Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/310

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

304 Southern Historical Society Papers.

back to the hospital by the general commanding. On his way to the rear the wound pained him so much that he stopped at the first hospital he came to, and the surgeon there proposed to cut the finger off; but while the doctor looked for his instruments and for a mo- ment turned his back, the General silently mounted his horse, rode off, and soon afterwards found me.


" I was busily engaged with the wounded, but when I saw him coming I left them and asked if he was seriously hurt. 'No,' 'he answered, ' not half as badly as many here, and I will wait.' And he forthwith sat down on the bank of a little stream near by and posi- tively declined any assistance until c his turn came.' We compro- mised, however, and he agreed to let me attend to him after I had finished the case I was dressing when he arrived. I determined to save the finger if possible, and placed a splint along the palmar sur- face to support the fragments, retained it in position by a strip or two of adhesive plaster, covered the wound with lint, and told him to keep it wet with cold water. He carefully followed this advice. I think he had a kind of fancv for this kind of hydropathic treatment, and I have frequently seen him occupied for several hours pouring cup after cup of water over his hand with that patience and perse- verence for which he was so remarkable. Passive motion was insti- tuted about the twentieth day and carefully continued. The motion of the joint improved for several months after the wound had healed, and in the end the deformity was very trifling.


" The next time he saw President Davis, so far as I know, was at the Poindexter house," continued the speaker, "after the battle of Malvern Hill. I had gone in the room to get some information from General Jackson after McClellan had retreated from Malvern Hill to Harrison's Landing, when I found in the room Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson, looking over some maps spread on the dining-room table. After awhile President Davis came in. General Lee greeted him very warmly. 'Why, President,' he said, 'I am delighted to see you,' and the meeting was very cordial. After he had finished shaking hands with General Lee, he turned to General Longstreet and his greeting here was just as cordial as with General Lee. He then turned and looked, as one may say, interrogatively at General Jackson.