The Forgotten Wayne House Hospital at Perryville

May 18, 2005
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Just east of Walker's Bend on the Chaplin River north of Perryville, Kentucky, is located the Goodnight Cemetery. At least two homesteads and maybe more comprised the division hospital of Frank Cheatham.

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Of course, nearly every home in the vicinity was occupied by a few Confederate casualties after the battle. The proximity of the two homes though, within one-hundred and fifty yards of one another, suggest that the Wayne House became an over-flow for the Goodnight Hospital after it became over-crowded. Recently, an article was located by the original historian of the Sixteenth Tennessee. He mentions the Wayne Hospital. He also mentioned a number of unusual wounds that were inflicted in the fight.

Some may find this interesting.

The writer was left with the wounded after the battle, and on the third day, being on the field to see if his comrades were buried, saw the most horrifying spectacle that was ever presented to view. The dead, in a fearful state of decomposition, were lying thick over the field, and it was astonishing to see how many had been shot in the forehead and face and mouth. In the hospitals the same peculiarity of wounds shown to a remarkable degree. There never was a battle like it, and it seemed incredible that men could survive such wounds, as many did survive, a few of which we will name.

Lieut. Denny Cummings, Company I, Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment, received a wound in the mouth which grazed his under lip, broke his jaw, went down inside his neck, and came out under his shoulder blade, tearing out a great piece of flesh. This Lieutenant recovered and resumed his place in his company and served to the end of the war…

Corporal H. L. Hughes received two crossfire shots in the mouth at the same instant. One broke out the teeth on the left side of the mouth on the lower jaw and the other tore out the teeth on the jaw on the other side of the mouth, each ball lodging in the neck on each side and were extracted by the surgeons. The mouth was not disfigured any at all. Corporal Hughes survived, and lived several years after the war.

Capt. John B. Vance, Company F, Sixteenth Tennessee, received a shot in the temple which passed through his head and came out under the ear on the other side. He lived six weeks, and would go about considerably, but died of hemorrhage caused by over-exertion.

I saw one man at the hospital at the Wayne House who was shot in the temple just behind the eye and the ball passed through the front part of his head and came out just behind the other eye, utterly destroying both eyes. This man was recovering the last I saw of him before being exchanged. His name escaped my memory, but from an item in the Banner of the 11th​ inst. I am convinced that it was Capt. John H. Wooldridge of Pulaski.

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Jan 28, 2021
This may be of interest, although I don't know if it relates to the same hospital or not. From a Sergeant in the 88th Illinois (I've used the 'pluck' comment before).

"We were ordered over a hill and ordered to fire into a cornfield below us where the bullets came thick and fast. Lying flat down we loaded and fired. Strange to say I saw not a rebel, but fired twice into the cornfield. Some of the boys fired more, some less....We stood our ground until the 'butternuts' left in double quick for the woods beyond...

...Yesterday the rebels retreated and last night we advanced to their positions which a whole army now uses as a camp. We are near by a hospital in which the rebels left their wounded also some surgeons and men to care for them. They converse freely with us, say we can never whip them, but confess that Northern soldiers have equal pluck with theirs. Some of them are tired of the war and wish to go home...

The battlefield shows that the battle was severe...The rebels left their dead in the field and heaps of sixteen or twenty lie around in some places. The yard around the rebel hospital here is filled with wounded soldiers lying around. It is dreadful indeed. I hope that I will not meet with a fate such as some of these poor fellows have met..."


Jan 28, 2021
@gunny I was kinda wondering if some of the 'peculiar' wounds described were from 'downhill' fire. Mouth -> shoulder blade, jaw -> neck, temple -> under ear... 🤔

Edit: Although as soon as I posted this I realized both sides hugging the ground on the flats would probably fit the same descriptions... Duh.
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