JUNE 1863

         CAMP MASKELL, GAULEY BRIDGE, December 1, 1862.

  DEAREST LU:--We are on the south side of the Kanawha--

same side as the Eighty-ninth--at the ferry below and

in sight of the falls, two miles below Gauley Bridge. There, do

you know where we are? It is a muddy -- bad slippery mud --

place, and as it rains or sleets here all winter, that is a serious

objection. Now you have the worst of it. In all other respects,

it is a capital place.  Beautiful scenery--don't be alarmed, I

won't describe; no guard or picket duty, scarcely; good water

and wood; convenient to navigation; no other folks near enough

to bother, and many other advantages. The men are building

cabins without tools or lumber (sawed lumber, I mean,) and will

be at it some weeks yet before we look like living.

  It was jolly enough to get back with the men -- all healthy and

contented, glad to be back in western Virginia by themselves.

They greeted me most cordially. It was like getting home after

a long absence. The officers all came in, twenty-four in number,

and around the wine, etc., you saw packed, talked over the funny

and sad things of the campaign -- a few sad, many funny. We

resolved to build a five-hundred-dollar monument to the killed,

etc., to be put in cemetery ground at Cleveland.

  A story or two. Bill Brown, as he rushed forward in the bay-

onet charge at South Mountain, said to his lieutenant behind him:

"I'll toss the graybacks over my head to you, and you must

wring their necks." In Washington a lady asked Bill if he

wouldn't have his handkerchief scented:  "Yes, yes," said he and

tore off about four inches square of his shirt and handed it to

her.  She took the hint and gave him a fine handkerchief.

  In Maryland, Colonel Scammon dressed up in a splinter-new

unform.  He met a fellow hauling into camp a load of rails to


             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          367

burn.  Colonel Scammon said: "Where did you get those rails?"

"On a fence down by the creek." "Who authorized you to take

them?" "I took them on my own hook." "Well, sir," said the

colonel, "just haul them back and put them where you got them."

The fellow looked at the colonel from head to heel and drove

ahead merely remarking: "A bran' new colonel by G--d!"

The doctor asked Bill Brown where he was wounded: "Oh, in

the place where I'm always ailing.". . .

  Comly is urged by leading officers in this brigade to be made

colonel of the Eighty-ninth. He would be a capital man for the


  My mess are eating up the good things with a relish. It con-

sists of Comly, Doctor Joe, McIlrath, and myself. We have

Company A's fine tenor singer for cook -- a good cook and a nice

gentleman he is. My orderly, Carrington, and Doctor's ditto are

the only servants, all soldiers -- contrary to law, but much better

than having darkies. Dr. Joe has built a bed today wide enough to

have Webb and Birch both sleep with him! He really thinks of


  Dr. Jim resigned today on a surgeon's certificate. Joe thought

it best and I concurred. He is not in danger, but was evidently

breaking down in this climate. Old Gray is with his company.

Dr. Joe saw him today carrying mud to a couple of men building

a chimney, and asked him what he was doing now. Gray re-

plied: "I am clark to these gentlemen!"

  The Eighty-ninth were camped on this ground. When the

Twenty-third moved up alongside of them, the officer of the

day in the Eighty-ninth was heard by some of our men telling

in his camp that they were near an old regiment now and they

must be watchful at night or the Twenty-third would steal what-

ever they wanted! That night cook-stoves, blankets, a tent from

over the sleepers' heads, and a quantity of other property mys-

teriously disappeared from the Eighty-ninth notwithstanding

their vigilance. Our men sympathized, our camp was searched,

but, of course, nothing was  found.      After the Eighty-ninth

moved, men were seen pulling out of the river stoves and other

plunder by the quantity. The Eighty-ninth's surgeon was a


friend of Captain Canby. He called on the captain a few days

ago and was surprised to find his cooking stove doing duty in

Captain Canby's tent. The best of it was the Eighty-ninth ap-

peared to take it in good part.

  Bottsford and Kennedy, both captains and A. A. G's -- Botts-

ford for General Scammon and Kennedy for General Crook.

Hood came up with me from Gallipolis. . . .

                     Affectionately ever,



  Camp Maskell, near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, December

2, 1862. -- November 21, went on board [the] Izetta bound up

the Ohio; 22d, grounded on a bar (crawfish) and stayed there

until Wednesray, 26th. Found on board Captain Patterson, of

General Morgan's staff, and family, and other agreeable pas-

sengers. Bid good-bye to Lucy, boys, and all, four times on

different days. Reached camp Sunday P. M. with Captain Hood

and Mr. Stover. A cold morning, but Indian-summer-like in the

afternoon.  Sunday  evening, November 30, a jovial festive

meeting in my shanty of all the officers, twenty-four or twenty-

five in number. Fought over South Mountain and Antietam,

with many anecdotes, much laughter, and enjoyment.

  Monday, December 1, a wet, raw day. Visited the men, all at

work on their new quarters--cabins sixteen by eighteen feet

square; four for a company and a kitchen or two. Rode out to

General Scammon's headquarters and dined with him. In my

shanty are Dr. Webb, Lieutenant-Colonel Comly, and Major Mc-

Ilrath.  Mess, same.  Frank Alpin [Halpin], cook, Harvey Car-

rington, ostler, Bill (colored), bootblack. I am to pay Alpin

[Halpin] five dollars, Bill three dollars and fifty cents, and Car-

rington seven dollars and fifty cents.

  [Today], Tuesday, December 2, a cold morning, but a warm,

pleasant day. Sun shone about four hours. Only four men

sick in hospital.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          369


  DEAR MOTHER: -- I am again with my friends and am enjoying

camp life more than ever. The men are so hardy and healthy

(only four in hospital) and so industrious (all hard at work

building log cabins for winter quarters) and contented that I feel

very happy with them. We are in a quiet place by ourselves,

surrounded by fine scenery. Six miles only from the head of

navigation, and no drawbacks except mud and a good deal of

wet weather. Other regiments are on all the roads leading into

"Dixie," leaving us very little guard duty to do. A great relief

in winter. . . .

                   Affectionately, your son,


  P. S.--Please send this to Uncle, as I have no time now for

writing. -- H.


  Wednesday, December 3.-- A bright, fine winter day.  We

moved our quarters fifty yards up the river into a house lately

occupied by a daughter of Mr. Riggs. Its windows on the north

side afford a good view of the river and of the Falls of the

Kanawha. With our new cooks, two soldiers, we are living

sumptuously -- better than ever before since I have been in camp.

  Signed a recommendation for Sergeant Chamberlain, Company

A, as second lieutenant. Introduced to Captain Rigdon Wil-

liams, of the Twelfth. While at Middletown, Maryland, wound-

ed, I heard he was killed, and on my return to Ohio I reported

him killed. It was a Captain Liggett who was shot at South

Mountain in the head.

  The Rebels did not carry the American flag at Antietam to

enable them to get into the rear of the Ohio troops. It was their

battle-flag. Yet I have reported this, on good authority, as I

thought. Our sergeant-major was probably killed attempting to

escape from the enemy, although Lieutenant Ritter thinks -- and

I have reported -- that he was killed pushing ahead of the regi-



ment. So difficult it is with the best intentions and no motive to

deceive, to get the truth of these battle incidents even from eye-

witnesses. The men are building the new city very rapidly.

  Thursday, December 4, 1862. -- A clear fine day. In the morn-

ing I walked, or climbed rather, to the top of the hill near the

camp, just east of us. On the top I could see east of me the camp

of the Forty-seventh [Ohio] at Tompkins farm, the camp of the

Fourth Virginia, and other camps on the west side of Kanawha

to the west, and the road to Fayette south. A hard scramble

but I stood it well. My arm is still weak and easily hurt. Queer

feeling, to think I can reach up to grasp a limb of a tree, and

find it impossible to raise my hand above my head. In the after-

noon I walked with Captain Haven up to Gauley Bridge. He

explained to me the dwarf and giant laurel and the beautiful

holly. The dwarf laurel grows from three to five feet high, is

usually in thickets, and has an oval leaf. The giant laurel grows

fifteen or twenty feet high and has a long leaf. The holly grows

as high as apple trees and has a prickly leaf.

  I give Colonel Comly drill and discipline, Major McIlrath, sup-

plies of all sorts, and I attend to general interests of the regiment.

I have sinks dug, look to camp drainage, and the like. The exer-

cise agrees with me.

  Friday, December 5. -- Making sand walks around quarters.

A threatening morning and a snowy day. General Scammon

passed today with his staff for Fayette: Captain James L Botts-

ford, First Lieutenant A. C. Reichenbach, [and] Headington, of

Thirtieth. A good staff. Captain Hildt, of Twelfth, provost

marshal. Bottsford and Reichenbach of Twenty-third dined with

us on their way up to Fayette. General Scammon commands all

south and east of Kanawha River; General Crook all north of

same; both under Major-General Cox.

     CAMP MASKELL, NEAR GAULEY BRIDGE, December 5, 1862.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I am enjoying myself here, looking after the

new town we are building. We are putting up about a hundred

log cabins, generally sixteen by twenty feet square. We are fur-

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          371

nished with no nails, very little sawed lumber, and no tools.

Somewhat over one-half the work is done, but cutting timber,

splitting shakes and puncheons, and putting them together is the

great business. We are on a piece of muddy bottom-land on a

beautiful bend of the Kanawha, with high mountains pressing

close up to us on all sides. We are on the side of the river

where no enemy can come without first running over three or

four other regiments, so that we have very little guard duty to

do.  The men are strong, healthy, and happy.  I yesterday

climbed the mountain just east of us, making a journey of four

miles before dinner. I walked six miles in the afternoon. The

ten miles was done easily. You may judge of my health by this.

Today it snows and blows. Tomorrow it will probably thaw.

We shall have some trouble with the mud, but I think with proper

ditching, and the use of sand, we can conquer the trouble.

  Read in December Atlantic Monthly, "Hunt for the Captain,"

by Holmes. It is good.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Saturday, 6. -- A cold morning. Snow, two to four inches, on

the ground and more falling. Five wounded men returned last

night, restored and ready for duty. Captain Haven's resignation

having been accepted on account of ill health, he left us today

He goes home to Bedford, Cuyahoga County. He exhibited

great courage at Antietam and South Mountain. Appointed cap-

tain from sergeant, in violation of the rule of seniority, he en-

countered bitter prejudice as an officer, but his courage and good

conduct overcame it. Success to him!

  This morning I climbed the hill above the falls on this side of

the Kanawha. Fine views of the wintry mountains, snow-clad

and with dark green holly, laurel, and pine along their sides.

