No. 22. Report of Surg. Charles Page, U. S. Army, Medical Director.1
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
MEDICAL DIRECTOR’S OFFICE,
April 18, 1865.
SIR: I have to submit the following report of the operations of the medical department during the campaign beginning on the 29th of March and ending April 10, 1865:
Before the campaign opened circular from your office warned the surgeons-in-chief of brigades to lay in a full supply of the articles most
needed on an active campaign, and, without exception, all the wagons were well and judiciously filled. The hospitals were emptied of their sick, and commenced the campaign untrammeled. On the 29th of March the corps broke camp form its entrenched position and moved to the left of the Vaughan road across Hatcher’s Run, taking up a new line, being merely a prolongation of the old one, and the left extending to the Quaker road near its junction with the Boydton plank road. No casualties from battle occurred on the day of the movement. The hospitals were moved to the left bank of Hatcher’s Run, at the crossing of the Vaughan road, also the ambulance trains, except six ambulances to each division, which were to accompany the troops as closely ask he nature of the woods and country would permit. On the 30th, the army being advanced, the hospital and ambulance trains were brought over the stream, and the Second and Third Division hospitals established at a point on the Vaughan road known as the “Chimneys.” The site chosen for the First Division hospital was at a house about two miles from the junction of the Boydton plank road and the Quaker road, nearly in rear of the First Division, but owning to bad roads was not established until the morning in of the 31st. No casualties occurred on this day. The morning of the 31st of March found the position of the troops somewhat changed. The Fist Division had extended to the left, and the Third Division occupied the lines held the day before by the First Division. It was necessary to move the Third Division hospital to the immediate vicinity of the hospital of the First Division.
The latter was not disturbed, as it was yet quite convenient to the line of battle. The Third Division hospital was late in getting its position, owing to bad roads. The wounded during the day numbered, form the First Division, 294; Second Division, 17; Third Division, 74; Artillery Brigade, 2; total, 388. All were in hospital and attended to during the night.
April 1, the troops of this corps were not engaged in any action, except slight skirmishing of pickets. No wounded were brought to the rear. The wounded in hospital were sent off to Humphrey’s Station to be transferred to the Depot Field Hospital, City Point.
On the 2nd of April, the corps being expected to advance, the hospitals were made ready-to move at daylight. The First Division hospital moved to the Moody house, near Five Forks, and received 212 wounded. The Second Division hospital moved by the Squirrel level road to the Boydton plank road, and across the country to the Cox road, and camped in the neighborhood of its division, receiving during the day 3 wounded. The Third Division hospital moved up the Boydton plank road toward Petersburg, and camped with its division, it receiving during the day 57 wounded. The Artillery Brigade hospital accompanied the Third Division hospital, but had no wounded to car for. The total of wounded during the day was 272. April 3, the wounded were all sent to Petersburg for transportation to City Point, and the hospitals again empty of wounded. Followed the corps on its march after the enemy. The march continued on the Namozine road to Jatersville, without any occurrence of importance, until the morning of the 6th of April, when the corps struck he rear of the enemy near the Amelia Springs. A running fight occurred during the day, resulting in 41 wounded from the First Division, none from the Second Division, and 150 from the Third Division; total, 191. A hospital for the First Division was temporarily established at Amelia Springs, and moved forward late in the afternoon and camped near the corps. The Third
Division hospital was established at the Vaughan house two miles west of Amelia Springs. The corps moved during the day over ten miles, the advanced skirmish line fighting the enemy’s rear guard at every hill on the road for over eight miles. The wounded from the First Division had necessarily to be conveyed far tot he rear before it could be arranged to move the hospital nearer the advancing lines. The Third Division hospital soon became so full as to make it impossible to transport them in a flying hospital, and arrangements were made to keep their wounded at the Vaughan house until they could be sent to some deport for the army.
On the 7th of April the corps moved across the Appomattox at High Bridge, where there was a slight skirmish, to the heights northeast of Farmville, where they found the enemy entrenched. The wounded of the First Division in yesterday’s engagement, together with a few wounded at High Bridge, were sent by Rice’s Station to Burkeville. After crossing the Appomattox, and late in the afternoon, the
hospitals of all the divisions were established at the Brooks house, and received during the day and night-First Division; 147; Second Division, 24; Third Division, 41; total, 212.
April 8, the enemy had abandoned their entrenched position, and the corps advanced on their line of retreat without coming up to them until midnight. The wounded of the previous day were sent to Burkeville in the morning, and the hospitals ordered forward to join the corps. The supply train of the corps arrived in the night and the empty wagons were sent to take up the wounded at the Vaughan house and convey them to Burkeville. I have since learned that they had been removed by ambulances of the Ninth Corps before the wagons reached there.
On the 9th the corps advanced a few miles, and was halted before reaching the enemy’s lines to await the result of the negotiations which resulted in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to the armies commanded by Lieutenant-General Grant, U. S. Army.
The campaign was short but active, and pregnant with grand results in a military and political point of view, which is not my province to discuss. The rapidity of our movement and extent of country traveled over rendered it necessary to dispose of the wounded from the field hospital as speedily as possible, and the distance of the army depot made it difficult to dispose of them and at the same [time] retain a sufficient number of ambulances for the prospective wounded.
All the wounded sent to the rear in this campaign were accompanied with the necessary surgical attendance and supplies, and I believe that no suffering was experienced that could possible have been avoided. I have to add that all connected with the hospital department of this corps bore the fatigues of the march cheerfully and worked assiduously for the care and comfort of the wounded.
Accompanying this is the report of the chief ambulance officer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Second Army Corps.
Surg. T. A. McPARLIN.
Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pp. 689-691 ↩
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