Camp Union, Fayetteville, Virginia,
January 4, 1862.
Dear Mother : — I have a chance to send letters direct to Columbus by a recruiting officer this morning and write in great haste. We are still in good quarters and good health. The people we meet are more and more satisfied that it is best to return to their allegiance. Our men, pickets and outposts, are daily pushed out further into what has been the enemy’s country, and everywhere they meet friends, or at least people who no longer behave like enemies. Part of our regiment is fifty miles south of here, and no signs even of hostility from anybody. Not a man has been fired at in this brigade for more than a month. If no disaster befalls our armies on the Potomac or in Kentucky, the masses of the people in Virginia are ready — would be glad — to submit. England out of the way, and a little patience and determination will crush the Rebellion.
You say you are glad I am coming home — that you didn’t expect it. I hope to start the latter part of this month. All the officers but five have been home and returned or are now absent. My turn is next to the last. I shall go before Colonel Scammon. Of course, events may occur to prevent my leaving, but I don’t anticipate them.
Affectionately, your son,
R. B. Hayes.
Mrs. Sophia Hayes.