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1775    to    1873. 



Assistant  Surgeon,  U.  S.  Aemy. 

WASHINOTON,    D.    C: 














The  Medical  Department  during  the  Revolution. 

The  history  of  the  Hospital  Department  of  the  army  commences  with 
the  siege  of  Boston  in  1775,  for  the  first  legislative  enactments  of  the 
Colonial  Congress  only  legalized  what  was  already  in  existence,  and  gave  a 
fixed  organization  to  what  the  emergencies  of  the  occasion  had  called  into 
being  months  before.  The  army  which  gathered  at  Cambridge,  after  the 
battle  of  Lexington,  was  assembled  almost  without  any  effort  of  public 
authority;  it  was  rather  the  spontaneous  result  of  the  burst  of  patriotism 
and  alarm  which  extended  throughout  the  country,  calling  the  farmer  from 
his  plough,  the  mechanic  from  his  shop,  the  clergyman  from  the  pulpit,  and 
the  physician  from  the  sick  bed.  Few  of  these,  who  thus  responded  to  the 
call  upon  their  loyalty,  had  any  idea  that  there  would  be  a  war;  or,  they 
thought  that  at  worst  it  would  be  one  of  but  short  duration.  Far  the 
larger  portion  of  them  looked  forward  to  a  compromise  with  the  Mother 
country,  and  as  a  consequence  had  made  arrangements  for  leaving  their 
homes  for  but  a  short  period.  The  parties  of  men  collected  at  Cambridge 
formed  consequently  but  a  heterogenous  mass,  without  brigade  or  regimental 
organization,  and  as  a  necessary  sequence,  without  any  staff  establishment. 
\  Among  them  were  many  physicians  who  had  come  from  their  native  towns, 
like  the  rest  ready  to  do  anything  to  assist  the  cause  of  liberty;  but  they 
held  no  appointments,  except  perhaps  from  the  Captains  of  companies  or 
self-elected  Colonels  of  regiments,  and  had  not  the  means  for  establishing  a 

The  Second  Provincial  Congress  of  Massachusetts  Bay  was  at  this  time 
in  session  and  earnestly  occupied  in  the  organization  of  the  troops,  and  early 


foresaw  the  necessity  that  existed  for  action  looking  towards  the  proper  care 
of  the  sick  and  wounded.     With  rare   common  sense,  their  first  enactment 
provided  for  an  examination  of  all  persons  asking  appointment  as  surgeons. 
On  the  eighth  of  May,  1775,  they  ordered: 

"That  the  President  j?ro  tempore.  Doctor  Church,  Doctor  Taylor,  Doctor  Holteo 
and  Doctor  Dunsmore  be  a  committee,  to  examine  such  persons  as  are,  or  may  be 
recommended  for  Surgeons  for  the  Army,  now  forming  in  this  Colony. 

Resolved;  That  the  persons  recommended  by  the  Commanding  Officers  of  the 
several  regiments,  be  appointed  as  Surgeons  to  their  respective  regiments,  pro- 
Tided,  they  appear  to  be  duly  qualified,  on  examination." 

Doctors  Whiting,  Bailies,  Hall  and  Jones  were  subsequently  added  to 
this  committee,  and  a  proviso  adopted  that  any  three  present  should  con- 
stitute a  quorum. 

The  following  extract  from  Thacher's  "  Military  Journal  during  the 
Revolutionary  War,  from  1775  to  1783,"  will  show  the  manner  in  which 
this  original  board  of  medical  examiners  performed  their  duty. 

"On  the  day  appointed,  the  medical  candidates,  sixteen  in  number,  were  sum- 
moned before  the  board  for  examination.  This  business  occupied  about  four 
hours;  the  subjects  were  anatomy,  physiology,  surgery,  and  medicine.  It  was  not 
long  after,  that  I  was  happily  relieved  from  suspense,  by  receiving  the  sanction, 
and  acceptance  of  the  board,  with  some  acceptable  instructions,  relative  to  the 
faithful  discharge  of  duty,  and  the  humane  treatment  of  those  soldiers,  who  may 
have  the  misfortune  to  require  my  assistance.  Six  of  our  number,  were  privately 
rejected  as  found  disqualified.  The  examination  was  in  a  considerable  degree  close, 
and  severe,  which  occasioned  not  a  little  agitation  in  our  ranks." 

\  After  the  battle  of  Breed's  Hill  a  hospital  was  established  at  Cam- 

bridge, '•  in  several  private  but  commodious  houses,*'  and  Dr.  John  Warren, 
a  brother  and  pupil  of  Dr.  Joseph  Warren,  who  fell  while  commanding  the 
troops  in  that  battle,  was  placed  in  charge.  This  gentleman  had  already 
acquired  a  fine  reputation,  both  for  professional  skill  and  humanity  to  the 
.sick.  He  was  soon  after  succeeded  by  Dr.  Isaac  Foster,  of  Cambridge,  who 
was  afterwards  Deputy  Director  General.  About  this  same  time  a  hospital 
wa^  also  established  at  Watertown,  and  another  at  Roxbury  under  charge 
of  Dr.  Isaac  Rand,  and  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  June  a  fourth,  for  the 
exclusive  care  of  small-pox  patients. 

It  may  be  mentioned  Iiere,  that  in  all  the  legislative  enactments  of  this 
period,  the  word  "hospital"  is  not  used  in  the  sense  of  a  building  for  the 
treatment  of  the  sick  and  wounded,  but  in  a  wider  signification,  as  denoting 
the  whole  medical  management  of  the  war,  or  in  other  words,  that  "depart- 
ment" or  "bureau"  of  the  service  having  charge  of  all  matters  pertaining 
to  medicine  and  surgery. 


The  regulations  of  this  hospital  at  Cambridge  were  very  simple.  On 
the  first  of  July,  the  Provincial  Congress  passed  the  following  preamble  and 
resolutions : 

"In  order  that  all  the  sick  and  wounded  of  the  Army  may  be  provided  for, — 
and  taken  care  of,  in  the  best  way  and  manner  possible ; — • 

Resolved,  and  it  is  hereby  ordered ; — 

That,  when  any  person  in  the  Army  is  so  ill, — either  by  a  wound,  or  otherwise, 
that  the  Surgeon  of  the  Regiment  to  which  the  sick  or  wounded  person  belongs, — 
finds  the  sick  or  wounded  as  abovesaid,  cannot  be  properly  taken  care  of  in  the 
regiment  to  which  he  belongs, — said  surgeon  shall  send  the  sick,  or  wounded  as 
abovesaid,  to  the  hospital  provided  for  the  use  of  the  camps  to  which  they  belong; 
and  a  certificate  of  the  man's  name,  and  the  company,  or  regiment  to  which  he 
belongs ; — and  in  that  case,  the  Surgeon  of  the  said  hospital,  shall  receive  the  said 
sick  or  wounded,  under  his  care;  and  in  case  said  hospital  shall  become  too  full, 
the  Surgeon  of  the  said  hospital,  shall  send  such  of  his  patients,  as  may  with 
safety  be  moved,  to  the  hospital  at  Watertown,  and  a  certificate  setting  forth  the 
man's  name,  what  company  and  regiment  each  belongs  to  ;  and  in  that  case, — the 
Surgeon  of  the  Watertown  hospital,  shall  receive  such  sick  or  wounded  under  his 

The  allowance  of  medical  officers  to  a  hospital  was  fixed  at  two  sur- 
geons and  two  surgeon's  mates,  and  for  a  regiment  in  the  field  at  one  sur- 
geon and  two  mates.  For  fear  that  persons  might  be  appointed  who  were 
not  agreeable  to  the  officers  and  men,  it  was  advised  by  the  Committee  of 
Safety,  and  resolved  by  the  Congress,  that  surgeons  should  be  nominated 
by  the  Colonels  of  regiments  to  which  they  were  to  be  attached,  and  sur- 
geon's mates  by  the  surgeons. 

The  pay  of  hospital  surgeons  was  fixed  at  eight  pounds  per  month, 
and  that  of  mates  at  four  pounds  ten  shillings  per  month. 

To  each  medical  officer,  thus  appointed,  a  warrant  was  issued  in  the 
following  form. 

I     To  A.  B.,  Greeting;— 
Being  informed  of  your   skill  in   Surgery,  and  reposing  especial  trust  in  your 
ability,  and  good  conduct;   we  do  by  these  presents,  constitute,  and  appoint  you, — 

the  said  A.  B.  to  be  Surgeon  of  the  Regiment  of  foot, — whereof is 

Colonel,  raised  by  the  Congress  aforesaid,  for  the  defence  of  said  Colony.  You 
are,  therefore,  carefully,  and  diligently,  to  discharge  the  duty  of  a  Surgeon  to  the 
said  Regiment,  in  all  things  appertaining  thereunto, — observing  such  orders,  and 
instructions,  as  you  shall  from  time  to  time  receive,  from  the  Colonel  of  said  regi- 
ment, according  to  military  rules  and  discipline,  established  by  said  Congress,  or 
any  your  superior  officers, — for  which,  this  shall  be  your  sufficient  warrant. 

By    OKDEE    OF    THE    CONGRESS, 

,  President. 

Dated  at  Watertown, 

,  1775." 


Warrants  or  commissions  of  a  similar  character,  with  the  necessary 
alterations  in  the  phraseology,  were  also  issued  to  hospital  surgeons. 

Notwithstanding,  how;ever,  the  anxiety  of  the  Provincial  Congress  (as 
evinced  by  their  numerous  enactments  on  the  subject)  to  provide  for  the 
welfare  of  the  sick  and  wounded  soldiers,  the  plan  adopted  by  them  did  not 
work  well  in  practice.  The  vicious  privilege,  so  fatal  to  all  discipline,  had 
been  permitted  of  allowing  the  soldiers  to  choose  their  own  officers,  and 
these  officers  in  turn  had  the  nomination  of  surgeons,  and  too  often  personal 
popularity  was  sought  for  rather  than  professional  fitness;  a  defect  which 
was  not  entirely  obviated  by  the  examination  to  which  all  candidates  were 
subjected.  Again,  surgeons  and  patients  came  from  the  same  country 
village  or  town,  and  it  took  them  a  long  time  to  appreciate  the  fact  that  the 
social  equality  which  was  to  be  admired  in  civil  life,  was  incompatible  with 
the  discipline  of  the  field.  Medical  supplies  of  all  kinds  were  extremely 
scarce  and  the  army  ill  supplied,  as  we  learn  incidentally  from  a  resolution 
of  Congress,  authorizing  two  surgeons,  who  were  so  fortunate  as  to  possess 
medicine  chests,  to  lend  them  to  those  of  other  regiments  that  were  not  so 
well  supplied.  The  Provincial  Congress  had  done  all  that  they  could  in 
this  particular,  but  they  could  exercise  no  supervision  except  over  the  troops 
from  Massachusetts,  while  as  time  passed,  the  forces  from  other  States  had 
assembled  at  Cambridge,  and  added  to  the  aggregate  of  the  army. 

What  was  wanted  was  a  general  head,  and  that  the  Hospital  did  not 
have,  and  the  Provincial  Congress  could  not  give  it.  For  the  correction  of 
this,  and  all  other  defects,  only  one  body  was  competent,  and  that  was  the 
Colonial  Congress,  then  in  session  at  Philadelphia. 

This  assemblage  commenced  its  second  session  on  the  tenth  of  May,  and 
was  occupied  in  devising  ways  and  means  fur  carrying  on  the  approaching  war. 

They  had  selected  Washington  as  Commander-in-Chief,  and  passed  an 

act  for  the  appointment  of  General  Officers  and  officers  of  the  General  StaflF, 

but  strangely  enough  this  bill  made  no  provision  for  the  Hospital  Department. 

Washington  had  arrived  at  Cambridge  and  assumed  command,  and  his  first 

inspections  convinced  him  of  the  necessity  for  some  action  on  the  part  of 

the  Colonial  Congress.      On  the  twenty-first  of  July  he  thus  expressed 

himself,  in  a  letter  to  the  President  of  Congress. 

*'  I  have  made  enquiry  into  the  establishment  of  the  hospital,  and  find  it  in  a 
very  unsettled  condition.  There  is  no  principal  director,  nor  any  subordination 
among  the  Surgeons;  of  consequence,  dii<pute8  and  contentions  have  arisen,  and 
must  continue  until  it  is  reduced  to  some  system.  I  could  wish  it  was  immediately 
taken  into  consideration,  as  the  lives  and  health  of  both  officers  and  men  so  much 
depend  on  a  due  regulation  of  this  department." 


Two  days  before  this  letter  was  written,  however,  Congress  had  passed 
a  resolution,  "That  a  Committee  be  appointed  to  consider  the  method  of 
establishing  a  hospital."  This  committee  consisted  of  Robert  Treat  Paine, 
of  Massachusetts,  Francis  Lewis,  of  New  York,  and  Henry  Middleton,  of 
South  Carolina;  and  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  July  they  reported  a  bill, 
which  after  some  discussion  was  agreed  to,  as  follows : 

"  That,  for  the  establishment  of  an  Hospital,  for  an  Army  consisting  of  twenty 
thousand  men,  the  following  ofi&cers,  and  other  attendants,  be  appointed,  with  the 
following  allowance  of  pay,  viz  : 

One  Director  General  and  Chief  Physician,  his  pay  per  day,  four  Dollars.  , 
Four  Surgeons,  each  ditto,  one  and  one  third  of  a  dollar. 
One  Apothecary,  ditto,  one  and  one  third  of  a  dollar. 
Twenty  Surgeon's  mates,  each  ditto,  two  thirds  of  a  dollar. 
One  Clerk,  ditto,  two  thirds  of  a  dollar. 
Two  Storekeepers,  each  four  dollars  per  month. 

One  nurse  to  every  ten  sick,  one  fifteenth  of  a  dollar  per  day,  or  two  dollars 
per  month. 

Laborers  occasionally. 

The  Duty  of  the  above  officers ; — 

The  Director  to  furnish  bedding,  medicines  and  all  other  necessaries;  to  pay 
for  the  same,  superintend  the  whole,  and  make  his  report  to,  and  receive  orders 
from  the  Commander  in  Chief. 

Surgeons,  Apothecaries,  and  mates; — To  visit  the  sick,  and  the  mates  to  obey 
the  orders  of  the  Physicians,  Surgeons,  and  Apothecary. 

Matron ; — To  superintend  the  nurses,  bedding,  etc. 

Nurses; — To  attend  the  sick,  and  obey  the  Matron's  orders. 

Clerks; — To  keep  accounts  for  the  Director,  and  Storekeepers. 

Storekeeper; — To  receive,  and  deliver  bedding,  and  other  necessaries,  by  order 
of  the  Director." 

It  is  probable  that  the  committee  only  intended  this  plan  to  be  provis- 
ional ;  either  this,  or  they  had  no  idea  of  the  magnitude  of  the  struggle 
before  them.  On  no  other  grounds  can  we  reconcile  the  adoption  of  so 
vague  and  unsatisfactory  a  scheme,  with  the  clear  judgment  which  charac- 
terized all  the  other  actions  of  this  remarkable  body.  "With  all  its  defects 
it  was,  at  all  events,  a  long  step  in  advance  out  of  the  chaos  which  reigned 
in  medical  affairs  at  Cambridge,  and  by  the  provisions  made  for  a  competent 
chief  of  the  department,  gave  promise  of  increased  efficiency.  Congress 
proceeded  without  delay  to  the  election  of  officers  for  the  Hospital,  and 
"Doctor  Benjamin  Church  was  unanimously  elected  to  be  director  of,  and 
physician  in  the  Hospital." 

Instead,  however,  of  electing  any  persons  to  fill  the  other  offices  named 
in  the  act,  it  was  resolved : 


"That  the  appointment  of  the  four  Surgeons,  and  the  Apothecary,  be  left  to 
Doctor  B.  Church. 

That  the  mates,  be  appointed  by  the  Surgeons. 

That  the  number  of  mates,  do  not  exceed  twenty. 

That  this  number  be  not  kept  in  constant  pay,  unless  the  sick  and  wounded 
should  be  so  numerous,  as  to  require  the  attendance  of  twenty  ;  and  to  be  dimin- 
ished, as  circumstances  will  admit;  for  which  purpose,  the  pay  is  fixed  by  the  day, 
that  they  may  only  receive  pay  for  actual  service. 

That  one  Clerk,  two  Storekeepers,  and  one  nurse  to  every  ten  sick,  be  appointed 
by  the  Director." 

Doctor  Benjaniin  Church,  who  by  this  election  became  the  first  head  of 
the  Hospital  Department  of  the  army,  was  a  native  of  Boston,  where  he 
had  long  enjoyed  an  enviable  reputation  both  of  a  professional  and  personal 
character.  He  was  a  physician  of  genius  and  culture,  and  as  a  patriot  had 
long  occupied  a  high  position  among  the  "Sons  of  Liberty."  In  1773  he 
had  delivered  an  oration  in  Boston,  after  the  massacre,  which  was  fervid  with 
the  impassioned  denunciations  of  the  outrages  committed  by  Great  Britain, 
which  were  so  characteristic  of  the  oratory  of  that  period.  He  was  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Provincial  Congress  and  had  been  selected  by  that  body  in  May. 
1775,  to  proceed  to  Philadelphia  and  lay  before  the  Congress  the  anxiety 
felt  by  the  people-of  Massachusetts  at  having  so  large  a  body  of  ill-disciplined 
troops  within  her  borders,  and  requesting  advice  as  to  the  proper  action  on 
the  part  of  government  to  allay  it.  On  his  return  from  this  mission  he  was 
deputed  by  the  same  body,  to  receive  and  welcome  the  new  Commander-in- 
Chief,  General  Washington,  on  his  arrival  at  Cambridge,  a  duty  which  he 
fulfilled  with  grace  and  dignity. 

There  had  been  much  talk  of  the  appointment  of  the  illustrious  Warren 
to  the  position  of  Director  General,  but  he  preferred  the  more  hazardous 
life  of  an  active  command  in  the  field,  and  accepting  a  Major  General's 
commission,  was  killed  at  Breed's  Hill.  Next  to  him.  Doctor  Church  was 
universally  regarded  as  the  proper  man  for  the  position,  and  his  appointment 
gave  great  satisfaction,  especially  to  the  Boston  patriots.  But,  alas  for  the 
fallibility  of  human  judgment!  Doctor  Church  did  little  or  nothing  to 
improve  the  efficiency  of  the  Hospital,  quarreled  with  the  regimental  sur- 
geons, and  had  so  many  complaints  against  him  that  Washington  was  obliged 
to  order  investigations  to  be  made  in  every  brigade,  into  thd  management 
of  the  sick ;  and  within  three  months  of  the  date  of  his  appointment,  was 
arrested  for  carrying  on  a  traitorous  correspondence  with  the  enemy  in 
Boston.  He  entrusted  a  letter  written  in  cypher,  to  a  woman  with  whom 
he  was  intimate,  to  be  by  her  conveyed  to  Boston.  This  letter  she  left  with  a 
man  by  the  name  of  Wainwood  to  be  delivered,  but  he,  suspecting  something 


wrong,  caused  the  matter  to  be  laid  before  the  Commander-in-Chief.  The  wo- 
man was  immediately  arrested,  but  for  a  long  time  refused  to  divulge  the  name 
of  the  writer,  until  she  became  terrified  by  threats  of  severe  punishment, 
when  she  acknowledged  that  she  had  received  the  letter  from  Doctor  Church. 
The  latter  was  confronted  with  the  woman,  when  he  became  greatly  agitated 
and  manifested  marks  of  guilt,  making  no  attempt  to  vindicate  himself. 
But  after  the  letter  was  deciphered,  he  then  acknowledged  its  authorship 
and  disclaimed  any  intention  of  injuring  the  patriot  cause,  asserting  that  he 
hoped  by  this  means  to  gain  some  important  information  from  the  enemy. 
The  letter  itself  does  not  seem  to  have  contained  anything  of  much  im- 
portance, being  chiefly  a  statement  of  the  numbers  and  disposition  of  the 
American  forces,  assertions  of  his  devotion  to  the  cause  of  the  crown,  and 
directions  for  continuing  the  correspondence.  A  Court  of  Inquiry  was 
immediately  ordered  to  investigate  the  circumstances.  This  was  composed 
of  the  Commander-in-Chief,  all  the  Major  and  Brigadier  Generals  then  on 
duty  with  the  army,  and  Adjutant  General  Horatio  Gates. 
The  following  is  the  official  record  of  its  proceedings : 

"At  a  Council  of  War,  held  at  Head  Quarters,  Cambridge,  October  3rd,  1775, 
present, — 

His  Excellency,  General  Washington;  Major  Generals  Ward,  Lee,  and  Putnam  ; 
Brigadier  Generals  Spencer,  Heath,  Sullivan,  Green,  and  Thomas;  Adjutant  Gen- 
eral Gates. 

The  General  communicated  to  this  Board,  a  discovery  of  a  correspondence 
carried  on  with  the  enemy  by  Doctor  Church,  by  letter  in  characters,  which  was 
deciphered  by  Rev'd  Mr.  West,  and  laid  the  same  letter,  before  the  members  of  the 

After  considering  and  discussing  the  matter,  it  was  determined  to  adjourn  until 
tomorrow,  and  then,  that  Doctor  Church  be  examined. 

October  4th.  Council  of  War  met;  present  as  before.  Doctor  Church  being 
sent  for,  and  shown  the  letter  in  characters,  was  asked  whether  the  said  letter  was 
written  by  him,  to  which  he  answered,  he  believed  it  was.  He  was  shown  the 
explanation  of  said  letter  as  deciphered,  and  asked  whether  it  was  a  true  one,  to 
which  he  answered  in  the  affirmative.  Doctor  Church  then  explained  his  intentions 
in  writing  said  letter,  as  calculated  to  impress  the  enemy  with  a  strong  idea  of  our 
strength,  and  situation,  i]|j  order  to  prevent  an  attack,  at  a  time  when  the  Continental 
Army  was  in  great  want  of  ammunition,  and  in  hopes  of  effecting  the  more 
speedy  accommodation  of  the  present  dispute;  and  made  solemn  asseverations  of  his 

The  General  then  asked  the  opinion  of  the  Council  severally,  whether  it  did 
not  appear,  that  Doctor  Church  had  carried  on  a  criminal  correspondence  with  the 
enemy;  to  which,  they  unanimously  answered  in  the  affirmative.  The  question  was 
then  taken,  and  discussed, — what  were  the  proper  steps  to  be  taken  with  respect  to 
him,  and  after  examining  the  articles  of  the  Continental  Army,  and  particularly 
the  articles  twenty  eight,  and  fifty  one,  it  was  determined  from  the  enormity  of  the 


crime,  and  the  very  inadequate  punishment  pointed  out,  that  it  should  be  referred 
to  the  General  Congress,  for  their  special  direction,  and  that  in  the  mean  time,  he 
be  closely  confined,  and  no  person  visit  him  but  by  special  direction." 

As  Doctor  Church  was. a  member  of  the  Provincial  Congress  of  Mas- 
sachusetts, it  was  also  considered  advisable  that  the  matter  should  be  referred 
to  that  body,  in  order  that  they  should  take  such  action  as  might  be  justified 
by  the  circumstances. 

The  report  of  Washington  to  the  President  of  Congress  is  as  follows : 

"Camp  at  Cambridok, 

October  5th,  1776. 
•  •  •  *  *  »  « 

I  have  now,  a  painful  though  necessary  duty  to  perform,  respecting  Doctor 
Church,  the  Director  of  the  Hospital.  About  a  week  ago,  Mr.  Secretary  Ward  of 
Providence,  sent  up  one  Wainwood,  an  inhabitant  of  Newport  to  me,  with  a  letter 
directed  to  Major  Cane  in  Boston,  in  occult  characters,  which  he  said  had  been 
left  with  Wainwood,  some  time  ago,  by  a  woman  who  was  kept  by  Doctor  Church. 
She  had  before  pressed  Wainwood  to  take  her  to  Captain  Wallace,  Mr.  Dudley  the 
Collector,  or  George  Rowe, — which  he  declined. 

She  then  gave  him  the  letter,  with  strict  injuntions  to  deliver  it,  to  either  of 
those  gentlemen.  He,  suspecting  some  improper  correspondence,  kept  the  letter, 
and  after  some  time  opened  it,  but  not  being  able  to  read  it,  laid  it  up,  where  it 
remained  until  he  received  an  obscure  letter  from  the  woman,  expressing  an  anxiety 
as  to  the  original  letter.  He  then  communicated  the  whole  matter  to  Mr.  Ward, 
who  sent  him  up  with  the  papers  to  me.  I  immediately  secured  the  woman,  but  for 
a  long  time,  she  was  proof  against  every  threat  and  persuasion  to  discover  the 
author.  However,  at  length  she  was  brought  to  a  confession,  and  named  Doctor 
Church.  I  then  immediately  secured  him,  and  all  his  papers.  Dpon  the  first  ex- 
amination, he  readily  acknowledged  the  letter,  said  it  was  designed  for  his  brother, 
etc.     The  Army  and  Country  are  exceedingly  irritated." 

The  first  action  taken  by  Congress  was  to  elect  a  new  Director  General, 
"theafiairs  of  the  Hospital  requiring,"  as  Washington  writes,  "that  the 
appointment  should  be  made  as  soon  as  possible."  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Hand,  formerly  a  surgeon  of  the  18th  Regiment,  and  Doctor  Isaac  Foster, 
the  surgeon  of  the  General  Hospital  at  Cambridge,  were  candidates  for  the 
position,  but  Congress  passed  by  them  both,  and  on  the  seventeenth  of 
October,  elected  Doctor  John  Morgan  of  Philadelphia,  to  fill  the  vacant  place. 
Their  next  action  was  to  dispose  of  Doctor  Church.  On  the  seventh  of 
November  they  passed  a  resolution — 

"That  Doctor  Church  be  close  confined  in  some  secure  jail,  in  the  colony  of 
Connecticut,  without  the  use  of  pen,  ink,  and  paper,  and  that  no  person  be  allowed 
to  converse  with  him,  except  in  the  presence,  and  hearing,  of  a  magistrate  of  the 
town,  or  the  sheriff  of  the  county  where  he  shall  be  confined,  and  in  the  English 
language,  until  further  orders  from  this,  or  a  future  congress." 


In  accordance  with  this  resolution  he  was  removed  to  the  jail  in  Nor- 
wich, Connecticut.  Previous  to  this  action,  however,  his  case  had  come  up 
before  the  Provincial  Congress  of  Massachusetts.  On  the  second  of  Novem- 
ber he  was  arraigned  before  that  body.  He  made  an  eloquent  speech  in  his 
defence,  in  which  he  attempted  to  vindicate  himself  from  any  design  un- 
friendly to  the  country,  but  it  was  all  in  vain,  and  he  was  unanimously 
expelled  as  a  member  of  the  House. 

Confinement  in  jail  had  an  unfavorable  effect  upon  his  health,  and  in 
the  following  January  Congress  so  far  relaxed  the  rigor  of  his  imprisonment 
as  to  permit  him  "  to  be  removed  to  some  more  comfortable  place  of  confine- 
ment, than  that  where  he  now  is,  if  such  can  be  found  in  the  Colony, 
and  that  for  the  advancement  of  his  health,  the  said  Doctor  Church  be 
permitted  to  ride  out  at  proper  seasons,  under  a  trusty  guard,  who  will  be 
careful  to  prevent  his  carrying  on  any  correspondence,  or  doing  any  act 
prejudicial  to  the  safety  and  welfare  of  the  United  Colonies."  On  the 
thirteenth  of  May,  1776,  his  health  still  failing,  he  was  permitted  to  go  to 
Massachusetts  and  be  set  at  liberty,  on  condition  of  his  giving  a  bond  for  one 
thousand  pounds  to  appear  for  trial  when  called  upon,  and  his  parole  that 
he  would  indulge  in  no  treasonable  practices. 

Soon  after  his  release  he  sailed  from  Boston  for  the  West  Indies,  but 
the  vessel  in  which  he  took  passage  was  never  heard  from  again. 

Doctor  John  Morgan,  the  successor  to  Benjamin  Church,  was  a  native 
of  Pennsylvania,  having  been  born  in  Philadelphia  in  1735.  He  was  a 
pupil  of  Doctor  John  Redman,  and  on  the  completion  of  his  medical  studies 
entered  the  army  and  served  as  a  surgeon  during  the  French  war.  In 
1760  he  went  to  Europe  and  pursued  his  studies  with  John  Hunter,  obtain- 
ing the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Medicine  in  1761.  On  his  return,  in  1765,  he 
found  Shippen,  the  Bonds  and  others  engaged  in  founding  a  medical  school 
in  Philadelphia,  and  joining  their  enterprise,  was  elected  to  the  chair  of 
theory  and  practice  of  medicine.  From  this  time  Until  he  reentered  the 
service,  he  was  a  leader  among  the  literary  and  scientific  men  of  that  city, 
and  he  brought  to  his  new  position  a  cultured  intellect,  sound  judgment 
in  professional  matters,  and  what  was  of  the  greatest  value  to  the  Continental 
cause,  a  ripe  experience  in  military  surgery,  gained  in  early  life  in  the 
struggles  between  the  English  and  French  for  the  possession  of  Canada. 

Immediately  on  his  appointment  he  reported  for  duty  at  Cambridge. 
He  found  the  hospitals  crowded  to  excess  with  sick  soldiers  from  camp, 
many  of  whom  should  have  been  treated  by  their  regimental  medical  officers. 
The  principal  diseases  were  autumnal  remittents,  typhoid  fever  and  camp 


dysentery;  and  in  consequence  of  the  universal  practice  of  inoculating  for 
the  small-pox,  a  considerable  amount  of  that  disease. 

He  set  to  work  to  introduce  more  systematic  arrangements  in  the  man- 
agement of  the  hospitals;  the  wards  were  cleaned  out  and  men  sent  back  to 
their  regiments,  the  number  of  surgeon's  mates  in  the  hospital  reduced  and 
the  surplus  officers  transferred  to  vacancies  in  the  regiments,  and  he 
subjected  the  medical  officers  to  another  examination  and  caused  those  who 
were  disqualified  to  be  discharged. 

While  these  events  were  transpiring,  the  concentration  of  troops  on  the 
northern  frontier,  for  the  projected  invasion  of  Canada,  rendered  the 
creation  of  a  separate  department  necessary,  of  which  General  Philip 
Schuyler  was  given  the  command.  These  forces  were  totally  destitute  of 
everything  necessary  for  the  comfort  of  the  sick.  Medicines  and  stores 
had  been  ordered,  but  owing  to  the  difficulties  of  transportation  through 
the  wilderness  between  Albany  and  Lake  Champlain,  they  had  never  reached 
the  camp.  General  Schuyler  thus  describes  the  situation,  in  a  letter  to  the 
Continental  Congress,  and  although  it  refers  more  especially  to  the  condition 
of  aflFairs  at  Ticonderoga,  yet  his  description  applies  equally  to  the 
command  under  Montgomery,  then  encamped  near  the  St.  Lawrence 
river : 

"TicoNDEEOGA,  August  6th,  1775. 
«  *  *  *        ,  *  • 

Out  of  about  five  hundred  men  that  are  here,  near  a  hundred  are  sick,  and  I 
have  not  any  kind  of  hospital  stores,  although  I  had  not  forgot  to  order  them,  im- 
mediately after  my  appointment.  The  little  wine  I  had  for  my  own  table,  I  have 
delivered  to  the  Regimental  Surgeons.  That  being  expended,  I  can  no  longer  bear 
the  distress  of  the  sick,  and  impelled  by  a  feeling  of  humanity,  I  shall  take  the 
liberty  immediately  to  order  a  physician  from  Albany,  (if  one  can  be  got  there,  as 
I  believe  there  may,)  to  join  me,  with  such  stores  as  are  indispensably  necessary. 
If  Congress  will  approve  of  this  measure,  they  will  please  to  signify  what  allow- 
ance of  pay  shall  be  made.  If  not,  I  shall  discharge  the  person  whoever  he  be, 
paying  him  for  the  services  he  may  have  performed." 

Congress,  however,  adjourned  without  taking  any  action  on  the  subject, 
and  Schuyler  consequently  addressed  the  Provincial  Congress  of  New  York, 
who  gave  as  their  opinion,  that  in  view  of  the  urgent  necessity  that  existed 
for  some  provision  for  the  sick,  the  establishment  of  a  hospital  should  be 
ordered  by  the  General  himself,  without  waiting  for  legislation  by  the  Con- 
tinental Congress.  Acting  on  this  advice.  General  Schuyler  on  the  twenty- 
sixth  of  August,  requested  Doctor  Samuel  Stringer,  of  Albany,  to  undertake 
the  management  of  the  Hospital,  promising  that  he  would  take  the  earliest 


opportunity  to  get  the  decision  of  Congress  on  the  establishment,  and  to 
see  that  Doctor  Stringer  was  confirmed  in  his  position,  and  reimbursed  for 
any  expense  he  might  be  put  to  for  medicines  and  instruments.  Accord- 
ingly, on  the  fourteenth  of  September,  Congress  appointed  Doctor  Stringer 
to  be  Director  of  the  Hospital  and  Chief  Physician  in  the  Northern  De- 
partment, with  pay  at  four  dollars  a  day,  and  authority  to  appoint  not 
exceeding  four  surgeon's  mates  as  his  assistants,  and  with  the  same  proviso 
for  the  reduction  of  their  number  when  no  longer  needed,  which  was 
inserted  in  the  original  bill  organizing  the  General  Hospital  for  the  army 
at  Cambridge.  They  also  passed  a  resolution,  directing  the  Deputy  Com- 
missary General  to  pay  Doctor  Stringer  for  all  medicines  he  had  furnished 
for  the  Northern  Army,  and  authorizing  him  to  purchase  whatever  other 
articles  might  be  needed,  on  receiving  General  Schuyler's  warrant  to  that  effect. 

There  was  no  more  legislation  of  any  importance  in  reference  to  the 
Hospital  Department  during  the  year  1775. 

The  fourteenth  section  of  a  bill,  enacting  "Additional  rules  and  reg- 
ulations for  the  Continental  Army,"  provided : 

"That  at  every  muster,  the  Surgeons  or  their  mates,  shall  give  to  the'  Com- 
missary of  Musters,  a  certificate  signed  by  them,  signifying  the  health,  or  sickness, 
of  those  under  their  care ;  and  the  said  certificates  shall,  together  with  the  muster 
rolls,  be  by  the  said  Commissary,  transmitted  to  the  General,  and  to  this,  or  any 
future  Congress  of  the  United  Colonies ;  or  Committee  appointed  thereby;  within 
twenty  days  next  after  such  muster  being  taken." 

On  the  eighth  of  December,  Congress  authorized  the  appointment  of 
surgeons  to  the  battalions  then  raising  in  New  Jersey  and  Pennsylvania,  at  a 
monthly  pay  of  twenty-five  dollars;  and  in  the  following  March,  when  a 
number  of  regiments  had  been  raised,  enacted  that  each  regiment  should 
also  have  a  surgeon's  mate,  at  eighteen  dollars  a  month.  The  reason  for 
this  legislation  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact,  that  previous  to  this  time  the 
army  had  been  almost  entirely  composed  of  either  militia,  or  regiments 
raised  by  authority  of  the  various  Provincial  Congresses,  and  these  bodies 
had  (as  we  have  seen  in  the  case  of  Massachusetts,)  provided  means  for 
supplying  them  with  medical  attendance.  These  troops,  however,  were 
enlisted  for  a  very  short  period,  and  the  terms  of  service  of  many  of  them 
were  about  expiring,  and  as  they  showed  but  little  disposition  to  reenlist, 
it  became  necessary  for  Congress  to  raise  a  force  which  could  take  their  place. 

The  winter  of  1775-6  was  a  very  sevjere  one  to  the  army,  both  at  Cam- 
bridge and  on  the  northern  frontier.  The  latter  were  insufficiently  clothed 
and  fed,  and  lacked  a  well  organized  medical  department;  they  were  dis- 


heartened  by  their  unsuccessful  attack  on  Quebec  and  the  loss  of  their 
commander;  and,  unaccustomed  to  the  hardships  of  a  soldier's  life,  soon 
broke  down  under  the  trials  of  a  winter  campaign.  From  the  time  of  their 
retreat  from  Quebec,  until  they  were  concentrated  at  Ticonderoga,  they 
suffered  great  loss  from  the  ravages  of  small-pox.  The  soldiers  were  in  the 
practice  of  inoculating  themselves.  This  was  forbidden  in  General  Orders, 
but  failed  to  stop  the  custom,  and  among  the  victims  of  the  disease  was 
Major  General  Thomas,  who  had  been  sent  from  Cambridge  to  command 
the  army  after  the  death  of  Montgomery.  Another  disease  which, 
although  not  fatal,  caused  much  distress,  and  unfitted  a  large  portion  of 
the  army  for  duty,  was  nostalgia;  which  first  made  its  appearance  during 
the  dark  days  that  followed  the  defeat  at  Quebec,  and  did  not  leave  the 
army  until  the  excitement  of  an  anticipated  attack  from  Burgoyne  in 
1777,  roused  the  troops  from  the  ennui  into  which  they  had  fallen  in  their 
dull  camp  life  at  Ticonderoga. 

At  Cambridge,  during  the  summer  and  fall  of  1775,  the  troops  of  tha 
army  had  been  healthy,  if  we  take  into  consideration  the  unparalleled 
circumstances  under  which  they  were  assembled,  and  the  general  deficiency 
of  all  the  comforts  to  which  they  were  accustomed.  The  only  serious  dis- 
ease had  been  small-pox.  With  the  advent,  however,  of  troops  from  the 
Middle  and  Southern  States,  typhus  and  typhoid  fevers  and  dysenteries  made 
their  appearance,  and  the  sick  lists  increased  rapidly.  On  the  twenty-third 
of  September,  1775,  the  aggregate  present  and  absent  of  the  army  was 
19,365;  and  of  these,  1,886  were  reported  as  "present  sick,"  and  931 
"absent  sick;"  a  total  of  2,817  on  sick  report — a  ratio  of  145.4  per 
thousand  of  mean  strength.  In  December  the  number  taken  sick  each 
week  varied  between  676  and  1,500;  the  larger  portion  of  whom  were 
treated  in  general  hospital,  and  nearly  one-third  in  the  one  at  Roxbury, 
which  was  reserved  for  small-pox  patients.  The  hospitals  were  destitute  of 
everything  that  was  needed  to  render  the  men  comfortable.  Few  of  the 
surgeons  had  any  instruments,  medicines  were  very  scarce,  and  such  nes- 
cessary  articles,  as  old  linen  for  bandages  and  compresses,  tape,  thread, 
needles,  adhesive  plaster,  blankets,  sheets,  pillows,  &c.,  were  almost  entirely 
wanting.  In  this  emergency,  Doctor  Morgan  appealed  to  the  charity  and 
patriotism  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  towns  in  the  vicinity,  and  with  success, 
for  on  the  first  of  January  he  issued  a  circular  addressed  "  to  the  Publick," 
in  which  he  details  the  interest  with  which  the  good  people  of  Concord, 
Sudbury,  Bedford,  &c,,  had  supplied  his  wants,  and  tenders  them  the 
hearty  thanks  of  the  Hospital  Department  for  their  much  needed  relief 


The  sick  of  the  army  on  the  second  of  March  numbered  2,398  present, 
and  367  absent;   total,  2,765,  out  of  an  aggregate  strength  of  18,524. 

The  new  levies  which  were  raised  in  the  winter  of  1776,  were  most  of 
them  concentrated  at  New  York;  and  on  the  ninth  of  February,  General 
Charles  Lee  wrote  to  Washington,  urging  the  establishment  of  a  hospital  in 
that  city.  It  was  not,  however,  until  after  the  evacuation  of  Boston  by  the 
British  that  this  was  done.  This  event  took  place  on  the  seventeenth  of  March, 
and  was  almost  immediately  followed  by  a  transfer  of  the  seat  of  war  to  the 
Middle  States.  In  view  of  the  movement  of  the  greater  portion  of  the 
army  from  the  vicinity  of  Boston,  the  following  instructions  were  issued  to 
Doctor  Morgan  by  Gleneral  Washington : 

"As  the  grand  Continental  Army,  immediately  under  the  command  of  his 
Excellency,  General  Washington,  will  as  soon  as  it  i§  practicable,  be  assembled  at 
New  York,  you  are  with  all  convenient  speed,  to  remove  the  General  Hospital  to 
that  city. 

As  the  sick  in  the  different  houses  cannot  be  removed,  but  must  be  left  until 
they  are  able  to  march,  you  will  leave  such  Surgeons,  Surgeon's  Mates,  Apothe- 
cary and  Attendants  under  the  direction  of ,  as  are  necessary,  for 

the  care  of  the  sick  now  in  the  General  Hospital. 

The  medicines,  stores,  bedding,  etc.,  not  immediately  wanted  in  the  General 
Hospital,  should  be  loaded  in  carts,  that  will  be  provided  next  Saturday,  by  the 
Assistant  Quartermaster  General,  and  sent  under  the  care  of  a  proper  officer,  or 
officers,  to  Norwich,  Connecticut.  Upon  their  arrival  there,  they  will  find  his 
Excellency's  orders,  how,  and  in  what  manner,  to  proceed  from  thence,  whether  by 
land  or  water. 

The  medicines  ordered  upon  his  Excellency's  application,  by  the  Honorable  the 
General  Court  of  the  Province,  to  be  taken  out  of  the  town  of  Boston,  should  be 
sent  with  the  first  of  the  hospital  stores  that  go  to  Norwich ;  a  careful  person 
having  orders  to  take  charge  of  the  same. 

The  fixing,  and  completing  the  Regimental  Medicine  chests,  according  to  your 
plan  lately  proposed,  had  better  be  deferred  until  your  arrival  in  New  York,  when 
that  may  be  set  about,  under  your  inspection. 

As  the  removing  of  the  General  Hospital,  must  be  attended  with  such  a  variety 
of  duty,  and  attention,  I  must  refrain  from  giving  more  particular  directions,  leaving 
a  latitude  to  your  experience  and  knowledge  of  your  profession,  to  govern  and 
direct  all  your  motions. 

Before  you  leave  Cambridge,  it  will  be  necessary  to  see  a  proper  Regimental 
Medicine  chest  provided,  and  delivered  to  each  of  the  Surgeons  of  the  four  Regi- 
ments left  in  garrison  there,  under  the  immediate  command  of  Major  General 
Ward ;  also  a  chest  for  Colonel  Glover's  Regiment,  on  command  at  Beverly. 

Reposing  entire  confidence  in  your  care,  diligence,  and  zeal  for  the  service, 
I  remain  satisfied  of  your  best  exertions,  for  the  public  benefit. 

Given  at  Cambridge  Head  Quarters,  3rd  day  of  April,  1776. 



How  well  Doctor  Morgan  carried  out  these  important  instructions.  Is 
best  shown  in  his  own  words,  in  a  letter  to  the  Commander-in-Chief: 

"Cambridge,  April  22d,  1776. 

I  take  this  opportunity  to  inform  your  Excellency,  that  I  am  constantly  engaged 
in  collecting,  and  forwarding  the  Hospital  Stores  to  New  York,  and  in  executing  your 
orders,  relative  to  the  drugs,  medicines,  etc.,  left  in  the  Ministerial  hospital,  and 
Messrs.  Perkins'  and  Gardner's  stores,  at  Boston ;  of  which,  I  hare  given  a  more 
minute  detail,  in  my  letters  to  General  Gates.  I  have,  and  am  collecting  a  noble 
store  of  medicines,  for  the  ensuing  campaign,  and  I  hope  to  leave  no  room  for  com- 
plaint of  any  scarcity,  or  want  of  either  medicines,  bedding,  blankets,  or  other  hospital 
stores  for  the  Army,— having  got  a  sufficient  supply,  (except  of  a  few  capital  articles, 
which  I  hope  to  procure  from  Philadelphia,)  of  medicines  for  a  year  or  more  to 
come;  with  fifteen  hundred  additional  blankets,  and  rugs;  as  many  beds  and  pil- 
lows, etc.,  by  the  care  and  attention  of  my  steward,  and  quartermaster  of  the 
Hospital,  Mr.  Games,  who  has  spared  no  pains  in  executing  my  orders,  in  collecting 
them  from  Boston,  and  in  washing  and  fitting  them  for  use. 

The  sick  in  the  several  hospitals,  are  reduced  to  about  eighty.  I  flatter  my- 
self, with  the  number  already  gone.  Doctor  Foster  will  be  capable  of  managing  the 
affairs  of  the  hospital  at  New  York,  so  that  the  sick  will  not  suffer.  The  rest  of 
the  gentlemen  in  this  department  will  follow  with  the  remainder  of  the  stores,  and 
I  expect  in  a  few  days  after,  to  join  them.  To-morrow,  I  purpose  to  set  out  for 
Portsmouth,  to  learn  whether  there  are  any  tidings  of  the  ten  packages  of  medicine, 
formerly  mentioned  to  be  in  the  prize  carried  in  there ;  that  nothing  of  so  great 
value  be  lost,  for  want  of  looking  after. 

Your  Excellency's  most  obedient, 

and  humble  servant, 


After  the  removal  of  Head-quarters  to  New  York,  the  summer  was 
passed  in  improving  the  condition  of  the  Medical  Department.  The  general 
hospital  was  in  an  efficient  condition,  but  there  began  to  be  a  great  deal  of 
trouble  with  the  regimental  hospitals.  The  surgeons  and  their  mates 
complained  that  they  had  not  pay  enough  to  enable  them  to  live  like  gentle- 
men, and  memorialized  Congress  for  an  increase.  A  further  grievance  was 
found  in  some  of  the  provisions  of  an  act,  passed  by  Congress  on  the  seven- 
teenth of  July,  which  was  thought  to  limit  the  usefulness  of  the  regimental 
medical  officers,  and  subordinate  them  to  too  great  an  extent  to  the  General 
Staff.     The  act  referred  to  is  as  follows : 

"Resolved;  That,  the  number  of  hospital  Surgeons,  and  Mates  be  increased, 
in  proportion  to  the  augmentation  of  the  army,  not  exceeding  one  Surgeon,  and 
five  Mates,  to  every  five  thousand  men ;  to  be  reduced,  when  the  army  is  reduced, 
or  when  there  is  no  further  occasion  for  such  a  number. 

That  as  many  persons  be  employed  in  the  several  hospitals,  in  quality  of  store- 
keepers, stewards,  managers,  and  nurses,  as  are  necessary  for  the  service  for  the 
time  being,  to  be  appointed  by  the  directors  of  the  respective  hospitals. 


That  the  several  regimental  chests  of  medicines,  and  chirurgical  instruments, 
which  now  are,  or  hereafter  shall  be  in  possession  of  the  regimental  surgeons,  be 
subject  to  the  inspection  and  inquiry  of  the  respective  directors  of  hospitals,  and 
of  the  director  general;  and  that  the  said  regimental  Surgeons  shall,  from  time  to 
time,  when  thereto  required,  render  account  of  said  medicines  and  instruments,  to 
the  said  Director,  or  if  there  be  no  director  in  any  particular  department,  to  the 
Director  General.  The  said  accounts,  to  be  transmitted  to  the  Director  General,  and 
by  him  to  this  Congress.  And  the  medicines  and  instruments,  not  used  by  any 
Regimental  Surgeon,  to  be  returned,  when  the  regiment  is  reduced,  to  the  respec- 
tive directors,  and  an  account  thereof  by  them  rendered  to  the  Director  General, 
and  by  him  to  this  Congress. 

That  the  several  directors  of  Hospitals  in  the  several  departments,  and  the 
Regimental  Surgeons,  where  there  is  no  Director,  shall  transmit  to  the  Director 
General,  regular  returns  of  the  number  of  Surgeon's  Mates,  and  other  officers 
employed  under  them;  their  names  and  pay.  Also,  an  account  of  the  expenses,  and 
furniture  of  the  Hospitals  under  their  direction;  and  that  the  Director  General 
make  report  of  the  same,  from  time  to  time,  to  the  Commander  in  Chief  and  this 

That  the  several  regimental  and  hospital  surgeons,  in  the  several  departments, 
make  weekly  returns  of  the  sick  to  the  respective  directors,  in  their  departments. 

That  no  regimental  surgeon,  be  allowed  to  draw  upon  the  hospital  of  his  depart- 
ment for  any  stores,  except  medicines,  and  instruments ;  and  that  when  any  sick  person 
shall  require  other  stores,  they  shall  be  received  into  said  hospital,  and  the  rations 
of  the  said  sick  persons  be  stopped,  as  long  as  they  are  in  said  hospital ;  and  that 
the  directors  of  the  said  hospitals,  report  to  the  Commissary,  the  names  of  the  sick, 
when  received  into,  and  when  discharged  from  hospital ;  and  make  a  like  return, 
to  the  Board  of  Treasury. 

That  all  extra  expenses  for  bandages,  old  linen,  and  other  articles  necessary  for 
the  service,  incurred  by  any  regimental  surgeon,  be  paid  by  the  Director  of  that 
department,  with  the  approbation  of  the  Commander  thereof. 

That  no  more  medicines  belonging  to  the  Continent,  be  disposed  of,  until  further 
orders  of  Congress. 

