OCTOBER  4, 1861.--My  birthday.  At Camp  Scammon,

one and one-half miles from Camp Sewell.  A warm day

with clouds gathering. General Schenck has assumed command

of our brigade--Twenty-third and Thirtieth [Regiments].

Dined with General Schenck--a birthday dinner.  His birthday

also -- he fifty-one.

                  CAMP LOOKOUT, Monday, October 7, 1861.

  DEAREST:--The mails are in order again.       Letters will now

come promptly.    On the day after I wrote you last we got all

the back letters--lots of papers and dates up to October I.

One queer thing, a letter from Platt of July  31 and one from

Mother of October I got up the same day.

  Our campaign is closed.      No more fighting in this region

unless the enemy attack, which they will not do.  We are to

entrench at Mountain Cove, eight miles from here, at Gauley

Bridge, twenty miles off, and [at] Summersville, about the same.

These points will secure our conquest of western Virginia from

any common force, and will let half or two-thirds of our army

go elsewhere.   I hope we shall be the lucky ones to leave here.

  The enemy and ourselves left the mountains about the same

time; the enemy first, and for the same reason, viz., impossibility

of getting supplies. We are now fourteen miles from Mount Sew-

ell and perhaps thirty miles from the enemy.   Our withdrawal

was our first experience in backward movement.   We  all ap-

proved it.  The march was a severe one.  Our business today

is sending off the sick, and Dr. Joe is up to his eyes in hard work.

We have sixty to send to Ohio.  This is the severest thing of

the campaign. Poor fellows! We do as well as we can with

them; but road-wagons in rain and mud are poor places.


             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          109

  Very glad--oh, so glad-- you and Ruddy are well again.

You did not tell me you were so unwell.  I felt so badly to

hear it. Do be very careful.

  Don't worry about the war.     We are doing our part, and if

all does not go well, it is not our fault. I still think we are sure

to get through with it safely.    The South may not be con-

quered, but we shall secure to the Nation the best part of it.

  We hope to go to Kentucky.      If so, we shall meet before a

month. Our regiment is a capital one. But we ought to re-

cruit. We shall be about one hundred to one hundred and fifty

short when this campaign is ended.

  Tomorrow is election day [in Ohio]. We all talked about it

today. We are for Tod and victory.

  Good-bye. Much love to all.

                  Affectionately, yours ever,


                       Tuesday morning, 6 A. M., October 8.

                                       Your election day.

  DEAREST:--This wet dirty letter and its writer have had con-

siderable experience in the last twenty-four hours, and since

the above was written.    In the first place we have had another

bitter storm, and this cold raw morning we shiver unless near

the fires.  At one time yesterday I thought I should have to

take back a good deal of what I said in the letter I had just

started for Cincinnati. I was at the hospital three-quarters mile

from camp, helping Dr. Joe and Captain Skiles put the sick into

wagons to be transported to Gallipolis and Cincinnati, when

firing was heard and word came that the enemy in force had

attacked our camp. The doctor and I hurried back leaving Cap-

tain Skiles to look after the sick.  All the army, seven regiments

(five to six thousand men), were forming in line of battle. I

joined my regiment, and after waiting a half hour or so we were

ordered to quarters with word that it was only a scouting party

driving in our pickets. This was all in a rain-storm. The poor

fellows in hospital-- many of them -- panic-stricken, fled down

the road and were found by Dr. Joe on his return three or four


miles from the hospital.   Three of our regiment got up from

their straw piles, got their guns and trudged up the road and

took their places in line of battle. The behavior of the men was

for the most part perfectly good. The alarm was undoubtedly

a false one. No enemy is near us.

  We shall go, if the sun comes out, seven miles nearer home,

to Mountain Cove, and begin to build quarters and fortifications

for a permanent stronghold.     This brings us within an easy

day's ride of the navigable waters of the Kanawha. Thence a

steamboat can take us in about a day or so to Cincinnati. Pretty

near to you. Telegraph also all the way.

  Speaking of telegraph makes me think I ought to say Captain

Gaines (our prosecuting attorney) has done as much, I think

more, useful service, dangerous too, than any other officer in

western Virginia. The history of his company, protecting the

telegraph builders, would be a volume of romantic adventures.

  Lieutenant Christie, of General Cox's staff, tells me Union

Chapel has had a division, and troubles.   Sorry to hear it.  If

you are compelled to leave, be in no haste to choose a new

church.  I want to confer on that subject.  I think it important

to be connected with a church, and with the right one. Mere

nearness is important.  This would favor the church near Sev-

enth and Mound, if you can consent to go to a Presbyterian

[church].  But of this hereafter.

  I somehow think we shall meet within a month or two.          I

am very well and very full of fun this morning. A credit to

be jolly.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  Captain Howard goes home in broken health. I shall send

this, dirty as it is, by some sick officer or soldier.  You must

see some of them.


             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          111


               GAULEY BRIDGE, Wednesday, October 9, 1861.

  DEAREST: --Captain Zimmerman and I have just returned

from a long stroll up a most romantic mountain gorge with its

rushing mountain stream. A lovely October sun, bright and

genial, but not at all oppressive. We found the scattered frag-

ments of a mill that had been swept away in some freshet last

winter, and following up came to the broken dam, and near by a

deserted home -- hastily deserted lately. Books, the cradle, and

child's chair, tables, clock, chairs, etc., etc. Our conjecture is

they fled from the army of Floyd about the time of [the] Carni-

fax fight. We each picked up a low, well-made, split-bottom

chair and clambered up a steep cliff to our camp.  I now sit

in the chair. We both moralized on this touching proof of the

sorrows of war and I reached my tent a little saddened to find

on my lounge in my tidy comfortable quarters your good letter

of October I, directed in the familiar hand of my old friend

[Herron]. Love to him and Harriet. How happy it makes me

to read this letter.

  Tell Mother Webb not to give up. In the Revolution they

saw darker days -- far darker.    We shall be a better, stronger

nation than ever in any event. A great disaster would strengthen

us, and a victory, we all feel, will bring us out to daylight.

  No, I don't leave the Twenty-third. I have been with them

all the time except six days.  I am privileged.  In the Twenty-

third I am excused from duty as major being judge-advocate

general.  On the staff I am free to come and go as major of the

Twenty-third. This of course will not relieve me from labor,

but it makes me more independent than any other officer I

know of.

  Dr. Clendenin and Joe tent together and mess with us.

Dr. Clendenin's connection with us is permanent.      We  are in

General Schenck's brigade.    He lives in our regiment and we

like him.

  We are now in easy two days' ride of Cincinnati by steam-

boat, all but thirty or forty miles.  We shall stay at this place

ten days at least.   We  are building an entrenched camp for


permanently holding this gateway of the Kanawha Valley. . . .

  I feel as you do about the Twenty-third, only more so. There

are several regiments whose music and appearance I can recog-

nize at a great distance over the hills, as the Tenth, Ninth, and

so on, but the Twenty-third I know by instinct.     I was sitting

in the court-house at Buckhannon one hot afternoon, with win-

dows up, a number of officers present, when we heard music at a

distance. No one expected any regiment at that time. I never

dreamed of the Twenty-third being on the road, but the music

struck me like words from home.       "That is the band of my

regiment," was my confident assertion.  True, of course.

  We have lost by death about six, by desertion four, by dis-

missal three, by honorable discharge about twenty-five to thirty.

About two hundred are too sick to do duty, of whom about one-

fifth will never be able to serve.

  I was called to command parade this evening while writing

this sheet. The line is much shorter than in Camp Chase, but

so brown and firm and wiry, that I suspect our six hundred

would do more service than twice their number could have done

four months ago. . .

  You need not get any shirts or anything.  We get them on this

line, very good and very cheap. I bought two on the top of

Mount Sewell for two dollars and forty cents for the two-

excellent ones. I am now wearing one of them.

  One of the charms of this life is its perpetual change. Yester-

day morning we were in the most uncomfortable condition pos-

sible at Camp Lookout. Before night I was in a lovely spot with

most capital company at headquarters. . . .



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


                                   BRIDGE, October 9, 1861.

  DEAR BROTHER:--We  are now near or at the point where

an entrenched camp for winter quarters is to be established.  It

will command the main entrance to the head of the Kanawha

Valley, and can be held by a small force; is within a day's ride

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          113

of navigable waters connecting with Cincinnati, and telegraphic

communication nearly completed.     From half to two-thirds of

the men in western Virginia can be spared as soon as a few

days' work is done.     Indeed, green regiments just recruited

could take care of this country and release soldiers who have

been hardened by some service.  Our regiment is second to no

other in discipline, and equal in drill to all but two or three in

western Virginia.  We think it would be sensible to send us to

Kentucky, Missouri, or the sea coast for the winter.  We can

certainly do twice the work that we could have done four months

ago, and there is no sense in keeping us housed up in fortifica-

tions and sending raw troops into the field. In Kentucky, dis-

ciplined troops -- that is, men who are obedient and orderly --

are particularly needed.   A  lot of lawless fellows plundering

and burning would do more hurt than good among a Union peo-

ple who have property. We have met no regiment that is better

than ours, if any so good.

  Now, the point I am at is, first, that a large part of the sol-

diers here can be spared this winter; second, that for service,

the best ought to be taken away. With these two ideas safely

lodged in the minds of the powers that be, the Twenty-third

is sure to be withdrawn.   If you can post the Governor a little,

it might be useful.

  We are pleasantly associated.  My mess consists of Colonel

Scammon, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews, Drs. Clendenin and

Webb.    The general (Schenck) and staff quarter in our regi-

ment, so that we have the best of society.  My connection with

General Rosecrans' staff, I manage to make agreeable by a little

license. I quarter with my regiment, but am relieved from all

but voluntary regimental duty.    I think I have never enjoyed

any period of my life as much as the last three months.      The

risks, hardships, separation from family and friends are bal-

anced by the notion that I am doing what every man, who pos-

sibly can, ought to do, leaving the agreeable side of things as

clear profit.  My health has been perfect.   A great matter this

is. We have many sick, and sickness on marches and in camps

is trebly distressing. It makes one value health. We now have

our sick in good quarters and are promised a ten days' rest.



The weather today is beautiful, and I don't doubt that we shall

get back to good condition in that time.

  Your election yesterday, I hope, went overwhelmingly for

"Tod and Victory."       We  talked of holding an election here,

but as we liked Jewett personally, it was not pushed. We should

have been unanimous for the war ticket.

  Letters now should be sent to Gauley Bridge. Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES. *


  October 10, Camp Ewing, seven miles above Gauley Bridge.--

A pretty day in a pleasant camp, surrounded by mountain scen-

ery.  We had a false alarm in Camp Lookout; formed in line of

battle. I was at the hospital but rode rapidly up and was on

hand before the line was ready.        Some men  at hospital fled.

Some were suddenly well and took [their] place in line of battle.

  October 11, Camp Ewing. --Wet, cold.  We  hear of enemy

back at Camp Lookout and rumors of, over New River. On this

road are many deserted homes -- great Virginia taverns wasted.

The people are for the most part a helpless and harmless race.

Some Massachusetts people have come in and made pleasant

homes. We are on a turnpike leading up the Kanawha to White

Sulphur Springs and so on to eastern Virginia.

  October 12.  At Camp Ewing. -- Rode down to Hawk's Nest

with General Schenck and Colonel Scammon and Lieutenant

Chesebrough; a most romantic spot. A cliff seven hundred feet

perpendicular projects out over New River; a view of New River

  * This letter was placed in the Governor's hands for his information.

It was then sent to Mrs. Hayes, who on October 23 forwarded it to Mr.

Birchard.  In her accompanying letter Mrs. Hayes wrote that she had

seen Colonel Matthews, who had told her that "Rutherford was almost

the only man who had not been sick or affected some by the campaign,

that he was perfectly well and looking better than ever." Mrs. Hayes

tries bravely to conceal her sense of loneliness, but it appears unmis-

takably in her closing paragraph where she writes:  "We would be so

glad to see you. Yours and Rutherford's room is waiting--the books

are lonely and everybody and everything would meet you so gladly."

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          115

for a mile or two above and below the cliff, rushing and foaming

between the mountains. On the top was a small entrenchment

built by Wise. A Union man (like other Union men) wishing

to move to Ohio, says he means to burn his house to keep it

from falling into secession hands.

  October 14.  Camp Tompkins, General  Rosecrans' Headquar-

ters, near Gauley Bridge.-- I came down here to hold court

today. Left my regiment about eight miles up the pike. Mrs.

Tompkins lives here in a fine large white house.       Her hus-

band, a graduate of West Point, is a colonel in the secession

army.   Why devastate the homes and farms of poor deluded

privates in the Rebel army and protect this property? Treat the

lady well, as all women ought always to be treated, but put

through the man for his great crime.

                     NEAR GAULEY BRIDGE, October 15, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:-- I am practicing law on the circuit, going from

camp to camp. Great fun I find it. I am now in General Rose-

crans' headquarters, eight miles from my  regiment.       This is

the spot for grand mountain scenery.     New River and Gauley

unite here to form the Kanawha.      Nothing on the Connecticut

anywhere equals the views here.

  Glad Ohio is sound on the goose. Sandusky County for once

is right. We shall beat the Rebels if the people will only be

patient. We are learning war. The teaching is expensive and

the progress slow, but I see the advance.     Our army here is

safe and holds the key to all that is worth having in western

Virginia . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P. S.-- Send letters, etc., care of General Rosecrans as here-

tofore.  How about Treasury notes?        Patriotism requires us

to take and circulate them, but is there not a chance of their

sharing, sooner or later, in a limited degree, the fate of the Conti-

nental money of Revolutionary times?



         CAMP TOMPKINS, GAULEY BRIDGE, October 15, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER: -- You will be pleased to hear that I am here

practicing law.  The enemy having vanished in one direction

and our army having retired to this stronghold in the other, I,

yesterday, left my regiment about seven miles up the river and

am here at General Rosecrans' headquarters, looking after of-

fenders.  It is safe enough in all this region.    Our soldiers

occupy all the leading roads and strong places.  We hear of

nobody being fired on, even by murderous bushwhackers. . . .

