Went to see Dr. Thayer about getting my leave extended about 10 o'clock a. m.; found him at his house but cranky; would not, to my surprise, give me a certificate for extension of leave. My wound is not yet fully healed, the stitches are still in, it's sensitive, inflamed and sore, can't eat solid food, am not fit to go to the front, and I'm no malingerer either. It would teach Dr. Thayer something to get in a hot fight and be wounded. I never did like bandbox doctors, anyway! I'm afraid the board of surgeons at Annapolis, Md. will discharge me for they are practical men. I'm disgusted with Thayer! All I need is a reasonable time for my wound to mend. A man with a part of his head shot away can't be expected to be fit for duty a month after. If I shirked battle, I suppose Thayer would extend my sick leave! That's the way such things usually go! Merit don't count though, with testy doctors if approached too soon after breakfast. If I were a toady in manner or reality, I suppose I could get anything, but I'm only a plain, presentable, unassuming country lad while Thayer impresses me as an aristocrat. Ed. Russell has taken me to ride about Burlington, a very pretty little city; took the noon train for Montpelier; shall go up and call professionally on Dr. James in the morning; he'll give me a certificate.
SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 222-3