The beautiful cold river beneath. Lucy thinks I am "dazed" on


  Sunday, 7. -- Very cold, but pleasant winter weather. There

is talk of the Kanawha freezing over. The river is low and a


severe "spell" will do it. Cotton Mountain so slippery as to be

dangerous to cross with teams or on horseback. Dr. Joe went

over today to the Eighty-ninth to see Captain Brown of Chilli-

cothe, whose mother is there. She was charged thirty dollars

by a liveryman to bring her from Charleston, a distance of

forty-six miles. Dr. Parker, of Berea, Cuyahoga County, agent

of Sanitary Commission, visits us. We are in no condition for

inspection, but he is a sensible man and will make proper allow-

ances. Our sick in hospital is two, and excused from duty by

surgeon eight.--Snow lying all around.

  Monday, 8.--A cold morning, but a bright warm sun melts

the snow on all the low ground. Lieutenant Smith says some of

our prisoners at South Mountain heard my speech as we went

into the fight. He says the colonel rode up, his eyes shining like

a cat's, [and said:] "Now boys, remember you are the Twenty-

third, and give them hell. In these woods the Rebels don't know

but we are ten thousand; and if we fight, and when we charge

yell, we are as good as ten thousand, by ---."


  A paymaster. Not paid since August and then only to June 30.

  A Sawmill -- or lumber  (ten thousand feet); none yet, ex-

cept eighteen hundred feet and old drift, etc., etc.

  Window sash and nails.

  Mess stores at Charleston and Gallipolis; privilege to send.

      CAMP MASKELL, December, 8, 1862. Monday morning.

  DEAREST: -- I have been here a week yesterday. The knocking

about among the men, getting out lumber, building cabins, ditch-

ing and cleaning camp and sich, agrees with me spiritually and

physically. We have pretty good living and splendid appetites

and digestion. . . .

  Comly is reading a novel, McIlrath a newspaper, Dr. Joe is

visiting, and I am writing you before a huge log fire in a great

old-fashioned fireplace. I wish you were here. It's really jolly

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          373

living so; you would be delighted with it. I love you ever so

much. Kiss the boys. Love to Grandma.

                     Affectionately, your



                      CAMP MASKELL, NEAR GAULEY,

                        Monday Morning,, December 8, 1862.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I got your letter, mailed the 2nd, yesterday

morning. It was my first letter since I left home and was very

welcome.    I like the  coolness  of  the old  Yankee  colonel

and admire his earnestness. My speech at South Mountain was

not quite so religious, but I suppose it answered very much the

same purpose. I don't value what comes out of the mouth on

such occasions so much as the spirit of it.

  We are having severe, but pleasant and healthful winter

weather.  The men work hard getting up our log village and

enjoy it much. I spent Thanksgiving on the Ohio River very

pleasantly with an intelligent crowd of passengers. . . .

                   Affectionately, your son,



  Camp Maskell, near Gauley, December 12. --  Ninth to twelfth

bright, warm days; cold nights; snow scarcely melted at all on

the north side of the hills. The river is low and freezes in the

pools clear across. A single very severe night would close navi-

gation on the Kanawha. Nothing will save us from this calamity

but a mild winter or a freshet in the river. With this low water

a cold winter will bother us exceedingly. Well, well, our camp

is growing; a few nails have come to us; no sawed lumber yet.

  Yesterday (11th) received a good letter from Lucy.  She has

read Wendell Holmes' "Search After the Captain"  in [the]

December number of [the] Atlantic and thinks I must not laugh

at her any more about her efforts to find me -- I being at Mid-

dletown and she at Washington searching the hospitals for me.


  Today got news of the capture of a brigade of our troops in

Tennessee by four thousand of John Morgan's men! Either a

surprise or a disgraceful thing of some sort! Also the crossing

of the river at Fredericksburg after heavy cannonading.

  Saturday, December 13. -- The hottest day of the winter; a hot

sun made the shady side of the house the most comfortable. Our

new second lieutenant, [William] McKinley, returned today --

an exceedingly bright, intelligent, and gentlemanly young officer.

He promises to be one of our best. . . .

                         CAMP MASKELL, December 14, 1862.

  DEAREST:--Very glad to have a good letter from you again.

Very glad indeed the bag is found--glad you read the article

of Dr. Holmes in the Atlantic Monthly. It is, indeed, a defense

pat for your case. I knew you would like it. You must keep it.

When we are old folks it will freshly remind us of a very inter-

esting part of our war experience.

  If the enchanted bag contains my spurs, and if they are both

alike (which I doubt), you may send them to me when a good

chance offers. The pair I now use are those worn by Lorin

Andrews and given me by McCook. I don't want to lose them.

  The fine weather of the past week has been very favorable

for our business and we are getting on rapidly. The river is so

low that a cold snap would freeze it up, and leave us "out in the

cold" in a very serious way -- that is, without the means of

getting grub. This would compel us to leave our little log city

and drive us back towards Ohio. . . .

  One of our new second lieutenants -- McKinley -- a handsome

bright, gallant boy, got back last night. He went to Ohio to re-

cruit with the other orderly sergeants of the regiment. He tells

good stories of their travels. The Thirtieth and Twelfth ser-

geants stopped at second-class hotels, but the Twenty-third boys

"splurged." They stopped at the American and swung by the big

figure. Very proper. They are the generals of the next war.

  I rode over to the Eighty-ninth. Promising boys over there.

I like the cousins much. Ike Nelson is a master spirit. The

others will come out all right.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          375

  Yes, darling, these partings don't grow any easier for us, but

you don't regret that, I am sure. It will be all the pleasanter

when it is all over.  How is your health?  Is all right with you?

Your sake, not mine. Thanks for the Harper and Atlantic,

mailed me by Stephenson. Love to all.

  Conners whom we saw at Frederick is not dead. He returned

safely last night. All the wounded are gathering in except the

discharged. Sergeant Tyler whom we saw with his arm off at

Frederick is in a bad way -- others doing well. . . .

                 Affectionately yours, ever,


  P. S. -- Three months ago the battle of South Mountain. We

celebrated it by climbing the mountain on the other side of the

river to the castle-like-looking rocks which overlook the Falls of

the Kanawha. Captains Hood, Zimmerman, Canby, Lovejoy

and Lieutenant Bacon were of the party. Hood and I beat the

crowd to the top. Hood, the worst wounded, up first. When I

saw him shot through that day I little thought I would ever see

him climbing mountains again.


  Monday, 15. -- A hot, clear day. Lieutenant McKinley and his

party work hard clearing our parade. Rode the little sorrel up

the river two miles. Threatens rain at night but we all vote for

another fine day. Fire in the mountains.

  Tuesday, 16. -- Rained last night; raw and cloudy with a little

snow this morning. Sun shone in the afternoon. We hear today

of the crossing by General Burnside of the Rappahannock at


  Wednesday, 17. -- Rode with Major McIlrath to General Ew-

ing's camp near Loup Creek to see about "wants." Generally

satisfactory results. Dined with the general and Mrs. Ewing.

A rough day with gusts of snow and the like.

  Thursday, 18. -- A cold, bitterly cold, night but a bright, fine

day. Major McIlrath and Dr. Webb left for Ohio today.


Major under orders from General Ewing goes to Camp Chase

with prisoner.  Doctor got a leave from General Ewing  for

twenty days to look after medicines, but this morning came a

thirty-day leave from Washington.

  Sinister rumors from General Burnside. Telegraph operator

reported to say, "Burnside whipped like the Devil"! Ah, if so,

sad hearts in the North! Intervention again. So much blood

shed in vain! I confess to feeling much anxiety. The crossing

of the river at Fredericksburg with so little resistance, looks

as if the enemy was willing to let Burnside cross--as if they

were leading him into a trap. I trust the sinister report is false.

                                  CAMP, December 18, 1862.

  DEAREST:--Joe goes this morning, thanks to General Ewing

for the leave, contrary to general orders. Don't let him spend

more than two weeks at home.

  I love you all to pieces this cold morning. Kiss the boys.

Merry Christmas 'em for me. I mean to have the cousins to dine

with me on Christmas. We shall have a good dinner. Our

cooks are splendid. . . .

  Send me about two or three yards carpet (old will do) to light

out on these frosty mornings. Thunder, but it's cold this morn-

ing! If the water doesn't rise, we freeze up "shore," as darkies


  Well, dearest, think of me lovingly during the holy days.




  Friday, 19. -- Captain Bottsford and his father stayed with me

this evening; a pleasant time. Captains Zimmerman and Rice,

also from Mahoning County, helped drink an egg-nog of Mr.

Bottsford's mixing.

  Saturday, 20.--Burnside has retreated across the Rappahan-

nock. The Rebels can now set off the battle of Fredericksburg

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          377

against the battle of Antietam. They retreated back across the

Potomac. But I suspect they have a great advantage in having

suffered much less than we have. They fought behind entrench-

ments. When will our generals learn not to attack an equal ad-

versary in fortified positions? Burnside will now perhaps have

to yield to McClellan. It looks as if in the East neither army was

strong enough to make a successful invasion of [the territory of]

the other. If so conquest of [the] Rebellion is not to be. We

have now the Emancipation Proclamation to go upon. Will not

this stiffen the President's backbone so as to drive it through?

Desperate diseases require desperate remedies.


  DEAR UNCLE:--Dr. Webb went home on a thirty-day fur-

lough a few days ago. Our good health here makes a surgeon

almost unnecessary. We now have only one man in hospital -- a

chance case of erysipelas. Our camp is improving. We are

almost out of the mud and the greater part of our cabins


  Another serious reverse. Burnside's repulse at Fredericks-

burg is bad enough as it looks from my point of view. It

would seem as if neither party in eastern Virginia was strong

enough to make a successful invasion of the territory of the

other--which is equivalent to saying that the Rebellion can there

sustain itself as long as it stands on the defensive. I don't like

two things in this campaign of General Burnside. (1) It looks

as if his first delay opposite Fredericksburg was an error. (2)

To attack an enemy of equal (or nearly equal strength)

behind entrenchments is always an error. This battle is a set-off

for Antietam. That forced the Rebels back across the Potomac.

This forces us back across the Rappahannock. We suffer, I

fear, a larger proportionate loss. I suspect the enemy lost but

little, comparatively. Now remains our last card, the emanci-

pation of the slaves. That may do it. Some signs of wavering

are pointed out by the correspondents, but I trust the President

will now stand firm. I was not in a hurry to wish such a policy

adopted, but I don't now wish to see it abandoned. Our army


is not seriously weakened by the affair at Fredericksburg and

very slight events will change the scale in our favor. Push on

the emancipation policy, and all will yet go well.

