Search America's historic newspapers pages from - or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more
title: 'The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, December 03, 1881, Image 1',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC
All ways to connect
Inspector General |
External Link Disclaimer |
"TO CARE FOR HIM WHO HAS BORNE THE BATTLE, AND F6R HIS WIDOW AND ORPHANS."
WASHINGTON, D. C, SATURDAY, DECEMBEB 3, 1881.
NEW SERIES VOL-1., N-16.
SKETCHES OF HOSPITAL LIFE
HOW OUR BOYS WERE CARED FOR.
Don't lie a Fool, John ! About Homesickness Don't
Cut Off My Mustache Yisitini? Angels and
For The National TitinuN'E.-
Mingled with the sufferings and sorrows which
are necessary incidents of hospital life we find
now and then gleams of humor and hits of ro
mance which, breaking through the gloom that
hangs like a dark cloud above the cots of the sick
and wounded men, help them to the better bear
the burden of their woes.
And such occurrences, slight though they may
be in the estimation of others who have no per
sonal knowledge of what hospital life really is,
and, more especially, of what it was during the
war, possess an unusual interest to all who, from
sad experience, understand what it is to be strand
ed like a wreck upon the fearful reefs where the
battle-tide has left them. Man knows, and so
does woman, that the sick-bed is no downy couch
even when surrounded by those who are nearest
and dearest to the one lying thereon; but only a
soldier can fully comprehend how very hard it
is. Only a soldier, sorely stricken by disease or
wounds and deprived of the ministrations of lov
ing hands, can realize how very, very difficult it
is to suffer and be strong.
But yet thousands did it during the war of the
rebellion suffered every agony short of the dy
ing pang and murmured not. Some were
cheered by unexjjected happenings in their
dreary lives, and others, by beholding the dark
clouds lifting above the cot of a comrade reveal
ing to him and them
THE SILVER LIXIXG UNDERNEATH.
"We remember one poor fellow who was brought
to "Washington after the first Fredericksburg. He
was minus an arm and shortly after he entered
the hospital one of his legs, which had been shat
tered by a piece of shell, was amputated. For a
day or two he succeeded in maintaining some de
gree of cheerfulness ; but when four, five, and six
days, one after the other wearily passed, without
his receiving a response to a letter he had written
AcssfetiBtseJ.?, , a ., ;.
UnjAgJMgato inamc a u:- sjia ioc ,
scarcely a groan escaped him when his wounds
were dressed, or, for that matter, at any other
time ; he simply drifted on and on in an appar
ent apathy of mind and body until he had reached
a point from whence to dissolution was but a
step a question of time only. One morning,
about the eleventh or twelfth after his arrival in
"Washington, and when his attendants had relin
quished nearly if not quite all hopes of his recov
ery, a lady, the first caller he had had, visited him.
There was nothing remarkable in her appear
ance. She was merely a young, rosy-cheeked,
fair-featured country girl; but yet she had a
frank, honest expression in her eyes, a musical,
hearty ring in her voice, betokening the true
womanly heart beating underneath the plain
calico frock. The wounded man recognized her
the moment she reached his bedside. " Molly ! "
he exclaimed, in a feeble voice. " Yes, John," she
replied; "it's me: I've come to take you home
with me." "Haven't the doctors told you?" he
queried. "Yes, they've told me that you can't
live, John, but I don't believe it. You've got to
live for me, John." She bent over and kissed
him tenderly. Then he spoke: "But, Molly,
suppose I do get up again : you don't want such
an old cripple as I'll be "
"DOXT BE A FOOL, JOHN,"
she interrupted. " If I hadn't have wanted you
I should have stayed at home." DonH le a fool !
Those four short words settled him. The other
sufferers in the ward could but smile at her
blunt address, they had many of them been
interested listeners of the brief colloquy, and
not a man of them but fell in love with her,
although some of them had wives and sweet
hearts of their own at home, and before the day
was over she was enthroned in every heart as a
good angel come for John. She got him, too,
after a long struggle. Day by day she drew him
slowly back to health ; hour after hour she sat
beside him and watched his returning strength,
not forgetting, however, to comfort with womanly
tenderness the hearts of others when opportunity
In about two months John was convalescent,
and shortly afterwards left the hospital; but
before he did so Molly became his wife. Every
one of the boys who witnessed the wedding voted
that the bride had well earned her husband.
