No. 76. Report of Asst. Surg. Charles K. Winne, U. S. Army, Medical Inspector.1
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
Nottoway Court-House, April 27, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that on March 26, 27, and 28, all sick in field hospital, as well as every man throughout the command unable to march and endure the fatigue of the ensuing campaign, were
sent to the depot hospital at City Point, by rail from Humphreys’ Station. The daily report of hospitals for the 26th shows the number requiring treatment in the general hospital; those sent subsequently were unable to march, sick in quarters, &c. On the 28th the hospital of the Artillery Brigade, at Parke’s Station, was closed, the hospital trains brought up and parked with the division hospital trains near Cummings’ house. All necessary preparations for the campaign had been made; field companions in every regiment filled; the ambulance boxes filled with supplies of hard bread, sugar, and coffee, in addition to the articles required to be carried in them; surplus medical property turned in at City Point; and as large an amount of supplies obtained for the different field hospitals as the reduced and too limited transportation admitted. On March 29 the corps broke camp before daybreak. The flying field hospital accompanying the command consisted of one-half the whole number of ambulances, carrying hospital tent-flies, one medicine wagon for each division, each one carrying two extra operating tables, and five hospital wagons for each division, carrying all the hospital tents, blankets, rations, clothing, &c. The remaining ambulances, brigade supply wagons, and medicine wagons joined the general corps train. The corps, with five batteries, marched down the stage road, crossing Rowanty Creek at the Perkins house, near which the trains were parked. From this position, after halting some time, the troops moved up the Quaker road and to Lewis’ farm, near the junction of Boydton plank and Quaker roads. The First Division encountered the enemy. The hospitals were established near the old Quaker Church, on the Quaker road. Supplies in ambulances and train brought up by permission of the general commanding. Rain commenced about dark, and a violent storm continued all night and next day (30th), rendering the roads terrible, and the movements of the ambulances were extremely difficult. It being necessary to remove al the wounded to Humphrey’s Station with as much rapidity as practicable, and all the capital operations having been performed, the surgeons of other divisions uniting with those of the First Division in expediting these operations, the ambulance train of the Fifth Corps, aided by twenty ambulance belonging to the Second corps, were started for Humphreys’ Station at 7 a. m. March 30, accompanied by pioneers of the First Brigade, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps, aided by twenty ambulances belonging to the Second corps, were started for Humphreys’ Station at 7 a. m. March 30, accompanied by pioneers of the First Brigade, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps, to assist in clearing the road. During the afternoon a portion of our line was attacked; the losses in our command falling almost entirely upon the First Division.
March 31, the entire corps was engaged upon the White oak road, and one-half the number of ambulances present were constantly occupied in transporting wounded, after their wounds had received necessary attention, from the hospital at Quaker Church to the railroad station at Humphreys’. Each train was placed in charged of a medical officer, assisted by attendants, supplied with stimulants, dressings, l&c. The wounded were all fed before leaving the hospital, and such cases as needed blankets supplied.
During the night (31st) the Second Division moved down the Boydton plank road toward Dinwiddie, followed next morning by the First and Third Divisions by another road leading in the same direction. In the afternoon the battle of Five Forks was fought. The hospital was established at the Methodist Church. Owing to the terrible condition of the roads, rendered almost impassable by the long, violent storm and the passage of infantry and cavalry, the flying hospital was not fully established before midnight. Owing to the same reason and the number of hours required to convey the wounded in ambulances from Quaker
Church to Humphreys’ Station the hospitals still existed, and, the supply trains having been mired in attempting to follow the command, no empty wagons could be obtained for additional transportation.
