Sunday, May 12, 2013

Letters from the Front - Doctor Nathan Hayward

Tuesday, May 12, 1863

In a letter to his father Doctor Nathan Hayward relayed the news of the recent calamities at Chancellorsville. He mentioned that General Joseph Hooker had been knocked senseless by a pillar at the Chancellor House during the battle and was carried from the battlefield. Upon reviving from the injury General Hooker ordered a retreat of his forces, which Doctor Hayward believed was a mistake. He believed that Generals Couch and Sedgwick were making well-informed decisions that could have saved the day for the Union Army. Doctor Hayward ended his letter with an expectation that General Hooker would order another forward movement of the army in the near future.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. 422-424, Twentieth Massachusetts Special Collection, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.

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