from The Southbridge Journal, No vember 1862 (Volume 3 #11), contributed by Mike Branniff
From a Hero of the Fifteenth Mass. Regiment

Near Frederick City Md,
Camp A, General Hospital,
November 14th, 1862

Mr. Editor: We wish that we could write something to our friends that might be interesting, but we have not the means of obtaining the news, therefore we shall have to confine our subject matter to the hospital where we are now situated; and we wish our friends to bear in mind that what we shall write will be with all candor and sincerity.

Since our last communication to your paper, there have been some changes made in the arrangement of the camp. Most of the tents have been floored, and two stoves are furnished for each department yet the rations are not dealt out any better than they were a month ago. The culinary department is very deficient indeed. No change in the manner of cooking from day to day, the same dry bread three times a day, with fresh meat soup for dinner. I must also say that there is a great waste of under garments, such as shirts, drawers and stockings. No arrangements are made yet for washing, or for a laundress. Then the offal and filth has not been covered up or carried off, but is allowed to accumulate within forty feet of our tents, were we obliged to pass and repass every day, without a word of caution from those who ought to see to these things.

Since the last writing, there has been a species of disease, or sores, among many of us who are wounded, which have broken out near the wounds. I think it is owing in a great measure to the uncleanliness of the water in our camp, and the want of good spring water that has caused them to come upon us. A comrade has just handed me a communication which confirms my statement. I will enclose it. Then again, it seems strange that there should be such a waste of hospital garments. Why, at this rate of extravagance we shall soon use up what the kind friends and societies at the North have sent us. We appreciate their benevolence. But it makes us sad to see their efforts neutralized in the manner it is here.

In our department we have at the resent time the services of Dr. Paine, a son of Judge Paine of New York, who is faithful to us. You can see, if the foregoing is true, Government is deficient four hundred men, perhaps, (in this camp alone,) who are obliged to stay here four or five weeks longer, when we might have been doing duty for our country in our different Regiments. So we not only suffer for this negligence, but our Government is also deprived of our services as well as the services of our nurses and attendants.

We are again reminded by Gov. Andrew that the day we love to celebrate is now at hand. Gladly would we avail ourselves of obeying his Thanksgiving proclamation, but our situation is such that we shall not be able to gather around the festive board with kind friends to celebrate that much honored day. Yet we shall think of the past days that we have enjoyed with them, and shall look forward to those coming holidays which we hope to enjoy in future years, after this cruel rebellion shall have ended. Since we have been wounded, we have not been able to hear anything from our Regiment that is satisfactory to us; therefore we are not posted in regard to its movements, but we suppose that it is moving forward with the rest of the grand army, and it is probable before this shall have been put to type, we shall hear of decisive action. May they soon meet the enemy in force and compel them to lay down their arms and thus end unhappy strife.