A chair of hygiene should be established at West Point, and the surgeon of the post should be the professor of the science of the physical well-being of the soldier. The obligation on the part of the officer to take care of the soldier is an essential principle of military ethics, but one which at the present time is almost universally disregarded. A provisional ambulance system was adopted previously to the publication of the ambulance order. The provisions of the order have been in force, and a complete ambulance organization is in full force and operation. The chief of ambulances, Captain S. Windecker, of the One hundred and third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, is an excellent and faithful officer, and the duty of transporting the sick and wounded and of removing them from the field to hospital has been performed in the most systematic and praiseworthy manner. I have recently, since the close of the campaign, made arrangements for the repairing and refitting of all the ambulances, for stuffing the cushions and sides two or three times their original thickness, and for supplying them with hold-fast straps. I have also obtained an order from the commanding general for the purchase of a brilliant kerosene lantern for each ambulance, and large sized white and red conductor's lanterns for sergeants to carry at night in conducting trains and for the signal lights of field hospitals. The want of these articles has been severely felt on the campaign.
I cannot speak too highly in praise of the system of hospitals by division. In large armies the division is the military unit. The regimental medical officers of the division should, when practicable, do duty in the division hospital by roster, thereby improving their knowledge, and cultivating an honorable emulation. I would recommend that the division hospital be formally established by orders, and that a complete system of registration and report be required from them. By this method a vast amount of statistical information can be saved, which is now irretrievably lost or but partially and imperfectly collected. I recommend one medicine wagon to a brigade, for the supply of the medicine chest and panniers of the regiments; a complete portable shop for the division hospital, with additional articles in boxes, carried in baggage wagons, and a small supply train for the corps or army, adapted to the nature of the service and the distance from the depot. The medical purveyor of the corps or army should be compensated for his risk in receipting for public property, and should be selected for his known qualities, as a trustworthy business man and skillful surgeon, in order that an additional operator may be secured. The division hospital, with an allowance of one hospital tent for each regiment, will be ample for all circumstances, excepting those of very great emergency. It should receive all sick from the regiments excepting those who are able to move with the troops. Economy of labor, the lightness and efficiency of the regiment, are thus greatly promoted. The sick are collected at one place, and their final disposition is rendered easy and certain. This system will render the presence of one medical officer only necessary at a time with a regiment.
In bearing my testimony to the zeal and fidelity of the majority of medical officers, I am compelled to record my opinion that great injustice is done them, to the profession, and to the general interests of the service from the absence of progressive promotion and increase of pay. The increase of responsibility in administrative positions brings with it no corresponding increase of rank, with the exception of the Surgeon-General and the Assistant Surgeon-Gen-