O. A. Williams Letter

O. A. Williams, a surgeon for the Missouri State Guard, wrote to John Willsen about finalizing his accounts. The letter is undated but its context places it shortly after the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, August 10, 1861. Williams comments on the number of amputations he completed, and how nearly every building in Springfield was converted into a hospital. While only one letter from Williams is present, it provides insight to this thoughts after the exhausting day of August 10, 1861.

Headquarters, General Hospital, Missouri State Guard, Springfield, Missouri

Dear John –

I suppose ere this you have had correct information in regard to the fight so I will say nothing about it. I am not in good health – nor in very good spirits. I can see no end to this infernal war… Springfield presents rather a gloomy appearance, every house nearly has been converted into a Hospital. The wounded are generally well. There has been a great many amputations. I have taken off a good many legs and arms – until I am sick and tired… We get nothing to drink (and) little to eat… Give my love to Mary… (and) respects to… friends and tell my enemies to go to hell…

Yours fraternally, O.A. Williams, Assistant Surgeon

Contributed by the The History Museum on the Square

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