Letter from Henry, dated 1863-05-15

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I think I am as contented as one could be in my circumstances. I manage to pass my time very agreeably. Dr Hall an old schoolmate at Morrisville has charge of this Barrack. This is very pleasant. Among my fellow patients are several intelligent young men. With reading, writing and talking I manage to spend my time agreeably and with some profit I trust.

Late advices from home report my people in usual health.

Sister Delia & husband were well when last heard from.

Mary's letter will be answered soon. Was much pleased to hear that she had been released from so many cares. Kind regards to all.

Your Friend

Henry

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Harewood Hospital May 15th 1863.

My Kind Friend -

"Harewood" is still my abiding place. The first of Winter has given way to the last of Spring and still I am an Hospital inmate. Since I wrote Mary I have had a relapse, if it is proper to use that term in surgery.

Four weeks ago I took cold in my stump. I opened rapidly and in two or three days had eaten away all the new skin that had formed and left it nearly as open as when first amputated. I had to take to my bed again after having been up some six weeks.

I am now much improved. Am able to be up, but do not walk on my crutches.

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The remedy used in my case was very severe. They cauterized my stump with strong muriatic acid, which in sensation is like putting live coals on raw flesh. But I am so much better now that, had I foreseen the result, I could have endured twice as much.

The location of this Hospital is very beautiful. It is on the farm of a rich Washington Banker who has spared no expense in fitting it up. There are several large groves with walks winding in all directions, easy little arbors and at this time of the year a profusion of wild flowers. A lady lately brought me a bouquet of these flowers.

Southern groves surpass Northern in the richness, variety and profusion of their foliage. The Magnolia is

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magnificent when in blossom. The Holly retains its [deleted]verdure[/deleted] foliage through the year. Nature never looked more beautiful than when one year ago I went up the York and Pamunkey to the "White-House."

We now have spring in all its beauty. Flowers which in Vermont do not blossom till June are plenty now. I had some Lilacs a few days ago. But I must change the subject.

We have had another indecisive battle, and this Hospital has received its quota of wounded.

I hear that our Vermont boys suffered severely. How it fared with the 4th I have not heard. It has been some time since I heard from Willie. I was unable to answer his last for two weeks after it was received.

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[envelope]

Head Quarters, 2d. Division, 6th Corps,

R. B. Stevens E. Montpelier Vermont

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