No. 7. Report of Surg. John A. Lidell, U. S. Army, Inspector of Medical and Hospital Department.1
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
April 24, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to present the following report upon the operations of the medical department of this army during the recent brilliant campaign, which commenced March 29 and accomplished the capture of Petersburg, the evacuation of Richmond, and the surrender of General Lee with the remnant of the Army of Northern Virginia, at Appomattox Court-House, April 9:
Your wise foresight and rigid enforcement of existing orders have caused this army to be amply provided, as far as your department was concerned, with everything that the exigencies of the campaign might demand.
On the 26th of March the Depot Field Hospital at City Point, which already had a capacity of 5,935 beds, was ordered to be enlarged 1,000 beds, making it capable of accommodating, in round numbers, 7,000 members. On the 28th a medical purveyor’s train of thirty-six wagons, loaded with extra battle supplies, &c., in charge of Asst. Surg. D. R. Beaver, One hundred and ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, was brought up from City Point to the headquarters Army of the Potomac, for the purpose of accompanying the reserve train of this army, and then be at hand to supply any unexpected drain upon the resources of the division and brigade supplies during the progress of the campaign about to commence. Besides this and the Depot Field Hospital above mentioned the medical purveyor at City Point, Asst. Surg. J. B. Brinton, U. S. Army, was directed to keep constantly on hand at that place all the medical and hospital supplies which would be needed by 10,000 or 12,000 wounded thrown unexpectedly on our hands. Due attention had also been paid to the subject of transportation, as the following extract from the consolidated return of the Ambulance Corps will help to show:
It may be added here that the condition and discipline of the ambulance service was efficient and satisfactory in every respect.
On March 28 all the sick and wounded in the division hospitals and all the men present with their commands who were unable to march were sent to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point. In the evening the evacuation of all the field hospital was completed, the camps of those belonging to the Second and Fifth Corps, together with their belonging to the Second and Fifth Corps, together with their medical and hospital of the Sixth and Ninth Corps were not struck at that time, as no material change in the position of those corps had been directed.
On Wednesday, the 29th, the campaign began. At an nearly hour the Fifth Corps moved down to the Rowanty Creek [formed by the junction
of Hatcher’s and Gravelly Runs], near by the Perkins house; laid a pontoon bridge, also built a log bridge; crossed over said Rowanty Creek, the head of column moving over at 8 a.m.; passed up the old stage road to its junction with the Vaughan road; thence along the Vaughan road to the point of its intersection with the Quaker road. Griffin’s division [First] followed the Vaughan road one mile and a half farther, while Ayres’ division [Second], which had been the leading division all the morning, proceeded up the Quaker road a short distance to the neighborhood of the Vaughan road. The Second Corps moved at a later hour than the Fifth Corps, for their projected line of march was much shorter; crossed Hatcher’s Run by the Vaughan road bridge; passed down the Vaughan road, and established connection with the Fifth Corps a little before noon. Both of these corps were in light marching order; they were accompanied by only one-half of their ambulances, one medicine wagon, and one army wagon for each division, the remainder of them being parked with the reserve train Army of the Potomac, by General Meade’s order, each division of the Fifth Corps to be closely followed by ten ambulances. The remainder of the ambulances allowed to move with each of these corps accompanied the artillery and ammunition trains in the rear of each corps. Shortly after noon Griffin’s division moved up the Quaker road, passed the old Quaker burying-ground, and continuing on that road met the enemy near the Spain house, when a sharp combat ensued. The firing began at 4.35 p.m. and lasted about twenty minutes. The action was maintained principally by infantry, at close quarters; the enemy used no artillery. Griffin drove the enemy. The ambulances were brought quickly to the front; the division hospital was established at the Spain house, near the Quaker road, and about half a mile in rear of the place of combat; 287 wounded, including 14 rebels, were promptly brought to it.
