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Part I

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

HISTORICAL NOTES

CONCERNING

THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT

OF THE

UNITED STATES ARMY


PART I

THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT DURING THE REVOLUTION

The history of the Hospital Department of the army commences with the siege of Boston in 1775, for the first legislative enactments of the Colonial Congress only legalized what was already in existence, and gave a fixed organization to what the emergencies of the occasion had called into being months before. The army which gathered at Cambridge, after the battle of Lexington, was assembled almost without any effort of public authority; it was rather the spontaneous result of the burst of patriotism and alarm which extended throughout the country, calling the farmer from his plough, the mechanic from his shop, the clergyman from the pulpit, and the physician from the sick bed. Few of these, who thus responded to the call upon their loyalty, had any idea that there would be a war; or, they thought that at worst it would be one of but short duration. Far the larger portion of them looked forward to a compromise with the Mother country, and as a consequence had made arrangements for leaving their homes for but a short period. The parties of men collected at Cambridge formed consequently but a heterogenous mass, without brigade or regimental organization, and as a necessary sequence, without any staff establishment. Among them were many physicians who had come from their native towns, like the rest ready to do anything to assist the cause of liberty; but they held no appointments, except perhaps from the Captains of companies or self-elected Colonels of regiments, and had not the means for establishing a hospital.

The Second Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Bay was at this time in session and earnestly occupied in the organization of the troops, and early


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foresaw the necessity that existed for action looking towards the proper care of the sick and wounded. With rare common sense, their first enactment provided for an examination of all persons asking appointment as surgeons. 

On the eighth of May, 1775, they ordered:

"That the President pro tempore, Doctor Church, Doctor Taylor, Doctor Holten and Doctor Dunsmore be a committee, to examine such persons as are, or may be recommended for Surgeons for the Army, now forming in this Colony.

Resolved; That the persons recommended by the Commanding Officers of the several regiments, be appointed as Surgeons to their respective regiments, provided, they appear to be duly qualified, on examination."

Doctors Whiting, Bailies, Hall and Jones were subsequently added to this committee, and a proviso adopted that any three present should constitute a quorum.

The following extract from Thacher's "Military Journal during the Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783," will show the manner in which this original board of medical examiners performed their duty.

"On the day appointed, the medical candidates, sixteen in number, were summoned before the board for examination. This business occupied about four hours; the subjects were anatomy, physiology, surgery, and medicine. It was not long after, that I was happily relieved from suspense, by receiving the sanction, and acceptance of the board, with some acceptable instructions, relative to the faithful discharge of duty, and the humane treatment of those soldiers, who may have the misfortune to require my assistance. Six of our number, were privately rejected as found disqualified. The examination was in a considerable degree close, and severe, which occasioned not a little agitation in our ranks."

After the battle of Breed's Hill a hospital was established at Cambridge, "in several private but commodious houses," and Dr. John Warren, a brother and pupil of Dr. Joseph Warren, who fell while commanding the troops in that battle, was placed in charge. This gentleman had already acquired a fine reputation, both for professional skill and humanity to the sick. He was soon after succeeded by Dr. Isaac Foster, of Cambridge, who was afterwards Deputy Director General. About this same time a hospital was also established at Watertown, and another at Roxbury under charge of Dr. Isaac Rand, and on the twenty-seventh of June a fourth, for the exclusive care of small-pox patients.

It may be mentioned here, that in all the legislative enactments of this period, the word " hospital" is not used in the sense of a building for the treatment of the sick and wounded, but in a wider signification, as denoting the whole medical management of the war, or in other words, that "department" or "bureau" of the service having charge of all matters pertaining to medicine and surgery.


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The regulations of this hospital at Cambridge were very simple. On the first of July, the Provincial Congress passed the following preamble and resolutions:

"In order that all the sick and wounded of the Army may be provided for,- and taken care of, in the best way and manner possible;-

Resolved, and it is hereby ordered;-

That, when any person in the Army is so ill,-either by a wound, or otherwise, that the Surgeon of the Regiment to which the sick or wounded person belongs,-finds the sick or wounded as abovesaid, cannot be properly taken care of in the regiment to which he belongs,-said surgeon shall send the sick, or wounded as abovesaid, to the hospital provided for the use of the camps to which they belong; and a certificate of the man's name, and the company, or regiment to which he belongs;-and in that case, the Surgeon of the said hospital, shall receive the said sick or wounded, under his care; and in case said hospital shall become too full, the Surgeon of the said hospital, shall send such of his patients, as may with safety be moved, to the hospital at Watertown, and a certificate setting forth the man's name, what company and regiment each belongs to; and in that case,-the Surgeon of the Watertown hospital, shall receive such sick or wounded under his care."

The allowance of medical officers to a hospital was fixed at two surgeons and two surgeon's mates, and for a regiment in the field at one surgeon and two mates. For fear that persons might be appointed who were not agreeable to the officers and men, it was advised by the Committee of Safety, and resolved by the Congress, that surgeons should be nominated by the Colonels of regiments to which they were to be attached, and surgeon's mates by the surgeons.

The pay of hospital surgeons was fixed at eight pounds per month, and that of mates at four pounds ten shillings per month.

To each medical officer, thus appointed, a warrant was issued in the following form.

"THE CONGRESS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY, 

To A. B., Greeting;-

Being informed of your skill in Surgery, and reposing especial trust in your ability, and good conduct; we do by these presents, constitute, and appoint you,- the said A. B. to be Surgeon of the Regiment of foot,-whereof ----- is Colonel, raised by the Congress aforesaid, for the defence of said Colony. You are, therefore, carefully, and diligently, to discharge the duty of a Surgeon to the said Regiment, in all things appertaining thereunto,-observing such orders, and instructions, as you shall from time to time receive, from the Colonel of said regiment, according to military rules and discipline, established by said Congress, or any your superior officers,-for which, this shall be your sufficient warrant.

BY ORDER OF THE CONGRESS,

-----, President.    

Dated at Watertown, 
-----, 1775."


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Warrants or commissions of a similar character, with the necessary alterations in the phraseology, were also issued to hospital surgeons.

Notwithstanding, however, the anxiety of the Provincial Congress (as evinced by their numerous enactments on the subject) to provide for the welfare of the sick and wounded soldiers, the plan adopted by them did not work well in practice. The vicious privilege, so fatal to all discipline, had been permitted of allowing the soldiers to choose their own officers, and these officers in turn had the nomination of surgeons, and too often personal popularity was sought for rather than professional fitness; a defect which was not entirely obviated by the examination to which all candidates were subjected. Again, surgeons and patients came from the same country village or town, and it took them a long time to appreciate the fact that the social equality which was to be admired in civil life, was incompatible with the discipline of the field. Medical supplies of all kinds were extremely scarce and the army ill supplied, as we learn incidentally from a resolution of Congress, authorizing two surgeons, who were so fortunate as to possess medicine chests, to lend them to those of other regiments that were not so well supplied. The Provincial Congress had done all that they could in this particular, but they could exercise no supervision except over the troops from Massachusetts, while as time passed, the forces from other States had assembled at Cambridge, and added to the aggregate of the army.

What was wanted was a general head, and that the Hospital did not have, and the Provincial Congress could not give it. For the correction of this, and all other defects, only one body was competent, and that was the Colonial Congress, then in session at Philadelphia.

This assemblage commenced its second session on the tenth of May, and was occupied in devising ways and means for carrying on the approaching war. 

They had selected Washington as Commander-in-Chief, and passed an act for the appointment of General Officers and officers of the General Staff, but strangely enough this bill made no provision for the Hospital Department. Washington had arrived at Cambridge and assumed command, and his first inspections convinced him of the necessity for some action on the part of the Colonial Congress. On the twenty-first of July he thus expressed himself, in a letter to the President of Congress.

"I have made enquiry into the establishment of the hospital, and find it in a very unsettled condition. There is no principal director, nor any subordination among the Surgeons; of consequence, disputes and contentions have arisen, and must continue until it is reduced to some system. I could wish it was immediately taken into consideration, as the lives and health of both officers and men so much depend on a due regulation of this department."


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Two days before this letter was written, however, Congress had passed a resolution, "That a Committee be appointed to consider the method of establishing a hospital." This committee consisted of Robert Treat Paine, of Massachusetts, Francis Lewis, of New York, and Henry Middleton, of South Carolina; and on the twenty-seventh of July they reported a bill, which after some discussion was agreed to, as follows:

"That, for the establishment of an Hospital, for an Army consisting of twenty thousand men, the following officers, and other attendants, be appointed, with the following allowance of pay, viz:

One Director General and Chief Physician, his pay per day, four Dollars. 
Four Surgeons, each ditto, one and one third of a dollar.
One Apothecary, ditto, one and one third of a dollar. 
Twenty Surgeon's mates, each ditto, two thirds of a dollar. 
One Clerk, ditto, two thirds of a dollar.
Two Storekeepers, each four dollars per month.
One nurse to every ten sick, one fifteenth of a dollar per day, or two dollars per month.
Laborers occasionally.

The Duty of the above officers;-

The Director to furnish bedding, medicines and all other necessaries; to pay for the same, superintend the whole, and make his report to, and receive orders from the Commander in Chief.
Surgeons, Apothecaries, and mates;-To visit the sick, and the mates to obey the orders of the Physicians, Surgeons, and Apothecary.
Matron;-To superintend the nurses, bedding, etc. 
Nurses;-To attend the sick, and obey the Matron's orders. 
Clerks;-To keep accounts for the Director, and Storekeepers. 
Storekeeper;-To receive, and deliver bedding, and other necessaries, by order of the Director."

It is probable that the committee only intended this plan to be provisional; either this, or they had no idea of the magnitude of the struggle before them. On no other grounds can we reconcile the adoption of so vague and unsatisfactory a scheme, with the clear judgment which characterized all the other actions of this remarkable body. With all its defects it was, at all events, a long step in advance out of the chaos which reigned in medical affairs at Cambridge, and by the provisions made for a competent chief of the department, gave promise of increased efficiency. Congress proceeded without delay to the election of officers for the Hospital, and "Doctor Benjamin Church was unanimously elected to be director of, and physician in the Hospital."

Instead, however, of electing any persons to fill the other offices named in the act, it was resolved:


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"That the appointment of the four Surgeons, and the Apothecary, be left to Doctor B. Church.
That the mates, be appointed by the Surgeons. 
That the number of mates, do not exceed twenty.
That this number be not kept in constant pay, unless the sick and wounded should be so numerous, as to require the attendance of twenty; and to be diminished, as circumstances will admit; for which purpose, the pay is fixed by the day, that they may only receive pay for actual service.
That one Clerk, two Storekeepers, and one nurse to every ten sick, be appointed by the Director."

Doctor Benjamin Church, who by this election became the first head of the Hospital Department of the army, was a native of Boston, where he had long enjoyed an enviable reputation both of a professional and personal character. He was a physician of genius and culture, and as a patriot had long occupied a high position among the "Sons of Liberty." In 1773 he had delivered an oration in Boston, after the massacre, which was fervid with the impassioned denunciations of the outrages committed by Great Britain, which were so characteristic of the oratory of that period. He was a member of the Provincial Congress and had been selected by that body in May, 1775, to proceed to Philadelphia and lay before the Congress the anxiety felt by the people of Massachusetts at having so large a body of ill-disciplined troops within her borders, and requesting advice as to the proper action on the part of government to allay it. On his return from this mission he was deputed by the same body, to receive and welcome the new Commander-in-Chief, General Washington, on his arrival at Cambridge, a duty which he fulfilled with grace and dignity.

There had been much talk of the appointment of the illustrious Warren to the position of Director General, but he preferred the more hazardous life of an active command in the field, and accepting a Major General's commission, was killed at Breed's Hill. Next to him, Doctor Church was universally regarded as the proper man for the position, and his appointment gave great satisfaction, especially to the Boston patriots. But, alas for the fallibility of human judgment! Doctor Church did little or nothing to improve the efficiency of the Hospital, quarreled with the regimental surgeons, and had so many complaints against him that Washington was obliged to order investigations to be made in every brigade, into the management of the sick; and within three months of the date of his appointment, was arrested for carrying on a traitorous correspondence with the enemy in Boston. He entrusted a letter written in cypher, to a woman with whom he was intimate, to be by her conveyed to Boston. This letter she left with a man by the name of Wainwood to be delivered, but he, suspecting something


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wrong, caused the matter to be laid before the Commander-in-Chief. The woman was immediately arrested, but for a long time refused to divulge the name of the writer, until she became terrified by threats of severe punishment, when she acknowledged that she had received the letter from Doctor Church. The latter was confronted with the woman, when he became greatly agitated and manifested marks of guilt, making no attempt to vindicate himself. But after the letter was deciphered, he then acknowledged its authorship and disclaimed any intention of injuring the patriot cause, asserting that he hoped by this means to gain some important information from the enemy. The letter itself does not seem to have contained anything of much importance, being chiefly a statement of the numbers and disposition of the American forces, assertions of his devotion to the cause of the crown, and directions for continuing the correspondence. A Court of Inquiry was immediately ordered to investigate the circumstances. This was composed of the Commander-in-Chief, all the Major and Brigadier Generals then on duty with the army, and Adjutant General Horatio Gates.

The following is the official record of its proceedings:

"At a Council of War, held at Head Quarters, Cambridge, October 3rd, 1775, present,-

His Excellency, General Washington; Major Generals Ward, Lee, and Putnam; Brigadier Generals Spencer, Heath, Sullivan, Green, and Thomas; Adjutant General Gates.

The General communicated to this Board, a discovery of a correspondence carried on with the enemy by Doctor Church, by letter in characters, which was deciphered by Rev'd Mr. West, and laid the same letter, before the members of the Council.

After considering and discussing the matter, it was determined to adjourn until tomorrow, and then, that Doctor Church be examined.

October 4th. Council of War met; present as before. Doctor Church being sent for, and shown the letter in characters, was asked whether the said letter was written by him, to which he answered, he believed it was. He was shown the explanation of said letter as deciphered, and asked whether it was a true one, to which he answered in the affirmative. Doctor Church then explained his intentions in writing said letter, as calculated to impress the enemy with a strong idea of our strength, and situation, in order to prevent an attack, at a time when the Continental Army was in great want of ammunition, and in hopes of effecting the more speedy accommodation of the present dispute; and made solemn asseverations of his innocence.

The General then asked the opinion of the Council severally, whether it did not appear, that Doctor Church had carried on a criminal correspondence with the enemy; to which, they unanimously answered in the affirmative. The question was then taken, and discussed,-what were the proper steps to be taken with respect to him, and after examining the articles of the Continental Army, and particularly the articles twenty eight, and fifty one, it was determined from the enormity of the


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crime, and the very inadequate punishment pointed out, that it should be referred to the General Congress, for their special direction, and that in the mean time, he be closely confined, and no person visit him but by special direction."

As Doctor Church was a member of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, it was also considered advisable that the matter should be referred to that body, in order that they should take such action as might be justified by the circumstances.

The report of Washington to the President of Congress is as follows:

"CAMP AT CAMBRIDGE,
October 5th, 1775.        

(EXTRACT.)

* *

I have now, a painful though necessary duty to perform, respecting Doctor Church, the Director of the Hospital. About a week ago, Mr. Secretary Ward of Providence, sent up one Wainwood, an inhabitant of Newport to me, with a letter directed to Major Cane in Boston, in occult characters, which he said had been left with Wainwood, some time ago, by a woman who was kept by Doctor Church. She had before pressed Wainwood to take her to Captain Wallace, Mr. Dudley the Collector, or George Rowe,-which he declined.

She then gave him the letter, with strict injuntions to deliver it, to either of those gentlemen. He, suspecting some improper correspondence, kept the letter, and after some time opened it, but not being able to read it, laid it up, where it remained until he received an obscure letter from the woman, expressing an anxiety as to the original letter. He then communicated the whole matter to Mr. Ward, who sent him up with the papers to me. I immediately secured the woman, but for a long time, she was proof against every threat and persuasion to discover the author. However, at length she was brought to a confession, and named Doctor Church. I then immediately secured him, and all his papers. Upon the first examination, he readily acknowledged the letter, said it was designed for his brother, etc. The Army and Country are exceedingly irritated."

The first action taken by Congress was to elect a new Director General, "the affairs of the Hospital requiring," as Washington writes, "that the appointment should be made as soon as possible." Lieutenant Colonel Hand, formerly a surgeon of the 18th Regiment, and Doctor Isaac Foster, the surgeon of the General Hospital at Cambridge, were candidates for the position, but Congress passed by them both, and on the seventeenth of October, elected Doctor John Morgan of Philadelphia, to fill the vacant place. Their next action was to dispose of Doctor Church. On the seventh of November they passed a resolution-

"That Doctor Church be close confined in some secure jail, in the colony of Connecticut, without the use of pen, ink, and paper, and that no person be allowed to converse with him, except in the presence, and hearing, of a magistrate of the town, or the sheriff of the county where he shall be confined, and in the English language, until further orders from this, or a future congress."


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In accordance with this resolution he was removed to the jail in Norwich, Connecticut. Previous to this action, however, his case had come up before the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. On the second of November he was arraigned before that body. He made an eloquent speech in his defence, in which he attempted to vindicate himself from any design unfriendly to the country, but it was all in vain, and he was unanimously expelled as a member of the House.

Confinement in jail had an unfavorable effect upon his health, and in the following January Congress so far relaxed the rigor of his imprisonment as to permit him "to be removed to some more comfortable place of confinement, than that where he now is, if such can be found in the Colony, and that for the advancement of his health, the said Doctor Church be permitted to ride out at proper seasons, under a trusty guard, who will be careful to prevent his carrying on any correspondence, or doing any act prejudicial to the safety and welfare of the United Colonies." On the thirteenth of May, 1776, his health still failing, he was permitted to go to Massachusetts and be set at liberty, on condition of his giving a bond for one thousand pounds to appear for trial when called upon, and his parole that he would indulge in no treasonable practices.

Soon after his release he sailed from Boston for the West Indies, but the vessel in which he took passage was never heard from again.

Doctor John Morgan, the successor to Benjamin Church, was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Philadelphia in 1735. He was a pupil of Doctor John Redman, and on the completion of his medical studies entered the army and served as a surgeon during the French war. In 1760 he went to Europe and pursued his studies with John Hunter, obtaining the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1764. On his return, in 1765, he found Shippen, the Bonds and others engaged in founding a medical school in Philadelphia, and joining their enterprise, was elected to the chair of theory and practice of medicine. From this time until he reentered the service, he was a leader among the literary and scientific men of that city, and he brought to his new position a cultured intellect, sound judgment in professional matters, and what was of the greatest value to the Continental cause, a ripe experience in military surgery, gained in early life in the struggles between the English and French for the possession of Canada.

Immediately on his appointment he reported for duty at Cambridge. He found the hospitals crowded to excess with sick soldiers from camp, many of whom should have been treated by their regimental medical officers. The principal diseases were autumnal remittents, typhoid fever and camp


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dysentery; and in consequence of the universal practice of inoculating for the small-pox, a considerable amount of that disease.

