June 17, 1863 Issue of the WEEKLY STANDARD (Raleigh, North Carolina)
   Transcribed and Posted by Myrtle Bridges February 28, 2003

Mr. Editor-I have just returned from Winder Hospital, Richmond, Va., and feel it my duty to give the public 
a history of what I saw and heard during my stay at that ever to be remembered, hateful place, winder Hospital. 
I went there for the purpose of bringing home some of our wounded soldiers, that had been sent there from the 
late Fredericksburg battles. My first attention was called to J. M. Cranford, of Montgomery County, whose right 
arm was amputated between the elbow and shoulder joints. I immediately inquired of the Surgeon, Dr. Brockenbrough, 
whether he was in condition to go home, or not. He answered me that he was-and further added, "I will recommend 
him to the Board for a furlough;" when another poor soldier, lying near by, with his left arm amputated above 
the elbow, said: ;"Sir, I will pay your asking, if I am able, if you will obtain a furlough for me.;" I asked him 
his name. He replied, Barlow-and further added, I live near Raleigh. I asked him if he had a family. He answered, 
he had; and a tear stole down his manly cheek. I then remarked, that ;"I was not working for money, and if I can 
get a furlough for you, I will take you along.;" The same Doctor recommended him, and both passed the Board at 
the same time. I was then informed by the Board that these furloughs had to pass through the proper authorities 
to Gen. Winder, for approval. After waiting some three days for them to travel to the officials, a distance of 
some two or three miles, I was informed by the Board that they had returned disapproved by Gen. Lee; and that 
Gen. Lee had given orders that no furloughs should be granted to North Carolinians, for the reason that they 
would not return again to the army. I then proceeded to the Surgeon General, Moore, and made my statements to 
him, and asked for relief. He immediately gave me an order to the Surgeon in charge of those patients for a 
certificate of their condition, to forward to his office. The Board claimed that as their right, and made out 
a certificate, but remarked as before, that it should pass through the proper officials. I waited some two days on that, and have not heard from 
it since.
	I then proceeded to see the Surgeon General again. He said the papers had not reached him, but to go the 
Adjutant General's office and enquire to them, and if they were there, to bring them to him. I did inquire 
and was told that they were not there, but recommended me to inquire at the Medical Director's office for 
them. I did so, and was informed that they were not there; but remarked that possibly they had stopped in 
Gen Winder's office, and that I had better go there. I did so, and was informed by the clerks that they were 
not there. I then spoke to Gen Winder himself, when he ordered his clerks to make search and see whether any 
such papers had passed through that office or not. On examination they said there had been no such papers 
through the office. I then went to the Surgeon General, and obtained an order for a transfer. On presenting 
the order the the Board, the same efforts to defeat me again were made, by saying that the transfer must go 
through the same official channel as the furloughs; but warm feelings grew up, and rather loud words were 
uttered, and the gentleman clerk was brought to his proper senses and issued the transfers-but not without 
many scruples on a positive order from the highest authority of that department.
	Now, Mr. Editor, I have given you a sketch of the way things are going on at Winder Hospital. I pledged 
myself to the poor suffering soldiers of that Hospital, as well as to Dr. Brockenbrough, whom I found to be 
a gentleman and a friend to the soldier, to place in your hands the foregoing facts. Division No. 2, Ward 46 
has a kind and efficient ward-master.
	So far as the Board is concerned of Winder Hospital, Chambles, Lane and Henderson, I leave them to trumpet 
their own praise-for I am sure that neither citizen nor soldier will do it. Now I ask, Mr. Editor, why it is 
that we have a Congress to pass laws for the people of the Confederacy, if these laws are not to be enforced? 
We have an act of Congress providing for furloughs to sick and wounded soldiers, that is plain and easily 
understood. It was ratified the 1st of May last by the President. Why is it not enforced? There is a wrong, 
and that wrong should be exposed; and as you are the friend of constitutional law and liberty, you are the 
one to do it. It would gratify the soldier and the citizen, and would have a salutary effect on our army at 
the present time, and it this law was faithfully executed, the infamous crime of desertion would to a great 
extent cease. But without a closer observance of constitutional liberty, our army will (like that of the 
North,) become demoralized and broken in spirit. THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND. Montgomery County, NC., June 5, 1863.

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