  Our partisanship about generals is now rebuked. General

McClellan has serious faults or defects, but his friends can

truly claim that if he had retained command, this disaster would

not have occurred. The people and press would perhaps do well

to cultivate patience. It is a virtue much needed in so equal a

struggle as this. If the people can hold out, we shall find the

right man after [a] while.

  But I bore you with reflections that must occur to every one.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


    LOG CABIN CAMP, December 21, 1862. Sunday evening.

  DEAREST: -- Dr. Jim got his proper resignation papers today

and will leave in the morning. Dr. Joe's leave of absence from

Washington for thirty days from December 18 came to hand a

half an hour after he had left on General Ewing's twenty-day

leave. He will not regret the ten day's extension. . . .

  I cannot answer all your inquiries about the wounded. Lig-

get is doing well; is probably at home ere this. I got a letter

from Joel tonight. He is the Jew who got eight bullet holes in

his person and limbs. He says he thinks he can stand service

in a couple of months. He don't want to be discharged. Ritter

writes me in good spirits.

  Very interesting, all talk about the boys. . . .   Webb's

surprise that learning is needed in western Virginia hits the

position of matters more closely than he knew. Sound teeth

and a good digestion are more required than education. I do

not know but fear to risk the boys in this eager mountain air;

not at present, at any rate. So, of your coming, --

  Almost ten years. How happy we have been. But you don't

say a word about your health. If that requires you to come, you

shall come. Otherwise you perhaps "better not." Do you com-

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          379

prehend the solicitude I feel? Enough for tonight.--Love [to]

all the boys and to Grandma.




  Monday, 22.--Warm, a shower in the morning. Finished

reading "Mysteries of Paris" last night. Not a wicked or ob-

scene novel by a good deal.

                   CAMP  NEAR GAULEY, December 22, 1862.

  DEAR MOTHER: -- I received your letter of the 10th. Yes, the

Vermont colonel's speech, etc., at Bennington came safely. A

cool old colonel he was, as well as pious. I see that the One

Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment is consolidated with some

other. How does it affect Colonel Mitchell? I hope he does

not lose his position. . . .

  Dr. Joe Webb has gone home on thirty-days leave of ab-

sence. Colonel Comly, on an order from General Scammon, is

with him at Fayette. Major McIlrath has gone home for a

twenty-day visit. This leaves me the only field officer here, but

there is very little to do. The men still busy with their quarters

and all quiet in front. My health is perfect; I was never so

heavy as now.

  You will enjoy the return of the children, or the young ladies

rather. What charming girls they are! My love to them and

Ruddy and all. I hope you will have happy holidays.

                   Affectionately, your son,



  December 23. Tuesday. -- Soft weather. Reading Buckle's

second volume. What a deep impression his mode of collect-

ing authorities and heaping up facts produces! It shakes one's


faith in the old orthodox notions to read his chapters on Scotch



  Sergeant-Major Eugene L. Reynolds, of Bellefontaine. A

bright, handsome, ambitious, soldierly youngster; brave as a lion;

so game in appearance and conduct; cheerful, happy, and full of

promise! Killed at the close of the day on the mountain top.

Taken prisoner, says Captain Williams of the Twelfth, and

attempting to escape, shot in the bowels and afterwards

bayonetted through the forearm.

  Corporal Bull, Company A. A fine-looking, amiable boy,

always smiling. Killed at Antietam.

  Wilson B. Harper, Franklin County. A Mark Tapley for

jollity, large, healthy, industrious, and so anxious to please, he

always agreed with you. Wounded badly in thigh at South

Mountain and died after amputation a few days after. Cheerful

to the last. [List not completed.]

  Sunday, 28. -- On Christmas my wife's cousins, Lieutenant

Nelson and privates Ed and Ike Cook and Jim McKell* dined

with me; all of Company D, Eighty-ninth Regiment. A. M. of

that day the regiment fired by battalion and file. P. M. I offered

a turkey to the marksman who would hit his head, and a bottle

of wine and a tumbler to next best shot, and a bottle of wine to

third best. A bright; warm day and a jolly one--a merry

Christmas indeed.

  [The] 26th and 27th, mild days and cloudy but only a few

drops of rain.  Dr. Kellogg spent the 26th with us--surgeon

on General Scammon's staff. Talked free-thinking talk with him

in a joking vein.  A  clever gentleman.  Major Carey stopped

[the] 27th with us--of the Twelfth. Told a good one; the

Thirty-fourth got a good lot of lumber; put a sentinel over it.

After dark the Twelfth got up a relief--relieved the Thirty-

four sentinel and carried off the lumber!

  *Willie McKell. He died at Andersonville 1864.--This written on

margin by Mr. Hayes.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          381

                         CAMP MASKELL, December 28, 1862.

  DEAREST: -- Sunday evening. Captain Hunter brings me the

spurs and pictures; for which, thanks. I will send the old spurs

home the first chance. There will be a good many [chances] soon.

Don't let Dr. Joe forget to bring back his sword-belt for me, and a

piece of old carpet or backing.

  General Ewing has ordered one officer, three non-commissioned

officers, and ten privates to go home a week from today! And

what is still stranger our men are asking not to be sent home so

soon! The explanation of this latter wonder is that a paymaster

is pretty certain to be along about the 10th of January and the

men want to see him before going home. Unless General Ewing's

orders are changed you will soon see some of our men. My

orderly (cook), William T. Crump, will stop with you. If you

are curious to know how we live, put him in the kitchen a day

or two. The children will like him.

  We have had no serious accidents with all our chopping, log-

ging, and hauling. On Christmas I was alarmed. John Harvey

(the boys remember him) driving a team with a big log at the

sawmill was thrown off and the wheel ran across his ankle. It

was thought to be a crusher but turns out merely a slight sprain.

  Nobody sick in the hospital and only four excused from duty

by Dr. Barrett!

  I dined the four cousins on Christmas day. Had a good time.

The regiment fired volleys in the morning. In the afternoon I

gave a turkey and two bottles of wine to the three best marks-

men.  Target firing all the afternoon. A week more [of] pleasant

weather will put us entirely "out of the suds," or out of the mud.

  We had our first dress parade this evening. The old flag was

brought out with honors. The companies look smaller than they

did at the last parade I saw on Upton's Hill, near Washington,

almost four months ago, but they looked well and happy.

  The weather here is warm and bright. Very favorable for our

making camp. I am thinking how happy the boys are with their

uncles. It would be jolly to see you all. I love you ever so much.

Tell me about the Christmas doings. Love to all.

                      Affectionately ever,

  MRS. HAYES.                                               R.


  Tuesday, 30.--Yesterday was a fine, warm, spring-like day.

This month has been generally good weather. We are getting

our camp in good condition. Yesterday General Ewing received

orders to "go South" (as General Banks said) with the Thirtieth

and Thirty-seventh Ohio and the Fourth and Eighth Virginia.

This breaks up our brigade. We were not very well suited with

it. General Ewing has many good qualities but thinks so well

of his old regiment (the Thirtieth) that he can do no sort of

justice to its rival, the Twenty-third. We are glad also to have

no longer any connection with the Thirtieth. The brigade now

consists of the Twenty-third, Eighty-ninth, and Ninety-second.

Two new regiments with ours. Colonel Nelson H. Van Vorhes

will command the brigade. He is a gentleman of character and

capacity without any military experience.

  I can't help feeling the injustice in that point of view of put-

ting him over me; but as he is my senior as colonel of a new

regiment, it is according to rule and I shall cheerfully submit.

Yet it looks hard that he shall get the credit or glory of what

Comly, myself, and my regiment may do. For in any emergency

it would be to us that all would look for action and advice. But

"such is war," and I am here to do my duty wherever I may be

placed -- and I mean to do it fully and cheerfully, wherever the

credit may go. My impressions of Colonel Van Vorhes are

favorable. I have yet to make his acquaintance. General Ewing,

it is said, goes down the Mississippi. Good-bye, Thirtieth! We

have been with them since they joined us at Sutton, September

8, 1861--a year and a quarter ago.

                                  CAMP, December 31, 1862.

  DEAREST: -- This is New Year's eve. Dancing and merriment

seem to prevail. Many men and a few officers are expecting to go

home soon. Sergeant-Major Sweet will take you this, and the

McCook and Andrews spurs. We have had a great change this

week.   Colonel Ewing--I mean  General Ewing--has gone

South, taking with him the Thirtieth, Thirty-seventh, and Forty-

seventh Ohio and Fourth Virginia. The Eighty-ninth goes into

the fine camp left by the Thirtieth, ten miles below here; a great

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          383

gain to the Eighty-ninth. The Ninety-second goes to Tompkins

Farm, the camp left by the Forty-seventh, and are great losers

by the change; mad about it, too.  We get rid of divers old

troubles, but remain in our log-cabin camp, and are content, or

rather pleased, upon the whole.

  Now good night. Happy New Years to all. If no further

changes occur, and Uncle Joe would like to bring you up here

with one or two boys, I suspect you would like to come. Think

of it, and I will try to see you part of the way home, or all of

the way. Let him start about the middle of the month, so as to

reach here by the 20th. It will probably rain and be muddy

enough, but it will be funny and novel.

  Good night. If Grandma wants to come, she will be welcome,

she knows, but I mistrust the peculiar climate we have.     Our

weather this month has been much better than in Ohio.




                          CAMP REYNOLDS, January 4, 1863

  DEAREST:--The same old camp, but "Reynolds," after our

gallant Sergeant-Major Eugene M., [L. Reynolds] who was

killed at South Mountain.

  I am glad you are all well and happy with the uncles and "all

the boys."  Yes, I confess I did forget the 30th [the tenth an-

niversary of his marriage]. Strange, too. I had thought of it

a few days before. I did not neglect to think of you. That I do

daily; but nothing occurred to call to mind the happy day. A

white day in my calendar--the precursor of the ten happiest

years. On the 30th we were all agog with the order and move-

ments connected with General Ewing's departure with four of

our regiments. This may have caused the lapse.

  We  had none of your bad weather.         This  [the] morning

opened rainy, windy, and turbulent, but by 2 P. M. it was warm,

bright, and serene. At our evening parade I made a little address

on the New Year and the past.  I'll send you it to be put in the



  It is Sunday evening and our cook, Frank Halpin (the best

tenor going), with three or four Company A comrades are sing-

ing in the kitchen. "Magnif!"

