AUGUST-OCTOBER 1864

   CROOK'S  weary army had been summoned to the East be-

cause of Early's activities.  As soon as Hunter's forces,

after their failure at Lynchburg, were well in the mountains,

Early had started for the Shenandoah Valley, now left un-

guarded. He moved rapidly down the Valley, meeting practically

no resistance, crossed over into Maryland, and levying contri-

butions as he went, hurried on towards Washington which was

in a fever of apprehension.  Lew Wallace, with an inadequate

force, strove bravely but in vain to block his way at Monocacy.

The most he could do was to delay Early and the delay saved

Washington. By the time Early came in sight of the dome of

the Capitol, knowledge of the arrival of troops from Grant's

army deterred him from any serious attempt to take the city.

He turned back the night of July 12 and crossed the Potomac

to Leesburg with all the booty his raiders had gathered in


  "Then followed three weeks of perpetual fighting, raiding,

marching, and countermarching in the lower Shenandoah Valley

and western Maryland, with frequent changes of commanders

of departments and corps, with clashings of authority and con-

flicting orders, resulting in dissipating the strength of the Union

forces and giving the alert and clear-headed Early almost con-

stant success. At last (August 5) Grant solved the perplexing

problem by insisting on a consolidation of the Middle, Wash-

ington, Susquehanna, and West Virginia Departments and plac-

ing General  Sheridan with an adequate army  in command.

Then began the brilliant campaign in the Valley which finally



crushed the Confederate strength in that quarter."* This chap-

ter records Hayes's share in that campaign.]

                     CAMP PLEASANT VALLEY, MARYLAND,

                                 August 8 (Monday), 1864.

  DEAREST: -- We have had pretty good times the last week or

ten days. Easy marching, plenty to eat, and good camps. We

are, for the present, part of a tolerably large army under Sheri-

dan. This pleases General Crook and suits us all. We are likely

to be engaged in some of the great operations of the autumn.

But service in these large armies is by no means as severe as in

our raids.

  Hayes Douglass is commissary on General Crook's staff. I

have not yet seen him. He is spoken of very favorably.

  My staff is Captain Hastings, Lieutenant Wood and Delay

of Thirty-sixth, and Comstock of Thirteenth. I was sorry to

lose McKinley but I couldn't as a friend advise him to do other-

wise. He is taken out of [the] quartermaster's department and

that is good, and into [the] adjutant-general's office, and that is


  One of the scamps who deserted the Rebels and then deserted

Hicks' company (you remember) was captured at Cloyd's

Mountain in the Rebel ranks. He escaped and by a remarkable

providence enlisted as a substitute in Ohio and was sent to the

Twenty-third Regiment.  He was tried anl shot within twenty-

four hours. His execution was in [the] presence of General

Crook's command. Men of the Twenty-third shot him. They

made no mistake. Eight out of ten balls would either of them

have been instant death.  We are getting a considerable number

of substitutes -- many good men, but many who are professional

villains who desert of course.

  We seem to be going up the Valley of the Shenandoah again.

We get no letters.  None from you since I saw you.  But I

know you are loving me and only feel anxious lest you are too

anxious about me.

  * "Life of Hayes," Vol. 1, p. 227.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          493

  One of the best officers in my command wrote an article on

the Winchester fight which will appear in the Gallipolis Journal

which you would be happy to read.

  Well, time is passing rapidly. The campaign is half over.

If we can only worry through the Presidential election I shall

feel easier. I hope McClellan will be nominated at Chicago.

I shall then feel that, in any event, the integrity of the Union is

likely to be maintained. A peace nomination at Chicago would

array the whole party against the war.

  Love to all. Much for thyself, darling.

                          Ever your

  MRS. HAYES.                                               R.


                                 August 14 (Sunday), 1864.

  DEAREST:--You see we are again up the Valley following

Generals Early and Breckinridge who are in our front. I know

nothing as to prospects. I like our present commander, General

Sheridan. Our movement seems to relieve Maryland and Penn-

sylvania. Whether it means more and what, I don't know. We

are having rather pleasant campaigning. The men improve


  Put Winchester down as a Christian town. The Union fam-

ilies took our wounded off the field and fed and nursed them

well. Whatever town is burned to square the Chambersburg*

account, it will not be Winchester.

  Several in my brigade supposed to be dead turn out to be

doing well. There are probably fifty families of good Union

people (some quite wealthy and first-familyish) in Winchester.

It is a splendid town, nearly as large as Chillicothe.

  Much love to all. Good-bye, darling.

                     Ever lovingly, your



  *General McCausland had recently been on a raid in Pennsylvania;

had captured Chambersburg, and the citizens being unable to pay the

exorbitant levy he demanded, had burned it to the ground.



                                           August 14, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- You see we are again up the famous Valley;

General Sheridan commands the army; General Early and

Breckinridge are in our front; they have retired before us thus

far; whether it is the purpose to follow and force a battle, I

don't know; the effect is to relieve our soil from Rebels.

  My health is excellent. Our troops are improving under the

easy marches. We shall get well rested doing what the Sixth

and Nineteenth Corps of the Potomac ([who] are with us) re-

gard as severe campaigning.

  I have heard nothing from home since I saw Lucy on the

10th [of] July. Direct to me: "First Brigade, Second Division,

Army of West Virginia, via Harpers Ferry."

                       Sincerely yours,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Monday, August 15, 1864.--Rebels attacked our picket line

and drove it after a brisk skirmish. [The] Twenty-third and

Thirty-sixth supporting soon check the Rebels. Our loss two

killed, ten wounded. I had some narrow escapes.

          CEDAR CREEK, NEAR STRASBURG, August 16, 1864.

  DARLING:--We are still here observing the enemy and skir-

mishing with him daily. Yesterday with [the] Twenty-third and

Thirty-sixth had a very brisk skirmish; lost two killed, twelve

wounded.    One  of  [the]  color  corporals  in  Twenty-third

(Corporal Hughes) killed.  We  are gaining in strength and

spirits daily. Numbers supposed to have been killed at Win-

chester turn out to be only wounded. . . . Love to all.

                     Affectionately, ever,



             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          495


                           HARPERS FERRY, August 23, 1864.

  DEAREST:--For the first time since I saw you I received let-

ters from you the day before yesterday.  I hope I shall not be

so cut off again. It almost pays, however, in the increased grati-

fication the deferred correspondence  gives  one.     You  can't

imagine how I enjoy your letters. They are a feast indeed.

  I had hardly read your letter when we were called out to

fight Early. We skirmished all day. Both armies had good

positions and both were too prudent to leave them.  So, again

yesterday.  We are at work like beavers today. The men enjoy

it. A battle may happen at any moment, but I think there will

be none at present. Last evening the Twenty-third, Thirty-sixth,

and Fifth surprised the Rebel skirmish line and took a number

of prisoners, etc., without loss to us. It is called a brilliant

skirmish and we enjoyed it much.

  You recollect "Mose" Barrett. He was taken prisoner at

Lynchburg while on a risky job.  I always thought he would get

off. Well, he came in at Cumberland with a comrade bringing

in twelve horses from the Rebel lines!

  Colonel Tomlinson was slightly wounded in the skirmish last

night, just enough to draw blood and tear his pants below the

knee.--One corporal of the color-guard was killed at Win-

chester -- George Hughes, Company B.  He died in five minutes

without pain.

  Winchester is a noble town. Both Union and Secesh ladies

devote their whole time to the care of the wounded of the two

armies. Their town has been taken and retaken two or three

times a day, several times. It has been the scene of five or six

battles and many skirmishes. There are about fifty Union

families, many of them "F. F.'s." But they are true as steel.

Our officers and men all praise them. One queer thing: the

whole people turn out to see each army as it comes and welcome

their acquaintances and friends. The Rebels are happy when

the Secesh soldiers come and vice versa. Three years of this

sort of life have schooled them to singular habits.

  I have heard heavy skirmishing ever since I began to write.


Now I hear our artillery pounding, but I anticipate no battle

here as I think our position too good for Early to risk an assault

and I suppose it is not our policy to attack them.

  Interrupted to direct Captain Gillis about entrenching on our

left. Meantime skirmish firing and cannonading have almost


  I believe you know that I shall feel no apprehension of the

war being abandoned if McClellan is elected President. I there-

fore feel desirous to see him nominated at Chicago. Then, no

odds how the people vote, the country is safe. If McClellan is

elected the Democracy will speedily become a war party. A

great good that will be. I suspect some of our patriots having

fat offices and contracts might then on losing them become

enamored of peace!  I feel more hopeful about things than

when I saw you. This Presidential election is the rub. That

once over, without outbreak or other calamity, and I think we

save the country.

