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In Their Own Words

May 25, 1862

Civil War Soldier Noted Prevalence of Disease in Camp

A Georgia soldier just beginning his service in South Carolina wrote home to his wife; already disease was spreading through his camp.

“…I am well but a little soar throat, hoping these few lines may find you an the Children an all well. Wife the Company is all here together now I was examined yesterday an was received. I Expect to draw a gun an nap sack tomorrow. There is a great deal of sickness here of the measels, mumps, an colds. I think the most of the cases that is now in the hospittal will get well. George an Riley Bailey is the worst cases that we have here, Bailey I think may not live. George has been very Low an with great care he may get well but without he will not. he acts very imprudent. Dennis an Jim is mending, Charley is well. Barnard is well, Jim Johnsons mumps may yet serve him pretty bad. Wife I want you to write me often an let me hear the nuse there. I have not yet drawn my Bounty I do not know what day that we will. I can hear the war dogs now barking…”

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.23-24.