Imatges de pàgina

in groups to exchange friendly good time. Contributions in prose or verse, wishes. Conversation and singing, with stories, and conundrums filled the lita simple repast of apples, cake, and tle sheet. lemonade, proved allurements to a long The short Southern winter wore stay. Those who had gained admis- quickly away, with little of unusual sion were reluctant to depart to make excitement in the constantly changing room for the hundreds awaiting en- scenes of war. Our prisoners pined in trance outside. For days afterwards dreary captivity, and the clash of arms this evening was talked over with de- was stilled for a season. light by the men: it was the only party So many strange ideas are enterthey had attended since the war began, tained about a woman's life in hospital and it formed the greatest gayety of service that I am tempted to transcribe hospital experience.

a page from my own experience, in Some of the vessels of the Russian order that a glimpse may be had of its fleet, then cruising in our waters, win reality. Imagine me, then, in a small tered at Annapolis. A severe sickness attic room, carpeted with a government breaking out among the sailors, their blanket, and furnished with bed, buaccommodations on shipboard were not reau, table, two chairs, and, best of all, found adequate, and, by invitation of a little stove, for the morning is cold, our government, they were received in- and the lustrous stars still keep their to the hospital. Their inability to speak quiet watch in the blue heavens. A one word of English made their so- glow of warmth and comfort spreads journ rather a melancholy affair. Their from gas-light and fire, an encouragsymptoms were often more successfullying roar in the chimney having crowned guessed from signs and gestures, than with success the third attempt at putting from their attempts to express some paper, wood, and coal together in exact particular wish in words. They all re- proportions. After all, the difficulty has turned to their floating homes in a little been chiefly in the want of a sufficient while quite recovered, except one, who amount of air, for there could be no met with an accidental death, and was draught through the dead embers, and buried from our chapel with the full these could be disturbed only noiseceremonies of the Greek Church. With lessly, for the lady in the next room his face uncovered, he was carried by has the small-pox, and it will not do to his comrades to the cemetery, and laid awake her from her morning slumbers. by the side of our soldiers. A Greek A glance at the wonderful beauty in cross of black iron, among the white which day is breaking is sufficient comslabs, designates this stranger's grave. pensation for such early rising, as with

The Vanderkeift Literary Association hurried step I go to the wards, about held a meeting every Tuesday evening seven rods off. The kind-hearted stewin the chapel, which was always crowd- ard stands at the door : “ Talbot died ed. Some of the citizens of Annapolis, at two o'clock; he was just the same with their families, did not disdain a till the last.” I am not surprised, for constant attendance. An animated dis- when I left him I knew that his feeble cussion of some popular topic was held frame could not much longer endure by the debating club; and the intelli- the violence of delirium. He was by gence often shown did credit to the at- no means among the most hopeless tainments of the men who filled the of the last prisoners who came, but ranks of our army. Ballads were sung an unaccountable change had passed by the Kelsey Minstrels, — so named suddenly over him within the last few from their leader, a clerk at head-quar- days. And now tidings of his death ters. “The Knapsack," a paper edited must carry a sad revulsion to hearts at by the ladies, was read. Into it was home, made happy, but a short time gathered whatever of local interest or since, by news of his safety. amusement there was going on at the The patients rouse themselves from

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the drowsiness of a sleepless night, ex- Wondering what can be the matter, pecting a morning greeting as I pass and cooling his parched lips and baththrough the wards, giving to each his ing his burning brow, I stand over Allen early stimulant of whiskey or cherry- as the doctor enters. Doubt is soon brandy. The men in the ward where dispelled, for he pronounces it a violent poor Talbot died seem in especial need case of small-pox. It is becoming very of it; for, as they glance at the vacant prevalent, but this is my first introduccorner, they say, “ He screamed so bad- tion to it. The doctor orders the imly, we did n't get much sleep.”