  By the by, I think I'll now write this to Uncle Scott. So

good-bye. Love to chicks. Ever so much for their grand-

mother and more for you, darling.

                         Ever yours,




                                 VIRGINIA, August 23, 1864.

  DEAR MOTHER:--We have a pretty large Rebel army just in

front of us. We drove it before us several days until it was

reinforced when it slowly drove us back to this point. Here we

are in a pretty good position and there seems to be a purpose to

fight a general battle here if the enemy choose to attack.  Of

course, there are frequent skirmishes and affairs in which parts

of the army only are engaged which are small battles. So far

our success in such affairs has been quite as good as the enemy's.

I am inclined to think that there will be no general engagement

here. It looks as if we were so well prepared that the Rebels

would move in some other direction.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          497

  I am now longer without a letter from you than ever before.

I know you write but we have had no mails.--My health is

good. I heard from Lucy and Uncle Sunday. The weather

is now delightful. We have had good rains. -- Love to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,


             CAMP OF SHERIDAN'S ARMY, August 24, 1864.

  FRIEND SMITH:--Your favor of the 7th came to hand on

Monday. It was the first I had heard of the doings of the

Second District Convention. My thanks for your attention and

assistance in the premises. I cared very little about being a

candidate, but having consented to the use of my name I pre-

ferred to succeed. Your suggestion about getting a furlough to

take the stump was certainly made without reflection.

  An officer fit for duty who at this crisis would abandon his

post to electioneer for a seat in Congress ought to be scalped.

You may feel perfectly sure I shall do no such thing.

  We are, and for two weeks have been, in the immediate pres-

ence of a large Rebel army. We have skirmishing and small

affairs constantly. I am not posted in the policy deemed wise

at headquarters, and I can't guess as to the prospects of a general

engagement. The condition and spirit of this army are good

and improving. I suspect the enemy is sliding around us

towards the Potomac. If they cross we shall pretty certainly

have a meeting.


                                             R. B. HAYES.*


      Cincinnati, Ohio.

  * This letter was lithographed and widely used as an effective campaign

document during the Presidential canvass of 1876.




                                           August 27, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I am getting letters at last; heard nothing

from anybody for six weeks until last Sunday.

  We are entrenching a fine camp here as if a strong Rebel at-

tack was expected. We have the enemy directly in front -- sup-

posed to be in force. We have fighting daily. My brigade and

the other brigade of Crook's old division are in the front and do

the most of it. We had quite a little battle last night -- our loss

seventy--Rebel about [the] same in killed and wounded and

we captured a small South Carolina Rebel regiment entire (one

hundred and four [men]). This is the third time we have

dashed back on them and picked up their skirmish line. The

Rebs did intend to go into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Perhaps

we have stopped them.  We don't know yet.

  Sheridan's cavalry is splendid. It is the most like the right

thing that I have seen during the war.

  Discipline and drill have been woefully neglected in our army.

General Crook's army is about one-third of the force of Sheri-

dan. Half of his (Crook's) force is capital infantry--the old

Kanawha Division and two or three other regiments. The rest

is poor enough--as poor as anything here. This is what hurt

us at Winchester. The Nineteenth Corps, another third of

Sheridan's army, are Yankee troops just returned from

Louisiana. We have not seen them fight yet, but they look ex-

ceedingly well. We are pretty certain to have heavy fighting

before long.

  We are having capital times in this army -- commanders that

suit us (we are rid of Hunter), plenty to eat and wear, and

beautiful and healthy camps, with short marches.  The best

times we have had since our first raid under Crook.

  My old regiment keeps up notwithstanding the losses.  We

have filled up so as to have in the field almost six hundred men

-- more than any other old regiment.

  I see Buckland is nominated [for Congress.]  I suppose that

will please him much. My college friend, from Michigan, Trow-

bridge, is a candidate also.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          499

  I hope McClellan will be nominated at Chicago. I shall then

feel that in any event the war is to be prosecuted until the

Union is restored.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Monday, August 29, 1864. --In camp, five miles to south of

Charlestown, lazily listening to heavy firing on our right. Mc-

Clellan probably nominated. I suspect he will be elected. Not

so bad a thing if he is. Reading "Harry Lorrequer."


                             WINCHESTER, August 30, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- A lucky day. A big mail--letters (all of July)

from you, Uncle, Mother, soldiers, their wives, fathers, etc., etc.,

and newspapers (all July) without end. So I must write short


  We are slowly (I think) pushing the enemy back up the Val-

ley. We have some fighting, but no general engagement. Sheri-

dan's splendid cavalry does most of the work. Heretofore, we

(the infantry, especially [the] First and Second Brigades) have

had to do our own work and that of the cavalry also. Now, if

anything, the cavalry does more than its share. It is as if we

had six or eight thousand such men as Captain Gilmore's; only

better drilled. A great comfort this. Indeed, this is our best


  The men are fast getting their Kanawha health and spirits

back, now that we are rid of Hunter, hard marching night and

day, and nothing to eat.

  The paymaster, Major Wallace (he inquires after Mrs. Hayes

of course), has found us at last. The color-company of [the]

Twenty-third is Twelfth men--a fine company of veterans.

The color-sergeant is Charles W. Bendel of Maysville, Kentucky,

of the Twelfth. He loves the flag as if he thought it his sweet-

heart--kisses it, fondles it, and bears it proudly in battle,


  I hope things turn out so I can be with you about the time

you would like me to be at home. Perhaps they will. Love to all.

                   Affectionately ever, your



             CAMP BEYOND CHARLESTOWN, August 30, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We got a big mail today; letters from you,

Lucy, Mother, and everybody, all written in July. We have had

no general engagement, but a world of small affairs the last

week. I think the enemy are giving it up. We are slowly pushing

them back up the Valley. General Sheridan's splendid cavalry

do a great share of the work; we look on and rest. This has

been a good month for us. We are a happy army.

  I see it is likely McClellan will be nominated. If they don't

load him down with too much treasonable peace doctrine, I shall

not be surprised at his election. I can see some strong currents

which can easily be turned in his favor, provided always that

his loyalty is left above suspicion. I have no doubt of his per-

sonal convictions and feelings. They are sound enough, but his

surroundings are the trouble. We have a paymaster at last.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  [Dr. J. T. Webb, in a letter to his mother from "Camp

Charlestown, August 30, 1864," writes: "This is the place the

chivalry hung old John Brown some four years since. It has

been a beautiful place, many elegant residences, fine stores,

printing press, and public halls. Now how changed! Not a

store in the place, in fact nothing but the women and children

and a few old men live here; a few of the fine residences look

as though they were kept up, but everything around is sad and

gloomy, and then to add to all, the Sixth Corps (some fifteen

or twenty thousand troops) as they passed through the place, had

all their bands, some twenty, play 'John Brown.'

  "I met an old man the other day in the street, and said to him,

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          501

'This is the place you hung old John Brown. 'Yes,' he replied.

'How long since?' said I. 'Four years since and,' added he,

'never had no peace since.'"]

  Wednesday, August 31, 1864. -- McClellan nominated. A

happy month in the main. The prospect is much less gloomy

than at the beginning of the month. Grant will probably be able

to keep his position before Richmond.

            CAMP OF SHERIDAN'S ARMY, September 1, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- Enclosed find state receipt for seven hundred dol-

lars payable at county treasury of Ross County. You can sign

the receipt on the back and send it to the treasurer of Ross

County by any friend. I suppose it will get around in about

four weeks from this time.

  The Rebs are reported all gone. With Sheridan's fine cav-

alry and General Crook's shrewdness they had no business so

far from home.  We were picking them up in detail.  Their loss

in the last two weeks was sixteen hundred -- mostly prisoners;

our loss not over four hundred.

  Your two letters in which you speak of Ike Cook [a cousin

of Mrs. Hayes] just reached me.  I do not see how he can be

commissioned as Mr. Hough proposes, but if he can get him

commissioned and mustered in any regiment and get him leave

to come here, I will get him a good place as aide (aide-de-camp)

to myself or somebody else. Of course the regiments in the

field need all their promotions.  If he is drafted, Mr. Hough can

arrange it probably so he can join the Twenty-third or Thirty-

sixth. I will then make him an orderly which will give him a

horse and very easy duty--nothing harder usually than the

care of his horse. If he wishes to volunteer, or go as a sub-

stitute, he can get big bounties, and as long as I retain my pres-

ent position he shall be mounted.

