Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

September 10, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Thursday, 10th—I reported to the doctor this morning for the second time in the space of two years. The doctor thought that I was in no immediate danger, for which opinion I thought he was not very well posted, but he gave me the “Blue Mass” pills, telling me to be sure to take them and not throw them away as so many of the boys do. I told him that I did not come for the purpose of getting medicine to throw away, for I had been too near dying. He assured me that I was a long way from dying.[1]

[1] The doctor’s exact words were: “Oh, you’re a long ways from dying!” Perhaps I was more frightened than sick. But when a sick man is near a regular hospital and sees from three to six dead men carried out every day to the “bone-yard,” as the boys used to say, it does not look very encouraging to him.—A. G. D.

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