DR. AND MRS. ELMER BELT
DR. AND MRS. ELMER BELT
WHILE IN JEFFETISON GENERAL HOSPITAL,
JEFEERSONVILLE, IND., AND OTHERS AT NASHVILLE
MATRON AND VISITOR,
By ELVIRA J. POWERS.
" And at each step,
His bloody falchion makes
Terrible vistas, through which victory breaks.
We may tread the sick-bed floors
Where strong men pine,
And, down the groaning corridori.
Pour freely from our liberal stores
The oil and wine."
EDWARD L. MITCHELL, 24 CONGRESS STREET
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S66,
By ELVIRA J. POWERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts
WHO, AT HOME, IX CAMP, FIELD, OH CITY HOSPITAL,
BY PURITY, TRUE WOMANLINESS, AND THAT LABOR WHICH IS
" BY EVERY DEED OP GOOD THAT ANYWHERE
MAKl-TH THE HANDS OF HOLY AVOMAN WHITE;''
HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE AID, COMFORT AND CONSOLATION
SICK, WOUNDED, AND D^ING
"BRAVES IN BLUE;"
AND TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN VICTIMS
TO THIS LABOR OF LOVE,
IS THIS HUMBLE VOLUME
Some one has said " books are our best friends." If this
be true, what need is there to offer an apology for presenting
one more to the notice of the public ? And yet, as the asser-
tion is true only of those which leave no stain upon the mind,
but rather like the insensible action of the sun and dew upon
the bleaching linen on the greensward, leave it purer than
before, it is well to know what is presented for our perusal.
The inducement which the author had for offering this little
A'olume to the public w^as the fact that at the commencement
of this four years' war, it was next to impossible to obtain
any information upon the subject of the duties and trials of
women nurses in military hospitals. This fact, together with
the terrible stories afloat with regard to such duties and trials,
was the cause of her not entering the service two years sooner.
The papers were almost silent upon the subject until about
this time, when the little which appeared was read with ex-
Although this war has eliminated much in the way of
musical, poetical and literary talent, yet comparatively little
has appeared pertaining to the minutia of hospital service.
But that little has such a charm for the author, that she has
hoped her own record of experiences and observations may
be received with something of the feeling with wliich she
Indeed she has some earnest hope of this in the fact that
some part of " Hospital Pencillings " were published in the
Neio Covenant^ of Chicago, Illinois, where they " attracted
Not professing to treat of hospital life as a whole through-
out the country, it gives a simple record of scenes and events,
just as they occurred from day to day under her own observa-
tion. Thus much for the matter.
As regards the manner, if it will have any' influence towards
softening the point of the critic's stiletto to know that much
of it was written in a sick ward, while surrounded by sick
and wounded soldiers, momentarily interrupted with questions,
or in short intervals of leisure between caring for their wants,
or after the day's labor was over and the worn nerves called
" Tired nature's sweet restorer,"
he is more than welcome to a knowledge of the fact.
In conclusion, if this little volume will serve to awaken a
deeper interest in and a wider appreciation of our invalid and
crippled soldiers, as
" They are coining from the wars.
And bringing home their scars,"
so that they shall be benefitted by such interest and apprecia-
tion, one more cause for gratitude to the All-Father will be
CHAPTER I.— The Trip to Dixie. Incidents at Louisville De-
pot. The Judge. Arrival at " City-of-the-Rocks." . 1
CHAPTER II. — Incidents and Personal Histories in Hospitals
No. 1 and 8, Nashville, Tennessee. "Wounded." . . 13
CHAPTER III.— Public and Private Buildings of Nashville and
their Desecration by " Northern Vandals." Home of Ref-
ugees. Incidents 30
CHAl'TER IV.— Assigned to Duty in Small-Pox Hospital.
" Sixty Cases of Measles." The Crazy Sergeant. Oswald.
Fishing on Dry Ground. Our Dish of Oysters. . . 42
CHAPTER V. — Home of Christian Commission. Refugees
Home. '* A Woman what could Read." " Yankees have
Horns." A Confiscated Equipage. A Sermon in Camp.
Sherman starts for the Front. Colored School. A Won-
derful Secret. A Chaplain's Short-comings. " Colored
Preaching." Aunt Nancy 54
CHAPTER VI.— Day of Jubilee. " No Whipping Here," Lit-
tle Clarke. The White Negro. The Coffin Measure.
" Miss Betty." Ruse with a Maniac. The Secret Mes-
senger. Lecture in the Capitol by Moonlight. ' . 70
CHAPTER VII.— A Trip on the Cumberiand, Ohio and Missis-
sippi Rivers in Charge of an Invalid. The Dark River.
Convalescing. Double Rations. Little Ada's Love Feast.
South Again. Clay Hospital at Louisville. ... 80
CHAPTER VIII.— Home of Sanitary Commission, Nashville,
Tennessee. The Field of Cotton. The Capitol. The
Penitentiary and the Maniac. An Evening of Incidents.
The Negro Dance. My little Contraband. . . . 97
CHAPTER IX.-^efferson General Hospital, JefFersom-ille, Indi-
ana. Assigned to Dut}'. Gangrene Tents. A Letter and
Reply. Sunday Moniing Inspection. Funeral Service.
A Sing for the Patients. Our Crazy Colonel. Incidents.
The First Death in Ward I. The Starnng, Patriotic
Woman. Christmas Dinner. Sergeant Clarke. Mrs.
Partington's Opinion of the Hospital. Mj own and Rebel
Loye Letters 119
CHAPTER X.— A New Year's Donation. " Youans and We-
uns." Transfer. Our Ladies' Mess. Letter from Guard
House. Hospital Boats. Sick and Wounded Union Sol-
diers turned out of Warm Quarters to make Room for
Rebels. Deaths from Same Cause. Small-Pox Patient.
" General Sherman's Flanking Machine." A Victim to
Incon-ect Diagnosis. A Family of Patriots. Sanitary
Stores. An Eastern Hospital. Willie's Story. Asleep
on Guard. The Grape- Vine Telegraph. Voracious Pigs
and Chickens 153
CHAPTER XL — Blessings of the Sanitary Commission. Inci-
dents. The Lesson of Lincoln's Assassination. " Hospi-
tal no Place to form Attachments." Supper in the Ward.
Effects of Order to Discharge Veterans. Our Flower Gar-
dens. Pi-esentations. Soldier's Library kept Boxed up.
" A Rainy Day in Camp." Clerking at Headquarters.
Incidents. Last Day in Hospital. Retrospection. . . 184
A TRIP TO DIXIE.
" How they went forth to die !
Pale, earnest thousands from the dizzy mills,
And sunburnt thousands from the harvest hills,
Quick, eager thousands from the city's streets,
And storm-tried thousands from the fisher's fleets^
How they went forth to die !
How ye went forth to save 1
O Merciful ! with swift and tireless heed
Along the myriad ways of pain and need,
With laden hand and ever watchful eye.
Fixed on the thousands going forth to die 1
How ye went forth to save ! "
On boaed the "Gen. Buell,''
Ohio River, April 1, 1864.
Having been duly commissioned and ordered to " report;
immediately at Nashville, Tenn., for hospital service at the
front," my friend, Miss N O , and myself find
ourselves steaming down the Ohio, between Cincinnati and
Thus far we are quite ignorant of the duties of hospital
Ufe, though so soon to enter upon them. Our Northern friends
have been questioned to little purpose, except that of ascer-
taining how very little knowledge there is upon the subject ;
and the papers are equally silent.
2 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
This fact determines me to keep some sort of a journal,
however imperfect. It will of course necessarily be so, as I
must neglect no duty for the sake of scribbling about it.
We have just been seeking information of our gentle-
manly^ escort, Mr. R., of Louisville. He, it appears, has an
innate love of humor and a peculiarly dry and quiet way of
quizzing people. Here was a fine 02:)portunity. But Ave de-
termine to ward off the attacks as skilfully as possible with
the little knov/ledge we do possess. He says : —
" Well, ladies, I suppose you are prepared to make bread
and gruel, sweep and moj), make beds, dress wounds and
plough ? "
In rejDly the gentleman was informed that had we not been
proficient in each, especially the ploughing, we should never
have dared to make application for the situation.
He explained by informing us that one of the Southern
refugees, who confessed herself unable to do either of the
( jthers, said she " could plough."
" Arid I suppose 3-ou have each brought good knives along
with you? " was the next query.
"Knives — oh yes, but for what purpose do you mean?"
And visions of being set to amputate limbs or to protect our-
selves against personal assaults flitted through our minds.
" Well, nothing, only you'll have an enormous amount of
onions to peel for those boys down there. You can peel those
during the night, for you'll hardly have time in the day, that's
tlie way I used to do."
" Did you ? That's pleasant employment. I've practised
it considerably myself, but didn't, like you, have the satisfac-
tion of knowing during the grievous operation tliat I was
shedding tears for the irood of my country."
Then he wished to know whether in our visits to the sick
wards we should " notice only the good looking ones." Uj^on
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 3
being informed that we have fully determined to minister to
such only as looked as if they were ministers, doctors, lawyers
or editors, the gentleman seemed satisfied that we were fully
fitted for the service. Still he felt called upon to caution us
against excessive attention even to such, by relating that one
of the class was asked by a lady visitor if she might " comb
" Yes — you — may,'' meekly responded the sufferer, '' but it
will be the thirteenth time to day."
Just at sunset we passed North Bend, and had a glimpse
of the tomb of President Harrison. The remains of Mrs.
Harrison have within the last thirty days been laid by the side
of the old hero. The place was pointed out by Dr. S., of
Louisville, who is a second cousin to Mrs. Harrison. He in-
formed us that the brother of his grandfather received a grant
of all the land lying between the " Big and Little Miami,"
and extending back sixteen miles from their mouths. 4500
acres of this was willed to the grandfather of the Doctor and
about the same to the mother of Mrs. H.
Dr. S. also informed us that he was the only one in Louis-
ville who voted for Lincoln. That the polls were twice
declared closed, and the clerk with oaths refused to record his
vote, when the son of one of our Generals — I regret having
forgotten the name — peremptorily ordered it done ; when an
A. and L. and a long black stroke was dashed ujion the record.
The baser sort had all day threatened hanging him ui)on the
back porch, but at the close of the day most of them were
The Doctor has the sad trial of losing a son, Avho had by
the offer of military emolument been drawn into the Confed-
erate service. He was wounded or taken sick and carried to
4 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Ohio, where a brother took care of him till his death. The
father wished him brought home, and funeral services per-
formed, but the military authorities of Louisville forbade it, as
similar occasions had drawn out crowds of two or three
thousands of secession proclivities. Then he was buried in
Ohio, but when the citizens of the loyal little town learned
that he had been in the Confederate service, they ol)liged Dr.
S. to remove the body. That such staunch loyalists should
suffer innocently is one of the saddest features of this re-
In the course of conversation this evening we were informed
by the Doctor that we were to pass the next day within seven
miles of Mammoth Cave. And he spoke of the subterranean
streams and mills in the vicinity, and of the blind fishes in
the waters of the Cave.
" Yes," said Mr. R., in his usual serious way, " and I be-
lieve that is where your people go a craw-fishing ! "
The Doctor replied in the affirmative, but in a tone which
excited my curiosity. Here was a chance to add to my rather
meagre stock of knowledge in natural history, and with the
anxiety of a reporter for something out of which to manufac-
ture an item, I inquired what kind of fish those were — if that
was the name given to those blind fishes in the cave. To my
astonishment a universal laugh greeted me from the trio. An
explanation followed ; and it seems that the same or something
similar to what at the North we find in creeks and ditches,
and call fresh-water crabs, there bear the name of craw-fish.
And moreover as those crawl backward, they have attached
a meaning to the term, so that when a man " puts his hand
to the plough and looks back," he is said to have " gone a
craw-fishing." So, like that notable traveller in Pickwick
Papers, I can make a note of the discovery of a new kind of
fish of the skedaddle genus. Hallicarnassus was decidedly
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 5
wrong in thinking one can sail around the world in an arm-
chair. He should have considerately assisted that big trunk
down stairs, and benignly seconded Gail's efforts to go abroad
and see the world, for peradventure she might learn something
even about craw-fish,
Saturday, April 2.
Reached the " City of the Falls " in the night. Left the
boat about six this morning, took a hasty breakftist at the
" National," then a hack for the depot, calling at the office of
Provost INFarshal to secure passes on train to Nashville. Am
pleasantly impressed with Louisville. A pretty green plot
in front of private residences, even if quite small, with linden,
ailanthus and magnolia trees, are peculiarities of the city. It
is too early for the foliage of the trees to be seen, but the
deep green, thick grass and the blossoms of the daffodil are
in striking contrast to the snow I saw in the latitude of Chi-
cago and Buffalo only day before yesterda}^
The cars are now so crowded with soldiers en route for
" the front," that it is quite difficult for citizens to find pass-
age. Some have to wait several days before they can find an
opportunity. Only one car is appropriated for this use, and
ladies with their escort always have the preference. Thus
gentlemen who are alone are liable to be left. As we were
leaving the " National " this morning a gentleman rushed out
and in(|uired if we were going to take the Southern train,
and if there was only one gentleman to the two ladies. lie
" begged pardon — knew he was a stranger — wished to go to
Bowling Green—his wife was sick and he had written her lie
would be home to-day. If the ladies would be so kind as to
pass him along, and if the gentleman would step with him
into the office he could convince him, through the keeper of
the " National," that he was a man of honor."
b HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Mr. R. referred the matter to the ladies. They decided to
take under their protecting wing the lone gentleman and see
him safe home if the interview with the landlord, with whom
Mr. R. was fortunately acquainted, should prove satisfactory.
It was so, and Mr. Moseby — not the guerilla as himself in-
formed us — entered the hack. He had " taken the oath of
allegiance," he said, and "lived up to it, but had a right to
his own thoughts."
Upon arriving at the depot found the ladies' car locked,
and we were left standing by it while the two gentleman
looked after the baggage. Mr. R. was not to accompany us
farther. Soon an elderly, jiale-looking man, with a white
neck-tie, came up, who asked if we each had a gentleman
travelling with us. We hesitated and evaded the question.
This was being in too great demand altogether. It was not
even included in Mr. R.'s list of our duties. He "was
really hoping we had not, and that one of us would take pity
on an old man and pass him along."
His fatherly look and manner banished selfishness, and he
was told to wait until the gentlemen returned, and we would
see about it. As they did so Mr. Moseby stepped up and
cordially shook hands with the old man, calling him " Judge."
But all Southerners are styled judges, captains, colonels or
generals, thought I, and this one is an honest old farmer nev-
ertheless. As Mr. M. assured us that he was " all right,"
and a " man of honor," I told him he might occupy half of
my seat in the car. But it was not long before I found that
my poor old farmer was no less a personage than Judge
Joseph R. Underwood, one of the most noted men and pio-
neers of Kentucky. He has been Judge of the Supreme
Court of that State six years, a United States Representative
for ten years and a Senator for six.
A spruce little Captain came through to examine military
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 7
passes before the cars started. Quite a number of citizens
were left as usual, and as we were moving off I heard one
young man exclaim in desperation that he would " go right
back to the city and marry." The gentlemen congratulated
themselves upon their good fortune, and the subject elicited
the following incidents :
A gentleman of Mr. M.'s acquaintance could get no admis-
sion to the cars, no lady would take him under her care, and
he asked the baggage agent if he might get in the baggage
car. That functionary said he had orders to admit no one.
*' Then you'll not give me permission, but if I get in will
you put me out ? "
No answer was made, but the agent walked away, and the
man, thinking like children, that " silence gives consent," en-
tered the baggage car and remained.
Another gentleman, a merchant of Bowling Green, by
name F — C — , could get no chance to ride. But fortunately
having on a blue coat, in desperation he stepped up to a man
with the two bars on his shoulder who was jDuttiug his sol-
diers aboard, and said with a pleading look and tone :
" Captain, can't you lengthen out my furlough just two days
longer ? "
'*No," said the Captain, in a quick authoritative tone,
" you've been loafing 'round these streets long enough, in with
you," and he made a motion as if he would materially assist
his entrance if he didn't hurry.
" Well, if I must I must, but its hai'd, Captain."
^ No more words," was the short reply, " in with you."
Another was related by an eye witness. A lady who was
travelling alone was about stej^ping into the car, when a gen-
tleman, who was trembling with anxiety lest he should be
left, stepped uj") and offered to take her box. He did so, and
stepping in behind was allowed a seat by her side, cautiously
8 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
retaining the box. He had two comrades equally desirous of
securing a passage, who had seen his success. One of them
stepped to the car window and whispered him to pass out the
box. It was slyly done, and the gentleman marched solemnly
in with the weighty responsibility. The box went through
the window again, and again walked in at the door, until it
must have been thoroughly " taken in " as well as the guard.
Just out of the city w^e passed a camjD and saw soldiers
lying under the little low " dog tents " as they are called, and
in the deejp^ clay 7nud, while only a few rods distant was a
plenty of green sward. Any officer who woidd compel his
men to pitch tents where those were ought to be levelled to
I saw" for the first time to-day, fortifications, stockades, rifle-
pits, and mounted cannon at the bridges. We passed over the
battle-ground of Mumfordsville, and saw the burnt fences and
tlie levelled trees wdiich were to obstruct the march of our
troops, and the building which was used by them as a hospi-
tal. In the deep cut passes one sees suddenly the picturesque
figure of a negro soldier, far above upon the heights, who
with shining uniform and glittering bayonet stands like a
statue, guarding the portals of liberty. At the fortifications
are sign-boards upon which are printed in large letters,
" Please a drop a paper," while perhaj^s half a dozen hands
point to it as the train whirls past. Some paj)ers were thrown
out. There were other things which had for our Northern
eyes the charm of novelty. A half respectable or squalid
farm-house, with a huge chimney upon the outside, and with
a huddle of negro quarters. Also negro women with turbans
upon their heads, working out of doors, and driving teams —
in one case on a load of tobacco, while driving a yoke of
oxen. The total absence of country school-houses, and the
squalid and shiftless appearance of the buildings and peoj)le
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 9
at the depots, are in striking contrast to the neat little towns
of the Northern and Eastern States. The scenery is fine,
much of the soil good, and the water-power extensive. Nature
has dealt bountifully with Tennessee and Kentucky, but the
accursed system of slavery has blasted and desolated the land,
and both races, black and white, are reaping the mildewed
I find my honorable companion very entertaining and in-
structive. I am indebted to him for many items of interest,
both concerning the early settlers, and also the modern history
of the places we pass. His personal history is full of interest,
and is one more proof that early poverty is not necessarily a
barrier to honor and position. The Judge was given away
by his parents to an uncle, who educated him, gave him five
dollars and told him he must then make his own way in the
world. Another uncle lent him a horse, and he set out to
seek his fortune as lawyer and politician. He has in trust
the fortune of an eccentric old bachelor, which is known in
Warren County as the Craddock fund. Three-fourths of this
is used to educate charity children, while the other fourth pays
the .Judge for his care of the fund. His friend Captain C,
while upon his death-bed, sent for the drummer and fifer to
play tunes in the yard, and from those selected such as he
wished played at his funeral. He was buried with military
'-^ Muldroughs-Hill " which we saw, is a long ridge extend-
ing about one hundred miles from the mouth of Salt-River
to the head of Rolling-Fork. It was named from an early
settler who lived twenty miles from the others, and was far-
thest west. Rolling-Fork is a tributary of Salt-River. The
origin of the term " going up Salt-River " originated at a
little place we passed, now called Shepherdsville. It has
only four or five hundred inhabitants. But in its early days
10 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
its salt licks supplied all the Western country with salt, and
was a growing aspirant for popularity, as it invited so much
trade. It was a rival of Louisville, but unlike that, made no
provision for its future well-being, but depended on its pre-
sent worth alone. " Thus," moralized the Judge, " do we often
see two young men start out with equal advantages, and find
afterw^ard that one became a Shepherdsville, and the other a
Louisville." Now there is a bridge at Shepherdsville guarded
by cannon, then there was no bridge and ferry-boats were used.
It was not a smooth stream, and to cross, one must row up
tlie river some one hundred rods before heading the boat to
the opposite shore. Owing to the rapidity of the current, it
was hard rowing, and great strength was needed. There
were those engaged in the making of salt who were called
kettle-tenders, and who for the most part were a low, rough
set, being often intoxicated and quarrelsome. Two of these
having a fight, the victor finished with the triumphant excla-
" There, I've rowed you up Salt River !"
Lincoln's birth-place is near this, in the adjoining County
of Larue — although this was not the name at the time of his
birth. And how little did the mother of Lincoln think, as
she taught him the little she knew of books, that the people
in the vicinity would ever have cause to exclaim of him, in
relation to his rival for the Presidency, as the}^ do of the
successful politician — " he has rowed him ujd Salt River !"
There is a little river called " Xolin," which waters his
birth-place. It was so named from the fact that in the early
settlement upon its banks a man named Linn was lost in the
woods, and never found. He was probably killed by the In-
dians. But the neighbors searched for several days, and at
night met at a place upon its banks, calling to each other as
they came in, " No Linn," — " No Linn, yet."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 11
The Judge has carried lead in his body for over fifty years,
received in the war of 1812. He was in the battle on the
Maumee river called Dudley's defeat. The regiment, under
Dudley, had crossed the river to take cannon of the enemy,
which they succeeded in doing, but instead of returning they
pursued them two or three miles, leaving a few behind to
protect the captures. But a detachment of the enemy passexl
around in their rear, retook the cannon, and when the regi-
ment returned, their retreat was cut off, and all were taken
prisoners and obliged to run the gauntlet. About forty were
killed in running the gauntlet. The Judge saw that the line
of men which had formed at a little distance from, and par-
allel with the river, had a bend in it, and that if he ran close
to the guns they would not dare fire for fear of hitting their
own men. The Indians were armed with guns, tomahawks,
and war clubs. In that day the gun was accompanied with
what was called the " wiping-stick," which was a rod made of
hickory notched, and wound with tow, and used to clean the
gim. He escaped by receiving a whipping with some oftho.se
sticks. It was the last gauntlet ever run in the United States.
During the trip I had quite a spirited but good-natured
discussion upon the condition of the country, with Mr. M.,
who I found is really a strong rebel symjDathizer. He wor-
ships Morgan since his late raid into Ohio, and secretly cher-
ishes his picture in his vest pocket. Just before reaching
Bowling Green, where we were to separate, the fatherly old
Judge took a hand of each in his own, and with moisture in
his eyes and a tremor in his voice, said :
" My children, you represent the two antagonistic positions
of tlie country, and like those, do not rightly understand each
other, on account of sectional prejudices. And now let an
old man who has watched the growth of both sections, who
has, as he trusts, fought for their good in the field, the desk,
12 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
and senate, join your hands in the grasp of good fellowship,
and oh, how sincerely I wish that I could bring also together
the North and South in one lasting peace V
Soon after, he pointed out his residence — the cars stopped,
and we parted with our pleasant friends.
Reached the " City of the Eocks " about five, this P. M.
Shall wait to see more of it, before making note of impres-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 13
Nashyille, Tenn., Thursday Evening, April 7.
The present week, tlius far, has been to me, full of new and
On Sabbath, the day after our arrival, I entered an ambu-
lance and visited a camp for the first time. The company con-
sisted of three, besides myself — Rev. Dr. D., a young theologi-
cal student who is passing vacation here, and Miss T. The day
was warm and springlike ; the hyacinths, crocuses, and peach
ti-ees in blossom. It was the camp of the 7th Pennsylvania
Cavalry, and situated upon one of the bights overlooking the
City. The tents were white, the soldiers well-dressed, the
uniform bright and everything tidy. A new and gaily paint-
ed banner pointed out the tent of the Colonel. As we en-
tered the grounds, that gentleman, with the Major, met us cor-
dially, a seat was prepared for the ladies at the opening of
the Colonel's tent, while a huge box in front served for a
speaker's stand. The bugle then summoned such as wished to
listen, and service was held by the two gentlemen of our
party. Books and papers were afterward distributed, for
which the soldiers seemed eager. The Colonel informed us
that the Regiment had just been reorganized, and new re-
cruits filled the vacant places in the ranks, made so by the he-
roes, who fell at such battles as Lookout Mountain, Mission
Ridge, and Chickamauga. There is a long list of such in-
scribed upon this banner, of which they are justly proud.
On Monday, visited a hospital for the first time. Was ac-
14 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
companied by Mrs. E. P. Smith, Mrs. Dr. F. and my travel-
ling companion Miss 0, beside the driver. As the ambulance
halted, we saw through the open door and windows the home-
sick, pallid faces raised from the sick beds to greet us with a
look of pleasure. Upon entering, almost the first object was
that of a d^^ing boy. His name was John Camj^lin, of Co. G.
49th Illinois Vols. He was a new recruit of only seventeen,
and tlie victim of measles. He " did'nt want to die," but, af-
ter the singing of such hymns as " Rock of Ages," and " Je-
sus lover of my soul," he grew more resigned. I took the
card which hung in a little tin case at the head of his bed,
and copied the name and address of his father. The dying
boy had been watching, and he then with difficult speech
asked me to write to his j^eople and tell them "good bye,"
and that he was " going home." I tried to obtain a more
lengthy message to comfort them, but speech was soon denied
nd reason wandered. He died a few hours after, and the sad
tidings was sent next day.
Found another poor boy quite low, with pneumonia. He
knew his condition, but with an heroic smile upon his wasted
features said, that "if" his "life would do his dear country
any good " he was " willing to give it."
The Masonic Hall and First Presbyterian Church consti-
tute Hospital, No. 8. We visited that on Tuesday.
As we enter the Hall, past the guard, we find a broad flight
of stairs before us, and while ascending, perceive this caution
inscribed upon the wall in evergreen.
" Remember you are in a hospital and make no noise."
U]) this flight, and other cautions meet us, such as " No
smoking here " — " Keep away from the wall," &c. We here
pause at a door, and are introduced to the matron who is for-
tunately just now going through the wards. It is Miss J — tt,
of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
HOSriTAL PETn^CILLINGS. 15
Ascending another broad fiiglit, and asking in the mean-
time of her duties, she throws open the door of the linen-
room where are two clerks, and says :
" This department comprises all the work assigned to me —
whatever else I do is voluntary and gratuitous. " But to-
day," she adds laughingly, " it would be difficult to define my
duties. I think I might properly be called ' Commandant of
the Black Squad,' or Chief of the Dirty Brigade ;" and she
explained by saying that she had seven negro women and
two men, subject to her orders, who were cleaning the build-
ing. She next throws open the door of a ward which con-
tains but a few patients, and has a smoky appearance. She
tells us, they are fumigating it, having had some cases of*
small pox, most of which have been sent to the proper Hos-
"We pass to another, where she tells us, previous to enter-
ing, is one very sick bo}^ He is of a slight form, only fifteen,
and with delicate girlish features. His disease is typhoid fe-
ver, from the effects of which he is now quite deaf. As we
approach, he says to her faintly,
" Sit down here, mother, on the side of my bed."
She does so, wdien he asks her to " to bend her head down
so he can tell her something." This she does, when he says,
quite loud, but with difficulty ; — " There's some money under
my pillow, I want you to get it, and buy me some dried
" I don't want your money," she says, " but you shall have
the peaches if I can get them," and she writes a note and
dispatches.it to the sanitary rooms for them." "This boy al-
ways calls me mother," she says, " and the first day he was
brought here, he sent his nurse to ask if I would come up
and kiss him. He has always been his mother's pet, and I
now correspond with her on his account."
16 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
His fever is very high, and we pass our cold hand sooth-
ingly over his forehead and essay to speak words of cheer,
and as we turn to leave, he looks up pleadingly and says :
" Can't you kiss me ?"
" Yes, indeed, I can — am glad to do so," and we press our
own to his burning lips and receive his feverish, unpleasant
breath, not a disagreeable task though, for all, when we re-
member that he is the pet of his mother, who misses him so
very much, and who may never look upon her boy again.
Of one — a middle-aged, despondent looking man we ask
cheerily, how he is to-day.
" About the same," he replies coldly, but with a look which
.is the index of a thought like this :
" Oh, you don't care for us or our comfort, — you are well,
and have friends, and home, probably near you, and you can-
not appreciate our suffering, and only come here to satisfy an
He does not say this, but he thinks it, and we read the
thought in the voice, manner, and countenance. We deter-
mine to convince him of his mistake, if possible, notwith-
standing he looks as if he prefers we should walk along and
leave him alone.
" Were you wounded ? " we ask.
" No — sick," was the short gruff answer.
" Your disease was fever was'nt it ? " we persist, — '• your
countenance looks like it."
" Yes, fever and pneumonia," he replies in the same cold,
but despairing tone.
" Ah — but you're getting better now."
" Don't know about it — reckon not."
" Well, how is it about getting letters from home ? "
His countenance, voice and manner undergo a sudden
change now, and his eyes overrun with tears, at the simple
words " letters from home."
HOSPITAL PEXCILLIXGS. 17
And as he raises his hand to his month, to conceal its qniv-
ering, he tells us with tremulous voice that he has sent three
letters to his wife and can get no answer. She has left the
place where they used to live, and he does not know certainly
where to direct. We ask who we can write to, to find out,
and learn that a sister would know. We take the probable
address of the wife, and that of the sister, and after some far-
ther conversation leave him looking quite like another man
as we promise to write to each in the evening. (Subse-
quently, we learned that he received a reply to both, and was
comparatively cheerful and very grateful.)
Down stairs, and we enter a ward on the first floor. Here
is a thin sallow visage, the owner of which j^iteously asks if
we " have any oranges." " No," but we provide means, by
which he can purchase.
" I'm from North Carolina," he says, " I hid in the woods
and mountains and lived on roots and berries for weeks, before
I could get away."
In reply to our query as to whether he would like a letter
written home, he informs us that his wife and father arri^ ed
in town only a few days ago.
" Then you have seen them," we say.
" Yes, they both visit me, but my wife comes oftenest."
Just now^, his nurse, a young man who should know better,
mterrupts- him by telHng us that " it isn't so, and his family
are all in North Carolina."
" That's just the way," said the sick man, turning to me
with a flushed and angry look, " that they're talking to me all
tiie time, and trying to make everybody think I'm crazy. I
reckon / know whether I've seen my wife or not ! "
" Of course you do," we say quietingly ; " does she bring
you anything nice to eat ? " and we add that we wish she
would come while we were there, so we could see her.
18 HOSPITAL PENGILLINGS.
" Well, she don't bring me much to eat," he says in a w€ak,
hollow voice, but earnestly, " she don't understand fixin' up
things nice for sick folks, and then she's weakly like, but she
does all she can, for she's a right gude heart. She doesn't fix
up, and look like you folks do, you know," he added, " for
she's sort o' torn to pieces like by this war."
" Yes, we can understand it."
Upon inquiring about this man a few moments after of the
Ward-Master, we find that he is really a monomaniac upon
this subject, persisting in the declaration that his wife and
father visit him often though no one sees them.
" He can't live," said the Ward-Master, " he has lost all
heart and is worn out. The chance of a Southerner to live
after going to a hos^Dital is not over a fourth as good as for
one of our Northern boys. They can do more fighting with
less food while in the field, but when the excitement is over
they lose heart and die."
We find upon several subsequent visits that he is growing
weaker, and at the last when his countenance indicates that
death is near^ we are thankful that he is still comforted by
these imaginary visits from father and wife.
We crossed the street and entered the First Presbyterian
Church, which constitutes a part of the hospital. This place
is notable for the promulgation of secession sentiments from
its pulpit in other days. A specimen of the style -was given
here a short time before the entrance of our troops, by Prof.
Elliott of the Seminary, who in a prayer besought the Al-
mighty that he would so " prosper the arms of the Confeder-
ates and bring to naught the plans of the Federals, that every
hill-top, plain and valley around Nashville should be ivhite
with the hones of the hated Ycmhees I "
After hearing this it was doubly a pleasure, in company
with Miss J., another " Northern vandal," to make the walls
HOSPITAL PENCILLING S. 19
of the old church echo to the words of " The Star Spangled
Banner," with an accompaniment from the organ ; and it
would have done any loyal heart good to see how much pleas-
ure it gave to the sick and wounded soldiers.
Saturday Eve, April 9.
Last Wednesday Miss O. and myself visited Hospital No.
1, for the second time.
They were just robing one young boy in his soldier's suit
of blue for the last time. He was then borne to the dead-
house. His name was Hickman Nutter, of the 31st Ohio. I
secured the Post Office address of his people and that of sev-
eral others who had died and had no message sent home. I
passed the whole of the next day in writing soldiers' letters,
and in my journal. My fortitude was sorely tried and really
broke down after getting back, to find that in ward 1 alone
from two to four boys are dying daily, while the Chaplain has
not been in to speak to a single sick or dying boy for two
weeks. Wards 2 and 3 have fared little if any better, as is
the testimony of ward-masters and nurses. It is his duty also
to write to the relatives of those who die, and common human-
ity would dictate that it be done, and every comforting mess-
age sent to them. I was told by the clerk, whose duty it
was to collect the names for report in the public prints, that
in no single instance had he known the Chaplain to attend to
that duty. I was indignant and determined to report him,
but was given to understand by more than one Christian
minister, that the expression of indignation was considered a
bad omen for my future success in hospitals.
" People here," said one, kindly in explanation, " must
learn to see and hear of all manner of evil and wickedness
going on around them, and be as though they saw and heard
20 HOSPITAL PEXCILLIXGS.
Being by nature and birth an outspoken New Englander,
and ha^•ing inhaled freedom of speech from the breezes which
blow from the hills of the " Old Bay State," I fancy it will
not be very easy becoming initiated into this phase of military
We found several interesting cases on passing through
wards 1, 2 and 3.
In the first, saw one man in a dying condition, who was
brought the night before. He was lifted from the ambulance
and brought in by two men, who immediately left without
being questioned or saying anything about him. The attend-
ants were busy and expected to find all needed information in
the medical papers, which it is rulable and customary to send,
but which were not to be found. No one had observed the
ambulance or men sufliciently to identify either. The disease
could not be determined. There were no wounds and the
lungs were in a healthy condition, but he w^as dying and in-
sensible. A letter was fortunately found in his pocket, from
his wife, which gave his name, company and regiment, as being
Henry Clymer, Co. K., 128th Indiana.
In passing through ward 2 we came to a handsome
young man, who was looking so well compared with others
tliat we were passing without speaking. But the nurse said
" This man is blind ! "
Could it be possible ! His eyes to a casual observer were
perfectly good, but ujdou a closer examination one saw that
tlie pupil was greatly enlarged and the expression staring and
vacant. Questions revealed the fact that he could see notliing
except a faint light when looking towards the window. I
asked the cause.
" Medicine, the Surgeon here says," was the reply. " I had
chills and fever while at the front, and the physician gave me
HOSPITAL PENCILLING 3. 21
large quantities of quinine, which made me blind. I have the
ague now, but the Doctor dare not give any more quinine. I
have been blind two weeks."
" Doesn't the Surgeon think the medicine will leave your
system, and that you may recover your sight?"
''Well, he doesn't speak very encouragingly — says he
And we now see that although the eyes cannot do duty in
one way they can in another, for they absolutely rain tears,
as he tells us with quivering lips, that his wife does not know
anything about it ; that he is dreading to send her word by
stranger hands, — he cannot bear to think that may be he can
never write again, — never see her or other friends in this world.
He is yet young and life has looked so pleasant ; he is a pro-
fessing Christian, but finds it so hard to bear this affliction.
And he sobs like a whipped child, as, kneeling by the head
of his low bed, with hand upon his forehead, we listen to
this recital and strive to comfort him. We tell him of others
afflicted in the same way who have not passed a life of idle-
ness in consequence, but of mental or physical activity. Of
those who have risen superior even to this calamity, and in
the battle of life have learned
" How sublime a thing it is
To suft'er and grow strong."
He says our words have been a blessing, as we take his
hand in a good-bye, and with a promise to break the news to
his wife, as gently and hopefully as possible. [We do so
subsequently and upon the last visit find that he has been
gaining his sight so that he can distinguish forms, though not
features. Again we stand by his vacant bed and learn that
he with many others have been sent North to make room for
22 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
more sufferers from the front. But lie was still o^ainiusr his
In the same ward we find one slight young boy, who looks
as if he ought to be at home with his mother, and we sin-
cerely believe is crying because he isn't — though he'd be bay-
onetted sooner than own it. He draws his sleeve across his
red eyes as we approach, and upon our questioning informs
us that he is " almost seventeen," and furthermore that he is
" nearly half a head taller and two jiounds heavier than an-
other boy in his regiment ; " but confesses that he is " right
tired a' laying this way day after day — fact is I'd a heap sight
rather be at home if I could get to go there, for I enlisted
to fic/hf J not to be sick ! " Now we ask him if he ever thought
while lying there that he is suffering in the service of his
country, and a quick flash of the eye, a smile and an em-
phatic "no," tell us that it is entirely anew thought. Then
we beg him not to forget that he is, and assure him that it
requires a much braver soldier to suffer day after day in a
hospital than on the hardest battle-field, and we leave him
with a look of heroic endurance on his childish brow.
Here is a good-faced German, who is moaning with pain
from an amputation. It is twenty days since the operation,
but he suffers terribly every few moments from a spasmodic
contraction of the muscles. And we also find upon convers-
ing, that the fact of the amputation hurts his feelings in more
wa^'S than one, and we must needs tell him to bear the pain
like a good brave soldier, and that it will grow less and less
each day, and really last but a few days more altogether, and
that as to being without a limb he will not be tlie only one
capable of exhibiting such a j^roof of the service rendered
his country, that it is an honor rather than a disgrace to lose
limbs while battling for the right ; and now the hero's look of
determination settles over his features also. But just as we
HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS. 23
turn to leave, he expresses his opinion that two or three more
such " cookies " as we brought him the other day wouldn't
hurt him, indeed,
" Dey was mosht as goot Yot my moder used to make."
Sunday Eve, April 10.
Attended church to-day at the Second Presbyterian, or
" Union Church " as it is called. It is the only one in the
city, I am told, where one is sure of hearing sentiments of
loyalty. Rev. Mr. Allen is pastor. He does not fear now,
under the shadow of Fort Negley, and with so many " blue
coats " about, to " Lift up his voice like a trumpet, and show
the peoi:>le their transgressions and the house of Jacob their
sins." I believe, however, that he was obliged to leave the
place previous to the entrance of our troops.
