Union surgeon James Dana Benton witnessed firsthand the suffering and death brought about by the ghastly wounds, infections, and diseases that wreaked havoc on both Union and Confederate soldiers. A native of New York, Dr. Benton penned a series of letters throughout the war to his wife and family relating his experiences with the 111th New York Infantry as an assistant surgeon, and later with the 98th New York as surgeon. Dr. Benton was present for some of the war’s most gruesome and important battles, including Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and the siege of Petersburg. He was also present for the fall of Harpers Ferry, Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural address, and the collapse of Richmond, where he took up residence in a hotel.
D'Onofrio, Peter J.
"Death, Disease, and Life at War: The Civil War Letters of Surgeon James D. Benton, 111th and 98th New York Infantry Regiments, 1862-1865,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 20
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol20/iss4/14