War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0107 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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necessary that it should be completely refitted. The circumstances under which the army was then placed made this simply impossible. There was not time to do it, for as soon as the troops reached the defenses of Washington they were marched into Maryland, and no time could be allowed for medical officers again to equip themselves with the medicines, instruments, dressings, and stores necessary for the campaign in that State.

In a few instances the medical officers who returned with the first troops were able to obtain a few supplies, but these opportunities were few. Some corps which did not belong to the Army of the Potomac whilst it lay at Harrison's Landing were also marched rapidly into Maryland, of the condition of whose medical supplies I could know nothing except on the way to meet the enemy. The medical department had to be, as it were, reorganized and resupplied, and this had to be done while upon a rapid march over different roads, in different sections of the country, and almost in face of the enemy. Before leaving Washington I had ordered a number of hospital wagons from Alexandria, Va., which reached me at Rockville, in Maryland, whence they were distributed to the different corps. While at this place I directed the medical purveyor in Baltimore to put up certain supplies and have them ready to send to such a point as I should direct. Upon our arrival at Frederick on the 13th or September (having left Washington on the evening of the 7th), directions were given for the establishment of hospitals at that place for the reception of wounded in the anticipated battles, and additional supplies to a large amount ordered to be sent from Baltimore at once. The Confederate troops had been in this city but the day before our arrival. Almost all the medical supplies had been destroyed or had been taken by them. Just previous to our arrival in Frederick, 200 ambulances were received from Washington, which I distributed to the corps as rapidly as the movements of the troops would permit. The failure of the railroad company to forward the supplies caused serious annoyance. The railroad bridge over the Monocacy Creek between Frederick and Baltimore having been destroyed by the Confederate forces, made it necessary to have all the supplies of the quartermaster's and commissary as well as the medical departments removed from the cars at that point. A great deal of confusion and delay was the consequence, which seriously embarrassed the medical department, and not from this cause alone, but from the fact that cars loaded with supplies for its use were on some occasions switched off and left for some time upon the side of the road to make way for other stores.

?The battle of South Mountain took place on the 14th. The village of Middletown, about 4 miles in rear of the scene of action, was thoroughly examined before the battle began, to ascertain its adaptability for the care of the wounded. Churches and other buildings were taken as far as were considered necessary, and yet causing as little inconvenience as possible to the citizens residing there. Houses and barns, the latter large and commodious, were selected, in the most sheltered places on the right and left of the field, by the medical directors of the corps engaged, where

the wounded were first received, whence they were removed to Middletown, the Confederate wounded as well as our own. The battle lasted until some time after dark, and as soon as the firing ceased I returned to Middletown and visited all the hospitals, and gave such directions as were necessary for the better care of the wounded. On the following morning Assistant Surgeon Thomson, U. S. Army, was directed to take charge of all the hospitals in the village, and