That  the  pay  of  Hospital  Surgeons  be  increased  to  one  dollar,  and  two  thirds 
of  a  dollar  by  the  day ;  and  the  pay  of  hospital  apothecary  to  one  dollar,  and  two 
thirds  of  a  dollar  by  the  day ;  and  that  Hospital  Surgeons,  and  Mates,  take  rank  of 
regimental  surgeons,  and  mates. 

That  the  Director  General,  and  the  several  directors  of  Hospitals,  be  empowered 
to  purchase,  with  the  approbation  of  the  Commander  of  the  respective  departments, 
medicines,  and  instruments  for  the  use  of  their  respective  hospitals,  and  draw  upon 
the  paymaster  for  the  same;  and  make  report  of  such  purchase  to  Congress." 

A  bill  of  this  character  had  been  long  needed.  In  the  act  organizing 
the  hospital,  passed  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  July  of  the  previous  year,  the 
powers  of  the  Director  Gleneral  had  been  very  vaguely  expressed.  It  is  probable 
that  this  was  owing  to  a  want  of  appreciation,  on  the  part  of  Congress,  of 
the  magnitude  of  the  contest  before  them.  They  did  not  foresee  the  necessity 
that  would  arise  for  the  creation  of  other  armies  and  departments  than  that 
at  Cambridge;  and  hence,  failed  to  define  distinctly  the  official  superiority 


of  the  Director  General  over  all  other  directors  that  might  thereafter  be 
appointed.  Washington  had  some  months  before  written  to  the  President 
of  Congress,  expressing  his  opinion,  that  the  efficiency  of  the  hospital 
would  be  much  increased  by  having  one  chief,  to  whom  all  others  should  be 
subordinate;  and  it  was  probably  owing  to  his  recommendations,  that  all 
directors  were  required  to  send  their  returns  through  the  Director  General, 
thus  plainly  asserting  his  position  as  the  head  of  the  bureau.  The  provis- 
ions establishing  a  property  accountability  were  also  of  great  importance, 
especially  in  the  distressed  condition  of  the  country,  when  the  scarcity 
of  all  kinds  of  hospital  stores  made  every  old  rag  too  precious  to  be  wasted. 
But  to  the  surgeons  of  regiments  the  bill  was  particularly  obnoxious.  In 
the  first  place,  it  increased  the  pay  of  hospital  surgeons  to  a  much 
greater  amount  than  theirs,  which,  by  a  resolve  of  the  fifth  of  June, 
had  been  fixed  at  thirty-three  and  a  third  dollars  per  month.  Again,  it 
gave  precedence  of  rank  to  the  hospital  surgeons,  a  regulation  of  which  it 
was  hardly  to  be  expected  they  could  see  the  propriety  or  justice.  But  the 
clause  which  gave  them  the  most  uneasiness,  was  that  which  forbade  their 
drawing  upon  the  hospital  for  any  stores,  except  medicines  and  instruments. 
If  this  resolve  stands,  they  said,  there  is  nothing  for  us  to  do,  but  to  order 
all  of  our  sick  into  general  hospital.  We  cannot  feed  a  man  sick  with 
fever  on  the  soldier's  ration,  and  we  are  forbidden  to  draw  anything  else ; 
while  if  we  send  all  our  men  to  general  hospital,  there  will  be  nothing  for 
us  to  do,  and  Congress  will  disband  us  as  supernumeraries.  There  was 
much  reason  in  this  view  of  the  case,  and  the  disafifection  became  so  great, 
that  Doctor  Morgan  thought  it  of  sufficient  importance  to  ask  the  advice  of 
the  Commander-in-Chief.  In  his  letter  to  Washington,  he  showed  that  to 
take  all  the  sick  into  the  hospital  would  increase  the  number  of  its  inmates 
from  about  three  hundred,  to  upwards  of  three  thousand,  and  that,  as  dysen- 
teries and  putrid  fevers  were  prevalent,  "  the  crowding  so  many  together 
into  the  General  Hospital,  would  certainly  engender  a  malignant  pestilential 
fever,  that  would  threaten  the  ruin  of  the  army,"  The  remedies  he  sug- 
gested were;  first,  to  adopt  regulations  for  the  management  of  the  regi- 
mental hospitals,  by  which,  without  infringement  on  the  legislation  of  Con- 
gress, the  rations  of  the  sick  could  be  commuted  by  the  commissary,  and 
articles  of  diflFerent  character  purchased  with  the  money;  or  in  other  words, 
the  creation  of  a  "  hospital  fund."  Second,  to  bear  those  sick  with  putrid 
fevers  on  the  rolls  of  the  general  hospital,  but  to  allow  them  to  be  treated 
in  camp;  in  this  way,  their  rations  would  be  stopped  and  the  benefits  there- 
from obtained,  while  there  would  be  no  danger  from  crowd  poisoning  in  the 


general  hospital.  Of  the  two  plans  he  preferred  the  first,  as  most  likely  to 
give  the  greatest  satisfaction,  not  only  to  the  regimental  surgeons  hut  also 
to  the  officers  and  troops.  The  opinion  of  Doctor  Morgan  was  approved 
by  the  Commander-in-Chief,  and  a  conference  was  held  with  the  regimental 
surgeons,  which  resulted  in  a  code  of  regulations  for  the  regimental  hospi- 
tals. As  these 'are  the  earliest  hospital  regulations  ever  established  in  our 
^rmy,  they  are,  though  somewhat  lengthy,  considered  of  sufficient  interest 
to  be  inserted  in  full. 

agreed  upon  betwixt  the  Director  General  of  the  American   Hospital,  and  the  Regi- 
mental Surgeons  and  Mates,  at  New  York,  July,  1776. 

Rule  1.  That  every  full  regiment,  and  battalion  provided  with  a  Surgeon,  or 
mate;  or  each  Brigade  as  the  occasion  may  point  out,  ought  to  have  some  convenient 
quarters  to  be  appropriated  by  the  proper  quartermaster,  for  the  reception  of  such 
of  the  sick  of  that  corps,  and  entitled  a  Regimental  Hospital;  which  sick  are  to  be 
attended  by  their  own  Regimental  Surgeons  and  mates. 

2.  That  it  shall  be  the  business  of  Surgeons  and  mates  in  all  regiments,  to 
"exan^ine  the  soldiers  in  the  same,  who  are  reported  to  be  unfit  for  duty ;  and  to 
separate  from  the  well,  those  who  are  sick;  and  to  receive  them  into  the  Regimental 

3.  That  they  keep  a  Register  of  those  who  are  admitted  into  the  Regimental 
hospital,  containing  the  patient's  name,  the  company  he  belongs  to,  the  days  of  his 
•admission  to,  and  discharge  from  the  hospital,  (agreeable  to  a  form  annexed.) 

4.  That  he  shall  make  daily  returns  of  the  sick  in  his  regiment,  to  the  Com- 
manding Officer  of  the  same,  that  it  may  be  known  who  are  fit  for  duty,  and  who 
are  not ;  and  that  such  as  are  on  the  Doctor's  list,  may  not  be  included  in  the  pro- 
vision return  of  the  regiment. 

5.  That  the  Surgeon  shall  every  day  prescribe  the  diet  of  each  sick  person 
under  his  care,  according  to  the  diet  tables  established  in  the  General  Hospital;  (or 
other  suitable  tables  to  be  agreed  upon;)  under  the  titles,  "full  diet,  half  diet,  spare 
diet,  dry  diet,  milk  diet,  etc." 

6.  That  he  make  out  and  sign  the  provision  return  every  day  for  the  sick,  and 
draw  upon  the  Director  General  of  the  hospital,  agreeable  to  the  tables  of  diet 
before  mentioned;  for  the  regulation  of  which,  weekly  returns  of  the  number  of 
sick,  (in  that  week,)  shall  be  made  out  on  a  stated  day,  so  that,  whatever  the  price 
of  diet  drawn  for  said  sick  shall  fall  short  of  the  rations  stopped  from  the  sick 
during  the  week,  so  much  may  be  drawn  for  their  use  in  other  stores ;  as,  wine, 
rum,  sugar,  coflfee,  tea,  molasses,  candles,  soap,  etc. 

[If  that  surplus  of  money  is  not  sufficient,  there  are  no  other  ways  to  supply, 
than  either  to  do  it  by  stoppages  of  the  soldier's  pay,  (as  in  the  British  Army,)  or, 
by  its  being  advanced  by  himself,  or  by  the  Colonel,  or  Captain  of  the  Regiment  to 
which  he  belongs,  and  allowed  in  his  Abstract;  the  General  Hospital  having  nothing 
to  do  with  the  expenses  of  Regimental  hospitals,  and  no  provision  for  the  purpose 
being  yet  made  by  Congress.] 

7.  That  no  Regimental  Surgeon  shall  send  any  sick  from  his  regiment,  or 
regimental  hospital,  to  the  General  Hospital,  without  a  ticket  expressing  the  name 


of  the  sick,  his  company,  and  the  regiment  to  which  he  belongs,  signed  by  himself 
or  mate,  and  mentioning  likewise  the  disorder  he  labors  under,  and  the  time  he  has 
been  ill. 

8.  That  he  send  none  to  the  General  Hospital,  labouring  under  infectious, 
putrid,  or  malignant  diseases ;  for  the  introduction  of  such  fevers  into  a  General 
Hospital  will  only  injure  the  person  sent,  and  may  endanger  the  Surgeon's  mates, 
and  other  officers,  as  well  as  all  that  are  sick  of  other  diseases  in  the  General 
Hospital;  engender  the  jail,  or  hospital  fever,  and  ruin  the  Army.  Such  sick,  are 
to  be  kept  separate  if  possible,  and  be  taken  care  of  by  the  Regimental  Surgeons. 

9.  That  whatever  stores  or  utensils  may  be  wanted  for  the  use  of  a  Regimental 
Hospital,  whether  kettles  to  cook,  victuals,  blankets,  etc. ; — they  ought  to  be  got 
from  the  Quartermaster  General's  store,  or  purchased  from  the  same  place  and  in 
the  same  manner,  as  the  like  articles  are  procured  for  the  well  soldiers  of  the 
Regiment;  to  be  provided  by  an  order  from  the  Colonel,  the  Surgeon  to  give  his 
receipt  for,  and  take  care  of  the  same;  for  the  preservation  of  which,  he  may 
establish  such  regulations  as  he  sees  fit. 

10.  That  the  medicine  chest,  and  a  number  of  articles,  as,  old  linen,  bandages, 
etc.,  have  been  supplied  to  the  Regiments,  at  the  voluntary  motion  of  the  Director 
General  of  the  General  Hospital,  with  the  approbation  of  the  Commander  in  Chief; 
whenever  the  Regiments  are  disbanded,  all  such  articles  are  to  be  returned  to  the 
General  Hospital ;  otherwise,  when  new  troops  are  levied,  under  the  present  scarcity, 
and  difficulty  to  procure  them,  it  may  not  be  practicable  or  easy  to  supply  the 
Army  again,  with  those  articles  for  another  year. 

11.  That  for  every  regimental  hospital  a  cook  should  be  allowed,  to  prepare 
the  diet  of  the  sick,  agreeable  to  the  tables;  or  nurses,  who  may  serve  for  cooks; 
one  to  every  ten  men ;  the  pay  the  same  as  in  the  General  Hospital,  viz  ;  half  a 
dollar  per  week,  and  rations  allowed  by  the  Regiment. 

12.  That  each  regimental  hospital  ought  to  have  a  Corporal's  guard,  or  at 
least  three  men,  one  of  which  is  to  stand  sentinel  at  the  hospital  door,  to  prevent 
the  sick  from  leaving  without  the  permission  of  the  Surgeon,  and  to  keep  persons 
from  going  in  without  orders,  to  disturb  the  sick,  or  carry  liquor  to  them.  The 
other  persons  whilst  relieved  from  standing  Sentinel,  to  serve  for  the  time  as  waiters, 
and  obey  the  Surgeon  and  mate,  in  respect  to  any  assistance,  which  may  reasonable 
be  required  in  behalf  of  the  sick. 

Lastly ; — That  in  all  cases  not  provided  for  by  the  foregoing,  or  any  future 
regulations  that  may  be  agreed  upon,  the  Surgeons  and  Mates  shall  observe  the 
customs  and  usages  of  the  British  Army ;  and  shall  at  all  times  obey  such  orders, 
as  they  shall  (in  the  way  of  duty,)  receive  from  the  Director  General,  for  the  treat- 
ment of  the  sick,  or  for  the  discharge  of  the  duties  of  their  station." 

On  the  fifteenth  of  July,  Congress  elected  Doctor  William  Shippen,  of 
Philadelphia,  to  be  chief  physician  to  the  flying  camp  of  ten  thousand  men, 
which  by  a  resolution  of  the  sixth  of  June,  they  had  established  at  Trenton, 
New  Jersey.  Previous  to  this,  they  had  elected  Doctor  William  Rickman  to 
be  director  of  the  Continental  Hospital  at  Williamsburg,  Virginia,  which  was 
established  under  the  same  rules  and  regulations  as  to  number  of  officers 
and  attendants,  their  pay  and  manner  of  appointment,  and  reduction  in  case 
of  necessity,  as  obtained  in  the  Eastern  Department.     About  this  same  time. 


Doctor  Jonathan  Potts  was  appointed  surgeon  in  the  Canada  Department, 
(or  at  Lake  George,  as  the  General  might  direct,)  with  the  understanding 
that  the  appointment  was  not  to  supercede  Doctor  Stringer. 

The  increase  in  the  number  of  general  hospitals,  and  some  want  of 
uniformity  in  the  resolutions  of  Congress  appointing  these  various  directors, 
soon  gave  rise  to  renewed  controversies  as  to  the  official  status  of  the  Direc- 
tor General.  It  would  seem  as  if  the  act  of  the  seventeenth  of  July  had 
sufficiently  indicated  the  subordination  of  all  other  officers  in  the  Medical  De- 
partment to  the  Director  General  as  the  official  head  of  the  bureau;  but 
the  Northern  Department  had  been  originally  formed  under  circumstances 
which  rendered  it  to  a  great  extent  a  separate  command,  and  while  the  army 
remained  at  Cambridge,  Doctor  Morgan  does  not  seem  to  have  exercised  any 
authority  over  the  aflfairs  of  the  hospital  in  the  north;  but  subsequent  to 
the  establishment  of  Head-quarters  at  New  York,  the  condition  of  affairs 
became  so  bad  at  Crown  Point,  as  to  render  some  action  absolutely  necessary 
to  save  that  portion  of  the  army  from  destruction.  Upwards  of  three 
thousand  men  were  oh  sick  report,  and  the  losses  during  and  since  the 
unfortunate  campaign  in  Canada,  from  disease  and  desertion,  had  amounted 
to  upwards  of  five  thousand  men.  The  army  was  in  the  utmost  distress  for 
want  of  medicines,  hospital  stores  and  surgeons ;  and  Doctor  Stringer 
asserted,  in  a  letter  to  General  Gates,  July  24,  1776,  that  the  men  were 
literally  dying  for  want  of  proper  assistance  and  medical  attendance.  Sir 
Guy  Carleton  was  straining  every  effi)rt  to  accomplish  a  successful  invasion 
of  the  Colonies,  by  way  of  Lakes  Champlain  and  George;  which  made  it  very 
important  that  the  troops  in  the  Northern  Department  should  be  in  the 
highest  state  of  efficiency,  while  in  fact  they  lacked  everything  needed  for 
an  active  campaign,  and  were  especially  deficient  in  the  points  above  noted. 
In  the  one  hospital  at  Fort  George,  the  following  was  the  return  for  the 
fortnight  ending  July  26th.  Admitted,  1,497.  Discharged  439.  Died  51. 
Deserted  3. 

Under  these  circumstances,  a  number  of  the  officers  and  Doctor  Stringer 
among  the  rest,  made  application  to  the  Director  General  for  medicines;  but 
he  had  received  no  official  notice  of  either  Doctor  Stringer's  or  Doctor  Potts' 
appointments,  and  was  in  doubt  whether  they  could  call  upon  him  for  assist- 
ance, and  so  wrote  to  Doctor  Stringer.  However,  he  sent  him  medicines  enough 
for  six  regimental  chests,  and  also  appointed  surgeons  and  an  apothecary 
for  the  Northern  Hospital,  on  being  further  informed  of  the  absolute  desti- 
tution they  were  in  for  medical  officers.  This  Doctor  Stringer  considered 
an  infringement  on  his  rights.      Availing  himself  of  a  permission  from 


General  Gates  to  go  to  Albany  to  procure  medicines,  he  went  on  to  Philadel- 
phia and  laid  his  complaints  before  Congress;  delaying  the  transportation 
of  the  medicines  to  such  an  extent,  as  to  occasion  severe  animadversion  on  his 
conduct  from  General  Gates.  Meanwhile,  information  reached  Doctor  Mor- 
gan that  the  gentlemen  whom  he  had  appointed  surgeons  to  the,  Northern 
Department  had  been  refused  their  pay.  This  circumstance,  conjoined  with 
the  position  taken  by  Doctor  Stringer,  decided  Doctor  Morgan  to  bring  the 
whole  matter  in  an  official  form  before  Congress,  and  ask  them  for  further 
legislation  on  the  question  of  rank,  which  he  did  in  a  letter  of  great  vigor 
and  ability.  He  showed  that  Doctor  Stringer  and  other  officers  had  repeat- 
edly applied  to  him  for  assistance  in  their  straightened  condition ;  that  sick 
had  been  sent  from  the  Northern  Department  to  the  general  hospital  at 
New  York;  that  Doctor  Potts  on  passing  through  New  York  en  route  to 
Ticonderoga  had  reported  to  him,  and  applied,  as  to  a  superior,  for  advice 
and  assistance.  Further,  that  the  resolution  of  September  14,  1775, 
appointing  Doctor  Stringer  to  be  Physician-in-Chief  of  the  Northern  De- 
partment, had  distinctly  limited  his  powers ,  (as  the  latter  had  already  com- 
plained to  General  Gates,)  by  refusing  to  give  him  the  appointment  of  sur- 
geons, but  only  of  mates,  (an  authority  which  the  organic  act  of  July  27. 
1775,  gave  to  every  Surgeon). 

He  also  stated,  that  being  unwilling  to  incur  the  imputation  of  having 
exceeded  his  authority,  he  had  visited  Philadelphia  and  had  a  long  confer- 
ence with  the  Medical  Committee,  and  returned  with  the  full  impression 
that  there  was  "  but  one  General  Hospital,  though  consisting  of  Divisions, 
each  under  a  separate  Director,  and  united  under  one  head,  viz. ;  the  Director 
General."  Moreover,  he  advanced  as  an  additional  argument,  that  Congress 
itself  had  recommended  persons  to  him  for  appointment  as  surgeons,  thus 
showing  clearly  that  they  recognized  him  as  the  head  of  the  Department. 
He  concluded  his  communication  as  follows : 

"  After  all  I  have  said,  I  cheerfully  submit  the  propriety  of  my  conduct,  in 
making  the  before  mentioned  appointments  in  the  General  Hospital,  and  am  desirous 
of  conforming  strictly  to  my  instructions.  If  I  have  exceeded  my  commission,  it 
has  been  for  want  of  knowing  the  designs,  or  resolves  of  Congress,  or  their  being 
misunderstood.  Should  the  Congress  on  that  footing,  annul  my  appointments,  and 
make  others,  I  must  at  least  stand  acquitted  of  having  intentionally  gone  beyond 
the  line  of  duty,  and  it  will  behoove  Congress  to  be  more  explicit,  in  respect  to  its 
intentions ;  for  if  the  Congress  does  not  suppose  the  appointment  of  any  new  Surgeons 
rests  with  me,  of  what  use  is  it,  to  recommend  one  to  me,  for  my  approbation?  I 
must  pay  an  implicit  obedience  to  their  simple  recommendation.  In  that  case,  I  do 
not  imagine  there  will  be  the  same  security  for  harmony,  or  for  having  the  business 
of  the  hospital  so  well  executed,  as  where  the  choice  of  the  Surgeons  is  left  to  the 
Director  Qeneral,   which  is  an  additional  incentive  to  industry,  and  an  obliging 


behaTior  in  the  Surgeon  thus  freely  elected,  to  approve  himself  worthy  of  the  choice. 
Be  that  as  it  may,  wherever  the  path  of  duty  is  plain,  I  shall  endeavor  to  walk 
steadily  in  it,  having  no  design,  or  inclination  to  exceed  those  bounds,  which  the 
good  of  the  service,  or  the  inclinations  of  Congress,  may  prescribe  to  me." 

One  would  suppose  that  this  letter,  so  cogent  in  argument  and  manly 
in  sentiment,  would  have  carried  conviction  into  the  minds  of  the  members 
of  Congress ;  but  they  already  had  the  fear  of  centralization  before  their 
eyes,  and  the  decision  arrived  at  left  the  matter  very  much  as  it  was  before. 
On  the  twentieth  of  August,  Congress  resolved : 

"That  Doctor  Morgan  was  appointed  Director  General,  and  Physician  in  Chief 
of  the  American  Hospital. 

That  Doctor  Stringer  was  appointed  director,  and  physician  of  the  hospital  in 
the  Northern  department. 

That  every  director  of  a  hospital,  possesses  the  exclusive  right  of  appointing 
Surgeons  and  hospital  officers  of  all  kinds,  agreeably  to  the  resolutions  of  Congress 
of  the  17th  of  July,  in  his  own  department,  unless  otherwise  directed  by  Congress. 

That  Doctor  Stringer  be  authorized  to  appoint  a  Surgeon  for  the  fleet  now  fitting 
out  upon  the  Lakes." 

This  for  the  time  being  settled   the  question  in   favor  of  the  directors, 

and  practically  left  the  Hospital   Department  without  a  responsible  head; 

the  inconveniences  resulting  from  which  faulty  organization  became  so  great, 

as  to  result,  as  will  be  shown  hereafter,   in  an  entire  reorganization  of  the 

Medical  Corps. 

On  the  thirtieth  of  September,  1776,  a  resolution  was  passed  which  is 

of  interest,  being  the  first  attempt  on   the  part  of  Congress  to  legislate  an 

enactment,  looking  towards  the  appointment  of   boards  of  examination  for 

all  applicants  for  appointment.      If  is  true,  this  resolution  was  only  partial 

in  its  application,  but  it  was  a  commencement,  which  eventuated  in  the 

perfection  of  that  system,  which,  it  may  be  truly  said,  has   done  more  than 

anything  else  to  maintain  the  high  standard  of  the  medical  service  of  the 

army.     The  resolution  was  as  follows : 

"That  it  be  recommended  to  the  legislatures  of  the  United  States,  to  appoint 
gentlemen  in  their  respective  states,  skillful  in  physic  and  surgery,  to  examine  those 
who  offer  to  serve  as  Surgeons,  or  Surgeon's  Mates  in  the  Army,  or  Navy ;  and  that 
no  Surgeon,  or  Mate  shall  hereafter  receive  a  commission  or  warrant,  to  act  as  such 
in  the  Army  or  Navy,  who  shall  not  produce  a  certificate  from  some,  or  one  of  the 
examiners  so  to  be  appointed,  to  prove  that  he  is  qualified  to  execute  the  office." 

The  same  act  also  further  defined  the  duties  of  directors,  by  providing : 

"That  all  regimental  surgeons  and  mates,  as  well  as  those  of  the  hospital,  be 
subject  to  the  direction  and  control  of  directors  in  the  several  departments. 

That  no  soldier  be  discharged  from  the  service  as  disabled,  unless  the  certifi- 
cate be  countersigned  by  the  director,  assistant  physician,  or  first  surgeon  of  the 
hospital;  nor  be  excused  from  duty  for  sickness,  unless  the  certificate  of  sickness 
be  countersigned  by  one  of  those  persons,  where  access  may  be  had  to  them." 


In  order  to  understand  some  legislation  of  Congress  which  was  adopted 
about  this  time,  it  will  be  necessary  to  review  briefly  in  this  place  the 
customs  which  had  obtained  since  the  commencement  of  the  war,  for  sup- 
plying the  army  with  medicines,  instruments,  hospital  stores,  &c.  When 
the  provincial  troops  first  collected  at  Cambridge  after  the  battle  of  Lexing- 
ton, the  physicians  who  came  with  them  brought  their  own  instruments 
and  such  medicines  as  they  had  in  their  offices,  which  sufficed  for  the  present 
necessities  of  the  soldiers.  Subsequently  to  the  action  at  Breed's  Hill,  the 
Provincial  Congresses  took  measures  for  providing  their  own  troops  with  the 
necessary  stores;  but  after  the  permanent  organization  of  the  Colonial  army 
some  more  systematic  arrangement  became  necessary. 

This  want  was  but  very  imperfectly  met  in  the  act  of  July  27,  1775, 
which  made  it  the  duty  of  the  Director,  "to  furnish  medicines,  bedding, 
and  all  other  necessaries,  to  pay  for  the  same,  and  superintend  the  whole  j" 
and  to  enable  him  to  perform  this  duty  allowed  him  a  clerk  to  keep  the 
accounts,  and  storekeepers  to  make  the  necessary  issues.  It  was  very  mani- 
fest that  this  plan  could  not  work  well,  for  the  articles  required  were  such  as 
could  only  be  obtained  in  the  large  cities,  and  the  other  duties  of  the  Director 
required  his  constant  presence  at  Head-quarters.  He  was,  consequently,  while 
personally  responsible  for  the  supply  of  the  army,  obliged  to  delegate  his 
authority  as  purveyor  to  agents  living  in  New  York  or  Philadelphia,  and 
the  army  was  poorly  supplied  as  a  result.  Rush  says,  that  one  great  cause 
of  the  sickness  in  the  Continental  army,  was  "the  inconveniences  and 
abuses  that  usually  follow  the  union  of  the  purveying  and  directing  depart- 
ments of  a  hospital  in  one  person."  Nor  was  the  matter  at  all  improved  by 
extending  the  authority  to  purchase  medicines  and  instruments  to  all  direc- 
tors, upon  the  simple  order  of  the  Department  Commander,  for  this  only 
multiplied  the  very  evils  which  had  existed  before.  A  committee  was 
appointed  by  Congress  on  the  fourteenth  of  September,  1775,  "to  devise 
ways  and  means  for  supplying  the  Continental  army  with  medicines."  This 
committee,  however,  could  suggest  nothing  better  than  the  old  system,  and 
only  modified  it  to  the  extent  of  requiring  all  accounts  to  be  audited  by  the 
President,  before  being  paid  by  the  Treasurer.  The  defects  in  administra- 
tion, however,  became  so  great,  and  so  many  complaints  were  made  that  the 
army  was  inadequately  supplied,  that  on  the  twentieth  of  August,  Congress 
resolved:  "that  a  druggist  be  appointed  in  Philadelphia,  whose  business  it 
shall  be  to  receive  and  deliver  all  medicines,  instruments  and  shop  furni- 
ture for  the  benefit  of  the  United  States."  To  this  position  Doctor  William 
Smith  was  elected,  with  a  salary  of  thirty  dollars  a  month.      It  cannot  now 


be  ascertained  to  what  extent  the  Director  General  was  relieved  by  this  act 
from  the  duty  of  purchasing  stores;  but  it  is  probable  from  sundry  allusions 
in  contemporary  records,  that  although  he  nominally  controlled  the  business 
of  the  purveying  department,  yet  the  active  duties  gradually  devolved 
entirely  upon  Doctor  Smith,  who  became,  de  facto ^  Chief  Medical  Purveyor; 
Congress,  however,  reserving  to  itself  the  right  to  supervise  all  purchases 
and  audit  all  accounts. 

On  the  twenty -seventh  of  August,  1776,  the  battle  of  Long  Island  took 
place,  and  soon  after  Washington,  finding  the  city  of  New  York  untenable, 
removed  the  array  about  nine  miles  up  the  river,  and  established  his  head- 
quarters on  Haarlaem  Heights.  This,  of  course,  necessitated  the  breaking 
up  of  the  general  hospital  at  New  York,  which  had  been  located  in  various 
houses  at  Kipp's  Bay,  Greenwich  and  Bloomingdale.  Special  provision  had 
also  now  to  be  made  for  the  troops  in  New  Jersey  who  had  hitherto  had  no 
general  hospital,  (except  that  attached  to  what  was  called  the  flying  camp  at 
Trenton.)  but  drew  all  their  supplies  from  New  York.  It  was  also  thought 
advisable  at  this  juncture,  to  define  more  distinctly  the  relations  between 
general  and  regimental  hospitals  and  the  duties  of  the  regimental  surgeons. 
Consequently,  on  the  ninth  of  October,  1776,  Doctor  Morgan  was  directed 
to  establish  a  general  hospital  in  some  suitable  place  not  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  the  camp,  for  the  army  posted  on  the  east  side  of  the  Hudson 
river,  and  Doctor  William  Shippen  to  perform  a  similar  office  for  the  troops 
stationed  in  New  Jersey.  Under  this  new  arrangement  regimental  hospitals 
were  forbidden  in  the  neighborhood  of  a  general  hospital,  and  all  officers  or 
soldiers,  that  from  the  nature  of  their  wounds  or  diseases  were  likely  to 
require  constant  attention,  were  directed  to  be  treated  in  general  hospital. 
Weekly  returns  of  all  officers  and  attendants  employed  in  the  general  hospi- 
tal, and  also  all  changes  among  the  sick  by  discharge,  desertion,  death,  or 
return  to  duty,  were  ordered  to  be  made  both  to  Congress  and  to  the  Com- 
mander-in-Chief. The  last  resolution  of  this  series  directed  commanding 
officers  of  regiments  to  cause  weekly  inspections  to  be  made  of  the  sick  in 
their  respective  regiments  in  general  hospital,  and  a  report  submitted  of 
their  condition. 

In  consequence  of  the  resolutions  locating  general  hospitals  at  a  con- 
siderable distance  from  camp,  and  the  inconveniences  resulting  from  soldiers 
leaving  them  to  draw  their  pay,  it  was  resolved  on  the  nineteenth  of  November : 

"That  on  any  sick  or  disabled  non-commissioned  officer  or  soldier,  being  sent 

to  any  hospital  or  sick  quarters,  the  captain,  or  commandant  of  the  troop  or  company 

to  which  he  belongs,  shall  send  to  the  surgeon  or  director  of  the  said  hospital,  or  give 

to  the  non-commissioned  officer  or  soldier,  so  in  the  hospital  or  quarters,  a  certificate 



countersigned  by  the  paymaster  of  the  regiment,  if  he  be  with  the  regiment,  of  what 
pay  is  due  such  sick  non-commissioned  oflBcer  or  private,  at  the  time  of  his  entering; 
the  hospital  or  quarters;  and  the  captain  or  commandant  of  the  troop  or  company, 
shall  not  receive  the  pay  of  the  said  soldier  in  hospital  or  quarters,  nor  include  him 
in  any  pay  abstract,  during  his  continuance  therein.  And  in  case  any  non-com- 
missioned oflBcer  or  soldier,  shall  be  di^^charged  from  the  hospital  or  quarters,  as 
unfit  for  further  service,  a  certificate  shall  be  given  him  by  the  surgeon  or  doctor, 
of  what  pay  is  then  due  him,  and  the  said  non-commissioned  oflScer  or  soldier 
discharged,  shall  be  entitled  to  receive  his  pay  at  any  pay  office,  or  from  any  pay- 
master in  the  service  of  the  United  States ;  the  said  paymaster  keeping  said  original 
certificate  to  prevent  imposition,  and  giving  the  non-commissioned  oificer  or  soldier 
his  discharge,  or  a  certified  copy  thereof,  mentioning  at  the  same  time  that  he  has 
been  paid." 

There  was  no  further  legislation  by  Congress  in  reference  to  the  Medi- 
cal Corps  in  .1776,  except  a  resolution  of  the  twenty-eighth  of  November, 
that  all  the  sick  on  the  east  side  of  the  Hudson  river  should  be  under  the 
charge  of  Doctor  Morgan,  and  all  those  on  the  west,  of  Doctor  Shippen. 
Arrangements  were  also  made  for  providing  accommodation  for  some  of  the 
sick  at  Philadelphia,  by  the  use  of  the  Pennsylvania  Hospital. 

During  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1776,  a  congressional  committee 
had  been  investigating  the  affairs  of  every  department  of  the  army,  and  in 
consequence  of  their  report.  Congress  on  the  ninth  of  January,  1777,  passed 
a  resolution: 

"That  Doctor  John  Morgan,  Director  General,  and  Doctor  Samuel  Stringer, 
director  of  the  hospital  in  the  Northern  Department  of  the  army  of  the  United 
States,  be,  and  they  are  hereby  dismissed  from  any  further  service  in  said  ofl&ces. 

That  the  directors  of  the  military  hospitals  throughout  the  army,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  hospital  and  regimental  surgeons  in  each  department,  make  returns 
to  Congress,  as  soon  as  possible,  of  the  kind  and  quantity  of  medicines,  instruments, 
and  hospital  furniture  that  remain  on  hand." 

In  regard  to  Doctor  Stringer,  it  is  much  to  be  feared  that  the  dismissal 
was  but  tardy  justice  for  continual  neglect  of  duty.  General  Gates  had 
been  very  much  dissatisfied  with  him  for  a  long  time,  and  had  latterly 
confided  everything  to  Doctor  Jonathan  Potts,  who  seems  to  have 
been  an  able  and  energetic  officer.  Doctor  Stringer  had,  on  the  twenty-ninth 
of  July,  obtained  permission  to  go  to  New  York  to  procure  the  much  needed 
supplies  for  the  department,  making  at  the  same  time  a  solemn  promise  to 
General  Gates,  that  he  would  not  delay  an  instant  beyond  what  was  abso- 
lutely necessary  in  returning  to  his  command,  which  was  in  very  great 
distress  for  want  of  stores.  Instead,  however,  of  doing  this  he  went  on  to 
Philadelphia,  to  discuss  with  members  of  Congress  the  disputed  question  of 
rank  between  Doctor  Morgan  and  himself;  "  preferment  hunting,"  as  Gates 


called  it,  in  a  letter  to  Egbert  Benson.  He  remained  absent  over  two  months, 
taking  Boston  en  route  back,  during  which  time,  as  Dr.  Potts  writes,  there 
was  not  enough  lint  or  material  for  bandages  in  the  whole  army  to  dress  the 
wounds  of  fifty  men.  Although  from  its -situation  the  army  was  very  much 
exposed  to  malarial  fevers,  the  hospital  did  not  possess  a  pound  of  cinchona 
bark;  and  snakeroot,  centaury,  and  dogwood  bark  were  used  instead,  as 
antiperiodics.  Ten  medicine  chests  which  Doctor  Morgan  had  forwarded 
had  not  arrived,  and  it  was  impossible  to  find  out  what  had  become  of  them. 
There  was  no  straw  or  bedding  for  the  sick,  who  were  laid  on  bare  boards, 
and  the  organization  of  the  hospitals  as  regards  nurses,  was  very  defective. 
In  fact,  the  army  was  on  the  brink  of  a  mutiny,  and  Gates  wrote:  "  T  can- 
not long  be  answerable  for  the  consequences  of  the  shameful  neglect  of  the 
army  in  this  Department.  The  United  States  expect  the  same  good  service 
from  their  troops  here  as  everywhere  else.  This  they  cannot  have,  unless 
they  command  the  same  attention  to  be  paid  the  health  of  the  soldiers  here 
as  elsewhere."  To  counteract  to  some  extent  this  disaffection,  the  General 
on  the  thirty -first  of  August  issued  the  following  order : 


August  81st,  1776. 

The  officers  and  soldiers  may  be  satisfied  that  the  General  has  left  no  means  in 
his  power  unattempted  to  procure  medicine  and  every  comfort  for  the  sick.  The 
director  of  the  general  hospital  in  this  department,  Doctor  Stringer,  was  sent  to 
New  York  three  and  thirty  days  ago,  with  positive  orders  to  return  the  instant  he 
had  provided  the  drugs  and  medicines  so  much  wanted.  Since  then  repeated  letters 
have  been  wrote  to  New  York  and  Philadelphia,  setting  forth  in  the  strongest  terms, 
the  pressing  necessity  of  an  immediate  supply  of  these  articles.  The  General  is 
credibly  informed  that  a  principal  surgeon  from  the  General  Hospital  at  New  York, 
has  been  dispatched  from  thence  above  a  fortnight  ago,  with  a  supply  of  medicines, 
and  apprehends  that  the  badness  of  the  roads  and  weather  has  alone  prevented 
his   arrival. 

It  is  the  soldier's  duty  to  maintain  the  post  he  is  ordered  to  defend.  The  same 
climate  and  season  that  affect  us  affect  our  enemies,  and  the  favour  of  the  Almighty, 
to  whom  we  have  appealed,  will,  if  we  trust  in  him,  preserve  us  from  slavery  and 

The  General  recommends  it  to  the  surgeons  of  the  different  regiments,  to  com- 
municate to  each  other,  the  state  of  the  sick  in  their  respective  corps,  the  various 
diseases,  the  remedies  principally  wanted,  and  the  comforts  most  in  request;  for  he 
will  leave  nothing  unattempted  in  his  power  to  provide  whatever  he  can  command 
for  their  recovery. 

The  General  also  desires  the  medical  gentlemen  will  consult  upon  and  adopt  the 
most  proper  measures  for  obtaining  those  salutary  purposes." 

During  the  following  month   matters   somewhat  improved.      Doctor 
Morgan  ordered  a  surgeon's  mate  from  New  York  to  Ticonderoga  with  a 


large  supply  of  excellent  medicines,  in  addition  to  the  regimental  chests 
previously  forwarded.  Doctor  Potts  also  received  from  some  relief  committees 
a  timely  supply  of  old  linen  and  bandages,  and  Doctor  Stringer  at  length 
wrote  from  Boston  that  he  had  purchased  a  large  quantity  of  stores  in 
that  city.  Still  the  sick  in  hospital  were  in  want  of  many  necessary  com- 
forts; for  the  congressional  committee,  who  visited  the  army  in  November, 
reported  as  follows: 

"  Your  Committee  beg  leave  further  to  report,  that  they  have  visited  the  General 
Hospital  for  the  Northern  Army,  situated  at  Fort  George ;  that  there  is  a  range  of 
buildings  erected  convenient  for  the  purpose,  which  on  the  twentieth  of  October  last, 
contained  about  four  hundred  sick,  including  those  wounded  and  sick  sent  from 
General  Arnold's  fleet ;  that  they  were  sufficiently  supplied  with  fresh  mutton  and 
Indian  meal,  but  wanted  vegetables:  that  the  Director  General  in  that  department 
obtained  a  large  supply  of  medicines,  but  the  sick  suffered  much  for  want  of  good 
female  nurses  and  comfortable  bedding;  many  of  those  poor  creatures  being,  obliged 
to  lay  upon  the  bare  boards.  Your  Committee  endeavored  to  procure  straw  as  the  best 
temporary  expedient,  but  they  earnestly  recommend  it  to  the  attention  of  Congress 
that  a  quantity  of  bedding  be  speedily  furnished.  ****** 
Your  Committee  cannot  omit  mentioning  under  this  head,  the  complaints  which  they 
have  received  from  persons  of  all  ranks,  in  and  out  of  the  army,  respecting  the 
subject  of  ill  treatment  of  the  sick.  It  is  shocking  to  the  feelings  of  humanity,  as 
well  as  ruinous  to  the  public  service,  that  so  deadly  an  evil,  has  been  so  long  with- 
out a  remedy.  Your  Committee  do  not  undertake  to  determine  from  what  quarter 
this  mischief  has  arisen,  but  they  most  earnestly  recommend  that  a  strict  inquiry 
be  immediately  made  into  the  conduct  of  Directors  General  of  Hospitals;  their 
surgeons,  other  officers  and  servants ;  and  that  exemplary  punishment  be  inflicted 
on  all  such  as  shall  be  found  to  have  neglected  their  duty." 

To  the  report  of  this  committee  and  the  resolution  dismissing  Doctor 
Stringer,  General  Philip  Schuyler,  commanding  the  Northern  Department, 
strongly  objected  in  a  letter  to  Congress.  Doctor  Stringer  was  a  warm  per- 
sonal friend  of  General  Schuyler's,  (from  whom  he  had  received  his  original 
appointment,)  and  the  latter  did  not  coincide  in  the  strictures  of  General 
Gates  on  the  conduct  of  the  director.  His  protest,  however,  only  served  to 
draw  down  the  indignation  of  Congress  upon  himself,  for  on  the  fifteenth  of 
March,  1777,  they  passed  a  series  of  resolutions  censuring  him  in  the 
severest  manner  for  his  interference,  and  placed  it  on  record : 

"  That  as  Congress  proceeded  to  the  dismissal  of  Doctor  Stringer,  upon  reasons 
satisfactory  to  themselves.  General  Schuyler  ought  to  have  known  it  to  be  his  duty 
to  have  acquiesced  therein. 

That  the  suggestion  in  General  Schuyler's  letter,  that  it  was  a  compliment  due 
to  him  to  have  been  advised  of  the  reasons  of  Doctor  Stringer's  dismissal,  is 
highly  derogatory  to  the  honour  of  Congress,  and  that  the  President  be  desired  to 
acquaint  General  Schuyler  that  it  is  expected  his  letters  for  the  future  be  written  in 
a  style  more  suitable,  etc. 


That  it  is  altogether  improper  and  inconsistent  with  the  dignity  of  Congress  to 
interfere  in  disputes  subsisting  among  the  officers  of  the  army,  which  ought  to  be 
settled,  unless  they  can  be  otherwise  accommodated,  in  a  court-martial  agreeably  to 
the  rules  of  the  army." 

After  the  dismissal  of  Doctor  Stringer,  Doctor  Potts  became  the  senior 
medical  oflScer  in  the  Northern  Department,  and  remained  on  duty  as  acting 
director  until  the  reorganization  of  the  hospital  department. 

In  considering  the  question  of  the  dismissal  of  the  Director  General, 
we  are  unfortunately  without  those  details  which  would  be  so  interesting 
relative  to  the  causes  which  led  to  this  summary  procedure;  but  it  is  a  mat- 
ter of  gratification  that  we  do  have  the  most  positive  proof  that  the  dismissal 
was  an  unjust  one.  This  evidence  we  shall  come  to  in  a  short  time;  mean- 
wjiile  we  can  offer  plausible  conjectures,  derived  from  letters  written  at  the 
time,  of  the  charges  against  Doctor  Morgan. 

We  find  abundant  evidence  in  contemporary  records  that  great  dissatis- 
faction existed  throughout  the  army,  both  among  officers  and  soldiers,  at  the 
management  of  the  hospital.  It  was  of  course  very  unreasonable,  but  they 
would  not  understand  the  difficulties  the  Director  General  labored  under 
in  procuring  supplies  of  all  kinds.  The  officers  continually  wrote  to  Con- 
gress, or  to  men  of  prominence  in  their  respective  states,  making  the 
gravest  charges  against  the  surgeons.  A  fair  sample  of  these  communica- 
tions may  be  found  in  the  following  extract  of  a  letter  written  by  Colonel 
William  Small  wood'  of  Maryland,  to  the  Council  of  Safety  of  his  state : 


October,  1776. 

Our  next  greatest  suffering  proceeds  from  the  great  neglect  of  the  sick,  and  the 
orders  relative  to  this  department  are  most  salutary,  were  they  to  be  duly  attended 
to ;  but  here  too  there  is  not  only  a  shameful  but  even  an  inhuman  neglect  daily  exhib- 
ited. The  directors  of  the  general  hospitals,  who  supply  and  provide  for  the  sick,  are 
extremely  remiss  and  inattentive  to  the  well  being  and  comfort  of  these  unhappy 
men ;  out  of  this  train  they  cannot  be  taken.  I  have  withdrawn  all  mine  long  ago, 
and  had  them  placed  in  a  comfortable  house  in  the  country,  and  supplied  them  with 
only  the  common  rations ;  even  this  is  preferable  to  the  fare  of  a  general  hospital. 
Two  of  these  regimental  hospitals,  after  I  have  had  them  put  in  order,  one  has  been 
taken  away  by  the  directors  for  a  general  hospital,  and  my  people  turned  out  of  doors, 
and  the  other  would  have  been  taken  in  the  same  manner  had  I  not  have  applied  to 
General  Washington,  who  told  me  to  keep  it.  The  misfortune  is  that  every  supply 
to  the  regimental  hospital  of  necessaries  suitable  for  the  sick  must  come  from  an 
order  from  the  directors,  and  is  very  seldom  obtained.  I  have  more  than  once 
applied  that  my  quartermaster  might  furnish  and  make  a  charge  for  what  was  sup- 
plied, by  which  means  I  could  have  rendered  the  situation  of  the  sick  much  more 
comfortable  at  a  less  expense,  but  it  could  not  be  allowed.      I  wish  this  could  be 


obtained.  I  foresee  the  evils  resulting  from  the  shameful  neglect  in  this  depart- 
ment. One  good-seasoned  and  well-trained  soldier  recovered  to  health,  is  worth  a 
dozen  new  recruits,  and  is  often  easier  recovered  than  to  get  a  recruit,  exclusive  of 
which,  this  neglect  is  very  discouraging  to  the  soldiery,  and  must  injure  the  service 
upon  the  new  enlistments  after  the  troops  go  into  winter  quarters. 


To  the  Honorable,  the  Council  of  Safety  of  Maryland."   » 

The  animus  of  this  letter  is  very  evident.  It  was  the  old  feeling  of 
jealousy  on  the  part  of  the  regimental  surgeons  against  those  of  the  general 
staflF,  which  found  an  exponent  in  this  communication  and  dozens  more  of 
the  same  character.  We  know  already  that  Doctor  Morgan  had  made  great 
efforts  to  establish  the  regimental  hospitals  on  a  firm  basis,  and  if  he  now 
withdrew  his  countenance  from  them  and  discouraged  their  continuance, 
he  doubtless  had  good  reason  for  his  action.  That  reason  we  find  an  ink- 
ling of  in  a  letter  from  General  Washington  to  John  Hancock,  written  about 
this  time.  Speaking  of  the  improvement  of  the  hospital  department, 
he  says: 

"No  less  attention  should  be  paid  to  the  choice  of  surgeons  than  of  other 
officers  of  the  army;  they  should  undergo  a  regular  examination,  and  if  not 
appointed  by  the  Director  General,  they  ought  to  be  subordinate  to,  and  governed 
by  his  directions.  The  regimental  surgeons  I  am  speaking  of,  many  of  whom  are 
very  great  rascals,  countenancing  the  men  in  sham  complaints  to  exempt  them  from 
duty,  and  often  receiving  bribes  to  certify  indispositions,  with  a  view  to  procure 
discharges  or  furloughs.  But,  independently  of  these  practices,  while  they  are 
considered  as  unconnected  with  the  general  hospital,  there  will  be  nothing  but 
continual  complaints  of  each  other,  the  director  of  the  hospital  charging  them  with 
enormity  in  their  drafts  for  the  sick,"and  they  him  for  denying  such  things  as  are 
necessary.  In  short,  there  is  a  constant  bickering  among  them,  which  tends  greatly 
to  the  injury  of  the  sick,  and  will  always  subsist  until  the  regimental  surgeons  are 
made  to  look  up  to  the  Director  General  of  the  hospital  as  a  superior.  Whether  this 
is  the  case  in  regular  armies  or  not  I  cannot  undertake  to  say,  but  certain  I  am,  there 
is  a  necessity  for  it  in  this  or  the  sick  will  suffer.  The  regimental  surgeons  are 
aiming  I  am  persuaded  to  break  up  the  general  hospitals,  and  have  in  numberless 
instances  drawn  for  medicines,  stores,  etc.,  in  the  most  profuse  and  extravagant 
manner  for  private  purposes." 

But  in  spite  of  this  strong  testimony  of  the  conspiracy  against  the 
general  hospital,  from  one  who  always  took  a  dispassionate  view  of  aflFairs, 
there  seems  no  doubt  that  complaints  multiplied,  and  the  cause  of  the  sick 
was  a  popular  one.  They  found  a  distinguished  advocate  in  General 
Nathaniel  Greene,  who  wrote  a  harrowing  picture  of  the  sufferings  of  the 
soldiers  in  consequence  of  the  insufficiency  of  the  general  hospital  and  general 
neglect,  and  was  especially  severe  on  the  Director  General  for  his  refusal  to 
supply   the   regimental   hospitals  with  medicines  which   he   did   not  have. 


