Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Ken Perdue.
AN INTERESTING LETTER. The Vermont Watchman has published a letter from a South Carolina private, who subscribed his name as George S. Baker, which reflects credit upon the writer, rebel though he be, and contrasts strongly with the general drift of Southern feeling toward Northern men. The letter bears date “Near Petersburg, Va., May 22, 1864,” and will explain itself. It was addressed to Halsey R. Wing, Esq., Glen’s Falls, New York—a gentleman known to us. The South Carolina soldier wrote:
While walking over the battle-field near Drury’s Bluff, I discovered, among those wounded and prisoners, one whose bright and intelligent countenance attracted my attention. He was in great distress, having been shot through the abdomen, and it was evident that he was mortally wounded. That poor sufferer, sir, was your son. I gave him water, and endeavored all in my power to alleviate his distress. I conversed with him with regard to his preparation for death, and offered a prayer with him for God’s mercy and pardon. He mourned much that he must soon leave you and his wife and children, and desired me to send his last love to you all. I assisted in removing him myself to the nearest hospital, about 1-1/2 miles distant from the field, and there he was attended to; but little hope can be entertained for his recovery. He expressed surprise and gratification at the kind treatment which he received and thanked us all for our attention to him. He told me that a lieutenant of the federal army had taken his watch and some other articles to you. Trusting that the grace of God may sanctify to you this affliction, I am, &c.1
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- Lowell Daily Citizen and News, June 18, 1864 ↩