War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0557 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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Numbers 265. Reports of Surg. Lafayette Guild, C. S. Army, Medical Director, with lists of killed and wounded.

MEDICAL DIRECTOR'S OFFICE, ARMY OF NORTHERN VA., Camp near Fredericksburg, Va., December 12, 1862.

SIR: The battle commenced yesterday, and is still raging. The armies are fighting, with the river between them. The railroad is not under control of the military authorities. We have not more than 100 wounded as yet. The ambulance committee, composed of citizens of Richmond, have offered their services, and every facility will be extended to them from the medical, quartermaster's, and commissary departments. Some definite and well-regulated system of railroad transportation should be adopted for the wounded. All the farm houses in this vicinity are filled with poor refugees from the bombarded town of Fredericksburg, and our limited transportation has precluded our having a sufficiency of tents; therefore, it will be necessary to have the wounded rapidly conveyed to Richmond, after the primary operation have been performed. It would believe me of great additional trouble and responsibility if you assign some officer to the special duty of directing the transportation of wounded on the railroad, and their proper care in transitu. A fixed schedule of time for running should be adopted.

Everything portends a bloody battle. Our ambulance wagons will, no doubt, be sufficient to remove the wounded from the field to the infirmaries, and from the infirmaries to the railroad depot. Herbig reported with 38 ambulances. Our whole army is concentrated in this immediate vicinity. I believe the medical department is in excellent condition.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of Northern Virginia.

Surg. General S. P. MOORE,

Richmond, Va.


SIR: The battle continued yesterday until noon; since then all is very quiet. The enemy have crossed the river in strong force at several points, and are moving on our right. I think this will be one of the bloodiest fights of the war. Our men are in fine condition, and fight with great bravery, bearing their sufferings, from wounds, with great fortitude and heroism. There are many complaints about the manner in which railroad trains are managed. I am not, however, prepared to report that the fault lies with the director of the road. The ambulance committee have reported to me, and I have pointed out to them the positions in which I think they will be of most service. On the battle-field they will be in the way, besides being unnecessarily exposed. Let them receive the wounded at the railroad depot, from the field infirmaries, and provide for them in transitu to general hospital.

I inclose you a copy of my letter to Mr. Enders, chairman of that committee. I have furnished the committee with some of the "portable soup-meat" for trial, and if it makes palatable diet for the wounded, I would advise them to procure a large quantity. Most of our wounded are thus far from Jackson's corps. His medical officers are busily en-