Nurse writes shortly after Battle of Stones River about his duties


Date Written

Feb. 19, 1863

Benjamin Field was 48 years old when this was written.
The recipient, David, was 63 when it was received.

Benjamin Field died 24 years, 11 months, 30 days after writing this.
It was written 160 years, 7 months, 16 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Feb. 18, 1863

Friend David,

As I have not heard from you since I have been in the army I thought I would write you a few lines hoping you will answer the same. We have had another severe fight with the rebels, the particulars of which you have undoubtedly read in the papers. I was in hopes the Battle of Perryville or Chaplin Hills would be the last we would ever see, but it was ordered otherwise. I am employed as a nurse in the hospital, and a very easy position it is. I receive better wages than a private, it being $20.50 per month and clothing and rations.

My business during a battle is with the surgeons on the battlefield assisting in dressing wounds & amputating legs and arms. It is terrible to hear the roar of cannon, the battle of small arms and the screams of the wounded during the battle. In going over the battlefield during a battle & afterwards, it is a horrible sight to see the dead and dieing so badly mangled to pieces. Bragg’s army is only about 30 miles from us and we may have another battle at any time.

I was talking yesterday with a union man who lives in the county where the rebel forces now are, and he says the rebels have been greatly encouraged this winter in consequence of the difficulty in the North. He also says that a majority in his county are union men, and as Bragg is enforcing the conscription act, the union men are fleeing and enlisting in our army, as they are determined if they must fight, they will fight for their sentiments.

I wish you would answer this & let me know how my family is getting along, whether good or bad, I want to know all. I have not heard from them since the first of last month. I do not know whether they neglect to write, or whether the letters are delayed on the way.

You will direct Benj. Field, Hospital Dept. 94th R., O. V. I., 1st. B., 1st D., via Louisville, Ky. & Nashville, Tenn.

Tell R. R. Chase I have heard nothing from him since the 8th of Jan. But I will close.

Yours truly,
Benj. Field

Scans of Letter