  All well. Soldiers so jolly. Birch and Webb would like it

here. The men are camped in a wooded ravine, officers' quarters

on the edge of the wood looking out upon fine open fields and


mountains. About a dozen men of Company B, Twenty-third,

with their hats swinging ran yelling up to the open ground cry-

ing, "See the prisoners! Mosby a prisoner." Of course those

next to them ran, the thing took and the whole camp clear to

army headquarters a mile off or more, perhaps ten thousand

men, followed their example. Officers of course ran, major-

generals and all. Then the "sell" was discovered, and such

laughing and shouting I never heard before.--A  squirrel is

started; up the trees go the soldiers and fun alive until he is

caught. A mule or a dog gets into camp, and such a time! I

am constantly saying, "How the boys would like this."

  Well, good-bye dearest.  We feel that this Valley campaign

has been a lucky one, though not very eventful. We shall, I

think, go up the Valley again to Winchester and beyond. -- Love

to all.

                   Ever affectionately, your


  McKinley is a captain now on General Crook's staff.

  September 2, A. M.--Your letter of 22nd came last night.

You are doing me such a favor in writing often. I now get

letters.  In [the] September Harper is an article "First Time

Under Fire" which is very like my case. -- Truthful.


              CAMP NEAR BERRYVILLE, September 4, [1864].

                                           Sunday evening.

  DEAREST: -- We had one of the fiercest fights yesterday I was

ever in. It was between the South Carolina and Mississippi

Divisions under General Kershaw and six regiments of the

Kanawha Division. My brigade had the severest fighting, but

in loss we none of us suffered as might have been expected. We

were under cover except when we charged and then darkness

helped. We whipped them, taking about one hundred prisoners

and killing and wounding a large number. Captain Gillis was

killed, shot near the heart, Captain Austin dangerously wounded

through the right shoulder, George Brigdon, my color-

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          503

bearer, bearing the brigade flag, mortally wounded. Only ten

others of [the] Twenty-third hurt. Sixty in the brigade killed

or wounded. Captain Gillis was a noble, brave man, a good

companion, cheerful and generous -- a great loss to us. The

Rebel army is again just before us.

  It was a pleasant battle to get through, all except the loss of

Gillis and Brigdon and Austin. I suppose I was never in so

much danger before, but I enjoyed the excitement more than

ever before. My men behaved so well. One regiment of an-

other division nearly lost all by running away. The Rebels were

sure of victory and run [ran] at us with the wildest yells, but our

men turned the tide in an instant. This was the crack division of

Longstreet. They say they never ran before.

  Darling, I think of you always. My apprehension and feel-

ing is a thousand times more for you than for myself. I think

we shall have no great battle. We are again entrenched here.

Our generals are cautious and wary. -- Love to all. The dear

boys, God bless them.

                  Affectionately ever, your




                                 September 6, P. M., 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Saturday evening (September 3) my brig-

ade and two regiments of the other brigade of the Kanawha

Division fought a very fierce battle with a division of South

Carolina and Mississippi troops under Kershaw. We whipped

them handsomely after the longest fight I was ever in. Took

seventy-five officers and men prisoners and inflicted much severer

loss than we suffered. Prisoners say it is the first time their

division was ever flogged in fair fight.

  My color-bearer was killed and some of the best officers

killed or wounded. We have fought nine times since we entered

this valley and have been under fire, when men of my command

were killed and wounded, probably thirty or forty times since

the campaign opened. I doubt if a brigade in Sherman's army


has fought more. None has marched half as much. I started

with twenty-four hundred men. I now have less than twelve

hundred, and almost none of the loss is stragglers.

  I hope they will now get Sherman's army to Richmond. It

will be taken if they do it promptly, otherwise I fear not for

some time.

  McClellan would get a handsome soldiers' vote if on a decent

platform; as it is, he will get more than any other Democrat

could get.

  I am glad that you feel as you do about my safety. It is the

best philosophy not to borrow trouble of the future. We are

still confronted by the enemy. I can't help thinking that the

fall of Atlanta will carry them back to Richmond. What a

glorious career Sherman's army has had! That is the best army

in the world. Lee's army is next. There is just as much differ-

ence between armies, divisions, brigades, etc., as between in-

dividuals. Crook, I think, has the best and the worst division in

this army. Of the one you can always count upon it, that it

will do all that can be expected, and of the other that it will

behave badly.              Sincerely,

                                              R. B. HAYES.

  September 8.--Nothing new except that the Rebels have

drawn back perhaps ten miles from our front, possibly gone

back to Richmond.


    CAMP AT SUMMIT POINT, VIRGINIA, September 9, 1864.

  DEAREST:--I received today your good letter of the 30th. I

think I have got the most, perhaps, all of your back letters.

  Speaking of politics: It is quite common for youngsters,

adopting their parents' notions, to get very bitter talk into

their innocent little mouths. I was quite willing Webb should

hurrah for Vallandigham last summer with the addition, "and

a rope to hang him." But I feel quite different about McClellan.

He is on a mean platform and is in bad company, but I do not

doubt his personal loyalty and he has been a soldier, and what

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          505

is more a soldier's friend. No man ever treated the private

soldier better. No commander was ever more loved by his men.

I therefore want my boys taught to think and talk well of Gen-

eral McClellan. I think he will make the best President of any

Democrat. If on a sound platform, I could support him. Do

not be alarmed. I do not think he will be elected. The im-

proved condition of our military affairs injures his chances very

materially. He will not get so large [an] army vote as his

friends seem to expect. With reasonably good luck in the war,

Lincoln will go in.

  Have you any picture of Captain Gillis and Brigdon ? Captain

Austin had his arm amputated at the shoulder and died the night

after. There was no saving him. Lieutenant Hubbard, sup-

posed killed at Winchester, escaped from the Rebels and is now

with us, well and strong. About half of the Fifth Virginia

Volunteers leave us today. Colonel Enochs, Captain Poor, and

others remain.

  I do not know where the enemy is today. They were still in

our front the day before yesterday.

                        As ever your

  MRS. HAYES.                                             R.

  [Dr. J. T. Webb writing to his nephews, the Hayes boys,

from Camp Summit Point, Virginia, September 11, 1864, says:--

"Since we left Charleston in April last, the Twenty-third Regi-

ment has had three captains killed and three wounded, two

lieutenants killed and three wounded, and about four hundred

and fifty privates killed and wounded. We have marched on foot

twelve hundred miles, travelled on steamboats and cars five hun-

dred; fought six or eight battles, (worsted in but one -- at Win-

chester), [and] skirmished with the enemy in front or rear

sixty days. Since we came into Sheridan's Army we have had

comparatively easy times, as far as marching is concerned. In

the way of skirmishing our division has had more than its share.

Every few days an order came for us to go out and see where

and what the enemy was doing. On one of these expeditions

we killed and captured quite a number of the enemy without


losing a man. This was fun for me. It was quite a battle, and

our friends, back in camp, from the amount of firing, supposed

we were having a hard time, and sent out thirty ambulances to

carry in our wounded. Imagine their surprise when we returned

them all empty. In our other skirmishes we lost more or less

each time, but invariably worsted the enemy."]



                                        September 12, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE:--We have had no severe fighting since the

third. The frequent rains have filled the Potomac so it is no

longer fordable. I look for no attempt now on the part of the

Rebels to get over the river and think there will be very little

fighting unless we attack.  We are gaining strength daily.  Our

policy seems to be not to attack unless the chances are greatly in

our favor. Military affairs wear a much better look. Our

armies are rapidly filling up. I shall not be surprised if Grant

should soon find himself able to make important moves.

   I like McClellan's letter. It is an important thing. It is the

best evidence to Europe and the South that the people intend to

prosecute the war until the Union is re-established. Still, if

things continue as favorable as they now are, I think Lincoln

will be elected.

   I see that Mr. Long is not renominated. I supposed he would

be and that my election over him was quite a sure thing. Against

 Mr. Lord the result will depend on the general drift matters

 take. I am not. a-going to take it to heart if I am beaten. "It's

 of no consequence at all," as Mr. Toots would say. Mr. Lord's

wife and family are particular and intimate friends of my wife

and family. His wife is a sister of Stephenson's wife. Divers

 friends of his and mine will be in a worry how to vote, I suspect.