I saw a pomegranate flower for the first time, to-day. It
is of a dark red color, single, about the size of a plum blos-
som. It is of the same family I think, though cannot ana-
lyze it, for want of a botanical work.
In passing through ward 1 of the hospital last Wedne8-
day, and asking advice of the chief nurse — wdio, by the by, is
soon to complete his studies as surgeon — as to what we could
do for the benefit of the invalids, he said there were two cases
who would die unless some one could by attention and cheer-
ful conversation save them. That they had been sick a long
time, were very low, but the trouble now was nervous debility
from homesickness and despair of life. Had himself done
what he could for them, but was worn out with care of the
ward and loss of sleep. And he added : —
" The Surgeon has given them up, and I will give them
into your charge, and if they live it will be your care which
" Would anything be injurious for them to eat ? "
24 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
" No, if you can get them to eat anything you Trill do better
tlian I can."
Upon inquiring which they were, he pointed them out,
when I told him that I had spoken to both only a few mo-
ments before, and that one would scarcely notice me enough
to tell me his disease, while the other would not answer at
all, but drew the sheet over his face.
" Oh, yes," he replied, " they think no one cares for them,
that they're going to die, and the worst one is in a half stupor
much of the time. But pass your hand gently over his fore-
head to arouse him, and then you know how to interest him."
He then directed the nurse of this one to go with me and
see that everything was done which I directed. The nurse
and patient were both from Indiana, and the former going to
the side of the bed toward which the fiice of the sick man
was turned, said in a peculiarly pleasant and sympathizing
tone : —
'' William, there's a lady come to see you and she' wants to
make you well if she can."
Passing my hand over his forehead, as directed, I added as
cheerily as possible : —
''Yes, William, I've come to see if I can't do something
for you ; if I shall write some letters for you, or bring you
something to eat to make you better."
He roused up and I knew he was listening, but not wishing
to excite him too much I then commenced asking of the nurse
about his company and regiment, and the length of time he
had been sick in that hospital. But I had scarcely done so,
when the sick man turned his face down into the pillow, burst
into tears and grieved and sobbed like a child, fairly shaking
the bed with the violence of his emotion. The nurse bent
down to him, and said as if pacifying a sick child : —
" Don't fret so, William, this lady loves you, and she's going
to trv to make vou well."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 25
I knew the tears would do him good, but I spoke low and
slowly, and the sobs grew less as he listened : —
" You've been sick a long time, I know, and have grown
discouraged and have thought you were never going to get
well, but the Doctor says there is notliing to hinder if you
will only try. I was once sick myself with a low nervous
fever, and felt just as you do for a long time. And the phy-
sician told me at last that I wouldn't live unless I made up
my mind to try to live. And I did try and worked hard for
it for a long time else I should never have got well. And
now if you will do the same and think all the time of what
you are going to do when you get well, I will come and see
you as often as I can, and bring you anything you wish to
eat. Wouldn't you like to have me write for you to ask your
wife, mother, or sister, to come and take care of you ?
Just then the nurse tells me he is " single " and I repeat
the question of his mother and sisters.
" No," he replied, in a sad, grieved, hollow voice, " they
" Shouldn't I write to his father to tell him how he was."
" No," he didn't " want any letters written."
" Could he think of something he could eat."
He said he could not, but the nurse exclaimed : — " ^Tiy,
William, don't you remember you said the other day you could
eat some pickles, if you could get them ?" " Yes, I could eat
some pickles," said the slow, hollow voice. A little inquiry
found that it was possible he could eat a cookie also, so it was
arranged that the nurse should call at the home of the Chris-
tian Commission, where I was stopping, for the articles.
I also learned that the sick man had not been bathed since
having the fever, and his face looked like dried parchment. I
made a prescription of castile soap and warm water for his
benefit, to be applied to the whole surface of his body — the
26 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
application to take place immediately after my departure.
After the bath, the nurse called and I sent some cookies and
a small jar of pickles.
The other patient to whom I was referred, was scarcely less
interesting, but have not time to note the particulars. I visit-
ed them again yesterday, and found my directions with regard
to each had been carried out, and both were better and glad
this time to see me. William rejoiced in the jar of pickles
upon his stand, out of which he had gained sufficient appetite
to " reckon," he " could eat a few dried peaches, if he could
get them." A small jar of those was prepared and sent to
him, with a second edition of cookies.
Tuesday, April 12.
Have visited Hospital, No. 8, as well as No. 1, several
times since I have been here, and am priviledged to carry
some delicacies, and write letters for its inmates.
I yesterday visited Hospital, No. 1, for the last time pro-
bably, while those remain in whom I have become specially
interested. But have made such arrangements that William
and the Alabamian, who were given to my care, shall have
whatever is needed. They seem to regret my departure, but
William is decidedly better. Carried a large bottle of lemon-
ade, some oranges, and blackberry sirup.
Found a poor old Norwegian suffering terribly from the ap-
plication of bromine to the gangrenous wound in his arm-
He was very thankful for an orange and some lemonade — had
eaten nothing for two days. His face and bald, venerable
head were covered with a red silk handkerchief, to hide the
great tears which were pressed out by the pain ; but his nurse
said he never gave a word of complaint.
The German with amputated limb is easier — the blind man
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 27
hoiDeful of sight, and the little fellow improving, who " enlist-
ed to fight, and not to be sick."
"Wliile in ward 3, yesterday, I was beckoned to, from a sick
bed, whose occupant wished me to come and "rejoice with
him." Upon going there he assured me with a mysterious
air, that he " isn't going to tell everybody, but as I was a
particular friend of his, and he had always thought rigJit smart
of me, he would tell me something greatly surprising."
Upon expressing my willingness to be surprised, he confi-
dently and joyfully assured me that though very few people
knew it, yet he was " The veritable man ivho killed Jeffi
Davis, President of the Confederate States I "
He waited a moment to note the effect upon me of this
pleasing intelligence, when I quietly told him I didn't know
before that Jeff. Davis was dead, but that if he was, and he
was the one who killed him, they ought to give him a dis-
charge and let him go home, as he has done his share of the
work. Then he joyfully assured me, that " they have prom-
ised to do so, and that his papers are to be made out to-mor-
row." But more serious thoughts came to me then, for I saw
written upon his countenance, in unmistakable characters, the
signature of the Death angel, marking his chosen, and though
I knew not how soon his papers would be made out, was cer-
tain that before long they would be, and that he would re-
ceive a full and free discharge from all eartlily toil and battle
from the Great Medical Director of us all !
While passing through the aisles of wounded men, and
hearing their stories, many of them intensely graphic, I
seemed to hear something like the following, which, may the
author whose name I do not know, pardon me for copying :
" Let me lie do\vn,
Just here in the shade of this cannon-torn tree, —
Here, low on the trampled grass, where I may see
28 HOSPITAL PENCILLING9.
The surge of the comhat ; and where I may hear
The glad cry of victory, cheer upou cheer :
Let me lie down.
Oh, it was grand !
Like the tempest we charged, in the triumph to share ;
The tempest — its fury and thunder were there ;
On, on, o'er intrenchments, o'er living and dead,
With the foe under foot, and our flag overhead, —
Oh, it was grand I
Weary and faint,
Prone on the soldier's couch, ah ! how can I rest
With this shot-shattered head and sabre-pierced breast 1
Comrades, at roll-call, when I shall be sought.
Say I fought till I fell, and fell where I fought,
Wounded and faint.
Oh, that last charge !
Right through the dread hell-fire of shrapnel and shell,-
Through without faltering, clear through with a yell.
Right in their midst, in the tunnoil and gloom.
Like heroes we dashed at the mandate of doom !
Oh, that last charge !
It was duty !
Some things are worthless, and some others so good.
That nations who buy them pay only in blood ;
For Freedom and Union each man owes his part ;
And here I pay my share, all warm from my heart,
It is duty !
Dying at last !
My mother, dear mother, with meek, tearful eye.
Farewell ! and God bless you for ever and aye !
Oh, that I now lay on your pillowing breast,
To breathe my last sigh on the bosom first prest !
Dying at last !
I am no saint !
But, boys, say a prayer. There's one that begins, —
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 29
' Our Father ; ' and then says, ' Forgive us our sins : '
Don't forget that part ; say that strongly ; and then
I'll try to repeat it, and you'll say amen 1
All 1 I'm no saint !
Hark ! there's a shout I
EaisQ me up, comrades I We have conquered, I know ;
Up, on my feet, with my face to the foe !
Ah ! there flies the flag, with its star spangles bright, —
The promise of Glory, the sjonbol of llight 1
Well may they shout !
I'm mustered out !
O God of our fathers ! om* freedom prolong,
And tread down rebellion, oppression, and wrong !
land of earth's hopes ! on thy blood-reddened sod,
1 die for the Nation, the Union, and God !
I'm mustered out ! "
30 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Nashville is a city which is set upon hills. It is also
founded upon a rock, and the fact that it has not much earth
upon that rock, is made the pretext for leaving numberless
deceased horses and mules upon the surface, without even a
a heathen burial, until they are numbered with the tilings
But it has been comfortingly asserted by the agent of the
Christian Commission here, Rev. E. P. Smith, that it is
astonishing how much dead mule one may breathe, and yet
Nashville is also a city of narrow, filthy streets, and in some
localities, of water, which, like the " offence " of the king of
Denmark, " smells to Heaven."
It is moreover a city of mules. Two, four, and six mule
teams, with a driver astride of one of them, and sometimes
with the high, comical-looking Tennessean wagons attached —
not to the driver particularly, but to the mules. These, with
mulish mules, who draw crowds instead of wagons, animate
the streets day and night. It is a city of either dust or mud
— but one street boasts a street-sprinkler.
The citizens of Nashville who remain, have mostly taken
the oath of allegiance to protect their property, but it is esti-
mated that not above one in fifty is, at heart, loyal. The
ladies (?) sometimes show their contempt of Northern labor-
ers by making up faces when meeting them upon the streets,
but there are so many " blue coats " about, they do not think
it advisable to allow their
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 31
" Angry passions rise,"
To tear out our eyes ;"
as they would evidently consider it a great pleasure to accom-
Nashville and its vicinity boasts a few distinguished per-
sonages beside myself. Mrs. Polk, widow of the Ex-Presi-
dent, resides a few blocks from this. Gen. Sherman's head-
quarters are at a lovely retreat, we think, on High Street,
and Gen. Rouseau's but a few blocks distant, while the Her-
mitage of Gen. Andrew Jackson is but twelve miles east of
the city. This has many visitors, but who seldom venture
now without a guard. Since our stay here, a party of four
ladies from Hospital, No. 19, with as many gentlemen, and a
guard of thirteen, visited the Hermitage, who learned next
day that a party of guerillas, 100 in number, came there an
hour after they had left, and followed them. At first, as they
informed us, they made it a subject for pleasant jesting, but
after farther consideration, for that of serious thought, as they
came rather too near being candidates for " Libby," or a
A nephew, who is also an adopted son of the old General,
has charge of the place ; he has two sons in the rebel ser-
vice. The property is confiscated to the Government, but the
family, out of respect to the memory of the stern old patriots
are permitted to remain. The visitors may see here the
quaint and cumbrous family carriage in which the General
used to journey, together with a buggy, made from the tim-
bers of the old ship Ironsides.
The family, especially the female portion of it, being of
secession principles, keep themselves secluded from the gaze
of northern mudsills. But the mudsills, presuming upon the
cordial reception which they believe would be extended by
the General himself, usually make themselves sufficiently at
32 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
home to wander at their own sweet will through the grounds,
and partake of a lunch on the shaded piazza.
It is a fine old mansion, ajDproached by a circular avenue,
which is shaded by grand old trees. And notwithstanding
that the General has adopted grandsons in the rebel service,
and his family are secessionists, yet it requires but little faith
to believe that the stern old hero is not unmindful of the pre-
sent gigantic struggle, neither a great flight of the imagina-
tion when the wind is moaning and stirring the lofty branches
of the grand old trees, to fancy that his voice, in suppressed
and now reverent accents, yet emphatically exclaims : —
" By the Eternal^ the Union must^ and shall he preserved /"
The city contains many elegant private residences, and
splendid public buildings.
Among the latter is the State Asylum for the Insane,
which has four hundred and fifty acres attached, and had an
expenditure of $48,000 per annum. Another is the Institu-
tion for the Blind, the expenses of which for the year 1850,
were nearly $8,000. The Tennessean Penitentiary is also a
superior structure. In September 30, 1850, the number of
inmates was three hundred and seventy-eight, and of this
number three hundred and sixty-six, were white men, with
only eight black men, three white women with only one black
The Medical College is a fine building and contains a valu-
able museum. The University is an imposing edifice of gray
marble, while the Masonic Hall, the Seminary and graded
school buildings are spacious and beautiful structures. The
first in imjDortance, among the public buildings of Nashville,
and which is second to none in the United States in point of
solidity and durability, is the CaiDitol. Tliis is a magnificent
edifice, situated on an eminence one hundred and seventy -five
feet above the river, and constructed inside and out, of a
HOSPITAL PENCILLINOS. 33
beautiful variety of fossilliferous limestone or Tennessee mar-
ble. At each end, it has an Ionic portico of eight columns,
and each of the sides, a portico of six. A tower rises from
the centre of the roof to the hight of two hundred and six
feet from the ground. This has a quadrangular base sur-
mounted by a circular cell, with eight fluted Corinthian
columns, designed from the celebrated choragic monument of
Lysicrates, at Athens.
Among the jDrivate residences we have seen, is a beautiful
mansion, still unfinished, which, at the time of his death, was
being built for the rebel Gen. ZollicofFer. A more unpre-
tending one perhaps, is that of the widow of ex-President Polk,
the grounds surrounding which contain his tomb — a plain, sim-
ple, temple-like fabric, of light brown marble.
That beautiful baronial domain known as the Achlen estate
is situate about two miles out of town. For attractions it has
extensive grounds, with great variety and profusion of shrub-
bery, among which flash out here and there, life-like statues
of men and animals, and miniature monuments and temples.
A fountain jets its diamond drops, w^hile an artificial pond is
the home of the tiny silver and gold fish. Beside the noble
family mansion is another building nearly as spacious, which
is used as a place of amusement. A well-filled conservatory
is another beautiful feature, while an observatory, which
ci'owns an imposing brick tower, gives a view of the scenery
for miles around.
This estate with large plantations, in Louisiania, were ac-
cumulated by the owner, while in the business of slave-driv-
ing and negro trading. His name was Franklin. After his
death his youthful widow married a gay leader in the fash-
onable world, known in the southern society of Memphis
and New Orleans, as Joe Achlen. Under his direction the
estate was imjproved and beautified at a cost of $1,000,000.
34 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
At the commencement of this war, it was had in contem-
plation by the Confederate officials, to purchase the estate and
present it to his Excellency, Jeff. Davis ; but they will probably
defer making that munificent gift, until the Federal army is
at a safer distance.
An intelligent chattel, who has been on the place twenty
years, informs us that Achlen was a kind master. . That when
he visited his plantations in Louisiana, the negroes would
welcome him at the wharf, and if it was the least muddy,
would take him upon their shoulders and carry him to the
house. But despite this fact, the negroes have somehow got
the impression that freedom is preferable to slavery. So
strongly are they impressed with the desii^e of owning them-
selves, that out of 900 who were on the estate and planta-
tions at the commencement of the war, but five remain at the
former place, and these with wages of $15.00 per month,
while about the same number are at each of the plantations,
these kept also by wages.
The death of Achlen occurred last fall ; his widow is much
of the time in New Orleans, but the property is neatly kept
by what was formerly a part of itself.
One of those little incidents, by the by, which proves
that truth is stranger than fiction, occurred to this negro who
testified to the kindness of his master. When he was pur-
chased for the estate he was separated from his wife, who was
sold south. Neither knew the locality of the other, and nine-
teen long years passed by, when this war, which has made
such an upheaval in the strata of American society, loosened
the chains of the bondwoman, and true to the instincts of her
nature, she started toward the north pole, to find freedom and
He says it was a joyful time when they met and recognized
each other in the streets of Nashville ; but we each have the
HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS. 35
privilege of entertaining our own ideas as to whether the race
is capable of constancy and affection.
Even the Capitol has its mounted cannon, to protect it
against the citizens of Nashville. During our stay in the city,
we have had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by two
Rev. Drs. of New York, and Brooklyn, in the Hall of Repre-
sentatives, and hj moonlight. They were to speak on the sub-
ject of emancipation and reconstruction, by invitation of Gov.
Andrew Johnson, and Comptroller Fowler.
That afternoon, they had returned from the front, toilwom
and weary, where they had witnessed the battle and minister-
ed to the wounded of Resaca and Dalton. Upon proceeding
to the Capitol, the moon was bathing all things without in her
silver radiance, while within hid dark shadows, in strano-e con-
trast to an occasional silver shaft, through openings in the
heavy damask curtains.
Queries revealed the fact that the Governor, Comptroller,
and the man having charge of the gas fixtures, had gone to
attend a railroad celebration, not having received word that
the gentlemen had accepted the invitation to speak at that
time and place.
Quite a number of gentlemen gathered in front of the
speaker's desk, with some six ladies — the latter provided with
seats ; and after some consultation we found ourselves listen-
ing to interesting recitals of how " war's grim visage " had
appeared to Rev. Drs. Thompson and Buddington of New-
York and Brooklyn.
And we could but think as we sat there in the moonlight,
with most of the audience standing, what different audiences
they had swayed at home, and how mucli depends upon time,
place and circumstance in the life of a public speaker, and
were glad to see that they could meet adverse circumstances
with becoming serenity and humility. The novelty connected
36 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
vnt.li the scene, time and place, made it an evening long to be
The Seminary building was used as hospital, then as bar-
racks and since as soldiers' home.
The faculty of this institution, in their last advertisement
of its merits, previous to the arrival of the Union army,
assured their patrons that they would —
" So educate their daughters, as to fit them to become
v.'ives of the Southern Chivalry and to hate the detestable
Yankees ! "
The Medical College on Broad Street, is now a home and
hospital for the refugees ; and the filth, destitution, misery
and ignorance which exist among that class of poor whites
who have fled from starvation in Georgia, North and South
Carolina, Alabama or East Tennessee, must be witnessed to
be realized. We no longer wondered that the neat, industri-
ous and comparatively well-informed negro servants and free
colored j^eoj^le of Nashville look upon them with the contempt
so well expressed by the words, " jooor uihite trash ! "
Brought up to think labor a disgrace, they will sooner sit
down in ignorance, poverty, and the filth which nourishes
vermin and loatlisome diseases, than disgrace themselves by
work. Unaccustomed to habits of neatness and industry they
are singularly careless of each other's comfort, and neglectful
of their own sick.
The same week of our reaching this city, a family of re-
fugees, nine in number, the parents and seven children, all
died, and of no particular disease. The scenes which they
had passed through, with the lo^s of home and each other,
with the native lack of energy which led them to succumb to
circumstances, rather than battle to overcome them, seemed
the only causes.
We will sketch a few of the scenes we saw in this home of
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 37
the refugees, prefacing, however, that some of the worst
features we do not propose giving, either to offend ears polite
or our own sense of propriety.
In company with the matron we enter the spacious building
between two majestic statues, which stand like sentinels to
guard the entrance, less efficient, however, than that " blue
coat " who perambulates the walk with rifle and bayonet.
In the first room a gaunt and haggard face meets ours, with
piercing eyes, from beneath an old slouched hood, and from a
miserable bunk, whose possessor, within the next twenty-four
hours, ceases to battle with consumption, and finds that " rest
for the weary." She is now so restless she must be turned
every few minutes, and stranger hands attend to her wishes.
" We were starved out," she says. " The Rebs tuk every-
thing what they didn't destroy ; and burnt the house."
" ' We,' who came with you ? "
" Me two step-daughters. But they haven't been here
these three days. I reckon they're tired o' takin keer o' me.
It's mighty hard though to raise up girls to neglect ye when
ye're on a death-bed."
What can we say to comfort her. Our heart grows faint
when we think how incapable we are to minister to this
one. Bereft of home, penniless, forsaken even by relatives,
and in such agonizing unrest. Yes, but a happy thought
comes now, if homeless, can she not better appreciate the
worth of that " house not made with hands, eternal in . the
heavens " — if penniless, realize the enduring riches of the better
land — husbandless and friendless, know better the worth of
that " Friend above all others " — restless, the value of that
" rest for the weary ? " We tell her of all these, and she pro-
fesses to gain new strength from our words to wait on the
chariot wheels which so long delay their coming.
On another bunk is a wretched woman, who is drowning
38 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
sorrow as usual in the stupor induced by opium. We have
now no message for her.
See that little chubby child, of perhaps three years, whose
little flaxen head, has made a pillow of the hard hearthstone,
and is soundly sleej^ing. That is a little waif — nobody owns
it. ■ It has neither father, mother, brother, sister or other rel-
ative in the wide world, that any one knows about. Pity, but
some one bereaved by this war would suffer this little one to
creep into the heart and home and grow to fill the place made
Here is a tall, well-formed girl, of perhaps twenty, with a
j^erfect wealth of soft, glossy, auburn hair^ of which any city
belle would be proud, but it is in wild disorder and just falling
from her comb. Ask her, if you choose, what is that eruption
with which her hands are covered, and which appears upon
her face, and she will as unblushingly and drawlingly tell you,
as though your query were a passing remark upon the
Here are three other girls sitting upon a rough board
bench — the eldest, a bright girl of about twelve, is making an
apron for her sister. Do you wish to hear her story ? — if so ,
" Me an' me mother an' me two sisters come from East
Tennessee. The Union army come to our place first, an' they
burned an' destroyed a great deal what they didn't take away,
and after they left the Rebs come an' did the same, an' so
between 'em both they left us all starvin' through the country.
Then the Unioners come agin, and we followed 'em, an' they
sent us here. Wliile we were on the boat it was powerfiil
open an' cold-like, an' me mother tuk cold. An* she looked
like she was struck with death from the very first, an' the
doctor told me I might just as well make up my mind to it,
first as last, an' make her as comfortable as T could. So I tuk
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 39
keer o' her, day an' night for two weeks, an' brought her every
thing she wanted, oranges an' sich like, till she died. I
thought when my father an' other relatives died that I tuk it
powerful hard, but 'twas nothin' like losin' me mother. While
she was sick me two little sisters had been livin' with a cousin
o' mine ; 1 ut I liearn tell he was treaten 'em mighty bad, so I
wrote a note to the captin an' told him I wanted to come here
and see to the keer on 'em myself. An' he said I might, so I
We leave this room for another. There a sick boy of four-
teen is lying on a bed of rags, who is recovering from mea-
sles. Hear his history.
" We lived in East Tennessee, an' my father nigh onto the
first o'the war, wanted to get to Kaintucky and jine the Yan-
kees, but the Rebels tuk him off to Vicksburg and made him
jine them. Then when the place surrendered to the Yanks,
about half on 'em jined them, an' my father 'mong the rest, —
jest what he'd been wantin' to, for a long time.
But they burned and starved us all out to home, an' we left
thar an' come har whar we could git suthin' to eat. Me an'
me mother an' me little brother what's only six year old
come. But me mother was tuk sick an' died here three week
ago. I hearn right after, that my father's regiment was or-
dered some whar else, an' T don't know whar he is. She
knew what company an' regiment me father was in, but I
was sick when he sent word about it, an' he don't know whar
we air. Mother nor he could'nt write, so we've no letters nor
nothin' to tell. May be he's dead, an' we'll never hear of it,
or if he lives he'll never find us."
It is a sad case, but we comfort him with the hope of what
perseverance and a little knowledge of writing may do for him,
and pass to another.
Here is a young man, dressed and lying upon the outside
40 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
of his bed, whose foot and ancle are encased in a wooden box.
His temjDerament partakes largely of the nervous sanguine.
He has an open, frank, intelligent countenance, speaks rapid-
ly, and with a short, joyous, electrical laugh.
" I was raised in North Carolina," he says. " I was'nt a Un-
ion man at the first — nor a Confederate either, well about half
an' half, I reckon. But we'se all obliged either to run away
from our families an' leave 'em to starve, or hide with 'em in
the mountains or jine the army. So I concluded to jine ; an'
I've been in Braggs army mor'n two years."
" Why did you leave it," we asked.
" Well the fact was I begun to think sure we was in the
wrong, else we'd fared better'n we did. For I've allays al-
lowed the Lord would prosper the right ride. So when I
found that I had to march or fight hard all day, an' have
nothin' more to eat for the hull twenty-four hours, than a
piece o'bread the bigness o'my hand, an' a piece o'meat only
as large as my two fingers — an' have been so hungry for
weeks that I could nearly eat my own fingers off, I concluded
to desert and try the other side.
My brother-in-law left Lee's army about the same time I
left Bragg's. I was to meet him and my wife, at his house in
Athens ; but when I was coming on the train from Charles-
ton, I saw another train coming that ran into ours, and I
jumped off and broke my limb. So I could'nt go there, and
they brought me on to this ^^lace.
I've enough to eat, and have good care, and should feel
right well contented till I get well, if I only could know
where my wife Martha is. I've sent two letters, but I
can't hear a word. I've got a letter written to my brother-in-
law about her now — its lying there."
And he points to a rough board, one end of which rests
upon his bunk, and the other upon an empty one near, and
which serves him in place of a stand.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 41
" Its been waitin' a long tkne " he adds, for I hav'nt a post-
age stamp on it. We were just married when the war begun,
an' we had a fine start for young folks, but I let my gold and
silver go in gittin' settled, and the Confederate money's worth
nothin' here, so I hav'nt a penny to use."
The letter was put in the office, and he was supplied with
stationary and stamps during our stay. He wished more
added to his letter and we wrote what he dictated.
" It's the first time I ever had anybody write for me," he
said proudly. " I generally do my own writing — an' readin'
too," and he glanced toward some books he had.
" An' you may be sure," he added as we left him, " if I get
well, an' my wife Martha is lost, but I'll spend the rest o' my
life huntin' but Til find her r
42 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Wednesday, April 13.
Entered upon my duties to-day, as lady nurse of two divi-
sions of tents at Small Pox Hospital.
Not obliged to come here, but have accepted this most dis-
agreeable place, as there are so few who are willing to take
it. Expect to be quite confined to the place ; and the hope
of doing good in a position which otherwise would be vacant,
is the inducement.
The Hospital is about a mile out from the city, and near
Camp Cumberland. It consists of tents in the rear of a fine,
large mansion which was deserted by its rebel owner. In
these tents ai-e about 800 i^atients — including convalescents,
contrabands, soldiers and citizens. Everything seems done
for their comfort which can well be, with the scarcity of help.
Cleanliness and ventilation are duly attended to ; but the un-
sightly, swollen faces, blotched with eruption, or presenting
an entire scab, and the offensive odor, require some strength
of nerve in those who minister to their necessities. There
are six physicians each in charge of a division. Those in
which I am assigned to duty are in charge of Drs. P. & C.
There is but one lady nurse here, aside from the wives of three
surgeons, — each of whom, however, has her special duty.
Mrs. B., the nurse, went with me through the tents, intro-
duced me to the patients and explained my duties.
A woman and boy died in my division last night. The
woman left a little child, eighteen months old, which is incon-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 43
solable. The father, a soldier, wishes to take the child
away, but was not permitted to do so or to see it, for fear of
contagion. It is to be kept to see if the child has tlie dis-
ease. [It did not, and had no scar from vaccination, such
queer freaks the disease takes.]
The boy, an Alabamian, told me yesterday he was getting
better. He had been sent here with measles, recovered from
those, but the small pox did not break out. He died easy,
and said he was "going to Heaven.'- I write his people to-
day, via Fortress Monroe. His name was G. B. Alien, of
Rockford, Cousa Co., Alabama. One man died yesterday, to
whose people I have written to-day. Another died to-day.
The mortality here is great. Said one patient to me ;
" People die mighty easy here."
I asked in what way, he meant.
" Oh," he replied, " they'll be mighty peart-like, one min-
ute, an' the next you know, they're dead ! "
This is true, and I find so many who were sent here with
measles, recover from those, and die of small pox. Sixty
cases of ineasles were sent to this hospital in one month, as I
learn from the lips of the surgeon in charge himself. Dr. F.
These are sent by the several physicians of Nashville. The
fact itself speaks volumes, but to stay here and see its effects
day after day in the poor victims of such ignorance, impress
one with a sense of the importance by the medical faculty of
distinguishing between the two diseases.
Saturday, April 16.
I find many very interesting cases here, some of which
shall wait to see the finale before making note of them.
What seems to me a strange feature, as I become more
familiar with death-bed scenes, is the fact that so few know
tliey are dying or are even dangerous, but persist with the last
44 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
breath, or until the last struggle, that they are " getting bet-
One poor young boy from Georgia, by the name of Ash-
man, who must die, although he eats nothing except a few
canned peaches and milk, which I carry to him, will tell me
sometimes when I go into the tent, that he is expecting a can
of peaches every minute from home, and at another that he
has just heard that his mother is in town, and that if he re-
ally knew she was, he would'nt lie there a great while before
he'd be hunting her up. At another, he asked my name and
State, and whether I took him to be a man or only a little
boy. He is a slight little fellow of about 18, but in answer
to the question I told him that of course I considered one re-
ally a man who could be a soldier and fight for our country,
and who could be so good and patient while sick. To-day he
called me to him, as soon as I entered the tent, and asked if I
" could'ut discharge him to-day — that the doctor had told him
to ask me about it, and that whatever I said he might do."
I told him that I would discharge him just as soon as that
limb of his got well, and reminded him that he would want to
be able to walk to the cars before starting home. He has a
bad abscess on his limb, from which the doctor says the flesh is
sloughing, and he does not expect him to live through to-
night. And yet the boy wants me to " write to his mother
in Atlanta, Georgia, and tell her to write to his aunt Shady
in Butler," that he " has been sicJc, but is getting better."
One man — G. W. Crane, of 3d Missouri Infantry, and who
is called Major, was given up the day before yesterday by
He complained greatly of his throat, and I have since kept
wet bandages on it, greatly to his relief. I asked permission
of the doctor to do this, and advice as to telling him of his dan-
ger. He thought it would be well to do so, as he might wish
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 45
to make some business arrangements. It was a most unwel-
come task, but I believed it best ; and first, asked him if he
would like a letter written to his people.
" Oh no," was the reply, I shall be able to write myself in
a few days."
" Perhaps you may," I said, " but we are all in more or less
danger when sick." Adding as gently as possible, " How
would you feel about it, if you thought you were not going to
get well ?"
The queries seemed cruel, but I knew he had loaned a gold
watch and money to a man, and thought he might wish to at-
tend to that and other matters. But he said decidedly " I do
not thmk anything about it, as I have no doubt I shall soon
be up again. And Madam," he added politely, "it would
afford me great pleasure to talk with you, if I were feeling
well and in good spirits you know, but my throat is so bad it
hurts me to talk."
After this rebuff, and being really undecided as to duty in
the matter, I left him. Yesterday I found him living, but evi-
dently near his end, and I felt that I ought to let him know
his condition. First, I asked as before about writing letters,
when he said with great difficulty that he did'nt wish to talk
with me as it distressed him to speak. I then said I would
only ask him one or two questions and then leave him, and I
said : —
If the doctor and all thought you could not live, would you
wish to know it ?"
He said " No," decidedly.
" Well then," I said " I will not trouble you any more, but
if at any time you wish letters written, you can send me word
by the nurse."
I left him and he died in about an hour. He called for
water, but as the nurse raised him to give it, he exclaimed " I
46 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
am dying," and then gave some incoherent charge, in which
the nurse distinguished the words; "the lady" and "a let-
His request has been complied with.
Mrs. F. was relating a similar incident to me the other
evening. Dr. F. was at the depot in Nashville, when an old
acquaintance was found there, who had been ill, had received
a sick furlough, and was to take the cars for home. He was
so feeble, he was persuaded to go to a hospital to remain over
night, and take the train next day. In the course of the eve-
ning there was a change, and the physician knew he could
live but a short time. He knew also that w^ere he aware of
the truth he would wish to send some message to his family.
The man was speaking of his home and laying plans for the
future, when the physician asked if he should'nt write a letter
for him to his wife.
" Why no," he replied, " what need of that when I'm to
start home tomorrow ?"
" You may not go then," said the doctor.
" Oh, yes," I must start tomorrow," was the reply.
The surgeon did not answer immediately, but was sadly
thinking how to do so, and regarding the countenance of his
friend, when the patient, who was about talking more of his
plans, suddenly paused upon observing the expression of the
surgeon's face, and earnestly asked : —
" Doctor — you do not think me very sick, do you ?"
" I do," was the sad reply.
" But doctor you don't think me dangerous ?"
" I think you a very sick man."
He lay silent for a few moments while thought was busy,
and then asked : —
" Am I about to ' cross the lines,' doctor f
Tears, and the simple " I think you are," was the answer.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 47
Then was business arranged, messages given, and thej were
alone again. Then he said :
" Why, doctor is this all that death is ? It's nothing at all to
And thus he " crossed the lines."
Sunday, April 17.
Attended service in dining hall. Chaplain S. officiated, and
spoke very well. At the close I gave him the message sent
by two sick men in my division to visit them. He promised
to do so, but though he had to pass the tents where the men
were, in going to his room, he did not do so. Am sorry, as
the men may not live. He may have forgotten it, and if the
men are living tomorrow, will remind him of the same. But
I think it strange that he has not visited any one in my two
divisions, when so many have died.
Three more have died since yesterday forenoon. Geo. W.
Boughton, — Co., 2nd Batt. Vet. Res., Nelson Correll, of Co.
B. 13 Tenn. Cav. and young Ashman mentioned in previous
One man, who is nearly given up by physicians, says he has
been through the Mexican war. He is sergeant and will
swear one minute and pray the next. He declares he always
has liad his own way, and loill have it here. He is delirious
part of the time, but like some others of that class thinks
everybody crazy but himself. If it is his sovereign will and
pleasure to get out of bed and walk about en dishabille, or
take a trip over the mountains on some secret service, for
which he fancies there is a war steed just outside,
" All saddled, all bridled all fit for a fight,"
he thinks the nurse is slightly out of his head to show so
little respect to a superior officer as to threaten to tie him down
to his bed. It has been necessary with him and others. He,
48 HOSPITAL PENCILLING8.
and another man who lay at a little distance, were both delir-
ious last night, and had an argument with each other — or
what they supposed was one, though it seemed difficult for the
nurses to vouch for its connectedness. But it is certain that
a considerable number of oaths were used, and each assured
the other, in plain terms, that he didn't keep truth on his side.
The sergeant, after much gesticulation and violent language,
threatened the other with a personal chastisement if he wasn't
more reasonable in his statements. He was about stepping out
of bed to put the threat into practice, when the nurse produ-
ced a rope to tie him with, if he wasn't quiet ; upon which he
concluded to defer the matter. When he wishes water, he
will sing out in a stentorian voice, for the
" Corporal of the Third Relief !"
Monday April 18.
One man, this morning, while I was taking the name of one
who had just died, to write to his friends, told me that people
throughout the whole land, will bless me for what I am doing.
Wonder if I am doing good. I cannot help knowing that
some will hear from their friends who die here, who other-
wise would not.
There is a singular case in Dr. C's. division. Upon enter-
ing the tent the first day after my arrival, with reading mat-
ter for distribution, I inquired of a young German if he could
read that language presenting a paper. He said " no," I then
offered one in the English language, asking the same question
He said he could read, but didn't wish the paper. The next
day I did not notice him particularly, as he was sitting up, but
the day following found him lying in bed, and that he would
not answer when spoken to. While feeding another man
with canned peaches who lay near, the nurse said : —
" You cannot make that man speak to you."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 49
" What is the trouble," was asked.
" Well, it is this," was the reply. He says that day before
yesterday, when you asked him if he could read English, he
told you a falsehood, for he cannot read at all. He has been
dreadfully distressed about it ever since, and says the Lord
has appeared to him and told him not to eat a mouthful, nor
speak to any one except once a day, to the surgeon and my-
self, until he has forgiven him for the sin. He will speak to
no one, not even the other nurse who has charge a part of the
time, and says, he will not, until he gets religion."
" What is his name ?"
" Wouldn't you like some of these nice canned peaches, Os-
wald ? " w^e ask, dipping up some of the delicious fruit. He
looked at us smiling but with tightly pressed ]ips.
" These are very nice — they'll do you good, and we want
to make you well as soon as possible. Won't you have some,
* No answer.
" Not going to speak to me ? Why only think — here's a
man trying to get religion and be a Christian and he won't
speak to somebody else who is a Christian. I've professed to
be one these many years, and you won't speak to me ! Now,
if you could only read the Bible, you'd know that it says
" speak often to each other. You cannot read, can you ? "
He shakes his head.
" Well, it's a pity, but don't you see that if the Bible says
so, you ought to speak, and don't you see that Christian min-
isters have to talk to sinners to teach them to be good — and
if ministers talk to sinners, shouldn't sinners talk to Chris-
tians — don't you see that ? "
" Yes, yes, I do," he ejaculated, seizing my hand — " I will
talk to you for you're a Christian."
50 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
We gave him some peaches and left him.
The next morning, however, nothing could induce him to
speak. He has continued thus ever since — five days and has
eaten nothing. He received a forcible cold bath this morning
with the promise of its repetition if he does not speak and
eat. [This was continued till he both spoke and ate. But
he was believed to be a hopeless monomaniac, and after some
weeks received his discharge and was sent home.] It is pos-
sible that this is mere pretence and his object the same as
that of another soldier of whom we have heard, at Jefferson
Barracks, Mo. This one used to go daily with a bent pin
for a fishhook, and sit for hours upon a stump on the hillside,
waiting quietly for the bite which never came, at least in the
estimation of others. He was the butt of ridicule for the
whole camp, who, while they pitied him on account of his sup-
posed insanity, could but laugh at his perseverance mjishing
upon dry ground. He received his discharge, when flourish-
ing it in their faces, he informed them that it was " now' his
turn to laugh, as he had received what he had all along been
fishing for — viz: a discharged
Tuesday, April 19.
