have been compelled to do the best that we could. If the matter were not so serious, and the results, in the way of discomfort and perhaps death, to the soldiers, so melancholy, it would make one laugh to see the absurd inadequacy of the supplies sent here. . . . . And then the apothecary's shop! any druggist of even moderate ideas and expectations would go stark-mad, and drown his woes in his own assafoetida, did he find he was expected to dispense drugs under such circumstances. My medical work here is so consuming of time that I have not been outside the house for three or four days, and can do nothing in the Sanitary line, and feel as if I were neglecting my own proper business, though the demand is so absorbing that I must keep on. The house is not well adapted for a hospital. This army will need nearly a thousand beds here, and yet no measures have been taken to put up temporary buildings as adjuncts to this one.
April 10.My hospital labors have continued with no intermission, except for three days when I went up to Newport News, to see a large number of sick who had been sent in and were in a sad plight. . . . . We have many very sick here in this house,—four or five died yesterday. It's a most painful thing to see men die so, away from home and friends, surrounded by people who care nothing for them. One soon learns what a little thing is a man's life. One poor fellow died yesterday of typhoid fever, and the nurse brought me down his diary, which he had kept since joining the regiment. In it often occurred, “wrote to mother,” “got a letter from mother,” or “father.” The record ceased abruptly two days before his entry into the hospital, and the blank seemed to tell so sad a story of no kind friend near to tell his mother of her son, that I filled up the record with a few words about his sickness and death. To this hospital have now been sent the munificent provision of two hundred linen sheets, so new and stiff that one might as well ensconce himself between two panes of glass; fifty towels, fifty or sixty hospital shirts, thirty-four hospital dressing-gowns, and other articles in the same proportion. No, I am wrong; the supply of horse-radish graters is complete and ample,—there is a dozen of them, enough for a whole town; but as an offset to such prodigality, there are not more than a dozen teaspoons in the house. The nurses have laid violent hands upon all these, and carry them in their pockets to dispense medicine in. The supply of vials has been so small that the nurses have come down to the office, had the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.