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Report of Thomas McParlin, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, 1864 (Section II)

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Report of Thomas McParlin, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, 1864 (Section II)

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"Report of Thomas McParlin," OR. Vol. 36, Part 1, p. 226-237. Transcribed by John Hennessy.

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SECTION II.

Operations around Spotsylvania Court-House and Fredericksburg, Va.

During the morning of the 8th of May the Cavalry Corps attacked the enemy on the Spotsylvania Court-House road, and about 250 wounded were soon collected at Brown's house, one-half mile north-east of Todd's Tavern. At that point their wounds were dressed, and hot soup and coffee distributed, after which they were placed in ambulances and wagons and sent on as fast as possible to join the main train of wounded, which was then moving off toward Fredericksburg. The Cavalry Corps withdrew at 10 a. m., its place being taken by the Fifth Corps, and moved off toward Fredericksburg, guarding the left flank and rear of the army. The Fifth Corps met the enemy about 11 a. m., and a sharp engagement ensued. The men of this corps were much fatigued, having been on the road all night. The day was hot and sultry, and the roads very dusty, while dense woods, on fire in many places, covered the country, preventing the free circulation of air, or the dissipation of the dense clouds of dust raised by the moving troops. Some confusion occurred in the beginning of the battle, the enemy being in stronger force than was at first supposed, and a skirmish line was therefore formed in the rear, which drove forward all stragglers, allowing none to fall to the rear except those so seriously wounded as to be unable to walk. These last were at first hastily collected into little groups in hollows by the road side, which afforded protection against musketry; haversacks and full canteens were placed by them, and a medical officer left with each group. As soon as the line of battle ceased to advance, all the wounded were collected at four depots located in the woods by the side of the Todd's Tavern and Spotsylvania Court-House road, near the point of crossing of the Block house road. All the ambulances were absent, being engaged in conveying the wounded of the battle of the Wilderness to Fredericksburg, and much confusion and delay in the collection of the wounded occurred in consequence. Slightly wounded men, straggling over the country in every direction, except toward the front, while from 2 to 4 soldiers would leave the ranks with severely wounded men. The regular stretcher-bearers of the ambulance corps labored faithfully, but the number of wounded was so large, and the distance over which they had to be carried so great, that the evils above mentioned were not prevented. The medicine, hospital, and commissary wagons could not be brought up, as the roads were blocked with artillery and moving columns of troops. By 9 p. m., however, about 1,300 wounded of this corps had been collected, the hospital trains brought up, and 3,400 rations distributed. A large portion of the wounds were slight in character, and about 100 were self-inflicted. The Second Corps engaged the enemy on the Catharpin road during the afternoon, and had about 150 wounded, of whom 30 fell into the hands of the enemy; the remainder were brought off and made confortable at a temporary hospital established near Gray's house. The Sixth Corps had about 100 wounded cared for in its temporary hospital by nightfall. The want of ambulances was the same in the Second and Sixth Corps as in the Fifth, but as they had but few wounded, the evil results were not so great.

In order, as far as possible, to meet the emergency arising from the lack of ambulances, the following order was issued by the general commanding, after the state of affairs had been brought to his notice:

ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 8, 1864 - 3.45 p. m.

All ambulances and spring wagons of every description whatsoever now in use at any headquarters or by any officer of this army, for the transportation of baggage, or for any other purpose, will immediately be turned over to the medical director for the transportation of the wounded. The empty wagons of the supply trains will be substituted for the ambulances and spring wagons above mentioned. It is expected that this order will be promptly complied with by every officer concerned.