  In the very worst of the rain-storm this morning, an ambulance

passed with Mrs. Brown, her son, and Ed Cook.  Ed is sick,

decidedly, not as yet dangerously. He refuses to go home be-

cause he has been home sick already. Plucky. Perhaps it's as

well, although I rather urged his going. He will go to Cannel-

ton, where the regiment is now stationed, and will be well cared

for. Mrs. Brown takes the captain home. I suspect Ike [Nel-

son]* will soon be captain of the company. Brown is not able

to stand service, I think. Ike now commands the company.

  Send me Rud's picture, and another installment of mine, for


  If not costing more than about a couple of dollars, I wish Joe

would  bring me  Adam  Smith's  "Wealth  of  Nations,"  also

"Lucile." The first large print.  At Gallipolis or somewhere

he better get three  or four  split-bottomed  or other cheap

chairs--none but cheap -- [and] a cheap square looking-glass.

  I am still busy trying to conquer the mud. We are very com-

fortable but a sprinkling of snow or rain makes us ankle-deep

where the sand is not put on. This and our little town gives

me plenty to do. The lieutenant-colonel and major are both


  I shall be very glad to have you here. My only fear is pos-

sible ill health for the boys. There is less sickness than last

year and by keeping carefully housed if the weather is bad, you

will be safe. -- Darling, much love for you and the dear ones at





  [The address mentioned in the letter follows.]

  COMRADES:--We have just closed an eventful year in our

soldier life. During the year 1862 the Twenty-third Regiment

  *Cook and Nelson, cousins of Mrs. Hayes.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          385

has borne well its part in the great struggle for the Union. The

splendid fight of Company C at Clark's Hollow, the daring, en-

durance, and spirit of enterprise exhibited in the capture of

Princeton and Giles Court-house, the steadiness, discipline, and

pluck which enabled you, in the face of an overwhelming force

of the enemy, to retreat from your advanced position without

panic or confusion and almost unharmed, the conspicuous and

acknowledged achievements of the regiment at the battles of

South Mountain and Antietam, amply justify the satisfaction

and pride which I am confident we all feel in the regiment to

which we belong.

  We recall these events and scenes with joy and exultation.

But as we glance our eyes along the shortened line, we are filled

with sadness that we look in vain for many forms and faces

once so familiar! We shall not forget them. We shall not for-

get what they gave to purchase the good name which we so

highly prize. The pouring out of their lives has made the tat-

tered old flag sacred.

  Let us begin the new year--this season to us of quiet

and of preparation--with a determination so to act that the

future of our regiment shall cast no shadow on its past, and

that those of us who shall survive to behold the opening of

another new year shall regard with increased gratification the

character, history, and name of the gallant old Twenty-third!


  DEAR UNCLE:--First of all, my arm gives me no trouble at

all ordinarily. Getting on or off from a horse, and some efforts

remind me once in a while that it is not quite as good as it was.

Perhaps it never will be, but it is good enough, and gives me

very little inconvenience.

  I am learning some of your experience as to the necessity of

overseeing all work. I find I must be out, or my ditches are out

of shape, too narrow or wide, or some way wrong, and so

of roads, houses, etc., etc. We are making a livable place of it.

I put off my own house to the last. Fires are now burning in it,

and I shall occupy it in a day or two. It is a double log cabin,



two rooms, eighteen by twenty each, and the open space under

the same roof sixteen by eighteen; stone fireplaces and chimneys.

I have one great advantage in turning a mudhole into a decent

camp. I can have a hundred or two men with picks, shovels,

and scraper, if I want them, or more, so a day's work changes

the looks of things mightily.  It is bad enough at any rate, but

a great improvement.

  We have rumors of heavy fighting in Tennessee and at Vicks-

burg, but not enough to tell what is the result. I hope it will be

all right. I tell Dr. Joe to bring out Lucy if he thinks best, and

I will go home with her.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


  Tuesday, January 6. [1863]. -- Very fine weather for a week

past, and I am busy digging ditches, building walks, roads,

bridges, and quarters. A pleasant occupation. Great fighting at

Murfreesboro; heavy losses on our side, but the general result

not yet known. Rainy today. I must build a skiff to get over

to the brick house to headquarters easily.

  During past year we have received sixty-eight recruits; dis-

charged sixty-six; killed in action forty-seven; died of wounds

twenty; died of disease fifteen.     [Total]  deaths eighty-two.

Total loss aggregates one hundred and forty-eight. Net loss



  DEAR MOTHER:--This is a rainy day -- the first we have had

in a great while. I never saw finer weather than we have had.

It has enabled us to finish our log cabins and we are now in most

comfortable quarters.  It would surprise you to see what tidy

and pretty houses the soldiers have built with very little except

an axe and the forest to do it with. My house is a double cabin

under a roof about sixty feet long by twenty wide with a space

between the cabins protected from weather.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          387

  I see that the One Hundred and Thirteenth is ordered off, so I

suppose Laura is at home again. I shall write to her in reply

to her good letter soon. I think not less but more of her since

she has made so valuable an addition to the kinship.

  I am writing to Dr. Joe to bring Lucy out here, if he thinks

well of it. There are three or four officers' wives in this

quarter now. . . .




  Wednesday, January 7, [1863].--Appointed to command First

Brigade, Second Kanawha Division. Rather a small affair--

Twenty-third Regiment and Eighty-ninth Regiment, Captain

Harrison's Cavalry, Captain Gilmore's ditto.

  Reports, after several days' desperate fighting, General Rose-

crans has taken Murfreesboro and defeated Bragg.

  Sunday, 11. -- Moved into my new quarters last night. Rather-

ish damp; roof and gables of "shakes," a little open; no ceiling or

flooring above; altogether cool but not unpleasant. A letter from

Dr. Joe. Lucy and Birch and Webb to come up and give me

a visit. Right jolly! A letter from Uncle also.

  Rosecrans by his fiery and energetic courage at Murfreesboro

or Stone River saved the day. Not intellectually an extraordin-

ary man, but his courage and energy make him emphatically the

fighting general of this war.


  DEAR UNCLE:--Yours of the 6th came duly to hand. The

death of Magee is indeed a public calamity.  No community has

such men to spare. There is, I judge, no doubt of the death of

Leander Stem. More of my acquaintances and friends have

suffered in that than in any battle of the war except those in

which my own regiment took part. It was Rosecrans' personal

qualities that saved the day. He is not superior intellectually


or by education to many of our officers, but in headlong daring,

energy, and determination, I put him first of all the major-gen-

erals. He has many of the Jackson elements in him. Another

general, almost any other, would, after McCook's misfortune,

have accepted a repulse and turned all his efforts to getting off

safely with his shattered army.

  Sherman has been repulsed, it seems. No doubt he will get

aid from below and from Grant. If so, he will yet succeed.

  I do not expect a great deal from the [Emancipation] Procla-

mation, but am glad it was issued.

  Notice Governor Seymour's message. It shows what I an-

ticipated when I was with you--that the logic of the situation

will make a good enough war party of the Democracy in power.

If you want to see eyes opened on the slavery question, let the

Democracy have the power in the nation. They would be the

bitterest abolitionists in the land in six months. I am perfectly

willing to trust them.

  I received a letter from Dr. Joe saying he would bring Lucy

and Birch and Webb back with him. They will enjoy it, I do

not doubt.

  I am now in command of [the] First Brigade of [the] Second

Kanawha Division. General Ewing has gone South with six

regiments from this quarter. This leaves us none too strong, but

probably strong enough. I shall probably have command of the

extreme outposts. I am not yet in command at Gauley Bridge.

I say this because I think it very insufficiently garrisoned, and if

not strengthened a surprise would not be remarkable. If I am

put in command, as seems likely, I shall see it fixed up very



                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Tuesday, [January] 14.--A warm, pleasant day.  Sent three

companies late last night to Tompkins Farm under Captain

Sperry; a dark, muddy march--just out of good quarters too.

Colonel Hatfield of [the] Eighty-ninth Regiment makes a singular

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          389

point as to my rank compared with his. He was appointed

colonel about December I, and has a commission of that date;

that is, at the bottom are the words "issued this day of December"

and also sealed, etc., this day of December. My commission in

like manner was of November I. Colonel Hatfield was major

before and acted as second in command until he received his

commission. But his commission in the body of it has a clause

to take rank from October 2, 1862, which is twelve days earlier

than mine.  He claims this is the date of his commission.    Not

so, the date is at the bottom as above. A note dated December

I with interest from October 2 is still a note of December I.

But what is the effect of the clause or order in the body of the

commission? I say nothing. The governor of a State has no

power to give rank in the army of the United States prior to

either appointment or actual service in such rank. If he could

confer rank two months prior to appointment or service, he could

two years. He could now appoint civilians to outrank all officers

of same grade now in service from Ohio or from any other

State. But this is absurd. A commission being merely evidence

of appointment, the governor may perhaps date it back to the

time of actual appointment or service. The President of the

United States, as Commander-in-Chief of [the] United States

army, can, perhaps, give rank independent of service or actual

appointment. But if a state governor is authorized to do so, the

Act of Congress or lawful order for it can be shown. Let us

see it.

  The President's power to appoint and to discharge officers em-

braces all power.   It is supreme.    But the governor has  no

power of removal. He can only appoint according to the terms

of his authority from Congress or the War Department. What

is that authority?

  The appointments are often made long before the issuing of

commissions. The commission may then well specify the date

from which rank shall begin. But I conclude there can be no

rank given by a governor prior to either commission, appoint-

ment, or actual service. Else a citizen could now be appointed

colonel to outrank every other colonel in the United States, and


be entitled to pay for an indefinite period in the past, which is


  The governor has no authority to put a junior over a senior

of the same grade. He may promote or rather appoint the junior

out of order, because the power to appoint is given him. But to

assign rank among officers of [the] same grade is no part of his

duties. Why is such a clause put in commissions? (1) Be-

cause appointments are often made (always so at the beginning

of the war) long before the commissions issue.  (2)  In re-

cruiting also, the appointment is conditional on the enlistment of

the requisite number of men. Of course the rank dates from the

appointment and actual service.

  But the great difficulty lies here.  Is not this clause the highest

evidence -- conclusive evidence--of the date of the appoint-

ment? Can we go behind it? I say no, for so to hold is to give

the governor the power to determine rank between officers of

[the] same grade after appointment.

  The order of appointment is highest (see Regulations). The

governor's order may be written, as Governor Dennison's were,

or verbal as Governor Tod's are--to be proved in one case by

the order, in the other verbally.

  Thursday, 15. -- Rained last night; warm and cloudy today,

threatening rain. Yesterday warm and sunny but threatening.

Captain Gilmore dined with me. Says Colonel Hatfield reported

that he was to command the brigade; says he [Gilmore] and his

men are mad about it, that they want this brigade commanded as

it is.

