Dr. Abraham Hoch Landis wrote to his children and detailed his day-to-day activities in Hospital #1 (Nashville).
December 15, 1862 letter reads, in part:
“All the churches in town and many other buildings are used for hospital purposes. The sick soldiers that I am attending are in three large rooms. Every morning when I get up and get my breakfast I go into a room and find from 10 to 15 sick men. I go from one to another and write on a piece of paper what kind of medicine each one needs, and the paper is taken to the hospital steward and he doses out the medicine. When I get through one room I go to another room until I get done. One house in town is used to keep rebels in. I went to see them one day. They were hard looking cases. It would scare you to see them, there was so much dirt on the floor that I could hardly see it and their shirts looked as if they had not been washed in a month.”
Source below: HA.com
[Union Surgeon]. Dr. Abraham Landis Archive. A large archive of over 450 letters relating to Union surgeon, Dr. Abraham Landis, with approximately 189 letters from Dr. Landis, dating from April 5, 1862 – April 24, 1865. Many of the letters are accompanied by their original transmittal covers. Landis’ early letters detail about his medical work in Tennessee near Nashville. In 1863, he was captured by the Confederates at Chickamauga and was taken to Libby Prison, and the archive has two letters from his time there and one immediately after his release. About half of the letters then cover his service in the Atlanta Campaign, the Battle of Resaca, movements on and around Dallas, Georgia, and on Kennesaw Mountain. Landis was then seriously wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and his letters that follow are about his recovery in hospital.
Abraham Hoch Landis (1820-1896) joined the 35th Ohio Infantry in November 1862 at the age of 41. However, before he was mustered into the 35th OH, Landis was already helping the army in a medical capacity.
Historian Timothy L. Burgess has recently published a significant work on Confederate deaths burials in Nashville. Perhaps no one knows this subject better than Mr. Burgess, who has been researching the subject for nearly four decades.
To order the book:
$22.00 with postage
Send check or MO to:
128 Maple Dr.
Hendersonville, TN 37075
I just discovered an auction lot being offered by Cowan’s with items belonging to Daniel H. McArthur, 24th WI Infantry and later in the Signal Corps. While in the Signal Corps later in the war he passed through Nashville in early December, which would have been just after the Battle of Franklin. He records the following in a letter about what he saw in Nashville:
You who are in your comfortable homes in the north can form but a small idea of the amount of suffering caused by the war aside from the soldier’s life. In this town are hundreds of families (refugees) who have no place to live except in the tents furnished them by the government and they all draw rations just the same as the soldiers. A great many of them are women with children whose husbands and other friends are dead or in the rebel army. One night week before last it was very cold, and a train came in loaded with refugees and they had no place to go to for shelter from the cold and there was seven children froze to death, and who knows at this moment how much suffering there is in different parts of the south!
Nashville had 20-25 military hospital hospitals operating at any given time during the Civil War. At peak capacity, Nashville hospitals had roughly 14,000 men being treated, including hundreds of Confederates, even during the Union occupation that began in February 1862.
Nashville was the second largest military hospital network devoted to Union-use. Only Philadelphia had a larger military hospital system. As large as the Nashville military hospital system was, it could still could handle the amount of casualties that strained her capacity.
Thousands of wounded and sick Union soldiers were initially treated in a Nashville hospital and then routed to Evansville, Louisville or Jeffersonville for care in their respective hospitals. Many Union casualties from the Franklin-Nashville campaign were taken to Louisville for medical care.
One such Louisville hospital was #8, which later became known as the Monsarrat School (below).
Hospital #8 in Louisville, later known as Monsarrat School.
Joseph Meyer was 23 years old when he enlisted in October 1864, Co.B., was mortally wounded at Franklin, died of wounds on 12/6/64 at Jeffersonville, Indiana. Buried at New Albany National Cemetery (IN), Gravesite B-86.
We started in good time over frozen ground and ice though the pike was tolerable good only in spots. All day we have passed the wrecks of Hood’s fleeing army, signs of hot pursuit. We reached Spring Hill at 4 p.m. and go in camp just before it commences to rain again. The little village is very much dilapidated to what it was when we first saw it. It was near that the Rebs came near cutting off our retreat up to Franklin. Made a search to find commissary wagons but fail and have to crumb it scantily at that. Rain increases and our bed is wet as has been for sometime.
A.L. Ewing (63rd Indiana Infantry) diary for Dec 20th, 1864
Source: The Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University