I noticed that many of the wounds were severe, involving bones or some of the articulations, and that a larger proportion than usual required capital operations. After the combat Griffin’s division, supported by Ayres’ and Crawford’s, pushed forward to the Boydton plank road. At night the position of our troops was, viz: the Fifth Corps on the left, holding Boydton road, then going to the right; the Second Corps connecting with it, and stretching across the intervening space to Hatcher’s Run, then extending from the opposite bank of Hatcher’s Run; a part of the Army of the James-two divisions of the Twenty-fourth Corps and one division of the Twenty-fifth Corps [colored]-under General Ord, held the old line of the Second Corps, having been brought up for that purpose the day before; proceeding still farther to the right, the Sixth Corps remained in its old position, having on its right the Ninth Corps, also in its old position, and stretching round to the Appomattox River below Petersburg. It was understood that the cavalry, under General Sheridan, were operating in the direction of Dinwiddie Court-House. The wounded were promptly cared for that night, food and restoratives were administered, their wounds dressed and the necessary operations performed, and all of them were on the way in ambulance for Humphreys’ Station before 7.30 o’clock the next morning, to be transferred from that place in railroad cars to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point without delay, as the chief quartermaster had, on advising with the medical director, made ample arrangements for that purpose. The ambulance transportation from the division field hospitals to Humphreys’ Station was a distance of about six miles, over roads which were practicable, but by no means
good ones. The Second Corps did not become engaged with the enemy that day. The reserve train of the Army of the Potomac, including the medical purveyor’s train already mentioned, was moved to the neighborhood of the Perkins house, near Rowanty Creek. General Meade’s headquarters were established that night on the Vaughan road, near Gravelly Run. The weather had been pleasant all day, but about midnight it began to rain.
Thursday, March 30, proved dark and rainy; the roads became muddy, and almost impassable for wagons in many places. The dead of yesterday’s combat were here buried, 50 of our men and 150 of the rebels, reported. During the day the Fifth Corps advanced some distance beyond the Boydton plank road; no serious opposition was offered by the enemy, but forty-six wounded, including one rebel, were brought into the field hospital. All the hospitals of the Fifth Corps were established together at the Spain house to-day. The Second Corps also advanced in line, maintaining its connection with the Fifth Corps on the left, with its right resting on Hatcher’s Run. This movement was effected without bringing on an engagement. Our line now extended out from Hatcher’s Runt to the left in front of Dabney’s Mill, obliquely across the Boydton road to a considerable distance beyond it. The position of the troops on the other bank of Hatcher’s Run, i.e., the Army of the James, the Sixth and the Ninth Corps, was understood to be not materially changed; it was also reported that General Sheridan, with the Cavalry Corps, was operating in the vicinity of Dinwiddie Court-House in such a way as to cover effectually the left flank of the combined army. In the evening the weather became clear.
Friday, Monday 31. It began to rain at daylight this morning; the roads were now in a terrible condition from the mud; toward noon the rain ceased, and the weather became fair. About this time the Fifth Corps became warmly engaged with the enemy. The First Division of the Second Corps [Miles] also participated actively in the affair before it was over. The loss was considerable; 778 wounded, including 9 rebels, were brought to the division hospital of the Fifth Corps at the Spain house. I had on this occasion an excellent opportunity to see the practical working of the ambulance system, including the stretcher-bearers on the field, the ambulances at the most advanced posts, and the ambulances in motion between these and the division hospital, about two miles in the rear. The removal of the wounded from the field to these hospitals was accomplished with great expedition, so much so, indeed, that they were all brought in and refreshed with food and other restoratives, had their wounds dressed and the necessary operations performed, at an early hour in the evening, without the appearance of hurry or confusion, although most of the loss had occurred in the afternoon. This fact speaks well for the efficiency of the officers of the ambulance corps and for the conduct of the medical officers both on the field and at the division hospitals; and I must be permitted here to record my unqualified admiration of the manner in which the ambulance and hospital service of the Fifth Corps was managed that day by all concerned. In this affair the Second Corps lost 387 wounded, of whom 294 belonged to the First Division [General Miles], 17 to the Second Division [General Hays], 74 to the Third Division [General Mott], and 2 to the Artillery Brigade. The Second Division hospital remained near the Chimneys, on the Vaughan road, where it had been previously established; but the First and Third Division hospitals were moved up and located on the Gravelly Run road in a position convenient to those divisions. The wounded of this corps were brought in promptly and cared for in every
