[from the diary of Milton W. Humphries of Bryan's battery, as recopied and annotated by him in 1893]]
April 8-9 My throat continued very much inflamed and raw. I could neither eat, not drink, nor speak.--This sore throat was very prevalent in our barracks, resulting undoubtedly from the presence of so many men in the same house. the house was crowded at night almost to suffocation. Two deaths occurred about this time, one from typhoid pneumonia, another from some mysterious kind of fever, or as some said, from poison; but as it is uncertain, I think it very unjust to suppose the deceased was actually poisoned intentionally. The names were Steele and Patton. My throat now began to improve rapidly, but my speech still failed me.--
Bryan's Battery was quartered in an old frame house known as the Nesmith House at that time. Mrs. Cary lived across main street on the block below, the N. house being on a corner. The cross-street lead to the old Fair Grounds. When the guns were carried out there, the men still remained in the Nesmith house. The horses, of course, were kept at the Fair Grounds.
Being huddled in so small a space, of course sickness was bound to appear among us. The disease which Killed the men named or at least one, and affected me so seriously, was simply Diphtheria, though I never knew it till the war was over.