   I am glad you are out of debt -- a good place to be out of in

the times a-coming. . . .


   R. B. HAYES.


             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          507


  DEAREST: -- We have had heavy fall rains and are now having

windy, cold fall weather.  We are, however, very comfortably

camped, clad, and fed.

  No fighting of importance since the third.  The enemy was

still in our front yesterday morning.  A division is now out feel-

ing of their lines--the cannonading indicates that they have

not all gone.

  McClellan, I see, has written a pretty good war letter. I sus-

pect it will make him  trouble among the genuine copperheads.

Mr. Lord declines running in the Second District and Mr. Butler

is put in his place! I think both of them are good war men and

that they do not differ much from me.  A funny mix it is.

  We have had two votes in this camp. The Thirteenth Virginia,

Colonel Brown, gave three hundred and seventy-five for Lincoln,

fifteen for McClellan.  The Ninth Virginia two hundred and

seventy for Lincoln, none (!) for McClellan.  The platform and

Pendleton destroys his chances in the army.

  I dreamed about you and the boys last night.  I hope you are

as well as I thought you looked. . . .  Love to all

                      Affectionately ever




  DEAREST:--Did Carrington leave a revolver (pistol) with

you when he left [the] little sorrel? I have forgotten about it.

  General McClellan has written a pretty good Union and war

letter, which I see is bringing the Democratic party over to our

side on the war question. If he should be elected,--an event

not now seeming probable, -- I have no doubt that the war will

go right on. The chief difference between us is on slavery, and

I have no doubt that when the burden and responsibility of the

war is on the Democracy, they will rapidly "get religion," as

Sam Cary would say, "on that subject."

  General Grant is now here in consultation with General Sheri-

dan. The recruits and convalescents will soon fill up his ranks

and I look for an active fall campaign.


  September 18. Sunday P. M. -- As usual the order to move

comes on Sunday. We go on [in] what direction or why I don't

know. But, darling, I love you and the dear ones. -- Good-bye.

                     Ever affectionately,


  Monday, September 19, 1864. -- Marched fifteen miles and

gained the battle of Winchester. Colonel Duval and Captain

Hastings wounded near the close of the battle. I took command

of the Second (old "Kanawha") Division at end of day.

  Tuesday, September 20.--Marched fifteen miles to Cedar

Creek (near Strasburg). Early badly beaten yesterday; twenty-

six hundred prisoners taken, swords, guns, and flags. Rebels

halt at Fisher's Hill. We hide in the woods after dark.

  Wednesday,  September  21. -- In  camp  at  Cedar  Creek.

Crook's troops concealed in woods. Rebels in a strong position

on Fisher's Hill beyond Strasburg with strong works; we are

trying to turn it.

      CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, September 21, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- As I anticipated when I added a few words in

pencil to a half finished letter last Sunday, we left camp to seek

General Early and give him battle.  We met him at Winchester

and, as I telegraphed, gained a great victory. General Crook's

command in general, and my brigade and the Second (Kanawha)

Division in particular, squared up the balance left against us on

the 24th of July at the same place. The fighting began at day-

light Monday (19th), with our cavalry. Then the Sixth Corps

fighting pretty well, joined in; and about 10:30 A. M. the Nine-

teenth [Corps] took part -- some portions of it behaving badly,

losing ground, two guns, and some prisoners. We in the mean-

time were guarding the wagons (!). Since the fight they say

Crook's command was the reserve!

  By noon the battle was rather against [us]. The Rebels were

jubilant and in Winchester were cheering and rejoicing over the

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          509

victory. We were sent for. General Crook in person superin-

tended the whole thing. At one o'clock, having passed around on

to the Rebel left, we passed under a fire of cannon and musketry

and pushed direct for a battery on their extreme flank. This

division was our extreme right. My brigade in front, supported

by Colonel White's old brigade. As soon as we felt their fire we

moved swiftly forward going directly at the battery. The order

was to walk fast, keep silent, until within about one hundred

yards of the guns, and then with a yell to charge at full speed.

We passed over a ridge and were just ready to begin the rush

when we came upon a deep creek with high banks, boggy, and

perhaps twenty-five yards wide.

  The Rebel fire now broke out furiously. Of course the line

stopped. To stop was death. To go on was probably the same;

but on we started again. My horse plunged in and mired down

hopelessly, just as by frantic struggling he reached about the

middle of the stream. I jumped off, and down on all fours,

succeeded in reaching the Rebel side -- but alone. Perhaps some

distance above or below others were across. I was about the

middle of the brigade and saw nobody else, but hundreds were

struggling in the stream. It is said several were drowned. I

think it not true. (N. B. I just received the enclosed with

orders to have it read to every man in my division. I send you

the original. Save it as precious.)* The next man over (I don't

know but he beat me -- but--)  was the adjutant of the Thirty-


  Soon they came flocking, all regiments mixed up -- all order

gone.  [There was] no chance of ever reforming, but pell-mell,

over the obstructions, went the crowd. Two cannons were cap-

  *Two yellow flimsies.  One giving a despatch of September 20 from

Secretary Stanton to General Sheridan, reading: "Please accept for your-

self and your gallant army the thanks of the President and the Depart-

ment for your great battle and brilliant victory of yesterday. . . .

One hundred guns were fired here at noon today in honor of your vic-


  The other a despatch of the same date from General Grant, reading:

"I have just received the news of your great victory and ordered each of

the army corps to fire a salute of one hundred guns in honor of it at 7

o'clock tomorrow morning."


tured; the rest run off. The whole of Crook's Command (both

divisions) were soon over, with the general swinging his sword,

and the Rebel position was successfully flanked, and victory in

prospect for the first time that day.

  We chased them three to five hundred yards, when we came in

sight of a second line, strongly posted. We steadily worked to-

wards them under a destructive fire. Sometimes we would be

brought to a standstill by the storm of grape and musketry, but

the flags (yours as advanced as any) would be pushed on and a

straggling crowd would follow. With your flag were [the]

Twenty-third, Thirty-fourth, Thirty-sixth, and Seventy-first men,

and so of all the others. Officers on horseback were falling

faster than others, but all were suffering.  (Mem.: -- Two men

got my horse out and I rode him all day, but he was ruined.)

  Things began to look dark. The Nineteenth Corps next on our

left were in a splendid line, but they didn't push. They stood

and fired at long range! Many an anxious glance was cast that

way. They were in plain sight, but no, or very little, effective

help came from that handsome line. It was too far off. At the

most critical moment a large body of that splendid cavalry, with

sabres drawn, moved slowly around our right beyond the creek.

Then at a trot and finally with shouts at a gallop [they] charged

right into the Rebel lines. We pushed on and away broke the

Rebels. The cavalry came back, and an hour later and nearly

a mile back, the same scene again; and a third time; and the

victory was ours just at sundown.

  My division [was] entering Winchester as the Rebels were

leaving, far in advance of all other troops. My division com-

mander had fallen (Colonel Duval) badly, not dangerously,

wounded, and I commanded the division in the closing scenes.

The colonel of the other brigade, Captain Hastings, one of my

orderlies (Johnny Kaufman), and hosts of others [were]

wounded. You will see the lists. No intimate friends killed.

   It was a great victory, but a much greater battle to take part

in than the results would indicate. I certainly never enjoyed

anything more than the last three hours. Dr. Joe was perfectly

happy, the last two hours at least -- always after the first cavalry

charge. We felt well. The sum of it is, [the] Sixth Corps

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          511

fought well; [the] Nineteenth only so-so. Crook's skill and his

men turned the Rebel left making victory possible, and the

cavalry saved it when it was in danger of being lost.

  Of course this is imperfect. I saw but little of what occurred.

For that reason I would never have a letter of mine shown out-

side of the family. There is too much risk of errors. For in-

stance, crossing the creek, I could only see one hundred yards

or so up and down. Forty men may have beaten me over, but I

didn't see them.

  Colonel Duval has gone home. I command the division. Col-

onel Devol of the Thirty-sixth commands the First Brigade in

my stead.  We are following the retreating Rebels.  They will

get into an entrenched position before fighting again, and I sus-

pect we shall not assault them in strong works. So I look for no

more fighting with General Early this campaign. -- Love to all.



  Send this to Mother and Uncle with request to return it to you.