Another change. I am to leave this hospital to-day, as a
Miss P. from Chicago, who had been engaged for the place,
and expected some three weeks since, has just arrived. I
have become really attached to the patients, and on some ac-
counts dislike leaving. It seems that Miss O. and myself
were intended for Chattanooga or other place farther toward
the front, but in consequence of waiting for Miss O., the
place was filled before our arrival. I fear there may not
be any other place open for me. And when I can go in
so many hospitals and see sick men suffering from neglect or
want of moi'e help, I shall think it very hard if I cannot do
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 51
something. Two other ladies have been sent back, with the
assurance that there was no oj)ening for them.
I have just been through the tents and introduced Miss P.
to the patients. Many are feeling sad, or appearing and ex-
pressing themselves so, that I am going to leave. Received
many warm expressions of gratitude from many for the very
little I have been able to do for them.
In going into one tent, found one of the nurses just recov-
ering from an attack of lockjaw. When able to speak, he
told me that it had " followed him, like an evil shadow, for
ten long years."
Then followed an interesting recital of the cause, which was
a gun-shot wound in the spine from the hand of a brother in
an encounter with a grizzly bear in the rocky mountain. He
himself ran away from home at the age of twelve, to follow
his brother in a hunting expedition. After the brother had
fired, the bear sprang toward him, and with one stroke of his
paw laid the flesh from the bone from the forehead down one
side of his face and arm to the elbow. The ball had only
grazed the spine of the narrator, and seeing his brother in
such danger, who called to him to fire, he did so and fortu-
nately the shot was fatal to bruin. Their horses bore them
to the nearest settlement, and the brother's life was saved.
This nurse I had always observed as quiet, efficient, faith-
ful, and a favorite with the patients.
The sergeant mentioned last under date of the 17th, over-
hearing me say that I was to leave to-day, and that I did not
know where I should be stationed, advised me " not to be go-
ing round from one place to another, but to join a regiment, as
I would be in less danger from guerillas."
Northern people, who think that all Government employees
fatten on commissary stores, ought to' see the table which is
set at this hospital. It is exceedingly plain ; and it some-
52 HOSPITAL rENCILLIXGS.
times requires more moral courage than all are very long,
capable of exercising, to inhale the odor of oyster soup,
custards, pies, and sweatmeats, which latter are sometimes
prepared for those who are convalescing, but very rare-
ly bless the palate of those who prepare them, or daily to
deal out the jellys, blanc-mange and canned fruit without ever
tasting. An instance of this kind has occurred here which
not only increased our respect for the surgeon, but amused us
not a little.
The usual rations, such as tough army beef, baker's bread
and stale butter, with muddy coffee, served in brown mugs,
has been the diet for so long a time that it has ceased to be
very palatable. To the steward perhaps this was particularly
so, and probably thinking that we had been sufficiently indus-
trious and self-denying to merit a treat, and as five boxes of
canned oysters had just arrived as a present from the Chris-
tian commission, he ordered enough cooked for dinner, in ad-
dition to the usual fare, to give all, from the surgeon in charge
to the servants, a taste.
" It will take but five cans for us," said the wife of the sur-
geon-in-charge to me, " while for the patients a meal, it will
require twenty cans."
So she, with the wife of doctor R., who jointly had charge
of the diet kitchen, prepared the oysters, and at the usual
hour, tliose, with the liungr}^ expectants, appeared in the din-
ing-room. The soup had been partially served up but no one
had time to taste it, when the surgeon-in-charge walked in
and took a seat at the table. Probably the peculiar odour of
the oysters and the ominous hush at the table warned him to
be on the alert for something unusual.
Unusually demure, certainly, was the manner of the one
table waiter, as he proceeded to the table, with another dish
of the forbidden food.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 53
The surgeon might well have exclaimed with Caesar, " Veni
vidi, vici," for smoothing an instant smile from his features,
with a forced sternness he demanded : —
" What have you there ?"
" Oysters," meekly responded the servant, who as well as
the rest of us, more than suspected what might be coming.
" Take every one of those from the table," said he, " and
don't let me see anything of this kind again. There are too
many sick boys up at the tents, needing these things, for us
to eat them !"
The oysters tvere taken from the table we are quite posi-
tive, and furthermore, that that was the last we ever saw of
It was, however, respectfully suggested to the surgeon by
some one that he make it convenient to dine out at as early a
day as possible, and acquaint his wife and the steward with
the fact some time previous. He didn't promise, however,
and the oysters have never since appeared to us.
54 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Wednesday, April 20.
Back in town again. I've done something but havn't the
least idea what, to displease somebody and havn't the least
idea who. Perhaps some one of my friends here, will, after a
day or so find the important secret too burdensome to keep
alone, and will share it with me.
Just think what it is, Hallicarnassus, to go abroad and see
the world — and feel it too, for that matter.
But in order to think as little as possible of that terrible
crime of which I've been guilty, before finding out what it is,
am going to hunt up enough work to keep my head and
hands busy in the hospitals about town.
Glad to meet my travelling companion, Miss O., again.
She has remained at this home of the Christian Commission,
engaged in the preparation of delicacies, which are taken out
to hospitals, or barracks, as needed.
This building, to which we came upon our arrival, is a spa-
cious three story brick, at No. 14 Spruce Street. It was de-
serted by a rebel banker just before our forces entered Nash-
ville, who took nothing south, except his gold and silver. A
man from New York, whose conscience permitted him to take
the oath of allegiance, removed and stored up against the re-
turn of his rebel friend, the silver and glass service, curtains,
works of art, &c., but left much fine furniture, such as massive
sofa bedsteads, marble-topped stands, tables, bureaux, a well-
filled book-case, writing table and piano.
In Secretary Stanton's own handwriting, we saw permission
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 55
given to occupy this building till the close of the war, to INIrs.
H., of the Philadelphia Ladies' Aid Society, " together with
other ladies who might be associated with her, in any benevo-
lent enterprise having for its object the relief of invalid
She is confident he meant benevolent gentlemen, also, so
one half of the house is given up to the Rev. E. P. Smith
and family, who make a home for the delegates of the Chris-
Thus are many of the private as well as public buildings
reduced from their lofty position of serving southern chivalry^
to the vile misuse of northern mudsills. " Oh, Babylon how
art thou fallen !" must be the lamentation of the Nashvillians,
as they see the desecration of their beautiful edifices by north-
" Oh ! the citizens here would tear us to pieces very quick,"
said Mrs. Smith, the eve of our arrival, " were it not for the
' blue coats ' about. Our dependence is in those and the
guns of Fort Negley."
Visited the Refugee Home again, this P. M. Saw some
of those mentioned in a previous date. As I entered one
room, a woman was bustling about in a great passion, and
picking up a few personal rags, while ordering her son to get
up and they would find a place to stay where she shouldn't be
" set to do niggar's work ! "
She was a healthy, strong woman, and had been repeatedly
requested to make her own and son's bed, and assist in sweep-
ing or cooking for the numerous inmates. Indeed, I think
she had received a gentle hint that it might be as well to see
that her son and herself had clean linen as often as once in
two or three weeks, and that the use of a comb occasionally
56 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
would not detract from their personal appearance. But
she had her own peculiar ideas, obtained from living under
the domination of a peculiar institution, and didn't fancy be-
ing dictated to in the delicate matter of her per so7i€Ue.
Ujwn entering what is called the lecture-room we saw sev-
eral families and parts of families, which had within two hours
arrived on the trains from Alabama or Georgia.
I found that some of these snuff-dipping, clay-colored,
greasy and uncombed ladies " from Alabam and Gorgee," are
as expert marksmen as any of our northern exquisites, as
they deposit the " terbaker " juice most beautifully into and
around any knot-hole or crack in the floor, and while they
are at the distance of several feet. Its wonderful how they
do it — am afraid I should never be able to learn.
We approach one woman who is standing by a rough board
bunk, upon and around which are several children overcome
by the fatigue of travelling. She, unlike the generality, is
neatly dressed in a clean dark calico and sunbonnet, and
wears a cheerful and intelligent look. She informs us that
these are all her childi-en — six of them, that her husband is
in the Union army, only a few miles out, that he had sent for
her to come here, and she expects to see him in a few days.
She cannot write, for she hasn't been to school a day in her
life, and she says : —
" An' that thar's suthin' you people hev' up north, thet we
don't. Poor folks thar, hev' a chance to give thar children
some larnin' ; but them as owns plantations down our way,
don't give poor folks no chance. Larnin's only for rich folks.
But my children shan't grow up to not know no more nor
thar father nor thar mother, ef I kin' help it. Ef this war
don't close so's to make it better for poor folks down har, we'll
go north. Thar's a woman what kin' write," she adds with
an admiring glance to the other side of the room, " an' she's
writin' a letter for me to my husband."
HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS. 57
We glance that way, and see a youngish woman, whose
entire clothing evidently consists of one garment, a dress
which is colored with some kind of bark. She sits in con-
scious superiority, scarcely deigning to notice us, as we ap-
proach, while she is carefully managing the writing with one
eye, while her head is turned half way from it, so that the
ashes or coal, from the long pipe between her lips, may not
fall upon the paper. Her air and manner are evidently in-
tended to be regal, for isn't she the woman " what kin' write ?"
At a little distance sat a hale, broad-shouldered, stalwart
man, who looked as if he were able to do the work of half a
dozen common men, who inquired of us, where " Hio was — if
'twas in Dlinois " — and whether if he went to either of those
places he would be " pressed into the service." In reply, we
informed the gentleman that " Ohio was not in Illinois, but
that if he went to either, he would probably have to stand his
chance of being drafted, together with other good loyalists —
with the physicians, lawyers, editors, and ministers. He did
not reply to that, but his looks spoke eloquently,
" For a lodge in some vast wdlderness, —
Some boimdless contiguity of shade "
Where war and draft come not.
Miss Ada jM., the Matron of the Refugee Home, was, in
our room this eve, and said that she was yesterday ^^reparing
some sewing for some young Misses, who were conversing
earnestly about the Yankees. Finding their ideas rather
erroneous with regard to that class of people, she made a re-
mark to the eiFect that she was one herself.
" Why, you 'aint a Yankee?" exclaimed a Miss of fifteen
dropping her work in blank astonishment.
" Yes, indeed, I am," was the reply.
" Why," said the girl, with remarkably large eyes, " I've
58 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
allays liearn tell that the Yankees has horns, and one eye in
the middle of their foreheads ! "
Yesterday morning, Mr. F., a gentleman from my native
State, Massachusetts, and who has charge of the Refugee
Farm, asked if I would not like to ride out to the place, — they
*' wanted a teacher and perhaps I might be willing to engage
as one, if not the ride and fresh air would do me good."
" Yes, I should enjoy it."
Then hour after hour passed away, with the fresh morning
air, and not until at the dinner table did I meet my expected
cavalier. He explained :
The fact was the poor old nag, which hadjjeen turned out
some months before by government to die, like some other
contrabands of war, wouldn't work — he was free ! But he
had confiscated another animal from Government and hoped
he might not long say of that as in the nursery ballad, that
" The horse wouldn't go,"
as it was
" Time he and I were gone an hour and a half ago."
One, two and three o'clock came, and I overheard Lucy,
one of the black girls, of about fourteen — though she doesn't
know her age — laughing about " that thar Mr. F., who had
been for two long hours, a curryin' an' pattin' an' feedin' that
old horse with sugar, to coax it to be good : but I know by its
actions it has never been harnessed 'fore a carriage in its life.
For it acts, for all the world, like I did, when I ran away to
find my freedom. I couldn't tell for my life, whether to go
backwards or forward, to keep out of danger."
In answer to my questions, she tells me that she was " the
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 59
very first one that Lincoln set free in Winchester, but that as
soon as she was gone, all the other nigs left."
Of course, her remarks about the horse were not very en-
couraging as regarded the safety or pleasure of the trip, even
if he decided at last to go forward instead of backward. At
half-past three, the equipage was announced in readiness,
when, with a most self-denying spirit, I assured the gentle-
man, that I would willingly forego the pleasure, if the animal
was not perfectly safe. But he was quite positive upon that
subject, and as I perceived the appearance of the contraband
did not indicate anything vicious or powerful enough to be
very dangerous, we started. Had a ride of perhaps two
miles upon the other side of the town, stopped a moment by
the guard, then allowed to proceed a mile farther to the Re-
This is best known to citizens as the Eweing farm. It was
a splendid place, but has been nearly ruined by General Buel's
army who camped uj^on it. Trees were felled, fences torn
down, windows broken entirely out, and several fine out-
buildings destroyed, such as a spring-house and conservatory,
which I would like to have seen in its glory. Picked a
beautiful bouquet of aj^ple-japonica and pomegranate blos-
soms. Saw a " Butternut " planting cotton. He told me he
expects, if the crop does well, to realize " one bale of picked
cotton " from the two acres, which at present prices will brino-
$250. The yield, he said, was only about a half or a third
what it would be three degrees farther south.
Went out in an ambulance with Rev. Dr. D., Mr. E. and
Mrs. H., Iowa State Agent, to hear the first named gentle-
man preach to a portion of the fifths I think, Ohio Cavalry.
They are camped on the Achlen estate. Saw a tree called
60 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
the Red Bud and the mistletoe for the first time. The last
grew on an elm. Secured sjDecimens of each for pressing.
Was indebted for the same to politeness of a gentleman who
sported one bar.
Attended service also this morn and eve at Union Church ;
Rev. Mr. Allen officiated in the morning and Rev. Mr. Cramer
this eve. The last is a young man and brother-in-law of
The ambulance and driver were j)laced at my disposal this
P.M., and I visited Hospital No. 1. I find changes here, but
mostly for the better. Some have recovered sufficiently to
be sent North. The " Alabamian," as he was called, who
together with " William " was placed in my care, I am grieved
to learn has " crossed the lines." He was getting better I
was told, until one night he died suddenly of an ulcer on his
lungs. William is dressed and walks around — is surely get-
ting well, and talking of going home. Has had a letter
written to his father and received a reply. Seems very
grateful. The German suffered no more j^ain from the am-
putation, and is hopeful. The Norwegian has no gangrene
in his arm now, and it is fast healing.
I find two or three new cases of interest. One is a middle-
aged man who is suffering greatly from ulcers caused by
scurvy. It is thought that he cannot live long; and he tells
me that he isn't ready to die — that he has " been a bad man,
that if the Lord will only spare him this time, he will live a
different life." Another, a young man with fair skin, red
cheeks and bright eyes, the victim of consumption, was moaning,
" Oulv to die at home with mother ! "
HOSriTAL PENCILLINGS. 61
Am expecting soon to go to Huntsville, Alabama, as hos
pital nurse. Should have gone four days since, had not Gen
Sherman closed the way against everybody and everything
except soldiers, rations, gunpowder and pontoon bridges.
The road has been crowded with those for a week jDast. A
great battle is expected to come off very soon, some where at
the front. The Government has been pressing horses of
every description into the service to-day. The streets have
been crowded with teams marked "United States Transfer,"
those of " Q. M. D." and ammunition wagons.
This evening 600 horses have gone jDast our door, en route
for the front, where they are to act as scouts, I understand —
not the horses, though, I believe, but their riders.
General Sherman, himself, left for the front to-day noon.
During this time of waiting for a pass, rather than remain
idle, and also for the purpose of picking up some grains of
knowledge with regard to the " capacity " of the colored
race — which I believe a wealthy man said he would buy for
his daughter if she was'nt supplied with the article — I volun-
teered my services yesterday, as teacher in Mr. Brown's
school. This is held in the body of the colored peoples'
church, near the Chattanooga depot ; Mr. B. is from Hamil-
ton, Ohio, and is the pioneer h#re, in this work. There are
some 400 pupils and five teachers, all in one room. I sup-
posed they were having recess when I entered, but found that
it was impossible to prevent them from studying aloud. It
seems it is practiced in the shcools of white children here, and
the great number in this one room, prevented such discipline
as otherwise would have been secured.
The aptness of the pupils, as a whole, is really surprising.
62 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Some have learned the alphabet, I am told, in three days, and
others in a week.
It is said that all northern people who A'isit the school, very
soon fall a victim to that fearful disease, known by the south-
ern chivalry and northern copperheads, as " niggar on the
brain." And I will confess my belief that were I to teach in
this school very long, I might become so interested in some
of my pujDils I should sometimes forget that they were not of
the same color as myself, and really believe that God di<l
make of one blood all nations of the earth.
They present every shade of color from the blackest hue to
a fairer skin than my own. It is often necessary to find out
who the mother is before you know whether the person is
white or black. The age varies from four to thirty.
The progress of some is really astonishing. One little
black girl of seven years, and with wooly head, can read flu-
ently in the Fourth Reader, and studies primary, geography,
and arithmetic, who has been to school but one year. I in-
quired if any one taught her at home, or if she had not learn-
ed how to read before that time. '' Oh, no, I learned my letters
when I first came to school, and I live with my aunt Mary,
and she can't read. She's no kin to me, and I havn't any
kin, but I call her aunt."
Perhaps she never had aif)% or is related to Topsey, and if
questioned farther, might say she " 'spects she grew." A boy
of about twelve, who has been to school but nine months, and
who learned his letters in that time, reads in the Third Reader
and studies geography. Some are truly polite. The first day
of my taking charge of one of the divisions, a delicate fea-
tured, brown-skinned little girl of about nine years came to
me and said with the sweetest voice and manner : —
" Lady will you please tell me your name ?"
I did so, when she thanked me and said : —
HOSPITAL PENCILLING S. 63
" Miss P can you please hear our Third Reader this
ftiorning." It was not an idle question either, for the school is
so large that now, while two of the teachers are absent, from
illness, some of the classes are each day necessarily neglected.
And so eager are tlie generality of the pupils to learn, that
most of them are in two or three reading and Sj^elling classes
at the same time.
One might now not only exclaim with Gallileo, " the world
does move," but add, and we move with it. For though but a
little time since the negro dared not say " I think," lest the
master might exclaim, — " You think, you black niggar — never
you mind about that, I'll do your thinking for you," but would
instead, say deferentially, with bent head and hand in his
wooly hair, " Wall, massa, I'se been a studyin' about dat
dar," is now learning to stand erect and confess that he does
think, as well as learn to read and write.
One of the more advanced pupils told me that her father
taught her to read and write before it was safe to let any one
know that he did, or that he could himself read.
Eureka ! That wonderful secret, like '' murder," has " out."
I have been very cautiously, and little by little, and with
many charges not to tell any body, informed of the terrible
crime for which I was tried, convicted, sentenced and banish-
ed, while all the time in blissful ignorance of the crime itself.
This is the way of managing affliirs here, I am told, and it is
called military style. I like it. It saves one all the trouble
and worry of defending one's self. And that might make one
nervous and excited. It saves also confusion in the mind of the
adjudging party, the same as of a certain judge in Missouri,
who having heard evidence on the side of the plaintiff, refused
64 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
to listen to that of the defendant, with the profound remark,
that " whenever he heard both sides he always got things so
mixed u]^, that he never could tell upon which side to give
judgement ! "
But the grave charge, as ferreted out by some two or three
friends, of whidi I am accused, and to most of which I should
have plead " not guilty " had opportunity been given, runs
thus, — that upon a certain occasion, I presented myself before
the surgeon of the division and told him with an authoritative
air, that I wished he " would see that a certain patient had a
mustard poultice on his chest, for he wanted it."
This is my defence. One morning, I found a man suffering
greatly with a pain in the chest from j^neumonia, according to
the physician's diagnosis. He was convalescing from vario-
loid and had taken cold. He breathed very short, seemed in
extreme pain and begged for a mustard jDoultice. J said I
dare not apply it without jDcrmission from the surgeon,
but w^ould ask him immediately. He was in another tent
— the third above, and while going there I recollected
hearing that some physicians w^ere offended even by a request,
and hesitated. Then thinking of the moans and apparent
danger of the sufferer, I proceeded. These contradictory emo-
tions, I can now realize, gave an unusual brusqueness to my
manner, as I said : —
" Doctor there is a patient in the third tent below, on bed.
No. 9, who is in great pain and wants a mustard poultice.
Will you see if be needs it? If so, I can make it."
There was a tlash in his eyes, as he rej^lied : — " / will at-
tend to the man. As for the mustard poultices, it is not
necessary that you should attend to them, as the men nurses
The patient did not have the poultice, but presume the phy-
sician gave him something which removed the pain, as it had
HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS. 65
left him at noon. This trouble was caused simply by a mis-
understanding. He used the word want for need^ so that
when I said the man " wanted " it — meaning he had asked
for it, he interpreted it so as to convey the idea of my assum-
ing the responsibility of saying, " he needed " it. He also
understood me to order him to " see " that the man had it,
when I simply asked if he would " see if he needed it."
I respect this physician and his wife, but wish he had been
certain of my meaning before reporting the speech to the
There is also another little matter which I am certain had
something to do with my departure, but which it would
scarcely be policy for them to mention. It was this. The
next day after speaking to Chaplain S. about visiting those
sick men who had sent for him, and whom, though he was
obliged to pass the tents v/here they lay in going to his room,
he did not visit, I sent a slip of paper, saying in pencil, that as
he had probably forgotten it, and as they were anxious to see
him, I would remind him of this request. I received no re-
sponse to the same, although I am certain he received the
note, and the day passed without his visiting the sick men,
although, at noon, I saw him out for half an hour, engaged in
pitching quoits. I certainly did feel somewhat indignant,
when the next morning came, and I found from the lips of
the sick soldiers that he had not been in the tent ; and I won-
dered, when I knew he had not been in to see a single sick or
dying soldier in my division since my stay, nor preached a
funeral sermon for the many who had died in my division
alone, what could occupy his time. I asked for information
of two of the ladies, and was told in excuse for him, that his
time was fully occupied in discharging the duties of clerk for
the surgeon-in-charge. So here was a chaplain neglecting
the sacred duties of his own profession, though amply paid
66 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
for the same, and earning more of the filthy lucre, to the
neglect of dying men !
Thus endeth the defence. Mrs. Gala Days, you were en*-
tirely correct in your assertion that one must go abroad and
see the world, to have " personal experiences."
Sunday, May 1.
This P. M., Miss O. and myself accompanied Rev. E. P.
Smith to listen to his " colored jDreaching," as he termed it, in
the same church in which is the school for the colored
children. It was a rare treat — and the first colored audience
I ever saw.
Do not imagine a squalid, ragged, filthy audience ; but one
where silks, ribbons, velvet, broadcloth, spotless linen and
beavers predominated, with a sprinkling of beautifully carved
or silver, and gold-headed canes, with about the usual propor-
tion of fops to the canes that one may find in an audience of
equal size, of our own color. Some of these persons are free
and own property. But one would scarcely covet some of
the ladies their silks and velvets, when she learns that it is
purchased with the avails of extra labor at night after the
day's work " for de missus is done."
But so it is. And although the church was built some
years ago with their money, yet it was held in trust by white
people because " negroes cannot own property."
I have been repeatedly told that I would turn pro-slavery
when I came south and saw how things really were. I do
not feel any of the first symptoms as yet, but quite the con-
trary. Instead, I'm getting to believe that the day when the
Emancipation Document was sent forth, was that of which it
is said " a nation shall be born in a day," and I'm learning to
think that this gospel, which is
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 67
" Writ in burnished rows of steel,"
and read by
" Tlie watch-fires of au hundred circling camps/'
is the "word" which ''makes men free," and will forever
strike the manacles from the oppressed bondsman.
One indignant white man, during the first prayer which
was made by a negro preacher, and in which he asked for
blessing upon the Union arms and freedom for slaves, left his
seat and walked the whole length of the church, with heavy
tread and with his hat on his head, while a voice called out, —
" Take your h'at off!"
During the closing prayer the negro very properly prayed,
" Oh Lord, wilt dou give de people good manners and teach
'em right behaviour wen dey come into de house obde Lord!"
The sermon was the Bible-story of the death of James and
the release of Peter from prison. It v/as told in a simple,
earnest, impressive manner, to a deeply attentive, impressible
audience. AY hen he drew the picture of the angel entering
the prison, and taking Peter away as easily as though " his
chains were made of wax and a lighted candle was held be-
neath them, while the four quarternians — sixteen — soldiers
were powerless to act," one old man laughed outright, a
joyous, grateful laugh, others made their peculiar grunting
noise which no combination of sounds will give exactly,
while others shook hands and cried " Glory to God." During
the singing some women had the " power " so that they
passed round, embraced and shook hands.
Some joined the church, and the negro preacher told them
he " hoped that wouldn't be the last of it, and that they'd be
faithful and come to church ; " but that some joined whom he
" never could get a chance to set eyes on again, so that when
they died he never could tell which place they'd gone
68 HOSPITAL PENCILLTNGS.
I have forgotten to note in its proper place, tliat upon
entering the church Miss O. and myself took seats in the only
unoccupied pew in the body of the church. But Rev. Mr. S.
beckoned us forward to a side seat by the pulpit. We took
our seats there, but soon a neat, elderly negress came forward
and said with a coaxing smile and voice, " Young ladies go
up in de altar an' set — you doesn't want to set down here wid
dese yere colored folks." We preferred remaining, and she
urged the matter in vain. Soon an elderly mulatto man,
probably a prominent member in the church, whose portly
form was assisted in its waddles by a gold-headed cane, came
forward and made the same request. But not being accus-
tomed to the highest seat in the synagogue on account of
our possessing a lighter color, we declined doing so until
all the seats were fdled and some must stand, when we did go ;
but upon others coming in they also were induced to take a
seat in the altar.
During the sermon Mr. S. related an interesting personal
experience. He said that a year ago last July he was in
front of Vicksburg, in that dreadful fever region — the Yazoo
bluffs. He felt the fever coming upon him — he knew some-
thing of its workings — he was two thousand miles from any-
body he knew. He said he " had been talking to the boys,
to the sick ones in the hospital, telling them that it didn't
matter where they died if they only had Jesus with them, and
he found that on his back, and on his blanket, had come the
time to take some of his own medicine." He said he " tried
to do so, but found it rather hard to take. He tried to think
that it was just as well to be sick there and to die and be
buried on the Yazoo bluffs, and never see his family again ;
but somehow he couldn't get in that frame of mind, but kept
thinking he would much rather be at home. One morning,
after he had burned and tossed with fever all night, Aunt
JIOSPITAL PENCILLING S. 69
Nancy came aKcl drew back the fo](l^^ of the tent and said:
" ' Massa, how are you this moraing — have you found the
bright side ? '
'• ' Well no. Aunt Nancy, I haven't found anj^ bright side.'
" ' Well, INIassa, I'se sorry you can't, for Aunt Nancy never
get in such trouble but she can find the bright side.'
" ' Well, Nancy,' I said, ' I guess you've never had any very
great trouble — guess you don't know what it is.'
"'Well,' said she with a sigh, 'may be I don't know what
trouble is, but my old man was sold away from me down in
old Virginny and I never see him anymore, and then my son,
the staff of my old age, was sold way down in de rice fields,
an' I never see him any more. No — maybe I don't know
what trouble is, but after that my last little boy an' girl was
sold away from me, an' I never see them any more — an' now
I'm getting so old I'll never go back to ole Yirginny any
more ! '
'• ' Well, Aunt Nancy, that is trouble ; but tell me how you
managed to find the bright side.'
" ' Well, Massa,' she said, ' when I see the storm coming,
and the clouds are thick and get black and blacker, then I
just go ''round the other side of the cloud where Jesus is /'
" ' Then I turned over in my bed, with my face to the back
of the tent, and said ;
" ' Come now fever, death and burial upon the Yazoo bluffs,
if God v.ills, I am ready ! ' "
70 HOSPITAL PENCILT.INGS.
Tuesday, May 3.
Spring has long delayed her coming here as well as north-
ward. I could not he comfortable this P. M. in my room
without a fire. Still, despite the cold, I have seen the blos-
som of a species of magnolia, which is very beautiful. It is
in shape and size something like the African lily, and grew
upon a tree the size of the common apple. It is of a peach-
blow hue upon the outside and white within, and with the
mingled fragrance of the roses and lemon.
Aunt Nanny, the former housekeeper of the rebel banker
who owned this residence, has just been giving me a highly
interesting account of the scenes here when it became known
that our forces were coming towards Nashville. It was on
Sunday morning the news reached the white citizens, when
they were on their way to church. And the streets were
soon filled with half-crazed people flying here and there,
women and children and even men running out of breath,
and screaming, "The Yankees are coming," Mdiile the less
excited ones were securing evjer}^ possible conveyance to use
" We colored folks," said Aunt Nanny, " knew it in the night,
and all de mornin' while de white ones was so quiet a piitiii'
on dere finery for church, we knew it wouldn't last long. An'
we was all so full wid de great joy, dat we'se a sayin' in our
hearts all de time '' Bless de Lord,''' " Thank de good God,''
for de " day of jubilee has come ! "
"But w^e was mighty hush, an' put on just as long faces as
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 71
we could, ail' was might' 'si^rized when they told us of it. -An*
missus she come runniii' back from the street wid' her bonnet
on her neck, an' the strings a flyin', an' she come to the kitch-
en and put up both arms, an' she said : —
" ' Oh, Aunt Nanny, we'll all be killed ! The Yankees are
coming ! They'll hang or cut the throat of every niggar
that's left here ! '
" An' after that she tried to have me go south with her, but
I told her I'd risk the Yankees a killin' us, an' I wouldn't
Aunt Nanny is respected by all who know her. She is
neat, industrious, well-informed, although she cannot read, re-
spectful, polite, affectionate, virtuous, and a Christian. Her
husband is here, and she has one little daughter who is in my
division at school.
She tells me also that only last Sunday she saw the body
of a dead negro boy of about nine years who died from blows
received from his mistress. The cause was her anger that his
mother had run away in search of freedom. But the mother
heard of the illness of her child and returned in time to hear
him say that " the whipping his mistress had given him had
killed him," and to find upon his back the terrible gashes
from the whip, and bruises from blow\s.
I wdsh I had known of this before the child was buried.
Having the name of speaking my mind, it might be as well to
do so, occasionally.
Have just listened to a little incident which occurred some
months since. While Grant had charge of this department.
General Rousseau in his absence, issued an order to the effect
that slaveholders, who had taken the oath of allegiance, might
dispose of their slaves. One man from the country, accord-
ingly drove in several slave Avomeii tied hand to hand. But
Grant had suddenlv returned and countermanded the permit,
72 HOSPITAL PI':NCILLINGS.
and he could not dispose of them. He got into his carriage
and ordered his negro women to march home. They refused
to obey. This was unprecedented insolence. He caught his
horse-whip and was about laying it over their shoulders when
the " blue coats " appeared as suddenly and as thick around
him as if like fairies they had popped out of the ground.
" No whipping here ! No whipping here ! " they exclaim-
ed, and the result was, he was forced to return alone, and
they were slaves no longer.
Wednesday, May 4.
A death in the house. Little Clark, the only son of Rev.
E. P. Smith, aged three and a half.years, died last night. It
is a sad affliction. The disease, decline from measles. The
funeral service was held in the parlor, this P. M., by Rev.
Mr. Allen. His body was embalmed and is to be sent to the
Sabbath School of the parish, over which Mr. S. jDresided, at
To me it seems strangely touching — this trusting of the
precious remains to the chances of travel, and so many miles
away, to land in the throng of sad little faces to whose ques-
tioning glances he can -perchance respond
" From the land o' the leal."
He was laid out in a child's military suit of light blue, with
star-flowers, snow-drops, rose-buds, and leaves of the rose
geranium. It was a sweetly sacred bequest to the Sabbath
Have been to Hospital, No. 1, at the request of a motlier
whose young son had died there. She is in great anxiety to
learn something of his last words, and whetlier he died a
HOSPITAL PENCILLING8. 73
Christian. I have just written her the facts, that there was
no outward evidence of the same, but that she must trust the
Good Father that it was " well with him."
All the patients whom I have mentioned in my journal,
are better. Even the one with ulcers is improving. As for
William he has applied for a furlough, and expects soon to go
Day before yesterday a girl came to school who had just
the look and complexion of a snufF-dipping refugee. She,
also, like them, wore a dress of the same color, derived from
some kind of bark. Her manner was as listless and her ex-
pression as vacant. Wishing much to know whether she
could claim our superior race as her own, or whether a few
drops of the black blood in her veins had procured perhaps
from her father and master the fiat — " only a niggar ! " I
made known my curiosity to one of the teachers, with my
perplexity as to how I should obtain the coveted information,
without wounding her feelings.
" Oh ! you need not fear that," was the reply, " they're used
to it, and expect to be asked whether they're niggars or not."
I could not do it, however, without considerable circumlo-
cution ; and commenced by asking if she could buy herself a
book, whom she lived with, &c. After some time the ques-
tions eliminated the fact that though she didn't know whether
she was free, or a " refugee," her own second name, or the
age, — she did know that she had lived most of her life in
Texas, where she had always worked out of doors, had hoed
corn, and ploughed — that she lived with the same people
now — that her father she had never heard anything of — that
her mother was black, " though not real black," and finally
that she herself was a " niggar," — which nobody else could
have told by her features or complexion.
A lady who stopped over night, on her way home from
74 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Bridgeport, where she has been stationed with her husband in
charge of sanitary stores, relates the following :
She said that sitting a few days since in the rooms where
were the stores of the Christian Commission, she saw a wo-
man, when half a mile distant, who had a long stick in her
hand. She supposed that being weary perhaps, with a long
walk, she had picked it up to serve the office of a cane. But
after entering, and engaging for some time in jovial conversa-
tion and laughter with some neighbors, she found there, she
made known her errand. She w^anted to beg a shirt, pair of
stockings and a coffin for her husband, and the stick was the
measure of his body. ]\Iy informant asked the age of the de-
ceased husband, and she replied :
" Well, now, I never rightly axed him how old he was. but
I reckon he mought be nigh on to thirty or forty I "
Tuesday, May 10.
My friend Miss 0. is quite ill. We fear it may prove ty-
phoid fever. Shall not enter the school again until she is
Last evening, had just seated myself to write to Mrs.
Bickerdyke who had promised me a situation in Huntsville,
Alabama, when she and Mrs. Jeremiah Porter, of Chicago,
arrived on train from that place, bound for the front of Sher-
man's army, if they can procure passes.
To-day at dinner table, heard Rev. Dr. Thompson, of New
York city, say that he saw 8,000 men march through the
streets of Paris, at that farce entitled the election of Napole-
on. I expressed my idea of the grand sight to Mrs. B. when
she said that was not equal to what may be seen now. That
there are " twice that number marching to the front now."
" Is there ? " was the surprised inquiry.
" Yes," she replied, " why don't you read the papers ? You
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 75
ignorant women in the army do ask such foolish questions ! "
This is her style of speech, but she is a perfect hero in the
army, among sick soldiers.
It seems that not long since she solicited and obtained con-
tributions of fruit and vegetables for the soldiers who are
suffering with scrofulous diseases for want of them. Some
have arrived at this place, which she had ordered to be sent to
Huutsville. She had left word while here some time since,
with Colonel, or Captain Somebody, whose duty it was to at-
tend to the matter, to forward them immediately upon their ar-
rival. She also wrote the same from Huntsville, and still the
fruits and vegetables came not, although she had learned of
their arrival at this city, while the sick men in the hospital
were suffering for the want of the vegetables, which were
wasting from decay. This morning, she sallied out to ferret
out the matter. In an hour or two she came capering into
our room, where Mrs. P. was writing, and swinging her bon-
net by the string, exclaimed :
" There, I've done it ! I've said it ! I've had it all my
own way, for you wasn't there — addressing Mrs. P. — , to
nudge my elbow and whisper ' be careful now, don't say too
much,' or to tell the one I'm talking to ' Oh, she don't mean
that.' Why what do you think I found ?" she continued. I
found those cars of vegetables moved on to a side track to
spoil for days, while some of these officers have been sending
on i\\Q\Y Jine furniture to Jceep house with, down to Huntsville.
And after finding this out, I went to the office of this fine
gentleman in shoulder-straps, and told him to send on those
things in double quick-time, or I'd have his official head taken
off. And I asked him if it needed a Miss Nancy to come
and tell Miss Betty what her duty was, before she could do
76 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Miss O. since last date, has been daily growing worse. It
seems she must have typhoid fever, and for one of her deli-
cate health and sensitive nerves, we fear the worst. Her
mind is at times wandering, and she dwells upon the scenes of
filth and wretchedness she has seen among the refugees. At
the commencement of her illness she was playfully told that
she had " refugee on the brain." But it has since become
too serious a matter to jest about, for she is sometimes certain
they are in the bed with her ; and this morning she told me
of that " filthy refugee phlegm she spits up." She is a favor-
ite in the house, and has every needed comfort and attention.
I shall not leave for a hospital during her illness.
It was this subject which won from Mrs. P. the following :
" A soldier at Fort Donaldson was wounded in the head, and
was taken care of by Mrs. B. He was at times deranged,
but got better and went to his home in Michigan. Afterward
he became so bad as to require constant watching, and it was
decided to take him to the insane asylum at Jackson. While
on his way there, in the care of his brother, who was worn
out with wakefulness, Mrs. B. entered the car. The insane
man knew his old nurse, and she said the saying flashed
through her mind that we should treat a crazy man as though
everybody was crazy but himself. So she said to him : —
"Why you're taking your brother to Jackson, aren't you?"
" Yes," he promptly responded.
'' How long has he been crazy ? " she asked.
" Oh ! he has always been crazy," he replied with em-
So she told him she would help him watch his brother, and
taking his arm walked back and forth in the car with him,
and let the well man lie down and sleep. They had had much
trouble with him, but he caused none the rest of the way.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 77
She accompanied him to Jackson and has since heard that he
is rapidly recovering.
Mr. v., an acquaintance from Michigan, called on Wednes-
day. He is a secret messenger or spy for the Government.
He wears the citizen's dress and a seven-shooter beneath the
skirts of his coat, and has papers to show that he has a permit
to wear the arms. His headquarters are here, and he goes
on missions to and from the front. He says that on coming
on the train from Chattanoooga last Monday the train was
fired into. He saw one man in the act of firing and he re-
turned the fire, and by the way he tumbled back into the
bushes he had reason to think his own shot took effect.
