Lucy Webb Hayes Correspondence
1863 - December 18, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes n.p., 
to Sardis Birchard, n.p., 
to Sardis Brichard dtd Camp Reynolds, January 25, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, March 24, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, April 8, 
to Sophia B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, April 13, 
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, April 13, 
to Rutherford B. Hayes n.p. [May 1863]
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Cincinnati, May 3, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Chillicothe, July 4, 
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Chillicothe, July 18, 
to Sardis Birchard dtd Chillocothe, July 22, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Elmwood, August 2, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Elmwood, August 12, 
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Columbus, August 19, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Columbus, August 26, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Columbus, August 30, 1863
to Maria C. Webb dtd Spiegel Grove, September 7, 1863
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Spiegel Grove, September 7, 
to Rutherford B. Hayes dtd Spiegel Grove, September 14, 
to Maria C. Webb dtd Camp White, October 1, 
to Maria C. Webb, n.p., [October 13, 1863]
to Birchard A. Hayes dtd Camp White, October 16, 
to Sardis Birchard dtd Cincinnati, November 1, 
to Sardis Birchard dtd Cincinnati, November 1, 1863
to Sardis Birchard dtd Cincinnati, November 12, 
to Birchard A. Hayes dtd Camp White, December 18, 
I intended to have written a long letter - to send by our friends- but have had company and sick headache the last week- then this morning or last night Will Scott was here and left this noon- and so you my dearest have been neglected- Sprague promised me positively your Coat and pants- but heard you were killed and didnt- how would a silver eagle with out straps do for you- it would be plainer and so suit your taste- I will send the flag with the coat. Mother cant find where she put it-
After you left and I read my letters over- I felt so sorry I was not with you- then yesterday I would have started but thought I might pass you on the way- now I hope to meet you in Columbus- by staying until Tuesday I would perhaps fail of reaching Charleston on Saturday- as I will be obliged to stop and see Mother- I do not like to leave before you come- but if my delay should prevent my seeing Rutherford- it would be such a grief to me- Birchie feels very badly about going- but cant consent to stay without you are here- I made some purchases for myself and Birch- Many thanks dear Uncle for your Kindness.
I wish I was more deserving of your love- I hope to meet you in Columbus and yet I fear I may not.
But you will pardon my abrupt leave- when you know how anxious and depressed I feel-
Yours Aff. Lu
You will be surprised to know we are in Camp- Birch and Webb are perfectly happy. We had a pleasant trip - though the ride from Camp Piott in Ambulance for 28 miles was sufficiently muddy and as rough as heart could wish- we reached Camp last night and were so glad to find all well - by some means I have lost a day in the week and cannot yet believe that it is Sunday- and as it is very muddy I have not been out through the Camp but from our Cabin we have a beautiful view and the roaring of the waters all make it very delightful- I do not think Uncle that I answered your very kind letter with Christmas enclosed for the boys- it was not neglect- but Mother was then quite sick- then myself for a few days and lastly little Rud quite ill then the start for Va- occupied my time so closely- the little fellows were kindly remembered by their friends- Birchie bought a very interesting book with his portion - while Webb Joe and Rud being supplied with all toys added their portion to their fund- so all thanked Uncle for Christmas
The little girls were quite well when I left they come to see us quite often, but not as much as I would like- they are cheerful and happy.
I wish Ruddy Platt was with us- what a merry time they would have.
My Regards to all-
We reached home safely Sunday evening between five and six- the boys were very good- giving me no trouble- and then Mr Little took B to see the machinery- while Mr Forbes was constant in his attentions to them- every thing was pleasant- the Clerk Mr Sontag- was polite and attentive to me and the boys- I always meet with Kindness- and will always try more than ever- to return what I always receive- Dr and Mrs McCune are agreable [sic] acquaintances- and the trip from Charleston to Cincinnati was pleasant- until we came in sight of the City- then I realized the change- I had left you- after so much happiness dearest- the pain of parting is more severe- by the time we reached home we were ready to cry- Birch and I- and after meeting with such a cordial loving greeting- they were not looking for us, and yet were expecting us- Birch took a good cry- and I could hardly avoid following him (through sympathy). Rud was wild with joy- Joe dear little fellow- with a pleased joyous look- doubting somewhat- but in a few moments laughing and clinging to me- home is sweet- but oh we do miss you so much- Mother looks as well as usual and is in very good spirits- all are happy- but we would willingly give you the benefit of our society for a little while-
School opened this morning- Rud is really very smart but poor Webb- it is a hard task for him- but still I have hopes- Mr George Carlile died on Sunday after a short illness- Typhoid fever- Sunday evening little Eva Mitchell- (living in Bates house)- she was Birchies age a very pretty child- if you remember the little girls skating she was the most graceful and rapid- her death was very sudden- sick only that day- I have not seen any of our friends yet- hear all are well- I shall send this by Mr Forbes thinking you will get it sooner- than Mail- Little Joe is walking around-
All join in love- Every thing is very high- do not know whether we will be able to get any butter for Joe or not- Write soon-
Yours Affec. L.W.H.
My dearest R.
