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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Disease & Sickness Ravaged Civil War America

By Chris, 3-10-13


During the American Civil War over 620,000 people were casualties (and probably a lot more) with 504 dying every day. For the soldier, two out of every three would die of disease. The average soldier quickly discovered that one of the worst places to be sent were the field hospitals. William C. Haynes of the 11th Kansas wrote in February of 1863 wrote about the toll of war with regard to disease (and sickness) and how it ravaged the soldier and the army:

"no toungue can tell suffering that they have endured the past winter and have had all in their favor Soldiers are Bound to suffer no mater as to the weather For when they get sick there is hard times come these Not more than one out of every ten that is sick and goes to hospital that ever gets out of it alive Our soldiers that was wounded at prierie grove have all died one man had his finger shot off and it killed him two more was shot in Leg and they died the measles . . ."

Letter from Haynes, William C.

Soldier: Haynes, William C.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 11th Cavalry
Home State: Kansas
Date Written: Sunday, February 15th, 1863
Location: Camp In Field, MO
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Comrades, Daily Life, Family, Sickness, Suffering, Western Theater

Dearest One I have the pleaser to write a few lines to you which I hope will come safe to hand and find you all well and injoying good health I have wrote a good many letters to you lateley and have received very few from you that is lately I wrote two a week for three weeks I have got three for the Last four weeks I think that all our Leters don't go through the Health of rigement is very good at present time William is well I weigh one hundred and sixty five pounds I am hevier than I have been for some time five pound[s] hevier than I ever was before so you may know [how] fleshey I am We have fine wether here at the present time it has been very raney a while back ... it has been splendid for the poor soldier Boys although no toungue can tell suffering that they have endured the past winter and have had all in their favor Soldiers are Bound to suffer no mater as to the weather For when they get sick there is hard times come these Not more than one out of every ten that is sick and goes to hospital that ever gets out of it alive Our soldiers that was wounded at prierie grove have all died one man had his finger shot off and it killed him two more was shot in Leg and they died the measles is very bad in one company of the rigement at the present time all though I don't mind that as I have had them once so they skipp me this time Tery Fuller has got to be fifth sargent Captain Gibbs sick at hospital Lieutenant Thomas Comands the Company at this time Company D has onley Twenty Nine Men for Duty forty eight in all to gether we was at Camp Lyon with Eighty six Men that is [?] when we was Mustered in 86 Men strong at home and were Detached to the Batery at fourt Leavenworth ... I picked up a Leter that old Miss Dewey wrote to green the other Day it all most made me sick to read it she must have the figets or something worse ... I wish I could yet home this spring to stay if I could onely come home Month I would like it But I can tell nothing about till we get payed off the Colonel told me then that most of the maried men would get to Come home to fin their famlies for the sumer but there is no Chance for young men to come home, but we may not get payed off for a month and he may be ordered not to let any of us go so it is very uncertain about it but I will have time to see about it before spring... I can not tell were we will go to from here we may go to Fort Scott and we may go to Mount Vernon a bout Forty miles North of here Last plase I think there are no prospects of any more fighting soon if Ever again here so if we have any fighting to do it will be Down South... Wish you would write and tell me whether you have heard of Vick James or Nat I [am] very uneasy a bout them I expect that they was killed in Battle of Murfesburough I wrote a Leter to them but have recived No answer from them William is doing Litle better than he was... No more this time I send my best Love Respects to your Mother and Johney

I tell Johney to write me a Leter and write to him

W C Haynes

From: soldierstudies.org

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