War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0286 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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marching showed him to be coming from Charlestown to within about 4 miles of this place, when his forces turned off at right angles, both to the right and left; one portion toward the Shenandoah and the other toward the Potomac. He is evidently meditating an attack upon this place, and appears to be acting as if unconscious of the approach of our forces. His advance guard fired a few cannon-shots at our pickets about sundown without doing any harm and then retired. General Hamilton is not wanted here. General Slough has made a favorable impression on all.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

HDQRS. FIRST DIV., DEPT. OF THE SHENANDOAH,

Williamsport, Md., May 29, 1862.

W. S. KING,

Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director Dept. of the Shenandoah:

I have the honor herewith to submit the following return of the sick and disabled men of General Shields' division, and also of the few sick of the First Division, who constituted the general hospital at Strasburg.

It may be incomplete and incorrect in a few particulars, owing to the hospital books and records not being in my possession. By my order they were placed in one of two wagon loads of medicines and hospital supplies which were loaded at Strasburg as soon as we sent the sick away. One of these wagons came directly through to this point in safety; the other was unladen for the use of the hospital in Winchester and the contents left behind. The books, unfortunately, were in that wagon. From examination of many of the clarks and attendants and by consultations with Drs. Baer and Coover, assistant surgeons at that hospital, I am enabled to make the following statement, which I believe to be tolerably correct:

I may state in a few words the previous condition and number of the men forming the hospital during the week previous to its being broken up. On the removal of the sick from New Market, Woodstock, and Mount Jackson to Strasburg an attempt was made to collect the whole together at one station on the margin of the town, beside the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Stone, who acted as quartermaster and commissary in a most efficient manner, deserving of all praise, and whom I have to regret the loss of by capture, had tents erected for the housing of the sick.

At the same time our sick came down there were also sent from General Shields' command a large number of disabled men unfit to march; not absolutely sick, but feeble, weakly, and generally unfit for service. The provost-marshal at Strasburg declining to take charge of them, they were turned over to the care of the surgeon in charge of general hospital, Dr. S. C. Blake, surgeon Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers.

This number of disabled men was very great, and formed the great mass of the general hospital. The general hospital then consisted of the sick of General Williams' division, the sick of General Shields' division, and the disabled men of General Shields' division; and the relative numbers were, on the 11th of May:

Sick of General Williams' division...........................61

Sick of General Shields' division............................84

Disabled men of General Shields' division...................870