War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0100 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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[Appendix F.]


Medical Director's Office, Washington, March 6, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your instructions, I have examined the plan of organization of an ambulance corps submitted by Ch. Pfersching. However desirable a regularly-organized ambulance corps may be for an army, it is now too late to raise, drill, and equip so elaborate an establishment as this for our service. There is nothing new in the plan, nothing that has not been thought of and even weighed years ago in connection with our own organization, unless it be the arsenal of pistols and hatchets with which the men are to be loaded. As we have no ambulance corps proper, an attempt has been made to instruct a certain number of men in each regiment in the duties appertaining to such a corps. An order providing for the drilling of ten men and the band of each regiment to the ambulance service was issued from these headquarters on the 3rd October, 1861. This has been generally faithfully done, and we now have a tolerably well-instructed body of men for this duty. Instructions for the distribution and employment of these men during an action have been prepared by me, and were submitted to General Williams, adjutant-general of the Army of the Potomac, for the action of General McClellan, some ten days ago. I hope they will soon be printed and circulated. When that is done, all necessary and practicable arrangements for the transportation of our wounded will have been made. I am therefore of opinion that the plan of Mr. Pfersching is neither needed nor available for our service at the present time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon and Medical Director.

Surg. General C. A. FINLEY, U. S. A..

[Appendix G.]


Medical Director's Office, Washington, September 9, 1861.

MAJOR: In reference to the letter of Mr. George Gibbs, referred to me by direction of Major-General McClellan, I have to state that the subject of suitable provision for the reception of the wounded at this position has engaged my attention for the last three weeks. I had commenced arrangements by providing a hotel in Baltimore and ordering it to be fitted up. I had also asked authority to take the Riggs house, near the Circle, with the purpose of converting it into a hospital. I had also other arrangements in view, when I was informed by the Surgeon-General that under the direction of the Secretary of War he had taken all the general hospitals under his exclusive supervision and control, and that he intended making extensive arrangements for the reception of all the sick and wounded that this army would afford; that in case of an action I would find accommodations in readiness for the wounded.

At a meeting of the Sanitary Commission, at which I was present, last week, a resolution was passed appointing a committee to wait upon the Secretary of War, to request him to have frame buildings erected sufficient for the reception of 15,000 men, and also to request General McClellan's approval of the same. The committee had not been able to see General McClellan up to last night. I have now the honor to say