From the Richmond Enquirer, 12/31/1862, p. 1, c. 3
Christmas at Camp Winder Hospital.
The Matron of Division No. 1, at Camp Winder Hospital, arranged a handsome and bountiful Christmas feast for the patients under her supervision. We have seen her letter of thanks to the generous ladies through whose agency she received the contributions for this most acceptable entertainment. She says:
"I beg to see you, to tell all about our Christmas dinner. It went off famously – everybody delighted. Think of 15 turkies; 130 chickens and ducks, a barrel of corned beef, 240 pies, and a barrel of cider, for the convalescents; rice custard, pudding, oysters, and egg-nogg for the sick!"
It is delightful to see the joy with which the good matron (Mrs. Mason,) dispensed her Christmas dainties among the disabled soldiers under her charge – disabled by sickness or wounds contracted in the service of their country. Woman's hands collected, and woman's hands prepared and dispensed the feast. This doubtless made it a double pleasure to the soldiers; and their friends in every part of the Confederacy will be gratified at this proof that our braves are not forgotten in their affliction by the strangers among whom they are, and that not only are their substantial wants relieved, but their pleasure and good cheer are the object of our ladies' solicitude.
While without the particulars as to the other Divisions in Camp Winder Hospital, we are pleased to learn that in them all, the patients were also entertained with a Christmas feast. Perhaps we should not be unwarranted in speaking of this as an illustration of the benefit of introducing matrons into our hospitals. The considerate kindness that provides Christmas dinners, is not restricted to Christmas; but shows itself in a thousand gentle influences and attentions such as come only from the heart and the hand of woman.
We ourselves were lately told in the Banner Hospital, by a poor soldier mortally wounded, as the matron and nurses were standing by him, "They are very kind to me, sir. I am treated as kindly as if I were at home." The country and the army have daily reason to thank Senator Simms of Kentucky, for this hospital bill; and we trust that the provision which requires matrons will be everywhere complied with.