"  I  can  see  no  reason,"  said  he,  "  either  from  policy  or  humanity  that  the  stores 
for  the  general  hospital  should  be  pres.erved  for  contingencies  which  may 
never  happen,  and  the  present  regimental  sick  left  to  perish  for  want  of 
proper  necessaries.  It  is  wholly  immaterial  in  my  opinion,  either  to  the  state 
or  army,  whether  a  man  dies  in  the  general  or  regimental  hospital.  The 
platform  of  the  general  hospital  should  be  large  enough  to  receive  all  the 
sick  that  are  unfit  to  continue  in  quarters,  or  else  to  supply  the  regimental 
hospitals  with  such  medicines  and  necessaries  as  the  state  of  the  sick  requires." 
In  a  postscript  to  this  letter  he  denies  any  intention  of  reflecting  on  the 
Director  General,  but  such  was  doubtless  its  efi'ect.  Unfortunately  for 
Doctor  Morgan,  his  lofty  ideas  of  the  prerogative  of  his  office  got  him  at 
this  time  into  a  controversy  with  Doctor  Shippen,  who  was,  as  will  be 
remembered,  director  of  the  hospital  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Hudson. 
The  report  of  the  congressional  committee  followed  soon  after.  It  was 
evidently  necessary,  so  great  was  the  clamor,  to  find  a  scape-goat;  nothing 
would  satisfy  the  complainants  but  a  change  of  the  administrative  head  of 
the  department,  and  Doctor  Morgan  was  sacrificed.  He  was  called  on  to 
offier  his  resignation,  but  refused  to  do  so  and  was  summarily  removed.  He 
remained  under  the  stigma  of  dismissal  for  upwards  of  a  year,  but  at  length 
in  1778,  he  prepared  an  elaborate  memorial  in  his  defence,  requesting  an 
enquiry  into  his  conduct,  which  he  transmitted  to  Congress,  and  on  the 
eighteenth  of  September,  that  body  referred  the  matter  for  investigation  to 
a  special  committee.  The  committee  did  not  report  until  the  twelfth  of  the 
succeeding  June,  when  the  following  preamble  and  resolutions  were  presented 
to  Congress  and  unanimously  passed: 

"Whereas,  by  report  of  the  Medical  Committee,  confirmed  by  Congress  on  the 
ninth  of  August,  1777,  it  appears  that  Doctor  John  Morgan,  late  Director  General, 
and  Chief  Physician  of  the  General  Hospital  of  the  United  States,  had  been  removed 
from  office  on  the  ninth  of  January,  1777,  by  reason  of  the  general  complaint  of 
persons  of  all  ranks  in  the  army,  and  the  critical  state  of  affairs  at  that  time ;  and 
that  the  said  Doctor  John  Morgan  requesting  an  enquiry  into  his  conduct,  it  was 
thought  proper  that  a  committee  of  Congress  should  be  appointed  for  that  purpose; 
and  whereas,  on  the  eighteenth  day  of  September  last,  such  a  committee  was  appointed, 
before  whom  the  said  Doctor  John  Morgan  hath  in  the  most  satisfactory  manner, 
vindicated  his  conduct  in  every  respect,  as  Director  General  and  Physician  in  Chief, 
upon  the  testimony  of  the  Commander  in  Chief,  General  officers,  officers  in  the 
general  hospital  department,  and  other  officers  in  the  army,  showing  that  the  said 
Director  General  did  conduct  himself  ably  and  faithfully  in  the  discharge  of  the 
duties  of  his  office,  therefore : 

Resolved,  That  Congress  are  satisfied  with  the  conduct  of  Doctor  John  Morgan, 
while  acting  as  Director  General  and  Physician  in  Chief  in  the  general  hospitals  in 
the  United  States;  and  that  this  resolution  be  published." 


This  was  a  very  handsome  apology  for  the  wrong  done,  but  it  would 
have  been  more  to  the  purpose  if  they  had  ordered  the  investigation  before 
they  disgraced  him  by  a  summary  dismissal.  Even  now  they  did  not  restore 
him  the  position  of  which  he  had  been  so  unjustly  deprived,  and  he  retired 
to  private  life,  broken  in  spirit  by  the  treatment  he  had  received;  a  blow 
from  which  he  never  entirely  recovered.  He  died  on  the  fifteenth  of 
October,  1789,  at  the  age  of  fifty-four  years. 

Among  the  many  striking  characters  furnished  by  our  revolutionary 
annals,  few  are  more  admirable  than  that  of  John  Morgan.  His  life  was 
passed  amid  stirring  scenes,  in  all  of  which  he  found  opportunities  for  useful- 
ness to  his  fellow  men.  As  a  student  he  was  laborious  and  painstaking ;  as 
a  physician,  learned  far  beyond  the  most  of  his  contemporaries;  as  a  young 
surgeon  in  the  British  army,  "  he  acquired  both  knowledge  and  reputation. 
He  was  respected  by  the  officers  and  beloved  by  the  soldiers;  and  so  great 
were  his  diligence  and  humanity  in  attending  the  sick  and  wounded  who 
were  the  subjects  of  his  care,  that  I  well  remember,"  says  Benjamin  Rush, 
"to  have  heard  it  said,  that  if  it  were  possible  for  any  man  to  merit  Heaven 
by  his  good  works.  Doctor  Morgan  would  deserve  it  for  his  faithful  attend- 
ance upon  his  patients."  He  may  be  said  to  have  been  the  father  of  medical 
education  in  America,  for  while  abroad  he  elaborated  a  plan  for  the  institu- 
tion of  medical  colleges  in  the  Colonies,  and  he  sustained  his  views  in  an 
elegant  and  scholarly  discourse  on  the  subject  at  the  commencement  of  the 
College  of  Philadelphia  on  the  thirty-first  of  May,  1765,  and  it  was  by  his 
eflForts,  aided  by  Shippen  and  others,  that  the  college  was  induced  to  estab- 
lish a  medical  department.  "  The  historian  who  shall  hereafter  relate  the 
progress  of  medical  science  in  America,  will  be  deficient  in  candour  and 
justice  if  he  does  not  connect  the  name  of  Doctor  Morgan  with  that  auspi- 
cious era,  in  which  medicine  was  first  taught  and  studied  as  a  science  in  this 
country.  He  possessed  an  uncommon  capacity  for  acquiring  knowledge.  His 
memory  was  extensive  and  accurate;  he  was  intimately  acquainted  with  the 
Latin  and  Greek  classics.  He  had  read  much  in  medicine.  In  all  his  pur- 
suits he  was  persevering  and  indefatigable." 

As  Director  General  of  the  army  he  evinced  great  administrative  ability, 
untiring  industry  often  under  the  most  discouraging  circumstances,  a  "most 
amiable  and  exemplary  tenderness"  towards  the  sick,  and  a  strict  tenacity  for 
his  own  dignity  and  the  rights  of  the  corps  of  which  he  was  the  chief  The 
errors  into  which  he  fell,  grew  out  of  his  desire  for  the  increased  efficiency 
of  the  hospital — the  failures  of  his  administration  were  the  result  of  causes 
beyond  his  control.     When  he  had  finally  gone  from  it,  the  army  found  out 


how  great  a  mind  and  true  a  friend  had  been  lost  to  its  ranks;  and  all,  from 
the  Commander-in-Chief  to  the  junior  subaltern,  united  in  their  testimony 
before  the  congressional  committee  to  relieve  him  from  the  aspersions  cast 
upon  his  character  by  the  malevolence  of  his  enemies. 

Those  who  served  with  the  army  in  the  field,  and  especially  the  officers 
of  the  Hospital  Department,  had  long  been  convinced  that  the  increased 
area  over  which  the  operations  of  the  campaign  had  been  extended  necessi- 
tated a  complete  reorganization  of  the  medical  service.  The  old  regulations 
had  been  established  when  there  was  but  one  army  in  the  field — that  in  front 
of  Boston — and  it  was  not  foreseen  at  the  time  that  the  war  would  attain 
such  proportions  as  to  require  the  division  of  the  whole  country  into  depart- 
ments. In  consequence,  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Director  Greneral  had  not 
been  distinctly  expressed  in  the  act  of  July  27,  1775,  and  subsequently, 
when  directors  were  appointed  for  new  departments,  it  was  left  an 
open  question  whether  these  were  subordinate  to  the  Director  General,  or 
only  to  the  commanders  of  their  own  departments.  Doctor  Morgan  so 
clearly  saw  the  necessity  of  a  centralization  of  authority  for  the  preservation 
of  efficiency  and  discipline,  that  he  sometimes  gave  a  construction  to  the  law 
in  which  the  directors  were  not  disposed  to  acquiesce,  and  hence  conflicts  of 
authority  had  arisen,  which  being  referred  to  Congress  had  excited  a  preju- 
dice against  the  existing  management  of  the  department.  That  body  made 
no  appointment  to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the  dismissal  of  Doctor  Mor- 
gan, and  in  the  interregnum  which  followed,  Doctors  William  Shippen  and 
John  Cochran  drew  up  a  plan  modelled  on  that  of  the  British  army,  which 
they  submitted  to  the  Commander-in-Chief.  Washington  gave  it  his  warm 
approval  in  a  letter  to  the  President  of  Congress,  which  contains  opinions  as 
to  the  importance  of  a  well  organized  medical  corps  that  demonstrated  the 
great  interest  he  always  took  in  this  branch  of  the  public  service : 

"  MORRISTOWN,  February  14,  1777. 

I  do  myself  the  honor  to  enclose  to  you,  a  plan  drawn  up  by  Doctor  Shippen, 
in  concert  with  Doctor  Cochran,  for  the  arrangement,  and  future  regulation  of  the 
General  Hospital.  As  this  plan  is  very  extensive,  the  appointments  numerous,  and 
the  salaries  affixed  to  them  at  present  large,  I  did  not  think  myself  at  liberty,  to 
adopt  any  part  of  it,  before  I  laid  it  before  Congress  for  their  approbation.  I  will 
just  remark,  that  though  the  expense  attending  an  hospital  upon  the  enclosed  plan, 
will  be  very  great,  it  will  in  the  end,  not  only  be  a  saving  to  the  public,  but  the  only 
possible  method  of  keeping  the  Army  afoot. 

The  number  of  officers  mentioned  in  the  enclosed  plan,  I  presume  are  necessary 
for  us,  because  they  are  found  so  in  the  British  hospitals,  and  as  they  are  established 
upon  the  surest  basis,  (that  of  long  experience,  under  the  ablest  physicians,  and 


surgeons,)  we  should  not  hesitate  a  moment,  in  adopting  their  regulations,  when 
they  so  plainly  tend  to  correct  and  improve  our  former  want  of  knowledge,  and 
method,  in  this  important  department. 

The  pay  aflBxed  to  the  different  departments,  is,  as  I  said  before,  great,  and 
perhaps  more  than  you  may  think  adequate  to  the  service.  In  determining  upon 
the  sum  that  is  to  be  allowed  to  each,  you  ought  to  consider,  that  it  should  be  such, 
as  will  induce  gentlemen  of  character,  and  skill  to  step  forth ;  and  in  some  manner 
adequate  to  the  practice  which  they  have  at  home;  for  unless  such  gentlemen  are 
induced  to  undertake  the  care,  and  management  of  our  hospitals,  we  had  better  trust 
to  the  force  of  nature,  and  our  constitutions,  than  suflFer  persons  entirely  ignorant 
of  medicine,  to  destroy  us,  by  ill  directed  application.  I  hear  from  every  quarter, 
that  the  dread  of  undergoing  the  same  miseries,  for  want  of  proper  care,  and  atten- 
tion has  much  retarded  the  new  enlistments,  particularly  to  the  southward.  This 
is  another  reason  for  establishing  our  hospital  upon  a  large,  and  generous  plan.  1 
could  wish  that  Congress  would  take  this  matter  under  their  immediate  con- 

Washington  also  earnestly  desired  some  improvement  in  the  character  of 
the  regimental  medical  officers;  a  class  of  which,  as  we  have  seen,  he  had  the 
lowest  possible  opinion.  On  the  fourteenth  of  March  he  wrote  again  to 
John  Hancock  on  this  subject: 

"There  is  one  more  thing  which  claims  in  my  opinion,  the  earliest  attention  of 
Congress.  I  mean  the  pay  of  regimental  Surgeons,  and  that  of  their  mates.  These 
appointments  are  so  essential,  that  they  cannot  be  done  without.  Their  pay  in  the 
first  instance  is  so  low,  so  inadequate  to  the  services  which  should  be  performed, 
that  no  man  sustaining  the  character  of  a  gentleman,  and  who  has  the  least  medical 
abilities,  or  skill  in  the  profession,  can  think  of  accepting  it;  that  in  the  latter  is  so 
paltry,  and  mean,  that  none  of  the  least  generosity  of  sentiment,  or  pretensions  to 
merit,  can  consent  to  act  for  it.  In  a  word,  these  are  inconveniences  of  an  inter- 
esting nature ;  they  amount  to  an  exclusion  of  those  persons,  who  could  perform 
the  duties  of  those  offices;  and  if  not  redressed,  there  is  not  the  smallest  probability, 
that  any  can  be  prevailed  on,  to  enter  them,  again." 

In  consequence  of  these  and  other  equally  urgent  appeals,  Congress  in 
March  appointed  a  special  committee,  consisting  of  Oliver  Wolcott,  of  Con- 
necticut, Jonathan  Witherspoon,  of  New  Jersey,  Samuel  Adams,  of  Massa- 
chusetts, Daniel  Roberdeau,  of  Pennsylvania,  and  Abraham  Clark,  of  New 
Jersey,  to  "devise  ways  and  means  for  preserving  the  health  of  the  troops." 
The  report  of  this  "committee  was  made  the  subject  of  debate  and  several 
times  recommitted,  until  April  second,  when  the  former  committee  were 
discharged  and  a  new  one  appointed  consisting  of  Messrs.  Elbridge  Gerry, 
John  Adams,  and  Thomas  Burke.  On  the  seventh  of  April  they  reported 
the  following  bill,  which  was  substantially  Doctor  Shippen's  plan,  and  which 
after  debate,  was  passed : 

"Resolved,  That  there  be  one  Director  General  of  all  the  military  hospitals, 
which  shall  be  erected  for  the  Continental  Army  in  the  United  States,  who  shall 
particularly  superintend  all  the  hospitals,  between  Hudson's  and  the  Potomac  rivers. 


2.  That  there  be  one  deputy  director  general,  who  in  the  absence  of  the  Direc- 
tor General,  shall  superintend  the  hospitals  to  the  eastward  of  Hudson's  river. 

3.  That  there  be  one  deputy  director  general,  who  in  the  absence  of  the  Direc- 
tor General,  shall  superintend  the  hospitals  in  the  Northern  Department. 

4.  That  when  the  circumstances  of  war  shall  require  it,  there  be  one  deputy 
director  general,  who  in  the  absence  of  the  Director  General,  shall  superintend  the 
hospitals  in  the  Southern  Department. 

5.  That  the  Director  General,  or  in  his  absence,  the  deputy  director  general 
in  each  separate  department,  be  empowered,  and  required,  with  the  consent  of  the 
Commander  in  Chief  therein,  to  establish,  and  regulate  a  sufficient  number  of  hos- 
pitals, at  proper  places  for  the  reception  of  the  sick  and  wounded  of  the  Army;  to 
provide  medicines,  instruments,  dressings,  bedding  and  other  necessary  furniture, 
proper  diet,  and  everything  necessary  for  the  sick  and  wounded  soldiers,  and  the 
officers  of  the  hospitals;  to  pay  the  salaries,  and  all  other  expenses  of  the  same. 

6.  That  there  be  assistant  deputy  directors,  to  superintend  the  hospitals  com- 
mitted to  their  care,  and  assist  in  providing  the  articles  before  specified,  under  the 
orders,  and  control  of  the  director,  or  deputy  director  general,  of  the  respective 

7.  That  there  be  one  apothecary  general  for  each  district,  whose  duty  it  shall 
be,  to  receive,  prepare,  and  deliver  medicines,  and  other  articles  of  his  department, 
to  the  hospitals  and  army,  as  shall  be  ordered  by  the  Director  General,  or  deputy 
directors  general  respectively. 

8.  That  the  apothecaries  be  allowed  as  many  mates,  as  the  Director  General, 
or  respective  deputy  directors  general,  shall  think  necessary. 

9.  That  there  be  a  commissary  of  the  hospitals,  in  each  of  the  aforesaid  dis- 
tricts, whose  duty  it  shall  be,  to  procure,  store,  and  deliver  provisions,  forage,  and 
such  other  articles,  as  the  Director  General,  or  deputy  director  general  shall  judge 
necessary,  for  the  use  of  the  hospitals ;  in  the  purchase  of  which,  he  shall  frequently 
consult  with  the  Commissary  and  Quartermaster  General,  and  be  regulated  by  the 
prices,  which  they  give. 

10.  That  the  commissary  be  allowed  such  assistants  and  storekeepers,  as  the 
Director  General,  or  deputy  director  general  of  the  district,  shall  judge  necessary. 

11.  That  a  steward  be  allowed  for  every  hundred  sick,  who  shall  receive  pro- 
visions from  the  commissary,  and  distribute  them  agreeable  to  the  orders  of  the 
Director  General,  or  in  his  absence  of  the  deputy  director  general,  or  physician,  or 
surgeon  general,  and  be  accountable  to  the  commissary  for  the  same. 

12.  That  a  matron  be  allowed  to  every  hundred  sick  or  wounded,  who  shall 
take  care  that  the  provisions  are  properly  prepared;  that  the  wards,  beds,  and 
utensils  be  kept  in  neat  order;  and  that  the  most  exact  economy  be  observed  in  her 

13.  That  a  nurse  be  allowed  for  every  ten  sick,  or  wounded,  who  shall  be  under 
the  direction  of  the  matron.* 

17.  That  such  officers,  and  soldiers  as  the  general  shall  order  to  guard  the 
hospital,  and  to  conduct  such  as  shall  be  weekly  discharged  the  hospital,  to  their 
respective  regiments,  shall  while  this  on  duty,  obey  the  director,  or  deputy  director 
general,  or  the  physicians  and  surgeon  general. 

*  Sections  14, 15  and  16  provide  for  an  hostler  to  each  hospital,  to  take  care  of  the  horses;  a  clerk, 
to  keep  the  acconnts ;  and  such  number  of  assistant  clerks,  as  may  be  judged  necessary. 


18.  That  the  director,  and  deputy  directors  general  be  empowered  respectively 
to  appoint,  and  discharge  their  assistant  deputy  directors;  and  other  said  ofiBcers 
and  attendants  at  the  hospital,  in  such  numbers,  as  the  necessities  of  the  army  may 
require,  and  the  Commander  in  Chief  of  the  department,  in  writing  may  approve; 
report  of  which  to  be  immediately  made  to  Congress,  as  hereafter  directed. 

19.  That  there  be  also  one  physician  and  one  surgeon  general  in  each  dis- 
trict, to  be  appointed  by  Congress,  whose  duty  it  shall  be,  respectively  to  super- 
intend the  practice  of  physic  and  surgery,  in  all  the  hospitals  in  the  district,  to 
which  they  shall  be  appointed;  and  in  the  absence  of  the  director,  or  deputy  director 
general,  they  shall  have  power  to  order  the  physicians,  surgeons,  and  other  officers 
of  the  several  hospitals,  to  such  duty  as  they  shall  think  proper ;  and  shall  report 
weekly  to  the  Director  General,  or  in  his  absence,  to  the  deputy  director  general,  or 
in  his  absence,  to  the  assistant  deputy  director,  the  state  and  number  of  the  sick, 
and  wounded  in  the  hospitals,  and  the  delinquent  officers  of  the  same,  and  see,  that 
such  as  may  be  fit,  shall  be  delivered  every  week,  to  the  officer  of  the  guard. 

20.  That  there  be  allowed  also,  senior  physicians  and  surgeons,  who  shall 
attend,  prescribe  for,  and  operate  upon,  and  see  properly  treated,  such  sick  and 
wounded,  as  shall  be  allowed  them  by  the  director  general,  deputy  directors  general, 
or  assistant  deputy  director,  or  physician,  or  surgeon  general;  the  number  for  the 
district,  to  be  determined  by  the  director  general,  or  deputy  director  general,  and 
appointed  by  the  surgeon  and  physician  generals. 

21.  That  there  be  also,  such  a  number  of  second  surgeons,  as  the  director,  or 
deputy  director  general  for  the  district,  shall  judge  necessary,  to  assist  the  senior 
surgeons  ;  and  to  be  under  the  same  direction,  and  to  be  appointed  by  the  physician 
and  surgeon  general,  as  aforesaid. 

22.  That  there  be  also  such  a  number  of  mates,  as  the  director,  or  deputy 
director  general  of  the  district  shall  direct,  who  shall  assist  the  surgeons,  in  the 
care  of  the  wounded,  and  see  that  the  medicines  are  properly,  and  regularly  admin- 
istered ;  and  appointed  in  the  same  manner  before  directed  for  senior,  and  second 

23.  That  a  suitable  number  of  covered  and  other  wagons,  litters,  and  other 
necessaries  for  removing  the  sick  and  wounded;  shall  be  supplied  by  the  Quarter- 
master, or  deputy  quartermaster  general;  and  in  cases  of  their  deficiency  by  the 
director,  or  deputy  director  general. 

24.  That  there  be  one  physician  and  surgeon  general,  for  each  separate  army, 
who  shall  be  subject  to  the  orders  and  control,  of  the  director,  or  deputy  director 
general,  of  the  district  in  which  he  acts ;  that  his  duty  shall  be  to  superintend  the 
regimental  surgeons,  and  their  mates,  and  to  see  that  they  do  their  duty,  to  hear 
all  complaints  against  the  said  regimental  surgeons,  and  their  mates,  and  make 
report  of  them  to  the  Director  General,  or  in  his  absence  to  the  deputy  director 
general;  or  in  their  absence  from  the  army,  to  the  commanding  officer  thereof,  that 
they  may  be  brought  to  trial  by  court  martial  for  misbehavior ;  to  receive  from  the 
Director  General,  or  deputy  director  general  a  suitable  number  of  large  strong  tents, 
beds,  bedding,  medicines,  and  hospital  stores  for  such  sick  and  wounded  as  cannot 
be  removed  to  the  general  hospital  with  safety;  or  may  be  rendered  fit  for  duty  in 
a  few  days ;  and  shall  also  see  that  the  sick  and  wounded  while  under  his  care,  are 
properly  attended,  and  dressed,  and  conveyed  when  able  to  the  general  hospital ;  for 
which  last  purpose  he  shall  be  supplied  by  the  Director  General,  or  deputy  director 
general  with  a  proper  number  of  convenient  wagons,  and  drivers. 


25.  That  each  physician  and  surgeon  general  of  the  army,  shall  appoint  such 
a  number  of  surgeons,  nurses,  and  orderly  men,  as  the  director,  or  deputy  director 
general  shall  judge  necessary,  for  the  more  effectual  care  of  the  sick,  and  wounded, 
under  the  care  of  such  physician  and  surgeon  general,  as  provided  in  the  last  fore- 
going section;  and  the  said  physician  and  surgeon  generals,  shall  have  under  them 
in  each  army,  a  steward  to  receive  and  properly  dispense  such  articles  of  diet,  as 
the  director,  or  deputy  director  general  shall  give,  or  order  to  be  given  him,  by  the 
commissary  of  the  army,  or  hospital. 

26.  That  whenever  any  regimental  surgeon,  or  mate  shall  be  absent  from  his 
regiment  without  leave  from  the  said  surgeon  general,  or  the  Commander  in  Chief 
of  the  army  where  his  duty  lies,  the  said  surgeon  general  shall  have  power  to 
remove  such  surgeon  or  mate,  and  forthwith  to  appoint  another  in  his  stead. 

27.  That  the  director,  deputy  directors,  physicians  and  surgeons  general,  and 
all  other  oflScers  above  enumerated,  shall  be  tried  by  a  court  martial  for  any  mis- 
behavior, or  neglect  of  duty,  as  the  Commander  in  Chief  of  the  several  armies  shall 

28.  That  the  physician  and  surgeon  general  of  each  army  shall  cause  daily 
returns  to  be  made  to  him,  of  all  the  sick  and  wounded,  who  have  been  removed  to 
the  hospital ;  all  that  remain  in  the  hospital  tents ;  all  that  have  become  fit  for  duty ; 
all  who  are  convalescent ;  and  all  who  may  have  died ;  specifying  the  particular 
maladies,  under  which  the  sick,  and  wounded  labor. 

29.  That  the  said  physician  and  surgeon  general  shall  cause  weekly  returns 
to  be  made  of  the  same  to  the  director,  and  deputy  directors  general,  respectively.* 

32.  That  the  deputy  directors  general  cause  the  like  returns  to  be  made,  once 
every  month,  to  the  director  general,  together  with  the  names,  and  denominations 
of  all  the  officers  in  the  respective  hospitals,  and  that  the  director  general  shall 
make  a  like  return  for  all  the  hospitals,  and  armies  of  these  United  States,  once 
every  month,  to  the  Medical  Committee. 

33.  That  the  Medical  Committee  have  power  to  appoint  any  of  their  number, 
to  visit  and  inspect  all,  or  any  of  the  Medical  Departments,  as  often  as  they  shall 
think  proper ;  enquire  into  the  conduct  of  such  general  officers  of  the  hospital,  as 
shall  be  delinquent  in  this,  or  any  part  of  their  duty ;  and  to  report  their  names 
to  Congress,  with  the  evidence  of  the  charges,  which  shall  be  brought  against 

34.  That  in  times  of  action,  and  other  emergency,  when  the  regimental  sur- 
geons are  not  sufficient  in  number,  to  attend  properly  to  the  sick,  and  wounded,  that 
cannot  be  removed  to  the  hospitals,  the  Director  General,  or  deputy  director  general 
of  the  district  be  empowered  and  required,  upon  the  request  of  the  physician  or 
surgeon  general  of  the  army,  to  send  from  the  hospitals,  under  his  care,  to  the 
assistance  of  such  sick,  or  wounded,  as  many  physicians,  and  surgeons  as  can  pos- 
sibly be  spared  from  the  necessary  business  of  the  hospital. 

35.  That  the  director,  deputy  directors  general,  assistant  deputy  directors, 
physicians,  and  surgeons  general,  be,  and  are  hereby  required,  and  directed  to 
employ  such  parts  of  their  time,  as  may  conveniently  be  spared  from  the  duties 
before  pointed  out  to  them,  in  visiting  and  prescribing  for  the  sick,  and  wounded, 
in  the  hospital  under  their  care." 

*  Sections  30  and  31  provide,  that  physicians  and  surgeons  general  of  hoepitals  shall  cause  like 
daily  returns  to  be  made,  and  shall  make  like  weekly  returns. 


The  pay  and  allowances  of  the  oflScers  to  be  appointed  under  this  act 
were  fixed  as  follows : 

"Director  General,  six  dollars  a  day,  and  nine  rations. 

Deputy  Director  General,  five  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Assistant  Deputy  Director,  three  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Physician  General  and  Surgeon  General,  each,  five  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  Army,  five  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Senior  Surgeons,  each,  four  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Second  Surgeons,  each,  two  dollars  a  day,  and  four  rations. 

Surgeon's  Mates,  each,  one  and  one-third  dollars  a  day,  and  two  rations. 

Apothecaries  General,  each,  three  dollars  a  day,  and  six  rations. 

Apothecaries'  Mates,  one  and  one-third  dollars  a  day,  and  two  rations. 

Commissary,  two  dollars  a  day,  and  four  rations. 

Clerk,  who  is  to  be  Paymaster,  two  dollars  a  day,  and  four  rations. 

Assistant  Clerks,  two-thirds  of  a  dollar  a  day,  and  one  ration. 

Stewards,  one  dollar  a  day,  and  two  rations. 

Matrons,  one-half  dollar  a  day,  and  one  ration. 

Nurses,  each,  twenty-four-ninetieths  of  a  dollar  a  day,  and  one  ration. 

Regimental  Surgeons,  two  dollars  a  day,  and  four  rations. 

Regimental  Mates,  one  and  one-third  of  a  dollar  a  day,  and  two  rations." 
The  defects  of  this  law  consisted  in  the  complex  character  of  the  organi- 
zation and  the  multiplication  of  unnecessary  offices.  It  would  seem,  from 
our  own  experience,  that  there  would  have  been  less  danger  of  conflicts 
of  authority  had  the  offices  of  physician  and  surgeon  general  of  hospi- 
pitals  been  united  in  one  person ;  but  it  should  be  remembered  in  this  con- 
nection, that  even  as  late  as  one  hundred  years  ago  the  professions  of  surgery 
and  medicine  were  still  essentially  distinct,  and  that  surgery  had  compara- 
tively recently  been  elevated,  from  being  one  of  the  acquirements  of  an 
accomplished  barber,  to  the  dignity  of  a  science.  The  relations  between 
these  officers  and  the  deputy  directors  general  should  have  been  more  clearly 
defined.  The  clause  directing  the  latter  to  spend  their  available  time  in 
visiting  and  prescribing  for  the  patients  in  hospital  was  liable  to  lead  to 
misunderstanding.  Practically,  they  probably  confined  themselves  to  occa- 
sional inspections,  but  they  had  the  power,  de  Jure,  at  any  time  to  alter  the 
treatment  of  patients  in  hospital,  without  consulting  the  physician  or  surgeon 
general;  an  authority,  which,  if  exercised,  must  have  given  rise  to  endless 
confusion,  and  great  detriment  to  the  sick.  Above  all  the  continued  union 
of  the  administrative  and  purveying  departments  of  the  service  under  one 
head  was  a  most  injudicious  provision,  and  caused,  as  we  shall  see,  a  series 
of  difficulties  which  only  ended  with  another  complete  change  in  the  organ- 

Still,  notwithstanding  these  grave  faults,  the  new  law  gave  promise  of  a 
much  more  efficient  administration  of  affairs  than  had  hitherto  been  possible. 


It  met  with  the  cordial  approval  of  the  Commander-in-Chief,  who  saw  most 
desirable  benefits  to  the  army  at  large  from  its  enactment.  It  definitely 
fixed  the  status  of  the  Director  General,  by  making  him  really  the  executive 
head  of  the  Department;  while  the  sections  providing  for  the  returns  and 
reports  from  the  various  hospitals  enabled  him  at  all  times  to  know  their 
exact  condition.  There  was  a  point  gained  also  in  placing  the  regimental 
medical  officers  under  a  supervising  officer  of  their  own  corps;  for  they 
had  hitherto  been  rather  disposed  to  ignore  all  authority,  except  what  came 
from  their  own  colonels,  and  had  always  shown  an  antagonism,  (by  no  means 
beneficial  to  the  army  at  large.)  towards  the  Hospital  Department.  The 
number  of  officers  created  by  the  act  was  very  large;  but  we  find  a  reason 
for  this  in  a  statement  made  by  General  Whipple,  a  member  of  Congress  at 
the  time.  Writing  to  Doctor  James  Tilton,  he  says:  "Congress,  being  sen- 
sible of  the  mismanagement  in  the  Medical  Department  last  year,  and  deter- 
mined to  remedy  the  evil  if  possible,  have  formed  a  plan  on  the  most  liberal 
principles,  with  a  design  to  draw,  if  possible,  into  the  service  of  their  country 
gentlemen  of  the  first  eminence  from  difi"erent  parts  of  the  continent,  many 
of  whom  have  already  engaged." 

On  the  eleventh  of  April  Congress  proceeded  to  the  election  of  officers 
of  the  Medical  Department,  called  for  by  the  new  organization. 

To  the  position  of  Director  General,  Doctor  Philip  Turner,  of  Connect- 
icut, was  at  first  nominated  and  elected;  but  before  adjournment  a  recon- 
sideration was  moved,  and  it  was  urged  with  great  propriety  that  the  author 
of  the  plan  had  claims,  not  only  of  great  distinction  in  his  profession,  but  of 
previous  service,  which  were  superior  to  those  of  others.  Accordingly,  a 
new  election  being  held.  Doctor  William  Shippen  received  the  unanimous 
vote  of  all  the  thirteen  states. 

The  positions  in  the  Middle  Department  were  filled  as  follows : 

Physician  General  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Walter  Jones,  of  Virginia. 

Surgeon  General  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Benjamin  Rush,  of  Penn- 

Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  army ;  Doctor  John  Cochran,  of 

In  the  Eastern  Department  the  appointments  were : 

Deputy  Director  General ;  Doctor  Isaac  Foster,  of  Massachusetts. 
Physician  General  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Ammi  R.  Cutler,  of  New 


Surgeon  Greneral  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Philip  Turner,  of  Connecticut. 
Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  army;  Doctor  William  Burnet, 
of  New  Jersey. 

For  the  Northern  Department: 

Deputy  Director  General ;  Doctor  Jonathan  Potts,  of  Pennsylvania. 
Physician  General  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Malachi  Treat,  of  New  York. 
Surgeon  General  of  the  Hospital ;  Doctor  Forgue. 
Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  army;  Doctor  John  Bartlett. 

Doctor  William  Shippen,  jun.,  the  successor  of  Doctor  Morgan  as 
Director  General,  was  the  son  of  a  distinguished  physician  of  Philadelphia, 
where  he  was  born  in  1736.  His  father  was  one  of  the  founders  of,  and  a 
trustee  in  the  college  of  New  Jersey  at  Princeton,  and  thither  he  sent  his 
son  to  receive  his  academic  education.  He  graduated  with  the  highest 
honors  in  1754,  and  after  studying  medicine  for  three  years  in  his  father's 
oflfice,  went  to  Europe  to  take  his  degree.  In  London  he  resided  in  the 
family  of  John  Hunter,  and  studied  anatomy  under  his  direction,  and  mid- 
wifery under  that  of  William  Hunter.  From  London  we  went  to  Edinburgh, 
and  placed  himself  under  the  tutelage  of  Cullen,  graduating  in  1761.  He 
then  spent  a  year  in  France,  and  returning  to  America  in  1762,  immediately 
commenced  a  course  of  lectures  on  anatomy  in  Philadelphia.  He  had 
delivered  three  courses,  when  Morgan,  in  1765,  laid  before  the  trustees  of 
the  college  his  plan  for  the  establishment  of  medical  schools  in  America. 
Doctor  Shippen  cordially  endorsed  the  former's  views,  and  on  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  school  was  chosen  to  the  chair  of  anatomy.  He  delivered  lec- 
tures every  year  to  constantly  increasing  classes,  until  the  war  caused  a 
suspension  of  the  college.  In  1776  he  entered  the  service  of  the  United 
States  as  director  of  the  flying  camp  established  at  Trenton,  and  was  subse- 
quently given  the  entire  supervision  over  all  hospitals  on  the  west  bank  of 
the  Hudson  river.     Both  of  these  positions  he  had  filled  with  great  ability. 

Doctor  Walter  Jones,  the  Physician  General  of  the  Hospital  in  the 
Middle  Department,  was  a  native  of  Northampton  County,  Virginia.  He 
received  his  medical  education  at  Edinburgh,  enjoying  the  especial  esteem  of 
Cullen  and  others  among  the  professors  and  graduating  in  1770.  Return- 
ing to  America,  he  settled  in  practice  in  his  native  county,  and  at  the  outbreak 
of  the  war  had  obtained  a  high  character  as  a  scholar  and  a  physician. 
"  He  was,  for  the  variety  and  extent  of  his  learning,  the  originality  and 
strength  of  his  mind,  the  sagacity  of  his  observations,  and  the  captivating 
powers  of  his  conversation,  one  of  the  most  extraordinary  of  men."    He  held 


his  position  in  the  army  but  two  months,  finding  country  practice  among 
the  cultivated  gentry  of  Virginia  more  to  his  taste.  He  resigned  on  the  first 
of  July,  and  was  succeeded  by  Doctor  Rush. 

Doctor  Benjamin  Rush,  Surgeon  General  of  the  Hospital  in  the  Mid- 
dle Department,  was  born  near  Philadelphia,  December  24,  1745.  He 
»  received  his  education  at  Princeton,  and  graduated  in  1760,  when  but  fifteen 
years  old.  He  then  studied  medicine  for  six  years  with  Doctor  John  Red- 
man, attending  during  this  time  the  first  course  of  anatomical  lectures  given 
by  Shippen.  He  went  to  Edinburgh  in  1766,  where  he  received  his  degree 
of  doctor  of  medicine  in  1768.  After  spending  a  year  in  the  London  and 
Paris  hospitals,  he  returned  to  Philadelphia  in  1769,  and  immediately  com- 
menced practice.  In  the  same  year  he  was  elected  professor  of  chemistry  in 
the  medical  school.  Before  the  Revolution  he  was  an  active  friend  of  liberty, 
taking  a  great  interest  in  public  affairs,  and  represented  Pennsylvania  in  the 
Colonial  Congress  of  1776,  and  was  in  consequence  one  of  the  signers  of  the 
Declaration  of  Independence.  His  reputation  as  a  patriot,  author,  teacher 
and  physician  is  too  well  known  to  need  more  than  a  passing  mention  in  this 
place.  The  position  of  Surgeon  General  was  not  congenial  to  him,  and  on 
the  resignation  of  Doctor  Jones  he  was  transferred  to  the  oflBce  of  Physician 
General,  which  was  more  in  accordance  with  the  scope  of  his  studies  and 

Doctor  John  Cochran,  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  army  in 
the  Middle  Department,  was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  born  in  Chester 
county  in  1730.  He  never  received  a  collegiate  education,  but  at  an  early 
age  studied  medicine  in  a  physician's  office  in  Lancaster.  During  the  French 
war  he  served  in  the  army  in  the  position  of  surgeon's  mate  in  the  Hospital 
Department,  and  gained  a  good  reputation  as  an  officer  of  ability  and  skill. 
After  leaving  the  service  he  settled  in  practice  in  New  Brunswick,  New 
Jersey,  where  he  was  "  eminently  distinguished  as  a  practitioner  in  medicine 
and  surgery."  As  soon  as  the  Revolution  commenced  he  proffered  his  servi- 
ces as  a  volunteer,  and  remained  on  duty  with  the  army  without  holding  any 
official  position,  until  his  present  appointment.  Washington  had  a  high 
appreciation  of  his  character,  and  it  was  chiefly  owing  to  his  recommenda- 
tion that  he  received  the  appointment.  Writing  to  the  President  of  Con- 
gress, early  in  April,  1777,  he  says:  "If  the  appointments  in  the  hospital 
are  not  filled  up  before  the  receipt  of  this,  I  would  take  the  liberty  of  men- 
tioning a  gentleman  whom  I  think  highly  deserving  of  notice,  not  only  on 
account  of  his  abilities,  but  for  the  very  great  assistance  which  he  has 
afforded  in  the  course  of  this  winter  merely  in  the  nature  of  a  volunteer. 


The  gentleman  is  Doctor  John  Cochran,  well  known  to  all  the  faculty,  and 
particularly  to  Doctor  Shippen,  who  I  suppose  has  mentioned  him  among 
the  candidates.  The  place  for  which  the  Doctor  is  well  fitted,  and  which 
would  be  most  agreeable  to  him,  is  Surgeon  General  of  the  Middle  Depart- 
ment. In  this  line  he  served  all  the  last  war  in  the  British  service,  and  has 
distinguished  himself  this  winter,  particularly  in  his  attention  to  the  small- 
pox patients,  who  but  for  him  and  Doctor  Bond  must  have  sufiered  much,  if 
not  been  totally  neglected,  as  there  were  no  other  medical  gentlemen  to  be 
found.  If  the  appointment  of  Surgeon  General  is  filled  up,  that  of  Deputy 
Director  in  the  Middle  Department  would  be  acceptable." 

Doctor  Isaac  Foster,  Deputy  Director  General  in  the  Eastern  Depart- 
ment, was  a  physician  of  high  standing  and  in  large  practice  in  the  village 
of  Charlestown,  Massachusetts,  when  the  siege  of  Boston  commenced.  He 
immediately  abandoned  his  office  and  reported  to  the  army  at  Cambridge, 
and  was  appointed  by  the  Provincial  Congress  of  the  Colony  a  senior  hospi- 
tal surgeon,  and  assigned  to  the  charge  of  the  hospital  at  Cambridge.  Upon 
the  organization  of  the  Continental  army  he  was  retained  as  a  surgeon,  and 
placed  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital  in  New  York  city,  and  had  been  in  the 
service  ever  since,  having  gained  an  excellent  reputation  as  an  efficient  officer. 

Doctor  Ammi  R.  Cutter,  who  was  appointed  to  be  Physician  General 
of  the  Hospital  in  this  department,  was  a  native  of  North  Yarmouth,  Maine, 
and  born  in  1734.  He  graduated  at  Harvard  in  1752,  and  studied  medi- 
cine in  the  office  of  a  physician  in  Portsmouth,  New  Hampshire.  Imme- 
diately after  admission  to  practice  he  was  appointed  surgeon  to  a  body  of 
rangers,  which  formed  part  of  the  frontier  army  against  the  Indians  in  1755. 
In  1758  he  served  as  surgeon  to  the  New  Hampshire  troops  at  the  siege  of 
Louisbourg,  and  at  the  close  of  that  campaign  entered  into  private  practice 
in  New  Hampshire.  At  the  commencement  of  the  war,  though  bound  by 
the  strongest  ties  of  friendship  and  gratitude  to  Sir  John  Wentworth,  the 
tory  governor,  and  though  every  possible  influence  was  brought  to  bear  to 
shake  his  loyalty,  he  gave  in  his  allegiance  to  the  whigs  and  became  an 
ardent  patriot.  He  held  no  official  position  prior  to  the  present  one. 
Thacher  says  of  him — "his  manners  were  dignified,  yet  courteous,  and  his 
countenance  was  strongly  marked  with  the  moral  energy,  intelligence,  and 
benevolence,  which  formed  the  leading  traits  of  his  character.  He  united 
to  a  naturally  fine  temper,  great  vivacity  and  a  social  disposition ;  his  collo- 
quial powers  were  remarkable ;  he  had  a  tenacious  memory,  and  the  diversi- 
fied scenes  of  his  long  life,  he  used  to  relate  with  a  felicity  of  language  and 
happiness  of  allusion,  that  made  him  an  instructive  and  delightful  companion.'^ 


Doctor  Philip  Turner,  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  Eastern  Department, 
was  born  at  Norwich,  Connecticut,  in  1740.  He  studied  medicine  in  his 
native  town,  and  at  the  age  of  nineteen  was  appointed  assistant  surgeon  to  a 
provincial  regiment  under  General  Amherst  at  Ticonderoga.  He  remained 
in  the  service  until  1763,  when  he  returned  to  Norwich,  married  the  daughter 
of  his  former  preceptor,  and  settling  in  practice  soon  gained  a  wide  spread 
reputation  as  an  operating  surgeon.  He  reentered  military  life  as  soon 
as  the  war  broke  out,  and  was  the  first  surgeon  of  the  Connecticut 
troops,  at  the  siege  of  Boston.  He  subsequently  participated  in  the  battles 
of  Long  Island  and  White  Plains,  gaining  great  distinction  as  the  most 
skillful  surgeon  in  the  army.  Doctor  Shippen  said  of  him,  that  neither  in 
America  nor  in  Europe  had  he  ever  seen  an  operator  that  excelled  him.  He 
is  reported  to  have  been  successful  in  eighteen  out  of  twenty  operations  of 
lithotomy.  As  before  stated,  his  great  fame  gained  him  the  appointment  of 
Director  General  in  the  reorganization,  but  motives  of  policy  induced  Con- 
gress to  vote  a  reconsideration,  and  the  position  was  given  to  Doctor  Shippen. 

Doctor  William  Burnet,  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  of  the  army 
in  the  Eastern  Department,  was  born  at  Elizabeth,  New  Jersey,  in  1730. 
He  graduated  in  1745  at  the  college  of  New  Jersey,  then  located  at  Newark. 
He  practiced  for  many  years  in  Newark,  and  was  highly  esteemed  as  a 
gentleman,  a  scholar,  and  a  christian.  He  had  represented  New  Jersey  in 
Congress,  besides  holding  many  other  official  positions  of  importance.  The 
epitaph  on  his  tombstone  says :  "  In  all  his  public  services,  he  exhibited  in 
the  cause  of  his  beloved  country  unshaken  firmness,  zeal,  patriotism  and 

Doctor  Jonathan  Potts,  who  was  elected  to  be  Deputy  Director  General 
of  the  Northern  Department,  was  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  and  graduated 
as  bachelor  of  physic  at  the  college  in  Philadelphia  in  1768,  when  he 
delivered  the  valedictory  address.  He  received  the  degree  of  doctor  of 
medicine  in  1771.  He  had  already  been  a  long  ^time  on  duty  in  that  depart- 
ment, first  as  hospital  surgeon,  and  since  the  dismissal  of  Doctor  Stringer  as 
acting  director,  and  had  proved  capable  and  efficient.  Congress  thought  bo 
well  of  his  services  as  to  pass  a  resolution  specially  commending  him,  on  the 
fifth  of  November  of  this  year. 

Of  the  early  life  of  Doctor  Malachi  Treat  nothing  is  known ;  but  he 
was  a  distinguished  practitioner  in  New  York  city,  and  had  originally  entered 
the  army  under  the  appointment  of  the  Provincial  Congress  of  his  native 
state.  He  had  been  for  a  long  time  one  of  the  board  of  examiners  for 
admission  of  candidates  into  the  Hospital  Department  from  New  York. 


Doctor  John  Bartlett  and  Doctor  Forgue  seem  to  have  been  entirely 
unknown.  Except  the  single  record  of  their  appointments  in  the  journals 
of  the  Colonial  Congress,  there  is  no  mention  of  them  in  any  of  the  litera- 
ture of  the  Revolution.  In  the  reorganization  of  the  medical  corps  in  1780 
their  names  do  not  appear,  and  it  is  probable  that  they  did  not  remain  long 
in  the  service. 

As  before  stated,  Doctor  Walter  Jones  did  not  long  retain  his  position 
as  Physician  General  to  the  Hospital  in  the  Middle  Department.  On  the 
first  of  July  he  resigned,  and  Doctor  Rush  succeeded  to  his  place,  and 
Doctor  William  Brown  was  elected  by  Congress  to  the  vacancy  caused  by 
Rush's  promotion.  He  was  a  native  of  Maryland,  and  was  educated  in  medi- 
cine at  the  University  of  Edinburgh,  where  he  received  his  degree  in  1768. 
Up  to  this  time  he  had  been  in  extensive  practice  in  Alexandria,  Virginia. 

In  April  of  this  year  the  question  of  a  speedy  reinforcement  of  Wash- 
ington's army  became  the  subject  of  serious  discussion  by  Congress,  and  it 
was  finally  resolved  that  a  medical  oflBcer  should  be  sent  to  inspect  the 
hospitals  between  Philadelphia  and  Annapolis,  and  clear  the  wards  of  all 
soldiers  fit  for  duty,  sending  them  to  their  proper  regiments.  That  officer 
found  so  many  in  hospital  who,  although  not  capable  of  field  service,  were 
manifestly  able  to  do  garrison  and  other  light  duty,  and  who  were  occupying 
the  space  in  hospital  needed  for  others,  that  the  advisability  of  forming  an 
invalid  corps  was  considered,  and  on  the  sixteenth  of  July  Congress  agreed 
upon  a  plan  which  was  substantially  as  follows : 

1.  The  Director  General  was  directed  to  notify  all  hospital  surgeons  to  make 
strict  inquiry,  before  discharging  any  non-commissioned  officer  or  private,  whether 
the  soldier  was  likely  to  be  fit  for  garrison  duty ;  in  which  case  he  was  to  report  him 
for  transfer  to  an  invalid  regiment. 

2.  All  generals  in  command  of  armies  were  required  to  give  notice  to  officers 
in  command  of  regiments,  that  if  they  had  any  non-commissioned  officers  or  soldiers 
unfit  for  field  duty,  they  should  send  such  men  to  be  examined  by  the  Deputy 
Director  General;  and  upon  his  report,  that  they  could  do  duty  in  garrison,  the  men 
were  not  to  be  discharged,  but  transferred  to  the  invalid  corps. 

3.  Any  soldiers  who  had  already  lost  an  arm  or  a  leg  in  action,  were  declared 
suitable  for  transfer. 

4.  All  persons  already  pensioned  on  half  pay  were  notified  to  report  themselves 
for  duty  in  the  corps. 

During  the  summer  the  attention  of  the  country  was  more  especially 
directed  to  affairs  in  the  Northern  Department,  where  Burgoyne  was 
advancing  to  capture  or  annihilate  Schuyler's  army.  In  July  he  compelled 
St.  Clair  to  abandon  Ticonderoga  and  Crown  Point.  The  sick  were  moved 
in  batteaux  down  the  lake  to  Fort  Edward,  where  a  temporary  tent  hoBpital 


waa  instituted;  and  on  the  twenty-fifth  the  general  hospital  was  established 
in  Albany,  in  a  fine  building  erected  for  that  purpose  during  the  French 
war,  which  contained  forty  wards  with  accommodations  for  five  hundred 
patients,  besides  rooms  for  storage,  dispensary,  surgeon's  quarters,  etc. 
Then  followed  the  battle  of  Stillwater  and  the  subsequent  surrender  of  Bur- 
goyne,  and  after  this  the  hospital  in  Albany  was  crowded  with  wounded 
soldiers,  the  Hessians  and  British  being  treated  with  equal  care  and  atten- 
tion as  our  own  troops,  and  accommodated  in  the  same  wards.  Thacher  has 
given  us  the  following  picture  of  the  condition  of  the  hospital  at  this  time : 

"The  foreigners  are  under  the  care  and  management  of  their  own  surgeons. 
I  have  been  present  at  some  of  their  capital  operations,  and  remarked,  that  the 
English  perform  with  skill  and  dexterity,  but  the  Germans  with  a  few  exceptions, 
do  no  credit  to  their  profession;  some  of  them  are  the  most  uncouth  and  clumsy 
operators  I  ever  witnessed,  and  appear  to  be  destitute  of  all  sympathy  and  tender- 
ness towards  the  suflFering  patients.  Not  less  than  one  thousand  sick  and  wounded 
are  now  in  this  city;  the  Dutch  church,  and  several  private  houses,  are  occupied 
as  hospitals.  We  have  about  thirty  surgeons  and  mates,  and  all  are  constantly 
employed.  Some  of  our  soldiers'  wounds,  which  had  been  neglected  while  on  the 
way  here  from  the  field  of  battle,  being  covered  with  putrefied  blood  for  several 
days,  were  found  on  the  first  dressing,  to  be  filled  with  maggots.  It  was  not  difficult, 
however,  to  destroy  these  vermin,  by  the  application  of  tincture  of  myrrh.  Here 
is  a  fine  field  for  professional  improvement.  Amputating  limbs,  trepanning  fractured 
skulls,  and  dressing  the  most  formidable  wounds,  have  familiarized  my  mind  to 
scenes  of  woe." 

