From the difficulty of individualizing, where so man, are distinguished, I have mentioned but few officers as deserving of commendation for faithful and conscientious attention to duty. I am sorry to say, however, that there are those whose conduct has been bad, whose names at an early day will be forwarded to the commanding general for his action. Among these are two officers, who left the field to look for hospitals beyond Stewart's Creek, and did not soon return, reported to me by Colonel Burke, Tenth Ohio Volunteers.
Under the present standard of professional ability among subordinate medical officers, too much stress cannot, in my opinion, be laid upon the importance of securing supervisory talent of the highest order. The rank now common to corps medical directors is most inadequate to the responsibility, extent of authority, and respect attaching to such a position, while the pay and emoluments pertaining thereto are a poor inducement to skillful practitioners to abandon a lucrative practice at home for the drudgery, exposure, and, at best, brief honors of service with troops in the field. While the medical officers now acting in this capacity are comparatively the best fitted therefor among those open to selection, I am of opinion that the standard of professional administrative capacity of such officers should be elevated, and that increase of rank (it may be local), of pay and emoluments to medical directors will insure the availability to the department of a much higher order of talent than is at present accessible.
It appears to me that the liberality of the Government and the people, which guns such liberal donations of money and supplies for sanitary purpose, might be most advantageously applied to securing more valuable personal attentions to the objects of these laudable efforts.
I append hereto a complete return of the killed and wounded of the various subdivisions of the army, with a tabular statement of the location and nature of the wounds.
Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director,
Department of the Cumberland.
Tabular statement showing the location of 3,102 wounds received in the Army of the Cumberland during the late battle of Stone's River.
Location of wound. No. Location of wound. No.
Head and face 282 Abdomen 52
Breast 134 Groin 11
Shoulder 259 Hip 150
Arm 347 Side 100
Forearm 21 Thigh 432
Elbow 16 Leg 626
Wrist 22 Knee 94
Hand 245 Ankle 45
Neck 59 Foot 41
The remaining wounds are unknown or too slight in their nature to be mentioned.
Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director.