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Friday, February 15, 2013

Measles, Mud and Death

"Camp near Fairfax Station
"Sunday, Feb. 15th, 1863
"Dear Parents,

.".. It is about time for us to be on our travels again, but I don't see how we can go now, it is so muddy. Besides we hear that this regiment has been reported unfit for duty, on account of sickness, principally measles. All the measly ones in our company are doing well with one exception, -Gould* of Andover, who it is thought must die. If he does it will be a hard case, as he was a poor man, and will leave a wife and four children, the youngest only three years old. 

"There are twenty six in our company off duty from sickness, and fourteen permanently detailed for service out of the company, one discharged, and one dead- Demary**, whose body has been sent to his folks, the expense being paid by the company, amounting to about half a dollar a head.

"...Major Rounds seems to have about the same opinion about my having the measles as Isadore had, as one Sunday morning while going the rounds inspecting the quarters of the men he stuck his head into our shanty, and seeing me there sick, remarked jokingly that I ought to have had the measles before, as it was bad to have them at twenty dollars a month. I told him I knew it was bad for Uncle Sam, and he smiled and passed along.

"...Levi Moore is having the measles, as is also Henry Miner- both having them quite hard."  ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of February 15, 1863 

*David Clark Gould contracted measles and typhoid fever about the 1st of Feb., 1863, and died in the hospital at Fairfax Station, Va., 18 Feb., 1863 (age 40).

**Thomas W. Demary, Pvt, Co. C, age 20, died February 2, 1863    

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