War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0261 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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of our wounded beyond Centreville. Their number was much grater than I had been led to believe, and the situation far more critical. The hospital stores at Centreville were not more than enough for the wounded there, and I had no means of sending anything to the battle-field. I stated the emergency to Major Talcott and Captain Johnston, officers of the engineer corps of the Confederate Army, who had arrived in Centreville, and suggested, if not improper, that I might accompany them to General Lee's headquarters, in the hope of obtaining permission to pass through his lines to our own and return with ambulances and provisions. Those officers assented readily to my proposition, and I accompanied them to the headquarters of their army. I did not speak with General Lee, nor do I know in what words Major Talcott communicated to him the object of my visit. The reply brought to me was that General Lee had communicated with Major-General Pope, and that our ambulances would be allowed to pass. I was also informed that 150 ambulances had passed through their lines that day. With this information, I returned to Centreville, expecting to find ambulances, but found did not know where the rest had gone. I now endeavored to hire a wagon to convey a few stores to the field, and intended to go there myself, but before I could get a wagon Medical Director McParlin came to Centreville, in obedience to my order for him to report to Major-General Pope. The conduct of affairs on the field had been intrusted to Surg. Charles Page. Medical Director McParlin was accompanied by Medical Director L. Guild, of the Army of Northern Virgina. The accounts given by these officers of the situation of our wounded were distressing. I stated to them what I had done. On consultation it was determined that I should address a letter to the commander of the Confederate Army, stating the situation, and asking that both subsistence and ambulances be allowed to pass to us. Medical Director Guild also wrote to his commanding general, and the two letters were sent forward that night by a special courier. The reply received by Medical Director Guild on Wednesday morning, written by Colonel R. H. Chilton, assistant adjutant-general, C. S. Army, was indefinite as to my main inquiry concerning provisions being allowed to pass, but it directed Medical Director Guild to furnish subsistence for our wounded as far as possible, and gave the route for our ambulances to take in going out, viz, by Centreville, the main road to Fairfax Court-House and Alexandria. After reading Colonel Chilton'

s communication, I addressed a letter to you, which was forwarded by Medical Director Guild. Believing that I had done all in my power to procure subsistence, I proceeded, in company with Medical Director McParlin (it being impracticable for him to join Major-General Pope) and Medical Director Guild, to the central depot of our wounded on the battle-field, where I found two ambulances, which I sent to Centreville for hospital stores and blankets, and then rode over the entire field, to ascertain the situation and condition of our wounded. At this time, Wednesday afternoon, September 3, they had been collected in field hospitals, most of them in and around houses, but some merely in groups at selected sites on the field, without other shelter than blankets. Only two of these hospitals were without medical officers; they had been visited by the surgeon of the central station, and had a few nurses. There were about 30 wounded in each. After my arrival on the field, only 4 of our wounded were found completely isolated and without attendance. None had been absolutely without food, though the amount was extremely limited. Those who had been