Item description: Letter, dated 24 August 1863, from Benjamin Franklin Little to his wife, Mary Jane Reid Little. He describes his recovery from an amputation in a Union hospital in Gettysburg.
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General Hospital, Gettysburg, Pa. Aug. 24/63.
My Dear Wife: I write the 6th letter. I shall soon begin to look for one from you now you know how to direct it. June 15th is the date of my last news from home. It is indeed a trial, but I hope for the best & am able to be cheerful. May you be so also. Sometimes for a day or two my stump arm pains me a good deal. I think it arises form the nerves chiefly. For the past few days I have been very comfortable, & if the ligatures were out of my arm, I think it would soon be well. My general health is good, & I pass the time much better than I would have supposed possible. Thoughts of the dear ones at home give me the most pain, but even here I am comforted by committing all to our Heavenly Father. Tell Rufus I saw him very plainly last night, asleep in mama’s arms.Would it were “not all a dream.” But I feel no disposition to [murmurs]. I have been favored. I am treated kindly – have made some good personal friends – can now enjoy reading to a considerable extent, etc. etc. Be hopeful at home. Did Wiley get home. Howdy to him & Henry & all the rest of the darkies. May the “Lord watch between thee & me while we are absent one another.” Give my love to Ma & tell her not to take a dark view of my case. Love to John & family. All write to me. I can not write but one letter a week (as I have not many Confederate stamps) & that one must be for you. Kiss the little darlings, & remem-ber me kindly to my friends. Direct to “Capt. B. F. Little, care of Dr. L. M. Oakley, Surgeon at General Hospital, near Gettysburg, Pa. ” Write only one page, enclose in open envelope with Federal stamp (I send one) on one corner & Confederate stamp on the other. If you know of no better way (but make full inquiry) enclose this in sealed envelope to Commissioner Robert Ould, Richmond, Va., with a request to forward by “Flag of Truce.”
Goodbye my dear one. You are my best earthly gift.
Your own true and devoted husband, B. F. Little