  We are in the midst of glorious mountain scenery.     Hawk's

Nest and Lover's Leap are two of the most romantic spots I

have ever seen.   A  precipitous cliff over seven hundred feet

high, with high mountains back of it, overlooks a wild rushing

river that roars and dashes against the rocks, Niagara fashion.

The weather too has been, and is, lovely October weather. Love

to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,



  October 17, 1861. Camp Tompkins, near New River, two and

one-half miles above Gauley Bridge, at General Rosecrans' Head-

quarters. -- A threatening morning, a steady rain, fall fashion, in

the afternoon.   Received a letter by Mr. Schooley, dated 9th,

from Lucy. Ruddy had been sick with a chill and Lucy not so

well.  Dear wife!  She is troubled in her present trials that I

am absent, but stoutly insists that she can bear up, that she is "a

good soldier's wife."  She sends me pants, etc., etc.  A great

many papers today in the court-martial line. Dr. Menzies called.

Somewhat gloomy but not more so than is his wont.


  DEAREST:--I am practicing law again.  My office is pleas-

antly located in a romantic valley on the premises of Colonel

Tompkins of the Rebel army. His mansion is an elegant mod-

ern house, and by some strange good luck it has been occupied

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          117

by his family and escaped uninjured while hundreds of humbler

homes have been ruined. Mrs. Tompkins has kept on the good

side of our leaders, and has thus far kept the property safe.

  The Twenty-third is seven miles or so up the valley of New

River.   I was there last evening.    Dr. Joe has been sick a

couple of days but is getting well.   Very few escape sickness,

but with any sort of care it is not dangerous.    Not more than

one case in a hundred has thus far proved fatal.

  Colonel Matthews has gone home for a few days. You will

see him, I hope.  If he succeeds in one of the objects of his

trip, I shall probably visit you for a few days within six weeks

or so.

  Our campaign here is ended, I think without doubt. We hear

stories which are repeated in your papers which look a little

as if there might be an attempt to cut off our communications

down the Kanawha, but I suspect there is very small foundation

for them.   We  are strongly posted.      No  force would dare

attack us.  To cut off supplies is the most that will be thought

of, and any attempts to do that must meet with little success,

if I am rightly informed about things.

  We have had the finest of fall weather for several (it seems

many)  days.    The glorious mountains all around us are of

every hue, changing to a deeper red and brown as the frosts

cut the foliage. I talk so much of the scenery, you will suspect

me to be daft.  In fact I never have enjoyed nature so much.

Being in the open air a great part of each day and surrounded

by magnificent scenery, I do get heady I suspect on the subject.

I have told you many a time that we were camped in the prettiest

place you ever saw.    I must here repeat it.  The scenery on

New River and around the junction of Gauley and New River

where they form the Kanawha, is finer than any mere mountain

and river views we saw last summer.       The music and sights

belonging to the camps of ten thousand men add to the effect.

  Our band has improved and the choir in Mcllrath's Company

would draw  [an] audience anywhere.       The companies, many

of them, sound their calls with the bugle, which with the echoes

heightens the general charm.


  I wish you and the boys were over in the Tompkins house.

How you would be happy and wouldn't I?  I do hope you will

keep well, all of you. Kiss the little fellows all around and the

big boy Birch too.  Tell Webby the horse Webb is in excellent

plight.  I suppose "Birch" (the horse) has got home.  Love to

Grandma and all.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                         CAMP TOMPKINS, October 18, 1861.

  DEAREST:--Soon after I had sent off my letter yesterday,

Mr. Schooley stopped with your bundle and letter. All most

acceptable, gloves, etc., particularly.  I get all your letters. . . .

  Don't worry about the country.  Things are slowly working

around. For a first campaign by a green people, we have done well.

The Rebellion will be crushed even at this rate by the time our

three years are up.  McClellan is crowding them.  They must

fight or run soon, and I think either is death.

  We have a little excitement every day over some guerrilla

story.  But the rumors as they are sifted vanish rapidly into


  Dr. Menzies was here today. He is troubled about his fam-

ily, about his colonel, and so on.  Very queer how some clever

people manage to keep in a worriment under all circumstances.

  One paymaster has come up. We hope to see ours some day.

I shall send you funds as soon as they are paid me.

  It is raining--a settled fall rain.   But we are in a valley

(not on top of Mount Sewell). I have a board floor to my tent.

Who cares for the rain ? -- especially if my wife and bairns are

safe under a tight roof by a warm fire. Keep up good courage.

Kiss the boys, give my love to all, and continue to have happy

dreams about your

                    Affectionate husband,



             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          119

                         CAMP TOMPKINS, October 19, 1861.

  DEAREST:--I got your letter of last Sunday yesterday.  You

can't be happier in reading my letters than I am in reading

yours. Very glad our little Ruddy is no worse.

  Don't worry about suffering soldiers, and don't be too ready

to give up President Lincoln.     More men are sick in camps

than at home.   Sick [men] are not comfortable anywhere, and

less so in armies than in good homes.       Transportation fails,

roads are bad, contractors are faithless, officials negligent or

fraudulent, but notwithstanding all this, I am satisfied that our

army is better fed, better clad, and better sheltered than any

other army in the world. And, moreover, where there is want, it

is not due to the general or state Government half as much as to

officers and soldiers. The two regiments I have happened to

know most about and to care most about -- McCook's Ninth and

our Twenty-third -- have no cause of complaint.       Their cloth-

ing is better than when they left Ohio and better than most men

wear at home. I am now dressed as a private, and I am well

dressed.  I live habitually on soldiers' rations, and I live well.

  No, Lucy, the newspapers mislead you. It is the poor fami-

lies at home, not the soldiers, who can justly claim sympathy.

I except of course the regiments who have mad officers, but you

can't help their case with your spare blankets. Officers at home

begging better be with their regiments doing their appropriate

duties.  Government is sending enough if colonels, etc., would

only do their part.  McCook could feed, clothe, or blanket half

a regiment more any time, while alongside of him is a regiment,

ragged, hungry, and blanketless, full of correspondents writing

home complaints about somebody.        It is here as elsewhere.

The thrifty and energetic get along, and the lazy and thoughtless

send emissaries to the cities to beg.  Don't be fooled with this


  I feel for the poor women and children in Cincinnati. The

men out here have sufferings, but no more than men of sense ex-

pected, and were prepared for, and can bear.

  I see Dr. S- wants blankets for the Eighth Regiment.

Why isn't he with it, attending to its sick? If its colonel and


quartermaster do their duties as he does his, five hundred

miles off, they can't expect to get blankets.    I have seen the

stores sent into this State, and the Government has provided

abundantly for all. It vexes me to see how good people are

imposed on.  I have been through the camps of eight thousand

men today, and I tell you they are better fed and clothed than

the people of half the wards in Cincinnati.  We have sickness

which is bad enough, but it is due to causes inseparable from

our condition.    Living in open air, exposed  to changes  of

weather, will break down one man in every four or five, even

if he was "clad in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously

every day."

  As for Washington, McClellan and so on, I believe they are

doing the thing well.  I think it will come out right.  Wars are

not finished in a day.  Lincoln is, perhaps, not all that we could

wish, but he is honest, patriotic, cool-headed, and safe.  I don't

know any man that the Nation could say is under all the circum-

stances to be preferred in his place.

  As for the new governor, I like the change as much as you

do.  He comes in a little over two months from now.

  A  big dish of politics.  I feared you were among croakers

and grumblers, people who do more mischief than avowed

enemies to the country.

  It is lovely weather again. I hope this letter will find you

as well as it leaves me. Love and kisses for the dear ones.

                     Affectionately, ever,

                                              R. B. HAYES.



  DEAR UNCLE:--It is late Saturday night. I am away from

my regiment at General Rosecrans' headquarters and feel lone-

some. The weather is warm, threatening rain. We are wait-

ing events, not yet knowing whether we are to stay here or go

to some other quarters for the winter. I can't help suspecting

that important events are looked for near Washington which

may determine our course for the winter.       All things in that

direction have, to my eye, a hopeful look. A victory there if

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          121

decisive will set things moving all over. We know the enemy

we have been after is heartily sick of this whole business, and

only needs a good excuse to give it up. A party of our men,

bearing a flag of truce, spent a night with a party of Lee's men

a few days ago, and the conversations they report tell the story.

  Matthews has gone home for a fortnight. It is quite probable

that I shall go home during the fall or winter for a short


  We have done no fortifying yet. We occasionally hear of a

little guerrilla party and scamper after them, but no important

movements are likely to occur here, unless a road should be

opened from Washington to Richmond.

  I see that Buckland is in the war. That is right. The notice-

able difference between North and South in this war is, that

South, the leading citizens, the lawyers and public men of all

sorts, go into the fight themselves. This has not been so with us

in the same degree. I am less disposed to think of a West Point

education as requisite for this business than I was at first.

Good sense and energy are the qualities required. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                     CAMP TOMPKINS, October 21, 1861.

                          Monday morning before breakfast.

  DEAREST: -- Dr. Clendenin goes home this morning and I got

up early to let you know how much I love you.         Isn't this a

proof of affection?  I dreamed about you last night so pleas-


  The doctor will give you the news. I see Colonel Tom Ford

has been telling big yarns about soldiers suffering. They may

be true--I fear they are--and it is right to do something;

but it is not true that the fault lies with the Government alone.

Colonel Ammen's Twenty-fourth has been on the mountains

much more than the G. G-- s [Guthrie Greys], for they have

been in town most of the time; but nobody growls about them.

The Twenty-fourth is looked after by its officers. The truth is,

the suffering is great in all armies in the field in bad weather.


It can't be prevented. It is also true that much is suffered from

neglect, but the neglect is in no one place. [The] Government is

in part blamable, but the chief [blame] is on the armies them-

selves from generals down to privates.

  It is certainly true that a considerable part of the sick men

now in Cincinnati would be well and with their regiments, if

they had obeyed orders about eating green chestnuts, green

apples, and green corn. Now, all the men ought to be helped

and cared for, but in doing so, it is foolish and wicked to assail

and abuse, as the authors of the suffering, any one particular

set of men. It is a calamity to be deplored and can be remedied

by well directed labor, not by indiscriminate abuse.

  I am filled with indignation to see that Colonel Ewing is ac-

cused of brutality to his men.    All false.  He is kind to a

fault. All good soldiers love him; and yet he is published by

some lying scoundrel as a monster.

  I'll write no more on this subject.  There will be far more

suffering this winter than we have yet heard of.  Try to relieve

it, but don't assume that any one set of men are to be blamed

for it.  A great share of it can't be helped.   Twenty-five per

cent of all men who enlist can't stand the hardships and ex-

posures of the field if suddenly transferred to it from their

homes, and suffering is inevitable. Love to all.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                       Sunday morning before breakfast,


                                           October 27, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--It is a bright October morning. Ever since

the great storms a month ago, we have had weather almost

exactly such as we have at the same season in Ohio -- occasional

rainy days, but much very fine weather.     We are still waiting

events.  Our winter's work or destination yet unknown.        De-

cided events near Washington will determine our course. We

 shall wait those events several weeks yet before going into

 winter quarters.   If things remain there without any events,

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          123

we shall about half, I conjecture, build huts here and hereabouts,

and the rest go to Ohio, and stay there, or go to Kentucky or

Missouri as required.   I hope and expect to be of the half that

leaves here.  But great events near Washington are expected

by the powers that be, and it looks, as you see, some like it.

  I have been occupied the whole week trying cases before a

court-martial.  Some painful things, but on the whole, an agree-

able time.  While the regiment is in camp doing nothing, this

business is not bad for a change.

  The paymasters are here at last, making the men very happy

with their pretty government notes and gold.  The larger part is

taken (seven-eighths) in paper on account of the bother in carry-

ing six months' pay in gold.     Each regiment will send home

a very large proportion of their pay--one-half to three-fifths.

  The death of Colonel Baker is a national calamity, but on

the whole, the war wears a favorable look.         Lucy says you

are getting ready to shelter us when driven from Cincinnati.

All right, but if we are forced to leave Cincinnati, I think we

can't stop short of the Canada line.  There is no danger.  These

Rebels will go under sooner or later.  I know that great battles

are matters of accident largely.    A defeat near Washington is

possible, and would be disastrous enough, but the Southern sol-

diers are not the mettle to carry on a long and doubtful war.

If they can get a success by a dash or an ambuscade, they do

it well enough, but for steady work, such as finally determines

all great wars, our men are far superior to them.  With equal

generalship and advantages, there is a perfect certainty as to

the result of a campaign.      Our men here attack parties, not

guerrillas merely, but uniformed soldiers from North Carolina,

Georgia, South Carolina, etc., of two or three times their number

with entire confidence that the enemy will run, and they do.

They cut us up in ambuscades sometimes, and with stratagems of

all sorts.  This sort of things delays, but it will not prevent,

success if our people at home will pay the taxes and not tire

of it.  Breakfast is ready.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


  P. S.--You hear a great deal of the suffering of soldiers.

It is much exaggerated. A great many lies are told. The sick

do suffer.   A  camp and camp  hospitals are necessarily awful

places for sickness, but well men, for the most part, fare well--

very well.   Since I have kept house alone as judge-advocate,

my orderly and clerk furnish soldiers' rations and nothing else.

It is good living.  In the camp of the regiment we fare worse

than the rest, because the soldiers are enterprising and get things

our lazy darkies don't.

  Warm bedding and clothing will be greatly needed in the

winter, and by troops guarding mountain passes.        The supply

should  be greater than  the Government  furnishes.        Sewing

Societies, etc., etc., may do much good.      The Government is

doing its duty well. The allowance is ample for average service;

but winter weather in mountains requires more than will per-

haps be allowed.


                          CAMP TOMPKINS, October 27, 1861.

  DEAREST:--I have had a week's work trying twenty  cases

before a court-martial held in one of the fine parlors of Colonel

Tompkins' country-seat.    I have profaned the sacred mansion,

and I trust that soon it will be converted into a hospital for our

sick.  My pertinacity has accomplished something towards that

end.  My week's work has had painful things, but many pleasant

ones.  I trust no life will be lost, but I fear it.  Still I have

done my duty kindly and humanely.