It turned out subsequently that John's letter
had contained, in addition to other matters, his
relinquishment of her hand, promised him before
he enlisted ; and he, not having heard from her
; . aptly, supposed all was over between them;
it was not so, as the sequel proved. Inune-
ely upon her receiving his communication
ich through some means had been delayed)
started, never stopping to write, with the
ution, as she quaintly put it, of "holding
' , to his bargain." When this story was told
m old gray-headed German veteran of the
-Fall) (N. Y.) regiment, and whose cot had
. i) next to John's, observed, "Dot's peeshnish;
"i LOFES DOT GAL 3I1NESELF."
e remember another incident which struck
ur .:; the time as being exceedingly ludicrous.
A tall, stalwart fellow was brought into hos
pital after the secondbattle of Bull Run,his wound
having been caused by a minie ball entering just
below the left ear and passing forward, finding
an exit a little below the right nostril. His jaw
was badly fractured in front while several teeth
had been forcibly extracted by the leaden mes
senger. He had a magnificent mustache, long,
heavy, silken and black as a coal. It was with
the utmost difficulty that he could make him
self understood, owing to the nature of his injury,
and yet, when the surgeon came to attend to his
case, he begged him "for God's sake, doctor, don't
cut off my mustache. I've been five years grow
ing it." Not a word about his broken jaw not
a groan of pain he only thought of the luxuri
ant growth of hair adorning his upper lip. He
failed to save it, however. For a week or two he
remained under our observation, and during that
time prospered finely, but never ceased to lament
the loss of his mustache. "What subsequently
became of him we cannot say ; but if he is liv
ing it is to be hoped that the semblance of his
old love rests, lovingly beneath his nose to com
fort him and conceal the ugly scar that must
mark the track of a rebel bullet.
As a general thing, however, despite the occa
sional gleams of sunny light breaking through
the clouds, hospital life was enshrouded in gloom.
In many instances, to the keenest physical pain
was added the mental suffering of homesickness.
0, how some of our poor boj's longed for
ONE SLIGHT TOUCH OF HOME!
A kiss, the pressure of a hand, the tones of a
mothers voice, the presence of a father or a sister
even, would have helped many up from couches
whereon, worn out with waiting and watching
for the absent, they eventually died because the
loved ones came not.
It is true that there were sweet ministering
spirits who went from cot to cot, comforting the
hearts, soothing with the cooling pressure of their
hands the fevered brows of the invalids, but yet,
they were only strangers after all. The love
which binds all human hearts to home was want
ing. Those daily visitors, nevertheless, were
powerful helps to the surgeon's art in many
Their coming was looked forward to with
e. . 'T, the few moments p-y-nt. "by ilie
3, ifiKtniaijned soldi vr were mo-
l -un- siring to the weary one who had
t:- ir hy " 7,
v PATIENT, SO TENDER
and kind in all their ways!
The world at least our world never knew
how much of goodness it contained until the war
brought it to the surface; until the noble
women of the land were given an opportunity to
show their true selves by voluntarily taking upon
their hearts the burdens of other people's sufier
ings and sorrows.
The surgeons, too, as a rule, were men of warm
hearts and wonderful sympathies. Unremitting
in their attentions, to their medical and surgical
skill they added words of cheer and comfort,
which, in many instances, accomplished more
' than could have been ever hoped for from the
healing art alone.
One of those good Samaritans was Dr. William
R. DeWitt, formerly of Harrisburg, Pa. In 1SG2
and the early part of 1SG3, he was surgeon in
charge of "Ward C, College Hospital, Georgetown.
He had under his care over one hundred soldiers,
nine-tenths, at least, of whom had been wounded
during the latter part of August in some one of
the battles under Pope, and among the number
we doubt if a single man could be found who
failed to receive some personal evidence of his
kindness and nobleness of heart.
If the hospital stores failed to supply delicacies
which the palates of his patients craved, his purse
was opened and from it the longings were at once
satisfied. Scarcely a day passed, during which
some one or more of those who looked to him for
healing and strength were not made the recipient
of his bountjr, which he freely distributed
wherever needed. His good deeds, when it was
possible, were done secretly, and not because of
any return expected. To use his own words,
"THESE MEN HAVE SUFFERED,
are suffering for the whole country, for every
man, woman, and child in it; and I could not
honestly do less would that I could do more
to ease their pain and make them comfortable."
Dr. DeWitt seemed to be personally and deeply
interested in the welfare of every one of his
patients. Night after night, while we were lying
in a critical state from threatening hemorrhage,
he sat by the side of our cot, tender, patient, and
faithful as a mother watching over her child;
and yet, when it became necessary, in dressing
our wounds, to use the knife, there was no
shrinking, no uncertainty; but with a hand
steady and strong he sent the keen blade home
to the very seat of the difficulty as coolly as if he
were simply puncturing an apple, instead of lit
erally cuttinc a man's throat, as in our case was
(To be continued.)
