Posts Tagged ‘Wounded soldiers’

August 2, 1864

We moved out in the country last week. It is mighty pleasant out here but hated to leave Cousin Sally & all of them there right badly; but I hope they will spend a good deal of time with us. Miss Bena went to her own home when we moved out here. She was getting a great deal stronger & better but she was taken sick on going home & has been quite sick ever since. Benny Robinson got home last Saturday week 24th July. He is very lame & uses both crutches. I think he will probably always be lame. Neill Ray is here in the hospital. He lost his foot in one of the fights before Richmond. He seems to be getting on as comfortably as possible under the circumstances, but he is not well enough to go to his home which would be to far in the country to receive proper medical attention. Buddy is still in Yadkin county. That part of the state is in a dreadful condition. It is filled with tories deserters. They rendezvous in Tennessee, near the border and the 4th of July sixty of them entered Yadkinville at night and demanded the keys of the jail; the jailer delivered them up and they released four deserters who were confined for the murder of two respectable loyal citizens. Then they fired on the Village and left it. After that they visited the house of the Capt. of the Home Guards made him surrender his arms. The 18th of July the Home Guard and these deserters met at the Quaker meeting school house & were engaged in a fight two men were killed on either side. They swear they will take Buddy & carry him to Tennessee. They have an special spite at him because he is an officer.


Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.


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Wounded Soldiers and nurse near Fredericksburg.  Collections of the NC Museum of History

Wounded Soldiers and nurse near Fredericksburg. Collections of the NC Museum of History

“A group of wounded soldiers at Fredericksburg, in the tender care of Sanitary Commission nurses. The ministrations of these noble women, and the medical supplies and other beneficences of their splendid organization, robbed the long war of many horrors. The soldiers here were disabled in the bloody battles of the wilderness, fought May 5-6, then fiercely and disastrously continued about Spotsylvania Court House. The men belong to “Kearny’s Division,” so called even after its leader was killed in battle. The nurses of the Sanitary Commission cared for the sick and wounded, supplied the needy with clothes, and stood ready at all times to come to the relief of the army with tents, food, medical supplies, and above all, competent nurses. The kind faces of these self-sacrificing women were enshrined in many a soldier’s heart after the war. There are men living today whose brightest memory of the bitter four years is the pitying face and gentle hands of a nurse of the Sanitary Commission. “

Source: Collections of the NC Museum of History, Accession number 1999.1.1647

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November 13, 2013

Nearly a fortnight since I have opened this book & what a fortnight of sorrow and distress! On Sat the 31st of Oct as Rachel & I were walking in the garden came Sister Betsy after us reading a letter from Pattie containing good news from her son Thomas. Whilst we were listening to it my little maid servant Betsy came to say that Master wanted me directly. I stayed but the conclusion of the letter & with a heart full of thankfulness & gratitude retraced my steps to the house. One glance at Mr E was sufficient! I saw “bad news” stamped on every feature & even attitude. He placed in my hands a letter to him, also from Pattie, urging him to come on to her directly, that the Surgeons had pronounced Tom in a hopeless state, the ball having passed through the Kidneys. This letter was one day later than the first. Our preparations were soon made & in half an hour we were in the carriage on our way to the R R. We were fortunate enough to catch the train & after a most anxious and fatiguing journey reached Richmond about sunrise on Sunday, the 1st of Nov. We drove at once to the Officer’s Hospital, No 4-10th St & to our inexpressible releif found Thomas still living, tho in a state of the last degree of exhaustion after a night of incessant hemorrhage. He had bled to the verge of sinking & the Surgeons could not give one drop of either stimulant or tonic for fear of exciting arterial action. They told us plainly that his chance for life was but small, that the first point was to reduce the pulse which, weak as it was, beat at 200!! A recurrence of hemorrhage was certainly fatal. He might survive otherwise — had he vitallity enough left to rally after so great a loss of blood, but he was young & in God’s hands. So passed Sunday.

