War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0219 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

the train of each division being kept together, and will see that the sick and wounded are properly attended to. A medicine wagon will accompany each train.

10. The officers connected with the corps must be with the trains on a march, observing that no one rides in the ambulances without the authority of the medical officers, except in urgent cases; but men must not be allowed to suffer, and the officers will, when the medical officers cannot be found, use a sound discretion in this matter, and be especially careful that the men and drivers are in their proper places.

The place for the ambulances is in front of all wagon trains.

11. When in camp, the ambulances, transport carts, and ambulance corps will be parked with the brigade, under the commander of the corps for the brigade. They will be used, on the requisition of the regimental medical officers, transmitted to the commander of the brigade ambulance corps, for transporting the sick to various points and procuring medical supplies, and for nothing else. The noncommissioned officer in charge will always accompany the ambulances or transport carts when on this or any other duty, and he will be held responsible that they are used for none other than their legitimate purposes. Should any officer infringe upon this order regarding the uses of ambulances, &c., he will be reported by the officer offending in arrest for trial for disobedience of orders.

13. Good serviceable horses will be used for the ambulances and transport carts, and will not be taken for any other purpose except by orders from these headquarters.

14. The uniform for this corps is: For privates, a green band 2 inches broad around the cap, a green half chevron 2 inches broad on each arm above the elbow, and to be armed with revolvers; non-commissioned officers to wear the same band around the cap as a private, chevrons 1 inches broad and green, with the point toward the shoulder, on each arm above the elbow.

15. No person will be allowed to carry from the field any wounded or sick except this corps.

16. The commanders of the ambulance corps on being detailed will report without delay to the medical director at these headquarters for instructions. All division, brigade, or regimental quartermasters having any ambulances, transport carts, ambulance horses, or harness, &s., in their possession will turn them in at once to the commander of the division ambulance corps.

By command of Major-General McClellan:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Owing to the delay in receiving the printed copies the enforcement of the order was prevented until within a few days previous to the evacuation of Harrison's Landing. As soon as they were received steps were at once taken to have the order carried into effect. The system being new and so radically different from any hitherto in vogue no little labor was required to put in operation. As only a few days elapsed between the distribution of the order and our leaving Harrison's Landing there were many details that could not be attended to. However, imperfectly as the order was carried into effect on the march from that place to Yorktown and Fortress monroe, during which it was first tried, and from the cordial approval of the medical directors of corps who alluded to the subject after our arrival in Washington in the early part of September, I felt convinced the system would work well. The contrast exhibited during the battles fought by General Pope in Virginia in the latter part of August between the action of the ambulances belonging to the Army of the Potomac, a few of which were able to reach the battle-fields, and those of corps in which the system ordered by General McClellan did not exist, I have been informed was very striking in favor of the former. At the battle of Fredericksburg, which took place on the 13th of December, 1862, this system, I may be allowed to say, was for the first time properly put in