The numerical force of the army was materially reduced at the very commencement of operations by the necessity of getting rid of a large number of worthless recruits and substitutes that had been sent to the army during the winter. Our loss by death from disease and wounds has been small considering the extended time of the campaign and the severe fighting that has occurred almost daily for four months. The recoveries from wounds have been rapid and favorable, and the number returned to duty has been greater than usual. Field hospitals have been promptly established and well supplied and attended.
The ambulance service has been well rendered, although not as perfect as it would have been had the system directed by General Orders, Numbers 106,* been carried out and enforced, yet it has been more prompt and efficient than in any former campaign in which I have had the honor to serve. The would have been brought from the field quickly and carefully, and instances of neglect have been of rare occurrence. Medical officers have been attentive and untiring in the discharge of their duties, and not a few have lost their lives from disease contracted in the line of their duty, and some from the shot of the enemy.
I am proud to bear witness to the general good conduct and faithful service of the members of the medical staff. The system of medical supply trains has been tried during this campaign, and has proved eminently useful, and demonstrated the fact that the different departments when properly administered are able to supply the wants of an army even under adverse circumstances without any extraneous agencies. In fine, the operations of the medical department during the campaign have been highly satisfactory so far as I have been able to observe.
It has not been possible to make any regular or systematic inspections while the army has been in such constant motion, but an opportunity is now afforded for a thorough performance of that duty.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWD. D. KITTOE,
Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, U. S. Army,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.
This report has been examined, and I take pleasure in bearing testimony to the general intelligence and good conduct of our medical officers, and the foresight displayed in providing for the necessities of service. The commissary department is instructed to provide all the antiscorbutic for which we have the means of transportation. This report will be forwarded to the War Department, along with my official report of the campaign of Atlanta.
W. T. SHERMAN,
* Reference is to General Orders, Numbers 106, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, March 16, 1864, publishing an Act of Congress to establish a uniform system of ambulances in the armies of the United States.