He set to work to introduce more systematic arrangements in the management of the hospitals; the wards were cleaned out and men sent back to their regiments, the number of surgeon's mates in the hospital reduced and the surplus officers transferred to vacancies in the regiments, and he subjected the medical officers to another examination and caused those who were disqualified to be discharged.

While these events were transpiring, the concentration of troops on the northern frontier, for the projected invasion of Canada, rendered the creation of a separate department necessary, of which General Philip Schuyler was given the command. These forces were totally destitute of everything necessary for the comfort of the sick. Medicines and stores had been ordered, but owing to the difficulties of transportation through the wilderness between Albany and Lake Champlain, they had never reached the camp. General Schuyler thus describes the situation, in a letter to the Continental Congress, and although it refers more especially to the condition of affairs at Ticonderoga, yet his description applies equally to the command under Montgomery, then encamped near the St. Lawrence river:

"TICONDEROGA, August 6th, 1775. 

(EXTRACT.)

* *

Out of about five hundred men that are here, near a hundred are sick, and I have not any kind of hospital stores, although I had not forgot to order them, immediately after my appointment.. The little wine I had for my own table, I have delivered to the Regimental Surgeons. That being expended, I can no longer bear the distress of the sick, and impelled by a feeling of humanity, I shall take the liberty immediately to order a physician from Albany, (if one can be got there, as I believe there may,) to join me, with such stores as are indispensably necessary. If Congress will approve of this measure, they will please to signify what allowance of pay shall be made. If not, I shall discharge the person whoever he be, paying him for the services he may have performed."

Congress, however, adjourned without taking any action on the subject, and Schuyler consequently addressed the Provincial Congress of New York, who gave as their opinion, that in view of the urgent necessity that existed for some provision for the sick, the establishment of a hospital should be ordered by the General himself, without waiting for legislation by the Continental Congress. Acting on this advice, General Schuyler on the twenty-sixth of August, requested Doctor Samuel Stringer, of Albany, to undertake the management of the Hospital, promising that he would take the earliest


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opportunity to get the decision of Congress on the establishment, and to see that Doctor Stringer was confirmed in his position, and reimbursed for any expense he might be put to for medicines and instruments. Accordingly, on the fourteenth of September, Congress appointed Doctor Stringer to be Director of the Hospital and Chief Physician in the Northern Department, with pay at four dollars a day, and authority to appoint not exceeding four surgeon's mates as his assistants, and with the same proviso for the reduction of their number when no longer needed, which was inserted in the original bill organizing the General Hospital for the army at Cambridge. They also passed a resolution, directing the Deputy Commissary General to pay Doctor Stringer for all medicines he had furnished for the Northern Army, and authorizing him to purchase whatever other articles might be needed, on receiving General Schuyler's warrant to that effect.

There was no more legislation of any importance in reference to the Hospital Department during the year 1775.

The fourteenth section of a bill, enacting "Additional rules and regulations for the Continental Army," provided:

"That at every muster, the Surgeons or their mates, shall give to the Commissary of Musters, a certificate signed by them, signifying the health, or sickness, of those under their care; and the said certificates shall, together with the muster rolls, be by the said Commissary, transmitted to the General, and to this, or any future Congress of the United Colonies; or Committee appointed thereby; within twenty days next after such muster being taken."

On the eighth of December, Congress authorized the appointment of surgeons to the battalions then raising in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, at a monthly pay of twenty-five dollars; and in the following March, when a number of regiments had been raised, enacted that each regiment should also have a surgeon's mate, at eighteen dollars a month. The reason for this legislation is to be found in the fact, that previous to this time the army had been almost entirely composed of either militia, or regiments raised by authority of the various Provincial Congresses, and these bodies had (as we have seen in the case of Massachusetts,) provided means for supplying them with medical attendance. These troops, however, were enlisted for a very short period, and the terms of service of many of them were about expiring, and as they showed but little disposition to reenlist, it became necessary for Congress to raise a force which could take their place.

The winter of 1775-6 was a very severe one to the army, both at Cambridge and on the northern frontier. The latter were insufficiently clothed and fed, and lacked a well organized medical department; they were dis-


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heartened by their unsuccessful attack on Quebec and the loss of their commander; and, unaccustomed to the hardships of a soldier's life, soon broke down under the trials of a winter campaign. From the time of their retreat from Quebec, until they were concentrated at Ticonderoga, they suffered great loss from the ravages of small-pox. The soldiers were in the practice of inoculating themselves. This was forbidden in General Orders, but failed to stop the custom, and among the victims of the disease was Major General Thomas, who had been sent from Cambridge to command the army after the death of Montgomery. Another disease which, although not fatal, caused much distress, and unfitted a large portion of the army for duty, was nostalgia; which first made its appearance during the dark days that followed the defeat at Quebec, and did not leave the army until the excitement of an anticipated attack from Burgoyne in 1777, roused the troops from the ennui into which they had fallen in their dull camp life at Ticonderoga.

At Cambridge, during the summer and fall of 1775, the troops of the army had been healthy, if we take into consideration the unparalleled circumstances under which they were assembled, and the general deficiency of all the comforts to which they were accustomed. The only serious disease had been small-pox. With the advent, however, of troops from the Middle and Southern States, typhus and typhoid fevers and dysenteries made their appearance, and the sick lists increased rapidly. On the twenty-third of September, 1775, the aggregate present and absent of the army was 19,365; and of these, 1,886 were reported as "present sick," and 931 "absent sick;" a total of 2,817 on sick report-a ratio of 145.4 per thousand of mean strength. In December the number taken sick each week varied between 676 and 1,500; the larger portion of whom were treated in general hospital, and nearly one-third in the one at Roxbury, which was reserved for small-pox patients. The hospitals were destitute of everything that was needed to render the men comfortable. Few of the surgeons had any instruments, medicines were very scarce, and such necessary articles, as old linen for bandages and compresses, tape, thread, needles, adhesive plaster, blankets, sheets, pillows, &c., were almost entirely wanting. In this emergency, Doctor Morgan appealed to the charity and patriotism of the inhabitants of the towns in the vicinity, and with success, for on the first of January he issued a circular addressed "to the Publick," in which he details the interest with which the good people of Concord, Sudbury, Bedford, &c., had supplied his wants, and tenders them the hearty thanks of the Hospital Department for their much needed relief.


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The sick of the army on the second of March numbered 2,398 present, and 367 absent; total, 2,765, out of an aggregate strength of 18,524.

The new levies which were raised in the winter of 1776, were most of them concentrated at New York; and on the ninth of February, General Charles Lee wrote to Washington, urging the establishment of a hospital in that city. It was not, however, until after the evacuation of Boston by the British that this was done. This event took place on the seventeenth of March, and was almost immediately followed by a transfer of the seat of war to the Middle States. In view of the movement of the greater portion of the army from the vicinity of Boston, the following instructions were issued to Doctor Morgan by General Washington:

"As the grand Continental Army, immediately under the command of his Excellency, General Washington, will as soon as it is practicable, be assembled at New York, you are with all convenient speed, to remove the General Hospital to that city.

As the sick in the different houses cannot be removed, but must be left until they are able to march, you will leave such Surgeons, Surgeon's Mates, Apothecary and Attendants under the direction of ------ , as are necessary, for the care of the sick now in the General Hospital.

The medicines, stores, bedding, etc., not immediately wanted in the General Hospital, should be loaded in carts, that will be provided next Saturday, by the Assistant Quartermaster General, and sent under the care of a proper officer, or officers, to Norwich, Connecticut. Upon their arrival there, they will find his Excellency's orders, how, and in what manner, to proceed from thence, whether by land or water.

The medicines ordered upon his Excellency's application, by the Honorable the General Court of the Province, to be taken out of the town of Boston, should be sent  with the first of the hospital stores that go to Norwich; a careful person having orders to take charge of the same.

The fixing, and completing the Regimental Medicine chests, according to your plan lately proposed, had better be deferred until your arrival in New York, when that may be set about, under your inspection.

As the removing of the General Hospital, must be attended with such a variety of duty, and attention, I must refrain from giving more particular directions, leaving a latitude to your experience and knowledge of your profession, to govern and direct all your motions.

Before you leave Cambridge, it will be necessary to see a proper Regimental Medicine chest provided, and delivered to each of the Surgeons of the four Regiments left in garrison there, under the immediate command of Major General Ward; also a chest for Colonel Glover's Regiment, on command at Beverly.

Reposing entire confidence in your care, diligence, and zeal for the service, I remain satisfied of your best exertions, for the public benefit.

Given at Cambridge Head Quarters, 3rd day of April, 1776.

GEORGE WASHINGTON."


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How well Doctor Morgan carried out these important instructions, is best shown in his own words, in a letter to the Commander-in-Chief: 

"CAMBRIDGE, April 22d, 1776.

SIR:

I take this opportunity to inform your Excellency, that I am constantly engaged in collecting, and forwarding the Hospital Stores to New York, and in executing your orders, relative to the drugs, medicines, etc., left in the Ministerial hospital, and Messrs. Perkins' and Gardner's stores, at Boston; of which, I have given a more minute detail, in my letters to General Gates. I have, and am collecting a noble store of medicines, for the ensuing campaign, and I hope to leave no room for complaint of any scarcity, or want of either medicines, bedding, blankets, or other hospital stores for the Army,-having got a sufficient supply, (except of a few capital articles, which I hope to procure from Philadelphia,) of medicines for a year or more to come; with fifteen hundred additional blankets, and rugs; as many beds and pillows, etc., by the care and attention of my steward, and quartermaster of the Hospital, Mr. Carnes, who has spared no pains in executing my orders, in collecting them from Boston, and in washing and fitting them for use.

The sick in the several hospitals, are reduced to about eighty. I flatter myself, with the number already gone, Doctor Foster will be capable of managing the affairs of the hospital at New York, so that the sick will not suffer. The rest of the gentlemen in this department will follow with the remainder of the stores, and I expect in a few days after, to join them. To-morrow, I purpose to set out for Portsmouth, to learn whether there are any tidings of the ten packages of medicine, formerly mentioned to be in the prize carried in there; that nothing of so great value be lost, for want of looking after.

Your Excellency's most obedient, and humble servant,

JOHN MORGAN."

After the removal of Head-quarters to New York, the summer was passed in improving the condition of the Medical Department. The general hospital was in an efficient condition, but there began to be a great deal of trouble with the regimental hospitals. The surgeons and their mates complained that they had not pay enough to enable them to live like gentlemen, and memorialized Congress for an increase. A further grievance was found in some of the provisions of an act, passed by Congress on the seventeenth of July, which was thought to limit the usefulness of the regimental medical officers, and subordinate them to too great an extent to the General Staff. The act referred to is as follows:

"Resolved;     That, the number of hospital Surgeons, and Mates be increased, in proportion to the augmentation of the army, not exceeding one Surgeon, and five Mates, to every five thousand men; to be reduced, when the army is reduced, or when there is no further occasion for such a number.

That as many persons be employed in the several hospitals, in quality of storekeepers, stewards, managers, and nurses, as are necessary for the service for the time being, to be appointed by the directors of the respective hospitals.


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That the several regimental chests of medicines, and chirurgical instruments, which now are, or hereafter shall be in possession of the regimental surgeons, be subject to the inspection and inquiry of the respective directors of hospitals, and of the director general; and that the said regimental Surgeons shall, from time to time, when thereto required, render account of said medicines and instruments, to the said Director, or if there be no director in any particular department, to the Director General. The said accounts, to be transmitted to the Director General, and by him to this Congress. And the medicines and instruments, not used by any Regimental Surgeon, to be returned, when the regiment is reduced, to the respective directors, and an account thereof by them rendered to the Director General, and by him to this Congress.

That the several directors of Hospitals in the several departments, and the Regimental Surgeons, where there is no Director, shall transmit to the Director General, regular returns of the number of Surgeon's Mates, and other officers employed under them; their names and pay. Also, an account of the expenses, and furniture of the Hospitals under their direction; and that the Director General make report of the same, from time to time, to the Commander in Chief and this Congress.

That the several regimental and hospital surgeons, in the several departments, make weekly returns of the sick to the respective directors, in their departments. 

That no regimental surgeon, be allowed to draw upon the hospital of his department for any stores, except medicines, and instruments; and that when any sick person shall require other stores, they shall be received into said hospital, and the rations of the said sick persons be stopped, as long as they are in said hospital; and that the directors of the said hospitals, report to the Commissary, the names of the sick, when received into, and when discharged from hospital; and make a like return, to the Board of Treasury.

That all extra expenses for bandages, old linen, and other articles necessary for the service, incurred by any regimental surgeon, be paid by the Director of that department, with the approbation of the Commander thereof.

That no more medicines belonging to the Continent, be disposed of, until further orders of Congress.

That the pay of Hospital Surgeons be increased to one dollar, and two thirds of a dollar by the day; and the pay of hospital apothecary to one dollar, and two thirds of a dollar by the day; and that Hospital Surgeons, and Mates, take rank of regimental surgeons, and mates.

That the Director General, and the several directors of Hospitals, be empowered to purchase, with the approbation of the Commander of the respective departments, medicines, and instruments for the use of their respective hospitals, and draw upon the paymaster for the same; and make report of such purchase to Congress."

A bill of this character had been long needed. In the act organizing the hospital, passed on the twenty-seventh of July of the previous year, the powers of the Director General had been very vaguely expressed. It is probable that this was owing to a want of appreciation, on the part of Congress, of the magnitude of the contest before them. They did not foresee the necessity that would arise for the creation of other armies and departments than that at Cambridge; and hence, failed to define distinctly the official superiority 


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of the Director General over all other directors that might thereafter be appointed. Washington had some months before written to the President of Congress, expressing his opinion, that the efficiency of the hospital would be much increased by having one chief, to whom all others should be subordinate; and it was probably owing to his recommendations, that all directors were required to send their returns through the Director General, thus plainly asserting his position as the head of the bureau. The provisions establishing a property accountability were also of great importance, especially in the distressed condition of the country, when the scarcity of all kinds of hospital stores made every old rag too precious to be wasted. But to the surgeons of regiments the bill was particularly obnoxious. In the first place, it increased the pay of hospital surgeons to a much greater amount than theirs, which, by a resolve of the fifth of June, had been fixed at thirty-three and a third dollars per month. Again, it gave precedence of rank to the hospital surgeons, a regulation of which it was hardly to be expected they could see the propriety or justice. But the clause which gave them the most uneasiness, was that which forbade their drawing upon the hospital for any stores, except medicines and instruments. If this resolve stands, they said, there is nothing for us to do, but to order all of our sick into general hospital. We cannot feed a man sick with fever on the soldier's ration, and we are forbidden to draw anything else; while if we send all our men to general hospital, there will be nothing for us to do, and Congress will disband us as supernumeraries. There was much reason in this view of the case, and the disaffection became so great, that Doctor Morgan thought it of sufficient importance to ask the advice of the Commander-in-Chief. In his letter to Washington, he showed that to take all the sick into the hospital would increase the number of its inmates from about three hundred, to upwards of three thousand, and that, as dysenteries and putrid fevers were prevalent, "the crowding so many together into the General Hospital, would certainly engender a malignant pestilential fever, that would threaten the ruin of the army." The remedies he suggested were; first, to adopt regulations for the management of the regimental hospitals, by which, without infringement on the legislation of Congress, the rations of the sick could be commuted by the commissary, and articles of different character purchased with the money; or in other words, the creation of a "hospital fund." Second, to bear those sick with putrid fevers on the rolls of the general hospital, but to allow them to be treated in camp; in this way, their rations would be stopped and the benefits therefrom obtained, while there would be no danger from crowd poisoning in the


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general hospital. Of the two plans he preferred the first, as most likely to give the greatest satisfaction, not only to the regimental surgeons but also to the officers and troops. The opinion of Doctor Morgan was approved by the Commander-in-Chief, and a conference was held with the regimental surgeons, which resulted in a code of regulations for the regimental hospitals. As these are the earliest hospital regulations ever established in our army, they are, though somewhat lengthy, considered of sufficient interest to be inserted in full.

"HOSPITAL REGULATIONS,

agreed upon betwixt the Director General of the American Hospital, and the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, at New York, July, 1776.

RULE 1.     That every full regiment, and battalion provided with a Surgeon, or mate; or each Brigade as the occasion may point out, ought to have some convenient quarters to be appropriated by the proper quartermaster, for the reception of such of the sick of that corps, and entitled a Regimental Hospital; which sick are to be attended by their own Regimental Surgeons and mates.

2.     That it shall be the business of Surgeons and mates in all regiments, to examine the soldiers in the same, who are reported to be unfit for duty; and to separate from the well, those who are sick; and to receive them into the Regimental Hospital.

3.     That they keep a Register of those who are admitted into the Regimental hospital, containing the patient's name, the company he belongs to, the days of his admission to, and discharge from the hospital, (agreeable to a form annexed.)

4.     That he shall make daily returns of the sick in his regiment, to the Commanding Officer of the same, that it may be known who are fit for duty, and who are not; and that such as are on the Doctor's list, may not be included in the provision return of the regiment.

5.     That the Surgeon shall every day prescribe the diet of each sick person under his care, according to the diet tables established in the General Hospital; (or other suitable tables to be agreed upon;) under the titles, "full diet, half diet, spare diet, dry diet, milk diet, etc."

6.     That he make out and sign the provision return every day for the sick, and draw upon the Director General of the hospital, agreeable to the tables of diet before mentioned; for the regulation of which, weekly returns of the number of sick, (in that week,) shall be made out on a stated day, so that, whatever the price of diet drawn for said sick shall fall short of the rations stopped from the sick during the week, so much may be drawn for their use in other stores; as, wine, rum, sugar, coffee, tea, molasses, candles, soap, etc.

[If that surplus of money is not sufficient, there are no other ways to supply, than either to do it by stoppages of the soldier's pay, (as in the British Army,) or, by its being advanced by himself, or by the Colonel, or Captain of the Regiment to which he belongs, and allowed in his Abstract; the General Hospital having nothing to do with the expenses of Regimental hospitals, and no provision for the purpose being yet made by Congress.]

7.     That no Regimental Surgeon shall send any sick from his regiment, or regimental hospital, to the General Hospital, without a ticket expressing the name


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of the sick, his company, and the regiment to which he belongs, signed by himself or mate, and mentioning likewise the disorder he labors under, and the time he has been ill.

8.     That he send none to the General Hospital, labouring under infectious, putrid, or malignant diseases; for the introduction of such fevers into a General Hospital will only injure the person sent, and may endanger the Surgeon's mates, and other officers, as well as all that are sick of other diseases in the General Hospital; engender the jail, or hospital fever, and ruin the Army. Such sick, are to be kept separate if possible, and be taken care of by the Regimental Surgeons.

