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Part V

Books and Documents > The Medical Department of the United States Army from 1775 to 1873

PART V

FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE REBELLION TO THE PRESENT TIME

The time has not yet arrived to write an impartial history of the Rebellion, either in its political or personal aspects. The events are too recent and too many of the prominent actors therein still living to render it possible to give in detail every circumstance connected even with the comparatively uneventful record of the services of the Medical Corps, without trenching on matters which might give rise to controversy, and hence be foreign to the object of this volume. Enough will be written to show that the Medical Department maintained its high standard of efficiency, gaining new laurels in every campaign and possessing at the close of the war the admiration of the profession throughout the world. The details of hospital construction and management, the conduct of field ambulance service, the record of the vast variety of wounds and injuries treated and of the immense number of camp diseases which came under the observation of the medical officers; these and kindred topics have been entrusted to the abler hands who are engaged in writing the"Medical and Surgical History of the War," and hence anything more than a passing reference to them is rendered unnecessary in these pages; but, indeed, were it otherwise any attempt to treat of them in a volume of the size of this would be very unsatisfactory. It is only proposed, therefore, in what follows to give a detail of the legislation for the Medical Department, with such occasional references to individuals as the circumstances of the case may demand.

On the first of January, 1861, the Medical Corps consisted of one Surgeon General, thirty surgeons and eighty-three assistant surgeons. Of these, three surgeons and twenty-one assistant surgeons resigned to take part in the Rebellion, and three assistant surgeons were dismissed for disloyalty. Five surgeons and eight assistant surgeons, natives of, or appointed from the states which took part in the Rebellion, remained true to the flag. Considering the universal disaffection which prevailed throughout the service, and the strong pressure brought to bear on every man of southern birth in the army, these figures are exceedingly creditable to the Corps.

Very soon after the attack on Fort Sumter, and while troops were hurrying from all parts of the country to the defence of the Capital, the Surgeon General, whose long experience and military proclivities would have rendered


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his services invaluable in the critical aspect of affairs, was compelled to leave the office where he had labored so faithfully for thirty-four years, and retire for his health to Norfolk, Virginia. In that place on the fifteenth of May, 1861, he was seized with a stroke of apoplexy and died in a few hours. He was the last of that gallant band of medical officers who had upheld the credit of the Corps under such difficult circumstances during the arduous campaigns of the second war with England. He had seen continuous service for forty-eight years, and had wielded his vigorous pen in the office of Surgeon General ever since the death of the lamented Lovell. Whatever may have been the judgment of his contemporaries on other points, no one denied him the possession of an extraordinary vigor of intellect, an industry which did not fail with advancing years, an ardent love for the military profession, and a high sense of the value of his Corps to the army; the determination to secure for it every right which his judgment thought just, and to weed out from it every member whom he considered to reflect no credit on its history. These traits of character brought him frequently in collision both with his superiors in the War Office and his subordinates in the army, but he was dismayed neither by authority nor influence in the prosecution of a favorite design or the establishment of a cherished plan. Consequently, while the energy of his character, the sincerity of his purpose and the ability of his administration caused him to be officially respected, he possessed none of those traits which had endeared Lovell to the entire army, and lacked that personal magnetism which obtains for those in high position the confidence and love of their subordinates. He was thoroughly conversant, from long service in camp and garrison, with all the details of a medical officer's duties, was a skilful surgeon and experienced hygienist, and in the long war waged by the Medical Corps for their rights of rank in the army was perhaps the fittest man to lead them to final success. The Medical Staff can well forget his defects, in recalling the great services he rendered in the long series of years during which he filled the position of Surgeon General.

On the receipt of official information of his death the War Department issued the following order:

"WAR DEPARTMENT,
             ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
            Washington, May 20, 1861.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 23.

It is with pain that the Secretary of War announces to the service the loss of a distinguished veteran officer, the late Surgeon General Thomas Lawson, of the army, who died at Norfolk, Virginia, on the 15th instant.

Having in 1811 resigned from the navy, where he had served two years, Doctor Lawson passed immediately into the army-a service with which, from that time, he has been uninterruptedly connected. Full of a military fire, which not even the frosts


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of age could quench, and of a zeal for the honor of his profession which made his administration of the Medical Department a model of inflexibility, efficiency and economy, he never spared himself, and was always prompt to volunteer his services wherever they might be required.

Thus after having gone with credit through the war of 1812-15, he was one of the first to hasten with General Gaines to the relief of our forces in Florida; and having been placed at the head of a regiment of volunteers by the suffrages of the gallant Louisianians who composed it, he acquitted himself with much credit in this new sphere of duty, and proved himself an able and effective colonel.

In fact, so marked were the military traits in his character, and among these, especially, his personal intrepidity, that at the close of the Mexican war, he was rewarded for his services in it by a brevet of Brigadier General in the army.

As an appropriate tribute of respect to his memory there will be fired at every military post, on the day after the receipt of this order, eleven minute guns, commencing at meridian-and the national flag will be displayed at half mast from the same hour until sunset of the same day; and for thirty days the prescribed badge of mourning will be worn by the officers of the army.

                              By Order,
                      L. THOMAS,
                              Adjutant General."

During the absence of General Lawson from Washington Surgeon Robert C. Wood performed the duties of Surgeon General, and immediately after his death, Surgeon Clement A. Finley, the senior surgeon in the army, was appointed to fill the vacancy. The new Surgeon General was a native of Ohio, from which state he was appointed surgeon's mate of the first infantry in 1818. He was retained as assistant surgeon on the reorganization in 1821, and promoted surgeon in July, 1832. At the time of his promotion he was president of a medical examining board, which convened in New York city on the first of May. The other officers composing the detail were Surgeons McDougall and Sloan. The approach of war and prospective increase of the Corps caused the number of applicants for appointment to be much greater than usual. One hundred and fifty-six received invitations to present themselves before the board, of whom one hundred and sixteen appeared. The services of the new officers being much needed in the field it was considered advisable that they should be appointed as soon as possible, and the board was consequently directed to arrange the successful candidates in three classes in the order in which they were examined. Of the first class, embracing those examined up to the twenty-fifth of May, three were rejected for physical disability, three voluntarily withdrew before the completion of their examinations, and twenty-two received a favorable report. Of the second class, embracing all examined up to the first of July, seven were rejected for physical disability, seventeen withdrew, seven were rejected for defective professional acquirements, and twenty-nine were recommended for appointment. The third class included those examined up


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to the final adjournment on the fourteenth of August. Eight failed to pass the examination, nine withdrew their names, and eleven were accepted, making in all sixty-two approved candidates.

A board for the examination of brigade surgeons met in Washington in August, and was composed of Surgeons McLaren, Holden, TenBroeck and White. It examined one hundred and thirty candidates for the position of surgeon of brigade, of whom one hundred and ten were approved. Thirty-seven candidates for the regular Medical Staff also appeared before this board, of whom twenty-four were found qualified for appointment.

The first troops brought into the field at the commencement of the war consisted, as will be remembered, of the three months militia called for by the President's proclamation, issued soon after the attack on Fort Sumter. These brought with them their own medical officers, and the only active service seen by them was at the battles of Big Bethel and Bull Run, Virginia, where, considering their lack of experience in military surgery, many of them rendered efficient service. Several were captured by the enemy while attending to the wounded of the latter fight. On the third of May the President issued a second proclamation calling for an additional force of forty regiments for two years service, to be apportioned among the various states. To each of these regiments one assistant surgeon was allowed to be appointed by the governor of the state furnishing the troops, but only after examination by a properly authorized board, to be appointed in like manner. Soon after this organization was altered so as to provide for one surgeon and one assistant surgeon to each regiment. In the matter of appointment of these officers, the clause requiring them to be examined was not rigidly executed, and so many received appointments on personal grounds who proved incompetent, that it was found necessary, at the request of the Surgeon General, to issue an order authorizing Medical Directors to summon any medical officer reported as unfit from any reason for his position before a board of examination, and any who failed to receive a favorable report from this board were ordered to be dropped from the rolls of the army. This order had a most excellent effect, and in the regiments raised in accordance with the act of Congress of July 22nd, in which the same organization was maintained, a much more efficient class of medical officers was obtained. By the President's proclamation of May 3rd the force called for was organized into divisions, to each of which was allowed a surgeon to act as Medical Director; but after the passage of the act of Congress just mentioned this organization was abandoned, and a corps of brigade surgeons provided for, who were to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 

The number of medical officers in the regular army being evidently insuf-


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ficient, Congress on the third of August passed an act for the "Better organization of the military establishment," of which the following are extracts:

"SECTION 2.     And be it further enacted, That the President be and is hereby authorized to appoint by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, in addition to the number authorized by existing laws, and in accordance with existing regulations, *  *  *  * ten surgeons and twenty assistant surgeons, to have the pay, rank and allowances, and perform the duties of similar officers in the present military establishment.

*          *          *          *          *          *

SECTION 5.     And be it further enacted, That there be added to the Medical Staff of the army a corps of medical cadets, whose duty it shall be to act as dressers in the general hospitals and as ambulance attendants in the field, under the direction and control of the medical officers alone. They shall have the same rank and pay as the military cadets at West Point. Their number shall be regulated by the exigencies of the service, at no time to exceed fifty. It shall be composed of young men of liberal education, students of medicine, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three, who have been reading medicine for two years and have attended at least one course of lectures in a medical college. They shall enlist for one year and be subject to the rules and articles of war. On the fifteenth day of their last month of service, the near approach of their discharge shall be reported to the Surgeon General, in order if desired, that they may be relieved by another detail of applicants:

SECTION 6.     And be it further enacted, That in general or permanent hospitals, female nurses may be substituted for soldiers, when in the opinion of the Surgeon General or medical officer in charge it is expedient to do so; the number of female nurses to be indicated by the Surgeon General or surgeon in charge of the hospital. The nurses so employed to receive forty cents a day and one ration in kind or by commutation, in lieu of all emoluments except transportation in kind.

*          *          *          *          *          *

SECTION 17.     And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War, under the direction and approval of the President of the United States, shall, from time to time as occasion may require, assemble a board of not more than nine nor less than five commissioned officers, two-fifths of whom shall be of the Medical Staff; the board except those taken from the Medical Staff, to be composed as far as may be of their seniors in rank, to determine the facts and nature and occasion of the disability of such officers as appear disabled to perform military service, * * * *  Provided, always, That the members of the board shall in every case be sworn to an honest and impartial discharge of their duties, and that no officer of the army shall be retired either partially or wholly from the service without having had a fair and full hearing before the board if upon due summons he shall demand it."

As originally reported from the Military Committee to the Senate, this bill contained a section providing for the appointment of two Assistant Surgeons General, to have the rank of lieutenant colonels of cavalry, who were to be assigned to duty as inspectors of hospitals, but in the course of the debate this clause was stricken out.

In the House of Representatives a bill was passed on the thirteenth of July, providing that boards for the retirement of disabled officers should be


220

composed entirely of medical officers; but as the Senate a few days subsequently passed the bill above quoted, no action was ever taken on the House bill by that body, and it was enacted that retiring boards should be composed two-fifths of officers of the Medical Staff.

The capture of medical officers of volunteers at the battle of Bull Run has been incidentally mentioned. During the first year of the war the same fate befell a number of the officers of the regular staff. On the surrender of the United States troops in Texas, through the treachery of Twiggs, several of the medical officers on duty in that department were taken prisoners. These were Surgeon E. H. Abadie, Medical Director, Assistant Surgeons Joseph R. Smith, R. D. Lynde, D. C. Peters and C. C. Byrne. On the surrender of Fort Fillmore, New Mexico, in July, 1861, Assistant Surgeons J. C. McKee and Charles H. Alden were also captured by the enemy. All these officers after a short detention were released on parole. At the first battle of Bull Run Assistant Surgeons C. C. Gray and G. M. Sternberg volunteered to remain behind in charge of our wounded at Sedley Church, and fell into the hands of the enemy. The latter was released in a few days, but the former was carried to Richmond, where during his detention he was required to attend our wounded in the "tobacco warehouse." He was afterwards sent to Castle Pinckney in Charleston Harbor, and from there to the prisons at Columbia and at Salisbury, from which place he was finally released on the twenty-eighth of July, 1862, having endured upwards of a years imprisonment. Surgeon Lyman H. Stone, U. S. Army, Assistant Surgeon C. S. DeGraw of the eighth New York militia, (now Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army) with several other volunteer medical officers, were likewise captured at this battle. After the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, Assistant Surgeon P. C. Davis was detailed to remain in charge of our wounded at Springfield, where he fell into the hands of the enemy on their occupation of that town. He was released on parole on the twentieth of September.

In his annual report to the Secretary of War for the year 1861 Surgeon General Finley thus speaks of the corps of medical cadets brought into service by the act of August 3, 1861:

"They have been found to be of great service in the field and in hospitals, increasing the efficiency of the Medical Department by an intelligent assistance, and gleaning for themselves an amount of knowledge impossible to be obtained in the study of their profession in civil life, except at the cost of the labor of years.

As no provision was made by the act for the subsistence of medical cadets, it is therefore respectfully recommended that they be allowed one ration for each per diem. There is also no allowance for camp and garrison equipage made for their accommodation in the field. They should have the same as is now allowed subalterns in the army. It is respectfully recommended that this deficiency be supplied.