respect. Our line was advanced to-day to the White Oak road; General Grant moved his headquarters up to Dabney’s Mill. General Sheridan was heavily engaged with the enemy late in the afternoon near Dinwiddie Court-House; in the evening it was reported that he had several hundred wounded for whom he had no transportation. General Meade ordered the Sixth Corps ambulance train to proceed to Dinwiddie Court-House and bring them in to Humphreys’ Station. At this time the ambulances were very much needed to remove the wounded of the Fifth Corps from the Spain house to Humphreys’ Station, since nearly all of the corps had been ordered to proceed at once to the assistance of Sheridan’s cavalry, and we were thus made to feel sadly the want of the reserve train for which the medical director had applied in vain before the opening of the campaign. Another lamentable consequence of this want of a reserve ambulance train was that a considerable number of the Fifth Corps wounded had to be transported in army wagons, over very rough roads, about six miles, to Humphreys’ Station, whereby their sufferings were much increased and the chances of recovery for many of them seriously diminished as compared with the result which transportation in ambulances would have afforded them.
Saturday, April 1, the weather was clear and pleasant. All of the Fifth Corps, except one brigade, was detached from the Army of the Potomac and sent to report to General Sheridan last night and this morning; this left the constitution of our line west of Hatcher’s Run as follows, viz: one brigade of Crawford’s [Third] division, Fifth Corps; next Miles’ [First] division, Second Corps; next to that Mott’s [Third] division, Second Corps; and last Hays’ [Second], of the same corps, its right resting on Hatcher’s Run. Throughout the day nothing transpired on this line beyond a small amount of picket-firing; at the field hospitals of the Second and Fifth Corps, however, they were busy getting off our wounded to Humphreys’ Station, en route for the Depot Field Hospital at City Point. In the morning the roads were still so muddy, and cut up into holes and ruts, that transportation of the wounded over them was much retarded, slow, and difficult; but during the day the roads dried rapidly, and before evening a great improvement had taken place. During the day thirty cars, loaded with wounded [there were also a few sick], left Humphreys’ Station for City Point. At 4 p.m. a train of fifteen cars, loaded in the same way, was sent to the same destination. About 6 p.m. the Sixth Corps ambulance train, which had been sent out to Dinwiddie Court-House to bring in Sheridan’s wounded of yesterday’s fight, got back to Humphreys’ Station. In the meantime, at the instance of the medical director, the chief quartermaster Army of the Potomac had ordered forty additional cars to come up to Humphreys’ Station for hospital uses. Before night all the wounded had been conveyed from our division hospitals to Humphreys’ Station in ambulance or in army wagons. The distance from these hospitals to that place were estimated as follows: From Second Division hospital, Second Corps, two miles and a half; from division hospitals of Fifth Corps, all loaded at the Spain house, on the Quaker road, six miles. The crossing of Hatcher’s Run was by the Vaughan road bridge in the ambulance transportation from all of these hospitals. The headquarters Army of the Potomac were moved up to the neighborhood of General Grant’s, at Dabney’s Mill. In the evening it was reported that Sheridan’s operations this day had been eminently successful; that, aided by the Fifth Corps, he had smashed the enemy, capturing two brigade trains, several pieces of artillery, and 3,000 or 4,000 prisoners.
But twenty-five wounded were reported as admitted to the Fifth Corps hospital this day. During that night the sullen roar of artillery was heard at intervals along the whole of our line, which extended from the Appomattox River below Petersburg, across the Boydton plank road and well out toward the South Side Railroad, a distance of about twenty-five miles; but the fire was much the heaviest and most continuous in front of the Ninth Corps, which as already stated held the right of the line.
