Lucy Webb Hayes Correspondence
April 15, 1861 - November 24, 1861
to Laura Platt Mitchell dtd Cincinnati, April 15, 1861
to Dr. Joseph Webb n.p., April 26, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, June 13, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, June 17, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, July 1, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Elmwood, August 3, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Elmwood, August 9, 1861
to Sardis Birchard dtd Elmwood, August 12, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, September 5, 1861
to Laura Platt Mitchell dtd Cincinnati, September 8, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, September 23, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, September 30 & October 1, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayed n.p., October 1861
to Sardis Birchard dtd. Cincinnati, October 2, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, October 9, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, October 16, 1861
to Sardis Birchard dtd Cincinnati, October 23, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, November 4, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, November 19, 1861
to Sardis Birchard dtd Cincinnati, November 19, 1861
to Drs. James & Joseph Webb dtd Cincinnati, November 19, 1861
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, November 24, 1861
Cincinnati April 15th 
My dear Laura,
I did not think when I received your kind invitation, seconded by your father- that so long a time would pass before I should reply- What must I say-you know it is not indifference or want of love to the dear friends but simply an unfortunate habit which grows upon me with every day. I enjoyed Nellie's visit very much though indeed she hardly treated me fairly only a week or ten days- I received a letter from her last week- I have been very busy for a week just trying to get the children ready for Spring and summer and now the war has broken out - what will be our next duty we cannot tell "The Northern heart" is truly fired the enthusiasm that prevails in our city is perfectly irresistable [sic] - Those who favor secession or even sympathy with the South find it prudent to be quiet- But I will leave the excitement of the day and turn to home affairs. Webb is out at the Knees- Birch the only sound pair of pants he has, on- and Rud bordering on Miss McFlimsy Nothing to wear- and so on to the end of the chapter- House cleaning soon to be commenced- the only evidence when it is done is the conscious feeling that soap and water has been freely applied. I can see that Mother is not so well as usual this spring her cough troubles her a good deal but she says nothing and does want me to notice- I think when the weather grows warm and she goes away from home she will be better.
You do not know how pleasant it is to think that you are really wanted that a visit from you would add to the happiness of all the family.
I cannot say dear Laura say when I could come it would hardly be right for me to leave the children and family with Mother- and I would rather come with out any of the little folks to see if I could once more cast of all care and feel myself young for your respected Aunt is growing old the grey hairs have not mingled freely with the black but the wrinkles sore evidence of age are coming fast-
Brother Joe expected to visit you this week but I believe today, he found that Detroit would necessarily be his destination. My love to all the children and father, and I hope soon to see you.
Dear Laura you know how I feel about my letters-
My letter has been waiting the movements of the Capt- thinking you would get them much sooner by him even though they delayed. I would have written more but have one of my severest headaches- God bless you my dear brother and preserve your life. Jim is at Camp Chase.
I cannot tell you how happy your first letter made me- I felt certain - satisfied that you loved me as dearly and truly as in all the past years- How rapidly time passes away we are now almost old folks and yet it is but a few months in feeling- I was down street to day and when I came home found your dear letter and read it and reread it till I almost knew it by heart- I can sympathize with your feelings as the men were sworn in- what a solemn sight it is- and oh how my heart fills with joy and feelings too great for utterance crowd upon me as I think of our brave men- This morning as I was going down street a young man dressed in Guthrie Grey- spoke to me How do you do Mrs Hayes- I looked closely at him and recognised [sic] the boy or man that used to be in the meat store- He grasped my hand warmly and I felt that he was not a poor boy but one of our defenders-
My greatest happiness now would be to feel that I was doing some thing for the comfort and happiness of our men I feel that in giving you up- (for dearest it is hard to feel we may be parted) I have tried to do cheerfully and without a murmur what was my duty- If I could only follow you whereever [sic] you are called to go no privation or trial would cause the slightest discontent- you would find Ruddy that your foolish little trial of a wife was fit to be a soldiers wife.
Ruddy last night I dreamed that Dr Muscroft was Surgeon of the Regiment- I awoke in an agony- if I could only feel that brother- Joe would be with you- I could see you go cheerfully- you do not know how intense my feeling is upon the subject dearest do all you can I know you have confidence in him- and oh how it would brighten my heart-
Mother says she never felt before that you were really away from us- she is pretty well and sends much love to you-
Birchie says tell Papa- That I have prayed for him and asked God to take care of him- and he must pray for himself and say I love him so much Webb says- Ask him if he wants me and Birch up there- I wish he would say, yes- that he prays for him every night and if you want any nuts he will bring them to you Webb says to tell you Ruddy says his prayers and says Now I lay me down to sleep- Ruddy says- sends the letter to him- and give him some nuts-
It is well dearest that you have expressed the wish to have me with you- for I had settled in my own mind- that as long as I can be with you I will but it was such a happiness to know that you in the midst of all the hurry and bustle of camp life thought of it. We have had two letters from Uncle which I will send- also the notice of your election to the Presidency of the Y- M G. Association.
We are all well- hope to see you soon- I will have everything ready for you as far as I know-
Good bye my dearest- May it not be long till we shall be together.
Your loving Wife
Lauras letter I did not show- she need not think about- I did not mention receiving it. Love to them all.
I would give a good deal to have a peep at you this evening but as I cannot must content myself with writing- I have tried to send what will be needed- and if some things are left out that you want- and others sent that you do not-such you can return and I will not scold- I have felt some anxiety to know of matters since we heard Col Rosecrans was appointed General- will it affect you unpleasantly- Mr Force called to see you yesterday-
I had a very neat and I think pretty pocket, for comb, brush, scissors, needles, thread, buttons and soap but did not get the fixings all in time- probably Judge Matthews will be encumbered with it- You have been gone so long time passes heavily when you are away- and some times I dont feel the most comfortable in the world Your Mother felt she must go up-we all advised her to wait until you returned- but as Joe was going she could not remain- Comforts counterpane- sheets- blankets and all you wish will be ready for you- but I thought I would not send them up yet- Good bye dearest dont forget to think of me and love me always.