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

In accordance with the above order the spring wagons were turned over to the corps medical directors in the course of the evening, the Second Corps furnishing 16, the Fifth Corps 15, and the Sixth Corps 10. Fifteen spring wagons and ambulances turned over from general headquarters were kept together as a reserve train, under the orders of the medical director, to be used when and where they might be most needed. These spring wagons were a good substitute for ambulances, and were of great use in the emergency. During the 9th of May the army remained quiet, rations and ammunitions were issued to the troops, and the army wagons thus emptied were turned over to the medical department in the evening to be used for the removal of wounded during the following day. The Cavalry Corps moved off in the morning for the purpose of passing around the Confederate army and moving toward Richmond. Surg. R. W. Pease, U. S. Volunteers, the corps medical director, being unable to accompany the corps on account of illness, Asst. Surg. George M. McGill, U. S. Army, was made acting medical director of the corps, and his report of the expedition is appended to this report.

Early in the morning of the 9th, the hospitals of the Fifth Corps were established on a grassy lawn around the Coo's or Cossin house, situated on the Block house road, 1 1/2 miles in the rear of the line of battle. Water was abundant, and of good quality, and the location was excellent in every respect. The hospitals of the Second Corps were established near those of the Fifth Corps in open ground on the south branch of the Ny River. The Sixth Corps hospitals were placed in the pine woods on the Court-House and Piney Branch Church road, one-half mile north of the intersection of the Block house road. All the wounded were transferred to these points during the day by means of the spring wagons and stretchers; abundance of all kinds of supplies were on hand, including ice, there being several large well-filled ice-houses in the vicinity. Large numbers of blankets and shelter-tents, which had been dropped and abandoned in the woods by stragglers and wounded, were collected and brought into the hospitals by the attendants and field musicians, who in some instances were regularly deployed as skirmishers and sent through the woods for that purpose. About 2,500 blankets and 500 shelter-tents were obtained in this manner.

The only fighting during the day was between the pickets and sharpshooters, in which, however, we sustained a heavy loss in the death of Major General John Sedgwick, commanding the Sixth Corps, who was killed by a sharpshooter about 10 a. m. His death was almost instantaneous, the ball entering just below the left eye and traversing the base of the brain. Six ambulances belonging to the Artillery Reserve were captured during the day. They had been sent to assist in the removal of wounded, but the ambulance officer in charge, Lieutenant Holzborn, mistook the road and moved toward Chancellorsville, near which point the train was seized by a party of the enemy's cavalry. The greater part of the ambulances sent to Fredericksburg returned during the night of May 9. The horses were greatly exhausted by the severe and continuous labor which they had been compelled to perform, and were badly in need of rest. All the hospital supplies in the ambulances had been removed at Fredericksburg. During the morning of May 10 orders were issued and arrangements made to send to the rear the wounded in the field hospitals, using for that purpose the army wagons which had been emptied by the issue of the rations and ammunition of the previous day, and which were going to Fredericksburg for fresh supplies. No ambulances or spring wagons were sent, as a general engagement was going on at the time, and all were needed at the front. The train was organized at Silver's house, near which point the main trains of the army were parked, and moved from that point at 5 p. m., Surg. R. W. Pease, U. S. Volunteers, being in charge.

The number of wounded sent in this train, as reported by the corps medical directors, was as follows:

Corps. Wounded. Wagons.


Second 125 32


Fifth 1,419 196


Sixth 150 35


Total 1,694 263

To the above number reported should be added about 600 slightly wounded who moved with the train. Most of them from the day's engagement, and not going to the field hospitals nor being accounted for by the corps medical directors, which would make the total number sent to be 2,294. The wagons were bedded with straw and small evergreen boughs covered with blankets and shelter-tents, and carried from 3 to 5 men each, hard-bread boxes being used as seats for those who were able to sit up. Four thousand rations were sent with the train, and medical officers and attendants in the same proportion as in the first train from the Wilderness. No escort was sent, as the movements of the Cavalry Corps on the left were thought to afford sufficient protection. This train reached Fredericksburg at 11 p. m. of May 10 without trouble, having halted once on the road to furnish soup and coffee to the wounded. Two general assaults were made on the enemy's line during the day, the principal one about 4 p. m. The corps hospitals remained as established on the 9th, the advance depots being along the banks of the Po River. The character of the country was essentially that of the Wilderness, but lower and more marshy. Small open spaces existed at intervals in which artillery could be used, but the greater part of the engagement occurred in the woods, in which the dense undergrowth of hazel and shrub oak precluded the use of every arm but the musket. By 9 p. m., there had been collected and brought into the field hospitals the following number of wounded:

Second Corps............................................... 800

Fifth Corps................................................ 300

Sixth Corps................................................ 200

Total......................................................1,300

Number of wounded straggling (estimated)................... 600

Total number of wounded, May 10............................1,900

A number of the wounded of the Second Corps fell into the hands of the enemy when the corps withdrew in the evening to the north bank of the Po; the number so lost is estimated to have been 300. The train of the medical purveyor was at this time at Silver's, 4 miles only from the hospitals, and large issues were made during the day, especially for the purpose of refilling the ambulance boxes which had been emptied at Fredericksburg.

All the hospitals were supplied with ice, lemons, canned peaches, jellies, hospital clothing, & c., in addition to the hospital stores usually furnished under such circumstances. The duties of the medical officers attached to the field hospitals during the day were extremely arduous, and their satisfactory performance merits the highest praise. Many of the medical officers were absent, having been sent off with the first train of wounded, or detailed to remain with those left in the Wilderness, and those who were left, fatigued as they were by five days and nights of constant labor, had not only to organize a large train of wounded, but receive and care for an equal number from the front. On the 11th of May another train of wounded was organized and sent to Fredericksburg under the charge of Assistant Surgeon Du Bois, U. S. Army, Silver's being again the point of rendezvous. The number sent was as follows:

Corps. Wounded. Ambulances. Wagons.


Second 1,080 86 73


Fifth 467 90 29


Sixth 900 80 62


Total 2,447 256 164

The army wagons were bedded in the usual manner, and the ambulances used only for the most serious cases, of which, however, there were a large number. Two days' rations and the usual proportion of medical officers and attendants accompanied the train. This train was 4 miles long, and had to be collected and organized in the midst of a heavy storm, which began about 3 p. m., and continued all night with but slight cessation. It left Silver's about 9 p. m., but when within 4 miles of Fredericksburg was halted and compelled to wait four hours until a guard could be sent, so that it did not reach its destination until 6 a. m. of the 12th. As the town was already crowded, only 600 of the most serious cases were left, and the remainder moved on to Belle Plain, arriving there about noon. The train was then parked in sections and the wounded fed, furnished with dry blankets, and made as comfortable as possible in the wagons. Early the next morning the train occupied the landing, and the whole day was consumed in shipping the wounded. The men in this train suffered severely from wet and cold, 20 dying on the road.

About 700 wounded were brought in from the front on the 11th. Owing to the withdrawal of the Second Corps in the evening it became necessary to remove the Sixth Corps hospitals, which was effected during the night, and they were established the next day near those of the Fifth Corps. As the Block house, or direct, road was occupied all night by artillery and troops, the hospital train of the Sixth Corps was compelled to make a long detour by Piney Branch Church. The night was dark and stormy, the roads muddy and bad, and the ambulance officer in charge of the train mistook the road and moved 10 miles out of the way. The result of these delays was that the hospitals were not established until 10 a. m. of the following day, and both men and horses were fatigued and worn out.