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In view of the advantage derived from the employment of this body of young men, and the increased comfort that is afforded by their means to the sick and wounded of our brave army, it is respectfully recommended that fifty more cadets be added to the corps, to be appointed in the same manner, and to enjoy the same privileges and emoluments as those already in service."

Other recommendations made by the Surgeon General in this report were: an addition of one assistant surgeon to each regiment of volunteers; an increase of the regular Medical Staff by ten surgeons and thirty assistant surgeons; the enlistment of civilians as nurses in the general hospitals, and the addition to the organization of each company of two men to attend the sick in the field under orders of the regimental surgeon. He also called the attention of the Secretary to "the inequality in rank in proportion to the services and exposures that obtains in the Medical Corps of the regular army, compared with other branches of the General Staff."

On the seventh of February, 1862, Mr. Wilson, chairman of the Military Committee of the Senate, introduced a bill "To increase the efficiency of the Medical Department of the Army." The provisions of this bill effecting decided changes in the organization of the Medical Corps, gave rise to much discussion in both Houses of Congress. After being amended in many particulars, it finally became a law on the sixteenth of April in the following form:

"Be it enacted, etc., That there shall be added to the present Medical Corps of the army ten surgeons and ten assistant surgeons, to be promoted and appointed under existing laws; twenty medical cadets and as many hospital stewards as the Surgeon General may consider necessary for the public service, and that their pay and that of all hospital stewards in the volunteer as well as in the regular service shall be thirty dollars per month, to be computed from the passage of this act. And all medical cadets in the service, shall, in addition to their pay, receive one ration per day, either in kind or commutation.

SECTION 2.     And be it further enacted, That the Surgeon General to be appointed under this act shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier general. There shall be one Assistant Surgeon General and one Medical Inspector General of Hospitals, each with the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry, and the Medical Inspector General shall have, under direction of the Surgeon General, the supervision of all that relates to the sanitary condition of the army, whether in transports, quarters or camps, and of the hygiene, police, discipline and efficiency of field and general hospitals, under such regulations as may hereafter be established.

SECTION 3.     And be it further enacted, That there shall be eight Medical Inspectors, with the rank, pay and emoluments each of a lieutenant colonel of cavalry, and who shall be charged with the duty of inspecting the sanitary condition of transports, quarters and camps, of field and general hospitals, and who shall report to the Medical Inspector General, under such regulations as may be hereafter established, all circumstances relating to the sanitary condition and wants of troops and of hospitals, and to the skill, efficiency and good conduct of the officers and attendants connected with the Medical Department.


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SECTION 4.     And be it further enacted, That the Surgeon General, the Assistant Surgeon General, Medical Inspector General, and Medical Inspectors shall, immediately after the passage of this act, be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, by selection from the Medical Corps of the army, or from the surgeons in the volunteer service, without regard to their rank when so selected, but with sole regard to qualifications.

SECTION 5.     And be it further enacted, That Medical Purveyors shall be charged under the direction of the Surgeon General, with the selection and purchase of all medical supplies, including new standard preparations, and of all books, instruments, hospital stores, furniture and other articles required for the sick and wounded of the army. In all cases of emergency, they may provide such additional accommodations for the sick and wounded of the army, and may transport such medical supplies as circumstances may render necessary, under such regulations as may hereafter be established, and shall make prompt and immediate issues upon all special requisitions made upon them under such circumstances by medical officers; and the special requisitions shall consist simply of a list of the articles required, the qualities required, dated and signed by the medical officer requiring them.

SECTION 6.     And be it further enacted, That whenever the Inspector General or any one of the Medical Inspectors, shall report an officer of the Medical Corps as disqualified, by age or otherwise, for promotion to a higher grade, or unfitted for the performance of his professional duties, he shall be reported by the Surgeon General, for examination, to a Medical Board as provided by the seventeenth section of the act approved August third, eighteen hundred and sixty-one.

SECTION 7.     And be it further enacted, That the provisions of this act shall continue and be in force during the existence of the present Rebellion and no longer; Provided, however, That when this act shall expire, all officers who shall have been promoted from the Medical Staff of the army under this act shall retain their respective rank in the army, with such promotion as they would have been entitled to."

It was proposed in the course of discussion on this bill to give the chief of the Medical Bureau the title of Director General, and also to appoint a Medical Purveyor with the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant colonel of cavalry, but both these propositions were voted down in committee. The day before the passage of this act Surgeon General Finley was retired from active service on his own application after forty years service, under the fifteenth section of the act of Congress, approved August 3, 1861. On the twenty-fifth of April, Assistant Surgeon William A. Hammond was promoted to the vacancy, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier general. Surgeon Robert C. Wood was appointed Assistant Surgeon General, and Brigade Surgeon Thomas F. Perley, Medical Inspector General, each with the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel. The following officers were appointed medical inspectors, with the rank, pay and emoluments of lieutenant colonel: Surgeons John M. Cuyler, Richard H. Coolidge, Charles C. Keeney and Edward P. Vollum of the regular corps; Brigade Surgeons George H. Lyman, William H. Mussey and George T. Allen, and Surgeon Lewis Humphreys, of the twenty-ninth Indiana volunteers.


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The following general order in reference to general hospitals and to the discharge of soldiers on surgeon's certificate of disability was issued on the seventh of April, 1862:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 36.

1.     The general hospitals are under the direction of the Surgeon General. Orders not involving expense of transportation may be given by him to transfer medical officers or hospital stewards from one general hospital to another, as he may deem best for the service.

2.     The chief medical officer to whom the charge of all the general hospitals in a city may be entrusted, will cause certificates of disability to be made out for such men as, in his judgment should be discharged. He will be responsible that the certificates are given for good cause and that they are made in proper form, giving such medical description of the cases, with the degree of disability, as may enable the Pension Office to decide on any claim to pension which may be based upon them. The certificates of disability will be signed by the chief medical officer and forwarded by him to the military commander in the city, who shall have authority to order the discharge and dispose of the case according to existing regulations.

3.     The final statements, and all the discharge papers, will be made out under the supervision of the military commander and signed by him. Where the men are provided with their descriptive rolls there will be no delay in discharging them after their certificates of disability are acted on. But if they have no descriptive rolls, application will be made to the company commander for the proper discharge papers, and the men may be maintained a reasonable time while awaiting them, to avoid their being turned off without means of support. The discharge will in all cases bear the date when the papers are actually furnished the soldier.

4.     When a man is received in any hospital without his descriptive roll, the fact will be immediately reported by the medical officer in charge to the military commander, who will at once call on the company commander in the name of the Secretary of War, promptly to furnish the military history of the man, and his clothing, money and other accounts with the government.

5.     When too long a delay would arise in discharging the man because of the remote station of his company, application will be made by the medical officer to the Adjutant General for such account of the man as his records will furnish. To this partial descriptive roll, the medical officer will add the period for which pay is due the man since his entry into the hospital. The man will then be discharged, and receive the pay and traveling allowances thus shown to be due him, leaving the balance due him on account of clothing, retained pay, &c., for settlement in such manner as may hereafter be determined. *     *     *    *

9.     Whenever the chief medical officer shall report a number of patients as fit to join their regiments, the military commander will give the necessary orders to have them forwarded in good order and under suitable conduct.

10.     The chief medical officer in each city is authorized to employ as cooks, nurses and attendants any convalescent, wounded or feeble men, who can perform such duties instead of giving them discharges. *     *     *     *

                BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

                              L. THOMAS,
                      Adjutant General."


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In order to still further facilitate the discharge of enlisted men for disability, and thus relieve the general hospitals from the large number of chronic cases that were crowding them to the exclusion of others, Congress on the fourteenth of May passed the following bill:

"Be it enacted, etc., That the Medical Inspector General, or any Medical Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to discharge from the service of the United States any soldier or enlisted man, in the permanent hospitals, laboring under any physical disability which makes it disadvantageous to the service that he be retained therein, and the certificate in writing of such Inspector General or Medical Inspector, setting forth the existence and nature of such physical disability, shall be sufficient evidence of such discharge; Provided, however, That every such certificate shall appear on its face to have been founded on personal inspection of the soldier so discharged, and shall specifically describe the nature and origin of such disability; and that such discharge shall be without prejudice to the right of such soldier or enlisted man to the pay due him at the date thereof, and report the same to the Adjutant General and the Surgeon General."

The next legislation on the part of Congress in reference to the Medical Department was a bill for the appointment of medical storekeepers and hospital chaplains, which was passed without debate on the nineteenth of May, and was as follows:

"Be it enacted, etc., That the Secretary of War be authorized to add to the Medical Department of the army, medical storekeepers, not exceeding six in number, who shall have the pay and emoluments of military storekeepers in the quartermaster's department, and who shall be skilled apothecaries or druggist's, who shall give the bond and security required by existing laws for military storekeepers in the quartermaster's department, and who shall be stationed at such points as the necessities of the army may require; Provided, That the provisions of this act shall remain in force only during the continuance of the present Rebellion."

On the approval of this act, the following general order was issued in reference thereto:

                 "WAR DEPARTMENT,
    ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
                             Washington, May 24, 1862. 

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 55.

*           *           *           *           *          *

II.     The following are the regulations which will govern the appointment of medical storekeepers, under the first section of the foregoing act of Congress.

1.     A board of not less than three medical officers will be assembled by the Secretary of War, to examine such applicants as may, by him, be authorized to appear before it.

2.     Candidates to be eligible to examination, shall be not less than twenty-five years, nor more than forty years of age; shall possess sufficient physical ability to perform their duties satisfactorily; and shall present with their applications, satisfactory evidence of good moral character.


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3.     Candidates will be required to pass a satisfactory examination in the ordinary branches of a good English education, in pharmacy and materia medica; and to give proof that they possess the requisite business qualifications for the position.

4.     The board will report to the Secretary of War, the relative merit of the candidates examined, and they will receive appointments accordingly.

5.     When appointed each medical storekeeper will be required to give a bond in the amount of forty thousand dollars, before he shall be allowed to enter on the performance of his duties.

         BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
               L. THOMAS,
                   Adjutant General."

On the twelfth of May, 1862, Surgeon Nathan S. Jarvis, a veteran officer of the highest distinction, died at Baltimore, Maryland, where he had been on duty as Medical Director. He was appointed from New York to be assistant surgeon in the army in 1833, and had served faithfully in Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Mexico, holding many important trusts as medical purveyor, medical director, member of examining boards, and delegate to the American Medical Association, in all of which he had performed his duties to the credit of the Corps of which he was a worthy member.

On the first of June a medical board, consisting of Surgeon General William A. Hammond and Assistant Surgeons Jonathan Letterman, J. J. Woodward and M. J. Asch, met in Washington to examine candidates for appointment both as assistant surgeons and medical storekeepers. Twenty-one candidates for the position of assistant surgeon appeared, of whom seven received a favorable report, the remainder withdrawing before their examination was completed. The board reconvened on the ninth of July, with Surgeon L. A. Edwards as president, and examined eight, of whom two were passed. Ten applicants for the position of medical storekeeper were invited to appear for examination, six of whom were found qualified.

Very soon after his appointment Surgeon General Hammond saw the great advantage that would accrue to the cause of scientific medicine and surgery by rendering the enormous experience of the war available for future study. Hardly ever in the history of the world had such an opportunity been offered for the collection of statistics upon all points of military medicine, surgery and hygiene, and of obtaining specimens illustrative of pathological anatomy. It was therefore determined to commence such a collection in Washington, and the initiatory steps were taken by the promulgation of the following circular:

"SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
    Washington, D. C., May 21, 1862. 

CIRCULAR, No. 2.

In the monthly report of sick and wounded the following details will be briefly mentioned in accompanying remarks:


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SURGERY.

Fractures-The date of reception, the situation, character, direction, treatment and result in all cases.

Gunshot wounds-The date of reception, the situation, direction and character, the foreign matters extracted (if any), and the result in all cases.

Amputations-The period and nature of the injury, the character of the operation, the time, place, and result.

Exsections-All operations for, with a statement of the injury demanding them, the date of injury, the date of operation, the joint or bone operated upon, and the result.

MEDICINE.

Fevers-Their character and symptoms, an outline of the plan of treatment found most efficient, with remarks on the location and sanitary condition of camps or quarters, during the prevalence of these disorders.

Diarrhoa and Dysentery-Grade and treatment., with remarks on the character of the ration, and the modes of cooking.

Scorbutic diseases-Character and symptoms with observations on causation, and a statement of the means employed to procure exemption.

Respiratory diseases-Symptoms, severity and treatment, with remarks on the sheltering of the troops, and the atmospheric conditions.

Similar remarks on other preventable diseases.

Important cases of every kind should be reported in full. Where post mortem examinations have been made, accounts of the pathological results should be carefully prepared.

As it is proposed to establish in Washington an Army Medical Museum, medical officers are directed diligently to collect and to forward to the Office of the Surgeon General, all specimens of morbid anatomy, surgical or medical, which may be regarded as valuable; together with projectiles and foreign bodies removed, and such other matters as may prove of interest in the study of military medicine or surgery.

These objects should be accompanied by short explanatory notes. Each specimen in the collection will have appended the name of the medical officer by whom it was prepared.

                          WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, 
    Surgeon General."

