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

Post image for Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

September 22, 2012

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L Castleman.

Monday, 22nd.—A beautiful morning and all quiet, except that the officers are pitching tents and fixing up tables, as if for a stay. But that is no indication of what is in store for us; even before night we may be ordered to pull up and move again. But this would be very cruel. Our poor, worn out enemy, having fought and been driven for seven days, and now being entirely without provisions, must be exhausted and need rest. How cruel it would be to pursue him, under these circumstances. The kind heart of our Commander can entertain no such idea.

In the afternoon, I rode up to Williamsport and found the town full of soldiers. A little incident occurred, which I shall notice. Walking through the streets I encountered a young lady, fresh, rosy, plump and pretty. Her look told me that she would like to speak to me, but she was hesitating as to the propriety of doing so. I spoke, and she at one commenced a conversation on the war. She said that last night there were three thousand rebels encamped near by, and that we might easily have captured them. She pointed out to me with much military tact, how they might have been surrounded, and then said she could not get any one to come in the night and inform us, though only two miles away; that she got ready to come herself, but (with tears and sobs) that her father would not let her, and only because it was night. Poor child, I did want to kiss her.

Not for the sake of the kiss. Oh, no!

But only for sympathy, you know—you know.

I have suffered some to-day, from a most singular pain in my finger. It is peculiar, and runs up the lymphatics to the arm and shoulder. Ordered to move at 7 tomorrow morning.

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