 That night his sufferings were intense from obstructions in the bladder. Every ten or fifteen minutes they would recur but I never heard him murmur or complain. On Monday he was to the astonishment of all better & his hopes were high of a recovery. Under the influence of Verraltria his pulse sank & tho weak his surgeons were more hopeful about him. On Tuesday night he was so evidently sinking that Mr Edmondston considered it his duty to tell him that he might die at any moment. His calmness & self possession did not for one moment forsake him. He said he did not know he was so ill, thanked his Uncle, said he did not wish to be deceived & asked if he was then dying. His Uncle told him “No,” but that he was so weak that he knew not at what moment he might sink and that if he had any wishes to express he had better not leave it until he became weaker. Accordingly he disposed of his worldly affairs, leaving all that he had to his wife Patty, in the hearing of us all, mentioned some little matters that he wished attended to, & in the handsomest manner gave to Lieut Skinner (his brother-in-law — and first Lieut) his promotion, telling him that since he had been in Richmond he had bought a pr of Shoulder Straps, which he wished him to take, that he had rather he should have them than any one else. His calmness & self possession never for one moment forsook him & with a deep humility of soul, relying only on the merits & mediation of his Saviour did he turn to God, confessing his sins & imploring his mercy. The next day the Surgeons pronounced him no worse & as there was no recurrence of hemorrhage our hopes rose & he became sanguine of recovery.

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979). http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

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August 12, 1863

A long period of hot weather since I last opened this book during which God be thanked our army seems to have been inactive tho we get the most slender accounts of Lee & his whereabouts. A slight skirmish at Brandy’s station in which both sides claim the victory but in which every Colonel we had on the field was wounded & an advance of Gun boats up James River & their repulse with one crippled by our field batteries below Drurys Bluff are the most important military movements. The two armies seem to be massing on either side of the Rappahannock & a fight may soon be expected but not I hope until the intense heat moderates. Such weather as we have had must increase the suffering & mortality amongst the wounded tenfold.

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979). http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

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 Winder Hospital

July 24, 1863

 Dear Sir.

I avail my self of a few moments of time to tell you of our March an fight in Pennsylvania but as I was wounded [torn] first of the ingagement I may fail in [torn] it interesting. I would have writen sooner but was in hopes of a furlough & could tell you of it without writing but I have failed & therefore I have come back to my pen. I wrote a letter to Father as soon as I came to the Hospital which I trust he got, as it gave him and family gratifying inteligence.

I guess it has been a serious time in Chatham & I would have written immediatly after the fight if I could have got it threw. But when I left Gettysburg I never stopt till I got to this place. I marched 180 miles threw mud an rain & I suffered a grate deel with my wound boils & for something to eat I only drew rations for one meal during the march.

As I came threw Pennsylvania & Md I had to straggle from the road an beg something to eat some times I found friendly people an a gane I was turned off with nothing. Some days I marched all day without anything to eat at all but [torn]. I have been hungry in my life [torn] [never] was I so near perished. I even picked up the bread from the wounded Soldiers who would go to sleep and drop it I would trim off the blood and eat it hearty. I longed to seea the day when I could get as much bread as I could eat & thank god that day has come & proud am I to see it. Some may dout this but I give it as my exspriance & I take the responsibility. But as it will give no good feelings to you or those who hear it I will say something about the fight as it probly will be more interesting. On the last day of June our Regiment was on reserve Picket the day was wet and mudy at night I went to a barn & got a turn of Straw which I L. B. Welch & Capt Brewer slep on the folowing night. not knowing that the next days would be the end of so many of our brave boys. the morning come [torn] off we moved evry man and [torn] promply to his name & evry man paying pertickular attention to keeping his file closed. But a few miles had we gon when we hird the sound of Artillery just before us on the turn pike Road we soon come to the place whear it was when it first fired & as I was aquainted with artillery I new exacly how things was managed. It then advanced & commensed a gane when the Yankees replyed with shell which wonded some of our men.