He says the young lady at his boarding-house on Cedar
Street, exhibited a pistol that morning, and said it was " in-
tended to shoot a Yankee with ; and that most ladies of
Nashville carried one for the same purpose."
He told her in return that they might threaten, but that
they seemed perfectly willing to accept a Yankee for a hus-
band. It seems she has herself refused a wealthy citizen for
a Yankee sutler.
Have found this eve that a Prof. P., a graduate of Yale, is
about as nearly related to myself as the thirteenth cousin ;
and that he as well as myself can trace a relationship back to
the " Mayflower." I think we each took a mutual dislike to the
other from the first, and have been as coolly polite as possible ;
but this chance discovery will probably lead each to look with
much leniency upon the faults of the other.
He tells me that with another of the delegates he has this
P. M. been " the distinguished guest " of the 10th Tennessee
Battery, which is stationed at the Capitol, and very near
Governor Andy Johnson. That they were " sumptuously re-
78 HOSPITAL PENCILLING3.
galed with hard tack and molasses, and coffee with sugar in it! "
Sunday Eve, May 15.
Miss O. is very much worse. I did not sleep any last
night, and about three sent for Dr. F. She is suffering
greatly, and it is the opinion that before many days nature
may give up the contest. I cannot realize it, but fear I am
to lose this dear friend. Having had the exclusive care of
her and feeling quite worn, two ladies volunteered to take my
place to-day and eve. Sought sleep this forenoon but anxiety
prevented but little. This P. M. " Charley," as everybody
calls him, kindly prescribed fresh air and carriage exercise,
and we rode out about two miles to hear a delegate preach to
what is called " Anderson's corps."
It seems they enlisted with a promise that they should
constitute General Anderson's body corps but afterward were
forced into the common field service. They were mostly
graduates and professional men, and some have mutinied.
"Wonder whose fault this was — this wrong done them ? I
should be angry with them, even, should tli^y tell me it was the
fault of the Government. The truth is that Red Tape,
which in its rightful province forms the firm ligatures which
keep in their proper places the different portions of the social
and military systems, is sometimes distorted from its original
use, and made to subserve the interest of petty underlings
and unprincipled officials. It is these who tell us that all
sin and high-handed wickedness which is wrought in high
places, must be " winked at."
" Red Tape is all right," said a poor boy in Hospital No. 8,
" if the commissioned officers did their duty, and had to come
under it the same as the privates. 'Tis the abuse of it which
makes the trouble."
This poor boy had lain for seven long months in the hospi-
HOSPITAL PENCILLTNGS. 79
tal, while begging to go home, after his limb had been, as all
the surgeons declared, permanently bent nearly at right angles
with his body.
" Anderson's corps " is a fine and intellectual looking set of
We also visited the 15th Colored Regiment and saw them
on dress parade. Lieut. Col. accompanied me, and
explained the changes and evolutions. He says that no reg-
iment of our own color could so perfectly learn the evolutions,
or a band learn to perform so well in so short a time.
Thursday Eve, 19.
My friend is somewhat better, but is very restless, and
sleeps but little. She has been moved to a large, pleasant
room in the third story where the air is purer, but the two
large windows which open upon the front street and which
must be open all the time to furnish air for the invalid, admit
the continual tramp, tramp, tramp of the soldiers or horses,
and the rumble of wheels through the long day and night.
Her physician and friends think the only chance for her life
is to obtain the pure air of the North and the quiet of home.
It is in contemplation to send her as soon as it is considered
safe for her to undertake the journey by water.
Have just returned from the Capitol, where I enjoyed the
novelty of listening to the lecture in the Hall of Representa-
tives, and by moonlight, which is described without date in
Chapter Third. Rev. Drs. Thompson, of New York City,
and Buddington, of Brooklyn, have just returned from the
front to-day, and were witnesses of the battle near Dalton and
Found a telegram from the brother of my patient upon my
return. My last letter will reach him in reply.
80 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
On board the " Victory,"
Cumberland Eiver, May 25.
So I am en route for Western Illinois with my sick friend.
She was dressed for the first time since her ilhiess to ride in a
hack to the boat. Did not know of om* going till about two
hours previous. The hurry of preparation, and departure
from friends, was trying to the invalid, and stimulants only
kept her up to reach the boat. An excellent state-room had
been procured and she was placed in the berth. We came
on the boat last eve about five, the boat started about six and
we are now steaminoj down the Cumberland. This is an
excellent boat, there are scarcely any passengers, and every-
thing for our comfort has been freely proffered, which, to-
gether with the gift of free transportation, evinces their
sympathy with the Christian Commission and the cause of
suffering humanity in general. Every one on the boat, from
the colored servants and chambermaid to the captain, seem
anxious to show every needed attention.
The invalid passed a miserable night without sleep, until
after daylight, and is worse this morning. This writing is
the product of seconds of leisure, between times of caring for
her. She is full of sympathy for the sick soldiers, and the
disappointment of having contributed so little for them, in her
short stay, contributes not a little to her anxiety. She is one
of those, who, if her physical strength kept pace with her
ambition, would contribute largely to some labor of love
peculiar to the philanthropist. As it is, she is one of our
HOSPITAL PE^'CILLINGS. 81
silent coral workers, and though her stay in the South has
been short, yet there are those with whom her influence will
go through life for good.
We passed Clarksville, Tenn., about nine this morning.
Saw there the wreck of a boat which ran against the stone
pillars one night, about two months since, causing the death,
by drowning, of about forty Union soldiers. C. is a beautiful
place, A fort guards the river entrance.
Later, passed fort Donaldson. Was surprised to find this
a mere earthwork fortification, instead of some massive and
strong stone or brick structure. It is four or five miles in
extent, and on a high eminence overlooking the river. Our
people now fear nothing from the river, but give more thought
to the land approaches ; with the enemy it was the reverse,
and was the cause of our forces landing below the bend of the
river, out of reach of the guns, and passing round and attack-
ing them on the other side. The green-wooded hillsides were
pointed out to me, on which are buried thousands of martyr
soldiers, martyrs to the cause of our country, or that of
ambition, or to false ideas of duty, but martyrs all the same.
An old lady of seventy, with crutches, came on board at
Clarksville, who is going to Paduca, near which six of her
children reside. She has lived near Clarksville, ever since
quite a little girl, and has never moved over a mile in the
time, till since the war has commenced, but thinks " its terri-
ble moving times now." She thinks : —
"This was to be so, for Scriptur foretelled it, and she
T)leves whichever is in the right will conquer."
I inquired to what passage of Scripture she referred.
" 'Twas that passage what tellcd 'bout ' wars and rumors o'
82 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
In the course of conversation, while answering her queries
as to our destination, she informed us that she " did have a
son an' a right smart lot of other folks, up in Illinois." In re-
ply to the question of what part of the State they were in, she
wasn't " sure now, 'bout that thar, but reckoned they might
not be very far from Vandalia, or used to be, but now they'd
mighty nigh all on 'em died up ! "
My patient slept well last night, and is better to-day. She
told me this morning that she did not tell me how ill she was
yesterday, but that she knew unless there was a change, she
should never see home, and thought it would be so bad if she
should die before getting there. I knew her danger yester-
day, and know it still, but did not know that she realized it
until she told me this. I scarcely fear death for her w^hile on
the route, as the excitement and stimulants will keep her up,
but I fear she will have but a short time to stay at her earthly
home before she goes to one better and more enduring, where
is " rest for the weary."
Passed Cairo . to-day ; and saw Fort Prentice. This also
is merely an earthwork, or fortification, with one ugly looking
iron gun mounted and looking toward the widening of the
river, like an open-mouthed watch-dog, ready to bay at in-
truders. There, the now swollen and muddy waters of the
Ohio mingled with those of the Father of Waters, whose
sandy color formed a striking contrast, and the line of meet-
ing is plainly visible. It is, sometimes, the reverse of this,
when the Mississippi is high, and the Ohio low. I there saw
Bird's Point, and the residence of the man for whom it was
named, while looking upon three States at once.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 83
Passed Cape Geradeau about five o'clock. As the boat
rounded to the shore, a coffin was brought down to the beach
and then on board.
" There," said the Captain, " goes one more soldier home
in a box."
But it proved to be the body of a Mrs. Bradley, who was
droAViied at the launching of a gunboat, at Carondelet, the
10th of last February. Other ladies were precipitated into
the water at the time, but none drowned. Her body was
found the 10th of this month, on a snag seven miles above
Cape Geradeau. The body was past recognition, but there
was a gold button with initials, which had been sent to her by
her husband, and by which she was recognized. The finding
of the body with mention of the button was made in the St
Louis papers, which seeing, he came on, recognized the but-
ton, had the body unburied and with his little boy came on
board with the body, which he is taking to his home in Cin-
cinnati. He is a gunboat builder.
I saw two of those queer-looking Monitors to-day, at Car-
Friday Eve., 27.
The invalid is worse to-day. She suffers very much from
exhaustion, but insisted upon being dressed before reaching
St. Louis, as we expected to take the packet for Quincy to-
night. But we arrived at the lower landing just as the packet
was leaving the upper.
I dispatched a note to the agent of the C. C, as directed
before leaving Nashville, and soon was in receipt of a note
from his clerk, which was addressed to " E. J. P Esq."
and commenced with " Mr. P., Dear Sir." Another note dis-
claiming the titles, and informing them that two lone women
instead needed some attention, very soon brought Mr. Smyth
on board the boat.
84 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
On Board the ""Waksatv,"
Mississippi River, Saturday, May 28.
Everybody is very kind. Mr. Smyth came on board again
this morning, and assisted in carrying my patient in an arm
chair to the carriage in waiting, and then accompanied us to
the upper dock and on board the " Warsaw," where he had pre-
viously secured a pleasant stateroom.
Transportation here is also freely proffered, and the cap-
tain gave the steward and chambermaid orders in my hearing,,
to attend to every call for our comfort. They are all so very
kind, and I am so thankful on Miss O's account.
Qdinct, 111., Sunday Evening, 29.
Last night we were called up in a hurry at twelve o'clock,
to change boats, as one of the engines of the " Warsaw," had
given out. We exchanged for the " Northerner," a small
boat with inferior accommodations, and a slow sailer. The
change was trying to the invahd. The boat landed us at this
city about four, P. M. A note was dispatched to the Eev.
Mr. King, Miss O's former pastor. After some delay, Mrs.
K., with a gentleman, arrived in a carriage, and we were soon
at her comfortable home, and the weary invalid was soon
resting in a soft bed in a quiet room. We have just had a re-
freshing cup of tea, and Mrs. S. sends me off to my room,
where I shall enjoy the luxury of a bath and a rest till morn-
ing, while she enacts the part of nurse.
Took express train, between four and five this morning, and
reached the home of Miss O. about seven. The conductor
very kindly stopped the train so that the car in which she
was, came just in front of her father's gate. There is no sta-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 8o
tion here, but the pale, wasted features of the sufferer were
with him, as others, a jDassj^ort to favor.
As the cars halted, her aged parents came out to receive
their daughter as she was carried to the steps of the car.
They supported her to the house, and not a word was ex-
changed between them and myself, except what concerned her
comfort, until after she had been hastily undressed and placed
in bed and restoratives administered. Then the aged doctor
came forward and taking m}^ hand, said tremulously : —
" And now is this Miss P ? "
" Yes, after so long a time," was the reply.
And then, with tears in his eyes, he pressed a kiss, reverently
it seemed, upon my lips. The mother then kissed me also
with tremulous tenderness. I wondered what induced them
to welcome me in 'such a manner. I suppose they think I've
been kind to their daughter, but if so, a good share of it sprang
from selfishness, for I want her to live for my society.
Monday, June 6.
A week full of anxiety has passed on leaden wings. Have
been ill myself, and necessitated to keep my bed much of the
time, from the care, anxiety and wakefulness of the past three
weeks. But that was a little matter, for I needed only rest
to recover ; while for the invalid, we feared there was no balm
It was the second day after her arrival, that she came very
near leaving this for the better land. She says she was so
near, that she had blessed glimpses of that calm, serene, holy
place. vShe cannot describe it. No beautiful " evergreen
mountains of life," with their tops hid in the blue heavens, no
gorgeous city with its spires and steeples pointing heaven-
ward, no birds on rainbow pinions, or beautiful blessed isles
of Beulah, sleeping on the broad waters in the hazy golden
86 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
distance, with mansions upon each, as though prepared for the
souls of the blessed, which I have vainly pictured to her
mind's vision, can be any comparison to that indescribable
place, which gave such a feeling of ^^ holy calm and rest'
Only a broad ex^Danse of water stretching away beneath the
azure of serene heavens, is the faintest emblem. She " saw
the angels, just as plainly as she has ever seen me," who with
their balmy wings, were
" Eouncl her bed and in her room,
Waiting to waft her spirit home,"
as she often repeats to us.
She was then, and is now, sure that she knows what death
is like, that its " strange coldness not like any other," came
upon her, and she " felt the blood settling round her heart."
She had all day been complaining of a "suffocating feeling
and pain through the lungs," but the feeling that death had
come, came suddenly, and found many of her friends absent.
A " pet brother " was away, and though willing to go, she
wished " first to kiss darling brother good bye." And so she
eagerly took spoonful after spoonful of wine to live until he
might come. He did come and she wished to die in his arms,
and so he held her until the moments grew into hours, and
other friends were sent for, and more stimulants given to keep
her for them, and still she waited upon the hither shore, or
buffeted the swelling flood of Jordan. At one time she would
be in an ecstacy of bliss with the beautiful vision, and at anoth-
er, would feel that " Jesus had left her to tread the dark val-
ley alone, and that thus she could not go." At one such dark
moment she requested prayer, and a brother, himself feeble
and sorrowing, offered up a broken prayer, and the light came
to her gaze. Again it left, and the poor agency of my words
was blessed to the restoration of her faith. Once more, only»
was the light withdrawn. Then her brother was gone, and
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 87
she plead for some one to pray with her. No one was there
to do so, and she made the request of me. For years I had
not done that in public, but only in my heart and closet ; and
had wondered whether if called to do so by some dying boy
in a hospital, I could discharge the duty. But the dying re-
quest was not to be refused, and taking her hands in my own,
while bending over her, I asked the dear Father not to allow
the shadoiv of death so to come between her and his blessed
presence, for though we were sure He was with her, we pray-
ed Him to withdraw the darkness, which came through weak-
ness of the spirit, that she might, while crossing the dark
river, find Him her staj'^ and staff, and might be permitted to
see his face, and know Him even as she was known of Him.
About midnight, she sank away to a quiet slumber, but
upon awaking in the morning wept like a child, that her clay
had not found the eternal sleej), and her spirit the endless
Another week has passed, but upon lighter wings, for the
wearing of alternate hope and despondency has, within the
last few days, been succeeded by the joyous conviction that
the crisis is past, and the invalid is slowly but surely convale-
Find my own health has suffered more than I had thought.
Shall not dare venture South again till the warm months of
the season are passed. In the mean time for medicine will
take a trip to southern Wisconsin, where, in the pleasant
homes of friends and whirl of happy meetings, health may be
found for a second trip to Dixie.
Have just heard two anecdotes, which I must jot down, be-
A little young soldier of this town, by name Breton, who
88 HOSPITAL TENCILLINGS.
ran away from home and into the army, came home on a fur-
lough, and staid a week over his time. On starting back, his
father took him by the hand and was about bidding him an
affectionate farewell, with a bit of parental advice, when he
cut short the matter by exclaiming :
" Good bye father, be a good boy and take good care of
yourself ! " and he was gone. Upon reporting to his captain
for duty, the latter said :
" I believe you've overstaid your time, havn't you ?"
" Yes sir," was the prompt reply.
" What do you think I ought to do about it ?" said the cap-
tain, " Well I don't know, captain," was the reply, " unless you
put me on double rations /"
The second is told of a little neice of Miss O's. A brother
of hers has too little girls, the very opposite in character.
One is very amiable, quiet and gentle spoken, while the other
is a self-willed little spitfire. Both attended a "love feast.''
Little angel took some of the bread and water, but spitfire
" Why don't you take some of the bread and water, Adan-
ine ? " whispered " gentle Annie."
"jTaus, I aint a doin' to ! " she said, spitefully.
When they reached home, their mother asked the little sin-
ner the same question.
" Taus, I didn't want to," was the vengeful reply.
" But why didn't you want to, Adanine," persisted the
" Taus, I don't love everybody" was the confession.
" Why don't you love everybody, who is it that you don't
love," was the next query.
" Well," was the emphatic reply, " I don't love de seccsh not
de debble I "
At another time her father had to punish her, and he asked
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 89
" what was the reason slie couldn't be a good girl, why she
was so naughty."
" Taus — taus, I dit so tussin' mad," responded the little re-
" Cussing," why Adanine, who learned you to say that
" Didn't anybody, I dess I know some tings don't anyhody
learn me, 'thout its de dehhle ! "
Think she will always be a firm believer in original sin.
United States Hotel, Louisville, Kt.,
Thursday, Sept. 22, '64.
Last Friday noon, saw me in the city of Chicago, with
trunk checked for Michigan. Entered rooms of North Wes-
tern Sanitary Commission, and made myself known to Mrs.
M. A. Livermore, to whom I had previously sent letter of in-
troduction, from an old and mutual friend. Learned for the
first time that a reply had been sent within twenty-four hours
after its reception, with fhe offer of a position in a hospital at
Rome, Georgia. This communication was rapidly given, and
closed with the inquiry :
" Now, can you go ; can you start on Monday ? "
Wednesday was preferred, and the result was that I re-
turned to Harlem with the Rev. gentlemen who had accom-
panied me, where kind, though new found friends assisted in
Yesterday, which was the day appointed, came to Chicago,
and upon reporting myself in readiness for the trip, learned
that General Sherman had issued an order forbidding any
except soldiers going beyond Chattanooga; also that the
hospital at Rome was soon to be broken up. However, as it
was presumed a situation might be obtained in this city, Nash-
90 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
ville or Chattanooga, I was furnished with letters of introduc-
tion to dignitaries of the first two cities, and took the night
train for this city, via IndianapoHs.
A beautifully golden evening, and just cool enough for
comfort. An excellent car and nice seat all to myself, luxuries
appreciated all the more, as I may, before many days, be riding
in a box car, through a country from the bushes or heights of
it^hich may whistle a bullet from an unseen foe.
Kead two of the best letters in the world while watching
the scenery and glorying in the triumphs of art over nature,
as with the aid of a little fire and w^ater, we sped swiftly over
a corner of Lake JMichigan, until the sun went to bed and the
stars got up.
Then placing shawl upon valise, reclining in a very grace-
ful position, and laying handkerchief over face so that my
open countenance, if it chanced to be such, should not be
subject to the vulgar gaze of Northern mudsills nor the lofty
scorn of Southern chivalry, I sought the acquaintance of
Morpheus. He was not easily persuaded, however, and be-
tween baby crying on one side and a J)olitical confab on the
other, had only occasional glimpses of dreamland. The sun
got up rather bright in the morning, but with a very red face,
as if he were either ashamed of himself for sleejDing so late
or was out of all patience at the " goings on " down at the
antipodes, or perhaps finding them so much better than ours
grew red in the face at thoughts of coming back to us.
"Whichever it was could not determine ; but was certain it
was not from any sympathy with the copperheads. Well, the
sun and I got up about the same time — myself a little in
advance, and both just in season to get a view of the suburbs
The train arrived about six, would go at eight. Nearly
two hours in which to hunt up an old friend. First inquired
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 91
of omnibus drivers — no ticket agent to be found — then at near-
est hotel for a certain Professor and Reverend. No one knew
the residence of either. Landlords don't know, generally,
when breakfast is ready and they can get seventy-five cents for
a piece of tough beef, a cold potatoe and cup of muddy coffee.
Called for a city directory, but only succeeded in finding the
residence of the clergyman, which was a mile distant, and
which might be a mile away from the friend I sought. So
made the best of the matter, meekly ate an apology for a
breakfast, meekly paid for it, and meekly requested a contra-
band of war to carry my valise and show me the train.
Thanked the former piece of property, seated ourself, took
writing materials and soon had a note written and dispatched
to the Post Office, assuring friend C. that if she would en-
lighten the benighted understanding of the landlord, as to her
whereabouts, she should be favored with a glimpse of the
radiant face of a friend when next it passed that way, whether
the time be a day, a week, a month or a year.
Travelled through clouds of dust until about three this
P. M. before reaching this city.
Friday Eve, 23.
According to instructions, immediately upon arrival, yester-
day, proceeded to the office of Sanitary Commission. Pass
into a hall. An open door upon either side. By one is
posted this notice : —
*• For sick or wounded soldiers, inquire here."
To which place we direct a man who had come from near
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for a sick son who had been in
Rome, Georgia. Turned to the other where several gentle-
men were writing, and asked for Dr. Newbury.
" Do you wish to see the Doctor himself.'^" was the query.
92 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
" Yes, I have a letter of introduction."
" I will take it to liim, and bring word whether he will see
In a moment he was down with the request to walk up-
stairs. Dr. N. met me quite cordially, offered a pretty army
stool for a seat, and after finding out my purposes and desired
destination, he said :
" It will be best to telegraph the surgeon at Rome, and he
can, if he chooses, ask a permit from General Sherman for
you to come there, or if the hospital is broken up, to go else-
where with the patients. Be assured," he added, " that no
effort shall be spared, and your interests promptly attended
to. But as our orders are quite positive I prefer before you
go farther that everything shall be properly done, so that we
shall feel justified in calling upon Government for your
support and expenses. In the meantime we shall see that
you have pleasant quarters at a hotel, where you had best
make yourself as comfortable and contented as possible untU
the matter is arranged."
He then called a young gentleman to whom he gave orders
to accompany me to this hotel.
I was very grateful for this kind reception, but am certain
that it was due to the influence of Mrs. Livermore, through
her introductory letter. Had I come without it possibly my
reception might have been similar to that of Mrs. Witten-
meyer last week, from General Sherman. His order had
been issued, but she had pushed her way forward some way,
and appeared at his headquarters at Atlanta. He saw her
approaching and called out imperatively :
" Stop, madam — who are you — how did you get here ? "
" I am Mrs. M., State Agent of Iowa and agent of Chris-
" How dare you come," he angrily emphasized, '' how dare
HOSPITAL PENCILLING3. 93
tliev ht you come, after such positive orders as I have issued ?
Go home, madam — take the first train back, and don't stop
this side of Chattanooga ! "
She sajs she never walked faster in her life than she did
to get out of his presence.
The young gentleman who accompanied and bespoke a
pleasant room for me here, called this P. M. and accompanied
me to Clay Hospital, " Branch C." It was M. J. Winder,
"hospital visitor" of the Sanitary Commission.
The two Misses Wells are the worthy j^residing geniuses
of the hospital. Passed some three or four hours with the
patients and found many interesting cases. Among which
was that of a young soldier who, having been taken sick at
some hospital farther south, had recovered sufficiently to start
home on furlough, but upon arriving at this city, weak, weary
and exhausted, he fell in the street and was taken to the
Soldier's Home. Upon coming to, his mind wandered and
memory was so weak he gave uncertain and contradictory
statements with regard to himself, company and regiment.
From this he was believed to be a deserter, and was put in the
lock-up. Here Mr. Winder found him, when somewhat more
rational, had him removed to the hospital, and had sent for
his mother from Michigan, who has now had care of her son
for some time. He is very talkative.
" They won't let me talk half what I want to," said the
sick boy, " and I thank you for visiting with me ; won't you
come again in a day or two ? " he inquired. And he added
witli emphasis : " Its done me a sight of good to visit with
you — you're just the one to talk to us sick boys."
He was loud in his praises of the hospital visitor. He
94 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
is familiarly known as Henry. The look of his eyes, his
nervous restlessness and the lack of sleep for several nights
are unfavorable symptoms, still everybody seems to think he
While passing round and speaking to the patients, I found
one man who was able to sit up but suffering from scrofula
and heart disease ; and upon inquiring what State he was from,
learned that he was from Cattarangas County, New York.
And furthermore that he was a member of the 154th, which
I had seen when it was starting for the South, and that his
captain was an old school acquaintance — Captain Cheney. It
was C. R. Brown, of Machias. While talking with him of
other fi'iends in the regiment, whose acquaintance I had made
in school at Randolph, a young fellow approached and ex-
" You from Randolph, New York ? "
And upon receiving a reply in the affirmative, with the
addition of " more recently," he exclaimed, as he extended
his hand with an emphatic nod,
" Wh}^, that's m?/ home ! "
The action, manner and tone evinced the fact that he
appreciated "home" as few beside soldiers can. And so it
came to pass, that the rapid questions and answers revealed
the fact that we had both been students at the same dear old
Randolph Academy, and had each many of the same dear old
friends. And I fancy we talked and felt as if we were the
joint proprietors of all Randolph Academy — professors, teach-
ers and students combined, and each was greatly rejoiced to
meet the other partner in the concern.
While we were talking the matron came up and asked if
he had " found somebody he knew."
" Why, yes," said he emphatically, " I've found an old
HOSPITAL PE^XILLINGS. 95
"I thought you were looking better," she responded.
"Oh, yes," he replied, "I was nearly well before, and now
this will cure me su7'e I "
He was quite right about our being old friends, as the
trifling fact of our having never met before was not the least
in the way. And our relationship was very much nearer than
between those two individuals, who upon meeting in a foreign
land, ascertained the pleasing fact that the dog of the grand-
father of the one had once run across the garden of the
grandmother of the other.
The "Henry," mentioned under last date, was suddenly
called in the night to "cross the lines," but not into the
country of an enemy.
In waiting for telegrams have passed some days at Uncle
Sam's expense. Not a pleasing thought, but having a com-
mission in my pocket authorizing me to take care of some of
his sick boys, felt justified in so doing.
Yesterday met Miss C. A. Buckel, M. D., agent of Miss
Dix. She also, per advice of the latter, had given me a call
to come this way, which missive I had not received.
Rode over to the large new hospital at Jeffersonville, just
across the river from Louisville, on the Indiana shore.
I can have a situation there, but with her advice, and my
own inclination, shall visit Nashville.
Called this morning at office of Sanitary Commission, re-
ceived permission of Dr. N. to go South, and a note from
Mr. Thorne to Provost Marshal, who said a late order had
requested the applicant for a pass to " apply in person." I
went alone to headquarters and obtained the pass.
I leave the " City-of-tlie-Falls " for the " City-of-the-Rocks "
96 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Colonel Ham, Indiana State Agent, whom I have met at
the table of this excellent hotel, informs me that he received
a letter last eve from the last-named city, stating that Forrest's
and Dick Taylor's forces had combined and were marcliing
upon Nashville. If that is true there will be wounded men
to care for, and if a battle I want to be " there to see."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 97
Home of Sanitary Commission,
Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 29, 1864.
The evening previous to my departure from Louisville I
received a call from the hospital visitor and another gentle-
man, whom he introduced as Dr. Webster. I have since
learned that he was sent out from Washington as chief of
hospital inspectors, and is a brother of General Webster of
Nashville, chief of Sherman's staff.
Dr. W. laughingly observed that he had called to offer his
protection on the morrow, but presumed I was aware the
offer now-a-days implied the desire to receive protection as
well, when a trip to Nashville was anticipated.
The gentleman was informed that it would be a pleasure
to bestow protection so far as a seat in the ladies' car was
concerned, but that I should expect to be the recipient of the
same should the train be attacked by guerillas.
Upon arriving at the depot yesterday morning all were
ordered to take satchels, baskets, bandboxes, &c., forward to
be examined with the trunks. But upon offering the keys of
my valise and trunk to the inspector, he said :
" I guess you havn't any Government property you're tak-
ing south to sell," you're a member of the Sanitary Commis-
sion aren't you ? looked at my pass, put a Government stamp
on each article, and let me go without farther ceremony.
But all did not fare so well. The trunks of many were
thoroughly searched ; and I heard one lady, who came into
the car just before starting, say :
98 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
" They would persist in diving into the very bottom of my
Nothing special occurred on the route, and the time passed
quite pleasantly in conversation with Dr. W. and a lady
teacher whom I had met in the school at Nashville. Among
other things the doctor spoke of seeing one Sabbath morning
an aged colored man on some steps at Nashville, engaged in
reading. He approached the student, and found him in pos-
session of a Latin Testament. And upon inquiring if he
could read it, the man humbly said he could not read much,
having never had a teacher. But he did read and translate
two or three verses quite readily. He informed the doctor
that he had taught the colored people all he could for twenty
years. That whenever one of his schools was discovered and
broken up he commenced again in some other part of the city.
Arrived about seven last evening, and came immediately to
home of Sanitary Commission, where doctor W. and wife are
stopping. This is a pleasant place, on corner of Sunamer
street and Capitol avenue.
Found Judge Root and lady, with their Sanitary family, at
tea ; and was not long in discovering that the table here is a
place not only for the genial interchange of thought, and of
jest and humor, the life of which is the judge himself, but also
for the gathering of precious gems of knowledge, ranging
from those of philosophical, geological and botanical science,
to the latest news from the front, and the sayings and doings
of our secesh neighbors.
As instance of the latter, we are informed that the widow
of ex-president Polk has been informed that she can purchase
coal of Government on the same condition as other citizens of
Nashville, — by taking the oath of allegiance. That she has
subsequently tried to get it at other places, but failed. That
at one time she remarked that her "husband had been Presi-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 99
dent of the whole United States, and that she cannot divide
her sympathies and give them to any one party."
Saturday, October 1.
As result of introductory letter to Judge R. and his influ-
ence, had offer of situation in the diet kitchen of hospital No.
1. This was accompanied, however, with the proviso that I
must be able to say to this one, " cook so much of tliis so long,
and this so long," and also with the word, that he " allowed
no lady under his charge to visit patients in the sick wards."
Offer respectfully declined. •
Yesterday morning called on Miss Annie Bell, matron of
hospital. No. 8. She is very favorably known by all surgeons
throughout the city ; and possesses a really noble and inde-
pendent nature. She was at Gettj^sburg, and a winter at
Harper's Ferry. She accompanied me to call upon dignita-
ries, and the result is a promise of a position for her cousin
and myself in hospital No. 3, as soon as ladies' quarters can
be fitted up, which are promised in about ten days. The sur-
geon is doctor Ludlow.
Yesterday P. M. had the pleasure of a ride about five
miles out of the city, on the Gallatin Pike, to visit a field of
cotton. We had the splendid team from head quarters, which
consisted of four powerful black horses, and the only really
fine-looking ambulance I ever saw. It had four seats, and
the party consisted of five ladies. Doctor "Webster and the dri-
ver. It was a delightful day, the air clear and balmy, and
our steeds in fine spirits. We were obliged to cross on the
rail-road bridge, the other being burned " to keep the feder-
We passed the camp of the 13th " regulars," the last pick-
ets, and drove down a road lined a part of the way with tulip
trees, oaks, sycamores and magnolias.
100 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
We reached the cotton field, the driver sprang out, pulled
away the fence, and the northern vandals were soon engaged
in foraging each a handful of souvenirs. But the driver cau-
tioned us through Doctor W. to make haste, and we found
that he considered it quite a hazardous affair since leaving the
pickets, three miles behind. There were country residences
near by, and along the route, but they were violently seces-
sion in princii3le, and from the house, the owner of the cotton
might easily have reached us with a bullet while we were en-
gaged in the confiscation.
" He knows better than to do it, though," said the doctor.
But Mrs. W. remarked that if her life was taken, it would
matter very little with her afterward if he was punished for
it, " It would not put her own head on her shoulders again
and no other would fit them quite so well."
And as we were all more or less inclined to take that phi-
losophical view of the matter, and considering also that our
four splendid black horses might be a desirable item in the
mind of some hardened bushwacker, we decided not to tarry
long at the cotton, and the grass did not grow very long un-
der the hoofs of our horses, until we were safe inside the
The cotton blossom more nearly resembles a white or
cream-colored hollyhock than any other with which I am ac-
quainted. It shuts at night, I am told, and does not re-open.
There are small buds and large ones, blossoms in all stages,
just formed bolls, and the ripe ones with the bursting cotton,
all at the same time, and on the same shrub. The crop does
not do so well in this latitude, this season, as usual. Indeed
King Cotton rather disappointed me in his personal appear-
ance, presenting rather a sickly and woe-begone look, That
of his rival, wool, presents certainly a much more imposing
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 101
aspect, particularly when the representative, like those fright-
ful creatures at the north called Yankees, has horns.
Helped Mrs. W. make two yellow flags, out of flannel, for
the hospital train running between this city and Louisville, as
they dare not run now without, for fear of being fired into.
Two trains were stopped and burned near Fountain Head, this
side of Bowling Green. They contained refiigees who were
An order was received last Sunday, from General Sher-
man, to put this city in a " state of perfect defence." The
probabilities of a battle here are a common topic of conversa-
tion. Should th&re be one, northern people are little con-
cerned as to the final result.
Have made a visit to the Capitol in company with Mrs.
Dr. W. At present, a New York regiment and six cannon
are its protection. The lofty ceilings, spacious floors, broad
flights of stairs and balustrades inside, and the whole exterior,
with its gigantic columns, tower and graceful statuary are all
of solid marble.
The senate chamber is less imposing, and the adornments
fewer and much plainer than in the hall of representatives.
In the end of that portico fronting the river is the vault of
the architect, James Strickland, placed there as the tablet in-
forms us, by an act of the legislature.
Visited the library and museum. The former seemed to
me very large, but am told that it is not so considered. But
Mrs. TV. was occupied, I believe, in company with the wise
wizard of the place, in consulting sundry yellow and ponder-
" Volumes of forgotten lore,"
to ascertain by what scientific name she might baptise a certain
102 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
shell and coral specimen she had picked up on Capitol hill,
and which Doctor W. had declared " might have been turned
over by the foot of Adam when walking with his children
upon the beach, with the remark that he ' hadn't the slightest
idea how old they were ! ' "
Being just now in a condition to sympathize with that
young lady who had just finished at a fashionable boarding
school, and who was surprised that she had "ever fagged
through it all," and also that it was " astonishing that one
head could contain it all," shall give the weak little head a
rest from reading much about the world, till it has seen more
There were several tattered flags in which I was much in-
terested. One had been in the Mexican war, which was made
and presented to the 1st Tennessee Inft. by the ladies of
Nashville. Have been wondering how many of those same
ladies now revile that flag, and prefer to know their loved
ones are fighting under the banners of secessia.
I saw also such heautiful specimens of Tennessee marble,
than which there is no finer in the world. A species of the
red is used in the trimmings of the Capitol at Washington. I
saw iron ore from the Ural Mountains, copper from North Car-
olina, tomahawks and axes made of stone, peace pipes and
wampum taken from Indian graves, or their battle grounds. I
saw a cast of Napoleon's head, the mummy of a man, and
that of a sacred cat from Thebes, petrefied foam from the nat-
ural bridge of Virginia, a leaf from the Charter oak, an ambro-
type of Samuel Houston, the original commission of General
Israel Putnam, a spear from^the farm of Osawatamie Brown,
Continental money, the tooth of a mastadon, a horned toad,
and a coat and hood of the skins of animals made and worn
by Daniel Boone, of Kentucky.
What a very orderly and scientific inventory ! Think I
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 103
shall have to visit the Capitol once or twice more, and with
paper and pencil, before I shall be at all satisfied.
Visited the Penitentiary in company with a Miss I. H.
Smith, from Quincy, Illinois, who has just been to Chattanoo-
ga with three tons of supplies designed for Atlanta. She had
telegraphed General Sherman for permission to accompany
them the rest of the way, but he replied in a kind note accep-
ting those, but directing that they be placed in the care of
an agent who would bring them safely. I learn by her that
he has lately written one of his officers, in reply to a similar
request, " Send always a barrel of pork, in place of a woman! "
The General is intensely complimentary.
Found it would be impossible to visit the military prison
without a pass, with which we had neglected to provide our-
selves. Were obliged to wait some little time for some one
to accompany us, and in the meantime two ladies and a gen-
tleman from the north, made a welcome addition to our party.
While waiting at the door, saw a party of about fifty But-
ternuts marched up close to the door, two by two, by a cap-
tain. They were halted and rations of bread and meat were
dealt out, the first they had to eat in twenty-four hours.
They were deserters, some from Forrest's forces. Saw a pa-
per signed by two of them saying they were very anxious to be
employed here by Government. They were marched away,
and those wishing to go, will be sent north.
" We have in that yard about three hundred bushwackera
and guerrillas," said the communicative guard.
" Ah, and what do you do with those ? "
" Well, we just stretch their necks for them a little," said
he, with a self-satisfied smile, and with a motion of the hand
104 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
and neck as if in imagination he saw one in that very inter-
" Just as you did Mosely the other day," we said.
" Yes, oh ! he was a splendid looking fellow, fine features,
well formed, black hair and whiskers, and straight as an In-
dian ! "
This Mosely was a guerrilla, who used to lay in wait by
roadsides and kill the drivers of stray Government teams,
burn the wagons, sell the horses or mules, and pocket the
proceeds. He was hung a few days since.
There are now about one hundred and six in the Peniten-
tiary proper, six or seven for life, and " the best men they
have," and five or six are given the limit of the law short of
that, which is twenty-one years.
We passed into the prison yard, the door was barred behind
us, and we made the round of the workshops. First we
entered the rooms where the native cedar was made into little
fanciful pails and cujds, in which the red cedar was dove-tailed
into the white in wavy and curious patterns. I purchased
one of these only about three inches in height. Various things
for use such as pails, tubs, bureaus, tables, stands, large chests
— nice for furs — ^and wardrobes are also manufactured from
this beautiful red cedar.
It seems so strange to look at the men and to know that
they must work on in silence, hour after hour, day after day,
and year after year with a bar upon their lips. Of course to
a woman it seems such a terrible punishment to keep one's
tongue still. Isn't it horrible ? I should think one's tongue
would cleave to the roof of his mouth after a little.
Then we went into the tobacco factory and saw " the
weed," from the time when the leaves are rolled and tied, to
the pressing of the same, and the baking, to that when it is
turned out " ter-bac-ker," — a delicious cud for certain animals
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 105
who are blessed with two feet, but which those with four never
permit to pass their dainty lips.
" How is it about the health of those who work here all
the time?" was the query.
