Monday, October 22, 2012

Charles Weygant - 124th NY

Captain Charles H. Weygant's Experiences on the Field Post-Battle

The thick foliage caused dark shadows to fall upon these acres of mangled bleeding human forms. Away down through the trees flickering lights could be seen, the reflections of which fell with ghastly effect upon the corps of surgeons who, with coats off and sleeves rolled up, were gathered at, or moving rapidly to and fro about the amputating tables. After a moment's hesitation at the edge of the woods I resolved to attempt to pick my way through towards where I hoped to find the objects of my search, but as I moved on among those, for the most part, prostrate men, their groans and piteous appeals for help appalled me. Several in a state of delirium were shouting as if upon the battlefield, and others, believing I was a surgeon, besought me to stop just a moment and bind up the wounds from which their life-blood was ebbing. Presently a man I was about stepping over, sprang to his feet, shook in front of me a bloody bandage he had just torn from a dreadful, gaping wound in his breast, and uttered a hideous, laughing shriek. This sent the hot blood spurting from his wound into my very face. Then he threw up his arms as if a bullet had just entered his heart, and fell heavily forward across a poor mangled fellow, whose piercing wails of anguish were heart-rending beyond description. I could endure no more, and wheeling about, hurried over the wounded and dying to the open field again, and returned to the regiment, glad that I had informed no one of my intended errand of mercy, for I was heartily ashamed of the weakness which had caused me to turn back.”

Captain Charles Weygant

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