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

Without decent attention

July 9, 2012

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey to Frederick Law Olmsted.


My dear Mr. Olmsted: Can the Sanitary Commission do anything to prevent a repetition of the inhuman treatment the sick received last week, on their way from Jamestown to Alexandria? 150 men were packed in one canal boat between decks, stowed so closely together that they were literally unable to turn over; without mattresses, without food, without decent attention from the time they left till their arrival. Among them were three or four men with the worst kind of measles put in with all the rest: one of them died on the boat, and another on the way from the boat to the hospital, and it will be wonderful if the disease has not communicated itself to others among the 150. There was of course no ventilation, and the men say that they suffered greatly from bad air. A medical officer came down with the boat and is perhaps not responsible for the state of things on board; some one must be, however, and it may save further suffering if the affair could be made public. We heard this story through a friend who was in Alexandria when the boat arrived and has known all the facts of the case.

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