Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Eighth Ward General Hospital At Hamburg, Tenn., Sunday, May 11 [1862].

ED. RUSSELL, Esq., Cor. Sec’y S. R. A.:–

Dear Sir:  On the afternoon of the 9th inst., the 2d Iowa cavalry was brought into action as an advance of Gen. Pope’s division.  They executed an order to charge on a rebel battery in a most gallant manner, and saved from capture or total destruction Gen. Paine’s brigade; but in doing so, three of our brave boys fell dead and forty were wounded.  The regiment lost, I am told, 140 horses killed and disabled.  Although I tried hard, I could procure no sooner reliable information.  I believe none of our infantry suffered.  I here give all the attention the circumstances would permit to the wounded.  Most of them are to be put on board of a steamboat to be sent home; those worst wounded are still in “hospital camp,” which is agreeable to order of Gen. Halleck.  Our sick are doing pretty well; the weather is very warm.  My charge is being greatly increased; attend to more than 200 – there being about 4,000 sick in all.  I am making every preparation to meet the increasing demands.  Sanitary Commissions are the salvation of the army, but good cooks are needed very much.  Another surgeon should be here to take charge of our men at Pittsburg.  Burwell is there.  We have none at present at Savannah, but many will be sent there soon in the event of a battle, of which there can be no doubt, and that a desperate one too.

At Pittsburg are more than 500 sick of Iowa soldiers.  Mrs. Harlan furnished all our hospitals in that (Grant’s) division last week with all needed sanitary supplies; and reports the sick doing well for the climate, which is, but the way, anything but favorable to health for Northern men – very warm days and cold nights, produce the form of fevers (congestive), diarrheas, &c. – Direct to Dr. A. S. Maxwell, general hospital at Hamburg, Tenn., care of Post surgeon.


Lt. Owens, Co. H; Sergt. Ayers, Co. A; John Wilson, Co. B; Jas. B. Armstrong, Co. C (died after bringing into camp).


Wm. E. Walker, Co. B; John D. Burg, Co. B.


Wm. H. Bulla, Co. F, thigh; C. H. Brock, Co. B, in arms; S. T Hato, Co. G, arm and side; Jas. Fought, Co. F, contusion; T. I. Parks, Co. F, breast; Jas. Taylor, Co. C, shoulder; John S. Bush, Co. B, breast and shoulder; a. Hinely, Co. G. back; Jas. Slawter, Co. D; Sylvester Hazen, Co. M, shoulder; Sergt. S. H. Waterman, Co. G, thigh; Capt. Egbert, thigh.

The boat on which were the wounded (D. A. January) left just as I was going on board with some of our sick, when I intended to have got the names of those of the wounded cavalry, so the list is incomplete.

Heavy firing has been heard all morning on the right wing, (Gen. Grant’s) – a skirmish, I suppose, as it is understood Halleck has got a complete communication of the different divisions – being divided by impassable sloughs, which are being bridged in many places.  I tell you, it is only those who see that can fully appreciate the extent and character of obstacles to be overcome by our army, to make success at all certain.  Perhaps there are few points either North our South, where nature and the improvements (railroads, etc.) has done more to complete a strong military position for defence, than this same Corinth, and our friends need not be alarmed if they should learn that a siege be the only course to effect their defeat.  An assault, I think, will be attempted, if we do not succeed in drawing them out.

It is now raining; the roads had become very dusty on high land.  Our main line of the army is about four miles from Corinth; the pickets are within speaking and shooting distance of each other, two miles from Corinth, a large swamp intervening, and many guns, it is said, can be seen.  Four large siege guns, 64’s, planted here, are being taken out to-day to the advance.

News has just come in that Gen. Buell’s division has been attacked and is falling back.  If true, it is easy to see the intent – to draw them out of their works and bring on a general engagement.  Very heavy firing is heard.  Excuse haste.  I must close for the mail.

Yours truly;

If editors would sent lots of papers here to an agent who would sell them fast, the boys would take it as a great favor to have it in their power to buy them.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, May 19, 1862, p. 2

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