The original organization of the volunteer medical staff was found in practice to be very defective, and the next legislation by Congress which was of interest to the Medical Department was a bill approved July 2nd, to reorganize that service so as to bring the medical officers of the volunteers more directly under the control of the Surgeon General, and assimilate their grades more nearly to those of the regular staff. It was as follows:

"Be it enacted, etc., That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advise and consent of the Senate, forty surgeons and one hundred and twenty assistant surgeons of volunteers, who shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of officers of corresponding grades in the regular army; Provided, That no one shall be appointed to any position under this act, unless he shall previously have been examined by a board of medical officers to be appointed by the Secretary of War, and that vacancies in the grade of surgeon shall be filled by selection from the grade of assistant.


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surgeon, on the ground of merit only; and provided further, That this act shall continue in force only during the present Rebellion.

SECTION 2.     And be it further enacted, That from and after the passage of this act, brigade surgeons shall be known and designated as surgeons of volunteers, and shall be attached to the General Medical Staff, under the direction of the Surgeon General; and hereafter such appointments for the medical service of the army shall be appointed surgeons of volunteers.

SECTION 3.     And be it further enacted, That instead of  'one assistant surgeon,' as provided by the second section of the act of July 22, 1861, each regiment of volunteers in the service of the United States shall have two assistant surgeons."

The medical board for the examination of these new officers consisted of Surgeons John H. Brinton and Meredith Clymer, U. S. Volunteers, and Assistant Surgeon Warren Webster, U. S. Army.

Soon after the Army of the Potomac was organized the officers assigned to its head-quarters as chiefs of the Quartermaster's and Subsistence Departments were made additional aides-de-camp, under the provisions of the act of August 5, 1861, so as to give them the rank of colonels. No such additional rank was given to the Medical Director, although his services were equally onerous and his responsibilities far greater. The officers of the Medical Staff were naturally desirous that the official head of their Department in the field should enjoy equal privileges of rank with those of the other staff corps, and to attain this end if possible, Surgeon General Hammond on the fifth of July, 1862, addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, requesting that the temporary rank of colonel might be conferred on the Medical Directors of the armies under command of Generals McClellan and Halleck. To this Secretary Stanton returned an unfavorable answer, upon the receipt of which the Surgeon General addressed the following letter to the Secretary:

     "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
                            July 17, 1862.

HON. E. M. STANTON,
                SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of your endorsement on my application to have the temporary rank of colonel given to the Medical Directors of General McClellan's and General Halleck's armies. In that endorsement it is stated:

'Refused unless it can be shown that the skill and efficiency of surgeons are increased by an increase of rank and pay.'

I cannot undertake to show this. I do not believe it to be true, that the skill and efficiency of surgeons would be increased by an increase of rank and pay-but if not surgeons, certainly not quartermasters or commissaries, or engineer officers. I think however and I am sure, sir, you will agree with me, that no men work more for less reward than the officers of the Medical Department.

My request was not, however, intended to refer to surgeons as such, but to the Medical Directors of large armies. The duties of Medical Directors are purely


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administrative, they are on the Staff of the Commanding General, and have control of all the medical officers, supplies and details.

Their duties are most onerous. For the proper performance of important duties it is a recognized principle in military affairs, that rank is essential. A Medical Director has only the rank of any other surgeon, that of major, and I truly believe that increased rank will enable him to perform his duties better by causing his wishes to be treated with greater respect by his commanding officer, and his commands obeyed more willingly by his subordinates. The application was made without the knowledge of either of the officers who would be benefitted by the request being granted.

Upon presenting the matter to General McClellan he assured me that it met with his cordial approval and he authorized me to say so to you.

Other staff officers whose duties are of no greater importance than those of the officers for whom I ask increased rank, and which are not of so purely a military character, have had this rank conferred upon them. It certainly does not appear just that the chiefs of the Adjutant General's, Quartermaster's and Subsistence Departments should receive greatly increased rank and the chief of the Medical Department be entirely overlooked.

I again therefore ask that the Medical Directors of General McClellan's and General Halleck's armies may be appointed aides-de-camp with the rank of colonel, and I beg leave to add to this request that the same rank be given to the Medical Director of General Pope's army. I assure you that no act would be received with greater satisfaction by the three thousand medical officers of our army than this.

                              I am, sir, very respectfully, etc.,
                          WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, 
                        Surgeon General."

No action was taken on this application, and it was not until February, 1865, that Medical Directors were granted additional rank, which was then given them by act of Congress.

At the battle of Antietam, on the seventeenth of September, the Medical Corps lost a most valuable officer in the person of Surgeon W. J. H. White, at the time on duty as Medical Director of the Sixth Army Corps. He was riding in company with General Franklin and others, somewhat in advance of the line of battle, when a volley was fired from a neighboring clump of woods, by which he was instantly killed. Surgeon Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, thus mentions the medical officers slain in this action:

"I have alluded to the loss of medical officers in battle. Three of them fell upon the battle field of Antietam, whose devotion to duty I cannot pass over. Surgeon W. J. H. White, U. S. Army, Medical Director of the Sixth Corps under General Franklin, was killed on that field by a shot from the enemy. He was a skilful surgeon, a gallant officer, and a gentleman whose deportment was kind and courteous to all who had intercourse with him. These admirable traits together with his familiarity with the medical affairs of that Corps, made his loss deeply to be deplored, and especially on that day. Assistant Surgeon Revere of the twentieth Massachusetts volunteers, accompanying his regiment into the midst of the fight, fell by the hands of the enemy, nobly and fearlessly discharging his duty to the wounded. Assistant Surgeon A. A.


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Kendall of the twelfth Massachusetts volunteers was killed by the enemy while with his regiment in this battle. He was a faithful and efficient officer, active and zealous in his devotion to his duty, to which he fell a victim in the midst of battle."

On the receipt of the news of the death of Surgeon White, the Surgeon General issued the following memorial circular:

          "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
            September 20, 1862.

ORDERS.

It is with feelings of profound grief that the Surgeon General announces to the Medical Department the untimely death of Surgeon W. J. H. White, who was killed in the battle of Antietam, on Wednesday, the 17th instant.

Surgeon White was appointed assistant surgeon in the army on the 12th of March, 1850, and was ordered to New York city to report to Surgeon Mower, then the principal Medical Purveyor of the army. In August of the same year he sailed with recruits under Colonel Craig for Port Lavacca, Texas, and accompanied them to El Paso, from whence he was soon ordered to accompany the escort to the Boundary Commission as medical officer. Being relieved in May, 1851, from duty with that escort, he was assigned to Abiqui, New Mexico, and served at different posts in that. department (he was one of the pioneers of Fort Craig) until the year 1855, when he was ordered before the Medical Board at New York for examination for promotion. Having been examined and found qualified, he received a short leave of absence, at the expiration of which (August 18, 1855) he was assigned to temporary duty at Fortress Monroe, and shortly after received orders to sail with troops for Texas. In this department he served at Fort Davis, San Antonio, Camp Colorado, Forts Duncan, McIntosh and Clark, from which latter post he was relieved on the nineteenth of December, 1860, and ordered to report in person to the Surgeon General.

In January, 1861, Doctor White arrived at Washington, and after being for some time attached to the Surgeon General's Office, was detailed for duty with troops in this city. Here he was in charge of the general hospital in the Washington Infirmary, and in addition to his duties in that hospital, was detailed as member of the Army Medical Board convened in this city, for the examination of candidates for the position of surgeon of brigade and for appointment in the Medical Staff of the army.

On the sixteenth of April, 1862, he was appointed surgeon to fill an original vacancy, and on the twenty-third of June was ordered to report to the head-quarters, Army of the Potomac, where he served as Medical Director of Franklin's Corps; and it was while fulfilling the duties of this office that Surgeon White was killed on the field of battle.

The first medical officer of his corps who has fallen in battle during the present war, the Surgeon General feels it no less his duty than his pleasure to bear tribute to the many estimable qualities which had endeared Surgeon White to his brother officers. Amiable in disposition, and of talents and integrity unquestioned, Surgeon White performed every duty which devolved upon him during a service of more than twelve years, to the entire satisfaction of this Department, which feels his loss as that of an officer not easily to be replaced.

As a tribute of respect to his memory, the usual badge of mourning will be worn by the officers of the Medical Department, for thirty days.

WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, 
                     Surgeon General, U. S. A."


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An army medical board of examination, consisting of Surgeons Abadie and A. K. Smith and Assistant Surgeons Dunster and Asch, met in Philadelphia on the first of October. It continued its sessions at intervals until the following April, Surgeon Abadie being relieved as president in December by Medical Inspector Cuyler. In all thirty-three candidates presented themselves, of whom fourteen were approved, one rejected, and eighteen withdrew their names before their examinations were completed.

In his annual report for 1862 to the Secretary of War the Surgeon General makes the following suggestions to increase the ability of the Medical Department to care for the sick and wounded:

"But there are still other measures, which if adopted cannot fail to add to the efficiency of the Department, and these I desire to urge through you on the attention of Congress. First among these is the establishment of a permanent hospital and ambulance corps, composed of men specially enlisted for duty in the Medical Department, and properly officered, who shall be required to perform the duties of nurses in the hospitals, and to attend to the service of the ambulances in the field. By the establishment of this corps, several thousand soldiers, now detached as nurses, cooks, etc., would be returned to duty with their regiments and the expense now incurred by the necessary employment of contract nurses obviated. * * * *  The necessity of such a corps has been recognized in all European armies, and I am able to speak from personal observation of the great advantages to be derived from it.

*           *           *           *           *           *

Considerable progress has been made in the establishment of an Army Medical Museum. The advantages to the service and to science from such an institution cannot be overestimated. I respectfully recommend that a small annual appropriation be made for its benefit.

An Army Medical School in which medical cadets and others seeking admission into the Corps could receive such instruction as would better fit them for commissions and which they cannot obtain in the ordinary medical schools, is a great desideratum. Such an institution could be established in connection with any general hospital, with but little if any expense to the United States. A hospital of a more permanent character than any now in this city, is I think necessary, and will be required for years after the present Rebellion has ceased. I therefore recommend that suitable buildings be purchased or erected for that purpose. If this is done, the medical school and museum will be important accessions to it.

*           *           *           *           *           *

The Engineer and Ordnance Department are charged with the erection of buildings, which require special knowledge. The building of hospitals also requires knowledge of a peculiar character, which is not ordinarily possessed by officers out of the Medical Department. It would therefore appear obviously proper that the Medical Department should be charged with the duty of building the hospitals which it is their duty to administer.

In the matter of transportation, the interests of the service require that the Medical Department should be independent. Much suffering has been caused by the impossibility of furnishing supplies to the wounded, when those supplies were within a few miles of them in great abundance.


231

The establishment of a laboratory, from which the Medical Department could draw its supplies of chemical and pharmaceutical preparations, similar to that now so successfully carried on by the Medical Department of the navy, would be a measure of great utility and economy. I therefore respectfully recommend that authority be given for this purpose. * * * *

Soon after my appointment, I issued circulars to medical officers, inviting them to cooperate in furnishing materials for a Medical and Surgical History of the Rebellion. A large number of memoirs and reports of great interest to science and military surgery especially have been collected, and are now being systematically arranged. The greatest interest in this labor is felt by medical officers of the army and physicians at large."

In addition, the Surgeon General advised the increase of the regular Medical Corps by another Assistant Surgeon General, two more Medical Inspectors General, eight medical inspectors, twenty surgeons, and forty assistant surgeons; and to the volunteer medical staff, of fifty surgeons, and two hundred and fifty assistant surgeons. He also recommended that so much of the first section of the act of June 30, 1834, as forbade the promotion of any assistant surgeon until he had served five years in that grade should be repealed.. He repeated his previous recommendation that increased rank should be given to Medical Directors while serving as such.

On the twenty-seventh of December, an act was approved "To facilitate the discharge of disabled soldiers from the Army, and the inspection of convalescent camps and hospitals," by the appointment of additional medical inspectors. The following is the text of this bill:

"Be it enacted, etc., That there shall be added to the present Medical Corps of the army, eight medical inspectors, who shall immediately after the passage of this act be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, without regard to their rank when so selected, but with sole regard to qualifications, and who shall have the rank, pay and emoluments now authorized by law to officers of that grade.

SECTION 2.     And be it further enacted, That the officers of the Medical Inspector's Department shall be charged, in addition to the duties now assigned to them by existing laws, with the duty of making regular and frequent inspections of all military general hospitals and convalescent camps, and shall upon each such inspection, designate to the surgeon-in-charge of such hospitals or camps, all soldiers who may be, in their opinion, fit subjects for discharge from the service on surgeon's certificate of disability, or sufficiently recovered to be returned to their regiments for duty, and shall see that such soldiers are discharged or so returned; and the medical inspecting officers are hereby empowered, under such regulations as may be hereafter established, to direct the return to duty or the discharge from service, as the case may be, of all soldiers designated by them."

