From the Richmond Enquirer,
12/31/1862, p. 1, c. 3
Christmas at Camp Winder Hospital.
The Matron of Division
No. 1, at Camp Winder Hospital, arranged a
handsome and bountiful Christmas feast for the patients under her supervision.
We have seen her letter of thanks to the generous ladies through whose agency
she received the contributions for this most acceptable entertainment. She says:
“I beg to see you, to
tell all about our Christmas dinner. It went off famously – everybody delighted.
Think of 15 turkies; 130 chickens and ducks, a barrel of corned beef, 240 pies,
and a barrel of cider, for the convalescents; rice custard, pudding, oysters,
and egg-nogg for the sick!”
It is delightful to see
the joy with which the good matron (Mrs. Mason,) dispensed her Christmas
dainties among the disabled soldiers under her charge – disabled by sickness or
wounds contracted in the service of their country. Woman’s hands collected, and
woman’s hands prepared and dispensed the feast. This doubtless made it a double
pleasure to the soldiers; and their friends in every part of the Confederacy
will be gratified at this proof that our braves are not forgotten in their
affliction by the strangers among whom they are, and that not only are their
substantial wants relieved, but their pleasure and good cheer are the object of
our ladies’ solicitude.
While without the
particulars as to the other Divisions in Camp
Winder Hospital, we are
pleased to learn that in them all, the patients were also entertained with a
Christmas feast. Perhaps we should not be unwarranted in speaking of this as an
illustration of the benefit of introducing matrons into our hospitals. The
considerate kindness that provides Christmas dinners, is not restricted to
Christmas; but shows itself in a thousand gentle influences and attentions such
as come only from the heart and the hand of woman.
We ourselves were
lately told in the Banner Hospital, by a poor
soldier mortally wounded, as the matron and nurses were standing by him, “They
are very kind to me, sir. I am treated as kindly as if I were at home.” The
country and the army have daily reason to thank Senator Simms of Kentucky, for
this hospital bill; and we trust that the provision which requires matrons will
be everywhere complied with.
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