  P. S.--A comment on this letter. I am told that the creek we

crossed was a swail or "sloo" [slough] three hundred yards long,

and that my line above and below me crossed it easily--thus

separating still more the different parts of my line. No one

knows a battle except the little part he sees.

  Friday, September 23. --  Marched twelve miles to Woodstock.

Rebels outran the first Bull Run great rout. Woodstock a pretty

reigon. Bath and clean woollen today.

                 WOODSTOCK, VIRGINIA, September 23, 1864.

  DEAREST:-- We fought the enemy again [yesterday] at

Fisher's Hill near Strasburg. They had fortified a naturally

strong position with great industry. It seemed impregnable, but

General Crook contrived an attack, by going up a mountainside,

which turned their position. My division led the attack. The

victory was [as] complete as possible and, strangest of all, our

loss is almost nothing.


  Captain Douglass sits near me in excellent health. We are

following the enemy. Shall be out of hearing for some time.

  In the rush after the Rebels no flag was so conspicuous as

yours. It seems a trifle larger than others, is bright and new,

and as it went double-quick at the head of a yelling host for

five miles, I thought how you would enjoy the sight.  The color-

bearer told me he should go to see you when the war was over.

He is an American German, with a dark Indian face, full of


  Captain Hastings' wound is severe but not dangerous.  Captain

Stewart, the best captain in [the] Thirteenth, ditto.  Captain

Slack killed. In the fight yesterday none were killed of your

friends or acquaintances and very few hurt.

  A train goes in a minute and I must send a line to Mother. --

Dr. Joe perfectly triumphant. He was at the head of the host

yesterday. -- Love to all.

                     Affectionately ever,


  P. S. -- Since the wounding of Colonel Duval, I command the

splendid old Kanawha Division--two brigades, now not over

three thousand strong, but no better fighters live.


                 WOODSTOCK, VIRGINIA, September 23, 1864.

  DEAR MOTHER:--We have gained two great victories this

week. The first was after a fierce and long battle, in which we

lost heavily. The last unwounded man of my staff was badly

wounded; one orderly ditto; two horses killed, rode by my aides.

I am unhurt and in good health. We are in pursuit and will

soon get out of the reach of mails. -- In haste. Love to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,



  Saturday, September 24. -- Marched five [miles] to Edinburg,

seven to Mount Jackson, seven and one-fourth to New Market --

nineteen and one-fourth [in all]. A fine day; fine scenery.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          513

Rebels stood a short time at Reed's Hill near Mount Jackson,

but soon retreated; admit a bad defeat -- loss of seventeen pieces

of artillery and five thousand men. Camp facing the gap into

Luray Valley.

  Sunday, September 25. -- March nine [miles] to Sparta  and

nine to Harrisonburg--eighteen.  A fine town and a fine day.

General Early reported [to have] gone over into Luray Valley

to go through Blue Ridge. I conjecture he will go to railroad and

Lynchburg.  This is a splendid day, a fine town.

  Monday, September 26. --  At camp near Harrisonburg.  Re-

ceive Sheridan's telegraphic report of our last battle.  Crook's

command gets proper credit for once.

               HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 26, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- Another victory and almost nobody hurt. The

loss in my division (you know I now command General Crook's

old Division, Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth Ohio and Fifth and

Thirteenth Virginia, Thirty-fourth and Ninety-first Ohio and

Ninth and Fourteenth Virginia) is less than one hundred.

Early's Rebel veterans, Jackson's famous old corps, made our

Bull Run defeat respectable. They ran like sheep. The truth is,

General Crook outwitted them. The other generals opposed his

plan but Sheridan trusts him absolutely and allowed him to be-

gin the attack on his own plan.  But I have written all this.

  Love to the boys. Regards to Uncle Scott and all on the hill.

I got his good letter just before our last fight.

                      Affectionately ever,



               HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 26, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE:--You have heard enough  about our great

victories at Winchester and Fisher's Hill. I will say only a word.

No one man can see or know what passes on all parts of a

battle-field. Each one describes the doings of the corps, division,

or what not, that he is with. Now, all the correspondents are



with the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps and the cavalry command.

General Crook has nobody to write him or his command up.

They are of course lost sight of. At Winchester at noon, the

Sixth and Nineteenth Corps had been worsted. In the afternoon,

General Crook (who is the brains of the whole thing) with his

command turned the Rebel left and gained the victory. The

cavalry saved it from being lost after it was gained. My brigade

led the attack on the Rebel left, but all parts of Crook's command

did their duty. The Sixth Corps fought well, the Nineteenth

failed somewhat, and the cavalry was splendid and efficient

throughout. This is my say-so.

  My division entered the fight on the extreme right of the

infantry, Merritt's splendid cavalry on our right, and Averell still

further on our right. We ended the fight on the extreme left.

The Rebels retreated from our right to our left, so that we went

in at the rear and came out at the front, my flag being the first

into and through Winchester. My division commander was

wounded late in the fight and I commanded the division from

that time. It is the Second, General Crook's old division.

  At Fisher's Hill the turning of the Rebel left was planned and

executed by General Crook against the opinions of the other

generals. My division led again. General Sheridan is a whole-

souled, brave man (like Dr. Webb) and believes in Crook, his

old class and roommate at West Point. Intellectually he is not

General Crook's equal, so that, as I said, General Crook is the

brains of this army.

  The completeness of our victories can't be exaggerated. If

Averell had been up to his duty at Fisher's Hill, Mr. Early and

all the rest would have fallen into our hands. As it is, we have,

I think, from the two battles five thousand Rebel prisoners un-

hurt--three thousand wounded, five hundred killed; twenty-five

pieces of artillery, etc., etc.

  In the Fisher's Hill battle, the Sheridan Cavalry was over the

mountains going around to the rear. This, as it turned out, was

unfortunate. If they had been with us instead of Averell, there

would have been nothing left of Early. General Averell is re-


  I lost one orderly, my adjutant-general, Captain Hastings, and

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          515

field officers in all regiments, wounded. No officers especially

intimate with me killed. I had my scene which I described in

a letter to Lucy.





              HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 27, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- We have left the further pursuit of Early's broken

army to cavalry and small scouting parties. We are resting near

a beautiful town like Delaware. We suspect our campaigning is

over and that we shall ultimately go back towards Martinsburg.

  It has been a most fortunate and happy campaign for us all --

I mean, for all who are left! For no one more so than for me.

My command has been second to none in any desirable thing.

We have had the best opportunity to act and have gone through

with it fortunately.

  My chief anxiety these days is for you. I hope soon to hear

that your troubles are happily over. -- Much love to the dear ones

and oceans for yourself.

                   Affectionately ever, your



                                        September 27, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Our work seems to be done for the present.

The cavalry and small scouting parties are after the scattered

and broken army. It looks as if we should, after [a] while,

return towards the Potomac. We are resting in the magnificent

Valley of Virginia. A most happy campaign it has been. Our

chance to act has been good, and it has been well improved.

My immediate command is one of the very finest, and has done

all one could desire.

  There are five or six brigadier-generals and one or two major-

generals, sucking their thumbs in offices at Harpers Ferry and


elsewhere, who would like to get my command. One came out

here yesterday to ask for it, but General Crook tells them he has

all the commanders he wants and sends them back. There is not

a general officer in General Crook's army and has not been in this


  Things look well in all directions. Lincoln must be re-elected

easily, it seems to me. Rebel prisoners -- the common soldiers --

all talk one way: "Tired of this rich man's war; determined to

quit if it lasts beyond this campaign."


                                              R. B. HAYES.


               HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 27, 1864.

  DEAR MOTHER:--We are now one hundred miles south of

Harpers Ferry. Our victories have so broken and scattered the

Rebel army opposed to us that it is no use for infantry to pur-

sue further, except in small parties scouting the woods and

mountains.  The cavalry are going on.  We are resting in a lovely

valley. I rather think that our campaigning is over for the

present. It has been exceedingly fortunate. General Crook's

whole command has done conspicuously well. I commanded in

the last fighting the fine division formerly commanded by Gen-

eral Crook. We led the attack on both days. It is the pleasant-

est command a man could have.  Half of the men are from Ohio,

the rest from West Virginia.

