4 pp., 8vo. " />
9 June 2004
HAYES, Rutherford B. (1822-1873) President, Maj. Gen., U. S. Army. Autograph letter signed ("R. B. Hayes") to Gen. Benjamin Rush Cowen, Camp near Strasburg, Va., 25 October 1864. 4 pp., 8vo.
DEBACLE AT CEDAR CREEK: HAYES RAILS AGAINST THE "EASTERN PRESS" FOR ITS COVERAGE OF THE UNION DEFEAT
Hayes is angry that the "New York press attribute the morning's surprise and disaster of the 19th to Gen. Crook or the officers or men of his command. These reflections are made by writers interested in blowing the trumpet of the 6th Corps." But it was Gen. Wright of the 6th Corps who was in charge of the whole army that day, in the absence of Gen. Sheridan. Jubal Early had launched a surprise attack--protected by a shroud of fog--at Cedar Creek on the morning of 19 October. Sheridan, who had been away at Washington, arrived at the battlefield around 10:30 in the morning and rallied his troops for an effective counterattack. He made the rebels pay back all the ground they had claimed, and drove them to Fisher's Hill, inflicting heavy losses along the way. Wright, Hayes writes, "had ample warning that the left was in danger" but failed to supply cavalry to that flank, "hence the surprise. But Sheridan restored all--except the lives of Col. [Thorburn] and the other gallant officers & men who were crushed there." Hayes did not want to make a public comment and add to the controversy. But he hopes someone will "to utter a word of caution, that the public may not too hastily condemn those whom the Eastern press habitually either ignore or misrepresent....If you can get an emphatic word or two into the Cinnti. press to counteract the N. Y. World, it will be doing simply justice to one of Ohio's best officers and to many of the best Western soldiers."
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