An aged Polish tramp named Lowacki, who
applied for lodgings in a Baltimore station-house
recently, was a soldier under Napoleon in the
Moscow campaign, in 1812, and was a captain at
Austerlitz and Leipzig. He served under Kos
suth in the Hungarian struggle and was banished,
and afterward served during the late rebellion
under General Sigel.
STILL IN JEOPABDY.
CONTINUATION OF THE GREAT TRIAL.
Senator Logan on the Stand Onitcau's Shtfcr Testifies.
Other Witnesses for the Defense Te Assas
sin's Checkered Career,ff
Wednesday, at the close of Mr. Scope's opening
to the jury District Attorney CorkJjJl askpA the
Court to instruct the witnesses for ISdptfendant
to leave the court-room, as was the custom in such
cases as this. ,
Mr. Scoville asked that exceptions be made in
the case of Mrs. Scoville and Mr. John Guiteau.
It was agreed that Mrs. Scoville ilhould be per
mitted to remain, but her brother had to retire.
The testimony for the defendant was then com
menced. The first; witness called to the stand was Rev.
H. M. Burton, of Sycamore, Ills., a Congregation
alist clergyman. Witness formerly resided in
Kalamazoo, Mich., a number of years ago; saw
Guiteau there in the spring of 1877; the prisoner
lectured there in the lecture-room of the Baptist
Church, on the second coming of Christ; the pris
oner's delivery was peculiar, and his discourses
were not made in a very connected manner; con
versed with him briefly after the lecture; the
audience was very small.
Mr. Scoville asked the witness if he did not
consider the prisoner insane at that time.
" I thought," was the answer, "that he was a
man not to be trusted."
Guiteau "You thought I was cracked, and
differed with my views on the second coming of
H. H. Davis, of Erie, Pa. Formerly lived in
Ann Arbor, Mich. ; himself and mother boarded
at the house of Mrs. Julia Maynard, the prison
er's aiint; that lady and her daughter Abbey
On cross-examination he said that he had not
seen either for twenty-five years.
Mr. Thompson Wilcoxsor c! Stephen
son county, 111.; knew Lu; . H' .w;au; our
acquaintance began in 184C : ' : I m pecu
liar in his expressions conce ; :i; he al
ways said he never expected i ' ' jnipared
j wijj.t!e best oijirii-s$ ,y. , , -..isi-y; he
was outspoken in his religic -" tor "" ns ; was
rather equivocating as to r w' ' . ' relapsed
from a Presbyterian to a Methodist, and then
showed an inclination to the Oneida belief, but
of that the Avitness would not say positively ;
Mr. Guiteau was a bank cashier at one time, and
at one time in the dry goods business; also held
several local offices, including the clerkship of
the court ; had seen the defendant on the streets
of Freeport, 111., but did not know him.
DR. JOHN A. RICE, OF 3'ERTOX, WIS.,
a practicing physician, testified that he knew the
prisoner ; saw him in Merton, in 1876 ; attention
was called to him by the sister of the prisoner,
Mrs. Scoville, for the purpose of inquiring into
his mental condition ; it was some time in the
summer; had been into that practice quite fre
quently previously; result of his inquiring into
Guiteau's case Avas, that he was insane ; based his
opinion on the fact of hereditary influence and
the exaltation of his emotional nature, which
was followed by explosive feelings of a centric
and not excentric character; also an abnormal
egotism, his religious instructions and generally
disturbed mind; there was more or less moral
imbecility and emotions of pride and vanity;
informed his friends that he believed Guiteau
dangerous and incurable, and ought to be secluded ;
was arranging to consult with a brother physician
about the case, when Guiteau left that section of
the country, having heard of his intentions, and
the witness did not see him again. The witness
related instances of Guiteau's freaks, onebeingan
occasion at a party, where he rose up suddenly
and incoherently appealed to those around him
to come to the Lord ; there were no other pecu
liarities except that when Guiteau disappeared
he borrowed some clothing and forgot to pay
The witness attended Guiteau's father in his
final illness; could not say that he was insane,
but noticed a great obliquity of thought; he was
troubled with disease of the liver, but it was not
of that character to actually cause aberration of
the mind, though it might have hadthattendency ;
he was exceedingly
PETULANT AND FAULT-FINDING.
At the time witness examined Guiteau he was
stopping at the summer residence of Mrs. Scoville
near Merton; was the family physician for Mr.
Scoville ; Luther W. Guiteau, theprisoner's father,
left Mrs. Scoville's and died at Freeport; had
observed eccentricities of thought in Luther
Scoville's case, but did not regard them as indi
cations of insanity.
