Friday, April 5, 2013

Letters from the Front - Nathan Hayward

Sunday, April 5, 1863

Doctor Nathan Hayward reported sadly in a letter to his father that Captain Henry Abbott had gone home on leave due to the passing of his younger brother. He also mentioned that General Hooker had designated an insignia for each of the army corps to wear on the soldier’s hat. The insignia of the Second Corps was a trefoil; the Second Division, of which the Twentieth Massachusetts is a part, was assigned a white trefoil. It was hoped that the wearing of these insignia will identify the corps and division of every soldier immediately and avoid confusion during a conflict.
Doctor Hayward remarked that General Darius Couch commands the Second Corps, with General John Gibbon commanding the Second Division and Colonel Norman Hall securely commanding their brigade. He noted that the “sentiment of the army is very good, and that they still retain their old faith in McClellan.”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. 417-418, Twentieth Massachusetts Special Collection, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.

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