April 2, six rebel wagons captured the previous day were sent with slight cases to Quaker Church, and at 11 a. m. sixty-six ambulances, loaded with wounded, were sent from the Methodist Church hospital to Humphreys’ Station, orders having been received to send no more wounded to Quaker Church hospital. Only a sufficient number of medical officers had been left at this hospital Only a sufficient number of medical officers had been left at this hospital to provide for the daily wants of the wounded until they could be shipped to City Point, as all the operations had been performed, and thirty-five ambulances had been left to convey them to the station. This was so far accomplished during the afternoon that the remaining wounded were all sheltered in the house, in charge of one medical officer, with three days’ rations and supplies, and the tents that had been left brought up to Methodist Church, where the rest of the train had been parked. The troops to-day occupied Sutherland’s Station, on the South Side Railroad. The wounded were also being shipped from Methodist Church to the railroad until the morning of the 3rd, when the remaining wounded at Methodist Church, with the whole hospital train, marched, via White Oak, Claiborne, and Namozine roads, to Sutherland’s Station, where a hospital was established of fourteen tents, medical officers, attendants, with three days’ rations and supplies, and the wounded left, and the train followed the command, but the troops camped on the 3rd on Namozine road, near Deep Creek, and, marching with greater rapidity than I have ever seen marches made, attended with the terrible condition of the roads, to separate them from the flying hospital train, which, placed in the rear of the corps, and afterward cut off by troops of another corps, was pushed forward as rapidly as circumstances would admit.
April 4, troops marched on Namozine road, then to Jetersville; total distance, twenty miles. April 5, corps at Jetersville. Entrenchments were thrown up, expecting an attack from the enemy, and positions were selected for the hospitals. In the afternoon the hospital train arrived and went into park, having been thrown twenty-four hours in rear of the command. April 6, marched at 6 a. m., nearly to Amelia Court-House, then, via Farmville and Deatonsville, to within five miles of High Bridge, on Appomattox River, marching twenty-nine miles. April 7, marched to Prince Edward Court-House, eighteen miles. April 8, marched through Prospect Station, along Petersburg and Lynchburg Railroad, to within seven miles of Appomattox Court-House, and meeting the enemy. The Abbitt house was at first selected for a field hospital, but few cases, however, were received, as overtures were made on the part of the enemy forte surrender of his entire force. The corps remained in camp until the 15th of April at Appomattox Court-House, when the troops commenced marching back, camping at night at Pampin’s Station. April 16, march resumed to Farmville, over exceedingly bad roads. April 17, corps marched to Sandy River, eight miles from Burkeville, and sites selected for the different division hospitals near the troops. April 20, command moved to Nottoway Court-House, and was distributed along the line of the South Side Railroad, from a point between Burkewille and Nottoway to beyond Sutherland’s Station.
The division hospitals were all in exceedingly eligible sites for hospitals: First Division stationed at Wilson’s Station; Second Division and Artillery Brigade near Nottoway Court-House; and the Third
Division hospital at Blacks and Whites-each being as near the center of it respective division as practicable, and where the sick can be placed upon the cars when it is desirable to send them to the depot hospital.
In the above memoranda I have presented as succinct an account of the movements of the corps and of the hospitals as practicable. The daily reports of the hospitals heretofore forwarded present the number of wounded admitted for treatment during the campaign. The large number admitted, the terrible condition of the roads, and rallied changes in the position of the troops, rendered it necessary, or rather compelled the existence of two field hospitals during the earlier part of the campaign, or at Quaker Church during the conflict of the 28th [29th] of March to the 31st, inclusive, and the engagement of the 1st caused the establishment of the hospital at Methodist Church. The few remaining at Quaker Church were finally sent off from Warren’s Station, and the wounded in the last depot (Methodist Church) brought up to Sutherland’s Station as soon as the movements of the army rendered it practicable, and a hospital temporarily established there by order of Surgeon Ghiselin, medical director, and from thence they were sent to Petersburg. I can say from personal observation during the different engagements that all the wounded were removed from the field where the Fifth Corps fought, and only one case was in reality left, and he (Lieutenant-Colonel Farnham) would have undoubtedly died, if at that time an attempt had been made to send him to the depot hospital; he was left at the Moody house, with supplies, and I hear has subsequently been taken to Petersburg.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. K. WINNE,
Asst. Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Inspector, Fifth Army Corps.
Colonel T. A. MCPARLIN,
Surgeon, U. S. Army, 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. 842-845 ↩