Your Affc. Lu
A letter just brought in from W.K Rogers I will put mine in it What kind of Collars do you want turn downs or dog collars- Shall I make some shirts without bosoms
I picked up the paper this morning- and the first thing- I looked to see what was doing in Columbus- there I saw the appointment of Surgeons- I cant help I have cried myself almost sick- your life is entrusted to a man you know nothing about- You promised me Rutherford that you would see some good well known man was given you- I have kept down my feelings I have almost smothered myself trying to appear cheerful and willing to let you go- but then I could hope to see you again but it is all useless for me to cry and be so unhappy for I fear you will be angry with me for my feelings- then in addition to my anxiety for you- I feel that Joe would not have been situated as he is but for me- from the time you first spoke of going I have begged him for my sake to stand the examination for I felt that you knowing him as you did had confidence and loved him and I know that it was only my entreaties that made him consent to be placed at Gov D disposal- But you will be tired of my letter- oh that I could feel as I did a week ago about your going people say why what is Mr Hayes going for- may be Rutherford if your home had been happy you would not have thought of it as your Mother once said before me she didnt [sic] know what any man with a happy home wanted to leave it for- I cant help thinking dear Ruddy that you did love me- I want to come up this week let me know dearest if you want me to The children are all well and Mother much better- Mr Fenwick Dickinson called to see you last night-
Dear Ruddy I always feel afraid that you lack a little confidence in me, and think that when I tell you how wretchedly I feel that I have been talking myself into it- let me assure you no body but yourself has even heard me say any thing about this business- even brother Joe has never mentioned it to me since there was any doubt that he would be appointed- Your slippers and sheets and pillow cases I will bring up with me- or maybe you will think I had not better come- then I will send them- Write to me soon dear Ruddy
Your Loving Wife
The children dont know I am writing to you or they would have a great many loving messages to send you-
I have just received your letter- and indeed it was a great relief to me I have not been fretting or worrying about my dear ones- for I have not regretted your determination- Every day I feel that our cause is more holy and just- if I could only do some thing myself- could lighten the hardships of Camp life what joy it would be to me- I have read and re read your letters- for after more than a week has passed without hearing except by the city papers we received your letter and two from Joe- We left Columbus the day after you did- and it was a sad ride to me I felt so lonely and desolate and when we reached the road that lead to Aunt Margrets- it was very dard [sic] - thundering and lightning they did not expect us- so I left Mother and Webb on the roadside- while I took Birch and Ruddy and started for the house- I had kept up all day- but when the warm greeting of dear friends- and the welcome from the heart- came upon me I gave up for a little while to tears- Our dear boys are very well and so happy- Birch is drilling them very busily- Ruddy said to tell you he was coming on the cars to see you- Brother Jim was here all night he looks very well and was in fine spirits- the hospital was taken by the Rebels and for a little while they were prisoners but their Regiment made a charge and liberated them.
John has just come in for my letter and as I wish it to start to night I shall be obliged to close- next time I hope we shall have a longer letter from you- I enjoyed it so much I could almost imagine I was with you- You know my great desire is that you and Joe will constantly feel for the soldiers- do what you can to lighten their hard ships- dearest Ruddy I cannot feel like saying good bye but must- I was going to lump the love- but Aunt Lu has come and sends love and such was her delight at hearing from you that while I read- she cried- All big and little send love and prayers to you all. We shall expect to be in Cincinnati in about a week or ten days
Good bye my dear ones- God bless you and keep you- my heart is full- oh how dear you are to me-
Your Affec Wife.
We are always so glad to receive your letters and brother Joe's- they cannot come too often- but with me I have nothing to write except assurances of my love- my hopes and fears- no I do not let myself have fears- so far I have kept a bright future before me A happy reunion of the dear old family- The weather has been intensely hot the last week- the boys are sun burned and look hardy Ruddys delicate skin has pealed [sic] off once and I think tougher has taken its place- he talks a great deal about you and Uncle Joe- insists upon going on the cars to see you-
Birchie has brought his military knowledge into use and every day (nearly all the day)- he is drilling Scott Willie Webb and Sallie- she was appointed Cook to the Company- they have their Camping ground- down under the twin Sugar trees- Scott built a dutch Oven and the cook has been employed in her legitimate business- during Scott's absence one day- the camp was threatened by two men of hostile appearance with guns and as our men had not their arms or Col either with them- they fled in great dismay- Birchie bringing up the retreat- We have a good deal of amusements with our soldiers- they bear the jokes well and insist upon their right to flee when they were without arms. Webb is a great favorite with the boys John and Lem especially- they take him with them a good deal- put him on the horses and let him think he driving- till now he imagines he can drive equal to any one on the place- There has been so much Company here since we came that we have not had a chance to have many good old time talks- altho [sic] Aunt Lute and I can generally manage to get off awhile- to day we are all alone that is no one but the family here it has been showering all the morning hard heavy showers- and now the air is cool and pleasant-
We expect to go to Chillicothe next week and will probably remain there a week and then we will be once more at home- I cannot feel very well contented away from home- I have been a great deal better since I left home- have not had a spell of headache since we left-
Uncle Moses takes one daily paper the Cincinnati Times- and I always read Correspondence from Western Virginia with a great deal of interest- Have you read Mr Holt's speech at Louisville I read it aloud, and we were all delighted with it- The Democrats have nominated H J. Jewett for Governor- and Scott Harrison for Lieutenant Governor-
How much I would enjoy being with you you [sic] know sometimes I begin to wonder when we will see you- and count the days- then I think where you are- and oh so long a time will pass before we will meet again- Webb has just made his appearance- laughing he says did you know Ma Ma, where I was- he has been all afternoon riding with John and Lem on the wagon- I think he will be fond of the country- he may be our little farmer yet- Did I direct my letter right- I wish you would in your next letter- write me the directions just as it ought to be. Mother says if she dont write to you- that she will see that I do Well when I read my letters- I feel sad and sorry for you and Joe-
Everybody great and small send love and best wishes
Affec Wife. Lu
Dear Uncle Birchard-
This is the first time I have had courage to write to you and now I fear you will have trouble in reading my scrawl. It was a great happiness to me that I could be with Rutherford so much just before he went away- I did not leave the Depot till the last glimpse of the train that carried them away was gone - it was the most sad lonely time I ever had Mother and I slowly walked back to Mr Platts feeling that all we had was gone- But to me the fact that Joe was with them as Surgeon was a great relief - they could take of each other- and Joe knew Rutherford so well and understood his constitution.