" Good," the overseer replied emphatically. " I was but
sixteen when I first engaged in the business — was slender and
weakly, but in a year's time was strong and well."
This does not prove, however, that he might not be just as
well, if a carpenter or machinist, and his labor have been of
some benefit to the world, instead of the reverse. Wanted
to lower his self-respect a little by telling him so, but didn't.
We saw also the narrow cells where they sleep. One cell
only was occupied, and by a maniac. He was chained by the
foot, and standing in the open door with hands behind him.
We were cautioned not to go within a certain distance. His
position indicated that his hands were folded or carefully
crossed, but we found afterwards that he held a club in his
right hand. He watched us in silence with lowering eyebrows
and hanging head, apparently measuring the distance between
himself and us, with his small, black, malignant eye.
" Cannot I speak to him," inquired one of the ladies.
" Yes, you can, but I wouldn't advise you to," said our
attendant. " You'd likely be sorry for it if you do. He
never speaks to any one unless spoken to, but that easily
It seems that for years he was a captain on the Mississippi
River, where he acted on the proverb that drowned men tell
no tales with those whose purses he thought worth his care.
He afterward became a highway robber on land. His term
of fifteen years expired about a week since, and they have
been trying to get him transferred to the Insane Asylum,
but the officers of said institution object to receiving him
on account of being made insane while here. He has been
106 HOSPITAL PENCILLIls^GS.
BO dangerous that lie has been chained constantly for four
years. They dare not go near enough for him to get hold of
one, and his food is pushed within his reach. Kindness they
Bay, only makes him worse — treating those worst who show
Attended Union Church yesterday, in company with Dr.
W. and wife. A very excellent and liberal discourse by Rev.
Mr. Allen, from fourth verse of 3d Epistle of John,
" Walk in the light, in the light of God."
Called this morning on Mrs. James K. Polk to obtain some
leaves and flowers for souvernirs of the j)lace, to arrange on
paper for a Sanitary Fair. Received very cordially by Mrs.
P., who accompanied me to the grounds and cut the leaves
and blossoms for me herself She also presented a fine phot-
ograph of the place, taken from Vine Street, and showing the
tomb of the ex-president.
Mrs. Polk has not entered society since the death of her
husband. In person she is perhaps a trifle above the medium
height, slender, with high forehead and delicate features, and
bears marks of taste and refinement. Think she has passed
through the ordeal of her former position w ith a true sense
of its real worth in comparison with Christian duties and
deeds of philanthropy.
By this date I should have been established in Hospital
No. 3, but just at the last moment, orders have come to the
surgeon to prepare for the breaking up of the hospital as
soon as possible. As the arrangements were not completed
for our reception, it was thought best not to do so for only the
probable space of three or four weeks. Miss Bell has accom-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 107
panied me to other hospit9,ls, but no immediate place offers
itself, and I shall only wait until an answer to the telegram
respecting a position at Jefferson Hospital is received.
Guerrillas murdered five negro soldiers night before last
between this city and Louisville, near Gallatin, and set one
thousand cords of wood on fire.
Last night three cars were burned near Bowling Green.
Telegraph wires were cut. Previously there had been one
thousand men sent to guard the road. Trains are almost
daily fired into or run off the track.
This morning visited wards in Hospital No. 8 with the
associate of Miss B. Some interesting cases. And while
passing one bed was reminded of a conversation which oc-
curred with the occupant when in this city last s^^ring. He
has now gone home. Upon inquiring his native State, after
replying, he asked me the same question, and then said,
" Massachusetts — oh ! that's an abolitionist State ! "
" Yes," was the reply, " and I'm proud of the grand old
hills, the free institutions and liberal sentiments of the Old
" Well, I'm glad I don't hail from there," said the candid
but smiling Buckeye.
"And I'm glad, if I was ever going to be laid up with this
limb, that it happened before they sent niggers out to fight by
the side of lyie. Didn't know, this was going to be a nigger
war, else they'd never got me into it ! "
The hearer jierceived he was in the gall of bitterness and
the bonds of iniquity, told him so, and promised to call each
day or two and devote an hour or so for his conversion. Did
so subsequently, and found him always ready to converse
pleasantly, but not a willing disciple. Am still deeply con-
cerned for his future salvation.
Yesterday morning Dr. Woodward and wife left for home.
108 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
He was surgeon of 22d Illinois Volunteers. They liave been
stopping here since my stay. One evening last week, while
the inmates of the Sanitary Home were seated around the
genial fire in the parlor, the conversation turned ujDon the
magnanimity of the soldiers, which it seems is not confined
to our Union boys. It turned into another channel afterward?
and some incidents were related, not in exemplification of the
magnanimous, but very interesting, nevertheless.
The surgeon related that while near the battle-field of
Perrysville — I think — one rainy afternoon, his son came to
him with the word that two wounded soldiers were back of
the hospital, near a swamp, who needed care, and whom, un-
assisted, he could not get away. Dr. W. went there with
stretcher and attendants and found that one of our men had a
shoulder shattered, and his companion, who was a Rebel, had
a- thigh in the same condition. The Union boy professed
himself able to walk to the hospital, " but," said he, " I wasn't
going to leave him, for I knew if I didn't stay and see that
he was taken care of, he'd die to-night." He had somehow
managed to take ofiT his own coat and spread it over the other.
The Rebel was put on a litter and carried, while the other,
after having his arm i3ut in a sling, walked to the hospital.
Both had a limb taken off, and both died next day.
He said also, that while going round in the evening to
ascertain who were in most need of help, and who could wait
till morning, he came to one man whose arm was nearly shot
oflT. It was a Confederate. The doctor had scarcely com-
menced the examination when the wounded man said :
" Doctor, I can wait, but I wish you would see what you
can do for that man who was brought in with me — he is worse
than I am and needs you more than I do."
" Which one is it," inquired the surgeon.
" Oh ! it's one of your men — he lies there," he said.
« I'll take care of you first, I guess," was the reply.
"No," he persisted, " if you'll just put a string round my
arm, so I can hold it better, it'll do well enough till after you
take care of that man, — he's pretty bad."
" Well," said the doctor, " I'll take care of him first if you
wish me to, but guess I'll give you a dose of morphine so you
can sleep to-night, and in the morning yom- arm will have to
" Well," said the noble fellow^ " you needn't do anything
for me till you've taken care of him''
Dr. W. did as requested ; and both recovered.
The same physician told of one of our men who used to lie
in his cot and read aloud from the Bible. One day he was
passing the bed of one of the " Johnnies," when the latter
" Doctor, what book is that thar Yank readin' out of?"
" It's the Bible," said the surgeon.
" Well, I don't know no thin' 'bout readin' myself, but if
you've no objection, doctor, I'd like to lie over thar nex' to
" Well," was the reply, " if the other boys are willing, I'll
let you go there."
No objection was made, he was moved and used to lie hour
after hour with his face turned towards the reader listening
and asking explanations ; and after about two weeks he died.
Dr. W. also related a little incident which occurred on a
march. They were passing by a farm-house, when the woman
came out as General Paine was riding slowly by, and she
called out in a querulous tone, " General — General ! '\
" Well, what's wanted," inquired the General.
" General, I want you should put a guard round my well —
your soldiers are going to drink it all dry, so I shan't have
any water for my ftmiily."
110 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
The soldiers were heated and thirsty with the long march
through the dust and broiling sun.
"Won't you put a guard round it, General?" persisted the
'' Yes, I will," said the General emj^hatically.
" Orderly— here ! "
That officer came forward.
" Orderly, put a guard round this woman's well, and don't
you allow man, woman or child to come near it till every
soldier has had all the water he ivants.""
The same officer says that poor peoj^le often complain, and
justly, that while a guard is set round the fine house and
grounds of a rich neighbor, their own are over-run and pil-
laged, illustrating the passage that '• to him that hath shall be
given, and from him that hath not, shall be taken that which
he hath." He says he knew of a place where three union sol-
diers were sent to guard a house, who were never seen or
heard of afterward.
At Jackson a squad of soldiers were ordered to guard the
residence of one, who, those soldiers were positive, was a rank
secessionist. The house was burned down in the night, and
the captain of the guard being questioned about the matter
said he " guessed the lightning must have struck it." The
house, strange to tell! was burned to the negroes quarters
which were saved. It is perhaps needless to add, that if the
lightning did strike it, there was no thunder shower to ac-
During the conversation young Eddy Jones related the fol-
lowing as occurring on the train at Louisville :
The cars were about starting, when an officer came round
to inspect the boxes, satchels and valises. Upon coming to
one man who was sitting just back of the narrator, he found that
he had a pair of pistols in the bottom of an old-faded carpet
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. Ill
sack. This man was dressed in scant and short pants, old-
fashioned coat, and steeple-crowned straw hat, and looking
otherwise like a green country boy. Thinking to have some
sport with the " greeny " he called out, sternly : " guard
come here and put some irons on this man." " Here, hold on,"
said greeny, deliberately, and he took some papers from his
pocket, which informed the official that he was ordering irons
for the disguised colonel of the o8th Illinois.
Dr. W. saw also a man at Louisville, who was ordered to
hand over the key of his satchel to the baggage inspector.
" There is nothing in the satchel except wearing apparel,"
persisted the owner emphatically.
" I must open it," said the officer, " its altogether too heavy ! "
Upon doing this, were found, carefully done up in wearing
apparel, five or six revolvers and as many boxes of ammuni-
tion, together with $300. The guard was called, he was
marched off to the military prison, while he was informed
that his property was confiscated, including the money.
Professor Hosford, of Hudson, Ohio, was present, and re-
lated the following, after the conversation had turned upon
the condition of the freedmen. He had a conversation with
a negro at Chattanooga, who told him of his liberation from
slavery. Said he :
" Before the Yankees come here, missus used to tell us
about other niggers leaving their masters, and axed what we
thought of it, and we told her that we'd never leave missus,
oh ! no, we thought too much of missus to do dat. But when
de Federals was a coming into de place, missus got some bask-
ets, and packages, and said we must carry um, an' we'd all
leave. But we 'fused to go, an' missus, she had to go 'lone."
" Ah," said the Pj-ofessor to him, " what did you tell her that
you never would leave her, if you meant to, all the time ?"
" I 'tink it was right," replied the negro, emphatically.
112 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
" An' I can prove it 'cordin' ter scripter. For doiigli I can't
read, I've hearn 'em read dis :" ' Agree wid dine adwersary
quicJcly while dou art in de ivay wid him, les' he takes you to
de officers, and dey cas' you into prison I "
Another negro at the same place told the Professor that he
" Allays prayed an' prayed for de time to come when de col-
ored people could worship God under dere own vine and fig-
tree, when de}^ could stay in prayer-meetin' after nine o'clock
at night, if deys a mind to, wid none to molest nor make 'em
afraid. An' I'se allays believed de time would come, dough
afterward I gets most discouraged wid de waitin', an' I never
see any signs of my vine an' fig-tree a comin' till I seed Hook-
ers' men a comin' ober de top o'Lookout Mountain ! "
He had about the same idea of the working of God through
direct agencies as a gunner of whom we have heard. He was
behind his gun while the shells were bursting around him,
when the chaplain approached and asked if he felt that Prov-
idence was supporting him.
" No," he replied, " I am supported by the 29 th " New
Jersey ! "
The negroes had a dance down stairs last night. I wrote
several invitations for Miss Lu and Narcissus to Mr. so and
so, dictated in this style, with variations:
"Miss Lu, wishes the pleasure of Mr. Baker's company
round here, this evening, to a dance. Please come early.
Miss Lu Palmer.'
All went down stairs for a little time, to see the per-
formance. Eddy J. proposed that I ask the " musicianers,"
as aunt Polly calls them, for a " plantation break-down." He
was commissioned to make the request foi» me, but the white-
gloved and perfumed exquisite, assured us that he
" Wouldn't 'tink of such a 'ting, heah,'' and he gave me
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 113
such a commiserating and be-?^^y-nant glance and smile, as
much as to sa}^ : " You jjoor white child, how I j^ity you for
not knowin' what is expected ob dis 'spectable company ob
Before leaving this place must jot down something of my
two contraband pupils.
" Well, Peter, what are you going to give us for breakfast,"
queried Judge R , quizzically, of the little negro who wait-
ed at table the first evening of my arrival.
It was in a lull of the conversation, and just before the
company rose from the table, so all eyes were turned naturally
towards the boy, who bore the attack bravely and returned
the compliment in full from his own, large, black orbs. He
w^as well used to the quizzing from the merry-hearted Judge,
and the pleased expression of his eyes and the exhibition of a
double-row of the whitest ivory attested both, as he murmur-
ed, " I don't know."
Whereupon the Judge proceeded to name over a most
bounteous and unheard of list of edibles, ending with that of
" baked white fish." " And he sure Peter, that j^ou remove
every scale and pick every hone out of the fish before it is
" Yes, sir," responded Peter.
" You'll attend to it, will you Peter ? pick every bone out,
before it is baked," said he, in a tone in which perfect au-
thority and confidence blended.
" Yes, sir," lowly and submissively replied Peter, but with
a merry twinkle of his eyes.
The next occasion in which Peter was brought particularly
to my notice, was a day or two after, when, as I was passing
along the lower hall, I came ujwn him and the other waiter
at table, a girl of fourteen, named Narcissus, both of whom
were trying to spell out the reading on a bottle of pepper
114 HOSPITAL PENCILLTNGS.
" Can you read ? " was the query.
" No, leastwise only a little, ivish I could'' added Narcissus,
heartily. And Peter said " I can read some, but I don't have
nobody now, what'll listen to my readin.' "
" Do you have time to read ?"
'' Yes, we'se a mighty heap o'time evenings, after the dishes
" I don't know that I shall be here over three days," I said,
" but possibly a week or so, and while here, will hear you
read each evening. What time shall I come to the dining-
room ? "
'' Right after tea," they said, " right after the folks has
gone up stairs."
So that evening, I heard them read, unthinkingly, before
the dishes were washed. But as I was leaving the room,
" Miss Lu Palmer," the elder sister of Narcissus, reminded
me of the better way, by saying :
" Miss P , if I were you I wouldn't hear these yere
lessons, till they'd washed up their dishes. They'd hurry
if they know'd they'd have to wait till afterward, and you know
dese yere colored folks don't like to work none too well, no
I confessed that she was right about the work being done
first ; and thereafter it was dispatched with a will each eve-
ning, the " sooner to get at the lessons," as they said.
They have manifested the same spirit ever since, and learn
rapidly. Narcissus said one evening, " I don't know Miss —
that I've got my lesson, but its all the time I could get, I've
been a learnin' of it ; and last night after you'd done gone
hearing us read, I studied the lesson right smart, and then
dreamed about it all night."
And one evening while Peter was battling like a hero with
the, to him, formidable task of spelling the word " occupy."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 115
I could but help wishing some of those believers in the uni-
versal stupidity and carelessness of the race, miglit have been
listeners. Something very like the following they might
have heard !
The word " occupy," is pronounced.
Peter hesitates a little, then with the voice and look of one
who determined to make one good, bold attempt with liis best
judgement, and trust to luck, says 0-k oc q-u-i cu p-i py, oc-
'^ Oh, no ; don't you remember what other letter I told you,
has the sound of k ? "
Peter don't remember, so many new things he has been
told. " Well, now, think how you can spell " oc," without
No enlightenment dawns on Peter's mind, though he makes
two or three bold attempts, to show his good will.
" Well, Peter, spell cow."
He does so correctly.
" Now don't you see that we could spell that in this way,
k-o-w ? "
Peter sees that, as the word is spelled both ways for him
and pronounced the same. It is then applied to the syllable
" oc," and so much is accomplished. Peter has acquired a
mastery, has obtained a new idea, and he takes a long breath
for he has scarcely breathed during the time, and his eyes
look as if proudly conscious that he had mounted another
round on the ladder of knowledge. The word is again jDro-
nounced. The first syllable is spelled correctly, but " q-u-i p-i,"
is the only reasonable way the sinking Peter thinks the word
can be finished.
Teacher pronounced the syllable ''cu," phiinly, saying:
''q-u-i spells qui, not cu, spell cu^
" K-u cu," responds hopefuL
116 HOSPITAL PENXILLINGS.
" K you say, what other letter has the sound of k. ?"
He " don't know."
" How did you just spell oc ? "
" 0-k ? " in a questioning tone, says the pupil.
" Oh, no, you've forgotten, you've so much to learn :" and
the explanation is gone over again, and the sound of c for k
requested for the second syllable, also.
He looks out of all patience at his own dulness, but heroi-
cally returns to the charge. This time he gets both syllables
right, but ends as before with p-i.
" Now, Peter, you've worked like a major, and its all right
except one little letter i. Now put on your thinking cap, and
hunt up some letter to use instead of z."
Peter " reckons a," will answer.
He is advised to spell lady, and does so correctly. " Now
could not you have spelled that 1-a-d-i and pronounced it
He " reckons so," and is advised to use the same substitute
in the other word. It is at last accomplished ; and after sun-
dry mistakes in each syllable, during which he exclaims,
* Now don't tell me, I ivill have that," I'll get it right this time
shore,'' the whole word is sj^elled correctly, and re-spelled re-
peatedly during the evening, and he enthusiastically exclaims :
"Well, that's the toughest word shore I'se ever a holt on,
an' I'll never forget it long 's / live."
Peter's history is not uninteresting. Here it is : " My mas-
ter's name was Jim Brazier, an' I lived eight miles from Tul-
lahoma. My mother was sickly a long time, and missus
wouldn't let her stop workin' no how. An' one day wen»
she's so weak, she let a big pitcher fall ont' de floor and brokt
it, and master sent her to de whipj^in'-house, an' she died that
night. I slept wid' her, an' she told me wen she comed to
bed, dat she t'ought if she went to sleep she'd never wake.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 117
An' in de mornin' wen I waked, she was stone dead. Dey
neber said anyting to me 'bout what killed her, dey knowed
berry well dat I knowed de reason. Atter de war brokt out,
dey telled me dat I mustn't go near the Yankees, for dat dey
" had horns^' jist as if I'd not sense 'nough to know better nor
dot I An' dey tole me I must keep 'way from dem, else dey'd
cut off my ears and hang me on a tree. But arter dey'd
whipped me and hung me up by my thumbs, for bitin' missus,
when she had me down on de floor an' Avas poundin me 'cause
1 didn't sweep clean, I runned away."
" I'd been wid master three times wen he'd been to camp
to sell api^les and things to the Yankees, an' so I knowed
whar to go. So one night I tuk one o' marster's bosses an'
put a bridle on him, an' rode him most to camp, so near, I
I could hear de pickets ; den I fixed up de bridle, arter I got
off, an' set him off on a right smart trot toward home, an' hid
in de bushes. Den I waited till mornin', which corned pretty
soon, an' I tole de picket I wanted to come in camp. He let
me in, an' I'se roun' two or three days, wen Dr. Woodward
said he'd see to the keer o' me, an' he has ever since. He
brought me here. He's allays been right good to me, an
never gin me a cross word."
I found, upon conversing with Dr. W., that this was a truth-
ful account, as far as could be ascertained. One morning,
soon after. Dr. W. announced to Peter that his former master
had just been hanged as a guerrila. The account was in the
" Glad of it," said Peter, emphatically ; " I'd a ben glad ef
dat ar' had a happened afore. He made me carry letters to
the rebels tellin' 'em all 'bout whar de Yankees was, an' a
pretendin' all de time to be a good Unioner. Hanging good
^novgh for him."
This last, I also learned, from the doctor was the truth, for
118 HOSPITAL PEN'CILLIXGS.
Peter had guided our peojile to the hiding phice of these clan-
destine letters, which were captured.
Yesterday called at Rail-road hospital, also at hospital No. 8.
At the latter place found one young man from P^ast Tennessee
whose father was shot when Lincoln was elected, and his
house burned. One brother was killed at Gettysburg, and of
the rest of the family eleven in number, a mother and brothers,
he can obtain no trace. He is a collegiate graduate.
Found in the person of another patient, Emery Owen, of
Fairfield, Ohio, a Good Templar brother.
To-day, upon returning from forenoon service, found the
expected telegram. I take the early morning train for
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 119
Jeffersonville, Ixd., October 18, 1864.
This large, new hospital is located on a bend of the Ohio
river, just across from Louisville.
It is built on the plan of the " Pavilion," like the Chestnut
Hill hospital, of Philadelphia. The sick wards are of one
story, twenty -four in number, and radiate from a circular cover-
ed corridor, like the spokes of a wheel. This circular corri-
dor is half a mile in extent, and fifteen feet in width, enclos-
ed upon the sides, and provided with windows and doors.
Within the circle are the buildings of the executive de23art-
ment, rooms of surgeons, full and light diet kitchens, dis-
pensary, dead-house, post-office, printing-office and chapel.
Crossing this circle and leading to these central buildings are
two covered corridors which cross each other in the centre at
Each ward is one hundred and fifty feet in length by twen-
ty-two in width, and contains fifty-nine beds for patients. To
the rear of each ward, is attached one small room for ward-
master, another for clothing, besides a bath-room and closet.
In front of each ward, is attached a little dining-room and
pantry. In the latter place the diet is dealt out for the pa-
tients. This is brought hot from the kitchens, in covered tin
cans, in a little hand-cart on wheels, upon which is marked the
number of the ward.
Thus one might live here for months and not go out from
under cover, be very hard at work, and walk several miles
120 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
each day. That cleanUness is essential to health, seems to be
a prominent idea, and the wards and corridors undergo a
scrubbing twice a week, and mopping as often besides, which
gives a neat and wholesome air throughout. Upon the arrival
of jDatients they are disrobed of their dusty if not filthy cloth-
ing, it is rolled up, a check given for it and it is packed away
in the baggage-room, together with their arms, if any. They
are provided with clean hospital clothing and a clean bed,
which is changed each week.
The laundry is a building separate, and some distance from
the hospital, upon the immediate bank of the river. This is
supplied with some twenty or thirty large, bare-armed water
Deities, who probably swam over from the emerald isle.
One of the wards contains the large dining-hall for the
ward-masters, nurses and guards, a smaller one for the stew-
ards' mess, and opposite, another for the ladies' mess. Above
these are sleeping-rooms, two of which are occupied by the
lady nurses. It is in contemplation to supply each of the
twenty-four wards with one of these last-named dignitaries.
A few are without, some to their professed grief and vexation
The afternoon of my arrival, attended funeral service in
ward 23, of Private Isaiah Lusby, Co. I. 9th Ohio Cavalry.
Chaplain Fitch, of the regular service, and former tutor to
Secretary Stanton, spoke well and briefly from the words,
" As much as lieth in you live peaceably with all men." Lan-
guage implied that a man might burn and rob property for
you and it would not lie in you to live peaceably with him
and that a good and just Government might have rebellious
We have no stove in our sleeping or dining-rooms, and
HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS. 121
really suffer with cold. We occupy the single, iron, army
bedsteads with hard husk beds ; but these discomforts are
doubly counterbalanced by the pleasure of ministering to the
comfort of the sick boys.
This P. M. rode over to Clay Hospital, branch C, expec-
ting* to take the place of the matron Miss Wells, while she is
absent on a thirty days furlough. But as she was going
ostensibly to take an invalid soldier to his home in Michigan,
and as all of the IVIichigan boys are going home to vote, some
twenty from that hospital, the surgeon says that twenty can
take care of one, and her services are needed in the wards.
Returned, and am assigned to duty to Ward 1.
One lady came here a few days since, who staid only two
days. She was " not used to any such fare, such cold rooms,
and couldn't work for any such pay." There are others here
who do not work for the " pay," but for something higher
Have been learning of my duties, and getting acquainted
with patients. On Sunday eve had singing in my ward.
Mrs. Rhodes of the gangrene ward, Mr. Wheeler, and some
four or five of the convalescents sang " Homeward Bound,"
" Oh, Sing to me of Heaven," " Rest for the Weary," " Shin-
ing Shore," and " Rock of Ages," to the evident and warmly-
expressed gratification of all. Think we shall try to inaugur-
ate the practice in other wards, it seems to do the boys so
On Monday, one was taken from my ward to the gangrene
tents. His arm was in a bad condition from impure vaccina-
tion, and now the gangrene has appeared. It is said to be
worse than a wound to heal. Three of the worst patients
122 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
complained of wounds smelling so badly that it kept them
nauseated. Procured the last couple of handkerchiefs from
sanitary stores, and a piece of old muslin which I hemmed,
and saturated all with cologne, which had kindly been do-
nated for the purpose, by " Gale Brothers," of Chicago. Two
received them with simply thanks and smiles, but the third, a
Pennsylvanian exclaimed, enthusiastically : "Oh ! my gracious,
now if that ain't nice. You couldn't please me better than to
bring that there, it 'ill kill all tlie smell sure, of my arm. I al-
lays was sich a feller for cologne and hair ile and all sorts of
scentin' stuff, when I was to home ! "
At present there are thirty-seven patients in my ward,
twenty-three of whom are wounded. There is but one just
now who it is thought will not recover. He was shot through
the upper portion of left lung, has a bad cough, no appetite
and is emaciated. Plis parents live only about eight miles
distant, on the Kentucky side. We call him Willie.
There are no others who cannot sit up, if onlyfor a short time,
while the majority are able to do so considerable, and to walk
about. Still, were almost any of them at a northern home,
and transferred into " our boy," or " my husband," he would
enlist the care and sympathy of a neighborhood ; and justly
so, unless the kindness should have the effect it did on our
dining-room boy, who says he was never sick until since he
went home, after being in the service three years, when he
'* ate himself sick."
Upon first entering the ward, after being assigned to duty,
found one man who was bitter against red tape, nurses and
surgeons in general, and his own in particular. Said he :
" Didn't have anything fit to eat, guessed the nurses got it
all, the doctor was as m.ean as he could be, and hadn't been
near him for two days."
I found that he was excited and half-crazed with the chills.
HOSriTAL PENCILLINGS. 123
and hope deferred. He said he had been in the service three
years, that Government is owing him $232, but could not get
his descriptive roll to draw it, as his captain was lying at the
point of death. His wife was needing money, and he wanted to
get that which by a recent law is due him, without descriptive
rolf, viz : $32, and he also wanted a transfer to Cincinnati,
Ohio, but he " Didn't expect to get anything, Government
had got the service out of him, and that was all it cared about,
nobody cares for me, I'm only a private.''
Soothed him by promising all I could do, excused remiss-
ness in others, from over care and work, and promised to in-
tercede for a transfer to Ohio, and his paj^ The next mor-
ning, while dealing out diet in the little pantry, his plate was
sent back full. Upon going to him, to find out the trouble, as
the food was such as I had ordered at his request, light, warm
corn-bread, butter, eggs, fruit and coffee, found him sitting in
a sullen mood by the stove, and would neither have that nor
anything else, had " eaten all he wanted." The surgeon
came in, soon after, and told him he had put his name down
for a transfer to Ohio. I learn that he has been so near de-
ranged, that one night, not long since, he jumped out of the
wmdow, ran to Ward 2, and reported that they abused him so
he could not stay. Poor fellow, home is the medicine for him.
Tuesday, November 1.
Visited gangrene tents to find four patients from my ward,
who say they wish to be considered patients of Ward 1, and
shall expect to be looked after, occasionally, by the lady ma-
tron of said ward. I never saw or scarcely imagined such
suffering as the poor fellows undergo from the application of
bromine, and do not wonder they have christened the place
It will be necessary to imbibe a little more of the heroic,
124 HOSPITAL TENCILLINGS.
before I can be of much helji during an operation. The
red and swollen elbow of the arm which may yet fall a vic-
tim to impure vaccination, w^as resting in my hand, while the
nurse proceeded to take off the oakum w^hich had been satur-
ated w^ith bromine, and then to pick oif from the side of the
raw wound, the burnt pieces of flesh, with a pair of j^incers.
I could have seen this done if it had not hurt anybody, but
when the sick man began to cry for mercy and his elbow
quivered in my palm, everything began to grow strangely
dark, and knowing from past experience, that they might
have another patient to care for, in a moment more, I drop-
ped the arm into the hand of Mrs. R. and mentally calling
upon the heroism of all the braves I had ever heard, reeled
to the tent opening, pulled back the curtain, and in a moment
things grew lighter. All laughed at me, even to the patient ;
but it isn't to be exjiected that a Yankee school-ma'am can be
transformed into a dissecting surgeon in a minute, guess it
will take about a fortnight.
At the request of patients, had a sing in the tents that eve.
On Sunday attended funeral service of a soldier by the name
of Rogers. In the evening, attended church service in town.
Just after tea, the following letter was sent to me from one
of the patients, addressed to " Lady Matron, Ward 1."
Miss : I was informed by a gentleman last eve. that you re-
ported me as being drunk and boisterous. Is it possible that a
lady of your qualifications, capable of adorning the best of
society, can so far forget herself, as to report one for such an
offence, without even admonishing him of the wrong he has
committed, and to what it will lead, if followed up ? Perhaps
that one has a lovely wife, the companion of his childhood,
and now linked to him by closer ties, with all her future hap-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 125
piness depending on the character of her husband ? Would
you knowingly mar her happiness without even raising a
warning voice to the one to whom she has risked her all ?
Oh ! I cannot believe that you would be so cruel to one you
never saw, or to one you have seen. There must be a mis-
take somewhere, hence you will excuse me for taking this
mode of asking you, not in my behalf, but in the behalf of
those friends that are near and dear to me. Please inform
me of the truth of the matter.
Yours, in haste,
Have written the following reply which will be lain upon
my little stand, in the morning, where the other letters are
placed, and where he will find it, though there are so few
called by their right names here, tliat I havn't the least idea
who he is :
" Mr. , Dear Sir, I received a note from you last eve,
in which you say you were informed by a gentleman that on
Sunday evening, I rej^orted you at head-quarters for drunk-
enness and boisterous conduct.
It is all a mistake. I have reported no one, neither have
caused any one to be reported. It would be necessary to
know the person l)y name, before he could be so reported ;
and the only one I have even suspected of having drank too
much, in my ward, is one whose name I do not know. That
person may or may not be yourself; but it has not, by me
been so reported. If it was done by any one, probably some
man has done it, who like Adam, was not noble enough to
take any part of the responsibility upon himself, but like him
could say :
' The ivoman that was given to be with us, she did it ? '
But Sir, you do not deny the fact of being in that condition ;
126 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
and perha2:)S the one who reported you, if indeed you have
been reported, which I doubt, considered it a duty, and it
might have been.
You say I ought first to have raised a warning voice to
you for the sake of that wife. Let me do this now. You
are still sensitive — still careful of your reputation for the sake
of that ' dear wife.' Let me beseech you as a friend to ab-
stain entirely and at once from the use of liquor in whatever
form. Look not upon the red of the wine-cup. Be a strong,
noble man — strong to overcome the temptation, nobly bat-
tling against it, that if you conquer you may be ' greater
than he who taketh a city.' I am a member of the Order of
Good Templars, — therefore the more interested for you. If
at any time you wish any advice or sympathy in my power
to give, while battling against this sin, do not hesitate to speak
or write to me. In conclusion, after beseeching you not to
entertain the idea that a soldier's life necessarily calls for
liquors, I will quote those beautiful lines for you of Dr. Hol-
land's, on the subject of Temptation :
' God loves not sin, nor I,
But ia the throng of eA'ils which assail us,
There are none which yield their strength
To Virtue's struggling arm, with such munificent reward of power
As great Temptations. We may win by toil, endurance ;
Saintly fortitude by pain ; by sickness, patience ;
Faith and trust by fear : but the great stimulus which spurs to life
And crowds to generous development.
Each chastened power and passion of the soul,
Is the Temptation of the soul to sin,
Besisted and reconquered, evermore'
Yours for reformation,
On Saturday evening a printed order was sent to each of
HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS. 127
the wards, that the " surgeons thereof must send in the diet
lists each morning, in their own hand-writing, as it was feared
in some instances the lady nurses were allowed to make them
The next morning the ward surgeon copied the one I had
prepared and sent it in his own hand-writing. I am making
out " Morning Reports," also of number of patients — sick or
wounded — from what hospitals, &c. Had just finished one
on Monday eve when seven new patients arrived. Made out
new one, when the surgeon told me to copy his signature and
sign it, which I did. Yesterday morning Dr. C. made out
the diet list, and put two of the worst patients on full diet.
Finally, after convincing him of the fact, he asked me to sit
down and he wrote while I dictated, thus complying with the
letter of the order, while the spirit was best carried out.
Several wounded men who are obliged to lie in bed all the
time, have been for some time sadly in want of hair matrasses.
There are a plenty in the store-room, but they have refused
the request of the ward master and nurse, even with the order
of the surgeon. They say they are keeping them against the
arrival of other patients. But four of my boys were suffering
so much for them I obtained the order from the surgeon, went
to the store-room and left the order, and a request that I might
be allowed to send down my own mattrass — which one of the
elder ladies had managed to obtain for four of us — in case we
could not get those at the store-room, to the surgeon-in-charge
Dr. Goldsmith. The clerk would not let them go, without
first seeing him, but in about two hours the clerk came over to
give the ward-master a piece of his mind for letting a woman
interfere in the matter. But he was reminded that the trial
had been made by himself to no purpose, and I didn't care
how he felt about it when I saw the smiling faces and heard
the warm expressions of the poor sufferers, when they were
moved on their nice, soft beds.
128 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
Kov. 17, IN "Ward 1.
I steal a few moments to write, while surrounded by pa-
tients who are walking, talking, asking questions, etc., which
certainly does not have a beneficial effect upon composition.
We had, this morning, every bed full — thirty-nine sick and
twenty wounded. But since then have had a fresh arrival of
several hundred jDatients at the hospital ; consequently those
who have been detailed for nurses or attendants in my ward
must give up their beds and sleep in tents. This is all right
— I am glad to have the ward filled up again. During the
furlough to vote we had but seventeen patients, and now have
but three, who are too sick to sit up a part of the time at
least. But there are some four or five others whose wounds
oblige them to lie in bed. Willie's appetite is better and we
hope he is really getting well.
Beside duties previously mentioned I have been engaged in
others. I have charge of the diet — assist each meal in dealing
it out. I have covered crutches, ripped up arm slings, washed
and made them over, gone to commissary with order from
doctor for material for pads for wounded or amputated limbs,
and manufactured the same. I petition, and thus commence
the transfer or furlough of one or the pay of another. I
write letters for my patients, read or sing for them, visit or
play checkers with them, occasionally, to make them think
they are at home and forget they are sick. Have once, through
the kindness of the one detailed as baker, been allowed to
make some cake as a treat, in which the patients of Ward 2
and the gangrene tents participated. We have a sing in the
wards about twice each week. The convalescents are invited
from adjoining wards and we have quite a crowd and pleasant
time. Every ward is eager for its sing. I have also bought
some cheap prints, put on moss frames, arranged a wreath of
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 129
autumn leaves on white paper, and have tried to have some-
thing on a little stand, which should represent or bring to
mind a cabinet, to make them think of home. In short, have
tried to make my ward look as Miss B. expressed it, " as if
there was a woman in it."
The surgeon, ward-master and nurses treat me with the
greatest respect and consideration, as well as the patients, and
I am certain the latter appreciate the little I am able to do
But the bugle has just blown for the carts to start for the
kitchen — they will soon return — mine first, and I must hasten
to the little pantry to deal out the supper for the sick and
Saturday Eve, 19.
My writing progresses slowly of late and is often interrupted,
for I am very busy. I would like to note down the duties
and incidents of one day if time permitted, but can only select
Day before yesterday was gladdened by a call from Rev.
H. M. Miller, Agent of Universalist Army Mission and his
travelling brother. Rev. Gilman, Michigan Agent. I regret
that he cannot be allowed to preach in this hospital. This
narrowness of relij^ious thoue^ht reminds me of the early his-
tory of an own father, long since sleeping in a western wild-
wood, who when a young man was repeatedly denounced from
the pulpit of a Baptist divine, who cautioned his hearers to
beware of the fascinations of that Methodist fanatic, who was
setting the people crazy with his preaching. Am wondering
how many years it will be before people can worship God
according to the dictates of their own consciences, with none
to molest. How many before Universalist papers can be given
out as well as Methodist ones to sick men who prefer them,
130 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
instead of being carefully collected and torn up or burned by
those who think they are doing God service. AYhat a pity
that so few who fight for civil liberty know so little of relig-
ious freedom. But such is humanity — boastful of God-given
rights, freedom and equality, while in blissful ignorance of
their own manacles.
We are expecting a Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital
next Thursday, for the setting on foot of which we are in-
debted to the efforts of our kind Chaplain Fitch. But as so
many citizens in Jeffersonville and Louisville are not any too
loyal, feel somewhat dubious about the turkeys, chickens and
pies for two thousand mouths. Certain it is that the boys
would a2:)preciate a good dinner, as they have had rather short
rations of late, and there has been some just grumbling by
the full diet patients. And yet it is in most things a model
hospital, but must be very difficult to supply so large a moving
Often, I see the time, when if I had a box of sanitary
goods, the patients could be made more comfortable. It might
be different for one to understand why this should be needed
in a hospital of such resources as this, and will note a, few
At one time I found a man in the gangrene tents who had
not had a clean shirt since he had a hand amputated five days
before. The garment was sj)otted and stiff with blood of
course, and he had repeatedly asked for one, but had been
told clothes were issued but once a week. Had I a box con-
taining such an article he should not have waited an hour before
having^ one ; as it was he did wait a week. The ward-mas-
ter could have drawn one by obtaining an order from the
Two men in my ward having wounded shoulders could get
but one sleeve on, while if I could have obtained those with
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 131
open sleeves, tied with tape, it would have been more com-
fortable for them, besides 2')resenting- a better appearance when
sitting up. Two, at another time, could think of nothing they
could eat, except toast and canned peaches or other canned
fruit; but although I obtained an order from the sui'geon
immediately, I could not obtain the fruit, as it was not in the
sanitary stores for a week afterward.
Other instances in which I could have made good use of a
box from an Aid Society have occurred several times, and to-
day when a man needed a pair of woolen socks. We have
been informed for the past two weeks that it was of no use
to make out a requisition for them, as they have none to issue.
Some three pairs for the most needy have been given me by
a lady nurse recently from the North — a contribution from
an Aid Society. For a time also, we were destitute of hand-
kerchiefs and now no ginger wine can be jirocured. Some-
times a poor boy thinks if he only had a little butter which
came from the North, and was not so rancid as what we have
here, he could eat something.