mediate removal of the patient to Horn At the call of the bugle a general Point, the small-pox quarters, about stampede takes place for breakfast, and two miles across the bay. It is too I must repair to the serving-room to bleak for the open-boat conveyance, oversee the last preparations for low ånd so he must be jolted six miles and special diet; for on his return each round in an ambulance. On his bed, of the male nurses will appear at the buried in blankets and stupefied with window with a large tray to be filled fever, he starts for his new abode, not for his hungry men. Beef essence, jel- without a plentiful supply of oranges, lies, and puddings for the day's require- lemons, and bay-water. ment claim a little personal attention. The plaintive, whining tones of WilSuch things are not always left to liam Cutlep, a boy of sixteen, who is a servants at home; and how could our picture of utter woe, with mind enough “ boys in blue” be expected to handle only left to know that he is in “awful the spoon with the same dexterity as pain," detain me too long; and when I the musket? They are not, however, must leave him, it is with the promise deficient in culinary skill, as the sa- of coming up soon again, for he says vory hash, well-turned beefsteaks, nice- he always did like to see women folks ly dropped eggs, and good coffee will around.” His home is in Southern testify.

Virginia, whence he escaped to join the After the procession of heavily laden Union army; and he will never hear breakfast-bearers has moved off, sup- from his home again, for thirty-six plies from the commissary need a little ounces of brandy daily will not keep arranging; and one must plan how they him alive much longer. He has almay be made the most of, and what ad- ready taken a ring from his finger, to ditions for the next three meals are to be sent home with a dying message be furnished from private resources.

after the war is over. The result of which consideration is The lower ward is not reached too usually the despatch of Henry, the chief soon, for the manly, gentle Mason is cook, into the city to purchase chick- near his end. He faintly presses my ens, oysters, and milk in as great quan- hand, begging me not to leave him tity as can be bought.

again, for it will soon be all over. An At eight o'clock the ladies meet for attack of pneumonia has proved too their morning meal. Good cold water, much for his reduced system to resist, bread and molasses, with the occa- and, meekly submitting to its ravages, sional luxury of a salt-fish cake, suffice he lies at last upon his death-bed. A to keep soul and body together. The saintly fortitude sustains him, as in coffee is said to be good by those in broken accents these sentences come the habit of taking it, and some, too, from his lips: “ It is a country worth enjoy the butter.

dying for.” “Others will enjoy in The preparation of lemonade in coming years what I have fought for." large quantities, and drinks of various “I can trust my Saviour. He is lightdegrees of sweetness and acidity, is ing me through the valley of death." next to be superintended. As rapidly “ All is well.” Low words of prayer as possible the little pitchers are filled, commend the departing soul to the God and I follow them to the wards.

who made it, and the sweet hymn,

"O sing to me of heaven,

puzzles, for which last they are indebtWhen I am called to die,"

ed to Rev. Mr. Ware, who made a visit breaks the stillness of the ward.

to our hospital a few weeks since, and " It is growing dark, - I can't see you on his return sent from Boston a goodany more,” he whispers ; and then, as ly assortment of amusements. the bugle notes strike his ear, “ Before By this time the stimulants are to be that sound is heard again, I shall be given out again, and preparations made far away." His heavy breathing grows for dinner. For it will hardly be welthicker and shorter, until that radiance come, unless the promised mug of milk which comes but once to any mortal or ale, fried onions or sour-krout, fruit face, streaming through the open portal or jelly, shall come with it. Each tray of eternity, tells of the glory upon which receives its burden of hearty nourishhis soul is entering, as his eyelids are ment, and by one o'clock the ladies may quietly closed on earth. The men be seen returning to their quarters for in the beds around mutely gaze upon

rations of beef and bread. It is well him, wishing that they may die like that we are blessed with elastic spirits, him when their last summons comes. for “a merry heart doeth good like a The tender-hearted McNally, the faith- medicine." All sadness for the dead ful nurse, tearfully laments the loss of must be concealed for the sake of the the first patient who has died since he living. As we cheerfully meet at dintook charge of the ward, and is sure ner-time, an occasional letter in the that he could not have done more for following strain is not without a saluhim had he been his own brother. Nor tary and amusing effect : could he.

