War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0101 Chapter XIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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that, in my opinion, frame huts, such as were finally constructed in the Crimea, are much better adapted to hospital purposes than large buldings of masonry, such as hotels, colleges, and the like. They admit of more perfect ventilation, can be kept in better police, are more convenient for the sick and wounded and their attendants, admit of a ready distribution of patients into proper classes, and are cheaper. the Quartermaster-General informed me some time since that he would put up any buildings that might be required. So far as I am informed, there are about 2,700 beds in the general hospitals on the Potomac and in Maryland. Notwithstanding unremitted efforts, I have not been able to get reports of the number o sick in all the regimens of the army, but in forty-eight regiments that have reported there were on the 31st August 916 sick in hospital and 1,546 in quarters. of the strength of these regimens I have no accurate information. Assuming them to average 800, we have an aggregate of 38,400. Again, assuming that all the sick in hospitals and one-half of those in quarters would require to be sent to a general hospital and one-half of those in quarters would require to be sent to a general hospital in case of an advance on our part, we should require 1,689 beds for their accommodation. This gives a ratio of 1 to 23.33 nearly, or between 4 or 5 per cent. I think we may estimate for 5 per cent. of any force intended to leave here as sure to require hospital accommodation. If this army attains a strength of 200,000 we shall then want 10,000 beds immediately available.

Again, should this army of 200,000 men have a general engagement with anything like equal numbers, and the action be well contested upon the side of the enemy, we may calculate upon casualties reaching 60,000 as a maximum. Of these, should the battle be fought principally with artillery, one-half would be killed or mortally wounded. It is scarcely to be expected or apprehended that anything like so great a slaughter will really be endured by the troops on either side, but I do not think it an unreasonable estimate to say that we should have hospital accommodation for 20,000 wounded. This number ought to be reached of our own men and those of the enemy that will fall into our hands.

Now, if this estimate is at all reasonable, it is easily seen that there are not buildings enough in Washington that are likely to or can be procured to meet our wants. There is no question in my mind as to the absolute superiority of temporary huts of suitable size and properly constructed over all other buildings that can be had for our purposes. The cost of the buildings will be about one-half or less of what we are now paying for rents of hotels, colleges, and seminaries. If the matter were in my hands, I should recommend the building of these huts at once.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,.

CHAS. S. TRIPLER,

Surgeon and Medical Director Army of the Potomac.

Major S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army of Potomac.

[Appendix H.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Medical Director's Office.

GENERAL: In obedience to the instructions of Major-General McClelan, I have the honor to report that I have carefully considered the subjects referred to me, and now submit the following plans:

My attention having been invited to the views of the general com-