A couple of gentlemen have just come in with a note-book,
and we have been singing for the invalids. It is getting some-
w^hat late to be in the ward — about eight, and I must close
this rambling memoranda for this time.
Yesterday witnessed a Sunday morning inspection for the
first time in our ward. The bugle sounded, the ward-master
took his jDosition by the open door, each patient who was able
to sit up took his place by the side of his bed, and the nurses
and attendants ranged themselves upon each side near the door.
When the surgeons appeared, at the word of " Attention ! "
from the ward-master, each man rose to his feet who was sit-
ting but able to stand, and the Inspectors marched swiftly
132 HOSPITAL TENCILLINGS.
through the ward to the bath-room and back through the
ward, pausing only to compliment the ward-master upon the
"usual fine ap23earance of "Ward 1."
The corps of inspectors varies on different mornings, but
this time we were honored by the presence of the surgeon-in-
charge, Dr. M. Goldsmith, the executive officer, the officer of
the day and our own ward surgeon. The first sported the
gold leaf of a major, the officer of the day the green sash, and
all the gilt stripes and buttons of the medical department, and
our surgeon the U. S. upon the shoulder. I was uncertain
about what should be my own position, having thought nothing
about it. I was reading to my sickest man, who was lying in
bed, and rose to my feet also to receive our guests but sat
down before they returned from the bath-room. Was hon-
ored by a lofty bow from two or three of the dignitaries.
Determined to know whether I ought to rise or not before
next inspection day and referred the matter to the surgeon,
who said :
" It is the soldiers who are expected to rise and you are not
a soldier, are you ? "
That settled the matter, the dignified matron could here-
after sit in the presence of her betters.
Wrote four letters to-day for sick men and have commenced
the transfer jDapers of Frank N. Button to Detroit, Michigan.
He is a young boy — has been here five months, and is a quiet,
patient sufferer. His left limb is paralyzed from a wound in
the hip, and I fear will always be useless. He has not stood
on his feet in that time except as he is held up. I have written
for a friend of his to come for him. A sing in Ward 1
Well, our Thanks ojivinfr dinner was a success. Nearlv
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 133
three hundred turkeys and chickens suffered death for the
good of their country. When those, and the five hundred
pies were cooked and placed on the tables in the large, full-
diet kitchen the night before, I mentally confessed, while
viewing them through the window from the corridor, that
were I one of a regiment of hungry soldiers just from ' the
front, I might possibly stir up a mutiny to make a raid on the
kitchen and capture them. A portion of the dinner was the
contribution of the loyal citizens, and about one-third was fur-
nished from the hospital fund.
The chaplain sent for me as usual to attend funeral service.
To-day it was in Ward 15, and of four soldiers. One was
that of George W. Odell, 28th Michigan. He was but seven-
teen, in a new regiment and only out about four weeks. He
had an escort of eight young boys of his company who
appeared in uniform, with white gloves and reversed arms.
We ladies followed next to the coffins in the procession to the
ambulance. The latter conveys them to the soldiers' cemetery.
It is with us only " a funeral service " of " one, two, three
or four," as the case may be, " in " such a " ward." The
forward coffin bears the stars and stripes. A short Episcopal
service is held, and we follow to the ambulance. But we
know, though fast learning to ponder less upon it, that some-
where is one more vacant chair^ and missing voice and footstep,
for every death which occurs here, and sorrowing hearts, to
whom a few words of condolence and a lock of hair, sent by
some matron, or the official blank properly filled out by the
chaplain, comes almost as a mockery in place of the dear boy,
or husband, or father, who left them with such vigorous health
and bearing but a little time ago.
" And yet, and yet, wc cannot forget
That many brave boys must fall."
134 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
But we comfort ourselves with the thought that though
" Their swords do rust, and their steeds are dust,
Their souls are with the saints, we trust."
MoxDAY Eve, 28.
Saturday eve had singing in my ward. Benches were car-
ried in. Chaplain's orderly, Mr. Bullard, brought in and
distributed as usual the little army hymn books. Patients
were invited in from other wards ; we had quite a crowd, and
a pleasant time. Our ward surgeon was also present, with
the usual singers, viz.. Corporal Patten, Steward Holt, and
Burroughs, Wheeler, Dupont, Artillery, Perry, Payne, and
ladies Dixon, Lawson, Hardy, Rhodes and Sturgis.
Yesterday was very busy all day in ward, with new arrival
of patients from Nashville. Did not get time to attend ser-
vice. Have also been very busy to-day with same. Have
written out applications for transfer, filled out medical descrip-
tive lists, except the diagnosis, and have written out orders for
money to be paid to the surgeon for patients unable to get to
headquarters. We ladies signed the pay-roll yesterday morn-
ing. The clerk had by mistake got my first name wrong and
had to sign it the same. Easy way of changing one's name.
We have one singular individual who goes by the title of
" Colonel." He came with the transfer of patients from
Nashville, which consigned ten to our ward, two weeks ago
He was brought in on the shelf wliich was taken out of the
ambulance and placed hastily upon the bed, while the nurses
hurried out for more. They had lain his head below the
pillow instead of on it, and seeing him lie thus without raising
it, though he ajjjDcared to make some ineffectual attempts to
do so, I went to him to assist, and asked if he could not raise
liimself higher and on the pillow. He said no, that his limbs
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 135
were all paralyzed except one arm. He raised liis head and
I put the pillow under it, and when the patients were all
brought in had the nurses lift the man up higher in the bed.
Soon after, when accompanying the surgeon, while he was
making out the cards to hang in the little tin case at the head
of each bed, the patient informed him in a confidential tone
that he wanted his name entered as a private, as the boys were
always jealous of an officer and expecting him to put on airs.
But that he was colonel of an Illinois regiment. Also that
he had been robbed of his satchel, clothing, regimentals and
$3700 by the ward-master of Ward 1, Hospital No. 8, of
He is looked upon by the surgeon and others either as an
imposter who is trying to " play off," as they style it, or as
crazed from the effects of fever. I have preferred to give the
latter more charitable verdict till I know the opposite, and in
Bpite of some opposition have treated him accordingly. His
appetite has been perfectly ravenous, and beside supplying
him with the rations of two or three men each meal I have
bought him apples and cake to give between the meals, with
money given for that purpose by his brother, who has been
down to visit him. I was at first fearful to give him so much
and did not until he cried and begged for it, and I found it
did not seem to hurt him. Three men's rations for the day,
lately are nothing, he wants and gets about six.
After he had been in the ward several days and been liftei
about by the nurses, as though helpless as a babe, it was con-
fidently told me by the ward-master, chief nurse and others?
that it was their belief his paralysis was mere pretence. He
had been teasing me to intercede for him to get a furlougl >
and the next time I saw him he repeated the request, when I
informed him that no furloughs were given to such as were
not able to walk to an ambulance or step into a car, and tha
136 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
as soon as he was able to walk about, I would try to get a
furlough for .him. That I wished him to get up and be
dressed that afternoon, and sit up a while, and do so each day,
and try to use his limbs and perhaps he might get the use of
them. Told him that I would come in the ward in about an
hour and bring some work to sit awhile, and hoped to find him
sitting in the rocking-chair. Went at the time and found him
sitting in it and looking rather foolish, and I fancied then, as
from the first, that his eyes looked as if he had been imposing
upon our credulity, but preferred to give him the benefit of
the doubt and think him half crazed. He then paid some
silly comjjliments about ladies' society and wished me to sit
near enough so that he might rest his feet on my chair —
" they were weak yet." Asked him if he thought he could
raise them, and found that he had walked from his bed to the
chair. There were many others near and who heard the
request, and after some hesitation I preferred treating him
like a sick child, and turned the chair so that he could jDut his
feet upon the side rounds. The next day he sat up again at
my request, and upon the next, when entering the ward, found
the paralyzed limbs performing a sJmffie to accompany a tune
he was humming. I expressed my satisfaction that he was
improving so rapidly and prophesied a furlough. I was half
temj^ted to prophecy instead a return to the front, which
would no doubt have taken all the strength away, and beside
I really thought his mind was not right and perhaps a visit
home might restore him.
I had obtained the consent of the doctor to put his name
down in the next furloughs which were granted, when last
Saturday he became angry with the nurse who had ordered
him to use the spittoon instead of floor, and ran away to head-
quarters. Said he wouldn't stay there any longer and wanted
to be sent to another ward. While I was away he was trans-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 137
ferred to "Ward 6. I visited him there yesterday, and found
as I had expected he would be, as soon as recovered from his
anger, very repentant, and sorrowful that he M'as there, saying
childishly, " No other ward will ever seem so like home —
there's no lady here, but whenever I wake up I fancy I hear
your step bringing me some apples. Won't you ask the doctor
if I can come back? " I promised to do so, for the poor fellow
was shedding tears, but the doctor says he ought to stay there
for being so foolish.
Friday Eve, December 2.
Have this eve parted with Frank — the patient mentioned
under date of November 21. His mother and a gentleman
both came for him, but unknown to the other. Their expres-
sions of gratitude at parting, which seemed extravagant, have
done me good. I am hearing too many blessings now-a-days
from sick and dying men to be in doubt any longer whether
or not I am doing good.
Yesterday felt very sad that one of the patients who
desired to get a transfer to Mound City, Iowa, near his home,
was instead sent to Madison, Indiana. Had I known of the
intention before the name was sent to headquarters, or had
the surgeon not forgotten about the transfer through the mul-
tiplicity of his duties, it would not have been. This was one
trial, but the worst was the transfer of the " colonel " at the
same time. It was too bad. I petitioned the doctor of Ward
6 in vain. Have written his brother where to find him, and
supplied the "colonel" with paper and an envelope addressed
to myself, and he has promised to write to what ward he is
taken, of which I shall inform his brother. I still think him
half crazed from the effects of fever.
Last Wednesday eve occurred the very pleasant little inci-
dent in my ward of the presentation of a gold-headed cane
138 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
and gold pen from the }Datients to our ward surgeon — Dr. J.
M. Chapman. A nice little speech was made by our worthy
Mr. Bayne, of Philadelphia, and a very happy impromptu
reply from the doctor.
Friday, Dec. 9.
The first snow of the season. "Winter has really come to
the Ohio valley.
Much public excitement in Louisville. Men are being con-
scripted, and horses impressed. Several thousand soldiers
have just been sent there, as they anticipate a cavalry raid
from the rebels. Hood is threatening Nashville. He says
he " is ordered either to go into Nashville, or to " a cer-
tain very warm place. Our boys think he will get into the
latter place first.
One night last week, a man in an adjoining room had the
nightmare and woke us all up three times. At the last, he
was taken to the guard-house. The truth was he was intoxi-
cated, and it was also the third offence. He was sent to the
front next day, as is usual. But he was not, as was laugh-
ingly reported, put in the guard-house and sent to the front
for having the nightmare.
Yesterday was at work most of the day and evening on
evergreen wreaths to trim the ward. Christmas is coming !
I have plenty of help from the ward-master, chief nurse and
convalescents. How kind they all are. I receive nothing in
my ward from the surgeon down, but the greatest respect and
consideration. Some of the ladies can get no assistance, but
those in our ward are ready at all times to help.
The first death in my ward, since my coming, occurred last
night. It was that of Robert Burnett, of Kentucky. On
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 139
Sunday morning, over a week since, I found him lying in bed
and that he had not been out to breakfiist, as he had done the
two days previous, since entering the ward.
Upon conversing with him he told me he was going to die.
I saw that he was excited and thought he was nervous and
tried to quiet him. But he was sure, he said, that he should
die, " he understood why I did not think so, and appreciated
what I said, but he knew he was going to die, " and asked if I
would stay by him whenever I could, and he begged for a
promise that I would be by him and " watch his face when he
died." These were his exact words, and though I did not
think he was dangerous and told him so, yet he would not be
pacified till I promised if he died at any hour when we were
allowed in the ward, or if at any other, and he was conscious
and would send for me, I would be with him. He was also
concerned for the future, for he was not a Christian, he said.
I read for him from the Bible, sang for him, and the chaplain's
orderly came and prayed with him. He professed afterward
to think himself prepared to die, and he gradually grew worse
each day until he died. I remained with him until late last
evening, but he was unconscious else I should have remained
until his death. He died about twelve. I had written to his
wife the first day, but the mails are interrupted by guerrilas.
He has two brother-in-laws here, who have started home v/ith
his body, xit the funeral service we sang the appropriate
" Oh ! watch my dying face,
Wlien I am called to die."
Transfers and furloughs are the order of the da}'. Some
twenty-five hundred have been transferred from Nashville to
this hospital, this month. From fifty to two, three or four
hundred are transferred from here at one time, to hospitals
140 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
farther north. As we hear that those are pretty well filled,
it seems just the time to give as many sick furloughs as possi-
ble, thus clearing the hospitals for those unable to go home.
I will give a sketch of one who has just gone home on a sick
His name is King, and his home is in Beattyville, Ken-
tucky. He came here from the hospital at Nashville, about
six weeks since. He had suffered from extreme exposure
and hard marches which had broken him down and induced
fever. Gradually, slowly the coaxed appetite returned, the
mind recovered its tone, for he had sometimes fancied himself
a major, at another he had met me in the morning, with an
anxious, puzzled expression and inquired if I had seen that
man to whom he had given his money. " No, I had not." For
some moments I fancied that some unscrupulous person had
been taking advantage of his illness and recent arrival, and
had inveigled him into an unwise consignment of money, par-
ticularly as he told me the man had said he kept a safe for
keeping soldiers' money.
But upon further conversation, in which he averred that
" the box of money had been sent to him, and part was in
gold," his delusion was manifest. But unlike some, he was
easily made to understand that fact, and like a hero he strove
against such phantasms. About three weeks since, he re-
ceived a letter from his wife, which he brought me one mor-
ning to read.
It was difficult to decipher, even for a Yankee schoolma'am,
from the peculiarly original style of orthography and of
punctuation ; but Yankee ingenuity triumphed, and revealed
a volume of suffering. The pages were eloquent with star
vation, affection and loyalty.
" Come home dear Dick," was the burden of the letter, " or
we shall starve. I have but the milk of the one cow for my-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 141
self and the four little ones to live on. And the cow gives
but the half-gallon a day. The guerrilas have been in here
and robbed the union folks. You tell me to go to Mrs. H. if
I need help. She has made friends with the rebs to save her
property, and I'll starve before I'll ask her for help."
Though I started out immediately on a scouting expedition,
in search of something available to meet the case, I almost
envied one of the other lady nurses, who, had received $60,
but a little time before, entrusted to her for the soldiers
from an aid society. I would not ask her to assist me, for she
would have need of the money in her own ward, but the gen-
erous Chaplain Fitch had called me " daughter," times enough
to encourage a demand upon his generosity, at least I would
read him the letter and have him converse with the man
whose manners and words impressed me with a belief in his
honesty. The chaplain came, heard the story and letter, and
placed a '* V " in my hand at starting, to send the starving,
patriotic woman. It was sent not confiscated. Whether re-
ceived or not, I cannot at present say, but hope to know in a
About the same time a furlough was requested for Mr. King,
The time went slowly by, at last the furlough came. The
poor fellow had no overcoat, ho haversack, no money, having
lost these articles when taken sick during a forced march.
By a late order of the war department, the absence of his
descriptive roll, for which I had long before written to his
captain in vain, prevented his drawing any clothing. Flan-
nel I had previously obtained for him from the sanitary com-
mission. But their stores contained no other needed articles
of clothing. It was stinging cold, and he must go warmly
clothed. The ward surgeon sent the man over to tell his
plain story to the executive officers. But stringent orders
must be obeyed, and he came back empty handed. I went
142 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
next to Miss Buckel, then to the chaplain, and after some de-
lay the man returned with an overcoat. The ward-master
captured somewhere a pair of shoes, and a haversack of white
drilling, into which he put four days' rations of bread, meat,
sugar and coiFee.
Now where was the four dollars to come from, which he
would need the last part of his journey to pay stage fare ? So
far as my own private purse was concerned, I had received
just that amount at the last pay day, and had scarcely any
beside to last for the next three months. I had the idea — I
would write a note explanatory of the case and of my belief
in the worthiness of the man, and state the principal object of
his going home that of getting his starving family out of
rebeldom. I would address the note to a friend of the Sani-
tary Commission at Louisville in particular, and to all generous,
loyal people in general. I told him if he lacked friends while
on the route or got into trouble, if there was a loyal person
to be seen, especially a Sanitary Agent, to present the note,
it might do him some good, and w^ould certainly do no harm
unless he might fall among rebels.
He started, and at night he returned word : " Tell Miss P.
that the order she gave me did me a hea'p of good. Tell
her it got me a nice pair of woollen mittens, a great long
piece of tobacco, four dollars in money, and ■ a note from Mr.
Scott to a man, where I'll be to-night, to give me a good
supper and see me started on my way in the morning. And
more and better than all, he has given me a note to the
captain in the nearest regiment, who -will help me get my
So my little note seemed likelj'- to be an " open sesame "
to him everywhere. Wasn't I glad ? Didn't that pay for
getting up at an early morning reveille, standing on an icy
floor by gas-light and handling dishes which are frozen to-
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 143
gether, while dealing out the diet? Of course it did! And
this is not a solitary instance of my reward either. The wan-
derer has promised to write to me ; and when he returns, if
not before, shall know something more of his journey.
The second death in the ward. It was that of a young,
noble-looking man — Prevo, of the 40th Indiana. He died of
a gunshot wound, the ball entering the lungs. He was bat-
tling with the grim monster all day yesterday, and thought
himself at one time on a forced march through the country of
an enemy, and at another in the heat of battle, when he would
cheer on the soldiers. A lock of hair and a few words of
condolence will go to one more mourning family in place of
the dear, noble boy.
Great preparations are being made for Christmas to-mor-
row ; thus death and feasting go hand in hand in this strange
world of ours.
Another died last Sunday in Ward 23, who had been for a
long time in this ward. He shed tears when he was trans-
ferred, and I interceded to have him remain, but there are
wards to which an order obliges patients to be removed when
suffering from chronic diarrhea or lung diseases, and he was
one of the former. But at his request I visited him, and after
his death, which came suddenly, procured a lock of his hair
from the dead-house and sent it to his father.
Our dinner was truly a success. It was given by the
Sanitary Commission principally, and a portion from the hos-
pital fund. Much less stir was made about it, and one soldier
expressed the general feeling, who said he " enjoyed the
Christmas dinner the most, for there wasn't so much style
144 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
about it." Very excellent oyster soup for the light diet was
given each time. Twenty-one hundred pies were issued for
dinner, seventy-one cans of oysters, with eighteen hundred
pounds of beef a la mode, also four barrels of pickles.
But this must have seemed so like a mockery to one mourn-
ing wife who is here. Sergeant Don A. Clark, a very worthy
man and Christian, who. Chaplain Fitch says, " has suffered
more than any other two men ever in this hospital," died just
after midnight. He belonged in my ward, but when I came
here he had been sent out to the gangrene tents. The bail
had passed through the limb a little distance above the ankle
but had injured no bone. It was simply a flesh wound, and
little trouble was anticipated in the healing. But after some-
time his blood was ascertained to be in a poor condition, as
indicated by an eruption upon the face. This is considered
a bad omen when a wound has become inoculated with
He came back to the ward once, for a visit, on crutches.
He was hopeful for "the surgeon had told him he would soon
be well enough to go to his own ward," and boys " said he, I
shall be back home with you in a few days."
The wound has several times been free from gangrene, but
just as he was anticipating a return to the ward it would
Thus did he suffer with hope deferred and the cruel burn-
ino-s of bromine, as could only a noble, patient christian, till
from two little wounds the size of a hickory nut, it extended to
nearly the whole lower limb. It was shocking to see the
the cruel ravages of the gangrene.
Then it ate off an artery, and twice he came near dying
with hemorrhage. Then it was hoped he would rally so that
they dare amputate the limb. His wife had been all the time
writino- to him for permission to come and care for him, but
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 145
he had been hopeful of going to her, and the expense was an
item. But he was at this time prevailed upon to giye his
consent, and I wrote to her just what we hoped and feared*
That she must expect to find a sufferer, but if she could come
with nerve and moral courage enough to hide her feelings in
his presence, and smooth his passage to the better land, we
should be glad to have her come, and the expense should be
nothing during her stay.
She came about three weeks since, and has proved herself
equal to the task. His mind became very weak, and otfce
when I carried him some currant shrub, he cried like a sick
child alfe he said, " God bless you." I went in last evening to
see him for the last time. He had forgotten almost every one
but his wife, and as I took his hand he appeared not to recog
nize me, even after I had given my name, biit as I mentioned
my ward, he said earnestly, and with tears j^nd a tender child-
ish voice, " Oh, yes, I know the lady of Ward 1. I never can
forget her, she has done a great deal for me."
Such is my reward. Gold, without it, is a,s nothing in com-
Most of the wards are now radiant with evergreen,, tissue
paper and pictures. I am content that mine should, rank third
or fourth in its adornings, rather than negleot the weightier
matter of attending to the sick men — of who^n I had quite a
number last week requiring much care. The last death, men-
tioned under date of the 24th, was the second only in the
ward since my entrance — a period of over two months, and
the fifth since being in the ch;;irge of the present surgeon,
which is eight months. But the mortality in the hospital is
increasing very much in consequence of war's grim visage
approaching nearer to us. A week ago last Sunday there
146 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
were eleven dead bodies in the dead-house, and fourteen deaths
occurred in three days.
Last evening I was edified by the testimony of a loyal
Kentucky woman who is visiting her wounded son in one of
the wards. She said: —
"* Well, I'se never in a free State afore, but I've been very
much gratified to see how our soldier boys is took keer of.
Talk about the riches o' Kaintuchy — I say the riches o' the
North. I wish every one o' the rebels in Kaintucky could
see what I've seen here." And here the old lady, with her
good motherly face surrounded by the full border of her cap?
and the forefinger of the right hand brought down with three
or four emphatic taps into the left palm, forcibly reminded
me of Mrs. Partington, as she concluded her observations
thus : '' They'd just be like a pea fowl when it drops its tail
feathers to the ground, — and the^-'d never cry ' Yankee ' any
Have lately been the recipient of what I presume was in-
tended by the writer to constitute the first of a series of love
letters addressed to " Mr. E. J. Powers, Esq." I had ad-
dressed a note of inquiry relative to a boy who had died in
my ward, to one whose name he gave, inquiring for his sister,
signing only last name with initials of first. The letter, with-
out telling me a word of what I wished to know about the
whereabouts of the dead boy's sister, contained the following
delectable bit of composition : —
" Mr. E. J. Pow ERs,
Dear Sir, — Please excuse me for answering you likewise.
I must confess that I was infinitely pleased for you to write
to me and inform me of the mishap. (The death.)
Soldiering must be a dreary life, altho' I have never expe-
rienced it of corse because I am not a masculine, but woo to
me if I were.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 147
I have nothing more to say at present, but by the way if
you have no objections I will compose for you a little piece of
" think not this a hapy
world for it is ought
but a world of care
remember thou art
but a mere vision
yet we think not so
For our body seems like
if we could overcome
every thing but ! Ah ! it
is all in vain."
Only to think what an amount of poetical talent will waste
its " sweetness on the desert air," unless the author is discov-
ered by some appreciative editor!
This is only excelled in point of orthography and punctua-
tion by the following Rebel love letters which were sent from
a captured post-office in Virginia, by As't. Adj. Gen. Dana to
his sister in Rockford, Illmois, and wliich 1 copy verbatim el
REBEL LOVE LETTERS.
"Pettigrew Hospital, N. C.
May 27tu 64.
Dear Miss I take
" of writing you a few lines which will inform you that I am
well as to health tho I had the sad misfortune of getting
wounded on the 12 th of this mouth tho I aint very bad
148 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
wounded I think that I will be able to go to my Regment in
the corse of a week or less time Miss I dont feel my self
Capable of addressing a young lady that I essteem as high as
I do you tho I will do the best that I can you must excuse bad
writing and bad spelling for I am a bad hand to write or to
spell which you will see that from this letter tho I am in hops
that you wont take no insineration at bad spelt words it is
only ben about one month sense I Saw you but it seems as if
it had ben twelve month for there is no young lady that I
have ever saw in my life tho that is Saying agreat deal for
m}^ self tho I am in hops that you will excuse my boldness
for it is my fait I gineraly think that aman on such accasion
as that ourt to be perminent in such bisseness as that for I"
all ways thought that aman ourt not to jest with a young Lady
on such accasion well I will close my letter for it aint verry
William N. Hunt.
iff you think anufF of my letter to write to me Direct to Co
H 26th Ga Regt in care of Capt H H Smith."
There's self-abasement and constancy for you, for though
he seems to have found his " fait," confesses that his " letter
aint verry interresting," but believes that " aman ourt to be
perminent in such bisseness, and not jest with a young Lady
on such acasion." Here is another equally racy :
" Camp Gregg, Va. February 16, 1863
Dear Miss Kitty I feel ashamed of attempting to write to
you after refusing to answer your letters, but I hope that you
will not think any thing of it as you may well know I have
seen a great deal of trouble this last year. I suppose you
heard of the death of my two brothers, and I have 'been very
unwell the greatest part of last year, but I humbly ask par-
HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS. 149
don for not writing, and hope that you will not refuse to grant
it to one that esteems you as high as I do. I hope that the
time will come soon ; when I shall return home again that I
may once more see your smiling face and hear your winning
voice again, oh, that I was once more a free man that I could
go and come when I pleased, I hope that the war will soon
come to a close for I am tired of being a soldier, I tell you
that I have seen a hard time since I left home, I have marched
night and day through rain and snow not only that but I have
suffered hunger and thurst. My dear friend I Hope that I
may get home safe again, I have only written to you one time
since, I have received three letters from you, in which you
answered mine very satisfactory, but owing to the misfortunes
that befel me I was not able to fulfil my expectations and not
only that after I considered over the matter I thought best to
wait until after the. war, I want to hear from you very bad,
and to hear what you think of the matter, my mind have not
changed in the least, and I hope that you stick to your prom-
ise. Give my best respects to your mother and all inquiring
friends, and reserve a full portion for yourself. I want you
to write where your post-office is, I expect that you have en-
tirely forgotten me, but I hope not, there is only two ways
that any one can get a furlough here, one is to get sick, and
the other is to get married, therefore, I do not expect to get
one for one reason no one wont have me, and the other is I
can't get sick.
Dear Miss Kitty I would give half of this world to see you
and the other half too if they belonged to me for there is
nothing on the earth that I prize so high and so dear as I do
you, you must excuse bad writing and mistakes.
I remain your affectionate lover,
Samuel D. McKlode.
150 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
This letter embodies quite a history. It seems the write
after " refusing to answer her letters," wishes her to forgive
him on account of his " losing two of his brothers," " suffer-
ing hunger and thurst," and not " being very well himself."
And then she had " answered his very satisfactory," but ow-
ing to misfortune which befel him, has not been able to fulfil
his expectations, and thinks it better to " wait till after the
war." But he " hasn't changed his mind," oh ! no, although
he wants a furlough " so bad," laments that he can neither
get sick, nor marry. Oh, the artfulness of man ! Of course
she W'Ould have forgiven him, after telling her that he would
make her a present of one half of the world when he saw her.
Here is another.
Spotssylvaxia Court House, Va. May 21, '64.
Miss Amanda E. Mastin.
I seat my self this morning to an swer your kind leter
whitch was dated May the 1, and caim to hand may the 20
it fown mee in fine helth and excilent spirits whitch I hop
when this few lines Reches yoar sweet smiles tha may find
you in percession of the saim kind of belesans Miss Mandy
I hav no news w^orth Ritin only wor news and I guess you
her a nough of that ever}^ day I will giv you a short skitch of
our tramps since we left winter qwarters we left May the 5
and went in to the fite the 6 morning at sunris and faut until
dark and the next morning we went in at day light and faut
til 10 oclock that knight when we wor Relevd and we movd
down the liii the next day had another small fite with them
and we hev bin fitin them every day since we left awn the 1 2
day we had the marster fite that ever has bin faut in Virginia
I never Saw such a slawter in all my life well as the fite ent
over I wont say mutch about if we air in line of batel at
Spotsylvania court hows and has bin fer o er 6 days and I ent
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 151
abel to say liow lowDg we will Remain her I think it is a qeer
notion to fite them here that is if tha stay to see it I wish tha
wood fite us er les go back awn the other Side of the River
so we cowd obtain Som Rest fer this army is gaded vary
mutch but air still in goad Spirits I am in fine spirits my self
all tho I field vary much exzausted fer I hent slep as mutch
as 5 knights since this thing has commenst and I hav not had
awf my shoes ner cateridge Box smce the 4 day of may and
you can guess wherther we air exzausted er not I will drop
this sub ject untill the fite is over and then if I am Spaird I
will giv you a full liistry of the batel well Miss Amanda you
spoak of not gittin the letter that T sent the song ballet in I
was very sorry in deed fer I wanted you to have the balet
but had Ruther you had hav got the letter fer I think it was
the best leter I ever composd in my lif and thair foar I showd
hav Rether you had a got it I want you to excus mee for the
short letter I sent buy Mr. Morris tho I thout my corispond-
ance was not excepted but still I thout as I had sent sent you
a sheat of paper and a stamp and I cowdent help but think if
you Recieved that letter you wold hav a answered it fer it
was Such a won as you cowd not Refused I dont think I hop
my corispondance is excepted with hy Reputation as you air
the girl I think will Suit my fancy agacly tho you hav never
consented to our ceeping up a Regular corispondance whitch
I hop you will not Refus as it is the only in Joyment that a
solger sees is when he hers from the fair Sexe whitch he
hyly dos a steam giv Jan my best lov and kind Respects and
also Mr Morris and Miss Morris the saim and as fer lov I hop
you will be abel to obtain a larg potian yoar self Miss mandy
fer fere that I worry joar patience I will bring my few bad
Remarks to a cloas hoping to her from you every weak you
will a dres mee to Rich mond co a 8 Regment Alabama vol-
unteers in the car of captin herd I wish you to direct mee
152 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
agacly how to back yoar letters if the way that I opposed
wont suit you I hop you will excus this bad writ letter fer I
had to write It awn my nee I still remain your friend til deth.
Mr. J. W. TOMBERLINSON."
What an ungrateful creature she must be, when he " sent
her a sheat of paper and a stamp," if she had not replied to
the " best leter that he ever composd in his lif," particularly
when he tells her " it is all the in Joyment a solger sees is
when he hers from the fair Sexe whitch he hyly does a
steam ! "
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 153
Jefferson, General Hospita'l, Jeffersonville,
Ind., January 3, 1865.
A happy New Year. It is pleasant to chronicle an act of
disinterested benevolence. A Mr. Kisling, of Delaware Co.,
Ind., visited his son in this hospital, bringing with him. some
creature comforts. While his son was enjoying them, he
heard others wishing they had friends to do the same for
them. He immediately formed the resolution of seeing what
could be done in that direction ; and upon returning home
succeeded in interesting the good people of Delaware and
Henry Counties, Ind., in his project, who responded liberally.
And the result was 400 chickens, not veterans, innumerable
cakes, with pies, fresh butter, onions, apple butter, and canned
fruit, in all about 3,500 pounds were contributed for the benefit
of our boys. It was enjoyed all the more from its being a
surprise. Three capital holiday dinners in succession, well?
the invalids of this hospital do not need to sigh for home, on
account of these festivals. Blessings attend the donors!
In striking contrast to such fare was that of one of our jDa-
tients who came from Nashville last Saturday. He was taken
prisfnier at Franklin, and was with the enemy eighteen days.
During that time he was an inmate of the hospital, having a
wound through neck and shoulder. His fare and that of the
other patients was two meals per day, two biscuits of hard
tack, and one piece of meat in all, for the twenty-four hours.
Ther^ were at first 287 Union prisoners in the hospital. Five
physicians and eleven nurses were detailed for dut}' ; but all
154 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
except one of the former and four of the latter deserted. Of
course the patients were the sufferers by this desertion, and
out of the original number but 163 survived. Not all of this
number were in one hospital, but of those in the one in which
was my informant, fifteen died in twenty -four hours.
He says had it not have been for the kindness of a young
lady by the name 'of Fannie Courtney and her mother, in
bringing in baskets of provisions, he believes some would
Over 200 patients came from Nashville to this hospital last
Saturday, out of which our ward received more than one for
every bed. We have fifty -nine beds for patients, and we had
seventy-one on the morning report for the new year. Mat-
tresses are put on the floor at night. About the same num-
ber came into the hospital on Sunday, and half as many to-
day. In a few days there will be a transfer from this to some
other hospital farther north, to make room for others from the
front. Immediately after a large transfer to a hospital the
greatest mortality occurs. They are sometimes brought in a
wretched condition. Some have the balls remaining in the
wounds. One here has not slept for three nights from that
cause. Another came whose wound has not been dressed for
thirty-six hours, and as a consequence he has gangrene. Not
long since two men showed me their shirts which had been
worn without change between twenty and thirty days. And
there was no help for it until the next week, for at that time
we had but twenty-five clean shirts for seventy-seven men. The
hospital is overcrowded. It was only intended for 2,000, but
we have had upwards of 2,600. And orders have been sent
Maj. Goldsmith to enlarge it so that it may contain 5,000.
It is evening ; I am seated in my ward by one of the four
mammoth stoves, which are ranged at equal distances through
the length of the same. Groups are gathered around each
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 155
stove. Some are chatting on army experience, some discus-
sing politics, some dozing in chairs, perhaps a third of the
whole in bed, two playing chess, one singing low to himself, as
if to pass away time, and last, but by no means least in her
own estimation, is one who dips occasionally into the inkstand
which is upon the same table as the chess-board, and is occu-
pying herself in " telling tales out of school." Here is a
A German boy sitting just behind me on the bed who has
an " interesting " arm, has just been telling me the following :
" One day when our regiment was down in Georgia, a party
from our company were out on a foraging expedition, and
came to a house where were a woman and her two daughters.
As we rode up the mother held up her hands in blank aston-
" ' Why, youans beant Yankee soldiers, be ye ? '
" ' Yes, we are ! ' was the emphatic reply.
" ' Why, youans looks like weuns do ! — only I don't know
but youans looks better'n weuns."
" We tried to make her tell," says my informant, " what
weuns were expected to look like, but without success."
Day before yesterday I was very busy with the little er-
rands which seem almost nothing in the telling, but yet effect
very much the comfort of the invalids, when an order came
for " seven men to go from each ward to Jefferson Barracks,
Missouri, who were from the States of Missouri, Minnesota,
Iowa or Wisconsin — the number to be made up, if necessary,
from Illinois." I was permitted by the surgeon to go through
the ward and see who wished to be transferred nearer home.
Sometimes, so little time is given after such an order is issued,
that with the pressing duties of a surgeon it is impossible to
156 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
take time for the selection, and some are sent farther away
from their homes, while others are retained who would gladly
Then came the furlough of eight of the patients, several of
which I had looked for for some three weeks, almost as
anxiously as the recipients. These same furloughs may be
the means of saving three or four lives. This chronic camp
disease, or the scurvy, is best cured at home, if at all, and if
the patient is not to recover, he is certainly better at home in
most instances. It was fortunately not very cold weather, as
only one had an overcoat to wear away. He very fortunately
had his descriptive list and drew one. The others had nothing
except blouses over flannel shirts.
One man, an Indian, from Michigan, had lost all his bag-
gage. What was he to do without money or a descriptive
roll, not having been here long enough even to get two months'
pay ? Fortunately I had one shirt remaining from the Jan-
uary stock of flannels. Not one was left in the Sanitary
stores or about the hospital, except some two or three which
some ladies had sent from home. I had already borrowed
three such pairs of socks for those who were going to the
front. The Sanitary Agent had told me she had but two or
three pairs of socks to give out only in extreme cases and a
few flannel drawers. This, I thought an extreme case, and
taking the last flannel shirt in my possession and going to the
lady I received the other two articles, and hastening to the
ward gave them to the worthy representative — not of the
copper-headed but of the copper-colored race. The ward-
master secured other clothing for him, so that he was as com-
fortable as was necessary.
Another young Indian, who could speak but a few words
of English, received a letter to show to " whom it may con-
cern," asking assistance if needed ; while by sign I think he
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 157
was made to understand its purport. I had been to head-
quarters and obtained orders for an ambulance to take the
men to the depot for the evening train of 8.40. Then left
the ward after they had received their baggage and rations.
Learned this morning that the ambulance did not come for
them, and that all, except one crippled boy, had walked a
mile through the mud to the depot. Thus are men nerved
with additional strength when the stimulus is home and loved
Wonder how many people at the North think we are living
on champagne and canned fruits at Uncle Sam's expense.
Wish such could see our table. Please imagine, dear friends,
your humble servant as sitting down to a long table with some
eighteen others — not tables but ladies — and viewing three
plates of bread, three bowls of gravy, ditto of apple-sauce
arranged at equal distances, and that each has the exquisite
pleasure of chewing for a reasonable length of time a piece
of tough meat which is strongly suspected of having once
been the person of a mule, and of drinking a mug of coffee
minus the milk — and oh ! worse than all the rest, the table is
minus the butter. These two last are regretted the most. I
wish somebody would make a raid and capture a dairy — milk-
maid and all ! Won't some good Northern body be so mag-
nanimous as to send me a little pat of butter and a cup of
The truth is, I have encountered perils by land and sea, — •
thrice being obliged to do my own washing save once, because
the laundress had married a husband and could not come.
Once in my life did I have the audacity to pay special atten-
tion to a young corporal from Massachusetts by accompanying
him to church one Sabbath evening, and came very near
158 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
being discharged for the same. Shall never dare to repeat
the heinous offence. Special attentions not allo\Yed among
Uncle Sam's nephews and nieces. It is my opinion that said
corporal is not over fifteen years younger than myself, still
there's no knowing what might have come of it. Ah, me !
what a sacrifice am I making for the good of my country.
" Ladj^ nurses in the hospital," says a late order which was
sent to each ward, " are expected to be in their wards each
meal time to receive the special and extra diets and deal them
out ; take charge of all liquors used in the wards, and do any-
thing else required by their surgeons."
