Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Friday Sept. 30 1864

As I was busily engaged reading the Gazette to Mr. Burgess this morning, Miss Mary Cone arrived to spend the day accompanied by Frank Brush.  I was not sorry to lay aside the Newspapers to welcome them.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thursday Sept. 29” 1864

A Cloudy morning.  As the circle meets at our house today I came home on the 11 o’clock train to help Mrs. Cutler through with it.  There were several here not withstanding the threatening aspect of the sky.  Toward evening however it not only rained but it poured.  I never saw it rain harder.  Those who were on their way home were of course drenched.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wednesday Sept. 28”, 1864

I went back to town, to stay with Mrs. Dawes.  The reports from Ephraim are favorable.

Peggy's comments:
During this time, Julia was traveling the six miles between her home in Constitution (Warren) and Marietta. She lived with her brother William, his wife Lizzie, and their daughter Sarah at the Old Stone House in Constitution.  Julia's sister Sarah Cutler Dawes (mother of Ephraim, Rufus, Lucy, Kate & Jane) lived in Marietta and was often unwell.  

Kate Dawes McLean, who had lived at the Old Stone House, had married in February of 1864 and moved away.  She married a minister who had several children so she presumably worked very hard to run their household. 

This is the letter that Julia wrote to her niece Kate.  It took Julia several days to finish writing the letter.

Letter to Kate
Constitution O, Sept 26, 1864
My dear Kate,
Your letter to me dated Sept 2 did not arrive until long after date, it was written when you were sick and gave me great uneasiness, I was strongly tempted to sit down & write to that unfeeling girl and give her a regular blowing up.  I felt too indignant to trust myself to write even to you, lest I should speak unadvisedly.  I am sick of reformers if their teachings deprive people of common humanity and common courtesy, and lead to the neglect of the plainest duties of life.  That most excellent Christian lady for whom you were named, Mrs. Catherine Parker, who was exercised by many & sore trials once said to me that she “had always found the path of duty, the path of happiness” and I believe it is so.  “Do right, & God will answer for the rest.”  Do not allow yourself to be discouraged, you will find friends where ever you go.  Do not look backward, but forward --and always remember that what your dying Grandfather said to us, is as true now as it was then, “God is a very present help in time of trouble.”
I came down from Marietta today where I have been since last Wednesday staying with your mother who is still feeble, while Lucy & Rufus went to Cincinnati to stay by poor Ephe while Dr. Blackman performed the operation upon his face, which was done Thursday afternoon.  Sept. 22. -- Friday we recieved from Rufus this dispatch “Operation successfully performed -- a fearful ordeal --Ephe all right” -- Saturday night Rufus came home leaving Lucy with Ephe.  He says it was the most terrible scene he ever witnessed and he would rather pass through all the battles he has fought than do it again.  Ephe was an hour and a half under the surgeons knife, the chloroform taking no effect, he felt every cut & bore the agony, nobly, as he only could.  Dr. Blackman said that in all the operations he has performed he never saw a man endure suffering as bravely as Major Dawes.  I cannot describe the operation to you, as Rufus did to me, but it was horrible.  Dr. Gobrecht the principal surgeon of the Officers Hospital at Fairmount Cincinnati, where Ephraim is, assisted throughout.  There were about a dozen surgeons present, but they were so overcome by the scene as to render little assistance -- and Rufus had to hold the arteries while they were taken up and hold Ephraims hands to prevent any injury from convulsive movement.  He said it was only the feeling that the life of his only brother was at stake enabled him to do it.  At first it required all the strength Rufus possessed but at the end of the hour & a half his pulse was so low, & his strength so reduced by loss of blood & suffering that he lay more like a corpse than a living man --but stimulants were administered and he got up and walked to his room when all was done.  It is considered a very successful operation, Dr. Blackman is master of his art and if Ephe lives to get well as they all say he is likely to do we shall be glad it is done.  It has been much more severe and extensive than we had any idea of, and we all feel that knowing what we do now we could not have consented to it.
