Rutherford B. Hayes: One of the Good Colonels (Hardcover)
One of the Good Colonels
State House Press, 9781893114036, 120pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2000
Although he spent much of the war on the periphery, away from the major centers of activity, Hayes performed conspicuously whenever called upon. He participated in the repulse of dreaded Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan's Ohio Raid and, although only a colonel, commanded a division in General Philip Sheridan's devastating Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. No professional soldier, Hayes was nonetheless a natural warrior. Another future president, William McKinley, wrote of his fellow Ohioan, "His whole nature seemed to change when in battle." Normally kind and agreeable, Hayes grew "intense and ferocious" during a fight. In all, he was wounded five times and had four horses shot from under him. And while he ended the war as a brevet major general, Hayes noted that he "never fought a battle as a general." He was, by his own reckoning, simply "one of the good colonels in the great army."