War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0192 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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dezvous cleared. The day was well employed also in perfecting arrangements in hospital depots and trains. During the two days, 19th and 20th, the Ninth Corps was posted in support of the Fifth, the center opposite the Aiken house. One brigade of cavalry on the evening of the 19th was placed on the left of the Fifth. It had five ambulances, and they sufficed. The primary hospital rendezvous of the Ninth Corps were established (with canvas shelter for seventy to each division), First and Third Divisions at Gurley's, the Second at Smith's, and finally, on the 21st, that of the Fourth at the Williams house. The wounded at the Gurley house (including the wounded rebels of the 19th) were well lodged. The Second Division primary hospital was distant, approachable by a narrow wood road, open to approach by the enemy's cavalry. The operators accompanied the primary hospitals. The more elaborate hospitals near army headquarters with their wells, ice-houses, convenient kitchens, policed grounds, raised bunks, latrines, and fenced areas were not abandoned until it was evident the corps was to occupy the new ground permanently. Surg. Otto Schenck, Forty-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, Ninth Corps, wounded August 20, died on the 23rd. The division of his corps was at that time in rear of the Fourth Division of the Fifth Corps, on the Weldon railroad.

On the 21st (a.m.) the Fifth Corps sustained a very heavy attack (the Second Corps meanwhile making its movement in the direction of Reams' Station), but being protected by breast-works its loss was about 150 wounded. The ambulance pickets and reserve trains on the immediate field were especially exposed as before stated, several officers and men wounded, and ambulances perforated by shot and shell. The exposure of officers and wounded was of course unavoidable and inherent to the position.

No further attack was made upon the Fifth Corps, and it remained undisturbed in possession of the Weldon railroad, and strengthened daily the position. The Ninth Corps was also stationary. The experience and exposure to which the wounded had been subjected induced the surgeon-in-chief of the Fifth to construct medical redoubts (as the were termed) in the vicinity of each division. A deep ditch was dug, the earth being thrown up around a stockade of logs or breast-works, furnished cover from horizontal missiles, while a rude roof protected the wounded inmates from shell. A medicine wagon could be drawn up at the entrance of the work convenient for use. After a time ditches were dug to dry the low grounds occupied by the corps and a very thorough system of drainage adopted. For a limited period whisky and quinine were issued to the command to obviate local malarial influences. The Second Corps had marched and countermarched so often, and so rapidly, as to arrive opportunely at opposite and distant positions, that it acquired the soubriquet of "Hancock's cavalry." Men fell out of ranks on these marches, and many were sent to City Point, unable to endure active duty, who were not seriously sick. In no one camp (says the medical director in report for September) did the corps remain four days at a time. The First Division was kept moving about for military reasons, now in rear of one front of the line, now supporting another, while the Second Division, on account of the cattle raid on our rear (September 16), was kept in a like state of activity in the neighborhood of Prince George Court-House. This continued until September 23, when the Second Division relieved the Tenth Corps in their position and works extending west from the Appomattox.