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

Post image for Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

July 23, 2013

Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

July 23, 1863.—We arrived in Kingston, Georgia, last evening, and put up at one of the hotels; we paid three dollars each for breakfast and a night’s lodging; paying it out of the donation money, of which we have still some on hand. Dr. A. called early this morning; he is post surgeon, a fine-looking old gentleman, and a man highly respected for his surgical abilities. He was left in charge of our wounded at Murfreesboro, and, I am told, has written a valuable book on surgery, from his experience at that place. He is a man of sterling principle, but a little eccentric. The first information we received from him was, that he did not approve of ladies in hospitals; that was nothing now from a doctor, but we were a little taken aback to hear it said so bluntly. Ho then told us his principal objection was, that the accommodations in hospitals were not fit for ladies. We assured him he need give himself no uneasiness on that score, as we were all good soldiers, and had been accustomed to hardships.

He then said the two girls we brought from Chattanooga could not remain as servants, as he intended having a number of negroes on the place, and that would be putting them on equality; and if we could not retain them in some other capacity, they would have to be dismissed. There is always plenty of sewing to be done in the hospital, and we knew we could give them employment in that department.

He also told us that he wished us all to eat at the officers’ table, with himself and the assistant surgeon, as he thought a table was not fit to eat at where there were no ladies. We did not object to that plan till we had given it a trial.

We were escorted to the house which we now occupy. It consists of two small rooms on the ground floor. We are about a square and a half from the dining-room and kitchen; so when Drs. A. and H. called to take us to dinner, we made quite a procession. On the way, Dr. A. informed me that he was a strict disciplinarian, and as I had charge of every thing in the domestic line, if there was not a good dinner that day, he would call me to account. I laughed and told him, if he talked in that way, I should think him a real Pharaoh, as 1 had not even had time to look around me.

We had an excellent dinner—a much better one than we had eaten in many a day. The two girls looked as if they felt themselves sadly out of place, but we are in the army, and must obey orders.

This is quite a small place, and there does not seem to be a large building in it, with the exception of the churches and hotels. Of the latter there are no less than four. It is in Cass County; is on the Western and Atlantic railroad, sixty-two miles north-west of Atlanta, and at the junction of the Rome branch railroad; it is not quite twenty miles from the latter city.

Dr. A. has been here for some time, and has converted some old stores into very nice wards, which will do very well for winter, but are entirely too close for summer.

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