issued to the surgeons in chief of division, who receipted for them and expended them in the division hospitals. Among these were 2,500 shirts and drawers. After making these issues the remaining supplies wee loaded into a supply train, and on the march moved with the other supply trains. This arrangement was kept up until the taking of Marietta. The supplies were then taken from the train and put in store, and issued in the usual way. They were always in reach of the army, and were left here until the capture of Atlanta. Doctor Brewer deserves much credit for the manner in which his supplies were kept up and the promptness with which they were issued. In many articles the standard supply table was departed from, where it was believed to be for the benefit of the wounded or sick, but the aggregate of medicines used by this army for six months past will be found, I think, much below the quantities allowed by the supply table.
Of the regimental medical officers of this army I wish to speak a word or two of commendation. After any battle in which great numbers are wounded, of course the work is very hard until all are made comfortable. Usually these battles are far apart, with weeks of intervening rest, but here is a campaign lasting four months, with several severe engagements, and scarcely a single day without skirmishing more or less severe. After each engagement a number of the regimental medical officers had to be detached to attend the wounded sent to hospital. It often happened, owing to movements and the rapidity with which battles followed each other, that each division would have two or three different field hospitals at the same time miles apart. Of course, while these continued, it left fewer and fewer men to do the work in the front. With but very few exceptions they devoted themselves faithfully, and even heroically, to the work before them. Three of the most competent among them died of diseases contracted at the field hospitals, and probably due to overwork. One was killed while with his regiment in the trenches, and 2 others severely wounded. It is perhaps complimentary to the medical corps of the army that they are expected to perform the most arduous, and often painful and disagreeable, offices from no other motive than a sense of duty. In the line, and all the other staff departments which require the presence of its members in the field, the prospect of promotion is held out as an additional stimulus to insure the faithful performance of duty. But surgeons are moved by the same influences that operate on other officers, and if the Government would institute some system of promotion, such as exists in the medical departments in other civilized countries, this branch of its work would be more cheerfully done, and many of the best men who enter the service would find it to their interest to remain, and would not, as now, be constantly availing themselves of every opportunity to quit a service that not only offers no promotion, but which it its administration allows favorites to retain snug places in cities, where the work is light and pay greater than in the field.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Surgeon, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Dept. of the Tenn.
Commanding Department and Army of the Tennessee.