March 4, 2012

Bowling Green, Nashville, and the Sickness of Lt. Ober

Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Harper's Weekly cartoon showing
the optimism of spring 1862 (3/22)
In the first letter from the Western Theater in three weeks, Jacob Cassell--quartermaster of the 77th Pennsylvania and a Lancaster native--wrote in place of the seriously ill Lieut. Ben Ober to describe the march from Munfordville to Bowling Green and then Nashville.  His letter specifically recounts how Ober became very sick on that march and shows the fragility of health on a winter march.    

Ober had been sick to the point of rumors of his death spreading in Lancaster, but he recovered to write a letter from Munfordville just before the march to Bowling Green.  However, the weather turned on him during a sightseeing trip to Mammoth Cave and Ober ended up sicker than before.  Stubbornness and assistance from Cassell allowed Ober to stay with the regiment on the move instead of going to a hospital, at least for the time being.  We'll hear more from both Cassell and Ober over the upcoming weeks.

From the March 24, 1862, Daily Evening Express: (alternate link)

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