March 13

This is truly a fine day. A squadron of cavalry passed on the pike this morning to extend the cavalry picket line to Madison Court House; was relieved this afternoon by the Sixth Maryland Infantry; Major C. G. Chandler is officer of the day; arrived in camp about 5 p. m.; found Lieuts. Kingsley and Hill had returned from Vermont.

March 13, 1864

Sunday. Started for church with the quartermaster and brought up at a fire on St. Charles Street. Nearly a whole block was burned. I saw fire engines at work for the first time. There were several of them. They threw water enough to float a ship, and still the fire kept bursting out in a new place until all that could burn had been burned. The side streets were full of families and their belongings. At night we went again and saw a sailor from one of the boats baptized. After the sermon, a trap door was raised and under that was a space filled with water, into which the minister and the sailor walked by way of steps at one end, and where the convert was dipped just as they do it in the brook at Stanfordville.

March Thirteenth


Your gracious acceptance of the first fruits of my travels ... hath actuated both Will and Power to the finishing of this Peece: ... We had hoped, ere many years had turned about, to have presented you with a rich and wel-peopled Kingdom; from whence now, with my selfe, I onely bring this Composure, ... bred in the New-World, of the rudeness whereof it cannot but participate; especially having Warres and Tumults to bring it to light in stead of the Muses....

Your Majesties most humble Servant
George Sandys

From Dedication of Ovids's Metamorphoses, “English by George Sandys” at Henrico College, Virginia, 1621-1625. “Imprinted at London, 1626.”


George Sandys born at Bishopsthorpe, England, 1577



Saturday, March 13th.—We woke at the railhead for Béthune this morning, and cleared there and at the next place, mostly wounded and some Indians.

It was frightfully interesting up there to-day; we saw the famous German prisoners taken at Neuve Chapelle being entrained, and we could hear our great bombardment going on—the biggest ever known in any war. The feeling of Advance is in the air already, and even the wounded are exulting in it. The Indians have bucked up like anything. We are on our way down now, and shall probably unload at B.

No time for more now.

11 p.m.—We unloaded at B. by 10 p.m., and are now on our way up again; shortest time we've ever waited—one hour after the last patient is off. A.T.'s have been tearing up empty and back full all day, and are all being unloaded at B., so that they can go quickly up again. B. has been emptied before this began.

They were an awfully brave lot of badly woundeds to-day, but they always are. Just now they don't mind anything—even getting hit by our artillery by mistake. Some of them who were near enough to see the effect of our bombardment on the enemy's trenches say they saw men, legs, and arms shot into the air. And the noise!—they gasp in telling you about it. "You could never believe it," they say. An officer told me exactly how many guns from 9.2's downwards we used, all firing at once. And poor fat Germans, and thin Germans, and big Germans, and little Germans at the other end of it.

A man of mine with his head shattered and his hand shot through was trephined last night, and his longitudinal sinus packed with gauze. He was on the train at 9 this morning, and actually improved during the day! He came to in the afternoon enough to remark, as if he were doing a French exercise, "You-are-a-good-Nurse!" The next time he woke he said it again, and later on with great difficulty he gave me the address of his girl, to whom I am to write a post-card. I do hope they'll pull him through.