On the 20th I visited White House again and inspected the arrangements. I met there Mr. Brunot, of Pittsburgh, Pa., who had come on with a party of well-qualified nurses to offer their services. No more devoted band, none perhaps so much so, had ever presented themselves. I quartered them temporarily upon the hospital steamer Louisiana. At the right time they repaired to Savage Station, performed ever-memorable service, and crowned their self-sacrifice by cheerfully volunteering to remain with the wounded we were obliged to leave in the hands of the enemy when we retired to James River.
Returning to headquarters on the 21st, I sent Dr. D. L. Rogers, of New York [who had rejoined me some days before, the hospital at Williamsburg having been broken up], to the left bank of the Chickahominy, to evacuate upon White House all the field hospitals upon that side. This duty was zealously performed, and all that could be removed were removed.
From this time events hurried on with great rapidity. I sent an order to the purveyor at White House to throw a large quantity of supplies upon Savage Station. By telegraph I received the reply that all was packed up and the boat ordered to fall back to West Point. This was exceedingly vexatious. We were tolerably well supplied, and I had, as before reported, a reserve of three wagon loads in my own camp; nevertheless this contretemps was a great disappointment and caused me much anxiety. In a few days the boat returned. As soon as I heard of it I repeated my order [June 27] and telegraphed also to the Sanitary Commission to send up supplies. The effort was made, but too late. On the 28th our communications were cut off. I received nothing from below but some hospital tents, and they came just in time to be burned or to fall into the hands of the enemy.
On the 25th we had a smart skirmish on our left. The wounded, who were very few, were sent to White House. On the 26th General McCall fought at Mechanicsville. This division had joined on the 18th, and I could not succeed in getting a report from it of any sort. The sick were sent into the camp at headquarters without notice, without a report, a nurse, or a crust of bread. I was obliged to send them to Savage Station, to occupy room I wanted for wounded men.
On the 27th General Porter fought at Gaines' Mill. Ambulances were sent to him, and his wounded brought into Savage Station. The cars were kept in motion, and as many as could be sent down were sent to the floating hospitals. A large train was loaded at 10 a.m. on the 28th, when we found that the railway was in possession of the enemy, and I was reluctantly compelled to take the men back to the hospital. All the time the services of every one that could be commanded were employed in attending to the wounded. There were about 1,300 in the tents, buildings, and on the lawn. My assistants, McClellan and Greenleaf, with some of Mr. Brunot's party, were most active and efficient in providing for the refreshment and subsistence of the wounded. Asst. Surg. A. K. Smith, of the army, with Dr. Swinburne and a number of medical officers of volunteers and contract