The ample provision for sick and wounded existing at the date of my last annual report was increased during the ensuing months until a maximum of 204 general hospitals, with a capacity of 136,894 beds, was reached. Field hospitals, hospital transports and cars, ambulance corps, and the purveying depots were kept in condition to meet all possible requirements, and General Sherman's army was met all possible requirements, and General Sherman's army was met at Savannah by four first-class sea-going steamers, thoroughly equipped as hospital transports, with extra stores and supplies for 5,000 beds, should it have become necessary to establish large hospitals upon his line of operations.
Upon the receipt of General Orders, Numbers 77, dated War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, April 28, 1865, immediate measures were taken to reduce the expenses of this department. Of the 201 general hospitals opened on January 1, 1865, 170 have been discontinued. Three of the four sea-going hospital transports have been discharged; the fourth is now constantly engaged in the transfer of sick and wounded from Southern ports to the general hospitals in New York Harbor. All of the river hospital boats have been turned over to the Quartermaster's Department, and but a single hospital train is retained in the Southwest.
The vast amount of medicines and hospital supplies becoming surplus through the reduction of the Army have been carefully collected at prominent points and are being disposed of at public auction, most of the articles bringing their full value, and in some instances their cost price.
Since April, 1861, there have been appointed 547 surgeons and assistant surgeons of volunteers; mustered into service, 2,109 volunteer regimental surgeons and 3,882 volunteer regimental assistant surgeons; employed as acting staff surgeons, 75; as acting assistant surgeons, 5,532.
As far as returns have been received during the war 34 officers of the medical staff have been killed or died of wounds received in action, 24 wounded, and 188 have died from disease or accident incurred in the service; 1 died in a rebel prison; 6 of yellow fever. A completed record will increase this number.
Two hundred and fourteen surgeons and assistant surgeons of volunteers, reported as supernumerary, have been mustered out.
In compliance with the act of Congress hospital chaplains have been reported for muster out when the hospitals to which they were attached have been discontinued. Of the 265 appointed during the war 29 are still in commission.
The business of this office has been largely increased by the necessity for immediate examination and settlement of the accounts of staff and regimental medical officers mustered out of service, while the number of applications from the Pension Bureau for "official evidence of cause of death" now averages 1,550 a month, the number received inquiries requiring reference to records and hospital registers are very numerous.
The returns of sick and wounded sh3 cases have been treated in general hospitals alone from 1861 to July 1, 1865, of which the mortality rate was 8 per cent. In addition to the alphabetical registers of dead, not yet fully completed, the records of the Medical Department contain 30,000 special reports of the more important forms of surgical injuries, of disease, and of operations. These reports, with statistical data and a pathological collection num-