of the Fourth Corps, owing to his energy, efficiency, and experience, far surpasses that of any other in the Army of the Cumberland. Ever ready for an emergency and anticipating any that might arise, he, with his able surgeons, have made the hospital department of the Fourth Corps a model for the rest of the army. i do not wish by this two disparage the Fourteenth or Twentieth Corps, but owing to the change of directors and the want of system when they assumed charge, the sick and wounded were not for a time as well or as promptly cared for as in the Fourth Corps. To this insinuation, however, there is an exception, the First Division, of the Fourteenth Corps, under the charge of Surgeon Marks, Tenth Wisconsin Volunteers, and the hospital thereof, under the charge of Surg. Lucius J. Dixon, First Wisconsin Volunteers, will bear comparison with any division in this or any other army.
The Twentieth Army Corps, since the assignment of Surg. John W. Foye, U. S. Volunteers, has been, as far as the medical department is concerned, all that could be desired and his removal to another sphere of usefulness will be looked upon by all connected with that corps and this army as a misfortune.
On passing through Kingston, Ga., to join the army, I found a deserted rebel hospital capable of accommodating some 250 patients. This was built on a most eligible position, and, being midway between the objective point of the campaign (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chattanooga, appeared to be a proper position for a general hospital. It was well constructed and required but little repairs to put it in order to receive patients. Consequently, directions were given to Surg. William M. Wright, Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, at that time on duty in Kingston, to fit it up and increase its capacity by the addition of fifty hospital tents. It has since served a most beneficial purpose, both as a receptacle for the wounded and sick of the cavalry troops stationed in the vicinity, as well as for the purpose of affording accommodation to the wounded in transit to Chattanooga who might be detained by the destruction of the railroad between Tunnel Hill and Kingston, which occurred on more than one occasion. A ground plan of this hospital, furnished by Surgeon Wright, accompanies this report.
On joining the army I found the hospitals divided into sections of brigades, and each brigade hospital in charge of a medical officer. Finding that this did not work smoothly, the brigade sections were consolidated into division sections, and these placed under the charge of one medical officer, who was made responsible for the property and supplies. This consolidation was found to be much more practicable and economical, both in rations and medical supplies, as well as in the care of the wounded. The innovation, at first frowned upon, proved searchable in many respects, particularly when movements were contemplated, and the sick required transportation to the rear, as well during an action, for instead of being brought to the brigade hospital, where oftentimes the surgeons were overworked, the entire operating staff of the division was at the disposal of the brigade whose loss was the heaviest. The surgeons, too, had conceived the idea that their especial and only duty was to attend to the wounded of the regiment to which they belonged or at most to the brigade to which they were attached. The consolidation of the brigade hospitals avoided the evils arising from this idea, and all men belonging to the division were cared for regardless of the brigade to which they were attached.