War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0790 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records



Washington, September 12, 1863.

The Medical Inspector-General has, under direction of the Surgeon-General, the supervision of all that relates to the sanitary condition of the Army, whether in transports, quarters, or camps; the hygiene, police, discipline, and efficiency of field and general hospitals, and the assignment of duties to medical inspectors.

Medical inspectors are charged with the duty of inspecting the sanitary condition of transports, quarters, and camps of field and general hospitals, and will report to the Medical Inspector- General all circumstances relating to the sanitary condition and wants of troops and of hospitals, and to the skill efficiency, and conduct of the officers and attendants connected with the Medical Department. They are required to see that all regulations for protecting the health of troops and for the careful treatment of and attendance upon the sick and wounded are duly observed.

They will carefully examine into the quantity, quality, and condition of medical and hospital supplies, the correctness of all medical, sanitary, statistical, military, and property records and accounts pertaining to the Medical Department, and the punctuality with which reports and returns required by regulations have been forwarded to the Surgeon-General.

They will ascertain the amount of disease and mortality among the troops, inquire into the causes, and the steps that may have been taken for its prevention or mitigation, indicating, verbally or in writing, to the medical officers such additional measures or precautions as may be requisite. When sanitary reforms requiring the sanction and co-operation of military authority are urgently demanded, they will report at once in writing to the officer commanding corps, department, or division, the circumstances and necessities of the case, and the measures considered advisable for their relief, forwarding a duplicate of such reports to the Medical Inspector-General.

They will instruct and direct the medical officers in charge as to the proper measures to be adopted for the correction of errors and abuses, and, in all cases of conflict of views, authority, or instructions, with those of medical directors, will report the circumstances fully and promptly to the Medical Inspector-General for the Surgeon-General's orders.

Upon or near the beginning of each month medical inspectors will make minute and through inspections of hospitals, barracks, camps, transports, &c., within the districts to which they are assigned, in conformity with these instructions and the forms for inspection reports furnished them.

Monthly inspection reports, in addition to remarks under the several heads, will also convey the fullest information in regard to the medical and surgical treatment adopted; the advantages or disadvantages of location, construction, general arrangement and administration of hospitals, camps, barracks; the necessity for improvement, alteration, or repair, with such recommendations as will most certainly conduce to the health and comfort of the troops and the proper care and treatment of the sick and wounded. When alterations, improvements, or repairs requiring the action of heads of bureaus are considered essential, special reports, accompanied by plans and approximate estimates of quantities or cost, will be made.

Medical inspectors will make themselves fully conversant with the regulations of the Subsistence Department in all that relates to issues