Saturday, May 17, 1862
In a letter to his father Doctor Nathan Hayward reassured his father that no one from the regiment had been wounded during their engagement at Eltham's Landing. He recounted the difficulties in travel due to heavy rains during their marches from Yorktown, noting that the march on May 15 was the most difficult they had encountered. Problems in moving heavy artillery on muddy roads was so severe that horses pulling the artillery died from over-exertion.
Doctor Hayward remarked on the visit of General George McClellan to their camp at Eltham's Landing and that General McClellan met with Colonel William Lee. Colonel Lee was deeply honored and regarded their meeting as "the greatest compliment he ever has received in his life."
Hayward continued to note the excellent mood among the regiment due to the return of Colonel Lee and Major Paul Revere. He expected that the Confederates would make a stand near the Chickahominy River and that the regiment would move in that direction.1
1Nathan Hayward, "Letters," Association of Officers of the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment, Reports, Letters and Papers Appertaining to Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, vol. 1, p. 377-79, Twentieth Massachusetts Special Collection, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.