9.     That whatever stores or utensils may be wanted for the use of a Regimental Hospital, whether kettles to cook, victuals, blankets, etc.;-they ought to be got from the Quartermaster General's store, or purchased from the same place and in the same manner, as the like articles are procured for the well soldiers of the Regiment; to be provided by an order from the Colonel, the Surgeon to give his receipt for, and take care of the same; for the preservation of which, he may establish such regulations as he sees fit.

10.     That the medicine chest, and a number of articles, as, old linen, bandages, etc., have been supplied to the Regiments, at the voluntary motion of the Director General of the General Hospital, with the approbation of the Commander in Chief; whenever the Regiments are disbanded, all such articles are to be returned to the General Hospital; otherwise, when new troops are levied, under the present scarcity, and difficulty to procure them, it may not be practicable or easy to supply the Army again, with those articles for another year.

11.     That for every regimental hospital a cook should be allowed, to prepare the diet of the sick, agreeable to the tables; or nurses, who may serve for cooks; one to every ten men; the pay the same as in the General Hospital, viz; half a dollar per week, and rations allowed by the Regiment.

12.     That each regimental hospital ought to have a Corporal's guard, or at least three men, one of which is to stand sentinel at the hospital door, to prevent the sick from leaving without the permission of the Surgeon, and to keep persons from going in without orders, to disturb the sick, or carry liquor to them. The other persons whilst relieved from standing Sentinel, to serve for the time as waiters, and obey the Surgeon and mate, in respect to any assistance, which may reasonable, be required in behalf of the sick.

Lastly;-That in all cases not provided for by the foregoing, or any future regulations that may be agreed upon, the Surgeons and Mates shall observe the customs and. usages of the British Army; and shall at all times obey such orders, as they shall (in the way of duty,) receive from the Director General, for the treatment of the sick, or for the discharge of the duties of their station."

On the fifteenth of July, Congress elected Doctor William Shippen, of Philadelphia, to be chief physician to the flying camp of ten thousand men, which by a resolution of the sixth of June, they had established at Trenton, New Jersey. Previous to this, they had elected Doctor William Rickman to be director of the Continental Hospital at Williamsburg, Virginia, which was established under the same rules and regulations as to number of officers and attendants, their pay and manner of appointment, and reduction in case of necessity, as obtained in the Eastern Department. About this same time,


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Doctor Jonathan Potts was appointed surgeon in the Canada Department, (or at Lake George, as the General might direct,) with the understanding that the appointment was not to supercede Doctor Stringer.

The increase in the number of general hospitals, and some want of uniformity in the resolutions of Congress appointing these various directors, soon gave rise to renewed controversies as to the official status of the Director General. It would seem as if the act of the seventeenth of July had sufficiently indicated the subordination of all other officers in the Medical Department to the Director General as the official head of the bureau; but the Northern Department had been originally formed under circumstances which rendered it to a great extent a separate command, and while the army remained at Cambridge, Doctor Morgan does not seem to have exercised any authority over the affairs of the hospital in the north; but subsequent to the establishment of Head-quarters at New York, the condition of affairs became so bad at Crown Point, as to render some action absolutely necessary to save that portion of the army from destruction. Upwards of three thousand men were on sick report, and the losses during and since the unfortunate campaign in Canada, from disease and desertion, had amounted to upwards of five thousand men. The army was in the utmost distress for want of medicines, hospital stores and surgeons; and Doctor Stringer asserted, in a letter to General Gates, July 24, 1776, that the men were literally dying for want of proper assistance and medical attendance. Sir Guy Carleton was straining every effort to accomplish a successful invasion of the Colonies, by way of Lakes Champlain and George; which made it very important that the troops in the Northern Department should be in the highest state of efficiency, while in fact they lacked everything needed for an active campaign, and were especially deficient in the points above noted. In the one hospital at Fort George, the following was the return for the fortnight ending July 26th. Admitted, 1,497. Discharged 439. Died 51. Deserted 3.

Under these circumstances, a number of the officers and Doctor Stringer among the rest, made application to the Director General for medicines; but he had received no official notice of either Doctor Stringer's or Doctor Potts' appointments, and was in doubt whether they could call upon him for assistance, and so wrote to Doctor Stringer. However, he sent him medicines enough for six regimental chests, and also appointed surgeons and an apothecary for the Northern Hospital, on being further informed of the absolute destitution they were in for medical officers. This Doctor Stringer considered an infringement on his rights. Availing himself of a permission from


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General Gates to go to Albany to procure medicines, he went on to Philadelphia and laid his complaints before Congress; delaying the transportation of the medicines to such an extent, as to occasion severe animadversion on his conduct from General Gates. Meanwhile, information reached Doctor Morgan that the gentlemen whom he had appointed surgeons to the Northern Department had been refused their pay. This circumstance, conjoined with the position taken by Doctor Stringer, decided Doctor Morgan to bring the whole matter in an official form before Congress, and ask them for further legislation on the question of rank, which he did in a letter of great vigor and ability. He showed that Doctor Stringer and other officers had repeatedly applied to him for assistance in their straightened condition; that sick had been sent from the Northern Department to the general hospital at New York; that Doctor Potts on passing through New York en route to Ticonderoga had reported to him, and applied, as to a superior, for advice and assistance. Further, that the resolution of September 14, 1775, appointing Doctor Stringer to be Physician-in-Chief of the Northern Department, had distinctly limited his powers, (as the latter had already complained to General Gates,) by refusing to give him the appointment of surgeons, but only of mates, (an authority which the organic act of July 27, 1775, gave to every Surgeon).

He also stated, that being unwilling to incur the imputation of having exceeded his authority, he had visited Philadelphia and had a long conference with the Medical Committee, and returned with the full impression that there was "but one General Hospital, though consisting of Divisions, each under a separate Director, and united under one head, viz.; the Director General." Moreover, he advanced as an additional argument, that Congress itself had recommended persons to him for appointment as surgeons, thus showing clearly that they recognized him as the head of the Department. He concluded his communication as follows:

"After all I have said, I cheerfully submit the propriety of my conduct, in making the before mentioned appointments in the General Hospital, and am desirous of conforming strictly to my instructions. If I have exceeded my commission, it has been for want of knowing the designs, or resolves of Congress, or their being misunderstood. Should the Congress on that footing, annul my appointments, and make others, I must at least stand acquitted of having intentionally gone beyond the line of duty, and it will behoove Congress to be more explicit, in respect to its intentions; for if the Congress does not suppose the appointment of any new Surgeons rests with me, of what use is it, to recommend one to me, for my approbation? I must pay an implicit obedience to their simple recommendation. In that case, I do not imagine there will be the same security for harmony, or for having the business of the hospital so well executed, as where the choice of the Surgeons is left to the Director General, which is an additional incentive to industry, and an obliging


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behavior in the Surgeon thus freely elected, to approve himself worthy of the choice. Be that as it may, wherever the path of duty is plain, I shall endeavor to walk steadily in it, having no design, or inclination to exceed those bounds, which the good of the service, or the inclinations of Congress, may prescribe to me."

One would suppose that this letter, so cogent in argument and manly in sentiment, would have carried conviction into the minds of the members of Congress; but they already had the fear of centralization before their eyes, and the decision arrived at left the matter very much as it was before. On the twentieth of August, Congress resolved:

"That Doctor Morgan was appointed Director General, and Physician in Chief of the American Hospital.

That Doctor Stringer was appointed director, and physician of the hospital in the Northern department.

That every director of a hospital, possesses the exclusive right of appointing Surgeons and hospital officers of all kinds, agreeably to the resolutions of Congress of the 17th of July, in his own department, unless otherwise directed by Congress.

That Doctor Stringer be authorized to appoint a Surgeon for the fleet now fitting out upon the Lakes."

This for the time being settled the question in favor of the directors, and practically left the Hospital Department without a responsible head; the inconveniences resulting from which faulty organization became so great, as to result, as will be shown hereafter, in an entire reorganization of the Medical Corps.

On the thirtieth of September, 1776, a resolution was passed which is of interest, being the first attempt on the part of Congress to legislate an enactment, looking towards the appointment of boards of examination for all applicants for appointment. It is true, this resolution was only partial in its application, but it was a commencement, which eventuated in the perfection of that system, which, it may be truly said, has done more than anything else to maintain the high standard of the medical service of the army. The resolution was as follows:

"That it be recommended to the legislatures of the United States, to appoint gentlemen in their respective states, skillful in physic and surgery, to examine those who offer to serve as Surgeons, or Surgeon's Mates in the Army, or Navy; and that no Surgeon, or Mate shall hereafter receive a commission or warrant, to act as such in the Army or Navy, who shall not produce a certificate from some, or one of the examiners so to be appointed, to prove that he is qualified to execute the office."

The same act also further defined the duties of directors, by providing:

"That all regimental surgeons and mates, as well as those of the hospital, be subject to the direction and control of directors in the several departments.

That no soldier be discharged from the service as disabled, unless the certificate be countersigned by the director, assistant physician, or first surgeon of the hospital; nor be excused from duty for sickness, unless the certificate of sickness be countersigned by one of those persons, where access may be had to them."


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In order to understand some legislation of Congress which was adopted about this time, it will be necessary to review briefly in this place the customs which had obtained since the commencement of the war, for supplying the army with medicines, instruments, hospital stores, &c. When the provincial troops first collected at Cambridge after the battle of Lexington, the physicians who came with them brought their own instruments and such medicines as they had in their offices, which sufficed for the present necessities of the soldiers. Subsequently to the action at Breed's Hill, the Provincial Congresses took measures for providing their own troops with the necessary stores; but after the permanent organization of the Colonial army some more systematic arrangement became necessary.

This want was but very imperfectly met in the act of July 27, 1775, which made it the duty of the Director, "to furnish medicines, bedding, and all other necessaries, to pay for the same, and superintend the whole;" and to enable him to perform this duty allowed him a clerk to keep the accounts, and storekeepers to make the necessary issues. It was very manifest that this plan could not work well, for the articles required were such as could only be obtained in the large cities, and the other duties of the Director required his constant presence at Head-quarters. He was, consequently, while personally responsible for the supply of the army, obliged to delegate his authority as purveyor to agents living in New York or Philadelphia, and the army was poorly supplied as a result. Rush says, that one great cause of the sickness in the Continental army, was "the inconveniences and abuses that usually follow the union of the purveying and directing departments of a hospital in one person." Nor was the matter at all improved by extending the authority to purchase medicines and instruments to all directors, upon the simple order of the Department Commander, for this only multiplied the very evils which had existed before. A committee was appointed by Congress on the fourteenth of September, 1775, "to devise ways and means for supplying the Continental army with medicines." This committee, however, could suggest nothing better than the old system, and only modified it to the extent of requiring all accounts to be audited by the President, before being paid by the Treasurer. The defects in administration, however, became so great, and so many complaints were made that the army was inadequately supplied, that on the twentieth of August, Congress resolved: "that a druggist be appointed in Philadelphia, whose business it shall be to receive and deliver all medicines, instruments and shop furniture for the benefit of the United States." To this position Doctor William Smith was elected, with a salary of thirty dollars a month. It cannot now


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be ascertained to what extent the Director General was relieved by this act from the duty of purchasing stores; but it is probable, from sundry allusions in contemporary records, that although he nominally controlled the business of the purveying department, yet the active duties gradually devolved entirely upon Doctor Smith, who became, de facto, Chief Medical Purveyor; Congress, however, reserving to itself the right to supervise all purchases and audit all accounts.

On the twenty-seventh of August, 1776, the battle of Long Island took place, and soon after Washington, finding the city of New York untenable, removed the army about nine miles up the river, and established his headquarters on Haarlaem Heights. This, of course, necessitated the breaking up of the general hospital at New York, which had been located in various houses at Kipp's Bay, Greenwich and Bloomingdale. Special provision had also now to be made for the troops in New Jersey who had hitherto had no general hospital, (except that attached to what was called the flying camp at Trenton,) but drew all their supplies from New York. It was also thought advisable at this juncture, to define more distinctly the relations between general and regimental hospitals and the duties of the regimental surgeons. Consequently, on the ninth of October, 1776, Doctor Morgan was directed to establish a general hospital in some suitable place not in the immediate vicinity of the camp, for the army posted on the east side of the Hudson river, and Doctor William Shippen to perform a similar office for the troops stationed in New Jersey. Under this new arrangement regimental hospitals were forbidden in the neighborhood of a general hospital, and all officers or soldiers, that from the nature of their wounds or diseases were likely to require constant attention, were directed to be treated in general hospital. Weekly returns of all officers and attendants employed in the general hospital, and also all changes among the sick by discharge, desertion, death, or return to duty, were ordered to be made both to Congress and to the Commander-in-Chief. The last resolution of this series directed commanding officers of regiments to cause weekly inspections to be made of the sick in their respective regiments in general hospital, and a report submitted of their condition.

In consequence of the resolutions locating general hospitals at a considerable distance from camp, and the inconveniences resulting from soldiers leaving them to draw their pay, it was resolved on the nineteenth of November:

"That on any sick or disabled non-commissioned officer or soldier, being sent to any hospital or sick quarters, the captain, or commandant of the troop or company to which he belongs, shall send to the surgeon or director of the said hospital, or give to the non-commissioned officer or soldier, so in the hospital or quarters, a certificate


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countersigned by the paymaster of the regiment, if he be with the regiment, of what pay is due such sick non-commissioned officer or private, at the time of his entering the hospital or quarters; and the captain or commandant of the troop or company, shall not receive the pay of the said soldier in hospital or quarters, nor include him in any pay abstract, during his continuance therein. And in case any non-commissioned officer or soldier, shall be discharged from the hospital or quarters, as unfit for further service, a certificate shall be given him by the surgeon or doctor, of what pay is then due him, and the said non-commissioned officer or soldier discharged, shall be entitled to receive his pay at any pay office, or from any paymaster in the service of the United States; the said paymaster keeping said original certificate to prevent imposition, and giving the non-commissioned officer or soldier his discharge, or a certified copy thereof, mentioning at the same time that he has been paid."

There was no further legislation by Congress in reference to the Medical Corps in 1776, except a resolution of the twenty-eighth of November, that all the sick on the east side of the Hudson river should be under the charge of Doctor Morgan, and all those on the west, of Doctor Shippen. Arrangements were also made for providing accommodation for some of the sick at Philadelphia, by the use of the Pennsylvania Hospital.

During the latter part of the year 1776, a congressional committee had been investigating the affairs of every department of the army, and in consequence of their report, Congress on the ninth of January, 1777, passed a resolution:

"That Doctor John Morgan, Director General, and Doctor Samuel Stringer, director of the hospital in the Northern Department of the army of the United States, be, and they are hereby dismissed from any further service in said offices.

That the directors of the military hospitals throughout the army, with the assistance of the hospital and regimental surgeons in each department, make returns to Congress, as soon as possible, of the kind and quantity of medicines, instruments, and hospital furniture that remain on hand."

In regard to Doctor Stringer, it is much to be feared that the dismissal was but tardy justice for continual neglect of duty. General Gates had been very much dissatisfied with him for a long time, and had latterly confided everything to Doctor Jonathan Potts, who seems to have been an able and energetic officer. Doctor Stringer had, on the twenty-ninth of July, obtained permission to go to New York to procure the much needed supplies for the department, making at the same time a solemn promise to General Gates, that he would not delay an instant beyond what was absolutely necessary in returning to his command, which was in very great distress for want of stores. Instead, however, of doing this he went on to Philadelphia, to discuss with members of Congress the disputed question of rank between Doctor Morgan and himself; "preferment hunting," as Gates


27

called it, in a letter to Egbert Benson. He remained absent over two months, taking Boston en route back, during which time, as Dr. Potts writes, there was not enough lint or material for bandages in the whole army to dress the wounds of fifty men. Although from its situation the army was very much exposed to malarial fevers, the hospital did not possess a pound of cinchona bark; and snakeroot, centaury, and dogwood bark were used instead, as antiperiodics. Ten medicine chests which Doctor Morgan had forwarded had not arrived, and it was impossible to find out what had become of them. There was no straw or bedding for the sick, who were laid on bare boards, and the organization of the hospitals as regards nurses, was very defective. In fact, the army was on the brink of a mutiny, and Gates wrote: "I cannot long be answerable for the consequences of the shameful neglect of the army in this Department. The United States expect the same good service from their troops here as everywhere else. This they cannot have, unless they command the same attention to be paid the health of the soldiers here as elsewhere." To counteract to some extent this disaffection, the General on the thirty-first of August issued the following order:

HEAD QUARTERS, 
August 31st, 1776.

The officers and soldiers may be satisfied that the General has left no means in his power unattempted to procure medicine and every comfort for the sick. The director of the general hospital in this department, Doctor Stringer, was sent to New York three and thirty days ago, with positive orders to return the instant he had provided the drugs and medicines so much wanted. Since then repeated letters have been wrote to New York and Philadelphia, setting forth in the strongest terms, the pressing necessity of an immediate supply of these articles. The General is credibly informed that a principal surgeon from the General Hospital at New York, has been dispatched from thence above a fortnight ago, with a supply of medicines, and apprehends that the badness of the roads and weather has alone prevented his arrival.

It is the soldier's duty to maintain the post he is ordered to defend. The same climate and season that affect us affect our enemies, and the favour of the Almighty, to whom we have appealed, will, if we trust in him, preserve us from slavery and death.

The General recommends it to the surgeons of the different regiments, to communicate to each other, the state of the sick in their respective corps, the various diseases, the remedies principally wanted, and the comforts most in request; for he will leave nothing unattempted in his power to provide whatever he can command for their recovery.

The General also desires the medical gentlemen will consult upon and adopt the most proper measures for obtaining those salutary purposes."

During the following month matters somewhat improved. Doctor Morgan ordered a surgeon's mate from New York to Ticonderoga with a


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large supply of excellent medicines, in addition to the regimental chests previously forwarded. Doctor Potts also received from some relief committees a timely supply of old linen and bandages, and Doctor Stringer at length wrote from Boston that he had purchased a large quantity of stores in that city. Still the sick in hospital were in want of many necessary comforts; for the congressional committee, who visited the army in November, reported as follows:

"Your Committee beg leave further to report, that they have visited the General Hospital for the Northern Army, situated at Fort George; that there is a range of buildings erected convenient for the purpose, which on the twentieth of October last, contained about four hundred sick, including those wounded and sick sent from General Arnold's fleet; that they were sufficiently supplied with fresh mutton and Indian meal, but wanted vegetables: that the Director General in that department obtained a large supply of medicines, but the sick suffered much for want of good female nurses and comfortable bedding; many of those poor creatures being obliged to lay upon the bare boards. Your Committee endeavored to procure straw as the best temporary expedient, but they earnestly recommend it to the attention of Congress that a quantity of bedding be speedily furnished. *     *     *     *     *     * Your Committee cannot omit mentioning under this head, the complaints which they have received from persons of all ranks, in and out of the army, respecting the subject of ill treatment of the sick. It is shocking to the feelings of humanity, as well as ruinous to the public service, that so deadly an evil, has been so long without a remedy. Your Committee do not undertake to determine from what quarter this mischief has arisen, but they most earnestly recommend that a strict inquiry be immediately made into the conduct of Directors General of Hospitals; their surgeons, other officers and servants; and that exemplary punishment be inflicted on all such as shall be found to have neglected their duty."

