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Sarah Sampson Transcript

Washington Sabbath Evening November15th 1863

Dear General:

On my return from Williamsport Pa. Last evening, where from a sense of obligation to the lady with whom I board, I had been to bring her sick daughter, I found the case of flannel clothing forwarded by you had arrived.

I will have it opened in the morning and will send you the names of the recipients of each article when they are all given out; and I will endeavor to be very judicious in the distribution of them.

I have this afternoon attended the funeral at Armory Square Hospital of six of our soldiers from the Sixth Regiment of our State. Notice had been given in the papers and sent to the various hospitals, that those who desired might be present at the ceremony.

The bodies were arranged in front of the “dead house” and the people gathered around in the mud, when after a flat stump speech by the Chaplain (Rev. Mr. Jackson of Gorham) in which no soldiers but our own were addressed, and a better one from Col. Dunnell of Portland and then a political prayer from the same Chaplain without music, and military escort only as far as the Post Office, the forms of our noble brothers were borne to the cemetery of the Soldiers Home, where they were consigned to their Mother Earth without the military honor they would have received had they been buried on the Field. “Why this was so” the master of ceremonies – Rev. Mr. Jackson – can explain to his own satisfaction perhaps, as he has “Why the money he raised more than a year ago for the erection of a chapel was otherwise appropriated.” Those of us who stood in the mud with wet feet this afternoon felt it had been well, had the chapel been built first and the parsonage afterward -- but we see by the Maine papers the chapel is to be built; though when and where the ground is to be broken for the corner post we are yet to be informed.

You will think, as in this case, I am not in a genial mood tonight, not yet in the state the occasion of the afternoon services should find me. Had they been conducted by a “humbug” from any but my State, I might not have been so disturbed, but when at the grave he asked me if I did not think this a “perfect success” and an honor to our State?” I was – well – disgusted at least – as shamed that we had such a representative of our clergy as he.

But pardon my state of mind and I will spare you any further demonstration.

Yr’s very respectfully

Mrs. Chas. A. L. Sampson
Gen’l J.L. Hodsdon