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Appendix C

Table of Contents

APPENDIX C
LAW OF 17 JULY 1776

The Congress took into consideration the report of the Committee on the memorial of the director general of the American hospital; Whereupon,

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 the quality of store keepers, stewards, managers, and nurses, as are necessary for the good of the service, for the time being, to be appointed by the directors of the respective hospitals:

That the regimental chests of medicines, and chirurgical instruments, which are now, or hereafter shall be, in the possession of the regimental surgeons, be subject to the inspection and inquiry of the respective directors of hospitals, and the director general; and that the said regimental surgeons shall, from time to time, when thereto required, render account of the said medicines and instruments to the said directors, 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 rendered to the director general and by him to this Congress:

That the several directors of hospitals, in


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the several departments, and the regimental surgeons, where there is no director, shall transmit to the director general regular returns of the number of surgeons' mates and other officers employed under them, their name and pay; also an account of the expenses and furniture of the hospital under their direction; and that the director general make a report of the same, from time to time, to the commander in chief and to 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, so long as they are in said hospitals, and that the directors of the several hospitals report to the commissary the names of the sick, when received into, and when discharged from the hospitals, and make a like return to the Board of Treasury:

That all extra expences 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, till further order of Congress:

That the pay of the hospital surgeons be increased to one dollar and two thirds of a dollar by the day; the pay of the hospital mates to one dollar by the day; and the pay of the hospital apothecary to one dollar and two thirds of a dollar by the day; and that the 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 commanders of the respective departments, medicines and instruments for the use of their respective hospitals, and draw upon the paymaster for the same, and make the report of such purchases to Congress.

SOURCE: Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, 5: 568-71.