To the report of this committee and the resolution dismissing Doctor Stringer, General Philip Schuyler, commanding the Northern Department, strongly objected in a letter to Congress. Doctor Stringer was a warm personal friend of General Schuyler's, (from whom he had received his original appointment,) and the latter did not coincide in the strictures of General Gates on the conduct of the director. His protest, however, only served to draw down the indignation of Congress upon himself, for on the fifteenth of March, 1777, they passed a series of resolutions censuring him in the severest manner for his interference, and placed it on record:

"That as Congress proceeded to the dismissal of Doctor Stringer, upon reasons satisfactory to themselves, General Schuyler ought to have known it to be his duty to have acquiesced therein.

That the suggestion in General Schuyler's letter, that it was a compliment due to him to have been advised of the reasons of Doctor Stringer's dismissal, is highly derogatory to the honour of Congress, and that the President be desired to acquaint General Schuyler that it is expected his letters for the future be written in a style more suitable, etc.


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That it is altogether improper and inconsistent with the dignity of Congress to interfere in disputes subsisting among the officers of the army, which ought to be settled, unless they can be otherwise accommodated, in a court-martial agreeably to the rules of the army."

After the dismissal of Doctor Stringer, Doctor Potts became the senior medical officer in the Northern Department, and remained on duty as acting director until the reorganization of the hospital department.

In considering the question of the dismissal of the Director General, we are unfortunately without those details which would be so interesting relative to the causes which led to this summary procedure; but it is a matter of gratification that we do have the most positive proof that the dismissal was an unjust one. This evidence we shall come to in a short time; meanwhile we can offer plausible conjectures, derived from letters written at the time, of the charges against Doctor Morgan.

We find abundant evidence in contemporary records that great dissatisfaction existed throughout the army, both among officers and soldiers, at the management of the hospital. It was of course very unreasonable, but they would not understand the difficulties the Director General labored under in procuring supplies of all kinds. The officers continually wrote to Congress, or to men of prominence in their respective states, making the gravest charges against the surgeons. A fair sample of these communications may be found in the following extract of a letter written by Colonel William Smallwood, of Maryland, to the Council of Safety of his state:

PHILLIP'S HEIGHTS, 
October, 1776.

* *

Our next greatest suffering proceeds from the great neglect of the sick, and the orders relative to this department are most salutary, were they to be duly attended to; but here too there is not only a shameful but even an inhuman neglect daily exhibited. The directors of the general hospitals, who supply and provide for the sick, are extremely remiss and inattentive to the well being and comfort of these unhappy men; out of this train they cannot be taken. I have withdrawn all mine long ago, and had them placed in a comfortable house in the country, and supplied them with only the common rations; even this is preferable to the fare of a general hospital. Two of these regimental hospitals, after I have had them put in order, one has been taken away by the directors for a general hospital, and my people turned out of doors, and the other would have been taken in the same manner had I not have applied to General Washington, who told me to keep it. The misfortune is that every supply to the regimental hospital of necessaries suitable for the sick must come from an order from the directors, and is very seldom obtained. I have more than once applied that my quartermaster might furnish and make a charge for what was supplied, by which means I could have rendered the situation of the sick much more comfortable at a less expense, but it could not be allowed. I wish this could be


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obtained. I foresee the evils resulting from the shameful neglect in this department. One good-seasoned and well-trained soldier recovered to health, is worth a dozen new recruits, and is often easier recovered than to get a recruit, exclusive of which, this neglect is very discouraging to the soldiery, and must injure the service upon the new enlistments after the troops go into winter quarters.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

           WILLIAM SMALLWOOD. 

To the Honorable, the Council of Safety of Maryland."

The animus of this letter is very evident. It was the old feeling of jealousy on the part of the regimental surgeons against those of the general staff, which found an exponent in this communication and dozens more of the same character. We know already that Doctor Morgan had made great efforts to establish the regimental hospitals on a firm basis, and if he now withdrew his countenance from them and discouraged their continuance, he doubtless had good reason for his action. That reason we find an inkling of in a letter from General Washington to John Hancock, written about this time. Speaking of the improvement of the hospital department, he says:

"No less attention should be paid to the choice of surgeons than of other officers of the army; they should undergo a regular examination, and if not appointed by the Director General, they ought to be subordinate to, and governed by his directions. The regimental surgeons I am speaking of, many of whom are very great rascals, countenancing the men in sham complaints to exempt them from duty, and often receiving bribes to certify indispositions, with a view to procure discharges or furloughs. But, independently of these practices, while they are considered as unconnected with the general hospital, there will be nothing but continual complaints of each other, the director of the hospital charging them with enormity in their drafts for the sick, and they him for denying such things as are necessary. In short, there is a constant bickering among them, which tends greatly to the injury of the sick, and will always subsist until the regimental surgeons are made to look up to the Director General of the hospital as a superior. Whether this is the case in regular armies or not I cannot undertake to say, but certain I am, there is a necessity for it in this or the sick will suffer. The regimental surgeons are aiming I am persuaded to break up the general hospitals, and have in numberless instances drawn for medicines, stores, etc., in the most profuse and extravagant manner for private purposes."

But in spite of this strong testimony of the conspiracy against the general hospital, from one who always took a dispassionate view of affairs, there seems no doubt that complaints multiplied, and the cause of the sick was a popular one. They found a distinguished advocate in General Nathaniel Greene, who wrote a harrowing picture of the sufferings of the soldiers in consequence of the insufficiency of the general hospital and general neglect, and was especially severe on the Director General for his refusal to supply the regimental hospitals with medicines which he did not have.


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"I can see no reason," said he, "either from policy or humanity that the stores for the general hospital should be preserved for contingencies which may never happen, and the present regimental sick left to perish for want of proper necessaries. It is wholly immaterial in my opinion, either to the state or army, whether a man dies in the general or regimental hospital. The platform of the general hospital should be large enough to receive all the sick that are unfit to continue in quarters, or else to supply the regimental hospitals with such medicines and necessaries as the state of the sick requires." In a postscript to this letter he denies any intention of reflecting on the Director General, but such was doubtless its effect. Unfortunately for Doctor Morgan, his lofty ideas of the prerogative of his office got him at this time into a controversy with Doctor Shippen, who was, as will be remembered, director of the hospital on the west bank of the Hudson. The report of the congressional committee followed soon after. It was evidently necessary, so great was the clamor, to find a scape-goat; nothing would satisfy the complainants but a change of the administrative head of the department, and Doctor Morgan was sacrificed. He was called on to offer his resignation, but refused to do so and was summarily removed. He remained under the stigma of dismissal for upwards of a year, but at length in 1778, he prepared an elaborate memorial in his defence, requesting an enquiry into his conduct, which he transmitted to Congress, and on the eighteenth of September, that body referred the matter for investigation to a special committee. The committee did not report until the twelfth of the succeeding June, when the following preamble and resolutions were presented to Congress and unanimously passed:

"Whereas, by report of the Medical Committee, confirmed by Congress on the ninth of August, 1777, it appears that Doctor John Morgan, late Director General, and Chief Physician of the General Hospital of the United States, had been removed from office on the ninth of January, 1777, by reason of the general complaint of persons of all ranks in the army, and the critical state of affairs at that time; and that the said Doctor John Morgan requesting an enquiry into his conduct, it was thought proper that a committee of Congress should be appointed for that purpose; and whereas, on the eighteenth day of September last, such a committee was appointed, before whom the said Doctor John Morgan hath in the most satisfactory manner, vindicated his conduct in every respect, as Director General and Physician in Chief, upon the testimony of the Commander in Chief, General officers, officers in the general hospital department, and other officers in the army, showing that the said Director General did conduct himself ably and faithfully in the discharge of the duties of his office, therefore:

Resolved, That Congress are satisfied with the conduct of Doctor John Morgan, while acting as Director General and Physician in Chief in the general hospitals in the United States; and that this resolution be published."


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This was a very handsome apology for the wrong done, but it would have been more to the purpose if they had ordered the investigation before they disgraced him by a summary dismissal. Even now they did not restore him the position of which he had been so unjustly deprived, and he retired to private life, broken in spirit by the treatment he had received; a blow from which he never entirely recovered. He died on the fifteenth of October, 1789, at the age of fifty-four years.

Among the many striking characters furnished by our revolutionary annals, few are more admirable than that of John Morgan. His life was passed amid stirring scenes, in all of which he found opportunities for usefulness to his fellow men. As a student he was laborious and painstaking; as a physician, learned far beyond the most of his contemporaries; as a young surgeon in the British army, "he acquired both knowledge and reputation. He was respected by the officers and beloved by the soldiers; and so great were his diligence and humanity in attending the sick and wounded who were the subjects of his care, that I well remember," says Benjamin Rush, "to have heard it said, that if it were possible for any man to merit Heaven by his good works, Doctor Morgan would deserve it for his faithful attendance upon his patients." He may be said to have been the father of medical education in America, for while abroad he elaborated a plan for the institution of medical colleges in the Colonies, and he sustained his views in an elegant and scholarly discourse on the subject at the commencement of the College of Philadelphia on the thirty-first of May, 1765, and it was by his efforts, aided by Shippen and others, that the college was induced to establish a medical department. "The historian who shall hereafter relate the progress of medical science in America, will be deficient in candour and justice if he does not connect the name of Doctor Morgan with that auspicious era, in which medicine was first taught and studied as a science in this country. He possessed an uncommon capacity for acquiring knowledge. His memory was extensive and accurate; he was intimately acquainted with the Latin and Greek classics. He had read much in medicine. In all his pursuits he was persevering and indefatigable."

As Director General of the army he evinced great administrative ability, untiring industry often under the most discouraging circumstances, a "most amiable and exemplary tenderness" towards the sick, and a strict tenacity for his own dignity and the rights of the corps of which he was the chief. The errors into which he fell, grew out of his desire for the increased efficiency of the hospital-the failures of his administration were the result of causes beyond his control. When he had finally gone from it, the army found out


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how great a mind and true a friend had been lost to its ranks; and all, from the Commander-in-Chief to the junior subaltern, united in their testimony before the congressional committee to relieve him from the aspersions cast upon his character by the malevolence of his enemies.

Those who served with the army in the field, and especially the officers of the Hospital Department, had long been convinced that the increased area over which the operations of the campaign had been extended necessitated a complete reorganization of the medical service. The old regulations had been established when there was but one army in the field-that in front of Boston-and it was not foreseen at the time that the war would attain such proportions as to require the division of the whole country into departments. In consequence, the jurisdiction of the Director General had not been distinctly expressed in the act of July 27, 1775, and subsequently, when directors were appointed for new departments, it was left an open question whether these were subordinate to the Director General, or only to the commanders of their own departments. Doctor Morgan so clearly saw the necessity of a centralization of authority for the preservation of efficiency and discipline, that he sometimes gave a construction to the law in which the directors were not disposed to acquiesce, and hence conflicts of authority had arisen, which being referred to Congress had excited a prejudice against the existing management of the department. That body made no appointment to fill the vacancy caused by the dismissal of Doctor Morgan, and in the interregnum which followed, Doctors William Shippen and John Cochran drew up a plan modeled on that of the British army, which they submitted to the Commander-in-Chief. Washington gave it his warm approval in a letter to the President of Congress, which contains opinions as to the importance of a well organized medical corps that demonstrated the great interest he always took in this branch of the public service:

"MORRISTOWN, February 14, 1777.

I do myself the honor to enclose to you, a plan drawn up by Doctor Shippen, in concert with Doctor Cochran, for the arrangement, and future regulation of the General Hospital. As this plan is very extensive, the appointments numerous, and the salaries affixed to them at present large, I did not think myself at liberty, to adopt any part of it, before I laid it before Congress for their approbation. I will just remark, that though the expense attending an hospital upon the enclosed plan, will be very great, it will in the end, not only be a saving to the public, but the only possible method of keeping the Army afoot.

The number of officers mentioned in the enclosed plan, I presume are necessary for us, because they are found so in the British hospitals, and as they are established upon the surest basis, (that of long experience, under the ablest physicians, and 


34

surgeons,) we should not hesitate a moment, in adopting their regulations, when they so plainly tend to correct and improve our former want of knowledge, and method, in this important department.

The pay affixed to the different departments, is, as I said before, great, and perhaps more than you may think adequate to the service. In determining upon the sum that is to be allowed to each, you ought to consider, that it should be such, as will induce gentlemen of character, and skill to step forth; and in some manner adequate to the practice which they have at home; for unless such gentlemen are induced to undertake the care, and management of our hospitals, we had better trust to the force of nature, and our constitutions, than suffer persons entirely ignorant of medicine, to destroy us, by ill directed application. I hear from every quarter, that the dread of undergoing the same miseries, for want of proper care, and attention has much retarded the new enlistments, particularly to the southward. This is another reason for establishing our hospital upon a large, and generous plan. I could wish that Congress would take this matter under their immediate consideration."

Washington also earnestly desired some improvement in the character of the regimental medical officers; a class of which, as we have seen, he had the lowest possible opinion. On the fourteenth of March he wrote again to John Hancock on this subject:

"There is one more thing which claims in my opinion, the earliest attention of Congress. I mean the pay of regimental Surgeons, and that of their mates. These appointments are so essential, that they cannot be done without. Their pay in the first instance is so low, so inadequate to the services which should be performed, that no man sustaining the character of a gentleman, and who has the least medical abilities, or skill in the profession, can think of accepting it; that in the latter is so paltry, and mean, that none of the least generosity of sentiment, or pretensions to merit, can consent to act for it. In a word, these are inconveniences of an interesting nature; they amount to an exclusion of those persons, who could perform the duties of those offices; and if not redressed, there is not the smallest probability, that any can be prevailed on, to enter them, again."

In consequence of these and other equally urgent appeals, Congress in March appointed a special committee, consisting of Oliver Wolcott, of Connecticut, Jonathan Witherspoon, of New Jersey, Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts, Daniel Roberdeau, of Pennsylvania, and Abraham Clark, of New Jersey, to "devise ways and means for preserving the health of the troops." The report of this committee was made the subject of debate and several times recommitted, until April second, when the former committee were discharged and a new one appointed consisting of Messrs. Elbridge Gerry, John Adams, and Thomas Burke. On the seventh of April they reported the following bill, which was substantially Doctor Shippen's plan, and which after debate, was passed:

"Resolved, That there be one Director General of all the military hospitals, which shall be erected for the Continental Army in the United States, who shall particularly superintend all the hospitals, between Hudson's and the Potomac rivers.


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2.     That there be one deputy director general, who in the absence of the Director General, shall superintend the hospitals to the eastward of Hudson's river.

3.     That there be one deputy director general, who in the absence of the Director General, shall superintend the hospitals in the Northern Department.

4.     That when the circumstances of war shall require it, there be one deputy director general, who in the absence of the Director General, shall superintend the hospitals in the Southern Department.

5.     That the Director General, or in his absence, the deputy director general in each separate department, be empowered, and required, with the consent of the Commander in Chief therein, to establish, and regulate a sufficient number of hospitals, at proper places for the reception of the sick and wounded of the Army; to provide medicines, instruments, dressings, bedding and other necessary furniture, proper diet, and everything necessary for the sick and wounded soldiers, and the officers of the hospitals; to pay the salaries, and all other expenses of the same.

6.     That there be assistant deputy directors, to superintend the hospitals committed to their care, and assist in providing the articles before specified, under the orders, and control of the director, or deputy director general, of the respective districts.

7.     That there be one apothecary general for each district, whose duty it shall be, to receive, prepare, and deliver medicines, and other articles of his department., to the hospitals and army, as shall be ordered by the Director General, or deputy directors general respectively.

8.     That the apothecaries be allowed as many mates, as the Director General, or respective deputy directors general, shall think necessary.

9.     That there be a commissary of the hospitals, in each of the aforesaid districts, whose duty it shall be, to procure, store, and deliver provisions, forage, and such other articles, as the Director General, or deputy director general shall judge necessary, for the use of the hospitals; in the purchase of which, he shall frequently consult with the Commissary and Quartermaster General, and be regulated by the prices, which they give. 

10.     That the commissary be allowed such assistants and storekeepers, as the Director General, or deputy director general of the district, shall judge necessary.

11.     That a steward be allowed for every hundred sick, who shall receive provisions from the commissary, and distribute them agreeable to the orders of the Director General, or in his absence of the deputy director general, or physician, or surgeon general, and be accountable to the commissary for the same.

12.     That a matron be allowed to every hundred sick or wounded, who shall take care that the provisions are properly prepared; that the wards, beds, and utensils be kept in neat order; and that the most exact economy be observed in her department.

13.     That a nurse be allowed for every ten sick, or wounded, who shall be under the direction of the matron.*

17.     That such officers, and soldiers as the general shall order to guard the hospital, and to conduct such as shall be weekly discharged the hospital, to their respective regiments, shall while this on duty, obey the director, or deputy director general, or the physicians and surgeon general.


*Sections 14, 15 and 16 provide for an hostler to each hospital, to take care of the horses; a clerk, to keep the accounts; and such number of assistant clerks, as may be judged necessary.


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18.     That the director, and deputy directors general be empowered respectively to appoint, and discharge their assistant deputy directors; and other said officers and attendants at the hospital, in such numbers, as the necessities of the army may require, and the Commander in Chief of the department, in writing may approve; report of which to be immediately made to Congress, as hereafter directed.

19.     That there be also one physician and one surgeon general in each district, to be appointed by Congress, whose duty it shall be, respectively to superintend the practice of physic and surgery, in all the hospitals in the district, to which they shall be appointed; and in the absence of the director, or deputy director general, they shall have power to order the physicians, surgeons, and other officers of the several hospitals, to such duty as they shall think proper; and shall report weekly to the Director General, or in his absence, to the deputy director general, or in his absence, to the assistant deputy director, the state and number of the sick, and wounded in the hospitals, and the delinquent officers of the same, and see, that such as may be fit, shall be delivered every week, to the officer of the guard.

20.     That there be allowed also, senior physicians and surgeons, who shall attend, prescribe for, and operate upon, and see properly treated, such sick and wounded, as shall be allowed them by the director general, deputy directors general, or assistant deputy director, or physician, or surgeon general; the number for the district, to be determined by the director general, or deputy director general, and appointed by the surgeon and physician generals.

21.     That there be also, such a number of second surgeons, as the director, or deputy director general for the district, shall judge necessary, to assist the senior surgeons; and to be under the same direction, and to be appointed by the physician and surgeon general, as aforesaid.

22.     That there be also such a number of mates, as the director, or deputy director general of the district shall direct, who shall assist the surgeons, in the care of the wounded, and see that the medicines are properly, and regularly administered; and appointed in the same manner before directed for senior, and second surgeons.

