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remarked awfully that the water was six fathoms deep about there; but we saw their motive and were not scared. We were safe alongside The Spaulding by midnight; but Mr. Olmstead's tone of voice, as he said, You don't know how glad I am to see you, showed how much he had been worried. And yet it was the best thing we could have done, for three, perhaps five, of the men would have been dead before morning. To-day (Sunday) they are living and likely to live. Is this Sunday? What days our Sundays have been! I think of you all at rest, and the sound of church bells in your ears, with a strange, distant feeling. This was the general state of things at the time when the battle of Fair Oaks was fought, June 1, 1862. All the vessels of the Commission except The Spaulding --and she was hourly expected — were on the spot, and ready. The Elm City happened to be full of fever cases. A vague rumor of a battle prevailed, soon made certain by the sound of the cannonading; and she left at
April 25th (search for this): chapter 9
rgeons and other necessary attendance without cost to Government. After tedious delays and disappointments of various kinds-one fine large boat having been assigned, partially furnished by the Commission, and then withdrawn-an order was at length received, authorizing the Commission to take possession of any of the Government transports, not in actual use, which might at that time be lying at Alexandria. Under this authorization the Daniel Webster was assigned to the Commission on the 25th of April, and having been fitted up, the stores shipped, and the hospital corps for it assembled, it reached York River on the 30th of April. Other boats were subsequently, (several of them, very soon) assigned to the Commission, and were successively fitted up, and after receiving their freights of sick and wounded, sent to Washington, Philadelphia, New York and other points with their precious cargoes, which were to be transferred to the general hospitals. Among these vessels were the Ocean
April 30th (search for this): chapter 9
ime be lying at Alexandria. Under this authorization the Daniel Webster was assigned to the Commission on the 25th of April, and having been fitted up, the stores shipped, and the hospital corps for it assembled, it reached York River on the 30th of April. Other boats were subsequently, (several of them, very soon) assigned to the Commission, and were successively fitted up, and after receiving their freights of sick and wounded, sent to Washington, Philadelphia, New York and other points wadquarters in the Peninsula. Their position and duties were in many respects more trying and arduous than those who accompanied the sick and wounded to the hospitals of the cities. The Daniel Webster, which, as we have said, reached York River April 30, discharged her stores except what would be needed for her trip to New York, and having placed them in a store-house on shore, began to supply the sick in camp and hospital, and to receive such patients on board as it was deemed expedient to sen
uly 2d). We arrived here yesterday to hear the thunder of the battle, Malvern Hill. and to find the army just approaching this landing; last night it was a verdant shore, to-day it is a dusty plain. The Spaulding has passed and gone ahead of us; her ironsides can carry her safely past the rifle-pits which line the shore. No one can tell us as yet what work there is for us; the wounded have not come in. Hospital Transport Spaulding, July 3d. Reached Harrison's Bar at 11 A. M., July 1st, and were ordered to go up the James River, as far as Carter's Landing. To do this we must pass the batteries at City Point. We were told there was no danger if we should carry a yellow flag; yellow flag we had none, so we trusted to the red Sanitary Commission, and prepared to run it. The Galena hailed us to keep below, as we passed the battery. Shortly after, we came up with The Monitor, and the little captain, with his East India hat, trumpet in hand, repeated the advice of The Galena
the panic then raging at Yorktown. The Small was instantly surrounded by terror-stricken boats; the people of the big St. Mark leaned, pale, over their bulwarks, to question us. Nothing could be more delightful than to be as calm and monosyllabic as we were. We leave at daybreak for Harrison's Bar, James River, where our gunboats are said to be; we hope to get further up, but General Dix warns us that it is not safe. What are we about to learn? No one here can tell. (Harrison's Bar, July 2d). We arrived here yesterday to hear the thunder of the battle, Malvern Hill. and to find the army just approaching this landing; last night it was a verdant shore, to-day it is a dusty plain. The Spaulding has passed and gone ahead of us; her ironsides can carry her safely past the rifle-pits which line the shore. No one can tell us as yet what work there is for us; the wounded have not come in. Hospital Transport Spaulding, July 3d. Reached Harrison's Bar at 11 A. M., July 1