Lucy was not present at the time, but sat up the first night with Rufus at Ephe’s bedside -- that night the patient slept none, in addition to the soreness & pain of his face, the chloroform produced a terrible sick head-ache -- but the second night Friday he slept well.  He takes his nourishment through a straw.  The surgeon says he cannot be removed for a month.  Lucy will stay while she is needed perhaps a week or two.  Rufus has sent down his servant William today to help take care of him.
Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Walton went out to the Hospital with them, Mr. Walton staid in as long as he could stand it.  Mrs. Walton very kindly introduced Lucy to Mrs. Harrison a friend who lives near and who invited Lucy to her house -- She however in order to be near Ephe will take her meals with the Matron, a very excellent & respectable lady.  Ephe has a room to himself and Lucy has a cot placed in it so she can attend to him night & day.
Sarah Andrews is teaching Lucy’s school for her during her absence.  Your Mother does not get well fast, she lies down part of every day.  She is very much troubled about Ephe but more about his proposed marriage than any thing else, it seems as if that would kill her -- and when she thinks of it she chooses death rather than life.  I feel very badly about it both on account of your mother & Ephraim and can only pray that this cup may pass from us.
I expect to go back to town again & shall stay most of the time Lucy is gone with her.  James Walton is there and is a pleasanter boarder than I expected.  You see that as matters now are we cannot visit you, indeed your mother is not well enough to do so now.  I hope before winter some of us can.  Lizzie Cutler says Mr. Burgess does not know whether he will go to Pennsylvania or not this fall.  Don’t you need your dresses?
Rufus has bought all the sheep he expects to get at present.  They gave about four dollars a head.  The sheep purchased are of a desirable quality.  Old Mr. Lognacher, Mrs. Blues father, has been engaged to take charge of them.
Henry and Theodore McClure are both here now. 
Tuesday, Sept 27 
Mr. Burgess has just been in -- he says he is afraid to go to Pennsylvania he believes the Masons would murder him before he got there.  Rufus has been down here to-day he says he thinks he will visit you this fall.  He is going Saturday down to see Ephe again.  Your Uncle William is doing a great deal of speaking, this campaign.  He speaks to-night at Cedarville and will speak this week at Cutler & Whininess.  He is going down next week to see Ephe.  They want Rufus to make speeches next week out in the country & he probably will.
Wednesday Sept 28
I came up to town this morning with your Uncle William.  They got letters from Lucy last night.  She writes to Rufus “Dr. Gobrecht washed & dressed Ephe’s face after you left and after dinner Dr. Blackman came to see him.  He says it is doing slendidly, just as he wishes.”  Ephe dressed himself & walked into the hall with the Dr’s permission.  He sleeps well, last night had a very good night.  I don’t think you need have any uneasiness about him now still I would not leave him in his present condition, as I know he would not be properly cared for”  Ephe writes in pencil “with the exception of the taste and smell in my mouth, I feel as though I was doing very well.  Major Olefin sent me a lot of books this morning with his compliments.  The Officers here all proffer their services to assist me in any way.  It seems to do me good to walk round as much as anything.  Dr. Hardy Dentist was just here -- says a man who could stand what I did could stand it to be burned alive -- that I would probably talk in a week and be able to have impressions for permanent teeth in six weeks”  Lucy writes that his face is very sore.
I must go down to Warren tomorrow.  Lizzie is going to have the circle and cannot get along without me -- but I shall come to town again Friday.  I hope your health will be better, take care of it, and be so happy as you can.
  Your affectionate
Aunt Julia
I see by your letter to Lucy that Mr. McLean has gone to Philadelphia and Delaware.  I hope you will not be left alone & sick -- am sorry we can’t come up and nobody to take care of you come home & I will do it.  [A line here is crossed out and unreadable.]  It is possible Lizzie may be up to see you if so little Sarah will come.  She wants to go badly but her mother will not part with her -- Nancy is now married yet she says she wishes she could step in and make you some waffles.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tuesday, Sept. 27. 1864