  The weather generally has been  good.  The paymasters are

here and general joy prevails. I expect to remain at this camp

about a week or ten days.  Whether I shall return to  my

regiment or go around to Grafton is not yet certain, probably

the latter.

  I see that the Sixth Street ladies are at work for the Tenth.

All right.  Clothing, but blankets and bedding comforts, etc.,

still more, will be needed this winter. Army blankets are small

and are getting thin and worn-out.  As cold weather comes on

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA. 1861          125

the well, even, will need all they can get. As yet, in this region,

nobody but sick men have any business to complain.

  Dr. Joe has an order from General Rosecrans to Jim to come

out and assist him.  If he comes let him bring a good blanket

or comfort for me.    If I am away it can be kept for me till

I return or used by somebody else.  During the next ten days

I shall get money plenty to send you for all debts, etc., etc.

  I can quite certainly make you a visit, but I hardly know when

to do it.  Dr. Joe will want to visit home sometime this fall

or winter and you better "maturely consider," as the court-

martial record says, when you would prefer him to come.      Of

course he must wait for Dr. Clendenin and I for Colonel Mat-

thews.  My preference is about December.

  Mother and Jim both seem to think letters never reach us.

We get all your letters now, and quite regularly.  There was

a period after Carnifax when we were out of reach, but now

we are in line again. We see Cincinnati papers of the 24th

on the 26th.  By the by, you need not renew my subscription

to the Commercial.     No use to send papers.  We  get them

from the office sooner in another way.

  If Jim comes let him get an assortment of late papers, Har-

per's, Atlantic, etc., etc., and keep them till he gets to our camp.

We are the outermost camp and people are coaxed out of their

literature before they get to us.

  I dined in a tent with fourteen officers and one lady on Wed-

nesday. Her husband was formerly a steamboat captain, now a

major in [the] First Kentucky. She evidently enjoyed her sin-

gular position; bore her part well. . . .

                     Affectionately, your


  Things I would like before winter sets in -- I am not sure that

Dr. Jim better bring them -- there is no hurry:

  1. A good large blanket; 2. An India-rubber coat, common

black, -- Dr. J-'s size; 3. A pair of gloves, riding, buckskin or

sich; 4. A thick dark blue vest, military buttons and fit; my

size at Sprague's; 5. Enough blue cord for seams of one pair


of pants; Dr. Joe's poem, "Lucile"; 6. Two blank books, size

of my diaries --good nice ruled paper, 6 or 8 inches by 4 or 5;

7. A pocket memorandum book.

  I could make a big list, but I'll quit.


  Camp  Tompkins, Tuesday  morning, October  29, 1861.--A

bright, cold October morning, before breakfast.      This month

has been upon the whole a month of fine weather. The awful

storm on Mount Sewell, and a mitigated repetition of it at Camp

Lookout ten days afterward, October 7, are the only storms

worth noting. The first was unprecedented in this country and

extended to most of the States. On the whole, the weather has

been good for campaigning with this exception. Camp fever,

typhus or typhoid, prevails most extensively.  It is not fatal.

Not more than four or five deaths, and I suppose we have had

four or five hundred cases. Our regiment suffers more than the

average. The Tenth, composed largely of Irish laborers, and the

Second Kentucky, composed largely of river men, suffer least of

any.  I conjecture that persons accustomed to outdoor life and

exposure bear up best. Against many afflictions incident to cam-

paigning, men from comfortable homes seem to bear up best.

Not so with this.

  I have tried twenty cases before a court-martial held in Colonel

Tompkins' house the past week.      One conviction for desertion

and other aggravated offenses punished with sentence of death.

I trust the general will mitigate this.

  We hear that Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews, who left for a

stay of two weeks at home about the 18th, has been appointed

colonel of a regiment.  This is deserved.  It will, I fear, sepa-

rate us.  I shall regret that much, very much.     He is a good

man, of solid talent and a most excellent companion, witty,

cheerful, and intelligent. Well, if so, it can't be helped. The

compensation is the probable promotion I shall get to his place.

I care little about this. As much to get rid of the title "Major"

as anything else makes it desirable. I am prejudiced against

"Major."   Doctors are majors and (tell it not in Gath) Dick

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          127

Corwine is major!    So if we lose friend Matthews, there may

be this crumb, besides the larger one of getting rid of being the

army's lawyer or judge, which I don't fancy.

  Colonel Baker, gallant, romantic, eloquent soldier, senator,

patriot, killed at Edwards Ferry on the upper Potomac! When

will this thing cease?  Death in battle does not pain me  much.

But caught surprised in ambush again! After so many warn-

ings.  When will our leaders learn?      I do not lose heart.   I

calmly contemplate these things. The side of right, with strength,

resources, endurance, must ultimately triumph.  These disasters

and discouragements will make the ultimate victory more pre-

cious. But how long? I can wait patiently if we only do not

get tricked out of victories.  I thought McClellan was to mend

all this.  "We have had our last defeat, we have had our last

retreat," he boasted.  Well, well, patience!  West Pointers are

no better leaders than others.

  October 29, 1861.  Evening.-- This is the anniversary of the

Literary Club--the society with which so much of my life is

associated. It will be celebrated tonight. The absent will be

remembered. I wish I was there. How many who have been

members are in the tented field! What a roll for our little

club! I have seen these as members: General Pope, now com-

manding in Missouri; Lieutenant-Colonel Force of the Twenti-

eth, in Kentucky; Major Noyes of the Thirty-ninth, in Mis-

souri; Lieutenant-Colonel Matthews, Twenty-third, in Virginia;

Secretary Chase, the power (brain and soul) of the Administra-

tion; Governor Corwin, Minister to Mexico; Tom Ewing, Jr.,

Chief Justice of Kansas; Ewing Sr., the great intellect of Ohio;

Nate Lord, colonel of a Vermont or New Hampshire regi-

ment; McDowell, a judge in Kansas; McDowell (J. H.), a

senator and major in Kansas; Oliver and Mallon, common pleas

judges; Stanton, a representative Ohio House of Representa-

tives; and so on. Well, what good times we have had! Wit,

anecdote, song, feast, wine, and good fellowship--gentlemen

and scholars.   I wonder how it will go off tonight.

  Queer world!  We fret our little hour, are happy and pass

away.   Away!  Where to?  "This longing after immortality!


These thoughts that wander through eternity"!  I have been and

am an unbeliever of all these sacred verities. But will I not

take refuge in the faith of my fathers at last?  Are we not all

impelled to this?  The great abyss, the unknown  future,--are

we not happier if we give ourselves up to some settled faith?

Can we feel safe without it?  Am I not more and more carried

along, drifted, towards surrendering to the best religion the

world has yet produced?     It seems so.  In this business, as I

ride through the glorious scenery this loveliest season of the

year, my thoughts float away beyond this wretched war and all

its belongings. Some, yes many, glorious things, as well as all

that is not so, [impress me]; and [I] think of the closing years

on the down-hill side of life, and picture myself a Christian, sin-

cere, humble, devoted, as conscientious in that as I am now in

this--not more so.      My belief in this war  is as deep as any

faith can be;--but thitherward I drift.  I see it and am glad.

  All this I write, thinking of the debates, the conversations, and

the happiness of the Literary Club.      It has been  for almost

twelve years an important part of my life. My best friends

are among its members--Rogers,  Stephenson, Force,  James.

And how I have enjoyed Strong, McConkey (alas!), Wright,

McDowell, Mills, Meline, and all!  And thinking of this and

those leads me to long for such communion in a perfection not

known on earth and to hope that in the future there may be

a purer joy forever and ever.  And as one wishes, so he drifts.

While these enjoyments are present we have little to wish for;

as they slip from us, we look forward and hope and then believe

with the college theme, "There is more beyond." And for me to

believe is to act and live according to my faith.

             CAMP TOMPKINS, VIRGINIA, October 29, 1861.

                           Tuesday morning after breakfast.

  MY DEAR BOY: -- If I am not interrupted I mean to write you

a long birthday letter. You will be eight years old on the 4th

of November --next Monday, and perhaps this letter will get to

Cincinnati in time for your mother or grandmother to read it

to you on that day.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          129

  If I were with you on your birthday I would tell you a great

many stories about the war.     Some of them would make you

almost cry and some would make you laugh. I often think how

Ruddy and Webby and you will gather around me to listen

to my stories, and how often I shall have to tell them, and how

they will grow bigger and bigger, as I get older and as the boys

grow up, until if I should live to be an old man they will become

really romantic and interesting. But it is always hard work for

me to write, and I can't tell on paper such good stories as I

could give you, if we were sitting down together by the fire.

  I will tell you why we call our camp Camp Tompkins. It

is named after a very wealthy gentleman named Colonel Tomp-

kins, who owns the farm on which our tents are pitched.       He

was educated to be a soldier of the United States at West Point,

where boys and young men are trained to be officers at the

expense of the Government. He was a good student and when

he grew up he was a good man. He married a young lady,

who lived in Richmond and who owned a great many slaves

and a great deal of land in Virginia.    He stayed in the army

as an officer a number of years, but getting tired of army life,

he resigned his office several years ago, and came here and built

an elegant house and cleared and improved several hundred

acres of land. The site of his house is a lovely one.  It is about

a hundred yards from my tent on an elevation that commands

a view of Gauley Bridge, two and a half miles distant--the

place where New River and Gauley River unite to form the Kan-

awha River. Your mother can show you the spot on the map.

There are high hills or mountains on both sides of both rivers.

and before they unite they are very rapid and run roaring and

dashing along in a very romantic way.  When the camp is still

at night, as I lie in bed, I can hear the noise like another Niag-

ara Falls.

  In this pleasant place Colonel Tompkins lived a happy life.

He had a daughter and three sons. He had a teacher for his

daughter and another for his boys. His house was furnished

in good taste; he had books, pictures, boats, horses, guns, and

dogs. His daughter was about sixteen, his oldest boy was four-

teen, the next twelve, and the youngest about nine. They lived



here in a most agreeable way until the Rebels in South Carolina

attacked Major Anderson in Fort Sumter.      Colonel Tompkins

wished to stand by the Union, but his wife and many relatives in

eastern Virginia were Secessionists.  He owned a great deal of

property which he feared the Rebels would take away from

him if he did not become a Secessionist. While he was doubt-

ing what to do and hoping that he could live along without taking

either side, Governor Wise with an army came here on his

way to attack steamboats and towns on the Ohio River.  Gov-

ernor Wise urged Colonel Tompkins to join the Rebels; told

him as he was an educated military man he would give him the

command of a regiment in the Rebel army. Colonel Tompkins

finally yielded and became a colonel in Wise's army. He made

Wise agree that his regiment should be raised among his neigh-

bors and that they should not be called on to leave their homes

for any distant service, but remain as a sort of home guards.

This was all very well for a while. Colonel Tompkins stayed

at home and would drill his men once or twice a week. But

when Governor Wise got down to the Ohio River and began

to drive away Union men, and to threaten to attack Ohio, Gen-

eral Cox was sent with Ohio soldiers after Governor Wise.

  Governor Wise was not a good general or did not have good

soldiers, or perhaps they knew they were fighting in a bad

cause. At any rate, the Rebel army was driven by General Cox

from one place to another until they got back to Gauley Bridge

near where Colonel Tompkins lived.     He had to call out his

regiment of home guards and join Wise.       General Cox soon

drove them away from Gauley Bridge and followed them up

this road until he reached Colonel Tompkins' farm. The colonel

then was forced to leave his home, and has never dared to come

back to it since. Our soldiers have held the country all around

his house.

  His wife and children remained at home until since I came

here. They were protected by our army and no injury done to

them.   But Mrs. Tompkins got very tired of living with sol-

diers all around, and her husband off in the Rebel army. Finally

a week or two ago General Rosecrans told her she might go to

eastern Virginia, and sent her in her carriage with an escort

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          131

of ten dragoons and a flag of truce over to the Rebel army about

thirty miles from here, and I suppose she is now with her hus-


  I suppose you would like to know about a flag of truce.  It

is a white flag carried to let the enemy's army know that you

are coming, not to fight, but to hold a peaceful meeting with

them.   One man  rides ahead of the rest about fifty yards,

carrying a white flag--any white handkerchief will do.  When

the pickets, sentinels, or scouts of the other army see it, they

know what it means.      They call out to the man who carries

the flag of truce and he tells them what his party is coming for.

The picket tells him to halt, while he sends back to his camp

to know what to do.  An officer and a party of men are sent

to meet the party with the flag of truce, and they talk with each

other and transact their business as if they were friends, and

when they are done they return to their own armies.     No good

soldier ever shoots a man with a flag of truce.  They are always

very polite to each other when parties meet with such a flag.

  Well, Mrs. Tompkins and our men travelled till they came to

the enemy.    The Rebels were very polite to our men.        Our

men stayed all night at a picket  station in the woods along

with a party of Rebels who came out to meet them.           They

talked to each other about the war, and were very friendly.  Our

men cooked their suppers as usual. One funny fellow said to a

Rebel soldier, "Do you get any such good coffee as this over

there?"   The Rebel said, "Well, to tell the truth, the officers

are the only ones who see much coffee, and it's mighty scarce

with them." Our man held up a big army cracker. "Do you

have any like this?" and the Rebel said, "Well no, we do live

pretty hard,"--and so they joked with each other a great deal.

  Colonel Tompkins' boys and the servants and tutor are still

in the house.  The boys come over every day to bring the general

milk and pies and so on.  I expect we shall send them off one

of these days and take the house for a hospital or something

of the kind.

  And so you see Colonel Tompkins didn't gain anything by

joining the Rebels. If he had done what he thought was right,

everybody would have respected him.      Now the Rebels suspect


him, and accuse him of treachery if anything occurs in his regi-

ment which they don't like.  Perhaps he would have lost prop-

erty, perhaps he would have lost his life if he had stood by the

Union, but he would have done right and all good people would

have honored him.

  And now, my son, as you are getting to be a large boy, I

want you to resolve always to do what you know is right.

