As any mother would, I miss my dear son, James. His socio-centric wife practically forced him into fighting in the war. We know that many men have been lost, not only to the selfish South’s wrath, but to the rampant diseases. Yet, she insisted James fight, and now he is gone.
My dear James was lost to Dysentery, a horrible disease of the intestines. In his last days, James wrote to me. He said the doctors could not find a cause or a cure for this sickness. He told me that a great number of men on both sides of the war have suffered from Dysentery.
There are several other mothers in my town who have lost their sons to Dysentery and other ailments. My friend Martha had a son, John, who died of Pneumonia. Poor Martha was certain that John would live, as she knew 5 other men who had survived from this sickness, but he did not. A good friend of mine, Jane, almost lost her husband to Malaria. But, thank the Lord, he was saved with the chemical quinine. If only there was a cure for my dear James.
I remember in one of his letters, James mentioned that there were field nurses who tended to wounded soldiers. As a grieving mother, I found this information very inspiring. Recently, I have put into thought the idea of becoming a field nurse, as to honor my dear James’ efforts. I asked some of the ladies in my Union sewing group what they knew about field nurses. One particularly talkative woman, Nancy, claimed to have a daughter who works as a field nurse. The soldiers suffer from burns, amputations, and I disease. She said that the job is an emotional and physical strain, but I feel that my love for my dear James will guide me.