At daybreak on the 12th, the Second Corps attacked the enemy from their new position on the left. By 8 a. m. the engagement had become general, and wounded began to pour into the hospitals with great rapidity. The advance ambulance depot of the Second Corps was near the Landrum house. The rain of the previous eighteen hours had made the roads very muddy, and in some places almost impassable for vehicles, and as nearly one-half of the ambulances were absent at Fredericksburg, the duties of those remaining were very arduous. The number of wounded from this day's battle was large, as will be seen by the following statement of the numbers received into the field hospitals, and the labor of collecting and bringing them in went on until midnight:

Number of wounded received:

Second Corps............................................. 1,820

Fifth Corps.............................................. 900

Sixth Corps.............................................. 840

Total.................................................... 3,560

The proportion of severe wounds was unusually large, not over one-fourth of the number being able to walk back to the hospitals; 240 ambulances collected the remainder. The amount of shock and depression of vital power was noticed to be comparatively much greater in the wounded of this battle than in any preceding one of the campaign, and more especially so in those of the Second Corps, who went into action without having had the usual morning cup of coffee. All of the wounded were fed and sheltered, and the majority dressed and operated upon during the day. Supplies of every kind were abundant, with the exception of dry clothing and blankets, for which the demand was very great. Fortunately the night was not cold, and as stimulants and hot soup and coffee were abundant and freely administered, the suffering from this cause was not severe. The hospitals of the Sixth Corps had to be pitched upon wet and muddy ground, but by the use of boards, obtained from and adjacent saw-mill, India-rubber blankets, and evergreen boughs, the condition of the wounded in them was rendered very tolerable. On the 13th, another train of ambulances and army wagons, obtained from the supply trains, was organized to convey wounded to Fredericksburg, Surgeon Martin, U. S. Volunteers, being in charge. The number sent was as follows:

Corps. Wounded. Ambulances. Army wagons.


Second 1,843 47 175


Fifth 550 35 20


Sixth 800 40 50


Total 3,193 122 245

One day's rations, and the usual proportion of medical officers and attendants, were sent with the train, which was collected at Silver's, leaving that place at 9 p. m., and reaching Fredericksburg early the following morning. The sufferings of these wounded were great. It rained all night, the men were wet and chilled, nor was it possible to supply them with hot food on the road. Fourteen men died during the trip. The necessity for sending off as many as possible, however, was imperative, as the army moved during the night of the 13th, and the ground occupied by the hospitals was abandoned to the enemy. No more ambulances could be spared, as there were still some wounded lying on the field to be brought in, and a general engagement was expected on the following day, while a large portion of the ambulances were already absent; every wagon was obtained from the quartermaster's department which could possibly be emptied. But 420 of the Fifth and 200 of the Second Corps had to be left on account of lack of transportation. Tents, medical officers, and attendants, dressings, and medical supplies, and three days' rations were left with them. On the evening of the 14th, a body of the enemy's cavalry, commanded by Colonel Rosser, entered the hospitals and removed all the Confederate wounded who could walk, about 80 in number, and also all the stragglers and hospital attendants who wore no distinctive badge. The soldiers of this squadron carried off the greater part of the rations left for the wounded. As soon as these facts were reported, a regiment of the Second Corps was sent out to drive off the marauders, who had gone, however, before our troops arrived.

Surg. Thomas Jones, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves, who had been left with the wounded in the Fifth Corps hospital, was killed by one of the men in this regiment, who in the darkness supposed him to be a guerrilla. Additional rations were left with the wounded, and the regiment was withdrawn about noon on the 15th, following the Second Corps, which had moved still farther on the left. On the evening of May 16 a train of 200 ambulances was sent out, which brought off all the wounded left at Cossin's, together with the tents and remaining hospital stores, the Second Division, Second Corps, under command of General Gibbon, moving out at the same time toward the right in such a manner as to protect the train. The removal was effected without difficulty, and the wounded, after having been fed and dressed, were sent directly to Fredericksburg. The hospitals of the Second Corps after leaving Cossin's were at first established at the Armstrong house; on the 15th, they were moved to the vicinity of the Beverly house, on the Spotsylvania Court-House and Fredericksburg turnpike. The hospitals of the Fifth and Sixth Corps were also located near the same point. The wagons of the medical purveyor moved to Fredericksburg on the 15th, and were refilled with their original supply. They remained at that point until the 21st, and large issues were made in the interim, advantage being taken of this period of comparative quiet to replenish the division hospitals and brigade supplies. A number of new troops joined the army at this time, and were found to be entirely unprovided with medical stores of any kind, or with means of transportation for wounded or supplies. They were, however, fully provided for, and equipped on the same basis as the rest of the army.