No matter what you will lose by it, no matter what danger there

is, always do right.

  I hope you will go to school and study hard, and take exer-

cise too, so as to grow and be strong, and if there is a war you

can be a soldier and fight for your country as Washington did.

Be kind to your brothers and to Grandmother, and above all

to your mother.   You don't know how your mother loves you,

and you must show that you love her by always being a kind,

truthful, brave boy; and I shall always be so proud of you.

  Give my love to all the boys, and to Mother and Grandmother.

                  Affectionately, your father,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


  October 30.    Tompkins Farm.--[I] walked with Captain

Gaines two and one-half or three miles down to Gauley Bridge.

Called on Major William H. Johnston and Swan, paymaster and

clerk for our regiment [for] Cracraft, quartermaster sergeant,

who wanted Dr. McCurdy's pay. To get it, drew my own and

sent him two hundred and sixty dollars and blank power-of-at-

torney to me to draw his pay. The doctor is sick and wants to

go home.    Our regiment suffers severely with camp  fever.

About one hundred and twenty absent, mostly sick, and as many

more prescribed for here. This out of nine hundred and fifty.

Severe marches, ill-timed, in rain, etc., etc., is one great cause.

Then, most of our men have been used to comfortable homes,

and this exposed life on these mountains is too much for them.

  Well, we dined at a Virginia landlady's, good coffee, good

biscuit; in short, a good homelike dinner. Walked immediately


             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          133

  October 31.  Tompkins Farm.-- Smoky,  foggy, and Indian-

summery in the morning; clear, warm, and beautiful in the

afternoon. I rode up to the regiment at Camp Ewing, gave

some directions as to making out the new muster-rolls. Saw

several of the officers sick with the camp fever.

  Poor "Bony" Seaman, it is said, will die.      What a good-

hearted boy he was! His red glowing face, readiness to oblige,

to work--poor fellow! He was working his way up. Starting

as private, then commissary sergeant, then sergeant-major, and

already recommended and perhaps appointed second-lieutenant.

I shall never forget his looks at the battle of Carnifax. We

were drawn up in line of battle waiting for orders to go down

into the woods to the attack. The First Brigade had already

gone in and the firing of cannon and musketry was fast and

furious. "Bony" rode ahead to see, and after an absence of

twenty minutes came galloping back, his face radiant with joyous

excitement and his eyes sparkling. He rode up to Colonel Scam-

mon and myself calling out: "I've been under fire, the bullets

were whistling all about me, and I wasn't scared at all!" He

looked like my Birtie when he is very happy and reminded me

of him. His dress was peculiar too--a warm-us and a felt

grey hat like mine. Good boy, noble, true, must he die?

  Captain Drake and Captain McIlrath had a quarrel last night.

Captain Drake had been drinking (not enough to hurt). Captain

McIlrath, putting his face close to Captain Drake's mouth to

smell his breath, said:  "Where did you get your whiskey?"

And so it went, the plucky Captain Drake striking the giant

McIlrath, but no fight followed.  McIlrath as captain of com-

pany A was first in line of promotion for major and Captain

Drake had been just recommended  for the place.  This fact

had nothing to do with it, merely a coincidence.

  Returned to camp in the evening; rode part way with Colonel

McCook, open and minatory against Rosecrans.  At eight P. M.

a dispatch from Adjutant-General Buckingham announced my

promotion to lieutenant-colonel vice Matthews, and J. M. Courtly

[Comly] as major. The latter is I fear an error. He is a

stranger to the regiment. It will make a fuss, and perhaps ought

to. Captain Drake is a brave, generous old fellow, excitable


and furious, but when the heat is off sound to the core, with

the instincts of a gentleman strong in him.

  November 1.  Camp Tompkins.-- Cold, gusty, but sunshiny.

The fine band of the Second Kentucky does discourse glorious

music. A dapper little fellow with a cane, "a nice young man,"

fit for Fourth Street in piping times of peace, walked by my

tent just now. Not a fellow in camp with his army blue, tattered

or not, who does not feel above him.

  The enemy have just begun to fire on the ferry and on the

teams and passers between here and Gauley Bridge. They have

cannon and riflemen on the opposite side of New River. Went

with Sweet scouting to ascertain exact position of enemy. Fol-

lowed up rills and ravines, running imminent risk of breaking

necks; discovered tolerable views of the enemy. The echoes

of the cannon and bursting shells were grand in these defiles.

Two of our men slightly wounded. The ferry stopped during

daylight (but doing double duty at night), is all that was accom-

plished. Great waste of ammunition, great noise, excitement

among soldiers. Vox proeterea nihil. Got home at night, tired

enough, in the rain.

              CAMP TOMPKINS, VIRGINIA, November 2, 1861.

  DEAREST LUCY: -- I am about to return to my regiment, six or

eight miles up New River at Camp Ewing. I shall probably be

comfortably settled there tonight.

  Colonel Matthews having been promoted to the colonelcy of

the Fifty-first, I have been promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy

of the Twenty-third and relieved, for the present at any rate,

of the duties of judge-advocate. I of course regret very much

the loss of Colonel Matthews. But you know we have been

separated more than half the time since we came to Virginia; so

it is more a change in name than in fact. I hope he has a good

regiment. If he has decent materials he will make it a good one.

I am pleased, as people in the army always are, with my promo-

tion. I confess to the weakness of preferring (as I must here-

after always be called by some title) to be called Colonel to

being styled Major.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          135

   We had a noisy day yesterday. A lot of Floyd's men (we

suppose) have got on the other side of the river with cannon.

They tried to sink our ferry-boats and prevent our crossing

Gauley River at the bridge (now ferry for Wise destroyed the

bridge).  They made it so hazardous during the day that all

teams were stopped; but during the night the ferry did double

duty, so that the usual crossing required in twenty-four hours

was safely done. Both sides fired cannon and musketry at each

other several hours, but the distance was too great to do harm.

We have two wounded and thought we did them immense dam-

age.  They probably suffered little or no loss, but probably

imagined that they were seriously cutting us.  So we all see it.

Our side does wonders always.  We are not accurately informed

about these Rebels, but appearances do not make them formid-

able. They can't attack us. The only danger is that they may

get below on the Kanawha and catch a steamboat before we

drive them off.

  I wish you could see such a battle. No danger and yet enough

sense of peril excited to make all engaged very enthusiastic.

The echoes of the cannon and bursting shells through the moun-

tain defiles were wonderful. I spent the day with two soldiers

making a reconnaissance--that is to say trying to find out the

enemies' exact position, strength, etc., etc. We did some hard

climbing, and were in as much danger as anybody else, that is,

none at all. One while the spent rifle balls fell in our neighbor-

hood, but they hadn't force enough to penetrate clothing, even

if they should hit. It's a great thing to have a rapid river and

a mountain gorge between hostile armies. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  P. S. -- I have been paid half of my pay, and will send you two

or three hundred dollars at least, the first chance. I wish you

would get Dr. Jim to buy one or two pairs of lieutenant-colonel's

shoulder-straps to send with the privilege of returning if they

don't suit. We expect Dr. Clendenin daily.



  Camp Ewing,  Virginia, November  3.  Sunday.--Yesterday

and today it has been rainy, stormy, and disagreeable. I came

up to my regiment yesterday as lientenant-colonel.  The men and

officers seem pleased with my promotion.  All regret the loss of

Colonel Matthews and say that if I go their interest in the regi-

ment is gone. The paymaster has paid me up to the 31st [of]

August, four hundred and ninety-six dollars. Lieutenant Richard-

son has also collected for me two hundred and fifty dollars of

money lent the company officers. I can send home seven hundred

dollars and still have two months' pay due me. I have been very

economical in order to a fair start for my family. I shall now

feel relieved from anxiety on that score and will be more liberal

in my expenditures.

  A  Mr. Ficklin, of Charlottesville, Virginia, a brother-in-law

of Mrs. Colonel Tompkins, came with her bearing a flag of

truce. He staid with us last night.  He is an agreeable, fair-

minded, intelligent gentleman of substance, formerly and per-

haps now  a stage proprietor and mail-carrier.        He  says he

entertains not the shadow  of a doubt that the Confederate

States will achieve independence.     He  says the whole people

will spend and be spent to the last before they will yield.

On asking him, "Suppose on the expiration of Lincoln's term

a state-rights Democrat shall be elected President, what will be

the disposition of the South towards him?" he replied hesi-

tatingly as if puzzled, and seemed to feel that the chief objection

to the Union would be removed.  So it's Lincoln, Black Repub-

lican, prejudice, a name, that is at the bottom of it all.  His

account of things goes to show that great pains have been taken

to drill and discipline the Rebel troops, and that their cavalry

are especially fine.

  All the sick sent over Gauley last night. A new lot appear

today. We have had three deaths by the fever.

  I now enter on new duties. I must learn all the duties of

colonel, see that Colonel Scammon does not forget or omit any-

thing. He is ready to all but so forgetful. He loves to talk

of West Point, of General  Scott, of genteel and aristocratic

people; and if an agreeable person is found who will seem to

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          137

be entertained, he can talk by the hour in a pleasant way to the

omission of every important duty.

  Camp Ewing up New River.  November 4.  Monday.--Cold

and clear; rain probably over.  My boy's birthday--eight years

old. It was such a morning as this eight years ago. I hope they

are all well and happy at home. They will think of me today as

they eat the birthday dinner and give him the birthday presents.

Dear boy!

  This morning four yawls were hauled into camp. It shows

that it is intended to cross the river and attack the enemy. The

blunder is in hauling them up in daylight. The enemy have thus

been told of our design and will guard the few practicable

ferries, as I fear, to our serious loss if not defeat.  Stupid!


  About seven hundred and fifty men are present this morning.

Sixty-nine are sick. This, after sending off one hundred and

fifty-nine sick men. Only one second-lieutenant for duty--

a bad showing. Sun shining at 11 A. M. All the company

officers gloomy and grumbling. The paymaster coming just at

this time is all that makes endurable this state of things.

  3:30 P. M. -- Cannon firing heard. Shelling McCook's camp

on the hills below. I order out Captain McIlrath and company

to go with Mack's Battery.

                           CAMP EWING, November 4, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Your letter of October 21 came to hand the

day before yesterday. I am very glad you are so much better.

If you will now be careful, I hope you will be able to get comfort-

ably through the winter. You have no doubt heard that Matthews

has been promoted to a colonelcy and has left us. I have been

promoted to his place of lieutenant-colonel. We regret to lose

him. He is a good officer. I have now been relieved from

duty as judge-advocate, and will hereafter be with my regiment.

The colonel of our regiment is a genial gentleman, but lacks

knowledge of men and rough life, and so does not get on with

the regiment as well as he might. Still, the place is not an

unpleasant one.


  The enemy has appeared in some force, with a few cannon,

on the opposite side of New River at this point, and on the

left bank of Kanawha lower down, and are, in some degree,

obstructing our communications with the Ohio.  To get rid of

this, we are canvassing divers plans for crossing and clearing

them out. The river here is rapid, the banks precipitous rocks,

with only a few places where a crossing, even if not opposed,

is practicable; and the few possible places can be defended suc-

cessfully by a small force against a large one.  We are getting

skiffs and yawls from below to attempt the passage. If it is

done, I shall do what I can to induce the generals to see before-

hand that we are not caught in any traps.

  This is Birch's birthday--a cold, raw November morning--

a dreadful day for men in tents on the wet ground.  We ought

to be in winter quarters. I hope we shall be soon.  We are

sending from this army great numbers of sick. Cincinnati and

other towns will be full of them . . . .

                                           [R. B. HAYES.]


  Camp  Ewing, November  5.--Six  hundred and fifty-seven

present for duty; sixty-nine sick. Total strength nine hundred

and thirty-six.  Absent one hundred and ninety-three--all sick

but about forty on detached service. Captain Woodward worse

and in great danger. Enemy firing again on McCook's camp.

No casualties at 10:30 o'clock.

         CAMP EWING, November 5, 1861.  Tuesday morning.

  DEAREST LUCY:-- . . .   We are having stirring times

again.  The enemy on the other  side of New River are try-

ing to shell such of our camps as lie near the river bank.

We are just out of reach of their shot.  McCook, in sight of

us below, is camped in easy range, and they are peppering at

him. I hear their guns every two or three minutes as I write.

He doesn't like to move, and probably will not until they do

him some serious harm. They fired all day yesterday without

doing any other mischief than breaking one tent pole. A ball

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          139

or shell would hardly light before his men would run with

picks to dig it up as a trophy. It is probable that we shall cross

the river to attempt to drive them off in a day or two.  You

will know the result long before this letter reaches you.

  I had a note from Jim yesterday, saying he had reached the

steamboat landing below here. We look for him today. I hope

he will get up so as to be here to help take care of things here

while we cross the river.

  I have nearly one thousand dollars, seven hundred or eight

hundred dollars of which I will send you the first good chance.

Two months' more salary is due me besides about eighty-five

dollars as judge-advocate. So we shall have funds plenty for

this winter.

  I thought of you all yesterday, and wished I could look in

on you at Birch's birthday dinner. You were thinking of the

absent father and uncles. * So it is. We love each other so

much that on all sad or joyous occasions we shall always have

each other in mind. . . .         Good-bye.  Love to all.




  Camp Ewing, November 8.--A beautiful fall day. About

six hundred and fifty for duty, about two hundred and twenty-five

  * Mrs. Hayes, writing November 4, said: "All we lacked of happiness

was your presence. Not much time passes that you are not thought of,

talked of, and sometimes cried over, but that is always done decently and

in order, so I think I pass for one of the most cheerful, happy women

imaginable.  I do not dare to let Birchie see me downcast for he has

so much sympathy that it is very touching to see him, and I do not want

to cloud his young life with sorrow.   Today is his birthday.   He is

very happy. Uncle George brought him an air-pistol, and he started to

school, all of which, makes him really happy. The book which I get

for him from you will complete his joy. . . .  I felt finely this morning.

