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[297] Robert Houston Milroy, George Crook and Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, telling of their wonderful adventures, all of which were successful from their standpoint. General Milroy advanced over the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike and succeeded in penetrating the State as far east as McDowell, in Highland county. General Crook got as far east as Lewisburg, in Greenbrier county, and Colonel Hayes reached Pearisburg, in Giles county. Colonel Hayes was in command of the famous Twenty-third Ohio Regiment, and the dozen or more dispatches sent back by him on that expedition are to this day a remarkable revelation, and the greatest mystery is, that Rutherford B. Hayes, as President of the United States, should put his name, on the 16th day of June, 1880, to an act of Congress, making appropriations for the publication of what is so prejudicial to his own character as an honest and upright man. There were no rebels in sight on this expedition, and the colonel was happy.

The only thing that troubled him was the ‘Captured Stuff,’ as he styles it, this he continually refers to in his dispatches as the only trouble. There was no trouble to whip the enemy, but the ‘Captured Stuff,’ he really did not have a sufficient number of men to care for. From the dispatches, this ‘Captured Stuff’ consisted of horses, mules, oxen and milk cows, and what little hay and grain the already impoverished farmers had on hand in the spring of the year of 1862. As late as the 8th day of May, 1862, from Pearisburg he sends a dispatch (see same Vol. 609) to Colonel E. P. Scammon, commanding brigade in which he says, ‘This is a lovely spot, a fine, clean village, most beautiful and romantic surrounding country, polite and educated “secesh” people. It is the spot to organize our brigade.’ The writer would love to give this whole dispatch to his readers. It is a gushing affair. The Colonel was evidently under the influence of balmy spring when he wrote this dispatch, but it is too long to be inserted here.

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