30 December 1861

On Board “Recruit”


Monday, Dec. 30th, 1861

Dear Sister,

Thinking that you would like to hear how we are progressing, I have taken this opportunity of addressing a few lines to you. Duane Brown came out of the hospital about three weeks ago, but has not been to drill in that time and for a week back we had advised him to go into the hospital as he was evidently growing worse. Sunday morning, when he reported himself as usual at the Surgeon’s call, the Doctor questioned him very close and told him he had better go to the hospital. I saw him a few hours afterwards and he was broken out very thick with the measles. He has had a very bad cough ever since he was discharged before and it has gradually increased to such an extent that it was almost impossible to sleep where he was. He would raise nearly a quart of phlegm a day. He has kept nothing upon his stomach for some days and the medicine he got at the Dr, we could rarely make take. He would sit bent over the stove day after day not willing to take any medicine and complaining continually of the cold. I had said all that I could to make him go to the hospital but he thought the Dr. would surely kill him. Sunday I told the Dr. myself how he was and he immediately took him under his charge and he afterwards inquired by the way of the officers if his family were not consumptive.

This was previous to his breaking out with the measles. I am afraid it will be a hard case. I have stated it just as it is and if you see any of his folks tell them just what you think best. If he had any ambition he would get well, or in fact would not be in the hospital now. Yesterday all of the sick were removed from camp; those liable to be sick some time to the general hospital, the others on board a hospital transport.

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the Ague for nearly a week and feeling as well as I ever did in my life, but the Dr. has excused me from night duty as he said that I should be a little careful.

Judge of my surprise then, when I was summoned to pack knapsack and report to the hospital ship. It is fitted up full of good berths and is a very different affair from those steamers we came in on. The Surgeon has not been around yet, but I expect when he does to be discharged and go back to camp. Sexton is here with me. He has had the jaundice but is much better. There are but a few that are on board that are sick with any diseases, but are most of them convalescents that are hardly strong enough for duty.

Marching orders to be ready at twelve hours notice were read upon dress parade last night. We shall probably leave in the course of a week or ten days at farthest. It is thought that we shall go up the James River to Richmond but of course it is all rumor. If we do we shall have some tall fighting. Watson E. Carr is aboard of this schooner as he has had the camp fever and measles and has not as yet got strong. He looks quite thin but is in excellent spirits. He belongs to the 27th Mass, – Co. D, formed in Amherst. There are about 30 cases of measles in our regiment, mostly confined to Co. C. Brown is the first one in our Co. Charles Arnold, aged 19, from Bridgeport died Saturday. He had had the camp fever and had been discharged from the hospital and was not so particular as he should be about eating; therefore he was taken down again. This makes two deaths within a week from our company. There are but two sick in the hospital from our Co. now. They are Porter and Brown. Porter is convalescent and will probably be around in three or four weeks. His brother is here with him. No particular news. Give my respects to all inquiring friends and particularly to Father, Mother and Grandmother.

Write as soon as you receive this and write all the news.

Your brother


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