We left Columbus the following Saturday afternoon - and came to Uncle Moses Boggs where we were most warmly received - they have always been such dear kind friends to us- The children are perfectly happy and have been so well - all except little Rud who yesterday was rather unwell and to day is a little feverish- The weather has been very hot- but by dint of doing nothing and fanning ourselves we have managed to survive the heat I received a letter from R. this morning dated August 5th he was very well and in fine spirits- Said they were now in Telegraphic Communication with the world- receiving dispatches from Columbus and Cincinnati- He had not received any of my letters and not heard from Ohio except by papers I suppose he will receive my letters all at once- He says - Our news is that Wise has continued his retreat burning the bridges after him This confirms our suspicions as to his abandoning all west of the mountains There is however a report from the East that Gen Lee is to be sent out here to look after Gen Rosecrans with a considerable force. I do not believe it- but if so we shall have lively times. Col Ammon with the 24th Reg is reported in our neighborhood- We shall be glad to be with them again. "The effect is curious of this fine mountain air -Every body complains of heat, but every body is in a laughing humor-" He had called on many of the prominent Lawyers and politicians mostly Union men and was much pleased with them I sent his last letter to Columbus and then it was to be sent to you - but this one I feel that I must keep to it is only half a sheet - so I have copied most of it in this.
Have you written to him lately - Clarksburg, Va. is the place to direct- Mentioning the No of the Regiment- I was particular to follow his directions in sending my letter but feel a little afraid that he has not received them.
We will be at home certainly by the first of September- perhaps before then if it would not shock you too much I want to go and see you- R left me his tickets- I cannot help thinking of expense I dont want to be extravagant or use more money than is absolutely necessary.
If you could I would be so glad to hear from you direct to Care Moses Boggs Kingston Ross Co.
Your Affec. niece
At home again and although I have the kindest most devoted friends at the old home- yet my own home is dear to me- I begin to realize more and more your absence- I find myself listening for your voice- then I think oh how many weeks perhaps months may pass without seeing you I was obliged to use all my will to return home, so many entreaties to remain longer, and the children were so loved by all, that it was hard to leave.
Mother was very glad to receive us at home- the dear old home- we have spent some to me very happy years in it- The boys are always good- when travelling- [sic] so we had a pleasant ride down Yesterday received your letter dated the 27th from Huttonsville- and from the envelope would judge you were out of stamps- your pants we have had no opportunity to send but will seize the first- I have received a good kind letter from Uncle Birchard- in answer to mine- Fanny had made him a visit and he was going to return with her I suppose he is still in Columbus- I intend to write to him and send your last letter- if he does not come down here I think I will go and see him- you know I have the tickets. I suppose we will have very hard times- and I want to live as carefully and economically as I can if you should think of any plan which would lesson [sic] the expenses of living, let me know it. Our old friend Mr Warren has become quite desponding in my absence Auntti [sic] Warren think he will improve now I have returned, they have both been to see me this morning-
It is reported President Davis- S.C. is no more, but I am afraid to credit it. Has Col Matthews returned- I am constantly uneasy about him and Rightning- [sic] and will hail his return to you all with a great deal of joy
The Col- likes Dr Joe does he- well darling I am so much obliged for that little scrap.- it gave me so much real joy- you and Brother Joe do not know in what estimation you are held- how happy this household would be to see you- But every day I feel more and more convinced that it was your duty to go- I do not get down hearted or gloomy sometimes a passing touch, but my relief is your letters, never were letters, oftener read, or with more beneficial results, there is no sameness in them, to me, excepting that delightful assurance, that you love me dearest.
You say you have a new boy- where is Albert or did he accompany Col. M. Webby is is [sic] much interested in his horse- I dont think he likes to hear that you gave up the first one- but he often says to me, Ma Ma tell me about my horse Webby.
The friends in Ky are getting quite fearful Dr Ike Scott of Louisville- was in Chill- trying to rent a house for his Mother and Wife- whether they will go there or not I do not know- He is Surgeon of the State I believe. Winnie Gallager, Will Scott's sister- had to return home after the Proclamation of Davis- at least her husband so commanded- the family are in a good deal of trouble about her.
I dont believe I told you that I just came home last evening, so I have not seen any one- nor do I know of any news, our neighbors are all well I believe- Mother heard that John Herron and family were living at Glendale- I want to see them very much- When I wrote last the boys and I were suffering with severe colds- we are now on the convalescent list- though we all cough occasionally- Rud says his Pa Pa has gone to war- Saw old Mr Wright Chaplain of Ky Reg. from W. Virginia this morning, he looks War like with brass buttons and cord on the hat.
All send love. Good bye my dearest Ruddy.
I am rather ashamed of my direction.
At last I am settled at home, it was with great difficulty I could leave my friends- though possibly the children were the cause of the great opposition to our departure- The children seemed to be on their good behavior all the time- and I had no trouble with them- that you know would suit me, as I am not particularly fond of care- After going about so much it is real pleasant to be quietly at home once more- Mother almost was through housecleaning and Sarah my old house girl- delighted to get back- Last but not least important my neighbors I think are all glad to see me. I have had a very severe cold which has not entirely left me. We got home Wednesday night- Friday at noon I received a long letter from your Uncle Ruddy which I will enclose- he wishes it preserved- has Uncle Birchard gone home yet- if not I hope he will come this way, we would all be so glad to see him- but if he is gone send him the letter. Saturday at noon received a short note written the 3rd Sept. from Ball Town- but I will send it also- I do not often let myself feel gloomy- for that would only make those around me feel badly- but never the less dear Laura- I feel that it is lonely- and you know me well enough- but when feeling in the most unhappy state - I fly to my letters from Western Virginia and read and read them over and over again.
The children are all quite well- How is your Grand Ma I received a letter from her- which I was glad to hear she was improving- Uncle Birchard visit will help you all. This ink is miserable, and the pen not much better. My best love to all, because I am such a poor correspondent do not neglect me entirely.