23.     That a suitable number of covered and other wagons, litters, and other necessaries for removing the sick and wounded; shall be supplied by the Quartermaster, or deputy quartermaster general; and in cases of their deficiency by the director, or deputy director general.

24.     That there be one physician and surgeon general, for each separate army, who shall be subject to the orders and control, of the director, or deputy director general, of the district in which he acts; that his duty shall be to superintend the regimental surgeons, and their mates, and to see that they do their duty, to hear all complaints against the said regimental surgeons, and their mates, and make report of them to the Director General, or in his absence to the deputy director general; or in their absence from the army, to the commanding officer thereof, that they may be brought to trial by court martial for misbehavior; to receive from the Director General, or deputy director general a suitable number of large strong tents, beds, bedding, medicines, and hospital stores for such sick and wounded as cannot be removed to the general hospital with safety; or may be rendered fit for duty in a few days; and shall also see that the sick and wounded while under his care, are properly attended, and dressed, and conveyed when able to the general hospital; for which last purpose he shall be supplied by the Director General, or deputy director general with a proper number of convenient wagons, and drivers.


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25.     That each physician and surgeon general of the army, shall appoint such a number of surgeons, nurses, and orderly men, as the director, or deputy director general shall judge necessary, for the more effectual care of the sick, and wounded, under the care of such physician and surgeon general, as provided in the last foregoing section; and the said physician and surgeon generals, shall have under them in each army, a steward to receive and properly dispense such articles of diet., as the director, or deputy director general shall give, or order to be given him, by the commissary of the army, or hospital.

26.     That whenever any regimental surgeon, or mate shall be absent from his regiment without leave from the said surgeon general, or the Commander in Chief of the army where his duty lies, the said surgeon general shall have power to remove such surgeon or mate, and forthwith to appoint another in his stead.

27.     That the director, deputy directors, physicians and surgeons general, and all other officers above enumerated, shall be tried by a court martial for any misbehavior, or neglect of duty, as the Commander in Chief of the several armies shall direct.

28.     That the physician and surgeon general of each army shall cause daily returns to be made to him, of all the sick and wounded, who have been removed to the hospital; all that remain in the hospital tents; all that have become fit for duty; all who are convalescent; and all who may have died; specifying the particular maladies, under which the sick, and wounded labor.

29.     That the said physician and surgeon general shall cause weekly returns to be made of the same to the director, and deputy directors general, respectively.*

32.     That the deputy directors general cause the like returns to be made, once every month, to the director general, together with the names, and denominations of all the officers in the respective hospitals, and that the director general shall make a like return for all the hospitals, and armies of these United States, once every month, to the Medical Committee.

33.     That the Medical Committee have power to appoint any of their number, to visit and inspect all, or any of the Medical Departments, as often as they shall think proper; enquire into the conduct of such general officers of the hospital, as shall be delinquent in this, or any part of their duty; and to report their names to Congress, with the evidence of the charges, which shall be brought against them.

34.     That in times of action, and other emergency, when the regimental surgeons are not sufficient in number, to attend properly to the sick, and wounded, that cannot be removed to the hospitals, the Director General, or deputy director general of the district be empowered and required, upon the request of the physician or surgeon general of the army, to send from the hospitals, under his care, to the assistance of such sick, or wounded, as many physicians, and surgeons as can possibly be spared from the necessary business of the hospital.

35.     That the director, deputy directors general, assistant deputy directors, physicians, and surgeons general, be, and are hereby required, and directed to employ such parts of their time, as may conveniently be spared from the duties before pointed out to them, in visiting and prescribing for the sick, and wounded, in the hospital under their care."

*Sections 30 and 31 provide, that physicians and surgeons general of hospitals shall cause like daily returns to be made, and shall make like weekly returns.


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The pay and allowances of the officers to be appointed under this act were fixed as follows:

"Director General, six dollars a day, and nine rations. 
Deputy Director General, five dollars a day, and six rations. 
Assistant Deputy Director, three dollars a day, and six rations. 
Physician General and Surgeon General, each, five dollars a day, and six rations. 
Physician and Surgeon General of the Army, five dollars a day, and six rations. 
Senior Surgeons, each, four dollars a day, and six rations.
Second Surgeons, each, two dollars a day, and four rations.
Surgeon's Mates, each, one and one-third dollars a day, and two rations. 
Apothecaries General, each, three dollars a day, and six rations. 
Apothecaries' Mates, one and one-third dollars a day, and two rations. 
Commissary, two dollars a day, and four rations.
Clerk, who is to be Paymaster, two dollars a day, and four rations. 
Assistant Clerks, two-thirds of a dollar a day, and one ration. 
Stewards, one dollar a day, and two rations.
Matrons, one-half dollar a day, and one ration.
Nurses, each, twenty-four-ninetieths of a dollar a day, and one ration. 
Regimental Surgeons, two dollars a day, and four rations.
Regimental Mates, one and one-third of a dollar a day, and two rations."

The defects of this law consisted in the complex character of the organization and the multiplication of unnecessary offices. It would seem, from our own experience, that there would have been less danger of conflicts of authority had the offices of physician and surgeon general of hospitals been united in one person; but it should be remembered in this connection, that even as late as one hundred years ago the professions of surgery and medicine were still essentially distinct, and that surgery had comparatively recently been elevated, from being one of the acquirements of an accomplished barber, to the dignity of a science. The relations between these officers and the deputy directors general should have been more clearly defined. The clause directing the latter to spend their available time in visiting and prescribing for the patients in hospital was liable to lead to misunderstanding. Practically, they probably confined themselves to occasional inspections, but they had the power, de jure, at any time to alter the treatment of patients in hospital, without consulting the physician or surgeon general; an authority, which, if exercised, must have given rise to endless confusion, and great detriment to the sick. Above all the continued union of the administrative and purveying departments of the service under one head was a most injudicious provision, and caused, as we shall see, a series of difficulties which only ended with another complete change in the organization.

Still, notwithstanding these grave faults, the new law gave promise of a much more efficient administration of affairs than had hitherto been possible.


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It met with the cordial approval of the Commander-in-Chief, who saw most desirable benefits to the army at large from its enactment. It definitely fixed the status of the Director General, by making him really the executive head of the Department; while the sections providing for the returns and reports from the various hospitals enabled him at all times to know their exact condition. There was a point gained also in placing the regimental medical officers under a supervising officer of their own corps; for they had hitherto been rather disposed to ignore all authority, except what came from their own colonels, and had always shown an antagonism, (by no means beneficial to the army at large,) towards the Hospital Department. The number of officers created by the act was very large; but we find a reason for this in a statement made by General Whipple, a member of Congress at the time. Writing to Doctor James Tilton, he says: "Congress, being sensible of the mismanagement in the Medical Department last year, and determined to remedy the evil if possible, have formed a plan on the most liberal principles, with a design to draw, if possible, into the service of their country gentlemen of the first eminence from different parts of the continent, many of whom have already engaged."

On the eleventh of April Congress proceeded to the election of officers of the Medical Department, called for by the new organization.

To the position of Director General, Doctor Philip Turner, of Connecticut, was at first nominated and elected; but before adjournment a reconsideration was moved, and it was urged with great propriety that the author of the plan had claims, not only of great distinction in his profession, but of. previous service, which were superior to those of others. Accordingly, a new election being held, Doctor William Shippen received the unanimous vote of all the thirteen states.

The positions in the Middle Department were filled as follows:

Physician General of the Hospital; Doctor Walter Jones, of Virginia. 
Surgeon General of the Hospital; Doctor Benjamin Rush, of Pennsylvania.
Physician and Surgeon General of the army; Doctor John Cochran, of Pennsylvania.

In the Eastern Department the appointments were:

Deputy Director General; Doctor Isaac Foster, of Massachusetts. 
Physician General of the Hospital; Doctor Ammi R. Cutler, of New Hampshire.


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Surgeon General of the Hospital; Doctor Philip Turner, of Connecticut. 
Physician and Surgeon General of the army; Doctor William Burnet, of New Jersey.

For the Northern Department:

Deputy Director General; Doctor Jonathan Potts, of Pennsylvania. 
Physician General of the Hospital; Doctor Malachi Treat, of New York. 
Surgeon General of the Hospital; Doctor Forgue.
Physician and Surgeon General of the army; Doctor John Bartlett.

Doctor William Shippen, jun., the successor of Doctor Morgan as Director General, was the son of a distinguished physician of Philadelphia, where he was born in 1736. His father was one of the founders of, and a trustee in the college of New Jersey at Princeton, and thither he sent his son to receive his academic education. He graduated with the highest honors in 1754, and after studying medicine for three years in his father's office, went to Europe to take his degree. In London he resided in the family of John Hunter, and studied anatomy under his direction, and midwifery under that of William Hunter. From London we went to Edinburgh, and placed himself under the tutelage of Cullen, graduating in 1761. He then spent a year in France, and returning to America in 1762, immediately commenced a course of lectures on anatomy in Philadelphia. He had delivered three courses, when Morgan, in 1765, laid before the trustees of the college his plan for the establishment of medical schools in America. Doctor Shippen cordially endorsed the former's views, and on the organization of the school was chosen to the chair of anatomy. He delivered lectures every year to constantly increasing classes, until the war caused a suspension of the college. In 1776 he entered the service of the United States as director of the flying camp established at Trenton, and was subsequently given the entire supervision over all hospitals on the west bank of the Hudson river. Both of these positions he had filled with great ability. 

Doctor Walter Jones, the Physician General of the Hospital in the Middle Department, was a native of Northampton County, Virginia. He received his medical education at Edinburgh, enjoying the especial esteem of Cullen and others among the professors and graduating in 1770. Returning to America, he settled in practice in his native county, and at the outbreak of the war had obtained a high character as a scholar and a physician. "He was, for the variety and extent of his learning, the originality and strength of his mind, the sagacity of his observations, and the captivating powers of his conversation, one of the most extraordinary of men." He held


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his position in the army but two months, finding country practice among the cultivated gentry of Virginia more to his taste. He resigned on the first of July, and was succeeded by Doctor Rush.

Doctor Benjamin Rush, Surgeon General of the Hospital in the Middle Department, was born near Philadelphia, December 24, 1745. He received his education at Princeton, and graduated in 1760, when but fifteen years old. He then studied medicine for six years with Doctor John Redman, attending during this time the first course of anatomical lectures given by Shippen. He went to Edinburgh in 1766, where he received his degree of doctor of medicine in 1768. After spending a year in the London and Paris hospitals, he returned to Philadelphia in 1769, and immediately commenced practice. In the same year he was elected professor of chemistry in the medical school. Before the Revolution he was an active friend of liberty, taking a great interest in public affairs, and represented Pennsylvania in the Colonial Congress of 1776, and was in consequence one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His reputation as a patriot, author, teacher and physician is too well known to need more than a passing mention in this place. The position of Surgeon General was not congenial to him, and on the resignation of Doctor Jones he was transferred to the office of Physician General, which was more in accordance with the scope of his studies and abilities.

Doctor John Cochran, Physician and Surgeon General of the army in the Middle Department, was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Chester county in 1730. He never received a collegiate education, but at an early age studied medicine in a physician's office in Lancaster. During the French war he served in the army in the position of surgeon's mate in the Hospital Department, and gained a good reputation as an officer of ability and skill. After leaving the service he settled in practice in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he was "eminently distinguished as a practitioner in medicine and surgery." As soon as the Revolution commenced he proffered his services as a volunteer, and remained on duty with the army without holding any official position, until his present appointment. Washington had a high appreciation of his character, and it was chiefly owing to his recommendation that he received the appointment. Writing to the President of Congress, early in April, 1777, he says: "If the appointments in the hospital are not filled up before the receipt of this, I would take the liberty of mentioning a gentleman whom I think highly deserving of notice, not only on account of his abilities, but for the very great assistance which he has afforded in the course of this winter merely in the nature of a volunteer.


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The gentleman is Doctor John Cochran, well known to all the faculty, and particularly to Doctor Shippen, who I suppose has mentioned him among the candidates. The place for which the Doctor is well fitted, and which would be most agreeable to him, is Surgeon General of the Middle Department. In this line he served all the last war in the British service, and has distinguished himself this winter, particularly in his attention to the smallpox patients, who but for him and Doctor Bond must have suffered much, if not been totally neglected, as there were no other medical gentlemen to be found. If the appointment of Surgeon General is filled up, that of Deputy Director in the Middle Department would be acceptable."

Doctor Isaac Foster, Deputy Director General in the Eastern Department, was a physician of high standing and in large practice in the village of Charlestown, Massachusetts, when the siege of Boston commenced. He immediately abandoned his office and reported to the army at Cambridge, and was appointed by the Provincial Congress of the Colony a senior hospital surgeon, and assigned to the charge of the hospital at Cambridge. Upon the organization of the Continental army he was retained as a surgeon, and placed in charge of the general hospital in New York city, and had been in the service ever since, having gained an excellent reputation as an efficient officer.

Doctor Ammi R. Cutter, who was appointed to be Physician General of the Hospital in this department, was a native of North Yarmouth, Maine, and born in 1734. He graduated at Harvard in 1752, and studied medicine in the office of a physician in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Immediately after admission to practice he was appointed surgeon to a body of rangers, which formed part of the frontier army against the Indians in 1755. In 1758 he served as surgeon to the New Hampshire troops at the siege of Louisbourg, and at the close of that campaign entered into private practice in New Hampshire. At the commencement of the war, though bound by the strongest ties of friendship and gratitude to Sir John Wentworth, the tory governor, and though every possible influence was brought to bear to shake his loyalty, he gave in his allegiance to the whigs and became an ardent patriot. He held no official position prior to the present one. Thacher says of him-" his manners were dignified, yet courteous, and his countenance was strongly marked with the moral energy, intelligence, and benevolence, which formed the leading traits of his character. He united to a naturally fine temper, great vivacity and a social disposition; his colloquial powers were remarkable; he had a tenacious memory, and the diversified scenes of his long life, he used to relate with a felicity of language and happiness of allusion, that made him an instructive and delightful companion."


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Doctor Philip Turner, the Surgeon General of the Eastern Department, was born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1740. He studied medicine in his native town, and at the age of nineteen was appointed assistant surgeon to a provincial regiment under General Amherst at Ticonderoga. He remained in the service until 1763, when he returned to Norwich, married the daughter of his former preceptor, and settling in practice soon gained a wide spread reputation as an operating surgeon. He reentered military life as soon as the war broke out, and was the first surgeon of the Connecticut troops, at the siege of Boston. He subsequently participated in the battles of Long Island and White Plains, gaining great distinction as the most skillful surgeon in the army. Doctor Shippen said of him, that neither in America nor in Europe had he ever seen an operator that excelled him. He is reported to have been successful in eighteen out of twenty operations of lithotomy. As before stated, his great fame gained him the appointment of Director General in the reorganization, but motives of policy induced Congress to vote a reconsideration, and the position was given to Doctor Shippen.

Doctor William Burnet, Physician and Surgeon General of the army in the Eastern Department, was born at Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1730. He, graduated in 1745 at the college of New Jersey, then located at Newark. He practiced for many years in Newark, and was highly esteemed as a gentleman, a scholar, and a christian. He had represented New Jersey in Congress, besides holding many other official positions of importance. The epitaph on his tombstone says: "In all his public services, he exhibited in the cause of his beloved country unshaken firmness, zeal, patriotism and fidelity."

Doctor Jonathan Potts, who was elected to be Deputy Director General of the Northern Department, was a native of Pennsylvania, and graduated as bachelor of physic at the college in Philadelphia in 1768, when he delivered the valedictory address. He received the degree of doctor of medicine in 1771. He had already been a long time on duty in that department, first as hospital surgeon, and since the dismissal of Doctor Stringer as acting director, and had proved capable and efficient. Congress thought so well of his services as to pass a resolution specially commending him, on the fifth of November of this year.

Of the early life of Doctor Malachi Treat nothing is known; but he was a distinguished practitioner in New York city, and had originally entered the army under the appointment of the Provincial Congress of his native state. He had been for a long time one of the board of examiners for admission of candidates into the Hospital Department from New York.


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Doctor John Bartlett and Doctor Forgue seem to have been entirely unknown. Except the single record of their appointments in the journals of the Colonial Congress, there is no mention of them in any of the literature of the Revolution. In the reorganization of the medical corps in 1780 their names do not appear, and it is probable that they did not remain long in the service.

As before stated, Doctor Walter Jones did not long retain his position as Physician General to the Hospital in the Middle Department. On the first of July he resigned, and Doctor Rush succeeded to his place, and Doctor William Brown was elected by Congress to the vacancy caused by Rush's promotion. He was a native of Maryland, and was educated in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he received his degree in 1768. Up to this time he had been in extensive practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

In April of this year the question of a speedy reinforcement of Washington's army became the subject of serious discussion by Congress, and it was finally resolved that a medical officer should be sent to inspect the hospitals between Philadelphia and Annapolis, and clear the wards of all soldiers fit for duty, sending them to their proper regiments. That officer found so many in hospital who, although not capable of field service, were manifestly able to do garrison and other light duty, and who were occupying the space in hospital needed for others, that the advisability of forming an invalid corps was considered, and on the sixteenth of July Congress agreed upon a plan which was substantially as follows:

1.     The Director General was directed to notify all hospital surgeons to make strict inquiry, before discharging any non-commissioned officer or private, whether the soldier was likely to be fit for garrison duty; in which case he was to report him for transfer to an invalid regiment.

2.     All generals in command of armies were required to give notice to officers in command of regiments, that if they had any non-commissioned officers or soldiers unfit for field duty, they should send such men to be examined by the Deputy Director General; and upon his report, that they could do duty in garrison, the men were not to be discharged, but transferred to the invalid corps.

3.     Any soldiers who had already lost an arm or a leg in action, were declared suitable for transfer.

4.     All persons already pensioned on half pay were notified to report themselves for duty in the corps.

During the summer the attention of the country was more especially directed to affairs in the Northern Department; where Burgoyne was advancing to capture or annihilate Schuyler's army. In July he compelled St. Clair to abandon Ticonderoga and Crown Point. The sick were moved in batteaux down the lake to Fort Edward, where a temporary tent hospital


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was instituted; and on the twenty-fifth the general hospital was established in Albany, in a fine building erected for that purpose during the French war, which contained forty wards with accommodations for five hundred patients, besides rooms for storage, dispensary, surgeon's quarters, etc. Then followed the battle of Stillwater and the subsequent surrender of Burgoyne, and after this the hospital in Albany was crowded with wounded soldiers, the Hessians and British being treated with equal care and attention as our own troops, and accommodated in the same wards. Thacher has given us the following picture of the condition of the hospital at this time:

"The foreigners are under the care and management of their own surgeons. I have been present at some of their capital operations, and remarked, that the English perform with skill and dexterity, but the Germans with a few exceptions, do no credit to their profession; some of them are the most uncouth and clumsy operators I ever witnessed, and appear to be destitute of all sympathy and tenderness towards the suffering patients. Not less than one thousand sick and wounded are now in this city; the Dutch church, and several private houses, are occupied as hospitals. We have about thirty surgeons and mates, and all are constantly employed. Some of our soldiers' wounds, which had been neglected while on the way here from the field of battle, being covered with putrefied blood for several days, were found on the first dressing, to be filled with maggots. It was not difficult, however, to destroy these vermin, by the application of tincture of myrrh. Here is a fine field for professional improvement. Amputating limbs, trepanning fractured skulls, and dressing the most formidable wounds, have familiarized my mind to scenes of woe."

