Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The enemy in St. Augustine

In nearly a year of service, the 7th New Hampshire Volunteers had yet to fight a battle. On Sept. 1, 1862, the regiment
was sent to St. Augustine, Fla., where it served as an occupying force in an often hostile city. But as the graves denote,
its biggest enemy there was disease. Later the regiment fought at Fort Wagner, Olustee (Fla.) and elsewhere.
Above is a photograph from the Library of Congress of Civil War soldier graves in St. Augustine, Fla. Buried here are three men of the 7th New Hampshire Volunteers who died of illness in late 1862 and early 1863. Their names were John W. Adsit, James M. Hoyt and Ebenezer Chany. Hoyt's grave is in the center of the photo closest to the camera, Adsit's is to the left of it and Chany's (or Cheney's) is behind it.

Maria Hall
The story of these men is well told on John Banks's Civil War blog, which deals primarily with Connecticut in the Civil War. The 7th New Hampshire and the 7th Connecticut served in the same brigade and were often called the 77th New England. You can read the Banks post here.

Banks, who works for ESPN, also has two excellent posts featuring Maria Hall, a Connecticut nurse known for her loving care of wounded soldiers at Smoketown hospital near Antietam Creek and elsewhere. That is the subject of the more recent of Banks's posts; the other is about her association with the family of Abraham Lincoln.

It was Hall who cared for the wounded Elmer Bragg, a Vermont soldier who served in the 9th New Hampshire, after Bragg's release from a rebel prison camp in 1864. She was then working at the military hospital at Annapolis. Her touching letter to Bragg's father after Bragg died is quoted in Our War and in this blog post.

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