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Appendix D

Table of Contents

APPENDIX D
LAW OF 7-8 APRIL 1777
 

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 and Potowmack rivers:  

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:  

That there be one deputy director general, who, in the absence of the director general, shall superintend the hospitals in the northern department:  

That when the circumstances of the 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:  

That the director general, or, in his absence, the deputy director general in each respective department, be empowered and required, with the advice and 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 every thing requisite for the sick and wounded soldiers, and the officers of the hospitals; to pay the salaries and all other expences of the same:  

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 controul of the director or deputy director general of the respective districts:  

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:  

That the apothecaries [general] be allowed as many mates as the director general, or respective deputy director generals, shall think necessary:


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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, 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 quarter master general, and be regulated by the prices which they give:  

That the commissary be allowed such assistants and store keepers, as the director general, or deputy director general of the district, shall judge necessary:  

That a steward be allowed for every hundred sick or wounded, 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:  

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 oeconomy be observed in her department:  

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

That an hostler or stabler be allowed to each hospital, to receive the horses from the commissary, and to take care of the waggon, and other horses belonging to the hospital, pursuant to orders from the director general, or, in his absence, the deputy director general, or such other officer as he shall appoint: 

That there be a clerk in each district, whose business it shall be, to keep the accounts of the hospitals, and to receive and deliver the monies agreeable to the orders of the director or deputy director general:

That a sufficient number of assistant clerks be allowed:  

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

That the director and deputy directors general be respectively empowered to appoint and discharge their assistant deputy directors, and other said officers and attendants of the hospitals, in such numbers as the necessities of the army may require, and the commander in chief of the department shall, in writing, approve; report of which to be immediately made to Congress,
as hereafter directed:  

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 of 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, to be conducted to the army: 

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 allotted them by the director general, deputy director general, or assistant director, or physician, or surgeon general; the number for the district to be determined by the director or deputy director general, and appointed by the surgeon and physician general: 

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 be under the same direction, and to be appointed by the physician and surgeon general as aforesaid:  

That there be also such a number of mates as the director general 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


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manner before directed for senior and second surgeons:

That a suitable number of covered and other waggons, litters and other necessaries for removing the sick and wounded, shall be supplied by the quarter master or deputy quarter master general, and in cases of their deficiency, by the director or deputy director general:

That there be one physician and surgeon general for each separate army, who shall be subject to the orders and controul of the director general and deputy director general of the district wherein 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
mates, and make report of them to the director general, or, in his absence, to the deputy director, or, in their absence, from the said 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 persons 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, with a proper number of convenient waggons and drivers:  

That each physician and surgeon general of the armies shall appoint such a number of surgeons, nurses, and orderly men, as the director general or deputy director general shall judge necessary for the more effectual care and relief 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 surgeons general shall have under them, in each army, a steward to receive, and properly dispense such articles of diet as the director general, or deputy director general shall give, or order to be given him by the commissary of the army or hospital:  

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:  

That the director, deputy directors, physicians, and surgeons general, and all other officers before enumerated, shall be tried by a court martial for any misbehaviour, or neglect of duty, as the commander in chief of the several armies shall direct:  

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

That the said physicians and surgeons general shall cause weekly returns of the same to be made to the director or deputy director general respectively:

That the physicians and surgeons general of the hospitals, cause like daily returns to be made in every hospital, and the like weekly returns to their respective directors, mutatis mutandis:

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 make a like return for all the hospitals and armies of these United States, once every month, to the Medical Committee:  

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

Resolved, That in time of action and on any other emergency, when the regimental surgeons are not sufficient in number to attend


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properly to the sick and wounded, that cannot be removed to the hospitals, the director, or deputy director general of the district, be empowered and required, upon the request of the physician and surgeon general of the army, to send, from the hospitals under his care, to the assistance of such sick and wounded, as many physicians and surgeons as can possibly be
spared from the necessary business of the hospitals.

That the director, deputy directors general, assistant deputy directors, physicians and surgeons general, be, and they 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 of the hospitals under their care.  

That the establishment of the medical department be as follows:  

1 director general,

6 dollars a day and 9 rations

 

3 deputy directors general,

5 do.

6 do.

Indeterminate assistant deputy director,

3 do.

6 do.

4 physicians general and 4 surgeons general each,

5 do.

6 do.

1 to each army, physician and surgeon general of the army,

5 do.

6 do.

Senior Surgeons,

4 do.

6 do.

Second Surgeons,

2 do.

4 do.

Surgeons' mates,

1 1/3 do.

2 do.

Apothecaries general,

3 do.

6 do.

Mates,

1 1/3 do.

2 do.

Commissary,

2 do.

4 do.

Clerk, who is to be pay master,

2 do.

4 do.

Assistant clerks,

2/3 do.

1 do.

Stewards,

1 do.

2 do.

Matron,

1/2 do.

1 do.

Nurses,

24-90

1 do.

Stabler,

1 do.

1 do.

Regimental surgeons,

2 do.

4 do.

Ditto, mates

1 1/3 do.

2 do.


Ordered
, That the regulations respecting hospitals be published.

SOURCE: Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, 7: 231-37, 244-46.