War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0076 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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Fralick, Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer; F. N. Wicker, Twenty-eighth New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer; I. J. Harvey, Second Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, and acting signal officer; B. N. Miner, Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer; E. A. Briggs, Forty-third New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer; E. L. Halsted, Fortieth New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer, for their parts at this battle.

The officers and men of this detachment again elicited the official commendation of General Banks on the retreat from the valley of the Shenandoah. This signal party, as was the case of that commanded by Lieutenant Willson, acting signal officer, detailed to the corps commanded by General McDowell, served with the army corps to which they were attached throughout the summer and until (in September) the forces in front of Washington were consolidated in the Army of the Potomac for the defense of that city.*

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Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Signal Officer, Major U. S. Army,

and Chief Signal Officer Army of Potomac.


Numbers 4. Report of Surg. Charles S. Tripler, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, of the operations of the medical department of that Army from August 12, 1861, to March 17, 1862.

DETROIT, MICH., February 7, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the medical department of the Army of the Potomac during the time I was connected with it as medical direction:

This time naturally divides itself into two periods: the first embracing the time from the beginning of the organization of that army to that of its taking the field; the second from the latter time to the completion of the change of base to Harrison's Landing, on the James River.

I joined the Army of the Potomac August 12, 1861, and was immediately charged with the organization of the medical department. At that time the three months' volunteers were mustered out of service, and the new levies were being rapidly assembled in Washington and its vicinity. A number of camps were formed on both sides of the Potomac, and the construction of the field works had been commenced. There were some five or six hotels, seminaries, and infirmaries in Washington and Georgetown occupied as general hospitals, and one or two in Alexandria, the fruits of the exigencies of the three-months' campaign. These were under capable officers, well regulated and well conducted, but with no system in reference to the admission or discharge of patients. Every regimental surgeon sent what men he pleased to the general hospitals, without knowing whether there was room for them or not, and men were discharged from the hospitals with no means pro


* Continuation of the report in operations of March 17 - September 2, 1862.