This, by the by, is just what we've been doing all the while,
especially taking care of all the liquors we can obtain, in ad-
dition to which some of us have done whatsoever our hands,
heads, or hearts might find to do, whether ordered by a sur-
geon, or not.
But to return to the fruitful subject of our own diet. Per-
haps I have colored the matter a little too highly, and to be
just, will mention that for some three consecutive mornings
we have had the exquisite felicity of inhaling the fumes which
arose from buckwheat cakes, just after arrival of that kind of
flour to the hospital. Said fumes issued from the steward's
mess just across the hall. It was so grateful to the olfactory
nerves, we thought of sending a deputation to wait upon their
dignities and humbly request a continuance of the same for
our benefit. Once, since our sojourn here, somebody has
has had a remarkably severe fit of benevolence, not fatal,
however ; and the consequence was we had hot rolls for three
successive mornings. If only somebody would send one of
those nice little needle-books, or comfort bags, with an affec-
tionate letter in the interior thereof from some " nice young
lady at the North," and I could present the same with one of
my most winning smiles, and sweetest tones, mayhap we
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 159
might have hot rolls for three more mornings, or what would
be still better,
Have butter on oui- daily bread,
And milk within our coffee.
This poetry is perfectly original ; please don't anybody claim
it, on their peril.
Again, I confess I may have colored the matter of the diet
too highly, for there has been an overplus of butter in the
wards since it has disappeared from our table, and conse-.
quently some of us have seen fit to capture a piece ; therefore,
there may be seen by the side of some plates a little pat of
butter done up in a rag. Happy possessor of the rag with
butter in it, even if it ranks higher than any general in the
Am feeling grieved and sad this morning. The chief nurse
is to-day sent to the front. What a pity he could not with-
stand the temptation which sparkles in the wine cup. A more
capable, prompt and cheerful nurse is seldom or never found
I wrote a few lines to him, and received a reply. Will copy
''Ward 1, January 17.
« Mr. ;
" My Dear Friend : — Do you know some of us are feeling
sad and griev^ed this pleasant morning, and do you know the
reason ? I snatch a moment to write you a few hasty lines,
even at the risk of not knowing whether or not they will be
kindly received. In addition to the feeling which prevails in
the ward, of regret that one so j)rompt, cheerful and capable
in a sick room, is going to leave us, is another, which, even at
160 HOSPITAL TEXCILLINGS.
the risk of womicling your feelings, I must express, as I Lave
a good object in view. It is, that one so capable of making a
noble specimen of manhood and of doing so much good in the
"world, is liable to be bound in chains stronger than ever ty-
rant bound a slave. Do you know, my friend, that ' he who
ruletli his own spirit is greater than he who taketh a city ? '
Cannot you battle bravely against this one temptation, and
prove yourself the conqueror? I am a member of the
Order of Good Templars, and I wish very much you were
situated so that you could unite with that, for it might be a
great help to you.
" I have used my influence to keep you here, and would go
myself to the executive officers and intercede, but that I know
there is sensitiveness upon the subject of ' interference of the
lady nurses.' It is universally regretted in the ward that you
are to leave, and some have interceded for you. Dr. C. also
regrets the fact, but he has several times come between Dr.
M. and the men in his ward, and once before on your account,
and farther intercession would comjDromise his own position
"If this is received in the same spirit of kindness in which
it is written, I shall be glad to know. I shall be glad to hear
from you, from any place where you may be. But the bugle
sounds for dinner and I must close.
"• Your sincere friend.
"Guard House, January 17.
"Mi'ss F ;
" My Dear Friend : — I received your kind and welcome
note a few moments since, and am very thankful for your ad-
vice. I will make a jDromise but I do not know as I can keep
it, but will try, and if I can govern myself shall ever be
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. IGl
thankful for your advice. You know that the army is a hard
place for young men, and we are always tempted to use this
It took me down when I read that letter, and made me
ashamed of myself to think that after I have done as I have,
you would write to me and give me such good advice. And
I have resolved not to be ruled by that one temptation, but to
battle against it and attain the mastery over it. I will keep
that letter of yours, and when tempted to break my resolution
will take that letter and read it.
I could have come in the ward this morning, but did not
wish to, as it would make me feel so bad. I shall have to bid
you good bye from here. I will write when I get to a stop-
ping place, and shall always be glad to hear from you.
" From your friend,
Nearly 1,000 patients have been added to the hospital with-
in the last ten days. The " R. C. Wood " brought up 700
and left 100 at New Albany. Two days after, the little hos-
pital boat ''Jennie. Hopkins," brought 2G9 more. From this
number should be taken, however, fourteen, who died on the
passage, nine on the barge, and five on the small boat. As
many more died within twenty -four hours after their arrival.
" War is cruel, and cannot be refined," was the defensive
shot fired by Sherman at Atlanta. Still it seems a pity that
men should be sent out from Nashville hospitals, in a dying-
condition, to make way for rebel prisoners. Why could not
some private mansion be used for that purpose, whose owners
are known to have taken the oath merely to save their pro-
perty ? At the door of one such residence during my stay iu-
that city, one of the young ladies was heard to say indig-
1G2 HOSPITAL TENCILLINGS.
nantly, " Well, ice shall have to leave here before long, that's
sure, for I see no signs of these Yankees leaving." Or very-
good use might be made of that of another, who confessed to
my informant that she was " obliged to take the oath on ac-
count of her property, but that if her son enlisted in the Fed-
eral army to fight against his friends, she would herself take
his life with a revolver."
I did not visit the large boat myself, but a lady who has
been connected with hospitals over two years, a good part of
the time at Memphis, and not of the sensational stamp, says
that she never before saw such scenes of suffering.
In company with this lady and one other, I visited the
" Jennie Hopkins," the next morning after her arrival. All
had been taken from the lower cabin the night before, and for
some yards from the door of the corridor to the place where
the ambulance stopped, the snow was red with the blood that
had drij^ped from the wounds of the patients. As we neared
the boat they were bringing off patients on stretchers to the
ambulances, while others were walking. Among those on lit-
ters, was one little lump of humanity so small, enveloped in
blankets, as to make me doubt whether there was anything
but a blanket. Probably a wee bit of a drummer boy, I
thought ; and it might have been the same little fellow of fif-
teen years, who I have since learned was taken into one of
the wards, without an}- clothing excej^t blankets, and perfectly
benumbed, and who died the next day. Among those who
walked, I saw two middle-aged men, with their arms support-
ing each other, looking so pale and emaciated as to make me
wonder whether with such weak and uncertain steps they
would ever reach the hosiDital.
L^pon entering the boat we saw nothing particularly strik-
ing to those w^ho are accustomed to hospital scenes. They
were about lifting another man on a stretcher, when a surgeon
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 1G3
told them they must wait awhile as the ambulances were full
" What, only three ambulances to such a big hospital as
this ! " said one patient. " Oh, dear ! seems like we'd never
get off," said another.
" Oh, carry me home, oh, carry me home,"
sang out another, whose healthy, jovial face enveloped in a
turned-up overcoat collar, seemed in striking contrast to the
average of the company. But a pair of crutches lying upon
the bed beside him, gave proof of his claim to make one of
" We'll have chance to stay here to dinner, yet, to say
nothing of a luncheon," he mischievously continued. Pa-
tients on these boats complained bitterly of their fare.
" The most ravenous set I ever saw," said the man, having
charge of the full diet in our ward, two days afterward ; " they
must have nearly starved them."
They commenced dressing one man, evidently very low,
drawhig on his clothes very slowly. Then they paused, and
three or four gathered around. The steward left him, came
past us, unlocked a door, and taking a glass drew some brandy
from a keg. " Is he dying ?" was inquired in a low tone-
" No, but very low," was the reply. The liquor was given,
and he revived so as to be taken to the hospital, but very
likely was included in that number who died within twent}^-
four hours. I profess to be a Good TemjDlar, but I some-
times thank the Lord fervently for good brandy. To die in
a pleasant ward, on a clean bed, and with every needed com-
fort, and a letter to the loved ones at home, with even this
poor comfort for them was better than to die tliere.
We passed around and spoke to several ; and when I saw
one boy of about eighteen, from a distance, I said to myself,
1G4 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
" Surely that boy is able to go to the front ;" but upon ap-
proaching, saw what was the matter.
" Ah," was the query, " how long since that foot of yours
left you ? You're looking well enough to go to the front."
'• I «;??," said he, with a genial smile on his rosy face. " It's
only about three weeks since my foot was taken off, but I
havn't been sick a day. I am ivell enough."
And such is the difference. Blessed are those who go into
the army with pure blood, sound constitutions, and a habit of
looking on the bright side.
One middle-aged man, whose countenance as I read it, told
of sterling worth and stability of purpose, was lying in bed,
and with glistening eyes, he told me how greatly he had suf-
fered, as he showed me the heavy, jagged minie ball which
had ploughed through the bones of his ancle.
"It was at the second charge on the loth, and of the IGtli
army corps, at Nashville. I had fired my piece, and had
dropped on my knee to reload, for I was but a few yards from
the rebel breastworks, when the ball struck me. I was taken
to hospital No 1 ; but on the night of the 20th, our men were
all taken out of the hospital to make room for 1,500 rebel
prisoners. There was a cold sleet at the time. I took cold by
being taken to a tent where I suffered dreadfully. I can
never tell how much I endured there for several days."
Another man who lay near, showed me a rough three-sided
piece of iron, weighing about a quarter of a pound, which he
told me was " the piece of shell which laid him up." He cor-
roborated the statement of the other, about the removal from
the hospital. Several in my ward have told me the same
thing, who were put on the next train and brought here. " It
was understood," say they, " that we were taken out to make
way for 1,500 wounded rebel prisoners." And it is the testi-
mony of surgeons here, that the greater portion of those who
came on those boats, " were not fit subjects for transfer."
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 165
If this taking of sick and wounded men from warm quar-
ters, and sending them off to suffer and die, that rebels may
be made comfortable, is a military necessity, I " don't see it,"
as the soldiers say. " There were the greatest number of re-
cent ampiitations, on the large boat, I ever saw together,"
said the lady formerly alluded to, who visited it.
" Fresh amputations, where arms had been taken oiF close
to the shoulder, were sent off on transfers," says a young the-
ological student, at present a patient in my ward. Here is
more evidence. I was at the gangrene tents and barracks
soon after, and one in the latter place said, " Oh, my wound was
looking so nice when I left Nashville, but there were 150 of
us, whose wounds were all washed with one sponge, and none
were dressed but once a day, and I think as many as fifty took
gangrene. There were five who did in this room." I inquir-
ed of those, and found it their testimony also, as well as of
others, still, who were at the tents. One told me he had gan-
grene when he left Nashville.
As far as regards my own ward, one was brought here,
with gangrene in his wound, which was contracted on the
boat. He was brought in at eleven o'clock one day, and died
at eleven the next night. I was standing by his bed some
two hours after his arrival, taking the name of " nearest rela-
tive " to write to for him, when he casually mentioned that he
" did have a brother in this place some time ago, but hadn't
heard from him in a month, and presumed he had been trans-
ferred, or, perhaps," said he faintly, " he may be dead, he wrote
he was pretty sick. He was in ward 10, and, I think, Hospi-
tal No. 8. I had it in a letter, but I threw it away, for I never
expected to be here."
"We have no Hospital No. 8, in the place," I said, "but
are you sure about the ward ?"
" Yes," he was sure the ward was No. 10.
166 HOSPITAL TENCILLINGS.
" Then if your brother is in this hospital, I can find him,"
but not to excite him too much, I added that very likely, as
several transfers had taken place within that time, he had
been sent away. I started out immediately, went to No. 10,
called for the ward-master, and found that the man I was seek-
ing, was well, and had been detailed for duty in the bakery.
I started again on the covered corridor, just now such a con-
venient protection against the snow-storm, passed my own
ward, and went to the bakery. I opened the door and saw
some three men within, who wore the badge of their present
emi3loyment, in the shape of flour on their clothing.
" Is Mr. Moses C here ?" was the inquirj-.
" Yes, that is my name," said a young man stepping for-
ward. His manner and tone were seriously expectant, why,
was soon understood.
" You have a brother here," I said.
" What, not a wounded brother ?" he said excitedly.
" Yes," I said ; " he came on the boat to-day."
" Why, I have a brother here now, just from home, who
had started for Nashville to get his body, for they had heard
that he was dead. Where is he ? What ward is he in ?" he con-
tinued, moving towards the door.
" I will show you," was the reply, as we started out; "but
your brother is quite low, and it will be necessarj^ to calm
yourself, so as to excite him as little as possible."
He promised to do so, and I made him wait at the upper
part of the ward, while I went to the lower, and broke the
news to the dying man. It was a blessing for me to see the
kiss given and received by the dying lips, and for the three
brothers it was a blessed privilege to meet and commune that
day and the next, before death hid one of them in the grave.
Since I have been writing this, while sitting at my little
stand, near the door of the ward, a man came quietly in, who
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 167
paused, waiting. I looked up and saw Mr. King, the one
mentioned under date of December 21st, who had been home
on a furlough to get his starving flimily out of rebeldom. Af-
ter the usual salutations, I learned the sequel to that before
noted, and the burden of the story condensed, ran thus :
" My wife got the five dollars you sent, so she and the chil-
dren did very well till I got home. The guerrillas came into
town again, last Friday was a week, but I was six miles from
home at the time. They came and robbed the stores and
were away again. They whipped in within a mile of a Fed-
eral regiment. They knew when to come mighty well ; when
the Unionists ain't to home, somebody tells 'em. The Union
folks is all leavin' the place, anyhow, and its next to impossi-
ble to sell anything. I sold my cow for forty dollars, and two
or three other things that didn't 'mount to much, an' it cost
me fifty dollars to get my family here. Then I've had to pay
'bout six dollars for tub, wash-board and some other things
we couldn't keep house without, and I've but a little left. Do
you know if I'll be able to get any pay this time ? "
" Were you here the first of November ?"
" No, I came the ninth."
" And your descriptive roll is with your regiment ? "
" Then, I'm sorry to say, you'll get no pay this time."
Then he hung his head, and said, meditativel}'- to himself
rather than to me, " I don't know how I'll get along then.
I got here in town," he continued, "about a week ago, but my
furlough wasn't up yet, and I stayed to the Refugee House.
I've been a-takin' keer o' them thar, and givin' 'em medicine,
for thar ain't scarcely one thar what can read any sort o'
handwritin', an I brought a recommend from them, axin' Dr.
G. here, if I can't have a permanent detail an' stay thar.
My furlough's just out to-day, so I come u}) to report an' ax
for the detail."
1G8 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
So much for his story, one among manj^
At the present date, I have but two or three very sick men
in the ward, and the one who is probably the worst tells me
that he is " right smart better, this morning." Still one very
bad feature, as connected with the institution, has developed
itself within the past forty-eight hours, in the shape of some
seven cases of small-pox. They are being removed to the
proper hospital at Louisville.
Charles Stearns, Co. F, 177th Ohio, was broken out this
morning with what seemed to me measles. Dr. D. soon came
in, who is taking the place of the ward surgeon for some
twenty days, he having gone home on furlough. As soon a
I saw the eruption I felt nervously apprehensive of what may
be the result, for I remembered the sixty cases of measles in
Nashville, which were sent to the small-pox hospital. I told
the physician of this, and my belief that the man had mea-
sles. But he thought otherwise, and the patient was taken
from his warm bed close by the fire, and carried to a ten^
where was a small-pox patient. I hope the surgeon was wise
in removing the patient, but I fear the worst. Vaccination
is since being rapidly performed.
Sometimes they make queer mistakes in the reports. One
man was detailed for light duty who was in the dead-house.
Others have been ordered to the front who were on a death-
bed, and others are reported dead, who are well.
The usual punishment for almost any misdemeanor is the
guard-house, and then the front. Though sometimes, it is the
carrying of a large stick of wood on the shoulder, or a board
strapped on the back with the word " Drunkard," back and
forth on a certain walk, so many hours per day.
One man from my ward, " the fancy fellow," as the boys
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 169
called him, because lie dressed so well, refused one very cold
Sunday morning to help carry coal for our fires, and was sent
to the guard-house and then to his regiment. Another stole
a pocket-book and met with the same fate. At the time of
the New Years' dinner, it was stored over night in this dining-
room, of ward 12. The boxes were broken open that eve,
and the goodies were being devoured and secreted that night
and next morning. Miss H. and somebody else, chanced to
learn the fact, and it was reported to the executive officers.
It was found to be two kitchen boys, and one patient who was
having extra diet carried to him. Chickens and butter were
found secreted in their overcoats.
These were promptly sent to the front. One man was sent
to the guard-house for spitting on the corridor. On Christ-
mas, as a man was going into the large dining-hall to dinner,
who had just arrived from Nashville, he said aloud that they
were " going to have a feast then, and live on crumbs and
scraps, or starve for a week, to make up." Dr. Mathewson,
the executive officer, overheard the grumbler, and he took
bread and water in the guard-house instead of a Christmas din-
Two men have just been telling me of a little story of one
of those wise refugees. It was near Kenesaw Mt, and before
the battle there. The regiment had a large tin steam oven
in their possession. This was mounted upon a wagon, and as
it passed a house, a woman with open-mouthed wonder in-
" What that thar thing was."
" That — oh, that is one of Gen. Sherman's flanking ma-
chines," said one with the most impurturbable gravity.
After the battle of Kenesaw Mt. they passed that way
again, and one who had known of this took occasion to speak
to the woman of the result of the battle, and she replied :
" Wall, its no wonder weuns got whipped for Mr. Hood
170 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
haint got none o' them flankin' machines what Mr. Sherman
has. I don't b'lieve Mr. Hood could get one o' them are things
in all this ere country !"
The hearer, also, " thought he couldn't."
" Charley," the small-pox patient, was sent to the small-pox
hospital at Louisville yesterday. I still think it measles.
Saw a letter last eve, which had originally been directed to
Cumberland Hospital, Nashville. That was erased, and in
red ink appeared the words, " transferred to Louisville, Ken-
tucky." There it had been marked " Clay Hospital, not
here," " Crittendon Hospital, not here," Then " Jefferson
Hospital, Ward 7." That was crossed out, and the words
written " Tent C. Gangrene." To-day that letter was carri-
ed to the place, by Miss French, and as she read the name
aloud one man exclaimed, joyfully, " That's my name," then
as he received it, he said, with streaming eyes, " God bless it ! "
Yesterday morning a stalwart, healthy man, stood guard on
the corridor at the carriage crossing, who at night was lying
in the dead-house, the victim of drunkenness.
Dr. C. came back yesterday from his furlough. Patients
all rejoiced to see him. He says " Charley," the ward-mas-
ter, and I both look as if we had been sick. We have had a
great deal to do and are quite worn out.
First sermon in the new chapel to-day. It is not plastered
and was quite cold. Everybody sang a tune of their own.
The building of this chapel is Chaplain O's special care and
great anxiety. And though he has several hundred volumes of
books which have been donated for the use of the patients of
this hospital, yet he keej^s them all closely boxed up, until
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 171
the reading-room in the chapel is finished, which may not be
done before the hospital is broken up. It is such a pity when
there are so many hundred men passing through here who
Have just learned that my diagnosis of the so-called
" small-pox patient," was correct. It was a bitter cold day,
the river was frozen, and the ferry-boats not running, and he
was taken via New Albany to the small-pox hospital. He
was carried the twelve miles in an ambulance in his bed, and
without being dressed. He took cold, and was kept only
thirty-six hours at that hospital, when it was decided that he
had measles and he was sent to the measles hospital. Last
night when his brother visited him, he was not conscious. He
cannot live. He has fallen a victim to what ?
February 7. He died yesterday.
Two men started home on a furlough to-day. One of them
W. C. Stewart, Co. I. 7th 111. Cav., it seems is of a family of
heroes. His father was in the revolutionary war, his oldest
son was in the Mexican, was wounded and exempt in this.
But the father says he did not say to his other three sons
" go " but " come," and went with them. One was killed at
the battle of Corinth. He tells me that when home on a vet-
eran furlough, the copperheads of the place had determined
the soldiers should not vote. " But," said he, " we gave them
to understand we would fis^ht for the ri<;ht if needful, and
some eight of us armed ourselves and marched to the polls,
and every one voted." He says also that one of his sons was
offered $1,000, to go as substitute, ''but" said he, as the deter-
mination of the patriot blazed in his eyes, though over sixty
years of age and unable to stand without leaning on both
crutches, " If he had been bought to stand up as a mark for
172 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
rebel bullets for another man, after fightiug them so bravely
as he had, I'd have been almost tempted to have shot him
myself. He re-enlisted to fight for himself This furlough
has been a long time coming, but if I get home in time to see
the copi^erheads squirm when the draft comes off, it '11 do."
Miss McNett says a humorous patient in her ward, who has
eaten almost nothing for a day or two, upon her asking what
he would have said, " Oh, almost any thmg, if it has a wo-
man's finger in it."
One middle-aged man at the gangrene w\ard told me last
Sunday that it " did do the men so much good, to have a wo-
man come, if she didn't say more 'n one word, it revived 'em
so ;" and he earnestly appealed to the ward-master if it was
not the case, and who agreed with him.
In contrast to this was the assurance of a surgeon in one of
the wards to the lady, Mrs. C, that the lady nurses here, were
regarded by the generality of the surgeons as "j^ermitted
nuisances." Nevertheless I am strongly of the opinion that
if either of the surgeons should be really sick, tliey would be
very glad to get " something with a woman's finger in it,"
even though not frank enough to own it. And some of us at
least came only to take care of the sick, and care much more
for their apjoroval, than for any slights which can be given by
Mrs. R. is joyfully elated this morning, for she tells us
earnestly that her " men all complain of being hetter. On the
contrary one of mine informs me that he has " got a big mis-
ery in his breast," another that he is " a heap hetter than yes-
terday," and another that he's right smart hetter, iho\\^\ pow-
erful weak yet, thank you madam."
Don't know whether he has me to thank for all of that, or
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 173
An order has just been received from the surgeon-general,
to the effect that no lady nurses shall be kept in hospitals, ex-
cept soldier's wives .and widows.
Dr. C, but especially Mr. Bayne, say they shall have to
hunt me up a soldier, and the latter inquires seriously, and
with a very fatherly air, if " red whiskers will be a serious ob-
jection." I tell him it will " not be an insuperable objection,
as I expect to make sacrifices for the good of my country."
Yesterday was an April day in my calendar. The showers
came when Mr. B., one of nature's noblemen, a gentleman
and a scholar, albeit our "kitchen man," and also honest,
warm-hearted and cheerfid Peter, chief wound-dresser, were
ordered to their own State, N. J. It was a matter of regret
all around, to themselves and everybody else. It seems a
pity that such responsible positions as chief nurse and wound-
dresser, those who by long experience know their duties and
have the confidence of the invalids, should be made so light
of. These same men, after reporting in their own State, may
remain in some hospital for months without having any part
in the work for which they are so well fitted. But the order
came from a superior officer, ordering " all New Jersey men
who were able to bear transportation to report at Washington."
So much for the showers.
The sunshine was poured on amid the showers by the ar-
rival of the Eev. D. P. Livermore, from Chicago, with seven
boxes and a barrel of sanitary stores, for Mrs. Colton and
myself. These contained a nice supply of flannels, dressing-
gowns, rags for wounds and dried and canned fruit. Wasn't
I overjoyed ? could hardly sleep last night.
Have been urged, on account of my failing health, to ac-
174 HOSriTAL TENCILLINGS.
company a friend to her home for a rest of ten days. Had
decided to do so, but the ward-master is taken sick, threatened
with fever, and one other poor boy is running down so fast I
feel that I must stay if possible. Will try to get well here,
and attend to them also. Sick the last twenty-four hours.
Patients in this hospital do not think much of other hos-
pitals in comparison. As one evidence among many, will
give extracts from two letters just received, one by myself
another hj a patient, from our lamented Mr. B. He writes
thus graphically :
" AYard 3, Newark, N. J., February 19, 1865.
My Dear Miss P. — We duly reached this delectable dump-
ing-ground, after fifty-six hours of almost incessant motion.
The establishment consists of an ancient tannery, located pic-
turesquely among lumber-yards, railroads, debris of all kinds,
and the Passaic river. The result fulfills my i^u'emonitions, I
can only pray that my stay may be short.
I have no doubt that the loss of my valuable endeavors at
the Jefferson, in the artistic arrangement of bread and molas-
ses, has proved irreparable. But I am consoled by the reflec-
tion that this is not the first blunder, evincing lack of states-
manship, made by Lincoln's administration during this w^r.
What the consequences are likely to be, it would not be safe
I think Dr. Mathewson must be a miserable man, coming
in as he does, and breaking up the civil, political and social re-
lations of men and women, as good as himself. Don't you
think so too ? It seems impossible that he should sleep well
o'nights. Ergo, he must be sijlenetic and dyspej^tic in the
morning. Ergo, he must be very unhappy. I believe too he
has black whiskers, and I have read in that highly exciting,
historical romance, entitled " The Bloody Shoe String, or the
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 175
Murdered Milkmaid," that pirates and assassins always have
black whiskers. I leave the reader to draw his own infer-
ence. Very different is Dr. Chapman's unhappiness. It is
of that godly, (or goodly-something) sort, which Paul tells
about, that one need not be sorry for."
" Upon our arrival, we were immediately regaled with cold
tea, stale bread and strong butter. We were then shown up
to a loft in the building, and given beds filled with straw, with
but one sheet, ditto blanket, but as there were no open win-
dows, or ventillators, and we were very tired we snored away
very comfortably till morning. At breakfast we were regaled
with rye coffee, and stale bread and the aforesaid strong but-
ter ; after which about twenty doctors, headed by a small man
with a sword, marched through the ward, the little man call-
ing out " salute, salute," as he traveled along.
The little doctor was the surgeon-in-charge. This place is
just what I knew it was. If a man blows his nose too loud,
he goes to the guard-house, and there is $5.00 reward for tell-
ing who spits on the floor. I don't know what they do with
them. Very likely they are drowned in the river close by,
for I don't see what else the river was put there for. Last
week, I am told, two men became so disgusted with the place,
that one shot himself and the other hung himself, and others
are thinking seriously of the same thing.
Depend upon it New Jersey is a great country, if it was
only white-washed and fenced in.
This morning I asked the doctor for a pass for forty-eight
hours. But he assured me that I might run away, and never
come back. Then I asked for a pass to go out and see the
town, but he could not attend to me then. Peter, however is
out, and B. S. who you remember went from Ward 1 on a
furlough, has not reported at all, and is going about town.
The nurses and ward-master here are citizens employed by
176 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Government at $25 per month, and a filthy, saucy crowd they
are. The wardmaster in my ward is an Irishman who can-
not read or write correctly. Every body must do his own
washing, or hire it done, and must find all his own clothes.
They have neither slippers, nor gowns, and every man tum-
bles into his straw-bed, when he arrives, with just what he
has on his back. We have no women in the wards, and I
don't see as they have any light diet. The men that are not
able to get down stairs have the same food brought to them
as is given the convalescents. The ward doctor sits in his of-
fice, and the men that are able to walk must go to him for
Take it all in all, this is the greatest institution I have ever
visited. It should by all means have the leather medal.
This is the stripe of the United States army hospitals, to the
Eastward, within ten miles of New York. Don't you wish
you was here ? It is so nice."
Willie B. says it is necessary for a man to get so that he
weighs 180 pounds, before he can be admitted to the invalid
corps. He is an Alabamian, and has been telling me of his
escape from home. He says :
" We had hid, and laid out in the woods for ten or twelve
months, and were tired of it. There were nine boys of us.
We travelled fifteen miles the first night, and in the morning,
soon after the last of the boys had joined us, we reached
Sand Mt., and after a little wliile we heard a horn in
the valley, and we thought in a minute what's up. And sure
enough, we were right, and the bloodhounds and the hunters
came on after us. The dogs had a strap of leather round
their necks and an iron rod to each couj^le, parting them
about a foot and a half. Then we started in earnest, and one
of the boys said " let us set fire to the woods." Then we
made for that side of the mountain where the woods were, and
set them on fire and then waited till the dogs lost our trail in
the ashes and set oat on the side from which the wind came.
We travelled five nights, hiding by day, and reached the
Union lines at Bridgeport, where we all enlisted."
Another death of one of our members occurred some time
since, which I neglected to note in its proper place. He was
a German, Valentine Rowe, of the 72d Ohio. He had been
a great sufferer, had been twice out to the gangrene tents
and suffered greatly from burning and hemorrhage. He was
a long time dying, did not know it, but " wondered when that
pain would ever get stopped in his chest."
"SYarfel was just telling me of the narrow escape of one of
our nurses last night. He was on duty as guard and nurse in
the ward, but had lain down and fiillen asleep. When the of-
ficer of the day came in, whose duty it is to visit every sick
ward at midnight, and who chanced to be Dr. D. who attend-
ed here in the absence of the ward surgeon on furlough, he
called out " nurse, nurse," then added, " I shall have to re-
port him but I hate to do it ; perhaps," he added, " he has
gone out after coal."
So he passed down through the ward to the ward-master's
room and closed the door behind him. Then one of the pa-
tients, a paralytic, having a little bag of salt which lie had to
use with eggs, threw it on the nurse and waked him. He
suspected something of the truth and started up, though more
asleep tlian awake. " Run," said one " catch up the coal-
bucket and run out." But he had just taken it up when hear-
ing the back door open, upon the hurried advice of another
178 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
lie commenced the viojoroiis fillinoj of a stove. The docter
came up and said good-naturedly :
" Oh, you were out for coal, wasn't you ?"
I am sorry to record here, that very unwelcome fact, that
one soldier at least was known to i3erpetrate an untruth.
The patients showed by their action in the matter that he
was considered at least " worth his salt."
Have been reading to C. T. Bryant, from " Stumbling
Blocks," by Gail Hamilton. This patient has lain on his bed
over two months in this ward, from a wound received at
Also attended the baptism of a young man by the name of
Ray, from Niles, Michigan. His sister is with him. She has
got discharge papers just made out for him a few hours since,
and he was so anxious to get home to die. But his death has
been hourly expected the last twenty -four hours.
He was sick some months, about a year since and received
a discharge furlough. He was without money, and a lawyer
at home offered to loan him some, and take his papers and
draw the pay for him. The i3apers were mislaid and lost.
Then he was taken for a deserter, and carried in irons to Lou-
isville. There he was released, as a file of the furlough ap-
peared on the books, but .instead of being allowed his dis-
charge as had been promised, he was sent to his regiment.
The disease was checked only, and it has brought him here
River very high yesterday, \\p to the second story of some
houses in Louisville, but this hospital is on Mount Arrarat.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 179
It froze last night, and is " right cold " to-day, as Illinoisans
express it. Old winter is giving us a parting grip.
Mrs. C. has been telling me one or two incidents which I
will note down ; she has lived in Missouri and Louisiana. In
crossing the plains, as they stopped at a place they inquired
" Well," said one in a whining voice, who had said he was
from that famous place, of " Hooppole township, Rosey Coun-
ty, Indiana," '• Lee has whipped the Federals all to pieces."
" You lie, sir," said Mrs. C. quite emphatically, and besides
you're a copperhead and rebel sympathizer."
" Oh, you're too hard on the man," said a gentleman of her
own party, " we don't know but the report is correct, or if not,
he may have told it as he heard it."
" I say he is a copperhead," she affirmed, " for when you
hear a man say ' Lee has whipped the Feds all to pieces,
and say it as if he enjoyed it — and besides he was looking
down and digging his toes into the ground when he said it — its
safe to pronounce him one. And," she continued, " I'll wager
what money I have against a penny, that if we ask those peo-
ple who are coming what the news is, we shall get a different
report, for just after a rebel defeat, you'll always hear cop-
perheads relate the dispatches which come through their
A party here rode up, and selecting one who wore the garb
of a Union soldier, which contrasted with the butternut
clothes of the sympathizer, she said :
" Sir, I recognize you as a United States soldier by your
dress, will you be kind enough to tell us the latest news ?"
" Madam," was the reply, " the very latest news as I under-
stand it, is that Grant has got Lee just where he wants him."
I note this, not merely as an incident to remember, but
more as a reminiscence f©r myself and as characteristic of the
180 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
woman. She is one of our eloquent and praying Christians,
but of a strong and easily kindled temperament. She is of
Southern blood and her father was a slaveholder, but no
stronger abolitionist can be found than herself.
She tells me that a Dr. Dods, of Clark County, Missouri, was
visited one day by rebels. Doctor and his wife had seen
them coming, and she had told him to hide in the corn-field,
and supposed he had done so, when instead, he had gone to
the cellar. His wife, upon their asking to be shown over the
house, manifested the greatest willingness and lighted them
' o s o
to the cellar, and went round with them telling what was in
this barrel and what in that. Her husband was lying behind
the one containing vinegar." " I believe this is cider," said
one of the men laying his hand on the barrel.
" No, it is vinegar," said the wife, and both passed on, she
supposing it policy to keep them there as long as possible,
but the doctor was not discovered. The lady is first cousin to
J. C. Breckenridge, and the doctor the same to Mrs. Lincoln.
Mrs. Rumsey says in making some artificial flowers for her
ward, she remarked to some of the patients who were near,
that such a flower was " the emblem of innocence and purity."
" Oh, fie ! " said one, '" innocence and jDurity are about played
out in the army."
This is about equal to the remark of another, in speaking
of the practice by Chaplain Fitch of holding service in the
wards and praying with the sick men, he said : " The Chap-
lain knows what he's about, he's just playing off."
The comic or ludicrous is often mixed up with the serious,
here as elsewhere. Mrs. R. says that the other day as her-
self, the nurses and some of the patients were standing by
the bed of one of the patients, who was just breathing his
last, one of them, who lisps, broke the solemn silence by say-
ing with a sigh, and slowly and solemnly, —
" Heth justh gone up the thspout ! "
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 181
All are better in my ward ; except one who was brought in
some four days since, and who will probably not survive
twenty-four hours. Nineteen out of the thirty-nine at pre-
sent here, are to have furloughs to their own States. Have
been w^aiting some time for their transferal before taking a
Yesterday, went over to Louisville, on the ferry-boat which
is so strangely named " John Shallcross," the name of one of
the owners. " Sue Mundy," alias Jerome Clark, a noted
guerrilla was executed. We heard the drum and saw people
going to the terrible sight-seeing.
Received Government tickets for furlough.
Day before yesterday listened to an interesting lecture in
our chapel by Dr. J. S. Newbery, Sanitary agent of Louis-
ville. Subject — California.
Powell, of Adams County, Indiana, died last night. Write
and send lock of hair as usual, to his wife. Also, for Samuel
B. Sefton who died in Ward 7, formerly from this ward. For
the former, two days since, I read the j'^rs^ letter he had ever
received in his life. He is Xwenty-six years of age, has a wife
and two children.
The paymaster has been here and some of the boys have
had too much of him. A quarrel to-night in my ward, and a
fight in Ward 6, in which two men were shot. The guard-
house is full. Pity the sutler could not be tied up by his
thumbs in the place of one who has had too much of his heer (?)
Coaxed away a jar of brandy peaches from one of my pa-
tients and substituted canned peaches. Had I not, some three
or four of the patients would have been too tipsey for their
own self-possession in a short time and seen the guard-house
182 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
A sad cjay, for us all. Dr. C. our ward surgepn, received
orders to Teport for duty to I^ashvilje. The patients are all
very sad, ^nd he feels the parting also. We improvised a lit
tie oyster sujDper after the table was cleared of the full diet,
for Ijhe ward-master and the old nurses. A torn, table cloth
fi'om that Sanitary-box of rags, was cut in two for the narrow
pine board, and looked quite like civilized life. "We had oys-
ters, a can of peaches, fresh butter and crackers, purchased of
the sutler, and had a sadly lengthened, meal. He.^oes in the
March 22. " '■ ■ '
One of the young nurses in the ward, wlio told me yester-
day moruin^ that he "had to get tipsey for th^ first time yet
in his life," was last night unable to walk straight, and distin-
guished himself by talking loud, enacting the braggadocio by
that, and by kickiug over spittopns. He was .'coaxed off to
bed at^ the tents, to prevent his being ^aken to tlie guard-
house. This morning, the boys were joking hini as I entered
the ward, when he said they " all talked as if he was drunk,
when he wasn't at all. But Charley told him that " a man
must be pretty far gone when he would feel his own pulse to
see whether he was dead or not," which he had confessed do-
ing the day before when he woke up at the tents, " Ipecause he
had felt so strangely." Jehu confesses that though never in
the guard-house for di'inking, yet he served considerable of
his time in one while at Memphis, but says that it was all on
account of the pigs, turkeys and chickens iu Tennessee, that
they would bite a fellow so that he was obliged to kill tliem
in self defence."
" That's so," says Willie B. most seriously, and with an
ominous shake of his head, upon which he wears a famous
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 183
white cap of my making, to hide his shaven crown, and snap-
ping that one keen eye of his, " I declare if them Tennessee
pigs and chickens don't beat everything. I tell you a fellow
has to stand on his guard there, or they'd eat him up ! "
Willie, by the by, says-heh^s "lost the last cap I made
for him to wear o'nights, and he suspects the executive offi-
cer must have confiscated it, when he was round on inspec-
tion, last Sunday morning."
A humorous patient,. who professed to rejoice in the initials
of D. G. W. G. H. A., and the corresponding short name
of Don Garabaldi Ulysses Gabriel Hall Adams, has been tan-
talizing my pencil, ope naoment by very interesting recitals of
hair-breadth escapes as a spy and among guerrillas, and the
next by assuring me with equal gravity that he 16 first cousin
to Gen, Grant, second to Sherman and third to Garibaldi, or
something else equally incredible.
184 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Jefferson Hospital, March 27, 1865.
" You can charge it to the Sanitary ! "
Now it came to pass these words were spoken upon this
wise : the sanitary carriage had started out from the hospital
when we saw two men — the elder carrying a portmanteau and
evidently the father — the other, a pale, emaciated invalid, who
with feeble and uncertain steps was following. The carriage
halted. " Wont you ride, and where do you wish to go ? "
were the queries. These elicited the facts that the son was
wounded, had two ribs broken, had had gangrene, had ob-
tained a special transfer to Camp Denison near his home, and
his father had come for him. After some hesitation the sick
boy entered the carriage and was taken to the ferry. As his
father helped him out he inquired, somewhat nervously, prob-
ably rating the fare in proportion to the easy cushions,
"What is the bill?"