When this bill was first introduced into the Senate from the Military Committee it contained a clause providing for the appointment of two additional Medical Inspectors General; but this was stricken out. It was endeavored,


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however, to carry out the suggestions of the Surgeon General in another bill reported by Mr. Wilson from the Military Committee on the nineteenth of January, 1863, "To provide for the greater comfort of the sick and wounded soldiers, and to promote the efficiency of the Medical Department of the Army." This bill provided for the addition to the Medical Corps of one Assistant Surgeon General, two Medical Inspectors General, twenty surgeons and forty assistant surgeons; also, ten medical storekeepers and as many medical cadets as the Surgeon General might deem necessary for the public service. So much of the first section of the act approved June 30, 1834, as forbade the promotion of assistant surgeons before they had served five years was repealed. These measures it will be observed were precisely those urged by the Surgeon General in his last annual report. In addition, the bill contained the following changes: In the organization of army corps, each corps was to have besides the staff authorized by existing laws, a Medical Director, with the rank pay and emoluments of colonel of cavalry. All Medical Directors of departments and the senior surgeon on duty in the Surgeon General's Office were given similar rank. Fifty surgeons and two hundred and fifty assistant surgeons were added to the volunteer medical staff. At the request of the Surgeon General a section was proposed by Mr. Pomeroy, of Kansas, providing for the selection of three officers from the regular or volunteer corps, who should be assigned to duty in the Surgeon General's Office, as chiefs of the Medical, Sanitary and Statistical branches of the Medical Department, and who were to have, under the direction of the Surgeon General, the control of all matters pertaining to these branches, and to constitute with the Surgeon General a council of advice upon all matters which might be referred to them by the Surgeon General; such chiefs of branches to have while acting as such the rank, pay and emoluments of colonels of cavalry and to rank next after the Surgeon General. This section met with so much opposition from various senators that after a long discussion it was withdrawn. This bill was debated on several occasions, Senators Wilson and Pomeroy urging its passage and others opposing. Finally all of the bill, except the section providing for an addition to the volunteer force, was stricken out, and in this emasculated shape it passed the Senate. In the House it was referred to the Military Committee on the twenty-sixth of January and that was the last heard of it.

The medical inspectors appointed under the act of the twenty-seventh of December, 1862, were as follows: Surgeon Joseph K. Barnes, U. S. Army; Surgeons Frank H. Hamilton, Peter Pineo and Augustus C. Hamlin, U. S. Volunteers; Doctor George K. Johnson, of Michigan; Surgeon John E. Summers, U. S. Army; Doctor N. S. Townshend, of Ohio, and Surgeon George W. Stipp, U. S. Volunteers.


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In a bill for promoting the efficiency of the Corps of Engineers, etc., approved March 3, 1863, occurs the following section relative to the duties of medical officers:

"SECTION 8.     And be it further enacted, That the officers of the Medical Department shall unite with the line officers of the army, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, in supervising the cooking within the same, as an important sanitary measure; and that the said Medical Department shall promulgate to its officers such regulations and instructions as may tend to insure the proper preparation of the ration of the soldier."

As has been already mentioned, a number of the medical officers of the army were held as prisoners of war by the enemy soon after the beginning of the Rebellion; some of them being detained in rebel prisons for upwards of a year. Efforts had been made for the arrangement of a cartel by which noncombatants on either side should be exempted from the penalties of capture on the field of battle. These had proved unsuccessful, but our government, willing to take the initiative in a good cause, plainly enunciated its views upon this subject in paragraph 53, of General Orders, No. 100, dated April 24, 1863, containing "Instructions for the government of the armies of the United States in the field," drawn up by Professor Francis Lieber, LL.D.:

"The enemy's chaplains, officers of the medical staff, apothecaries, hospital nurses and servants if they fall into the hands of the American army, are not to be treated as prisoners of war unless the commander has reason to detain them. In this latter case, or if at their own desire, they are allowed to remain with their captured companions, they are treated as prisoners of war, and may be exchanged if the commander sees fit."

After this, though there was no formal cartel on the subject between the two governments, surgeons and other non-combatants were generally released as soon as captured.

On the tenth of August, 1863, Medical Inspector General Thomas F. Perley resigned and Medical Inspector Joseph K. Barnes was promoted to fill the vacancy. Soon after his promotion the following order was issued by the Secretary of War relative to the duties of medical inspectors:

     "WAR DEPARTMENT,
                 ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
            Washington, September 12, 1863.

GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 308.

The Medical Inspector General has under the direction of the Surgeon General, the supervision of all that relates to the sanitary condition of the army, whether in transports, quarters or camps; the hygiene, police, discipline and efficiency of field and general hospitals; and the assignment of duties to medical inspectors.

Medical Inspectors are charged with the duties of inspecting the sanitary condition of transports, quarters and camps, of field and general hospitals, and will 


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report to the Medical Inspector General all circumstances relating to the sanitary condition and wants of troops and of hospitals, and to the skill, efficiency and conduct of the officers and attendants connected with the Medical Department. They are required to see that all regulations for protecting the health of troops, and for the careful treatment of and attendance upon the sick and wounded are duly observed.

They will carefully examine into the quantity, quality and condition of medical and hospital supplies, the correctness of all medical, sanitary, statistical, military and property records and accounts pertaining to the Medical Department, and the punctuality with which reports and returns, required by regulations, have been forwarded to the Surgeon General.

They will ascertain the amount of disease and mortality among the troops, inquire into the causes, and the steps that may have been taken for its prevention or mitigation, indicating verbally or in writing to the medical officers, such additional measures or precautions as may be requisite. When sanitary reforms, requiring the sanction and cooperation of military authority, are urgently demanded, they will report at once in writing to the officer commanding Corps, Department or Division, the circumstances and necessities of the case, and the measures considered advisable for their relief, forwarding a duplicate of such reports to the Medical Inspector General.

They will instruct and direct the medical officers in charge as to the proper measures to be adopted for the correction of errors and abuses, and in all cases of conflict of views, authority or instructions with those of medical directors, will report the circumstances fully and promptly to the Medical Inspector General for the Surgeon General's orders.

Upon or near the beginning of each month, medical inspectors will make minute and thorough inspections of hospitals, barracks, camps, transports, &c., &c., within the districts to which they are assigned, in conformity with these instructions and the forms for inspection reports furnished them.

Monthly inspection reports, in addition to remarks under the several heads, will also convey the fullest information in regard to the medical and surgical treatment adopted; the advantages or disadvantages of location, construction, general arrangement and administration of hospitals, camps, barracks; the necessity for improvement, alteration or repair, with such recommendations as will most certainly conduce to the health and comfort of the troops, and the proper care and treatment of the sick and wounded. When alterations, improvements or repairs, requiring the action of Heads of Bureaus are considered essential, special reports, accompanied by plans and approximate estimates of quantities or cost, will be made.

Medical Inspectors will make themselves fully conversant with the regulations of the Subsistence Department in all that relates to issues to hospitals, whether general, field, division or regimental, and will satisfy themselves, by rigid examination of accounts and expenditures, that the fund accruing from retained rations is judiciously applied, and not diverted from its proper purposes through the ignorance or inattention of medical officers, giving such information and instruction on this subject as may be required. They will also give close attention to the supervision of cooking by the medical officers, whose duty it is, under the act of Congress of March 3, 1863, and General Orders, No. 247, of 1863, to 'submit his suggestions for improving the cooking, in writing to the commanding officer,' and to accompany him in frequent inspections of the kitchens and messes.

They will exercise sound discrimination in reporting 'an officer of the Medical Corps as disqualified, by age or otherwise, for promotion to a higher grade, or unfitted


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for the performance of his professional duties,' and be prepared to submit evidence of its correctness to the Medical Board, by whom the charge will be investigated. 

Medical Inspectors are also charged with the duty of designating, to the surgeon in charge of general hospitals and convalescent camps, all soldiers who are in their opinion fit subjects for discharge on surgeon's certificate of disability, or sufficiently recovered to be able for duty. In all such cases they will direct the surgeon to discharge from service, in accordance with existing orders and regulations, or return to duty those so designated.

*          *          *          *          *          *

It is expected that all commanding officers will afford every facility to Medical Inspectors in the execution of their important duties, giving such orders as may be necessary to carry into effect their suggestions and recommendations; and it is enjoined upon all medical officers, and others connected with the Medical Department of the United States army, to yield prompt compliance with the instructions they may receive from Medical Inspectors on duty in the Army, Department or District in which they are serving, on all matters relating to the sanitary condition of the troops, and of the hygiene, police, discipline and efficiency of hospitals.

                BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
     E. D. TOWNSEND,
         Assistant Adjutant General."

The sanitary condition of the Departments of the South and the Gulf requiring special attention and care at this period, Surgeon General Hammond was, in the latter part of August, directed to proceed to Hilton Head, Charleston Harbor and other points on the southern coast, and give his special personal attention to the management of the medical branch of the service in those departments, making his head-quarters in New Orleans, and reporting to the Secretary of War every ten days. To enable him to give his whole time and attention to this important work, and to obviate any intermission in the transaction of the routine duties of the Department, he was relieved from the charge of the bureau of the Surgeon General at Washington. On the third of September, the following order was issued providing for the performance of the duties of chief of the Bureau during his absence:

      "WAR DEPARTMENT,
                  ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
Washington, September 3, 1863.

SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 396.

EXTRACT.

*          *          *          *          *          *

3.     Medical Inspector General J. K. Barnes, is under the provisions of the act of July 4, 1836, empowered to take charge of the Bureau of the Medical Department of the army and to perform the duties of Surgeon General during the absence of that officer. He will enter upon the duties herein assigned him without delay.

                            BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
         Assistant Adjutant General."


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A medical examining board, consisting of Surgeon TenBroeck and Assistant Surgeons Shorb and Mechem, met in San Francisco, California, on the twenty-ninth of April, but no candidates appearing before it adjourned on the eighth of May. A board, consisting of Surgeons Wright and Abadie and Assistant Surgeon Bill, was ordered to meet in New York city on the fifteenth of October. Nineteen candidates were invited to present themselves, of whom eleven reported. Of these six were passed, the others withdrawing before their examinations were completed.

There was no further legislation by Congress in behalf of the Medical Corps in the year 1863, nor was there any in the following year, with the exception of an act passed March 11, 1864, and promulgated in General Orders, No. 106 from the War Department, "For the establishment of a uniform system of ambulances in the armies of the United States." This act provided, first, that the medical director of each army corps, under the control of the medical director of the army, should have entire direction and supervision over all ambulances, medicine wagons, etc., and of all officers and men detailed for ambulance duty; second, that there should be detailed in each army corps for ambulance duty, one captain, one first and one second lieutenant, with non-commissioned officers and privates, and that all persons so detailed should be examined by a board of medical officers as to their fitness for such duty. The remaining sections of the act detailed the respective duties of the various officers, and the management of the ambulances and other property of the corps, and defined the relations between medical directors and the officers detailed on ambulance duty. By an order issued a short time previously the ambulance flags for the army were designated as follows:

"For General Hospitals; of yellow bunting 9 by 5 feet, with the letter H, 24 inches long, in green bunting, in the centre.

For Post and Field Hospitals; of yellow bunting 6 by 4 feet, with the letter H, 24 inches long, in green bunting, in the centre.

For ambulances, and guidons to mark the way to field hospitals; of yellow bunting 14 by 28 inches, with a border one inch deep of green."

The work of collecting specimens for the Army Medical Museum and materials for the preparation of a Medical and Surgical History of the War, was vigorously prosecuted during the years 1863 and 1864. Additional circulars were issued November 11 and 24, 1863, the first requiring medical directors to detail suitable officers to collect all reliable data relative to the operations of the armies in the field, more particularly with reference to the following points:

"The morale and sanitary condition of the troops, condition and amount of medical and hospital supplies, tents, ambulances, etc.; the points at or near the field where the wounded were attended to; degree of exposure of the wounded to wet, cold or


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heat; adequacy of supplies of water, food, stimulants, etc.; mode of removal of wounded from field to field hospitals; to what general hospital the wounded were transferred-by what means and where; the character and duration of the action, nature of the wounds received, etc."

The circular of November 24th was as follows:

          "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
                  Washington, D. C., November 24, 1863.

The attention of medical officers in charge of U. S. A. General Hospitals is invited to the importance of preparing illustrations of the results of surgical operations. These can in many instances be conveniently obtained by means of plaster casts, which are readily made without subjecting patients to the slightest inconvenience.

The casts most desired are those of stumps of amputations of every variety, and models of limbs upon which excisions may have been performed.

In selecting proper subjects for representation, it would be well to choose not only cases in which the results have been favorable, but also those in which they may have been unfavorable. In a collection like the National Museum, truthful representations of both good and bad results are alike instructive and valuable for future reference and study. * * * *

All preparations should be accompanied by proper histories, with name, rank and station of the contributor, who will be duly credited in the museum catalogue.

                              JOS. K. BARNES,
         Acting Surgeon General."

The following Circular Letter on the same subject was issued on the twenty-fourth of June, 1864:

          "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
Washington, D. C., June 24, 1864.

Medical officers in charge of hospitals are directed diligently to collect and preserve for the Army Medical Museum all pathological surgical specimens which may occur in the hospitals under their charge.

The objects which it is desired to collect for the Museum may be thus enumerated:
Fractures, compound and simple-fractures of the cranium.
Excised portions of bone. 
Diseased bones and joints. 
Exfoliations, especially those occurring in stumps.
Specimens illustrative of the structure of stumps, (obliterated arteries, bulbous nerves, rounded bones, etc.)
Integumental wounds of entrance and of exit, both from the round and conoidal ball.
Wounds of vessels and nerves.
Vessels obtained subsequent to ligation and to secondary hæmorrhage. 
Wounded viscera.
Photographic illustrations of extraordinary injuries, portraying the results of wounds, operations or peculiar amputations.
Models of novel surgical appliances, and photographic views of new plans of dressing. 


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Plaster casts of stumps of amputations, and models of limbs upon which excisions may have been performed.

It is not intended to impose on medical officers the labor of dissecting and preparing the specimens they may contribute to the museum. This will be done under the superintendence of the Curator.