Your letter of the 1st of April - was joyfully received- I do not know of a more alarming sentence than "Communication cut off - the river in possession of the Rebels-" the imagination has full play- all the terrible casualties are before the mind- but your letter was welcome news- do not imagine that when I am terrified and anxious I publish to the friends-
I thought of beginning my letter with the Chorus of John Brown- but then you might think me daft- Our ticket the whole ticket is elected- Mr Stephenson was speaking of Col Matthews- and after saying probably his health had something to do with it- his manner led me to suppose there were other reasons- but I do not like to have an officer leave his post for office- I know nothing of affairs- but wish most heartily I was with you in the Cabin or tent- what a happy two months it was to me- Where did the Rebels come in- near Summerville or in the other direction- Shall I order you a coat from Spragues- I called there and they have your measure- a coat will cost 35$-- now- you ought to have one and all I wait for is the order- Coat pants and vest- one or all- which is it- how does the tattered colors look in the new Camp- I should always want to fight under their folds- Yesterday Miss Clorinda Wright and Mrs Miner called to see us they sent kindest regards to our Soldiers- Mr Higgins, has been appointed Assessor or something of that kind in New Orleans- Mrs Miner thought he ought not to have been rewarded for his great devotion to the Union quite so easily- I agreed with her- I would give a good deal to meet with Gen Burnside- and if you were in his command- I would make the effort truth is Ruddy I am modest- a good quality some times- but under the present dispensation rather unfortunate- are you acquainted with my husband he has that quality in a very high degree- The sun is shinning [sic] brightly- but the air is keen and cold-
I am trying to write with a gold pen- and I believe it makes my scrawl worse than ever- "Oh that I had the pen of a ready writer" would'nt [sic] you suffer-
Mother is coughing a good deal- this changeable weather has been severe upon her- but by the help of wine and ....... the unmentionable drink- she is again inproving [sic] her health was so much better while we were gone- a fortunate thing for me- we had a visit from Dr James Ware formerly of Columbus- but now Surgeon in Braggs Army- taken prisoner with wounded at Murfreesboro- what a welcome I would have given him had he come a poor Union Refugee- but I am changed the Christian virtue- Love your enemies- is not prominent in my character- his mother and little boy are in Louisiana- poor mistaken mortal- I did pity him- I did not intend to inflict such a scrawl upon you today- but I cannot stop when writing to you-
Shall I send you the Magazine or do you get them in Charleston- My Photograph Album- begins to look Warlike- several Captains still wanting-
Webb wants to know how the little Rooster is- My kindest regards to all friends- did you know Frank hurried on board to bid us good bye- and a package of fine Cakes- which were appreciated on the way- it is so pleasant for me to think of the happy weeks I spent in Camp-
Good bye - with the hope that we may in a short time be with you again-
Dear Mother Hayes-
As usual I might begin my letter with apologies- but I do not find much time for writing to friends Our visit to Virginia was very pleasant indeed- the boys were perfectly happy- and it was with a great deal of regret that they came home- Mother and the two little ones were very well and did not miss me in the least- Since my return Mother has not been well- the changeable spring weather is always very severe upon her- I have seen quite a number of my friends since we returned all were well- Mrs Herron has a fine little girl- they are living on Walnut Hills- so I do not get to see her as often as I would like- it is a beautiful place I have spent one night with her-
Birchie has started to school- and is getting along pretty well- the others are still home beaux
Last week we were doing some house cleaning- not quite through yet- I miss the visits of the little girls- (though why I say little I do not know) Fannie has been to see me twice- she is looking well and happy- I hear quite often from Rutherford and Joe- they are so much nearer to us than they were that it appears but a little distance-
Joe is quite troublesome to day- his teeth are not all through- Mother wishes to be remembered- My best love to all.
Received your letter with Photographs enclosed- Saturday- this morning the money package came- and as I am now becoming a business woman I acknowledge the receipt of money immediately have you not hope that I will yet be a woman- We am all very well- have been housecleaning and look as nice as a new pin-
Just a little while ago a fine large Reg- passed by- how I wished they were going to W.Va My Album is beginning to present a War like appearance- And now dearest has mature deliberation caused you to defer indefinitely another visit from your spouse- We do want to see you so much but yield in all things to our dearest- Served the young ladies right- if they will sing Seceesh Genl Burnside has issued an order which pleased your un-Christian wife- poor Jim Ware has gone on his weary way- The friends are all well- and everybody inquires about you- Love to Joe- Remember to friends-
This letter is to acknowledge the money-
[Letter in part to RBH]
All is not so dark this morning - the victory is ours - we were beaten back - but reinforced we drove the enemy to Richmond - a bloody battle four of our generals killed- Stonewall Jackson is certainly dead - this is the morning news at that it may be true, dearest R. good bye once more.
My love to Joe and Jim -
[Lucy Webb Hayes]
It has been a good while since I have really written to you- and yet day and night you are in my thoughts- This last week has been a blue week to me- past day- all day my thoughts were with you- longing so much to see you- and feeling so unworthy of your love- Our boys brighten up life and then as I think of the uncertain future- that their life may be so sadly clouded- I cannot express to you my anxiety- But dearest- we are all well- loving you more than ever- and as dear little Webb said this morning- "I don't think PaPa will be killed- do you mama- he is a dear child- mischevious [sic] approaching almost to bad and yet so loving- Last evening he was sitting with me at the parlor window- lolling on me- when he put his arm around my neck- said- Mama boys love their Mother more than girls"- but he still dislikes Literary pursuits- consequently small advancement has been made- Birch goes happily to school though each day- when he comes home he asks "have you heard from Va- he is getting along very well- has become deeply interested in Pilgrims Progress- which we have read together Rud is a happy handsome boy great for going to church- has not done any smart things lately- or I would be sure to write them- but little Joe is the prettiest- sweetest and brightest little fellow to be found- looks up at your picture when asked for papa
Mrs Sollace has made me a short visit- it was Fannies vacation and she came down to fix her spring clothes- she was very busy all the time- but I enjoyed her visit-
I did not tell you that I had improved - up stairs- fresh cheerful paper on the front and back room the paint caked- I believe the old paper would have increased the blues to such an extent- that you would not know me- but I have been having sick headache so much since leaving you- that I am growing older fast-
Many of your friends were much frightened at the rumor of your death- it was Major Hayes- he too leaves dear ones to mourn him-
I meet Mr John D Jones quite often he always inquires for you- wished me to let you know that Will was appointed Col of 36th O
I have more money than we will use- and John Herron wants to pay some he borrowed from you now what must I do with it- I have only eight hundred in Gov- Bonds- if John pays that I will have about 1,000- here at home-
The friends in Chillicothe- are inviting the family again- Va threatens a raid some where soon- All the lots on the Barr place are sold- little offices are already being put up- Rents are going up fast- houses are very scarce and in great demand- Miss Sallie Perry has just returned from a visit to St Louis- her Cousin Mrs Burdell- had returned from Lecoppia- and was order- ed back again- they hope to have the order changed- Will Scott was over to see Gen Burnside- about Mrs Catherine Johnson of Frankfort- the charges of aiding in the escape of prisoners were not proven- and they now released- wiser if not better- Will has been offered his old Regt- I think he will take it-
Remember me particularly to my friends-
We reached Chillicothe safely- but, Joe will give you all the exciting incidents- especially Scaling the mountain side- or river bank at Scitoville- after the Cars- The boys are well- and very happy- Webb who appears to be Uncle Scott's favorite - (if it is possible to have one) on getting there that evening exclaimed well I'm home again- dear little Joe I feel his loss- there is a vacant place- everything here reminds me of Joe- he was such a pet with all- the little picture Thea Cook had of him- looks to me so sweet- I shall prize it now so much-
Birchie is quite well- and so happy- Rud clings to Uncle Scott, they are all out there- We received a letter from Jim- Mrs Davis sent him a kind note- asking him to bring the little fellow to their house- that she felt she had a claim upon dear little Joe- Many friends enquired whether they could do any thing for us- Mrs Davis and Sallie Perry went with him to the Cemetry- [sic] This morning I received a long letter from Uncle George and Aunttie [sic] Warren- a kind affectionate letter-
Dearest R it is so lonely without you you do not know how dearly I prize your love- Aunt Margret is not very well- Uncle William was here yesterday Ike Cook- Ed Cook- and Will McKell are tolerably well- Jim McKell is on Major General Steinwher Staff's they are engaged in these battles
Mattie Fullerton is failing very fast I have not seen her yet-
Good bye dearest- We all love so much to hear from you- Don't forget me while far away All join in love.
