Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Scope and Content
The Civil War letters of Isaac Metts, 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, were acquired by the Hayes Presidential Center in 2000. The Center also holds the diary of Samuel Whitehead, who served in Company K, 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Twenty-five-year-old Isaac Metts enlisted in Company H of the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for a three-year term. Metts left his wife, Catherine, and three children, George, Cinda, and Amy, in Fulton County, Ohio to enlist at Camp Toledo in July of 1862. Metts served as a private, performing guard duty and protecting private property from scavengers during the months that the regiment was stationed in Kentucky and Tennessee. Metts, a farmer prior to the war, worried about his family’s ability to survive during his absence. Suffering from illness in March of 1863, Metts was transferred to a hospital. He recovered sufficiently to serve as a nurse through the months of May, June, and early July. Metts returned to the regiment and began serving as the company’s cook. Metts died near Knoxville, Tennessee, January 31, 1864.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of 48 letters written by Private Isaac Metts to his wife, Catherine, in Fulton County, Ohio. The Metts correspondence dates from October 1862 to December 1863. Metts relates camp activities, frustration over the lack of combat, and his concerns about the welfare of his wife and children. In March 1863, Metts tells of his admission to the hospital, working as a nurse, and, later, as the company cook. The letters of August 1863 detail troop movements, rumors of future orders, perhaps to Charleston, South Caroline. In his last letters home, in December 1863, Metts comments on the Battle of Knoxville, its aftermath, including remarks regarding General Ambrose Burnside. Metts’s death occurs prior to the regiment’s involvement in the Atlanta campaign and battles at Columbia, Franklin, and Nashville, Tennessee, nevertheless, the correspondence provides some insights into the activities of this regiment early in the war.
1862-1863, 48 Items
1. Correspondence: October - December 1862
2. Correspondence: January 1863
3. Correspondence: February 1863
4. Correspondence: March - April 1863
5. Correspondence: May 1863
6. Correspondence: June - July 1863
7. Correspondence: August 1863
8. Correspondence: October - November 1863
9. Correspondence: December 1863