*          *          *          *          *          *

JOSEPH K. BARNES,
             Acting Surgeon General."

On the twentieth of August, 1864, Surgeon General William A. Hammond was dismissed the service by sentence of a General Court-Martial. 

Medical Inspector General Joseph K. Barnes, who had been acting as Surgeon General ever since General Hammond departed for his southern tour of inspection, as already stated, was promoted to be Surgeon General, and Medical Inspector John M. Cuyler assigned temporarily to duty as Medical Inspector General. On the first of December Surgeon Madison Mills was appointed Medical Inspector General vice Barnes promoted, and Lieutenant Colonel Cuyler resumed his duties as Medical Inspector.

A medical board, consisting of Surgeons Tripler, King and Perin, met in Cincinnati on the eighteenth of October. But five candidates were examined, of whom two were approved.

In June, 1864, a bill was passed by the House of Representatives giving the increased rank to Medical Directors which had been repeatedly asked for during the war. It went to the Senate, and being referred to the Military Committee was reported back by them without amendment on the second of July; but objection being made to its consideration, it was laid aside, and did not come up again until the twenty-third of the following February, when it was passed without amendment. As approved by the President the act read as follows:

"Be it enacted, etc., That the Medical Director of an army in the field consisting of two or more army corps, and the medical director of a military department in which there are United States General Hospitals containing four thousand beds or upwards, shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry; and the medical director of an army corps in the field, or of a department in which there are United States General Hospitals containing less than four thousand beds, shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant colonel of cavalry. But this increased rank and pay shall only continue to medical officers while discharging such special duties, and the assignments from time to time to such duty shall be at least two-thirds of them from among the surgeons and assistant surgeons of volunteers."

The military control of general hospitals had been a vexed question, giving rise to many controversies throughout the whole war. This had partly arisen from the fact that the Army Regulations and General Orders in existence contained no specific instructions on the subject, and partly from an indisposi-


239

tion on the part of many officers to recognise the right of medical officers to command even in their own department. It frequently happened that officers of the line or of other staff departments were stationed at general hospitals or admitted to them for treatment, and they were indisposed to acknowledge the authority of the surgeons-in-charge in reference to military duties connected with the hospitals. In other cases the hospitals were situated in the immediate vicinity of military posts, the commanding officers of which would attempt to exercise command over them as appendages of their posts, an assumption of jurisdiction not conceded by the medical officers. Hence arose frequent conflicts of authority which tended to subvert the efforts of the Medical Bureau to perfect the hospital system, and to bring into contempt the authority of medical officers, even over their own patients. As early as February, 1862, Surgeon General Finley gave this matter his careful attention and addressed the following letter on the subject to the Secretary of War:

    "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE,
       February 14, 1862.

HON. E. M. STANTON,
        SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR: In order to aid in the administration of the hospital system of the army and to relieve the several Medical Directors of each of the Military Departments of the Grand army, I have after much consideration on the subject, concluded that it would conduce to the interests of the service, to have the establishment and control of the General Hospitals placed in charge of the Surgeon General.

In view then of the responsibility of the head of the Medical Bureau, I have the honor to propose the following regulations:

1st.     Medical Directors of an army in the field shall have control only over the brigade and regimental hospitals belonging to the division or army with which they are serving. They shall make monthly reports of the sick and wounded to the General commanding the division or army in the field and to the Surgeon General.

2nd.     The control of the General Hospitals shall be in the War Department by the Surgeon General. No change in the organization of those hospitals or in the medical officers attached thereto shall be made but by order of the Secretary of War or Commander-in-Chief, through the Surgeon General.

3rd.     The Surgeon General shall select, from the Medical Staff of the United States army as many medical officers as he may consider necessary, who shall by his order visit, inspect and report to the Surgeon General, the condition of said hospitals at least once in each month and a condensed statement of those reports shall be sent by the Surgeon General to the office of the Adjutant General of the United States army monthly, for the information of the Secretary of War and the Commander-in-Chief.

          I have the honor to be, etc.,
         C. A. FINLEY,
                              Surgeon General."

Any action on the last of these recommendations was rendered unnecessary by the passage of the act for the appointment of medical inspectors. The


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suggestion in regard to the control of general hospitals was, by the War Department General Order of April 7, 1862, so far acceded to as to place them under the supervision of the Surgeon General, but it was not sufficiently explicit in its terms to cover all the questions likely to arise and which did arise, relative to the authority of medical officers to have and exercise command in the hospitals of which they were placed in charge. Nothing less than a positive acknowledgment of this right would render the hospitals efficient, and enable the surgeons to perform their multifarious duties so as to conduce to the best interests of the service. No medical officers ever thought or desired to usurp the place of officers of the line by exercising general command over troops, but they did assert their right to be considered as commanding officers of posts when placed in charge of general hospitals. They were required to muster troops, to make out post returns and perform all the other duties which appertain usually to post commanders, and if without any military authority how could even these routine duties be performed, not to mention the maintenance of discipline and the preservation of order. Nor was there anything new or extraordinary in these claims by the officers of the Medical Department, for the Army Regulations of 1814, 1816, 1818, and 1825 distinctly provided that "The surgeon attending a general hospital shall observe the instructions of the [Assistant Surgeon General and of the] Medical Director in everything relating to the hospital under his charge; superintend its construction, government and police, and be held responsible for the manner in which the subordinate officers perform their respective duties." This continued to be the regulation until 1840, when a new edition being issued the word "construction" in the above paragraph was striken out. This edition, however, explicitly stated that the Surgeon General "is, under the direction of the Secretary of War, charged with the administrative details of the Medical Department, and has the complete control of all officers belonging to it. He will assign the surgeons and assistant surgeons to regiments, posts, or stations, and will issue all orders or instructions relating to their professional duties;" and further, that "hospitals are under the immediate direction of their respective surgeons." These provisions were reiterated in the edition of the Regulations for 1850, and it was not until 1856 that they were omitted, when substantially the present code was adopted by order of Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War at that time. It will therefore be seen that there was no foundation for the statement, made in an official form by a distinguished officer of another staff corps that "a systematic course has been pursued by the Medical Department to erect itself into a military corps, exercising all the functions of command, not only over the large number of patients and convalescents properly brought under it for treatment, but over all officers


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and troops stationed at general hospitals as guards, *  *  *  * claiming to be entirely independent of every other officer of whatever rank, except the Surgeon General." No such claim was ever made on behalf of the Medical Staff, but merely the right which the Army Regulations had given them for forty years, and the justice of the repeal of which they had never acknowledged.

After the issue of General Orders, No. 36, of April 7, 1862, no further immediate action was taken on the subject by the Medical Department, although on every appeal from an officer in charge of a general hospital the matter was again brought to the notice of the War Department. In consequence of the trial of an officer of the Corps in the latter part of 1863 on charges growing out of the uncertain relations of surgeons in charge of general hospitals, Mr. Nesmith, of Oregon, brought before the Senate a resolution, which was agreed to, calling for the proceedings of this court, and providing also, "That the General-in-Chief of the army be requested to report in detail what authority, if any, subordinate military commanders have by existing regulations, independent of the Medical Department, over general hospitals; what distinction, if any, there is in that respect between field or post hospitals and general hospitals; what orders or decisions have been made by the Secretary of War, General-in-Chief or Surgeon General on the subject; and whether the interests of the service do not require that all orders relating to the management of general hospitals, the reception, treatment and transfer of patients should pass through the Surgeon General or his immediate representative the Medical Director." In compliance with this resolution the General-in-Chief (Major General Halleck) wrote a voluminous report, which, however, contained nothing positively settling the jurisdiction of officers in general hospitals, as he considered the existing regulations amply sufficient to decide every question likely to arise in reference thereto. In 1864 the question was referred to a board of officers, consisting of Major General Hitchcock and Brigadier Generals Ketchum and Delafield, who were directed "to make a thorough examination of the subject of management and military control of U. S. General Hospitals," but for some reason this board never made a report. Meanwhile, as the great increase in the number of general hospitals consequent on the prolongation of the war vastly augmented the duties and responsibilities of the Surgeon General's Bureau, and as conflicts of authority, often in relation to such trifling matters as the issue of bread to a hospital or the building of a partition in a ward, were continually occurring and seriously interfered with the usefulness of these institutions, the Surgeon General, on the thirteenth of September, 1864, addressed the following letter to the Secretary of War, with a view to the final settlement of the whole matter:


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                              "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
                September 13, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to request that the following may be published in General Orders:

United States General Hospitals are under the exclusive control of the Surgeon General, and will be governed by such regulations as the Secretary of War shall approve, upon his recommendation.

Medical officers assigned to duty in charge of United States General Hospitals, acting under the instructions of the Surgeon General and not subject to the orders of local commanders, other than those of geographical military departments or divisions, are charged with all the duties of commanding officers and will be obeyed and respected as such.

Repairs, additions and alterations involving expenditures of public funds, will in no instance be ordered by surgeons-in-charge, who will refer all necessary requisitions for these purposes through the medical director, for the recommendation of the Surgeon General and the action of the War Department.

Enlisted men fit for duty in the field will not be detailed to or retained in General Hospitals in any capacity. Companies of the Second Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps, will be detailed, with or without commissioned officers as the Surgeon General may direct, for guards, attendants, nurses, cooks, etc., at General Hospitals.

Companies and detachments so detailed will be regularly mustered by surgeons-in-charge, and will not be relieved or transferred except by order of the Secretary of War.

              Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
            J. K. BARNES,
                Surgeon General."

The Medical Department owes a debt of gratitude which can never be forgotten to the Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, for the interest he took in this matter, by directing the issue on the twenty-seventh of December of General Orders, No. 306, embracing the above points, and which finally settled the right of medical officers to command within their own sphere of action. 

The question of the jurisdiction of medical officers over hospitals being thus satisfactorily settled, the attention of the Department was next directed to the subject of hospital transportation by sea. From an early period in the war sea-going steamers had been used to transport the sick and wounded from one part of the coast to another, and had been found of the greatest service. Though belonging to the Quartermaster's Department the control of these vessels had been vested entirely in the Medical Bureau. The propriety of this action was manifest when the nature of the service performed by them was considered. However, in November, 1863, the hospital steamer "Cosmopolitan," which had been used in transporting sick from one point to another in the Department of the South, was taken away from the Medical Department and turned back to the Quartermaster's Department by order of Major General Gilmore. The Acting Surgeon General requested the return of the steamer to


243

the Medical Department, which being referred to General Gilmore for remark, he replied that the vessel was only temporarily loaned to the Medical Department, and that "as commanding officer of the department, I hold myself responsible for the administration of its internal affairs, and consequently assume the right to apply its resources as the exigencies of the service may seem to require." To this endorsement the Acting Surgeon General replied, on the twenty-fifth of December, in the following letter to the Secretary of War:

                              "SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE,
       December 25, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Major General Gilmore's endorsement upon my application for the restoration of the steamer "Cosmopolitan" to the Medical Director, stating that "The steamer Cosmopolitan belongs to the Quartermaster's Department and was placed at the disposal of the Medical Director for temporary purpose by orders from these Head-quarters."

In the request of November 24, no question was made of the power of the General commanding the Department to dispose of the steamer, but the necessity for her services was stated as a reason for her restoration. The Cosmopolitan was selected by the then Medical Director, under orders from Major General Hunter and by his orders was fitted up and especially assigned to the Medical Department, as a hospital steamer and not as a temporary transport. All hospital steamers are owned or employed by the Quartermaster's Department, but their outfits and movements are under charge of the Medical Department. Upon the only occasion of emergency when Major General Hunter used the Cosmopolitan as a dispatch boat, he did so after advisement with his Medical Director. *  *  *  *

         Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
       J. K. BARNES,
           Acting Surgeon General."

The Secretary of War directed the steamer to be returned to the Medical Department, which was accordingly done, but in the following June she was again taken from it by General Hatch, and much suffering to the sick and wounded resulted. A similar interference with the Medical Department in the case of the hospital steamer "Spaulding" was reported by Medical Inspector G. H. Lyman in December, 1864. This report was forwarded to the Secretary of War, with the following endorsement:

"Respectfully forwarded to the Honorable Secretary of War, with the urgent request that orders may be issued prohibiting interference with Hospital Transports by other Departments.

The Hospital Transport "Spaulding" has just been fitted up at great expense, and was dispatched to meet General Sherman's army upon notification of its arrival at Savannah. To divert it to other purposes entirely cripples this Department in its efforts to provide properly for the sick and wounded and subordinates all its interests to the caprice or whim of local commanders.

S. G. O., J. K. BARNES,
January 3, 1865.  Surgeon General."


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On the twenty-third of January, 1865, the Surgeon General addressed a further letter to the Secretary of War on this subject, of which the following is a copy:

SIR: From the nature of the service upon which they are employed, it is absolutely essential that Hospital Transports and Hospital Boats should be exclusively under the control of the Medical Department, and not under any circumstances diverted from their special purposes by orders of local commanders or officers of other departments. I have therefore the honor to request that orders to this effect be issued, and that the Hospital Steamer "Cosmopolitan," be restored to the Medical Department and placed under the immediate control of the Medical Director, Department of the South, at Hilton Head, South Carolina, to be used as a hospital tender for the troops operating under Major General Sherman in that department.

           Very respectfully,
  Your obedient servant,

                              J. K. BARNES,
                 Surgeon General."

In accordance with this request, the following order was issued on the eighth of February:

"Hospital transports and hospital boats, after being properly assigned as such, will be exclusively under the control of the Medical Department, and will not be diverted from their special purposes by orders of local or department commanders, or of officers of other staff departments."

