Great Description of Point Lookout, Maryland & Hammond General Hospital – M. H. Winebrenner of the 127th PA. Infantry Writes on their Imprinted Stationery
M. H. Winebrenner from Dauphin County, Pa. served in Company F of the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry. The 127th was a 9 month regiment raised at a time when the Confederates were threatening the North with their first invasion at Antietam. They first guarded the Chain Bridge on the Potomac and then were ordered to Fredericksburg, arriving on December 9th. Joining the 2nd Corps they were the first brigade to cross the river after the pontoons were laid. On December 13th the 127th was hard hit with 257 killed or wounded. No doubt Winebrenner was one of these casualties and ended up at Hammond General Hospital. At the conclusion of the letter, Winebrenner states, “The Dr. here sent in for my discharge… last Sunday I got a basin and soap and gave myself a good wash, the first in three months. I tell you the old sweat that was produced on the march through Maryland was in kind of scales.”

In the letter, Winebrenner states, “You haven’t any idea what kind of place Point Lookout is. I will describe all about it…”

• “It is a point that extends from the mainland into the bay and on this point is the hospital buildings. It is no town, nothing but the hospital buildings.”

• “There is no stores here or anything of that kind. There is a sutler here and that is the only place you can buy anything to eat, and there is not much place to walk around, no papers, no books, no nothing.”

• “In the eating, as I wrote to you before, it is of a very good kind but since we came here, it has become beautifully less.”

• “We get for breakfast a small slice of black bread, no substance in it at all, about the size you cut your bread at home and a cup of stuff they call coffee which is nothing but burnt beans, sometimes a small piece of butter that is most strong enough to carry away the bread.”

• “That is a breakfast and dinner is a small piece of bread like in the morning with a cup of soup and supper is the same as breakfast. (Oh, how I long for the fresh pots of Egypt and it is impossible to get more here on the Point without money.)”

• “Now Em, God has made me a contented creature. I ain’t half as fickle as I used to be. I can make myself contented anywhere but I have one consolation. It won’t last forever and therefore I am content. Now I tell you, I have been tried pretty well, I tell you, but I think it is all for the best.”

• “I never got the $5 that John sent me which of course I will pay him. Some person stole my overcoat and it is gone. That is $7.20 more and here I am at this place nearly starved.”

• “But you know some people are not contented anywhere but not so with me. A great many of the men grumbled when we first came here, but then the rations were much better than they are now and they did not know when they had it good.”

• “I know if I was with the Regt. I would have it a great deal worse and so with them, they have it most too good. But still when men have fallen on the battlefield in defense of their country, they expect much better treatment than what they get here.”

• “The Government provides for us, but we are cheated out of our just rights here by scamps that the Government has put over us here and this is so out of the way kind of place that there is no person to see the frauds that are perpetrated here.”

The letter is 4 ½ pages in length with a half sheet for the last page. It is in ink and comes with its original stamped cover. Condition is good, all readable but having the expected fold lines and some staining. This is the first letter that we can remember having with such a detailed description of hospital life at Point Lookout.

#L707PA - Price $225