Yours Affec- -
It has been a long time since I wrote to you- but every day and hour I think of you and long so much to see you- I received your letter dated the 11th on the 20th but I knew before that you were in the battle from the paper- I sent your letter on as you desired- Uncle Birchard has been making a long visit at Columbus- Laura wrote he was quite well and enjoying himself- I was in hopes he would come and see us before he returned to Fremont- It is three weeks Wednesday since I came home- of which ten days I have been quite unwell- My head feeling so badly as to totally unfit me for writing you know your wife is of a Bilious turn but now I am as well as ever- Little Ruddy the darling also has been right sick but we think now he is better, and soon will be well- he insisted to day on going to see his Pa Pa- wonders when you will come home- It is pleasant to be at home, but each day we miss you more and more- this winter but I will not anticipate you are doing right, I feel and know it- and would not have you otherwise- At times we have such conflicting rumors of troubles in the Cabinet- then the present trouble with Gen Fremont, till I feel almost crazed and think there are no true men among our leaders- President Lincoln I fear lacks decision- he is too easy- but as silence is the best plan I try to keep so, and avoid hearing all discussions if possible- What do you think of Gen Fremont- the dispatch this Afternoon is that Lexington Mo- has been taken by Price- Then if Fremonts Proclamation was right- why must it be modified for Ky- I have no patience nor sympathy nor even confidence in the Ky strife of Union Men- but you will think I am
spending my time very unprofitably- but no I am taking care of my three dear boys- thinking of a dear husband and brother all the time- Mr Stevenson has been to see me twice the last time , he wanted a deed of Mrs Wibler's- Mrs W's school opened with 30 Scholars a very good beginning and a prospect of more-
Mrs Mary Kiblreth has a son about one week old- Our old friends Aunttie and Uncle George are as kind and attentive his rents still trouble him- but I read your and brother Joe's letters, and he says why how cheerfully they write- and he always appears to feel better.
Our friends in Chillicothe are well- Grandfather Boggs, and his wife, are at Uncle Moses's- the old gentleman is very sick, indeed I do not think he will ever get back to Zanesville-
This morning paper says that, Cap McGroaty was a little better, some hopes entertained of his recovery- Where are you to night in what scene of danger or peril- God grant to guard and keep you- Birchie is sitting by me- he wants you to know, that he is trying to work- he sweeps the back pavement- takes down ashes, and brings up coal for Fannie, says good lessons- and as soon as Ruddy gets well, expects, to start to school- And now dearest good bye once more, oh how dear doubly dear- you are to us- We do not forget, or cease thinking at any time, every thing brings you to my mind. Blessings and Kisses from us all.
Your Affec Wife,
Jim has been having chills- I do not know what he intends doing, he is studying hard. Tell brother Joe that for my sake- Mother is willing and glad he is with you- we do not get low spirited- but always look forward to the happy reunion.
My dearest Rutherford-
Yes I like to write the name, to look at it, to love it, and long to see the original Ruddy stepping in- I have been dreaming of you dearest, for a few moments in sleep; oh I have been so happy- last night you were with me- and what a feeling of disappointment twas [sic] all a dream- but they are always joyous happy meetings- and I think if the dreams are so, what will be the reality As I raised my eyes to look out of the window- I saw, Mary Killreth and her face all lighted up with joy- her husband was sitting by her- and I expect was talking of their present and future happiness- while the little one is calmly sleeping, there they have closed the shutters- I wonder if they could see me peeping at them, and almost envying their happiness.
Lt Wall called- but I did not see him- Jim went to the door- and I suppose did'nt [sic] think that I would be glad or care about seeing any one from the 23rd but when I heard that a soldier of the 23rd had been here- before I knew who it was- I was almost sick with disappointment- he did not expect to get to the house, so he dropped the letters, in the office and I received them the next day. Your new appointment, does it sever your relationship with the 23rd entirely or will you if desired- be able to return to it- how our attachments grows where we are interested- I feel as Birch does that the whole 23rd is his especial care or anxiety. Then another thing- you will be separated from brother Joe now I know there, are other Dr's as good as he- but he knows and loves you- and I have felt such a feeling of security as I thought of you both together.
Tuesday Morning. Oct 1.
I have just received your letter of 25th from Gen Cox's brigade- it is doubtful to me whether I am not right in feeling more anxiety about you- in you new position is there not more danger in travelling [sic] than being with your own regiment- This is one of the most beautiful fall days we could have- but to me it is the first dark looking- for our Country- I was almost giving up to sadness when I received your letter- how it cheered me up- you are hopeful- when I read it to Mother she said very quietly- Well I am glad Rutherford does not know the deplorable state of the Country as well as I do- I got to laughing and really feel much better- she has not despaired before to day- and I think is reviving her hopes again- Well darling we have had a very sick little Ruddy- indeed a week ago we feared he would hardly live- I do not know exactly what was the matter with him- but the great danger was of his brain- he had or was first taken with convulsions or spasms- had three the first day- that was two weeks ago Monday- then on Wednesday he had a chill and high fever with danger of a spasm- and the following Sabbath had another- the spasm always follows the chill- he is the best little fellow to take what ever you wish him to- and always when suffering much- he would look up and say- I do love you- but now he is perfectly well; I did think that I ought to make you uneasy- for if it proved fatal you probably could not have been at home, while he lived, how much I wished for you and brother Joe, but now we are all well again- and yesterday- I was busy at house keeping affairs- straighten up drawers and closets- and then preparing a few pickles- I did not tell you in my last letter that Mr Torrence had so kindly remembered me again- as you were absent I was astonished when the children came in with a basket of the most beautiful quinces- Last Sunday, Mrs Judge Johnson and Carrie came to see if we were at home- Mrs Stevenson comes once a week- and may be oftener- and Sallie Perry has been as kind as could be since we have been sick- I like her better and better- Yesterday evening Mr Parsons of St Louis called- I was very busy and did not see him I do not know but what I feel more hopeful about our country this morning - Let me know darling if you ever approach the Ohio border- you do not know how much I want to see you- Ruddy this morning said he wanted to go and see pa pa- would they shoot me- I told him no- then I will go on the cars- he is the dearest little fellow- and is so smart. Dr Chendening I see has been removed to Gen R. and Shumand takes his place- how is Joe situated now- I expect he will feel your change almost as much as I do.
