The surgeon's call should be beaten in the presence of the inspector, to enable him to judge whether the men understand it, whether the men attending it correspond with the official reports, and whether they are judiciously treated. The inspectors will also institute an inquiry into the cases of the men who are recommended for discharge. The number of certificates sent to headquarters indicates either great facility in granting these discharges or great carelessness in the inspection of the men at the time of their enlistment. It is the desire of the general that a thorough medical inspection of the army be made as speedily as possible, that no possible deficiency may exist in the medical department when it advances upon the enemy, and to this end he commands all officers, of whatever rank, to afford to the inspectors of hospitals every facility in conducting their inspections.
CHAS. S. TRIPLER,
Surgeon and Medical Director Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Medical Director's Office, January 7, 1862.
GENERAL: In reference to the letter of Brigade Surgeon Stocker, inclosing requisitions for ambulances and transport carts furnished by the State of Pennsylvania for McCall's brigade, I have the honor to report that the quartermaster in charge of these carriages informs me he has receipted to Lieutenant-Colonel Crosman for all that have arrived here up to December 31, 1861. I am further informed upon inquiry that he has no transport carts on hand. Upon the inspection of General McCall's division by Dr. Milhau, inspector of hospitals, on the 5th of December, they had 22 two-wheeled and 2 four-wheeled ambulances and 1 transport cart. Four of the two-wheeled are reported broken at this date, but as fifteen days elapsed before they were wanted, they must have been repaired if proper attention was given to their condition. There have been reported to me 34 men wounded in General Ord's late action. I suppose this to be correct, as the brigade surgeons are required by General Orders, Numbers 20, of 1861, to report to me within twenty-four hours after an action the names, & c., of the wounded, and I have always found General McCall's brigade surgeons very punctual in the performance of their duties. There was then in General McCall's camp sufficient transportation for the wounded. Why it was not sent to the battle-field I don't know.
We have at this point 48 four-wheeled ambulances in use and 23 in depot, and 84 two-wheeled in use and 230 in depot. Of the four-wheeled we want 20 here constantly. That will leave 28 for distribution, if it should be decided upon.
But it has been the policy to withdraw these carriages from distribution to the camps in this vicinity, because in case of an action in front they can be readily sent in a few hours to any point or points where they may be required and in suitable numbers to different points. If distributed, those on the extreme right might be wanted on the extreme left or the reverse, and thus delay would be incurred in commanding them; whereas if kept here a telegram or a mounted orderly would put them in their proper position in a few hours. Again, if distributed, for want of shelter and want of care they would inevitably get out of order in a short time. I am confirmed in this opinion by Dr. Stocker's letter. With all his care he reports them as being uncomfortable for
7 R R - VOL V.