Every thing right. . . .  But this afternoon, felt almost down.  Ruddy's

chill is one cause, Birchie's absence another and Fremont the last and

greatest. I cannot give him up, yet it looks dark and forbidding. It will

be the last moment that I give up his honor, patriotism, and power to

successfully command an army."


sick, present and absent. All sent off who are in hospital but

four; nine hundred and twenty-nine men still in regiment.*

  We are getting ready to leave. I send home all I can, pre-

paratory for rapid movements with weak trains of transporta-

tion.  Still we have thirty-nine waggons, thanks to Gardner.

  Captain Woodward  died Tuesday, our hardiest officer.  In-

dustrious, faithful soldier, he has made his company from the

poorest to almost the best.  A sad loss.  We send his remains

home. Our fourth death in camp.

            CAMP EWING, November 8, 1861, Thursday A. M.

  DEAREST:-- Mr. Fuller, our waggon-master, goes to Cincinnati

today. We are [so] busy preparing to send expeditions against

the enemy, sending off sick and baggage, that I have no time

to write.

  I send you a few things that I would not want lost. My

Diary, up to date, for your eye alone, etc., etc. Drs. Joe and Jim

are busy as bees also.

  We shall go into winter quarters in a fortnight or so I think,

when we shall have plenty of leisure.

  I see the papers are full of foolish stories, sent by frightened

people to terrify without rhyme or reason.  Nobody is hurt by

all this cannonading. One killed and three wounded covers the

casualties of five days. Our provisions are plenty and we are

in no peril here.

  "Love to all the boys" and Grandma.  Bushels--no, oceans

for yourself.



  P. S.--Jim laughs when he sees me  and says I must send

home my picture to show you that I tell the truth about health.

  You need not buy any lieutenant-colonel's shoulder-straps or

send me anything more to this region.


  * For some weeks after this date, nearly every entry in the Diary

contained a report similar to the one in this paragraph.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          141

  Camp Ewing, November 9, 1861. -- A wet disagreeable morn-

ing.  Anticipating hasty movements--expeditions without bag-

gage against the enemy and the like--I yesterday sent home

my jottings up to this time and begin today a new book.  We

were yesterday expecting to use four skiffs or yawls and two

boat frames built here covered with canvas in crossing New

River at a point five miles above here. It was hoped to surprise

the enemy. Indications yesterday showed that the enemy were

preparing to meet us. The passage to the water is down pre-

cipitous rocks six or seven hundred feet. The stream is very

rapid and deep.  McCook says one hundred yards wide by one

hundred and fifty yards deep! The ascent on the opposite side

is equally difficult. One hundred men could resist the passage

of one thousand.  We were not ordered over in view of these

facts.  What will be done is yet unknown.

  Last night ate a turkey supper at commisary building [with]

Captains Skiles and Drake and Lieutenant Avery and others.

Yesterday I drew resolutions on occasion of death of Captain

Woodward; today, on leaving of Colonel Matthews.  Last night

Sergeant Blish of Company I, a very competent, good officer,

died--making, I think, the fifth death in camp in our regiment.

                          CAMP EWING, November 9, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER:--It is a rainy disagreeable November day.  I

have done up all the little chores required, have read the article

in November number of the Atlantic Monthly on "Health in

Camp," and hope not to be interrupted until I have finished a

few words to you.

  I wish you could see how we live.  We have clothing and

provisions in abundance, if men were all thrifty--food enough

and good enough in spite of unthrift.         Blankets, stockings,

undershirts, drawers, and shoes are always  welcome.         These

articles or substitutes are pretty nearly the only things the

soldiers' aid societies need to send.  India-rubber or oilcloth

capes, or the like, are not quite abundant enough.  Our tents

are floored with loose boards taken from deserted secession barns

and houses.  For warmth we have a few stoves, but generally


fires in trenches in front of the tents or in little ovens or furnaces

in the tents formed by digging a hole a foot deep by a foot

and a half wide and leading under the sides of the tent, the

smoke passing up through chimneys made of barrels or sticks

crossed cob-house fashion, daubed with mud.

  There is not much suffering from cold or wet. The sickness

is generally camp fever --a typhoid fever not produced, I think,

by any defect in food, clothing, or shelter. Officers, who are

generally more comfortably provided than the privates, suffer

quite as much as the men -- indeed, rather more in our regiment.

Besides, the people residing here have a similar fever. Exposure

in the night and to bad weather in a mountain climate to which

men are not accustomed, seems to cause the sickness irrespective

of all other circumstances. We have nine hundred and twenty-

five men and officers, of whom two hundred and thirty are sick in

camp, in hospitals in Virginia and in Ohio. Less than one-fourth

of the privates are sick. One-half the captains, and one-half

the lieutenants are or lately have been sick. Few are seriously

or dangerously sick.  Almost all are able to walk about.  Only

five out of about as many hundred cases have died. Three of

them were very excellent men. Overwork and an anxiety not

[to] give up had much to do with the fatal nature of their

attacks.  One was one of our best and hardiest captains, and

one a most interesting youngster who  somehow  always  re-

minded me of Birch--Captain Woodward, of Cleveland, and

Bony Seaman, of Logan County.

  I never was healthier in my life. I do not by any means

consider myself safe from the fever, however, if we remain in

our present location--higher up in the mountains than any

other regiment. If I should find myself having any of the

symptoms, I shall instantly come home. Those who have done

so have all recovered within a week or two and been able to

return to duty. I do not notice any second attacks, although

I suppose they sometimes occur. Other regiments have had

more deaths than we have had, but not generally a larger sick-


  Our men are extremely well-behaved, orderly, obedient, and

cheerful. I can think of no instance in which any man has

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          143

ever been in the slightest degree insolent or sullen in his manner

towards me.

  During the last week the enemy have made an attempt to

dislodge us from our position by firing shot and shell at our

camps from the opposite side of New River. For three days

there was cannonading during the greater part of daylight of

each day. Nothing purporting to be warfare could possibly be

more harmless. I knew of two or three being wounded, and

have heard that one man was killed. They have given it up

as a failure and I do not expect to see it repeated.

  Dr. Jim Webb came here a few days ago, on a dispatch from

the general, and will aid in taking charge of the sick in some part

of the army, not in our regiment. He brought many most ac-

ceptable knickknacks and comforts from home. . . .

  The newspapers do great mischief by allowing false and ex-

aggerated accounts of suffering here to be published. It checks

enlistments. The truth is, it is a rare thing for a good soldier

to find much cause of complaint.  But I suppose the public are

getting to understand this. I would not say anything to stop

benevolent people from contributing such articles of clothing

and bedding as I have described. These articles are always put

to good use. -- Love to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Camp Ewing, November 10, 1861. Sunday morning.--I am

officer of the day today and interested in the weather. It stopped

raining towards evening yesterday. It is foggy and damp this

morning--will probably be pleasant during the day. I have

to visit all the pickets; the stations are ten or twelve in number

and it takes about three hours' riding to visit them. They are

on the Lewisburg pike for three or four miles, on the Chestnut-

burg road about the same distance, and on suitable points com-

manding views of the country on either side and of the river.

  Went with Colonel Scammon, Captain Crane [Company A,

Twenty-sixth Ohio], [and]  Lieutenant Avery to Pepperbox


Knob and looked over into enemy's camps on [the] south side

of New River; thence with Avery to Townsend's Ferry, the pro-

posed crossing place.  Most romantic views of the deep moun-

tain gorge of New River, near the ferry. Climbed down and

up the hill by aid of ropes.  Two Rebel soldiers got up an ex-

tempore skiff, just opposite where our men were getting our

skiffs, and crept down the cliffs.  They came over and were

caught by our men as they landed.  They were naturally sur-

prised and frightened.  A  third was seen on the other bank who

escaped.  So our scheme is by this time suspected by the enemy.

       CAMP EWING, November 10 (Sunday night late), 1861.

  DEAREST:--I have just returned from a hard day's work

examining the romantic mountain gorge of New River which

we are preparing to cross, but which I suspect we shall not

cross. A glorious day -- exciting, and delightfully spent.

  Got your letter by Dr. Clendenin on my return at dark.  A

good letter, darling.  Write 'em often.

  Yes, Fremont's removal hurts me as it does you.  I hate it

as much as I did the surrender of Sumter. It may be justified

and required by the facts; but I don't see it in anything yet

published against him.

  Mrs. Herron is misinformed about Matthews.          I know all

about it. The colonel would have returned and expected to

return.  He wished a change immensely, but he would not have

resigned.  I am sorry to lose him.  I know  he did his best to

get me with him.  He got a promise which he thought would

please me even better. -- It is all agreeable with me here -- per-

fectly so. I can't say when I shall be able to go home. Not for

some weeks, but sometime during December or January, I see no

reason to doubt that I shall see you. . . .

  We  sent home a lot of things and would send more if we

could.  (Take care of the soldier with the scalded hand.  You

will, of course.*)  The reason is, the roads are bad and when

  * Mrs. Hayes wrote November 19:  "We had kept the soldier, Harvey,

here.  His hand was badly burnt, but mother has dressed it every day,

and now it is well."

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          145

we move as we must do often, we shall be compelled to leave

or destroy all surplus baggage.




  Camp  Ewing, November  11.          Monday. --Today  private

Roach, Company I, was killed by a pistol shot accidentally dis-

charged by a comrade. Rode down to reconnoitre enemy's posi-

tion up the river. Saw Captain Mack fire at them with Parrott

six-pound guns.

  Camp Ewing, Virginia, up New  River, twelve miles above

Gauley.  November 12.  Tuesday.-- Officer of the day.  Rode

to Townsend's Ferry to see Major Crawford's folly. Saw it.

Preparations to cross New River although the enemy must be

aware of our purpose -- a thing difficult if unopposed, impossible

and ruinous if opposed. Why don't these generals have common


                                 FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA,

                            November 19, 1861. (Tuesday).

  DEAREST: --We are housed comfortably in a fine village de-

serted by its people, leaving us capital winter quarters. Floyd

intended to winter here, but since his retreat we are left in


  We have had severe marching; two nights out without tents

--one in the rain and one on the snow. We stood it well.

Not a man sick of those who were well, and the sick all im-

proving--due to the clear frosty weather.

  Dr. Joe is reading with much satisfaction the news of the

success of our fleet. It is most important. We are hoping to

stay here for the winter if we do not leave Virginia. It is

much the best place we have been in. All, or nearly all, people

gone, fine houses, forage, healthy location, etc., etc. Direct to

Gauley as usual. I think of you almost constantly these days.

  We are now entirely clear of the enemy. I met a party of



Georgians yesterday with a flag of truce; had a good friendly

chat with them. They are no doubt brave fine fellows but not

hardy or persevering enough for this work. They really envied

us our healthy and rugged men. They are tired of it heartily.

  I can't yet tell when Dr. Joe or Jim or myself will come home,

but one of us will pretty certainly come within a fortnight. No,

I shall not be able to come so soon, but one of the doctors, will

I think. Love to the dear boys and Grandma and so much for

your own dear self.





                                        November 25, 1861.

  DEAR MOTHER: -- I have just read your letter written at Dela-

ware, and am glad to know you are so happy with Arcena and

the other kind friends. You may feel relieved of the anxiety

you have had about me.

  After several days of severe marching, camping on the ground

without tents, once in the rain and once on the snow, we have

returned from a fruitless chase after Floyd's Rebel army, and

are now comfortably housed in the deserted dwellings of a

beautiful village. We have no reports of any enemy near us

and are preparing for winter.  We  should quarter here if the

roads to the head of navigation would allow. As it is we shall

probably go to a steamboat landing on the Kanawha. Snow is

now three or four inches deep and still falling. We are on

high ground--perhaps a thousand feet above the Kanawha

River--and twelve miles from Gauley Mountain.

  Our troops are very healthy. We have here in my regiment

six hundred and sixty-two men of whom only three are seri-

ously ill.  Perhaps fifteen others are complaining so as to be

excused from guard duty. The fever which took down so many

of our men has almost disappeared. . . .

  This is a rugged mountain region, with large rushing rivers

of pure clear water (we drink it at Cincinnati polluted by the

Olentangy and Scioto) and full of the grandest scenery I have

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          147

ever beheld. I rode yesterday over Cotton Hill and along New

River a distance of thirty miles. I was alone most of the day,

and could enjoy scenes made still wilder by the wintry storm.

  We do not yet hear of any murders by bushwhackers in this

part of Virginia, and can go where we choose without appre-

hension of danger. We meet very few men. The poor women

excite our sympathy constantly. A great share of the calamities

of war fall on the women. I see women unused to hard labor

gathering corn to keep starvation from the door. I am now in

command of the post here, and a large part of my time is

occupied in hearing tales of distress and trying to soften the

ills the armies have brought into this country. Fortunately a

very small amount of salt, sugar, coffee, rice, and bacon goes

a great ways where all these things are luxuries no longer pro-

curable in the ordinary way. We try to pay for the mischief

we do in destroying corn, hay, etc., etc., in this way.

  We are well supplied with everything. But clothes are worn

out, lost, etc., very rapidly in these rough marches. People

disposed to give can't go amiss in sending shoes, boots, stock-

ings, thick shirts and drawers, mittens or gloves, and blankets.

Other knickknacks are of small account.

  Give my love to Arcena, Sophia, and to Mrs. Kilbourn.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  Fayetteville (Camp Union), Virginia, November 27.  Wednes-

day.--We left all baggage on the morning of the 13th early,

except what the men could carry, and started down to Gauley

to pursue Floyd or rather to attack him. My memo[randa]

are as follows:--

  November  13.--Had a good march down to Gauley--the

whole Third Brigade under General Schenck. Weather warm

as summer, almost hot. Crossed New River at ferry near its

mouth, worked by Captain Lane and his good men, thence down

left bank of the Kanawha to the road from Montgomery Ferry

to Fayetteville, thence about two miles to Huddleston's farm,

where we bivouacked among briars and devil's-needles -- officers


in corn fodder in a crib. The band played its best tunes as we

crossed New River, Captain Lane remarking, "I little hoped to

see such a sight a week ago when the enemy were cannonading

us." About 10:30 o'clock General Schenck got a dispatch from

General Benham saying Floyd was on the run and he in pursuit,

and urging us to follow. At midnight the men were aroused

and at one we were on the way.