  Lucy and the boys to start today if possible. I hope it will

be more cheerful weather when they reach here.

  Saturday evening, 17. -- The two wintriest days yet, yesterday

and today. Snowed and blowed yesterday all day. My open

shake roof let the snow through in clouds; felt like sitting by my

fire with an umbrella over me. Read Victor Hugo's new book,

"Les Miserables." Good, very.

  Kanawha river rose fast -- about three feet yesterday, all from

the Gauley. New River doesn't rise until Gauley runs out.

  Lieutenant Hastings and some of the new lieutenants, viz.,

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          391

Abbott, Seamans, and part of the sergeants, returned today.

They tell of strong "Secesh" feeling and talk in Ohio. The blun-

der at Vicksburg, the wretched discords at the North, and the

alarming financial troubles give things a gloomy appearance to-

night. But Lucy and the boys are coming!  That will be a


  Sunday, 18.--Last night the coldest of the winter. Today

clear and bright. Rode over to see Captain Simmonds about the

Rebel mail supposed to run from Charleston via Lick or Rich

Creek above Gauley, across Gauley River to Lewisburg Pike.

Walked P. M. on this side up to Gauley with Lieutenant Hast-

ings and Lieutenant (formerly sergeant) Abbott. Both been

absent on recruiting service since August 7. Am thinking of the

coming of my wife and boys.



                                          January 20, 1863.

  SIR: -- I am instructed by General Scammon to inform Major-

General Jones through you that he regards his sending two flags

of truce at the same time by different routes to our outposts upon

the same business, viz., the admission of ladies into our lines,

as using the flag for a purpose as obvious as it is improper, and

that such an abuse of it is not to be permitted.

  Not to subject the lady in your charge to hardship, she will

be admitted into our lines on the representation of Lieutenant

Norvell that she is the wife of a citizen loyal to the United States.

                                          R. B. HAYES,


        CAMP REYNOLDS, WEST VIRGINIA, January 25, 1863.

  DEAR MOTHER: -- Lucy with Birch and Webb arrived here last

night safe and sound. We shall enjoy the log-cabin life very

much--the boys are especially happy, running about where there


is so much new to be seen. . . . I write merely to relieve

anxiety about the new soldiers. -- Love to all.




                          CAMP REYNOLDS, February 8, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Your tracts came yesterday and were dis-

tributed. They will do instead of sermons today. Lucy and the

boys are enjoying it much. They add much to our happiness this

bad weather.

  I shall go with [the] Twenty-third to Charleston in a few

weeks.  We are pretty well thinned out--only three old regi-

ments left. Lucy says she thinks the Rebels can't get her. I am

not so sure. She rode outside of the lines four or five miles



                                              R. B. HAYES.


  February 18, [1863]. -- Lucy, Birch, and Webb came up here

on the 24th of January. We have had a jolly time together. We

have rain and mud in abundance but we manage to ride a little

on horseback or in a skiff; to fish a little, etc., etc. I was more

than two weeks housed up with left eye bloodshot and inflamed.

Birch read "Boy Hunters and Voyageurs," and Lucy the news-


  February 19. -- [Companies] G and B marched to Loup Creek

to take steamboat to Charleston; the rest to go soon.

  A sort of pike called here salmon, a fine fish, caught at the

Falls, weighing from three to ten pounds. A large live minnow

is the bait.

            CAMP REYNOLDS, VIRGINIA, February 24, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We are all well. Lucy and the boys enjoy

camp life and keep healthy. Two of our companies have gone

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          393

down the river to Charleston preparatory to moving the Twenty-

third there. We expect to follow in two or three weeks. We

care nothing about the change. It brings us into easier com-

munication with home and has other advantages. We shall pos-

sibly remain there the whole spring. If so, after weather settles

in May, it will be a pleasant trip for you to visit us if you can

spare time.

  I have no idea when Lucy will return home. The boys are

doing well here.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                  CAMP REYNOLDS, VIRGINIA, March 4, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Getting on finely. The boys busy and very

happy. Webb, I fancy, is a good deal such a boy is [as] Lorenzo

was. He is to be seen driving some soldier's team or riding

whenever there is a chance. Lucy will probably leave in a fort-

night or so, probably about the time we go to Charleston.

  The new conscription law strikes me as a capital measure.

I hope it will be judiciously and firmly administered.

  I have an offer for my Hamilton property one thousand dol-

lars cash, one thousand dollars in six months, and the balance of

fifteen hundred in three equal annual payments. Before the war

I would have taken it quickly enough, but I am not sure now but

the real estate is best. It pays taxes and about one hundred dol-

lars a year rent. What could I do with the money?


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                          CAMP REYNOLDS, March 9, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Yours of last Sunday came to hand yesterday.

Wife and boys still here -- very happy. They fish and row skiff

and ride horseback. They can all row. Webb and Birch rowed

a large load of soldiers across the river and back--a large

roaring river, almost like the Ohio in a fair fresh. They will


go home in a week or two probably.  We shall remain here two

or three weeks and then probably go to Charleston.

  The new conscript act strikes me as the best thing yet, if it

is only used. I would only call enough men to recruit up weak-

ened regiments, and compel the return of the shirks and deserters.

Make our commanders give more time to drill and discipline;

make the armies regulars--effectives; stand on the defensive

except when we can attack in superior numbers; send no more

regiments or gunboats to be gobbled up one at a time. Mass our

forces and we shall surely conquer.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  March 15, 1863.--Left our log-cabin camp at the Falls of the

Kanawha. Camp Reynolds was a happy abiding place. Lucy

came with Birch and Webb on the 24th of January.  They rowed

skiffs, fished, built dams, sailed little ships, played cards, and en-

joyed camp life generally. We reached Charleston at dark [this]

Sunday evening. The men went to the churches to stay.

  March 18-19, [1863].--Went into Camp White (after Col-

onel White of the Twelfth), opposite the mouth of the Elk.

  Saturday 21. -- Lucy and boys on the Allen Collier home.

                             CAMP WHITE, March 21, 1863.

  DEAREST:--You left this morning. Don't think I am going

daft after you. I am in my tent facing the parade between the

captains and companies.  McKinley is in his. The doctor, Avery,

and [the] major will come over tomorrow. I shall sleep in a tent

tonight for the first time since the night before South Mountain

-- over six months ago. . . .

  Did you see us crossing in our boat before your steamer

passed? I saw you and swung my hat, but whether you saw me

I could not tell.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          395

  Our house flag must come out to go on a high pole near head-

quarters if it is militarily proper, and I think it is. . . . Good-

bye, darling.

                           As ever,



  Sunday, March 22, 1863. -- Have gone into camp.  My head-

quarters here. My brigade is Twenty-third Ohio, Fifth Virginia,

Colonel Ziegler, Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, Colonel Brown,

Captain Gilmore's Cavalry, Lieutenant Gonseman's ditto, and

Lieutenant  ---   ; also Captain Simmond's Battery.  Gonseman

at Loup and Tompkins Farm. Gilmore, here. Battery at Gauley

Bridge; Twenty-third here. Thirteenth at Coal's Mouth and

Hurricane Bridge; Fifth at Ceredo.

  The boys will never forget their visit to papa and the Twenty-

third. It will be a romatic memory. Webb was a greater favorite

than  Birch.  Mischievous but kind-hearted and affectionate.

Birch more scholarly and more commanding. Dear boys, how I

love them! They were with me nearly two months in my log-

cabin camp. Great happiness in log cabins.


  DEAR UNCLE:--We came out of the wilderness a week ago

today. We are now pleasantly located on the left bank of the

Kanawha, just below (opposite) Charleston.  We are almost at

home, and can expect to see anxious friends soon. You would,

I think, enjoy a trip up here in a few weeks. You can get on a

steamer at Cincinnati and land at our camp, and be safely and

comfortably housed here. Lucy and the boys, after a most happy

time, went home yesterday. We shall expect to see them again

while we are here.

  We seem intended for a permanent garrison here. We shall

probably be visited by the Rebels while here. Our force is small

but will perhaps do. My command is Twenty-third Ohio, Fifth

and Thirteenth Virginia, three companies of cavalry, and a fine


battery. I have some of the best, and I suspect some of about

the poorest troops in service. They are scattered from Gauley

to the mouth of Sandy on the Kentucky line. They are well

posted to keep down bushwhacking and the like, but would be of

small account against an invading force. We have three weak,

but very good regiments, Twenty-third, Twelfth, and Thirty-

fourth Ohio, some, a small amount, of good cavalry and good

artillery, and about three or four regiments of indifferent in-

fantry. So we shall probably see fun, if the enemy thinks it

worth while to come in. Come and see me.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


           CAMP WHITE, NEAR CHARLESTON, March 22, 1863.

  DEAR MOTHER:--One week ago today we started bag and

baggage for this place. We are within five or six hours' travel

by steamboat from Ohio (Gallipolis). Steamers pass our camp

daily two or three times for home. We are within fifteen hours

of Cincinnati and the communication frequent and regular....

  We shall remain here probably a good while. The Twenty-

third is the only regiment in the vicinity. My command is

stretched from Gauley to the Kentucky line. I make my head-

quarters here but shall go in both directions often. Quite likely,

if present arrangements continue, I may run up to Columbus in a

month or two. . . .      Love to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Monday, [March] 23. -- Rained during the night. Rained 19th

and 20th all day; looks like rain all day today. This is a beau-

tiful valley from Piatt down to its mouth.  Make west Virginia

a free State and Charleston ought to be a sort of Pittsburgh.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          397

  P. M.  Warm and bright until 6 P. M. An April shower.

Camp getting into order; gravel walks building, streets making.

Muddy now, but it is a loose porous soil and will turn out well.

  Tuesday, 24.--Rain all night and this A. M.!  Army move-

ments very slow. Vicksburg the great point of interest for a

month past. Things looking like fight in Rosecrans' vicinity;

Charleston also a point of attack.

  In the North a reaction favorable to the war is taking place.

The peace men, sympathizers with the Rebels, called Copper-

heads or Butternuts, are mostly of the Democratic party. They

gained strength last fall by an adroit handling of the draft, the

tax-law arrests, the policy favorable to the negro, and the mis-

takes and lack of vigor in prosecuting the war. This led to over-

confidence, and a more open hostility to the war itself. The

soldiers in the field considered this a "fire in the rear," and

"giving aid and comfort to the enemy."  They accordingly by

addresses and resolutions made known their sentiments. Loyal

Democrats like John Van Buren [and] James T. Brady begin to

speak out in the same strain. A considerable reaction is ob-

servable. The late acts of Congress, the conscription, the finan-

cial measures, and [the] Habeas Corpus Act, give the Govern-

ment great power and the country more confidence. If the con-

scription is wisely and energetically administered, there is much

reason to hope for good results.