  I think we shall stay here some time and then go back towards

Martinsburg. -- Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  [Dr. J. T. Webb, in a letter from "Camp nigh Harrisonburg,

Virginia, September 28, 1864," describes the battle of Fisher's

Hill in a graphic way:

  "[After the battle on the Opequon] the enemy fell back to

Fisher's Hill, some eighteen miles from Winchester. This was

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          517

supposed to be impregnable, the key to the Valley. Here they

fortified themselves and boasted, as you will see by the Rich-

mond papers, that they could not be ousted. We followed on.

At this point the Valley is quite narrow, North Mountain and

Middle Mountain approaching each other, say within three miles

of each other. The mountainsides are steep and rough. Now,

just here, a creek runs directly across the valley, whose banks

are steep and high on which the Rebels have erected strong

earthworks. To attack these would be worse than death. The

Rebels felt quite secure. We could see them evidently enjoying

themselves. After looking about a day or so, Crook proposed to

flank them on their left again, this time climbing up the side of

the mountain. So after marching all day, at four P. M., we

found ourselves entirely inside of their works, and they knew

nothing of it. Again Crook orders a charge, and with yells

off they go, sweeping down the line of works, doubling up the

Rebels on each other. They were thunderstruck; swore we had

crossed the mountain. The men rushed on, no line, no order, all

yelling like madmen. [The] Rebs took to their heels, each striv-

ing to get himself out of the way. Cannon after cannon were

abandoned (twenty-two captured). Thus we rushed on until we

reached their right. Here again [as on the 19th] darkness saved

them once more. Such a foot-race as this was is not often met

with. The Rebs say Crook's men are devils.

  "It was after this charge, as we were encamped on the road-

side, [that] the Sixth and Nineteenth [Corps] passing gave us

three cheers. Crook had given Averell his orders to charge just

so soon as the enemy broke, but as usual he was drunk or some-

thing else and failed to come to time.  Thus he wasted the grand-

est opportunity ever offered for capturing the enemy and gain-

ing credit for himself. Sheridan ordered him to the rear, re-

lieving him of his command. This same Averell was the sole

cause of Crook's disaster at Winchester. He failed constantly

on the Lynchburg raid; now he lost everything almost, and is

merely relieved. Had he followed up the enemy after they were

dispersed, he could have captured all their train, cannon, etc.,

besides scattering and capturing all of the men.       Sheridan's

Cavalry proper had been sent round to turn their flank through


Luray Valley, but the Rebs had fortified the pass and they could

not reach us. As it is, however, we have whipped the flower

of the Rebel army; they are scattered in all directions. We have

captured about four thousand prisoners (sound) and three thou-

sand wounded, killing some five or seven hundred.

  "Our cavalry are still pursuing. All this day we can hear

artillery firing. It is reported that yesterday we captured or

caused them to burn one hundred waggons. I presume the

infantry will not move much farther in this direction.

  "The men all feel fine. We have 'wiped out' Winchester.

Notwithstanding the Rebs had choice of position, [the number

of] our killed and wounded does not equal theirs. They have

lost four or five generals; colonels and majors, any quantity.

Many are coming in from the mountain. All say they are tired

of this war. The people are getting tired, and many noted Rebels

are willing and anxious to close this out."]

   HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 28, (5 A. M.), 1864.

  DEAREST: -- We have marching orders this morning.  Where

to, etc., I don't yet know. I think we shall have no more heavy

fighting. You will know where we are before this reaches you

through the papers. We shall probably be out of the reach of

you for several days.

  My thoughts are of you these days more than usual and I al-

ways think of my darling a good deal, as I ought to do of such

a darling as mine.  You know I am

                    Your ever affectionate

  MRS. HAYES.                                               R.

        HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, September 29, P. M., 1864.

  DEAREST:--The cavalry and part of our infantry are in

Staunton and on the road to Gordonsville. They are merely

keeping up the big scare. The Sixth and Nineteenth Corps are

eight miles on the Staunton Road. We are enjoying ourselves.

We rather expect and prefer to start back towards Winchester

soon, but we know nothing.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          519

  I write so often these days because I feel anxious about you

and because I am uncertain about the delivery of my letters

within our lines.--Love to all. Much for your own private self,

my darling.

                      Affectionately, your


  P. S. -- It is now universally conceded in this army that Crook

and his men did it.


                  HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, October 1, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- The First Brigade has gone out six miles to grind

up the wheat in that neighborhood -- three mills there -- and Dr.

Joe has gone with them.

  Colonel Powell just returned from Staunton. They burned

all wheat stacks, mills, and barns with grain, and are driving in

all cattle and horses. Large numbers of families are going out

with us.  Dunkards and Mennonites, good quiet people, are gen-

erally going to Ohio. I hope we shall move back in a day or two.

  Our wounded all doing well. Only seven deaths in all the

hospitals at Winchester. Miss Dix and Presidents of Christian

and Sanitary Commissions with oceans of luxuries and comforts

there, and the good people of Winchester to cook and help.

[The] Sixth Corps take one street; [the] Nineteenth, the Main

Street; and Crook's, the Eastern. Rebel [wounded] and ours

now there about three thousand. Twenty-third, thirty-three;

Fifth, eight; Thirty-sixth, thirteen, and Thirteenth, twenty. All

the rest gone home. Captain Hiltz, Twelfth-Twenty-third, lost

his leg. As soon as the operation was over and the effect of the

chloroform passed off, he looked at the stump and said: "No

more eighteen dollars for boots to sutler now; nine dollars [will]

shoe me!" Captain Hastings doing well; heard from him last


  General Lightburn came up a day or two ago with staff and

orderlies and asked General Crook for the command of my divi-

sion. He had reported along the road that he was going out to

take General Crook's old division. General Crook told him the


division was officered to his satisfaction and ordered him back

to Harpers Ferry to await orders.

  Colonel Duval is doing well and hopes to return by the last of

this month (October).

  Colonel Comly keeps a pretty full diary. He has sent extracts

containing the two battles home. They will probably appear in

the Cincinnati Gazette.

  I shall send a Rebel's diary to the Commercial.  It was taken

from his pocket at Winchester.

  We rather expect to go into something like winter quarters

soon after getting back to Winchester or Martinsburg.  Of course

there will be extensive campaigning done yet, but we think we

shall now be excused. I speak of Crook's Command. -- Love

to all.               Affectionately ever,



  Harrisonburg, Sunday, October 2, 1864. -- A fine day. First

Brigade six miles out grinding; came in after dark. Cannonad-

ing in front. A hegira of Dunkards and others. Grant orders

all provisions destroyed so "a crow flying from Staunton to

Winchester must carry his rations."

          HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, Sunday, October 2, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- I am writing to you so often these days because I

am thinking of you more anxiously than usual, and on account

of the great uncertainty of our communications. There are some

indications today that we shall push on further south. You will

know if we do by the papers. If so we shall be cut off from

friends more than ever.

  Dr. Joe has gone with the First Brigade out about six miles to

grind up the wheat at some mills in that quarter. It seems to be

a great place for sport. They are having a jolly time.

  We hear from Winchester today. One of our orderlies,

Johnny Kaufman, died of his wound. Captain Hastings and the

rest are all doing well.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          521

  Great droves of cattle and sheep are going past us north.

Everything eatable is taken or destroyed. No more supplies to

Rebels from this valley. No more invasions in great force by

this route will be possible.

  P. M.--Indications look more like going on with our cam-

paign. I would prefer going towards my darling and the chicks.

Still, I like to move. We came here a week ago. After this

active year I feel bored when we stop longer than a day or two.

I have tried all available plans to spend time. I read old Harpers,

two of Mrs. Hall's novels, -- you know I don't "affect" women's

novels. I find myself now reading "East Lynne." Nothing su-

perior in it, but I can read anything.

  For the first time in five or six days, we are just startled by

cannon firing and musketry, perhaps four or five miles in our

front. It is probably Rebel cavalry pitching into our foraging

parties, or making a reconnaisance to find whether we have left.

  "Have your men under arms," comes from General Crook. I

ask, "Is it thought to be anything?" "No, but General Sheridan

sends the order to us." Well, we get under arms. This letter

is put in my ammunition box. I mount my horse and see that

all are ready.  The firing gets more distant and less frequent.

"We have driven them," somebody conjectures, and I return to

my tent, "East Lynne," and my darling, no wiser than ever.

  I am in receipt of yours of [the] 13th. The mail goes back

immediately. Good-bye. Blessings on your head.

                     Affectionately ever,




                                  Sunday, October 2, 1864.