  November  14,  Thursday.--A  dark, cold, rainy morning.

Marching before daylight in pitchy darkness.  (Mem.:-- Night

marches should only be made in extremest cases; men can go

farther between daylight and dark than between midnight and

dark of the next day, and be less worn-out.) We stopped in

the dark, built fires, and remained until daylight, when we

pushed on in mud and rain past enemy's entrenchments on

Dickinson's farm to Fayetteville where we arrived about eight

or nine A. M. After passing enemy's works, [we found] the

road strewed with axes, picks, tents, etc., etc.--the debris of

Floyd's  retreating army.   Fayetteville, a pretty village, de-

serted by men and by all but a few women. We quartered with

Mrs. Mauser; her secession lord gone with Floyd.  We heard

P. M. of General Benham's skirmishers killing Colonel St.

George Croghan today--colonel of Rebel cavalry and son of

Colonel George Croghan of Fort Stephenson celebrity. Died in

a bad cause; but Father O'Higgins, of the Tenth, says he be-

haved like a Christian gentleman. Colonel Smith wears his

sword.  Shot through the sword-belt.

  November 15. Friday.-- General Benham's brigade return

from the pursuit of Floyd. He runs like a quarter-horse. One

of the servants says that when Floyd was here, Mrs. Mauser

said she hoped he wouldn't leave.  He replied:  "I assure you,

madam, I'll not leave Cotton Hill until compelled by death or

the order of the Secretary of War"; and, added the darkey, "The

next I saw of him he was running by as fast as he could tar."

At night, a fierce snow-storm; no shelter for many of the

troops; bivouac in it!

  Saturday, November 16. -- General Benham's brigade marched

back towards Gauley, leaving here with cheers after their in-

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          149

clement night!  Colonel Scammon went on reconnaissance to-

wards  Raleigh, in command;  nothing to do.  Present  for

duty four hundred and nine. No sick; all sick and weakly gave

out before we reached here; a number left to guard property,

do work at Gauley, etc.

  November 17. Sunday. -- I was sent in command of one hun-

dred men of Twenty-third and one hundred of Twenty-sixth

six miles towards Raleigh to Blake's to watch a road on which

it was thought Colonel Jenkins' Rebel cavalry might pass with

prisoners and plunder from Guyandotte. We bivouacked on the

snow in fence corners--ice half inch thick--and passed the

night not uncomfortably at all. A party of Rebels from Floyd's

army met us here with a flag of truce.  Had a good little chat

with several of them. They did not seem at all averse to friendly

approaches.  It seemed absurd to be fighting such civil and

friendly fellows.  I thought they were not so full of fight as

our men--acted sick of it.  One youngster, a lieutenant in

Phillips' Legion, T. H. Kennon of Milledgeville, Georgia, wanted

to buy back his little sorrel mare which we had captured--a

pleasant fellow. They were after Croghan's body.

  Monday, 18. -- No signs of Jenkins last night.  Heard cannon

firing down Kanawha and got ready some rail barricades under

direction of Colonel Ewing--rather shabby affairs; could see

it gave confidence to men.   Ordered back to Fayetteville; re-

turned at dark.

  Tuesday, 19. -- General Schenck and staff left today.  Gen-

eral Schenck sick --not health enough for this work.    We are

rejoiced reading news of the naval expedition to Port Royal.

It looks well.  I hope the present anticipations will be fully


  Wednesday, 20. -- A wet disagreeable day.  Captain Reynolds

returned from a trip to Raleigh with a flag of truce. Town of

Raleigh abandoned.    Floyd on beyond.    They treated the cap-

tain and his party well. The impression is they are not averse

to peace. Once taught to respect the North, they will come to

terms gladly, I think.


  Thursday, 21. --  Colonel Ewing bent on a quarrel with Avery

about an old secesh horse; a nice gentleman, Colonel Ewing,

but so "set in his way."    Lieutenant Hunter returned.     Lieu-

tenant Warren gone to headquarters to be captain of ordnance.

  Friday, 22. -- Rode alone down to Gauley over Kanawha and

Gauley Rivers, up New River, and stayed at headquarters of

General Rosecrans.    Always treated well there.  Ate pickled

oysters immoderately and foolishly; drank mixed drinks slightly

but foolishly. But spent an agreeable night with General Rose-

crans, Major Crawford, and Captain Reynolds and Major Jos.

Darr.   Good men all.  Cold, desperately windy night; slept

coldly in Captain Hartsuff's tent.

  Saturday, 23.-- Rode up to Captain Mack's (Regular-army

artillery officer) ten miles up N[ew River] and near our old

Camp Ewing. Business: To appraise under order from General

Rosecrans damage done citizens by our men. Board consisted of

Colonel McCook, self, and Captain Mack.      Met McCook mend-

ing road.   [He] said he would sign what we should agree to.

Did the work and slept with Captain Mack in his new Sibley

tent, warmed by a stove. A good institution, if [tent is]

floored, for winter.

  Sunday, 24. -- Rode in rain and snow, chiefly snow, down to

Gauley over Kanawha and back to Fayetteville; a hard ride in

such a day and alone, too. How I enjoy these rides, this scen-

ery, and all! Saw a teamster with a spike team (three horses)

stalled; got on to his leader and tried to help through; gave it

up; took a pair of his socks -- he had a load.

             FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, November  27, 1861.

  DEAREST:--I sent you a rifle for Birch.  It was loaded, as

I learn.  The lieutenant promised to take the load out.  If he

has forgotten it, have our neighbor of all work, corner of Long-

worth and Wood, take out the load before Birch plays with or

handles it.  You may send my vest by anybody coming direct to

my regiment. We expect to move two or three days nearer to

you the last of this week. The point is not yet known--per-

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          151

haps Cannelton or Charleston on the Kanawha.  I have got a

"contraband," a bright fellow who came through the mountains

a hundred miles, hiding daytime and travelling nights to get to us.

Daniel Husk is his name.    His story is a romantic one, if true,

as it probably is.

  I would have Mr. Stephenson invest in Government 7 3/1O per

cent five hundred or six hundred dollars.  I shall send you three

hundred or four hundred dollars more, as soon as the pay-

master comes again. . .  Colonel Scammon is absent.  I

command the regiment and the post, so I am busy.  Excuse

brevity, therefore. Love to the boys.




  Fayetteville, Virginia, Thursday, 28. --Thanksgiving at home.

Dear boys and wife!  I hope they are enjoying a happy dinner

at home.  Here it is raining and gloomy.  We do not yet know

where we are to winter; men are growing  uneasy and dissatis-

fied.  I hope we shall soon know; and if we are to stay here I

think we can soon get into good case again. --Decided that we

are to stay here for the winter.  Wrote to Uncle and Laura

humorous  letters--attempts--describing our prospects here.

Two small redoubts to be built soon. Quarters to be prepared.

Rain, mud, and cold to be conquered; drilling to be done, etc., etc.

              FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, November 29, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We have just got our orders for the winter.

We are to stay here, build a little fort or two, keep here fifteen

hundred men or so--sixty horsemen, a battery of four or six

small cannon, etc., etc. We shall live in comfortable houses.

The telegraph will be finished here in a day or two. We shall

have a daily mail to the head of navigation -- sixteen miles down

the Kanawha.    On the whole a better prospect than I expected

in western Virginia.  Our colonel will command.      I am conse-

quently in command of the Twenty-third Regiment.  This is the


fair side.  The other side is, sixteen miles of the sublimest

scenery to travel over.    We get supplies chiefly, and soon will

wholly, by pack mules.  We have a waggon in a tree top ninety

feet high.  If a mule slips, good-bye mule!     This is over the

"scenery," and where there is no scenery, the mud would appal

an old-time Black Swamp stage-driver.       If rations or forage

give out, this is not a promising route, but then we can, if forced,

march the sixteen miles in one day--we  have done it--and

take the mouths to the food if the food can't be carried to the


  If the river gets very low, as it sometimes does, the head of

navigation will move thirty or forty miles further off; and if

it freezes, as it does once in six or eight years, there will be

no navigation, and then there will be fifteen hundred souls

hereabouts anxiously looking for a thaw.

  You now have  the whole thing.       I rather like it.   I wish

you were in health.  It would be jolly for you to come up and

play chess with the colonel and see things.  As soon as we are

in order, say four or five weeks, I can come home as well as not

and stay a short time.


                                             R. B. HAYES.


               FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, November 29, 1861.

  DEAR LAURA:--Thanks for your letter. I hope I may think

your health is improved, especially as you insist upon the pair

of swollen cheeks.  We are to stay here this winter.  Our busi-

ness for the next few weeks is building a couple of forts and

getting housed fifteen hundred or two thousand men.  We oc-

cupy a good brick house, papered and furnished, deserted by its

secession proprietor on our approach.      Our mess consists of

Colonel Scammon, now commanding [the] Third Brigade, Col-

onel Ewing of [the] Thirtieth, Dr. Joe, and a half dozen other


  The village was a fine one--pretty gardens, fruit, flowers,

and pleasant homes.     All natives gone except three or four

families of ladies--two very attractive young ladies among

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          153

them, who are already turning the heads or exciting the gal-

lantry of such "gay and festive" beaux as the doctor.

  We are in no immediate danger here of anything except starva-

tion, which you know is a slow death and gives ample time

for reflection.  All our supplies come from the head of navi-

gation on the Kanawha over a road remarkable for the beauty

and sublimity of its scenery, the depth of its mud, and the dizzy

precipices which bound it on either side.  On yesterday one of

our bread waggons with driver and four horses missed the road

four or six inches and landed  ("landed" is not so descriptive

of the fact as lit) in the top of a tree ninety feet high after a

fall of about seventy feet.   The miracle is that the driver is

here to explained that one of his leaders hawed when he ought to

have geed.

  We are now encouraging trains of pack mules.  They do well

among the scenery, but unfortunately part of the route is a

Serbonian Bog where armies whole might sink if they haven't,

and the poor mules have a time of it. The distance luckily to

navigable water is only sixteen to twenty miles.  If, however,

the water gets low, the distance will increase thirty to forty

miles, and if it freezes--why, then we shall all be looking for

the next thaw for victuals.

  We are to have a telegraph line to the world done tomorrow,

and a daily mail subject to the obstacles aforesaid, so we can

send you dispatches showing exactly how our starvation pro-

gresses from day to day.

  On the whole, I rather like the prospect. We are most com-

fortably housed, and shall no doubt have a pretty jolly winter.

There will be a few weeks of busy work getting our forts ready,

etc., etc. After that I can no doubt come home and visit you

all for a brief season.

  So the nice young lieutenant is a Washington. Alas! that so

good a name should sink so low.

  I am interrupted constantly. Good-bye. Love to all. Can't

write often. Send this to Lucy.

                 Affectionately, your uncle,




  Fayetteville, Virginia, Saturday, 30.--Snow on the ground;

not cold, but raw and disagreeable. Granting furloughs to four

men from each company keeps me busy. A week or two ago

the colonel sent a recommendation to appoint Sergeant Haven,

of Company A, a captain, for services in connection with our

naval expedition across New River. His services were probably

important, but the jump over the heads of lieutenants is rather

too big.

            FAYETTEVILLE, CAMP UNION, November 30, 1861.

  DEAREST:--We are now engaged in getting winter quarters

fixed comfortably.   There are not houses enough to lodge all

the men without too much crowding.      We hope soon to have

elbow-room. We ease it off a little by being very liberal with

furloughs.  We allow four men--"men of family preferred--"

to go from each company for twenty days. As a consequence,

there must be daily some of our men going through Cincinnati.

The bearer will bring (probably) besides this letter, the accou-

trements which go with Birt's Mississippi rifle, and a couple of

gold pieces, one for a present for you and one for Grandma


  We are doing well. Today is bright and warm after a three-

days storm of rain and sleet. I had a letter from Laura. You

may send my vest; also "Lucile."  All sorts of reading matter

finds grabbers, but I think of nothing except any stray Atlantic

or Harper's of late date. I do not wish to go home for some

weeks, but if necessary, I can now go home at any time. I

prefer that every other officer should go before I do. Dr. Joe

is now acting as brigade surgeon, Colonel Scammon as briga-

dier, and I as colonel; Dr. Jim, as temporary surgeon of the


  All the people hereabouts are crowding in to take the oath

of allegiance.   A  narrow-chested,  weakly,  poverty-stricken,

ignorant set. I don't wonder they refuse to meet our hardy

fellows on fair terms. Captain Sperry says: "They are too

ignorant to have good health."

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          155

  Love to "all the boys," to Mother Webb, and ever so much

for your own dear self.




  Sunday, December 1, [1861].--A  dry, cold day, no sun,

leaden sky,--threatens snow.  About noon gets gusty, wintry

and colder. No severe cold yet. Am preparing to have regular

lessons and drills. P. M. Began to drizzle--a wintry rain.

Loup Creek or Laurel, up yesterday, prevented our waggons

crossing. Today fifteen wagons with food came in. Read Hal-

leck's "Lectures on the Science and Art of War." Goodish.

Youth, health, energy are the qualities for war. West Point

good enough, if it did not give us so much of the effete.

  Monday, 2.-- Snows all day in the mud.  Letter from Lucy

dated 24th. Seems in pretty good heart. Kanawha ferry stop-

ped--flood wood too much for the rope. Men engaged fixing

quarters as well as they can in such bad weather.

                FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, December 2, 1861.

  DEAREST:--  . . . Dr. Joe made up his mind to go by the

first wagon to Gauley on his way to Cincinnati. Won't the boys

jump to see him!

  I should like a first-rate pair of military boots--not so high

as common -- high  in the instep and large.        Two  or three

military books--good reading books.  We have Halleck ["Ele-

ments of Military Art and Science"] and Scott's dictionary and

don't want them.



  Fayetteville,  Virginia,  Thursday,  December  5.-- Another

bright, warm day; the afternoon was like spring. Held the

first meeting of regimental officers in the adjutant's office last


evening. Went over guard duty in the "Regulations." I learned

something and think the others did.

