Conclusion of the last post
Our story continues...
"I found a case of surgical instruments, took them out of the case and examined them. Browning was turning very plae. I said to him, 'Plebe Brown, I regret very much I can't cut you open now, as both my assistant surgeon and steward are absent, and I find I will need their assistance to hld you and keep you from wriggling. Brown," I said, "Do you think I could trust you not to wriggle?" Brown siad he was afraid he would wriggle. "Yes," I said, feeling his pulse, "I find you are a wriggler, and though I am disappointed not to cut you open, I will defer the operation for the present, and see the effect of medicine. If the medicine does not relieve you, come here after sick call tomorrow morning and I will ahve my assistant surgeon and steward here and proceed to cut."
"I mixed in a pretty large glass some of every medicine on the shelves which I knew not to be poisonous - castor oil, sweet oil, epsom salts, common table salt, and red pepper I remember were some of the ingredients. I told Mr. Brown that I would excuse him from drill and evening parade, on one condition, that he was not to bother me any more that day, nor was he to come to sick call next morning. I was afraid of his seeing the real doctor and being exposed.
"I made Mr. Brown drink every drop in the glass. I watched him as he went up the walk leading to the encampment. He had not gone a hundred yards when he stopped, laid hold of the fence on the side of the walk, and I though before he got through, he would throw up everything inside of him. When the steward, my friend Stoddard, returned I told him what I had done and he excused Mr. Brown according to my promise. Brown never put in an appearance again."
Note: Frances G. Brown of Ohio never did graduate.
The culprit was West Point Cadet Henry Heth who later became a Confederate major-general commanding a division in A. P. Hill's Corps. His men were the ones who first wandered into Gettysburg and initiated combat that day.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!