A rebel cavalry officer and named Brewster, who stated he had been detailed by General Van Dorn to "march off every sick man who had not been paroled," collected together, pistol in hand, about 150 sick soldiers, forced them to rise from their beds and fall in line, threatened to shoot the medical officers who expostulated with him, and actually made the poor fellows, suffering from typhoid fever, pneumonia, and diarrhea, start with him on the road. The men fell down in the street and had to rise again for fear of being shot, when they were so weak that the slightest motion was agony. On being importuned if there was anything in the name of humanity to induce him to cease his brutal proceedings he finally consented to let them alone on receiving a paper, signed by all the surgeons present, stating that the men were too sick to walk and their removal was an impossibility.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Dr. M. E. Powers, of the Seventh Missouri Infantry, after the capture of Holly Springs. The efforts of this able and accomplished officer for the care of the sick were untiring, and from morning till night he was actively engaged in doing anything that lay in his power to preserve hospital property and make helpless beings who were driven from their beds and shelter as comfortable as circumstances would allow.
Dr. Reilley, assistant surgeon of the Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry, also rendered great assistance by his well directed and efficient endeavors.
HORACE R. WIRTZ,
Surgeon, U. S. A., Medical Director, Thirteenth Army Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, General Grant's Headquarters.
SURGEON-GENERAL'S OFFICE, January 12, 1863.
The within copy of a letter from Surgeon Wirtz, medical director at Holly Springs, is respectfully submitted for the information of the War Department. I am of the opinion that the conduct within narrated should be made the subject of such representation to the rebel chiefs at Richmond as would insure the punishment of the actors and prevent a repetition. The principles which govern a peaceful intercourse of belligerent should be firmly established and be strictly adhered to.
WILLIAM A. HAMMOND,
JANUARY 16, 1863.
Referred to the general-in-chief.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
Report of Colonel James M. True, Sixty-second Illinois Infantry, of the capture of Holly Springs, December 20.
HDQRS. SIXTY-SECOND REGIMENT ILLINOIS INFANTRY, Jackson, Tenn., January 20, 1863.
SIR: Pursuant to orders requiring reports by commanders of regiments to be made direct to the War Department of skirmishers in which