Civil War Transcendence, part 115



The Marshal’s face turned white as a sheet. He hurried upstairs while Caleb helped me to the lobby of the hotel.

The desk clerk’s head wound was being tended to by the doctor.

Caleb said, “Doc Morton, I have another one for you to work on.”

19th century doctor's kit

The doctor looked at me and replied, “Son, I don’t mind the added business, but ain’t you sort of pushing it?”

I grinned and sat down to wait my turn with the sawbones. (Yes, I remember the colloquial name for the 19th Century doctors.)

Presently, Doc Morton helped me take my coat and shirt off. He examined me and said that he had better take me to his office for some medicine. He didn’t have what he needed in his kit bag to treat my wounds.

I slipped on my coat and began to walk to the doc’s office with Caleb and Mrs. Throckmorton. She yelled at people who tried to question me, “Can’t you see he is wounded? Leave him be!”

She even took my right arm to guide me through the crowd.

I guess my few days of gunfighting were the most excitement the town had experienced since Stonewall Jackson (please make that General Jackson) ran the Yankees out of this area of the state back in 1861. I also believed that I had a surrogate mama now, whether I wanted one or not.

Once at the doc’s office, I asked for alcohol to be applied to my wounds. Doctor Morton wanted to know why.

“To stop any infection,” I said.

He looked at me as if the wounds had affected my mind and applied some brandy to the wounds, which made me holler due to the sting and hurt. The left shoulder wound was superficial. The bullet wound across my chest had taken some flesh out of my pectoral muscles. The doc had to wrap my chest with a type of 19th Century gauze.

Mama Throckmorton, Caleb and I had a conflab and decided to take Joshua home the next day. I paid the doctor two dollars for his fix-up of my wounds. We all decided to stay at the doc’s office for the night. We figured it would be safer.

Caleb went to the hotel and paid for our room and board, for which I was grateful, since I didn’t have a whole lot of money left.

Caleb and I each took two hour shifts during the night to make sure we didn’t get surprised by any more of the Gill gang.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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