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In Their Own Words

November 03, 1862

Letter Showed Primitive Civil War Medicine

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her of being sick, and of the many Georgians who had died there; then added a note showing the primitive nature of Civil War medical treatment.

“…I have had some fever every day for four days. I think I will go to taking some medicine this Eavening…I have a very soar throat an bad cold. I have not got my strenghth back yet but it is improving. …I just got back from the soldiers grave yard I have been out and saw one Buried. there is more Georgia soldiers Burried there than any other state. I think there must be 4 or 5 hundred Georgians. when a soldier gets bad sick here they nearly all dy. The doctors cut off somebodys Leg, arm, hand, or foot or some other part nearly every day here. …”

Source: Katherine S. Holland (ed.), Keep All My Letters: The Civil War Letters of Richard Henry Brooks, 51st Georgia Infantry (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2003), pp. 52-53.