Civil War Update
Wimmer Wednesday. We have not had to endure anything of the war itself. There were four brothers drafted into the military. However, the army sent one back as unfit and two left to join our priests in Canada. The fourth was sent back by the War Department after he had been three months in the field, or actually in the hospital.
My Father Leonard Mayer, pastor of the German community in Richmond, was able to write me four times, but he received none of my letters. Because of this, I received a permit from Washington for a meeting with him. Father Emmeran Bliemel (who is in Nashville) tried to smuggle medicine to the southerners in Tennessee, but he was caught and imprisoned. Luckily, he was brought before General Rosecrans, who is a good Catholic, and was sent home to his bishop with an admonition that would do him some good. I received notification of this. I have heard nothing from the four fathers in Texas since January 6 of last year. Father Alto is here.
Brother Gallus was enticed into the military and fought in the three-week campaign in Maryland. He was wounded in the bloody battle at Antietem and had to be hospitalized. He was discharged, however, and is home again. He is from St. Boniface and is now thoroughly cured of his hypochondria. He has a great respect for grenades and shrapnel. The stories of his adventure have provided us with many enjoyable hours.
—Boniface Wimmer, Letters of An American Abbot, February 7, 1863.