A City of Hospitals, Short on Supplies

From the Portland, Maine, Daily Eastern Argus on Wednesday, May 25, 1864:

A letter written from Fredericksburg after the battle of the Wilderness says:—

“In a guano ware-house a magnificent veteran, leaning against the wall with his blouse on (to protect him from the cold of the bricks) whose left sleeve and shoulder were drawn back so as to relieve the stump of his amputated arm from their weight, beckoning me to himself. ‘I have not ate, sir, for three days. When will rations be served to us?’ I flew across the street to the Sanitary Commission rooms and repeated the pitiable statement, and asked for food. ‘Our supplies are wholly exhausted,’ said the attendant. ‘We have literally nothing here save empty boxes.’ Where the wounded in this city got their food that night, God only knows. Where bandages were got to dress their wounds I know not. If there were any hospital supplies here whatever, I do not know.”


For more on Fredericksburg’s Sanitary Commission Office, located on William Street and pictured above, can be found in this April 2010 post from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

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