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Georgeanna Woolsey to Her Mother from Fredericksburg, May 16, 1864

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  • Georgeanna Woolsey to Her Mother from Fredericksburg, May 16, 1864

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Georgeanna Woolsey to Her Mother from Fredericksburg, May 16, 1864


Bacon, Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey and Eliza Newton Woolsey Howland, eds. Letters of a Family during the War for the Union, 1861-1865. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1899, pp. 585-596. Transcribed by Taylor Brann.

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Fredericksburg, Monday, 16th.

Dear Mother : Charley’s note was brought to me to-day by Charley Coit. How good it is to get a line the same day on which it is written! Mr. Clark and all the gentlemen were interested in reading it. I have almost daily communication with Charley, and have sent a note and two messages to-day.

Just as I was going to write, a message came from one of the hospitals to say that my little boy on the floor in the corner wanted me. Such a dear handsome young fellow—going, like all the rest. “Where is my lady?” he demanded, “Will she come soon?” And when I got to him he took hold of my hand tight, saying, “Is this my lady—that’s all right then.” No straw yet to put the men on. The transportation is dreadful; all the ammunition, food, and forage for the army, and all the food, clothing and medicines depending upon a line of army-wagons, over a frightful road, after reaching a distant and most inconvenient point on the Potomac. There had been no bread or hard-tack even, for twelve hours in town. We have beef only, and make soup all day long, and farina gruel. The supplies are expected to-night; also Sanitary Commission wagons, but none have come, and it is now 11, and we shall have to turn our wits inside out for breakfast. Some hospitals have been provident and have drawn for several days in advance. I think, now that I do think of it, that some one said they saw hard-tack going up to the Sixth Corps hospital this evening, so that it may be here in time for to-morrow. The frightful wounds of these men need everything; everything is provided, and nothing, comparatively, can be got here. The Sanitary Commission have fifteen wagons going and coming daily, but that is a drop. The Post Quartermaster told me to-day that the supplies had been delayed by absolute necessity for sending army stores to the front, and if the enemy could only succeed in cutting our wretched line, we should be lost, from starvation. I must go to bed. Please send this note to Jane, I shan’t have time, perhaps, to write to-morrow to her. One from her just now, for which thanks. We are required to show reason for being here, or go to the guard house. I have a pass from the Surgeon-General as “volunteer nurse.” . . . Lenox over at tent to-day; he has a Baptist Church for hospital, and the baptistery in the floor of the pulpit gives him a constant supply of fresh water.



"Georgeanna Woolsey to Her Mother from Fredericksburg, May 16, 1864," in Fredericksburg: City of Hospitals, Item #15, http://projects.umwhistory.org/cwh/items/show/15 (accessed April 21, 2018).

Added by tbrann