Remember me to all at home-
Your letter dated 11th was joyfully received- it has been so long since I had a letter- "that hope deferred maketh [sic] sick the soul"- All this week I have vainly tried to write- the excitement was so great- that it was impossible to think of any thing-
Morgan has been rousing the country- You have seen the papers so know what course he took- but no one could give a description to fully equal the scene- All the Militia from the adjoining Counties were here- A finely armed company from Zanesville- the town was alive- men drilling all around- and while Morgan was supposed to be coming either to Chillicothe or Piketon- all these unarmed sheep were drawn up to be reviewed- the few arms that were distributed- were carefully marched to the Northern end of town- while Morgan was to cross Paint Creek brigde [sic] In the mean time- the different scouting Companies came across each other- and mutually seeing Morgan Men before them- took to their heels- scaring all the natives on the way- and on coming to Paint Creek bridge- so terrified the gauard [sic] that they set the bridge on fire- in an instant the whole was in flames- while Morgan had not even a scout near- then knowing what trouble it would give Morgan- to have to gather the horses together from the County and to facilitate his movements - (all of which was praise worthy) they forbid any horse being taken out of town and as there was certainly as many as 6,000 men- a goodly number of horses were used in bringing them Col Runkle in Command of the forces of Ross Pickaway Fayette- and some others- Who is Col Runkle- But enough of this- Tom McKell- and Lem Boggs- are in the Company's [sic] that are gone- I have been spending a few days at Uncle Williams- and will soon go to Aunt Margret's- the little boys are very happy and all well- Birch I think is gaining in flesh- but oh I miss dear little Joe more and more- and yet I do not feel that grief which the loss of a darling child always seemed to bring- the great anxiety I feel for you- deadens other sorrows and griefs- but each day absence is more keenly felt- and my beautiful boy- is he gone from us forever- the little boys have sweet memories of little Joe- Mattie Fullerton cannot live but a fell days- she suffers greatly- has not been able to lie down for weeks- Mother has been there since Saturday- last evening she was easier than in the morning but evidently weaker-
We heard from Jim McKell on the 9th all well- A letter from Willie of the 12th from Decherd- says their new Col Carlton inspected the Regt- and he told them Gen Crook said he had the best material in the Brigade- they hope to like him- and oh I do most sincerely pray that the poor fellows may have a human man at their head- To hear you were near Fayetteville- was a sad piece news to me- where are you going- or what for The deed I have signed and sent to Mr Stephenson- though Mr Smith the Atty- here thinks now are examined a little too far to stand- and by the way does not charge soldiers wives-
Had a letter from Uncle Birchard he invites us to make him a visit- would it be a gratification or a trouble to him if we did so- All send love-
Good bye dearest- L.W.H.
too late to get in Saturday- so finished this morning- last news from Morgan- was good.
As I was in the country I did not receive your kind letter so soon- and since its receipt we have had so constant an excitement- about Morgan- that it has been almost impossible for me to write- today the shops are closed- and rumors are all about that Morgan is endeavoring to force his way back- he is reported with in twelve miles- and troops are expected at noon from Cincinnati-
It was a sad visit to Rutherford- but as little Joe was to be taken from us it is a happiness to think Rutherford was with us- dear little Joe- he is gone, but I do not feel like murmuring-
Rutherford is still left to us- I feel so anxious to be all together again the little boys would be so happy- to have their father with them- I am now in Chillicothe- the boys are in the Country at Uncle Scotts they are very fond of the country and will not consent to remain in town- I received kind letters from Mr Platt and Laura- I have not heard for some days from Rutherford- the last was written from near Fayetteville. I should be very glad to make you a visit- but I am afraid it would be a good deal of care for you.
I am going to take the children to see their Grandmother- but I cannot say when I will go. My best love to Mr and Mrs Vallette and remember me to friends-
Yesterday I received your letters of the 26th two long weary years are past- will the third see us together again- Your absence is harder to bear- the future has much that is dark and forbidding- and yet withal hope keeps me on- I cannot feel that you will be taken from me- and yet the dread oh the constant dread is before me- I have not always been the dear loving wife- and yet darling there has been no day or hour that you have not been my love my hope of happiness here- To day I have thought sadly of our long separation- and when I think of the death of our officers at Wytheville I shudder- Captain Delany was from Cincinnati- was he not- a brave soldier fallen- and how many more are yet to fall- Col Yoland I never saw- but I saw in the paper that he was not married- no wife and little ones left in this forgetful world- it must be easier to die so- You are back at Charleston- Camp White- I can close my eyes and be with you- your tent is before me- and I can imagine at times that I with you- We cane to Elmwood last Wednesday- the boys are well and happy- Webb is very decidedly a farmer- Lem and Scott were building fence- and he has been with them from early in the Morning till night- he rides one of the Waggon [sic] horses most of the time- and really thinks he is of some use Birch plays with the little girls- and Willie is giving him riding lessons he has a fine horse- very gentle and safe- little Rud is here and there and every where- a happy contented little one- they all cried on leaving Uncle Scotts- I felt almost like a cruel Stepmother- taking them away- It is right sad with us in Chillicothe Mattie Fullerton is dead- Kate is to go back to Illinois this week- and all is sorrow and distress- Cousin Humphry has nothing at all- and is doing nothing- living trouble is hard-Then at Uncle Scotts- this week is sad- Ed has been very low and was sent to Nashville- last Wednesday- they received a letter from Ike Cook (who is also in Hospital) that Ed was very low and wanted his Mother to come- Joe Fullerton on his return found him- and Friday Telegraphed he was out of danger- but I fear poor Ed will not return to us- Aunt Ellen and Jim are with him now- we hope- If you could only write to Uncle Scott (he thinks so highly of you) it would cheer him some- he always says he feels more hopeful after I have a letter from you- if poor Ed recovers- I hope he can or will be removed from the Co- he is in the promotion was but a little thing- yet it has affected his spirits so much- Mother went to Cincinnati last week to see Jim- but he has gone now so I suppose she will soon return-
