Educator's Guide: Language Arts: Letters Home: B.F. Stevenson

B.F. Stevenson, a surgeon with the 22d Kentucky wrote to his wife:

In hospital, in rear of Vicksburg, May 23, 1863

Dear Wife, I have not, for more than two weeks, had an opportunity to write to you. New events have trod so rapidly on the heels of old, that I have had no time for anything but my official duties.... The 22d has been engaged for three days, and suffered severely in wounded men yesterday. During the evening I amputated a leg for three of our boys above the knee and one below the knee, and four days I did the same at Champion Hill for two men, and one man of an Indiana regiment. In the same period I resected the upper third of the arm (humerus) for two 22d men, and for one of 42d Ohio, and I have seen any amount of minor surgery, I am surfeited, sick and tired of witnessing bloodshed... The defenses of the city are formidable and may require a regular siege, in which event we shall be here for some time. I fear you will charge me with thinking of nothing but sieges, and battles and bloodshed, but surrounded as I am with such scenes, what else have I to think of? The weather here has been the most propitious for our operations possible. The wounded get along as finely as I have ever witnessed with wounded men anywhere.... I am worked up to my utmost capacity, but this you know I never object to. Love to all, with kisses to the children, and say that I hope to see them. Remember me kindly to enquiring friends.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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