arn? No one here can tell. (Harrison's Bar, July 2d). We arrived here yesterday to hear the thunder of the battle, Malvern Hill. and to find the army just approaching this landing; last night it was a verdant shore, to-day it is a dusty plain. The Spaulding has passed and gone ahead of us; her ironsides can carry her safely past the rifle-pits which line the shore. No one can tell us as yet what work there is for us; the wounded have not come in. Hospital Transport Spaulding, July 3d. Reached Harrison's Bar at 11 A. M., July 1st, and were ordered to go up the James River, as far as Carter's Landing. To do this we must pass the batteries at City Point. We were told there was no danger if we should carry a yellow flag; yellow flag we had none, so we trusted to the red Sanitary Commission, and prepared to run it. The Galena hailed us to keep below, as we passed the battery. Shortly after, we came up with The Monitor, and the little captain, with his East India hat, t
e hospital transports several ladies were assigned by the Commission to take charge of the diet of the patients, assist in dressing their wounds, and generally to care for their comfort and welfare. Mr. Olmstead, and Mr. Knapp, the Assistant Secretary, had also in their company, or as they pleasantly called them, members of their staff, four ladies, who remained in the service, not leaving the vicinity of the Peninsula, until the transfer of the troops to Acquia Creek and Alexandria late in August. These ladies remained for the most part on board the Daniel Webster, or the Wilson Small, or wherever the headquarters of the Commission in the field might be. Their duties consisted in nursing, preparing food for the sick and wounded, dressing wounds, in connexion with the surgeons and medical students, and in general, making themselves useful to the great numbers of wounded and sick who were placed temporarily under their charge. Often they provided them with clean beds and hospital cl
Station the departure from White House arrival at Harrison's Landing-. running past the rebel batteries at City Point I'll take those mattresses you spoke of the wounded of the seven days battles you are so kind, I-am so weak Exchanging prisoners under flag of truce Among the deeds which entitle the United States Sanitary Commission to the lasting gratitude of the American people, was the organization and maintenance of the Hospital Transport service in the Spring and Summer of 1862. When the Army of the Potomac removed from the high lands about Washington, to the low marshy and miasmatic region of the Peninsula, it required but little discernment to predict that extensive sickness would prevail among the troops; this, and the certainty of sanguinary battles soon to ensue, which would multiply the wounded beyond all previous precedents, were felt, by the officers of the Sanitary Commission, as affording sufficient justification, if any were needed for making an effort t
April, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 9
quired but little discernment to predict that extensive sickness would prevail among the troops; this, and the certainty of sanguinary battles soon to ensue, which would multiply the wounded beyond all previous precedents, were felt, by the officers of the Sanitary Commission, as affording sufficient justification, if any were needed for making an effort to supplement the provision of the Medical Bureau, which could not fail to be inadequate for the coming emergency. Accordingly early in April, 1862, Mr. F. L. Olmstead, the Secretary of the Commission, having previously secured the sanction of the Medical Bureau, made application to the Quartermaster-General to allow the Commission to take in hand some of the transport steamboats of his department, of which a large number were at that time lying idle, to fit them up and furnish them in all respects suitable for the reception and care of sick and wounded men, providing surgeons and other necessary attendance without cost to Government
June 1st, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 9
ow how glad I am to see you, showed how much he had been worried. And yet it was the best thing we could have done, for three, perhaps five, of the men would have been dead before morning. To-day (Sunday) they are living and likely to live. Is this Sunday? What days our Sundays have been! I think of you all at rest, and the sound of church bells in your ears, with a strange, distant feeling. This was the general state of things at the time when the battle of Fair Oaks was fought, June 1, 1862. All the vessels of the Commission except The Spaulding --and she was hourly expected — were on the spot, and ready. The Elm City happened to be full of fever cases. A vague rumor of a battle prevailed, soon made certain by the sound of the cannonading; and she left at once (4 A. M.) to discharge her sick at Yorktown, and performed the great feat of getting back to White House, cleaned, and with her beds made, before sunset of the same day. By that time the wounded were arriving. The
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