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June 8.

... The battle has been fought, and we have had fearfully hard work with the wounded at this point. . . . . The results of the fight in the shape of wounded men began to appear on Monday, and since then every train has brought in varying numbers. Nearly four thousand have been sent away from here. . . . . I have the charge of a sort of hospital, with kitchen, &c., which has been established at the terminus of the railway, for the reception of the sick and wounded as they come down. The general hospital to which patients are sent from the front is about a third of a mile distant from the railway; and as most of the trains arrive here in the night, it would be difficult to move them to the hospital as they arrive, and they would be obliged to remain in the cars all night. At Mr. Olmsted's suggestion, therefore, about sixty tents were pitched at the side of the railway, capable of containing about four hundred men; and the kitchen, and the care of these tents, and the men in them, has been made over to me by Mr. Olmsted. Some nights we have cared for over two hundred sick or wounded men; and I wish you could be here some night to see the moving. There are many lanterns. A bright fire behind our cook-tent brings out in full relief the moving figures of the men carrying stretchers, and of the limping wounded. As soon as we can get it ready, food is sent up to the tents, and you would smile to see how grateful the men are for a piece of soft bread. The only bread at the front is the hard ship-biscuit; and many of the men, whose gums are sore from scurvy, find difficulty in eating it. Sometimes we get to bed at twelve, sometimes at three, sometimes not at all; and I am free to say that I regard sunrise as a greater humbug than ever. When the wounded first began to come down, there was immense enthusiasm on the part of the various hangers — on at the post, and men swarmed around with offers of assistance. If the cars came in pretty early, there were plenty of hands to carry them to the boats; [227] but if they came in late, or the task of carrying them was extended over a long time, it was amazing hard work to find people who would assist. Make what representations we would, it was impossible to get men detailed for the especial duty; and we had to rely on such help as could be got.

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