  In the meantime the Rebels are certainly distressed for want

of provisions. The negro policy doesn't seem to accomplish

much. A few negro troops give rise to disturbances where they

come in contact with our men and do not as yet worry the enemy

a great deal.

  Thursday, 26.--A cold, rainy day. Last night the coldest

of the season. Yesterday with Dr. Joe and four oarsmen rowed

in his large skiff up Elk, three or four miles; caught in a wild

storm of rain and sleet.

  Had a dispatch today from Captain Simmonds at Gauley; he

reports rumors of an early advance on all our posts. "Sensa-

tional!" General Scammon in a "stew" about it.


  Friday, 27. -- Bitterly cold last night; a bright, frosty morning.

Election yesterday in all these counties on accepting the condi-

tions which Congress affixes to the admission as a State of West

Virginia. The condition is abolition of slavery. The people

doubtless have acquiesced.

  Rumors of enemy in Boone and Logan [Counties], also on the

Sandy. All pointing to an attempt to take this valley and the


  Saturday, 28. -- Rain all night. Yesterday, a clear, cold

morning; a white frost; cloudy and hazy all day; rain at night.

  P. M.  Rode with Dr. Webb, Lieutenant McKinley, and a

dragoon out on road to Coal Forks as far as Davis Creek, thence

down the creek to the Guyandotte Pike (river road), thence home.

Crossed the creek seven times; water deep and bottom miry.

  Today a fight between four hundred Jenkins' or Floyd's men

and two hundred and seventy-five Thirteenth Virginia [men] at

Hurricane Bridge. Rebels repulsed. Our loss three killed and

six wounded, one mortally. Floyd's men coming into Logan,

Boone, Wayne, Cabell, and Putnam [Counties], reporting Floyd

dismissed and his troops disbanded. The troops from being

state troops refuse to go into Confederate service but seem will-

ing to fight the Yankees on their own hook.

                             CAMP WHITE, March 28, 1863.

  DEAREST:--I received yours last night. It is a week this

morning since you left. We have had rain every day, and in

tents in the mud it is disagreeable enough. The men still keep

well. We have plenty of rumors of forces coming in here. It

does look as if some of the posts below here might be attacked.

  You went away at just the right time as it has turned out. A

few weeks hence it will be good weather again and you would

enjoy it if we are not too much annoyed with the rumors or

movements of the enemy.

  Nothing new to talk about. General Cox is quite certainly not

confirmed, ditto his staff officers, Bascom, Conine, and Christie.

It is now a question whether they revert to their former rank

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          399

or go out of service. At any rate, we are probably not to be

under them. At present we are supposed to report to General

Schenck at Baltimore. We like General Schenck but he is too

distant and we prefer on that account to be restored to the

Department of the Ohio under General Burnside.

  We have had two bitterly cold nights the last week; with all

my clothes and overcoat on I could not keep warm enough to

sleep well. But it is healthy!

  Love to all the boys, to Grandma and "a smart chance" for

your own dear self.

                Same as before, yours lovingly,



  Sunday, [March 29]. -- Last night Lieutenant Austin came into

camp with thirty-three men and two guns; a ten-pound Parrott

and a three-inch Rebel gun captured by Colonel Crook at Lewis-

burg last summer. Cleared off cold last night; a strong northwest

wind all night and today; bitterly cold. No fun in tent life in

such weather. Rumors of the fight at Hurricane Bridge repre-

sent the Rebels as Jenkins' men, four hundred to seven hundred


  Monday, 30. -- A cold, clear night last night; a fine morning,

but a white frost -- light.  Report that the steamer which left

here yesterday morning with Quartermaster Fitch, Paymaster

Cowen, etc., on board was fired into nearly opposite Buffalo.

Said to be ten companies of Jenkins' men, some crossing

Kanawha, a few with horses. Lieutenant-Colonel Comly with

five companies [of the] Twenty-third went down [the] river

in [a] steamboat to Coal's Mouth to defend that point.

  4 P. M. -- Reported that Point Pleasant is in possession of the


  6 P. M. -- Dispatch from Captain Fitch says [that a] company

of [the] Thirteenth Virginia holds out in court-house at Point

Pleasant; with impromptu gunboats from Gallipolis drove the

Rebels out of Point Pleasant; can certainly hold it until dark.


  9 P. M. -- Dispatch: Rebels driven back, twelve killed, four-

teen taken prisoners. Our loss one killed, one wounded, three

officers (?) taken prisoners.  Stores all safe.

  10 P. M. -- Rebels retreated up Kanawha; starving, out of

shoes, and ammunition.

  Colonel Comly ordered to rig up steamboat so as to protect men

and go down the river to prevent Jenkins from recrossing the


  [March  31].--7:30 A. M.--Colonel Comly started from

Coal's Mouth down [the] river at daylight.

  8:30 A. M.--Dispatch from Colonel Comly at Red House

says, "Jenkins supposed to have recrossed the river five miles

above Point Pleasant." Our telegraphic communications via

Gauley and Clarksburg with the outside world cut off between

Gauley and Clarksburg!      Bottsford says now:     "Keep  your

powder dry and trust in God!"  I advised to send word to

Captain Fitch at Gallipolis to run his steamboats up Kanawha

and prevent a recrossing of the Rebels, but it was too late or

seems not to have been heeded.

                               CAMP WHITE, April 1, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We have had most disagreeable weather for

a week. Part of the time we were cut off from outside world

by General Jenkins' raid below. He has thus far made nothing.

He has attacked two of the posts garrisoned by men under my

command and been whipped both times with a loss to him of

seventy killed and prisoners.  Our loss is six.  We could take

the whole party with cavalry enough. As it is, he will get off.

  All fools' day is a bright cold windy day.  We  are in tents

rather too early for comfort or health. We are glad to see warm

weather coming.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          401

                              CAMP WHITE, April 1, 1863.

  DEAREST:--We are again in communication with America

after being cut off about four or five days by General Jenkins.

He attacked two posts garrisoned by [the] Thirteenth Virginia--

and one had Lieutenant Hicks, the color sergeant and six men of

Twenty-third. In both cases General Jenkins was badly worsted

losing seventy men killed or captured, while we lost only four

killed and five wounded. A sorry raid so far.

  Judge Matthews, I see, is to be superior court judge. I sup-

pose his health is the cause. He had a difficulty before he left

the Twenty-third which at times unfitted him for service in the


  Awful weather for tent life the last week -- snow, rain, and

wind "all to once." I am really glad you left when you did. A

few weeks hence if Jenkins lets us alone we shall be in condition

to enjoy your presence.

  Love to the dear boys. Webb will, I am sure, study hard when

he hears how much I want him to be a scholar. Birch and the

others are right of course.

  The Prince's [Prince of Wales] wedding you read, I know.

No happier than ours!



  Friday, [April] 3. -- Monday's fight at Point Pleasant was a

fine affair; twenty Rebels killed and fifty taken prisoners, of

whom twenty-four were wounded. Colonel Comly returned with

[Companies] E and K on Tuesday or Wednesday.

  Jackson Smith [a prisoner] says: "[The] Eighth Virginia is

commanded by Colonel Corns; Colonel Ferguson [commands]

the Sixteenth Virginia. We took a near cut from Marion to

Jeffersonville, crossing Holston River and Brush, Poor Valley

and Rich Mountains, about twenty-eight miles in two days, leav-

ing Marion, March 14. Waggons followed by turnpike from

Wytheville. [On the] 16th, camped at Jeffersonville. [The]



17th, twelve miles to Abbs Valley; 18th, twelve miles into Mc-

Dowell County; 19th, twelve miles to Tug Fork in McDowell

County. Eight days' rations issued, crackers and dried beef.

[The] 20th, three miles up Tug and crossed. [The] 21st, twelve

or fourteen [miles] to Cub Creek; crossed [the] Guyandotte in

canoes. [The] 24th, passed Logan Court-house; 25th I came up

Big Creek to Turtle Creek; down Turtle Creek to Coal."

                                CAMP WHITE, April 5, 1863.

  DEAREST:--The weather is good, our camp dry, and every-

body happy. Joe has got a sail rigged on his large skiff and he

enjoys sailing on the river. It is pleasant to be able to make

use of these otherwise disagreeable spring winds to do our


  Visited the hospital (it being Sunday) over in town this morn-

ing. It is clean, airy, and cheerful-looking. We have only a

few there--mostly very old cases.

  Comly heard a couple of ladies singing Secesh songs, as if

for his ear, in a fine dwelling in town. Joe has got his revenge

by obtaining an order to use three rooms for hospital patients.

The announcement caused grief and dismay--they fear small-

pox (a case has appeared). I think Joe repents his victory now.

  Enclosed photographs, except Comly's, are all taken by a

Company B man who is turning a number of honest pennies by

the means -- Charlie Smith, Birch will recollect as Captain

Avery's orderly.

  Five companies of the Twenty-third had a hard race after

Jenkins. They got his stragglers. Colonel Paxton and Gil-

more are after him with their cavalry. General Jenkins has had

bad luck with this raid. He came in with seven hundred to eight

hundred men. He will get off with four hundred to five hundred,

badly used up, and nothing to pay for his losses. We lost half

a dozen killed. They murdered one citizen of Point Pleasant, an

old veteran of 1812, aged eight-four. They will run us out in a

month or two, I suspect, unless we are strengthened, or they

weakened. General Scammon is prepared to destroy salt and

salt-works if he does have to leave.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          403

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

and oceans for yourself.

                      Affectionately ever,


  P. S.--I sent by express three hundred and fifty dollars in a

package with two hundred dollars of Joe's. It ought to reach

Mother Webb  in a day or two after this letter.  Write  if it

doesn't or does.


                               CAMP WHITE, April 9, 1863.

  DEAR  UNCLE:--Yours of the 3rd received.  Yes, Jenkins

made a dash into Point Pleasant, but he dashed out before doing

much mischief with a loss of seventy-five killed and prisoners.

He attacked one other post garrisoned by men under my com-

mand but was repulsed. His raid was a failure. He lost about

one hundred and fifty men while in this region and accomplished

nothing. But we expect repetitions of this thing, and with our

present force we shall probably suffer more another time.

  I do not look for an end of the war for a long time yet. I

am glad the late elections show the second sober thought to be

right. We can worry them out if we keep at it without flagging.

  Come on, it will be good weather in a few weeks.

