURG, CAMP SEWELL, September 25, 1861.

   DEAR L--:-- I am now in General Cox's camp, twenty-five

miles from the Carnifax Ferry. The regiment is back about

twenty miles.  I am  here as J. A. [judge-advocate].        Came

over yesterday.  This camp is on the summit of a high hill or

mountain which affords a most extensive view of mountain

scenery.  The enemy is on a hill about one or two miles from

us under Wise.  Their strength is not known.  Firing continued

between the pickets yesterday a good part of the day. Many

cannon shot and shell also were let off without much result.

One man (Major Hise) slightly wounded on our side. We are

ordered not to fight the enemy, not to attack, I mean, until

General Rosecrans arrives with our regiment and other forces.

McCook is here. If the enemy does not retire, I think there

will be a battle in a few days, but I think they will retreat again.

They left a strongly fortified position day before yesterday.

I found it yesterday. Well, all these matters you read in the


  Tell uncle I would write him, but I don't know where he is,

and I suppose he sees my letters often enough. I am in the

best possible health and spirits. I trust you are also. It seems

to me we are gradually getting better off in the war. It may,

and will last some time, but the prospect improves steadily.

  I merely write this morning to tell you of my present where-

abouts, and that I love you dearly. Kisses and love for the

boys and all.





        September 27 (Saturday or Friday, I am told), 1861.

  DEAR L--:-- We are in the midst of a very cold rain-storm;

not farther south than Lexington or Danville and on the top of a

high hill or small mountain. Rain for fifteen hours; getting

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA --1861          103

colder and colder, and still raining. In leaky tents, with worn-

out blankets, insufficient socks and shoes, many without over-

coats. This is no joke. I am living with McCook in a good

tent, as well provided as anybody in camp; better than either

General Cox or Rosecrans.

  I write this in General Cox's tent. He sits on one cot read-

ing, or trying to read, or pretending to read, Dickens' new novel,

"Great Expectations." McCook and General Rosecrans are in

the opposite tent over a smoke, trying to think they are warmed

a little by the fire under it. Our enemy, far worse provided than

we are, are no doubt shivering on the opposite hill now hidden by

the driving rain and fog. We all suspect that our campaign

in this direction is at an end. The roads will be miry, and we

must fall back for our supplies. My regiment is fourteen miles

back on a hill. When clear we can see their tents.

  Just now my position is comparatively a pleasant one. I go

with the generals on all reconnaissances, see all that is to be

seen, and fare as well as anybody. We were out yesterday

P. M. very near to the enemy's works; were caught in the first

of this storm and thoroughly soaked. I hardly expect to be

dry again until the storm is over.

  Good-bye, dearest.



                   SEWELL MOUNTAIN, September 29, 1861.

  DEAREST L--:--A  beautiful bright Sunday morning after a

cold, bitter, dismal storm of three days. It finds me in perfect

health, although many a poor fellow has succumbed to the

weather. The bearer of this goes home sick--a gentlemanly

German. I am still living with McCook, my regiment being

back ten miles.  We are in doubt as to whether we shall fight

the enemy ahead of us or not. We are compelled now by roads

and climate to stop and return to the region of navigable waters

or railroads. No teams can supply us up here much longer.

In this state of things we shall probably be content with holding

the strong points already taken without fighting for more until

another campaign.


  We have three generals here. Rosecrans, Cox, and Schenck.

General Cox is a great favorite, deservedly I think, with his

men. We suppose, but don't know, that there are three gen-

erals in the enemy's camp, viz: Lee, Wise, and Floyd. Their

force is believed to be much larger than ours, and many more

cannon, but they dare not attack. They are industriously for-

tifying hills which we care nothing about.

  My regards to the family. Love and kisses to the boys. The

bearer, Mr. Harries, will, I hope, call on you.

                 Affectionately as ever, your



  Camp  Sewell, October 1, 1861.--About a week ago I left

Camp Scott, or Cross Lanes, and came over to General Cox's

camp on the top of Sewell Mountain. Our Secesh friends are

fortifying in sight.  I staid with McCook.  General Cox is an

even-tempered man of sound judgment, much loved by his men.

McCook and he both wanted to occupy Buster's Knob on the

left of our enemy's camp, but a dispatch from General Rose-

crans prevented.  The next day the enemy were fortifying it.

General Schenck takes command of our brigade.  I have tried

five cases the last two days.  We had a rain-storm, cold, windy,

and awful.  Must go to winter quarters.  The enemy still for-

tifying. Our pickets killed a colonel or lieutenant-colonel of the

enemy who rode among them. All wrong and cruel. This is

too like murder. Shooting pickets, etc., etc., ought to be put

down.  Another cold night.  Jolly times we have in camp.

                            CAMP SEWELL, October 3, 1861.

