Dr. Robert LeBaron

Robert LeBaron was born on June 6, 1838 near Batavia, New York. He graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Michigan in March of 1861, and soon began  his practice in Livingston County, Michigan. On May 5, 1863 Dr. LeBaron was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Fourth Michigan Infantry at Aldie, Virginia. He served until mustering out on June 28, 1864, when he returned to Michigan and began his practice in Pontiac. Dr. Robert Lebaron died on July 15, 1926 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac.

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TRANSCRIPTION

 

Hospital 1st Div. 5th Army Corp Near Gettysburg, Pa.                                           July 10, 1863

 

Dear Cousin,

second-assistant-surgeon-robert-lebarron-esm

2d Asst. Surgeon Robert Lebarron; Ella Sharp Museum

I received your last letter in due time and answered it at once. You will naturally inquire where it is. Well, it is in my portfolio and I don’t know where that is. I kept it, trying to get a chance to mail it, and now I think I will try and write another. Let me see, I believe I wrote you last from the banks of the Rappahanock in Va. Today I write you from a hospital in Pennsylvania. We have made many long and weary marches to reach this point, fought the enemy in the Loudoun Valley, ( I was in that Cavalry fight of  Pleasonton’s, had ten wounded).

On the morning of the 2nd we reached Gettysburg, and then came that awful battle, of which you have undoubtedly read full accounts. I was at the mountain on the eastern left of the line. It was an awful sight, during and after the fight. I am now in a hospital near the battlefield, in the woods, with about 400 wounded. The troops have all moved off in pursuit of the enemy who are trying to cross the Potomac into Virginia. We gave them an awful licking and sent them flying from the field. Yesterday, I was in the field, burying parties were at work burying the dead. Here lay a pile of arms (guns of every description), there part of an artillery battery, and any number of dead horses.

 

Dead Horses at Gettysburg (Timothy O'Suulivan image at LOC

A few of the thousands of dead horses left behind from the battle of Gettysburg.

 

The ground was covered with shot and shell. The town is not much injured, but is used as one vast hospital. One can see the head of a soldier peeping out  from the door or window of every house. There is about a thousand wounded in the various hospitals near me. I have done a great deal of operating since I came to this hospital. For two days I done nothing but operate. It is all over now thank fortune, and we are taking care of them as well as our limited supplies will permit.

 

Camp Letterman General Hospital at Gettysburg

Camp Letterman General Hospital at Gettysburg treated over 14000 Union wounded in addition to 6800 Confederate injured.

 

The enemy are said to be at the old field of Antietam and it is not improbable that there will be a general engagement there.

Em, I am heartily tired of war and long for it’s close. If we can only destroy or capture Lee’s army here, now that we have nearly taken Vicksburg. It does seem to me as if the war was almost ended. Oh how glad I will be to return to civil life once more. I intend to spend one winter in New York or Philadelphia studying my profession and then I will go to practicing medicine again. [I] am in hopes of being able to obtain a few days leave of absence this fall so that I can visit my home once more. It seems as if I had been gone a long time, only eleven months since I was home, and yet, it seems as if I had been gone an age. I was very sorry to learn of Aunt Hattie’s illness and hope she is  much better by this time. Remember me to my friends and write me a good long letter. Direct as before and I will get it one of these days. I am about tired to death, aside from that, I am alright. Since I commenced to write I have been called away to look  to one of my boys who has been bleeding from an amputated leg. I have stopped it, and he stands something of a chance to recover. I must stop and make my nightly rounds.

Be a good girl and write soon,  Robert