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In Their Own Words

July 18, 1863

Surgeon Wrote Civil War Soldier’s Wife on his Injury and Capture

A surgeon attending the Confederate army retreating from Gettysburg wrote to the wife of a soldier, with the news that he had been injured and taken prisoner.

“…You will doubtless be surprised at the reception of a short epistle from an unknown friend. But it becomes my sad duty to inform you that my relation and our friend, Maj. H.D. McDaniel of the 11th Ga. Regt., was seriously wounded on the10th of July whilst at the head and in command of his Regt. I was summoned by various messengers to see him, which I succeeded in doing in less than an hour after the reception of the wound. I found that a ball had struck him on the right side of the abdomen, letting out a small portion of the intestines, though not wounding them. I gave him chloroform, dilated the wound and returned the intestine. His cousins, Mitchell and McDaniel, were also both with him. The latter remained with him for three days after removing him to the residence of Dr. J. Roe in Hagerstown where he finally left him when the enemy took possession of the town. He was then doing well and I now have every hope of his final recovery. …”

Source: Anita B. Sams (ed.), With Unabated Trust: Major Henry McDaniel’s Love Letters from Confederate Battlefields as Treasured in Hester McDaniel’s Bonnet Box (The Historical Society of Walton County, Inc., 1977), pp. 177-178.