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

September 19. [Chattanooga] —I have been kept quite busy ever since I came here; in fact, we all have been. We have a good deal to try us, but our minds were made up to expect that before we came. The stove smokes badly, and we find it almost impossible to do any thing with it; besides it is so small that we scarcely have room to cook on it what little we have. The surgeon, Dr. Hunter, like many other men, is totally ignorant of domestic arrangements, and also, like many others, wholly unaware of his ignorance. The only consolation we get from him is a fabulous tale about a woman (a “Mrs. Harris”) who cooked for five hundred people on the same kind of a stove.

One of our greatest trials is want of proper diet for sick men. We do the best we can with what we have—toast the bread and make beef-tea; and we have a little butter—bad at that.

There are no changes of clothing for the men; but we have cloth, and after our day’s work is done, we each make a shirt, which is a great help. The last, though by no means the least, of our troubles is the steward, who has taken a dislike to us, and annoys us in every little petty way possible. His wife has charge of the wards across the street from us. The assistant surgeon complains of her inattention to her duties in waiting on the sick.

A man, by the name of Watt Jones, died in my ward to-day; another, by the name of Allen Jones, yesterday—both members of the Fourth Florida Regiment.

Our room is in the third story, facing the west; the view from it is really grand, and when worn out physically and mentally, I derive great pleasure from looking out. On the north of us runs the Tennessee River; opposite there is a range of hills—one rising above the other—dotted with beautiful residences, surrounded by prettily laid out gardens. On the southwest, is Lookout Mountain, its peak frowning down on the river, which winds around its base—looking like a lion couchant, ready to spring on its prey.


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

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