Sunday, April 2, at 4 a.m. the Sixth and Ninth Corps fiercely assaulted the enemy’s works in front of their respective positions. The Sixth Corps [General Wright] quickly carried the strongly fortified line of the enemy’s works near Fort Fisher in gallant style, and then rapidly pushed its way across the intervening space to the Appomattox River, a short distance above Petersburg, in doing which it had to cross the Boydton plank road, the Cox road, and the South Side Railroad. By this movement the center of the enemy’s lines of defenses of Petersburg was pierced, and the town itself completely cut off on the west side from the rest. That day 858 wounded, including 54 rebels, were brought to the Sixth Corps hospitals, which still occupied their old position; nearly all of them had fallen in the assault of the works. The medical director of the corps [Holman] reported that his observations convinced him that the ratio of killed, in comparison to the number wounded, was decidedly below the average, so that the loss was very small, considering the magnitude and character of the results achieved. The wounded were sent to the Depot Field Hospital by railroad the next day. At 4 a.m. the Ninth Corps [General Parke] also assaulted the enemy’s works in front of Fort Hell, or Sedgwick, captured the main line, although it was very strongly fortified, and successfully maintained their lodgment therein against several desperate attempts of the enemy to drive them back. The loss of this corps was materially increased by the difficult character of the enterprise assigned to it. There were brought to the division hospitals of the Ninth Corps from the scene of this assault 1,114 wounded, including 21 rebels. They were promptly conveyed to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point by railroad. During the day General Sheridan’s command, to which the Fifth Corps sustained considerable loss, and 382 wounded, including 72 rebels, were admitted to its division hospitals. Soon after the successful assaults of the defenses of Petersburg by the Sixth and Ninth Corps the enemy abandoned all their works west of the Sixth Corps. Two divisions of the Twenty fourth Corps, Army of the James, were also sent forward to a position on the right of that occupied by the Sixth Corps. The First Division of the Second Corps [General Miles] was sent to co-operate with Sheridan. He came across two divisions of the enemy trying to escape across the Appomattox River, and had a sharp fight with them. Two hundred and seventy-two wounded were cared for at the First Division alone. Its hospitals were established at the Moody house, near the Five Forks. General Meade’s headquarters were established at the Robinson house, just in the rear of the Sixth Corps, that night.
Monday, April 3, weather warm and pleasant. During last night the enemy evacuated the town of Petersburg, and it was occupied by our troops at dawn this morning. The enemy left 149 of his badly wounded in a well-appointed hospital located in the suburbs, and known as the “C. S. Hospital,” with two medical officers. The surgeon in charge
was directed to report to the provost-marshal of Petersburg, in order to obtain rations and any other supplies that might be needed. The medical director ordered that no houses in Petersburg should be used for hospital purposes or even for the temporary accommodation of the wounded belonging to the Army of the Potomac, and that in all cases they must be sent to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point without delay. The same order was reiterated in the evening by General Meade. Thus all the hospital accommodation at Petersburg was available for the sick and wounded rebels. A large number of men were put to work on the old line of railroad from Petersburg to City Point in order to reopen it as soon as possible. During the day the wounded of the Second Corps in the combats of yesterday were brought to Petersburg in ambulances for transportation to City Point by railroad. A portion of the wounded belonging to the Fifth Corps also were brought into Petersburg for the same purpose, and the balance of them, numbering about 150 men, were sent to Sutherland’s Station in the evening, supplied with shelter, three days’ rations, and with medical attendance, there to await the reopening of railroad communication with Petersburg, a distance of then miles. The headquarters of General Meade were established near Sutherland’s Station that night, and but a short distance from General Grant’s. It was reported in the evening that the cars had commenced running into Petersburg from City Point. The reported evacuation of Richmond was also confirmed.
