Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Battle of Gettysburg: A surgeon speaks of the hospitality of the citizens of Gettysburg

Part 4 in a series of posts regarding the behavior of the citizens of Gettysburg before, during, and after the great battle. In this post, we hear from Captain Louis C. Duncan, Medical Corps, U.S. Army. In the September, 1913 issue of "The Military Surgeon", Duncan writes:

"Allow me here to remark that the stories published, charging the people of the town with a want of hospitality toward the soldiers, are basely false. In those days of suffering I gathered bread from house to house, and the last loaf and half loaf was always cheerfully given."

"During the battle of the first day, when shells were shrieking and bursting around the hospitals, even the women were found in the midst of the wounded men as they were carried in from the field; and from that time on all through the terrible days, and afterwards down to the close, in every hospital, at all times, with a devotion that never flagged, or counted any sacrifice too great, our noble women were found, like angels of mercy, binding up wounds and administering food. Ask the many hundreds of wounded men, who filled the warehouses, halls, churches, and so many of the private dwellings, what they think of the hospitality of the people of Gettysburg."

"The Rebels, though disposed to help themselves, were generally civil, and even respectful toward the citizens."

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