This definitely settled the whole question.

Immediately after the surrender of the rebel armies in April, 1865, orders were issued by the War Department "that the chiefs of the respective bureaus of this Department proceed immediately to reduce the expenses of their respective departments to what is absolutely necessary in view of an immediate reduction of the forces in the field and garrison, and the speedy termination of hostilities." Accordingly, the energies of the Surgeon General's Office were directed during the next few months to the reestablishment of the Medical Department on a peace footing. The army boards for the examination of candidates for admission into the volunteer medical corps, which had been in session at Philadelphia, Washington, Cincinnati, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, were dissolved, as were also all those for the examination of acting assistant surgeons, medical cadets and hospital stewards. All soldiers, patients in hospital, except veteran volunteers, veterans of the First Army Corps and those belonging to the regular army, were ordered to be discharged. Medical Purveyors were directed to suspend the purchase of medical and hospital supplies, and all


245

except the principal purveying depots were discontinued. Medical Directors received instructions to reduce as rapidly as possible the number and accommodation of the general hospitals within their respective departments, substituting post for general hospitals with all permanent commands. They were also ordered to discharge all contract physicians, civilian nurses, cooks and other employees whose services could be spared. The Assistant Surgeon General, Medical Inspector General and the medical inspectors were mustered out of service in October, those who belonged to the permanent establishment resuming their former positions in the Corps, and the remainder retiring to private life.

By the annual report of the Surgeon General it is shown how successfully these difficult undertakings were achieved. On the first of January, 1865, there were two hundred and one general hospitals in operation, and three were subsequently added. The hospital transport system included four first class sea-going steamers, equipped with stores and supplies for five thousand beds, besides a large number of river hospital boats, hospital railway trains, ambulances, etc. By the twentieth of October one hundred and seventy general hospitals had been discontinued, the property turned into the purveying depots or sold and the proceeds covered into the Treasury, the patients discharged and furnished transportation to their homes, and the medical officers and attendants of all kinds mustered out. Three out of the four sea-going transport steamers had been given up, and all those employed on the rivers.

During the war, besides those who entered the regular corps, there had been appointed five hundred and forty-seven surgeons and assistant surgeons of volunteers. There were mustered into service between April, 1861, and the close of the war two thousand one hundred and nine regimental surgeons and three thousand eight hundred and eighty-two regimental assistant surgeons. During the same period there were employed under contract eighty-five acting staff surgeons, and five thousand five hundred and thirty-two acting assistant surgeons. That this large body of men, numbering almost an army in itself, was faithful to the important trusts confided to its charge is evinced not only in the numerous reports of the general officers in command of troops, but also by the special testimony of the Surgeon General, who says in his annual report for 1865:

"In conclusion I desire to bear testimony to the ability, courage and zeal manifested throughout the war by the officers of the Medical Department, under all circumstances and upon all occasions. With hardly an exception they have been actuated by the highest motives of national and professional pride and the number who have been killed and wounded bears most honorable testimony to their devotion to duty on the field of battle."

That they did not shirk the post of danger is most conclusively shown by the following record of the casualties of the regular and volunteer staff during


246

the war. Thirty-two were killed in battle or by guerrillas or partizans, and nine by accident. Eighty-three were wounded in action, of whom ten died. Four died in rebel prisons, seven of yellow fever, three of cholera, and two hundred and seventy-one of other diseases, most of which were incidental to camp life or the results of exposure in the field, making a roll of honor embracing four hundred and nine names of those who it is a common error to consider not exposed to the dangers and chances of war.

An idea of the amount of labor performed by the Medical Staff will be obtained, when it is stated that one million fifty-seven thousand four hundred and twenty-three cases of wounds and diseases occurring among white troops were treated in general hospitals alone, not including the vast number that were attended in regimental and post hospitals. The cost of maintaining the Medical Department formed no small portion of the total expenses of the war, and it is a matter of just pride that it can be said that the medical disbursing officers performed their duties honestly and faithfully and that the immense quantities of medical supplies distributed all over the country were almost without exception properly accounted for. The expenditures on behalf of the Medical Department to the close of each fiscal year on the thirtieth of June, from 1861 to 1866, were as follows:

1861, 

$194,126

77,

1862,

2,371,113

19,

1863,

11,594,650

35,

1864,

11,025,791

33,

1865,

19,328,499

23,

1866,

2,837,801

37,

making a total of forty-seven million three hundred and fifty-one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two dollars and twenty-four cents, ($47,351,982   24) expended during the war (exclusive of salaries of commissioned officers) for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers of the nation.

There is no doubt that very much of the success which was attendant on the administration of the Medical Department during the Rebellion was due to the uniformity with which every judicious recommendation from the Surgeon General was acquiesced in by the Secretary of War. This indefatigable official overburthened with the gigantic responsibilities incident to the period, yet found time to give his special attention to the improvements asked for by the Surgeon General to increase the administrative efficiency of the hospital service. Prompt to censure and unrelenting in punishing any neglect in a medical officer, he was equally ready to commend where praise was due. The following occurs in his annual report for 1865:


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"The establishment of medical depots within reach of armies in the field, and their prompt supply upon the field of battle; the transportation of sick and wounded by ambulance, railroad and hospital transports; the sufficiency and successful administration of the best system of general hospitals; the sanitary precautions as well as all the minor details of this department, tending to the greater comfort of the sick and wounded, as well as to the health and efficiency of the troops, have undergone the severest possible test and in no instance have the movements of successful generals been impeded or delayed from any cause within the control of the Medical Department."

The Surgeon General but expressed the opinion of every person connected with the Medical Staff in writing in his report for 1866 to the Secretary:

"It is a matter of just pride and congratulation to the medical profession throughout the civilized world, that your deep interest in the health and hygienic condition of the army, your constant vigilance and most liberal assistance in all that could in any manner conduce to the greater comfort and welfare of the sick and wounded, and your official recognition of faithful and meritorious service by officers of this Department, have been responded to on their part by redoubled exertions, unfailing devotion to duty, and an esprit du corps that secures to it professional talent of the highest order. Letters from the most eminent surgeons and physicians in Europe, in acknowledgment of publications from this office, do not express more astonishment at the magnitude of the war, than admiration of the unvarying support and encouragement extended to the Medical Staff under your administration of the War Department."

The medical examining board for 1865 met in New York city on the twentieth of September, and continued its sessions until the fifteenth of the following February. The detail was Surgeons Tripler, Wirtz and Heger and Assistant Surgeon Lee. Ninety-eight candidates were invited to present themselves, of whom thirty-one failed to appear. Of the remainder, seventeen withdrew before their examinations were completed, thirty-one were rejected for defective physical or professional qualifications, and nineteen were recommended for appointment.

On the twenty-third of January, 1866, Surgeon Richard H. Coolidge, the Medical Director of the Department of North Carolina, died after a brief illness. Doctor Coolidge had been long and favorably known to the army as an accomplished officer and christian gentleman. His long service in the Surgeon General's Office, on army boards of examination, and as the compiler of the Army Medical Statistics and Army Meteorological Register, had made him thoroughly familiar with the interests of the Department, and his whole life had been devoted to its advancement. During the war he had added to the distinction of his previous service by the ability with which he had performed the duties of medical inspector.

The attention of Congress in the early part of 1866 was devoted to fixing


248

the peace establishment of the United States army. As early as the tenth of January Mr. Wilson reported to the Senate a bill for this purpose, which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and ordered to be printed. This bill was several times reported and recommitted. As reported to the Senate on the seventeenth of January the sections relating to the Medical Department were as follows:

SECTION XVIII.     And be it further enacted, That the Medical Department of the army shall hereafter consist of one Surgeon General, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier general; one Assistant Surgeon General, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry; seventy-five surgeons, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a major of cavalry; one hundred and fifty assistant surgeons, with the rank, pay and emoluments of captains of cavalry after three years service, and with the rank, pay and emoluments of a first lieutenant of cavalry for the first three years service; and five medical storekeepers, with the same compensation as is now provided by law; and the vacancies hereby created in the grades of surgeon and assistant surgeon shall be filled by selection from among the persons who have served as staff and regimental surgeons or assistant surgeons of volunteers two years during the war; and persons who have served as assistant surgeons three years in the volunteer service shall be eligible for promotion to the grade of captain.

SECTION XIX.     And be it further enacted, That upon the recommendation of the Surgeon General, the Secretary of War may detail a surgeon as Chief Medical Purveyor, who while performing such duty, shall be in charge of the principal purchasing and issuing depot of medical supplies, and shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel of cavalry, and not to exceed five medical officers as assistant medical purveyors, who while performing such duty in the different geographical divisions or departments, shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of a lieutenant colonel of cavalry.

SECTION XX.     And be it further enacted, That the Surgeon General be, and he is hereby empowered to detail from time to time, subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, not to exceed five officers of the grade of surgeon, for duty as medical inspectors, who, while performing such duties, shall have the rank, pay and emoluments of colonel of cavalry, and who shall receive their instructions from, and make their reports direct to the Surgeon General. *  *  *  *

SECTION XXIX.     And be it further enacted, That the *  *  *  *  Surgeon General *  *  *  * shall hereafter be appointed by selection from the corps to which they belong [he belongs.]

SECTION XXX.     And be it further enacted, That no person shall be appointed to any vacancy created by this act, in the *  * Medical Department, *  *  until he shall have passed the examination now required by law."

After some discussion the bill was laid aside, and no further action taken on the subject until the fifteenth of February, when Mr. Wilson reported a new bill to fix the military peace establishment. The differences in the sections relating to the Medical Department in the new and old bills, were that section xviii was altered so as to provide that two-thirds of the vacancies created by the act should be filled from among the volunteer medical officers and one-third


249

from the regular staff; and section xx was struck out entirely. The bill was further amended in the Senate by adding after the word "selection," in section xviii, the words "by competitive examination," and adding at the end of this section a clause providing for the appointment of as many hospital stewards as the service might require. In this amended form the bill was passed by the Senate on the fourteenth of March. On the sixteenth of March the subject came up in the House of Representatives, and was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, who on the ninth of July reported back the Senate bill, with an amendment to strike out all after the enacting clause and insert a substitute. The sections in the substitute which referred to the Medical Department were:

"SECTION XXI.     And be it further enacted, That the Medical Department of the army shall hereafter consist of one Surgeon General, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a brigadier general; one Assistant Surgeon General, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a colonel; one Chief Medical Purveyor and four assistant medical purveyors, with the rank, pay and emoluments of lieutenant colonels, who shall give the same bonds which are or may be required of Assistant Paymaster Generals of like grade, and shall, when not acting as purveyors, be assignable to duty as surgeons by the President; seventy surgeons, with the rank, pay and emoluments of majors; one hundred and forty assistant surgeons with the rank, pay and emoluments of first lieutenants for the first three years service, and with the rank, pay and emoluments of captains after three years service; and five medical storekeepers with the same compensation as is now provided by law; and at least two-thirds of the original vacancies in the grades of surgeon and assistant surgeon shall be filled by selection by competitive examination from among the persons who have served as staff or regimental surgeons or assistant surgeons of volunteers in the army of the United States two years during the late war, and one-third in the same manner from similar officers in the regular army; and persons who have served as assistant surgeons three years in the volunteer service shall be eligible for promotion to the grade of captain. And the Secretary of War is hereby authorized to appoint from the enlisted men of the army, or cause to be enlisted, as many hospital stewards as the service may require, to be permanently attached to the Medical Department, under such regulations as the Secretary of War may prescribe. *  *  *  *

SECTION XXVII     And be it further enacted, That in all the staff corps *  * one-third of the promotions may be made on the ground of merit alone, and without regard to seniority in the date of appointments or commissions.*  *  *  *

SECTION XL.     And be it further enacted, That in all cases where a volunteer officer has been appointed in the regular army to the same rank or grade which he may have held in the volunteer forces, or to any lower rank or grade, his name shall be borne on the army register with the date of his volunteer appointment, and he shall take rank as with continuous service from such date."

Meanwhile, the Senate, finding the House had taken no action on the bill passed by them on the fourteenth of March, passed another bill with the same title. This, so far as the Medical Department was concerned was essentially the 


250

same as the substitute subsequently passed by the House, but differed materially as regards other departments. When the House substitute was reported back to the Senate, on the twenty-fourth of July, Mr. Wilson moved to strike out all after the enacting clause and substitute their second bill, which was agreed to. This necessitated a conference committee on the part of the two Houses, which was accordingly appointed on the twenty-fifth of July. This committee failed to come to any agreement, and were accordingly discharged and a new committee appointed on the twenty-seventh, which made a report which was adopted by the two houses, and the bill finally became a law on the twenty-eighth of July. The organization of the Medical Department was the same as has been given in section xxi of the bill passed by the House on the ninth of July, with the exceptions that sixty surgeons and one hundred and fifty assistant surgeons were provided for, instead of seventy surgeons and one hundred and forty assistant surgeons; and substituting the following clause for the corresponding one in the House bill:

"And all the original vacancies in the grade of assistant surgeon, shall be filled by selection by examination, from among the persons who have served as staff or regimental surgeons or assistant surgeons of volunteers in the army of the United States two years during the late war."

