Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

April 19.—Had quite a number of deaths up-stairs to-day. Jesse H. Faught, Walker County, Ala., and John M. Purdy, Morgan County, Tennessee, were of the number. The latter had his brother with him, who is much grieved because he can not inform his mother of the death of her son, as his home is in possession of the enemy. Another man, by the name of Benjamin Smith, from Memphis, Tenn., and a member of the Sixth Tennessee, Volunteers, died. When I went to see him, I found him in the last agonies of death. I was informed that he was a native of Canada. He was scarcely able to speak; when he did so, he asked me to write to his sister, Mrs. H. Hartman, Arovin, Canada West. I regretted that I did not see him sooner, and felt grieved to see him die so far away from home and kindred—I will not say among strangers—none are who are fighting with us in our sacred cause. May his soul rest in peace! He has lost his life in defense of liberty— that of which his own country is so proud —and when maidens come to deck the graves of our southern patriots, they will not forget one who sacrificed all for them. I have only written the names of those whom I can recollect; many a poor fellow dies of whom I know nothing.

Mrs. Gilmore is leaving us. I am informed that she has done much for the soldiers, having been in hospitals from the commencement of the war. She returns to her home in Memphis. It is rumored that we are going to evacuate that city, and she wishes to see her family before the enemy reaches it.

I received a letter, and a box filled with eggs, crackers, and nice fresh butter, from Miss Lucy Haughton. She also sends a lot of pickles, which the men relish very much. I hope all the ladies in the Confederacy will be as kind; if they could only witness one-half the suffering that we do, I know they would be. I have sometimes felt like making a vow to eat nothing but what was necessary to sustain life till the war is over, so that our soldiers can have the more. When the men are first brought to the hospital, they eat all they can get, but in a few days their wounds begin to tell upon their systems; their appetites leave them, and it is almost impossible to get them to eat any thing. None but those who are the most severely wounded are left here; all are carried to the rear as soon as they are able to be moved.

A young man, by the name of Farmer, of the Sixth Kentucky Regiment, died down-stairs a day or two ago. He is reported to have been very rich. His brother-in-law, Rev. Mr. Cook, was with him, and intends taking his body to his own home in Tennessee, as the young man’s home is in the hands of the enemy. I have made the acquaintance of two of his friends, Mr. Chinn and Lieutenant Minor, both from Kentucky. I feel sorry for all from that state, as it has behaved so badly, and for those who are in our army, as they have given up their all for the cause.

I was shocked at what the men have told me about some dead Federals that they saw on the battle-field. They say that on the bands of their hats was written, “Hell or Corinth;” meaning, that they were determined to reach one of the places. Heaven help the poor wretches who could degrade themselves thus. I can not but pity them, and pray that God will turn the hearts of their living comrades. Can such a people expect to prosper? Are they really mad enough to think that they can conquer us—a people who shudder at such blasphemy; who, as a nation, have put our trust in the God of battles, and whose sense of the magnanimous would make us scorn to use such language?

I was much amused to-day at an answer that a Federal captain gave to one of our doctors. The doctor asked him how many men the Federals lost at the battle of Shiloh. He answered, not more than eight hundred. The doctor turned away from him without speaking. I laughed, and said that proved them greater cowards than ever; for if that was the case, why did they not take Corinth, as they had come there for that purpose. I do hope that we will let the Federals have the honor of telling all the untruths, and that we will hold to the truth, let the consequences be what they may—remembering that “where boasting ends true dignity begins.” The captain is an intelligent man, and was an editor of a newspaper in Cincinnati. The rest of the officers who were in the room with him have left, except a lieutenant, who is sick.