should be furnished from the regimental details authorized by the regulations, and that the brigade hospitals should be considered and conducted as aggregations of the regimental hospitals; that their stewards, & c., should be mustered on the regimental rolls. In this way a number of them were organized and served. Brigade Surgeon Suckley organized one for Kearny's brigade near Alexandria, another was fitted up for Blenker's brigade at Hunter's Chapel, another in Hooker's division at Budd's Ferry, afterwards others in Fitz-John Porter's division, and several more. A very nice building was put up at Poolesville for Stone's command, upon plans furnished by Brigade Surgeon Crosby and approved by yourself.
About the 1st of February, 1862, my attention was called by General Williams to the condition of Lander's division at Cumberland. This was the first intimation I had had that there were any troops there. I sent one of my inspectors immediately to examine into the facts, with authority to provide at once for their necessities, to hire buildings, or to put up hospital huts if required.
On the 5th of February Brigade Surgeon Suckley was assigned to Lander's division, and instructed to use every exertion to put things in order. He was informed that the condition of the sick in that division was represented as scandalous, and that no effort must be spared to reform it. On the 8th I received the report of the inspector. It confirmed all that had been reported as to the shocking state of affairs. The regiments composing the command were scattered in all directions for some 40 miles over the hills. The sick, numbering 1,200, were abandoned in the city of Cumberland, and were in a wretched condition. They were "quartered in close, compact, ill-ventilated rooms, where the police is bad, food badly cooked and improperly served out, men of different regiments reeling and staggering through the streets with fevers, seeking shelter and medical attendance." The inspector had succeeded in getting comfortable and roomy quarters for 500 of the sick at the time of his report, had employed a number of women in making bed-sacks, and had contracted for some hundred bunks.
Dr. Suckley was in position on the 7th. On the 9th he had collected 1,079 of the sick; on the 11th he had 1,400. He found things in the town in a wretched condition; no discipline, no system. The commissary had no funds. There were nineteen regiments of infantry, besides cavalry and artillery. in the division. On the 18th he asked authority to build two shanties, to contain 50 patients each. This was immediately granted. On the 20th he had succeeded in making things more comfortable, had procured eight Sisters of Charity for nurses, had classified his patients, and had provided proper medical attendance. He reported also that the mortality and the gravity of disease were diminishing. He had received authority to build as many shanties as were necessary.
Measures were taken by me upon receipt of these reports to provide instantly for all the necessities of the case. I applied to the Commissary-General to place funds in the hand of the commissary. On the 19th Colonel Taylor informed me he had sent $ 5,000. I ordered a supply of ambulances to be forwarded, loaded with bedding, from Baltimore. Medical and hospital stores were also forwarded by myself as well as the Surgeon-General. March 3 I received a telegram from the railroad agent at Wheeling, informing me that 149 boxes of hospital stores would be at Cumberland the next day. There was no more trouble with that establishment. The brigade and field hospitals of the Army of the Potomac were at last organized and in working order..