War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0218 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 14.

Report of Surg. J. Theodore Heard, U. S. Army, Medical Director.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following brief report of such points as relate to the operations of the medical department of this corps during the recent campaign:

The Fourth Army Corps participated in all the movements, skirmishes, and battle in which the Army of the Cumberland was engaged. It moved from Cleveland, Tenn., on the 3rd day of May, and on the 4th of that month encountered the cavalry pickets of the rebel army near Catoosa Springs, and formed connection with the other corps of the Army of the Cumberland at that point. From that time until the 7th of the present month it was engaged in a series of skirmishes and battles, the most prominent of which are Tunnel Hill, Buzzard Roost, Reseca, Calhoun, Adairsville, Kington, Dallas, Kenesaw, and Atlanta.

The system of brigade hospitals was abolished at the outset of the campaign, and that of division hospitals established, as by Circular Numbers 4, of March 25, 1863, from the Surgeon-General's Office. This system, with a few modifications, was also ordered as a permanent organization, and at the present time is in full and successful operation.

The frequent changes in the position of the troops necessitated almost a daily change in the location of these hospitals. They were, however, always within easy distance of the command, and were conducted by the chief surgeons of divisions, and by the surgeons in charge, with energy and ability. Operations were primary, and every possible attention and care given to the patients.

Medical and commissary supplies were abundant, except during the three weeks that the army was in front of Dallas, or New Hope Church, and far distant from the depot of supplies. However, although at that time they were not abundant, yet they proved sufficient, and at no time have patients suffered from the want of such supplies.

All wounded and seriously ill were sent to the rear as rapidly as transportation could be procured. This was rendered absolutely necessary by the constant forward movement of the army.

The total number of hospital tents and extra flys in use at the three division hospitals of the corps was as follows: Hospital tents complete, 64; extra flays, 60. This amount of canvas proved sufficiently ample to cover all the wounded and seriously sick, which it was necessary to provide for at any one time. In fact, the amount of transportation (six wagons to a division) allowed for hospital purposes will permit of a larger supply of tents being carried.

The following figures, taken from the weekly reports, show the number of cases treated in this corps from the 3 of May to the 10th of September: Taken sick, 13,380; wounded, 5,562; returned to duty, 10,689; sent to general hospital, 8,327; died, 397. Of the number sent to general hospital, many have already returned to their commands.

The frequent movements of the army, the constant skirmishing and fighting, the bad roads, and especially the inclemency of the