Monday, October 8, 2012

A clean shirt made him feel like a new creature...

Can anyone reading through the first person accounts of the aftermath of Antietam not be touched by the horror of those hours and days? Take this story of Pvt. William Harries of the Second Wisconsin, shot in the chest. He was sharing a blanket with Uriel Olin of La Crosse, a sergeant in his regiment. During the long night, Dr. A.J. Ward came to the "little frame house" and gave each some whiskey. But Olin was dying. "The wound he received through the bowels gave him great pain early in the evening," Harries wrote later, "but for an hour or more before the final dissolution he made no complaint and died without a struggle." Harries was told that "it was considered quite probable that I could be buried in the morning with Sergeant Olin as I was bleeding frequently from the mouth." The next day he was moved to a nearby barn where Iron Brigade wounded were housed. "until the Sanitary Comission came along we were in horrible condition. I do not care to describe my own; suffice to say that I felt like a new creature when I got a clean shirt." Harries survived the war and returned home to Wisconsin.

1 comment:

  1. Lance,

    I got the book and it looks great! I'll be in touch re: Bull Runnings interview.