I go back to the upper wards. Lit- “ DEAR Miss T-:- I set down tle Cutlep moans deeply in restless to tell you that I 've arrove hum, an sleep. But there are others to be wish I was sum whar else. I've got cheered, and many a promise to be 3 Bully boys an they are helpin me fulfilled from the heterogeneous con- about gettin the garden sass into the tents of a small basket, a constant groun ; but they haint got no mother, and most valuable companion. Com- an ive got a hous and a kow an I fort-bags, braces, knives, come forth at thort youd be kinder handy to take requirement. Books, too, are always in care of um, if youd stoop so much. demand. After they have been read, I've thort of you ever sense I com they are sent to many a distant fireside from the hospittle, and how kinder by mail ; some of the boys have several jimmy you used to walk up and doun treasured up to take with them when them wards. You had the best gate I they go home, for such books are rare ever see, an my ist wife stepped of where they live, and their little broth- jis so, an she pade her way I tell you. ers and sisters will greatly prize them. I like to work, and the boys likes to One boy still keeps under his pillow, work, an I kno you do, so ide like to clinging to it until the last, the little jine if youv no objecshuns; an now book, “Come to Jesus," which he re- ive maid so bold to rite sich, but I was quests shall be sent to his mother after kinder pussed on by my feelins an so his death, with the message that it has I hope youl excuse it and rite soon. been the saving of his soul.

I shant be mad if you say no, but its New wants arise to be remembered, no hurt to ask an the boys names are and special desires for additions to the Zebalon, Shadrac and peter, they want next meal are expressed. On the to see you as does your respectful frend whole, the men seem comfortable and wich oes his present helth to you happy to-day, as they rest on their

“I-G-" elbows partly sitting up in bed, playing backgammon, or scanning the last A few letters for the men are to be pictorial newspaper, or working over written for the afternoon mail. Twin

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came from her lips. Until within ten ical tranquillity was the best way in months of the closing events of the which to meet them. Though exceedwar, she was constantly engaged in ingly inconvenient, there was rarely hospital service, and then only left for 'any serious result attending them. OcEurope because too much exhausted casionally a lady would be fortunate to continue longer in the work. “Sis- enough to evade the loss of a valuable ter Tyler" had supervision of the hos- man by sending him into the city on an pital, and of the fourteen ladies who errand, or by keeping him out of sight had a subdivision of responsibility rest while an inspection was going on. In ing upon each of them. Their duties this way my chief of staff, as I used to consisted in the special care of the call a certain German youth, was kept wards assigned them, and particular a year in the hospital. His efficiency attention to the diet and stimulants; and constant interest in the patients they supplied the thousand nameless made him a valuable auxiliary in my little wants which occurred every daylittle department; and I know that his furnished books and amusements, wrote services were appreciated by others. for and read to the men, — did every than myself, for one of the chief surthing, in fact, which a thoughtful tact geons advised me to keep him by all could suggest without interfering with means, even if hiding him in the icesurgeons or stewards.

chest were necessary. Dr. Vanderkeift wisely considered The regular supplies from the comnourishing diet of more importance missary were comparatively plentiful, than medicine. There were three de- but fell short of the demand, both as partments for the preparation of low to quantity and variety. The Chrisand special diet, over each of which a tian and Sanitary Commissions met lady presided. The cooks and nurses, this want in great measure, providing throughout the hospital, were furnished good stimulants, dried fruits, butter, from the number of convalescent pa- and various other luxuries. But with tients not fit to go to the front. They the utmost delight were received boxes. made excellent workers in these posi- packed by generous hands at home. I tions, learning with a ready intelligence shall ever feel indebted to many Boston their new duties, and performing them friends for their laborious care and muwith cheerful compliance; but they nificent contributions. One of them, often regained their strength too rap- Mrs. James Reed, has now entered idly, and the whole order and conven- upon the full reward of a life rich in ience of kitchens and wards would be noble impulses and kindly deeds. Her thrown into wild confusion by a stern cordial sympathy for those languishing mandate from Washington, that every in distant hospital wards was manifestable-bodied man was to go to his regi- ed in sending gifts of the choicest and ment. No matter what the exigency of most expensive home luxuries. the case might be, these men were de- A gentleman well known in England, spatched in haste. Then came a new as well as our own country, for his training of men, some on crutches, some friendly patronage of art, was never forwith one hand, and all far from strong. getful of our warriors in their dreary When the ladies remonstrated at hav- days of suffering. Many a cheery mesing such men put on duty, they were sage did he send in letters, and never told that feebleness must be made good without liberal “contents.” His name by numbers, and it was no uncommon was gratefully associated by the men thing for four or five crippled men to with bountiful draughts of punch and be employed in the work of one strong milk, fruits, ice-cream, and many other one. These changes made wild confu- satisfying good things. His request sion for a few days, but gradually we was never to allow a man to want for began to consider them a part of the anything that money could buy; and fortunes of war, and to find that a sto- though " peanuts and oranges " - of

