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C. C. Hayes Transcript

Hospital near Gettysburg Pa. July 8, 1863

Hon. A. Coburn
Dear Sir,

I arrived here in the vicinity of Gettysburg soon after the battle which has been a very severe one indeed. Our Maine troops have suffered very much, many of our heroic men lay buried beneath the soil on the battle ground which drank their blood. Our men have done most gallantly, suffering intensely, and indeed in some respects are ranked the “heroes” of the day.

On the first day the 16th Regiment suffered very much, reducing the number to a Company. A great many men were taken prisoner.

The loss of the 19th is over two hundred, 32 killed, & 4th also very heavy, 17th and 20th each over a hundred & fifty. As all the regiments have moved it is impossible to get a correct list of the wounded men who were slightly wounded, left on the battlefield, and jogged on foot to Westminster some twenty eight miles, there took the cars for Baltimore. Others are being continually moved, upwards of 150 are being sent off every day.

The army moving and expecting to have another engagement demands many more surgeons and nurses to go along than would have been otherwise if an engagement was not momentarily expected. None but convalescents were permitted to remain as attendants and not half enough of them. I shall spend some time here in caring for our Maine men. I have this day dressed nearly a hundred wounds – all Maine men, some who have not had their bandages changed since they were firs added some 4 or 5 days since. I have been very much engaged laboring from early morn until late at night. 

All of the Corps hospitals are in the vicinity. I am with the 1st Division 3rd Corps.  We have three regiments here represented. The 19th Regiment which is in the 2nd Corps is suffering much. A great many deaths have occurred from wounds. I learn that it is not the design to keep these hospitals as Corps hospitals, but a general hospital will be established near the city.  Meantime a great many of the wounded will be removed to Baltimore and vicinity.  I shall see that our wounded are among the number who are removed that they may be better cared for.  In a few days I shall leave for Frederick or vicinity to render such assistance to the wounded as may be required. Our men bear the suffering from their wounds with heroic fortitude.

As I have the opportunity of sending this note with one who is going up, and as he is waiting, it will preclude me from writing at any further length at this time.

Respectfully yours,
C.C. Hayes