from The Webster Times, July 12, 1862 (Volume IV # 18), 


 Summer, which has so long delayed its coming is at length upon us in all its fury.  The past week has been a succession of sultry days, and the fierce rays of the sun have seemed almost beyond endurance.  The shelter of shade trees has hardly seemed pleasant, so thoroughly heated has the atmosphere become under the influence of almost uninterrupted sunshine.  For a week the thermometer has indicated from 85 to 95 degrees in the shadiest places.

 The warm weather at home reminds us of what our soldiers are enduring, in a warmer climate, and in the performance of duties which require so much out door exposure.  The extreme heat must be a fruitful source of sickness in the army, particularly among those regiments which are from states in a higher latitude than our own, and who have never known by experience anything of the prostrating heat  of a southern summer.

 But those who have hardy constitutions, and who are as judicious even as strict military discipline will allow, will suffer comparatively little.  It is the wounded and the sick who most attract our sympathy.  Tossing in pain upon a couch made comfortable by the ready hands of friends, where cool breezes may fan the cheek, is bad enough; but the wounded in our army find few of these comforts and attentions in the crowded hospitals. 

 The suffering is increased, and the number of deaths from wounds doubtless greatly enhanced, by the severe heat of the season; indeed the hospital reports indicate that in an unusual proportion of the severely wounded the fatal gangrene makes its appearance, which condition is induced mainly by the hot weather and a want of timely attention.  One cannot read the touching and painful incidents of the battle field, without feeling his heart stirred in pity for the unfortunate victims of this unrighteous war, who are sacrificing their lives in their countries service.

 The groans and moans of anguish from those who lie mangled and bleeding, the incoherent ravings of the dying, and the sad farewell words of those who in their last moments think only of absent friends and home, the recital of all these form a sad and sickening feature of the bloody strife into which our country has been plunged.  God grant that the remaining history of the rebellion will be short.


15th Massachusetts VI