Flashing forward here to introduce you to a new character in our storyline... ~ M
I recently had the opportunity to visit NH Historical Society & look through several boxes of letters, notebooks, photographs, & ephemera of Sarah Low. Low was born in Berwick, ME, and grew up in Dover, NH. During the war she served as a nurse at Washington, DC hospitals, and wrote numerous detailed letters back to NH. She also kept careful records of her patients, and after the war many of them sent her photographs & other fond testimonials. (I'll share more of that source material if possible...)
Anyhow, by the end of 1863 Colby is very sick, and he finds himself back in Carver Hospital at Washington, DC.
I thought I might devise some conceit to enfold Low's letters into Colby's ongoing 1863 narrative -- For example, I thought I might adapt her letters to her sister to be letters to Colby's sister (one of the twins -- say, Ellen, who wrote to Colby while he was in the hospital). Here's how that might look:
SOURCE TEXT = Sarah Low letter: 13 October, 1863 "My Dear M___:" (NH Historical Society)
The more I work with Low's letters, though, the less I feel the need to fictionalize some connection between her & Colby. As you'll see, they'll start helping each other out as we read through Low's notes. Stay tuned...