Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alabama Homespun

This entry is from Letters from a Surgeon of the Civil War compiled by Martha Derby Perry.  They are letters of John G. Perry, surgeon with the 20th Massachusetts.

He tells about meeting a Confederate officer he is treating in this touching description.

May 28th, 1862

. . .On one of the beds there lies, fast asleep, a Confederate surgeon, — a thoroughbred South Carolinian, who never, before the war, passed his State lines. He was captured with a number of others in the last engagement before Richmond, and as most of these men were wounded, he was detailed to care for them.
Dressed entirely in Alabama homespun, — which is the ugliest snuff-colored stuff imaginable, — a broad-brimmed planter's hat covering his head, and stained with mud and blood from head to foot, the appearance of this officer when he first arrived was strange enough; but his face was bright and intelligent. His greeting was unexpected: "I am delighted to meet men from Massachusetts, for I know I shall find in them intelligence and hospitality "; and he certainly did find the latter, for we furnished him throughout with clothes. 
He enjoys reading the Boston newspapers, and we have many pleasant chats together, for I find he is anxious to discover for himself the true state of affairs at the North, and whether the Yankee hordes are such bloodhounds as he has been taught to consider them. We seem to be making each other's acquaintance by simple good fellowship, and this, after all, is the only true way.
Unidentified Confederate Officer Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-119426
Library of Congress Collection

No comments:

Post a Comment