(87)…Charles Campbell “was detailed for service in the regimental hospital. His sympathetic nature, and the tender care he had often bestowed on his suffering comrades, singled him out as a well-qualified nurse.” He occupied this position until the close of the war.
(89) “It is one of the evils of war,” says Mr. Campbell, “that, by the constant presence of suffering, the humane feelings of the heart are blunted, and the sufferers become neglected.” Such result he frequently saw in the surgeons, who at first were patterns of care and sympathy, but who finally came to look with indifference upon cases of sickness and pain. (He detailed cases where he appealed in vain for help.)
(93-94) Campbell spoke of the spring campaign in Virginia under Gens.Meade and Grant that culminated in the closing of the war. When his “hospital corps was ordered to the front for service…the fighting had already disabled more men than could be taken good care of.” Mr. Campbell says, “There were at least two acres covered with them in this vicinity. The most that could be done or them was to supply water to quench their thirst and keep their wounds covered from the air. Many must have perished for want of timely attention. Some were found in the woods a week after, still alive, with festering wounds, but too late to save life.” Those that could be saved often had to be moved to safer places, sometimes on long rides to hospitals, where further lives were lost.
“The daily conflicts brought their daily products of wounded men for hospital-treatment. Surgeons were weary in the use of the saw and scalpel; and nurses lost their vital energies in the constant strain of the required watching and attention.”
“The extreme heat, though favorable to such as had no nightshelter, nevertheless added to the fetor in the air by promoting the stenchful putrefaction of oozing sores and scantily-buried bodies. Such, from day to day, was the experience of the battles of the Wilderness, and then onward to the rebel capital. Let the details of such sufferings…. be revived in imagination….only to show the cost of the sacrifice by which our national integrity was secured.