  DEAREST:--This is a pleasant morning.  I yesterday finished

the work of a court-martial here; am now in my own tent with

my regiment "at home." It does seem like home. I have washed

and dressed myself, and having nothing to do I hope to be able

today to write to all. I begin, of course, with my darling wife,

of whom I think more and more affectionately the longer we

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA --1861          105

are separated. And the dear boys too--kiss and hug them


  We are evidently at the end of our campaign in this direction

for this season. The bad roads and floods make it impossible

longer to supply an army so far from railroads and navigable

waters. How soon we shall begin our backward march, I do

not know. If the enemy were not immediately in front of us

we should leave instantly but, no doubt, our leaders dislike to

make a move that will look like a retreat from an enemy that

we care nothing about. But there is nothing to be gained by

staying so far in the mountains, and the danger of starving

will send us back to Gauley Bridge long before this reaches you.

We shall, no doubt, garrison and fortify the strong points which

control western Virginia, and the question with us all is, who

is to stay and who go to some pleasanter scene.

  We are now in General Schenck's brigade, and hope he will

have influence enough to get us a place in the Kentucky or

some other army. We are, no doubt, the crack American regi-

ment of all this region, and think we should have the con-

spicuous place. I think we shall get out of here, but we shall

see.  I think there will be no battle here.       The enemy are

strongly entrenched and far superior to us in numbers. Be-

sides there is no object in attacking them. They have twenty-

two pieces of artillery. They will not attack us, unless en-

couraged to do so by our apparent retreat. If they come out

of their entrenchments to fight us we think we have got them.

So if our retreat is prudently managed, I suspect there will be

nothing but skirmishing. That we have a little of daily.

  Since we passed into the mountains, we are out of reach of

mails. It is almost a month since the date of your last letter.

I am still on General Rosecrans' staff although with my regi-

ment, and you can direct letters as heretofore, except instead

of "Clarksburg" put "Gauley Bridge," and ask Dr. James W.

[Webb] to leave the new direction at the Commercial office.

  I am in the best of health. I speak of this always because

it is now a noticeable thing. No man in our regiment has been

healthier than I have, perhaps none so healthy. I have not

been laid up a moment, hardly felt even slightly unwell.


   It is singular how one gets attached to this life with all its

hardships. We are a most jovial happy set. Our mess now is

Colonel Scammon, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews, Dr. Clendenin,

Dr. Joe, and myself.     I doubt if anywhere in the country a

happier set gather about the table. Joe is full of life, occasion-

ally unwell a little, but always jovial.  Matthews has had some

of his old troubles--nothing serious -- but is a most witty, so-

cial man. Colonel Scammon takes medicines all the time, but is

getting fat, and is in the best of temper with all of us. General

 Schenck and his staff are also here. Donn Piatt is one of them.

The general and Donn add greatly to our social resources.       In-

deed I have seen no regiment that will at all compare with us in

this respect. . .

   I shall be thirty-nine years old, or is it thirty-eight, tomorrow?

Birthdays come along pretty fast these days.

   Do the boys go to school ? I hope they will be good scholars

 but not study at the expense of growth and health . . . .

   If the paymaster ever gets along I shall be able to send home

money enough to pay debts, taxes, and keep you going for some


  We  have news of a victory by McClellan.         We  hope it is

true.  Whatever may befall us, success at Washington if fol-

lowed up secures our country's cause. Love to all.

                     Affectionately, as ever,


          UP GAULEY RIVER, CAMP SEWELL, October 3, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I should have written you, if I had known

where you were.  We are in the presence of a large force of the

enemy, much stronger than we are, but the mud and floods have

pretty much ended this campaign. Both the enemy and ourselves

are compelled to go back to supplies soon.      I think, therefore,

there will be no fight.  We shall not attack their entrenchments

now that they are reinforced, and I suspect they will not come

out after us. Donn Piatt just peeped in. He always has funny

things. I said, quoting Webster, "I still live." "Yes," said he,

"Webster-- Webster. He was a great man. Even the old Whigs

             CAMPAIGNING IN WEST VIRGINIA--1861          107

about Boston admit that!" And again, speaking of the prospect

of a fight, he said: "This whistling of projectiles about one's

ears is disagreeable.   It made me try to think at Bull Run of

all my old prayers; but I could only remember, 'Oh Lord, for

these and all thy other mercies, we desire to be thankful.' "

  We shall soon go into winter quarters at posts chosen to hold

this country, Gauley Bridge, Charleston, etc., etc. Who will get

into a better place, is the question. We all want to go to Wash-

ington or to Kentucky or Missouri. We are in General Schenck's

brigade, and hope he will make interest enough to get us into

good quarters. There is much sickness among officers and men.

My health was never better than during these four months. I

hope you will continue to improve.

  I am still in General Rosecrans' staff; but having just finished

an extensive tour of court-martial, am again in camp with my

regiment in good order.      It is like going home to get back.

Still this practicing on the circuit after the old fashion, only

more so--an escort of cavalry and a couple of wagons with

tents and grub--has its attractions.    I shall get out of it soon,

but as a change, I rather enjoy it.

  Between you and Platt, I must get a strong, fleet, sure-footed

horse for the next campaign.     If the paymaster comes, I shall

be able to pay from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dol-

lars. My present horse turns out well, very well, but the winter

will probably use him up, and I must get another.

  Hereafter, direct to me, Gauley Bridge, instead of Clarksburg.

  We  have just learned that McClellan has had a success at

Washington.    If so, whatever happens here, the cause is safe.

I hope the news is true.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


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