Today, there was so much gunfire and so little time to move the wounded. The Union marched and attacked our lines early this morning, so all of the wives who are with me woke to rapid fire and the screaming of the wounded. It is so hard to hear the pain these men are in. The medics rush the soldiers to the tent next to where we sleep. We all run in to help as much as we can. There are wounded helping wounded and only the few of us wives to assist. We are in desperate need of a larger nursing staff.
We hold the men as they die in our arms and help the men as best we can with the supplies we have. We have hospital backpacks that have tourniquets, bandages, splints, and pain relieving medications. All meanwhile more wounded are pouring into the tent. There are men assisting as medics and doctors, but they are treating the worst and some are even amputating on the field. This is the more horrid sight, for the men scream and writhe in pain from the sawing. These doctors do use some pain relievers for them, but it does not always help as it should.
The wounded that can will be taken later to a hospital if possible, where they will heal and so we can have more room to fit soldiers in the tents.
I must now go, for there is great cannon fire and the wounded need my assistance. Praying my husband makes it through this battle alive.
I am Agnes Blayden, a Confederate Civil War nurse who works on the field. I have no training as a nurse, but rather am a soldier's wife who followed my husband into battle and am assisting in any way possible.
(Seigel, P., 1990)