   Today a foolish young countryman came in with apples, pies

and bread, [and] tobacco. Undertook to sell apples at ten cents

per dozen, pies twenty cents. The soldiers got mad and robbed

the apple cart in the streets. I got mad; paid the F. F. V. five

dollars out of my own pocket; got Colonel Eckley to do like-

wise; had the colonel informed and the thing suitably noticed.

  Drilled after parade in a few simple movements; got along


  Friday, December 6.-- A  warm, bright day.  The chaplain

returned today; not an agreeable or useful person. He has been

absent over two months. I wish he had not returned.

  Colonel Scammon gave me a good, long confidential talk. Like

all men having some trifling peculiarities which are not pleasant

but who are sterling in all important things, he is best liked when

best known. He is a gentleman by instinct as well as breeding

and is a most warm-hearted, kindly gentleman; and yet many

of the men think him the opposite of all this. I must take more

pains than I have [taken] to give them just ideas of him.

  Saturday, December 7.--Another warm, bright day--the

roads improving. People come twenty-five miles to take the

oath. How much is due to a returning sense of loyalty and

how much to the want of coffee and salt, is more than I know.

They are sick of the war, ready for peace and a return to the

old Union. Many of them have been Secessionists, some of

them, soldiers.

  Rode Schooley's high-tailed, showy horse twice. Drilled after

evening parade. Met the sergeants for instruction tonight.

  Sunday, December 8.-- A cloudy morning, threatening rain.

After ten A. M. cleared up and a bright, warm day. Inspected

quarters informally with Lieutenant-Colonel Eckley. Favorable

impressions of his disposition confirmed; dined with him and

his adjutant, Lieutenant James, of Urbana, and Rev. Long, ditto.

Wrote letters--very short--to Uncle, mother, and Lucy.

  Had a good drill after evening parade. Colonel Scammon,

Lieutenant Gardner, quartermaster, and Major Comly play whist

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          157

in the other room. . . .  We  have intimations that Jenkins

and his cavalry are coming in here again. The colonel is taking

precautions against surprise. I shall see that my regiment is

ready, if possible.

                           CAMP UNION, December 8, 1861.

  DEAREST: -- It is Sunday -- inspection day. Visited all quar-

ters and hospital. All in improving condition. Tell Dr. Joe we

have had five bright warm lovely days and a fair prospect for as

many more. Roads improving; telegraph wire here, and will

be in working order tomorrow or day after.

  Have the daily Commercial mailed to me here from the office

for one month. If it comes as often as twice a week, I will

renew the subscription, otherwise not.

  A trunk full of nice doings, socks, mittens, small looking-

glasses, needle doings, etc., etc., came up from Gauley among

our baggage. Nothing to show who from or who to. I as-

sumed that it was an instalment from Cleveland for the Twenty-

third and Dr. McCurdy disposes of it accordingly.

  I am feeling anxious about you. Write often all about your-

self. Love to the dear boys and all. Ever so much for yourself.




  Tuesday,  December  10. -- A  little warm  rain last night;

cloudy and threatening rain in morning; turned off bright and

clear. Had a good drill after evening parade. Moved into a

good room in a pretty cottage house owned by J. H. Phillips,

a drygoods dealer, who has left with the Rebels. His store was

burned by McCook's men because he was a persecutor of Union

men. Captain Sperry and Lieutenant Kennedy are my co-ten-

ants. We shall take good care of the premises and try to leave

them in as good condition as we find them.

  Wednesday,  January  [December]  11. -- A  cold morning,

threatening rain; rained a little last night. Turned off bright,

clear, and cold in the afternoon. Had a headache in morning,


drank a little bad wine last night; all right after dinner. Living

so cozily in my new quarters. Oh, if Lucy was here, wouldn't

it be fine! How she would enjoy it! Darling! I think of her

constantly these days. A drill; formed squad in four ranks;

marched, closed in mass.

  Thursday, December 12. -- A bright, pretty, cold winter morn-

ing; our eighth fine day!! Ground froze in the morning; dry

and warm all day after sun got one-third up. In [the] morning

walked with Lieutenant-Colonel Eckley around southern part

of town, in the woods, visiting pickets and noticing the lay of

the land. He agrees with me that the chief danger of an attack

is a hasty assault to burn the town; that for this purpose a

stockade or log entrenchment should be thrown up at the lower

end of town.  Drilled P. M.--No letters or news.

  Friday,  December  13.--Another  beautiful  winter  day--

cold, quiet. Sun strong enough to thaw all mud and ice. No

ice on streams yet that will bear a man. Building redoubts at

either end of town. Since I came to Virginia in July, I have

not shaved; for weeks at a time I have slept in all clothes except

boots (occasionally in boots and sometimes with spurs), a half

dozen times on the ground without shelter, once on the snow.

I have wore [worn] no white clothing (shirts, drawers, etc.)

for four months; no collar or neckerchief or tie of any sort for

two months; and have not been the least unwell until since I

have taken winter quarters here in a comfortable house. Now

I have but a slight cold.

  December  14, Saturday.-- A fine day, warm and bright,--

the tenth!  Western Virginia is redeeming itself.  Our men

think there is something wrong. The nights are clear, frosty,

and moonlit.

  Camp Union, Fayetteville, Virginia.  Sunday, December 15.--

Another fine day.  Had a review this morning--fine spectacle.

Received a letter from Dr. Joe, dated 10th, last night. All

well at home. Lucy looking for her troubles to be over soon.

Dear Lute! I hope she will get on well. Some fleecy clouds

in the sky; the good weather must end soon.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          159


                                        December 15, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I have often wished since I have been in Vir-

ginia that you were well enough to come and spend a few weeks

with me. I have never wished it more than now. I am quartered

alone in a pleasant cottage house, with plenty to run and do

whatever I want done.  The weather is lovely. We are drilling

our men, building forts, etc., etc., and are undisturbed by the

world. The people hereabouts, many of them fresh from the

Rebel armies, come in, take the oath, and really behave as if

they were sick of it, and wanted to stop. Nothing but ill luck,

or a great lack of energy, will prevent our wiping out the

Rebellion, The common people of this region want to get back

to coffee and salt and sugar, etc., etc., none of which articles

can now be got through whole extensive districts of country.

  If nothing occurs to prevent, I shall come home in January

for thirty days.   Will visit you at Fremont, if you do not

happen to be in Cincinnati or Columbus. . . .


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Camp Union, Monday, December 16, 1861. -- A beautiful day.

Rode with Colonel Scammon to Townsend's Ferry. That is

we rode to the top of the cliffs on New River; thence with six

men of Company B we scrambled down by the path to the river,

perhaps by the path three-quarters of a mile. A steep rocky

gorge, a rushing river, the high precipices, all together make a

romantic scene.

  It was here we intended to cross with General Schenck's bri-

gade to cut off Floyd's retreat.  Boats were prepared, four

skiffs brought from Cincinnati, but the river rose, just as we

were about to cross, making it impossible. It has always been

a question since whether the enemy were aware of our purpose

and would have opposed our crossing. I supposed that so much

work preparing could not have escaped their notice, and that

they were ready for us. Opposition on such a path would have


been fatal. From all I saw at the ferry, I am inclined to think

they knew nothing of our purpose.        There are no signs of

pickets or ambuscades to be found on this side.  The distance

from the river to this village is only two miles and we could

probably have taken it and held it.

  The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel

of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business.

               FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, December 16, 1861.

  DEAREST:-- . . .  I think of you constantlty now.  Keep

up good courage. Let me know all about you all the time. I

will send you a dispatch from here as soon as our operator is

at work just to show you that we are not far apart.

  We are very healthy and contented here. The sick are less

and less daily.

  I see somebody  knits woollen gloves for soldiers.  That's

sensible. A few stockings, gloves, woolen shirts, and the like

are always wanted at this season.

  I write this by Captain Howard. He is probably to resign

on account chiefly of ill health.

  Kisses for all the boys and "love you much."



  Did you get the gold pieces, etc?


  Camp Union, Tuesday, December 17, 1861. -- Our thirteenth

fine day. The frost still coming out of the ground; freezes hard

nights, thaws all day in the sun. Mud deeper in many places

than it was a week ago; on the hills and ridges getting dry. . . .

Drilled as usual at night.  Men improving in drill.  Lieutenant

Durkee returned yesterday or day before -- health restored;

weighs one hundred and eighty [pounds], looks well; left Camp

Ewing over the river in October, apparently a doomed man.

Captain Moore returned today, apparently in good health. Talks

gloomily of the regiment; thinks Captain Drake, Lieutenant

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          161

Avery, etc., will not return; that he and most of the officers

will resign. Chief difficulty is the governor appointed Major

Comly in my place as major. It [the appointment] ought to

have been made from our own regiment. Captain Drake was

recommended and would have been satisfactory to a majority.

But Major Comly has shown himself so diligent, gentlemanly,

and reasonably [reasonable], withal so well acquainted with

tactics and the duties of a soldier, that those who have been

here the last six weeks are reconciled to his appointment and

think it is well for the regiment. Captain Moore also reports

an impression he got that I was to be a colonel soon and leave

the regiment. I don't believe it.

          CAMP UNION, TUESDAY, December 17, A. M., 1861.

  DEAREST: --I can't let another chance slip without a letter to

show you I am thinking of you.

  Still lovely weather. Rode to the scene of the naval expedi-

tion on this side of New River, a romantic place.

  I send this by Lieutenant Kennedy's father. He brought

from Bellefontaine gloves, socks, blankets, and shirts -- enough

and to spare all around--for Captain  Canby's company.            I

get something every time anything comes.

  We are in glorious trim now. Some of the companies still

lack comforts, but we drill with life. The paymaster is here

and it is white days with us.

  The Rebels are getting sick of it. Nobody but Jenkins holds

out in all this country. Rebel soldiers come and give up their

arms, etc.

  Dearest, good-night. Love to all the boys and Grandma.

 . . . I do hope you will get along well. You shall keep

Dr. Joe till the trouble is over.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Fayetteville, Virginia, Camp  Union.  Wednesday, December

18.--Another fine day.  Sergeant John McKinley,  Company



G, left for Mount Vernon this morning; took a letter to Lucy

and a watch to be repaired. He is a character, an erect, neat,

prompt old soldier. English of Lancaster, or rather Irish of

England, he talks the most profuse flattery, but it does win,

fulsome as it is. He does his whole duty.  As he left me he said

"I want to see that 'Lieutenant' from before your name. Every

good man should go up."

  Drilled as usual.  Weather very warm  at evening.  "Jeff

Davis," a boy who came into Camp Chase with Company A

and who drilled like an old sergeant, though aged but thirteen,

returned yesterday from Cleveland.


  DEAREST: -- You will think I have nothing to do but to write

to you. I can't let a good chance slip without sending you word

that "I am well and doing well and hope, etc." Sergeant Mc-

Kinley, an old soldier, or rather I ought to say an experienced

soldier, offers so generously to go and see you that I must

let him. Birch ought to hear him talk. He has many scars

received in battle, and Birt would like to hear about them. He

is trusty.

  Love to all the boys and ever so much for yourself. I suspect

I am getting more anxious about you than the people at home.

You must keep up good heart. We shall be together pretty

soon again. If we have another little boy, we will have enough

for a file in four ranks -- which Birtie knows, I suppose, is

requisite for a march by the flank.  "Companions in battle"

they are called. If it is a daughter, why bless you darling,

won't we have a nice family? . . .

  This is our fourteenth beautiful day and prospects of more,

tell Joe.-- Love to all.

                 Affectionately, dearest, your



             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          163


  DEAR UNCLE: --Yesterday morning, a party of contrabands

started for Ohio. It is not unlikely that some of them will find

their way to Fremont. Allen, a mulatto, with his wife and one

or two children, is one of a thousand --faithful, intelligent, and

industrious, -- will do for a house servant -- would just answer

your purpose.  His wife can cook--is neat and orderly--a

most valuable family, you will find them, if you put them into

the new house, or anywhere else. If you don't want them, you

can safely recommend them. Quite a number have come to me,

but these are the pick of the lot. They have another black man

and wife with them who are well spoken of; I do not know

them. It is, of course, doubtful whether Allen will find you; I

think he will.  I send him because I think he will just answer

your purpose.

  They will all be entitled to freedom, as I understand the rule

adopted by our Government. Their master is a Rebel, and is

with Floyd's army as quartermaster, or the like, being too old

for a soldier. These people gave themselves up to me, and I

let them go to Ohio. The rule is, I believe, that slaves coming

to our lines, especially if owned by Rebels, are free. Allen gave

me valuable information as to the enemy. These facts, if nec-

essary hereafter, can be proved by members of Captain McIlrath's

Company A, Twenty-third Regiment, Cleveland, or of Captain

Sperry's Company H, Ashtabula County. Of course, there is

little present danger of attempt to recapture them under the

Fugitive Bill, but it may be done hereafter.

  You, perhaps, know that Dr. Joe took a contraband to Cin-

cinnati. These people do not go to Cincinnati, preferring the

country, and fearing relatives of their master there. The party

start for Galion in company with the servant of one of our

men; from there, they will probably get to you.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Camp Union, Fayetteville, Virginia.  Friday, December  20.

--A. M., before breakfast, some clouds and wind but sun now


shining. Change threatened. We have here Twenty-sixth Regi-

ment, now under Lieutenant-Colonel Eckley, who also commands

the post; Thirtieth Regiment, five companies, under Colonel

Ewing; Twenty-third, now under my command; McMullen's

Battery, and a Pennsylvania cavalry company, stationed on the

road towards Raleigh. Twenty-third here 550, Twenty-sixth, 600,

Thirtieth, 200, battery, 40, cavalry, 40--1430 men. Building

two forts on hill northeast of town, one on hill southwest of

town. Wind and clouds during the day, but the sun shone

brightly on our dress parade, making this our sixteenth good


  Saturday, 21. -- A cold, bright winter day. Sent a dispatch

home to Lucy. Paymaster here getting ready to pay our men.