  I send you a soldier's photograph of our log-cabin camp near

Gauley. It is not good. You can see the falls beyond the camp

and the high cliffs on the opposite side of the Kanawha. My

quarters were at the long-roofed cabin running across the street

towards the back and right of the picture.


  S. BIRCHARD.                                    R. B. HAYES.

                              CAMP WHITE, April 10, 1863.

  DEAREST:--Your most welcome letter reached me this morn-

ing. Tell Webby the little rooster is in fine feather. He has had

a good many fights with a big rooster belonging to the family

near our camp, but holds his own very bravely.


  Yes, a coat of course. I am afraid about pants -- they should

be long and wide in the legs for riding if you get them. No vest

is wanted.--Did the cash come to hand?

  Our large flag at home would look well flying over this camp

if you will send it by Mr. Forbes.  As for the new regimental

flag, you shall get it some day if you wish to do it.

  The fine weather of a few days past has brought us out. We

are very happy here again.

  Colonel Matthews is perfectly right. He no doubt leaves the

army on account of the impossibility of serving in the field. He

was barely able to get through his first campaign. ...

  I am as glad as anybody that the Union ticket [in Cincinnati]

was carried. The soldiers all feel happy over the recent indica-

tions at home. A few victories over the Rebels now would lift

us on amazingly.--Yes, "cut off" sounds badly, but it was a

very jolly time.

  I have Captain Gilmore and Lieutenant Austin and two rifled

guns camped here, besides four howitzers with gun squads on

the steamboats. General Jenkins and about eight hundred men

left the railroad at Marion, Smith County, southwestern Virginia,

and crossed the mountains to the head waters of Sandy River

and so across towards the mouth of Kanawha. They reached our

outpost twenty-four miles from here and demanded a surrender.

Captain Johnson with four companies of [the] Thirteenth Vir-

ginia declined to surrender and, after a good fight, repulsed Gen-

eral Jenkins. He then crossed Kanawha twenty miles from the

mouth or less and attacked Point Pleasant at the mouth. Captain

Carter and one company of [the] Thirteenth Virginia occupied

the court-house. They could not keep the whole town clear of

Rebels but defended themselves gallantly until relieved from

Gallipolis. General Jenkins then retreated. Colonel Paxton and

Captain Gilmore followed by different routes, worrying him badly

and getting about forty prisoners.

  Does Birch remember Captain Waller, a cavalry captain who

took care of Colonel Paxton and sat opposite us at table often?

Perhaps he recollects his little boy. Well he, the boy, rode with

his father in the pursuit and captured two armed men himself!

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          405

   Captain Stevens and all the others are commissioned. Naugh-

 ton is wroth at Dr. Webb and me! . . . More photographs.

 Preserve with the war archives, and be sure of one thing, I love

you so much.

                            As ever,


                           CAMP WHITE, April 15, Evening.

   DEAREST:--Your short business letter came this afternoon.

I do not yet know about your coming here during the campaign-

ing season. If we fortify, probably all right; if not, I don't know.

   Lieutenant Ellen is married. His wife sent me a fine big

wedding cake and two cans of fruit. Good wife, I guess, by the

proofs sent me.

  You speak of Jim Ware. What does he think of the pros-

pects? I understand Jim in a letter to Dr. Joe says Dr. Ware

gives it up. Is this so?

  I send you more photographs. The major's resignation was

not accepted and he is now taking hold of things with energy.

  We are having further disasters, I suspect, at Charleston and

in North Carolina. But they are not vital. The small results

(adverse results, I mean,) likely to follow are further proofs of

our growing strength.

  What a capital speech Everett has made. He quite redeems


  Always say something about the boys--their sayings and


                      Affectionately ever,



                              CAMP WHITE, April 19, 1863.

  DEAR MOTHER: -- I received the letter written on your birth-

day yesterday. It found me very well and pleasantly employed.

  Today is Sunday. We had a meeting this morning which you

would have enjoyed. We had the first sermon to the soldiers


we have heard in many months.  A Presbyterian clergyman,

educated at Granville and Hudson, named Little, a man well

adapted to talk to soldiers, preached, sang, etc., etc., most ac-

ceptably to a fine audience of troops. He dined with me and

promises to come often. He belongs to one of the regiments

under my command, posted about forty miles from here.

  My eyes are perfectly good--my arm good enough  for my

use.--The weather here is beautiful--rather too hot.  Health

good with us generally.--Love to all.

                    Affectionately, your son,



   Wednesday, [April] 22.-- A good spell of weather just ended.

Drilling, boating, ball-playing, and the like make the time pass

pleasantly. Last Sunday had a Mr. Little preach to us on the

bank of the river. Several young ladies, a good audience of

soldiers, and a good sermon. Mr. Little brought a sort of hand

organ and was the chief musician -- an eccentric, witty man,

capable and zealous.

                              CAMP WHITE, April 22, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We have a pleasant camp, just enough  for

men to do to keep them out of mischief. About as easy soldier-

ing as we ever had. You can stay on the opposite side of the

river at a fair hotel for seven dollars per week, or on this side in

a comfortable tent, better grub, for nothing. If you can do better

at home, we can make up the difference in novelty. So come soon.

We shall have a superior foe driving us out or worrying us badly

in a month or two, and at your time of life that might be un-

comfortable. I think we shall be let alone now until after the

first of June. General Jenkins learned that a small force had

no fun coming in here and a large force can't live here until the

first of June or after.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          407

  I hope we shall soon see the drafting begin. It ought not to

be delayed a day now.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


             CAMP WHITE, WEST VIRGINIA, April 30, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I have received yours of the 25th.  I am not

surprised to hear you are going into business under Governor

Chase's Bank Law. I thought of suggesting it, but knew so little

about it that I could form no intelligent opinion.*

  You can come here well enough. There is of course a pos-

sibility of being cut off, but very small probability of it. I do not

doubt that the Rebels will get in below us, but we shall certainly

hear of it in time to ship off all who are not ready to stay. Lucy

would like to come with you, but you will not bring her unless

you find it quite convenient to do so.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


                                 CAMP WHITE, May 2, 1863.

  DEAREST L--:--Yours and the monthlies were handed me

last night. No hurry about the "duds." As for shoulder-straps,

it would make no difference how it's done if it's according to

custom or regulations.    I don't want to start a new  fashion.

Regulations require straps of a certain size, color, etc., a silver

eagle, etc., etc. I would sooner have simply the eagle than a

strap twice as big as the rule, but of no importance. Glad to get

the monthlies.

  We are fortifying, partly to occupy time, partly to be safe.

Will [shall] be at it some time.

  * Mr. Birchard was promptly taking steps to convert his bank into a

national bank under the new law. It became the First National Bank of

Fremont, and was the fifth bank in the country to be chartered by the



  Uncle talks of coming up. If he does, you may bring one or

more of the boys if you can do so conveniently, and if he asks

you. . . .


  MRS. HAYES.                                               R.

  May 7, [1863].--Another movement of the army of the Poto-

mac, this time under General Hooker, a man of energy and

courage. Whether able and skilful enough to handle so great

an army is the question.  He is confident and bold.  His crossing

the Rappahannock was sudden and apparently successful. It

looked a little like separating his army. The great fighting [at

Chancellorsville] was on Saturday and Sunday, reported vaguely

as "indecisive." Again this suspense--"with us or with our

foes?" All day Sunday I was thinking and talking of the battle.

The previous news satisfied me that about that time fighting

would be done.

                                 CAMP WHITE, May 7, 1863.

  DEAREST: -- The boxes came safely. The flag will not be cut.

The coat fits well. Straps exactly according to regulations or

none. The eagles are pretty and simple and I shall keep them

until straps can be got of the size and description prescribed, viz.,

"Light or sky-blue cloth, one and three-eighths inches wide by

four inches long; bordered with an embroidery of gold one-

fourth of an inch wide; a silver embroidered spread eagle on the

center of the strap." I am content with the eagles as they are

but if straps are got, let them be "according to red-tape." The

pants fit Avery to a charm and he keeps them. What is the

price? I'll not try again until I can be measured. I do not need

pants just now.

  We have a little smallpox in Charleston. Lieutenant Smith

has it, or measles.  Also raids of the enemy threatened.        I

wouldn't come up just now; before the end of the month it may

be all quiet again. Bottsford's sister and other ladies are going

away today.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          409

  We are building a fort on the hill above our camp -- a good

position. We are in suspense about Hooker. He moves rapidly

and boldly.  If he escapes defeat for the next ten days he is the

coming man. -- Pictures 0. K., etc., etc. -- Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                               CAMP WHITE, May 17, 1863.

  DEAREST:--Things look well for quiet in our vicinity for a

time to come. We have had a good deal of excitement for the

past fortnight, but it is over now. Any time you think best to

come or send Grandma or any of the family, advise me as you

start and we will be ready for you and glad to see you. Comly

brings his new wife here soon. Ellen (Lieutenant Ellen), ditto.

Mrs. Zimmerman, an agreeable lady, is here now.

  My whole brigade except two or three detached companies,

is now here. Delany, Simmonds, the Fifth and Thirteenth Vir-

ginia and a new cavalry company were sent for during the recent

scare. We have nearly finished a tolerable fort, and have a gun-

boat. I have thirteen pieces of artillery.

  I am most agreeably disappointed in my Virginia regiments.

The Thirteenth is new and composed of West Virginians, but

it has capital officers and they promise well in all respects.  I

reviewed them this Sunday morning. Their appearance would

be creditable to an old regiment.

  The Fifth was in all battles under Fremont and Pope last

summer and behaved well, but was unfortunately officered. This

has been corrected. Their present commander is an excellent

man and I look for good things from them.

  It perhaps would be better for you not to come until you are

ready to leave Cincinnati for the summer, if you do leave for the

summer. But you and Mother Webb will make your own ar-

rangements and it will suit me.

                   As ever, affectionately,

                                              R. B. HAYES.



                                 CAMP WHITE, May 17, 1863.

  DEAR  UNCLE:--. . . We  are in no  danger here.         We

have built a tolerably good fort which we can hold against su-

perior forces perhaps a week or two or more. We have a gun-

boat which will be useful as long as the river is navigable. My

whole brigade has been here. The most of it is good and the rest

is improving.

  I like your bank project.

  The Richmond hoax was a severe one. It did not reach us

in a way to command belief. I still stick to Hooker. The Rebel

loss of Jackson gives us the best of that effort. I hope the

Potomac Army will get a victory sometime.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


        CAMP WHITE, WEST VIRGINIA, [May 20 (?)], 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- If I wrote you two or three days ago after

getting your last, I take this one back; or let it go to my credit

on future account. We are expecting to have our communica-

tions cut with the outside world soon again. We are tolerably

fixed for it, and can worry through, if not too long continued.