On the morning of the 18th, the Second Corps moved to the right and attacked the enemy's works; 552 wounded were the result, and the character of the wounds were unusually severe, a large proportion being caused by shell and canister. During the evening of the 18th and morning of the 19th, the corps hospitals were moved to the left and re-established on the Massaponax Church road, north of the Anderson house. This removal was fortunate, as they thus escaped from the confusion caused by the enemy's attack on the evening of the 19th. This attack was repulsed by heavy artillery regiments armed as infantry, who had just joined the army, and for many of them it was the first battle. The total number of wounded from this affair was 1,100, most of whom were able to walk back to the field hospitals, being hit in the hands and arms, and in many of them the skin being so blackened with powder as to prove that the injury was self-inflicted either by design or accident. Very many of these wounded came into the hospital with extemporaneous tourniquets tightly applied, and their hands and forearms swollen and livid in consequence. This dread of hemorrhage is simply another proof of the inexperience of the troops. This was the last of the series of battles about Spotsylvania Court-House; the army moved on the 21st toward the North Anna. No large trains of wounded were organized after the 13th, as the road to Fredericksburg was open and safe, and the corps medical directors sent their wounded off as fast as they were received, and means of transportation could be procured. The total number sent from the 14th to the 20th, as appears by the daily reports, was 2,212, including those brought in from Cossin's house. An estimate of the number of wounded, killed, and missing, for the battles around Spotsylvania Court-House is given in the following statement, which does not include the losses of General Burnside's command:

Number wounded, according to classified returns............ 9,031

Number wounded, straggling, and unrecorded................. 1,500

Total wounded..............................................10,531

Number killed, according to regimental reports............. 1,781

Number missing, according to regimental reports............ 2,077

Total loss.................................................14,389

After the 9th of May everything connected with the medical department worked smoothly, supplies were plentiful, and all the wounded were as well cared for as it is possible for them to be upon the battle-field. The greater want was of medical officers, as a large number were necessarily kept on duty in Fredericksburg, and those who remained with the army became weary with constant labor. The corps medical inspectors usually remained about the hospitals and superintended the transportation of wounded, they also made daily reports to this office of the number of wounded received, sent off, & c., during the day. The plan of drawing medical supplies by brigades was found to be inconvenient, the surgeons-in-chief of division hospitals making all requisitions and performing the duty of sub-purveyers.

To render the commissary department of the field hospitals as complete as possible, the following order was issued:


SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, 
May 16, 1864.


Numbers 136.

Corps commanders will cause a lieutenant to be detailed from each division of their command, who shall be charged with the duty of supplying the hospitals of his division the subsistence stores it needs. The officer so detailed will report to the surgeon in charge of the division hospital, and make his requisition for supplies on the chief commissary of his corps.

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

The practical results of this order will be commented on in a subsequent part of this report.

When the Artillery Reserve was broken up, the medical and hospital property and ambulance train were divided equally among the infantry corps; twenty-four new ambulances received from Washington were sent to Fredericksburg for the use of Surgeon Dalton, U. S. Volunteers. In sending the wounded from the field hospitals to the rear medical officers were instructed, in accordance with orders issued by the commanding general, to retain all cases of slight wounds and such as would soon be able to return to duty. This was found to be very difficult to effect, as the men would slip off in the night and no guard could be kept over them. No special authority was given during this period to send off sick, but the responsibility of so doing was assumed in some instances by the surgeons in charge of hospitals, and about 500 seriously sick men were thus sent from the army. A much larger number than this is reported as having been sent from Fredericksburg; the discrepancy will be explained in the account of the operations of the medical department at that point. The only loss of property sustained by the medical department during this period was that of the 6 ambulances of the Artillery Reserve before mentioned, 1 wagon filled with medical supplies belonging to the Second Corps, which was stuck fast in the mud and was abandoned, and the horses of 12 ambulances which were captured by guerrillas on the Fredericksburg road, the ambulances themselves being recovered.