Meanwhile, in the Middle Department affairs were not prosperous so far as the hospital was concerned. The new arrangement of the department worked smoothly for but a short time. The Director of the hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested on complaints of officers and men for not giving proper attention to the soldiers undergoing inoculation. Investigation showed these charges to be unfounded, and he was restored to his position; but he could not regain the confidence of his patients.

The want of supplies of all kinds caused great suffering among the troops in the Jerseys. Three thousand men who were fit for duty, were detained in the various hospitals because they had no shoes. The hospital stores were scanty, and all available means of supply had been exhausted. A severe winter was approaching, and the sick were without blankets and many of them almost naked. Stoves were erected in the hospitals and all the hospital wagons employed in transporting fuel, so as to make up for the scarcity of blankets and clothing; but these efforts failed to check the growing discontent against the management of the Medical Department. The sick could not believe that their distress was the necessary result of the impoverishment of the country, and they were, unfortunately, led by the


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imprudent statements of many of the officers to think that they suffered in order to enrich those high in authority. Governor Livingston wrote severe letters to Washington and to Congress on the subject, and the Commander-in-Chief detailed a field officer to attend daily at the hospital and see that the sick were properly provided for, in the hope that the presence of one of their own officers would allay the murmurs of the men. Doctor Benjamin Rush, who with all his virtues was too much of a politician to render himself amenable to discipline as a medical officer, wrote letters to Congress complaining of the abuses which existed in the hospital. Doctor James Tilton, a surgeon of the very highest standing and most unquestionably sincere in his statements, who was in charge of the general hospital at Princeton, did not hesitate to ascribe the prevailing distress to the union of the directing and purveying departments in one person. "I mention it, without a design to reflect on any man," he wrote, "that in the fatal year, 1777, when the Director General had the entire direction of the practice in our hospitals, as well as the whole disposal of the stores, he was interested in the increase of sickness, and consequent increase of expense, as far at least, as he would be profited, by a greater amount of money passing through his hands."

Under these gloomy circumstances the campaign of 1778 opened at Valley Forge. Congress on the first of January appointed a committee to consider the complaints of Livingston, Rush, and others, empowering them, "to take every measure, which they may deem necessary, for the immediate relief of the sick, and report such alteration in the medical department, as they shall judge best adapted to answer the end of its institution." The result of the deliberations of this committee was, that Doctors Rush and Shippen were ordered to present themselves before Congress for examination on the state of affairs; a member was sent to inspect all the hospitals in the Middle Department and report their condition; and the Clothier General of the army was ordered to turn over to the Director General as much linen and as many blankets as could be spared, to be retained in hospital for the permanent use of the sick.

They also endeavored to obtain funds to supply the deficiency in clothing, by the passage of the following rather singular resolution:

"Resolved, That the sum of ten dollars, shall be paid by every officer, and the sum of four dollars, by every soldier, who shall enter, or be sent into any hospital, to be cured of the venereal disease; which sum shall be deducted out of their pay, and an account thereof, shall be transmitted by the physician or surgeon who shall have attended them, to the regimental paymaster, for that purpose; the money so arising, to be paid to the director general, or his order, to be appropriated to the purchasing blankets and shirts, for the use of sick soldiers in the hospital."


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There is no record of what amount of money was ever collected, in consequence of this resolution. The most probable insult would be, that the soldiers so affected would conceal their disease rather than pay a tax on the confession, and thus a serious evil result both to the men themselves and to the army at large.

On the thirtieth of January, Doctor Rush resigned his commission as Physician General of the Hospital in the Middle Department, and was succeeded by Doctor William Brown. He does not seem, however, to have given up the case against Doctor Shippen, for early in March he made charges of the gravest character against that officer, accusing him of malpractice and neglect in his department. These he enclosed to Washington, and on the third of April sent copies of them to Congress, who referred them to a special committee, "with power to send for persons and papers." It does not seem, however, that anything came of the reference, at least not during the year 1778. This was the last appearance of Benjamin Rush as a member of the medical corps. Whatever may have been his merits as a patriot, statesman, physician, and man of letters, it may be truthfully said that his military career was not a success. Apart from his continual complaints to Congress about his superiors, he had been more than suspected of a connection with the infamous "Conway cabal," and was thought by Washington to have written some anonymous letters, which appeared about this time, in connection therewith. Nevertheless, the latter does not seem to have cherished any ill feeling against him, for on becoming President he appointed him Director of the Mint in Philadelphia, an office which he held for fourteen years. He died on the fourteenth of April, 1813, aged sixty-eight years.

Meanwhile, other changes took place in the Medical Department. Doctor Charles McKnight was on the twenty-first of February elected Surgeon General of the Hospital in the Middle Department, vice Brown, promoted. He was a native of Cranbury, New Jersey, born in 1750. He was educated at Princeton College, where he graduated in 1771. He then commenced his medical studies with Shippen; but the war breaking out before they were completed, he entered the service, and had risen to be senior surgeon of the flying hospital in the Middle Department. He had a good reputation as an able and industrious officer.

On the ninth of March, Doctor Cutter, Physician General of the Eastern Department, resigned. He returned to his home in New Hampshire, where he lived many years, dying in 1819, at the age of eighty-five. There does not seem to have been any election held to fill the vacancy.


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Before these last events had taken place, the special committee on the state of the Hospital made a further report; which was made the special order for February sixth, and after debate, agreed to, as follows:

"For the better regulating of the Hospitals of the United States; Resolved,

l.     That there be a deputy director general, for the hospitals between Hudson's and the Potomac rivers, and that the superintending care of the director general, be extended equally over the hospitals in every district; and that he be excused from the duty of providing supplies, when the deputy director general shall be ready to enter upon the office.

2.     That the several officers of the hospitals, shall cease to exercise such of their former powers, as are herein assigned to other officers thereof.

3.     That in the absence of the director general from any district, the physician general, and surgeon general, shall hereafter determine the number of hospitals, to be provided by the deputy director general, for the sick and wounded, and shall superintend and control the affairs of said hospitals.

4.     That the director general shall consult with the physician general and surgeon general in each district, about the supplies necessary for the hospitals, and shall give orders in writing to the deputy director general, to provide the same, and that in the absence of the director general, the physician general and surgeon general shall issue such orders.

5.     That each deputy director general, shall appoint one or more of the assistant deputy directors under him, to the sole business of providing beds, furniture, utensils, hospital clothing, and such like articles, and shall appoint one, or more, to provide medicines, instruments, dressings, herbs, and necessaries of a similar kind. 

6.     That the director general shall frequently visit the hospitals in each district, and see that the regulations are carried into effect; shall examine into the number, and qualification of the hospital officers; report to Congress, any abuses that may have taken place, and discharge the supernumerary officers, if there be any, so that all unnecessary expense, may be saved to the public; and that whenever the director general is in any particular district, the physician general and surgeon general in that district, shall not appoint any officers, without his consent.

7.     That on the settlement of hospital accounts, the officers entrusted with public money, shall produce vouchers to prove the expenditure, and receipts from the proper officers of the hospital, specifying the delivery of the stores, and other articles purchased; and the apothecaries, mates, stewards, matrons, and other officers receiving such stores, and other articles, shall be accountable for the same, and shall produce vouchers for the delivery thereof, from such officers, and according to such forms, as the physician general and surgeon general have directed, or shall from time to time direct, which forms and directions, the physicians and surgeons general shall report to the board of treasury.

8.     That the director general, or in his absence from the district, the physician general or surgeon general, shall appoint a ward master for each hospital, to receive the arms, accoutrements and clothing of each soldier admitted therein, keeping entries of, and giving receipts for such articles, which on the recovery of the soldier, shall be returned to him, or in case of his death, the arms and accoutrements shall be delivered to the commissary, or deputy commissary of military stores, and receipts be taken for the same; the ward master shall receive and be accountable, for the hospital clothing, and perform such other services, as the physician general, or surgeon general, shall direct.


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9.     That the physician general, and surgeon general shall hereafter make no returns to the deputy director general, but the returns shall be made by the said officers, respectively, to the director general, who shall carefully transmit copies of each, with his monthly return to Congress, and suspend such of the officers aforesaid, as neglect this, or any other part of their duty, and shall report their names to Congress.

10.     That the director, and deputy directors general, forthwith prepare their accounts, and adjust them with the commissioners of claims.

11.     That four dollars a day, and the former allowance of rations, be hereafter allowed to each assistant deputy director, and the commissary of the hospitals in each district; one dollar a day, and two rations, to each ward master."

In accordance with section one of this act, Doctor Potts was transferred from the Northern to the Middle Department as Deputy Director General. 

There was no further legislation of any importance in 1778, in reference to the Hospital Department. In the fall a good many claims were presented to the Director General which gave rise to trouble, being for the subsistence of sick men who had been left behind by their commands in various marches. A resolution of the twenty-second of April, 1777, had provided that in the event of any portion of the army breaking camp, those who were unable to march could be left in the hands of private physicians, and the Director or Deputy Director General was ordered to pay such physicians for their services. No provision was, however, made for the quarters and subsistence of such men; and, consequently, a large number of claims were constantly being made from all over the country, which the Director General had no authority to pay. The matter was referred to Congress, which passed a resolution:

"That the deputy directors, respectively, be authorized and instructed, to discharge such of the said accounts, as shall appear to be reasonable and just, provided however, that the person reported the case to the authorities, for removal to a hospital."

The frequent movements made by the American forces during the past year, rendered it necessary that some latitude should be given to the previous legislation, confining the officers of the Hospital to duty only in the department to which they had been originally appointed. Consequently, Congress instructed the Director General, by resolution of January 23, 1779, to assign any Deputy Director General, Physician or Surgeon General, or other medical officer, to duty at such post as any change in the position of the army might render necessary; and in the event of any dispute between different officers that might thus be brought in contact, about seniority; the Director General was authorized to decide, giving to the aggrieved officer the right of appeal to the Medical Committee of Congress.


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In June of this year the complaints against the Director General again took a definite form, this time in the shape of charges of malpractice and misconduct in office, preferred by Doctor John Morgan, who had been himself just exonerated by Congress after a long investigation. Morgan professed himself abundantly able to prove his charges against Shippen, if allowed to testify before a proper court, and Congress sent the charges to the Commander-in-Chief, with instructions to have justice done, by bringing Doctor Shippen speedily to trial. Although it is somewhat anticipating the regular course of events, it may be here remarked that Doctor Shippen was honorably acquitted of every charge brought against him, and on the eighteenth of August, 1780, Congress approved the finding of the court and ordered him to be released from arrest.

For some time previous to this it had been found so difficult for officers in the field to purchase clothing and subsistence, that an act had been passed authorizing them to procure clothing from the store of the Clothier General, and to draw a fixed allowance or commutation in lieu of subsistence. This law had been confined to the officers of the line, but on the twenty-seventh of October its privileges were extended to the Medical Staff. This fact in itself would hardly merit any mention, were it not that in this act, for the first time, medical officers are recognized as having assimilated rank with officers of the line. Hitherto they had been only civil attachés to the military body, without any comparative official status whatever. The act in question allowed them subsistence as follows:

"1. Director General, the same as a Colonel.
2. Deputy Director General, Physician and Surgeon Generals, and Apothecary General, the same as Lieutenant Colonel.
3. Senior Physicians and Surgeons, the same as Majors.
4. Junior Surgeons and Apothecaries, the same as Captains.
5. Surgeon's Mates, the same as Ensigns."

By a subsequent act (on the twentieth of November,) the sums for which subsistence could be commuted were fixed. In considering the amounts which follow, it must be remembered that the Continental money had by this time depreciated to almost the same extent that confederate money did in the last year of the rebellion; articles of which the price was three shillings in specie, were sold for forty dollars in Continental bills:

"Resolved, That until the further order of Congress, every officer be entitled to receive monthly for their subsistence money, the following sums, viz:

Deputy Directors General, Physicians General, and Surgeons General, five hundred dollars.


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Assistant Deputy Directors, Apothecary General, Senior Surgeon, four hundred dollars.
Junior Surgeon, three hundred dollars.
Surgeon's Mates, Apothecaries Assistants, one hundred dollars."

Towards the close of this year Congress became satisfied that still further improvements could be made in the organization of the Hospital Department; they consequently instructed the Medical Committee, on the twenty-second of November, "to revise the several resolutions passed respecting the Hospital Department, and to digest and arrange them, with such amendments, as may make the whole consistent with, and conformable to, the alterations made by Congress in the original system; and to report the same to Congress."

This year the first Army Regulations were issued, in the shape of a small volume, from the pen of Major General, the Baron Steuben, Inspector General to the army, and which received the official approval of Congress. The chapter relating to the "Treatment of the Sick" is of sufficient interest to deserve quotation:

"There is nothing which gains an officer the love of his soldiers, more than his care of them, under the distress of sickness; it is then he has the power of exerting his humanity, in providing them every comfortable necessity, and making their situation as agreeable as possible.

Two or three tents should be set apart in every regiment, for the reception of such sick, as cannot be sent to the general hospital, or whose cases may not require it; and every company shall be constantly furnished with two sacks, to be occasionally filled with straw, and serve as beds for the sick. These sacks to be provided in the same manner as clothing for the troops, and finally issued by the regimental clothier, to the captain of each company, who shall be answerable for the same.

When a soldier dies, or is dismissed the hospital, the straw he lay on is to be burnt, and the bedding well washed and aired before another is permitted to use it. The sergeants and corporals shall every morning at roll call, give a return of the sick of their respective squads, to the first sergeant, who must make out one for the company, and lose no time in delivering it to the surgeon, who will immediately visit them, and order such as he thinks proper, to the regimental hospital; such whose cases require their being sent to the general hospital, he is to report immediately to the Surgeon General, or principal surgeon attending the army.

Once every week, and oftener when required, the surgeon will deliver the commanding officer of the regiment, a return of the sick of the regiment, with their disorders, distinguishing those in the regimental hospital from those out of it.

When a soldier is sent to the hospital, the non-commissioned officer of his squad, shall deliver up his arms and accoutrements to the commanding officer of the company, that they may be deposited in the regimental arm chest.

When a soldier has been sick, he must not be put on duty, till he has recovered sufficient strength, of which the surgeon should be judge.

The surgeons are to remain with their regiments, as well on a march as in camp, that, in case of sudden accidents, they may be at hand, to apply the proper remedies.


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Each regiment will furnish a non-commissioned officer, to conduct the sick and lame, who are not able to march with their regiments. These men are to repair at the beating of the general, to the rendezvous appointed, where a sufficient number of empty wagons will be ordered to attend, for the reception of their knapsacks; and their arms if necessary.

A surgeon of each brigade, is to attend the sick belonging to it.

The commanding officer of each battalion, will inspect the sick before they are sent from the battalion, in order that none may be sent but those who are really incapable of marching with their regiments."

The winter of 1779-80 was very severe, and the soldiers sick in tent hospitals suffered very much. From the commencement of the war, so great had been the exigencies of the army in other respects and so frequent had been its movements, that it had not been found practicable to devote any time to the building of general hospitals; in fact but very little attention had been given to the matter by the medical officers. The literature of the subject was very scanty; indeed, the only work accessible to army surgeons at all was an excellent little book, published in 1776, written by Doctor John Jones, Professor of Surgery in King's College, New York. This was entitled, "Plain, concise, practical remarks on the Treatment of Wounds and Fractures; to which is added an Appendix, on Camp and Military Hospitals; principally designed for the use of young military and naval surgeons in North America." Doctor Jones shows that the main cause of the great mortality in the London and Paris hospitals was overcrowding, the air of the wards becoming so vitiated and contagious that jail or hospital fever and dysenteries were engendered. He also instances some of the European campaigns, when all the sick and wounded being crowded together in one general hospital, a similar mortality resulted; while at other times, those who remained sick in camp, though wanting many of the comforts and necessaries to be found in hospital, generally recovered. For these and other reasons he advised that the slighter cases should be treated in camp, and that in no case should private houses be occupied for hospitals, but churches, barns, or outhouses, without any ceiling, open to the rafters; and that such buildings should only be occupied to the extent of one-third of their capacity. But even these simple directions had not been generally followed in the campaigns of the Continental army. Almost always private houses or tents had been occupied for hospitals; and the general antagonism between the staff and the regimental surgeons had prevented the proper development of the regimental hospital system. At the time of which we write, Doctor James Tilton, of Delaware, was in charge of the general hospital at Trenton, New Jersey, and to him is to be accorded the credit of endeavoring to diminish the sickness


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resulting from crowd poisoning by a new system of hospital construction. He did away with the hospital tents and private houses then in use, and caused to be constructed a large number of log huts, built roughly, so that the air could freely penetrate the crevices. These were without wooden floors, the ground being hardened, or baked by heat; and each hut was intended to accommodate but five or six men. The fireplace was in the center of the hut, and a hole left at the ridge, so as to permit the exit of the smoke. Doctor Tilton found his plan very successful. The mortality from typhus diminished very decidedly, and the general results were so good as to warrant the introduction of the system throughout the army.

On the twenty-first of` July, 1780, Doctor William Brown, Physician General of the Hospital in the Middle Department, resigned. As the Medical Committee of Congress was then engaged in perfecting a plan by which the organization of the corps was to be simplified, and a number of unnecessary offices abolished, no election was held to fill the vacancy. The committee reported on the thirtieth of September, and the following bill was passed:

 "WHEREAS, the late regulations for conducting the affairs of the general hospital, are in many respects defective; and it is necessary that the same be revised and amended, in order that the sick and wounded may be properly provided for, and attended, and the business of the hospitals conducted with regularity and economy, therefore:

Resolved, That there be one director of the military hospitals, who shall have the general superintendence, and direction of all the hospitals to the northward of North Carolina; that within the aforesaid limits, there shall be three chief hospital physicians, who shall also be surgeons; one chief physician, who shall also be a surgeon, to each separate army; fifteen hospital physicians, who shall also be surgeons; twenty surgeon's mates for the hospitals; one purveyor, with one assistant; one apothecary; one assistant apothecary; and to each hospital a steward, a matron, orderly men, and nurses as heretofore.

2.     That the director, or in his absence, one of the chief hospital physicians, be empowered and required, with the advice and consent of the Commander-in-Chief, or commander of a separate army, to establish and regulate such a number of hospitals at proper places, for the reception of the sick and wounded of the army, as may be found necessary.