Meanwhile,  in  the  Middle  Department  aflPairs  were  not  prosperous  so  far 
as  the  hospital  was  concerned.  The  new  arrangement  of  the  department 
worked  smoothly  for  but  a  short  time.  The  Director  of  the  hospital  at 
Alexandria,  Virginia,  was  arrested  on  complaints  of  officers  and  men  for  not 
giving  proper  attention  to  the  soldiers  undergoing  inoculation.  Investigation 
showed  these  charges  to  be  unfounded,  and  he  was  restored  to  his  position; 
but  he  could  not  regain  the  confidence  of  his  patients. 

The  want  of  supplies  of  all  kinds  caused  great  sufiering  among  the 
troops  in  the  Jerseys.  Three  thousand  men  who  were  fit  for  duty,  were 
detained  in  the  various  hospitals  because  they  had  no  shoes.  The  hospital 
stores  were  scanty,  and  all  available  means  of  supply  had  been  exhausted. 
A  severe  winter  was  approaching,  and  the  sick  were  without  blankets  and 
many  of  them  almost  naked.  Stoves  were  erected  in  the  hospitals  and  all 
the  hospital  wagons  employed  in  transporting  fuel,  so  as  to  make  up  for  the 
scarcity  of  blankets  and  clothing;  but  these  efibrts  failed  to  check  the 
growing  discontent  against  the  management  of  the  Medical  Department. 
The  sick  could  not  believe  that  their  distress  was  the  necessary  result  of 
the  impoverishment  of  the  country,  and  they  were,  unfortunately,  led  by  the 


imprudent  statements  of  many  of  the  officers  to  think  that  they  suffered  in 
order  to  enrich  those  high  in  authority.  Governor  Livingston  wrote  severe 
letters  to  Washington  and  to  Congress  on  the  subject,  and  the  Commander- 
in-Chief  detailed  a  field  officer  to  attend  daily  at  the  hospital  and  see  that 
the  sick  were  properly  provided  for,  in  the  hope  that  the  presence  of  one 
of  their  own  officers  would  allay  the  murmurs  of  the  men.  Doctor  Benjamin 
Rush,  who  with  all  his  virtues  was  too  much  of  a  politician  to  render  him- 
self amenable  to  discipline  as  a  medical  officer,  wrote  letters  to  Congress 
complaining  of  the  abuses  which  existed  in  the  hospital.  Doctor  James 
Tilton,  a  surgeon  of  the  very  highest  standing  and  most  unquestionably 
sincere  in  his  statements,  who  was  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital  at 
Princeton,  did  not  hesitate  to  ascribe  the  prevailing  distress  to  the  union  of 
the  directing  and  purveying  departments  in  one  person.  "  I  mention  it, 
without  a  design  to  reflect  on  any  man,"  he  wrote,  "that  in  the  fatal  year, 
1777,  when  the  Director  General  had  the  entire  direction  of  the  practice  in 
our  hospitals,  as  well  as  the  whole  disposal  of  the  stores,  he  was  interested  in 
the  increase  of  sickness,  and  consequent  increase  of  expense,  as  far  at  least,  as 
he  would  be  profited,  by  a  greater  amount  of  money  passing  through  his  hands." 

Under  these  gloomy  circumstances  the  campaign  of  1778  opened  at 
Valley  Forge.  Congress  on  the  first  of  January  appointed  a  committee  to 
consider  the  complaints  of  Livingston,  Rush,  and  others,  empowering  them, 
"  to  take  every  measure,  which  they  may  deem  necessary,  for  the  immediate 
relief  of  the  sick,  and  report  such  alteration  in  the  medical  department,  as 
they  shall  judge  best  adapted  to  answer  the  end  of  its  institution."  The 
result  of  the  deliberations  of  this  committee  was,  that  Doctors  Rush  and 
Shippen  were  ordered  to  present  themselves  before  Congress  for  examination 
on  the  state  of  affairs ;  a  member  was  sent  to  inspect  all  the  hospitals  in  the 
Middle  Department  and  report  their  condition ;  and  the  Clothier  General  of 
the  army  was  ordered  to  turn  over  to  the  Director  General  as  much  linen 
and  as  many  blankets  as  could  be  spared,  to  be  retained  in  hospital  for 
the  permanent  use  of  the  sick. 

They  also  endeavored  to  obtain  funds  to  supply  the  deficiency  in  cloth- 
ing, by  the  passage  of  the  following  rather  singular  resolution : 

"Retolved,  That  the  sum  of  ten  dollars,  shall  be  paid  by  every  officer,  and  the 
sum  of  four  dollars,  by  every  soldier,  who  shall  enter,  or  be  sent  into  any  hospital, 
to  be  cured  of  the  venereal  disease;  which  sum  shall  be  deducted  out  of  their  pay, 
and  an  account  thereof,  shall  be  transmitted  by  the  physician  or  surgeon  who  shall 
have  attended  them,  to  the  regimental  paymaster,  for  that  purpose ;  the  money  so 
arising,  to  be  paid  to  the  director  general,  or  his  order,  to  be  appropriated  to  the 
purchasing  blankets  and  shirts,  for  the  use  of  sick  soldiers  in  the  hospital." 


There  is  no  record  of  what  amount  of  money  was  ever  collected,  in 
consequence  of  this  resolution.  The  most  probable  result  would  be,  that 
the  soldiers  so  affected  would  conceal  their  disease  rather  than  pay  a  tax  on 
the  confession,  and  thus  a  serious  evil  result  both  to  the  men  themselves 
and  to  the  army  at  large. 

On  the  thirtieth  of  January,  Doctor  Rush  resigned  his  commission  as 
Physician  General  of  the  Hospital  in  the  Middle  Department,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Doctor  William  Brown.  He  does  not  seem,  however,  to  have 
given  up  the  case  against  Doctor  Shippen,  for  early  in  March  he  made 
charges  of  the  gravest  character  against  that  officer,  accusing  him  of  mal- 
practice and  neglect  in  his  department.  These  he  enclosed  to  Washington, 
and  on  the  third  of  April  sent  copies  of  them  to  Congress,  who  referred 
them  to  a  special  committee,  "with  power  to  send  for  persons  and  papers." 
It  does  not  seem,  however,  that  anything  came  of  the  reference,  at  least  not 
during  the  year  1778.  This  was  the  last  appearance  of  Benjamin  Rush  as 
a  member  of  the  medical  corps.  Whatever  may  have  been  his  merits  as  a 
patriot,  statesman,  physician,  and  man  of  letters,  it  may  be  truthfully  said 
that  his  military  career  was  not  a  success.  Apart  from  his  continual  com- 
plaints to  Congress  about  his  superiors,  he  had  been  more  than  suspected  of 
a  connection  with  the  infamous  "  Conway  cabal,"  and  was  thought  by  Wash- 
ington to  have  written  some  anonymous  letters,  which  appeared  about  this 
time,  in  connection  therewith.  Nevertheless,  the  latter  does  not  seem  to 
have  cherished  any  ill  feeling  against  him,  for  on  becoming  President  he 
appointed  him  Director  of  the  Mint  in  Philadelphia,  an  office  which  he  held 
for  fourteen  years.  He  died  on  the  fourteenth  of  April,  1813,  aged  sixty- 
eight  years. 

Meanwhile,  other  changes  took  place  in  the  Medical  Department.  Doc- 
tor Charles  McKnight  was  on  the  twenty-first  of  February  elected  Surgeon 
General  of  the  Hospital  in  the  Middle  Department,  vice  Brown,  promoted. 
He  was  a  native  of  Cranbury,  New  Jersey,  born  in  1750.  He  was  educated 
at  Princeton  College,  where  he  graduated  in  1771.  He  then  commenced 
his  ni<^.dical  studies  with  Shippen;  but  the  war  breaking  out  before  they 
were  completed,  he  entered  the  service,  and  had  risen  to  be  senior  surgeon 
of  the  flying  hospital  in  the  Middle  Department.  He  had  a  good  reputation 
as  an  able  and  industrious  officer. 

On  the  ninth  of  March,  Doctor  Cutter,  Physician  General  of  the  East- 
ern Department,  resigned.  He  returned  to  his  home  in  New  Hampshire, 
where  he  lived  many  years,  dying  in  1819,  at  the  age  of  eighty-five.  There 
does  not  seem  to  have  been  any  election  held  to  fill  the  vacancy. 


Before  these  last  events  bad  taken  place,  the  special  committee  on  the 
state  of  the  Hospital  made  a  further  report;  which  was  made  the  special 
order  for  February  sixth,  and  after  debate,  agreed  to,  as  follows: 

"For  the  better  regulating  of  the  Hospitals  of  the  United  States;  Resolved, 

1.  That  there  be  a  deputy  director  general,  for  the  hospitals  between  Hudson's 
and  the  Potomac  rivers,  and  that  the  superintending  care  of  the  director  general,  be 
extended  equally  over  the  hospitals  in  every  district;  and  that  he  be  excused  from 
the  duty  of  providing  supplies,  when  the  deputy  director  general  shall  be  ready  to 
enter  upon  the  office. 

2.  That  the  several  officers  of  the  hospitals,  shall  cease  to  exercise  such  of 
their  former  powers,  as  are  herein  assigned  to  other  officers  thereof. 

3.  That  in  the  absence  of  the  director  general  from  any  district,  the  physician 
general,  and  surgeon  general,  shall  hereafter  determine  the  number  of  hospitals,  to 
be  provided  by  the  deputy  director  general,  for  the  sick  and  wounded,  and  shall 
superintend  and  control  the  affairs  of  said  hospitals. 

4.  That  the  director  general  shall  consult  with  the  physician  general  and  sur- 
geon general  in  each  district,  about  the  supplies  necessary  for  the  hospitals,  and 
shall  give  orders  in  writing  to  the  deputy  director  general,  to  provide  the  same,  and 
that  in  the  absence  of  the  director  general,  the  physician  general  and  surgeon  gen- 
eral shall  issue  such  orders. 

6.  That  each  deputy  director  general,  shall  appoint  one  or  more  of  the  assistant 
deputy  directors  under  him,  to  the  sole  business  of  providing  beds,  furniture, 
utensils,  hospital  clothing,  and  such  like  articles,  and  shall  appoint  one,  or  more,  to 
provide  medicines,  instruments,  dressings,  herbs,  and  necessaries  of  a  similar  kind. 

6.  That  the  director  general  shall  frequently  visit  the  hospitals  in  each  district, 
and  see  that  the  regulations  are  carried  into  eflFect;  shall  examine  into  the  number, 
and  qualification  of  the  hospital  officers;  report  to  Congress,  any  abuses  that  may 
have  taken  place,  and  discharge  the  supernumerary  officers,  if  there  be  any,  so  that 
all  unnecessary  expense,  may  be  saved  to  the  public;  and  that  whenever  the  director 
general  is  in  any  particular  district,  the  physician  general  and  surgeon  general  in 
that  district,  shall  not  appoint  any  officers,  without  his  consent. 

7.  That  on  the  settlement  of  hospital  accounts,  the  officers  entrusted  with 
public  money,  shall  produce  vouchers  to  prove  the  expenditure,  and  receipts  from 
the  proper  officers  of  the  hospital,  specifying  the  delivery  of  the  stores,  and  other 
articles  purchased ;  and  the  apothecaries,  mates,  stewards,  matrons,  and  other 
officers  receiving  such  stores,  and  other  articles,  shall  be  accountable  for  the  same, 
and  shall  produce  vouchers  for  the  delivery  thereof,  from  such  officers,  and  accord- 
ing to  such  forms,  as  the  physician  general  and  surgeon  general  have  directed,  or 
shall  from  time  to  time  direct,  which  forms  and  directions,  the  physicians  and 
surgeons  general  shall  report  to  the  board  of  treasury. 

8.  That  the  director  general,  or  in  his  absence  from  the  district,  the  physician 
general  or  surgeon  general,  shall  appoint  a  ward  master  for  each  hospital,  to  receive 
the  arms,  accoutrements  and  clothing  of  each  soldier  admitted  therein,  keeping 
entries  of,  and  giving  receipts  for  such  articles,  which  on  the  recovery  of  the  soldier, 
shall  be  returned  to  him,  or  in  case  of  his  death,  the  arms  and  accoutrements  shall 
be  delivered  to  the  commissary,  or  deputy  commissary  of  military  stores,  and  receipts 
be  taken  for  the  same;  the  ward  master  shall  receive  and  be  accountable,  for  the' 
hospital  clothing,  and  perfqrm  such  other  services,  as  the  physician  general,  or 
surgeon  general,  shall  direct. 


9.  That  the  physician  general,  and  surgeon  general  shall  hereafter  make  no 
returns  to  the  deputy  director  general,  but  the  returns  shall  be  made  by  the  said 
officers,  respectively,  to  the  director  general,  who  shall  carefully  transmit  copies  of 
each,  with  his  monthly  return  to  Congress,  and  suspend  such  of  the  ofEcers  afore- 
said, as  neglect  this,  or  any  other  part  of  their  duty,  and  shall  report  their  names  to 

10.  That  the  director,  and  deputy  directors  general,  forthwith  prepare  their 
accounts,  and  adjust  them  with  the  commissioners  of  claims. 

11.  That  four  dollars  a  day,  and  the  former  allowance  of  rations,  be  hereafter 
allowed  to  each  assistant  deputy  director,  and  the  commissary  of  the  hospitals  in 
each  district;  one  dollar  a  day,  and  two  rations,  to  each  ward  master." 

In  accordance  with  section  one  of  this  act,  Doctor  Potts  was  transferred 
from  the  Northern  to  the  Middle  Department  as  Deputy  Director  General. 

There  was  no  further  legislation  of  any  importance  in  1778,  in  reference 
to  the  Hospital  Department.  In  the  fall  a  good  many  claims  were  presented 
to  the  Director  General  which  gave  rise  to  trouble,  being  for  the  subsis- 
tence of  sick  men  who  had  been  left  behind  by  their  commands  in  various 
marches.  A  resolution  of  the  twenty-second  of  April,  1777.  had  provided 
that  in  the  event  of  any  portion  of  the  army  breaking  camp,  those  who  were 
unable  to  march  could  be  left  in  the  hands  of  private  physicians,  and  the 
Director  or  Deputy  Director  General  was  ordered  to  pay  such  physicians 
for  their  services.  No  provision  was,  however,  made  for  the  quarters  and 
subsistence  of  such  men ;  and,  consequently,  a  large  number  of  claims  were 
constantly  being  made  from  all  over  the  country,  which  the  Director  General 
had  no  authority  to  pay.  The  matter  was  referred  to  Congress,  which  passed 
a  resolution : 

"That  the  deputy  directors,  respectively,  be  authorized  and  instructed,  to  dis- 
charge such  of  the  said  accounts,  as  shall  appear  to  be  reasonable  and  just, 
provided  however,  that  the  person  reported  the  case  to  the  authorities,  for  removal 
to  a  hospital." 

The  frequent  movements  made  by  the  American  forces  during  the  past 
year,  rendered  it  necessary  that  some  latitude  should  be  given  to  the  previous 
legislation,  confining  the  officers  of  the  Hospital  to  duty  only  in  the  depart- 
ment to  which  they  had  been  originally  appointed.  Consequently,  Congress 
instructed  the  Director  General,  by  resolution  of  January  23,  1779,  to 
assign  any  Deputy  Director  General,  Physician  or  Surgeon  General,  or  other 
medical  officer,  to  duty  at  such  post  as  any  change  in  the  position  of  the 
army  might  render  necessary;  and  in  the  event  of  any  dispute  between  differ- 
ent officers  that  might  thus  be  brought  in  contact,  about  seniority,  the 
Director  General  was  authorized  to  decide,  giving  to  the  aggrieved  officer 
the  right  of  appeal  to  the  Medical  Committee  of  Congress. 


In  June  of  this  year  the  complaints  against  the  Director  General  again 
took  a  definite  form,  this  time  in  the  shape  of  charges  of  malpractice  and 
misconduct  in  oflBce,  preferred  by  Doctor  John  Morgan,  who  had  been 
himself  just  exonerated  by  Congress  after  a  long  investigation.  Morgan  pro- 
fessed himself  abundantly  able  to  prove  his  charges  against  Shippen,  if 
allowed  to  testify  before  a  proper  court,  and  Congress  sent  the  charges  to 
the  Commander-in-Chief,  with  instructions  to  have  justice  done,  by  bringing 
Doctor  Shippen  speedily  to  trial.  Although  it  is  somewhat  anticipating  the 
regular  course  of  events,  it  may  be  here  remarked  that  Doctor  Shippen  was 
honorably  acquitted  of  every  charge  brought  against  him,  and  on  the  eigh- 
teenth of  August,  1780,  Congress  approved  the  finding  of  the  court  and 
ordered  him  to  be  released  from  arrest. 

For  some  time  previous  to  this  it  had  been  found  so  difficult  for  officers 
in  the  field  to  purchase  clothing  and  subsistence,  that  an  act  had  been  passed 
authorizing  them  to  procure  clothing  from  the  store  of  the  Clothier  General, 
and  to  draw  a  fixed  allowance  or  commutation  in  lieu  of  subsistence.  This  law 
had  been  confined  to  the  officers  of  the  line,  but  on  the  twenty -seventh  of  Octo- 
ber its  privileges  were  extended  to  the  Medical  StaflF.  This  fact  in  itself  would 
hardly  merit  any  mention,  were  it  not  that  in  this  act,  for  the  first  time, 
medical  officers  are  recognized  as  having  assimilated  rank  with  officers  of  the 
line.  Hitherto  they  had  been  only  civil  attaches  to  the  military  body,  with- 
out any  comparative  official  status  whatever.  The  act  in  question  allowed 
them  subsistence  as  follows: 

"1.     Director  General,  the  same  as  a  Colonel. 

2.  Deputy  Director  General,  Physician  and  Surgeon  Generals,  and  Apothecary 
General,  the  same  as  Lieutenant  Colonel. 

3.  Senior  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  the  same  as  Majors. 

4.  Junior  Surgeons  and  Apothecaries,  the  same  as  Captains. 

5.  Surgeon's  Mates,  the  same  as  Ensigns." 

By  a  subsequent  act  (on  the  twentieth  of  November,)  the  sums  for 
which  subsistence  could  be  commuted  were  fixed.  In  considering  the 
amounts  which  follow,  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  Continental  money 
had  by  this  time  depreciated  to  almost  the  same  extent  that  confederate 
money  did  in  the  last  year  of  the  rebellion;  articles  of  which  the 
price  was  three  shillings  in  specie,  were  sold  for  forty  dollars  in  Conti- 
nental bills: 

"Retolved,  That  until  the  further  order  of  Congress,  every  officer  be  entitled 
to  receive  monthly  for  their  subsistence  money,  the  following  sums,  viz: 

Deputy  Directors  General,  Physicians  General,  and  Surgeons  General,  five 
hundred  dollars. 



Assistant  Deputy  Directors,  Apothecary  General,  Senior  Surgeon,  four  hundred 

Junior  Surgeon,  three  hundred  dollars. 

Surgeon's  Mates,  Apothecaries  Assistants,  one  hundred  dollars." 

Towards  the  close  of  this  year  Congress  became  satisfied  that  still 
further  improvements  could  be  made  in  the  organization  of  the  Hospital 
Department;  they  consequently  instructed  the  Medical  Committee,  on  the 
twenty-second  of  November,  "  to  revise  the  several  resolutions  passed  respect- 
ing the  Hospital  Department,  and  to  digest  and  arrange  them,  with  such 
amendments,  as  may  make  the  whole  consistent  with,  and  conformable  to, 
the  alterations  made  by  Congress  in  the  original  system ;  and  to  report  the 
same  to  Congress." 

This  year  the  first  Army  Regulations  were  issued,  in  the  shape  of  a  small 
volume,  from  the  pen  of  Major  General,  the  Baron  Steuben,  Inspector  Gene- 
ral to  the  army,  and  which  received  the  official  approval  of  Congress.  The 
chapter  relating  to  the  "Treatment  of  the  Sick"  is  of  sufficient  interest  to 
deserve  quotation: 

"  There  is  nothing  which  gains  an  officer  the  love  of  his  soldiers,  more  than  his 
care  of  them,  under  the  distress  of  sickness;  it  is  then  he  has  the  power  of  exerting 
his  humanity,  in  providing  them  every  comfortable  necessity,  and  making  their 
situation  as  agreeable  as  possible. 

Two  or  three  tents  should  be  set  apart  in  every  regiment,  for  the  reception  of 
such  sick,  as  cannot  be  sent  to  the  general  hospital,  or  whose  cases  may  not  require 
it;  and  every  company  shall  be  constantly  furnished  with  two  sacks,  to  be  occa- 
sionally filled  with  straw,  and  serve  as  beds  for  the  sick.  These  sacks  to  be  provided 
in  the  same  manner  as  clothing  for  the  troops,  and  finally  issued  by  the  regimental 
clothier,  to  the  captain  of  each  company,  who  shall  be  answerable  for  the  same. 

When  a  soldier  dies,  or  is  dismissed  the  hospital,  the  straw  he  lay  on  is  to  be 
burnt,  and  the  bedding  well  washed  and  aired  before  another  is  permitted  to  use  it. 
The  sergeants  and  corporals  shall  every  morning  at  roll  call,  give  a  return  of  the 
sick  of  their  respective  squads,  to  the  first  sergeant,  who  must  make  out  one  for  the 
company,  and  lose  no  time  in  delivering  it  to  the  surgeon,  who  will  immediately 
visit  them,  and  order  such  as  he  thinks  proper,  to  the  regimental  hospital ;  such 
whose  cases  require  their  being  sent  to  the  general  hospital,  he  is  to  report  imme- 
diately to  the  Surgeon  General,  or  principal  surgeon  attending  the  army. 

Once  every  week,  and  oftener  when  required,  the  surgeon  will  deliver  the 
commanding  officer  of  the  regiment,  a  return  of  the  sick  of  the  regiment,  with  their 
disorders,  distinguishing  those  in  the  regimental  hospital  from  those  out  of  it. 

When  a  soldier  is  sent  to  the  hospital,  the  non-commissioned  officer  of  his  squad, 
shall  deliver  up  his  arms  and  accoutrements  to  the  commanding  officer  of  the  com- 
pany, that  they  may  be  deposited  in  the  regimental  arm  chest. 

When  a  soldier  has  been  sick,  he  must  not  be  put  on  duty,  till  he  has  recovered 
sufficient  strength,  of  which  the  surgeon  should  be  judge. 

The  surgeons  are  to  remain  with  their  regiments,  as  well  on  a  march  as  in  camp, 
that,  in  case  of  sudden  accidents,  they  may  be  at  hand,  to  apply  the  proper  remedies. 


Each  regiment  will  furnish  a  non-commissioned  officer,  to  conduct  the  sick  and 
lame,  who  are  not  able  to  march  with  their  regiments.  These  men  are  to  repair  at 
the  beating  of  the  general,  to  the  rendezvous  appointed,  where  a  sufficient  number  of 
empty  wagons  will  be  ordered  to  attend,  for  the  reception  of  their  knapsacks;  and 
their  arms  if  necessary. 

A  surgeon  of  each  brigade,  is  to  attend  the  sick  belonging  to  it. 

The  commanding  officer  of  each  battalion,  will  inspect  the  sick  before  they  are 
sent  from  the  battalion,  in  order  that  none  may  be  sent  but  those  who  are  really 
incapable  of  marching  with  their  regiments." 

The  winter  of  1779-80  was  very  severe,  and  the  soldiers  sick  in  tent 
hospitals  suffered  very  much,  f  From  the  commencement  of  the  war,  so  great 
had  been  the  exigencies  of  the  army  in  other  respects  and  so  frequent  had 
been  its  movements,  that  it  had  not  been  found  practicable  to  devote  any 
time  to  the  building  of  general  hospitals;  in  fact  but  very  little  attention  had 
been  given  to  the  matter  by  the  medical  officers.  The  literature  of  the 
subject  was  very  scanty;  indeed,  the  only  work  accessible  to  army  surgeons  at 
all  was  an  excellent  little  book,  published  in  1776,  written  by  Doctor  John 
Jones,  Professor  of  Surgery  in  King's  College,  New  York.  This  was  entitled, 
"  Plain,  concise,  practical  remarks  on  the  Treatment  of  Wounds  and  Fractures; 
to  which  is  added  an  Appendix,  on  Camp  and  Military  Hospitals;  principally 
designed  for  the  use  of  young  military  and  naval  surgeons  in  North  America." 
Doctor  Jones  shows  that  the  main  cause  of  the  great  mortality  in  the 
London  and  Paris  hospitals  was  overcrowding,  the  air  of  the  wards  becoming 
so  vitiated  and  contagious  that  jail  or  hospital  fever  and  dysenteries  were 
engendered.  He  also  instances  some  of  the  European  campaigns,  when  all 
the  sick  and  wounded  being  crowded  together  in  one  general  hospital,  a 
similar  mortality  resulted;  while  at  other  times,  those  who  remained  sick  in 
camp,  though  wanting  many  of  the  comforts  and  necessaries  to  be  found  in 
hospital,  generally  recovered.  For  these  and  other  reasons  he  advised  that 
the  slighter  cases  should  be  treated  in  camp,  and  that  in  no  case  should 
private  houses  be  occupied  for  hospitals,  but  churches,  barns,  or  outhouses, 
without  any  ceiling,  open  to  the  rafters;  and  that  such  buildings  should  only 
be  occupied  to  the  extent  of  one-third  of  their  capacity.  But  even  these 
simple  directions  had  not  been  generally  followed  in  the  campaigns  of  the 
Continental  army.  Almost  always  private  houses  or  tents  had  been  occupied 
for  hospitals;  and  the  general  antagonism  between  the  staff  and  the  regi- 
mental surgeons  had  prevented  the  proper  development  of  the  regimental 
hospital  system.  At  the  time  of  which  we  write,  Doctor  James  Tilton,  of 
Delaware,  was  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital  at  Trenton,  New  Jersey,  and 
to  him  is  to  be  accorded  the  credit  of  endeavoring  to  diminish  the  sickness 



resulting  from  crowd  poisoning  by  a  new  system  of  hospital  construction.  He 
did  away  with  the  hospital  tents  and  private  houses  then  in  use,  and  caused 
to  be  constructed  a  large  number  of  log  huts,  built  roughly,  so  that  the  air 
could  freely  penetrate  the  crevices.  These  were  without  wooden  floors,  the 
ground  being  hardened,  or  baked  by  heat,  and  each  hut  was  intended  to 
accommodate  but  five  or  six  men.  The  fireplace  was  in  the  center  of  the 
hut,  and  a  hole  left  at  the  ridge,  so  as  to  permit  the  exit  of  the  smoke. 
Doctor  Tilton  found  his  plan  very  successful.  The  mortality  from  typhus 
diminished  very  decidedly,  and  the  general  results  were  so  good  as  to  warrant 
the  introduction  of  the  system  throughout/the  army.   J 

On  the  twenty-first  of  July,  1780,  Doctor  William  Brown,  Physician 
Greneral  of  the  Hospital  in  the  Middle  Department,  resigned.  As  the  Medical 
Committee  of  Congress  was  then  engaged  in  perfecting  a  plan  by  which  the 
organization  of  the  corps  was  to  be  simplified,  and  a  number  of  unnecessary 
offices  abolished,  no  election  was  held  to  fill  the  vacancy.  The  committee 
reported  on  the  thirtieth  of  September,  and  the  following  bill  was  passed: 

"Whereas,  the  late  regulations  for  conducting  the  affairs  of  the  general  hospital, 
are  in  many  respects  defective;  and  it  is  necessary  that  the  same  be  revised  and 
amended,  in  order  that  the  sick  and  wounded  may  be  properly  provided  for,  and 
attended,  and  the  business  of  the  hospitals  conducted  with  regularity  and  economy, 
therefore : 

Resolved,  That  there  be  one  director  of  the  military  hospitals,  who  shall  have 
the  general  superintendence,  and  direction  of  all  the  hospitals  to  the  northward  of 
North  Carolina;  that  within  the  aforesaid  limits,  there  shall  be  three  chief  hospital 
physicians,  who  shall  also  be  surgeons;  one  chief  physician,  who  shall  also  be  a 
surgeon,  to  each  separate  army;  fifteen  hospital  physicians,  who  shall  also  be 
surgeons;  twenty  surgeon's  mates  for  the  hospitals;  one  purveyor,  with  one  assist- 
ant; one  apothecary ;  one  assistant  apothecary;  and  to  each  hospital  a  steward,  a 
matron,  orderly  men,  and  nurses  as  heretofore. 

2.  That  the  director,  or  in  his  absence,  one  of  the  chief  hospital  physicians,  be 
empowered  and  required,  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Commander-in-Chief, 
or  commander  of  a  separate  army,  to  establish  and  regulate  such  a  number  of 
hospitals  at  proper  places,  for  the  reception  of  the  sick  and  wounded  of  the  army, 
as  may  be  found  necessary. 

3.  That  the  director  be  authorized  and  instructed  to  enjoin  the  several  chief 
hospital  physicians,  and  other  officers  of  the  hospital  under  his  superintendence,  to 
attend  at  such  posts  or  stations,  as  he  may  judge  proper,  and  also  to  attend  and 
perform  such  duties,  at  any  post  or  place,  as  a  change  in  the  position  of  the  army, 
or  other  circumstances  may  from  time  to  time  make  necessary,  and  shall  be  required 
by  the  Commander-in-Chief;  and  that  in  the  case  of  any  dispute  concerning  their 
seniority  or  precedence,  the  director  shall  determine  the  same  in  the  first  instance, 
the  party  supposing  himself  aggrieved  being  at  liberty  to  appeal  for  redress  to  the 
medical  committee. 

4.  That  in  time  of  action,  and  every  other  emergency,  where  the  regimental 
surgeons  are  not  sufficient  in  number,  to  attend  properly  to  the  sick  and  wounded  that 


cannot  be  removed  to  the  hospitals;  the  director,  or  in  his  absence,  the  nearest  chief 
hospital  physician,  be  empowered  and  required,  upon  the  request  of  the  chief 
physician  and  surgeon  of  the  army,  to  send  from  the  hospitals  under  his  care,  to  the 
assistance  of  such  sick  and  wounded,  as  many  surgeons  as  can  possibly  be  spared 
from  the  necessary  business  of  the  hospital. 

5.  That  the  director,  or  in  his  absence  two  of  the  chief  hospital  physicians, 
shall  make  out  and  deliver  from  time  to  time  to  the  purveyor,  proper  estimates  of 
hospital  stores,  medicines,  instruments,  dressings,  and  such  other  articles,  as  may  be 
judged  necessary  for  the  use  of  the  hospitals;  also,  direct  the  apothecary  or  his 
assistant  to  prepare  and  deliver  medicines,  instruments,  dressings  and  other  articles 
in  his  possession  to  the  hospitals,  and  surgeons  of  the  army,  and  navy  as  he,  or 
they  may  judge  necessary. 

6.  That  the  director,  or  in  his  absence  the  chiefhospital  physicians  respectively, 
be  empowered  occasionally  to  employ  second  mates,  when  the  numbers  of  the  sick 
shall  increase  so  as  to  make  it  necessary,  and  to  discharge  them  as  soon  as  the 
circumstances  of  the  sick  will  admit. 

7.  That  the  director,  or  in  his  absence  the  chief  hospital  physicians  respect- 
ively, shall  appoint  a  wardmaster  for  each  hospital,  to  receive  the  spare  regimental 
arms,  accoutrements  and  clothing,  of  each  soldier  admitted  therein,  keeping  entries 
of,  and  giving  receipts  for  every  article  received,  which  when  the  soldier  is  dis- 
charged, shall  be  accounted  for  by  the  said  wardmaster,  with  the  commanding  officer 
of  the  regiment  to  which  said  soldier  belonged,  or  the  officer  directed  to  take  charge 
of  the  convalescents  from  said  hospital;  or,  in  the  case  of  the  death  of  the  soldier, 
shall  be  accounted  for  with,  and  delivered  to  the  quartermaster  of  the  regiment  to 
which  the  said  soldier  belonged ;  and  the  wardmaster  shall  receive  and  be  account- 
able for  the  hospital  clothing,  and  perform  such  other  services,  as  the  chief  hospital 
physician  shall  direct. 

8.  That  the  director  shall  make  returns  of  all  the  sick,  and  wounded  in  the 
hospitals,  once  every  month  to  the  medical  committee,  together  with  the  names  and 
rank  of  the  officer^,  and  others  employed  in  the  several  hospitals. 

9.  That  the  director  be  required  to  employ  such  parts  of  his  time,  as  may  be 
spared  from  the  duties  before  pointed  out  to  him,  in  visiting  and  prescribing  for  the 
sick,  and  wounded  in  the  hospitals;  and  that  he  pay  particular  attention  to  the 
conduct  of  the  several  officers  in  the  hospital  department,  and  arrest,  and  suspend, 
and  bring  to  trial  all  delinquents  within  the  same. 

10.  That  the  duty  of  the  chief  hospital  physicians  shall  be  to  do,  and  perform 
all  the  duties  herein  before  enjoined  them  to  do  in  the  absence  of  the  director;  to 
receive  and  obey  the  orders  of  the  director,  made  and  delivered  to  them  in  writing; 
to  superintend  the  practice  of  physic  and  surgery,  in  the  hospital  put  under  their 
particular  care  by  the  director,  or  which  by  the  order  of  the  Commander-in-Chief, 
or  the  commander  of  a  separate  army,  may  be  by  them  established;  to  see  that  the 
hospital  physicians,  and  other  officers  attending  the  same  do  their  duty;  and  make 
monthly  returns  to  the  director,  of  the  state  and  number  of  the  sick  and  wounded 
in  the  hospitals  under  their  care,  and  also  make  returns  to  the  director,  and  to  the 
medical  committee  of  all  delinquent  officers,  in  order  that  they  may  be  speedily 
removed  or  punished;  and  to  take  measures  that  all  such  sick  and  wounded  as  are 
recovered,  and  fit  for  duty,  be  delivered  weekly  to  the  officer  of  the  guard,  to  be 
conducted  to  the  army.  When  present  at  any  hospital,  to  issue  orders,  to  the  proper 
officers,  for  supplying  them  with  necessaries;  and  generally,  in  the  absence  of  the 


director,  to  superintend  and  control  the  business  of  such  hospitals,  suspend  delin- 
quent, and  remove  unnecessary  non-commissioned  officers,  making  report  to  the 
director;  and  when  in  their  power,  to  attend  and  perform  or  direct  all  capital 

11.  That  the  hospital  physicians  shall  take  charge  of  such  particular  hospitals, 
as  may  be  assigned  them  by  the  director;  they  shall  obey  the  orders  of  the  director, 
or  in  his  absence  of  the  chief  hospital  physician;  they  shall  have  power  to  suspend 
officers  under  them,  and  to  confine  other  persons  serving  in  the  hospitals  under  their 
charge  for  negligence,  or  ill  behavior,  until  the  matter  be  regularly  inquired  into; 
they  shall  diligently  attend  to  the  cases  of  the  sick,  and  wounded  of  the  hospitals 
under  their  care,  administering  at  all  times  proper  relief  so  far  as  it  may  be  in  their 
power;  they  shall  respectively  give  orders,  under  their  hands,  to  the  assistant 
purveyor,  or  steward  at  the  hospital,  for  the  issuing  of  provisions,  and  stores,  as 
well  as  for  the  procuring  of  any  other  small  articles  that  the  exigencies  of  the 
hospital  may  require,  and  which  the  store  is  not  provided  with,  having  always  a 
strict  regard  to  economy  as  well  as  the  welfare  of  the  sick,  there  to  be  provided  for, 
and  they  shall  make  weekly  returns  to  the  nearest  chief  hospital  physician,  of  the 
state  of  the  hospitals  under  their  respective  care. 

12.  The  mates  shall  take  charge  of,  and  attend  the  patients  assigned  them, 
and  perform  such  other  duties  as  shall  be  directed  by  the  director,  chief,  or  other 
physicians  and  surgeons. 

13.  The  chief  physician  and  surgeon  of  the  army,  shall  be  subject  to  the  orders 
and  control  of  the  director;  his  duty  shall  be  to  superintend  the  regimental  surgeons 
and  their  mates,  and  to  see  that  they  do  their  duty;  to  hear  all  complaints  against  the 
said  regimental  surgeons,  and  their  mates,  and  to  make  report  of  them  to  the  direc- 
tor, or  in  his  absence  to  the  Commander-in-Chief,  or  the  commanding  officer  of  a 
separate  army,  that  they  may  be  brought  to  trial  by  court  martial  for  mis- 
behavior ;  to  draw  for  and  receive  from  the  purveyor,  a  suitable  number  of  large 
strong  tents,  beds,  bedding  and  hospital  stores,  and  from  the  apothecary,  or  his 
assistajit  proper  medicines  for  such  sick,  and  wounded  persons  as  cannot  be  removed 
to  the  general  hospital  with  safety,  or  may  be  rendered  fit  for  duty  in  a  short  time; 
he  shall  also  see,  that  the  sick  and  wounded  who  are  under  his  care,  are  properly 
attended,  and  provided  for,  and  conveyed  when  fit  to  be  moved  to  the  general 
hospital;  for  which  last  purpose  he  shall  be  supplied  by  the  Quartermaster  General, 
with  a  proper  number  of  convenient  waggons,  and  drivers;  he  shall  have  a  steward, 
whom  he  is  to  appoint  to  receive  and  properly  dispense  such  articles  of  diet,  and 
refreshment  as  shall  be  procured  for  the  sick,  and  also  shall  appoint  such  a  number 
of  nurses,  and  orderly  men,  as  may  be  necessary  for  the  attendance  on  the  sick  and 
wounded  under  his  care.  He  shall  cause  daily  returns  to  be  made  to  him,  of  all 
the  sick  and  wounded  who  have  been  removed  to  the  hospital,  all  those  remaining 
in  the  hospital  tents,  and  all  who  have  become  fit  for  duty,  all  that  are  convalescent, 
and  all  who  may  have  died,  specifying  the  particular  maladies,  under  which  the 
sick  labor;  and  shall  make  a  monthly  return  thereof  to  the  director,  who  shall  add 
it  to  his  general  hospital  returns  to  be  transmitted  monthly  to  the  medical 

14.  That  whenever  any  regimental  surgeon  or  mate  shall  be  absent  from  his 
his  regiment,  without  leave  from  the  chief  physician  or  surgeon,  or  Commander-in- 
Chief  of  the  army  where  his  duty  lies,  the  said  chief  physician  and  surgeon  shall 
have  power  to  remove  such  surgeon,  or  mate,  an(J  forthwith  to  appoint  another  in 
his  stead. 


15.  That  the  purveyor  provide,  or  cause  to  be  provided,  all  hospital  stores, 
medicines,  instruments,  dressings  and  utensils,  and  such  other  articles  as  shall  be 
prescribed  by  the  written  order  of  the  director,  or  two  of  the  chief  hospital  physi- 
cians, and  deliver  or  cause  the  same  to  be  delivered  upon  written  orders,  under  the 
head  of  the  director,  or  chief  hospital  physicians,  or  one  of  the  hospital  physicians 
having  charge  of  a  particular  hospital,  or  of  the  chief'  physician  and  surgeon  of  the 
army,  which  with  receipts  therefrom,  for  delivery  of  the  same,  shall  be  his  sufficient 
vouchers.  He  shall  be  allowed  a  clerk,  and  as  many  storekeepers  as  occasion  may 
require,  and  the  director  may  approve  of.  He  shall  also  pay  the  salaries  of  the 
officers,  and  other  expenses  of  the  hospital.  He  shall  render  his  accounts  every 
three  months  to  the  Board  of  Treasury  for  settlement,  and  make  application  for  the 
money  to  the  medical  committee,  before  whom  he  shall  lay  estimates  of  the  articles 
necessary,  which  shall  previously  have  been  signed,  and  approved  by  the  director, 
or  two  of  the  chief  hospital  physicians;  at  the  same  time  he  shall  render  to  them 
an  account  of  the  expenditures  of  the  last  sum  of  money,  advanced  to  him,  and  the 
said  medical  committee  shall  lay  such  estimates  before  Congress  with  their  opinion 
thereon.  That  the  assistant  purveyor,  shall  procure  such  supplies,  and  do  and 
perform  such  parts  of  a  purveyor's  duty,  as  by  him  shall  be  particularly  assigned 
to  him.  That  the  apothecary  and  his  assistants,  receive,  prepare  and  deliver 
medicines,  instruments  and  dressings,  and  such  other  articles  of  his  department  to 
the  hospitals  and  army,  on  orders  in  writing  from  the  director,  or  either  of  the 
chief  hospital  physicians,  or  chief  physician  or  surgeon  of  the  army,  and  that  he  be 
allowed  as  many  mates  as  occasion  may  require,  and  the  director  shall  approve  of. 
That  the  director  or  in  his  absence  the  chief  hospital  physician,  shall  appoint  a 
steward  for  each  hospital,  whose  duty  it  shall  be  to  purchase  vegetables,  and  other 
small  articles  under  the  direction  of  the  purveyor,  and  receiva  hospital  stores  from 
the  purveyor,  and  provisions  from  the  Commissary  General,  and  issue  the  same  for 
the  use  of  the  sick  and  wounded,  agreeably  to  the  order  of  the  physician  and 
surgeon  attending  such  hospital ;  the  steward  to  account  to  the  purveyor  for  all 
such  issues. 

16.  That  the  director  or  in  his  absence  the  chief  hospital  physician,  appoint  a 
proper  number  of  matrons,  nurses,  and  others  necessary  for  the  proper  management 
of  the  hospitals,  and  fix,  and  ascertain  their  pay,  not  exceeding  the  suras  heretofore 
allowed,  and  point  out  and  prescribe  their  particular  duties,  and  employments  in 
writing,  which  they  are  enjoined  to  obey  and  observe. 

17.  That  the  director,  with  two  chief  hospital  physicians  be  empowered  to  fix 
the  pay  of  second  mates,  and  of  such  clerks,  storekeepers,  and  other  persons  as 
may  occasionally  be  employed ;  and  felso  to  make  such  regulations,  and  point  out 
and  enjoin  such  further  particular  duties  for  the  several  officers  in  the  hospital 
department,  as  they  may  judge  necessary  for  the  regular  management  of  the  same ; 
which  duties  shall  always  be  consistent  with,  and  in  nowise  contradictory  to  any  of 
the  duties  heretofore  particularly  enumerated,  and  which  being  reported  and 
approved  of  by  the  medical  committee,  shall  therefore  become  obligatory  to  all 
those  concerned. 

18.  That  the  Quartermaster  General  furnish  the  Hospital  Department  from 
time  to  time,  as  occasion  may  require,  with  such  a  number  of  horses,  and  waggons, 
as  may  be  necessary  for  removing  the  sick  and  wounded,  and  transporting  the 
hospital  stores;  but  that  no  other  horses  than  those  belonging  to  the  officers  of  the 
department,  for  which  forage  may  be  herein  allowed,  be  kept  separately  at  the 
expense  of  the  department. 


19.  That  no  person,  concerned  in  trade  on  his  own  account,  shall  be  suffered  to 
act  as  an  officer  in  the  hospitals,  or  medical  department  of  the  army. 

20.  That  no  oflBcer,  or  other  person  in  the  hospital  department,  except  the 
sick  and  wounded,  be  permitted  to  use,  any  of  the  stores  provided  for  the  sick. 

21.  That  the  director,  chief  hospital  physician,  and  the  chief  physicians  and 
surgeons  of  the  army,  physicians  and  surgeons,  purveyor,  apothecary,  assistant 
purveyor,  and  assistant  apothecary,  be  appointed  and  commissioned  by  Congress; 
the  regimental  surgeons  and  mates,  be  appointed  as  heretofore. 

22.  That  the  director,  with  the  advice,  and  concurrence  of  two  of  the  chief 
hospital  physicians,  appoint  all  hospital  mates,  which  appointments  shall  be  con- 
firmed by  warrants  under  the  hands  of  the  director;  in  which  appointment  no 
person  shall  be  admitted  under  the  age  of  twenty  one  years. 

23.  That  all  oflBcers  of  the  hospital  or  medical  department,  shall  be  subjected 
to  trial  by  court-martial  for  all  offences,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  Hue  of  the  army. 

24.  That  the  pay,  and  establishment  of  the  officers,  of  the  hospital  depart- 
ment, and  medical  staff  be  as  follows  : 

Director;  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  per  month;  two  rations  for  himself, 
and  one  for  his  servant,  per  day;  and  forage  for  two  horses. 

Chief  Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  the  army  and  hospital;  each  one  hundred  and 
forty  dollars  per  month  ;  two  rations  a  day  for  themselves,  and  forage  for  two  horses. 

Purveyor  and  Apothecary;  one  hundred  and  thirty  dollars  per  month;  one 
tation  a  day,  and  forage  for  one  horse. 

Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  the  Hospital;  one  hundred  and  twenty  dollars  per 
month ;  one  ration  per  day  and  forage  for  one  horse. 

Assistant  Purveyors  and  Apothecaries;  each  seventy  five  dollars  per  month. 

Regimental  Surgeons;  sixty  five  dollars  per  month;  one  ration  per  day,  and 
forage  for  one  horse. 

Surgeon's  Mates  in  Hospitals;  fifty  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration  per  day. 

Surgeon's  Mates  in  the  army;  forty  five  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration 
per  day. 

Stewards  for  each  hospital;  thirty  five  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration 
per  day. 

Wardmaster  for  each  hospital;  twenty  five  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration 
per  day. 

25.  That  none  of  the  aforesaid  officers,  or  other  persons  employed  in  any  of 
the  hospitals,  be  entitled  to  rations  of  provisions,  or  forage  while  on  furlough. 

26.  That  the  chief  physician  of  the  army,  be  allowed  a  two  horse  covered 
waggon,  for  transporting  his  baggage. 

27.  That  the  several  officers  above  mentioned  shall  receive  their  pay  in  the 
new  currency  emitted  pursuant  to  a  resolution  of  Congress  on  the  eighteenth  day  of 
March  last,  and  that  they  be  allowed,  and  paid  at  the  rate  of  five  dollars  of  said 
currency  per  month,  for  every  retained  ration;  and  shall  be  entitled  annually  to 
draw  clothing  from  the  stores  of  the  Clothier  General,  in  the  same  manner,  and 
under  the  same  regulations,  as  were  established  for  officers  of  the  line,  by  a  resolu- 
tion of  Congress,  of  the  twenty  fifth  day  of  November,  1779. 

28.  That  the  return  for  clothing  for  officers  of  the  medical  staff,  [regimental 
surgeons  and  their  mates,  who  are  to  draw  with  the  regimental  staff,  excepted,]  be 
signed  by  the  director,  or  one  of  the  chief  hospital  physicians;  and  such  clothing 
shall  be  delivered  either  by  the  Clothier  General,  or  any  sub-clothier  in  the  state 



in  which  the  oflBcer  to  receive   clothing  shall  reside,   in   the  same  manner   as  is 
provided,  in  the  cases  of  other  staflF  oflScers  not  taken  from  the  line. 

29.  That  the  several  oflBcers,  whose  pay  is  established  as  above,  (except  the 
stewards  and  wardmasters,)  shall  at  the  end  of  the  war,  be  entitled  to  a  certain 
provision  of  land  in  the  proportion  following: 

The  Director  to  have  the  same  quantity  as  a  Brigadier  General. 
Chief  Physician  and  Purveyor,  the  same  as  a  Colonel. 
Physicians,  Surgeons,  and  Apothecary,  the  same  as  a  Lieutenant  Colonel. 
Regimental  Surgeons,  and  assistants  to  the  Purveyor  and  Apothecary  the  same 
as  a  Major. 

Hospital  and  Regimental  Surgeon's  Mates,  same  as  Captain. 

30.  That  the  former  arrangements  of  the  hospital,  and  all  regulations  hereto- 
fore passed  touching  the  same,  so  far  as  they  are  inconsistent  with  the  foregoing, 
be  repealed ;  excepting  that  the  hospitals  in  the  Southern  Department,  from  North 
Carolina  to  Georgia  inclusive,  be  continued  under  the  same  regulations  as  heretofore, 
until  the  further  order  of  Congress." 

The  election  of  officers  of  the  Department  under  the  foregoing  law 
took  place  on  the  sixth  of  October:  William  Shippen,  jr.,  was  reelected 
Director,  and  John  Cochran  was  appointed  Chief  Physician  and  Surgeon  of 
the  army.  The  following  were  appointed  chief  hospital  physicians :  James 
Craik,  Malachi  Treat  and  Charles  McKnight.  The  other  appointments 
were  as  follows :  purveyor,  Thomas  Bond;  assistant  purveyor,  Isaac  Ledyardj 
apothecary,  Andrew  Craigie;  hospital  physicians  and  surgeons,  James  Tilton, 
Samuel  Adams,  David  Townshend,  Henry  Latimer,  Francis  Hagan,  Philip 
Turner,  William  Burnet,  John  Warren,  Moses  Scott,  David  Jackson,  Bodo 
Otto,  Moses  Bloomfield,  William  Eustis,  George  Draper,  Barnabas  Binney; 
and  surgeon  to  the  regiment  of  invalids,  Matthew  Mans. 

