Raynors HCA 2017-02
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/23/2017
A rare group of three (3) war-date Union paroled prisoner letters written by Pvt. Albert Lounsbury, Co. H. 20th Conn. Vols. who was stationed in the hospital at Camp Parole, Annapolis while awaiting his exchange following being captured at the battle of Chancellorsville. There he had the honor of making the acquaintance of Mary Morris Husband (1826-1894) who was the granddaughter of American Revolutionary War patriot Robert Morris. Married to a wealthy Philadelphia attorney she became a well-respected nurse during the Civil War. Initially, as a member in that city's Lady's Aid Society, she tended to the needs of the sick and wounded in Philadelphia's hospitals. Following her son's illness, while he served as part of McClellan's army on the Peninsula, she dedicated herself to helping the injured soldiers at the front. She worked feverishly treating the Union casualties at Antietam. Dorthea Dix had enough confidence in her skills to place her in charge of a hospital in Baltimore. With dogged determination she tended to Gettysburg's overwhelming casualties which resulted in an illness that was brought on by exhaustion. For a time she was confined to her tent in order to recover. Shortly after her recovery she was sent by Dix to the hospital at Camp Parole, Annapolis in order to replace Miss Clara Davis who, like Husband, had also worked herself into exhaustion. It is from here that paroled Union POW Albert W. Lounsbury, of the 20th Conn. Vols., made her acquaintance. His vivid description of Mrs. Husband is the only first-person eyewitness account that we know of that was written by a soldier who was lucky enough to be under her care. Lounsbury's letter is, 4pp. 8vo., is written on "Sanitary Commission" stationery, "Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md., Nov. 26, 1863", he writes, in part: "…we have a meating at six o'clock…[where] the [Lincoln's Thanksgiving] Proclamation will be read. We have no preacher. Brother Johnson takes charge of the meeting and reads the proclamation…dinner came about too o'clock. We had goose and turkey…and also plum pudding it was very nice indeed for a solger and solger's cooking…brother Johnson said tell Mrs. L[ounsbury] that currant bread and cake…were so good that they slipped right down his throat…we have washed the floors this afternoon…the old doctor is much better natured of late. He came through the ward Thanksgiving Day and said to me, "are your men ready for there turkey and smiled and seemed to be very pleasant…then he passed on through the ward [and] found no fault…now this lady…is hear in Miss. [Clara] Davis' place. Her name is Mrs. [Mary Morris] Husband. She is a lawyer's wife and an excellent woman too. She comes through the ward most everyday with her good things. She came one day and brought some handkerchiefs and gave to the boys. [She] gave me a white one and gave me a nice fine comb and has been into today and gave me a pair of woolen drawers, nice ones. Mr. Finch speaks highly of her. She is a christian woman. She was to our meating last night and when they knelt, she knelt down. She is not so good looking as Miss. Davis but she is good. She goes where there has been a battle and takes care [of] the wounded. She is not connected with the Christian Commission. She payees her own expenses. She is wealthy, I believe, well educated and is very plain. She takes off her hoops and looks like a grandmother about as large as grandmother…". Also, included are several complete and partial letters by Lounsbury, while still at Camp Parole, containing much more camp news. These letters are all from early 1864. Overall VG to near fine.
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