War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0526 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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tance of eight miles, and thence transferred to Marietta. During the movement the Twenty-third Army Corps was but slightly engaged and the loss was very light. On the march I visited a Confederate field hospital, containing the most severely wounded of the battle of Jonesborough, under charge of Surgeon Abernethy, C. S. Army, and offered him any supplies of medicine or stores he needed; he accepted a small quality of morphine only. I also obtained permission from General Schofield to furnish him with sugar and coffee, as far as the condition of our supplies would permit. On the 5th the retrograde movement commenced, and on the 8th the Army of the Ohio encamped at Decatur and enjoyed a well-earned and much-needed repose.

The foregoing is a brief sketch of the military features of the campaign, together with the points of interest in regard to the transfer of sick and wounded from front to rear and their care on the field of battle. It was my intention at the commencement of the campaign to have required histories of all the more important cases in order to make a contribution to the medical and surgical history of substantial value. It was found, however, that the necessities of field service, the physical fatigue of officers, and the rapid transfer of patients to the rear, forbade systematic scientific records, embracing complete histories. On the 9th day of June I relieved Surgeon Wilder from the cavalry command and appointed him acting medical inspector of the department, with a view of securing all the facts possible. Through his zeal and industry I am thus enabled to present the results of a very large number of operations. A ratio of the mortality of the entire campaign, both from disease and wounds, is subjoined. A few general observations on the surgical principles and treatment recommended, and generally adopted, are presented with reference to the foregoing brief history and accompanying reports.

A consolidated tabular statement of wounds, injuries, and operations, compiled from the returns made from time to time to the Surgeon-General, is appended.

I found the surgeons of the department divided into two classes (on coming among them), one with extravagant ideas of the power of conservative surgery and greatly exaggerated opinions of its value, and the other despising conservatism and disposed to deny its utility altogether. It is not difficult to understand how such differences should exist, when the results of conservatism in civil life are contrasted with the failures constantly met with in military practice. The men who had reach much and seen little were highly conservative, while those who had read little and seen much were the reverse. I made an effort, by the organization of a medical society, before the army left the vicinity of Knoxville, and using every means to secure full attendance and fair discussion, to apply the remedy, by an interchange of knowledge and experience, to false and extreme ideas, and to obtain a safe mean of opinion and practice. For my own part I inculcated in the strongest manner that amputation was to be employed in almost very penetrating injury of the knee joint, and made consultation obligatory in all doubtful cases. The same rule was applied to gunshot wounds involving the ankle joint. Long resections of the continuity of long bones (thing and humerus) were discountenanced, excepting in certain cases for the relief of suffering and promotion of ease in dressing or transportation. Excision was encouraged when the