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April 7, 2015

A letter from Ebenezer Brewer Mattocks, a surgeon, to his sister Nellie about a recent battle and his role in the hospital

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

A personal letter from Ebenezer Brewer Mattocks, a surgeon in the Minnesota Seventh Regiment, to his sister Nellie, written from near Mobile, Alabama, telling of the battle of the Spanish Fort and his role in the hospital.
A partial transcription of the letter:

Before Spanish Fort
April 7 1865

My Dear Sister,
[…] We are yet hammering away at Spanish Fort and I think will get it before long. Our lines in some places are very near to their works, almost within stones throw. Our men are protected by bomb proofs, or in other words private forts. Not many are being wounded, but yet every two or three hours some poor fellow is brought in with a frightful wound. Our lines expand some 8 or 10 miles. A slow cannonading is kept up at intervals all the time. […] Our men approach their works by what is called saps. These are ditches dug after dark, running up to the Rebel works. The ground is [intersected] in all directions by these saps, our men are comparatively safe, but the poor Johnies have to suffer. Their works are surrounded by ditches and sharp stakes set in the ground, and beside all this they have a row of torpedoes surrounding their works, which explode when stepped upon, a charge would be very dangerous to us. […] Our hospital is in fine running order. I have charge of the culinary department, and see that the men have plenty to eat, and that it is well prepared. I think I shall make a good housekeeper, don’t you think so? […]
Your aff brother
Brewer Mattocks


See the entire letter here: 1865-04-07_Brewer_combined

Citation: April 7, 1865. Mattocks, Ebenezer Brewer, 1841-1934.  Ebenezer Brewer Mattocks and Family Papers.  Correspondence and related papers , 1830-1911. Minnesota Historical Society, Box 1. [P1452]

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