The James D. (Devereux) Bulloch* was a good friend of mine

at Middletown, Connecticut, (Webb's school) in 1837-8 from

Savannah,  Georgia--a  whole-hearted,  generous  fellow.           A

model sailor I would conjecture him to be. Rebel though he is,

I guess him to be a fine fellow, a brave man, honorable and all


  It is rumored that Great Britain will declare war on account

of the seizure of Slidell and Mason. I think not. It will blow

over. First bluster and high words, then correspondence and

diplomacy, finally peace. But if not, if war, what then? First,

it is to be a trying, a severe and dreadful trial of our stuff. We

  * Pasted in the Diary is the following clipping from the Richmond

News of November 30:--"Captain James D. Bulloch, who lately suc-

cessfully ran the blockade while in command of the steamship Fingal,

has arrived in Richmond.    He thinks there is a likelihood of Lord

Palmerston's proving indifferent to the question involved in the seizure,

by Captain Wilkes, on the high seas, from a British vessel, of Messrs.

Mason and Slidell."

  Captain James D. Bulloch was the "Naval Representative of the

Confederate States in Europe" during the Civil War. It was under his

direction and through his energy that the Alabama and other cruisers

were built and equipped to prey on American commerce. In 1883 Captain

Bulloch published in two volumes a most interesting narrative, entitled

"The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, or How the

Confederate Cruisers Were Equipped."  It may also be recalled that

Captain Bulloch was a brother of President Roosevelt's mother.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          165

shall suffer, but we will stand it. All the Democratic element,

now grumbling and discontented, must then rouse up to fight

their ancient enemies the British. The South, too, will not thou-

sands then be turned towards us by seeing their strange allies?

If not, shall we not with one voice arm and emancipate the

slaves?  A  civil, sectional, foreign, and servile war--shall we

not have horrors enough? Well, I am ready for my share of

it. We are in the right and must prevail.

  Six companies paid today. Three months' pay due not paid.

A "perfectly splendid" day -- the seventeenth!!

  Sunday, December 22. -- The Forefathers' day -- Pilgrim day.

We  are at the same high call here today--freedom, freedom

for all. We all know that is the essence of this contest.

  Cold, but the sun gilds the eastern sky as I write, and a few

thin clouds gathered during the night are rolling away. . . .

At 3:30 P. M. a cold rain begins to fall--the end of our fine

weather. How long shall we now be housed up by stormy

weather? . . .

  Monday, December 23.--Wet, cold, windy; sleet last night.

Five companies of the Thirtieth came up last night. Little or

no preparations to shelter them--all their field officers gone.

A sorry plight.

  At dinner today with Captain Sperry and Lieutenant Ken-

nedy, I was handed the following dispatch:

                            "Cincinnati, December 23, 1861.

"Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Hayes, Twenty-third Regiment.

  "Wife and boy doing well. Stranger arrived Saturday eve-

ning, nine o'clock P. M.                         

                                             J. T. Webb."

  Good  Very! I preferred a daughter, but in these times

when women suffer so much, I am not sure but we ought to

rejoice that our girls are boys. What shall I call him? What

will Birt say, and Webb, and Babes? "Babes" no longer. He

is supplanted by the little stranger. Cold wind and snow-storm

outside. Dear Lucy!  I hope she will keep up good heart. I

replied by telegraph: "Congratulations and much love to mother

and son. All well."


                          CAMP UNION, December 23, 1861.

  DEAREST:--I am so happy to hear today by telegraph that

your troubles are over (at least the worst, I hope) and that

"mother and son are doing well." Darling, I love you so much

and have felt so anxious about you. The little fellow, I hope, is

healthy and strong. It is best it was not a daughter. These are

no times for women. . . .       What do the boys say? . . .

Tell me all about him.

  Captain Sperry will take this. I shall time it so as to come

about the time that Dr. Joe will leave--say, the 15th to 20th

January, unless something occurs to stop it.

  I shall send either to you or to Platt five hundred dollars by

Captain Sperry. Get all you want--Christmas presents for

the boys and all.

  Kiss the boy, yes, "all the boys" for me.




                FAYETTEVILLE, VIRGINIA, December 23, 1861.

  DEAR UNCLE:-- I have just heard by telegraph of the birth of

my fourth son. In these times, boys are to be preferred to girls.

Am glad to hear Lucy is doing well. . . .

  Yes, we are in winter quarters, most comfortable quarters.

I have to myself as nice a room as your large room, papered,

carpeted, a box full of wood, and with a wild snow-storm blow-

ing outside to make it more cheerful by contrast. We have had

eighteen days of fine weather to get ready in, and are in

pretty good condition.  We  have our telegraph line running

down to civilization; get Cincinnati papers irregularly from

four to ten days old. I have enjoyed the month here very much.

Busy fortifying--not quite ready yet, but a few more days

of good weather will put us in readiness for any force. The

enemy are disheartened; the masses of the people want to stop.

If England does not step in, or some great disaster befall us,

we shall conquer the Rebellion beyond doubt, and at no distant

period. . . .

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          167

  I shall go home about the time Dr. Joe starts back here--

say the 15th to 20th January, if nothing new occurs to prevent.

If you can't come down to Cincinnati, I shall go to Fremont.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


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

                                         December 23, 1861.

  DEAR DOCTOR:--Thanks for your letter of the 16th.          You

will of course stay with Lucy until after she is out of all danger,

if it is a month or more, and all will be well. Some arrange-

ment, or no arrangement, it will be all right. I will come home

unless something turns up to prevent, which I do not anticipate,

so as to reach there just before you leave. McCurdy would

like to go home during the next month, but it can all be arranged.

  I will make Jim assistant at any time if it is thought best,

but I do not wish to put him over McCurdy.  This, however,

need not trouble you. You can stay as long as you please, and

I will see it duly approved.

  You have authority to send home our men, but to stop all

cavil I send you an order which you can fill up with the name

of any officer, commissioned or non-commissioned, who you

think can be trusted, directing him to bring here all men who

are able to come.

  At dinner just now I got your dispatch as to the boy. . . .

Welcome to the little stranger! I hope he will be stout and

healthy. . . .

  Did Lucy get a draft for eighty-seven dollars by Captain

Drake or Lieutenant Richardson, and two gold twenty-dollar

pieces by a Company A man? Get Lucy for me some ring or

"sich" thing that she will like--something nice.


                                              R. B. HAYES.

  DR. J. T. WEBB.


  Tuesday, December 24.--Good weather.  Moderately cold;

ground frozen so it will bear teams, whitened with a thin

sprinkling of snow. Captain Sperry left this morning with

Sergeant Hall and Private Gillet for home via Cincinnati. . . .

  Fayetteville, Virginia, Wednesday, 25.--A beautiful Christ-

mas morning--clear, cool, and crisp (K. K. K.), bright and

lovely. The band waked me with a serenade. How they im-

prove! A fine band and what a life in a regiment! Their music

is better than food and clothing to give spirit to the men. . . .

  Dined with McIlrath's company--sergeants' mess; an

eighteen-pound turkey, chickens, pies, pudding, doughnuts, cake,

cheese, butter, coffee, and milk, all abundant and of good quality.

Poor soldiers! A quiet orderly company under good discipline;

speaks well for its captain.

  In the evening met at the adjutant's office the commissioned

officers of the regiment. Much feeling against the promotion

from third sergeant to captain of Company G of Sergeant Haven,

Company A. It was an ill-advised act. I think highly of

Sergeant Haven. He will, I think, make a good officer. But the

regular line of promotion should [be departed from] only in

extraordinary cases, and then the promotion should be limited to

the merits of the case. The lieutenants passed over--all the

first and  second-lieutenants -- are much  dissatisfied and the

captains who are not yet reconciled to the major are again ex-

cited.  They have a story that the colonel recommended Sergeant

McKinley for promotion to a first lieutenancy. It can't be pos-

sible, and if not, the other case will lead, I think, [to] no un-

pleasant action.

  We adjourned to my quarters. I sent for oysters to the

sutler's; got four dollars and fifty cents' worth and crackers.

They were cooked by Lieutenants Warren and Bottsford.          A

good time; Bottsford, a little merry and noisy. Present, Major

Comly, Captains Canby and Moore, First-Lieutenants Warren,

Hood, and Rice and Naughton, Second-Lieutenants Bottsford,

Hastings, Ellen, Adjutant Kennedy, Stevens. Retired at II 

P. M.

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          169

                    CAMP UNION, Christmas morning, 1861.

  DEAREST:--A merry Christmas to you and the little stranger

(I suppose he is a stranger to you no longer)--and to all at

home. At this home-happiness season, I think of you constantly.

  . . . Oh the boys, how they must enjoy Uncle Joe and the

presents! You will see they get some from "Uncle Papa" too.

  A Dr. Hayes is here as brigade surgeon. Scarcely any sick in

our regiment, so Dr. Joe can feel easy about his absence.

  Beautiful weather again. Only one bad day. The rest of the

Thirtieth has come up. It is now the strongest regiment here.

This half is better stuff too and had some service.

  Captain Zimmerman takes this. I sent a chair and five hundred

dollars, by Captain Sperry. Let Joe tell me what money you

have received from me. It is all right, I suppose, but I would

like to know. . . .

                    Affectionately, darling,

  MRS. HAYES.                                             R.

  Thursday, December 26. -- A  cloudy  day--thawing  and

muddy. The colonel is planning an expedition through Raleigh

to Princeton to capture what is there of  the  enemy,--viz.

six hundred sick with a guard of about one hundred men,

arms and stores, with a possibility of getting Floyd who is said

to be without guard at        and to burn the railroad bridges

near Newbern. The plan is to mount one-half the force on

pack mules and ride and tie--to make a forced march so as

to surprise the enemy. He does not seem willing to look the

difficulties in the face, and to prepare to meet them. He calls

it forty or fifty miles.  It is sixty-seven and one-half.   He

thinks men can move night and day, three of four miles an hour.

Night in those muddy roads will almost stop a column. With

proper preparations, the thing is perhaps practicable. Let me

study to aid in arranging it, if it is to be.

  Dear wife ! how is she? -- Soon after breakfast the sun chased

the clouds away and we had a warm spring day. The bluebirds

are coming back if they ever left. Our twenty-first fine day

this month.


  Friday, December 27. --A cold and windy but clear morning

--good winter weather. It was warm last night until 2 [A. M.],

wind veered around from south to north and [it was] cold as

blazes (why blazes?). Rode with Major Comly down to Cap-

tain McIlrath's. He preferred remaining in his quarters to a

trip to Raleigh. Five companies to be sent to Raleigh to occupy

it,--to push further if best to do so.

  Drilled in a clear, brisk air. Colonel Scammon is preparing

to send to Raleigh in the hope that a party of the enemy at

Princeton may be surprised; also that railroad bridges near

Newbern may be destroyed.

  Harvey Carrington and T. S. Dickson, Company C, complain

of Sergeant Keen and Thomas Mason for keeping two hundred

and ten dollars won at "Honest John." They say the agree-

ment was that whatever was lost or won was to be returned

and that they played merely to induce others to play.  I told them

that as they, by their own stories, were stool-pigeons, they were

entitled to no sympathy. They admitted that much of the money

had been won gaming. I declined to order the money returned

to them. I sent for Sergeant Keen and Mason, who denied

the story of Carrington and Dickson, but admitted winning the

money. I ordered them to pay the money into the company

fund of Company C where it will be used to buy gloves and

such other comforts as the Government does not furnish for

all the company.

  Saturday, December 28.-- Cold very, but still and clear--

good weather. Warm in the afternoon. Rode with Colonel

Scammon to the different works. They are well done as works,

not very necessary, and not perhaps in the very best localities,

but well enough.    They are, I suspect, creditable to Colonel

Scammon as military earthworks of no great pretension. At-

tended the funeral of another man of Company B. Sad and

solemn. The lively music after all is over offends my taste.--

A good, lively drill.

  Camp Union, Fayetteville, Virginia, Sunday, December 29. --

Major Comly (J. M.) with five companies marched today to

occupy Raleigh twenty-five miles south of here. Companies F

             WINTER QUARTERS, WEST VIRGINIA, 1861          171

and G, Twenty-third, two companies of Thirtieth, and one com-

pany, Twenty-sixth.  Weather, bright and clear; ground, frozen

hard; roads, good. Success attend them! Company inspection.


  DEAREST:--I have no letter from home since the boy was

born.  I have by mail Commercials of several days later date

and hoped for a letter; but I comfort myself by thinking that

all is going well with you, or the telegraph would inform me.

  I now begin to think anxiously of coming home. If nothing

occurs unforeseen, I must get home before the next month runs

out.  We have sent Major Comly with a detachment to occupy

Raleigh, twenty-five miles further into the bowels of the land,

and his absence may prevent my coming so soon as I hope, but

I shall come if possible.

  Dr. McCurdy is sick, and will probably go home soon. Dr.

Hayes, the brigade surgeon, seems to be a nice gentleman, and

gets along well with Dr. Jim, as surgeon of the Twenty-third.

Colonel Scammon has been unwell, and says that while he likes

Dr. Hayes as a gentleman, he would prefer to be doctored by

Dr. Joe, and inquires often as to his coming. I tell him Dr. Joe

will in no event return before the 10th and not then unless you

are out of all danger.

  Make Joe tell me all about "the boy." Does "the face of the

boy indicate the heart of the boy"? Do you love him as much

as the others? Do you feel sorry the fourth was not a daughter?

I think it's best as it is. -- Love to "all the boys" and kiss the

little one.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Monday, December 30. -- A "magnificent splendid" day -- the

twenty-fifth fine day this month; twenty-five out of the last

twenty-six!! The companies at Raleigh diminish our strength.

Five hundred and twenty present. Total in companies here

seven hundred and forty-three.


  Tuesday, December 31, 1861.--New Year's Eve--the last

day of the year -- a busy day with me. A review, an inspection,

and a muster of the regiment all by me; also an inspection of

McMullen's Battery. Yesterday received letters from Platt and

Dr. Joe. The little stranger is more like Birt than the others

and smaller than Rud. Birch indignant that he isn't big enough

to drill! -- A lovely day today. Twenty-six fine days this month;

a few [of] them cold, not severely so, but all good weather.

Lucy getting on well. Good, all!

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