Tuesday, April 4, the weather continued pleasant. We moved at dawn, continuing our line of march up the River road, in a westerly direction, with the Second and Sixth Corps. The Ninth Corps was left behind at Petersburg, and the Fifth was still with General Sheridan. The medical director of the Sixth Corps [Holman] reported that the ambulance horses of that corps were very much jaded from overwork, that ten of them had been completely used up recently, and shot on that account. It will be remembered that this ambulance train had been sent on the previous Saturday out to Dinwiddie Court-House to bring in the wounded of Sheridan’s command; and it will thus be perceived that this train was overworked, not in the service of the Army of the Potomac, but in that commanded by General Sheridan. We made a long march to-day over horrible and almost impassable roads. At night General Meade’s headquarters were established at the house of W. W. Jones, near Deep Creek, about twenty-five miles from the place of departure in the morning; the Second Corps headquarters were at the same place. The country had now become rolling, well watered, well timbered, exhibiting many fine farms and beautiful locations. For two days the enemy had not opposed our progress.
Wednesday, April 5, the weather still continued pleasant. We moved at an early hour in the direction of Jetersville, on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, then distant about fifteen miles. We struck the railroad at that place in the afternoon, and found General Sheridan thee with the cavalry and the Fifth Corps. Late in the day the enemy demonstrated in force on our front. He appearated to be on his way from Richmond to Burke’s Station, and we had unexpectedly intercepted him with three infantry corps supporting our cavalry. During the night he maneuvered to gain an opportunity to pass around our left in the direction of Farmville. The Army of the Potomac did not become engaged to-day. At night General Meade’s headquarters were established at a house used by the cavalry for hospital purposes, about half a mile from General Sheridan’s headquarters. The country here was fruitful, high, rolling, and well watered with living streams.
Thursday, April 6, the day opened dark, with a misty rain, which, however, ceased about noon. The pursuit of General Lee’s army was resumed with great activity. The Second Corps moved on the road to Amelia Springs, as the leading column; the Fifth Corps advanced on the right flank, and the Sixth Corps on the left, in supporting distance. The Second Corps struck the enemy near Amelia Springs, and pushed him forward along the Deatonsville road. The pursuit was not relaxed, and as the enemy offered resistance at every fitting opportunity this corps was more or less engage the remainder of the day, mostly, however, in the way of heavy skirmishing. The loss, however, was not large, viz: First Division, 41 wounded; Third Division, 150; total, 191 wounded. Early in the day the First Division hospital was established at the Vaughan house, two miles and a half west of the Springs, in the direction of Deatonsville. The wounded of the Third Division were subsequently conveyed to Burke’s Station by the Ninth Corps ambulances from the Vaughan house; those of the First Division were carried to Burke’s Station, on the 7th, by way of Rice’s Station, in ambulances. The Sixth Corps, advancing on the left of the Second Corps, became heavily engaged with the enemy toward evening at Sailor’s Creek, in conjunction with the cavalry of Sheridan. The enemy were routed and many prisoners captured, including General Ewell and several other general officers. Four hundred and eighty-one wounded, including 161 rebels, were admitted to the division hospitals of that corps. It is understood that they were established at Harper’s farm. These wounded were sent to Burke’s Station the next day in the Sixth Corps ambulances. The Fifth Corps did not become engaged listed on the road from Deatonsville to Farmville, about two miles from the former place.
