2 Civil War Letters from Private David Hayes (Hays), 100th Pennsylvania Regiment - Roundhead Regiment, 1863-64
These two hand-written letters are from Private David Hayes. Each letter is a larger sheet, folded in the center two create four “pages”. Each page is approximately 9.5” by 7.5”.
The pages were scanned (very bright images) and also photographed flat. Overall condition is very good. There is some light fading and foxing, minor edge roughness and a few tiny edge tears which do not affect the bodies of the letters.
Private Hayes was killed while on picket duty during The Battle of Hatcher's Run, also known as Dabney's Mill, Armstrong's Mill, Rowanty Creek, and Vaughn Road, which took place February 5–7, 1865. It was one in a series of Union offensives during the Siege of Petersburg, aimed at cutting off Confederate supply traffic on Boydton Plank Road and the Weldon Railroad, west of Petersburg, Virginia. (See Wikipedia for Battle of Hatcher’s Run)
He was born April, 1832, died at age 32, was buried in Unity Cemetery, Mercer County, PA, memorial ID 134189615. (See findagrave site for details). Other informational sites are listed here:
Sites referenced (complete addresses are restricted by Ruby Lane):
Pacivilwar for details on regiment/100th
100thpenn for overview of history
Wikipedia for 100th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment
Please feel free to contact us with any questions! Our relaying of letter contents is based on our reading of handwriting.
First Letter written April 30, 1863 from West Buildings Hospital, Private Hayes wishes to put wife, Maggie at ease regarding recent chills and fever, still weak, but lungs not affected.
Squad left for Pittsburg yesterday; today, day of National Fast, most patients are in the city until night.
He inquires about new stove his wife acquired and how she paid for it
Addresses son, Willie, about school; asks if an aunt is teaching any lessons; suggests he come back home and go to school with Lulu (sister).
Asks Sadie if she keeps them from being lonesome and helps hours pass cheerfully.
PS – notes Company pay due every 2nd month was not delivered as of forenoon. Chaplain will start preaching soon.
Second Letter written May 17, 1864 – In Camp at Bradley Creek, noticeably less neat than previous letter—at end he reveals he wrote it by candlelight which is not allowed so close to the enemy.
Expresses doubt letter will make it through the line. Thanks to mercy of God he is healthy and safe and away from the missiles of the enemy though he is more or less exposed every day as he carries the coffee cup to the company who have been in the front line of rifle fire (?) all the time since Thursday.
He is liable to be attacked by the enemy although it would be unwise for the rebels to try to drive them out. Does not expect troops to storm rebels but to hold them while other parts of the Army operate on their flanks. Refers to great loss of last Thursday, 116 wounded, 6 killed. Relates Co. B losses, including a boy raised by Wm. Clark. Two men, Coyle, and Jas. Marquis, are wounded acquaintances. Two other men, Perry Crill included, are safe, too.
2 Civil War Letters from Private David Hayes (Hays), 100th PENN Reg. - Roundhead Regiment, 1863-64, Battle of Hatcher's Run