The Civil War Connections Blog

…my Liver is out of order….

There was probably nothing more miserable than being on board an iron ship in the middle of the James River in the summertime. But if you were sick….that made it even worse. Fireman George Geer of the USS Monitor apparently drank some of the brackish water from the James and suffered the consequences…..

James River July 5 1862


Dear Wife


            I am still under the Doctor care but worse than I was when I wrote you last the reason is my own Carlessness the day after I wrote you I felt so well I went took charge of my Store Room again and I found it in a bad condition the men had been after things and tumbled them back any way I worked quite hard to get it in order and the next morning I found my self sick enough the Dr scolded me very hard for my carlessness and I am not to go there again without his orders  This time it is my Liver is out of order caused by drinking River Water what water passes me is the color of Blood and I am as yellow you would think I had the jaunders and I am so weak I can scarce  stand alone but I think I have seen the worst and shall commence to get bettor at once  I have not covered up any thing I have told you full as bad as I am it is nothing serious or that you need worry the least about I shall be all right in a fiew days I have lots of news to write you abut our and the Armys movements but do not feel strong enough  to write any moore I recvd two Lettors and  Paper sence I wrote you last I will answer them as soon as I can  Give my love to every body including Rachel


                                                                                                Your Loving Husband