In the mean time a series of depot hospitals had been organized at Fredericksburg by Surg. Edward B. Dalton, U. S. Volunteers, who reached that place with the first train of wounded on the 9th of May. All the churches, warehouses, and convenient dwelling-houses in the place were immediately occupied as hospitals, each corps organization being kept distinct as far as possible. The character of the buildings selected was generally good, and the ventilation sufficient, but as wounded continued to arrive in large numbers, closer packing became necessary, and the usual results of overcrowding began to be apparent. The ground occupied was elevated, well drained, and there was an abundant supply of good water. Supplies of all kinds arrived at Belle Plain on the 10th and 11th of May, and were brought to Fredericksburg as rapidly as transportation could be procured. Schedule C [E], appended to this report shows the character and amount of the supplies furnished by the Medical Department. The stores sent with the first train and those contained in the ambulance boxes served for the necessities of the wounded until supplies could be brought from Belle Plain. The wounded officers were at first billeted upon the inhabitants of the town, who, as a general rule, received them kindly and treated them well, although at first some of the citizens seemed inclined to make trouble. After the first week an officers' hospital was established, and medical officers specially detailed for duty in it. By the 13th, the condition of the wounded in Fredericksburg was comparatively comfortable, and the supply of all necessary articles was abundant, straw for bedding and stationery were the articles of which there was the greatest lack. The number of wounded at that date was about 6,000, but the number fluctuated almost hourly, and it was impossible to prepare accurate daily reports. The greatest want was of medical officers, those who accompanied the trains being greatly fatigued and insufficient in numbers. Fifty medical officers in all were sent from the front, being all that could possibly be spared. A number of medical men (civilians) came down from Washington as volunteers for the emergency, and rendered material and valuable assistance in a professional way, but they were for the most part ignorant of some of the most important duties of a medical officer under such circumstances, viz, to procure proper supplies; to see that his patient's food is abundant and properly served; that comfortable beds are provided, and thorough cleanliness enforced. Their attention was diverted from cases really needing their care by the loud complaints of the stragglers and malingerers with which the town was filled, and, being unfamiliar with the routine of military discipline, they could exercise no sufficient command or control over the soldiers.

The wounded from the front arrived, as a general rule, in very good condition, those in the trains of the 11th and 13th being excepted for reasons already stated. A large number of sick and slightly wounded, many of the latter self mutilated, did not go to the field hospitals nor accompany the regular trains, but straggled to Fredericksburg and thence to Belle Plain, relying upon the agents of the Sanitary Commission and other commissions for food, and keeping as much as possible out of the way of the medical officers. About 5,000 of these men were in Fredericksburg at different times, and to the tales invented by them for the purpose of exciting the compassion of citizens and strangers may be traced many of the false reports of suffering and destitution which for a time were prevalent at the North. Nearly all the slightly wounded passed directly through to Belle Plain, from which place they were sent to Washington as fast as boats could be procured, and at the rate of about 1,500 per day. From information received from Surg. R. O. Abbott, U. S. Army, medical director Department of Washington, it appears that 14,878 wounded had been received into the Washington hospitals by the evening of the 18th of May. About 600 malingerers and stragglers had also been received and turned over to the provost-marshal for safe keeping. These malingerers probably passed up in the first boats, succeeding in getting off by the aid of bloody bandages and judicious limping. After the first three days all men were carefully examined by a medical officer before they were allowed to pass on the boats.