Previous  to  the  election  General  Washington  had  written  the  following 
letter  to  a  member  of  Congress,  which  shows  the  estimation  in  which  he 
held  several  of  the  gentlemen  who  were  retained  on  the  Medical  Staff: 


September  9th,  1780. 
Dkar  Sib: 

I  have  heard,  that  a  new  arrangement  is  about  to  take  place  in  the  medical 
department ;  and  that  it  is  likely  to  be  a  good  deal  curtailed,  in  respect  to  many  of 
its  present  appointments.  Who  will  be  the  persons  generally  employed,  I  do  not 
know,  nor  do  I  wish  to  know.  However,  I  will  mention  to  you,  that  I  think  Doctor 
Cochran,  and  Doctor  Craik  for  their  services,  abilities,  experience,  and  close  atten- 
tion, have  the  greatest  claim  to  their  country's  notice,  and  are  among  the  first 
officers  in  the  establishment.  Doctors  Latimer,  Tilton,  Hagan,  and  Townshend,  who 
are  now  senior  surgeons,  are  also  gentlemen  of  great  merit,  and  have  a  just  claim 
to  be  continued,  from  their  abilities,  attention,  and  other  considerations.  They  are 
all  single  men,  and  therefore,  being  otherwise  well  qualified,  are  the  most  eligible. 
I  have  received  also  the  most  favorable  reports,  of  the  merits  and  attention  of  Doc- 
tor Jenifer,  a  junior  surgeon,  who  is  in  the  same  situation.     Doctor  Craigie,  the 



present  Apothecary  General,  a  gentleman  not  personally  known  to  me,  has  been 
reported  as  very  deserving  of  the  appointment.  The  several  gentlemen  I  have 
mentioned,  as  I  have  observed,  appear  to  me  to  have  the  greatest  pretensions  to  the 
public  esteem;  and  if  they  are  honored  with  proper  places,  I  am  satisfied,  the  public 
will  be  greatly  benefitted  by  their  services.  The  reason  of  my  mentioning  these 
particularly,  proceeds  from  a  hint  given  me,  that  the  new  arrangement  might 
possibly  be  influenced  by  a  spirit  of  party  out  of  doors,  which  would  not  operate 
in  their  favor." 

Of  the  gentlemen  composing  this  new  establishment,  some  have  already 
been  mentioned  as  occupying  positions  of  importance  under  the  old  organi- 
zation. Doctors  Shippen,  Cochran,  Treat,  McKnight,  Craigie,  Burnet, 
Tilton  and  Turner,  were  already  well  known  to  the  whole  army  as  surgeons 
of  the  very  highest  character.  Brief  sketches  of  some  of  the  rest  may  be 
appropriately  introduced  in  this  place. 

Doctor  Thomas  Bond,  Purveyor  to  the  army,  belonged  to  a  family  illus- 
trious in  the  annals  of  medicine  in  Philadelphia.  His  father  had  been  for 
many  years  a  leading  practitioner  in  that  city;  was  one  of  the  founders  of 
the  college  and  the  hospital;  and  had  been  intimately  associated  with 
Franklin  in  his  philosophical  pursuits.  The  son  had  seen  continuous  service 
in  the  army,  both  in  the  field  and  as  director  of  hospitals  on  the  Delaware 
river;  was  thoroughly  conversant  with  the  wants  of  the  army,  and  well  fitted 
by  his  education  and  experience  for  his  new  position.         , 

Doctor  John  Warren  was  born  at  Roxbury,  Massachusetts,  in  1753. 
He  graduated  at  Harvard  College  in  1771,  and  studied  medicine  in  the  ofl5ce 
of  his  brother,  Doctor  Joseph  Warren.  He  settled  in  practice  in  Salem. 
When  the  war  broke  out  he  entered  the  service  as  surgeon  to  the  Salem 
regiment  of  Massachusetts  militia,  marched  with  them  to  Lexington,  and 
attended  those  wounded  in  that  fight.  After  the  battle  of  Breed's  Hill  he 
was  appointed  hospital  surgeon  in  the  army,  and  remained  on  duty  as  such 
throughout  the  siege  of  Boston  and  until  after  the  campaign  in  New  Jersey. 
In  1777  he  was  placed  in  charge  of  the  hospitals  in  Boston  and  vicinity,  a 
position  which  he  maintained  until  the  close  of  the  war. 

Samuel  Adams  was  a  son  of  the  distinguished  Grovernor,  Samuel  Adams, 
of  Massachusetts,  and  was  born  in  Boston  in  1751.  He  was  educated  at 
Harvard  College,  where  he  graduated  in  1770.  He  studied  medicine  in 
Joseph  Warren's  office,  in  company  with  John  Warren,  David  Townshend 
and  William  Eustis,  and  was  admitted  to  practice  in  1774.  He  was  one  of 
the  earliest  to  enter  the  service,  attending  to  the  wounded  at  Lexington  and 
Concord.  Subsequently  he  was  in  charge  of  a  general  hospital  at  Danbury, 
and  remained  in  service  throughout  the  war. 


David  Townshend  was  a  fellow  student  of  the  preceding,  and  like  him 
had  been  continuously  with  the  army  from  the  commencement  of  hostilities. 
He  had  performed  efficient  service  in  charge  of  hospitals  in  the  Northern 
Department  and  during  the  campaign  which  ended  with  the  surrender  of 

William  Eustis  was  born  in  Boston  in  1753.  He  graduated  at  Harvard 
in  1772,  with  the  highest  honors,  and  until  the  commencement  of  the  Rev- 
olution was  a  favorite  student  of  Doctor  Joseph  Warren,  who  thought  so 
highly  of  his  abilities  that  he  secured  him  the  appointment  of  surgeon  to 
the  Massachusetts  Artillery  Regiment.  He  was  appointed  hospital  surgeon 
after  the  removal  of  the  army  to  New  York,  and  had  been  continuously  on 
duty  ever  since,  with  the  reputation  of  a  humane,  faithful  and  indefatigable 
officer.  His  career  subsequent  to  the  war  was  one  of  the  highest  distinction, 
and  will  be  mentioned  hereafter. 

James  Craik  was  a  native  of  Scotland,  who  came  to  this  country  and 
entered  the  British  army  soon  after  the  completion  of  his  education.  He 
accompanied  Washington  in  an  expedition  against  the  French  and  Indians 
in  1754,  and  the  following  year  participated  in  the  unfortunate  march  against 
Fort  Duquesne,  and  attended  to  General  Braddock  when  he  was  wounded. 
In  these  two  campaigns  a  warm  friendship  grew  up  between  him  and  Wash- 
ington, which  lasted  till  the  death  of  the  latter.  He  settled  in  Virginia, 
where  he  remained  until  the  war  broke  out,  when  he  accompanied  Washing- 
ton to  the  field.  At  the  time  of  receiving  this  present  appointment  he 
was  in  Rhode  Island,  conferring  with  Count  Rochambeau  as  to  the  establish- 
ment of  hospitals  for  the  recently  arrived  French  forces. 

Bodo  Otto  was  from  Pennsylvania,  and  received  the  degree  of  bachelor 
of  physio  at  the  college  in  Philadelphia  in  1771. 

Moses  Bloomfield  was  a  native  of  Woodbridge,  New  Jersey,  born  in 
1729.  He  had  been  for  thirty  years  a  practitioner  of  medicine  in  his  native 
village,  had  been  a  member  of  the  Provincial  Congress  of  New  Jersey,  and 
was  highly  esteemed  as  a  christian,  a  patriot  and  accomplished  physician. 

It  has  not  been  found  possible  to  obtain  any  information  about  the  other 
gentlemen  whose  names  are  found  on  the  list  of  surgeons. 

On  the  third  of  January,  1781,  three  months  after  his  reelection, 
William  Shippen  resigned  the  office  of  Director,  and  was  succeeded  by 
John  Cochran.  Doctor  Shippen  returned  to  Philadelphia  and  resumed 
practice,  devoting  himself  more  especially  to  obstetrics.  In  1798  he  received 
a  severe  blow  in  the  death  a  very  promising  son,  aft/Cr  which  he  partially 
retired  from  practice,  and  spent  the  last  years  of  his  life  in  religious  pursuits. 


He  died  in  Germantown  on  the  eleventh  of  July,  1808.  Wistar  says  of 
him:  "His  person  was  graceful,  his  manners  polished,  his  conversation 
various,  and  the  tones  of  his  voice  singularly  sweet  and  conciliatory.  In 
his  intercourse  with  society  he  was  gay  without  levity,  and  dignified  with- 
out harshness  or  austerity." 

The  place  lately  held  by  Doctor  Cochran  was  filled  on  the  third  of 
March  by  the  promotion  of  James  Craik,  and  that  of  Craik  by  the  promo- 
tion of  William  Burnet  to  be  chief  hospital  physician. 

Some  time  during  the  year  1780  Congress  had  provided,  that  all  officers 
who  served  to  the  close  of  the  war  should  be  entitled  to  half-pay  for  life. 
By  some  oversight  this  provision  only  extended  to  officers  of  the  line.  The 
stafi"  officers  therefore  appointed  three  of  their  number  to  wait  on  a  congres- 
sional committee  that  visited  the  army  at  Morristown  and  lay  the  matter 
before  them.  In  consequence  of  this  action,  Congress,  on  the  third  of 
January,  1781,  passed  a  resolution,  extending  the  privileges  of  half-pay  to 
medical  officers  on  the  following  basis,  viz : 

Director,  the  half-pay  of  a  Lieutenant  Colonel. 

Chief  Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  the  army,  and  all  other  officers  except  mates, 
the  half-pay  of  a  Captain. 

On  the  seventeenth  of  January,  the  power  heretofore  given  to  the  chief 
physician  and  surgeon  of  the  army  to  remove  regimental  surgeons  and  their 
mates  for  neglect  of  duty  was  so  modified  as  to  authorize  them  to  suspend 
such  delinquents  from  duty  until  they  could  be  brought  to  trial. 

On  the  twenty-second  of  March,  Congress  extended  the  provisions  of  the 
act  reorganizing  the  Medical  Department,  so  as  to  include  the  South;  ordering 
the  appointment  of  a  deputy  director,  to  have  in  the  absence  of  the  Director, 
general  superintendence  of  the  Southern  Hospitals,  under  the  orders  of  the 
'Commanding  G-eneral  of  the  Southern  army  for  the  time  being.  The  South 
Carolina  delegation  endeavored  to  have  a  separate  establishment,  with  a 
director  of  their  own,  but  their  resolution  to  this  effect  was  negatived  by  a 
vote  of  three  ayes  to  twenty-two  noes.  The  regulations  were  the  same  as 
those  already  in  operation  in  other  portions  of  the  country.  The  officers 
elected  under  this  arrangement  were : 

Deputy  Director;  Doctor  David  Olyphant. 

Deputy  Purveyor;  Doctor  N.  Brownson. 

Chief  Physician  of  the  Hospital;  Doctor  Peter  Fayssoux. 

Chief  Physician  of  the  army;  Doctor  James  Brown. 

Hospital  Physicians;  Doctors  Robert  Johnson  and  William  Reed. 


Up  to  this  period  in  the  history  of  the  war  all  the  affairs  of  the  Hos- 
pital Department  had  been  referred  to  a  special  comaiittee  of  Congress, 
entitled  the  "  Medical  Committee."  This  body  had  very  extensive  powers,  and 
seem  on  the  whole  to  have  exercised  them  with  great  good  sensa.  Some  of 
their  number  frequently  inspected  the  hospitals,  and  they  always  appeared 
ready  to  listen  to  any  complaints  about  the  management  of  the  Department, 
or  any  suggestions  for  the  better  organization  of  the  Corps.  By  the  creation 
of  the  Board  of  War  this  committee  had  become  unnecessary,  and  on  the 
twenty-eighth  of  May  their  existence  terminated,  and  their  business  was 
transferred  to  the  board  before  spoken  of. 

On  the  twentieth  of  September,  chiefly  through  the  exertions  of  Doctor 
James  Tilton,  Congress  adopted  an  act  providing  for  promotion  by  seniority 
in  the  Medical  Corps.  Tilton  had  presented  his  plan  long  before  to  the 
Medical  Committee,  but  that  body  had  passed  out  of  existence  without  taking 
any  action  upon  it,  although  they  expressed  their  approval  of  the  principle 
involved.  Eventually  the  resignation  of  a  number  of  the  surgeons  brought 
the  question  up  for  consideration  before  the  Board  of  War,  and  the  final 
result  was  the  adoption  of  the  following  resolution : 

"That  the  present  vacancies  of  hospital  physicians  and  surgeons,  be  filled  up 
by  the  senior  surgeons  of  the  hospitals  lately  deranged,  the  eldest  hospital  mates, 
or  regimental  surgeons,  as  shall  be  recommended  by  the  director,  and  chief  physi- 
cian and  surgeon  to  the  army. 

That  all  future  vacancies  of  hospital  physicians  and  surgeons,  be  filled  by  the 
eldest  regimental  surgeons  and  hospital  mates, — who  shall  be  reckoned  of  equal 
grades, — who  shall  upon  examination  be  found  qualified ;  and  obtain  a  certificate  of 
recommendation  from  the  director,  and  chief  physician  and  surgeon  of  the  army; 
or  of  the  deputy  director,  and  chief  physician  in  a  separate  department. 

That  the  persons  requisite  to  fill  the  higher  grades  in  the  medical  and  hospital 
department,  be  appointed  from  time  to  time  by  Congress,  according  to  merit  and 

That  all  surgeons  to  regiments  or  corps,  not  belonging  to  the  line  of  any  par- 
ticular state,  be  nominated  by  the  director  of  the  hospitals,  and  the  chief  physician 
and  surgeon  of  the  army,  subject  to  the  approval  of  the  Commander-in-Chief;  and 
shall  be  equally  entitled  to  promotion  to  hospital  physicians  and  surgeons  with  the 
regimental  surgeons  of  state  lines." 

There  were  at  this  time  five  vacancies  in  the  Corps,  caused  by  the  pro- 
motion of  Doctor  Burnet  and  the  resignations  of  Doctors  Hagan,  Scott, 
JacksoDi,  and  Bloomfield.  These  were  filled  by  the  appointment  of  Joseph 
Young,  a  "deranged"  senior  surgeon,  and  the  following  promotions  of  sur- 
geon's mates:  Goodwin  Wilson,  Daniel  Jenifer,  Samuel  Edmondson,  and 
George  Campbell,  to  be  hospital  surgeons. 


Opposition  was  manifested  in  some  quarter  to  this  new  plan  of  promo- 
tion, for  on  the  twenty-first,  a  motion  was  made  to  rescind  the  promotions 
just  made.  This  was  lost;  but  a  resolution  was  passed  the  day  following 
that  no  more  appointments  of  surgeon's  mates  to  be  surgeons  should  be  made, 
until  further  Orders  of  Congress.  Probably  the  friends  of  the  regimental 
surgeons  objected  to  their  being  placed  on  an  equality  as  regards  rank  to  the 
mates,  as  they  had  hitherto  ranked  next  after  hospital  surgeons,  and  although 
it  had  never  been  definitely  so  stated  in  any  law,  they  had  always  considered 
themselves  the  superiors  in  rank  of  hospital  mates. 

During  the  latter  part  of  December  Congress  was  again  occupied  with 
the  reorganization  of  the  Corps.  The  improved  prospects  of  the  country 
afibrded  a  hope  of  the  early  termination  of  the  war,  and  the  transfer  of 
active  hostilities  from  the  Middle  States  had  rendered  unnecessary  a  number 
of  the  hospitals ;  sO  that  the  deliberations  of  Congress  at  this  time  were 
directed  towards  effecting  reductions  in  the  Medical  Staff.  After  consider- 
able discussion,  the  following  ordinance  was  adopted  on  the  third  of  Janu- 
ary, 1782: 

"That  for  the  more  regular  conducting  the  General  Hospital,  the  oflBces  of 
chief  physician  and  surgeon  of  the  army,  and  of  chief  hospital  physician,  be,  and 
hereby  are  abolished;  and  that  the  chief  physician  and  surgeon  to  the  army  eldest 
in  appointment,  be  continued  in  service  under  the  title  of  physician,  with  the  pay 
and  emoluments  heretofore  allowed  to  a  chief  hospital  physician. 

2.  That  the  number  of  surgeons,  to  all  the  military  hospitals  of  the  United 
States,  be  reduced,  so  as  not  to  exceed  fifteen, 

3.  That  the  director  have  the  general  superintendence  and  direction  of  all  the 
military  hospitals ;  and  of  ptactice  both  in  camp  and  hospitals. 

4.  That  in  the  absence  of  the  director  his  duty  devolve  upon  the  deputy 
director,  or  physician,  and  in  their  absence  upon  the  hospital  surgeons,  according 
to  seniority. 

5.  That  the  director,  or  In  his  absence  the  senior  medical  officer,  with  the 
approbation  of  the  Commandelr-in-Chief,  or  Commanding  General  of  a  separate 
army,  be,  and  is  hereby  authorized  and  empowered,  as  often  as  may  be  judged 
necessary,  to  call  a  medical  board  which  shall  consist  of  the  three  senior  medical 
officers  then  present;  and  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  this  board,  to  appoint  all  hospital 
mates,  to  examine  all  candidates  for  promotion  in  the  hospital  department,  and 
recommend  to  the  Secretary  of  War  such  as  they  judge  best  qualified;  and  gen- 
erally to  take  cognizance  of,  and  give  their  advice  and  opinion  upon  every  matter 
relative  to  the  Department,  which  may  be  submitted  to  them  by  the  Commander-in- 
Chief,  or  Commanding  General  of  a  separate  army;  provided  always;  that  no  reg- 
ulation, plan,  or  order  of  the  board,  shall  be  valid,  and  take  eflFect,  until  approved 
by  the  Commander-in-Chief,  or  Commander  of  a  separate  army,  and  issued  in 
general  orders. 

6.  That  all  returns  heretofore  Ordered  to  be  made  by  the  director,  or  deputy 
director,  to  the  Medical  Committee,  bfe  made  to  the  Secretary  of  War. 


7.  That  the  stewards  may  in  the  first  instance,  when  the  purveyor  or  his 
assistant  is  at  a  distance,  be  appointed  by  the  director,  or  senior  medical  officer, 
but  shall  be  removeable  at  pleasure,  and  others  substituted  in  their  stead  by  the 
purveyor,  and  his  assistant.  And  although  in  their  purchases  and  issues,  they  are 
to  obey  the  orders  of  the  prescribing  surgeons,  yet  for  the  faithful  discharge  of 
their  duty  they  are  to  be  accountable  to  the  purveyor,  who  shall  in  like  manner  be 
accountable  to  the  United  States.  Wherefore,  the  said  stewards  shall  keep  separate 
accounts  of  all  they  receive,  and  of  what  they  themselves  purchase;  and  shall 
render  an  account  monthly  of  all  their  issues,  with  the  stock  on  hand,  to  the  pur- 
veyor, who  shall  render  the  said  accounts,  together  with  a  particular  account  of  the 
supplies  furnished  by  himself,  or  his  assistant,  to  each  respective  hospital  once 
every  three  months,  to  the  Superintendent  of  Finance. 

8.  That  the  Secretary  of  War  be,  and  he  is  hereby  empowered  and  directed, 
on  or  before  the  first  day  of  February  next,  and  hereafter  from  time  to  time,  as  the 
service  may  require,  to  arrange  the  department,  agreeably  to  the  foregoing  resolu- 
tions; and  to  issue  his  orders  to  such  as  he  thinks  proper  to  remain;  paying  a  due 
regard  in  his  first  arrangement,  to  such  of  the  chief  physicians  and  surgeons  as 
may  choose  to  continue  in  service;  and  in  his  subsequent  arrangements,  to  such  of 
the  senior  oflBcers,  as  may  choose  to  remain  in  service. 

9.  That  such  of  the  oflBcers  as  shall  not  be  called  into  service,  agreeably  to  the 
foregoing  resolution,  be  considered  as  reduced  by  Congress,  and  be  entitled  to  the 
emoluments  granted  by  the  act  of  Congress  of  the  seventeenth  of  January,  1781. 

10.  That  when  by  reason  of  vacancies,  or  otherwise,  any  oflBcers  be  hereafter 
to  be  appointed  to  the  Hospital  Department,  and  whose  appointment  is  reserved  to 
Congress,  due  regard  be  paid  to  the  officers  next  in  rank;  and  that  the  appointment 
of  hospital  surgeons  be  from  among  the  regimental  surgeons  and  hospital  mates; 
provided  that  no  regimental  surgeon  shall  be  so  appointed,  who  shall  not  have  sub- 
mitted himself  to  examination  by  a  medical  board,  and  obtained  from  them  a 
certificate  that  he  is  well  qualified  for  the  oflBce  of  regimental  surgeon,  by  which 
certificate  the  regimental  surgeon  shall  be  considered  as  superior  in  rank  to  the 
hospital  mates,  but  not  otherwise. 

11.  That  the  director,  deputy  director,  physician,  surgeons  and  mates,  as  well 
hospital  as  regimental,  receive  their  pay  out  of  the  military  chest,  at  the  same  time, 
and  in  the  same  manner,  as  the  army  with  which  they  serve ;  the  abstracts  to  be 
signed  by  the  director,  deputy  director,  or  physician,  or  in  their  absence  by  the 
senior  hospital  surgeon,  and  the  warrant  to  issue  in  the  same  manner,  as  for  the  pay 
of  the  army." 

By  the  act  of  the  tenth  of  January,  organizing  the  Inspector  General's 
Department,  it  was  resolved  : 

"The  Inspector  General,  or  inspector  of  an  army,  shall  be  authorized  and 
required  to  visit  the  military  hospitals  of  the  United  States  from  time  to  time ;  to 
examine  the  general  state  of  them,  and  the  treatment  of  the  patients,  which  he  shall 
report  to  the  oflBcer  commanding  the  army ;  and  the  director,  deputy  director,  or 
superintending  surgeon  of  the  hospital,  shall  furnish  them  with  such  returns  as 
they  may  find  necessary  for  the  better  execution  of  their  office." 

A  resolution  of  the  twenty-fifth  of  March  directed,  that  any  soldiers 
sick  in  hospital  might  elect  to  be  discharged  with  a  pension  of  five  dollars  a 
month,  if  they  so  desired,  in  preference  to  being  transferred  to  the  invalid  corps. 


From  this  time  until  the  middle  of  summer  the  War  Department  was 
occupied  in  perfecting  a  bill  to  regulate  the  accountability  of  the  disbursing 
officers  of  the  Hospital  Department.  This  was  rendered  very  necessary,  not 
only  by  the  entire  removal  of  the  purveying  branch  of  the  service  from  the 
hands  of  the  Director,  but  also  by  the  indications  which  existed  of  the 
approaching  close  of  the  war,  making  it  desirable  that  all  accounts  should 
be  in  such  a  condition  as  to  render  their  audit  convenient  and  immediate. 
On  the  twenty-fifth  of  July  Congress  passed  a  bill  which,  although  long,  is 
given  in  full,  as  it  may  be  useful  for  comparison  with  subsequent  enactments 
on  the  subject. 

"  That  in  conducting  the  business  of  the  general  hospitals,  there  shall  be  an 
invariable  standard  of  prices  established,  by  which  the  apothecary  shall  be  charged 
with  every  article  he  shall  issue.  This  standard  to  be  established  by  the  Medical 
Board,  or  such  person,  or  persons,  as  they  shall  appoint,  which  shall  only  be  con- 
sidered as  a  certain  ratio,  whereby  to  keep  the  accounts.  But,  that  in  the  settlement 
of  all  the  accounts  in  that  department,  all  deficient  articles  not  issued,  or  returned, 
to  be  accounted  for  at  such  real  value  as  shall  be  estimated  by  the  Medical  Board, 
and  approved  by  the  Secretary  of  War.  An  account  shall  be  taken  as  soon 
as  possible,  of  all  the  medicines,  instruments,  and  property  in  the  apothecaries' 
department,  belonging  to  the  public,  in  the  hands  of  the  apothecary,  the  deputies, 
assistants,  and  mates,  the  surgeons  of  hospitals,  and  surgeons  of  regiments,  for 
which  they  shall  severally  be  charged  at  the  standard  value,  ascertained  by  the 
board  as  aforesaid,  and  for  all  they  may  hereafter  receive ;  but  they  shall  account 
for  deficiencies  at  the  real  value,  to  be  ascertained  as  aforesaid. 

That  the  apothecary  be  accountable  for  all  articles  in  his  department  to  the 
purveyor,  throughout  the  states,  until  they  come  into  the  hands  of  the  prescribers. 

That  all  deputies,  assistants,  and  mates,  shall  make  returns,  and  be  accountable 
to  the  apothecary,  for  the  medicines,  instruments,  and  other  property  belonging  to 
the  public  in  the  department,  now  in  their  hands,  and  of  such  as  they  may  here- 
after be  possessed  of. 

That  the  apothecary  shall  make  up  his  accounts  at  the  end  of  every  year,  and 
settle  them  as  soon  after  as  possible,  and  before  the  expiration  of  six  months.  He 
shall  at  the  same  time,  make  out  two  returns  for  the  director  of  the  hospitals;  one, 
specifying  what  has  been  received  and  issued,  and  the  amount  of  what  remains  on 
hand;  the  other,  exhibiting  a  particular  account  of  the  value  of  the  medicines,  and 
other  public  property,  each  prescriber  has  received  within  the  year. 

All  losses  which  may  happen  by  the  events  of  war,  and  other  circumstances 
unavoidable,  shall  be  borne  by  the  public.  In  cases  of  loss  by  fraud,  or  neglect,  in 
any  deputy,  assistant,  or  mate,  the  apothecary  shall  not  be  accountable  for  such 
loss,  provided  the  delinquent  be  convicted  thereof,  before  a  Court  Martial  appointed 
to  try  the  same. 

The  hospital  prescribers  shall  be  supplied  on  their  own  application,  with  med- 
icines and  instruments  necessary  for  the  sick  and  wounded  under  their  care. 

Every  regimental  surgeon  shall  receive  yearly  from  the  apothecary,  a  supply 
of  medicines,  to  such  amount  by  the  above  standard,  as  the  Medical  Board  shall 
judge  necessary. 


Every  prescribing  physician  or  surgeon  either  in  the  hospital,  or  with  the  army, 
shall  be  supplied  by  the  apothecary  with  such  a  set  of  capital  instruments,  as  the 
Medical  Board  shall  judge  necessary,  and  shall  be  accountable  for  all  losses  of  med- 
icines or  instruments,  not  arising  from  the  events  of  war,  and  other  circumstances 

Duplicates  of  all  returns,  made  by  the  apothecary  to  the  director  shall  be  lodged 
in  the  War  office. 

That  in  the  army  of  the  United  States,  except  in  the  Southern  army  at  present 
under  command  of  Major  General  Greene,  the  offices  of  assistant  purveyor,  and 
assistant  apothecary,  and  storekeepers  under  the  purveyor  and  apothecary,  except 
one  storekeeper  under  the  purveyor,  to  keep  a  store  near  the  army  and  all  the 
clerks  except  two  to  the  purveyor,  shall  hereafter  be  discontinued.  " 

During  its  passage  through  Congress  the  following  additional  clauses 
were  added  to  the  original  bill : 

"  That  all  surgeons  to  the  hospital  shall  take  rank  after  the  director,  deputy 
director,  and  physician  to  the  army  in  the  following  order,  viz:  those  surgeons  of 
the  army,  who  have  been  either  deputy  director,  physician  general,  or  surgeon 
general,  chief  physician  or  chief  surgeon  to  the  army,  shall  take  rank  next  to  the 
above  mentioned  officers ;  and  their  relative  rank  to  each  other,  shall  be  according 
to  the  dates  of  their  respective  appointments,  to  either  of  the  above  mentioned  officers. 

That  all  such  as  were  regimental  surgeons,  when  appointed  senior  physicians 
or  surgeons  to  the  hospital,  shall  take  rank  with  such  senior  physicians  and  surgeons, 
agreeably  to  the  date  of  their  first  appointment,  whether  totheregiment  or  hospital. 

All  surgeons  the  date  of  whose  first  appointments,  either  to  regiments,  or 
hospitals,  shall  have  been  on  the  same  day,  shall  decide  their  rank  by  lot." 

The  only  further  legislation  for  the  Hospital  Department  in  1782  had 
reference  to  the  pay  and  subsistence  of  officers.  An  act  of  the  twenty-fifth 
of  July  fixed  the  following  schedule : 

Director ;  four  rations  per  day  for  himself  and  servants ;  forage  for  two  horses ; 
and  twenty-five  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Deputy  Director  and  Physician ;  each,  three  rations  for  himself  and  servants ; 
forage  for  two  horses ;  and  twenty  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Hospital  Surgeons;  each,  two  rations  a  day  for  himself  and  servant;  forage  for 
two  horses;  and  fifteen  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Deputy  Purveyor  and  Deputy  Apothecary ;  each,  one  ration  per  day ;  forage 
for  one  horse ;  and  ten  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Hospital  Mates ;  each,  one  ration  per  day ;  and  five  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Stewards ;  each,  one  ration  per  day ;  and  five  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

Wardmasters ;  each,  one  ration  per  day ;  and  three  dollars  per  month  subsistence. 

On  the  third  of  December  this  table  of  allowances  was  repealed  and 
the  following  substituted,  to  take  eflfect  on  the  first  of  January,  1783 : 

Director;  one  hundred  and  two  dollars  pay  per  month,  and  sixty  dollars  sub- 

Deputy  Director  and  Physician ;  each,  one  hundred  dollars  pay,  and  forty-eight 
dollars  subsistence. 


Surgeons ;  each,  ninety  dollars  pay,  and  forty  dollars  subsistence. 

Apothecary  and  Purveyor;  each,  ninety-two  dollar*  pay,  and  thirty-two  dollars 

Deputy  Apothecary  and  Deputy  Purveyor ;  each,  fifty-nine  dollars  pay,  and 
sixteen  dollars  subsistence. 

Mates;  each,  forty-two  dollars  pay,  and  twelve  dollars  subsistence. 

,  This  was  the  last  act  of  Congress,  passed  during  the  Revolutionary 
period,  which  referred  to  the  organization  of  the  Medical  Department.  The 
surrender  of  the  army  under  Cornwallis  had  now  taken  place,  and  com- 
missioners had  been  some  time  before  appointed  on  the  part  of  the  govern- 
ments of  the  United  States,  France  and  Great  Britain  to  arrange  terms  of 
peace.  The  attention  of  Congress  was  hereafter  to  be  directed  to  the  reduction 
of  the  military  force,  and  making  additional  provision  for  the  reward  of  those 
who  had  served  throughout  the  struggle.  That  body  had  already  enacted  that 
all  who  served  to  the  close  of  the  war  should  be  entitled  to  half-pay  for  life; 
but  most  of  the  officers  were  so  poor,  that  they  needed  something  to  com- 
mence civil  life  anew,  and  preferred  a  sum  in  gross  to  the  monthly 
allowance.  It  was  accordingly  resolved,  on  the  twenty-second  of  March, 
1783,  that  in  lieu  of  the  half-pay  for  life,  allowed  by  the  resolution  of 
October  twenty-first,  1780,  the  veterans  should  be  entitled  to  five  years  full 
pay  on  discharge,  or  an  equivalent  in  securities,  with  interest  at  six  per  cent. 
The  officers  of  the  Hospital  Department  were  permitted  collectively,  to  refuse 
or  accept  this  oflfer. 

The  reduction  of  the  army  took  place  rapidly  in  1783,  and  on  the 
twenty-sixth  of  September  the  Commander-in-Chief  was  authorized  to  grant 
furloughs  to  such  of  the  Medical  Staff  whose  services  were  no  longer  neces- 
sary. This  was  equivalent  to  a  practical  disbandm'ent  of  the  Hospital 
Department.  The  last  act  in  the  drama  was  on  the  second  of  June,  1784, 
when,  after  an  animated  debate,  in  which  various  efforts  were  made  to  retain 
or  enlist  anew  a  sufficient  force  for  guarding  the  public  property  and  garri- 
soning the  frontier  posts,  the  following  resolution  was  adopted : 

"That  the  Commanding  Officer,  be,  and  he  is  hereby  directed  to  discharge  the 
troops  now  in  the  service  of  the  United  States,  except  twenty  five  privates  to  guard 
the  stores  at  Fort  Pitt;  and  fifty  five  to  guard  the  stores  at  West  Point,  and  other 
magazines;  with  a  proportionate  number  of  officers;  no  officer  to  remain  in  service 
above  the  rank  of  Captain,  and  those  privates  to  be  retained  who  were  enlisted  on 
the  best  terms ;  Provided,  Congress  before  its  recess,  shall  not  take  other  measures, 
respecting  the  disposition  of  those  troops," 

Before  closing  this  division  of  the  subject,  the  duty  remains  of  tracing 
the  subsequent  career  of  the  distinguished  men,  who  held  important  posi- 
tions in  the  Corps,  and  who  by  their  energy  and  fidelity  under  the  most 


discouraging  circumstances  had  contributed  to  the  cause  of  American  inde- 
pendence as  much,  though  in  a  less  brilliant  way,  as  those  who  fought  its 
battles.  Unfortunately  the  records  of  American  Medical  Biography  are 
very  incomplete;  of  some  of  those  who  occupied  prominent  positions,  we 
are  without  any  information;  of  others  the  subsequent  career  was  so  distin- 
guished as  to  form  part  of  the  history  of  the  country. 

John  Cochran,  Director  of  the  army,  after  his  discharge  from  the 
service,  removed  with  his  family  to  the  city  of  New  York  and  pursued  the 
practice  of  his  profession;  when  Washington  became  President,  he  appointed 
him  Commissioner  of  Loans  for  the  State  of  New  York,  which  office  he  held 
for  some  years,  when  a  stroke  of  paralysis  put  an  end  to  his  usefulness,  and 
he  retired  to  Palatine,  Montgomery  county,  New  York,  where  he  passed 
the  decline  of  life.  He  died  on  the  sixth  of  April,  1807,  in  the  seventy- 
seventh  year  of  his  age.  Thacher,  who  served  throughout  the  war  with 
him,  thus  eulogizes  his  character:  "He  united  a  vigorous  mind  and  correct 
judgment,  with  information  derived  and  improved  from  long  experience,  and 
faithful  habits  of  attention  to  the  duties  of  his  profession.  He  possessed 
the  pure  and  inflexible  principles  of  patriotism,  and  his  integrity  was  unim- 
peachable. It  is  gratifying  to  have  this  opportunity  of  expressing  a 
respectful  recollection  of  his  urbanity  and  civilities,  and  of  affording  this 
small  tribute  to  his  cherished  memory." 

James  Craik  settled  in  practice  at  Port  Tobacco,  Maryland,  but  soon 
after,  at  the  urgent  request  of  General  Washington,  he  removed  to  the  neigh- 
borhood of  Mount  Vernon.  In  1798,  when  war  was  threatened  with  France, 
he  was  appointed  Physician  General  to  the  army,  but  held  the  position  but 
a  very  short  time,  returning  to  Mount  Vernon,  where  he  was  soon  called  on 
to  attend  the  death-bed  of  Washington.  He  lived  to  the  age  of  eighty-four 
years,  dying  on  the  sixth  of  February,  1814. 

William  Eustis  returned  to  Boston  and  commenced  practice,  but 
abandoned  it  again  in  1787  to  serve  as  surgeon  of  a  regiment  of  militia, 
raised  to  defend  the  frontier  against  the  Indians.  He  then  resumed  practice, 
to  leave  it  for  the  third  time  as  surgeon  to  the  forces  employed  in  the 
suppression  of  Shay's  rebellion.  He  then  went  into  political  life,  and  in 
1800  was  elected  to  Congress  from  Massachusetts.  In  1809  he  was  appointed 
in  the  Cabinet  of  James  Madison  as  Secretary  of  War,  an  office  which  he 
held  until  after  the  surrender  of  Hull.  In  1815  he  went  abroad  as  Minister 
to  Holland;  and  on  his  return  was  reelected  to  Congress  for  four  sessions; 
when  he  succeeded  Governor  Brooks  in  the  Executive  chair  of  Massachu- 
setts.     He  died  in  1825,  at  the  age  of  seventy-two. 


Moses  Bloomfield  returned  to  his  native  village  in  New  Jersey,  and 
pursued  the  unostentatious  career  of  a  country  practitioner,  respected  and 
beloved  by  all  who  knew  him.     He  died  on  the  fourteenth  of  August,  1791. 

Two  months  after,  he  was  followed  to  the  grave  by  William  Burnet,  who 
since  the  war  had  resumed  his  practice  in  Newark,  New  Jersey.  He  died 
on  the  seventh  of  October,  1791,  at  the  age  of  sixty-one. 

John  Warren  settled  in  Boston,  and  rose  to  the  highest  eminence  in 
his  profession.  He  became  the  most  celebrated  surgeon  in  New  England, 
and  was  the  first  Professor  of  Anatomy  and  Surgery  in  the  Harvard  Medical 
College.  On  the  fourth  of  April,  1815,  he  died  at  the  age  of  sixty-two, 
and  received  a  public  funeral  in  the  city  of  Boston,  his  death  being  regarded 
as  a  general  calamity. 

Philip  Turner  practiced  in  Norwich,  Connecticut,  until  1800,  when  he 
removed  to  New  York  city.  Soon  after  this  he  was  reappointed  in  the  army 
as  stafi"  surgeon,  and  was  permanently  stationed  in  New  York  Harbor  until 
his  death,  which  took  place  in  1815,  in  the  seventy-fifth  year  of  his  age. 
He  was  buried  with  military  honors. 

James  Tilton  occupies  such  an  important  position  in  our  history,  as  the 
Physician  General  of  the  army 'in  the  war  of  1812-15,  that  any  further 
notice  of  him  will  be  reserved  until  the  operations  of  the  Corps  during  that 
period  are  considered. 

Of  the  subsequent  career  of  the  rest  of  the  surgeons  of  the  army  but 
little  can  be  said.  Malachi  Treat  practiced  in  New  York,  and  fell  a  victim 
to  his  devotion  to  his  duty  as  Health  Officer  of  the  port,  dying  of  yellow  fever 
in  one  of  the  epidemics  in  that  city.  David  Townshend  lived  to  a  great  age 
in  Boston,  honored  by  all.  The  remainder  passed  from  public  view  with 
their  withdrawal  from  the  army,  and  we  hear  no  more  of  them.  Of  the  few 
who  composed  the  Corps  at  its  reorganization  in  1780,  we  have  seen  that  a 
considerable  number  rose  to  high  distinction  either  in  professional  or  political 
life  J  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  that  the  lives  of  some  should  have  been 
unrecorded,  passed,  as  they  doubtless  were,  in  the  quiet  routine  of  medical 


.     .  PART    II. 

From  the  close  of  the  Revolution,  to  the  reduction   of  the 

Army  in  1821. 

The  act  of  the  second  of  June,  1784,  practically  left  the  United  States 
without  any  army.  The  general  sentiment  both  of  Congress  and  the  country 
was  very  strong  against  the  maintenance  of  any  military  force  whatever. 
The  immense  armaments  of  Europe  were  chiefly  used  to  preserve  the  balance 
of  power  on  the  continent,  or  to  overawe  the  people,  and  were  considered 
unnecessary  for  the  first  and  incongruous  as  regards  the  latter,  in  a  republic 
separated  from  all  possible  enemies  by  a  broad  ocean,  and  having  the  will  of 
the  people  as  the  supreme  law.  What  trifling  force  might  be  required  for 
the  protection  of  the  frontier  could  always  be  obtained  by  a  call  on  the  states 
most  interested;  no  contingency  was  likely  to  arise  which  would  render 
necessary  any  permanent  establishment. 

Hence  it  is  found  that  the  earlier  acts  providing  for  the  employment  of 
troops  carefully  avoid  any  reference  to  the  appointment  of  officers  by  the 
general  government,  and  only  require  that  certain  states  to  be  named  shall 
be  called  upon  to  furnish  so  many  men  for  temporary  service.  Of  this 
character  was  a  resolution  of  the  third  of  June,  1784,  that  "  a  body  of  troops, 
to  consist  of  seven  hundred  men,  are  indispensably  necessary  for  taking 
possession  of  the  western  posts  as  soon  as  evacuated  by  the  troops  of  His 
Britannic  Majesty;  for  the  protection  of  the  northwestern  frontier,  and  the 
guarding  of  public  stores."  The  states  were  called  upon  to  furnish  these 
men  from  their  militia  in  the  following  proportion,  viz:  Connecticut,  165; 
New  York,  165;  New  Jersey,  110;  Pennsylvania,  260;  and  they  were  to 
be  organized  by  the  Secretary  of  War  into  a  regiment  of  infantry  and  two 
companies  of  artillery,  to  serve  twelve  months.  To  the  force  thus  raised 
was  allowed  one  surgeon  and  four  mates.  This  regiment  was  discharged  in 
the  following  March,  and  on  the  seventh  of  April,  1785,  a  further  draft 
ordered,  to  be  made  in  the  same  manner  as  the  last.  To  this  new  regiment 
one  surgeon  was  allowed,  at  a  monthly  compensation  of  forty-five  dollars, 
and  four  surgeon's  mates,  at  thirty  dollars  each.     This  force  was  increased 


FROM  1784  TO  1812.  71 

on  the  twentieth  of  October,  1786,  to  two  thousand  and  forty  officers  and 
men,  and  on  the  third  of  October,  1787,  a  further  increase  of  seven  hundred 
was  made,  to  take  the  place  of  those  about  to  be  discharged.  All  these 
were,  however,  militia  and  formed  no  part  of  the  army  of  the  United  States, 
which  at  this  time  had  no  existence.  By  the  report  of  a  committee  of  the 
last  Colonial  Congress,  appointed  to  examine  into,  and  close  up  the  Revolu- 
tionary Department  of  War,  we  find  that  the  total  number  of  troops  in 
service  in  October,  1788,  was  but  five  hundred  and  ninety-five,  who  were 
distributed  at  West  Point,  Springfield  and  several  block-houses  in  Western 
Pennsylvania  and  Ohio.  There  was  no  Medical  Department  recognized  by 
the  government,  and  what  medical  officers  were  required  were  employed  by 
the  states  furnishing  the  troops. 

Meanwhile,  the  Constitutional  Convention  had  completed  its  work,  and 
the  first  Congress  commenced  its  sessions  in  New  York.  Their  earlier  labors 
were  chiefly  devoted  to  the  organization  of  the  new  government.  They 
created  three  executive  departments;  of  War,  of  the  Treasury  and  of  Foreign 
Afiuirs.  To  the  head  of  the  former  the  President  appointed  Major  General 
Henry  Knox.  The  condition  of  affairs  demanded  that  his  first  attention 
should  be  directed  towards  an  increase  of  the  military  forces.  Ever  since 
the  close  of  the  war  the  Indians  on  the  frontier  had  manifested  a  hostile 
attitude,  inspired  thereto  it  was  asserted  by  the  machinations  of  British 
agents.  The  western  posts  were  still  held  by  the  British  troops,  and  our 
small  force  of  less  than  six  hundred  men  was  totally  inadequate  to  keep  the 
Indians  in  check.  It  was  therefore  enacted  by  Congress  on  the  twenty-ninth 
of  September,  1789,  that  a  corps  of  seven  hundred  rank  and  file,  should  be 
organized,  to  be  stationed  on  the  frontier,  and  to  constitute  (together  with 
two  companies  of  artillery  already  in  service)  a  regiment  of  infantry  and  a 
battalion  of  artillery.  To  the  former  were  allowed  one  surgeon  and  three 
surgeon's  mates;  and  to  the  latter  one  surgeon's  mate. 

Of  the  regiment  of  infantry  thus  organized,  Josiah  Harmar,  of  Penn- 
sylvania, was  appointed  Lieutenant  Colonel;  and  by  virtue  of  a  brevet  ot 
Brigadier  General  conferred  on  him  by  Congress,  he  was  assigned  to  the 
command  of  the  whole  force.  The  medical  officers  of  the  regiment  of 
infantry  were:  surgeon,  Richard  Allison,  of  Pennsylvania,  (who  had  served 
as  surgeon's  mate  during  the  Revolution) ;  surgeon's  mates,  John  F.  Car- 
michgel,  of  New  Jersey,  John  Elliot,  of  New  York,  and  John  M.  Scott,  of 
New  Jersey;  and  of  the  battalion  of  artillery,  surgeon's  mate,  Nathan 
Hayward,  of  Massachusetts.  During  the  following  spring  this  organization 
was  supplanted  by  one  formed  by  the  act  of  the  thirtieth  of  April,  1790. 


This  provided  for  the  immediate  enlistment  of  twelve  hundred  and  six- 
teen men,  to  be  divided  as  before  into  infantry  and  cavalry;  the  regiments 
of  infantry  to  be  allowed  two  surgeon's  mates  instead  of  four.  The  pay  of 
surgeon  was  fixed  at  thirty  dollars  per  month,  and  of  the  mates  at  twenty- 
four  dollars  each  per  month.  The  surgeon  was  allowed  subsistence  at  the 
rate  of  three  rations  a  day,  and  each  surgeon's  mate  at  two  rations;  or  they 
might  at  their  option  receive  money  by  way  of  commutation  for  their  sub- 
sistence, at  the  contract  price  of  the  ration  at  the  posts  where  due.  The 
surgeon  was  further  allowed  ten  dollars  per  month,  and  each  surgeon's  mate 
six  dollars  per  month  instead  of  forage.  It  was  further  enacted,  that  the 
sum  of  ten  cents  should  be  deducted  from  the  monthly  pay  of  every  enlisted 
man  for  the  purpose  of  forming  a  fund  for  the  purchase  of  hospital  stores. 
The  officers  remained  the  same  as  before,  except  that  the  number  of  surgeon's 
mates  of  infantry  being  reduced.  Doctor  Carmichael  was  discharged  on  the 
second  of  June.  During  the  summer  the  Indians  broke  out  into  open  hostilities, 
and  Harmar  marched  with  this  force  and  some  Pennsylvania  and  Kentucky 
militia  into  Ohio,  but  was  defeated  by  the  Indians  on  the  nineteenth  and  twenty- 
second  of  October,  on  the  Miami  river.  A  congressional  investigation  acquitted 
the  General  of  any  blame,  and  it  being  evident  that  a  larger  force  was  needed 
to  subdue  the  savages,  an  act  was  passed  on  the  third  of  March,  1791,  to 
raise  and  employ  General  and  StaflF  Officers,  and  one  additional  regiment  of 
infantry  to  be  organized  as  the  preceding  one;  and  further,  in  lieu  of  the 
state  militia  previously  called  out,  the  President  was  authorized  to  employ 
troops  "  under  the  denomination  of  Levies,  not  exceeding  two  thousand  rank 
and  file,  with  a  suitable  number  of  commissioned  officers,  for  a  term  not 
exceeding  six  months ;  and  to  organize  such  levies,  and  alone  to  appoint  the 
commissioned  officers."     Section  xiii  of  this  act  provided : 

"That  in  case  the  nature  of  the  service  upon  which  the  troops  of  the  United 
States  may  be  employed,  should  require  a  greater  number  of  surgeon's  mates,  than 
are  provided  for  in  the  before  mentioned  act,  [April  30,  1790],  the  President  of  the 
United  States  may  engage  from  time  to  time,  such  additional  number  of  surgeon's 
mates,  as  he  shall  judge  necessary. 

Surgeon's  mate  John  Elliot,  of  the  first  infantry,  was  promoted  surgeon 
of  the  second  infantry,  and  Joseph  Waldo  was  appointed  to  the  "  Levies ;" 
and  the  following  mates:  James  Woodhouse,  of  Pennsylvania,  Charles 
Brown,  of  Pennsylvania,  John  Hamill,  of  Pennsylvania,  Victor  Grasson,  of 
France,  Joseph  Phillips,  of  New  Jersey,  and  William  McCoskry,  of  Penn- 
sylvania, who  were  assigned  to  the  difi'erent  battalions  of  the  levies;  John 
F.  Carmichael  (late  of  the  first  infantry),  and  Elijah  Tisdale  to  the  second 

FROM  1784  TO  1812.  73 

infantry.  With  this  new  force  General  St.  Clair  (who  had  succeeded  Har- 
niar  as  General-in-Chief)  undertook  an  active  campaign  against  the  Indians, 
but  was  surprised  near  the  source  of  the  Maumee  and  defeated,  losing 
upwards  of  six  hundred  killed  and  two  hundred  wounded.  Among  the 
former  was  Doctor  Victor  Grasson,  surgeon's  mate  of  Gaither's  battalion  of 
Darke's  regiment  of  the  levies;  being  the  first  ofl&cer  of  the  Corps  who  lost 
his  life  in  battle,  and  as  such  deserving  of  a  respectful  record  in  these  pages, 
though  unfortunately  beyond  this  simple  mention  nothing  is  known  of  his 

The  term  of  service  of  the  levies  expired  in  the  fall  of  1791,  and  it 
became  necessary  for  Congress  to  legislate  further  for  the  protection  of  the 
frontier.  Consequently  on  the  fifth  of  March.  1792,  an  act  was  passed  entirely 
reorganizing  the  military  force  of  the  United  States.  This  bill  provided 
for  the  retention  in  service  of  the  two  regiments  of  infantry,  and  for  the 
enlistment  of  three  additional  regiments,  two  to  be  organized  as  before,  and 
the  other  to  consist  of  two  battalions  of  infantry  and  one  squadron  of  light 
dragoons ;  all  the  additional  troops  to  serve  for  three  years.  This  force  the 
President  was  authorized  to  organize  in  such  manner  as  might  appear  most 
proper;  "diminishing  the  number,  or  taking  from  one  corps  and  adding  to 
another."  On  the  twenty-fourth  of  December,  the  Secretary  of  War  com- 
municated to  the  House  of  Representatives  the  following  organization  of  the 
army,  as  directed  by  the  President : 

The  whole  force  was  formed  into  a  "  Legion,"  under  command  of  a 
Major  General,  with  the  usual  staff,  among  others  a  "  Surgeon  to  the  Legion" 
as  chief  medical  officer.  This  legion  was  divided  into  four  sub-legions,  each 
of  twelve  hundred  and  eighty  rank  and  file,  to  be  commanded  by  Brigadier 
Generals.  Each  sub-legion  was  allowed  a  surgeon  and  three  surgeon's  mates, 
one  to  each  battalion.  By  section  vii  of  this  act,  the  pay  of  surgeons  of  the 
General  Staff  was  fixed  at  seventy  dollars  per  month,  and  that  of  regi- 
mental surgeons  or  surgeon's  mates  at  forty-five  dollars. 

