We want steamer hospitals, properly fitted up for 5,000, provided with physicians, nurses, and stores.
CHS. S. TRIPLER,
To the SURGEON-GENERAL, Washington, D. C.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Medical Director's Office, White House, May 19, 1862.
SIR: I had the honor to address you on the 9th instant in relation to the necessities of this army. In that letter I stated that unless certain supplies for which I had telegraphed that day reached me in five days this army would be in peril. It is now ten days, and they are not here. I hear there are supplies at Fort Monroe directed to Yorktown, and have telegraphed Dr. Cuyler to send them up here immediately. The army is marching to-day, and a battle may occur at any time. We are not prepared for it.
I telegraphed you yesterday that we wanted steamers properly fitted up for 5,000 men, provided with physicians, nurses, and stores. This is an absolute and instant necessity. The Sanitary Commission is doing what it can to relieve us of our sick, but they cannot do it with sufficient rapidity. We have 2,000 sick at Yorktown and vicinity, 600 at Williamsburg, and I have a prospect of having 1,000 more thrown on my hands from the advancing army to-day. For the accommodation of these men I have 100 hospital tents ordered, but with two days' work I have been able to get but 34 pitched. I have no physicians to detail for the work. The men from the ranks will not do the duty of nurses. My stores are almost exhausted. If a battle take place within a few days I have no place to put the wounded. I must have relief, and that at once. I can no longer stagger under such an accumulation of difficulties.
Seven medical gentleman from Boston and New York joined me yesterday to offer their services for the expected battle. I have gladly accepted their offer. The first duty I have imposed upon them is to assist in prescribing for the sick now pressing in upon me. One of them I have been obliged to ask to go to the First United States Cavalry to replace Assistant Surgeon Quinan, who reports sick. I have but one assistant surgeon for each regiment of regular cavalry, and less than that for each regiment of regular infantry. When one of them falls sick I have no one to replace him.
The ambulance I asked for are not here. The march from Williamsburg to this point has destroyed a large proportion of those we had. The two-wheeled ambulances forwarded from Washington are insufficient if they were even endurable for the wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHS. S. TRIPLER,
Surgeon and Medical Director Army of the Potomac.
Brigadier General W. A. HAMMOND,
Surgeon-General U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Medical Director's Office, White House, May 20, 1862.
Telegram received. We are this moment receiving the cooking utensils and furniture and the liquors sent by Dr. Laub. On the invoice with the latter are 100 ounces of quinine. I do not know how much of this has been ordered. A requisition for 2,000 ounces was