Last evening I received a letter from Laura- Col Mitchell is at home but his time will soon be out- it was a kind loving letter- it made me feel happy- I have received a second letter from Uncle- I shall be very happy making him a visit- I think about the 15th I will go to Columbus- and Delaware and the 1st of Sept to Fremont- I will be here now till then- I am so glad the band is with you- do you want to see me as badly as I do you-
All send love- and with my own how can a single letter carry it- A note from Lt McKinley he passed through I will try and be in town the 7 and 8th remember me to friends-
I often think of the kindness of Billy and Frank-
I received your welcome letter of the 5th on the 10th and you do not know what pleasure yes real happiness it gave me- I often wonder whether my scribbling is half as joyfully received- The weather has been intensely hot the last two weeks the corn is very much injured for want of rain- in some places around here it is not over knee high-
We are here quietly in the country visiting occasionally- and having visit also- but I think the country is a more desirable place to live than formerly- Webb I think is sure burnt enough to pass for an industrious farmer he feels at home with the horses- and indeed is perfectly happy- Birch is a good companion for me- he takes me into all his confidences and as he "is learning" a great many new things"* he is not satisfied until I hear all- they all think of dear little Joe- Mother wrote me a letter from Cincinnati- telling me of dear little Joe Mrs Eppley dressed his body beautifully at her house- while Mrs Davis waited to take it home with her- they scattered buds all over it- Mrs D and Jim sat by it till late that night- after he left she was by his dear
body till after midnight- the next morning Sallie Perry came with beautiful flowers they went with him Mrs Davis and Mrs Epply told Mother it was the most beautiful body they ever looked at- As I read the letter to Birch- he cried for a long while- then talked about what he had always thought- "That Uncle Birchard would give him and Joe a little piece of land-and they would live together and have so much fun- but now that will never be- and oh it will be so long before I can see little Joe- Webb when saying his prayers- whispers to me- I always ask God to take care of little Joe too- little Rud is the baby- almost too big a boy - but he clings around me- and says don't stay till it is dark- Yesterday he told me he loved me almost as much as Grand Ma- then added I love papa the most- so I am third- I wanted to go to Columbus- Saturday- but not hearing from Mother this week I will not go till Monday- We have not heard directly from Ed Cook- (Aunt Margret says news from Chillicothe is more uncertain than Virginia-) but we heard that Aunt Ellen got back home Saturday and that Ed was discharged- I think you are a little wrong about Isaac's N- treatment of Ed- he was made Corporal by Capt Brown- and all say he did his duty faithfully and always was pleasant and cheerful- a favorite with the men- they cannot help feeling it- Why of the three cousin he should select Ed- I cant account- he owes his Commission as Capt to Uncle Scotts promptness in sending Mr Hough to Columbus- but we will let it rest- I am sorry-
I will write to Jim to day- I thought I wrote to him to deposit the money with Mr S. but I expect he placed it with Joe's. I will write to hand it to Mr. S.
Eight small children and your wife are going to Uncle Jim Boggs to spend the day- Good bye- dearest- Much love to my dear brother- he has not answered my letter- Remember me to all-
Aunt Lu says do send a little love from her and the house hold-
We have commenced our travel again- where or when we will settle down for our winter quarters is among the uncertainties of life- do you know darling there are times when I feel I cannot go back to our old home- so lonely and sad- then again it is home you have been with me there- and in a few weeks we will settle down quiety [sic] cheerfully- in the dear old home- In a few days another year of my life will be over- will I never grow more serious- more of that womanly dignity which I so much admire- or always like a child - perfectly happy- and too youthful for my years
We left Elmwood last Monday and are having a very happy visit here all are so kind and cordial- loving to me- that my lonely sad feelings are when thinking of dear little Joe- sweet angel- My mind is always calm and peaceful about my dear husband- his love is mine truly and for life- and he is protected and will be restored to me- oh what happy days we may yet spend- how I long for you to guide our dear boys- Birchie loves me and thinks his mother knows a great deal of useful matter- but your strong guiding hand will soon be needed- dear Webb is mischevious [sic] affectionate- careless and cant read much - but I have hopes of him- little Rud woke up last night saying "Ma Ma I love you so much- that' [sic] why I sleep so close"- They are not equal to Ruddy Platt- in behavior- rougher and lacking the influence of girls- but they promise to try and be polite- so by the time dear papa is home- they may be gentlemen-
While the stage stopped at the hotel a soldier stepped up- and saying how do you do- Webby- I recognized a 23rd man- We were all glad to see him- I asked him to call and see him- he is a gentlemanly fine looking soldier- made me a short pleasant call- Corill the Color bearer- the boys and their Mother delighted to see any one from 23rd So Mrs Comly is back with her
husband- may happiness be with her- I still hope when winter comes- to see you- Webb the rascal sends greetings to Uncle Joe- he wants John horse sent to him immediately- he is a finished rider- he has lost his front teeth- and with his large mouth- there is a cavity of great extent-
I have, no news to write- nearly every person is away for the summer and I know nothing of Cincinnati friends- I believe I wrote- that Col Cook was discharged- that is not so- he was simply transfered [sic] to Louisville- could not get him home- but hope he may yet be sent to Cincinnati all the other friends are well-
Your Mother is making a visit at Fremont- and is enjoying herself very much- Col Mitchell- (or our nephew) is here- he and L are perfectly happy- I enjoy it very much- entire devotion- but then I know an old couple who are apt to forget how many years have passed- and think it still the honeymoon- Well darling- is this a sufficiently unintelligible and foolish- when you read it- think of the loving heart- that waits your coming- Mother is still in Cincinnati Write oftener- you don't know the happiness a few lines from you gives- Remember me to friends- Love to brother Joe he has not answered my letter from Chillicothe-
My dearest R.
You do not know how badly I feel- no letter from you since the 4th and yet I know it is not that you have less love for me- but no letters- how much I miss you- dearest I am happy now have just received your letter dated the 15th- I did not know dearest that not receiving letters would affect my spirits so, all the time I knew you had written- but there is ten days in which there has no letter come- You must have received a letter from me from Columbus- do not think darling that I ever tire of writing to you- I feel right lonely- without you- every body seems so happy- and I am alone- it would have been very hard for me to have seen Mrs Comly going back and not accompanied her- Col. Mitchell leaves tomorrow- Laura will accompany him as far as Cincinnati.