Richard  Allison,  surgeon  of  the  first  infantry,  was  appointed  surgeon 
on  the  General  Staff,  and  the  following  to  be  surgeons  of  sub-legions: 
John  Elliott,  surgeon  of  the  second  infantry;  John  M.  Scott,  surgeon's 
mate  first  infantry ;  John  F.  Carmichael,  surgeon's  mate  second  infantry, 
and  N.  Hay  ward,  surgeon's  mate  of  the  battalion  of  artillery.  The  following 
were  either  retained  or  appointed  surgeon's  mates  of  the  battalions  :  Charles 
Watrous,  Joseph  Phillips,  William  Ms?Go3kry,  Joseph  Strong,  Elijah 
Tisdale,  J.  C.  Wallace,  Charles  Brown,  James  Woodhouse,  John  Hammill, 
Joseph  Andrews,  Thomas  A.  Claiborne  and  Frederick  Dalcho.  Several 


garrison  surgeon's  mates  were  also  appointed,  to  date  from  April  11,  1792, 
under  the  thirteenth  section  of  the  act  of  Congress  of  March  3,  1791. 
These  were,  John  Sellman,  of  Maryland,  James  Clayton,  of  Delaware, 
Thomas  Hutchins,  of  Pennsylvania,  and  Elihu  Lyman,  of  Georgia. 

Major  General  Anthony  Wayne  was  appointed  General-in-Chief  under 
the  new  organization,  and  marched  with  the  legion  into  the  Indian  country. 
The  year  1793  was  occupied  in  constructing  forts  and  opening  roads,  and 
in  several  minor  skirmishes.  In  August,  1794,  he  struck  a  decisive  blow  at 
the  battle  of  Maumee  Rapids,  in  which  a  force  of  over  two  thousand  Indians 
were  completely  defeated,  with  but  a  loss  of  thirty-three  killed  and  about 
one  hundred  wounded  on  our  side.  Soon  after  this  the  Indians  commenced 
negotiations  looking  towards  a  permanent  treaty  of  peace. 

By  an  act  passed  May  9,  1794,  a  regiment  of  artillerists  and  engineers 
was  organized.  The  medical  officers  of  this  regiment  were  one  surgeon  and 
four  surgeon's  mates.  The  following  were  appointed:  Surgeon's  mate 
Charles  Brown  to  be  surgeon,  and  John  G.  Coffin,  of  Massachusetts,  Francis 
G.  Brewster,  of  New  Jersey,  John  R.  Lynch,  of  New  York,  and  Richard 
Griffith,  of  Delaware,  to  be  surgeon's  mates. 

This  year  trouble  arose  with  the  British  government  which  threatened 
to  involve  the  country  in  another  war.  The  Americans  complained  that  no 
indemnification  had  been  made  for  negro  slaves  which  had  been  carried 
away  on  British  ships  at  the  close  of  the  war ;  that  contrary  to  the  treaty 
of  peace  between  the  two  countries,  the  English  troops  still  garrisoned  the 
frontier  posts;  and  that  British  agents  were  living  on  friendly  terms  with 
the  western  Indians,  and  had  incited  them  to  hostilities. 

Counter  recriminations  were  made  on  the  part  of  England,  and  John 
Jay  was  sent  as  a  special  envoy  to  the  court  of  St.  James  j  in  the  mean- 
time the  aspect  of  affairs  was  such  as  to  render  any  reduction  of  the  military 
force  of  the  country  extremely  inadvisable.  The  terms  of  service  of  the 
troops  composing  the  legion  of  1792  was  about  expiring,  and  it  was  necessary 
to  make  further  provision  for  a  military  force.  This  was  attempted  in  the 
act  of  March  3,  1795,  which  repealed  the  previous  laws  establishing  the 
military  organization,  and  provided  that  the  army  should  consist  of  the  regi- 
ment of  artillerists  and  engineers,  and  a  legion  of  forty-eight  hundred  men 
to  be  organized  by  the  President  into  sub-legions,  as  was  previously  the 
case.  The  medical  officers  of  the  new  organization  were  essentially  the 
same  as  in  the  old,  and  the  only  items  of  interest  to  the  Medical  Depart- 
ment related  to  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  the  staff.  The  pay  of  the 
surgeon  was  fixed  at  seventy  dollars,  with  an  allowance  of  twelve  dollars  per 

FROM  1784  TO  1812.  75 

month  for  forage,  and  three  rations.  Regimental  surgeons  were  to  be 
paid  forty-five  dollars,  ten  dollars  for  forage  per  month,  and  three  rations; 
and  mates,  thirty  dollars  pay,  six  dollars  for  forage  and  two  rations; 
matrons  and  nurses  in  hospital,  each  eight  dollars  per  month.  The  force 
called  for  under  this  act  could  not  have  been  enlisted,  for  on  the  third  of 
February,  1796,  Hon.  Timothy  Pickering,  Secretary  of  War,  addressed  a 
letter  to  the  chairman  of  the  House  Military  Committee,  in  which  he  calls 
attention  to  the  inadequacy  of  the  force  at  the  disposal  of  the  department. 
Troops  were  needed  to  garrison  a  line  of  posts  from  Lake  Champlain  to 
Mackinac;  to  occupy  the  forts  at  Natchez  and  Chickasaw  Bluffs,  about  to 
be  evacuated  by  the  Spanish  troops ;  to  establish  new  posts  along  the  Indian 
frontier  northwest  of  the  Ohio;  and  to  garrison  the  sea-coast  fortifications. 
In  consequence  of  this  appeal  Congress  once  more  reorganized  the  army  on 
the  thirtieth  of  May,  1796.  The  regiment  of  artillerists  and  engineers  was 
retained,  and  the  infantry  force  fixed  at  four  regiments,  each  to  have  one 
surgeon  and  two  surgeon's  mates;  "  provided  always;  that  the  President  of 
the  United  States  may  at  his  discretion,  appoint  an  additional  number  of 
surgeon's  mates  not  exceeding  two,  and  distribute  the  same,  according  to  the 
necessity  of  the  service."  This  act  was  to  take  effect  on  the  last  day  of 

On  the  twenty-seventh  of  April,  1798,  a  second  regiment  of  artillerists 
and  engineers  was  organized  to  serve  for  five  years.  The  medical  officers  of 
this  regiment  were ;  surgeon,  James  Scanlan,  of  Maryland;  surgeon's  mates, 
Bur  Harrison,  of  Kentucky,  and  Thomas  Tillinghast,  of  Rhode  Island. 

War  now  became  imminent  with  France,  in  consequence  of  troubles 
and  differences  between  the  two  governments  which  had  been  agitated  for 
over  a  year,  and  in  May  the  President  was  authorized  to  raise  a  provisional 
army  of  ten  thousand  men,  with  the  necessary  general  and  staff  officers. 
The  seventh  section  of  this  act  reads: 

*^And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  in  case  the  President  shall  judge  the  employ- 
ment of  a  quartermaster  general,  physician  general  and  paymaster  general,  or  either 
of  them  essential  to  public  interest,  he  is  hereby  authorized  by  and  with  the  advice 
and  consent  of  the  Senate,  to  appoint  the  same  accordingly,  who  shall  be  entitled  to 
the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  which  follow,  viz:  quartermaster  general,  the  rank, 
pay  and  emoluments  of  a  Lieutenant  Colonel ;  physician  general,  and  paymaster 
general  each  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  Lieutenant  Colonel.  Provided,  That  in 
case  the  President  shall  judge  it  expedient  to  appoint  a  commander  of  the  army, 
an  inspector  general,  adjutant  general,  quartermaster  general,  physician  general  and 
paymaster  general,  or  either  of  them  in  the  recess  of  the  Senate,  he  is  hereby 
authorized  to  make  any  or  all  of  said  appointments,  and  grant  commissions  thereon, 
which  shall  expire  at  the  end  of  the  next  session  of  the  Senate  thereafter. 



And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  commander  of  the  army,  inspector  general, 
adjutant  general,  quartermaster  general,  physician  general,  and  paymaster  general, 
who  may  be  appointed  by  this  act,  shall  respectively  continue  in  commission  during 
such  time  only  as  the  President  shall  judge  requisite  for  the  public  service,  and 
that  it  shall  be  lawful  for  the  President  to  discharge  the  whole  or  any  part  of  the 
troops,  which  may  be  raised  or  accepted  under  this  act,  whenever  he  shall  judge 
the  measure  consistent  with  the  public  safety." 

On  the  sixteenth  of  July  the  regular  army  was  further  increased  by 
twelve  regiments  of  infantry  and  one  of  dragoons,  with  the  usual  number  of 
medical  oflScers,  and  with  the  previous  proviso,  that  such  additional  surgeon's 
mates  might  be  appointed  as  the  good  of  the  service  might  require. 

Under  the  provisions  of  the  act  of  March  3d,  for  the  appointment  of  a 
physician  general,  James  Craik,  of  Virginia,  formerly  physician  to  the 
Army  of  the  Revolution,  was  at  the  earnest  request  of  Washington 

Medical  officers  were  selected  for  the  new  regiments,  and  vacancies 
filled  in  the  old  ones.  Still  Congress  had  made  no  provision  for  a  Hospital 
Department  proper,  an  omission  of  the  greatest  importance  in  the  event  of  war. 

In  a  report  to  the  President,  dated  December  24,  1798,  Hon. 
James  McHenry,  Secretary  of  War,  calls  his  attention  to  this  defect 
in  the  legislation  of  Congress.  He  had  himself  served  as  a  surgeon  during 
the  Revolution,  and  well  understood  the  importance  of  organization  to  pro- 
cure efficiency.  He  says:  "The  Secretary  does  not  discover  in  any  of  the 
acts  the  necessary  provision  for  the  appointment  of  hospital  officers  or  a 
hospital  establishment.  As  military  hospitals  are  indispensable  to  an  army, 
especially  in  time  of  war,  it  is  respectfully  suggested  that  provisions  on  the 
subject  ought  to  be  made  by  law,  and  that  the  regulations  to  be  found  in 
the  resolutions  of  the  old  Congress,  more  particularly  in  those  under  date  of 
September  30,  1780,  and  January  3,  1782,  as  certainly  the  faithful  results 
of  much  experience,  may  afford  some'  important  lights  respecting  this 
Department.  The  certain  consequences  of  disregarding  so  essential  a 
measure  in  the  event  of  war,  and  the  encampment  of  an  army,  will  be  a 
train  of  diseases  which  must  cut  off  a  large  proportion  of  our  troops."  This 
was  communicated  to  Congress  on  the  thirty-first  of  December,  and  on  the 
second  of  March,  1799,  Congress  passed  the  following  "  Act  to  regulate  the 
Medical  Establishment :" 

"  Section  I.  Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of  Repretentativet  of  the  United 
States  of  America  in  Congress  assembled. 

That  in  the  Medical  establishment  of  the  United  iStates  there  shall  be  the  fol- 
lowing officers :  a  physician  general  who  shall  be  charged  with  the  superintendence, 
and  direction  of  all  military  hospitals,  and  generally  of  all  medical  and  chirurgical 

PROM  1784  TO  1812.  77 

practice,  or  service  concerning  the  army  or  navy  of  the  United  States,  and  of  all 
persons  who  shall  be  employed  in  and  about  the  same,  in  camps,  garrisons  and  hos- 
pitals. An  apothecary  general  and  one  or  more'  deputies,  who  shall  be  charged 
with  the  safe  keeping  and  delivery  of  all  medicines,  instruments,  dressings  and 
other  articles  for  the  use  of  the  hospital  and  the  army.  A  purveyor  who  shall  be 
charged  with  providing  medicines,  stores,  and  whatsoever  else  may  be  necessary  in 
relation  to  the  said  practice,  or  service.  A  competent  number  of  hospital  surgeons, 
who  shall  be  liable  to  serve  in  the  field,  and  who  shall  have  the  immediate  charge 
and  direction  of  such  military  hospitals,  as  may  be  committed  to  their  care  respec- 
tively. A  suitable  number  of  hospital  mates,  who  are  to  observe  the  directions  of 
the  hospital  surgeons,  and  shall  diligently  perform  all  reasonable  duties  required  of 
them  for  the  recovery  of  the  sick  and  wounded. 

Section  II.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  each  military  hospital  shall  have 
a  steward,  with  a  competent  number  of  nurses  and  other  attendants;  which  steward 
shall  be  charged  with  the  procuring  of  such  supplies,  as  may  not  otherwise  be 
furnished,  and  with  the  safe  keeping,  and  issuing  of  all  supplies. 

Section  III.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  said  physician  general,  hos- 
pital surgeons,  purveyor  and  apothecary,  and  apothecaries'  deputy  or  deputies, 
shall  be  appointed  as  other  officers  of  the  United  States;  that  the  said  mates,  and 
steward  shall  be  appointed  by  the  authority,  and  at  the  direction  of  the  said  phy- 
sician general,  subject  to  the  eventual  approbation,  and  control  of  (he  President  of 
the  United  States,  and  shall  be  removeable  by  the  authority  of  the  said  physician 
general;  and  that  the  surgeons  of  each  hospital  shall  appoint,  employ,  and  fix  the 
compensation  of  the  nurses,  and  other  attendants  of  such  hospital,  subject  to  the 
control  of  the  said  physician  general,  or  the  hospital  surgeon  of  senior  appoint- 
ment with  a  separate  army,  or  in  a  separate  district. 

Section  IV.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  as  often  as  the  regimental  sick 
will  not  suffer  by  the  employment  of  regimental  surgeons,  or  mates,  in  the  tem- 
porary or  other  hospitals  of  the  United  States,  the  physician  general,  or  the 
hospital  surgeon  of  senior  appointment  with  a  separate  army,  or  in  a  separate 
district,  with  the  consent  of  the  general  and  Commander-in-Chief,  or  the  officer 
commanding  a  separate  army,  may  require  the  attendance  of  such  surgeons,  or 
surgeon's  mates,  as  in  his  opinion  can  be  with  safety  so  withdrawn  from  their 

Section  V.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  phy- 
sician general,  with  two  or  more  hospital  surgeons,  to  frame  a  system  of  directions 
relative  to  the  description  of  patients  to  be  admitted  into  the  hospitals ;  to  the 
means  of  promoting  cleanliness  in  the  hospital;  to  the  prevention  of  idleness, 
skulking  and  gambling  in  the  hospitals;  to  the  prevention  of  the  spread  of  infec- 
tious distempers  in  the  camps,  and  hospitals,  and  the  government  of  nurses,  and 
all  others  charged  with  the  care  of  the  sick  in  camps  or  hospitals,  subject  in  the  first 
instance  to  the  approbation  and  revision  of  the  Commander-in-Chief,  the  commander 
of  a  separate  army,  or  in  a  separate  district  as  the  case  may  be,  and  eventually  to 
the  approbation  and  control  of  the  President  of  the  United  States ;  Provided 
always.  That  the  said  directions  having  received  the  sanction  of  the  Commander- 
in-Chief,  or  the  commander  of  a  separate  army  shall  be  operative,  and  remain  in 
full  force  unless  altered  or  annulled  by  the  President  of  the  United  States. 

Section  VI.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  compensations  of  the  several 
officers,  shall  be  as  follows:  of  the  physician  general,  one  hundred  dollars  pay  per 


month,  which  shall  be  in  full  compensation  for  forage,  rations,  and  travelling 
expenses;  of  the  purveyor  one  hundred  dollars  pay  per  month,  in  full  compensation 
for  his  services,  and  all  expenses ;  of  the  apothecary  general  eighty  dollars  per 
month,  and  thirty  dollars  per  month  in  full  compensation  for  forage,  rations  and 
all  expenses;  of  each  of  his  deputies  fifty  dollars  pay  per  month,  and  sixteen  dol- 
lars per  month  in  full  compensation  for  forage,  rations  and  all  expenses;  of  each 
hospital  surgeon  eighty  dollars  pay  per  month,  and  forty  dollars  per  month  in  full 
compensation  for  forage,  rations,  and  all  expenses ;  of  each  mate  thirty  dollars  per 
month,  and  twenty  dollars  per  month  in  full  compensation  for  forage,  rations,  and 
all  expenses;  of  each  steward  twenty-five  dollars  per  month,  and  eight  dollars  per 
month  in  full  compensation  fc>r  forage,  rations  and  all  expenses.  Provided,  That 
none  of  the  officers  shall  be  entitled  to  any  part  of  the  pay,  or  emoluments  afore- 
said, until  they  shall  respectively  be  called  into  actual  service. 

Section  VII.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  for  the  accommodation  of  the 
sick  of  the  army  and  navy  of  the  United  States,  the  physician  general,  and  hospital 
surgeons  of  senior  appointment,  with  the  approbation  of  the  general  commanding 
the  army  within  the  district  where  he  shall  be,  shall  have  power  to  provide  tem- 
porary hospitals ;  and  the  physician  general  with  the  approbation  of  the  President 
of  the  United  States,  shall  have  power  to  provide  and  establish  permanent  hospitals. 

Section  VIII.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  all  the  said  officers,  and  others, 
shall  as  touching  their  several  offices  and  duties,  be  liable  to  the  rules  and  regula- 
tions for  the  government  and  discipline  of  the  army  ;  and  shall  be  bound  to  obey, 
in  conformity  with  law,  and  the  usages  and  customs  of  armies,  the  orders  and 
directions  of  the  chief  military  officers  of  the  respective  armies,  and  within  the 
respective  districts,  in  which  they  shall  respectively  serve  and  be. 

Section  IX.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  physician  general  or  in  his 
absence,  the  senior  medical  officer,  with  the  approbation  of  the  Commander-in- 
Chief,  or  commanding  officer  of  a  separate  army  be,  and  hereby  is  authorized  and 
empowered,  as  often  as  may  be  judged  necessary,  to  call  a  medical  board  which 
shall  consist  of  the  three  senior  medical  officers  then  present,  whose  duty  it  shall 
be  to  examine  all  candidates  for  employment,  or  promotion  in  the  hospital  depart- 
ment, and  certify  to  the  Secretary  at  War,  the  qualifications  of  each." 

Before  the  troops  called  for  by  these  and  other  acts  passed  about  this 
time  could  be  brought  into  complete  organization,  envoys  had  been  appointed 
to  settle  the  questions  in  dispute  between  the  two  nations,  and  early  in  the 
year  1800  it  became  almost  a  matter  of  certainty  that  there  would  be  no 
war,  and  consequently  on  the  fourteenth  of  May,  Congress  passed  a  bill  to 
discharge  by  the  fifteenth  of  June,  all  the  troops  raised  for  the  increase  of 
the  army,  "except  the  general  and  other  staflf,  the  engineers,  the  inspector  of 
artillery,  the  inspector  of  fortifications,  two  troops  of  dragoons,  the  two 
regiments  of  artillerists  and  engineers  and  the  first  four  regiments  of 
infantry."  This  disbanded  all  the  medical  officers  except  six  surgeons  and 
twelve  surgeon's  mates,  and  by  December,  1801,  this  number  of  mates  had 
been  still  further  reduced  to  seven,  existing  vacancies  not  having  been  filled 
in  view  of  a  still  greater  reduction  of  the  army.      Under  the  provision  of 

PROM  1784  TO  1812.  79 

this  act,  Doctor  James  Craik  was  mustered  out  of  service  as  Physician 
General.  He  returned  to  his  home  near  Mount  Vernon,  Virginia,  where  he 
passed  the  remainder  of  his  life.  The  medical  ofl&cers  who  remained  in  ser- 
vice on  the  nineteenth  of  December,  1801,  were:  Surgeons  Charles  Brown, 
first  artillerists  and  engineers,  James  Scanlan,  second  artillerists  and  engi- 
neers, John  Elliot,  first  infantry,  William  McCoskry,  second  infantry,  Joseph 
Phillips,  third  infantry,  and  John  F.  Carmichael,  fourth  infantry;  Surgeon's 
mates  Prescott  Barron  and  Samuel  M.  Griffith,  first  artillerists  and  engineers, 
Charles  Blake  and  George  Dill,  second  artillerists  and  engineers,  and  of  the 
infantry  regiments,  Eben  Lawrence,  J.  C.  Wallace,  Edward  Reynolds  and 
Reuben  Everett. 

The  act  of  March  16,  1802,  still  further  defined  the  Military  Peace 
Establishment  of  the  United  States,  by  directing  that  after  June  1st,  the 
army  should  consist  of  but  one  regiment  of  artillery  and  two  of  infantry, 
besides  the  necessary  stafi"  and  the  engineers;  all  officers  not  retained  in 
some  of  these  organizations  to  be  discharged.  The  number  of  small  posts 
to  be  garrisoned,  however,  rendered  a  relatively  large  medical  stafi"  absolutely 
necessary,  and  the  following  section  was  included  in  the  bill : 

"Section  III.     And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  there  shall  be         *  *         * 

two  surgeons  and  twenty-five  surgeon's  mates  to  be  attached  to  garrisons  or  posts 
and  not  to  corps." 

The  provisions  of  this  bill  in  respect  to  pay,  subsistence  and  forage,  were 
the  same  as  existed  in  previous  statutes  on  the  subject.  The  garrison 
surgeons  appointed  under  the  above  section  were  John  F.  Carmichael,  late 
surgeon  of  the  fourth  infantry,  and  David  Davis,  late  regimental  surgeon's 
mate.  The  surgeon's  mates  were  Alexander  A.  Peters,  Samuel  M.  Griffith, 
George  Dill,  Charles  Blake,  Prescott  Barron,  Edward  Reynolds,  Southworth 
Harlow,  John  Rippey,  Thomas  R.  Jack,  Philip  Turner,  Robert  Stark, 
Fiducis  Tuttle,  Lyman  Spalding,  Henry  Jackson,  James  Lee,  Nathaniel 
Bradford,  Samuel  McKee,  jr.,  Francis  Le  Barron,  Thomas  Van  Dyke  and 
John  F.  Heileman.  Many  of  these  had  seen  service,  and  one,  Philip 
Turner,  had  been  distinguished  as  a  hospital  surgeon  during  the  Revolution, 
and  it  will  be  remembered  attracted  especial  attention  from  his  great  skill 
as  an  operator. 

Even  with  the  small  military  force  now  in  service  the  number  of  medical 

officers  was  found  insufficient,  and  on  the  twenty-sixth  of  March,  1804,  the 

following  act  was  passed : 

•'Section  I.  Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  there  shall  be  appointed,  in  addition  to  the 
surgeon's  mates  provided  for  by  the  '  act  fixing  the  military  peace  establishment  of  the 


United  States,'  as  many  surgeon's  mates  not  exceeding  six,  as  the  President  of  the 
United  States  may  judge  necessary,  to  be  added  to  garrisons  or  posts,  agreeably  to 
the  provision  of  the  said  act." 

The  returns  made  to  Congress  by  the  Secretary  of  War  in  1803 
showed  two  surgeons  and  twenty-three  mates  attached  to  garrisons.  In 
December,  1804,  the  number  of  mates  was  increased  to  twenty-nine,  by  the 
filling  of  original  vacancies  caused  by  the  act  just  quoted.  The  new 
appointments  were,  George  Hall,  of  South  Carolina,  Hanson  Catlett  and 
Richard  Davidson,  of  Kentucky,  Corneilius  Baldwin,  of  Virginia,  Hugh  M. 
Hall,  of  Georgia,  and  Abraham  Edwards,  of  New  Jersey. 

From  1806  to  1808,  various  events  occurred  of  a  hostile  character  on 
the  part  of  the  government  of  Great  Britain,  and  in  the  latter  year  it  was 
thought  advisable  to  once  more  raise  for  a  limited  time  an  additional  military 
force,  which  was  done  by  the  act  of  the  twelfth  of  April.  This  added  to 
the  army  for  the  term  of  five  years,  (unless  sooner  discharged)  one  regiment 
of  light  artillery,  one  regiment  of  riflemen,  one  of  light  dragoons,  and  five 
of  infantry;  each  to  be  provided  with  one  surgeon  and  one  surgeon's  mate. 

The  third  section  of  this  bill  provided: 

•'  That  when  in  the  opinion   of    the   President  of   the  United  States,  a  suitable 

.  proportion  of  the  troops  authorized  by  this  act  shall  be  raised,  there  may  be  ap- 
pointed *  *  »  *  such  a  number  of  hospital  surgeons  and  surgeon's 
mates,  as  the  service  may  require,  but  not  exceeding  five  surgeons  and  fifteen  mates, 
with  one  steward  and  one  wardmaster  to  each  hospital." 

The  pay  and  allowances  of  the  officers  provided  for  by  this  act  was 
fixed  as  follows: 

*' And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  compensation  of  the  oflBcers  *  *  * 
authorized  by  this  act  shall  be,  viz:  »  *  *  to  each  hospital  surgeon  seventy- 
five  dollars  per  month,  six  rations  per  day  or  an  equivalent  in  money,  and  twelve 
dollars  per  month  for  forage  when  not  furnished  as  aforesaid;  each  hospital  sur- 
geon's mate,  forty  dollars  per  month,  two  rations  per  day  or  an  equivalent  in  money, 
and  six  dollars  per  month  for  forage  when  not  furnished  as  aforesaid;  each  hospital 
steward,  twenty  dollars  per  month,  and  two  rations  per  day  or  an  equivalent  in 
money ;  each  wardmaster  sixteen  dollars  per  month,  and  two  rations  per  day  or  its 
equivalent  in  money;  Provided,  The  oflScers  furnish  their  own  horses  and  accoutre- 
ments, and  actually  keep  in  service  the  aforesaid  number  of  horses,  to  entitle  them 
to  the  aforegoing  allowance  for  forage,  or  its  equivalent  in  money." 

It  would  appear  that  the  additional  hospital  officers  provided  for  by 
this  law  were  never  ;ippuiiit(;',l,  tor  their  names  do  not  appear  on  the  Army 
Register  for  1809,  and  *1ie  general  return  of  the  army  for  1810  shows  but 
one  hospital  surgeon  and  one  mate,  two  garrison  surgeons  and  twenty-nine 
mates,  and  seven  regimental  surgeons  and  four  mates  j  the  garrison  medical 

FROM  1784  TO  1812.  81 

officers  belonging  to  the  permanent  establishment,  and  the  others  to  the 
additional  military  force. 

It  will  be  proper  before  proceeding  to  consider  the  events  connected 
with  the  Corps  during  the  war  of  1812-15,  to  offer  a  few  words  of  explana- 
tion as  to  the  relative  duties  of  the  officers  composing  the  rather  complex 
organization,  which  seems  to  have  found  favor  in  all  the  enactments  of  this 
period.     The  early  legislation  for  the  army  after  the  close  of  the  Revolution, 
it  has  been  seen,  provided  only  for  regimental  medical  officers.     The  first  regi- 
ments were  raised  for  active  service  against  the  Indians,  and  it  was  supposed 
that  the  regiment  would  always  act  as  a  unit,  or  at  most  broken  up  into  not 
more  than  two  or  three  battalions,  so  that  there  could  always  be  a  medical  officer 
with  each  detachment.      Afterwards,  when  the  extension  of  our  sea-coast 
fortifications,  the  acquirement  of  the  frontier  posts  from  Great  Britain,  and 
the  necessity  of  keeping  a  force  permanently  at  the  West  for  the  protection 
of  settlers,  largely  increased  the  number  of  military  posts,  garrison  surgeons 
and  mates  were  appointed,  who  were  generally  though  not  always  selected 
from  that  part  of  the  country  where  they  were  expected  to  serve,  and  who 
were  permanently  stationed  at  the  various  military  posts,  not  being  assigna- 
ble to  any  other  duty.      On   the   approach  of  war  hospital  officers  were 
provided  for,  whose  duties  were  to  act  as  medical  directors  and  inspectors  of 
departments  and  armies ;  to  have  charge  of  general  and  depot  hospitals,  and 
to  generally  perform  such  service  as  is  now  assigned  to  the  senior  surgeons 
in  the  Corps.     The  regimental  medical  officers  accompanied  their  regiments 
on  the  march  and  into  action,  and  attended  to  the  minor  cases  in  their  own 
hospitals,  but  as  soon  as  a  man  became  seriously  ill  or  had  a  wound  of  such 
a  character  as  to  require  a  capital  operation,  the  regulations  required  his 
transfer  to  a  general  hospital.      It  will  be  seen  that  in  the  point  of  corps 
organization,  matters  had  advanced  but  very  little  since  the  Revolutionary 
period,  and  that  no  wisdom  had  been  learned  from  the  vexatious  controver- 
sies of  those  days  between  the  general  and  regimental  staff.     It  is  impossible 
to  ascertain  from  any  positive  enactments  on  the  subject,  what  was  the 
relative  rank  of  these  different  grades,  but  it  would  appear  from  the  schedules 
of  pay  and  allowances  of  each,  that  the  hospital  officers  took  precedence, 
next  those  attached  to  garrisons,  and  lastly  the  regimental  surgeons  and  mates. 
Very  early  in  the  year  1812  it  became  evident  that  the  long  pending 
troubles  between  the  United  States  and  Great  Britain  would  result  in  war, 
and  the  sessions  of  the  twelfth  Congress  were  chiefly  occupied  with  devising 
ways  and  means  for  carrying  it  on.      On  the  eleventh  of  January  an  act 
was  passed  for  the  immediate  enlistment  of  an  additional  military  force,  to 


consist  of  ten  regiments  of  infantry,  two  of  artillery  and  one  of  light 
dragoons ;  each  regiment  to  be  allowed  one  surgeon  and  two  surgeon's  mates. 
The  fourth  section  of  this  act  provides,  "That  there  shall  also  be  appointed 
*  *  *  such  a  number  of  hospital  surgeons  and  mates  as  the 
service  may  require,  with  one  steward  to  each  hospital."  This  force  was 
increased  by  the  act  of  June  26th  to  twenty-five  regiments  of  infantry,  with 
the  same  organization  as  before. 

The  country  was  at  this  time  illy  provided  in  all  the  essentials  necessary 
for  the  formation  of  an  efficient  army.  A  long  period  of  peace  had  caused 
all  the  experience  of  the  war  of  the  Revolution  to  be  forgotton.  Most  of 
those  who  had  served  in  that  struggle,  and  whose  experience  would  at  this 
time  have  been  of  the  greatest  value,  were  either  dead  or  superannuated. 
No  efficient  army  organization  had  been  kept  up,  all  the  various  staff"  depart- 
ments were  such  as  would  be  required  for  a  force  of  but  two  or  three 
regiments,  and  were  without  executive  chiefs  or  any  regulations  by  which , 
they  could  be  systematized.  Especially  was  this  true  of  the  Medical 
Department,  which  for  many  years  only  had  an  existence  in  the  persons  of 
a  few  garrison  and  regimental  surgeons  and  their  mates,  who  were  stationed 
at  various  isolated  posts,  seldom  or  never  having  communication  with  each 
other  and  having  no  official  head  other  than  the  commanding  officer  of  the 
post  or  regiment  to  which  they  were  attached.  The  surgeons  of  the 
Revolutionary  Army  had  left  behind  them  no  records  of  their  experience ; 
and  the  management  of  military  hospitals,  the  police  and  hygiene  of  camps, 
the  diseases  peculiar  to  troops  and  the  surgical  conduct  of  a  campaign  were 
topics  of  which  the  profession  of  the  country  were  entirely  ignorant, 
the  only  American  work  on  these  subjects  having  a  general  circulation 
being  a  volume  of  "  Observations  on  the  means  of  preserving  the  health  of 
soldiers  and  sailors,"  written  in  1807,  by  Dr.  Edward  Cutbush,  a  naval 
surgeon.  Under  these  circumstances  the  army  provided  for  by  the  acts  laat 
mentioned  assembled  at  Greenbush,  New  York.  Doctor  James  Mann,  of 
Massachusetts,  who  had  just  been  appointed  hospital  surgeon,  was  ordered  to 
superintend  the  Medical  Department  for  this  Northern  Army.  Speaking  of 
the  difficulties  which  he  had  to  encounter,  he  says : 

"The  mere  organization  of  hospitals  was  the  least  perplexing  part  of  duty. 
The  illy  defined  powers  with  which  the  hospital  surgeons  were  invested,  even  in 
their  own  department,  subjected  them  to  many  disagreeable  interferences  of  the 
officers  of  the  line.  Collisions  will  always  exist  between  officers  of  diflferent  depart- 
ments of  an  army,  when  their  several  powers  and  duties  are  not  explicitly  pointed 
out.  Officers  tenacious  of  authority,  assume  as  much  as  may  be  implied  by  rules 
and  regulations.     In  addition   to  multiplied   embarrassments,   the  various  duties 

DURING    THE   WAR    OP    1812-15.  83 

attached  to  the  office  of  hospital  surgeon  with  those  merely  professional,  was  always 
so  pressing,  that  little  time  was  allowed  to  record  particularly  the  diseases  and 
medical  transactions  of  the  army,  as  they  occurred." 

The  average  number  of  men  at  Greenbush,  during  the  summer  and 
fall  of  1812,  was  from  fifteen  hundred  to  three  thousand,  varying  between 
these  numbers  as  troops  were  organized  and  marched  to  the  northern 
frontier.  The  average  on  sick  report  was  from  one  hundred  to  one  hun- 
dred and  thirty,  the  diseases  being  chiefly  dysentery  and  diarrhoea,  due  to 
want  of  cleanliness,  bad  cooking  and  intemperance.  No  hospital  accommo- 
dations having  been  provided,  the  sick  were  treated  in  tents.  As  the  troops 
marched  to  the  frontier  general  hospitals  were  established  at  Burlington, 
Vermont,  and  Plattsburgh,  New  York,  and  a  little  later  at  Malone,  New 
York.  The  hospital  at  Burlington  was  placed  in  charge  of  Doctor  Joseph 
Lovell,  surgeon  of  the  ninth  infantry,  (afterwards  the  Surgeon  General  of 
the  army).  That  at  Plattsburgh  was  organized  and  conducted  by  Doctor 
William  H.  Wilson,  hospital  surgeon's  mate,  of  New  York.  At  Buffalo 
there  was  also  a  hospital  for  the  troops  on  the  Niagara  frontier,  which  in 
December,  1812,  was  in  charge  of  Surgeon  Silas  Fuller,  of  the  twenty-third 

The  diseases  of  the  troops  composing  the  eastern  division  of  the  army 
were  as  at  Greenbush,  intestinal  disorders,  to  which  was  added  in  October 
the  measles,  which  prevailed  with  such  severity  that  nearly  one-third  of  the 
total  strength  of  the  command  was  sick  in  November.  As  the  winter 
advanced,  pneumonias  of  a  sthenic  type  became  prevalent  along  the  whole 
frontier,  and  there  were  upwards  of  four  hundred  deaths  from  this  disease 
alone,  during  the  winter  in  the  two  hospitals  at  Plattsburgh  and  Burlington. 
It  was  especially  noticed  by  the  surgeons  that  those  regiments  suffered  the 
most  in  which  discipline  was  lax ;  the  light  artillery  regiments  had  fewer  sick 
than  any  other.  "Their  quarters  and  encampments  were  generally  in  the  best 
state ;  the  men  were  mostly  neat  and  clean  in  their  dress  and  appearance."  Of 
another  case  Doctor  Mann  remarks:  "There  was  one  regiment  on  the 
frontier,  which  at  one  time  counted  nine  hundred  strong;  but  was  reduced 
by  a  total  want  of  good  police  to  less  than  two  hundred  fit  for  duty  in  the 
course  of  two  months.  This  regiment  in  its  appearance  was  at  that  time 
dirty  in  the  extreme.  *  *  *  At  one  period  more  than  three 
hundred  and  forty  of  this  regiment  were  in  hospital;  in  addition  to  these 
a  large  number  were  reported  sick  in  camp.  At  the  close  of  the  war  this 
regiment  had  established  a  high  reputation.  Its  good  discipline  and  bravery 
were  excelled  by  none." 


The  troops  on  this  frontier  did  not  suffer,  as  did  their  predecessors  in 
this  locality  during  the  Revolution ^  from  want  of  supplies.  On  the  contrary, 
the  hospitals  were  abundantly  provided  with  every  thing  necessary  for  the 
comfort  of  the  sick,  both  in  the  shape  of  medical  oflGicers  and  stores.  The 
obstacles  to  a  proper  administration  were  due  to  the  want  of  any  executive 
head  of  the  bureau,  for  which  Congress  had  strangely  neglected  to  provide, 
and  to  the  fact  that  the  hospital  officers  had  no  rank  even  of  an  assimilated 
character  to  protect  them  in  the  performance  of  their  duties.  The  following 
extract  from  an  official  report  of  the  Medical  Inspector  of  the  Northern 
Department  is  of  interest,  as  showing  the  condition  of  the  hospitals  at  the 
close  of  1812 : 

"The  hospital  department  at  Plattsburgh  has  not  been  destitute  of  the  common 
supplies,  which  are  usually  furnished  the  sick  of  an  army;  while  every  requisition 
made  for  hospital  stores  has  been  promptly  answered.  During  the  month  of 
November,  ample  supplies  of  stores  as  wine,  spirits,  sugar,  molasses,  rice,  tea, 
and  chocolate  were  ordered  by  General  Dearborn  to  be  forwarded  to  Plattsburgh, 
under  the  charge  of  Doctor  Wilson,  hospital  surgeon's  mate.  In  December  an 
additional  quantity  was  by  orders,  directed  to  the  same  post,  and  to  Burlington. 
*  *  *  *  The  hospital  under  direction  of  Doctor  Wilson,  [at  Plattsburgh] 
ia  found  in  the  best  state.  The  beds  are  amply  furnished,  the  wards  clean,  the 
kitchen  neat.  No  less  credit  is  due  to  Doctor  Lovell,  surgeon  of  the  9th  regiment, 
under  whose  charge  the  hospital  at  Burlington  is  placed,  on  account  of  its  good 
condition  and  the  unremitted  attention  bestowed  on  the  sick.  The  hospital  at 
Greenbush  is  in  good  order  and  the  patients  comfortable." 

The  experience  of  the  campaign  during  the  fall  of  1812  and  the  winter 
of  1812-13,  convinced  Congress  of  the  necessity  of  a  more  thorough 
organization  of  the  staff  departments,  and  on  the  third  of  March  an  act 
was  passed  for  "  the  better  organization  of  the  General  Staff  of  the  Army  of 
the  United  States,"  which  is  given  herewith,  in  so  far  as  it  referred  to  the 
Medical  Department: 

"Section  VII.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  for  the  better  superintendence 
and  management  of  the  hospital  and  medical  establishment  of  the  army  of  the 
United  States,  there  shall  be  a  physician  and  surgeon  general,  with  an  annual 
salary  of  two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars,  and  an  apothecary  general,  with  an 
annual  salary  of  eighteen  hundred  dollars;  whose  respective  duties  and  powers 
shall  be  prescribed  by  the  President  of  the  United  States. 

♦  «***» 

Section  XI.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  all  letters  and  packages  to  and 
from      *  »  *  *      the  physician  and  surgeon  general,  and  apothecary 

general,  which  relate  to  their  official  duties,  shall  be  free  from  postage." 

For  the  position  of  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  created  by  this  act. 
Doctor  James  Tilton,  of  Delaware,  was  selected.  We  have  already  seen  that  this 

DURING  THE  WAR  OP  1812-15.  85 

gentleman  had  distinguished  himself  greatly  by  his  abilities  as  a  hospital 
surgeon  during  the  Revolution.  Since  that  time  he  had  represented  his 
native  state  in  the  National  Congress,  and  had  been  for  many  years  living  in 
retirement  in  the  vicinity  of  Wilmington,  devoting  his  attention  chiefly  to 
agriculture.  He  had  on  the  outbreak  of  the  war  given  to  the  world  a  work 
entitled  "Economical  Observations  on  Military  Hospitals,  and  the  prevention 
and  cure  of  diseases  incident  to  the  army,"  in  which  he  elaborated  the  plan 
for  hospital  organization  presented  by  him  to  Congress  in  1781.  In  this 
work  he  condemns  the  practice  which  had  hitherto  prevailed  of  conforming 
to  the  organization  which  obtained  in  the  various  European  armies.  The 
book  is  now  very  rare,  but  from  a  review  of  it  which  may  be  found  in  the 
Medical  Repository  for  1813,  the  following  summary  of  its  contents  is 
extracted.  It  is  of  value  historically,  because  it  was  the  first  publication  in 
reference  to  this  subject  which  had  been  written  in  this  country  as  the  result 
of  personal  experience : 

"Doctor  Tilton  does  not  distinguish  medical  officers  into  physicians  and  sur- 
geons, but  considers  them  one  or  the  other  as  circumstances  may  require.  He 
proposes  to  establish  a  medical  board  in  each  military  district  or  separate  army,  to 
be  composed  of  two  or  more  hospital  surgeons  and  several  regimental  surgeons. 
This  board  is  to  have  a  field  officer  to  sit  as  chairman,  and  meet  monthly  or  oftener 
if  necessary,  by  general  order,  to  regulate  the  concerns  of  that  department.  This 
board  is  to  examine  and  appoint  all  vacancies  of  hospital  and  regimental  mates, 
with  the  consent  of  the  commanding  officer;  to  examine  candidates  for  hospital 
surgeons,  and  recommend  them  to  the  physician  and  surgeon  general  for  appoint- 
ment, and  establish  rules  for  the  medical  department.  The  oldest  hospital  surgeon 
is  to  be  the  director  of  general  or  regimental  hospitals  in  the  army  or  district  where 
stationed,  and  to  act  as  prescribing  surgeon  only,  without  interfering  in  commis- 
sarial  duties.  His  attention  will  thus  be  drawn  to  visit  the  several  establishments 
for  the  sick  within  his  charge,  and  as  director  to  superintend  their  concerns.  Such 
an  arrangement  is  to  prevent  impositions  on  the  government,  and  hereafter  to  pro- 
cure surgeons  adequate  to  their  respective  duties. 

Instead  of  establishing  extensive  and  costly  buildings  for  hospitals.  Doctor 
Tilton  proposes  to  extend  the  circle  of  regimental  practice,  and  diminish  the  scale 
of  hospital  practice ;  thus  if  possible  to  prevent  disease  and  ward  off  infection. 
His  object  is  to  have  a  harmonious  understanding  between  the  surgeons  of  the 
army,  and  by  a  proper  regulation  of  the  medical  board,  keep  in  check  any  dispo- 
sition to  throw  the  sick  into  general  hospitals  beyond  moderation  and  propriety, 
whereby  they  must  become  crowded,  producing  the  inevitable  consequences  of 
camp,  jail,  typhus,  or  hospital  fevers,  from  which  armies  have  suffered  more  than 
from  their  enemies.'! 

The  enunciation  of  these  advanced  views  doubtless  led  to  his  appoint- 
ment. On  account  of  his  age  he  was  very  adverse  to  accepting  the  position, 
but  being  assured  that  his  duties  would  be  chiefly  of  an  executive  character, 
and  that  he  would  not  be  required  to  take  the  field  he  consented,  and  was 


confirmed  by  the  Senate,  to  date  from  June  13th.  At  the  same  time  Doctor 
Francis  Le  Barron,  of  Massachusetts,  was  appointed  Apothecary  General. 
He  had  already  had  a  long  experience  in  the  army.  His  original  entry  into 
service  was  in  December,  1800,  as  surgeon's  mate  of  the  navy;  was  trans- 
ferred to  the  army  as  surgeon's  mate,  March  26, 1802,  and  promoted  surgeon 
in  1808,  and  had  been  continuously  on  duty  as  such  up  to  the  date  of  his 
present  appointment. 

Immediately  after  the  passage  of  the  before  mentioned  act,  the  Presi- 
dent caused  to  be  issued  "  Rules  and  Regulations  for  the  Army,  May  1 , 1 813." 
The  duties  of  the  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  are  thus  defined: 

"It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  Physician  and  Surgeon  Qeneral  to  prescribe  rules  for 
the  government  of  the  hospitals  of  the  army,  to  see  these  enforced,  to  appoint  stewards 
and  nurses,  to  call  for  and  receiye  returns  of  medicines,  surgical  instruments  and 
hospital  stores,  to  authorize  and  regulate  the  supply  of  regimental  medical  chests, 
to  make  out  general  half  yearly  returns  of  these,  and  of  the  sick  in  hospital  to  the 
War  Department,  and  yearly  estimates  of  what  may  be  wanted  for  the  supply  of 
the  army. 

The  apothecary  general  shall  assist  the  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  in  the 
discharge  of  the  above  mentioned  duties,  and  shall  receive  and  obey  his  orders  in 
relation  thereto." 

There  are  no  regulations  in  reference  to  the  duties  of  hospital  surgeons 
or  the  management  of  the  sick,  which  may  be  accounted  for  by  the  fact  that 
the  above  gave  special  authority  to  the  Physician  and  Surgeon  General  to 
prescribe  all  such  rules.  These  regulations,  however,  define  for  the  first  time 
the  uniform  and  dress  of  the  army,  and  now  that  a  new  uniform  has  just 
been  adopted,  it  will  be  interesting  to  quote  the  clauses  relative  to  the  equip- 
ments of  the  Medical  Corps,  and  compare  them  with  our  own : 

"The  uniform  of  the  physician  and  surgeon,  and  apothecary  generals,  and 
hospital  surgeons  and  mates  shall  be  black ;  the  coats  with  standing  collars,  and  on 
each  side  of  the  collar,  a  star  of  embroidery  within  half  an  inch  of  the  front  edge. 

The  coat  to  be  single  breasted  with  ten  buttons,  and  button  holes  worked  in 
blue  twist  in  front  five  inches  long  at  the  top  and  three  at  the  bottom.  The  standing 
collar  to  rise  to  the  tip  of  the  ear,  which  will  determine  its  width.  The  cuffs  not 
less  than  three  and  a  half,  nor  more  than  four  inches  wide.  The  length  of  the 
skirt  to  reach  to  the  bend  of  the  knee.  The  bottom  of  the  breast  and  the  two  hip 
buttons  to  range.  On  the  collar  there  shall  be  one  blind  hole  five  inches  long  with 
a  button  on  each  side. 

Breeches  or  pantaloons  to  be  worn,  with  four  buttons,  on  the  knee  and  gilt 
knee  buckles. 

High  military  boots  and  gilt  spurs. 

The  stock  to  be  black  of  leather  or  silk. 

Chapeaux  with  button  and  loop  black,  and  black  cockade  four  and  a  half  inches 
in  diameter,  with  a  gold  eagle  in  the  center. 

DURING   THE   WAR    OP    1812-15.  87 

The  sword  to  be  straight,  yellow  mounted,  with  black  or  yellow  gripe.  The 
waist  belt  to  be  of  black  leather,  and  no  sashes  to  be  worn. 

The  epaulettes  to  be  of  gold. 

The  dress  of  the  hospital  staff  will  conform  as  to  fashion  to  the  uniform  of  the 
staff,  except  that  they  will  wear  pocket  flaps,  and  buttons  placed  across  the  cuffs, 
four  to  each,  and  covered  buttons  in  all  instances  of  the  colour  of  the  coat." 