  We do not know accurately yet what has happened to Hooker.

He is repulsed and his movement a failure.  I hope he is left

relatively as well off as he was before.  If so, he is still, for all

I see, our general. I can perceive nothing injurious to him per-

sonally in the failure. He has shown his disposition to do some-

thing, and, for all that appears, capacity.  This is all we  can de-

mand. The radical vice is, as I have said to you before, I fear,

in the army. Somebody behaves badly. This is always to be

expected in all armies.  But in this army it seems always to be

at the vital point, where it is ruinous.  I always feel when the

Potomac Army moves, that if they are not routed, we are to be

glad. So now, from present accounts, I feel happy that it is no

worse. If our army under Hooker can keep employed the largest

and best Rebel army, they are probably fulfilling their mission.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          411

To do more than this, would speedily end the Rebellion. To do

merely this, will end it in time.

  Perhaps I better take stock in your bank. I could now pay

one or two thousand cash, and by selling my Hamilton property,

could increase it soon to five thousand dollars. What say you?


                                              R. B. HAYES.


               CAMP WHITE, WEST VIRGINIA, May 25, 1863.

  DEAREST:--If Vicksburg is taken it will perhaps take us to

some other field. At least, important changes in our military

policy may be looked for. Therefore, darling, I want you to

visit me when you can, with such of the boys as you choose. All

this is supposing Vicksburg ours. If not there will be time

enough, I think, when you get ready to quit the city for the sum-

mer a few weeks hence.

  Comly has his wife here. Captains Zimmerman and Sperry

theirs, and more are expected -- mine among the rest.--Love

to all.



  P. S. -- Tell Stephenson I am now ready to sell the Hamilton

property as proposed, if the offer can still be had.


                               CAMP WHITE, May 25, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- The Rebels don't make much progress to-

wards getting us out. We are tolerably well fortified here and at

Fayette. At the latter place they tried it, banging away three

or four days and doing nothing.

  I will see to the bank stock and try to pay a little at any rate.

  Grant seems to be doing well. If all we hear is true, I think

he will get Vicksburg soon.


  I have sent to Lucy to come up as soon as Vicksburg is taken,

thinking it probable that such an event may soon send us further



                                                 R. B. HAYES.


                                 CAMP WHITE, May 27, 1863.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I received your letter and Laura's a few

days ago. . . . You seem to suppose Lucy and the boys are

here. This is a mistake. I did not send for Lucy until yester-

day. If the reports of General Grant's victories at Vicksburg

are true, I shall expect to see important changes in the location

of troops in this quarter.  I therefore tell Lucy that her best

chance to visit me is now.

  We have had a good deal of marching, but little fighting, dur-

ing the recent attempts of the enemy to get into this valley.

They failed entirely in their efforts.  We are sufficiently fortified

to keep our positions against anything but greatly superior

forces. If Grant is successful, at Vicksburg, as seems now

probable, the whole prospect is changed and changed favorably.

                    Affectionately, your son,



                                 CAMP WHITE, June 2, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Yes, I vote for you bank president. Signing

the bills will be a bore, but then the signature can't be counter-


  Vicksburg appears to be a hard nut to crack. But with proper

efforts to reinforce and supply Grant, he must, I think, succeed.

The more obstinate the resistance, the more valuable will be the

victory if we finally gain it. We are stronger here than we

were. I now have a full brigade, four regiments infantry, a

battery, and three campanies cavalry. We fortify all points

deemed important.


  S. BIRCHARD.                                    R. B. HAYES.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          413

                                 CAMP WHITE, June 14, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I received yours dated the 4th last night.

I see by the Sentinel that you are a bank president, one of the

"moneyed aristocracy" of the land.

  No taking of Vicksburg yet. I still think we must get it soon.

Vallandigham for governor?  Pretty bold move.  Rather rash

if it is considered that forty to sixty thousand soldiers will prob-

ably vote. I estimate that about as many will vote for Vallandig-

ham as there are deserters in the course of a year's service --

from one to five per cent. A foolish (or worse) business, our

Democratic friends are getting into. I don't like arbitrary or

military arrests of civilians in States where the law is regularly

administered by the courts, but no issue can be made on such

questions while the Rebellion is unconquered, and it's idle to

attempt it.

  Lucy and all the family are on a steamboat a few miles below

here, and will be up this afternoon. We have had no trouble

from Rebels since their repulse at Fayette, so I think they will be

quite comfortable here.

  15th.--Mother Webb and Lucy, with all the boys, are here.

Boys are delighted.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


                                 CAMP WHITE, June 19, 1863.

  DEAR MOTHER: . . .          Mother Webb, Lucy and the four

boys all got here in good health last Monday. They are housed

in a pleasant little cottage on the river bank--plenty of fruit

and flowers and not over fifty steps from my tent.

  General Scammon's wife left yesterday. Four of [or] five

officers' wives are here, making society enough. It is not likely

they will remain in the present stirring times more than a week

or so.

  Lucy had a long letter from Nellie Howells (Mead) just be-


fore she left Cincinnati. Nellie is very happy in her European

home.--Love to all.


  MRS. SOPHIA HAYES.                             R. B. HAYES.

  Camp White (opposite Charleston), West Virginia, June 25,

1863.--Last Monday, the 15th, Lucy, Mother Webb, and "all

the boys" came here from Cincinnati on the Market Boy. A

few happy days, when little Joseph sickened and died yesterday

at noon (12:40). Poor little darling! A sweet, bright boy,

"looked like his father," but with large, handsome blue eyes

much like Webb's. Teething, dysentery, and brain affected, the

diseases. He died without suffering; lay on the table in our room

in the Quarrier cottage, surrounded by white roses and buds all

the afternoon, and was sent to Cincinnati in care of Corporal

Schirmes, Company K [D], this morning. I have seen so little

of him, born since the war, that I do not realize a loss; but his

mother, and still more his grandmother, lose their little dear

companion, and are very much afflicted.

                                CAMP WHITE, June 25, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Our little Joseph died yesterday after a few

days' severe illness. He was eighteen months old--bright and

very pretty. I have hardly seen him, and hardly had a father's

feeling for him.  To me, the suffering of Lucy and the still

greater sorrow of his grandmother, are the chief afflictions. His

brain was excessively developed, and it is probable that his early

death has prevented greater suffering. He was the most ex-

citable, nervous child I ever saw. We have sent his body home

for, burial. Lucy and the rest will leave here in a few days for

Chillicothe. This has dashed the pleasure of their visit here.

  I have one thousand dollars for your bank (at Cincinnati), and

will [shall] have fifteen hundred dollars more in two or three

weeks. I want stock to that amount. I have one thousand dol-

lars' worth of 7:30 bonds, but I will keep them in preference to

the stock.

             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          415

  I like Brough's nomination  [for governor of Ohio.]        We

everywhere lack energy. He will have enough.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  July 1, [1863].--Lucy and the family left on the Marwood

today. The visit has been a happy one, saddened though it is

by the death of our beautiful little Joseph. Lucy has been cheer-

ful since--remarkably so--but on leaving today without him

she burst into tears on seeing a little child on the boat. The

boys, the three, all lovable. Birchie is delicate, looks like Billy

Rogers. Must take care of his training.

  Little "Jody" died in the Quarrier house, a little frame cottage

on the bank of the Kanawha opposite the lower end of Charles-

ton. Camp White was on the same premises.

                 CAMP WHITE, WEST VIRGINIA, July 1, 1863.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Lucy and family left here today. They go

to Ross County. They will probably visit Delaware during the

summer. Unless we should have more active duty, I shall be

quite lonely for a while without them.

  The invasion of Pennsylvania is likely to work important

changes; possibly to take us East again. The Army of the

Potomac has another commander. I still suspect that in the

case of that army, the soldiers are more in fault for their dis-

asters than the generals. I dread to hear of a battle there. They

will do better, however, on our own soil. If Grant could only

get Vicksburg in time to spare a corps or two of his troops for

the campaign in the East, we should be safe enough. If Lee

really is pushing into Pennsylvania in full force, it ought to prove

his ruin; but we shall see. I think, as you do, that it will do

much to unite us.


                                              R. B. HAYES.



                                CAMP WHITE, July 6, 1863.

  DEAREST:--Dr. Joe got back yesterday--twenty-four hours

from Chillicothe. Very glad to hear his cheerful account of you.

  I am in the tent occupied by Captain Hood and wife in front

of the cottage. We all miss you. You could not have felt the

loss of me more than I did of you. Notwithstanding the loss

of the dear little boy, your visit leaves a happy impression. I

love you more than ever, darling.

  The Ninth has gone to Fayette. If the good news from the

East holds out, I think the Twenty-third will follow soon.

  We had a good Fourth. Salutes from Simmonds and Austin.

A good deal of drinking but no harm. We let all out of the


  I send you a deed to execute and send to Stephenson. Do it

before a notary. I will ask Uncle to put twenty-five hundred

dollars stock in his bank in your name.

  I am sorry to hear Uncle Scott is in poor health. I think the

news from the East will be a good tonic. We shall whip the

rascals some day. -- Love to all.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                                 CAMP WHITE, July 6, 1863.

  DEAR  UNCLE:--. . .   I propose  to take  in  your  bank

twenty-five hundred dollars stock in Lucy's name. Please see

when you get the cash to put the stock in her name.  I have in

Stephenson's hands one thousand dollars and expect fifteen hun-

dred dollars more in three weeks. I send you an order for it.

  Reports from the East look well. If true, we shall perhaps go

forward here. The Rebels found fighting in the enemy's country

a different thing from battling on their own ground.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


             LOG CABINS ON THE KANAWHA--1862-1863          417


  DEAR MOTHER:--. . .    We received the news of the

capture of Vicksburg last night. I hope it will not turn out as

so many reports -- stock-jobbers' lies. We have thus far had en-

couraging success in Pennsylvania. If it is continued the Rebels

will hardly repeat the experiment of invading our soil. Alto-

gether things wear a hopeful appearance, but I do not expect an

early end of the war. A great deal remains to be done, and it

is gratifying that the people seem determined to be patient and

firm. . . .

                   Affectionately, your son,



  July 7.  P. M.--Heard  the news of Vicksburg captured.

Fired one hundred guns and had a good time.

  July 9.  P. M.--Left Charleston on steamboat for upper


  10 -- At Loup Creek all day.

  11. -- Moved to foot of Cotton Hill, Fayette side.


Previous Chapter ||  Table of Contents  || Next Chapter