They are a very happy couple- seem almost to love each other as we do- I have just received a letter from Uncle Birchard they are all well- next week I will go there- and after a short visit will once more be at home- I felt a great reluctance to going back to Cincinnati- this fall- but the last few days I have thought seriously about being homeless- and now think more happiness will be in the old home- Mother has gone back to Chillicothe- she misses the boys a great deal- Our boys are very good- and are all we could wish loving affectionate bright- and as well well [sic] behaved as boys without a Sister could be- they are all well and very happy- What do you think of my trying to teach Webb this winter and start him at the same age of Birch- if Dr Soule' has a school shall I send Birchie there- let me know particularly how you would wish me to do with the boys- they miss you so much- and thinking of the great loss your absence is to them- makes it harder to bear-
Fannie Platt is going to New Haven to school this fall- she is looking better than ever- quite fleshy- a lovely girl indeed- I have not met with many friends- most of our acquaintances are out of the City- it seems strange how with all the horrors of War in our midst and hardly a family without dear friends in it- that there is so much gayety [sic] travelling [sic] and extravagance- but then I suppose it is all right- and were you with us- we probably would feel so too- Write to me often- now Ruddy I will again tell my grieving I received a letter dated the 5th then none until the
26th and that of date the 15th I wrote to you twice at Elmwood after the 5th and this will be the second from Columbus- so all this time I have thought of you the oftenest- [sic] Charley Anderson made a speech at Fremont and Uncle I think was well pleased- then I was gratified for Uncle sends me Mrs Andersons particular regards-
How I would have enjoyed the inspection of the 13th and the sweet tones of the band- it must be a great improvement in every way- and now are you to remain always in West Va.. and is Judge Somers of Charleston a Union Candidate of Office-
Who is Capt of Co D. I wish I had a list of Officers and what Co- they belonged to-
I will not write more to day- but don't intend to let you hint such a thing as being tired of writing- it is the greatest happiness I have after reading your letters-
Mother went to see Jim- and is now back at Chillicothe. All Well- Capt Skyles is Maj of the 51st or 50th
Did you know that last Friday was my birthday- I intended to have written- but interruptions of various kinds prevented- We have been having very cold weather the last few days- and every change I think of you and your comrades- and wonder whether it is harder to bear than the heat- last night we had frost- and this morning the fire is very comfortable no doubt we will have warm weather again- but the present cold spell makes me wish I had been to Fremont and was on my way home- Laura has gone as far as Cincinnati with Col Mitchell- Fannie expects to start for New Haven a week from tomorrow- and Ruddy and Minnie start to their school- indeed it will be very lonely for Laura- she has been perfectly happy I think they are really happily married- I have felt rather lonely since Laura left- there are none of our particular friends in the City- no one to visit except Mrs Gilbert and they have sickness but still I enjoyed my call there very much- Your last letter was very sad to me- poor Kramer- I remember him well- I cannot realize how he could be drowned there in sight of camp- from what he said to me about his family- I do not think his wife is a woman that has management- then the poor children- oh how hard it is to bear- I wish I could get to see her but Georgesville is about fifteen miles from Columbus- I look at my helpless little family and think what would I do- surrounded as I am by kind friends- were you taken from us- dear little Rud is standing by me singing and rhyming - no care all is happiness- he is a perfect little sunbeam and since dear little Joe has left us- clings more and more to me- sometimes he wakens in the night and nestling close to me- whispers "MaMa I love you so much- thats why I sleep so close"- This morning I went to hear Rev Mr Trimble preach- taking Birch and little Rud with me- no church at the Episcopal so Fannie went also- the sermon was very good- the little boys behaved so well- that I felt quite happy- but then when all is pleasant and happy around me- the desire is with me so earnest and anxious- that I was only a true Christian- I try to read my bible and pray for the safety of those dear to me- but of myself all is rain and cold-
What would I not give to feel and view things as Mrs Dr Davis- to her the future is all peace and joy- I can never talk to any one of these things- not even to you- and so I grope along at times trying so earnestly- then again indifferent- I almost despair of ever being what I so earnestly desire-
I did not know but that I was going to have the chills- felt badly my bones ached but think now it was only the sudden change- Everything looks very beautiful around the town- the sun is shining bright and clear and the last rains have settled and cleared off the summer dust- I see by papers you have had a drought in West Va- well here it has been very dry- all the pasture burnt up- hay selling at an enormous price- and indeed every thing is high- do you feel hopeful about the Country- I could not help feeling troubled to hear there was no draft in Ohio- Will you send any one to recruit- or is it not useless- the last we heard from Ed and Ike Cook- they were expecting to be sent to Cincinnati
A forward movement is to be dreaded even as far as Lewisburg has terrors to me we are looking anxiously for the fall of Charleston- I don't want to hear of a surrender- but the total destruction- With what longing and hoping I have waited for East Tennesee- [sic] to be saved- I almost feel like one of the refugees-
How does Mrs C....- and is she taking your hearts- let me know how you all like her- not that I am at all for I know she is a sweet lovely woman more gentle in her manners than yours
Well darling I began to write- because the time seems so long- oh for a peep into futurity- how many many months- must pass before we are all home again-
Write to me dearest- about the boys- how you want me to do with them- you know so much better than I and we will hope for the best- and I will try and teach the little boys- to have them a credit to their dear father- My love to Joe, why don't he answer my letter- remember me to all I think I shall go the last of this week to Fremont- they are all well-
The little boys are going to the Office- and I want you to receive my letters soon- I wrote to Mother the other day- that we would pretty soon all meet at the Home and live in hopes of better days- All that troubles me is where to send Webb to school- if Dr Soule' does not teach what shall I with Birch- Mr Chickering has a regular primary department- this year- I judge from what Dr Comegys said that Dr Soule' was not certain whether he would continue teaching-
I suppose they received the deed- I sent it from Chillicothe-
Good bye Again- how happy I would be to be with you- Remember to all friends not last among the number- Frank and Billy- Rud says "tell you to come to Columbus"- then adds when his time is up tell him to come here-" what he knows about time being up- Webb sends his love- and would be glad to see you in Va- Birch joins in love- and wants you to give him your smallest pistol- just here a perfect torrent of message- highest sounds Webb's- how is my rooster- and Rud the Cat birds- oh the Cat birds Ma Ma Write often- Fannie and Minnie send love and greeting to Uncle Rud and Joe-
Yours Affec. Lu. W.H.