  DEAR MOTHER:--I have supposed that we would soon go

back, at least as far as Winchester. We have destroyed the

railroad from Richmond to Staunton in several places, and all

the provisions and stores at Staunton and for a considerable dis-

tance south of that point. It would seem to be impossible for the

Rebels to get supplies from this valley, or even to march a large

force through it for the purpose of invading Maryland and Penn-


sylvania. There are now some appearances which would indicate

that we may push on further south. We have no regular com-

munication now with the States, and if we go further we shall

probably be for some time out of hearing of friends.

  All things with us are going on prosperously. The people

here are more inclined to submit than ever before.

  I have heard nothing from Ohio later than the 8th -- almost

a month. I still hope that we shall be allowed to return north. --

Love to all.             Affectionately, your son,



  Tuesday, October 4. -- My birthday -- forty-two.  Wrote to

mother. Lieutenant Meigs killed last night by guerrillas, three

miles south of camp. Houses on the road for five miles burned

by order of General Sheridan. Not according to my views or


                   HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, October 4, 1864.

  DEAR  MOTHER:--I celebrate my  forty-second birthday by

writing a few letters.

  We have had a few gloomy days -- wet, windy, and cold -- but

this morning it cleared off bright and warm. The camps look

prettier than usual. Many flags are floating gaily and every one

seems hopeful and happy. There is a universal desire to return

towards the Potomac. We shall probably soon be gratified, as

we have pretty nearly finished work in this quarter.

  I am in excellent health. This life probably wears men out a

little sooner than ordinary occupations, even if they escape the

dangers from battle and the like, but I am certain that we are

quite as healthy as people who live in houses. -- My love to all.

                   Affectionately, your son,



  *The order was mitigated. Only a few houses near the scene of the

murder were burned.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          523

  [Thursday, October 6, the Union forces began to retire down

the Valley. That day Hayes's division marched north twenty-

four miles to Mount Jackson. The next day it made Wood-

stock, fourteen miles. Then]

  Saturday, October 8. -- Marched eleven miles to Fisher's Hill.

Ascended Round Top Mountain, Rebel signal station. A fine

view of the Valley, marred by the fires and smoke of burning

stacks and barns. A bitter, windy, cold afternoon and night.

Rebel cavalry harrassing our rear.

  Sunday, October 9. -- Felt a great repugnance to fighting an-

other battle last night; all right this morning. Our cavalry

flogged the Rebels handsomely today. Took nine pieces of artil-

lery and many prisoners and train. Captain H. J. Farnsworth.

a quartermaster, reported to my division.



                                           October 10, 1864.

  DEAREST: -- I am very anxious to hear from you. I hope you

are doing well.

  We have slowly returned from our splendid campaign to this

point. The Rebel cavalry impudently undertook to harass us

as we approached here. General Sheridan halted his army and

sent his cavalry back supported by two of my infantry regiments

(Ninth and Fourteenth Virginia) and gave them a complete

flogging, capturing their cannon (nine), train, and many pris-

oners. They were chased from the field at a run for twenty


  I don't know when we shall return to Winchester, but probably

soon. This valley will feed and forage no more Rebel armies.

It is completely and awfully devastated -- "a belt of desolation,"

as Sherman calls it for one hundred and twenty-five miles or

more from our lines. -- My love to all.

                      Ever affectionately,



  P. S. -- Just heard through Captain Douglass (10 A. M.) that

I am the father of another boy. God bless the boy -- all the

boys -- and above all the mother. -- H.


        CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, October 12, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE SCOTT:--I am  much obliged for your letter

announcing the arrival of the big boy and the welfare of his

mother. I had been looking for news somewhat anxiously. I

intended to have had a daughter, but I failed to see the new moon

over my right shoulder. I am glad to hear he promises to be a

good boy, as Aunt Phoebe writes Dr. Joe.

  We had a quiet election here yesterday. My old brigade, Ohio

voters, were unanimous--the two veteran regiments voting as

follows: Twenty-third--two hundred and sixty-six Union;

Thirty-sixth--two hundred and fifty-nine ditto, and no Copper-

heads. The whole of Crook's Command stands fourteen hundred

Union and two hundred Democrats in round numbers -- three-

fourths of the Democrats being in companies from Monroe and

Crawford [counties].

  Our campaign in the Valley is supposed to be ended. It winds

up with a most signal cavalry victory. It is believed that the

Sixth and Nineteenth Corps with Sheridan's splendid cavalry

will join Grant and that Crook's hard-worked command will

have the duty of guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in

winter quarters. We hope this is correct. If so, I shall probably

get home by Christmas for a good visit.

  I am compelled to write this on the half sheet of your letter.--

Love to all.              Sincerely,

                                              R. B. HAYES.


      Chillicothe, Ohio.

  Thursday, October 13. -- Today Rebels surprised us. The first

intimation we had of them, a battery opened on my Second

Brigade marching to put a signal station on Massanutten Moun-

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          525

tain. Colonel Thoburn made a reconnaisance, was forced back

losing Colonel Wells, Thirty-fourth Massachusetts, and one hun-

dred and fifty men, after a great fight.

  Friday, October 14.--I had five killed and six wounded by

the Rebel battery yesterday. Colonel Brown, Thirteenth, went

out and established a picket line easily. General Early very timid.

Captain Little, five days in Libby [Prison, at Richmond], says

Mosby's men are gentlemen.

  Saturday, October 15. -- Rebels still in front.  Election said to

be favorable. Captain Hastings I fear is worse. Mosby cap-

tures a railroad train.  General Angus gets Mosby's artillery.

Mosby gets three hundred thousand [dollars].


                 Morning before breakfast, October 15, 1864.

  MY DARLING WIFE:--Oceans of love for you and the fine

new boy--yes, and for the boys all.  You may be sure I shall

come to see you as soon as affairs here will allow.

  Early with a large re-inforcement came up to us on Thursday

evening. He evidently supposed that the Sixth and Nineteenth

Corps were gone. The Sixth was gone. He came up very boldly.

But after a brisk affair, learning that the Nineteenth was still

here, he hastily withdrew and took up his old entrenched position

on Fisher's Hill. Yesterday he was at work fixing his left on

North Mountain where we turned him before. The Sixth came

back yesterday.  This morning the Sixth and Nineteenth are mov-

ing out as if for battle.

  In any event, you know all I would wish to say. So, think

of me, dearest, as ever your

                                        LOVING HUSBAND, R.


         CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, October 15, 1864.

  DEAR MOTHER:--We have remained quiet in camp during this

week with the exception of one afternoon's skirmishing.  Early,


or somebody with a considerable force, is entrenched near us.

We may fight another battle with him, but I have no information

as to the intention.

  Colonel Comly is very well. He has had great luck to get

through all this fighting with so little injury. He and the

Twenty-third have been in all the hottest places. Over twenty

officers in the regiment have been killed or wounded since the

first of May. . . .    My love to all.

                  Affectionately, your son,



        CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, October 15, 1864.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- We are resting.  Early, reinforced, came up a

few days ago, evidently thinking a good part of our army had

gone to Grant. Finding his mistake, he moved back to his old

fortifications on Fisher's [Hill], and is now there digging and

chopping like mad. What we are to do about it, I can't tell. It

must be a serious business for the Rebels to feed an army there


  I have not yet heard from the Ohio election. The two Ohio

regiments in my old brigade (Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth

Ohio) gave five hundred and fifteen votes for the Union state

and county ticket, and none at all for the Democrats. People at

home can't beat that!

  Give my regards to Father Works and to Mr. and Mrs. Valette.

My sympathies or congratulations, perhaps, should be given to

Mr. Oscar Valette. I see he is drafted. Of course, his health

will be reason enough not to go. Jim Webb was drafted; ill

health excused him.

                          Sincerely,                      R.


  Monday, October 17.--My election [to Congress] reported.

Seventeen [Republican] to two [Democratic] members of Con-

gress in Ohio; sixteen to eight in Pennsylvania. Better than all,

Governor Morton elected by a good majority in Indiana.

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          527

   Tuesday, October 18. -- A letter from Stephenson congratulat-

ing me on my election by twenty-four hundred majority. [In

the] First District, Eggleston has seventeen hundred majority.

Still busy on entrenchments.