Notwithstanding  that  Doctor  Tilton  had  been  informed  that  no  active 
service  would  be  required  of  him,  he  considered  it  his  duty  on  acceptance  of 
his  appointment  to  visit  and  inspect  the  hospitals  along  the  northern  frontier. 
The  troops  under  General  Dearborn  had  been  concentrated  during  the  spring 
at  Sackett's  Harbor,  preparatory  to  the  expedition  against  Little  York  in 
Upper  Canada.  This  post  had  been  occupied  during  the  previous  winter  by 
militia  troops,  among  whom  the  winter  epidemic  had  been  very  fatal,  and 
the  Surgeon  Gleneral  found  the  hospital  in  such  a  filthy  and  neglected  con- 
dition that  he  immediately  convened  a  Medical  Board  to  prepare  additional 
regulations  for  the  management  of  the  hospitals,  and  to  examine  all  incompe- 
tent officers.-  He  also  directed  that  a  general  hospital  should  be  established 
at  Watertown,  twelve  miles  distant;  where  the  village  academy  was  secured 
for  the  purpose  and  fitted  up  for  the  accommodation  of  one  hundred  persons. 
There  was  a  temporary  hospital  at  this  place,  which  had  been  established 
two  months  before  on  the  departure  of  the  troops  for  Canada.  This  was  in 
charge  of  Hospital  Surgeon's  mate  David  March,  U.  S.  A.  On  the  twenty- 
seventh  of  April  the  attack  on  Little  York  took  place,  and  after  four  days 
occupation  of  the  town,  the  army  with  the  wounded  and  sick  were  moved  to 
Fort  Niagara,  where  a  tent  hospital  was  organized  two  miles  from  the  river. 
The  ground  was  wet  and  low,  and  many  of  the  wounded  died  from  camp 
diarrhoea  and  typhus  fever,  and  in  June,  after  the  capture  of  Fort  George, 
a  general  hospital  was  established  at  Lewistown,  eight  miles  up  the  river,  by 
advice  of  Surgeon  Mann,  Medical  Director.  This  hospital  consisted  of  two 
barns,  besides  a  large  number  of  hospital  tents,  and  was  well  supplied  with 
every  thing  necessary  for  the  comfort  of  the  sick  and  wounded ;  which  by 
the  first  of  August  had  increased  to  nearly  seven  hundred.  Here  the  patients 
improved  very  rapidly,  the  position  of  the  hospital  being  salubrious,  the 
tents  policed  with  great  care,  and  the  diet  being  generous.  In  the  army  at 
Fort  George,  however,  a  most  lamentable  degree  of  sickness  prevailed.  Doctor 
Mann  writes: 

"During  the  month  of  August  an  uncommon  proportion  of  the  army  were  sick 
or  unfit  for  duty.  More  than  one-third  of  the  soldiers  were  on  the  sick  reports. 
The  officers  shared  with  the  privates  in  the  prevailing  diseases.  Half  of  the  med- 
ical staff  attached  to  regiments  were   also  unable  to  perform  their  duty.     Of  seven 


surgeon's  mates  attached  to  the  hospital  department,  one  died  and  three  had  leave 
of  absence  by  reason  of  indisposition;  the  other  three  were  for  a  short  period  sick. 
So  general  was  the  sickness,  the  few  remaining  surgeons  could  not  do  full  justice  to 
their  patients.  At  the  time  when  the  returns  of  the  sick  in  the  general  hospital 
counted  between  six  and  seven  hundred,  there  were  only  three  surgeons  of  this 
department  present  for  duty.  At  this  period  of  General  Boyd's  command,  the 
troops  were  under  excellent  dicipline,  the  encampment  in  good  condition,  and  the 
men  neat  in  their  apparel.  The  general  and  regimental  hospitals  were  reported 
during  the  summer  months  by  the  inspectors  of  the  army,  'in  the  best  possible 

The  following  account  of  the  condition  of  the  army  at  this  time  is 
taken  from  an  official  report  of  Hospital  Surgeon  Joseph  Lovell,  U.  S.  A., 
and  may  be  found  in  Mann's  Medical  Sketches: 

"  The  division  of  the  army  stationed  at  Fort  George  from  the  beginning  of 
June  to  the  beginning  of  October,  1813,  was  encamped  on  the  bank  of  the  Niagara 
extending  from  the  fort  to  the  village  nearly  on  the  lake  shore.  The  surrounding 
country  is  flat,  and  the  camp  was  deprived  of  the  lake  breezes,  from  the  position  of 
Newark.  During  the  month  of  June  it  rained  almost  incessantly ;  while  the  latter 
part  of  July,  and  the  whole  of  August  were  extremely  hot;  the  whole  of  September 
was  however  remarkably  mild  and  pleasant.  Thus  after  having  been  wet  for  nearly 
a  month,  the  troops  were  exposed  for  six  or  seven  weeks  to  intense  heat  during  the 
day,  and  at  night  to  a  cold  and  chilly  atmosphere,  in  consequence  of  the  fog  arising 
from  the  lake  and  river.  The  enemies'  advance  being  within  a  short  distance  of 
the  camp,  the  details  for  duty  were  large,  and  skirmishes  taking  place  at  the  picquets 
every  morning;  the  soldiers  were  for  a  length  of  time  stationed  at  the  several  works 
for  several  hours  before  daylight;  and  thus  exposed  to  the  influence  of  a  cold  damp 
atmosphere,  at  the  time  the  system  is  most  susceptible  of  morbid  impressions.  The 
diseases  consequent  to  this  alternate  exposure  to  a  dry  hot,  and  cold  damp  atmos- 
phere, were  such  as  might  have  been  expected ;  typhus  and  intermittent  fevers, 
diarrhoea  and  dysentery.  A  detachment-  of  artillery,  stationed  at  the  right  wing 
near  the  lake,  was  particularly  exposed  to  the  heat  of  the  day,  and  the  dampness  of 
the  night,  and  sufl'ered  much  from  typhus  and  intermittents.      *  *  *  * 

These  diseases  however  though  severe,  bore  but  a  small  proportion  to  the  usual 
pestilences  of  our  army,  diarrhoea  and  dysentery.  During  two  years  and  a  half,  I 
was  on  the  frontiers,  at  every  post  from  Buffalo  to  Burlington,  Vermont,  these  com- 
plaints almost  invariably  absorbed  all  others.  They  were  the  only  ones  which  could 
be  called  our  camp  diseases.  All  others  arose  from  obvious  or  local  causes,  and 
were  as  common  to  the  citizen  as  soldier." 

From  the  establishment  of  the  hospital  at  Lewistown  until  the  end  of 
the  year,  the  number  of  patients  admitted  was  between  nine  hundred  and 
fifty  and  one  thousand,  and  there  were  fifty-nine  deaths. 

In  the  fall  of  1813  General  Wilkinson,  who  had  succeeded  Dearborn 
in  the  command  of  the  army,  organized  an  expedition  down  the  lake,  and 
ordered  all  convalescents  to  the  hospital  at  Lewistown,  with  orders  that  they 
should  be  furnished  with  winter  quarters  out  of  reach  of  the  enemy.     In 

DURING  THE  WAR  OP  1812-15.  89 

November,  Doctor  Mann  determined  to  break  up  this  hospital,  its  exposed 
situation  rendering  it  less  suitable  for  winter  quarters  than  some  place 
would  be  more  removed  from  the  lake.  With  this  view,  he  selected  about 
a  hundred  of  those  who  were  subjects  for  discharge,  and  sent  them  to 
Greenbush,  under  charge  of  a  young  surgeon's  mate,  Doctor  William  E. 
Horner,  (afterwards  the  well  known  Professor  of  Anatomy  at  the  University 
of  Pennsylvania).  The  remainder,  numbering  about  two  hundred  and  fifty, 
were  moved  to  Williamsville,  about  forty  miles  from  Lewistown.  The 
barracks  at  this  place  were  repaired,  well  supplied  with  stores,  and  placed 
in  charge  of  Hospital  Surgeon's  mate  Joshua  B.  Whiteridge,  a  young  man 
who  had  gained  a  high  reputation  as  executive  ofiicer  of  the  hospital  at 
Lewistown,  and  who  ''for  assiduous  attention  to  duty  was  exceeded  by  no 
physician  in  the  army." 

Meanwhile,  Greneral  Wilkinson  had  located  his  head-quarters  at  Malone, 
and  in  December  a  general  hospital  was  established  in  that  village.  The 
academy,  the  arsenal  and  some  private  houses  were  selected,  and  accommo- 
dations for  two  hundred  and  fifty  men  thus  afforded.  The  regimental  hospi- 
tals of  the  division  were  at  French's  Mills,  sixteen  miles  distant,  where  the 
sick  suffered  greatly  from  the  severity  of  the  weather  and  the  effects  of 
unwholesome  diet,  insufficient  accommodations  and  want  of  stores,  many  of 
which  had  been  lost  during  the  open  boat  passage  down  the  lake.  These 
were  causes  over  which  the  Medical  Staff  had  no  control;  nevertheless  they 
were  very  severely  criticized,  and  most  unjustly  made  responsible  for  the 
great  mortality  which  took  place  at  this  time. 

At  the  commencement  of  the  year  1814  the  chief  general  hospitals 
were  those  already  mentioned,  at  Greenbush,  Plattsburgh,  Malone,  Williams- 
ville and  Burlington.  The  latter  had  acquired  the  reputation  of  being  a 
model  hospital.  It  was  originally  established  in  1812  by  Surgeon  Joseph 
Lovell,  ninth  infantry,  who  was  succeeded  in  charge  by  Hospital  Surgeon 
Walter  V.  Wheaton,  (long  a  distinguished  ornament  to  the  Corps).  He  in 
turn  was  relieved  by  Hospital  Surgeon  James  Mann,  who  turned  over  the 
charge  of  the  hospital  to  Hospital  Surgeon  Henry  Hunt  in  1814.  All  of 
these  gentlemen  had  labored  faithfully  to  bring  the  institution  to  the  highest 
state  of  efficiency,  and  one  of  them  has  fortunately  left  on  record  an  account 
of  the  regulations  adopted  therein  and  its  general  management,  which  is  of 
sufficient  interest  to  be  given  in  detail : 

"  The  following  regulations  were  adopted  in  the  General  Hospital  at  Burlington ; 
where  in  no  instance  from  its  first  establishment,  even  when  the  monthly  reports  count- 
ed from  six  to  nine  hundred  men,  was  an  infectious  disease  generated  or  propagated: 


The  washing  of  the  walls  and  floors  with  soap  and  water  or  lime  water  was  of 
the  first  importance.  This  was  frequently  repeated  especially  during  hot  weather. 
In  cold  weather  when  the  wards  were  occupied  by  the  sick,  washing  them  was  not 
only  inconvenient,  but  hazarded  the  health  of  the  patients.  A  coat  of  sand  half  an 
inch  thick  or  more,  renewed  on  the  floors  every  day,  was  never  attended  with  ill 
consequences,  but  was  refreshing  to  the  sick,  while  it  superceded  the  necessity  of 
washing.  Whitewashing  the  walls  with  lime  and  water  never  incommoded  the  sick; 
it  sweetened  the  rooms,  and  corrected  infectious  principles.  By  daily  sanding  the 
floors,  they  were  kept  not  only  clean  but  perfectly  white.  The  opportunity  of 
washing  them  was  improved,  when  the  number  of  sick  was  reduced  so  as  to  admit 
their  removal  from  one  ward  to  others.  The  wards  were  thus  alternately  washed 
and  thoroughly  repaired.  Bunks  as  soon  as  they  were  unoccupied  were  removed 
from  the  wards,  and  after  cleansing  returned.  The  straw  of  the  sacks  was  burned 
as  soon  as  the  bed  was  vacated.  The  sacks  were  washed  once  in  two  weeks,  and 
the  straw  changed.  Blankets  were  always  clean  and  frequently  changed.  During 
hot  seasons  the  windows  and  doors  of  the  wards  were  continually  open.  In  cold 
seasons  the  windows  were  opened  for  a  short  time,  repeatedly  in  the  day;  care 
being  taken  that  the  sick  in  their  beds  were  not  exposed  to  the  direct  currents  of 
air.  No  person  was  permitted  to  spit  on  the  floors  of  the  wards.  Spit  boxes  were 
furnished  every  bed,  and  filled  with  sand  twice  a  day,  sometimes  oftener  where  the 
patients  expectorated  largely.  Close  stools,  bed  pans,  and  urinaries  were  removed 
as  soon  as  employed.  No  culinary  process  was  performed  at  the  hearth  of  the  sick 
wards.  Attached  to  each  ward  was  a^closet  where  the  table  furniture  after  washing 
was  deposited  in  neat  order.  Each  ward  was  furnished  with  a  large  table,  con- 
stantly covered  with  a  clean  cloth  of  linen  the  better  to  ensure  its  cleanliness;  on 
which  was  placed  a  box  with  a  number  of  little  apartments,  wherein  were  set  in 
order,  the  vials  and  medicine  for  the  patients,  each  vial  and  parcel  labelled  with 
directions,  so  as  to  obviate  mistakes. 

Attention  was  paid  to  the  distribution  of  the  sick.  The  wards  appropriated  to 
infectious  or  contagious  diseases  were  less  crowded  than  those  occupied  by  patients 
with  less  important  complaints.  Surgical  cases  had  rooms  separate  from  the  febrile. 
Venereal  and  itch  patients  were  assigned  to  their  separate  wards,  and  not  inter- 
mixed with  men  of  different  diseases. 

Personal  cleanliness  was  also  a  mean  which  promoted  health,  and  obviated  the 
generation  of  new  diseases.  The  sick  previous  to  admittance  were  washed  in  tepid 
water,  in  an  apartment  appropriated  to  this  use ;  then  placed  in  a  clean  bed  with  a 
clean  shirt.  Daily  ablutions  of  the  hands  and  face  were  ordered.  The  sick  with  febrile 
diseases  under  the  immediate  direction  of  a  surgeon,  were  occasionally  washed  or 
apunged  with  vinegar  and  water  at  some  seasons.  The  patients  in  hospital  were 
shaved  every  other  day,  and  shirted  twice  a  week. 

The  beds  throughout  the  hospital  were  always  in  order  whether  occupied  or 
not.  If  a  patient  left  his  bed  ever  so  frequently  in  the  day,  if  only  for  five  minutes, 
it  was  immediately  put  in  order;  so  that  the  wards  were  always  in  a  condition  to 
be  visited  or  inspected  by  officers  of  the  army.     *        *        «        « 

The  Hospital  at  Burlington,  during  five  months  in  succession  when  under  my 
immediate  direction  was  not  one  hour  in  a  state  so  bad  that  it  would  not  meet  the 
approbation  of  an  inspecting  officer  who  knew  his  duty.  This  hospital  was  visited 
repeatedly  by  officers  of  the  line  when  under  the  direction  of  Doctors  Wheaton  and 
Hunt,  and  during  every  period   after  August,    1813,   was   always   seen  in  the  best 

DURING    THE    WAR    OP    1812-15.  91 

possible  order,  and  deservedly  merited  the  high  encomiums  it  received,  not  only 
from  inspectors  of  the  army,  but  private  citizens.     *         *         *         * 

During  the  winter  of  1813-14,  there  were  at  one  period  between  seven 
and  eight  hundred  patients,  distributed  in  forty  wards,  nearly  equally  divided 
among  eight  hospital  surgeons  and  mates.  These  young  gentlemen  felt  themselves 
highly  responsible  for  the  state  of  their  respective  wards,  and  condition  of  the  sick ; 
who  were  not  a  little  benefitted  by  a  competition  excited  to  excel  each  other  in  their 
duty ;  which  was  manifested  by  daily  improvements,  in  respect  to  cleanliness  and 
accommodations  of  their  patients.     *         *         *         * 

The  location  of  this  military  hospital  is  most  eligible,  situated  on  the  highest 
bank,  elevated  sixty  or  seventy  feet  above  the  water.  The  soil  of  this  spot  is  sand 
mixed  with  gravel,  dry  and  hard*at  all  seasons  of  the  year. 

During  the  campaign,  1814,  a  convenient  garden  was  laid  out,  under  the  direc- 
tion of  Doctor  Hunt,  hospital  surgeon,  for  the  benefit  of  the  convalescents  and 
invalids,  which  by  their  labor  was  kept  neat  and  in  good  order. 

The  interior  of  this  hospital  has  been  already  noticed,  its  exterior  was  not  less 
attended  to.  In  an  adjoining  house,  the  surgeons  were  accommodated  with  com- 
fortable rooms,  where  one  or  more  always  remained. 

The  wards  of  this  hospital  were  regularly  swept  and  put  in  order  by  sunrise 
through  the  year.  The  wards  were  visited  by  their  several  surgeons,  in  the  summer 
months  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning,  in  the  winter  at  nine.  Previous  to  these 
hours,  the  patients  had  breakfasted.  The  rooms  were  not  only  in  perfect  order, 
but  every  patient  was  found  in  his  own  lodging.  While  the  surgeons  were  making 
their  prescriptions  silence  was  preserved.  The  prescriptions  were  taken  by  the 
attendants  to  the  dispensary,  where  they  were  immediately  made  up  by  the  apothe- 
caries. During  the  winter,1813-14,  four  apothecaries  were  constantly  employed  in 
their  appropriate  duty." 

The  general  hospital  at  Malone  was  broken  up  in  February,  1814,  by 
reason  of  movements  of  the  army,  and  the  sick,  some  four  hundred  and  fifty 
in  number,  removed  in  sleighs  to  Plattsburgh  and  Burlington.  This  formi- 
dable undertaking  was  successfully  accomplished  under  the  direction  of 
Hospital  Surgeon  Mann,  with  a  loss  of  but  six  men,  while  a  large  number 
of  the  patients  decidedly  improved  in  health.  The  diseases  from  which  the 
men  suffered  were  chiefly  pneumonia,  rheumatism  and  dropsy,  besides  a  great 
many  cases  of  frost-bite,  and  mortification  of  the  lower  extremities  from 
exposure  in  boat  service  on  the  lakes.  From  the  first  of  January  to  the 
ninth  of  February,  at  Malone,  there  had  been  admitted  three  hundred  and 
eighty,  of  whom  twenty  died.  At  Burlington,  during  the  first  four  months 
of  1814,  the  admissions  were  two  thousand  four  hundred  and  twelve,  and 
there  were  seventy-five  deaths.  Remaining  on  hand  April  30th,  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty-one,  most  of  whom  were  convalescent. 

In  the  summer  of  1814  the  general  hospital  for  the  troops  operating 
on  the  Niagara  frontier  was  established  at  Buffalo.  A  plat  of  ground  was 
selected  near  the  present  site  of  the  Central   Railroad  depot,  and  a  large 


number  of  hospital  tents  erected,  which  were  amply  provided  with  bunks 
and  straw  and  hospital  stores,  and  placed  under  charge  of  Hospital  Surgeon 
William  Thomas.  Hither  the  wounded  were  brought  after  the  battle  of 
Chippewa.  Doctor  Horner  gives  the  following  account  of  their  transporta- 
tion from  the  field  of  battle  to  the  hospital : 

"The  battle  being  fought  on  the  banks  of  the  Niagara  river,  the  wounded  were 
brought  up  in  boats  to  the  general  hospital  at  Buffalo.  They  were  conveyed  from 
the  boats  on  Buffalo  creek  to  the  hospital,  a  distance  of  three  or  four  hundred 
yards,  on  blankets  the  sides  of  which  were  nailed  to  poles  nine  or  ten  feet  long. 
This  formed  an  easy  and  convenient  litter  by  which  four  strong  men  could  safely 
convey  one  wounded,  without  exposing  him  to  the  unspeakable  pain  from  jolts,  etc., 
which  would  be  the  inevitable  consequence  of  transportation  by  wheel  carriages. 
Besides  this  advantage  of  the  litter,  when  the  wounded  soldier  was  to  be  placed  on 
it,  it  was  spread  smoothly  on  the  ground,  and  he  slipped  gently  on.  It  was  then 
taken  up  carefully  by  the  assistants,  and  carried  to  the  hospital,  when  the  patient 
was  either  assigned  at  once  to  his  tent,  or  placed  on  the  hospital  parade  ground,  as 
the  convenience  of  dressing  required.  A  litter  thus  constructed  can  be  easily  pulled 
away  from  under  the  patient  without  pain,  and  is  in  that  respect,  much  better  than 
the  brancard,  or  the  wheelbarrow." 

The  battle  of  Bridgewater,  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  July,  crowded  the 
hospital  to  excess.  On  the  first  of  August  it  contained  nearly  eleven 
hundred  patients.  On  the  fourth  of  that  month  the  enemy  made  a  sudden 
attack  at  Black  Rock,  and  Buffalo  being  threatened  with  capture  it  was 
thought  advisable  to  remove  the  hospital  to  Williarasville,  where  one  had 
existed  the  previous  winter.  Accordingly  all  who  were  able  to  be  moved 
were  sent  to  the  latter  place,  and  a  general  hospital  established  under  charge 
of  Hospital  Surgeon  Ezekiah  Bull,  assisted  by  Hospital  Surgeons  Thomas 
and  Lovell.  The  more  severe  cases,  to  the  number  of  eighty  or  ninety,  were 
left  at  Buffalo,  under  charge  of  Surgeon's  mate  W.  E.  Horner.  The  latter 
was  constituted  the  receiving  hospital  for  the  army,  then  at  Fort  Erie,  and 
Doctor  Horner  was  directed  to  retain  the  worst  cases  and  send  all  the  rest 
to  Williamsville.  These  hospitals  were  kept  filled  to  their  utmost  capacity  by 
the  operations  of  the  army,  but  on  the  termination  of  the  campaign  by  the 
evacuation  of  Fort  Erie  in  November,  that  at  Buffalo  was  closed,  and  the 
remaining  sick  transferred  to  Williamsville. 

The  interest  of  the  fall  campaign  at  the  east  centered  at  Plattsburgh. 
On  the  first  of  September,  the  sick  in  the  general  hospital  numbered  seven 
hundred  and  twenty  men ;  and  as  these  could  not  be  protected  within  the 
lines  of  works,  they  were,  in  view  of  the  approaching  fight,  transferred  to 
Crab  Island,  two  miles  distant,  and  placed  under  charge  of  Hospital 
Surgeon's  mate  Edward  Purcell.      No  accommodations  had  been  provided 

DURING  THE  WAR  OF   1812-15.  93 

for  them  on  the  island,  and  they  remained  for  three  days  exposed  to  the  wet 
and  cold,  when  Doctor  Purcell  determined  to  transport  them  to  Burlington, 
which  he  did  in  open  batteaux  across  the  lake.  This  crowded  the  hospital 
at  Burlington  to  such  an  extent,  that  the  ill  cflFects  of  crowd  poisoning  were 
soon  perceived  in  the  increased  number  of  deaths  and  the  slow  convalescence 
of  many.     Typhus,  dysentery  and  diarrhoea  became  very  prevalent. 

The  wounded  in  the  battle  of  Plattsburgh  and  in  the  naval  action  on 
the  lake  were  transferred  to  Crab  Island,  where  they  were  placed  under 
charge  of  Doctor  Mann. 

The  legislation  of  the  year  1814  embraced  but  one  bill  which  was  of 
any  interest  to  the  Medical  Corps.  This  was  passed  on  the  thirtieth  of 
March,  and  was  entitled,  "  An  act  for  the  better  organizing,  paying  and 
.supplying  the  army  of  the  United  States."  The  sections  having  any  refer- 
ence to  the  Hospital  Department  were  as  follows: 

"Section  IX.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  from  the  first  day  of  June  next, 
the  officers  of  the  army  shall  be  entitled  to  waiters  agreeably  to  grades,  as  follows, 
*  *  *  *  the  physician  and  surgeon  general  two,  *  *  *  * 
hospital  surgeons,  one. 

*  *  *  *  *  * 

Section  XI.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  the  President  of  the  United  States 
be  authorized  to  appoint  as  many  assistant  apothecaries  as  the  service  may  in  his 
judgment  require,  each  of  whom  shall  receive  the  same  pay  and  emoluments  as  a 
regimental  surgeon's  mate. 

Section  XVIII.     And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  the  physician  and  surgeon  gen- 
eral of  the  army  be  entitled  to  two  rations  per  day  and    forage  for  two  horses;  and 
that  in  addition  to  their  pay  as  at   present   established  by  law,  the  regimental  sur- 
geons, and  surgeon's  mates  be  entitled  to  fifteen  dollars  per  month  each." 

This  last  section  was  inserted  in  consequence  of  the  numerous  com- 
plaints that  had  come  from  the  army  of  the  inadequacy  of  the  pay  of  the 
regimental  medical  officers.  In  fact  their  status  throughout  the  war  had 
been  very  low.  They  were  without  i*ank  of  any  kind,  were  hardly  more 
respected  officially  than  the  non-commissioned  officers  and  did  not  really  have 
as  much  authority,  and  though  constantly  performing  the  most  arduous 
duties,  their  pay  was  far  less  than  the  hospital  officers.  Surgeon  Mann 
writing  to  Doctor  Tilton  in  the  name  of  the  medical  officers  of  his  depart- 
ment says,  in  a  letter  dated  Malone,  February  14,  1814: 

"This  is  a  fact  and  a  serious  one  too,  that  the  surgeons  and  mates  of  regiments, 
under  existing  encouragements  have  no  inducements  to  continue  long  in  service. 
Curiosity  alone,  will  induce  them  to  sacrifice  the  term  of  one  year  in  service.  This 
being  gratified  its  exciting  powers  lose  their  effects.  The  pay  and  emoluments  of 
surgeons  and  mates  of  regiments  do  not  give  them  a  support,  especially  on  the 
frontiers  of  Canada,  where  the  articles  of  life  are  procured  at  the  most  extravagant 


In  December,  1814,  a  general  order  was  issued  from  the  War  OflSce 
establishing  Regulations  for  the  Army  of  the  United  States.  In  this  docu- 
ment the  duties  of  medical  ofiBcers  are  for  the  first  time  clearly  defined.  The 
paragraphs  relating  to  the  Medical  Department  are  as  follows : 


Hospital  Surgeons  and  Mates. 

The  senior  hospital  surgeon  shall  be  ex  officio  director  of  the  medical  sfaff,  in 
the  army  or  department  to  which  he  may  be  attached.  It  shall  be  his  duty  tn 
examine,  and  (if  he  approves)  countersign  all  requisitions  for  hospital  stores,  medi- 
cines and  surgical  instruments,  of  the  surgeons  or  mates  in  his  department ;  to 
inspect  the  hospitals  or  infirmaries,  under  his  direction  as  often  as  he  may  deem  it 
necessary,  and  as  often  as  he  shall  be  required  by  the  commanding  general;  to 
correct  all  abuses,  and  to  prescribe  and  enforce  such  rules  and  regulations  for  the 
government  of  the  attending  surgeons  and  mates,  as  may  be  considered  most  condu- 
cive to  the  comfort  of  the  sick  and  the  interest  of  the  service,  with  the  approbation 
of  the  general  commanding  the  army  or  department. 

It  shall  be  his  duty  to  consolidate  the  reports  of  the  surgeons  and  males  in  his 
department,  and  to  transmit  a  copy  thereof  quarterly,  to  the  commanding  officer  of 
the  department;  to  keep  a  book  in  which  shall  be  registered  all  the  reports  trans- 
mitted by  him ;  and  to  make  from  time  to  time  such  remarks  on  meteorological 
phenomena,  and  the  appearance  of  epidemicks,  as  may  be  deemed  useful  in  pro- 
moting medical  science. 

It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  hospital  mates,  to  observe  the  directions  of  the 
medical  director;  to  have  the  police  rules  of  the  hospital  or  infirmary,  written  in  a 
legible  hand,  and  hung  up  in  some  conspicuous  part  thereof,  for  the  information 
and  government  of  the  patients;  to  assign  to  each  patient  an  appropriate  ward;  to 
keep  a  register  of  all  patients  admitted,  and  a  diary,  in  which  shall  be  recorded  the 
history  of  every  important  or  interesting  case  of  disease. 

It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  senior  attending  surgeon  at  every  hospital,  infirmary, 
or  post,  to  make  requisitions  for  such  medicines,  hospital  stores,  etc.,  as  may  be 
considered  necessary  for  the  comfort  of  the  sick,  and  to  submit  the  same  to  the 
director  for  his  approval. 

They  shall  make  monthly  and  quarterly  reports  to  the  director  agreeably  to  the 
forms  prescribed. 

It  shall  also  be  their  duty  to  communicate  frequently  and  freely  with  the  director, 
and  to  consult  him  in  all  cases,  wherein  his  advice  may  be  deemed  necessary. 

There  shall  be  kept  at  every  hospital  and  infirmary  under  the  direction  of  the 
senior  surgeon,  a  book  in  which  shall  be  entered  the  name  and  description  of  every 
patient,  to  be  taken  from  hie  descriptive  list,  when  admitted,  and  his  disease.  To 
which  will  be  added  the  date  of  his  discharge  from  the  hospital,  and  the  disposition 
made  of  him.  When  a  soldier  is  returned  to  his  corps,  furloughed,  or  furnished 
with  a  certificate  to  obtain  a  discharge  for  inability,  his  descriptive  list  shall  be 
returned  with  him,  having  been  carefully  kept  in  the  hospital  for  that  purpose, 
noting  on  the  same  the  payments  which  have  been  made  at  the  hospital. 

DURING    THE    WAR    OP    1812-15.  95 

Under  the  direction  of  the  commanding  officer  of  the  army  or  department,  the 
senior  attending  surgeon  shall  make  out  regular  muster  rolls  of  the  stewards,  ward- 
masters,  nurses,  attendants,  and  patients  attached  to  his  hospital  or  infirmary,  and 
deliver  them  to  the  inspector,  who  shall  correct  and  sign  the  same  for  the  guidance 
of  the  paymaster,  as  in  all  other  cases  of  musters  and  inspections  for  payment. 

Hospital  Stewards  and  Waedmasters. 

It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  steward,  under  the  direction  of  the  surgeon,  to 
provide  for  the  hospital,  to  receive  and  take  charge  of  all  hospital  stores,  furniture, 
utensils,  etc.,  to  keep  an  accurate  account  of  all  issues,  and  specify  not  only  for 
whom  but  by  whom  ordered.     The  surgeon's  certificate  shall  be  his  voucher. 

The  stewards  are  authorized  to  draw  from  contractors  any  of  the  component 
parts  of  the  ration  which  may  be  necessary  to  the  supply  of  hospitals,  and  which 
the  said  contractors  are  obliged  to  furnish.  The  component  parts  of  the  ration  not 
actually  employed  as  food  in  the  hospital,  may  be  sold,  and  the  avails  applied  to 
the   purchase  of  vegetables,  etc.,  etc.,  as  directed  by  the    superintending   surgeon. 

The  wardmaster  shall  be  under  the  direction  of  the  steward.  He  shall  receive 
the  arms,  accoutrements  and  clothing  of  every  patient,  admitted   into  the  hospital. 

He  shall  see  that  the  clothes  are  immediately  washed,  numbered  and  labelled 
with  the  name,  regiment,  and  company  of  the  patient,  and  put  away  in  a  place 
provided  for  that  purpose.  If  the  arms  and  accoutrements  are  not  brought  with  the 
patient,  the  wardmaster  shall  so  report.  He  shall  be  responsible  for  the  cleanliness 
of  the  patients  and  the  wards ;  shall  call  the  roll  every  morning  and  evening  and 
report  all  absentees. 

He  shall  be  particularly  careful  in  the  proper  construction  of  the  close  stools,  and 
see  that  that  they  have  always  a  proper  quantity  of  water,  or  charcoal  in  them,  and 
that  they  are  cleansed  at  least  three  times  a  day.  He  shall  see  that  the  beds  and 
bed  clothes  are  properly  aired  and  exposed  every  fair  day  to  the  sun,  and  that  the 
straw  in  each  bed  sack  is  changed  at  least  once  in  every  month,  and  that  each  patient 
is  washed  and  his  hair  combed  every  morning.  When  a  patient  has  died,  or  been 
discharged,  he  shall  see  that  the  bed  and  bed  clothes  are  properly  cleaned,  and  the 
straw  burned,  and  that  the  nurses  and  attendants  are  kind  and  attentive  to  the 
sick  and  wounded.  All  the  attendants  shall  be  considered  as  under  his  immediate 
direction,  and  he  shall  be  held  responsible  for  the  faithful  performance  of  the  duties 
assigned  them. 

No  non-commissioned  officer  or  private  shall  be  removed  from  the  situation  of 
nurse  or  attendant,  without  the  consent  of  the  senior  attending  surgeon. 

Regimental  Surgeons  and  Mates. 

The  surgeon  shall  be  responsible  for  the  order,  regularity  and  cleanliness  of 
the  regimental  hospital,  or  infirmary,  as  well  as  for  the  comfort  and  convenience  of 
all  other  ^ick  men  confided  to  his  care. 

He  shall  send  as  few  patients  as  possible  to  the  general  hospital,  and  these 
shall  be  confined  to  the  wounded,  and  chronic  cases ;  excepting  when  the  sick  are 
ordered  to  be  left  behind  on  a  march.  In  that  event  all  cases  may  be  sent  to  the 
general  hospital,  unless  otherwise  provided  for  by  the  director.  When  a  patient  is 
to  be  sent  to  the  general   hospital,    the   surgeon   shall   send  with  him  a  descriptive 


list,  together  with  a  certificate  containing  the  name,  regiment,  and  company  of  the 
patient:  the  symptoms  and  duration  of  his  disease,  with  some  general  remarks  on 
the  mode  of  treatment  pursued.  He  shall  likewise  send  with  him,  his  clothing, 
arms  and  accoutrements.  He  shall  keep  a  strict  record  of  all  cases  sent  to  general 

When  the  troops  are  in  permanent  encampments  or  cantonments,  he  shall  pro- 
vide some  suitable  place  for  the  reception  of  the  sick.  In  this  regimental  infirmary, 
the  common  camp  diseases,  such  as  inflammatory  and  typhus  fevers,  diarrhoeas  and 
dysenteries,  shall  be  attended.  He  shall  be  careful  to  have  the  infirmary  well 
ventilated,  and  shall  not  crowd  his  patients. 

He  shall  use  every  precaution  to  prevent  the  origin  of  contagion,  and  should  it 
appear,  he  shall  immediately  report  to  the  commanding  ofiBcer,  and  make  every 
exertion  to  counteract  it,  by  paying  a  strict  attention  to  personal  cleanliness,  and 
frequent  changes  of  the  bedding  and  linen  of  the  sick,  etc.,  etc. 

The  surgeon  shall  with  the  consent  of  the  commanding  ofiicer  of  the  regiment 
or  corps,  select  a  capable  and  careful  non-commissioned  officer,  who  shall  act  as 
steward  and  wardmaster;  and  such  number  of  men  as  may  be  necessary  to  attend 
upon  the  sick,  who  are  to  be  considered  as  attached  to  the  medical  staff",  and  not  to 
be  removed  but  by  the  consent  of  the  surgeon. 

The  surgeon  shall  frequently  inspect  the  provisions  furnished  to  the  troops,  and 
report  the  same  when  unsound,  to  the  commanding  officer,  as  well  as  every  thing  in 
diet,  dress,  or  situation,  which  can  afi"ect  the  health  of  the  troops. 

He  shall  require  of  the  orderly  sergeant  of  each  company  a  written  and  daily 
report  of  the  sick,  and  shall  report  all  cases  of  feigned  sickness  to  the  commanding 
officers  of  the  companies  to  which  they  belong. 

He  shall  examine  each  case  reported  at  least  once  a  day,  and  all  dangerous  cases 
more  frequently. 

He  shall  attend  at  the  commencement  of  a  march,  and  designate  such  men  as 
should  be  permitted  to  ride  or  have  their  knapsacks  transported  in  the  wagons. 

He  shall  attend  all  musters  and  inspections,  and  report  such  men  as  are  unfit 
for  service,  assigning  the  cause  of  their  inability. 

He  shall  have  on  hand  a  sufficient  supply  of  medicines,  instruments,  dressings, 
and  hospital  stores,  and  be  always  ready  to  render  services  in  case  of  an  engagement. 

He  shall  see  that  the  mates  are  attentive  to  their  duties,  and  endeavor  to  aff"ord 
them  every  opportunity  of  improvement. 

He  shall  keep  a  daily  journal  and  prescription  book,  wherein  shall  be  recorded 
an  account  of  all  cases  of  sickness,  the  nature  of  the  complaints,  and  the  means 
used  to  eflfect  a  cure,  together  with  the  result. 

He  shall  make  out  a  morning  report  of  the  sick  and  convalescent,  and  deliver 
it  to  the  commandant  of  the  regiment  or  corps.  He  shall  make  out  monthly  and 
quarterly  reports,  agreeably  to  the  forms  prescribed,  which  he  shall  forward  to  the 
medical  director  of  the  department. 

In  the  absence  of  the  surgeon,  the  mate  oldest  in  commission  shall  act  as 
surgeon.  When  the  surgeon  is  present,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  mate  or  mates 
to  prepare  his  prescriptions,  see  that  they  are  regularly  taken,  and  to  attend  to  the 
directions  of  the  surgeons  in  all  cases.  They  shall  have  charge  of  all  medicines 
and  instruments,  and  be  held  responsible  to  the  surgeon  for  their  good  condition. 
They  shall  be  attentive  to  the  order  and  cleanliness  of  the  regimental  infirmary, 
and  see  that  the  patients  are  kept  clean  in  their  persons,  linen  and  bedding. 

DURING  THE  WAR  OF  1812-15.  97 

Post  Surgeons. 

The  duties  of  these  officers  are  the  same  as  those  prescribed  for  the  hospital 
and  regimental  surgeons  and  mates,  and  have  their  rank  with  the  mates  when  serv- 
ing together. 

Apothecary  General,  and  his  Assistants. 

The  apothecary  general  and  his  assistants  will  receive  and  take  charge  of  all  hos- 
pital stores,  medicines,  surgical  instruments,  and  dressings,  bought  by  the  commis- 
sary general  of  purchases,  or  by  his  deputies,  or  by  any  other  person  under. the 
direction  of  the  said  commissary  or  deputies,  and  shall  account  to  the  superintendent 
general  of  military  supplies  for  all  expenditures  of  the  same. 

The  apothecary  general  and  his  assistants,  will  compound  and  prepare  all 
ofiicinals,  and  put  up  and  issue  medicines,  &c.,  in  chests  or  otherwise,  conformably 
to  requisitions  signed  by  the  director,  or  senior  surgeon  of  the  department. 

Returns  are  to  be  made  to  the  apothecary  general  quarterly,  by  the  assistant 
apothecaries,  surgeons,  and  mates,  or  any  one  having  charge  of  instruments,  med- 
icines, hospital  stores,  or  hospital  equipments  of  any  description. 

The  forms  of  these  returns  will  be  regulated  by  the  apothecary  general,  under 
the  direction  of  the  superintendent  general  of  military  supplies,  to  whom  one  copy 
of  the  returns  will  be  sent. 


No  surgeon  of  the  army  shall  be  engaged  in  private  practice. 

When  medical  or  surgical  aid  is  required,  if  no  surgeon  or  mate  of  the  army  be 
at  or  near  the  post  or  place,  the  senior  officer  shall  have  authority  to  obtain  such  by 
special  agreement  in  writing,  under  the  following  rules,  viz: 

When  the  number  of  sick  does  not  exceed  twenty,  the  compensation  shall  not 
exceed  two  hundred  dollars  per  annum;  for  more  than  twenty  and  less  than  thirty, 
three  hundred  dollars;  for  any  number  of  sick  more  than  thirty,  the  rate  of  com- 
pensation shall  not  exceed  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  surgeon's  mate  of  the  army. 

Whenever  it  becomes  necessary  to  employ  a  citizen  surgeon,  the  circumstances 
of  the  case  will  be  immediately  reported  to  the  commanding  officer  of  the  depart- 
ment, and  to  the  Adjutant  and  Inspector  General. 

No  candidate  will  hereafter  be  appointed  in  the  medical  department  of  the  army, 
who  shall  not  have  received  a  diploma  from  a  respectable  medical  school  or  college, 
without  first  passing  the  examination  of  an  army  medical  board. 

Whenever  a  body  of  troops  shall  arrive  at  any  military  station,  accommodation 
for  the  sick  will  be  first  provided,  and  subsequently  those  for  officers  and  privates 
who  are  well,  and  to  accomplish  this,  all  artificers  and  mechanics  shall  be  instanta- 
neously put  in  requisition. 

Every  hospital  and  infirmary  shall  be  supplied  with  one  or  more  female  attend- 
ants, at  the  discretion  of  the  senior  surgeon.  It  shall  be  the  business  of  these  to 
scour  and  cleanse  the  bunks  and  floors,  to  wash  the  blankets,  bed-sacks,  and  clothes 
of  the  patients,  to  cook  the  victuals  of  the  sick,  and  to  keep  clean  and  in  good  order 
the  cooking  utensils. 

The  pay  of  nurses  shall  not  exceed  six  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration  per 
day,  to  be  established  by  the  senior  attending  surgeon,  and  made  up  and  certified  by 
him  in  the  hospital  muster  rolls. 



Women  infected  by  the  venereal  disease  shall  in  no  cjise,  nor  on  any  pretense, 
be  allowed  to  remain  with  the  army,  nor  to  draw  rations. 

Allowance  of  Qcaiiteks  and  Fuel. 

To  each  hospital  surgeon,  regimental  surgeon,  post  surgeon,  and  to  two  hospital 
surgeon's  mates,  or  two  regimental  surgeon's  mates,  one  room,  one  half  cord  of  wood, 
from  May  1st  to  October  31st,  and  one  and  one-half  cords,  from  November  Ist  to 
April  30th. 

When  the  army  went  into  winter  quarters  in  the  winter  of  1814-15, 
the  commissioners  had  been  for  some  time  in  session  at  Ghent  endeavoring 
to  arrange  terms  of  peace.  The  original  demands  of  Great  Britain  were 
such  as  rendered  a  concurrence  on  the  part  of  the  United  States  impo-ssible, 
and  Congress  prepared  to  carry  on  the  campaign  with  increased  vigor,  and 
for  this  purpose  proposed  to  raise  one  hundred  thousand  fresh  troops  by 
means  of  a  draft.  This  was,  however,  rendered  unnecessary,  as  the  com- 
missioners on  the  part  of  Great  Britain  withdrew  their  extravagant 
demands,  and  peace  being  an  accomplished  fact,  the  first  military  legislation 
of  the  session  was  (instead  of  an  increase  of  the  army),  an  "  Act  fixing  the 
Military  Peace  Establishment  of  the  United  States."  This  reduced  the  army  to 
ten.  thousand  men,  to  be  divided  into  infantry,  artillery  and  riflemen,  in  such 
proportions  as  the  President  might  direct;  each  regiment  to  be  provided 
with  one  surgeon  and  two  surgeon's  mates.  It  also  contained  the  following 
section  relative  to  the  general  Medical  Staff : 

"Section  III.     And  be  it  further  enacted,     That  there  shall  be     *        *        * 
such  a  number  of  hospital  surgeons  and  surgeon's  mates  as  the  service  may  require, 
not  exceeding  five  surgeons  and  fifteen  mates,  with  one  steward  and  one  wardmaster 
to  each  hospital.        *        *        *        Approved,  Mai'ch  3d,  1815." 

By  the  provisions  of  this  bill  a  large  proportion  of  the  medical  officers 
who  had  performed  faithful  service  throughout  the  war  retired  to  private 
life.  Among  them  was  the  Physician  and  Surgeon  General,  James  Tilton. 
He  had  been  compelled,  in  consequence  of  a  malignant  tumor  of  the  knee, 
to  submit  to  an  amputation  of  the  thigh  the  year  before,  and  was  incapaci- 
tated by  his  age  and  this  disability  from  any  further  service.  He  carried 
with  him  into  his  retirement  the  admiration  and  good  will  of  all  his  subordi- 
nates in  the  Medical  Corps,  and  the  respect  of  his  superiors  in  the  War 
Department.  The  remainder  of  his  life  was  spent  on  his  farm  near  Wil- 
mington, his  time  being  occupied  in  the  preparation  of  a  number  of  articles 
on  agricultural  subjects,  some  of  which  attracted  considerable  attention  at 
the  period.  He  died  on  the  fourteenth  of  May,  1822,  at  the  age  of 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  99 

By  a  general  order  issued  May  15,  1815,  from  the  Adjutant  and  Inspec- 
tor Greneral's  Office,  defining  the  Military  Peace  Establishment  of  the 
United  States  in  accordance  with  the  foregoing  legislation,  the  President 
directed  that  the  following  officers  should  be  provisionally  retained  in  ser- 
vice, until  further  legislation  by  Congress,  viz:  the  Apothecary  General, 
two  assistant  apothecaries,  five  hospital  surgeons,  fifteen  hospital  surgeon's 
mates,  two  garrison  surgeons,  and  ten  garrison  surgeon's  mates. 

The  duties  of  a  medical  officer  are  of  such  an  unassuming  character 
that  it  is  but  seldom  that  his  name  in  mentioned  in  general  orders,  or  found 
in  the  official  reports  of  a  campaign.  It  will,  therefore,  be  but  a  just  tribute 
to  those  who  distinguished  themselves  in  the  war  of  which  we  have  just 
treated  to  give  a  few  extracts  from  orders  and  reports  in  which  praise  is 
awarded  to  members  of  the  Corps  for  their  conduct. 

Lieutenant  Colonel  George  Mac  Feely  of  the  twenty-second  infantry,  in 
his  report  of  the  bombardment  of  Fort  Niagara  on  the  twenty-first  of  Novem- 
ber, 1812,  says: 

"To  Doctor  West  of  the  garrisou,  Doctor  Hugan  of  the  14th  Regiment,  U.  S. 
Infantry,  and  Doctor  Craig  of  the  22nd  Regiment,  U.  S.  Infantry,  I  offer  my  thanks  ; 
they  were  employed  during  the  entire  day  in  the  most  critical  duties  of  their 

Brigadier  General  E.  W.  Ripley,  commanding  the  second  brigade  or' 
the  Northern  Army,  closes  his  I'eport  of  the  action  at  Fort  Erie,  Upper 
Canada,  on  the  fifteenth  of  August,  1814,  as  follows : 

"  I  close  this  long  report  by  stating  to  you  in  the  highest  terms  of  approbation, 
the  skilfulness  exhibited  by  Doctor  Fuller,  Surgeon  of  the  23rd,  and  Doctor  Trow- 
bridge, Surgeon  of  the  21st  Infantry,  with  their  mates  Doctor  Gale  of  the  23rd,  and 
Doctors  Everett  and  Allen  of  the  21st;  their  active,  humane,  and  judicious  treat- 
ment of  the  wounded  both  of  the  enemy,  and  of  our  own,  together  with  their  steady 
and  constant  attention  to  the  duties  of  their  station,  must  have  attracted  your 
personal  observation,  and  I  am  confident  will  receive  your  approbation." 

General  Gaines,  in  forwarding  this  report  to  the  Hon.  John  Armstrong, 
Secretary  of  War,  reiterates  the  above  praise  in  the  following  words : 

"  The  surgeons.  Doctors  Fuller,  23rd,  Trowbridge,  21st,  with  their  mates. 
Doctors  Gale  of  the  23rd  and  Everett  and  Allen  of  the  21st,  deserve  the  warmest 
approbation  for  their  indefatigable  exertions  and  humane  attention  to  the  wounded 
of  our  army,  as  well  as  to  the  prisoners  who  fell  into  our  hands." 

Hospital  Surgeon  Mann,  Medical  Director  at  Plattsburgh,  reports  from 
that  place  in  November,  1814,  to  Surgeon  General  Tilton: 

"In  events  of  high  importance  it  is  seldom  the  medical  staflF  are  noticed.  This 
is  discouraging  to  the  ambitious  young  surgeon  of  the  army.      It  may  be  alleged, 



the  surgeons  being  non-combatants  are  out  of  danger.  This,  however,  is  not  alwnys 
the  case.  During  the  investment  of  Plattsburgh  by  the  enemy,  the  surgeons  were 
constantly  passing  from  fort  to  fort,  or  block-houses  to  dress  the  wounded,  exposed 
to  a  cross  fire  of  round  and  grape  shot;  while  the  greater  part  of  the  army  were 
covered  by  fortifications.  The  cool  bravery  of  the  surgeons,  was  in  private  con- 
versation noticed  by  the  Commander-in-Chief;  had  half  as  much  been  reported  to 
the  War  Department  respecting  them,  they  would  have  felt  themselves  amply  com- 
pensated. While  making  this  observation  I  do  not  include  myself;  because  I  was 
snug  on  duty  at  Crab  Island,  out  of  much  danger  while  our  fleet  continued  master 
of  the  lake.  If  reports  honorable  to  officers,  are  founded  upon  good  conduct  and 
cool  bravery,  who  more  deserving  than  the  non-combatants?  They  have  fewer 
motives  to  excite  them,  and  are  equally  exposed  to  danger  as  officers  of  the  line, 
whose  minds  as  well  as  bodies,  are  constantly  exercised  by  their  commands.  If  any 
officer  has  hardships  attached  to  bis  office,  it  is  the  surgeon  who  executes  his  duty 
with  fidelity  and  assiduity. 

I  feel  myself  bound  to  report  with  much  respect,  the  conduct  of  all  the  medical 
gentlemen  attached  to  this  army,  who  have  at  all  times  during  this  campaign  per- 
formed their  duty;  and  who  for  their  particular  services,  during  and  after  the 
investment  of  Plattsburgh  by  the  enemy,  merit  the  applauses  of  the  country. 