Lieutenant-Colonel Cuyler, acting medical inspector-general, U. S. Army, came to Belle Plain with the first boats and remained directing operations at that point until all the wounded were sent away. A camp was formed of the sick and slightly wounded, and rations drawn for them by Colonel Cuyler, which were cooked and distributed by the Sanitary Commission. The obstacles to the removal of the more seriously wounded by way of Belle Plain were very great, and it would certainly have caused the death of a large number had the removal been attempted. The road between that point and Fredericksburg was to a considerable extent corduroy and very rough, nor could it be improved by any means then available. But one small wharf existed at Belle Plain, and over this all the supplies of the army had to be landed. These facts were duly represented to the authorities at Washington, and the more serious cases, such as compound fractures, & c., retained at Fredericksburg until the Rappahannock was rendered passable by gun-boats, which was effected by the 20th, and the railroad to Aquia Creek was put in running order, which was completed by the 22nd. Two light-draught steamers with barges were used to remove the wounded by the river, the larger hospital transports remaining below at Rappahannock, where the wounded were transferred to them. These hospital transports were the steamers Connecticut and State of Maine. They were completely fitted up with beds, cooking apparatus, and everything pertaining to the care and comfort of the sick.

The necessity for a large and complete hospital organization soon became apparent, and on the 15th requisitions were forwarded for 500 hospital tents and a corresponding amount of bedding and hospital furniture. These began to arrive on the 19th, and by the 22nd a complete tent hospital for each corps had been pitched and the wounded transferred to them. Erysipelas and a mild form of hospital gangrene had just began to make their appearance among the wounded, but the removal of the men from buildings to tents almost entirely checked the disease. The removal of wounded went on with great rapidity after the opening of the railroad, and by the 27th of May all had been sent off, except 8 Confederates, who were moribund.

All the hospital tents and stores were packed on boats and barges, and on the 28th the organization started for White House. Lack of means of transportation was a serious evil at Fredericksburg, and was the cause of the partial deficiency of supplies for the first week.

All the ambulances and army wagons which could be obtained, including those left behind by the Cavalry Corps, were at first kept constantly employed in the collection and removal of the wounded who had been left in the Wilderness, and in carrying supplies to those who could not be brought away. It must be remembered also that all the sick of General Burnside's command were in Fredericksburg, and were supplied and removed by the stores and boats furnished to the Army of the Potomac. After the 15th soft bread was issued to the hospital, ice-houses in the vicinity furnished an abundant supply of ice, and stores and supplies of all kinds were superabundant.

The total number of wounded sent from Fredericksburg and Belle Plain is shown in the following statement:

Total number of wounded received in Washington from

Fredericksburg, as reported by Surgeon Abbott, U. S. Army,

medical director........................................... 21,966

Number of sick received in Washington from Fredericksburg,

as reported by Surgeon Abbott, U. S. Army, medical director 4,225

Total number of sick and wounded........................... 26,191

In addition to the above Dr. Abbott reports, as before mentioned, the reception of 600 malingerers, who were turned over to the provost-marshal, also 226 Confederate wounded and 93 Confederate sick; total, 319.

It is not possible to state precisely the exact proportion of the above number furnished by the Ninth Corps, but it is believed to have been about 2,200 wounded and 1,600 sick. The figures for the Army of the Potomac would then be:

Number of wounded sent off................................ 19,766

Number of sick sent off................................... 2,625

Total..................................................... 22,391

The medical department owes much to the advice and co-operation of Colonel Schriver, inspector-general, Army of the Potomac, who commanded the post at Fredericksburg, and who did everything in his power to facilitate the proper care and transfer of the wounded. The skill, energy, and perseverance displayed by Surg. E. B. Dalton, U. S. Volunteers, in the face of so many difficulties and obstructions, merit the highest praise, and if only a passing allusion is here made to them, it is because they were but the commencement of a long series of similar manifestations.

[SEE PRINTED REPORT FOR STATISTICS AND TABLES]

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"Report of Thomas McParlin, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, 1864 (Section II)," in Fredericksburg: City of Hospitals, Item #40, https://projects.umwhistory.org/cwh/items/show/40 (accessed October 23, 2021).

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