Frank L. Union, of Boston, testified: Met
Guiteau in Boston, in September, 1879 ; he wanted
to hire a hall to deliver a lecture on " Why two
thirds of the race are going down to perdition;"
he preferred to hire a hall to seeking a church,
as his lecture touched a religion of which there
was no other sect in the city ; Guiteau had no
money, but agreed to give a free lecture, take up
a collection and give witness the first $15 taken
in; as this was the first lecture of the kind
witness had ever seen from " a direct disciple of
Christ," he consented to allow Guiteau the use of
the hall; Guiteau got out posters, which said,
"Don't Fail to Hear the Hon. Charles J. Guiteau,
the Little Giant of the West. He will show why
Two-thirds of the Race are Going Down to Per
dition." Guiteau (interrupting the witness) "A very
The witness continued : Guiteau acted strange
and queerly ; he said that he intended to chal
lenge Ingersoll, but that he thought that the lat
ter was afraid to meet him ; about fifty people
attended the lecture that night ; the lecture was
a rambling, disconnected affair, and after strug
gling on for a time, Guiteau seized his manu
script, left the stage, and started to run for the
door as if disgusted.
Guiteau " I was ; disgusted with the audience."
Continuing, the witness said that Mr. Stever,
editor of the Investigator, stopped Guiteau as he
ran through the hall and questioned him, but
Guiteau would not remain, declaring that he did
not care to hear God blasphemed ; the audience
that night was composed mostly of a society of
infidels, who owned the hall, which had been
THE MEMORY OF THOMAS PAINE;
the Investigator was their organ ; Guiteau applied
again to secure the hall, but it was refused him,
witness not caring to hear any more crazy lec
tures ; saw Guiteau again in the following April ;
he told witness that he had just received a new
work from the publishers and wanted witness to
put it through, but witness declined to have any
thing to do with it; Guiteau had previously left
his "Truth" with witness; he told witness in all
seriousness that he represented
THE FIRM OF JESUS CHRIST & CO.,
j and that witness was doomed to go to hell ; he
could show witness how to get to Heaven ; he
usually appeared excited.
On cross-examination witness said he was an
actor ; but when pressed closely, he was forced to
admit, to the amusement of the spectators, that
he had not displayed his histrionic abilities reg
ularly for about five years; he played on the
stage last on the 4th day of May last passed at a
Re-direct Guiteau tried to impress them with
one idea, which they disbelieved, and that was
they were all going to hell; he wrote to Mr. Sco
ville in response to a publication that if any one
knew of Guiteau and his peculiarities that he
would like to hear from them ; he knew the man
and believed him insane.
Mrs. May A. Lockwood, 810 Twelfth street
northwest, testified that Guiteau applied to her
for board in March last; took his meals a month
and left suddenly; of her own knowledge she
could not give his reasons for leaving the house,
but supposed he could not pay his board; he had
been recommended to the house by Gen. Logan.
Guiteau here objected to the testimony as ir
relevant. He admitted that he did not pay his
bpard, but paid all that he could, 5 on the ac
count of $25. "The lady," he said, "was too
kind-hearted to annoy me with her board bill.
It was a first-class house and
"A GOOD PLACE TO BOARD."
Guiteau's actions at the table, said the witness,
were abrupt, and caused complaint.
Guiteau "It was because I expressed a too
Guiteau's counsel endeavored to quiet him, but
he continually interrupted the witness.
The latter, resuming, said she tried to collect
Guiteau's bill through her head-waiter, and notes
passed between them on the subject; her per
sonal attention was attracted to Guiteau's table
manners by his constantly staring at her ; this
became so annoying, in fact, that she was forced
to change her seat.
Guiteau "My eyes were too sharp, perhaps."
George W. Olds, of Michigan, testified that in
1876 he was at Mr. Scoville's farm and that Gui
teau for some fancied offense wanted to kill his
sister, Mrs. Scoville, with an axe, and she wanted
witness to put him off the place; defendant
seemed greatly excited; but he said Mrs. Sco
ville accused him of being crazy, but that she
was crazy and not he ; and that if she was put
in an insane asylum all would go well on the
The witness was going on to tell of Guiteau's
mistakes in farm work, when the prisoner, who
had become restless, spoke, saying : " We have
had enough of this kind of talk. That's all there
is about it. The fact is I spent several months
during the fall of '75 in trying to get hold of the
Chicago Inter-Ocean, and failing in that was out
of business and out of money. Mr. Scoville had
a very fine country seat in Wisconsin. I went
out there in the summer of '76, and not having
any money I did try to do some farming to pay
for my board. I went back to Chicago and opened
a law office and did well. I always did well
when I stuck to the law. I won't have any more
of this kind of talk."
