The supply of hospital cots was ridiculously inadequate, and this condition did not improve. The difficulty of obtaining adequate medical attendance may be illustrated by the case of Priv. Fred C. Elkins, of the 17th Infantry, member of the Gatling Gun Detachment. Priv. Elkins had been hurt in the fight on the 1st of July and had been sent to the hospital.
"Ta woman tat ta peoples will pe telling lies of her, wass not pe ta mother of her poy Malcolm. Why tidn't ta poy tell her ta why tat he wouldn't pe hafing her?" "Ye wadna hae him spread an ill report o' his ain mither?" "Put she 'll not pe his mother, and you 'll not pelieve it, mem." "Ye canna priv that you nor him aither."
One member of the detachment carried this letter to Tampa Heights, and so sharp was the work of getting away that this man had to board a moving train as it was pulling out to keep from getting left; but Priv. Murray was taken to the hospital and cared for, and Priv. Bremer did not get left. The detachment reached Port Tampa about sundown, and Maj.
He placed one arm around McGee's shoulder and with the other assisted him to support the box, from which the smoke was still ascending, and the two rushed for the door, throwing the whole momentum of their weight and speed against the crowd of frightened negroes, who were falling over each other in their panic-stricken efforts to escape. Priv.
These remarks do not apply to the heroes like Ebert, Thorpe, Brewer, Kennedy, Warren, and a few others, who fearlessly exposed their lives upon the very firing-line. These men are the very "salt of the earth." The escape of even a "frazzle" of the 5th Corps was due to their superhuman energy and exertions. They did much to redeem the good name of their corps and to alleviate suffering. But Priv.
"There's naething mair atween 's, mem," answered Malcolm, without turning even his face. "You will be sorry for treating me so some day." "Think what you could do for your poor witless brother, if " "Mem," interrupted Malcolm, turning right round and drawing himself up in anger, "priv' 'at I 'm your son, an' that meenute I speir at you wha was my father."
The members of the detachment were now directed to lie down under their guns and limbers, except the drivers, who declined to do so, and still stood at the heads of their mules. Priv. Hoft, disdaining to take cover, shouldered his rifle and walked up and down, sentry fashion, over the pile of camp equipage. Serg.
Another shell came whistling along and exploded about ten feet overhead and twenty feet in rear of the battery. It tore up the grass in rear of the battery. After this engagement was over, Priv. Shiffer picked up the still hot fuse of this last shell. It was a large brass combination fuse, and set at eight seconds, which justified the estimated range.
The detachment commander went in person to request the same surgeon to attend to the case, he being the only one available at that time. The hospital attendant was again ordered to take the temperature. At the end of an hour even this had been neglected. The hospital man was sick, and had been without sleep for fifty hours. Priv.
Brewer was himself suffering at the time, with a temperature of 103 degrees, but he rose from his own sick-bed and administered remedies which relieved the patient. The following day, the third of his illness, Dr. Brewer was found to be suffering from yellow fever, and was carried back to the yellow fever hospital at Siboney along with Priv. Elkins.
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