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McPhersonville, SC - Confederate Hospital - Female Nurse Treating Wounded

Item CON-8374
January 2, 1862 Nurse Helen
Price: $675.00

Description

Original Civil War Nurse at Confederate Hospital letter. 2 pages, written in period ink.


McPhersonville, South Carolina
January 2, 1862

Stoney Creek Chapel (Hospital)

My dear anxious, worried tired of waiting Sister Charlotte "

Tis not ½ hour since I got your letter. I wrote 8 pages to Veila last week. Have a great deal to blame myself for not writing to you sooner. But the fact is the news we hear is so unreliable that whenever I say anything, I am afraid tis not true and the newspapers keep us so much on the alert that writing any seems lame. Besides though the hospital does not occupy all my time it certainly does more than half. I have too a great many letters and write always and try to do the best all round. But I know I fail and as for you girls, I feel as if you were to discuss that you are actually out of trouble and ought to keep as quiet on all subjects instead of worrying yourself about us. You must be over anxious now however as by the news you must see the fighting at the ferry! This morning Beth went out to prayer meeting and a little while after came running home to say “John put the kettle on, wounded soldiers are coming up and you must make gruel, arrow root coffee and tea.” She then came in and said when she got to the Presbyterian
Church where she met everybody making up cots and fixing the church, generally, for a hospital! So, she had come for me to go back and help. Of course, I went. After a while the alarm came that the “soldiers were coming”. So all the ladies scattered as fast as possible out of the building to one side to watch the Dr's take the men out.
Eleven came, two arms broken, one’s face, one’s foot, etc.. One Yankee among them too! He is mortally wounded in the side. While they were being taken out of the ambulance, it
occurred to me how dreadful would be to see Moodie and Stephen in the same position & a feeling came over me & I attempted to go behind the church and beckoned to Beth to come with me & I had to sit right down there and turned white. Whiter and almost blue. Beth said I nearly fainted. Me! Me! The strong hearted & brave. I soon got up and would have been able to
amputate an arm if need be. I had been standing nearly the whole morning and you know I can’t stand that. Look here girl, you don’t know what war is! I will now proceed to tell you all
we hear of the fight yesterday. The wretches landed at Adams and came to the R-neck Road where one company kept one regiment at bay. Two hours then Jones (SC) Regiment came up and gave them particulars. Killed 100 of the Yanks and drove them back to Pages Point. Under shelter of their guns and big boats. I think of a fight on Kearns R-road ! Ben B was up here just now. Says they are at it again this morning. We have 5 or 6,000 men thereabouts & the Generals expect an attack elsewhere and the men are not unprepared. Pemberton, this is his division, says the men fought magnificently &as bravely as they ought. Some of South Carolina, some Tennessee, Alabama, Georgians, and from North Carolina too. All doing their best! I hope they will be at it for the next 10 days. Cato says to excommunicate them. One should not kill but “reknock everyone on the head”. I think one ought to stop up the ferry, meet them dead bodies. If there not for their souls, I would wish the whole 25,000 in the pontoons of Port Royal River! Brother G., gave me some money the other day. I will send you the tri, mercury and will write for it this day. Rev. B. saw Georgie on Monday. He has been desperately ill but mends rapidly. He offered to take him here but Miss Allen in Hardeeville did. Aunt L. and Chassie have been here 2 weeks. They leave next week for Yorkville. Brother Osborn passed through on his way to Barnwell. His wound is much better. I dressed it there 3 times a day and didn’t faint. So why should I have behaved so today? Tis about as large my two first fingers. He is as cheerful as possible. They are all at Brother Henry R’s. Brother G again carries on shamefully. Burt and I have been rolling lint and cooking for the poor men. Brother G, under the Generals, both Lee and Pemberton, call on him as they please. They are putting up a fortification on Rocky Point to fall back. When the Yanks attack Truant Point. Mr. Calvert has moved all his negroes up the country. So has Mr. Taren, to Sumpter, where his family rest with his Brother. Eighty of his bales of beautiful cotton are in his gin house unjoined! He will burn it before the Yanks should get it. I hear 5 of Northers nigs have left for Dixie Land, Proffiter among them. He’ll never be some of them.

Had been in the hospital in Charlottesville and met Essie Habersham who was with Robbie as Hospital Nurse. Edmund Walker was there as Doctor. Moodie wants to return to camp and said will the next day.

We had an uncommonly mean Christmas. Brother G. had fever and I minded him all day. I have written to Mame to get her to father. My dollars for the baggage which I will send on to her if she agrees. I will give it to the hospital here as they are in need of funds. Last Saturday we had to cook for 60 men at the 5 hospitals. I am on my 6th pair of socks. Doing 2 pair for Johnnie who is not at all well. He says he never heard of a “curt horse” (that’s I) knitting. Brother deep in alcohol! Charles D., I hear has come home. Why I know not. How about uncle L. you wrote such a short letter. Tell me what you are doing and Veila, is she improving her mind in reading? “Time lost won’t come back. I hope you are satisfied with this long letter. I have given the addressees to Miss B. Roswell, Georgia. I hope you will get it.

Tell Veila and yourself write soon.

Helen