3.     That the director be authorized and instructed to enjoin the several chief hospital physicians, and other officers of the hospital under his superintendence, to attend at such posts or stations, as he may judge proper, and also to attend and perform such duties, at any post or place, as a change in the position of the army, or other circumstances may from time to time make necessary, and shall be required by the Commander-in-Chief; and that in the case of any dispute concerning their seniority or precedence, the director shall determine the same in the first instance, the party supposing himself aggrieved being at liberty to appeal for redress to the medical committee.

4.     That in time of action, and every other emergency, where the regimental surgeons are not sufficient in number, to attend properly to the sick and wounded that


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cannot be removed to the hospitals; the director, or in his absence, the nearest chief hospital physician, be empowered and required, upon the request of the chief physician and surgeon of the army, to send from the hospitals under his care, to the assistance of such sick and wounded, as many surgeons as can possibly be spared from the necessary business of the hospital.

5.     That the director, or in his absence two of the chief hospital physicians, shall make out and deliver from time to time to the purveyor, proper estimates of hospital stores, medicines, instruments, dressings, and such other articles, as may be judged necessary for the use of the hospitals; also, direct the apothecary or his assistant to prepare and deliver medicines, instruments, dressings and other articles in his possession to the hospitals, and surgeons of the army, and navy as he, or they may judge necessary.

6.     That the director, or in his absence the chief hospital physicians respectively, be empowered occasionally to employ second mates, when the numbers of the sick shall increase so as to make it necessary, and to discharge them as soon as the circumstances of the sick will admit.

7.     That the director, or in his absence the chief hospital physicians respectively, shall appoint a wardmaster for each hospital, to receive the spare regimental arms, accoutrements and clothing, of each soldier admitted therein, keeping entries of, and giving receipts for every article received, which when the soldier is discharged, shall be accounted for by the said wardmaster, with the commanding officer of the regiment to which said soldier belonged, or the officer directed to take charge of the convalescents from said hospital; or, in the case of the death of the soldier, shall be accounted for with, and delivered to the quartermaster of the regiment to which the said soldier belonged; and the wardmaster shall receive and be accountable for the hospital clothing, and perform such other services, as the chief hospital physician shall direct.

8.      That the director shall make returns of all the sick, and wounded in the hospitals, once every month to the medical committee, together with the names and rank of the officers, and others employed in the several hospitals.

9.     That the director be required to employ such parts of his time, as may be spared from the duties before pointed out to him, in visiting and prescribing for the sick, and wounded in the hospitals; and that he pay particular attention to the conduct of the several officers in the hospital department, and arrest, and suspend, and bring to trial all delinquents within the same. 

10.     That the duty of the chief hospital physicians shall be to do, and perform all the duties herein before enjoined them to do in the absence of the director; to receive and obey the orders of the director, made and delivered to them in writing; to superintend the practice of physic and surgery, in the hospital put under their particular care by the director, or which by the order of the Commander-in-Chief, or the commander of a separate army, may be by them established; to see that the hospital physicians, and other officers attending the same do their duty; and make monthly returns to the director, of the state and number of the sick and wounded in the hospitals under their care, and also make returns to the director, and to the medical committee of all delinquent officers, in order that they may be speedily removed or punished; and to take measures that all such sick and wounded as are recovered, and fit for duty, be delivered weekly to the officer of the guard, to be conducted to the army. When present at any hospital, to issue orders, to the proper officers, for supplying them with necessaries; and generally, in the absence of the


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director, to superintend and control the business of such hospitals, suspend delinquent, and remove unnecessary non-commissioned officers, making report to the director; and when in their power, to attend and perform or direct all capital operations.

11.     That the hospital physicians shall take charge of such particular hospitals, as may be assigned them by the director; they shall obey the orders of the director, or in his absence of the chief hospital physician; they shall have power to suspend officers under them, and to confine other persons serving in the hospitals under their charge for negligence, or ill behavior, until the matter be regularly inquired into; they shall diligently attend to the cases of the sick, and wounded of the hospitals under their care, administering at all times proper relief so far as it may be in their power; they shall respectively give orders, under their hands, to the assistant purveyor, or steward at the hospital, for the issuing of provisions, and stores, as well as for the procuring of any other small articles that the exigencies of the hospital may require, and which the store is not provided with, having always a strict regard to economy as well as the welfare of the sick, there to be provided for, and they shall make weekly returns to the nearest chief hospital physician, of the state of the hospitals under their respective care.

12.     The mates shall take charge of, and attend the patients assigned them, and perform such other duties as shall be directed by the director, chief, or other physicians and surgeons.

13.     The chief physician and surgeon of the army, shall be subject to the orders and control of the director; his duty shall be to superintend the regimental surgeons and their mates, and to see that they do their duty; to hear all complaints against the said regimental surgeons, and their mates, and to make report of them to the director, or in his absence to the Commander-in-Chief, or the commanding officer of a separate army, that they may be brought to trial by court martial for misbehavior; to draw for and receive from the purveyor, a suitable number of large strong tents, beds, bedding and hospital stores, and from the apothecary, or his assistant proper medicines for such sick, and wounded persons as cannot be removed to the general hospital with safety, or may be rendered fit for duty in a short time; he shall also see, that the sick and wounded who are under his care, are properly attended, and provided for, and conveyed when fit to be moved to the general hospital; for which last purpose he shall be supplied by the Quartermaster General, with a proper number of convenient waggons, and drivers; he shall have a steward, whom he is to appoint to receive and properly dispense such articles of diet, and refreshment as shall be procured for the sick, and also shall appoint such a number of nurses, and orderly men, as may be necessary for the attendance on the sick and wounded under his care. He shall cause daily returns to be made to him, of all the sick and wounded who have been removed to the hospital, all those remaining in the hospital tents, and all who have become fit for duty, all that are convalescent, and all who may have died, specifying the particular maladies, under which the sick labor; and shall make a monthly return thereof to the director, who shall add it to his general hospital returns to be transmitted monthly to the medical committee.

14.     That whenever any regimental surgeon or mate shall be absent from his regiment, without leave from the chief physician or surgeon, or Commander-in-Chief of the army where his duty lies, the said chief physician and surgeon shall have power to remove such surgeon, or mate, and forthwith to appoint another in his stead.


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15.     That the purveyor provide, or cause to be provided, all hospital stores, medicines, instruments, dressings and utensils, and such other articles as shall be prescribed by the written order of the director, or two of the chief hospital physicians, and deliver or cause the same to be delivered upon written orders, under the head of the director, or chief hospital physicians, or one of the hospital physicians having charge of a particular hospital, or of the chief physician and surgeon of the army, which with receipts therefrom, for delivery of the same, shall be his sufficient vouchers. He shall be allowed a clerk, and as many storekeepers as occasion may require, and the director may approve of. He shall also pay the salaries of the officers, and other expenses of the hospital. He shall render his accounts every three months to the Board of Treasury for settlement, and make application for the money to the medical committee, before whom he shall lay estimates of the articles necessary, which shall previously have been signed, and approved by the director, or two of the chief hospital physicians; at the same time he shall render to them an account of the expenditures of the last sum of money, advanced to him, and the said medical committee shall lay such estimates before Congress with their opinion thereon. That the assistant purveyor, shall procure such supplies, and do and perform such parts of a purveyor's duty, as by him shall be particularly assigned to him. That the apothecary and his assistants, receive, prepare and deliver medicines, instruments and dressings, and such other articles of his department to the hospitals and army, on orders in writing from the director, or either of the chief hospital physicians, or chief physician or surgeon of the army, and that he be allowed as many mates as occasion may require, and the director shall approve of. That the director or in his absence the chief hospital physician, shall appoint a steward for each hospital, whose duty it shall be to purchase vegetables, and other small articles under the direction of the purveyor, and receive hospital stores from the purveyor, and provisions from the Commissary General, and issue the same for the use of the sick and wounded, agreeably to the order of the physician and surgeon attending such hospital; the steward to account to the purveyor for all such issues.

16.     That the director or in his absence the chief hospital physician, appoint a proper number of matrons, nurses, and others necessary for the proper management of the hospitals, and fix, and ascertain their pay, not exceeding the sums heretofore allowed, and point out and prescribe their particular duties, and employments in writing, which they are enjoined to obey and observe.

17.     That the director, with two chief hospital physicians be empowered to fix the pay of second mates, and of such clerks, storekeepers, and other persons as may occasionally be employed; and also to make such regulations, and point out and enjoin such further particular duties for the several officers in the hospital department, as they may judge necessary for the regular management of the same; which duties shall always be consistent with, and in nowise contradictory to any of the duties heretofore particularly enumerated, and which being reported and approved of by the medical committee, shall therefore become obligatory to all those concerned.

18.     That the Quartermaster General furnish the Hospital Department from time to time, as occasion may require, with such a number of horses, and waggons, as may be necessary for removing the sick and wounded, and transporting the hospital stores; but that no other horses than those belonging to the officers of the department, for which forage may be herein allowed, be kept separately at the expense of the department.


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19.     That no person, concerned in trade on his own account, shall be suffered to act as an officer in the hospitals, or medical department of the army.

20.     That no officer, or other person in the hospital department, except the sick and wounded, be permitted to use, any of the stores provided for the sick.

21.     That the director, chief hospital physician, and the chief physicians and surgeons of the army, physicians and surgeons, purveyor, apothecary, assistant purveyor, and assistant apothecary, be appointed and commissioned by Congress; the regimental surgeons and mates, be appointed as heretofore.

22.     That the director, with the advice, and concurrence of two of the chief hospital physicians, appoint all hospital mates, which appointments shall be confirmed by warrants under the hands of the director; in which appointment no person shall be admitted under the age of twenty one years.

23.     That all officers of the hospital or medical department, shall be subjected to trial by court-martial for all offences, in the same manner as the line of the army.

24.     That the pay, and establishment of the officers, of the hospital department, and medical staff be as follows:

Director; one hundred and fifty dollars per month; two rations for himself, and one for his servant, per day; and forage for two horses.

Chief Physicians and Surgeons of the army and hospital; each one hundred and forty dollars per month; two rations a day for themselves, and forage for two horses. 

Purveyor and Apothecary; one hundred and thirty dollars per month; one ration a day, and forage for one horse.

Physicians and Surgeons of the Hospital; one hundred and twenty dollars per month; one ration per day and forage for one horse.

Assistant Purveyors and Apothecaries; each seventy five dollars per month. 

Regimental Surgeons; sixty five dollars per month; one ration per day, and forage for one horse.

Surgeon's Mates in Hospitals; fifty dollars per month, and one ration per day. 

Surgeon's Mates in the army; forty five dollars per month, and one ration per day. 

Stewards for each hospital; thirty five dollars per month, and one ration per day.

Wardmaster for each hospital; twenty five dollars per month, and one ration per day. 

25.     That none of the aforesaid officers, or other persons employed in any of the hospitals, be entitled to rations of provisions, or forage while on furlough.

26.     That the chief physician of the army, be allowed a two horse covered wagon, for transporting his baggage.

27.     That the several officers above mentioned shall receive their pay in the new currency emitted pursuant to a resolution of Congress on the eighteenth day of March last; and that they be allowed, and paid at the rate of five dollars of said currency per month, for every retained ration; and shall be entitled annually to draw clothing from the stores of the Clothier General, in the same manner, and under the same regulations, as were established for officers of the line, by a resolution of Congress, of the twenty fifth day of November, 1779.

28.     That the return for clothing for officers of the medical staff, [regimental surgeons and their mates, who are to draw with the regimental staff, excepted,] be signed by the director, or one of the chief hospital physicians; and such clothing shall be delivered either by the Clothier General, or any sub-clothier in the state 


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in which the officer to receive clothing shall reside, in the same manner as is provided, in the cases of other staff officers not taken from the line.

29.     That the several officers, whose pay is established as above, (except the stewards and wardmasters,) shall at the end of the war, be entitled to a certain provision of land in the proportion following:

The Director to have the same quantity as a Brigadier General. 
Chief Physician and Purveyor, the same as a Colonel.
Physicians, Surgeons, and Apothecary, the same as a Lieutenant Colonel. 
Regimental Surgeons, and assistants to the Purveyor and Apothecary the same as a Major.
Hospital and Regimental Surgeon's Mates, same as Captain.

30.     That the former arrangements of the hospital, and all regulations heretofore passed touching the same, so far as they are inconsistent with the foregoing, be repealed; excepting that the hospitals in the Southern Department, from North Carolina to Georgia inclusive, be continued under the same regulations as heretofore, until the further order of Congress."

The election of officers of the Department under the foregoing law took place on the sixth of October: William Shippen, jr., was reelected Director, and John Cochran was appointed Chief Physician and Surgeon of the army. The following were appointed chief' hospital physicians: James Craik, Malachi Treat and Charles McKnight. The other appointments were as follows: purveyor, Thomas Bond; assistant purveyor, Isaac Ledyard; apothecary, Andrew Craigie; hospital physicians and surgeons, James Tilton, Samuel Adams, David Townshend, Henry Latimer, Francis Hagan, Philip Turner, William Burnet, John Warren, Moses Scott, David Jackson, Bodo Otto, Moses Bloomfield, William Eustis, George Draper, Barnabas Binney; and surgeon to the regiment of invalids, Matthew Mans.

Previous to the election General Washington had written the following letter to a member of Congress, which shows the estimation in which he held several of the gentlemen who were retained on the Medical Staff:

                                "HEAD QUARTERS, BERGEN COUNTY, 
September 9th, 1780. 

DEAR SIR:

I have heard, that a new arrangement is about to take place in the medical department; and that it is likely to be a good deal curtailed, in respect to many of its present appointments. Who will be the persons generally employed, I do not know, nor do I wish to know. However, I will mention to you, that I think Doctor Cochran, and Doctor Craik for their services, abilities, experience, and close attention, have the greatest claim to their country's notice, and are among the first officers in the establishment. Doctors Latimer, Tilton, Hagan, and Townshend, who are now senior surgeons, are also gentlemen of great merit, and have a just claim to be continued, from their abilities, attention, and other considerations. They are all single men, and therefore, being otherwise well qualified, are the most eligible. I have received also the most favorable reports, of the merits and attention of Doctor Jenifer, a junior surgeon, who is in the same situation. Doctor Craigie, the


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present Apothecary General, a gentleman not personally known to me, has been reported as very deserving of the appointment. The several gentlemen I have mentioned, as I have observed, appear to me to have the greatest pretensions to the public esteem; and if they are honored with proper places, I am satisfied, the public will be greatly benefited by their services. The reason of my mentioning these particularly, proceeds from a hint given me, that the new arrangement might possibly be influenced by a spirit of party out of doors, which would not operate in their favor."

Of the gentlemen composing this new establishment, some have already been mentioned as occupying positions of importance under the old organization. Doctors Shippen, Cochran, Treat, McKnight, Craigie, Burnet, Tilton and Turner, were already well known to the whole army as surgeons of the very highest character. Brief sketches of some of the rest may be appropriately introduced in this place.

Doctor Thomas Bond, Purveyor to the army, belonged to a family illustrious in the annals of medicine in Philadelphia. His father had been for many years a leading practitioner in that city; was one of the founders of the college and the hospital; and had been intimately associated with Franklin in his philosophical pursuits. The son had seen continuous service in the army, both in the field and as director of hospitals on the Delaware river; was thoroughly conversant with the wants of the army, and well fitted by his education and experience for his new position.

Doctor John Warren was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1753. He graduated at Harvard College in 1771, and studied medicine in the office of his brother, Doctor Joseph Warren. He settled in practice in Salem. When the war broke out he entered the service as surgeon to the Salem regiment of Massachusetts militia, marched with them to Lexington, and attended those wounded in that fight. After the battle of Breed's Hill he was appointed hospital surgeon in the army, and remained on duty as such throughout the siege of Boston and until after the campaign in New Jersey. In 1777 he was placed in charge of the hospitals in Boston and vicinity, a position which he maintained until the close of the war.

Samuel Adams was a son of the distinguished Governor, Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts, and was born in Boston in 1751. He was educated at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1770. He studied medicine in Joseph Warren's office, in company with John Warren, David Townshend and William Eustis, and was admitted to practice in 1774. He was one of the earliest to enter the service, attending to the wounded at Lexington and Concord. Subsequently he was in charge of a general hospital at Danbury, and remained in service throughout the war.


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David Townshend was a fellow student of the preceding, and like him had been continuously with the army from the commencement of hostilities. He had performed efficient service in charge of hospitals in the Northern Department and during the campaign which ended with the surrender of Burgoyne.

William Eustis was born in Boston in 1753. He graduated at Harvard in 1772, with the highest honors, and until the commencement of the Revolution was a favorite student of Doctor Joseph Warren, who thought so highly of his abilities that he secured him the appointment of surgeon to the Massachusetts Artillery Regiment. He was appointed hospital surgeon after the removal of the army to New York, and had been continuously on duty ever since, with the reputation of a humane, faithful and indefatigable officer. His career subsequent to the war was one of the highest distinction, and will be mentioned hereafter.

James Craik was a native of Scotland, who came to this country and entered the British army soon after the completion of his education. He accompanied Washington in an expedition against the French and Indians in 1754, and the following year participated in the unfortunate march against Fort Duquesne, and attended to General Braddock when he was wounded. In these two campaigns a warm friendship grew up between him and Washington, which lasted till the death of the latter. He settled in Virginia, where he remained until the war broke out, when he accompanied Washington to the field. At the time of receiving this present appointment he was in Rhode Island, conferring with Count Rochambeau as to the establishment of hospitals for the recently arrived French forces.

Bodo Otto was from Pennsylvania, and received the degree of bachelor of physic at the college in Philadelphia in 1771.

Moses Bloomfield was a native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, born in 1729. He had been for thirty years a practitioner of medicine in his native village, had been a member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, and was highly esteemed as a christian, a patriot and accomplished physician.

It has not been found possible to obtain any information about the other gentlemen whose names are found on the list of surgeons.

On the third of January, 1781, three months after his reelection, William Shippen resigned the office of Director, and was succeeded by John Cochran. Doctor Shippen returned to Philadelphia and resumed practice, devoting himself more especially to obstetrics. In 1798 he received a severe blow in the death a very promising son, after which he partially retired from practice, and spent the last years of his life in religious pursuits.


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He died in Germantown on the eleventh of July, 1808. Wistar says of him: "His person was graceful, his manners polished, his conversation various, and the tones of his voice singularly sweet and conciliatory. In his intercourse with society he was gay without levity, and dignified without harshness or austerity."

The place lately held by Doctor Cochran was filled on the third of March by the promotion of James Craik, and that of Craik by the promotion of William Burnet to be chief hospital physician

Some time during the year 1780 Congress had provided, that all officers who served to the close of the war should be entitled to half-pay for life. By some oversight this provision only extended to officers of the line. The staff officers therefore appointed three of their number to wait on a congressional committee that visited the army at Morristown and lay the matter before them. In consequence of this action, Congress, on the third of January, 1781, passed a resolution, extending the privileges of half-pay to medical officers on the following basis, viz:

Director; the half-pay of a Lieutenant Colonel.
Chief Physicians and Surgeons of the army, and all other officers except mates, the half-pay of a Captain.

