This is part of an entry Dr. Bacon wrote on the march near Fredericksburg, VA on 3 June 1863. It concerns First Lieutenant Abraham Grafius, 2nd United States Infantry.

Lieutenant Grafius led Company C of the 2nd Infantry at Antietam in September 1862.


… as we arrive near our intended camping place, Lieutenant Abraham Grafius, 2nd Infantry, falls in the road in convulsion. I was having my horse led in front of me but came up at once. Convulsions severe. Respiration nearly ceasing. I took him by the side of the road on a blanket. Put a bower over him to protect him from the sun. Again and again his convulsions occurred. I had to work Marshall Hall on his breathing twice. Toward evening, I had him taken to his tent. I had sat right over him the whole day, scarcely being away from his side. It is the result of drinking. He drinks hard. If he wants to live, he had better sign the pledge.

More from the diary:

[June 4] Grafius better. Slight convulsions, two during the day. Is irrational. Hot. Have a shade erected over his tent.

[June 5] Hot. Grafius better.

[June 6] Grafius is delirious. Is controlled with some difficulty. I never saw a man come so near death and not die … make a recommendation to send Lieutenant Grafius to General Hospital at Washington.

[June 7] Grafius grows worse … Lieutenant Grafius must go to Corps Hospital. As it will not do to send him alone, I go with him [and] ride in the ambulance.

[June 10] Mrs. Grafius … I took with me the order to send Lieutenant Grafius to General Hospital at Washington. (Received last evening. So much “red tape.” It had been to General Hooker.) Arriving at the hospital, [I] find that he died yesterday morning. His family had been telegraphed of his sickness, and almost immediately his mother had come on, arriving this morning. Poor woman, how terribly she felt. For he was almost the entire support of herself and family and says she has none but God to look to now.

(She is a widow, one son sick) another delicate, and one daughter Ellen Grafius. I told her of her son, and coming away, she clung to my hand as though her heart was breaking. She sobbed. She wished me to say her gratitude to the 2nd Infantry for their care of her son.

Her daughter had knit a smoking cape for Abe & Captain McKee. One was sent to the Captain, the other was pressed on me. I told her I should prize it as a memento of her son.

She has all nearly, or rather Ellen has, of the pictures of the officers of the 2nd Infantry, and wishes me to send mine which I promised. Address: Miss Ellen Grafius, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

The complete diary of 1861-1863 is online thanks to Civil War Digital, in page images [pdf] and in transcription [pdf].

Born in Edwardsburg, MI, in 1837, Dr Bacon died in 1868 while still in Army service.  He was only about 31 years old. This photo of him was contributed to his Findagrave memorial by user El Merlo.

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