The clause was also added from the Senate bill requiring the Surgeon General to be hereafter appointed by selection from the Medical Corps. The new offices created by this act were filled as follows: Surgeon Charles H. Crane was appointed Assistant Surgeon General on the twenty-eighth of July, and on the twenty-second of August Surgeon R. S. Satterlee was appointed Chief Medical Purveyor, and Surgeons C. McDougall, E. H. Abadie, Robert Murray and Charles Sutherland, assistant medical purveyors. To fill the vacancies in the grade of assistant surgeon created by this law an examining board was called to meet in New York on the twentieth of September. The officers composing the detail were Surgeons Joseph B. Brown, H. R. Wirtz, A. Heger and Warren Webster. Surgeon Heger was subsequently relieved by Surgeon John Moore. This board continued its sessions until October 5, 1857, having during that time examined one hundred and sixty candidates, out of two hundred and seventy-two that were invited to present themselves. Of those examined, forty-eight were found qualified and recommended for appointment, ninety-one were rejected, and twenty-one withdrew after a partial examination.

By an epidemic of cholera which prevailed at Hart Island, New York Harbor, in the summer of 1866 the Medical Corps lost a young officer of great promise. Assistant Surgeon J. Theodore Calhoun died in the faithful performance of his duties on the nineteenth of July. In his official report of this epidemic Surgeon John J. Milhau thus speaks of his untimely death:


251

"Brevet Major J. Theodore Calhoun, assistant surgeon, United States army, died July 19, at 1 p. m., of cholera, after an illness of ten hours. He was faithfully attended by Brevet Major Warren Webster. The funeral cortege consisted of officers only, six of whom bore the coffin to the grave on the island. Thus ended the career of a kind hearted, energetic, conscientious and intelligent medical officer, whose services in the field and at the post had endeared him to all with whom he had served. He was stricken down while in the zealous discharge of his duties, and his memory will long be cherished by his old associates and his former patients."

Another officer, Assistant Surgeon J. E. McDonald, died of cholera at St. Louis, Missouri, on the tenth of September.

The death of Surgeon Charles S. Tripler, which occurred at Cincinnati, Ohio, on the twentieth of October, after a long and painful illness, left a vacant place in the ranks of the Medical Staff difficult to be filled. He was one of its most distinguished members, who during upwards of thirty-five years service had ever been foremost in all enterprises for the advancement of the interests of the Corps, and the dignity of the medical profession. So highly was he appreciated in the army that the War Department paid to his memory the unusual tribute of announcing his death in a general order, which was as follows:

                          "WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
    Washington, October 27, 1866.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 89.

The following notice of the decease of a distinguished officer of the Medical Department of the army, by the chief of his Department, is published to the army:

                   SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
                          Washington, October 23, 1866.

TO THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, U. S. ARMY:

SIR: I have the honor to report the death, at Cincinnati, on the 20th instant, of Brevet Brigadier General C. S. TRIPLER, Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Department of the Lakes.

Entering the army as assistant surgeon, October, 1830, General TRIPLER served continuously for thirty-six years, during which time he held with credit to himself and advantage to the government, positions of high trust and responsibility, taking part in the Seminole war, the war with Mexico, the occupation of California, and being the first Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac.

His skilful administration and conscientious discharge of duty, has been rewarded by three brevets for 'faithful and meritorious services.' The Medical Corps possesses in his distinguished career a bright example of the union of great professional attainments, with the military zeal and pride of an officer, and those qualities which mark the christian gentleman.

          Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                        J. K. BARNES,
                            Surgeon General.

        By ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

                     E. D. TOWNSEND,
        Assistant Adjutant General."


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General Tripler was born of English parents in New York city on the nineteenth of January, 1806. He was prepared for college, but through the failure of his father in business was compelled to abandon this intention, and thrown upon his own resources at an age when most youths are commencing their education. He supported himself for several years as a clerk in a drug store, and in 1823 commenced the study of medicine with Doctor Stephen Brown, of New York, graduating at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1827. After receiving his degree he served as resident physician at Bellevue Hospital, where he highly distinguished himself during an epidemic of small-pox, carrying with him to his grave the marks left by his encounter with this malady. About this time, through the influence of a great uncle, he was offered a position in the Honorable East India Company's service, but this he declined, having already in view an appointment in the Medical Staff. He went very soon after this to West Point, where he entered the family of the late Surgeon Walter V. Wheaton, and studied the practical duties of a military surgeon with that officer until 1830, when he received an appointment as assistant surgeon. His subsequent career is so well known to the whole army as to need no mention here, but the following brief lines by the one who knew him best in this world, though not written with a view to publication, may appropriately be given to show that in private life he was not less exemplary than distinguished as a public man:

"He made many friends at West Point during the time he lived there, among the Professors as well as among the future officers of the army. He was always a student, though he described himself as a lazy boy, who learned nothing unless it was beaten into him. He certainly was beaten into the habit of study; he went through the mathematical course pursued by the cadets while he was at West Point; he afterwards learned the French language so as to be able to translate with fluency and elegance, the same with Italian and Spanish. He made no attempt to speak any but the Spanish. He was no mean musician. His great desire seemed to be to learn well, what he did learn.

He wrote less than he studied, but his stores of knowledge were always at the service of his professional friends in civil life, who had less time than himself to give to books. As far as I know he printed but the following: 1. Remarks on Delirium Tremens, 1827, being his graduating Thesis, published by request. 2. A Treatise on the duties of physicians in regard to popular delusions. 3. A Treatise on the nature, cause and treatment of scurvy. 4. Manual for the medical officers of the army of the United States. Part I. Recruiting and the inspection of recruits, 1858.  5. Handbook for the military surgeon, 1861. These last two were incomplete, the latter on account of his going to the field at the beginning of the Rebellion, and the former being only the first part of the work, which he hoped to live to complete to his own satisfaction.

There is little more to say. Any record of Doctor Tripler should tell of prompt obedience of orders, of twenty-three years of service at one time without a leave, of


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thirty years of devotion to his corps and to every duty to his country, of his services in three wars so ill rewarded.

He was not in the habit of talking about himself. He was one of the most self-denying and charitable of men, but no one would have dreamed it from anything he said. With nothing but his pay, he supported his own mother for twenty years and his wife's mother and sister for half that time, and never to his own wife mentioned the money which was sent each quarter with unfailing regularity. A devout christian, he avoided the subject of religion in general conversation most carefully only to make more telling some private talk which souls now on earth and many in Paradise listened to, to their eternal welfare. His own faith never wavered; he bore his painful sickness, his horrible pangs more than patiently, he bore them thankfully; when he was struck he gave the ring of the true metal, and so died."

A few months after his death the officers of the Corps caused a handsome monument to be erected over his grave in the cemetery at Detroit, Michigan. 

Previous to the war of the Rebellion the only brevet ever conferred on a medical officer was in the case of Surgeon General Lawson, who at the close of the Mexican war was brevetted a brigadier general for "meritorious services" in the campaign which resulted in the capture of the city of Mexico. At the close of the Rebellion, however, owing to the persistent efforts of the Surgeon General, in which he received the cordial support of Mr. Stanton, the principle was at last recognized that medical officers who were equally exposed on the battle field with officers of the line, and were frequently called upon to face the more appalling dangers of pestilence in camp and hospitals, were equally entitled to some mark of distinction for the faithful discharge of duty with those of other branches of the service. Consequently, at the termination of the war and after the subsequent epidemics in 1866 the Medical Staff was not over looked in the distribution of these marks of distinction. The Surgeon General was brevetted a major general, twelve surgeons to the rank of brigadier general, fourteen surgeons and one assistant surgeon to the rank of colonel, fifty-three surgeons and assistant surgeons to the rank of lieutenant colonel, sixty-three assistant surgeons to the rank of major, and eight to the rank of captain.

The seventeenth section of the act of July 28, 1866, contained a clause, that "persons who have served as assistant surgeons three years in the volunteer service shall be eligible for promotion to the grade of captain." Although not so intended, the phraseology of this clause had the effect of excluding from such eligibility all those who had served in the grade of surgeon, thus confining its benefits to but a small proportion of the volunteer medical officers. This was remedied by adding a section to a bill approved March 2, 1867, so as to make the clause in question read, "all persons who have served as surgeons or assistant surgeons, etc." By the same act military storekeepers, including those of the Medical Department were given the rank, pay and emoluments of captains of cavalry.


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The nomination of Surgeon E. H. Abadie to be Assistant Medical Purveyor having failed of confirmation by the Senate, expired by constitutional limitation on the fourth of March, 1867, and he resumed his former position as surgeon. On the twentieth of July Surgeon J. H. Baxter, U. S. Volunteers, received the appointment to fill the vacancy.

The year 1867 was one of unusual fatality to the officers of the Medical Staff. Surgeon Robert O. Abbott, so well known as the efficient Medical Director of the Department of Washington throughout the war, died on the sixteenth of June, after a lingering illness. Few were better known in the army and none more universally beloved than this high minded and able officer and gentleman.

Severe epidemics of yellow fever at the south, and of cholera at the west, caused the loss of a number of valuable lives. No less than thirty-one medical officers were attacked with yellow fever while battling with that pestilence along the Gulf coast, of whom ten died. These were, Surgeon George Taylor, Surgeon-in-Chief of the District of Texas, who died at Galveston on the fifth of August; Assistant Surgeon Charles H. Rowe, on the fifth of September, at Galveston; Assistant Surgeon J. Sim Smith, on the eighth of September, at Fort Jefferson, Florida; Assistant Surgeon Samuel Adams, on the ninth of September at Galveston; and six citizen physicians employed under contract. By cholera the army was deprived of the services of Assistant Surgeon G. M. McGill, who died, July 20, on the plains while en route with troops to New Mexico.

The last army board convened in New York city on the first of May, 1868. The detail was the same as in 1867, except that Assistant Surgeon Woodhull was substituted for Surgeon Warren Webster as recorder. Ninety-three candidates were invited to appear for examination, of whom sixty-three were examined. Fifteen were found qualified, forty were rejected, and eight withdrew after a partial examination.

There were still a large number of vacancies in the Corps, but in consequence of a section added to the Army Appropriation Bill approved March 3, 1869, these and others which have occurred since that time have never been filled. This clause was as follows:

"SECTION VI.     And be it further enacted, That until otherwise directed by law, there shall be no new appointments and no promotions in the *   *  Medical Department."

Just before the passage of this bill General R. S. Satterlee, Chief Medical Purveyor, and General C. McDougall, Assistant Medical Purveyor, were, by direction of the President, retired from active service. An effort was made in


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Congress, on the twenty-second of March, to pass a bill restoring them to the active list, but it met with so much opposition that the matter was indefinitely postponed.

Brevet Brigadier General Robert C. Wood, a veteran surgeon of great experience and extensive acquirements, died in New York city of pneumonia on the twenty-eighth of March, 1869. General Wood was a native of Rhode Island, from which state he was appointed an assistant surgeon in May, 1825. For the first ten years of his service he was stationed at various posts in the northwestern territory, and being promoted surgeon, July, 1836, was ordered to Florida, where he remained until 1840. He was then stationed at Buffalo until 1845. He was surgeon of the fifth infantry at the commencement of the Mexican war, and organized and conducted the general hospital at Point Isabel during the Rio Grande campaign. In the latter part of the war he had direction of the general hospital at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans, Louisiana. He was post surgeon at Fort McHenry, Maryland, from 1850 to 1854, and subsequently in the office of the Surgeon General until 1862, being frequently during this period on duty as Acting Surgeon General. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon General, June, 1862, and stationed at Louisville, Kentucky, in charge of the medical department of all the western armies until the close of the Rebellion. His last duty was as a member of the board to retire disabled officers, from which he was relieved and himself retired in February, 1869, a month before his death. In all his long service he was distinguished, adorning every high position which he occupied, and just before the close of his career was rewarded by the government with three brevets for faithful and meritorious services.

General Wood was soon followed to the grave by Surgeon John B. Porter, who died at Coventry, Connecticut, on the fifteenth of June. He entered the service as assistant surgeon in December, 1833, had highly distinguished himself during the Florida and Mexican wars, (especially during the prevalence of yellow fever at Vera Cruz in 1847) and as Medical Director of the forces in Utah from 1859 to 1861. He was retired in 1862 for "disability resulting from long and faithful service," and assigned as Medical Purveyor at Chicago, from which duty he was relieved in 1864, and passed the remainder of his life at his home in Connecticut.

To this roll of the departed the name of Surgeon Samuel G. I. De Camp was added on the eighth of September, 1872. For forty-eight years he had served his country as a medical officer, the last nine of which, however, were passed in retirement at his home at Saratoga, New York, where he died. His long and varied service had been performed with credit to himself and the Corps, and profit to his country.


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A bill passed Congress on the fourth of March, 1872, to provide for the appointment of a Chief Medical Purveyor. It was as follows:

"Be it enacted, etc., That the President of the United States be, and hereby is, authorized to appoint by selection from the present assistant medical purveyors, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a chief medical purveyor of the army, to fill the vacancy now existing. Nothing herein shall be construed to increase the pay of the officer appointed to fill said vacancy."

Assistant Medical Purveyor J. H. Baxter was promoted to be Chief Medical Purveyor in accordance with the provisions of this act.

