ical officers, of course, to accompany them. Before this was fully effected, however, the firing ceased, and I rode to the Chancellor house, for the purpose of consulting with Medical Director Letterman. On my return, I found that some of our surgeons had obeyed the directions in the circular of October 30, 1862 (reminding them of the impropriety of any unnecessary exposure) so literally that they had disappeared, and I have learned since that some of them did not stop until they were a mile or so on the other side of the river. I do not wish to report the names of these officers, as they afterward returned and performed their duty faithfully. I then located the principal depot near that of the Second Corps, in a ravine on the opposite side of the road from the white house, and had all the wounded removed there during the night.
Early the next morning the wounded began to arrive rapidly, and during the day between 600 and 700 of our wounded were received at this point, and were cared for by our medical officers as well as the circumstances would permit. Beds of leaves and pine branches were prepared for the men, covered with arbors made with the branches of trees, forming a shelter from the hot sun.
While actively engaged here in dressing the wounded, extracting bullets, and performing the various operations required, the enemy's shells again found us, causing a stampede among the wounded who were able to get away, and considerable perturbation among those poor fellows who were helpless. I regret to say that some were wounded for the second time. Three men were killed, two of whom had already suffered amputation at the hands of the surgeons.
About noon I directed a portion of the medical staff to repair to the brick house near the United States Ford, ad to establish the principal field hospital there. They found some of the surgeons who had crossed the river during the previous night, and returned, already engaged in operating and dressing the wounded who had succeeded in reaching that point. They also found that many of the wounded of other corps were there, so that, at had become already a general hospital. On this being reported to me, I placed Medical Inspector [James E.] Dexter in charge. He soon succeeded in bringing order out of chaos, and I gave orders to have as many of the wounded as possible carried from our depot in the ravine to that place. The stretcher-bearers, who had worked night and day nobly and faithfully (with few exceptions), were becoming exhausted. Ambulances had been denied us, and for awhile I saw little prospect of getting our wounded removed.
About this time I saw on the road a number of ambulances belonging to the Fifth Corps, and concluding, therefore, that the order preventing the ambulances from crossing the river had been rescinded, I directed, through Father [Joseph B.] O'Hagan, one of my most efficient assistants, fifty of our ambulances to be brought over immediately. This order, as I afterward learned, came near causing my arrest for disobedience of orders by Colonel Ingalls, but the ambulances came, and I succeeded in removing the wounded to comparatively more comfortable quarters at the brick house.
I think it proper to remark here that while we were in doubt as to our ability to remove the wounded to a safe place, Surgeons [Henry] McLane and [DeWitt C.] Hough and Assistant Surgeons [Edward T.] Perkins and [John H.] Grove volunteered to remain with the wounded, and take charge of them at all hazards.
In the evening I repaired to the brick house near the ford, where I found everything admirably arranged. The wounded were all well at
26 R R-VOL XXV, PT I