for example. These are established at Rome and Atlanta, Ga. Every day the sick of my corps, now a Shelbyville, who require hospital treatment are sent down to one or the other of these hospitals. Rations are provided for them on the cars, and a surgeon detailed to accompany them. For better security, they are placed under the charge of an officer, with a detail as a guard, whose duty it is to accompany them to the hospital, to see that they neither escape nor are left by the way, and who turns them over to the commanding officer of the post where the hospital is established. This commanding officer has been detailed from the corps, with an adequate detachment, to take charge of the hospital post. It is his duty to receive the men sent down for treatment, to enroll them as a part of his command, and to be responsible for their safe-keeping and proper care while under his orders. So soon as they are sufficiently convalescent for light duty, they are put to squad or company drill, for the sake of the exercise, and, when competent for field service, they are sent back to their commands in the corps under an officer and a guard, as they came down. It will be perceived that, by this mode of proceeding, these men are always in hand, and in the hands of officers belonging to their own proper corps. These officers make returns of their commands to corps headquarters tri-monthly, and their number and condition are thus known to corps headquarters. It will be seen also that the loss of men through hospitals under this system is next to impossible, and that the parties most interested in their speedy recovery are those who are charged with looking after them. It will be seen also that they are much more likely to receive sympathy and special attention, because they are in the hands of their own corps and among their friends. A buses, too, are much more likely to be corrected, for the reason that they are more likely to be known, and the power to correct them is at hand.
Such is the system we have inaugurated, and which has been for the last two months in operation in its substantial details. We have found it, as I have remarked, to work admirably and to cure the evils of the old system. If it were to be continued, I would suggest one change, which I regard as important in a high degree; it is, that the surgeons taking care of the sick in hospitals report to the medical director of the corps directly, just as the surgeons taking care of the sick in the field do. I see no good reason why this should not be done, and there are several why it should be. The authority of the officers of the corps over its men is never removed, and the responsibility of taking care of these men is where it ought to be, and those whose they are and who are most interested in their recovery. This arrangement would not abridge the authority of the army surgeon-general in the least, as the reports of the corps medical director would be made directly to him, just as the reports of the commanders of the corps are made to the general commanding the army in reference to matters purely military. If the medical director of the army is not satisfied with the management of the medical director of the corps, he can, through his medical inspector, have the evils corrected. But I regret to see that an order has been issued from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office at Richmond declaring that corps, and department commanders are excluded from having anything to do with general hospitals, and, therefore, all our plans for the benefit of the sick are overthrown at a blow. This order is Numbers 28, March 12, Paragraph V. I have respectfully to submit that, in my judgment, this is not expedient or wise. It goes back to the old system, which has worked badly, and lost us, by desertion or otherwise, a large number of all who have been sent to our hospitals. I