Judge Spencer is dead, he died Monday Morning- I do not know any thing more than the paper statement- We are fortifying the hills around our city, and at the entrance of the tunnel on the Lexington rail road. Can you get the shirts you as well, or shall I get and send them by Express- I do not hear of any one going that I could send them by- do you want wollen [sic] socks this winter- I wish I was a good careful energetic wife- but then you still love- dont forget dearest you took me for better for worse- and you get --. If you liked a gossipy letter you will not get it for I have not been out- have no news- no movements of the enemy to report- nothing by myself and children-
The Conference sent a Minister to Union Chapel- Rev. Crum he was not acceptable- having been opposed to them- so when he appeared on the Sabbath- he was not expected- and it had been announced there would be no service- last evening the church members, were to meet- to consult about their relationship with the Conference- that is the end of my information- and as I do not like Church troubles- dont care about knowing more- Mrs Wibles's school is increasing she has 40 pupils now- Could you not write her a few lines- expressive of your interest in her prosperity-
Now dearest I think it extremely doubtful- whether, this letter is worth consuming your time. Your direction is so formidable, that I requested friend Herron- to direct me a few envelopes. Mother the children- send all the love that a letter can carry- while Fannie Green- who lived with us about Christmas times dont wish to be forgotten.
Good bye, my dearest one- the first opportunity seixe [sic] it and come if only for a day-
Your Affectionate loving
I have just received a letter from Uncle Birchard- he is well- and invites me up- but in my present state home is best
My dearest Rutherford,
I was made so happy by receiving your dear letter yesterday- Mother saw the gentleman a Lieutenant Kincaid (I think) of Capt Gaines' Co. The evening before
the Servant of Chaplain Wilson came with brother Joe's horse- to tell the truth mother and I both cried a wee bit- maybe looking at the horse affected us- We
kept him here the man not the horse, to his supper and then Isaac took him to the Depot-
As we have been on the sick list our friends, come to see us, as well Sunday as during the week- I did dislike to leave my letter- but we feel so thankful to friends that I must not complain even though I should be from writing to you just then-
Little Rud has had a return of his chills but not so severe, and to day we feel he is again relieved from them- The weather has been so changeable- just the kind for old fashioned ague- that the Dr was not surprised to hear they had returned- Ruddy is the most engaging little fellow- and so affectionate I dont know but what he eclipses the others in lovable qualities-
To day is beautiful- the sun so clear and bright- that I am compelled to feel bright myself- this morning paper announces the arrival of Miss McClellan, last Saturday- it is some thing to be a General daughter is it not I dont believe the 23rd will be announced- Do you ever feel impatient- vexed and in fact mad as a March Hare with all the Generals and most especially with the President of these United States- Daniel's interpretation of the hand writing on the Wall- will apply to A Lincoln- Your letter is before me- but I dont worry dearest it is such a delightful day- that I can find fault with the Administration without being affected by it myself- Above all things Ruddy- if a contraband is in Camp- dont let the 23rd Regiment be disgraced by returning or any thing of the kind- When ever I hear of you- you are highly spoken of- so much liked by the men- I can sit by and say nothing but feel so comfortable- I knew they had some kind of trouble in Union Chapel- but we have none of us been out- so I was rather ignorant but heard yesterday- that the church is to keep Mr Robinson in Europe till Spring- and they also had pledged themselves for Mr Snivley- support, and they did not feel that a third minister and one with a family could be supported by them- the Bishop granted their request- and there has been no decision as far as I could learn- I would not care about being connected with a quarrelling divided church- myself.
I sent your pants by John Schooley- but could get none but the smallest sixe [sic] of Officers gloves- I do not often hear of any one going till after they are gone Is your Regiment in need of clothing- we hear some sad accounts of the freezing condition of the men- Our neighbors Mrs Wilson at the head are to begin work- and she asked me how our men were off for clothes that they wished to sew for one Regiment- and I suppose a needy one if they knew How is Col Matthews health- we heard he had been quite sick- Tod and Victory gained the day- but it will be some time will it not- before he acts as Gov-
If there is no prospect of your getting, home could we not take a steam boat ride and see you- before hard dreary winter comes on- but I will not talk of that- we hope to see you and Joe- I dont believe we could stand it- to not get a single peep at your dear faces.
All the love and blessings that could be heaped upon you and my dear brother- Mother and the children- we could smother you with love and kisses
I received this yesterday and thought from what he said he had not written to you lately. We are all quite well now though I have been quite sick since we came home - confined to my bed near a week - and Little Rud has been very ill - had general spasms - but is now rapidly recovering. I did hope you would come and see us. My best love to Mrs. V. and all friends.
Yours truly - L.H.
[See verso letter of RBH to Lucy dtd Sept. 25, 1861.]
My dearest R.
