Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tillie Pierce / Memories of Gettysburg

  Tillie Pierce was a fifteen year old girl who witnessed the horrors of Gettysburg over the three days of the battle. She later wrote an account of her experiences. Her house became a field hospital and the following is her account of the surgeries she witnessed. "I saw the surgeons hastily put a cattle horn over the mouths of the wounded ones, after they were placed upon the bench. At first I did not understand the meaning of this but upon inquiry soon learned that that was their method of administrating chloroform, in order to produce unconsciousness. But the effect in some instances was not produced; for I saw the wounded throwing themselves wildly about, and shrieking in pain while the operation was going on. To the south of the house, and just outside of the yard, I noticed a pile of limbs higher than the fence. It was a ghastly sight! Gazing upon these, too often the trophies of the amputating bench, I could have no other feeling, than that the whole scene was one of cruel butchery." We toured the Tillie Pierce house while we were in Gettysburg in 2005.

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