Friday, April 7, the Second Corps, continuing the pursuit of the fleeing enemy, crossed the Appomattox at High Bridge, where a slight skirmish ensued, and advanced to the heights northeast of Farmville, where the enemy were found established. All the division hospitals of this corps were established at the Brooks house late in the afternoon, and received during the day and night, viz: First Division, 147; Second Division, 24; Third Division, 41; total, 212 wounded. They were sent to Burke’s Station the next morning, 8th, and the hospitals ordered forward to join the corps, which had advanced in pursuit of the enemy, who had fallen back during the night. After the combat of the Second Corps above mentioned, the Army of the Potomac did not engage the enemy during the campaign. General Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court-House on Sunday, the 9th. On the morning of April 7 I proceeded to Burke’s Station, under orders, for the purpose of assisting to perfect the arrangements for the reception and care of the wounded and sick at that place until such time as the railroad to Petersburg could be put in running order. The general commanding having designated Burke’s Station, on the night of the 6th, as the prospective depot for the Army of the Potomac, the medical director ordered arrangements to be made immediately for the suitable reception of 2,500 wounded at that place. It was expected that we would be compelled to provide for all the wounded in the operations west of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, including those of Sheridan’s cavalry command, of the Twenty-fourth Corps, Army of the James, of the prisoners of war to considerable extent, as well as those of the Army of the Potomac. The estimate were based upon this expectation, and the sequel showed it to be well founded. Having
reached Burke’s Station, i soon found Lieutenant-Colonel Dalton, medical director Ninth Army Corps, who had come up from Nottoway Court-House that morning on the same business. he stated that the hospitals of the Second and Third Divisions of the Ninth Corps were on their way up to Burke’s Station, and would arrive in the afternoon, together with the ambulance trains of those divisions. I also learned that the railroad was opened only as far up as Wilson’s Station, twenty-seven miles distant, and that several days must elapse before the cars could get up to Burke’s Station. In the meantime shelter, food, and medical attendance must be provided for a large number of wounded at that place. It was also known that several hundred were then on their way there in the ambulance trains of the Second and Sixth Corps, and that they would arrive by evening. The hotel buildings at Burke’s Station had been in use for a considerable time as a rebel hospital, and they were already filled to overflowing with rebels who were unable to be moved when their forces retreated, and with sick and wounded belonging to the Twenty-fourth Corps, Army of the James, and to the Cavalry Corps, under General Sheridan’s command, who had been recently brought there. In the afternoon the hospitals of the Second and Third Divisions were pitched on good ground, convenient to the railroad, and made ready for the reception of the wounded. All the vacant warehouse room at the railroad depot was also taken possession of, and made ready for the same purpose without delay. In the evening about 750 wounded from the Second and Sixth Corps arrived, and were promptly cared for; indeed, we had the satisfaction of knowing that the suppers of a large part of them had been prepared for them revious to their arrival. The ambulance train of the Second and Third Divisions of the Ninth Corps came up in the afternoon, and was at once sent forward to the front will orders to report for duty to the medical director Army of the Potomac, in bringing in the wounded.
Saturday, April 8, the warehouses at the depot and the hospitals of the Ninth Corps, including that of the First Division, now on the way up to Burke’s Station, were capable of sheltering 1,600 wounded, and this entirely independent of the rebel hospital above mentioned and of the dwelling-houses in the neighborhood used by the cavalry for the reception of the wounded. Captain J. H. Alley, hospital commissary Ninth Corps, sent up a foraging train to-day, under suitable escort, to obtain subsistence for the wounded and sick; it gathered up and brought in three wagon-loads of provisions, consisting of flour, meal, potatoes, ham, and bacon. Captain Alley also sent to City Point for enough sugar, coffee, and candles to last 4,000 men eight days [32,000 rations of each], in order to be ready for possible contingencies. He also began to repair the large oven of the hotel, with a view to issue soft bread without delay, and placing a safeguard upon a neighboring grist mill, he set it to grinding flour and meal. The medical purveyor’s train being also at Burke’s Station, medical and hospital supplies were drawn from it sufficient to last 2,000 wounded eight days; they were drawn by the surgeons in charge of the Second and Third Division hospitals of the Ninth Corps, in addition to the supplies they already had on hand. Afterward the medical purveyor’s train started for Farmville, seventeen miles distant, toward Lynchburg. Foraging wagons were sent out for straw. During the day and evening about 550 wounded and sick arrived.
Sunday, April 9, Captain Alley foraged successfully again to-day for provisions and straw. About 260 wounded and sick were brought in to-day.
Monday, April 10, the bakery began to turn out soft bread of first-rate quality last night, and to-day was worked at the rate of 2,000 rations per diem. Provisions and straw were again obtained by foraging. If subsistence could not have been obtained by foraging, the sick and wounded must have suffered very much with hunger for a few days. This evening the Ninth Corps ambulances returned from the front, bringing about 200 wounded and sick; 150 hospital tent flies had arrived in wagons from Wilson’s Station, so that we now felt easy on the subject of shelter.