which he desired the men should have than the most sound and robust condiplenty - were not always the most ju- tion at the time of their becoming prisdicious articles of diet, the spirit of his oners has no foundation Language command was strictly obeyed.

fails to describe them on their return Mrs. Alexander Randall, who lived from the most cruel of captivities. Ignear the hospital at Annapolis, was ex- nominious insults, bitter and galling ceedingly kind in sending in timely threats, exposure to scorching heat by delicacies for the men. Fruits and day and to frosty cold at night, torturflowers from her own garden in lavish ing pangs of hunger, - these were the profusion were the constant expres- methods by which stalwart men had sions of her thoughtful interest. I re- been transformed into ghastly beings member especially one morning when with sunken eyes and sepulchral voices. a poor boy who was very low could not They were clothed in uncleanly rags, be persuaded to take any food; many many without caps, and most without tempting things had been suggested, shoes. Their hair and beards were but with feeble voice he said that some overgrown and matted. The condition grapes were all that he cared for. It of their teeth was the only appearance was early in the season, and they could of neatness about them: and these not be bought. But just at this mo- were as white as ivory, from eating ment Mrs. Randall opportunely sent in bread made of corn and cobs ground some beautiful clusters. The coun- up together. A piece of such bread tenance of the dying boy brightened four inches square daily, with a morsel with delight as he saw them. They of meat once a week and a spoonful made his last moments happy, for with- of beans three times a week, had been in half an hour he turned his head on their food for several months. Some the pillow, and with one short sigh were too far gone to bear the strain was gone.

of removal from the steamer; nine The large basketfuls of rosy apples died on the day of arrival, and one from this lady were hailed with the ut- third of the whole number soon folmost delight by those allowed to eat lowed them. Roses, which had linthem. “ I have wanted an apple more gered through the mellow autumn, were than anything," was often the eager wreathed with laurel and laid upon reply, as they were offered to those their coffins as they were carried into who had recently come from a long the beautiful little chapel for the fucaptivity; and as they were distributed neral services, before they were laid in through the wards, not the least grati- the government cemetery, about a mile fying circumstance was the invariable from the hospital. It is a lovely place, refusal of the ward-masters and nurses with many trees surrounding its gento take any. Their diet was not sump- tle slopes; and here thousands sleep, tuous, and apples were a great luxury with their name, rank, company, and to all; but they would say, "No, thank regiment inscribed upon wooden slabs. you, let the men who bave just come But “ Unknown" is the only sad record have them all.”

on many a headboard. These were On the 17th of November, 1863, the men who died either on transports, or steamer New York came in, bring- who when brought to us were too much iog one hundred and eighty men from impaired in mind to remember anyLibby Prison and Belle Isle. Most thing, — for the loss er derangement of these were the soldiers who had of mental faculties was no uncommon fought at Gettysburg. Never was there occurrence. When the first cases of an army in the world whose health and starvation were brought under treatstrength were better looked after than ment, the doctors prescribed the lightour own ; the weak and sick were always est diet, mostly rice, soup, and tea. By sent to the general hospitals ; and the experiment it was proved that just idea that our men were ever in other as many died in proportion under this

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