War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0102 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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mading and those of the honorable Secretary of War, as conveyed in his indorsement upon Major-General McClellan's letter, it seems to me I am required to submit my vies upon the organization of an ambulance corps as well as upon an increase of hospital accommodation.

1. The immediate organization of an ambulance corps, to act under the medical director's command.-I submitted some weeks since for the action of the General a plan for the only kind of ambulance corps I think we can raise under existing laws. That plan was to take the hospital attendants to the number of 10 men to each regiment and the band, and have them drilled daily for one hour under the medical officers, in the whole manipulation of ambulances of all sorts, the handling of men, the carrying of them upon litters, placing them in the carriages and taking them out, and the like. I propose that these men shall accompany the ambulances upon the march, and in time of action shall man the litters to bear the wounded to the rear, and act as guides to such of the wounded as can walk to the field or principal hospitals. These men should carry upon their persons a suitable supply of lint, a few bandages and pins, a field tourniquet, and a small canteen of whisky or brandy, and should be instructed in the proper use of all these articles, that they may be ready to apply them judiciously in case of emergency. This is not such an ambulance corps as I would prefer, but it is the best I can devise under existing laws and circumstances. An efficient ambulance corps should be composed of men enlisted for that purpose, and should be organized into companies and battalions, with commissioned and non-commissioned officers. They should be uniformed so that they might be known, armed with revolvers, and drilled under the direction of the medical officers in all duties pertaining to their corps. Companies or detachments of the corps could then be assigned to brigades, divisions, or corps d'armee, as occasion might require. They would move under command of their own officers, could perform their duties promptly, intelligently, and efficiently, and obviate all necessity or excuse for the men in the ranks to fall out to assist the wounded.

But it is obvious these detachments should be under the command of the principal medical officer, and such is the plan proposed by Major-General McClellan. To effect this, it will be necessary to modify the law in relation to the rank of medical officers. I would suggest that the Medical Department of the Army be placed upon the same military footing precisely as the Quartermaster's Department, with the same grades, titles, and ranks, simply substituting the word "surgeon" for away at once the rubbish that has so long embarrassed the operations of the department, and now stands in the way of its efficiency at a time when every energy of every man's mind and body is called into requisition to meet the pressing necessities of the public service.

2. The employment of an adequate corps of male and female nurses by the medical director, to act under his supervision. This being another important suggestion of the Sanitary Commission, and recommended by Major-General McClellan, I have to remark upon it that the sixth section of the act approved August 3, 1861, has provided for the employment of female nurses whenever desired by the medical director or the surgeon in charge of a permanent hospital. In the plan to be submitted for hospitals it will be seen that a due proportion of male and female nurses is provided for. We can get female nurses through Miss Dix and from among the Sisters of Charity. It is a very damaging position for any one to take and avow, but in the honest discharge of .