War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0221 Chapter XXXII. THE STONE'S RIVER CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

heavy timber upon the open ground, he was met by terrific volleys of grape, round shot, and shell from fifty-two pieces of artillery, placed in position by Captain Mendenhall, on the opposite river bank. The enemy faltered, then fell back, and soon this living mass was in full retreat. Our loss, not exceeding 500 men, was comparatively small, his being estimated at nearly three times that number.

Then, as on other occasions, the ambulance corps behaved well. It was dark when the battle ceased, but while occasionally only shot fell from the baffled foe, our wounded were on the road, and less than an hour later they were all comfortably provided for in the rear. Lieutenant ---, who had charge of this branch of the medical service, deserves favorable mention for his zeal and industry; for though he could not share, from indisposition, the more bold and daring occupation of his comrades, he contributed much to the comfort of the wounded.

Saturday morning found our army bivouacked in mud, drenched with rain, without shelter, and almost without food, but still hopeful and cheerful. None were sick - few complaining. Our heavy lines of pickets on all sides were all day engaged, and at night General Rousseau's division stormed their rifle-pits in front, carried and held them. Our loss in this affair and throughout the day was not large. This proved to be our last encounter with the enemy.

On the following day we were engaged in the mournful task of burying our lamented dead. I visited the hospitals on the Wilkinson pike and neighborhood, now again within our lines, and found the wounded generally well cared for. Surgeon Marks and other medical officers, as also the attendants, left in these hospitals by direction of Surgeon McDermot, medical director of the right wing, I am happy to state, with but few exceptions, did their duty faithfully and well. Their labors were great and harassing, and not unattended with danger.

On the 31st, when the ground was fiercely contested, and only yielded to an overwhelming force, some buildings were pierced by round shot and musketry, wounding attendants in the earnest discharge of their duty.

During the battle of Wednesday a portion of Negley's division of the center, fell into the hands of the enemy. These have been reported to me as having received the same care and attention as their own wounded by the medical officers of their army. In fact, they have said to me they had been "well treated, and had no reason to complain."

Surgeons Bogue, Johnson, Brelsford, and Wright are highly commended for their gallantry in maintaining their position with their wounded comrades when the hospitals of this portion of the army came within the enemy's lines. In strong contrast with these, and many other brave, devoted, and self-sacrificing men, it becomes my painful duty to say that V. D. Miller, assistant surgeon,

Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, is reported to me by the medical director of his corps as having "basely deserted his post."

Surgeon Phelps, medical director of the left wing,is entitled to the highest praise for his zeal and untiring industry in the establishment of the largest field hospital in the rear; for professional skill and devoted attention to the wants of the wounded. Surgeon Blair also deserves credit the comfortable provision made for those intrusted to his care, in tents, and shelters mad of ten-flys. The wounded here, as elsewhere under canvas, did well, and most clearly established, in the opinion of all, the advantages derived from free ventilation thus afforded