 Our Brigade moved on and formed line of battle in about 300 yds of the Yankees line threw out skirmishes & commensed fighting we lay in line of battle some two hours when the Yankees was driven back on our left we was then mooved forward an hear my feelings wear such [torn] they never was before not [torn]ing on my bravry for I have but little but I was as anxious to go as I ever was to do any thing in my life & as we went in I could heardly keep from crying I was so proud to see our boys go in so well. We had got but little ways when the Yankees pord a dedly fire in to our boys and with out orders our boys returned the fire but maide no halt but fired an loaded advancing untill we got in 30 yds of them when they run though they did not go off fast but slow testing evry inch of the ground as they went

 By this time I was wounded an went to the rear. I there found my comrades lying almost in piles some ded some dying & others mortally and slightly wounded. Some would halt me and tell me they was bound to die. My feelings was much hirt but of corse I could not help them. I had not gon fare when I come a cross Isaac wounded in the left hip so he could not walk so I give him my assistance to the ambulance where we both got in it an went to Hospital. We staid there some two days with some ten or twelve of our boys. I will say for Dan Hackny he will long be remembered by us for he waited on us like a brother. Saturday morning we got orders for all to make ther way to Winchester that could walk

 So I left them all there that could not walk. Ikes wound was on the hip though the bone was not hirt the Scar was about 3 inches long going just ball deep leaving a place of 1 inch not tore out I am shure by this time he is improveing. Our wounds are both about the same his on the left mine on the right though his is some worse than mine being on the bone. I would have got a furlough if I could have got to the hospital sooner but I never got to go before the board till yesterday and my wound had comensed getting better. Jas McMath & E. H. McManos will be at home soon it hirts me to see them start and I cant go. if it had been so you or Father could have been hear I could have gone too but let it all pass away I can Stay till the war is ended or till I am wounded a gane or killed far from home without ever seeing those loved ones whos soft hand would seeme so good to a soldiers bleeding wound.

I guess it will be a month before I can do duty though I shal return immediately as soon as I get able. Though I go with a sad heart finding but few of my boys that was with me on the first of July no officer to comand & some of the boys that I use to spend the most of my leasure time with now lies beneath the green clover in Pennsylvania & after a few rains it will wash the soil away & the ground will no them no more.

for the want of space and something interesting to write I will have to close I have wrote a grate deal and I fear it will be almost a burden to you to read it but I will say look over it all & look to the futur for better.

I have hird nothing from Ike. ECP is at Winchester Va. very porley Mr Lambert was hear yesterday I was glad to see him, I expect I shal be transfeared to Danville to morrow if I do you will hear from me a gane I would be glad to see you all but it is impossible

Abram Vestal is hear – he is a good soldier. My best love to my folks and yours trusting and hopeing that this blamed war will soon end either to our everlasting happyness or or ever lasting disstruction.

I am as ever yours W. W. Edwards


Source: Civil War Collection, Locke W. Smith collection, North Carolina State Archives and http://cdm16062.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15012coll8/id/11247

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Brig Gen. Pettigrew, who commanded a North Carolina Brigade in the late fights, died at Bunker Hill, Va, on Friday last, from the effects of a wound. It is also reported that Col. Leventhorpe of the 11th NC Regiment, died from the effect of a wound.

Wounded North Carolinians

600 had reached Richmond on 17th and were quartered in 5th Division Chimborazo and 3rd Division Winder.

Death of Gen. Pender

We regret to learn that this gallant officer who was seriously wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, died in Staunton on Saturday. His body arrived in Richmond on Sunday evening, and was laid in state in the capitol.

Source: Greensborough Patriot, July 23, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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H’dqtrs, Ramseur’s Brigade

May 29th ‘63

My Dearest Ellen

Today Gen’l Lee reviewed our Division. We made a splendid appearance, but it was very sad to see the thinned ranks of our Veterans. So many now lie in their graves and so many more lie on beds of pain. We are awaiting “Fighting Joe’s” movements and are engaged in watching him closely.

Yesterday heavy clouds of dust indicated that the Yankees were moving towards the far creek; it may be with the ultimate intention of moving the mass of his forces to the Peninsula or to the south bank of the James River. We have had no intuition as yet of any movement on his part. No doubt Gen’l Lee will be ready to meet him at any point and with his Veteran army so often blessed by our father in Heaven, to drive him back with loss and disgrace.

We feel very anxious about Vicksburg. Though the news today was a more cheering prospect. Should Vicksburg fall, our God forbid, I believe the war will be prolonged about indefinitely. If we are victorious in Vicksburg our army there will be replaced. Bragg’s army at Tullahoma can be greatly strengthened and Rosecrants’ army can be driven through Kentucky.

I confess, as I see matters which I have already explained, I can see but little reason to hope for a “speedy” conclusion to the war.

S.D. Ramseur

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in S.D. Ramseur Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

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