Colonel Ingalls at headquarters, and sent under an officer, who bought up supplies of coffee, sugar, and bread. The hospitals were afterward and in a short time abundantly supplied. The hospitals were thus provided with medical supplies, and for the first few days with food. They had all that was necessary for the wounded.
I have already mentioned that the ambulances had been left at Fortress Monroe when the troops embarked, and that no system existed except in the corps which belonged to the Army of the Potomac while at Harrison's Landing. A portion of the ambulances of some of the corps, but were yet unorganized. It was not, therefore, expected that they would prove as efficient as could be desired. Notwithstanding these facts, the wounded were brought from the field on our right before 2 o'clock on the following day. The Second Corps was more fully equipped, and did most excellent service under the charge of Captain J. M. Garland, who labored diligently and with great care until all his wounded were removed. The troops on our left were those among whom no ambulance system existed, but here, owing to the exertions of the medical officers, the wounded were removed by the evening of the day following the battle. When we consider the magnitude of the engagement, the length of time the battle lasted, and the obstinacy with which it was contested, causing this to be the greatest and bloodiest action that ever took place on this continent, it is a matter of congratulation to speak of the expeditious and careful manner in which the wounded were removed rom the field.
Compiled from the most reliable sources at my command, the number of wounded amounted to 8,350. This number is not entirely accurate, as many who were slightly wounded were attended to, of whose cases no record could, under the circumstances, be taken.
The removal of so large a body of wounded was no small task. The journey to 'Frederick in ambulances was to wounded men tedious and tiresome, and often painful. It was necessary that they should halt at Middletown for food and to take rest; that food should always be provided at this place at the proper time and for the proper number; that the hospitals at Frederick should not be overcrowded; that the ambulances should not arrive too soon for the trains of cars at the depot at Frederick, and that the ambulance horses should not be broken down by the constant labor required of them. With rare exceptions this was accomplished, and all the wounded whose safety would not be jeopardized by the journey were sent carefully and comfortably away. The hospitals in Frederick were soon established and put in order by Surgeon Milhau, U. S. Army. In addition to the hospitals in the city, two large camps of hospital tents were formed on the outskirts of the city, capable of containing one thousand beds each. One hospital had been established in Frederick some months before our arrival there, but at that time it was filled, and chiefly with Confederate sick and wounded, who had been left there. All the available buildings in this city (six in number) were taken at once for hospitals for our own troops and those of the enemy who should fall into our hands. These were fitted up with great rapidity, particularly so when it is considered that the enemy was in possession of the city the day before we arrived there; that it had to be examined, the buildings selected and prepared, beds, bedding, dressings, stores, food, cooking arrangements made, surgeons, stewards, cooks, and nurses detailed and sent for. This was a great deal of labor, but it was done, and done promptly and well. On the 30th of September these hospitals contained 2,321 patients.