Saturday July 4 continued-We staged the injured in the shade of a great tree, just out of the French line of fire. It wasn't long before the word was passed along that British General Prideaux had stepped in front of a mortar and been killed. This broke the morale of the fighting men and the call was sent out to retreat. We gathered what men we could and returned to the hospital to work on the wounded.

The grounds about the hospital were littered with the injured. One young grenadier by the name of John (who my Lucy was quite taken with) with a wound to the eye, several musket ball wounds to arms and legs, and one poor fellow who has had several of the fingers of his right hand shot off.

That's the one that got you... make note of young Hamilton at the ready there with the bleeding bowl.

It was now that young Hamilton really came into his own, anticipating my needs during surgery. He stood silent and moved quickly. At one point he would have the instruments I required before I even had the opportunity to ask for them. I do believe he is turning into a top notch surgeon's mate! He stood with the bleeding bowl at the ready to catch the musket balls and bits of wood that I extracted from the wounds of the men.

One young man succumbed to his wounds whilst he was being operated upon by Dr. Clift. I left Clift in charge while two of the men aided in taking the young man's body back to his company's camp on the stretcher. I had meant to have words with his commanding officer, but he was no where to be found. We left his body there to be taken care of by his company, and I returned to the hospital.

Young John, the grenadier, had a prodigious piece of wood that had struck him just beside his right eye. I was able to implore him to hold still enough to allow me to carefully remove it. Once it was out, he insisted I allow him to keep it. After careful examination of the eye, I believe that his sight will eventually return to normal, he was very fortunate.

The fellow with the lost fingers sat at the edge of the cart as I wrestled his right arm into a position where I could examine it. I began to unwrap the bandage he had put on it, releasing the pressure, and it began to bleed profusely. The sight of his own blood was too much for him and he began to fall from the back of the cart. I had to get Melton's attention to secure him in an upright position so I could finish.

Afterward at camp, I tended my blistered feet and soaked them for a time in one of the buckets of rinse water that the laundresses had used earlier in the day.

Later than afternoon, on the field that had been used for the parade, a group of the men got together to play a game of cricket. I was joined by several of the men from Fort Loudoun, Pvt. Hamilton, Pvt. Kirby, and drummers Hamilton and Carlson. We stripped to our waistcoats and took the field. The bats we used were much smaller than those of which I have grown accustomed at Loudoun. The fellow who had started the game carried with him a bound copy of the 1744 rules. I feel like we did old Fort Loudoun right proud!

For supper, Mr. Ross had prepared corned beef and cabbage which I ate like a starving man, fingers in the bowl tearing apart the beef. Afterward, I was too tired to take part in any of the revelry and Lucy and I retired early.


Mrs Woffington said...

Thank your Doctor, this was a most diverting read.

Bridgett McGee said...

I am lamenting that I was not available to be of assistance to you.
Perhaps another year. I have good reason to believe that our eldest daughters would become fast friends one day.
I am most green that I was not able to attende this grand encampment.
My deepest gratitude for allowing me a wonderful glimpse of what I missed.