YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

13th New York Infantry - Nurse at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, DC

Item LTR-10203
July 20, 1862 Melvin C. Walker
Price: $225.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
Washington, DC

July 20th 1862

Dear Friend Angeline,

I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your kind and welcome letter which I received last evening. I was very glad to hear of your continued good health. I sincerely hope it may continue good. For there is nothing to be compared to the blessing of good health. My health is not very good. But still I cannot complain for I think the All Being deals mercifully with me when I see how some are afflicted. There is about one hundred and fifty soldiers here sick and wounded and we expect more every day. There is no room for any more in the hospital. So, they are going to put up tents for some of the wellest ones to stay in somewhere near the hospital.

I will not try and finish this letter. I had to leave it to whip the ward master. As it is his birthday. We thought we would have a sport with him. The weather is very pleasant now. The days are quite warm but the nights are cool enough to make up for the warmth of the days. I do not know how long I shall stay here. You need not be surprised at any time of hearing of my going to my regiment. For there is nearly all of the nurses forming themselves into a company to join their respective regiments. And if they go, I go too. We are all getting tired of being under secesh authority. It is the general opinion of all that are here that the head doctor is a secesh at heart. As much so as Jeff Davis. And I think he is not all right for the union. He has been obliged to take the oath of allegiance three times. From that I should think that the government was a little suspicious of him. But he is a union man for the sake of the money he draws from the government. There is a young man by the name of Holmes that works in my ward with me that tried to bag your letter from me last night. He offered me his watch for it. He is a funny fellow and the life of the ward. He said I had received three letters since he had one and he thought it was not fair and I had ought to divide with him. But we did not think alike on that subject. He is sitting by the table by me now. He is writing a letter to his mother and he is fooling and bothering me so I cannot half write or tell half what I have written. And I guess you will think it is a queer letter but it is the best I can do, under the circumstances. And I hope you will accept it and excuse all mistakes and poor writing. And I will try and do better next time.

When you see Arvilla again, give her my kind wishes and best respects and also accept them for yourself.

There is the least war news afloat now that there has been at any time, since last spring. At least I have heard the least. But if us nurses all go to any regiment, I will have more news to write. But I think it is doubtful about our going. If we do go, it will be on a short notice. There was five of us went to the doctor’s office one morning about a week ago and applied for a pass to our regiment. But the doctor would not give us one. But if we set about it in earnest, we will go to General Wadsworth and get a pass and then the doctor cannot help himself. But I must close for this time. So goodbye.

From your friend and well wishes.

Melvin C. Walker

Remember me kindly to your parents.

Yours with many kind wishes,