The consolidated classified returns of wounds and injuries already forwarded for the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Middletown [or Cedar Creek], account for 6,311, while the actual number was 7,978. This discrepancy will always occur after a battle if the army soon after moves and the wounded are sent to the rear, because to obtain full and accurate lists is the work of many hours and they require a greater number of medical officers than can be spared from more urgent duties. The total number of amputations after these battles was 388. All these were primary and generally skillfully performed.
The surgery in all these battles was as good as witnessed elsewhere in the field, and usually reflected credit on the operators. As the wounded were sent to the rear very soon after each battle, many operations could not be performed until they arrived in Winchester.
The total number of deaths from disease from August 27 to the 31st of December was fifty-three.a The highest rates of sick present during that period was 5 per cent. out of a mean strength of 47,954 men, and the lowest rates 2 1/2 per cent. out of a mean strength of 38,444. This low rate of sickness, at a time when the troops were harassed and overfatigued by repeated battles and skirmishes, can be attributed to the healthfulness of the climate and the quantity of good vegetable food procured solely from the country.
It is due to the medical officers in charge of the hospitals at Winchester, and to Surg. F. V. Hayden, U. S. Volunteers, the chief medical officer, to say that these hospitals were never surpassed by any depot hospitals in neatness and comfort, and the very moderate number of deaths. * * *
To Asst. Surg. H. A. Du Bois, U. S. Army, assistant medical director, I am indebted for the energy and executive skill shown in so well providing for the many thousand wounded after the battle of Winchester, which was a task of no ordinary magnitude.
The medical corps has contributed more than its share to the list of killed and wounded during the campaign. Asst. Surg. Isaac Smith, jr., Twenty-sixth Massachusetts [Nineteenth Corps], was wounded at the battle of Winchester, and Asst. Surg. John T. Scearce, Eleventh Indiana [Nineteenth Corps], was wounded at the battle of Middletown or Cedar Creek. Surg. W. H. Rulison, Ninth New York Cavalry, medical director of the cavalry, was killed in a skirmish near Smithfield, Va., August 29, 1864. Surg. J. B. Coover, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and Actg. Asst. Surg. E. Ohlenschlager, U. S. Army, acting medical inspector, died of wounds received from guerrillas, and Surg. Thomas J. Shannon, One hundred and sixteenth Ohio [Army of West Virginia], was mortally wounded at the battle of Middletown or Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, and died the following day. By the death of these officers the profession has lost experienced and valuable members, and the country earnest and faithful soldiers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. GHISELIN,
Surgeon, U. S. Army.
THE SURGEON-GENERAL OF THE ARMY.
a This does not include the deaths of men belonging to the command in general hospitals.
10 R R-VOL XLIII, PT I