War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0263 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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for immediate use, and nearly, if not quite, half of the blankets. The medical officers applied themselves to their duties with an energy and devotedness worthy of all praise, and it was only when completely exhausted that they ceased from their fatiguing labors. The corps of citizen surgeons, under Dr. Detmold, rendered efficient service for two days, when they were no longer needed, the greater portion of the wounded having been removed. I must bear testimony to the heroic fortitude of our wounded soldiers. All appreciated the difficulties of their situation, and uncomplainingly awaited that relief which they were confident their Government would provide. The relief came at the moment when hope had almost deserted them. The unexpended hospital stores were brought back to this city, as was also a large portion of the commissary stores. A quantity of subsistence stores, for which I had no transportation, was distributed among the citizens whose premises had been occupied by our wounded. Our wounded were collected in twenty-one field hospitals, within an area 10 miles long by 7 wide. I t was impossible to ascertain, with precision, the number of wounded, but, from the data in my possession, I estimate it to be 4,000. I cannot close this report without commenting on the conduct of the ambulance drivers. It was with the greatest difficulty that I could put a reasonable limit to their stealing from my commissary and hospital stores. Some would appropriate to their own use hospital blankets, and be highly insolent when they were taken away for the wounded. Very few would assist in placing the wounded in their ambulances; still fewer could be induced to assist in feeding them or giving them water. Some were drunk; many were insubordinate; others, when detected with provisions or stores, would not surrender them until compelled to by physical force. The practice of loading ambulances with forage, camp-kettles, personal baggage, and subsistence for the drivers needs a corrective. These things occupy space required for the wounded, and greatly interfere with their comfort. A balances, and nothing but sick and wounded men and water should be put in the vehicles themselves. The service greatly needs a well-organized ambulance corps, and I hope the Secretary of War will adopt the organization you have recommended.

Your obedient servant,

RICHARD H. COOLIDGE,

Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.

The SURGEON-GENERAL OF THE ARMY.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

Near Clarksburg [Md.], September 11, 1862.

General A. S. WILLIAMS:

GENERAL: I wish you to select the strongest position in the vicinity of Damascus (within a mile of the town), and post your command on three lines, throwing out a strong advanced guard and picketing to the front and flanks.

We are near the enemy, and it is absolutely necessary to be extremely vigilant.

Very respectfully,

E. V. SUMNER,

Brevet Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.