Silver tea set presented to Mrs. Dr. William H. True by the patients of  
Ward 6
Campbell U. S. Army Hospital
WASHINGTON D. C.
12-26-1864
All too typical of the day, little has been set down of the history of Lydia Augusta Holden
beyond that she was an estimable young lady who was wed to successful Freeport, Maine
physician  Dr. William. H. True, July 4, 1849 and that she bore him five children only
two of which survived into the 1880s.  We can reasonably surmise by virtue of a silver
tea set passed on in the family with its original penned presentation document that Mrs.
Dr. True was one of several giving women who followed their husbands to the seat of
war where these courageous women served in the Army hospitals in and around
Washington D. C.   
Lydia’s physician husband had been offered a commission to the medical staff of three
different Maine regiments when in September of 1862 he selected the 25th Maine
Infantry. Several of his Freeport townsmen had done the same.  After service as 1st
Assistant Surgeon with his Regiment near Fairfax Court House then Chantilly, Surgeon
True was ordered to duty on the medical staff at Campbell Hospital in Washington then
assigned duty at an Army Convalescent Camp back in Virginia where he rejoined the 25th
Maine for return to Maine and mustering out at the expiration of their term of service July
11,1863.  Upon the personal request of Surgeon J. H. Baxter as head of Campbell
Hospital Dr. True was back in Washington in early August and in  charge of his two old
wards at Campbell.   We believe that it was at this point that Lydia traveled with her
husband to be with him and serve patients at Campbell.  They would be together until
February, 1865 when Dr. True was commissioned surgeon of the 20th Maine
Volunteers.  He would join the 20th  at the front of Petersburg where he was appointed
Surgeon in-chief of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps.  True was with the
20th at Appomattox on the day of Lee’s surrender and would return to Maine to be
mustered out with the 20th Regiment on July 16, 1865
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