War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0194 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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cers were brought up to Fort Cummins and a primary hospital formed in its vicinity (near the Smith house), where surgical attention was given to the wounded. On the 26th the Second Division of the Second Corps also had moved, with the medical transportation allowed, to Fort Dushane, and thence all but the fifteen ambulances to a division were sent back to the Gurley house to await orders from the front. This arrangement was made by the commander at night, in reference to all the transportation, that it might not interfere with the rapid advance of the troops over a country new to them and difficult to penetrate. The residue of the ambulances and wagons in excess of the allowance for the movement had already been sent back for security to City Point, looking to the possibility of the enemy penetrating and depredating rapidly upon some part of the section and lines left with limited protection. The medical property of the divisions of the Second Corps was thus in three points, viz, at City Point, at the Gurley house, near Fort Dushane, and forty-six ambulances with the advancing troops.

The Second Division, which had advanced on the Halifax road before dawn on the 27th of October, met the enemy at the crossing of the stream (Hatcher's Run) and drove them from the earth-works. Application was made to send back the 80 wounded in the ambulances to the Gurley house rendezvous, with or without escort, and allow them to return again, but it was overruled by the corps commander on account of the road having become infested by the enemy's cavalry. They were therefore carried with the troops along the Boydton road, where the enemy in force (Hill's corps and Hampton's cavalry) attacked the Second Corps division and Gregg's cavalry division. Several attacks were made after 4 p.m. by the enemy, the casualties resulting being over 400 in the Second Corps and about 100 in the cavalry. The primary rendezvous for the wounded was first made at Rainey's house, on the Boydton road, but as it soon came within even musket-range of the advancing enemy, and also seemed likely to be captured, the wounded were removed. Three medical officers (Surgeon Dudley, Fourteenth Connecticut; Asst. Surg. W. T. Hicks, Seventh Virginia Volunteers; Asst. Surg. W. J. Darby, Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers) volunteered to remain to receive wounded who should continue to be brought there under previous instructions given the stretcher-bearers. The ambulances were loaded and moved to a grove of pines on the east side of the open space, where the exposure was materially lessened. The assault ceased in the darkness, and after some hours it was ascertained that the struggle would not be renewed. Preparations were then made to withdraw. The ambulances were loaded to their utmost capacity, and, escorted by a regiment of infantry, proceeded to the field hospital park near Gurley's, where preparations had been made for sending the wounded to City Point as soon as they had received the necessary surgical attention. Inspector Spencer (surgeon U. S. Volunteers) was sent by me to Warren's Station to superintend their reception and transportation by railroad to City Point. For want of ambulances the wounded collected at the Rainey house (reports Medical Director McNulty) had to be left to fall next morning into the hands of the enemy. The medical officers who during the course of the afternoon had gallantly volunteered to remain with the wounded men were by order of the medical director empowered to do so. The number left at the house and on the field was estimated at 250. As no communication has been received from the officers they are supposed to be in the hands of the