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United States Army

Aunt Lizzie Atherton
A Vermont Girl who became a Civil War Nurse

To: Mr. Joseph V. Atherton, Cavendish, Vermont

From: Cousin Lizzie Atherton Aiken (a Union nurse, see her story in Families of Cavendish, Atherton, Vol. 4]

Dear Cousin Joseph: Many thanks to you for so promptly replying to my inquiries. I trust you will pardon me for not writing you before; my time has been so occupied I could not steal a moment before. This month has been a very busy one in all our hospitals preparing for General Inspection. It has passed off very pleasantly; every thing is in good running order. I like my present position very much. I have a charming room and one of the best old maids for a roommate. She is from Indiana. Our head surgeon is from Illinois, an old gentleman of sterling worth. We have at present 500 patients and the diphtheria is raging terribly although I am surprised at the success of our physicians. Very few have died.

My dear cousin, I cannot but hope this War is almost at a close now that Charleston, the great city of iniquity, is subdued. With sadness I think of the Armies of our brave boys who have found a soldier's grave and many of their families wholly unprovided for. The picture is truly a gloomy one, but enough of this.

I had a letter from brother Joe. He tells me George is well. I hope he will be contented to remain through the summer should we go. Will see me at home when I am out this fall again. The recollections of my visit with you last season will ever be pleasant to me. The weather is delightful so very warm a spring like wagon loads of flowers are passing every morning and the dust is only settled by the constant application of their sprinklings machines. Cousin Solon wrote me some time ago, but my time for letter writing has been so limited I could not reply as yet. My kind regards to him and his whole family. Remember me to Uncle and Aunt, particularly to Cousin Everett and family. Write me again when convenient. Rest assured. I shall always be happy to receive a line from by bachelor cousin. -Your affection Cousin Lizzie Atherton Aiken

Return to Lizzie's biography.