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

Woolsey Family during the War.

July 21, 2012

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

The whole staff of the Wilson Small seems now to have scattered and “fallen back” on Washington. The letter of July 25 is from Miss Katherine P. Wormeley. She and Mrs. William P. Griffin had been delightful friends to us. We were the four “staff” women on the Wilson Small through the whole Peninsular campaign. Miss W. came home on our old hospital ship the Daniel Webster, in charge of her last load of wounded from the Peninsula, Mrs. Griffin remaining at Hampton Roads in a receiving hospital for some weeks longer.

Miss Wormeley to Georgeanna Woolsey.

Newport, R. I., July 21st, ’62.

Dear Georgy: How did you take to civilization? I got along perfectly till I was caught going off the boat without paying my fare. Captain T’s mother was on board, which was a capital thing, and induced him to behave himself. I found intimate friends on board who were dear to me because they escorted me to supper. Georgy! if you ever take passage on the Metropolis, go down to supper for my sake and imagine how it affected me. My friends rather apologized for their desire to go down; for my part all I could do was to conceal my disappointment at not being able to eat everything. It seemed to me there was everything good that I had ever heard of, ending with peaches and ice cream.

I put the wounded captain into an express wagon (the nearest thing to an ambulance) and got home myself at 4 o’clock, to be finely cackled over by Mother. The next day the town called on me, beginning, like a Fourth of July procession, with the mayor and clergy. The next day I stayed in bed till after visiting hours. By-the‑by, isn’t a bed delicious? I can’t believe it is the same mattress, the same blanket and sheets that I had before I went away. Of course you know that Dr. Wheaton with 1,700 men are here (six miles from here). Excursion boats run from here and from Providence to the camp. It is the fashionable drive, and the dear creatures are all female sutlers with baskets of pies and cakes and pickles and sweetmeats. Colonel Valium is here. I have sent him word that if I can do anything sensible with authority I will, meanwhile I do not intend going near the camp. . . . I am truly sorry that Colonel Howland’s furlough is shortened. Fanny Russell told me about it, and we spent all the time we were together in adoring “Mrs. H.” I have said one hundred times “I will tell that to Georgy,” but behold I have forgotten everything. Yesterday was a happy day to me, the dear little chapel was so peaceful and full of love and praise. I thought of Mr. — as I sat there. . . . No large mind doubts God or the excellence of life with Him merely through looking at the mean lives of others.

Good-bye, love to Mrs. Howland and C. W. W. I am yours faithfully,

K. P. Wormeley.

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