Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 16, 1898)
WEEKLY JOURNAL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, SEPTEMBER 16, 1898.
INTERESTING LETTER FROM JOSEPH A. SARGENT.
Camp George G. Meade, near "Miadletown, Pa., Sept, 7, 1S9S. Co. H,
becond Regiment, U. S. Volunteer Engineers.
My Dear Swain: Since I wrote to you last, we have moved camp
again and are now nearer corps quarters. A green four-leaved clover
on an orange field constitutes the colors of the Second Army Corps,
f General Graham commanding.
lieutenant Colonel Edgar S. Dndley, formerly commandant of Cor
a dels at our university, is judge advocate general of the Second Army
I Corps. He was largely instrumental in our getting the Grant Mem
orial hall. Wherever you find him, you will find a kfindly gentleman
cat aid "limes interested in. University of Nebraska menu I ihoive very
much enjoyed two calls that I made on -ham and we Nebraska uni
versity boys are going- to call oin ihim in a body some Sunday nfier-iniodn.
Did I tell you of the trip I had made to Hairisburg? The mam
moth, steel mills between here and the city are roaring everlastingly.
Day and night they emit oceans of suioke and one could spend a
week very profitably in viewing the different converting1 processes
and the forgiing- and rolling' of the tons upon tons of "shapes". But
to g on. to Haurislburg. The old town has the conventional Pennsyl
vania German air of supreme self-satisfaction. The average descend
ent of the early German settler has Ms elegant barn, his modest
.house, his wife, children, and his barnyard stock. He sits on the front
S porch after work and smokes, and to use the words of an Irish fruit
peddler, "Wot mare do yez wast?"
I wish yoa oeM see 1Amt famous painting, '"High Tide at Gettys-
burf," bow ait tfce tcnpownj atate-capital. The artist has thrown
the spirit of the eak struggle into every face. The perspective is,
perhfijpe, rie is clear aad riaarply drawn to suit an impressionist,
but iie" story is told with a. terrible ardor.. In front of the great pic
ture, under the eyes of the struggling and bleeding- men, are Penn-
Flvanias old battle flags, some two hundred odd, ranged in eloquent
array by your side as you stand facing- the crucial moment of Pick-
tett'.a matchless charge. Some of these flags were carried on a score
of boody fields; some of them, are only little gmepjsy iriibbons clinging
to splintered flagstaffs. While I was looking at one more than piti-
Lfnl remnant, an old G. A. R. man came up and said: '"Well, ser
geant, will the j'oung soldier shalce hands worth the old1 one'?"
He pointed out various places of interest in the pictures. Some old
Oand marks, the old hotel and the old stone wall, are still standing
ion the field as they are represented in the picture.
Returning' to the flag before whSch I was standing the old man
tuhli "The lust man killed under that flag wi a first lieutenant. He
hcid no more business with It tbanou would have, but he picked it
up wheal the oolor-Bergeant felL Ten. minutes later, a mikinie ball
gianctMl on the flagstaff there's the mark where it hit fma then
wciit tlliiroaigh. hfi throat.
Swain, when you leave that room the pictures and the flags -yon
fm'get to put on your hut as you pass out the door.
I won't attempt to describe camp Meade. It would do you good do
UroH the Susquehanna, river and climb one of luie blue hulls that hug
tlie shore; just to' get a. full view of our "White City." We hove ai weii-
nigh, perfect location and there would be no complaint if we "were
only fed with common sense. During this beastly hot season, we are '
stuffed with heavy, greasy food enough to buy light cereals ami
vegetables for us all. This kind of fare would go all right in Labra
dor; but when you sit under a. molten sky and try to say you like it,
your stomach groans.
Our field hospitals, too, are nothing for America to be proud of.
Some of the men nurses nearly kill themselves by overwork, but in
the volunteer service, most of the nurses are not very well fitted for
their positions. Many of them wouldn't be tolerated in the ranks as
ordinary infantry privates. The hospital department lacks the "esprit
de corps" of tlie larger bodies of men.
So much contact with sickness and suffering seems io harden ignor-
ant men. Many of the men nurses take no more interest in the cases
than they would in greasing wagon axles.
Up in the hospital of the Red Cross society, you see patient women,
with tired faces bending over cots gfring ic bitter medicines with all
the gentleness of perfect mothers. The worst cases those which seem
too tough, for the divis&on hospital to treat are turned over for these
lied Cross women, and tha women never murmur. They are all pluck.
The cots are so low that the constant back-bending- tires the nurses
out fearfully. For two weeks, these Bed Cross nurses were obliged
through their own generosity, to turn over their own wash-basins in
order to get enough for the sick boys. And all this within a few
hour's ride of our largest American cities.
A couple of days ago, a particular impressive male nurse fhat I
saw at the division hospital, made me feel that I would most cheer
fully join the firing squad of am executionary party, assembled io do
justice to such as he for the"good of the service."
I couldn't shoot him, but he gave me such a bad taste in my mouth
that I couldn't resist dedicating a few lines to any one who may care
to read them:
DOG DAYS IN A DIVISION HOSPITAL WARD.
With feeble hands loo weak to lift the net
That bears the winged advance of buzzing- hordes,
The hot, sick soldier rolls a listless eye
And lost in fever fancy hears him come,
The blatant one with greasy face and shirt:
Along the floor of vibrant pine he treads;
He clatters with liard heels that beat tattoo,
And lifts his voice of brass and hoarsely brays
The whole ward length to some brown donkej' friend
Who tongues reply in twanging- nasal tones.
Far down the ward from the white field of cots
A gasp is heard, a throttle eroy of "nurse!
The blatant one with greasy face and fchirt
Lifts up his hoofs and gallops down the floor.
Today I have seen Seorgeaut of the Guatnd and this is the resmlt of
the spare moments when I was working on my guard book or going
The sun is now hanging-, a huge red disk, with its lower edge cutting-
the trees of the western horizon behind the smoke of Hnrrusburg.
Battalion after battalion of billowy clouds are racing across the
Powered by Open ONI