M.E. “Boss” Greene would eventually become a U.S. Deputy Marshall who lived in Comanche, Texas; however, when he wrote to his sister in on October 7, 1863, he was just another wounded Confederate soldier. His letter gives us another clue as to the suffering endured by so many during this crazy, crazy war.
“…But I have to state to you that I am wounded though I think I am doing tolerable well…I am wounded in both of my legs. I can’t git out of my bed. The (something ending in “itis”) is in my left leg. I suffer very much pain.
“I got to Rome GA on the 4th of this [Oct.]. I was wounded on the 19th of September…I lay in the woods 15 days. I never had no attention at all. When I got here I was nearly dead. I never got nothing to eat barely at all. I have suffered death a hundred times. But I hope by good attention I will get well.
“My dear sister I can’t begin to tell my suffering. I am happy to say to you that Frank come through safe. [Goes on to tell her who was killed or wounded]It was a terrible fight and it is reported that they are fighting at Chattanooga. I expect they will have a bad time yet before they stop.
“I am all the one from my company at this place and I feel very alone…We don’t get nothing hardly to eat but while I was on the battlefield I never got nothing scarcely at all and it liked to killed me coming on the train. But I thank God that it ain’t no worse with me. I think if nothing happens I will git furlough when I git able to travel. But I can’t tell when that will be for I can’t turn myself in my bed.
“But I am happy to say to you that I have got a very fine Dr. There is a heape of more wounded here. I want to see you the worst sort. It seems to me if I was with you so you could doctor my wounds. I am wounded in both legs and you know that is worse than if it was one. Don’t think both legs is broke but my right leg bone is broke and the left leg is [can’t read].
“Can’t move my legs with out help just when I can get some buddy to move them for me and if not then just have to stay that way. So I can’t tell you all my troubles & trials & sufferings. In a week no tongue can tell what I have to suffer.
“You will please answer this. Your most obedient brother M.R. Green”
Boss also enclosed a short note to his mother at the same time. And for the first time, I see a chink because I have always understood that the Greene family spelled their name such; however, Boss certainly left off the final E in both letters, simply spelling it Green.
I did not really attempt to use the exact spelling that he used, only when it was convenient. I also divided the letter into paragraphs; Boss did not. I will say that for the times, he actually did a pretty good job with spelling, etc.
And just in case you wonder who ties into the Greene family today, off-hand I can think of Bobbie and Stewart Caffey, David Goodson, and Marshall Pyburn.