Mr. Scoville pursuing his questions, Guiteau,
turning to the prosecuting officers, said : "I hope
you gentlemen will insist in having order in this
matter. It has no bearing on this case at all, and
I won't have it."
The witness proceeded to describe a scene in a
boat where Guiteau became very much excited,
apparently with little cause.
The prisoner here became excited again and
objected to this sort of testimony and said it
Continued on Fifth $age.
SOME EVENTS TRANSPIRING ABROAD.
Xcit Arctic Expedition Attempt to Blow Up the Czar.
A Russian Crank Unhappy Ireland The
Frenchmen and American Pork.
The Emperor of Germany is improving in
The French government have received intima
tion that England and Spain will not view with
indifference the invasion of Morocco by French
It is believed that a vessel will be sent by Eng
land to the Arctic regions for the relief of Mr.
Outrages of all kinds continue in Ireland.
Several persons who have paid their rents have
been fired at.
A number of trials of Nihilists, peasants, and
princes, are shortly to take place in St. Peters
burg. Mr. Wallace, the American Minister to Turkey
has presented to the Sultan a message from Presi
dent Arthur, thanking him for his expression of
condolence for President Garfield's death and for
his congratulations on his own accession to the
The Greek Post-Office in Constantinople was
forcibly closed recently. The Greeks quitted
without resistance, declaring that they yielded
The Russian General Ignatieffhas tendered his
resignation to the Emperor.
It turns out that the person who has been de
nouncing Nihilists to the Russian government is
now in New York.
During the week terrific gales have visited the
coast of Great Britain, doing great damage both
at sea and on land.
Another Nihilist attempt against the Czar has
been frustrated. It was proposed to fill a balloon
with explosives and let it down over the palace
at Gatschina. While the palace was burning
down the Czar was to have been carried off. Sev
eral arrests have been made.
The death of Wilhelin Busch, Surgeon-General
of the Prussian army, 1866-70, is announced.
France will allow the importation of American
pork. Roumania has renewed the prohibition
for one year.
It is said to be the intention of the British
government to release all the imprisoned mem
bers of the House of Commons before the open
ing of the session of Parliament.
The Sultan of Turkey has commanded the Bey
of Tunis to pay an indemnity to all persons who
suffered from the bombardment of Sfax by the
In Russia, a youth, under the pretence of State
business, obtained an audience at the Ministry of
the Interior with General Tchervine, who was
presiding over a commission for mitigating sen
tences of exiles. As soon as he was admitted he
fired a revolver at the General, but the ball passed
harmlessly between his side and arm. The Gen
eral secured and disarmed the youth, who said
he was merely the instrument of another person.
Russia is reported as negotiating with Turkey
for the acquisition of Turkish Armenia.
The British Parliament will meet February 7.
A BLANK CARTRIDGE.
George Q. Cannon, Mormon Delegate in Con
gress, in a recent interview, said : " Notwithstand
ing the decision of Judge Hunter, who dismissed
the complaint preferred against me, on the nat
uralization question, which really defeats Camp
bell, the attorneys of Campbell are befogging the
whole case with falsehoods and misrepresenta
tions. Governor Murray has no right to decide
upon the eligibility of a candidate for Congress,
or to give a certificate to a minority candidate.
The question now goes to the House of Represen
tatives for decision. The simple issue is whether
to give me the seat on the majority of votes. I
have no 'doubt I will get it. To give the seat to
Campbell would overturn every American prece
dent. CRUSHED BY ICEBERGS.
The fate of the Jeannette is by this time, in all
moral certainty, sealed, and she is probably gone
the way of the Sir John Franklin expedition.
The greatest efforts have been made to find some
trace of her whereabouts, but in vain. All
accounts go to prove that last winter was the most
terrible the Arctic regions ever saw within the
memory of the oldest navigator. The ice barriers
never penetrated so far south, and Commander
Wadleigh, in the Alliance, was unable to push
further north than 79 of latitude, whereas Hall,
in the Polaris, some years ago, went as high as
83. The Jeannette had an abundant supply of
provisions, and lacked for nothing in her general
equipments, but what avail are any human
precautions in the event of being hemmed in and
crushed by icebergs?
A crank, giving his name as Henry Seward
Hubbard, was taken from the Ebbitt House to
the Fifth Precinct Station the other evening,
where he created considerable amusement by de
claring himself to be the spirit of the late Presi
dent Garfield. He wa&ssat to the Insane Asylum.