I fear you do not get my letters- and if time passes as heavily to you as to us when no letters come- it is sad enough- oh how I long to see you-
I still have pleasant dreams- you cannot imagine what happiness (mingled with a good deal of sorrow) it is to be with you in my dreams- I did not know John Schooley was here till late last evening- and felt a hesitation in asking him to take these pants- this morning dear little Ruddy had another chill and was quite sick- which seemed to make me almost unable to think or know what I was about then I doubted whether you would be again with your Reg- so dearest if I have not done what you expected please excuse me- and love me still- I have not been well for some weeks past- find that it is almost impossible for me to go about any- I have not been on the St but twice since we came home- but a short time longer and that will be over- what will I do without- dearest I miss your kind words and loving embrace so much- yet dearest do not think I am proving myself unfit for a soldiers wife- a smiling face is generally seen but the heartache is concealed- Election is over- I believe from the papers we have elected our ticket- If possible let us see you, are the troops in such a sad condition - as we hear- I feel that I ought to go and see the soldiers from the 23rd who are in the Hospital here- they seem a little nearer to me
Good bye. Your Affectionate Wife L
My dearest Ruddy,
Capt Skiles called this afternoon and offered to take letters or packages- I have racked my brain to think of something to send you, besides a letter of which you know the contents almost by heart- My constant love and anxiety about you- hopes of seeing you again- and all the assurances of my never ceasing love-
I wrote you a few days ago- but as it was directed to Clarksburg you may not receive it for some time-
Our papers are full of indignation against the Marine or Military Hospital and the unfeeling treatment which the sick had received- Lieut Fisher called to see us yesterday- he told me that one of our men was dying at St Johns Hospital- I cannot tell you how sad I felt- and yet so helpless withal- if I could only have been with him or seen him to let him know of sympathy or that I wanted to relieve his sufferings- then I thought of the absent friends- may be he had some one that that [sic] was very near and dear to him-
Capt Skiles made me feel very happy when he spoke of you and brother Joe- Mother and all the children were brought down to see him and little Rud got upon his knee and put his little arms around the Capt neck to love him- If you would only happen in to see us as unexpected as he to his wife- what a joyful time- The City is divided into sewing circles or neighborhood or church associations for making warm underclothes every body is interested- and if you only knew how it saddens us all to hear of the suffering and destitution of our brave men it would make you feel that all feeling was not lost- but United States Surgeon's have no feeling or look upon the soldier as a dog- to be knocked about- Jim has gone to Columbus- we expect him back to morrow I had a letter from Uncle Birchard to day- he was quite well- and said he had commenced work on his house to try and be ready against the time the rebels drive us from home-
We had a little visit from Aunt Lucy Scott she is very warm Union- but down on the Administration Dr Dudley of Lexington is raising a Cavalry Regiment but one armed West has left his Country for Secession Mother intended to have written to Joe- but she failed I have been so interrupted or I should have put in a few lines to him. With all the children I paid a visit to his horse- think he recognised [sic] me- he begins to look much better- as soon as Jim returns we will send him to the Country- Webb says tell him if his horse has got his leg broke- or any thing else the matter with him- Mother and all the children send love and Kisses to Pa Pa and Uncle Joe- this scrawl is a partnership concern- let us hear from you soon- the shortest note is thankfully received- Love to both of you
Your truly affectionate Wife and Sister.
Lucy W. Hayes.
I received your kind letter announcing the coming of Apples, and the enclosed bill, and today just as I was preparing to write the Apples themselves arrived. I am more than thankful at receiving them this fall - for they are very high and scarce- and my three boys would (if they had all they wanted) break me up buying Apples- You would be gratified at their expressions of joy- every thing is bright and joyous to them this afternoon - except the delay in opening the barrels- but the prospect of having a whole apple- compensates for all- As Webb asked me a little while ago- "I can have a whole apple you wont cut it-" I hear every few days from Rutherford, not very often by letter- but there are so many persons soldiers and citizens coming here from the camp that we constantly hear as to his welfare- Mr Platt sent me this letter- which he received- but as the Governor had it- he could not send it sooner- and as I received it last evening so will send it to you-
Col Matthews came home last Saturday night I saw him Monday - but the servant called Sunday the Col lives in Glendale and late as it was hasted home the same night-he said Rutherford was almost the only one who had not been sick or affected some by the campaign- that he was perfectly well and looking better than ever. The time seems very long - but now I cannot help looking and hoping that R's time will come next- it has seemed unusually long and hard - because we have been sick so much- I had a right severe attack myself and it seems almost impossible to get Ruddy free from chills he has had one today, and nursing him all day has rather unfitted me for writing- so I would not be surprised if you had a good deal of trouble reading this- the little fellow looks very pale and is growing thin I do hope they will soon be cured. Nellie Mead made her appearance in Cincinnati last week - she is going to teach in Miss Nourse's school - an old teacher of Nellie's and one she seems to love very much. She looks very well and is as lively as ever. We would be so glad to see you- Your and Rutherfords room is waiting - the books are lonely and every body and every one would meet you so gladly- Mrs Glen has been very kind to us in our sickness- she is a true good woman My best love to Mrs Vallette and all the friends. With many thanks for the apples and much love for yourself.
I remain, Yours Affec.
I have just received a letter from R. dated the 21st is very well-
What would I not give to see you- to have you with me if it were but a little while- but when I attempt to write it seems so uninteresting- that I feel it is almost unfair to make you read my letters- I am really quite well- but have occasional bad feeling days and last week seemed to be of that kind- not in spirits so much as in body- Last Friday evening after tea- we were (that is Mother and I, Birch, Webb and Ruddy) all of us sitting up stairs- every thing around looked pleasant and cheerful, the fire burned brightly and cast a cheerful light all around- the little boys were happy and good- Birchie with his Grandma- Webby with me- and Ruddy taking care of himself- we were talking happily together of many things and then Birchie's thought wandered away off to Gauley-- "What is Pa Pa and Uncle Joe doing- I wish they were here would'nt [sic] it be nice- then Webb joined him and soon Ruddy had his sweet little words about the dear ones, and I thought all we lacked of happiness was your presence- Not much time passes that you are not thought of- talked of and some times cried over- but that is always done decently and in order- so I think I pass for one of the most cheerful happy women- imaginable- I do not dare to let Birchie see me downcast for he has so much sympathy that it is very touching to see him- and I do not want to cloud his young life with sorrow To day is his birth day- he is very happy- Uncle George brought him an Air pistol- and he started to school- all of which makes him really happy- the book which I get for him from you will complete his joy- I wrote you a hurried note by brother Jim about the school which I wished to send him to- since then the teacher called again (I had told him I wished to hear first from you as it seemed rather expensive for so young a boy) and wished me to send him in on Monday, then if you did not approve of it why it would be no difference- any how there is but a short time of the present Session and Mother and I held "mature deliberation" and finally concluded we would start him any how- I shall watch closely and see whether he really improves- he was so very anxious to go himself- also helped our decision- the terms are not quite so much as the circular stated- Dear little Ruddy has again had a chill after watching him carefully, and on Saturday- which was a cold wet day barely escaping- then beautiful Monday, it returned- he is now playing around with Webby and appears quite well- I felt finely this morning- every thing right an excellent most excellent girl- if she continues as the last two weeks promises- Mother also looking with bright hopes to seeing you all again- but this Afternoon- felt almost down- Ruddys chill is one cause Birchie absence another- and Fremont the last and greatest- I cannot give him up- yet it looks dark and forbidding- it will be the last moment that I give up his honor patriotism- and power to successfully command an army- Yesterday the report was that Gen Rosecrans had been attacked in two places- Camp Tompkins and Gauley- and after a severe battle had repulsed the enemy and taken a good many prisoners- then this morning the announcement of the same report, but that the wires were cut so there was no means of hearing as to the truth- we cannot credit the news- but that does not make us feel less anxious about you- Dr Clendenine called this morning, he said he could not believe it- which made us feel more hopes that it might be unfounded- yet we anxiously look for news- Col Matthews of the 52 or 3- will pass the city today or morrow- how do you feel about losing him- as I have thought of it, it seems rather queer to me, had you no idea of it when he left- and the Mr Herron speaking about him, said "he heard he did not intend to go back any how- that he intended to resign if he was not changed or something to that effect- Ruddy has just come to me- and patting me on the knee, said "I like Pa Pa and Uncle Joe, Ma Ma"- and Uncle Jim said Uncle Joe and papa might come here some time"- he has said it so often since brother Jim went away-
We heard from Ike Nelson, he got brother Joe's horse safe to Uncle Williams- he got over the road finely-
I am going down now to get your vest they promised it to be done Saturday- and Dr C will call for this letter and if he can take it, will send it by him-
Good bye my dearest R. this letter is full of love and kisses to you and Uncle Joe, from Grandma and the boys, and so much from me- Webb wants you to kiss his horse- Write often.
