With the sick and dying in Richmond

Throughout the Peninsula Campaign and during their cold, wet and hungry evacuation, the 13th kept contributing its share of the army’s sick and dying to the new Richmond hospitals.

Official correspondence on April 26 showed the regiment reduced to 640 men, almost half of its original 1,100 mustered the year before, according to Jess N. McLean. By May 1, a few days before the evacuation of the Peninsula, he found seventy-four of them listed as sick.

Minutemen of Attala Private Mike Hubbert’s brother Mat, for one, died at Chimborazo Hospital No. 4, Richmond, on May 6 of “hepatitis pneumonia.”

Others, like Winston Guards Private William H. Smyth suffered from diarrhea, which also could be fatal.

Smyth—as recorded by McLean—wrote his wife and children from Richmond’s Camp Winder hospital on Friday, May 9:

“When our army was ordered to fall back from its position on the peninsular the sick were all sent back to Richmond. Col. Barksdale wanted me to leave the regiment for two or three days before I did, but I hated, so much, to leave and go to the hospital, but [assistant surgeon] Dr. Anderson came to my shelter and told me I must go from camps as I was not able to march, so I was brought to this place.

“I am now at Camp Winder where there are about 150 houses capable of holding each sixty when filled up with men and they are filled up with men. The most of whom are able to be creeping about….I have plenty to eat, and by buying, I can get almost anything I want but at a very high price. We can get coffee at 80 cents per pound. A friend gave me enough this morning to make a tin cup full which [w]as quite a treat for me….”

From May 9 through May 14, at least forty-one more men from the 13th Mississippi Infantry Regiment were sent to the Richmond hospitals, where some would recover and some would be buried.

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Battles: Peninsula Campaign, Jess N. McLean, Mike M. Hubbert Diary, The Minute Men of Attala, The Winston Guards and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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