I am just starting to Fremont- this letter I send
My dear Mother,
The morning I left Columbus I thought I would have time to write- but had a call from Capt Hood and Canby- who left Charleston on Wednesday- called to see me, Friday morning- left Rutherford and Joe well and having to talk with them ended your letter that day-
Uncle Birchard wants you to come any how for a week - or so- the place is beautiful and the house the most complete I have seen- nothing yet is done about the grounds- nor does he intend doing anything- leaving that for Rud-as he says- the boys are happy- and in the midst of their enjoyment remembered their dear Grand ma and did wish you were here- Birch was delighted with his pony- Uncle has a nice little axe for them- and under Allen's care they go chopping around gathering brush to burn- and altogether- barring your absence they are happy- they never have any nice fruit- as in Columbus- without some one of them saying- I wish Grandma had some- Rud is a good deal petted on me- but a pretty good boy- I send this letter dear mother and the one enclosed for you to see what Rutherford says about this winter-
One clause is about you and the boys- and it will not do to object to our superior officer's command- I wrote a few lines to Jim saying that we could not determine whether we would return to Cincinnati or not- that a few weeks would decide- and we would let him know as soon as possible- The minister is living in Uncle house and we are all there- he and his wife are absent- but two grown daughters are here- and one at school- that is their family- Mrs Hayes has been here for some time- but will return to Delaware shortly I believe- she is very well and enjoys her self very much- Uncle is not very well- but expresses a great deal of happiness at having the boys here- they cling to him in a very affectionate way and he loves them for R sake at least- then Uncle is really anxious you should make him a visit- and now wont you come either at your own pleasure or at least in time to return with me- You leave Columbus at 11 o'clock - Mr Platt will gladly escort you to the depot- and Laura would be so happy to see you- I know what I am writing- so don't hesitate about stopping there, then one change of Cars at Grafton and you reach Fremont before six o'clock- no hurry at Grafton- and there you recheck your luggage for Fremont- I had three boys- two baskets- 1 Haversack- and trunk carpet sack- and large basket of strawberry plants for Mrs V. and lost nothing nor had a moments trouble. - Good bye dear Mother love to all, direct to Fremont care of S Birchard- I intended to send this to Kingston- but I see it is Chillicothe- Well I am certain you are at Kingston so there I will send it.
Keep these letters- send me back the little one enclosed.
I send this little note written last winter- which I found in my portfolio-
[On verso letter of RBH to LWH dated August 30, 1863]
It would not be proper to spell Spiegel Grove wrong the first time I write- We have had a discussion on the subject and I agree with Uncle so all is well- Shall I tell you of the happiness of Birch Webb and Rud- we reached here Friday evening met Uncle at the depot- I could not help laughing at the joy of the boys on meeting him- little Rud caught him round the legs and laughed and jumped I told Uncle every person in the cars looked pleased with the meeting of Grand pa and his pets- then Birch first saw his pony- "oh you pretty pony- oh mama is he not fat- oh how pretty he is- and so on till we reached home- The house is beautiful- so convenient and large- it will be a delightful home- if we all live to be united here- the little boys are out with Allen- he is trimming the trees and collecting brush- and then the boys enjoying burning it- Birch has tried his pony- and Saturday did a little chopping with a nice little axe- Webb and Rud are trying their hand at every thing The young ladies are very pleasant and kind- Mr and Mrs Phelps are expected home this week-
Mrs Vallette was very glad to see us all- she expects to leave this week. I shall regret her absence very much-
You cannot imagine the joy your letters gave me- if possible you will have me with you this winter-
I have read the letters over so often that they are committed to memory- I had a letter from Jim- in which he spoke of several applications for the house- if it were possible for us to be with you this winter- it would probably be better to rent- I think it would rent for $900 hundred- but I will not do anything in the matter until we can tell a little more definitely- I had a very pleasant call from Capt Hood and Canby- they gave me news from the Regt- what a mania for marying [sic] - I shall expect next to hear of Capt Avery- but do hope he will let me select him a wife- do not let Lt McKinley venture to Ohio- he would not return alone- I have had a most delightful visit to Columbus- Laura has returned from Cincinnati. A sad parting for her- (I don't mean anything else at all- you gave me a wrong impression once- so I will not give you another)- Mrs Smith and Miss Fannie called to see me- I was much pleased with Miss Fannie- a good deal like Mrs Comly- I don't think they will feel reconciled to Mrs C. being absent all winter- Mrs Smith is evidently looking forward to having her home again- Uncle is coming for my letter- I have not written what pleases me- but sometimes I cannot write- so dearest it is all love for you- All join in love but don't think I have not time to write to you- you don't get my letters
I received your letter dated the 4th and confidently look for one today Mr Phelps and family have returned- and we make a large show- I have not been around very much spent the day with Mrs Vallette- before she left- I think Uncle was very willing to resign his house Keeping duties to Mr P everything is very pleasant the children happy and enjoy being with Allen at work very much- Birch and Webb have both learned to chop quite well- little Rud has not aspired to the axe- or rather he is not allowed too- [sic] he is very happy- and loving- then they have been learning to ride- but now as Mr Phelps has returned and has pony or Rock I don't know whether they will have a chance- Birch is learning the names of the trees- and I think him a bright and as far along as boys of his age in his studies-
Mrs King (Octavia Dickinson) is dead she left three little children- two boys and a little girl- she has suffered terribly and a relief to her friends when she died- it is one of the distressing deaths I met Dr Rawson- but have not seen Mrs R or Estella yet- the nun question divides that house-
How anxiously I am looking for the welcome news- that we will be with you- and yet I have thought of it with much uncertainty- and though a great grief if I am not- yet in these times I am prepared for almost any thing- I am determined dearest to be a true loving wife- but hope oh so anxiously to be with you this winter-
I have not heard from Mother- for more than week- but expect letters to day- The weather has been very cool- and I cant help feeling it is the last of October I do not know where this summer has gone- not that it has been so joyous to me- for when I look back- it seems so long so weary a time since we left Cin with all my darlings- I had a letter from brother Jim telling me of Old Clara and Eliza- he has been helping them- and I am troubled what we can do- I will write to Jim- to pay her rent for her- and see she does not suffer he has been doing it himself-
Fremont was alive with a Menagerie- and Copper head Meeting- we attended both- rode all around the Speakers stand- and when Mr Pugh was speaking we were not more than the length of a room from the stand- and in my mind it was a small affair composed largely of women- and small boys and a large sprinkling of girl- but the town was alive with Brough and Union badges-and then a fair show of Union badges at the meeting also we enjoyed it very much- heard George Pugh say there was no necessity for this War- and a long tirade about the Slavery of White men in Ohio- and so on- Could you let Allen know whether old Mauser is back or where he is-something of Warner- and Dickinson and Sarah wants to know of a couple of old people named Platt- I think- "Any information of the above mentioned persons- will be thankfully received"-
Dear Ruddy I could not get to see Mrs Kramer- but the morning I left- I could not help thinking of her- and in the hurry- Laura wrote a short note for me- enclosing 10 dollars I have not heard from her- but hope she will receive it as with the same feeling in which it was sent
Remember me to all- Joe has not written to me yet
The boys are chopping or they would send love to all and papa in particular
My dear Mother-
My ride from Gallipolis - or rather from Hampton Junction to Gallipolis - was very pleasant- the road much better than I expected- and having met with a soldier of Coll- on the cars- I felt secure- he kindly attended to my baggage and rode with me in the Coach- I could not help feeling it was rather a perilous ride- the horses going in a gallop all the time- but safe drivers and a strong Coach- took us safely through- R was waiting for me at Gallipolis- on getting here every one seemed glad to meet me- was met on the boat by Billy and two or three others who have been at our house- Many inquiries about you and the boys- we do not know yet what will be the final condition as to Winter quarters- though it is quite certain to be in the Valley- Yesterday re-enlistment was the order or rather Rutherford meet [sic] the men and explained to them the law about reenlistment- the County and all other points- not expecting any one hardly to reenlist at first- but last evening the number was over fifty- nearly one hundred- I think there is no doubt that the old 23rd will be perpetuated- I have not been over in Charleston yet - not much inclination to go- We have the room you had in the house- the family occupying the rest- Mrs Comly- the Dr an [sic] Lt McKinley in the tents in front- R office the middle tent- then in front of the Dr's a great fire burns all the time- and there we sit altogether- [sic] when the evening are cold- with shawls and hats- Wish Scott could make us a little visit would there be any hope of Uncle Moses consenting- You know he is one of R favorites and he was talking of Scott- and repeating his pony talk the first time he saw him at Elmwood- and said to me- do you think Uncle M would let S make me a visit provided we stay in the valley- tell the boys the soldiers all ask about them many say "why did you not bring them out-" and so on- an acquaintance of Joe - in the Morgan raid- asked him to buy his horses from government pointed them out looking dreadfully- but Joe took and last night I rode in the buggy with the Morgan stock- they will be fine horses one very gentle and a riding horse- We hope very much to have a letter from you and Uncle Birchard tonight- I still have a little love for the boys and grandma and want to know how you are-
With a great deal of love to all and every one-
When are you & Grand Ma coming to visit us? I have a large Owl for you his Eyes as large a "Dime" - It is probable that I may be able to come home this fall-
We are all well, and looking forward with pleasure to the time you all stay here with us- so even as it is certain, we remain sure we shall send or be after you all-
Yours J T W
My dear Mother:-
I do not think you received my letter, at least you did not mention it. I am feeling quite impatient to tell you what will be our destiny, and feel that I ought to be with you now, but this week we think will settle it.