The large number of vacancies in the Medical Department rendered it impossible to supply all the military garrisons in the country and provide the necessary details for other duty, except by the employment of a large number of citizen physicians. It became therefore very advisable that the legislation forbidding promotion and appointment in the staff corps should be repealed, in so far as it referred to the Medical Department. The Surgeon General earnestly urged such action by Congress in his annual reports for 1870, 1871 and 1872, and it was strongly recommended in the latter year by both the Secretary of War and the President. Nevertheless, no action was taken thereon. At the last session of Congress several bills were introduced with this object in view, and one of them passed the Senate on the third of March, but the final adjournment of Congress taking place the next day, it failed to reach a vote in the House of Representatives.

There are at present (June, 1873) two vacancies in the grade of Assistant Medical Purveyor, five in that of surgeon, fifty-five in that of assistant surgeon and one in that of medical storekeeper; in all sixty-three, a reduction of the effective working force of the Department that cannot but be disastrous to the best interests of the Medical Staff and of the service at large.

We have now in a rapid manner sketched the more important events in the history of the Medical Staff, from its inception in 1775 to the present time. Want of space has prevented the consideration of much valuable material on file in the Surgeon General's Office, but as this is chiefly of a personal character, relating rather to individuals than to the corps at large, it was thought best to omit everything which was not of general interest either in the decision of disputed points, the establishment of precedent, or the maintenance of the high standard of the Corps and the profession. It now remains only to mention the work performed under the auspices of the Surgeon General's Bureau since the close of the war.

The Army Medical Museum has continued to increase in interest and importance from the date of its incipience. It is now permanently located


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in the old Ford's theatre building, in which the lamented Lincoln was assassinated, which was purchased for this purpose in 1866, and having been completely refitted and rendered fire-proof, was opened to the public on the fourteenth of April, 1867. Since that time it has been visited yearly by many thousand persons, embracing not only the ordinary class of sight-seers, but also medical and scientific men from all parts of this country and Europe, by whom it is pronounced the most complete collection of the kind in the world. It is divided into sections embracing specimens in surgery, medicine, anatomy, microscopy and comparative anatomy. The surgical section contained on the first of July, 1872, six thousand and ninety-three preparations, embracing gunshot fractures of every description, plaster casts showing the results of operations, tumors, calculi, missiles of war, surgical instruments of every variety and a large number of wet preparations illustrative of every description of surgical disease and injury. The medical section contained eleven hundred and twenty-five specimens and is especially rich in its illustrations of the diseases incident to camps and hospitals, though by no means confined to this speciality. In the microscopical division are nearly six thousand specimens carefully mounted and labeled, affording a wide field for the study of histology and medical and surgical pathology, which is being rapidly increased under the direction of able and experienced microscopists. The anatomical collection embraces nearly a thousand crania of existing tribes of Indians, a series of skulls from tumuli and many rare specimens of artificial deformities of the cranium, and will eventually become a rich field for ethnological research. In the section of comparative anatomy are two hundred and ninety-five complete skeletons of animals, and upwards of seven hundred crania of birds, reptiles, fishes and mammals. To all these should be added a complete collection of models of ambulances, litters and other appliances for the transportation of sick and wounded, artificial limbs of every known design, a collection of photographs illustrative of the result of operations, etc., etc.; making in all upwards of fifteen thousand specimens on the catalogue, which is being constantly increased by the receipt of new preparations from all parts of the country.

In the same building with the Museum is situated the Library of the Surgeon General's Office. At the commencement of the war this contained but about three hundred and fifty text books and journals. In October, 1865, the number of volumes was about eighteen hundred, since which time it has increased rapidly by purchase, donation and exchange, until at the present time it numbers about twenty-five thousand volumes and thirteen thousand single pamphlets, most of the latter being unbound theses. Among the former are six hundred and fifty-eight bound volumes of the Paris theses, and upwards of six 


258

hundred volumes of pamphlets, making the total number of titles nearly forty thousand. About two thousand of the books are not of a professional character, being works on the history of the late war, on meteorology, on physics, and various public documents. The library is especially complete in its collection of American medical periodicals. It is open to the public under the same regulations as the Library of Congress. Its future depends to a great extent on the liberality of Congress, but it may be confidently expected that at no distant day it will be recognized as the standard medical library of this country and will compare not unfavorably with the best collections of the old world. To the industry and sound bibliographic judgment of Assistant Surgeon John S. Billings, who has devoted his time to this work, in addition to the ordinary duties devolving upon his official position, much credit is to be given in connection with the selection of the books now composing the collection and the preparation of a complete catalogue of authors and an alphabetical index of subjects.

The army chemical laboratory is also situated in this building, and is employed in such chemical investigations as are needed from time to time by the Surgeon General, such as analyses of specimens of water sent to it from various parts of the country, the detection of adulterations in the various constituents of the soldier's ration and in medicines and other articles furnished by the Supply Table, etc., etc. It has, under the able direction of Acting Assistant Surgeon B. F. Craig, become a most useful and important adjunct to the Surgeon General's Office.

Since the close of the war the Surgeon General has printed, by authority of the Secretary of War, the following books:

Circular, No. 6.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, November 1, 1865. Report on the Extent and Nature of the Materials available for the preparation of the Medical and Surgical History of the Rebellion. Quarto, pp. 166.

Catalogue of the United States Army Medical Museum.     Prepared under the direction of the Surgeon General, U. S. Army. Washington, 1866. Quarto, pp. 960.

Circular, No. 5.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, May 4, 1867. Report on Epidemic Cholera in the Army of the United States during the year 1866. Quarto, pp. 65.

Circular, No 7.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, July 1, 1867. A Report on Amputations at the Hip-Joint in Military Surgery. Quarto, pp. 87.

Circular, No. l.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, June 10, 1868. Report on Epidemic Cholera and Yellow Fever in the Army of the United States during the year 1867. Quarto, pp. 156.

Circular, No. 2.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, January 2, 1869. A Report on the Excisions of the Head of the Femur for gunshot injury. Quarto, pp. 141.


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Circular, No. 4.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, December 5, 1870. Report on Barracks and Hospitals, with descriptions of Military Posts. Quarto, pp. 494.

Circular, No. 2.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, July 27, 1871. Approved Plans and Specifications for Post Hospitals. Quarto, pp. 14.

Circular, No. 3.     War Department, Surgeon General's Office, August 17, 1871. Report of Surgical Cases treated in the Army of the United States from 1865 to 1871. Quarto, pp. 296.

Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office, with an alphabetical index of subjects. Washington, 1872.

In addition to the above, during the period referred to there have been written by officers of the Medical Department the following special reports:

On the hygienic fitness of the present uniform and allowance of clothing for enlisted men. Washington, January 31, 1868.

A report made to the Commissioner of Agriculture on the Diseases of Cattle in the United States. 1869.

Report to the Surgeon General of the United States Army on the Magnesium and Electric Lights as applied to Photo-micrography. January 5, 1870.

Report to the Surgeon General of the United States Army on the Oxy-calcium Light as applied to Photo-micrography. June 4, 1870. 

Report to the Surgeon General of the United States Army on certain points connected with the Histology of minute blood vessels. July 6, 1870.

Report to the Surgeon General on an improved method of photographing Histological Preparations by Sunlight. 1871.

Report to the Secretary of War on Quarantine on the Southern and Gulf Coasts of the United States. December 4, 1872.

Report to the Surgeon General of the Army on the Minute Anatomy of two cases of Cancer. 1872. 

"Copies of these publications have been distributed to medical officers of the army and navy, to a large number of volunteer surgeons who served during the war and to many colleges and learned societies. They have been adjudged at home and abroad to contain real and valuable additions to human knowledge on the special subjects of which they treat, and the demand for them has been so great, that the large editions printed proved insufficient and it was necessary to refuse copies to many applicants."

The work done in the microscopic section of the Museum in the direction of photo-micrography has also been very extensive and has been highly appreciated by the most eminent microscopists in all parts of the world, to whom copies of many of the photo-micrographs were sent. So have also the efforts made to disseminate a knowledge of the collections of the Museum by means of photographs, models of ambulances and hospitals, of improvements in artificial limbs and surgical appliances, which were exhibited at the Paris Exposition and sent to various governments and leading societies in Europe. A collection of


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four volumes of photographs, illustrating every kind of surgical injury, modes of repair and the results obtained by conservative surgery, has been distributed in this manner and met with the most flattering reception from such professional leaders as Larrey, Legouest, Longmore, Pouchet, Parkes and others. All of this work, however, important and valuable as it is, has been subordinate to the "Medical and Surgical History of the War" of which the first part, embracing two large quarto volumes, has just been published and is now being distributed. It is yet too early to ascertain the verdict of the professional world on this great storehouse of facts relative to military medicine and surgery, but the results of the past warrant us in believing that a like appreciation will be shown to the labors of the distinguished compilers of these volumes and still greater credit accrue to the Medical Department from their publication than have already been accorded to their predecessors.

The work above spoken of has been of such a character as to be of comparatively little interest outside of the medical and scientific world. In addition the Medical Bureau since the war has been engaged in other labors which appeal most forcibly to the sympathies of the community at large. The "Record and Pension Division" of the Surgeon General's Office has been the means of furnishing information in many thousand cases of application for pension for disease or disability contracted during the war, verifying from its admirably kept records the justice of the claim or protecting the government in the event of a fraudulent application. From July 1, 1865, to April 30, 1873, applications for information from the various departments of the government, as well as from the parties concerned, have been made in two hundred and thirty-eight thousand three hundred and ninety-five cases. Answers have been returned in two hundred and thirty-seven thousand two hundred and eighty-nine of these, leaving but eleven hundred and six unreturned at the last date. These came from the following offices:

 


RECEIVED.

RETURNED.

REMAINING.

Adjutant Genera, 

74,464

74,167

297

Commissioner of Pensions

140,096

139,294

802

Paymaster General

11,972

11,972

 

Miscellaneous

11,863

11,856

7

The supplying of artificial limbs to disabled soldiers was placed in charge of the Medical Department at an early period during the war. Up to the thirtieth of April, 1873, there had been furnished the following number and variety:


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Arms, 3,177; Legs, 5,894; Feet, 59; Apparatus for resections, 234; making a total of 9,364.

While these pages are passing through the press, information is received that two more officers of the Corps have passed away from the scene of their earthly usefulness. Brevet Brigadier General Madison Mills, after thirty-nine years faithful service, in which he held many positions of trust and importance, died at Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, on the twenty-ninth of April. The following memorial circular, recently issued, gives the history of his military career:

     "WAR DEPARTMENT,
                 SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, 
                Washington, May 5, 1873.

The Surgeon General announces with regret to the Medical Corps the death of one of its senior members, Surgeon and Brevet Brigadier General Madison Mills, which occurred at Fort Columbus, New York Harbor, on the 28th of April.

Receiving his commission as Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., in April, 1834, Surgeon Mills' service extended over a period of thirty-nine years, during which it was his fortune to take part in the Florida war, the war with Mexico, the Utah expedition of 1858 (as Medical Director) and the war of the Rebellion. He was Medical Director of the Department of Tennessee (General Grant's Army) at the time of the siege and surrender of Vicksburg, and in December, 1864, was appointed Medical Inspector General, the duties of which position he discharged most satisfactorily. In November, 1864, the brevets of Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel and in April, 1865, that of Brigadier General were conferred upon him for faithful and meritorious services.

Possessed of unflinching determination and courage and guided by professional abilities of a high order, his administration of the trusts confided to him was marked by a prompt efficiency and sound judgment that secured successful results, even under the most adverse circumstances.

     J. K. BARNES,
                 Surgeon General, U. S. Army."

Assistant Surgeon Thomas McMillin died of heart disease in the field while chief medical officer of the forces operating against the Modoc Indians in Oregon. As Medical Purveyor of the Army of the Potomac in 1862 and 1863 he contributed greatly by his efficient management of this important charge to the admirable medical service of the campaigns in which that army was engaged, and subsequently as surgeon in charge of the hospital transports "Baltic" and "J. K. Barnes" superintended the transfer of many thousand sick and wounded soldiers from various points at the south to northern hospitals, performing all his duties to the entire satisfaction of the Department. His excellent personal traits caused him to be as much beloved as he was officially respected.

Ninety-eight years have now elapsed since the first humble beginning of


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the Army Medical Department at the siege of Boston. The successors of those pioneers in American military surgery can say with pride that during that long period they have taken no step backward. Under the leadership of such wise and accomplished chiefs as MORGAN, SHIPPEN, COCHRAN, TILTON, LOVELL and LAWSON the Corps steadily advanced from the inchoate condition of its birth to the comparative perfection in organization, discipline and learning to which it had attained on the outbreak of the Rebellion. Under their equally distinguished successors, who were forced to meet the emergencies of a gigantic campaign with an experience gained on the most limited scale, the Corps proved true to its past record, and has astonished the world, not less by the vastness of its operations than by the success of their accomplishment. During the Revolution we but copied the systems in vogue in European armies, and unavailingly endeavored to adapt them to the partisan warfare which characterized the campaigns of that period. To-day the great surgeons of Europe recognize their indebtedness to us for much that constitutes progress in military medicine, hygiene and surgery, and European governments send special commissions to avail themselves of the vast treasures of experience accumulated by the Medical Department in our last great war. In the past history of the Medical Corps, in the gradual increase of its reputation and usefulness, in the high esteem in which it has always been held by the rest of the army, in the distinguished names which have adorned its ranks, as well as in the encomiums which have recently been so freely accorded to it, there is every encouragement to maintain a high standard of individual and professional integrity, and the esprit du corps which is so important an element of its very existence.

THE END.