War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0270 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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of Maine. All rendered most efficient service, especially the Connecticut, which has been throughout the campaign remarkable for the promptness and energy displayed in her management.

The purveying department met all necessary demands with promptness and liberality. Nothing really essential to the care of the wounded was wanting. Bedsacks and blankets were supplied without stint, althout for a time bedsteads were dispensed with, excepting in the severer cases, a large proportion of the patients being placed upon sacks amply filled with straw and arranged upon the ground beneath the tents. None were without shelter. Drugs and dressings in abundance, hospital stores, ice, and even delicacies were constantly issued; cooking stoves, caldrons, and portable ovens were on hand in sufficient quantity for any emergency. Requisitions received prompt and full attention at all times. But a short time elapsed before the arrival of an abundant supply of bedsteads, when sheets and pillow-cases were at once made use of in all cases where they could essentially add to the comfort of the patient. The capacity of the hospital was rapidly increased until it became capable of accommodating 10,000 patients. At first these were mainly wounded, but as the season advanced and the prolonged duty in the trenches told upon the men, the proportion of sick became greater. Each successive engagement would fill the beds with wounded, but these, especially the severely hurt, were sent north as rapidly as possible, while the sick, as a general rule, were removed only when the character of the case rendered a change of climate essential to recovery.

The entire encampment now covers an area of some 200 acres and is composed of 1,200 hospital tents. The latter were originally pitched in groups composed of two tents and an intervening fly, and placed end to end. These groups are arranged in rows, side by side, divided by lateral interspace of fifteen feet in width between the individual groups. The ends of the groups abut upon streets sixty feet wide, running parallel with the river and meeting at right angles a main avenue 180 feet in width, which extends from the verge of the bluff directly through the center of the camp to the Petersburg pike. Since the approach of cool weather an entire tent has been substituted for the intervening fly in each group.

Shortly after the establishment of the hospital at this point, works were constructed by the quartermaster for supplying the encampment with water. Two steam-engines of four horse-power each were placed at the foot of the bluff at the edge of the river, whence they force water into a tank capable of containing 6,000 gallons, which is raised thirty feet above the level of the bluff and supported upon a strong wooden trestle-work. From this tank a conducting pipe of two inches diameter descends to the ground and is then conducted at a depth of eighteen inches below the surface along the main avenue. At right angles to this main pine smaller ones diverge at intervals and enter the various divisions of the hospital, where at the extremity of each pipe is a hydrant. These works, which were completed on the 6th of July, have proved entirely satisfactory. An abundance of river water was thus supplied for laundry, bathing, and other coarser purposes. Wells were dug in various parts of the hospital, and these, with numerous springs in the vicinity, afforded a plentiful supply for drinking and cooking.

For several weeks subsequent to the arrival at City Point no rain fell and the accumulation of dust became a source of the greatest discomfort. Bodies of troops and wagons were constantly passing along the main road, and the dust thus disturbed was borne in dense clouds