" You can charge it to the Sanitary," said the little lady as
she wheeled the ponies.
Yes, Northern friends, if that dear one of yours who has
been sick or wounded and in hospital, is ever nursed back to
health and life, and restored to your arms again — bearing
honorable scars it may be, or the loss of an arm or limb, but
your darling and a hero nevertheless — if the truth were
known, you could often " charge it to the Sanitary." And
even he might not have known it himself. We deal out in
such bounteous measure the gifts of the good genius, that often
we do not think to say to the recipient, " This is a Sanitary
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 185
carriage you take your first ride for months, io this morning,'
or " this is a Sanitary" sling, shirt or handkerchief, pad, pillow
or crutch." And the fresh egg, lemon, orange, apj^le-butter,
blackberry jam, canned peaches,, berries, or the cordial, jelly,
wine or , green tea, maj, not oftep come with the word Sani-
tary ; but if he says it " makes him think of home," we often
tell him it came from there, if home means North, East or
"West, Some go down even to the gates of death and are
won back by these agencies in the hands of a loving father^
without knowing it, while still others are deeply sensitive ot
both the presence and the shield from death.
" I know that dried beef saved my life," said a sufferer in
the gangrene ward, " I could not, positively, eat a mouthful ot
anything for days, till Mrs. B. cooked me some of that. Then
she brought me some every day till my appetite came for
other things." Another pale, emaciated man — a Frenchman,
in the same ward, said the same ,thing of potato soup and
green tea, who I found had eaten nothing previously for four
da-ys. Said a German, in the same place, under whose arm I
put a soft cotton pad, " Oh ! I wouldn't take ten dollars for
that pad, it is so nice, and my arm was getting so bed sore
lying on these hard husks ! "
This same pad, by the by, had come from some aid society
filled with rags — not a very soft cushion for a wound to lie
on. I had thrown the rags away and substituted cotton.
Pads will do very well as props, filled with straw or hay, if
there are cotton ones \o lay above, next the limb, but rags had
better be sold as such, rather than pay transportation thereon.
Of course I shall not be understood as referring to white
rags which are large enough to dress wounds, those never
come amiss. But do not mark boxes or barrels containing
those as " bandages," the latter being much more plentiful
than the former.
186 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
" I do believe I would be willing to give ten dollars for a
a feather pillow to lay my bead on to-night," said that young
hero " Willie " who had run away from bloodhounds in
Alabama, and whose shaven head was throbbing with the
disfiguring erysipelas. He had the pillow, and it came with-
out money and without price, a gift from some noble, unknown
" God bless them," have I mentally ejaculated scores of
times upon such occasions, or when the jams, the pickles,
peaches, berries, or other delicacy, was the only thing which
the palate would not refuse, and by which could be coaxed
back the appetite. Oh, if they could only know and see, as
we do, the lives sai^^ed, or the hours lengthened, comforted
and cheered, they would not let the aid society run down, and
the cucumbers and tomatos become the victim of King Frost
or procrastination. They would not spend so much time in
talk over their tea, of this husband or that son, but would
work, if peradventure the fortunes of war should throw that
son or husband into the channel of this bounty. They would
not cease their labor of love because this one or that one had
returned with the story that he had been in hospitals, and
never had anything from the Sanitary, with his wise opinion'
that the surgeons and nurses were the only recipients. If he
were closely questioned or his clothes examined, the scrutiny
might betray the fact, that stationery and reading matter
at least had come to him by that source, if he was not even
then using a sling, crutch, handkerchief or shu't bearing the
mark of some aid society. Or the complainant may have
been situated somewhat as those of the 8th and 18th Indiana
regiments, which have been constantly travelling, and never
accessible to Sanitary stores for four years, until now, at Sa-
vannah, they have received a perfect God-send, and have
occasion to use, as we are informed, the biggest word a soldier
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 187
can say when overjoyed, " Bully ! " Or lie may have been
honest in his convictions and truthful in his statements, for he
might not have been needy.
Would you have your son, who perhaps was only suffering
for a few days through exhaustion and exposure, or a slight
flesh wound, who needed only rest, and whose appetite was
good, eat the berries which might save the life of one in
whose veins the fever had rioted for months, because you
sent them. Or, if he had money with which to buy, would
you have those warm socks, or flannels given to him, while
that shivering, rheumatic patient, or the one convalescing from
fever, and who has not received a dollar of pay in six months,
went without because you sent them ? Of course, you would
not. You would prefer that your son should go through his
whole life, with his j^resent excellent opinion of surgeons and
The Sanitary stores are not so inexhaustable, nor the army
so few in numbers that the former professes to sujiply fruit-
cake and waffles to every mother's son who chances to stop a
few days in a hospital.
Again, the world in a hospital is much like that outside.
It has its share of grumblers and ungrateful ones, albeit there
are those who cherish the idea that every soldier is one of na-
ture's noblemen. Although there are many such who will
meet you with a grateful smile in the morning, and the words
that they are "getting better," while only close inquiry will
reveal the fact that extreme pain has kept them awake all
night, and banished peace by day, yet there are also libellers
upon the character of noblemen. Among such are some who
enter the army as substitutes, or volunteers for the bounty,
who knew they were diseased to such an extent, that they
would serve most of their time in a hospital.
Of this class will come limping up to the surgeon, one who
188 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
is grievously afflicted with "rheumatism," whining that he
has "been in the service three months, and hasn't had a fur-
lough yet ! " One such wished me to intercede for him. He
" shoukhi't care so much about going home, but his wife wasn't
expected to live." So a letter just received had informed
him. I read it and found it written by the lady herself, while
inquiry revealed the fact that she "wasn't expected to live'*
when he volunteered, hut that the town was offering a high
bounty just then.
Another, who had " aphonia," when the surgeon was near,
but who could speak loud enougl;i when complaining of his
food, or begging me for canned fruit, and because, he did not get
it sneered at the idea of sick soldiers ever getting Sanitary
stores. Wlien he found there were those who could read
him, he concluded he might as well get up, and he soon was
sent to his proper place, " the front."
Another, who had been nursed up from the grave's mouth
with delicacies and flannels, sold the latter, before going home
on furlough. And still another shot one of his own fingers
off, in the battle at Nashville, to get off the field. He was
the recipient of much sympathy, on account of his hand, be-
ing threatened with gangrene and amputation ; but had the
facts been known before he was transferred to Louisville, I
verily believe I should have been tempted to try w^hat my
conversational powers might do toward quizzing him to death.
*' This mutton is poor substitute for chicken," said a grum-
bler in one of the wards, as the lady carried his dinner to
him. , .
" Well, yes," she replied jDleasantly, " but I believe you
have been a substitute for a well man, for some eight months,
have you not?" He good-humoredly confessed that he had,
and had received a thousand dollars for the substitution. But
such, if really sick, must be cared for, as well as the more
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 189
worthy. Indeed, even a Confederate should not suffer at our
hands, notwithstanding the brutality shown our loyal boys at
Andersonville, and Libby.
It has truly been such a great pleasure to distribute that
nice supply of stores brought to me by Rev. D. P. Liver-
more. The stock of flannel and canned fruit is nearly gone,
as the distribution has not been confined to my own ward, but
I believe it has not been misapplied. Blessings on the several
donors and the agencies through which they came. Let us
not be weary in well-doing, while the war lasts, for the end
Cometh. Some must " repair the breach, and build up the
waste places afterward," but there will be no fitter time in
which to make one of that number, who, when the All-Fa-
ther Cometh to make up his jewels, may hear the blessing :
" Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did
it unto me."
Indianapolis, Ind., April 22, 1866.
A day of mourning in the calendar of a nation." A great
grief sits sobbing upon a nation's heart, for Lincoln is assassi-
This morning, while Miss C. and I were dressing. Miss T.
rushed into the room with blanched face and exclaimed with
grieved voice, " Oh ! girls have you heard the dreadful news ?' *
She knew we had not if she had thought, for she had left the
room but a moment before, and she continued " Lincoln is as-
sassinated, and his son and Secretary Seward." So the tele-
gram at first was interpreted. It was a terrible shock, and I
felt how almost as nothing in comparison would be the result
of the death of the dearest friend or relative I had, and be-
lieve then I could have given my own life could it have re-
stored his life for the country. Little has been done by any
of us to-day. Toward evening we three visited the hospital
190 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
and saw all along the way, wealth and poverty, the mansion
and the hovel displaying symbols of grief. The man of talent
remembers that the eloquent man, the counsellor, has fallen,
while the man who returns at night with his ^aiij wages
thinks with sorrow of that one, who from greater poverty
than his own, has come to be the mourned of a nation.
As for the lesson of this deed, I cannot soothe myself as do
some, with the thought that Lincoln had done all he could in
this war, that his heart was so tender he could not deal justly
with traitors, and that his mantle has fallen upon one, who is
"sufficient for these things." Instead, this climax to rebel
atrocity, approached only by the starving of our brave boys
in prison, seems to me to call for stern justice to be meted
out. All the blood and treasure of the last four years de-
mands it, and now this brother's hlood crieth to us from the
ground. Will it be heard, or will rebel traitors take their
seats in congress to make laws for those who have shouldered
their rifles in defence of law and against traitors and assas-
sins ? We shall see !
Jefferson, Hospital, May 3.
" A hospital is no place to form attachments," said one lady
in this hospital to another. The former had surj^rised the
latter in a sudden flood of tears, in the pantry of Ward 1.
The occasion was the arrival of that order for the " kitchen
man, and chief wound-dresser," of said ward to report to their
own State, New Jersey.
Perhaps it is not wise to form attachments, but if they
grow themselves, as between a mother and sick child, with
every cry of pain, or bestowal of attention, what is, one, to do
about it ? It is quite inconvenient sometimes, I admit. But I
would like to see one who is created with that troublesome
thing, a heart, and who takes care of patients, from the; time
HOSi»iTAL PENCILLINGS. 191
they are brought in just from the front, looking more like
wild brigands from the mountains, or Indian trappers from the
frontier, so far as hair or whiskers are concerned, but acting
more like babies, or, it may be, like very sick but stout-heart-
ed heroes, but who after they are bathed, provided with clean
clothes and bed, and the superfluous hair and whiskers re-
moved, turn out respectable-looking, civilized beings, up to
the time when the departed appetite is coaxed back, and when
by pleasant conversation, letter Writing and reading the relax-
ed nerves recover their tone and grim death is fairly beaten
back, who at first had a mortgage upon them, — let such an one
have a care for the feet on scrubbing days, when they are able
to sit up, and muffle them for a ride in the Sanitary carriage,
to get a fresh breath and sight out of doors, the first for
months, and just when she knows that a sudden relapse might
take them away, to have an order come for a transfer to Quincy,
Keokuk, or Washington, and she would probably, feel the
" attachment,^' if she possessed that troublesome thing, a heart.
And, by tiie by, I happen to know that this same Miss B.
who gave the caution, has in possession a pretty good-sized
article of the same kind herself.
It happens that my large family of boys, being under the
guardianship of their Uncle Sam, are liable at any time to be
torn from my maternal oversight, to go either to hospitals
elsewhere, or to their own regiments. I derive, however a
sort of savage pleasure, from the evident and acknowledged
fact that they "hate it," as the Egyptians say, as badly as I
And the separation may be equally felt under other circum.
stances. This is the case in the transfer of those whose pre-
sence seems indispensable to the gOod of the patients. To
wounded men, who have learned to have confidence in the
skill, care and tenderness of a wound-dresser, it seems little
192 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
^ less than cruelty to send him away, and substitute one new
and inexperienced, especially when a little less care than usual
may inoculate the wound with erysipelas, or gangrene.
Or it may be one to whom we have all looked up as a
counsellor, whose rich humor and dry jokes were a never-fail-
ing fund of enjoyment to the patients, and who was a walking
enclyclopedia for their benefit and my own, and who with
such an influence in the ward, treated me with the greatest
respect before all, with such fatherly forethought, and whose
child-like innocence was a constant reproof to any thought of
Not a surgeon, ward-master, or nurse remains of those who
were here six months ago, while some of the nurses are in
hospitals elsewhere, and most in the position of patients.
Well, the work and care for the sick boys, with this tearing
of the heart-strings every few days, didn't seem to have a very
beneficial influence upon health and nerves. " Pale, care-
worn and thin," was the verdict of others, while myself only
knew the extent of the malady and the need of rest, when I
found that twice I had actually cried like a child, because loud
talking in the night and building fires before reveille in the
morning, had waked me. Not having for some time been
able to sit up all day, though attending to my duties in the
ward, and as transfers had taken nearly all the sick men,
chancing to leave convalescents, I decided to run away for a
little time, where I could rest, eat and sleejD. Dreading the
long jaunt north to my friends, I accepted the urgent invita-
tion from a lady friend and co-worker, to visit her people,
near Pendleton, Ind., and procured a furlough of twenty days.
No sick soldier could have been more thoughtfully cared for
in the home of Mr. Neal Hardy, than was I. This neigh-
borhood itself has abounded in works of charity to our sick
soldiers during the war, and many boxes and barrels packed
HOSPITAL PENCILLING S. 193
by the hands of Mrs. H. have glacltlened many an invalid sol-
dier. I had there good nourishing food, of which I was
greatly in need, for if, as is reported North, the surgeons,
stewards and nurses eat all the sanitary stores, our " ladies'
mess," has certainly foiled to obtain its share of the plunder.
But the nourishing food I found on my furlough, with sleep ^
freedom from care, and genial companionship, when I wished
to avail myself of it, for the time being, wrought a cure.
Upon my return, had expected the patients would be glad
to see me, but had scarcely looked for so warm a welcome as
was received. The next eve, we had a nice supper for the
patients of Ward 1. Daring my furlough, the good friends
donated a box of eatables for the use of my ward and for that
of the lady at whose house I had been visiting. Just before
supper, Miss H. and myself surprised the boys by carrying
several articles into our pantry, and preparing for the table
goodies which had not appeared on the printed list as " full diet."
An old table cloth and sheet which came from Chicago in that
box of sanitary rags, was torn into strips and placed on our
three long narrow tables. Three or four were watching me.
" Boys, we're going to try if we cannot make you think
you're at home to-night."
" Well, I declare it'll be the first time I've sat down to a
table-cloth in eighteen months," said one. " And the first
time I have, in three years," said another. " Its the first time
in nearly four years for me," said a third.
Then the plates were turned down, and the food put on
other plates and in bowls, instead of being dealt out on each
plate, as is usual here before setting down. The Chaplain's
orderly was present, Mr. Bullard, of Illinois, who was for-
merly a patient in our ward. After a blessing was asked,
the food was passed, but at first every thing was so strange
that all were glum and silent.
194 HOSPITAL PENCILLING S.
It was evident we were to have a solemn time, only to be
remembered by them as one in which there was "a putting
on of too much style for comfort," as they would have ex-
pressed it, so they were told the intention was to make them
feel at home, and if they were there they would surely talk,
and as we had plenty of time, we would try to have a social
time as well as a good supper. Whereupon our theological
student, who has since left to receive a 1st Lieutenant's
shoulder-straps, timidly remarked, that, " The trouble is^
most of the b.oys think they're out taking tea somewhere, and
durstiiH say anything." Then " Bart," as he is familiarly
called, looked around, and said hastily, as if grudging the
time occupied in speaking, and with his half-lisping accent,
" Boys, I'm intending to say something of considerable impor-
tance 2^retty soon, but I'm too busy with my supper just now."
This helped break the ice, for the boys feel bound to laugh
whenever Bart says anything. Soon, leaving the room for a
forgotten article, I charged them not to speak aloud until my
return, and appointed a monitor. Upon my entrance, our
" little artist," Hugo, in that tone of complaint used by chil-
dren to their teachers, in the school-room, said that, " Bart
Smith commenced it, for he said he wished the lady nurses
would go away on furlough every week." Of course it was
necessary to rebuke him for wishing our absence, when in a
tone of conciliation he informed us that he " knew'" he " said
that, but had said also that he wished them to come back the
This, with the entrance of Miss Buckel and another lady,
who contributed to the pleasantry, made them completely at
home, and every one seemed thoroughly to enjoy the supper.
The regular diet for the meal, which was sent, was merely
" bread, stewed apples, and tea." The apples were saved to
add to their breakfast, and apple-butter supplied in their place.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 195
In addition, we had fresh butter, horse-radish, berries, cake
and chickens, with sugar for tea.
This much for the supper. May it not have been a link in
that chain of " attachment," by which many an old soldier in
the years to come shall feel bound to the large family of
brothers and one sister in Ward 1 ?
Nations are divided, thrones totter, confederates are cap-
tured and hospitals are broken up ! Consequently, every-
body is on the tiptoe of expectation, or in the slough of des-
pondency, over the coming sej)aration. It is somewhat curi-
ous to note the changes and effects of the order commanding the
discharge of all soldiers except veterans or those under medi-
cal treatment. Some of the former try to pass themselves
off as later recruits, to the infinite disgust of the official who
questions them ; while others immediately " throw physic to
the dogs," to prove that they are not under treatment. Every
possible rumor is afloat. It is even whispered by soldiers
that the " dignitaries " begin to have an inkling of the fact
that it will not be long before they will have no more author-
ity than " high privates," and have relaxed a trifle from their
dignity — I am, however, not responsible for the truth of this,
and learned sometime since to my own edification, that women
are not the only gossips.
Some of the wards here have been closed, and the patients
transferred to others. Consequent!}^, some of the lady nurses
are as wholly lost and inconsolable as a mother-hen, who, by
some terrible calamity, has been cruelly deprived of every
darling chicken. We, who have thus suffered, do not much
care whether the world stands any longer or not, our house-
keeping has been cruelly broken up, and we should doubtless
196 HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS.
tlirow ourselves into the Ohio and thus drown our sorrows,
were it not that said river is altogether too muddy just now.
The effects of said " order " upon the soldiers, as appearing
in my own ward, are with little variation, no doubt, the same
as throughout the hospital.
Our patients had been tranferred to Ward 2, to give oppor-
tunity for floor-planing and white-washing. But all who
could walk, made frequent " visits home," indeed, extending
to visitations, and two boys, Willie and our " little artist,"
could not sleep a wink the first two nights, and were allowed
the privilege of sleeping at home a few times. One morning,
while our floor was in process of planing, upon entering the
ward, I found the tools thrown aside, and all seated in a
group, reading and discussing a Louisville daily. All were
jubilant, and eager to tell me the news.
" Can't work," said one, " too much good news for one day !
Johnson is taken, and we hospital bummers are to be sent
home," said another.
" It's wicked to work any more, an order has come for all
Government work to be stopped," said a third. " Gold-
smith's Corps will soon be on the wing."
" Boys let's pile the shavings in the middle of the floor and
have a bonfire," suggested the one who bears the name of
" Gen. Grant."
By the way, very few men in camp, or hospital are called
by their names. Instead, we have " Gen. Thomas," " Cavalry,"
" Artillery," " Michigan," " Connecticut," " Georgia," " Long-
street," " Infant," " Lengthy," and " Bantie," the last four
named from their height, or want of the same. Other States
have their representatives by name, while occasionally so sug-
gestive a title as that of '' The Spread Eagle," is overheard
while the owner is at a safe distance.
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 197
Our flower gardens are now absorbing tbe attention of the
ladies and convalescents. The arrangement of the hospital is
such that there is sufficient space for one between each ward.
In this respect, at least, this must be superior to the " Chest-
nut Hill," hospital, of Philadelphia, as these wards, radiating
like the spokes of a wheel from a circular corridor, not only
permit the addition, for the comfort and cheer of the invalids,
of fresh flowers and the sight of a green-sward close to their
w^indows, but also superior ventillation. It is to be hoped
that so long as a hospital is needed for sick soldiers, this will
be taken for no other purpose. And when no longer needed
for the sick, what place could be found more suitable for a
^' Soldier's Home," for the loyal boys of Indiana ?
The flower gardens were, by Major Goldsmith, given over
to the superintendence of Miss Buckel, who has charge of the
ladies here. She preferred that those of each ward should
originate and carry into effect their own plans, while she pro-
cured shrubbery, seeds, and plants for all. None have refus-
ed to whom she has applied, and most have responded liber-
ally. One gentleman from Chicago, donated $25 worth of
rakes and trowels.
The friends at some Aid Society, I think in Ohio, con-
tributed a very large and choice collection of seeds, at the re-
quest of a patient, Chas. Erickson, in our own ward. These
were shared by all the ward gardens.
I am sometimes amused at the diiFerence it makes with the
patients as to who asks them to work. Most of them say
they are not going to stay long enough to see the gardens after
they are finished, and they don't care to work for nothing.
Those in our ward often refuse to work upon being requested
by the ward-master, who will nevertheless work nearly all
day. Others run away from work elsewhere, as on the chapel,
198 HOSPITAL rENCILLIXGS.
or the garden around it, both in care of Chaplain Olmstead,
and work in our own garden. This morning we were mus-
tering our little force, and I was in the garden when the
ward-master came and said that " Jehu had sworn he wouldn't
work a bit to-da}", but that as he was as well able as the rest,
and as he had received orders to jDut all in the guard-house
who would not work, he should certainly send him there, un-
less he changed his mind."
After cautioning him not to let J. know that he had told
me this, I stejDped to the window near which I had just left
him as I passed through the ward, taj^ped on. the pane, and
said, " Jehu, do you suppose I can get you to help me trim
this sod around the beds ?"
" Yes, of course you can," he exclaimed energetically, and
springing up he ran to the ward-master for the keys to the
pantry to get each of us a knife for the purpose, and then
jumped from the corridor window and helped me until the
work was finished.
Then Miss B. came to say that we could have carts and
mules to draw sod, if I could find drivers and sod cutters.
" Three have volunteered," I said, wonder where I can find
" Why, you can get me, if you want me,'^ said Jehu, earn-
He went and worked well all the forenoon, but in the af-
ternoon, word came that he had refused to do anything more,
and was asleep under a tree. " Tell J. for me," was the word
sent, " I wish to know if he won't please help us a little while
longer, as we may not be able to get the carts tomorrow."
It was sufficient, six carts of sod were cut by him, and one
The work was at first somewhat delayed by the scarcity of
tools, and since by heavy rains, but is steadily progressing.
HOSPITAL TEXCILLINGS. 199
Some gardens are finished, or nearly so. We liave quite a
variety in style, from that which bears the cognomen of " Meth-
odist," or " Quaker," to the one which will contain only our
'' Star Spangled* Banner," with its stripes in red and white
flowers, blue for the ground of the corner, and shells for the
stars. I do hope all this labor is not destined to be trampled
under foot by those wdio do not so appreciate, or need it, as
do sick men.
At first but few volunteered to do the work among the con-
valescents, but soon others became interested, and in some
wards the excitement was such that some men even choose
rainy days to go down town, rather than working ones. This
interest, with the enthusiasm from the prospect of a speedy
return home, has occasionally led to scenes and conversations
really amusing. Sometimes a number of States have their
representative by name, who w^ork with a will to prove that
" Massachusetts can do the most spading," or that " Michigan
can't be beat at sodding." In our garden, they were one af-
ternoon engaged in erecting a large mound in the centre.
Some one of the members had tied a newspaper to the end
of a pole and hoisted it.
" Boys, you are not working as you would, if really throw-
ing up breastworks under the guns of the enemy," said one
of the patients from an open window.
Just then it chanced that there was the report of fire-arms
at no great distance. Two as suddenly reeled, one falling to
his knees, but recovering his feet ran for the pole which had
fallen, and planting it firmly, called out,
" Ilumy up, boys, here's our flag of truce, and the enemy
will respect it."
They then did work as though under the guns of the enemy,
and the mound was soon finished.
But little has been done here for the forthcoming great
200 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
Sanitary Fair at Chicago, in consequence of this great work
of the gardens, though much interest might easily be aroused
and work done, if the ladies had not these to occupy head and
hand. One life-like sketch of " The TrapjJer's Last Shot "
is nearly finished for the fair, by " our little artist " Hugo.
It might be interesting to the future purchaser could he know
that since commencing the sketch the artist has had gangrene
in one of his wounds, and has done much of it while sitting
upon his bed, and when it was not prudent to exercise by
walking. I shall envy the fortunate possessor of the picture,
although the one from which the sketch is made is in my own
No sick men in my ward. It has been filled up with de-
tailed men from the tents. Most of our former patients re-
main in Ward 2, and I assist Mrs. D. in care of them ; besides
which the only patient of Ward 8 is left to my care, as the
lady has gone.
An order came sometime since for the discharge of all
hospital attendants not absolutely needed. In pursuance of
this order seven ladies have received their discharges, and the
last except one of them go to-night. There are some four-
One of the " Willies," whose home is only eight miles dis-
tant, and who has tried for six months to get a furlough, has
just returned from a second '• French " furlough. Nobody
missed him, who would report the same.
This morning four ladies went over to Louisville in an am-
bulance, the principal errand of two of us to purchase some
little gift for Miss B. It was a beautiful wrouoht silver card
case, which somebody had the pleasure of presenting at the
tea-table this evening with the words :
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 201
" Miss B , I have been requested by tlie ladies to pre-
sent you with a small token of our esteem. In years to
come, when thinking of your cares and duties here, may this
little gift assure you that the responsibilities and difficulties
of your position, and the faithfulness with which you have
discharged them have not been unappreciated. The gift is
small, but we believe you will value it nevertheless."
She had been met as she was leaving the table, and as the
gift was in a morocco case she took it and said, " I accept it
and will run away to see what it is." She soon returned and
simply and naturally expressed thanks and admiration for the
gift, and added playfully that she would " keep it as long as
she lived and then will it to her grand-children."
Presentations seem the order of the times. Quite a num-
of the ladies have been so honored by the patients of their
wards. This afternoon I took my sewing down to the ward
and was soon surprised to see Mr. Davis come hobbling in on
crutches from Ward 2, who had not been in the ward, and hard-
ly off his bed for two months. Then several others who had
been patients here suddenly dropped in, as well as some others
of Ward 2, and when Bart and Hugo came in on their
crutches, I thought it rather a queer coincidence that they
should all happen in so soon after I had entered, but supposed
the beauty of the day and the desire for one more of those
pleasant chats, which were so soon to be broken up, were the
causes. But in a moment more it was explained by the en-
trance of the young man called " Kentucky " — Wm. Garrett
— bearing a box from which he took a nice photograph album?
of a size to hold one hundred pictures, and a ring, with my
name engraven upon each, and which he presented with a few
appropriate words, and with an easy, natural manner. They
202 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
were assured that the recipient was not much accustomed to
speech-making, but that no gift could have been more accept-
able than the album, especially when it should contain the
faces of the donors. The ring was found to be a perfect fit,
and some wonder was expressed, but all were perfectly inno-
cent and nobody knew anything more about it than parents
do when that wonderful genius of children, Santa Claus, is
making his annual visit. Then I chanced to recollect that
Miss B. had tried my ring on some time before, and some
whispering had occurred at the door upon the taking of a box
from her room, when I chanced to be there two days since.
Next day after the last date I went down town early in the
morning, purchased strawberries and made a strawberry
short-cake for tea. It was very nice, greatly complimented,
and by some who had never seen one before, but who were
going to have their " wives make one as soon as they got
home." In addition we had green tea with milk and sugar — ►
a great treat here — stewed prunes, cooked tomatos, very nice
dried beef and cookies. All old patients of our ward were
invited throughout the hospital, with the ward-master and
nurses of Ward 2. Some few days since we also had a pleas-
ant little time with strawberries and cream provided by Mrs.
Dixon in Ward 2.
The hospital is being thinned out quite fast, but much too
slow for the patience of most of the soldiers. Nearly every
day I am called to part with some one or more of the. old
It is, as was predicted, about those several hundred volumes
being kept for a reading-room to be finished and fitted up,
and the soldiers deprived of their use. Thousands have
passed through the hospital this past eigh^ months, and those
HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS. 203
books have been boxed up which might have given occupa-
tion, relief from home-sickness, to say nothing of mental,
moral or spiritual improvement to invalid soldiers. What
books Chaplain Fitch had in charge have heen freely dis-
tributed, but they were few in number and of very little va-
riety. There has been some pressure brought to bear of late
by some ladies and others, and by the offer of Rev. H. F.
Miller, Agent of Universalist Army Mission, to bring his
library, which may result in the unboxing of the books at the
A very pleasant reading-room has just been fitted up by the
ladies, in one of the vacant wards, and Chaplain Fitch has
procured the loan of two libraries from the Christian Com-
mission. This is very pleasant and is greatly enjoyed by the
patients who make it a resort for reading, writing, chatting,
or the amusement of checkers, chess and backgammon. Pic-
tures adorn the walls, there are plants in blossom, and each
day is a beautiful bouquet contributed from one of the ward
gardens for the hanging flower-vase. All enjoy this very
much ; but it only reminds some of us of what might have
been all winter, had the one who had the chapel and library
in his hands have so willed it. I understand that several
thousand dollars were placed in the Chaplain's hands by the
Sanitary or Christian Commission for the purpose, and which
has been of no comparative benefit.
Walking along the corridor one rainy day of late I picked
up a wee little book with the following revery, entitled
A RAINY DAY IN CAMP.
It's a cheerless, lonesome evening,
When tlie soaking sodden ground
Will not echo to the foot-fall
Of the sentinel's dull round.
204 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
God's blue star-spangled banner
To-nigbt is not unfurled ;
Surely He has not deserted
This weary, warring world.
I peer into the darkness,
And the crowding fancies come ;
The night-\\'ind blowing Northward,
Carries all my heart toward home.
For I 'listed in this army,
Not exactly to my mind ;
But my country called for helpers,
And I couldn't stay behind.
So I've had a sight of drilling,
And have roughed it many ways.
And Death has nearly had me.
Yet I think the service pays.
It's a blessed sort of feeling.
That though you live or die.
You have helped your bleeding country.
And fought right loyaly.
But I can't help thinking sometimes.
When a wet day's leisure comes,
That I hear the old home voices.
Talking louder than the drums.
And the far, familiar faces
Peep in at the tent door,
And the little children's footsteps
Go pit-pat on the floor.
I can't help thinking, somehow,
Of what the Parson reads,
All about that other warfare,
Which every true man leads.
And wife, soft-hearted creature.
Seems a saying in my ear,
HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS. 205
" I'd ratlier have you in those ranks,
Than to sec you Brigadier."
I call myself a brave one,
But in my heart I lie !
For my country and her honor
I am fiercely free to die ;
But when the Lord who bought me
Asks for my service here,
To " fight the good fight " faithfully,
I'm skulking in the rear.
And yet I know this Captain
All love and care to be :
He would never get impatient
With a raw recruit like me.
And I know He'd not forget me
When the Day of Peace appears ;
I should share with him the victory
Of all His volunteers.
And it's kind of cheerful, thinking,
Beside the dull tent fire.
About that big promotion.
When He says, " Come up higher ! "
And though it's dismal, rainy,
Even now, with thoughts of Him,
Camp life looks extra cheery,
And death a deal less grim.
For I seem to see him waiting.
Where a gathered Heaven greets
A great victorious army,
Surging up the golden streets ;
And I hear him read the roll-call.
And my heart is all aflame.
When the dear Recording Angel
Writes down my happy name !
206 HOSPITAL PENCILLINGS.
But my fire is dead white ashes,
And the tent is chilling cold,
And I'm playing win the battle,
When I've never been enrolled.
In Thine army vast receive me,
Thou Saviour of the world !
And I'll follow wlieresoever
Thy banner is unfurled.
Oh, give me zeal and courage,
My heart and life renew,
That I firmly to my signet
May set that Thou art true.
To reach the Eternal City,
I'll brave Death's sullen flood,
My Saviour crossed before me,
I'll triumph through his blood !
Many things of interest occur which I have neglected to
note. The truth is, am getting ill again. Have been so sor-
ry to see former symptoms all coming back, as it is a sign that
I must leave the hosjDital. But of late have really not been
able to sit up all day, and am kept awake at night by a cough.
My lungs have been examined by Miss B , who pro-
nounces the left affected, and prescribes " Hygeine and Cali-
fornia." Think I shall take a dose of both. Have made ap-
plication for discharge to be given in one week.
Four other ladies and myself have of late been filling out
discharges at headquarters. Several convalescents are de-
tailed also, and with the clerks proper we are making out the
mustering-out rolls of from fifty to sixty men each day.
There are eight of these papers filled out for each man, be-
sides the discharge proper.
One day not long since, while busied with sewing in my
HOSPITAL PENCILLING S. 207
ward, several were relating incidents of their experience, two
or three of which I will mention. Mr. J. of the gangrene
ward said, that once when with his regiment, Wolford's Cav-
alry, and near the line of Virginia and Tennessee, a woman
in front of her house watched them for some time, and then
asked, " Whar be yoii'ns from anyhow ?"
" From Ohio," was the reply.
" La, now," that 'Hio must be a mighty big town to have
so many men in it, is it in Tennessee, or Cincinnati ?"
At another place they formed in line of battle along the
street, and in so doing sadly discomposed the lye apparatus of
another woman. She was indignant.
"Thars that Wolford's men come down yere, a creeter-
backed, to fight weuns, and they formed a streak o' fight, and
knocked over my new ash hopper what cost me ten dollars
an' a half, and never paid me a cent ! "
Another related the following incident. It was after a
battle on the Mississippi River that a captain on one of the
river steamers offered to carry free of charge a certain regi-
ment who were engaged in the battle. At each trip many
presented themselves as members of that regiment. At last
one stepping on board reported himself as a member of the
same, when the captain asked what office he held.
" Not any," said the soldier, " I'm a high private."
" Give us your hand," said the captain, "glad to make your
acquaintance, sir ; for you are the first private I have met
from the regiment — have passed up over two thousand, but
they were all officers."
To add my mite to the story-telling I related an incident
which occurred while I was in Nashville, and which I heard
related by the young minister concerned, and at the time of
its occurrence. He had been engaged to perform the mar-
riage ceremony at a certain hour for a couple of Refugees nt
208 HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS.
the Refugee Home. It was but a little distance, and as he
started out, a few moments only past the appointed time, in
company with another delegate, he saw the bridal pair with
another couple coming. They met upon the lawn, and the
young clergyman told them he would perform the marriage
ceremony there if they wished. No objection was made, and
it was accordingly done, when the minister wished the bride
" happiness in the new relation," and she wished him the same.
As tbey were about leaving the gentleman who accompanied
the clergyman offered to shake hands with the young lady
who came as bridesmaid, but suddenly withdrawing her hand
with a frightened voice and manner she exclaimed,
" Oh ! I don't want to be married — I ain't ready yet ! "
During this conversation the door opened and Revs. Fitch
and Miller entered, and the former said, with his characteristic
" This is a vacant ward, Mr. Miller, there's nobody in it,
but you see what a crowd somebody always has around her,"
and then followed more nonsense upon the same subject, when
he was informed that we had been listening to large stories
from the soldiers, but had scarcely expected one from a chap-
Sabbath, June 18.
My last day at the hospital. I leave to-morrow. Early
this morning picked the last bouquet from our garden to place
in the ward, and pulled the first mess of radishes therefrom
and prepared for the table of Ward 2 for dinner. Besides
flowers, these, with lettuces, were the only vegetables planted.
Thought has been busied with retrospection to-day, and
with the subject of woman's influence in a hospital. And
notwithstanding that there is much feeling upon the subject
HOSPITAL PENCILLIXGS. 209
of her real or imagined interference with professional duties,
yet there are very many wise and noble surgeons in the ser-
vice who rightly appreciate woman's influence in a hospital,
and have assisted her in every noble word and work. And a
pure, true woman is amply repaid for working her way quietly
and kindly against opposite influences, as she may feel assured
that her efforts are blessed to the sick boys in her care. She
is amply repaid if at the last she may so overcome the preju-
dices of a physician as to hear him say what was said to one
of the number : —
" You have been a blessing to the patients and a help to
me — have attended to your own duties as nurse without in-
terfering with those of mine as physician. And there are
those whose lives are due to your care. Some were very low
with nervous prostration and nostalgia — another name for
home-sickness — and your conversation and attention has
aroused, cheered, strengthened and saved them."
Or if she may hear from one and another patient, as the
same one has when bidding them good-bye for the last time,
such words as these : —
" I shall never come down again as I did here to what I
thought was my death-bed, with so little preparation. I'm
going to make it a first business of my life to learn how to
live, that I may not be afraid to die, and if ever I am a better
man it will be due to your influence and your counsels. May
God forever bless you ! "
Or if one might have such a beautiful tribute to the worth
of woman's presence among sick soldiers, as our friend Miss
Miller, of Chicago, received on board the floating hospital
called the Nashville, near Yicksburg. There had been no
white woman on the boat previous to her arrival. One after-
noon, as she stepped into one of the wards for the first time,
her ear caught an exclamation of surprise from the inmate of
a bed not far distant, and turning in that direction she saw a
sick soldier, with hands clasped and the great tears absolutely
raining over his face, as he gratefully exclaimed :
" Thank God ! — I can die easier now since I have seen a
woman's face once more."
And despite the multiform abuses which have stained the
records through every department, during this great rebellion,
there has been wrought out a greater good and higher destinj-
for mankind, than we may well realize, and the former sink
into insignificance in the majesty of its glorious presence.
Like the jDoet, I
" Have seen it in the watchfires
Of an hundred circling camps ; "
like him, have
Read it in a fiery gospel,
"Writ in burnished rows of steel,
That God is marching on."
And we know, though wrong and oppression do exist in high
places, yet it was hot in vain that
" They went forth to die !
Unnamed, unnumbered, like the desert sand.
Blown to build up a bulwark round some land,
To stay the sea of wrong that vainly raves,
Forever, on a shore of patriot graves.
That they went forth to die ; "
Neither will it have been in vain to all future ages, that
HOSPITAL PEXCILLINGS. 211
" Ye went forth to save
The precious offerings, like the patriarch's, given
On high Moriah in the faith of Heaven,
To stay the knife ere yet its point be hurled
Through hearts which hold the promise of the world,
That ye went forth to save ! "
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