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88th Illinois Infantry - Hospital Nurse

Item MED-9531
September 9, 1863 Edward W. Curtis
Price: $285.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

General Hospital
Stevenson, Alabama

September 9th 1863

Dear Aunt,

Do not be at all alarmed at the heading of this letter. For I am not here because of any dangerous ailment, but being pronounced by our regimental doctor and my captain no able to withstand the fatigues of the campaign upon which the army has just entered, myself and seven others were sent back here with the extra regimental baggage as a kind of guard. But on arriving here, we found that the Lieutenant in Charge could take only three of us. The rest were sent to this Field Hospital.

I am not subject to any particular disease. But a kind of general weakness, so that it unfits me for the field. But not for camp duty. But while at Bridgeport, I had a brief attack of the flux and diarrhea, but not now.

Everything in this camp is very neat and clean and the food and attendance good and sufficient, as far as I have observed. It is pleasantly situated in an oak grove about one half a mile east of Stevenson, at the foot of a rocky hill with a fine view of the level country betted by the mountains on the south. At a distance of three or four miles at whose base flows the Tennessee River. Stevenson itself has changed some within a month and now quite lively, owing to the influx of military business. The Tracks are crowded with cars and the two depots surrounded by huge piles of flour, “hard-tack,” corn, etc., etc.. there is now two eating houses here which furnish meals at from 75 cents to $1.00 and several sutlers shops, two bakeries, etc..

I sent on the 7th to Seth, a photograph of that portion of the bridge left standing at Bridgeport. But it will have to be taken down for the rebs had sawn the “stringers” almost off and puttied up the cracks. The distance from pier to pier is about 150 feet. A temporary bridge was thrown across the river just below (not shown) over which a portion of our army crossed there. Our division crossing on the 2nd. But the hardest job was the crossing of the mountain a little beyond, as it would take twelve or more mules to draw up one wagon. Our division, when I last heard from it, was in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia.

I suppose Elbridge’s time is almost out. And that he will soon launch out upon the ocean of life to do battle with its contending elements. I do sincerely hope and trust that he may always succeed in whatever path he chooses to follow, in gaining a reward for all his efforts and that amidst all he may “hold fast the profession of his faith.”

I hardly know how to have letters directed. But think you had better direct as follows:

E. W. Curtis, Stevenson, Alabama (General Hospital, Ward C) do not put on the 88th.

Give my love to all and I remain your


E. W. Curtis

September 10th. Being downtown this morning, I dropped into a tent and got this picture taken. It is not a very good one, but was the third trial and I let it go. It is too expressionless about the eyes. They always complain of my light eyes being hard to take.

E. W. C.