From the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, Monday, 3/23/1863

Letter of Arthur H. Edley, formerly of the 5th Texas Inf., but mostly state rep in Richmond in charge of soldier aid, etc.

Letter from Virginia.

EDITOR TELEGRAPH: As I believe that there are many in the “Lone Star State” who like to hear from the brigade, I will occupy a short space in your columns with the account of what I saw in Richmond.

Among the first attractions in which Texas has an interest, stands most prominently the Texas Hospital, a large building capable of accommodating 300 patients very comfortably, and 350 if put to the push. Dr. Lindly has the entire supervision, assisted by Dr. Dandridge, both from Texas. Dr. Hughes is likewise a sharer in the duties, though not as yet commissioned. Dr. Allen, of Washington county, has been with the institution since its establishment since its establishment, but leaves for Texas in a few days. All the offices of clerk, steward, matron, nurses, &c., are filled by Texians; Mr. & Mrs. Ferrell, of Houston, holding the positions of steward and matron respectively, with great satisfaction to all concerned. The sick are delighted with this successful hospital, and I am rejoiced to see how completely all work for the general good - fulfilling to the letter the description that I gave your readers, when in Richmond last, of what we ought to have.

In this age of hero-glorifying, much encomium may be expected from the author of this letter in relation to the Surgeon in charge; but I know that such would be distasteful to him, and I will say simply that he is as accomplished in his profession as he is gentlemanly in his relations with the patients, and before being assigned to our hospital was surgeon in charge of the Kent Hospital, situated on Main street, which, under his administration, was considered as among the best arranged establishments in the city - it has since been closed.

[Notes at length that Texas soldiers were immune to jealousy and back-biting of other regiments in the brigade.] Desiring to see how this idea was carried out in the hospital, where all three regiments were thrown together, I was most gratified to learn from the inmates that every favor was dealt out with an impartial hand; that all shared alike in its privileges and its comforts; and I here, in a public way, beg the friends of this brigade to be thankful for the many immunities we do receive, and not let their gratitude be soured by any suspicion that one regiment has precedence before another.

Passing from the hospital, I called upon the private family of Mr. John F. Tanner, one of the proprietors of the celebrated “Tredegar Iron Works” of this city, which foundry has been of immeasurable service to the Confederate Government. General Anderson is the other partner. Mr. T. and family have endeared themselves to great numbers of soldiers, but particularly have we of this brigade, 1st, 4th, and 5th Regiments, had occasion to be grateful. Their hospitality, their devotion to the soldier, seemed never to tire; their house was always open, and it mattered not what time the sick, tired, or wounded soldier opened their gate, he was always received with a kind “come in, have you had anything to eat?” There are men on furlough in Texas who will bear witness to all this; it was here that Lt. Jones, of Polk county, breathed his last; watched over as if he had been a son, tears coursing down the old gentleman’s cheeks as the hearse bore his remains, while himself, chaplain, and a few others, rode to the Hollywood cemetery to his interment. [author goes on at length describing the kindness of Mr. Tanner; not transcribed.]