February 11, 1812
Dear Alexander and Martha,
To my beautiful children, I am writing this letter to inform you that I am still stationed at the Red Cross. The day before today we were notified that our stay would be extended longer.
The other female nurses were just as shocked as I was, it's been a hard reality to grasp. The main reason is because more men are being sent out into the battlefield.
The number of nurses is not sufficient for all of the men that need to be treated. The cruel winter months continue to make the conditions harder for everyone, especially the ones who are outside.
I feel overwhelmed hearing about the horrible stories but I am also saddened without having you near me.
Remaining here for a couple more months will be especially hard for me since I had hoped to return to visit your father at the health clinic. I have hardly heard anything about his physical condition.
I pray that he remains stable throughout his treatments. Each day is a new challenge for me; both physically and emotionally. It has now been five months since l have seen you all. I long await the day that I am right by your side at night.
Volunteering as a nurse has been the hardest job I have ever had. Each day hundreds of soldiers leave to continue fighting for our nation. Sadly, the majority of them do not return and the ones who do come back with severe wounds.
Treating severely injured soldiers who had just returned from the war scared me in the beginning. The screams and cries for help at midnight coming from the men will always remain in my memory.
The soldiers I've spoken to have informed me that the outside conditions are rough. Without water, food, doctors and the proper equipment, it's nearly impossible to keep our spirits up.
At times I want to return home but then I remember the reason why I am here. I am here to assist men, like your father, who have been seriously injured because of the war.
It is essential for me to be by their side caring for their needs. Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to speak to the men. I have learned that many of them had just finished school when they were enlisted into the military.
Others have told me that they are married and have small children, longing to return to their side.
I spent my days washing bedsheets, cleaning, feeding and giving the soldiers their medicine.
Any spare time that I have, I come to their side and try to be their friend and companion.
Lastly, I hope to hear back from you and how you are doing. I am sorry that I have been absent for some of your biggest milestones and achievements.
I think of you all every day and remember the memories that we’ve created. I hope I am given the opportunity to visit you all and your father by the spring.
Continue to work towards your studies and watch over your grandparents. Remember to keep sending me letters each week. I love you my children, be safe.
Your mother, Linda Anthony