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18 Nov[ember] 1861 [Charles Washington Coleman], York Town [Yorktown], [VA] to [Cynthia Beverley Tucker Washington Coleman]
York Town Nov 18 1861
My dear Wife
I have just heard of an opportunity of sending you a note, it must be very short, or I will lose the chance, as the gentle man will leave in half an hour. You will have to answer for a good many sins of omission on my part. When I am with you I can only think of the present, and allow the future to take care of it’s self. Several things I neglected to attend to when in Williamsburg – one in particular I am surprised at, as it was calculated to [promote?] you [ca...f...t?]. That pane of glass has been frequently remembered and shall be attended to, just so soon as I can find an opportunity of dropping [ma a line ?]. I also intended preparing little Sadie a cough mixture, and examining the directions I gave you sometime ago for [ ? ]. I scarcely know what directions to give you for your sisters. almost every case requires a shade of difference in the treatment. In almost every case it is necessary to give a cathartic. Castor oil is perhaps the best, particularly, for children and by no means give mercury if it can possibly be avoided, and then in it’s mildest forms.
I would not advise blisters, as I think that I have seen injuries result from their use, if caustic [initation?] is necessary, use mustard plaster volatile liniment and preparations of this dose I believe that it is almost invariably a disease which assumes a low type, therefore, give Tincture of [Iron?], or some medicine that will change the character of the [bloon?], such as chlorate of potassh etc. as a local application. I sometimes use nitrate of silver or muriatic acid in the proportion of 1 part acid to 4 or 5 parts water as a gargle the same acid but more diluted, or a strong solution of Tannic acid. I have also [deemed?]
benefit from the chlorine mixture ^ as an in ternal remedy and as a gargle. [When?] the [fever?] [abates?], by all means, insist upon the patient taking food in sufficient quantities and of proper quality, and in order to stimulate the appetite, give a few grams of sulphate of Quinine every morning just before breakfast. I have only seen four fatal cases of this disease, and two out of that number I think died from want of nourishment. You may also send your sister the directions I gave you, as they are more specific than what I have written.
I must close and [ever?] remember to love [f...?] who cares to [sugar?] himself give Sadie 1/6 teaspoonful of the mixture whenever her cramp is troublesome Love to Ma: Helen & sister Bland