Tuesday, April 11. There were now about 2,200 wounded and sick at Burke’s Station, of whom about 1,600 belonged to the Army of the Potomac, about 220 to the Army of the James, about 180 to the Cavalry Corps, and about 200 were prisoners of war; all of them were well taken care of. The Confederate surgeons told me that their wounded were well cared for, and all of whom I inquired [and the number was considerable] uniformly told me, even in the warehouses, that they had experienced good care and satisfactory attention to their wants. The railroad cars came up to Burke’s Station this morning for the first time, and preparations were immediately made to load them with wounded on their return to City Point. In this way about 1,450 wounded and sick were sent to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point to-day. The last train started at 5 p.m. The cars for the wounded were well bedded with straw, two days’ rations were provided for the wounded, with attendants at the ratio of two per car, and an ample supply of medical officers to accompany them through to City Point. The Ninth Corps ambulance train was sent out to Harper’s farm for some wounded cavalrymen who were reported to be there suffering for the want of the necessaries of life; it was accompanied by a wagon loaded with provisions.
Wednesday, April 12, sent away by railroad, at noon, about 600 sick and wounded to the Depot Field Hospital at City Point, provided for the same as those sent yesterday. This evacuated Burke’s Station of all the wounded and the sick except about 150 rebels. They also would have been sent if the transportation by rail had been sufficient to do it. During the latter part of the day the Cavalry Corps ambulances arrived, and the Ninth Corps ambulances returned. They brought, altogether, about 250 wounded and sick; most off them were rebels. A number of sick and wounded were also received from other sources. The headquarters of the Army of the Potomac came down to Burke’s Station about 3 p.m., and were established in its vicinity.
Thursday, April 13, sent to City Point to-day 450 wounded and sick, a majority of whom were rebels. This relieved us of all the sick and wounded then on hand who could be safely transported. Surg. H. Bendell, Eighty-sixth New York Volunteers, in charge of sub-depot field hospital, organized pursuant to the orders of the medical director dated April 3, 1865, arrived at Burke’s Station this morning, accompanied by twenty-four assistant surgeons, with attendants, shelter, and ample supplies. In the course of the day he established his hospital, and put it in operation as an advanced post of the Depot Field Hospital at City Point, and communicating with it daily by railroad. Since the cars began to run to Burke’s Station up to this time, about 2,500 wounded and sick, belonging to the armies of the Potomac and James, to the Cavalry Corps, and to the enemy, were sent to City Point by railroad; of this number it was estimated that 500 were sick and 2,000 wounded. These men had been promptly received and provided for at Burke’s Station by the medical department alone, without bustle
or confusion and without officious interference on the part of any individuals or irresponsible associations. Lieutenant Colonel E. D. Dalton, surgeon U. S. Volunteers, chief medical officer, and Captain J. H. Alley, hospital commissary Ninth Corps, deserve special mention.
During this brief campaign, commencing March 29, the total losses of wounded in the various engagements were distributed as follows: Second Corps, 1,100; Fifth Corps, 1,436; Sixth Corps, 1,127; Ninth Corps, 1,160; total, 4,823 wounded in action. This estimate does not embrace those wounded by accident or by picket-firing, and is founded on the admissions to the division hospitals reported in connection with engagements. It also appears that 335 wounded rebels were brought to our division hospitals on such occasions.
Before concluding this report one remark is called for in regard to the operations of the ambulance department of the Army of the Potomac. I watched it attentively throughout the campaign, and now take pleasure in recording that on all occasions, whether in removing the wounded from the field of battle or in conveying them to the hospitals at the rear, the duty was discharged with a promptitude and zeal which reflects much credit upon the system itself and those concerned in its administration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. LIDELL,
Surg., U. S. Vols., Insp. of Medical and Hospital Department,
Army of the Potomac.
Colonel T. A. McPARLIN,
- 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. 625-634 ↩