I cannot stop to tell you of the scenes I saw; it is enough to say that one poor fellow had lain there sick on the hard boards, and seen five men carried away dead, one after the other, from his side.
He was worn to a skeleton; worn through so that great sores were all over his back, and filthy beyond telling.
One day, a little before my visit, old Hannah
, a black woman who had some washing to do for a doctor, went down the ward to hunt him up. She saw this dying man and had compassion on him, and said: “O doctor!
let me bring to the man my bed, to keep him off the floor.”
The doctor said: “The man is dying; he will be dead to-morrow.”
To-morrow came, and old Hannah
could not rest.
She went to see the man and he was still alive.
Then she got some help, took her bed, put the man on it, and carried him bodily to her shanty; then she washed him all over, as a woman would a baby, and fed him with a spoon, and fought death hand to hand day and night, and beat him back and saved the soldier's life.
The day before I went to Jefferson
the man had gone on a furlough to his home in Indiana
He besought Hannah
to go with him, but she could not spare time; there was all that washing to do. She went with him to the steamboat, got him fixed to her mind, and then she kissed him, and the man lifted up his voice as she left him and wept like a child.
I say we have grown noble in our sufferings.