Monday, November 5, 2007

ON THIS DAY” Monday, Nov. 4, 1861

From the camp of the 23rd Ohio in western Virginia, Rutherford B. Hayes writes his Uncle Birchard in Fremont, Ohio, of his promotion to lieutenant colonel of the regiment. Moving from a staff position as judge-advocate to one of line authority, Hayes is already thinking about the skills and responsibilities of command. Of Col. Eliakim Scammon, a West Pointer, Hayes writes, “The colonel of our regiment is a genial gentleman, but lacks knowledge of men and rough life, and so does not get on with the regiment as well as he might..” Scammon does not have the common touch with his men.

It is “a cold, raw November morning, a dreadful day for men in tents on the wet ground,” Hayes writes sympathetically. “We are sending from this army great numbers of sick. Cincinnati and other towns will be full of them….”

Scarcely noticed by the North, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson takes command of the newly created Shenandoah Valley District. Here, in the next year, he will build a fearsome reputation in repeatedly defeating Union forces.

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