1862 Sep 23
 

 

Salt-works near Beulah, Georgia
September 23, 1862

Mrs. Nancy J. Harden

My dear companion,

I embrace the present opportunity of informing you that I am not well at present, hoping, however, that these lines may reach and find you all well and doing well.

I was taken yesterday by a fever and ague.  The ague lasted me one hour and a half.  I then had the fever.  I then had the fever for eight hours or more.  I feel very stupid and dull today, but a heap better than I was yesterday.

I bought some onions yesterday at 50 cents a quart.  I eat of them freely and I think they help me.

There is only three of us here now:  Mr. Martin, Mr. James, and myself, the rest being gone home.

I have no war news more than you have heard, I reckon.

I will finish this letter by the time I get a chance to send it to the Post Office.

I’ll send you this scroll about the ague.


September 23, 1862

A Rhyme

By a road obscure and lonely
Traveled now by wagons only,
Stands a city dark and dreary,
Where the traveler tired and weary,
Is met by people pale and sallow
With voices gruff and coarse and hollow.
And their eyes look wild and sunken,
And they act like people drunken.

Here at night or noon or morning
Without a moments warning
That horrid thing will take you
And twill shake you, yes, twill shake you.
Shake with it once, you’ll shake forever.
You’ll stop shaking fever never!
It shakes the tops from all the houses,
Shakes the men from out their trousers,
Shakes the hoops from off the ladies,
Shakes the hip pins off the babies,
Shakes whatever it takes a notion,
And it is forever kept in motion.

Yes, on Savannah’s majestic river,
First thing you know, you begin to shiver,
For this route, obscure and lonely,
Traveled now by wagons only,
Draws folks on as if by suction,
Draws them on to sure destruction.

Stay from off this route, I beg you,
Which leads you to the city of Ague.
Savannah now the people call it
Since the ague did befall it.
And I warn you and I beg you,
Shun this city of her ague.

The fever and ague attacked me yesterday in front, rear, and flank.  You may know it gives me scissors.