Maggie Voris called to inquire about Ephraim -- I put some of my more tender plants in the pit for fear of frost.  Swept the parlor, & put it in order.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Monday, Sept. 26. 1864

William Jackson has gone to Cincinnati.  He is trusty and handy and will be a great help to Lucy at the Hospital in taking care of Ephraim.  I came down home on the Accommodation train found that the Threshers were here with their machine and consequently a large family, and plenty to do.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sabbath Sept. 25, 1864

This has not seemed much like Sabbath, Mrs. Dawes is not able to go to Church & we have been busy getting ready various things to send to Lucy & Ephraim, by William Jackson who starts on the early train tomorrow.  Mrs. E. B. Andrews was in, and was very kind rendering every assistance in her power.  I wrote to Lucy.

Peggy's note:
Lucy Dawes, the unmarried sister of Rufus, Ephraim, Kate, and Jane, was the sister who was turned to when family members needed nursing.  Lucy, competent and cheerful,  also ran a school in Marietta.

Julia was spending a few days in Marietta with her sister, Sarah Cutler Dawes (Lucy's mother).  Lucy was in Cincinnati, tending to her brother Ephraim.

Here is the letter that Julia wrote to Lucy:

Letter to Lucy
Marietta O, Sept. 24 1864
My dear Lucy,
Rufus returned last evening and has told us how fearful the operation was that our dear Ephe has passed through & how heroically he bore his sufferings -- I am sure if we had comprehended how severe an ordeal he was to pass we should have felt as Rufus does, that we could never have consented to it, but for Ephe’s sake I am glad it has been done, since it is successfully accomplished.  Rufus says there is not another man in Ohio who would have borne up so bravely.  Tell Ephe every body is interested, and coming to ask about him, and if kind wishes have healing influence he will soon be well.
Your Mother is about as when you left home, perhaps a little better, but does not sit up all day.  The little girl you expected did not come to help, but Eddie Slocomb comes & gets coal & water &c and we get on nicely.  I came up the afternoon of the day you left, & have been here since.
Sarah Andrews succeeds very well as a teacher, and consents to continue your School.  Mrs. E. B. Andrews very kindly came and brought buttons & sewed them on our double gown & brought a bundle of linen rags which we send.
I will write a letter to Mason D. Parker and ask him to call on you.  I hope you will keep well, you are in the path of duty and if your being there is a comfort to Ephraim I am glad you are there.  I wish we could help him bear his pain, they say we always care most for those of our friends who suffer most, if so, Ephe certainly will be best beloved of all.
Mrs. Buell did not go to Rochester, but rather expects to do so.  Dr. Shipman & lady called Saturday evening to hear about Ephe.  Mrs. Shipman said she had not been introduced to the Major but had wished to become acquainted.  Mrs. Giles & Converse Stone have been over twice.  Mrs. Prof. Adkins called and wanted Ephe’s photograph for her son.  Mrs. Con. Stone wanted it for herself.  Mrs. Hirschberger, Mrs. Slocomb, Ms. Andrews, Mrs. Hawkins & the two Mrs. Buells have been in many times and Mrs. Col. Dawes two or three times a day, so we are not left alone.
The Best House has been sold to an oil man, also the house in which Prof. Evans lives.  The oil excitement continues, a new well where oil was struck a few days ago is said to yield a thousand barrels a day.  A farm in Noble Co. on which there are three producing wells, Mr. Fawcett contraction for, agreeing to give 130,000 dollars and if at the end of 60 days he failed to do so, he forfeited $500.  He has gone to New York where he expects to realize $200,000 for it.
Mrs. Nye called up to see me yesterday and Mary has been here several times.  She said she was so sorry not to be able to take your school, because it was the first time that you ever asked her to do any thing for you.  She thinks so much of Ephe, and talked about him half the time.
Dr. Shipman whose wife, by the way, is a very lovely woman, has bought Mr. Whiffers house for $1,500 and is going into it immediately, Mr. Whiffer moving into the brick house.
Your Mother intended to write, but has been so much excited today, that she feels too tired.  She sends her love to Ephe & to you.  She groans every time she hears the name of Dr. Blackman, or any reference to the work he has done.
We have had a letter from Kate.  She seems to be better & is anxious to see some of us up there.  Mr. McLean has gone to Philadelphia to labor for the Christian Commission & will be absent until the 1st of Nov.  He intends to go into Delaware and examine the lands there.  I will write Kate soon.
Not knowing what better to do with the quinces we have dried them.  I think they will be very nice.  Brother William was in town Friday and brought us Rufe’s dispatch -- he felt very anxious about Ephe.  You must write every day, and Rufus says don’t hesitate to call Dr. Gobrect when you need him.


Lucy Dawes

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Saturday. Sept. 24, 1864

Brother William came & brought us a dispatch from Rufus saying “Operation successfully performed.  A fearful ordeal.  Ephe all right” --  Dr. Shipman and his wife called this evening to inquire after the Major, she said she thought him one of the handsomest men she ever saw.  Both spoke of him in the highest terms of praise.
Just before bed time Rufus & Mary came in, he having come up from Cincinnati today.
He says that Dr. Blackman considers the operation a great success, but that it was a more extensive & terrible one than we at all expected.  For himself, he would rather fight his twenty battles over again, than to go through the scenes of last Thursday ----  Through it all Eph bore himself like a hero, showing endurance & self-control that was wonderful.  Dr. Blackman had invited a large number of the Physicians of Cincinnati to be present.  --  One of them told Rufus “that a man who could endure what Major Dawes had that day would bear burning at the stake.”  --- He was an hour and thirty minutes under the Surgeons knife.  Ephraim was wounded at Dallas, Georgia, on the 25” of May, by a minnie ball which carried away his chin and the front part of the lower jaw, making a most ghastly wound.  The flesh had healed before the operation.  Rufus tried to make us understand how the surgeon supplied a lower lip, by first cutting from the corner of the mouth back to the angle of the cheek on each side, then just below where the under lip should begin, cutting again, running back toward the ear, thus separating a strip about one inch wide, but which was still attached to the cheek near the ear -- these two strips were brought forward , a most painful operation, (the Doctor pulling and stretching them with all his strength) until they met and were sewed together over a set of under teeth.  Then long pins were run through this strip from the upper part of the cheek to that below and secured by winding threads about the ends back & forth.  This occasioned too much fullness of the upper lip & a gore on each side was cut out & then sewed up.  Then the flesh of the chin was cut and adjusted.
He lay upon the table unbound, the attendants simply holding his hands.  His self possession was remarkable obeying every direction of the operator, turning his head &c. &c. until the loss of blood and pain exhausted him.
Rufus held his hand during a part of the operation he said at first the convulsive movement of the muscles as the incisions were made were like the throes of a giant, but near the close only a quiver ran through his frame.  It is terrible to think what his sufferings must have been, and yet such was his heroic endurance that he showed no sign of his agony by groan or outcry!
After it was over, & some stimulants administered he walked up stairs to his room.  I tremble when I think how near this has brought him to the gates of Death, and feel truly thankful for his spared life -- may it be a good and honorable one.

Lucy will stay with him until he can be safely left in the hands of strangers.  William Jackson the colored boy who was Rufus’ Servant through the war, is to be sent to Cincinnati Monday to wait on Eph at the officers Hospital.

Ephraim Cutler Dawes
After his surgery