Your Affec. Loving. Lu.
How anxiously I have looked for a letter this week- rumors have been all afloat- but no definite news- Sundays Enquirer- had little about the enemy then the Commercial of Monday had the same and now I am waiting and hoping for a letter-
The papers stated Col Matthews and Reg- had started for Ky- this morning's paper says that Six Ohio Reg- now in Virginia- and two Ind- will be ordered [illegible] I cannot feel in my own mind any definite [illegible] as to your future movements the fear that it might be worse, that more hardship would fall to your lot- has got me willing to let Providence mark out your course- Every bright day seems doubly blessed when the dear ones in Va are thought off- [sic] last night I lay awake for two or three hours- thinking of you not unhappily or sadly- but with bright anticipations- then of my dear boys- of Birchie who is getting more and more interested in reading and studying and I felt a great responsibility now resting upon me if his father were only here to direct him- to talk to him- Your Birth day letter was a treat to him- I often hear him talking to Webb of Col Tompkins- and that he gained nothing by leaving his country- I enjoy hearing Birch talk and Webb ask him questions very much-
When Jim's trunk returned and we opened it, and saw so many of your and brother Joe's clothing, it was a very sad feeling- we had heard rumors of the battle or expected battle- and the feeling at first was they are all gone- I could hardly retain my self command- but tried to look at the bright side- and now I am in constant hope of happy days- Our Sick boy Ruddy- is the merriest- fattest little invalid you ever saw- he has escaped his chills more than a week- and now the Dr thinks he is safe from a return- Every day I see something to delight me in him I fear he would almost eclipse the others- I cannot describe him to you a great fat laughing blue eyed boy of the most affectionate loving disposition he talks so much about papa and Uncle Joe (missing) and says he is going to dance and laugh when you (missing) among other things have I told you that Nellie Meade of Brattleboro Vt was regularly installed Primary Teacher at Miss Nourse's school- She appears to be very happy such beautiful lovely affectionate children she never had seen- all with her is sunshine- she has at last gained her true calling- She has been to see me several times- but I have only been there once, owing to our sickness and my own incapacity to walk- I am not exactly getting old- but do as little walking as possible- I received a letter from Uncle Birchard he too was watching the papers to hear of the 23rd
We received the money all right- I went down street with it to Mr Herron, but he had gone to Ky- so I asked for Mr Stephenson who deposited it for me- We find all the friends very kind and attentive- Mother says right or wrong that she sent Joe, to Mr William McKell- Send me your direction again-
I have your Vest which was made at Spragues- but as you say to send nothing more at present- I will only send the horse brush and Curry Comb- with my respects to Webb the horse and hope he will enjoy his new comb and brush- Webb says to tell you to send Uncle Joe home and come with him- and not forget to bring Webb with you- and Birch's also-
Webb finds studying rather dull work- his eyes grow weak- when you write say to him you hope he will be reading before you come home- I shall send you the last Commercial- Our Soldiers in Ky have been suffering with sickness and the severe weather- When will it all end-
Good bye my dearest last Tuesday I received your package of letters and diary (missing) Ruddy that I should see you (missing) how dearly I (missing) you bow I want to be a good faithful wife- but you deserved a better wife than I have been- though none that could love you better- Webb or little impudence says- Kiss the boys and dont forget the horses- take all the love that can be carried on paper- Birch- Webb Rud Grand Ma and your wife send Oceans of love.
Your Affc. Wife
L W. Hayes
I have just received your letter dated the 10th We had kept the Soldier Harvey here- his band was badly burned- but Mother has dressed it every day and now it is well- also had a letter from Uncle he was well but wanting to hear from us all and you-
Good bye again dearest Lu
My dear Brothers,
If you received letters as often as you are thought off- [sic] that would be your only occupation Mother is always wanting to write- but it is painful to her- the mechanical part- and she says to express her feelings on paper is simply impossible- but her boys are always in her thoughts-
We have almost given up going out and now since Mother has got the material for the childrens clothes- we will retire to Winter quarters- Nellie Perry [illegible] and [illegible] Babes [illegible] often when Rud was sick Sallie and Mrs Stevenson [illegible] with [illegible] Annie Dutton called Sunday afternoon- Sallie was very much amused with Birch attention and evident admiration of little Annie-Birch informed us the other day (when Rud was so sick) that he believed he would not marry- Webb asked why the reply was "oh I would have some children and they would be sick and make me feel so badly-" Where upon Webb with an approving nod- "That's so"- What a family of bachelors we shall have with out some fair Va maiden succeeds in enchaining you- Your horse arrived safely at Uncle Williams- and the Saddle returned in safety to Mr Bucholz or Fritz.
