Metropolis, W. M. Hudson, acting assistant surgeon, U. S. Army, in charge, capacity 450 beds; steamer De Molay, Surgeon Seaverns in charge, capacity 300 beds; steamer Baltic, Asst. Surg. Thomas McMillan, U. S. Army, in charge, capacity 500 beds; steamer Atlantic, Surg. D. P. Smith, U. S. Volunteers, in charge, capacity 500 beds. The two last, ocean steamers, came only to Fort Monroe, where patients were sent for transfer to them. Steamers of more convenient draught of water and entirely seaworthy, such as the Ben De Ford, and S. R. Spaulding, were sent to City Point after their superiority became evident. Patients were sent direct from City Point to Washington, Point Lookout, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. In the depot hospital at City Point preparations were made for the winter by erection of stockade buildings with open fire-places. Many fine wards were thus added to it. The tents which were kept in use were supplied with frames and heated. In order to preserve them many tents were taken down and stored. At the same time the division hospitals at the front were made ready for winter. The Ambulance Corps put up very comfortable stockade huts and stables for the men and animals at points convenient to their division hospitals.
It is proper to remark that since August, 1864, the duties of nurses, attendants, cooks, and orderlies at the depot hospitals have been to great extent performed by detailed musicians, the services of able-bodied men being required with their regiments. An efficient officer of the line was detailed by each corps commander for the general charge of the musicians of his corps, and upon requisition of the chief medical officer the proportion of a detail for hospital guard was furnished by the corps commander. The inmates of the depot hospital were not detached from their commands, and no descriptive lists were made out for them.
Difficulties and delays having been experienced in some cases in obtaining clothing for patients, orders issued in November, 1864, from army headquarters instituting a system whereby clothing required was to be issued by the line officer in charge of the detailed men in each corps hospital, who transferred the receipt rolls to the regimental quartermaster of the regiment to which the man signing the receipt rolls belonged, taking the receipt of the regimental quartermaster for them in the usual form, which receipt was to be his voucher for the clothing issued, and the regimental quartermaster transferred the rolls to the proper company commander, taking his receipt in the same manner.
In obviating the necessity of descriptive lists being furnished, a great deal of labor and time was saved in administration, and yet the patients were cared for in a manner not elsewhere possible except in an established general hospital. They were readily returned to their commands when convalescent, and their vicinage insured every desirable convenience and advantage.
At a later date than this report embraces orders from the lieutenant-general commanding required paymasters paying troops to go to the depot hospitals and there pay all mustered men belonging to regiments that they had paid at the front. Whenever at the front, in anticipation of a movement, it was desirable that the inmates whose hasty removal would be injurious should be sent away, it could readily be done, and at night, using the railroad to City Point. It was easy to keep all the hospitals clear at all times.