On the seventeenth of January, the power heretofore given to the chief physician and surgeon of the army to remove regimental surgeons and their mates for neglect of duty was so modified as to authorize them to suspend such delinquents from duty until they could be brought to trial.

On the twenty-second of March, Congress extended the provisions of the act reorganizing the Medical Department, so as to include the South; ordering the appointment of a deputy director, to have in the absence of the Director, general superintendence of the Southern Hospitals, under the orders of the Commanding General of the Southern army for the time being. The South Carolina delegation endeavored to have a separate establishment, with a director of their own, but their resolution to this effect was negatived by a vote of three ayes to twenty-two noes. The regulations were the same as those already in operation in other portions of the country. The officers elected under this arrangement were:

Deputy Director; Doctor David Olyphant. 
Deputy Purveyor; Doctor N. Brownson. 
Chief Physician of the Hospital; Doctor Peter Fayssoux. 
Chief Physician of the army; Doctor James Brown. 
Hospital Physicians; Doctors Robert Johnson and William Reed.


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Up to this period in the history of the war all the affairs of the Hospital Department had been referred to a special committee of Congress, entitled the "Medical Committee." This body had very extensive powers, and seem on the whole to have exercised them with great good sense. Some of their number frequently inspected the hospitals, and they always appeared ready to listen to any complaints about the management of the Department, or any suggestions for the better organization of the Corps. By the creation of the Board of War this committee had become unnecessary, and on the twenty-eighth of May their existence terminated, and their business was transferred to the board before spoken of. 

On the twentieth of September, chiefly through the exertions of Doctor James Tilton, Congress adopted an act providing for promotion by seniority in the Medical Corps. Tilton had presented his plan long before to the Medical Committee, but that body had passed out of existence without taking any action upon it, although they expressed their approval of the principle involved. Eventually the resignation of a number of the surgeons brought the question up for consideration before the Board of War, and the final result was the adoption of the following resolution:.

"That the present vacancies of hospital physicians and surgeons, be filled up by the senior surgeons of the hospitals lately deranged, the eldest hospital mates, or regimental surgeons, as shall be recommended by the director, and chief physician and surgeon to the army.

That all future vacancies of hospital physicians and surgeons, be filled by the eldest regimental surgeons and hospital mates,-who shall be reckoned of equal grades,-who shall upon examination be found qualified; and obtain a certificate of recommendation from the director, and chief physician and surgeon of the army; or of the deputy director, and chief physician in a separate department.

That the persons requisite to fill the higher grades in the medical and hospital department, be appointed from time to time by Congress, according to merit and abilities.

That all surgeons to regiments or corps, not belonging to the line of any particular state, be nominated by the director of the hospitals, and the chief physician and surgeon of the army, subject to the approval of the Commander-in-Chief; and shall be equally entitled to promotion to hospital physicians and surgeons with the regimental surgeons of state lines."

There were at this time five vacancies in the Corps, caused by the promotion of Doctor Burnet and the resignations of Doctors Hagan, Scott, Jackson, and Bloomfield. These were filled by the appointment of Joseph Young, a "deranged" senior surgeon, and the following promotions of surgeon's mates: Goodwin Wilson, Daniel Jenifer, Samuel Edmondson, and George Campbell, to be hospital surgeons.


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Opposition was manifested in some quarter to this new plan of promotion, for on the twenty-first, a motion was made to rescind the promotions just made. This was lost; but a resolution was passed the day following that no more appointments of surgeon's mates to be surgeons should be made, until further orders of Congress. Probably the friends of the regimental surgeons objected to their being placed on an equality as regards rank to the mates, as they had hitherto ranked next after hospital surgeons, and although it had never been definitely so stated in any law, they had always considered themselves the superiors in rank of hospital mates.

During the latter part of December Congress was again occupied with the reorganization of the Corps. The improved prospects of the country afforded a hope of the early termination of the war, and the transfer of active hostilities from the Middle States had rendered unnecessary a number of the hospitals; so that the deliberations of Congress at this time were directed towards effecting reductions in the Medical Staff. After considerable discussion, the following ordinance was adopted on the third of January, 1782:

"That for the more regular conducting the General Hospital, the offices of chief physician and surgeon of the army, and of chief hospital physician, be, and hereby are abolished; and that the chief physician and surgeon to the army eldest in appointment, be continued in service under the title of physician, with the pay and emoluments heretofore allowed to a chief hospital physician.

2.     That the number of surgeons, to all the military hospitals of the United States, be reduced, so as not to exceed fifteen.

3.     That the director have the general superintendence and direction of all the military hospitals; and of practice both in camp and hospitals.

4.     That in the absence of the director his duty devolve upon the deputy director, or physician, and in their absence upon the hospital surgeons, according to seniority.

5.     That the director, or in his absence the senior medical officer, with the approbation of the Commander-in-Chief, or Commanding General of a separate army, be, and is hereby authorized and empowered, as often as may be judged necessary, to call a medical board which shall consist of the three senior medical officers then present; and it shall be the duty of this board, to appoint all hospital mates, to examine all candidates for promotion in the hospital department, and recommend to the Secretary of War such as they judge best qualified; and generally to take cognizance of, and give their advice and opinion upon every matter relative to the Department, which may be submitted to them by the Commander-in-Chief, or Commanding General of a separate army; provided always; that no regulation, plan, or order of the board, shall be valid, and take effect, until approved by the Commander-in-Chief, or Commander of a separate army, and issued in general orders.

6.     That all returns heretofore ordered to be made by the director, or deputy director, to the Medical Committee, be made to the Secretary of War.


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7.     That the stewards may in the first instance, when the purveyor or his assistant is at a distance, be appointed by the director, or senior medical officer, but shall be removable at pleasure, and others substituted in their stead by the purveyor, and his assistant. And although in their purchases and issues, they are to obey the orders of the prescribing surgeons, yet for the faithful discharge of their duty they are to be accountable to the purveyor, who shall in like manner be accountable to the United States. Wherefore, the said stewards shall keep separate accounts of all they receive, and of what they themselves purchase; and shall render an account monthly of all their issues, with the stock on hand, to the purveyor, who shall render the said accounts, together with a particular account of the supplies furnished by himself, or his assistant, to each respective hospital once every three months, to the Superintendent of Finance.

8.     That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby empowered and directed, on or before the first day of February next, and hereafter from time to time, as the service may require, to arrange the department, agreeably to the foregoing resolutions; and to issue his orders to such as he thinks proper to remain; paying a due regard in his first arrangement, to such of the chief physicians and surgeons as may choose to continue in service; and in his subsequent arrangements, to such of the senior officers, as may choose to remain in service.

9.     That such of the officers as shall not be called into service, agreeably to the foregoing resolution, be considered as reduced by Congress, and be entitled to the emoluments granted by the act of Congress of the seventeenth of January, 1781.

10.     That when by reason of vacancies, or otherwise, any officers be hereafter to be appointed to the Hospital Department, and whose appointment is reserved to Congress, due regard be paid to the officers next in rank; and that the appointment of hospital surgeons be from among the regimental surgeons and hospital mates; provided that no regimental surgeon shall be so appointed, who shall not have submitted himself to examination by a medical board, and obtained from them a certificate that he is well qualified for the office of regimental surgeon, by which certificate the regimental surgeon shall be considered as superior in rank to the hospital mates, but not otherwise.

11.     That the director, deputy director, physician, surgeons and mates, as well hospital as regimental, receive their pay out of the military chest, at the same time, and in the same manner, as the army with which they serve; the abstracts to be signed by the director, deputy director, or physician, or in their absence by the senior hospital surgeon, and the warrant to issue in the same manner, as for the pay of the army."

By the act of the tenth of January, organizing the Inspector General's Department, it was resolved:

"The Inspector General, or inspector of an army, shall be authorized and required to visit the military hospitals of the United States from time to time; to examine the general state of them, and the treatment of the patients, which he shall report to the officer commanding the army; and the director, deputy director, or superintending surgeon of the hospital, shall furnish them with such returns as they may find necessary for the better execution of their office."

A resolution of the twenty-fifth of March directed, that any soldiers sick in hospital might elect to be discharged with a pension of five dollars a month, if they so desired, in preference to being transferred to the invalid corps.


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From this time until the middle of summer the War Department was occupied in perfecting a bill to regulate the accountability of the disbursing officers of the Hospital Department. This was rendered very necessary, not only by the entire removal of the purveying branch of the service from the hands of the Director, but also by the indications which existed of the approaching close of the war, making it desirable that all accounts should be in such a condition as to render their audit convenient and immediate. On the twenty-fifth of July Congress passed a bill which, although long, is given in full, as it may be useful for comparison with subsequent enactments on the subject.

"That in conducting the business of the general hospitals, there shall be an invariable standard of prices established, by which the apothecary shall be charged with every article he shall issue. This standard to be established by the Medical Board, or such person, or persons, as they shall appoint, which shall only be considered as a certain ratio, whereby to keep the accounts. But, that in the settlement of all the accounts in that department, all deficient articles not issued, or returned, to be accounted for at such real value as shall be estimated by the Medical Board, and approved by the Secretary of War. An account shall be taken as soon as possible, of all the medicines, instruments, and property in the apothecaries' department, belonging to the public, in the hands of the apothecary, the deputies, assistants, and mates, the surgeons of hospitals, and surgeons of regiments, for which they shall severally be charged at the standard value, ascertained by the board as aforesaid, and for all they may hereafter receive; but they shall account for deficiencies at the real value, to be ascertained as aforesaid.

That the apothecary be accountable for all articles in his department to the purveyor, throughout the states, until they come into the hands of the prescribers. 

That all deputies, assistants, and mates, shall make returns, and be accountable to the apothecary, for the medicines, instruments, and other property belonging to the public in the department, now in their hands, and of such as they may hereafter be possessed of.

That the apothecary shall make up his accounts at the end of every year, and settle them as soon after as possible, and before the expiration of six months. He shall at the same time, make out two returns for the director of the hospitals; one, specifying what has been received and issued, and the amount of what remains on hand; the other, exhibiting a particular account of the value of the medicines, and other public property, each prescriber has received within the year.

All losses which may happen by the events of war, and other circumstances unavoidable, shall be borne by the public. In cases of loss by fraud, or neglect, in any deputy, assistant, or mate, the apothecary shall not be accountable for such loss, provided the delinquent be convicted thereof, before a Court Martial appointed to try the same.

The hospital prescribers shall be supplied on their own application, with medicines and instruments necessary for the sick and wounded under their care. 

Every regimental surgeon shall receive yearly from the apothecary, a supply of medicines, to such amount by the above standard, as the Medical Board shall judge necessary.


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Every prescribing physician or surgeon either in the hospital, or with the army, shall be supplied by the apothecary with such a set of capital instruments, as the Medical Board shall judge necessary, and shall be accountable for all losses of medicines or instruments, not arising from the events of war, and other circumstances unavoidable.

Duplicates of all returns, made by the apothecary to the director shall be lodged in the War office.

That in the army of the United States, except in the Southern army at present under command of Major General Greene, the offices of assistant purveyor, and assistant apothecary, and storekeepers under the purveyor and apothecary, except one storekeeper under the purveyor, to keep a store near the army and all the clerks except two to the purveyor, shall hereafter be discontinued."

During its passage through Congress the following additional clauses were added to the original bill:

"That all surgeons to the hospital shall take rank after the director, deputy director, and physician to the army in the following order, viz: those surgeons of the army, who have been either deputy director, physician general, or surgeon general, chief physician or chief surgeon to the army, shall take rank next to the above mentioned officers; and their relative rank to each other, shall be according to the dates of their respective appointments, to either of the above mentioned officers.

That all such as were regimental surgeons, when appointed senior physicians or surgeons to the hospital, shall take rank with such senior physicians and surgeons, agreeably to the date of their first appointment, whether to the regiment or hospital.

All surgeons the date of whose first appointments, either to regiments, or hospitals, shall have been on the same day, shall decide their rank by lot."

The only further legislation for the Hospital Department in 1782 had reference to the pay and subsistence of officers. An act of the twenty-fifth of July fixed the following schedule:

Director; four rations per day for himself and servants; forage for two horses; and twenty-five dollars per month subsistence.

Deputy Director and Physician; each, three rations for himself and servants; forage for two horses; and twenty dollars per month subsistence.

Hospital Surgeons; each, two rations a day for himself and servant; forage for two horses; and fifteen dollars per month subsistence.

Deputy Purveyor and Deputy Apothecary; each, one ration per day; forage for one horse; and ten dollars per month subsistence.

Hospital Mates; each, one ration per day; and five dollars per month subsistence. 

Stewards; each, one ration per day; and five dollars per month subsistence. 

Wardmasters; each, one ration per day; and three dollars per month subsistence.

On the third of December this table of allowances was repealed and the following substituted, to take effect on the first of January, 1783:

Director; one hundred and two dollars pay per month, and sixty dollars subsistence.
Deputy Director and Physician; each, one hundred dollars pay, and forty-eight dollars subsistence.


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Surgeons; each, ninety dollars pay, and forty dollars subsistence.
Apothecary and Purveyor; each, ninety-two dollars pay, and thirty-two dollars subsistence. 
Deputy Apothecary and Deputy Purveyor; each, fifty-nine dollars pay, and sixteen dollars subsistence.
Mates; each, forty-two dollars pay, and twelve dollars subsistence.

This was the last act of Congress, passed during the Revolutionary period, which referred to the organization of the Medical Department. The surrender of the army under Cornwallis had now taken place, and commissioners had been some time before appointed on the part of the governments of the United States, France and Great Britain to arrange terms of peace. The attention of Congress was hereafter to be directed to the reduction of the military force, and making additional provision for the reward of those who had served throughout the struggle. That body had already enacted that all who served to the close of the war should be entitled to half-pay for life; but most of the officers were so poor, that they needed something to commence civil life anew, and preferred a sum in gross to the monthly allowance. It was accordingly resolved, on the twenty-second of March, 1783, that in lieu of the half-pay for life, allowed by the resolution of October twenty-first, 1780, the veterans should be entitled to five years full pay on discharge, or an equivalent in securities, with interest at six per cent. The officers of the Hospital Department were permitted collectively, to refuse or accept this offer.

The reduction of the army took place rapidly in 1783, and on the twenty-sixth of September the Commander-in-Chief was authorized to grant furloughs to such of the Medical Staff whose services were no longer necessary. This was equivalent to a practical disbandment of the Hospital Department. The last act in the drama was on the second of June, 1784, when, after an animated debate, in which various efforts were made to retain or enlist anew a sufficient force for guarding the public property and garrisoning the frontier posts, the following resolution was adopted:

"That the Commanding Officer, be, and he is hereby directed to discharge the troops now in the service of the United States, except twenty five privates to guard the stores at Fort Pitt; and fifty five to guard the stores at West Point, and other magazines; with a proportionate number of officers; no officer to remain in service above the rank of Captain, and those privates to be retained who were enlisted on the best terms; Provided, Congress before its recess, shall not take other measures, respecting the disposition of those troops."

Before closing this division of the subject, the duty remains of tracing the subsequent career of the distinguished men, who held important positions in the Corps, and who by their energy and fidelity under the most


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discouraging circumstances had contributed to the cause of American independence as much, though in a less brilliant way, as those who fought its battles. Unfortunately the records of American Medical Biography are very incomplete; of some of those who occupied prominent positions, we are without any information; of others the subsequent career was so distinguished as to form part of the history of the country.

John Cochran, Director of the army, after his discharge from the service, removed with his family to the city of New York and pursued the practice of his profession; when Washington became President, he appointed him Commissioner of Loans for the State of New York, which office he held for some years, when a stroke of paralysis put an end to his usefulness, and he retired to Palatine, Montgomery county, New York, where be passed the decline of life. He died on the sixth of April, 1807, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. Thacher, who served throughout the war with him, thus eulogizes his character: "He united a vigorous mind and correct judgment, with information derived and improved from long experience, and faithful habits of attention to the duties of his profession. He possessed the pure and inflexible principles of patriotism, and his integrity was unimpeachable. It is gratifying to have this opportunity of expressing a respectful recollection of his urbanity and civilities, and of affording this small tribute to his cherished memory."

James Craik settled in practice at Port Tobacco, Maryland, but soon after, at the urgent request of General Washington, he removed to the neighborhood of Mount Vernon. In 1798, when war was threatened with France, he was appointed Physician General to the army, but held the position but a very short time, returning to Mount Vernon, where he was soon called on to attend the death-bed of Washington. He lived to the age of eighty-four years, dying on the sixth of February, 1814.

William Eustis returned to Boston and commenced practice, but abandoned it again in 1787 to serve as surgeon of a regiment of militia, raised to defend the frontier against the Indians. He then resumed practice, to leave it for the third time as surgeon to the forces employed in the suppression of Shay's rebellion. He then went into political life, and in 1800 was elected to Congress from Massachusetts. In 1809 he was appointed in the Cabinet of James Madison as Secretary of War, an office which he held until after the surrender of Hull. In 1815 he went abroad as Minister to Holland; and on his return was reelected to Congress for four sessions; when he succeeded Governor Brooks in the Executive chair of Massachusetts. He died in 1825, at the age of seventy-two.


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Moses Bloomfield returned to his native village in New Jersey, and pursued the unostentatious career of a country practitioner, respected and beloved by all who knew him. He died on the fourteenth of August, 1791.

Two months after, he was followed to the grave by William Burnet, who since the war had resumed his practice in Newark, New Jersey. He died on the seventh of October, 1791, at the age of sixty-one.

John Warren settled in Boston, and rose to the highest eminence in his profession. He became the most celebrated surgeon in New England, and was the first Professor of Anatomy and Surgery in the Harvard Medical College. On the fourth of April, 1815, he died at the age of sixty-two, and received a public funeral in the city of Boston, his death being regarded as a general calamity.

Philip Turner practiced in Norwich, Connecticut, until 1800, when he removed to New York city. Soon after this he was reappointed in the army as staff surgeon, and was permanently stationed in New York Harbor until his death, which took place in 1815, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. He was buried with military honors.

James Tilton occupies such an important position in our history, as the Physician General of the army in the war of 1812-15, that any further notice of him will be reserved until the operations of the Corps during that period are considered.

Of the subsequent career of the rest of the surgeons of the army but little can be said. Malachi Treat practiced in New York, and fell a victim to his devotion to his duty as Health Officer of the port, dying of yellow fever in one of the epidemics in that city. David Townshend lived to a great age in Boston, honored by all. The remainder passed from public view with their withdrawal from the army, and we hear no more of them. Of the few who composed the Corps at its reorganization in 1780, we have seen that a considerable number rose to high distinction either in professional or political life; it is not to be wondered at, that the lives of some should have been unrecorded, passed, as they doubtless were, in the quiet routine of medical practice.