R. has had two letters from Uncle Birchard: he is very happy with his namesake, and Birch is delighted with his visit. Brother Joe and Rutherford were both very glad to hear he was willing to stay.
A very quiet election day, but we are all anxious. Nobody acknowledges to be for V. - and really I don't believe a soldier in the Regiment is so lost to heaven and country as to vote for him.
How is dear Aunt Phebe? We all thought of her so sadly. She felt that Willis was in the fight and her feelings were so intense the day I left C. - hoping we may soon hear from him. Give my best love to all, and tell Rud Uncle Joe sent him this fine Love to Webby and all
My dear Birchie
I was very glad indeed to receive your letter - it is quite lonesome for me without either of my boys - but I hope very soon to have you all with me. This morning as I sit by my window in Grandmas room I am thinking of my darling boys and would like to peep in for a few moments - Your pa pa is away in the Regt - Uncle Joe at the Hospital Col and Mrs Comly just passed going to the boat for Gallipolis - Dick (the rooster - and the Guinea - have not displayed themselves this morning though I hear the melodious tones of the Guinea - notwithstanding the pouring rain - The band is practising [sic] near by - and the merry sound of the fiddle is also heard - Last night was beautiful and a jolly party of soldiers were having a fine dance in front of the bands quarters we could hear Frank's voice calling off the figures - and could see them dancing as we sat around the fire before Uncle Joe's [sic] tent - where we all sit in the evening a gentle sprinkle don't trouble us - but a hard shower - well then Birch we travel - There is but one of the Regt sick in Hospital - In Charleston there are too [sic] Cavalry Regts - we can hear their band playing and going to the top of the Steep hill back of us - can see them drill -- Last night Uncle Joe brought me the most beautiful boquet [sic] (or more truly half a dozen in one) of choice roses - red pink buff and white very fragrant - and rich dahlias of various colors - which was presented to Bally for his fast trotting - he beat two horses that were considered fast trotters and so Uncle Joe is pretty happy got the best horse and the three best boys - I need not name them But all this time I am forgetting the Cat birds and the Owl - the fate of the birds was not grievous as far as they were concerned - but to you boys it was sad - they were great pets with Frank - and when the Regt was ordered on last Summer they were left with a neighbor to take good care of them - but unfortunately they escaped to their forest home - and no doubt but are still rejoicing over
their release from Captivity The Owl Is still snapping his beak - rolling his great eyes - and meditating flight - but Poor follow he has but one wing - Yesterday he was taken to the stable - to earn his own board - Hurrah for Brough - don't we rejoice - then the 23rd Regt had no traitor
votes - But good bye my dear boy - try and be as good (as with such a Mother.) you can be - she hopes to see you soon and continue her good instructions - Much love to Uncle - Kindest remembrance to Mr and Mrs Phelps and the young ladies - Many thanks to Miss Lydia for her kindness - and truly glad to know she appreciated my delicate gift
Billy is well and would like to see you
My dear Uncle
We have been breaking up housekeeping - and finding some articles which we thought would be sencible [sic] to the children - sent a box by Express to Maria's care of Mr. Coffin - I intended to have written you a long letter - but we have only been back two weeks - and in that time have packed and stored our furniture away - and are trying to get ourselves ready to spend some weeks with Rutherford and Joe at Charleston - West Virginia. I forgot what was in the box - but the blue dress I thought would make the little girls the Merino wrapper for Maria Some little flannel skirts cut up for the little ones - Jim endeavored to find Bates - but understood they had gone to Tennesee [sic] - he intends to write to you but had been very busy - and it is not in this morning - before I left the city I tried to find him but he was not here - I wish I could give you some definite news - which would relieve your anxiety - trouble on every hand - poor Will McKell is a prisoner in Richmond - we have heard from him once. Jim McKell is in the Cumberland Army also - dear Uncle excuse this hasty note - let me hear from you soon.
My love to all-
Yours Affec L. W. H.