Every time any person comes little Rud says may be it is Uncle Joe or PaPa he talks all the time about you-
I wish we had you a little nearer- to day I am so bewildered and want to see you all- and then to crown all- my letters written this morning were lost and I have had such a hunt for them that I am almost out done- Mother came to the rescue I had Webb and Babes hauled up- ready to chastize - [sic] but they protested innocence to the last and greatly to my relief we found them- Mother says you can appreciate lost things- having had experience-
Birch feels the importance of a school boy- and with his Overcoat and books and Slate marches off gaily-
On his birth day I got him a book from his father and you he was delighted Rutherfords was Falles and yours Bible Stories the [illegible] the favorite - when asking which he [illegible] from Uncle Joe [illegible] and [illegible] told Bible [illegible] yes Uncle Joe is more of a Christian!
I wish Jim would let me know again who those books were for - for fear I made a mistake-
This week has been very long - we have been looking for news but such unsatisfying rumors as we hear- I hope you or the horses will appreciate the horse brush and Curry Comb-
Good bye my dear brothers - Mother thought she had better send your money up to Mr Nikell - which Mr Stephenson did and received a reply -that makes a thousand $1,000 - which she thought would take off the per cent- Harvey has staid with us- the boys were delighted with their Canteens- and Rud with the Lamb Skin.
All send love. Good bye dear brother Rud and W ebb say kiss the boys for me.
Aunt Lucy Scott says in a letter received yesterday - that Will Scott has been very sick- and is now quite ill.
My dear Uncle,
Excuse this half sheet of paper- When Ruddy was at home such things never gave out- but I am a little careless about keeping a supply. I received your kind letter today and with it one from Rutherford dated the 10th he was very well - He says "I have just returned from a hard days work examining the romantic Mountain Gorge of New River which we are preparing to cross but which I suspect we shall not cross- A glorious day exciting and delightfully spent-" The last week has been one of intense anxiety to me- we had heard on Saturday week- by a soldier- sent to our house by Rutherford and Joe of the contemplated attack- and then day after day passed and no news in the paper with regard to it- made us very anxious- Brother Jim has been for two weeks with The Regiment in Virginia- so dear Uncle had'nt [sic] you better come down and stay with us- about a week ago - Birchie was feeling very lonely and bad- and bursting out crying "Oh I wish they were at home- Ma Ma wont you please write to Uncle Birchard and beg him to come here- we would'nt [sic] be so lonesome then- every day since he has asked me if I have written- We are trying to live comfortably so have the big Air tight in the back parlor- which we use as dining room - indeed Uncle if you would come we would be so glad- the children all say they would be good- Little Rud we think is entirely free from the chills- and is very fat- Birchie is going to school-
Rutherford does not speak very definitely when we may hope to see- He "says not certainly for several weeks- but some time during December or January-" but still I feel that it will be sooner- oh how I long to see him- the children talk constantly about him- The apples dear Uncle are a constant source of enjoyment to big and little.
Make up your mind to come and visit us- but maybe if you want anything to eat you had better Dispatch.
I have not forgotten your failings.
Mother wishes to be remembered to you all. Love to Mrs Vallette and all.
Your Affec Niece
Lucy W Hayes
Nellie Mead was very well the other day when I saw her-
Greatly to our surprise, Dr Clendenin called yesterday- hearing directly from you was next to seeing you- but the [illegible] with hopes of future happiness- [illegible] happy family we will be- the boys talk all the time of you- how happy it was when PaPa was at home- he played such fine games with us and oh what good stories- so Birch and Webb think of the happiness your presence gave them- while I long for the loving look kind word and tender husband- dear R now that we have been separated I feel how doubly dear you are to me- how wearily life would pass without you- and how I shall appreciate all your goodness when I once more have you with me- I suppose it is all for the best that I cannot possible be with you- for if it was other wise I feel I could not be here- and would be constantly regretting it if compelled to be absent from you-
It is a great pleasure to think of the hosts of kind friends we meet with- you know I feel any little kindness or attention very much- Mrs Gl [illegible] I am beginning to appreciate- [illegible] or Webb would start immediately for her- and little Rud seemed to be glad to see her- but I need not name one kind friend for all our neighbors are of the same kind-
I do not see much of Harriet H. we are so far apart and her little baby engrosses a good deal of her tine- Mrs Herron is there and I believe Nannie is to come soon if not already here- Sallie Perry and her Mother and Mrs Bates are very kind indeed- Sallie comes often and the old lady does not wait for calls- I do think she is one of the most agreable [sic] old or young ladies that I have ever known-
To day is a gloomy snowing windy November day- almost a blue day- but some how I am not feeling blue- but rather happy and light hearted - Birchie is getting along well with the boys- tells me every day of some one that has been kind- but there is one the kindest boy Ma Ma you ever saw- why he showed me how to hold my pen and then took [illegible] also him I could not bear to coming home sad and feeling unhappy on account of unkind treatment- you know he is timid and not inclined to resent an injury but when a little older will not need his mother to be anxious as to how he gets along- of course I don't let him know that I care or think how he is treated- but he knows that it makes me happy when he talks of the kind boy.
But you will think I have forgotten Webb and Rud Webb is being taught by his Mother- and it is amusing and provoking- and his good nature so great that you may be angry with him one moment and the next his arms around your neck hugging and kissing you- tis [sic] hard to get him interested in his lesson- but time will do that. Little Rud our darling for I think he has more winning ways about him- is at the same time the light and torment of the house- his grand mother he idolizes and will always stop if she says [illegible] grand ma will cry [illegible] he is very [illegible] obliged to be very careful [illegible]
The children become very much attached to Harvey while he was here- I wrote to you and Joe by him and intending to have him get some postage stamps on his way down to put in the letters did not seal them, but as there was no treachery in the letters - I suppose it made no difference- Brother Joe had better not go in pursuit of the enemy- Shall I send the money you sent to Columbus- or did you mean when you sent more- I was a little indignant at Shillitos so if you have any commands to send don't do it there- I will tell you when we meet- All join in love and hoping to have [illegible] ness complete by your presence Mother and boys send oceans of [illegible] PaPa- Uncle Joe- Jimmy-
Write to us often-
Your Affec Lu
Don't be insulted at being called Ohio Volunteers.
go to top of page