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LT: August 14, 1864 Theodore Lyman

Editor’s Note: Theodore Lyman was General George G. Meade’s aide-de-camp from the fall of 1863 through Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  An intelligent and outspoken individual, Lyman’s letters to his wife provide great insight into the happenings at Meade’s headquarters.  These letters, taken from the now public domain book Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865; Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox and written by Lyman to his wife, appear here at the Siege of Petersburg Online exactly 150 years to the day after they are written.  Since this site is concerned solely with the Siege of Petersburg, the letters start on June 12, 1864 and end on April 3, 1865.  See the bottom of this and every other letter for a list of all the letters which have appeared to date.

August 14, 1864

. . . General Parke got back from his sick leave and took command of the 9th Corps. He is a very pleasant-looking man and liked apparently by everyone. He has been obliged twice to return to the North by reason of malarial attacks, which is a pity, as he acted usually as adviser to General Burnside and had an excellent effect on him. He cured himself twice of malarial fever by accidentally taking an overdose of medicine. The last time, he had been told to take one pill, containing something very strong; but made a mistake and took four. After which he was somewhat surprised to find his face making a great many involuntary grimaces, and his body feeling uncommonly uncomfortable. However, next day he was all well, and the doctor told him it was a good dose to take, provided it did not unfortunately happen to kill him.


Captain Fay took out the cits to-day, in an ambulance, and showed them the lines. After which the youth Falls was seized with a noble ambition to ride on horseback in company of Captain Guzman. Being provided with a hard trotter, he came near tumbling off, at the first start, and was obliged to change horses and perform the rest of the journey at a mild pace.1




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