On reading my letter I find I have told you nothing about the friends - They have a good deal of sickness at Aunt Margarets - mostly chills - and men are all well - but your Grandfather Boggs is there, daily growing weaker - and now he cannot leave his bed - takes very little nourishment and we are looking everyday to hear of his death. John Boggs (Aunt M & John) has gone out to Indiana on a farm not far from Lafayette. In town Uncle McKell has been very unwell this winter - and attack of Lung fever - which left him very weak - Jim McKell has enlisted - and is orderly Sargeant.[sic] Isaac Nelson in the same Co also Sargeant. [sic] Our family has turned out for their country - then at Uncle Isaac we heard one of their boys had gone - and John Nelson also. and in Kentucky. Will Scott, who seems nearer to us is Lt. Col. of the Reg. Two of Aunt Lucy Scott's sons are in the Army and Dr. Dudley and son - (Uncle Thorpe's sons) son in law also - what fortunes they all occupy I don't know - but this I do know they are all true Union men and as Will wrote to Mother - he was not in for three years - but for life or until the Union is again restored. We heard a few days ago from Uncle William - they are all well - Uncle Scotts health much as usual. Lucy a very lovely daughter of his - was very unwell - they felt quite uneasy about her - we did not hear what was the matter with her. I must draw my letter to a close - our poor little baby little Joseph as the children call him (you and Brother Joe will have to hear the name) is beginning to scream with the colic he really suffers so much with it that I feel like crying with him. And now dear Uncle, do write to us soon - tell me about little Mattie - she is just the age of Birchie - and about the little one - but we want to hear from all girls and boys. Mother joins me in love to all. Yours Lu Enclosed I send you a likeness of Jim Cook - Capt. Patterson of the artillery command Bates has a brother living here. He told me the Capt was with Burnside so I suppose Bates is there. Don't fear for Bates for he will take care of him-self if well if sick will let me know it - Everything seems all ok excuse pencil - hurry & etc My office is 271 6th street
I am Nephew
We are at last home again- and in the turned up topsy turvy condition of things- the ink all dried up -- the ink bottle missing- I am obliged to take a pencil - though Mother says do write plain- it is hard enough to read when written in ink- We are going to rent the house - and be with Rutherford as long as we can- and when we have to leave we can board in Chillicothe- Although the house has not been advertized we are besiezed [sic] with applicants - and rents are very high- Our furniture and books we store in a room at Pfaff Webb and McCabe - so we have no trouble on that score- the high price of Coal and Wood- makes me very glad we do not winter here- I had a very pleasant visit with R and did feel so happy when you spoke of Birchie being a good boy- and not a trouble to you- and if he has not been too much care I shall always be glad he has been with you- Rutherford's letter was sent before I knew it. Joe did not know I wanted to write a little in it- so now you will have to read a long one from me- Little Rud is not well to day- he sends a great many messages to you and Birchie - Webb is very well and still enjoys his axe very much- they both of them remember their pleasant visit to Fremont - and were talking of Allen teaching them to ride to day- Tell Sarah and Allen that I could hear nothing of the people at their old home-
We want to be ready to start for the Kanawha the middle of next week- When you send my boy Birchie- (I fear you will miss your boy) telegraph to me- and by which route Little Miami or Hamilton and Dayton - if he does not have to change Cars - I think you can trust him to come by himself- if there is no company to be found- I have not heard from R since I came home- Remember me to Mr and Mrs Phelps and the young ladies- not forgetting my dear friends Mr and Mrs Vallette and family-
With a great deal of love to yourself and Birchie-
Webb wants to know whether Birchie has gathered any Hickory Nuts- and how many- He has gathered a Keg a full. Nov 4th next Wednesday Birchie's birth
day- 10 year
I wrote to you last Sunday - but by some oversight I find my letter did not go- and this morning have but little time to write - We gave up the house last Monday - but could not leave the city immediately and now will not be able to get off before Tuesday- Rutherford wrote to me about Birchie staying with you - while the weather was pleasant- I felt perfectly satisfied to have him do so - but he is almost too young to be so far away- and in severe cold weather- this last cold weather has made me quite uneasy about him- but if he is perfectly well and remains so happy - all is right Webb has become rather concerned whether Birch will know when to put on clean clothes- and this reminds me of some little matters I ought to have mentioned before he is careless about his teeth- and when he neglects them they look badly then also his hands and nails- Who does he sleep with- or is he alone- say to him- I wish him to remember and not drink any thing in the evening- I should be very much mortified if he should trouble Mrs Phelps- Tell him we are going to Va next Tuesday- Brother Joe received a dispatch Tuesday - so he left Wednesday - to go by rail road we expect to go on the Marmeser to Charleston- The apples we will thankfully receive- and take with us- direct them to brother Jim's care and if we are gone he will send them on- I am very much disappointed that my letter did not get to you before this- My best love to my dear boy- Remember me to all friends-
Jim direction - is - Sixth St Corner of Sixth St and Central Avenue- next the Drug store
My dear Birchie-
Are you going to leave us - as the boys say - "for good and all" - I am getting very impatient to see my oldest boy - and I came near saying dearest - but that would not do - While mischevious [sic] Webb stands by - and little Rud calling to me - They all miss brother Birch very much - and we cannot do without him much longer - Pa Pa - Uncle Joe - and a great many of the Regt - with Cavalry - and troops of the 12th 91st all went on an expedition to Lewisburg - the men got home today - all shouting and hurrahing with joy as they landed - they have had some hard marching terribly cold storms on the mountain but withal rather - a jolly time - None of our men were hurt - or Captured - We are living in the old house - have carpets on our rooms three rocking chairs - one looking glass - and my sewing machine - a large old fashioned grate - full of Coal - burning brightly - and plenty of free air through the cracks. I have dressed Webb and Rud in Soldiers Clothes - bright blue - and have enlisted them as Veterans - they are very happy - Webb chops every day - is trying to be as good a farmer as you - but he thinks you have the advantage - Little Rud - has not been well for a few days - so Webb has joined himself to Loomis and Frank - he goes with them very often across the river - but does not try to row - now that you are not with him - cousin Will McKell - was taken prisoner in Tennesee [sic] - sent to Richmond and from
there to Danville - on the 15th of last mouth - he with a good many others escaped from prison - seven or eight of them have passed through Charleston - and now we fear that Will was recaptured - what hard weary marching they must have had across the mountains - they had been four weeks on the way - we still hope Will may come in Cousin Edward and Cousin Ike Cook have been discharged - they look very badly - Your little Cousin Min and Ell wanted you to go to school with them very much - are you reading any now - or do you go to school - what a nice time you are having - my boy - for I don't believe Uncle chastizes [sic] his nephew as much as would be wholesome - but we may differ as you may be of Webb opinion - that it is not good for him - only makes him badder [sic] Company A and F are going home on Veteran Furlough - tomorrow - I intended to send this letter by Corp - Planks - but will not see him again - he will call to see you and Uncle Birchard - pa pa sends you a Christmas Gift - get a present for Allens children - it is a long while my dear boy to have you from me - I wonder if you think of Ma ma and Grand Ma as often as they do of you - don't forget to Keep your teeth clean - are the others growing down right - Pa Pa - Uncle Joe - Grand Ma - Webb and Rud all send a great deal of love to you - Remember me to your kind friends - Mr and Mrs Phelps and the young ladies - Love to Uncle Birchard and Mrs Vallette - Good bye my darling boy -
Your Affec. Mother.
Thanks to Uncle for the apples - we all enjoy them much -
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