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Prisoners; Medicine

Charles A. Davis, Rockland, ca. 1870

Charles A. Davis, Rockland, ca. 1870

Item 60666 info
Maine Historical Society

Charles A. Davis of Augusta was 19 years old when he became a substitute in Co. C of the 11th Maine on July 16, 1863. He moved up in rank from private to corporal, then to full sergeant.

Davis was wounded at Appomattox Courthouse a day before Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia. The regimental history gives details of Davis's service and notes, "Wounded at Appomattox, Va., April 8, 1865. Arm amputated." He was mustered out June 25, 1865 and later became a lawyer.

Amputations were so common during the war that a former chaplain, William Bourne, who published The Soldiers Friend magazine after the war, held a contest for right-arm amputees to send in hand-written stories, hoping to encourage them to practice writing with their left hands so they could get jobs as bookkeepers and clerks. Hundreds of men entered the contest.

John F. Chase, who had served in the 3rd Maine, entered the contest and sent in a photo of himself showing his naked stump, much like the photo of Davis.


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