Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Gettysburg NPS Medical Weekend 1997
Living History Report

Gettysburg National Battlefield
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
July 25-27, 1997
July 6th, 1863
U.S.S.C. Lodge

Dear Friends,

It seems that all the news from these parts are from the motions of the armies after the greatest tribulations of battle. Many of our regiments have moved away now, but some of our friends have not yet moved, as they are amoung the wounded. It is a gracious God that allows me to declare that I am amoung the wounded that may yet live. I received a grazing or rather a gashing wound to the left temple by a quite spent minnie ball during the fight. In all the terror, I did not notice until my arm and hands were covered with blood, when I then began to feel faint. I got to the rear and then to the hospital. After the battle, the wounded of our regiment were sent to the brigade field hospital where we were briskly attended to, wounds dressed, and sent along our way to the trains. The other more seriously wounded men were operated on there with many amputations and other more horrid treatments.

We fortunate wounded were directed to the trains for the purpose of being conducted to the Baltimore Military General Hospital. Since the Rock Creek bridge was destroyed, the trains could not yet make it to the center of Gettysburg, and to the station there. We were obligated to make our own way to the tracks where the train would stop south of the town some distance. And for the various wounded making one's own way is difficult, painful, and exhausting.

And so a small band of Nutmeggers that are new acquaintances under these circumstances set off from the hospitals tords the tracks, each helping the others hobble along as best we could. The going was quite slow. We happened upon this location about midway along. It is a lodge of the United States Sanitary Commission, just set up today, to serve as a rest station for those making their way from the field to the trains. The delegates of the Frederick Ladies Relief Society have provided for most of the needs of the men, since they have a large tent to shelter us overnight if we are too late for the 5 oclock night train, and we wait here at this wayside lodge for the 10 oclock morning train. The Christian Commission is also located hard by, and they tend to the many needs of the men here, as well.

While here, the ladies succor us with a diet kitchen serving warm food unparalleled by army rations. They have prepared us ham, barley soup, and countless pantry items put by in jars. Such is a fine lot of citizens that do all this and ask for nothing more than our thanks and well being. They also have a Dr. Hooper here, under whose directions, our wounds are cleaned and redressed, as long as the bandages hold out. If not, we wait til the dirty ones are boiled and redone. So, as we rest here, the delegates also wash our faces, and look after us in any way. We while away the time talking of home, and playing checkers, distracting ourselves from our pains. We have been able to write some letters letting our friends know how we fare, such as I am now doing for you, and they will post them as well.

So I am now here, fed well, dressings changed, and feeling rested. The others here from home include many from the 5th CV, 14th CV, 17th CV, 20th CV, and the 27th CV. We pass the time telling stories, and talking how it will be bully to be away from the battle lines during our convalescence. But, a General officer and his staff visited the lodge this forenoon, and inspected closely the operations and the men. He found no fault with our care, and commended the U.S.S.C. people for their work. If there was anything that he could do, his quartermaster would be at their service. Of course, the request for more bandages was preempted by the serious need for them at the hospitals today.

The General questioned each man there, as to their regiment, their actions on the field, and how they were wounded. Most had some heroic descriptions of the facts, but one poor boy had no facts, could not name his regiment, and had no outward signs of wounds. The General had his secretary interview the boy further, suspecting a shirker. It seemed to us that the boy was not feigning, and that he was rather seriously affected, and his dimentia was as dibilitating as our wounds. We fixed to look closer after him after that, and that we will do. We were thinking that we were to be conducted to the Baltimore Hospital with a hope of being furloughed home, but the General specifically addressed me, and asked if I was prepared to be back in the ranks as soon as I was mended. To which I answered in the affirmative. So my enlistment oath to duty will still stand as three years or the duration. I will write to you from Baltimore and let you know further how I am getting on. My wound is likely more messy and sore than dangerous, however I do still have a large headache yet. Direct your missives as always to Washington.

God Bless the Union.

Your obedient servant,

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