   Wednesday, October 19. -- Before daylight under cover of a

heavy fog Rebels attacked the left. Colonel Thoburn's First

Division was overwhelmed.     His adjutant, Lieutenant ---

brought me the word. We hurried up, loaded our baggage, and

got into line. [The] Nineteenth Corps went into the woods on

right (one brigade). General Sheridan was absent. General

Wright, in command, directed my division to close up on [the]

Nineteenth. Too late; the fugitives of the First Division and the

Nineteenth's brigade came back on us. The Rebels broke on us

in the fog and the whole line broke back. The Rebels did not

push with energy. We held squads of men up to the fight all

along.  My  horse was killed instantly.  I took Lieutenant

Henry's, of my staff. We fell back--the whole army--in a

good deal of confusion but without panic. Artillery (twenty-five

pieces) fell into Rebel hands and much camp equipage. About

two and one-half miles back, we formed a line. [The] Rebels

failed to push on fast enough.

  P. M. General Sheridan appeared; greeted with cheering all

along the line. His enthusiasm, magnetic and contagious. He

brought up stragglers. "We'll whip 'em yet like hell." he says.

General Crook's men on left of pike. -- Line goes ahead. A fine

view of the battle. [The] rebels fight poorly. Awfully whipped.

-Cannon and spoils now on our side. Glorious!


                                           October 21, 1864.

  MY DARLING: -- We have had another important victory over

General Early's oft-defeated army. Reinforced by a division or

two of Longstreet's Corps, he was foolish enough to follow and

attack us here on the 19th. In the darkness and fog of early

morning he was successful in doubling up our left flank, held by

General Crook's little First Division, and so flanking our whole


army out of its position, capturing for the time our camps, a

good many cannon, and perhaps fifteen hundred prisoners. But

soon after it got light, we began to recover and finally checked

and held them.

  In the afternoon we took the offensive and without much dif-

ficulty or loss flogged them completely, capturing all their cannon,

trains, etc., etc., and retaking all we had lost besides many pris-

oners. The Rebels marched off a part of our prisoners. For a

time things looked squally, but the truth is, all the fighting capac-

ity of Early's army was taken out of it in the great battle at

Winchester a month ago. My loss was small. In the Thirteenth

Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, a conspicuously brave and excellent

officer, was killed. Lieutenant McBride (of [the] Twelfth) was

wounded in [the] Twenty-third; two officers of [the] Fifth [Vir-

ginia] ditto.

  As usual with me I had some narrow escapes. While gallop-

ing rapidly, my fine large black horse was killed instantly, tum-

bling heels over head and dashing me on the ground violently.

Strange to say I was only a little bruised and was able to keep

the saddle all day.    (Mem.:--I lost all my  horse trappings,

saddle, etc., including my  small pistol.)  I was also hit fairly

in the head by a ball which had lost its force in getting (I sup-

pose) through somebody else! It gave me only a slight shock.--

I think serious fighting on this line is now over.

          I suppose you are pleased with the result of the

election. Of course, I am, on general reasons. My particular

gratification is much less than it would be, if I were not so much

gratified by my good luck in winning "golden opinions" in the

more stirring scenes around me here. My share of notoriety

here is nothing at all, and my real share of merit is also small

enough, I know, but the consciousness that I am doing my part

in these brilliant actions is far more gratifying than anything

the election brings me.

  Love to all. I am more than anxious to see you again.

                   Affectionately ever, your



             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          529

           CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, October 21, 1864.

   DEAR UNCLE:--Early  reinforced by a division or two of

 Longstreet's Corps was foolish enough to attack us again on the

 19th. It was a foggy morning, and the attack before daylight.

 One of General Crook's divisions (the First) was doubled up

 and our whole army flanked out of its position in confusion. But

after daylight, order was gradually restored and in the afternoon,

 General Sheridan attacked in turn; retook all we had lost and

 utterly ruined Early. It was done easily and with small loss.

   The fact is, all the fight is out of Early's men. They have been

whipped so much that they can't keep a victory after it is gained.

This is the last of fighting on this line, I am confident. My horse

was killed under me instantly, dashing me on the ground violent-

ly. Luckily, I was not hurt much. I was hit fairly in the

head with a spent ball. Narrow escapes! The Rebels got my

saddle, pistol, etc.

  The elections also are encouraging. In haste.

                           Sincerely,           R. B. HAYES.

  P. S. -- General Max Weber, a "veteran of European reputa-

tion," and one of the senior brigadiers in our service, came out

yesterday with the intention of taking command of this division.

General Crook sent him to Hagerstown, Maryland, to await



         CAMP NEAR STRASBURG, VIRGINIA, October 25, 1864.

  MY DARLING: --. . . . We expect to remain here some

time yet. I suspect that apprehension is felt at Washington

that the Rebels will try to get up a raid into Maryland or Penn-

sylvania to create a panic about the time of the Presidential

election, and that we are kept here to prevent it. I can't think

that after the complete defeat of Early's Army on the 19th, any

serious attempt will be made to drive us back. I regard the

fighting on this line as at an end for this year. I suspect that

about the 10th [of] November we shall move north, and I hope

go into winter quarters soon afterwards.



  We are having fine weather. Camped on a wooded ridge, we

are very comfortable. This life is a good deal like that of the

fall of 1861 when General Rosecrans' Army was camped around

Tompkins' Farm. The men were then very sickly. Now there

is no sickness. We now talk of our killed and wounded. There

is however a very happy feeling. Those who escape regret of

course the loss of comrades and friends, but their own escape and

safety to some extent modifies their feelings.

  Laura has a daughter! I must write her a congratulatory

note. But how much I prefer a boy. Well stocked as our house

is with boys, I almost rejoice that our last is not a girl.

  My regards and love to all the good friends who are so kind

to you. Kiss all the boys.

                   Affectionately ever, your                 R.

  P. S. -- Had a good letter from Force. He is returning to the

Georgia front.


         CAMP AT CEDAR CREEK, VIRGINIA, October 27, 1864.

  MY DARLING: -- Yours of the 18th -- the first since the boy--

reached me last night. Very glad you were able to write so soon.

I don't want you to make any exertion to write -- just write one

line and it will be enough. Half a page of your little note sheet

will be a long letter now.

  We have had so far fine weather. Our camps are as comfort-

able as possible. We expect to stay here until the season is too

far advanced to admit of any formidable raids into Maryland or

Pennsylvania. The Rebels, it is known, have been resolved to

create a panic if possible in time to affect the Presidential


  Some of the foolish fellows in the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps,

feeling envious of our laurels in previous battles, have got the

Eastern correspondents to represent the rout of Crook's Corps

as worse than theirs, etc., etc. There is not a word of truth in it.

A sentence in General Sheridan's dispatch was no doubt intend-

ed to correct this in a quiet way.  "Crook's Corps lost seven

pieces of artillery, the Nineteenth, eleven, and the Sixth Corps,

             IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY          531

six." We were attacked before them, and of course under more

unfavorable circumstances, and yet we lost no more. In fact I

lost nothing.  My division fell back, but brought everything we

had--our two cows, tents, and everything.  Of course we lost

no artillery, but did save an abandoned piece of the Nineteenth


  I hope to see you soon. It is impossible now to tell when we

shall be in a situation to ask for leaves of absence, but I suspect

it will be within a month or six weeks. If we get on the railroad,

I can go for a few days and not be missed.

  The Rebels have not shown their heads since the last crushing

defeat. Nothing but a determination to interfere with the elec-

tion will bring back their forces. -- Love to all.

                      Affectionately ever,

  MRS. HAYES.                                               R.

  Friday, October 28. -- Rained hard last night; gusty and cold

this A. M. Mem.:--Buy  Lowell's "Fireside Travels."  Barry,

of Hillsboro, and West, of Cincinnati, bring poll-books for all

and tickets for both sides. General Crook anxious to have Comly

write our side of battle of Cedar Creek.

  Saturday,  October 29. -- Bright  and  warm.       Read  "John

Phoenix." A new tent put up in good style. Bunk and fire-


  Sunday, October 30.--Another beautiful October day.  We

are having delicious weather. The only shadow on my spirits

now is the critical condition of Captain Hastings. So brave, so

pure, so good!  God grant him life!

  Monday, October 31. -- [The] Fifth and Ninth Virginia con-

solidated as First Veterans West Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

A splendid regiment it will be. Rode with Captain Hicks to

Strasburg and down the Shenandoah below [the] railroad bridge

and back to camp. Rebels at New Market with six pieces of

artillery left! A month of splendid weather for campaigning.

In a court-martial case for cowardice at Winchester a soldier

testifies of the accused: "He is a good soldier in camp, but does

not relish gunpowder well from what I saw."

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