Convalescent Camp 18th Army Corps Hospital
Thursday afternoon, July 29th [should be 28th] 1864
My dear little Wife,
I am once more seated at my little table in my tent with writing material before me and I am trying to compose a few lines for your perusal and hope they will reach you and prove interesting. I am enjoying quite good health at the present time and my work is about the same. I may as well tell you that I have been having the diarrhea for three or four days past but I feel rather better today. I think it nothing dangerous and shall be the better for it for my head and stomach is feeling much better than they have for two weeks past, and I think when I get over this I shall stand a good chance to be well.
There is not much news to write from here, but still there is some more being made which I do not quite understand but I think Grant is trying to get a part of his force in between Richmond and Petersburg and I hope he will accomplish something this time.
The patients here are about the same in number, and seem to have about the same complaints as usual. We have made some new arrangement about deeding the sickest man in our camp. We have a long arbor made of poles and brush and under this arbor we have a table running the whole length of the arbor. This table will seat 125 men and the food is brought over from the cook house and dealt out to them. There is about 100 that is allowed to come to this table and they have papers given out by the doctor with “extra diet” written on each. The other men who are stronger and able to eat heartier food have to go after it at the cook house themselves &c. The fare at this table consists of gruel, cornstarch, bread, toast, tea, and morning and noon usually have some kind of meat and potatoes, and sometimes other vegetables such as turnips, squashes, beets, &c. The men all have about the same fare with the exception of gruel and cornstarch and toast. There is about 600 men in convalescent camp at the present time.
Friday morning [29 July 1864]. Troops have been passing here all night or I have heard teams going every time I have been awake, and I heard this morning that the Sixth Corps had been by here. The sun shines out brightly this morning and I think it will be a hot day.
I received another letter from you last night so now I have two letters of yours to answer in this one. It is now about time for breakfast so I will stop.
Saturday morning [30 July 1864]. I thought last night that I should have finished this and had it in the office today but we have all been very busy today. We have had over 300 patients come in to camp today and it has made plenty of work for us all. The most of the sick that have come in today have come from the Field Hospital. We have 960 men in our camp tonight. That is much the largest number we have ever had. It is now about nine o’clock and I am too tired to finish this tonight so will leave it and finish it tomorrow if I have time, and I think I shall.
The 9th Army Corps made a charge on the Rebels works this morning [Battle of the Crater] and it is rumored here tonight that Gen. Burnside was killed but the rumor is not credited here. I shall know by tomorrow. Good night and a sweet kiss. — T
Sunday morning [31 July 1864]. It bids fair to be a hot day today and some thought yesterday was the hottest day of the summer. I have heard nothing more from the 9th Corps or Gen. Burnside. We are to have an inspection this morning. The convalescent camp is held in the highest estimation by the surgeons in charge of the hospital and they give Dr. Satterlee all the credit of it &c.
There was quite a lot of wounded brought in yesterday. I hear that the 18th Corps was supporting the 9th yesterday. Give my love to all. I may write a few lines to Bob and send in this. I knew Eb [Stoddard] was in the Kearsarge. ¹ I hope as you do that he can come home. — T
¹ “Ebenezer Stoddard, son of Stephen Stoddard [and Henrietta Allyn], in early manhood, followed the sea, and during the Civil War served in the Navy and was sailing-master on board the Kearsarge at time of the battle off the coast of France with the rebel Alabama.”