To  discriminate  would  be  an  act  of  injustice.  Doctors  Lawson  and  Mason,  surgeons 
of  regiments,  Warmsley,  Beaumont  and  Hugo,  surgeon's  mates,  have  all  deserved 
well  of  their  government.  I  would  particularly  mention  Russell,  hospital  surgeon's 
mate,  and  Low,  Assistant  Apothecary  General,  who  volunteered  his  services,  for 
their  attention  and  professional  abilities  at  a  time  when  the  wounded  of  both  fleets 
and  army  were  placed  under  my  charge;  on  whom  were  performed  immediately 
after  the  action,  more  than  thirty  capital  operations.  It  is  with  much  pride  this 
opportunity  is  improved  to  state,  that  the  medical  gentlemen  of  our  army  and  navy, 
were  not  inferior,  but  superior  to  the  medical  gentlemen  of  the  British  navy;  several 
of  whom  were  made  prisoners  of  war,  and  assisted  to  dress  the  wounded  of  their 
own  fleet.  This  circumstance  in  very  flattering  to  our  infant  medical  institutions ; 
and  is  good  evidence,  they  are  not  less  respectable  than  the  ancient  schools  of 

With  the  highest  respect,  etc., 


Hospital  Surgeon." 

It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  we  have  no  medical  reports  of  the  cam- 
paign of  1814-15  on  the  Gulf,  but  we  have  the  high  authority  of  General 
Jackson  that  the  Medical  StafiF  did  their  duty  with  their  usual  fidelity.  In 
his  general  order  of  congratulation  to  the  army  after  the  victory  at  Chal- 
mette,  dated  January  21,  1815,  he  says: 

"The  medical  stafiF  has  merited  well  of  the  country,  and  the  General  would  not 
do  justice  to  his  own  feelings,  were  he  to  withhold  from  Doctor  Ker,  hospital 
Burgeon,  who  volunteered  his  services,  and  Doctor  Flood,  the  just  tribute  of  applause, 
deserved  by  them  for  their  medical  skill  and  personal  bravery." 

The  act  before  quoted,  "  Fixing  the  Military  Peace  Establishment," 
reduced  the  staff  to  too  great  an  extent.     So  serious  were  the  evils  likely  to 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  101 

result,  that  the  Hon.  William  H.  Crawford,  Secretary  of  War,  addressed  a 
communication  on  the  subject  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  December,  1815,  to 
the  chairman  of  the  House  Military  Committee.  Among  other  recommen- 
dations he  advises  the  permanent  retention  of  the  Apothecary  General  and 
four  assistant  apothecaries,  and  an  increase  in  the  number  of  hospital  sur- 
geons and  mates,  together  with  the  appointment  of  a  sufficient  number  of 
post  surgeons  to  meet  the  requirements  of  the  army.  His  recommendations 
were  taken  into  consideration,  and  a  bill  passed  on  the  twenty-fourth  of 
April,  1816,  "  For  organizing *the  General  Staff,  and  making  further  provis- 
ions for  the  Army  of  the  United  States."  The  items  of  this  act  which  are 
pertinent  to  the  subject  under  discussion  are  as  follows: 

^-Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  in  addition  to  the  act  providing  for  a  military  peace 
establishment,  the  provisions  of  the  act  of  March  the  third,  one  thousand  eight 
hundred  and  thirteen,  for  the  better  organization  of  the  general  staff,  be,  and  the 
same  are  hereby  so  far  established  that  the  general  staff  shall  consist  of  one  adjutant 
and  inspector  general,  etc.,  *  *  *  and  that  the  apothecary  general  as 
heretofore  authorized,  be  allowed  two  assistant  apothecaries. 

Section  II.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  the  medical  staff  shall  be  so  extended, 
that  there  shall  be  four  hospital  surgeons,  and  eight  hospital  surgeon's  mates  to 
each  division,  with  as  many  post  surgeons  as  the  service  may  require,  not  exceeding 
twelve  to  each  division,  who  shall  receive  the  same  pay  and  emoluments  as  hospital 
surgeon's  mates.         *        *        *        * 

Section  X.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  oflBcers  of  the  staff,  provisionally 
retained  by  the  President,  and  in  this  act  enumerated  and  made  permanent,  be 
recognized  in  service  under  this  act,  and  that  the  garrison  surgeons  and  mates  be 
hereafter  considered  as  post  surgeons;  and  hereafter  the  staff  of  the  army  may  be 
taken  from  the  line  of  the  army,  or  from  citizens. 

Section  XII.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  when  forage  is  not  drawn  in  kind 
by  ofiicers  of  the  army,  entitled  thereto,  eight  dollars  per  month  for  each  horse,  not 
exceeding  the  number  authorized  by  existing  regulations,  shall  be  allowed  in  lieu 
thereof:  Provided,  That  neither  forage  nor  money,  shall  be  drawn  by  officers,  but 
for  horses  actually  kept  by  them  in  service." 

This  patch-work  kind  of  legislation  year  after  year,  had  anything  but  a 
beneficial  effect  both  on  the  officers  of  the  Corps  and  on  the  health  of  the 
army.  The  wiser  heads  saw  that  the  Medical  Department  needed  a  more 
complete  organization  and  a  more  systematic  code  of  regulations  to  render  it 
efficient.  Doctor  Mann  had  urged  reform  in  these  respects  repeatedly  in 
various  ways  during  the  war,  and  had  always  asserted  that  the  great  obstacle 
in  the  way  of  the  medical  officer  was  the  indefinite  character  of  his  military 
position.  In  1817  Doctor  Joseph  Lovell,  then  chief  medical  officer  of  the 
Northern  Department,  addressed  to  Major  General  Brown  an  able  paper  on 
the  causes  of  disease  in  the  army,  in  which  he  detailed  at  length  his  views 
on  the  duties  of  surgeons,  and  their  responsibility  for  the  sickness  occurring 


among  the  troops.  This  report  is  intrinsically  so  valuable,  as  well  as  of 
interest  from  the  distinguished  official  position  of  the  writer,  that  it  merits 
an  insertion  in  these  pages  without  abridgement : 

"Remarks  on  thk  Sick  Repout  of  the  Northern  Division  for  the  year  ending 

Junk  30,  1817. 

By  the  reports  received  from  the  diflFerent  posts,  it  appears  the  troops  have 
l)een  remarkably  healthy  during  the  past  year;  for  of  the  whole  number  of  cases 
(2138)  very  nearly  oae-half  (1051)  are  slight  accidents  and  transcient  complaints, 
which  detain  the  soldier  but  a  few  days  from  duty; — 193  from  wounds; — and  5o 
venereal; — leaving  but  838  of  fevers  and  other  important  complaints. 

Of  these  266  consist  of  the  diflFerent  kinds  of  inflammatory  fever;  as  colds, 
pleurisy,  &c; ;  which  are  the  almost  inevitable  consequence  of  a  cold  and  changeable 
climate,  and  which  no  ordinary  care  can  prevent.  As  they  must  always  be  incident 
to  the  inhabitants  of  the  Northern  section  of  the  Union,  and  particularly  to  the 
soldier,  ought  not  the  most  eflScient  means  be  taken  to  enjvble  him  to  obviate  as  far  as 
possible,  these  injurious  eflfects  of  climate,  by  the  quantity  and  quality  of  his  clothing? 

Next  on  the  lists  to  inflammations  comes  diarrhoea  and  its  attendant  dysentery 
(diarrhoea  246,  dysentery  94).  As  these,  particularly  diarrhoea,  were  the  pests  of 
our  army  during  the  war,  constituting  with  inflammations,  nearly  the  only  com- 
plaints; and  as  they  appear  to  be  the  chief  cause  of  disease  even  in  peace,  it  must 
be  a  matter  of  the  highest  importance  accurately  to  ascertain  their  causes;  and  the 
best  means  of  removing  them,  or  obviating  their  deleterious  eflfects. 

It  required  but  little  ingenuity  to  surmise  that  bad  food  and  worse  water  would 
produce  more  or  less  disturbance  in  a  man's  stomach  and  bowels;  especially  when 
he  had  been  used  to  much  better  fare.  It  was  therefore  a  very  easy  matter  to 
account  for  all  the  diseases  of  the  soldier  by  accusing  the  contractor  of  furnishing 
unhealthy  provisions,  and  the  water  of  containing  deleterious  ingredients.  This 
mode  of  explaining  the  diflBculty  rendered  police  duty  vastly  easier  to  the  oflficers 
of  the  line,  and  furnished  the  surgeon  with  a  brief  and  satisfactory  mode  of  ac- 
counting for  the  death  of  his  patients.  The  consequence  was  that  much  time  and 
some  talent  were  wasted  in  talking  and  writing  against  contractors  and  lake  water, 
which  might  have  been  much  better  employed  in  rendering  the  soldier  comfortable, 
and  protecting  him  against  the  inclemencies  of  the  climate. 

For  the  fact  is,  that  neither  of  these  accusations  were  m  general  just.  The 
provisions  were  not  commonly  bad;  nor  did  experiment  show  any  ingredients  in  the 
water,  at  all  adequate  to  the  eflFect  supposed.  Nor  was  it  true,  that  the  food  or  the 
water  were  peculiarly  bad,  whenever  and  wherever  these  complaints  prevailed  and 
proved  most  fatal.  Nor  is  it  believed,  there  is  cause  of  complaint  against  the  pro- 
visions furnished  at  present. 

It  is  moreover,  exceedingly  doubtful  whether  bad  food  alone  would  produce  the 
efi'ects  that  have  been  ascribed  to  it.  For  in  prisons  and  on  ship  board,  where 
numbers  are  frequently  confined  for  a  length  of  time  to  far  worse  fare  than  is  even 
pretended  in  these  cases,  complaints  of  this  nature  are  by  no  means  the  general 
consequence;  while  many  a  prisoner  and  slave  condemned  to  the  hardest  labour, 
have  proved  by  experience  how  very  soon  the  digestive  organs  will  become  accus- 
tomed to  food  of  a  much  worse  quality  than  contractors  would  dare  to  issue,  or  the 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  lOa 

soldier's  senses  permit  him  to  receive;  and  that  even  the  deleterious  effects  upon  the 
constitution  were  very  gradual,  though  aided  by  many  contingents  to  which  the 
soldier,  in  this  country  at  least,  ia  seldom  exposed. 

It  is  by  no  means  intended  to  assert,  that  bad  food  or  coarse  food  badly  cooked 
would  not  produce  disease ;  much  less  that  it  would  not  peculiarly  aggravate  com- 
plaints of  the  stomach  and  bowels,  or  even  act  as  an  exciting  cause  of  them.  But 
it  is  meant  to  say,  that  this  alone  does  not  necessarily  or  even  generally  produce 
such  complaints; — that  the  food  of  the  soldier  was  not  during  the  war,  and  cer- 
tainly is  not  now,  of  a  quality  calculated  to  produce  them; — that  the  prevalence  of 
these  complaints  at  any  particular  time  bore  no  proportion  to  the  good  or  bad 
quality  of  the  provisions;  nor  were  those  places,  where  they  were  almost  always 
committing  ravages,  worse  supplied  in  this  respect,  than  any  others;  {),nd  there- 
fore— that  we  are  to  look  to  some  other  cause  for  the  production  of  these  military 

And  this  it  is  apprehended  will  be  found  to  arise  from  an  undue  exposure  to  cold 
and  moisture.  For  the  recruit  is  immediately  confined  to  his  rations,  and  experiences 
no  bad  effects  from  the  change.  It  is  not  until  he  begins  to  feel  the  want  of  dry 
and  comfortable  lodging  and  clothing,  and  to  be  exposed  to  the  changes  of  weather 
without  sufficient  clothing  or  exercise,  that  he  suffers  from  diseases  of  the  lungs 
and  bowels.  It  is  not  a  fact  that  those  stations  which  became  famous  as  the  grave- 
yards of  the  army,  were  worse  supplied  with  provisions  or  abounded  with  worse 
water  than  any  others;  while  it  is  well  known  that  at  these  places,  the  soldier  was 
peculiarly  exposed  to  the  above-mentioned  noxious  agents.  It  could  not  be  owing 
to  the  state  of  the  provisions  or  water  that  these  complaints  were  so  destructive  in 
the  spring  and  fall,  rather  than  in  the  summer  and  winter;  but  it  must  be  attributed 
to  the  unwholesome  combination  of  cold  and  moisture  peculiar  to  the  frontier  at 
these  seasons;  and  it  must  be  from  this  exposure  that  even  now  in  time  of  peace, 
these  complaints  continue  at  some  posts  to  occupy  so  large  a  share  in  the  sick 

In  proof  of  what  is  here  advanced,  we  need  only  to  refer  to  the  mortality  at 
Sackett's  Harbor  during  nearly  the  whole  war,  and  to  the  state  of  the  army  in  that 
vicinity  during  the  fall  of  1818.  In  both  cases  it  must  have  been  the  climate — the 
weather — that  produced  the  mischief;  as  there  is  not  the  least  ground  for  supposing 
there  was  anything  peculiarly  bad  in  the  provisions  or  water  at  that  particular 
time,  and  at  that  particular  place. 

Besides  it  is  well  known  that  among  the  inhabitants  of  the  Northern  section  of 
the  States,  the  greater  proportion  are  under  the  necessity  of  guarding  themselves 
by  great  attention  to  clothing  from  the  bad  effects  of  the  climate,  in  order  to  pre- 
vent or  remove  the  very  diseases  in  question ;  and  every  practicing  physician 
depends  almost  entirely  upon  this  circumstance  for  curing,  and  altogether  for  pre- 
venting complaints  of  this  nature 

In  confirmation  of  what  has  been  advanced  it  may  also  be  added,  that  the  only 
medicines  which  have  any  joerminen^  effect  upon  these  complaints  are  those  which 
act  upon  the  pores  of^the  skin;  and  thus  in  some  measure  counteract  the  effects  of 
cold  and  moisture;  and  these  require  every  assistance  from  warm  bathing,  warm 
clothing,  lodging,  etc.;  simply  cleansing  the  stomach  and  bowels  does  very  little 
towards  removing  the  complaints  when  fully  formed.  A  coarse  diet  indeed  is 
injurious,  but  it  is  in  consequence  of  debility  induced  by  the  disease  itself.  It 
aggravates  but  does  not  produce  it;  and  of  course  change  of  diet  will  not  cure  it. 


And  even  in  the  state  of  convalescence,  it  is  very  common  after  a  cold  and  rainy 
night  when  the  sick  are  in  tents,  to  find  several  who  appeared  fast  recovering  dead 
within  twenty-four  hours;  and  some  even  before  the  morning  visit  of  the  surgeon. 
And  this  was  in  a  greater  or  less  degree  so  constantly  the  consequence  on  the  whole 
of  this  frontier,  that  after  a  stormy  night,  the  attending  surgeon  could  calculate 
very  certainly  upon  finding  some  dead,  and  many  very  much  reduced. 

If  then  we  are  to  attribute  not  only  the  great  waste  of  life  during  the  war,  but 
the  majority  of  the  complaints  at  present  to  the  want  of  adequate  means  of  guarding 
against  the  effects  of  climate,  it  ought  most  certainly  to  be  represented  to  those 
whose  province  it  is,  to  make  such. alterations  and  additions  to  the  allowance  of 
clothing  as  will  be  consistent  with  true  economy,  by  being  best  calculated  to 
remedy  t^e  evil.  To  this  end  no  soldier  in  this  Division,  at  least  none  north  of 
Philadelphia,  should  be  allowed  to  wear  any  other  than  a  woolen  shirt.  This  point 
has  been  often  insisted  on  by  the  surgeons  of  the  army;  and  in  confirmation  of  it, 
we  need  only  refer  to  the  number  of  those  enjoying  every  comfort,  who  find  it  necessary 
in  order  to  avoid  complaints  of  the  lungs  and  bowels,  not  only  to  wear  flannel  next  the 
skin,  but  to  follow  the  advice  of  Doctor  Franklin  in  not  taking  it  off  until  mid- 
summer and  putting  it  on  again  the  next  day.  A  second  article  equally  necessary  to 
the  end  proposed  is  an  outer  coat.  Indeed  there  are  few  citizens  of  any  grade  in 
this  climate,  who  do  not  feel  the  necessity  of  this,  and  who  do  not  at  any  rate 
provide  for  it  or  a  substitute,  though  most  generalfy  comfortably  housed  at  those 
times  when  the  soldier  is  most  exposed.  And  lastly  the  most  important  circumstance 
perhaps  of  all  is  to  enable  the  soldier  to  keep  his  feet  warm  and  dry  by  a  liberal 
allowance  of  woolen  socks  and  laced  shoes,  reaching  at  least  to  the  ankle.  Almost 
every  one  has  at  times  felt  the  uncomfortable  consequences  of  wet  and  cold  long 
applied  to  the  feet,  and  many  know  but  too  well  their  deleterious  effects  upon  the 
constitution  through  the  lungs  and  bowels ;  so  that  it  is  scarcely  necessary  to  insist 
upon  this  point.  In  fact  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  due  attention  to  these  things, 
and  to  such  circumstances  of  the  soldiers  quarters  as  may  tend  to  the  same  end. 
would  materially  lessen  the  number  of  sick  at  present,  and  be  of  most  essential 
benefit  in  the  event  of  war.  It  is  well  known  how  much  attention  was  bestowed 
upon  this  subject  by  the  British  upon  this  frontier  ;  so  that  their  soldiers  were  even 
supplied  with  fur  caps  and  socks  and  gloves  in  addition  to  the  articles  above  recom- 
mended; and  the  consequence  was  that  the  complaints  which  destroyed  the  greater 
part  of  our  army  were  scarcely  known  among  them,  though  they  were  often  near 
neighbors  for  months. 

The  cases  of  rheumatism  are  few,  for  the  troops  are  mostly  young  and  healthy 
men ;  and  this  is  a  mode  of  inflammation  which  generally  attacks  those  of  debili- 
tated constitutions,  or  who  are  somewhat  advanced  in  life.  It  renders  many  unfit 
for  service,  who  but  for  this  would  be  efficient  men,  and  was  at  times  very  trouble- 
some during  the  war.  Very  few  if  any  diseases  require  greater  attention  to 
comfortable  clothing  and  lodging  than  this;  they  are  the  ground  requisites  for 
preventing  the  complaint  in  those  predisposed  to  it,  and  absolutely  necessary  to 
removing  it  when  induced.  The  cases  of  intermittent  fever  hitve  not  been  numerous 
except  in  the  5th  Department  and  particularly  at  Detroit.  This  complaint  always 
prevails  more  or  less  among  the  troops ;  and  though  it  depend  altogether  upon  local 
causes  for  its  origin,  much  may  be  done  to  lessen  the  susceptibility  of  the  system  to 
it;  and  therefore  wherever  it  occurs  it  becomes  fully  as  important  a  part  of  the 
surgeon's  duty  to  explain  and  recoDUDend  the  means  of  preventing  it,  as  to  admin- 

PROM  1815  TO  1821.  105 

ister  the  remedies  calculated  to  cure  it.  The  whole  number  of  cases  reported  is 
164;  of  these  141  were  in  the  5th  Department,  and  120  at  Detroit.  How  far  this 
prevalence  of  the  complaint  is  to  be  attributed  to  the  effect  of  climate,  and  how 
far  to  accidental  or  predisposing  causes;  or  whether  the  last  year  has  been  in  this 
respect  peculiarly  unhealthy,  can  of  course  be  known  only  by  the  inquiries,  obser- 
vations and  reports  of  the  surgeons  stationed  there.  But  it  is  much  to  be  regretted 
that  one  of  the  most  important  duties  of  an  army  surgeon,  that  of  investigating  the 
causes  of  disease  at  the  diflFcrent  posts  in  order  to  remove  them  when  possible,  or 
obviate  their  noxious  eifects  when  practicable,  should  not  be  required  by  our  regu- 
lations; and  of  course  not  attended  to  by  the  surgeons.  Nor  has  the  order  requiring 
every  surgeon  to  keep  a  record  of  the  cases  under  his  care  been  attended  to  as  its 
importance  demands.  A  strict  attention  to  these  points  would  not  only  be  of  the 
greatest  benefit  in  preventing  disease,  but  necessarily  render  the  surgeon  better 
acquainted  with  the  nature  of  the  complaints  that  occur,  and  at  the  same  time 
ensure  a  degree  of  industry  and  attention  to  duty  which  is  suspected  to  be  much 

As  connected  with  this  subject  may  be  also  mentioned  the  want  of  a  proper 
system  of  Medical  Police,  and  of  due  attention  to  existing  regulations  in  relation  to 
it.  This  is  one  of  the  most  important  duties  of  the  Medical  Staff,  is  most  carefully 
attended  to  in  other  services ;  and  can  only  be  introduced  into  ours  by  long  prac- 
tice. Like  many  minute  duties  of  officers  of  the  line,  particularly  those  connected 
with  police  and  the  interior  economy  of  a  camp,  they  are  only  to  be  gradually 
acquired;  and  so  incorporated  into  the  regular  routine  of  duty  as  to  be  considered 
as  indispensable  as  the  mere  prescription  of  medicine.  An  officer  of  the  line  may 
soon  learn  the  duties  of  the  field,  and  a  surgeon  be  amply  qualified  for  his  profession, 
and  both  of  them  he  worse  than  useless  to  an  army.  It  is  from  a  knowledge  of 
minutiae  which  depend  neither  upon  General  Regulations,  nor  specific  orders,  that 
the  experienced  officer  and  surgeon  becomes  so  much  superior  to  the  undisciplined 
recruit.  It  is  almost  entirely  in  order  to  acquire  this  kind  of  knowledge,  that  a 
military  establishment  is  kept  up  in  time  of  peace,  and  it  is  an  undoubted  fact  that 
in  no  department  of  the  army  is  it  so  slowly  acquired  and  therefore  so  deficient  as 
the  medical.  How  severely  this  was  felt  during  a  great  part  of  the  last  war  is  too 
well  and  too  publickly  known  to  need  comment. 

It  is  therefore  suggested  whetlier  such  alterations  be  not  required  in  the  regu- 
lations, as  are  calculated  to  produce  a  system  of  medical  police,  which  will  not  only 
ensure  attention  to  every  point  of  duty  at  present,  but  also  in  case  of  war  enable  the 
newly  appointed  surgeon  to  learn  what  he  ought  to  do,  without  the  necessity  of 
trusting  to  his  own  ingenuity  and  suggestions :  and  after  all  his  industry  finding 
himself  disbanded  just  as  he  begins  to  understand  the  most  important  duties  of  his 
station.  Not  to  mention  the  many  serious  disadvantages  of  being  obliged  to  allow 
each  to  adopt  his  own  imperfect  system;  or  the  waste  of  time  and  men  and  money 
while  he  is  making  his  experiments.  For  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  where  one 
man  has  died  from  improper  medical  treatment,  ten  have  been  destroyed  from  want 
of  a  knowledge  of  the  many  duties  peculiar  to  an  army  surgeon. 

To  effect  this  purpose  it  should  be  made  the  duty  of  every  surgeon  and  mate 
having  the  charge  of  a  hospital,  together  with  his  quarterly  report  to  the  head-quar- 
ters of  the  division,  to  transmit  an  account  of  the  local  situation  of  his  station,  of 
the  climate,  the  diseases  most  prevalent  in  the  vicinity,  and  their  probable  causes, 
the  state  of  the  weather  during  the  time  reported  with  respect  to  temperature; 


winds,  rain,  etc.;  to  state  at  large  the  general  symptoms  of  the  complaints  among 
the  troops,  as  well  as  every  peculiarity  of  disease:  to  investigate  and  as  far  as  possi- 
ble report  their  causes;  the  means  employed  to  obviate  them,  with  the  success:  as 
well  as  the  practice  adopted  and  the  result. 

To  this  end  he  should  not  only  keep  a  prescription  book  containing  a  daily  account 
of  the  symptoms  and  circumstances  of  each  patient  in  every  important  case:  the 
medicines  prescribed  and  the  result  of  his  practice;  but  also  one  in  which  should 
be  stated  everything  directed  to  the  diet  and  regimen;  as  the  quality  and 
quantity  of  food  allowed,  the  mode  in  which  it  is  prepared,  etc.  By  the  former 
the  mate  or  apothecary  should  prepare  the  medicines;  and  it  would  also  be  a  cor- 
rect voucher  for  their  proper  expenditure;  and  by  the  latter  the  stewards  deliver 
the  allowance  of  hospital  stores,  etc. ;  and  this  would  be  a  voucher  for  what  he  had 
expended.  The  surgeon  should  also  keep  a  diary  of  the  weather;  noting  in  it 
whatever  may  be  supposed  to  produce  or  vary  the  forms  of  disease.  By  a  reference 
to  these,  the  surgeon  in  his  quarterly  reports,  instead  of  a  mere  list  of  names 
usually  made  out  by  the  steward,  would  be  enabled  to  give  such  an  account  of  the 
diseases  that  had  occurred,  their  causes  and  his  treatment,  as  would  be  the  best 
possible  criterion  not  only  of  his  medical  abilities,  but  also  of  his  industry  and 
attention  to  duty.  And  besides  this,  an  abstract  of  these  reports  would  soon 
enable  the  surgeon  at  head-quarters  to  furnish  what  is  much  wanted  at  present,  and 
what  can  only  be  effectually  supplied  in  this  way,  viz:  a  system  of  medical  police 
and  army  practice  suited  to  the  diseases  incident  to  the  troops  at  the  several  posts 
in  the  division;  and  at  the  same  time  of  suggesting  such  means  of  preventing  these 
complaints  as  the  experience  of  the  different  surgeons  may  have  found  most  ben- 
eficial, under  different  circumstances  of  time  and  place.  It  is  in  this  way  that  the 
most  useful  practical  works  have  been  produced. 

In  order  to  insure  attention  to  these  things  and  also  to  the  manner  in  which  the 
inferior  but  not  less  important  offices  of  the  hospital  are  performed,  it  is  also  pro- 
posed that  the  surgeon  attached  to  the  head-quarters  of  the  division  be  made  "In- 
spector of  Hospitals."  It  has  long  been  observed  that  none  but  one  of  the  medical 
staff  can  be  competent  to  this  duty.  The  Inspector  General  and  commanding  officer 
can  only  determine  whether  the  hospital  and  its  furniture  appear  neat  and  clean, 
and  the  surgeon  make  his  regular  visits.  But  in  every  thing  relating  to  the  duties 
peculiar  to  his  station,  the  surgeon  is  at  present  left  entirely  to  his  own  sense  of 
propriety.  He  is  the  only  officer  who  is  not  in  some  way  or  other  responsible  for 
the  mode  in  which  his  various  duties  are  performed,  and  strictly  accountable  for 
the  public  property  entrusted  to  his  care.  To  this  cause  is  no  doubt  to  be  attributed 
the  many  complaints  continually,  and  too  often  justly,  made  against  the  medical 
department,  particularly  in  active  service,  both  on  account  of  neglect  of  duty  and 
waste  of  property. 

In  addition  therefore  to  the  duties  assigned  a  Medical  Director,  the  surgeon 
attached  to  the  head-quarters  of  a  division  should  be  authorized  to  call  for  and 
receive  from  the  respective  surgeons  and  mates  such  returns  and  reports  relative  to 
the  situation,  climate,  weather,  etc.,  at  the  different  posts,  as  may  be  calculated  to 
ascertain  the  causes  of  disease,  and  the  best  practical  means  of  preventing  it.  And 
also  such  an  account  of  the  symptoms  in  every  important  case,  the  remedies  pre- 
scribed, and  regimen  observed  as  may  be  requisite  to  elucidate  the  nature  of  the 
prevailing  complaints,  and  the  most  efficient  mode  of  treating  them. 

He  should  consolidate  the  quarterly  reports ;  and  make  such  remarks  and  sug- 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  107 

gest  such  improvements  both  in  practice  and  police,  as  mny  appear  to  be  required 
for  the  benefit  and  comfort  of  the  sick.  He  should  from  time  to  time  inspect  the 
ho.xpital;  examine  the  hooks  and  accounts  of  the  steward  and  xoardma^ter ;  enquire  into 
the  manner  in  which  every  duty  is  performed;  and  see  that  all  the  regulations, 
both  professional  and  those  relating  to  police  are  properly  attended  to:  by  a  strict 
e.xamination  of  the  prescription  book,  judge  of  the  medical  abilities  of  the  attending 
surgeon,  and  ascertain  that  there  has  been  a  proper  expenditure  of  medicine;  from 
the  diet  book  which  should  contain  the  quantity  and  quality  of  the  food  and  liquor 
daily  allowed  to  each  patient,  see  that  there  has  been  a  proper  application  of  the  hos- 
pital stores;  and  make  such  communications  to  the  Apothecary  General  on  the 
subject  as  may  appear  necessary  and  proper.  And  finally  from  his  own  observations, 
and  from  the  reports  and  accompanying  remarks  of  the  surgeons,  to  form  a  manual 
of  medical  police  and  practice  suited  to  the  circumstances  of  the  soldier;  and  to 
make  such  reports  to  the  commanding  general  of  the  medical  abilities,  industry, 
fidelity,  etc.,  of  the  respective  surgeons,  as  his  information  from  all  these  sources 
might  warrant. 

Were  some  plan  of  this  nature  adopted,  and  the  above-mentioned  duties  faith- 
fully attended  to,  it  is  believed  the  good  effects  would  soon  be  apparent;  and  that 
they  would  be  as  permanent  as  the^'  were  obvious. 


Hospital  Surgeon,  U.  S.  Army."^ 

The  winter  and  spring  of  1818  were  passed  by  Congress  in  perfecting 
a  bill  for  regulating  the  General  Staff  of  the  army.  The  Quartermaster's  and 
(.'ommissary  Departments  were  completely  reorganized,  and  many  changes 
suggested  in  the  Medical  Corps.  After  much  debate  and  several' recommit- 
tals to  the  Military  Committee,  the  bill  was  at  length  passed  on  the  fourteenth 
of  May,  1818.     The  following  sections  related  to  the  Hospital  Department: 

'■'■  Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  so  much  of  the  act  'Fixing  the  military  peace  estab- 
lishment of  the  United  States,'  passed  the  3rd  of  March,  1815,  as  relates  to  hospital 
stewards  and  wardmasters,  and  of  the  'Act  for  organizing  the  General  Staff,  and 
making  further  provision  for  the  Army  of  the  United  States,'  passed  April  24, 1816, 
as  relates  to  hospital  surgeons  and  hospital  surgeon's  mates,      *  *  *  * 

be,  and  the  same  is  hereby  repealed. 

Section  II.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  there  shall  be  one  Surgeon  Gen- 
eral, with  a  salary  of  two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars  per  annum,  one  assistant 
surgeon  general  with  the  emoluments  of  a  hospital  surgeon      *  *       .    *  * 

and  that  the  number  of  post  surgeons  be  increased  not  to  exceed  eight  to  each  division." 

The  Corps  establishment  after  the  passage  of  this  act  consisted  of  one 
surgeon  general,  two  assistant  surgeons  general  (for  although  the  bill  only 
provided  for  one,  there  appear  two.  one  for  each  division  of  the  army,  on 
the  Register  for  1818,)  one  apothecary  general,  two  assistant  apothecaries, 
forty  post  surgeons,  and  one  regimental  surgeon  and  two  mates  to  each 
regiment.  Hospital  surgeons  under  the  old  organization  were  transferred  to 
the  list  of  post  surgeons.      In  default  of  any  positive  information  as  to  the 


reasons  for  this  action,  it  seems  to  have  been  very  unjust  towards  the  hospi- 
tal surgeons,  for  during  the  war  they  had  ranked  all  other  medical  officers, 
and  DOW  by  the  provisions  of  the  second  section  of  the  act  of  April  24, 
1816,  they  only  ranked  with  regimental  surgeon's  mates,  and  thus  some 
(Doctor  James  Mann  for  instance)  who  had  conducted  large  hospitals  during 
the  war,  were  subordinated  to  regimental  surgeons  who  were  appointed  after 
they  were  hospital  surgeons.  This  anomalous  procedure  was  more  strongly 
marked  in  the  subsequent  reorganization  in  1821,  when  all  the  regimental 
surgeons  were  transferred  to  the  General  Staff  as  surgeons,  and  the  post 
surgeons  as  assistant  surgeons,  thus  making  them  permanently  subordinate 
in  their  own  Corps  to  those  whom  they  had  formerly  ranked.  The  exis- 
tence of  the  Medical  Staff  as  a  distinct  organization  is  usually  estimated  to 
date  from  this  time,  owing  to  the  fact  that  a  permanent  head  of  the  Depart- 
ment was  now  for  the  first  time  appointed;  those  who  had  previously 
exercised  such  executive  functions,  being  designated  only  to  meet  temporary 
exigencies.  Nevertheless,  although  this  was  a  great  step  in  the  direction  of 
an  efficient  administration  of  the  Department,  the  construction  of  the  Corps 
was  greatly  different  from  that  it  assumed  under  subsequent  legislation  and 
which  it  has  retained  essentially  to  the  present  day.  The  unnecessary  dis- 
tinction between  post  and  regimental  medical  officers  was  still  retained,  and 
no  provision  was  made  granting  them  either  assimilated  or  actual  rank  that 
would  definitely  have  fixed  their  status  in  relation  to  officers  of  the  line. 

For  the  position  of  Surgeon  General,  Hospital  Surgeon  Joseph  Lovell 
was  selected,  to  date  from  April  18th,  and  Hospital  Surgeons  Tobias  Watkins 
and  James  C.  Bronaugh  were  appointed  Assistant  Surgeons  General,  the 
former  for  the  northern  and  the  latter  for  the  southern  division  of  the  army. 
Apothecary  General  Francis  Le  Barron,  and  Assistant  Apothecaries  James 
Cutbush  and  Christopher  Backus,  who  had  been  provisionally  retained  by 
War  Department  General  Orders  of  May  15,  1815,  were  recognized  as 
permanently  in  service  in  accordance  with  the  act  of  April  24,  1816. 

Joseph  Lovell  was  born  in  Boston,  Massachusetts,  on  the  twenty-second 
of  December,  1788.  His  grandfather  was  a  leading  member  of  the  "  Sons 
of  Liberty,"  and  when  the  British  evacuated  Boston  in  1776,  he  was  taken 
to  Halifax  as  a  hostage.  He  afterwards  served  the  country  in  the  Conti- 
nental Congress,  and  was  chairman  of  the  Committee  on  Foreign  Affairs.  His 
son  James  S.  Lovell  married  Deborah  Gorham,  a  noted  Boston  belle.  Joseph, 
their  eldest  son,  was  educated  in  Boston,  and  graduated  at  Harvard  University 
in  1807.  He  studied  medicine  with  Doctor  Ingalls,  of  Boston,  and  soon  after 
being  licensed  to  practice  entered  the  service  (as  has  been  mentioned)  as 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  109 

surgeon  of  the  ninth  infantry.  Although  not  yet  thirty  years  old,  the 
ability  he  had  shown  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital  at  Burlington,  and 
when  serving  with  Generals  Scott  and  Brown  on  the  northern  frontier,  and 
his  appreciation  of  the  wants  of  the  army,  evinced  by  his  able  reports  on 
various  subjects  connected  therewith,  designated  him  as  the  fittest  person  to 
assume  the  organization  of  the  new  department,  and  his  appointment  gave 
great  satisfaction  both  to  the  army  at  large  and  the  Medical  Staff.  Imme- 
diately after  the  appointment  of  Surgeon  General  Lovell,  the  following  order 
was  issued  by  the  War  Department : 


April  21,   1818. 
General  Orders. 

All  reports,  returns  and  communications  connected  with  the  Medical  Depart- 
ment will  hereafter  be  made  to  the  Surgeon  General's  OfBce  at  Washington. 

All  orders  and  instructions  relative  to  the  duties  of  the  several  officers  of  the 
Medical  Staff,  will  be  issued  through  the  Surgeon  General,  who  will  be  obeyed  and 
respected  accordingly. 

The  Assistant  Surgeons  General  will  forthwith  commence  the  inspections  of  the 
Medical  Department  in  their  respective  divisions,  agreeably  to  the  instructions  they 
may  receive  from  the  Sui-geon  General. 

By  order: 

^  D.  PARKER, 

Adjutant  and  Inspector  General.'''' 

The  first  point  which  attracted  the  attention  of  Doctor  Lovell  on  report- 
ing for  duty  was  the  necessity  for  a  revision  of  the  Medical  Regulations. 
Those  of  April  24,  1816,  which  were  a  copy  of  those  which  we  have  just 
given,  issued  in  1814,  were  not  only  very  defective  in  many  respects,  but 
were  not  adapted  to  the  new  organization  of  the  Corps,  and  to  the  provisions 
of  the  general  order  just  quoted.  Moreover,  the  nomenclature  of  diseases 
on  the  quarterly  reports  was  so  vague  as  to  afford  no  reliable  data  upon 
which  to  base  opinions  as  to  the  health  of  the  army,  or  to  afford  deductions 
for  future  reference.  The  duties  of  medical  oflBcers  iu'  their  relations  with 
the  new  bureau  and  especially  with  reference  to  their  requisitions  on  the 
Apothecary  General  for  supplies,  required  to  be  clearly  expressed;  the 
appointment  of  the  Assistant  Surgeons  General  as  the  inspecting  officers  of 
the  Corps  demanded  attention  to  the  subject  of  medical  inspection,  which 
had  hitherto  been  to  a  great  measure  left  optional  with  the  directors  of 
departments  and  divisions;  and  the  abolition  of  the  ofl5ce  of  commissary 
general  of  purchases,  and  consequent  transfer  of  that  portion  of  his  duties 
which  pertained  to  the  Medical  Department,  to  the  Apothecary  General  and 


his  assistants,  called  for  additional  regulations  for  the  purveying  department. 
Doctor  Lovell  also,  now  that  his  position  gave  him  the  power  to  do  so, 
determined  to  carry  out  the  views  in  reference  to  the  duties  of  medical  offi- 
cers which  he  had  expressed  in  his  letter  to  General  Jacob  Brown,  while 
Medical  Director  of  the  Northern  Division.  These  regulations  which  are 
given  in  full  herewith,  were  issued  in  general  orders  from  the  War  Depart- 
ment in  September,  1818,  and  distributed  to  the  army  in  the  following 
winter.  Their  good  effect  was  speedily  seen  in  the  improved  character  of 
the  reports  forwarded  by  medical  officers,  and  the  'testimony  received  as  to 
the  increased  efficiency  t»f  the  Department. 

SraoEON  Genkrai,.    > 

The  Surgeon  General  shall  be  the  director  aud  immediate  accounting  officer  of  the 
Medical  Department.  He  shall  issue  all  orders  and  instructions  relating  to  the  pro- 
fessional duties  of  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff;  and  call  for  and  receive  such 
reports  and  returns  from  them  as  may  be  requisite  for  the  performance  of  his  several 

He  shall  receive  from  the  Assistant  Surgeons  General  and  the  Medical  Directors 
of  armies,  districts,  and  departments  confidential  reports  relative  to  the  condition  of 
the  hospitals  and  infirmaries,  the  character  and  conduct  of  the  surgeons  and  mates, 
the  state  of  their  books  and  accounts,  the  medical  topography  of  the  several  posts  and 
stations,  the  nature  of  tlie  prevailing  complaints,  tlieir  probable  causes  and  the  treat- 
ment adopted. 

He  shall  receive  from  every  surgeon,  and  mate  performing  the  duties  of  surgeon, 
quarterly  reports  of  sick,  with  such  remarks  as  may  be  necessary  to  explain  the 
nature  of  the  diseases  of  the  troops,  the  practice  adopted  and  the  kinds  of  medicines 
and  stores  required ;  together  with  a  copy  of  the  entries  made  for  the  quarter  in  the 
book  kept  for  the  diary  of  the  weather,  accompanied  with  suitable  observations. 

He  shall  receive  from  every  surgeon  and  mate,  having  charge  of  public  property 
of  any  description  for  tlie  use  of  the  sick,  duplicate  semi-annual  returns  of  the  same 
in  the  form  and  manner  prescribed;  and  also  annual  requisitions  for  the  supplies' 
required  for  each  hospital,  regiment,  post  or  garrison  for  the  ensuing  year;  and  trans- 
mit them  witli  his  remarks  and  instructions  to  the  Apothecary  General;  accompanied 
with  a  statement,  to  l»e  obtained  from  the  office  of  the  Adjutant  and  Inspector  Gen- 
eral, of  the  probable  nun»ber  of  troops  to  be  stationed  at  the  several  posts,  &.C.,  for 
which  they  are  made. 

He  shall  examine  the  annual  estimate  of  supplies  furnished  by  the  Apothecary 
(Jeneral,  making  such  remarks  and  alterations  as  the  good  of  the  service  may  appear  to 
require;  and  receive  from  him  and  his  assistants  detailed  returns  of  all  supplies  put 
up  for  and  delivered  or  forwarded  to,  the  several  surgeons  and  mates. 

lie  shall  examine  the  returns  and  accounts  of  the  several  surgeons  and  mates; 
see  that  proper  vouchers  are  sent  for  articles  issued,  and  that  the  quantities  expended 
with  the  sick  are  agreeable  to  the  numbers  on  the  sick  reports,  and  the  nature  of  their 
complaints ;  if  so,  be  shall  certify   it,   and   at   the   end   of  each  year,  and  oftener  if 


FROM  1815  TO  1821.  ■  111 

necessary,  send  the  returns  and  accounts  thus  certified  to  the  office  of  the  Second 
Auditor  for  final  settlement.  Tf  he  does  not  receive  proper  vouchers  for  issues,  and 
satisfactory  evidence  that  articles  so  reported  have  been  lost  or  destroyed  by  unavoid- 
able accident,  he  shall  forthwith  obtain  tlie  necessary  documents  from  the  person 
making  the  return,  or  transmit  the  amount  to  the  office  of  the  Second  Auditor  to  be 
charged  to  his  account. 

If  upon  comparing  the  returns  with  the  reports  of  sick,  there  appears  to  luive 
been  any  improper  expenditures  of  medicines  or  stores  either  in  quantity  or  quality, 
he  will  require  an  explanation  thereof  from  the  person  making  the  return ;  and  if 
necessary  direct  the  Assistant  Surgeon  General,  or  the  Medical  Director  to  examine 
the  books  and  accounts  of  said  person,  and  to  .ascertain  how  and  why  such  expendi- 
tures have  been  made;  and  the  amount  of  any  articles  proven  to  have  been  improperly 
applied  will  be  charged  in  the  office  of  the  Second  Auditor  to  the  account  of  the  person 
who  has  thus  misapplied  them. 

He  shall  keep  a  register  of  all  the  medical  officers  in  service,  in  which  shall  be 
recorded  the  dates  of  their  appointments,  promotions  or  transfers,  the  posts  and  sta- 
tions at  which  they  have  been  on  duty  and  for  what  length  of  time  at  each  place,  the 
furloughs  they  may  receive,  by  whom  and  for  what  length  of  time  they  were  granted 
and  the  time  of  their  return  to  duty;  he  shall  also  enter  in  this  register  his  remarks 
on  the  several  reports  and  returns  made  to  him,  together  with  the  substance  of  the 
confidential  reports  of  the  Assistant  Surgeons  General  and  Medical  Directors,  as  well 
as  of  all  other  communications  he  may  receive  relating  to  the  character,  conduct  and 
professional  qualifications  of  the  surgeons  and  mates,  keeping  a  regular  file  of  the 
original  documents,  and  submitting  the  whole  from  time  to  time  to  the  examination 
of  the  Secretary  of  War. 

He  shall  from  time  to  time  make  to  the  Secretary  of  War  such  reports  and  returns 
as  may  be  necessary  to  explain  all  the  concerns  of  the  department  under  his  charge; 
with  such  remarks  relative  to  improvements  in  practice  and  police,  and  to  the 
clothing,  subsistence,  &c.,  of  the  army,  as  may  seem  to  be  required  for  the  preserva- 
tion of  health,  the  comfort  and  recovery  of  the  sick,  and  the  good  of  the  public 

Assistant  Surgeons  General. 

The  Assistant  Surgeon  General  shall  be  the  medical  inspector  for  the  division, 
district,  department  or  army  to  which  he  is  attached.  It  shall  be  his  duty  to  inspect 
the  hospitals  and  infirmaries  under  his  charge,  according  to  the  instructions  he  may 
receive  from  the  Surgeon  General ;  to  ascertain  the  manner  in  which  each  officer  per- 
forms his  duties ;  to  see  that  the  necessary  supplies  are  received  for  the  sick;  that 
they  are  of  a  good  quality,  and  that  they  are  properly  expended. 

He  shall  strictly  examine  the  case  books,  prescription  books  and  diet  books  of 
the  surgeons  and  mates,  and  from  them  ascertain  the  nature  of  the  diseases  that  have 
prevailed,  their  symptoms,  the  practice  adopted  and  the  result;  and  hence  judge  of 
the  professional  abilities  of  the  attending  surgeon,  and  ascertain  that  the  quantity 
and  quality  of  the  stores  and  medicines  used  are  confoi-mable  to  the  nature  and  dura- 
tion of  the  complaints. 

From  an  examination  of  the  book  containing  the  diary  of  the  weather,  medical 
topography  of  the  station  or  hospital,  account  of  the  climate,  complaints  prevalent  in 
the  vicinity,  &c.,  and  from  suitable  inquiries  concerning  the  clothing,  subsistence, 
quarters,  &c.,  of  the  soldiers,  he  will  discover  as  far  as  practicable  the  probable  causes 


of  disease,  and  recommend  the  best  means  of  preventing  them;  and  also  make  such 
suggestions  relative  to  the  situation,  construction  and  economy  of  the  hospitals  and 
infirmaries,  as  may  appear  necessary  for  the  benefit  and  comfort  of  the  sick  and  the 
good  of  the  service. 

He  shall  examine  the  books  and  accounts  of  the  steward ;  see  that  his  issues  of 
hospital  stores  and  furniture  agree  with  the  diet  books  and  written  orders  of  the  sur- 
geons and  mates,  and  that  he  has  kept  a  correct  account  of  the  number  of  rations 
drawn,  agreeably  to  the  register  and  muster  rolls  of  the  hospital;  of  the  parts  com- 
muted or  sold ;  and  of  his  disposal  of  the  proceeds. 

Ascertain  also  that  the  wardmaster  keeps  a  strict  account  of  the  bedding,  furniture, 
cooking  utensils,  &c.,  received  for  the  use  of  the  hospital;  of  the  articles  lost,  worn 
out  or  destroyed  by  order;  and  also  of  the  clothing,  arms  and  equipments  of  every 
patient  admitted,  and  that  they  are  disposed  of  agreeably  to  the  regulations  on  that 
subject ;  and  that  he  pays  due  attention  to  enforcing  the  police  prescribed,  and  to  the 
order  and  cleanliness  of  the  patients,  wards  and  kitchens. 

He  shall  make  to  the  Surgeon  General,  in  October,  annually,  and  at  such  other 
times  as  he  may  direct,  confidential  reports,  containing  all  the  information  he  may 
obtain  concerning  the  character,  conduct  and  attention  to  duty,  of  the  several  sur- 
geons and  mates ;  the  order  and  condition  of  their  hospitals  and  infirmaries,  and 
the  state  of  their  books  and  accounts;  with  such  remarks  relative  to  the  causes  of 
diseases,  the  best  means  of  preventing  them,  their  symptoms,  and  the  treatment  adopted, 
as  appertain  to  the  report  of  a  medical  inspecting  officer;  which  report  shall  be  sub- 
mitted to  the  commanding  officer  of  the  division,  district  or  anny  to  which  he  is 
attached,  for  his  examination,  remarks  and  signature. 

Apothecary  General  axd  his  Assistants. 

The  Apothecary  General  shall,  agreeably  to  the  returns  and  requisitions  of  the 
several  surgeons  and  mates  received  from  the  Surgeon  General's  Office,  and  to  a 
standard  supply  table,  make  an  annual  estimate  of  the  supplies  of  medicines,  instru- 
ments, hospital  stores,  &c.,  required  for  the  ensuing  year,  which  shall  be  submitted 
to  the  Surgeon  General  for  his  examination  and  approval. 

The  Apothecary  General  and  his  assistants  shall  purchase,  according  to  this 
estimate,  all  medicines,  hospital  stores,  surgical  and  other  instruments,  books  and 
dressings,  required  for  the  public  service  of  the  army.  The  articles  so  purchased  shall 
be  carefully  packed  under  their  directions,  and  by  them  delivered  either  to  the  sur- 
geons or  to  a  military  storekeeper,  or  to  a  quartermaster,  for  transportation  to  the 
places  of  their  destination  and  use;  and  all  parcels  so  packed  shall  be  legibly  marked 
with  the  n^me  of  the  place  to  which  they  are  to  be  sent,  or  of  the  regiment  or  corps 
for  which  they  are  intended,  and  accompanied  with  an  invoice  of  the  articles  con- 
tained in  them. 

They  shall  compound  and  prepare  such  medicines  as  may  be  thought  necessary 
for  the  good  of  the  service;  cause  suitable  medicine  chests  to  be  constructed,  according 
to  the  directions  of  the  Surgeon  General,  and  furnished  to  the  several  hospitals,  posts 
and  garrisons ;  and  supply  printed  forms  of  the  reports  and  returns  required  by  the 

They  shall  make  quarterly  returns  of  their  purchases  to  the  Second  Auditor  ac- 
companied with  invoices  of  the  articles  purchased,  for  which  they  shall  be  charged; 
and  nothing  will  exonerate   them   from   such   charge,   but  the  receipt  of  a  surgeon. 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  113 

military  storekeeper,  quartermaster,  or  other  person  authorized  to  receive  supplies  of 
this  nature,  or  a  certificate  on  honor  for  what  may  have  been  expended  in  the  apothe- 
cary's department,  stating  for  what  purpose.  If  articles  become  damaged  or  unfit  for 
use,  they  will  not  be  taken  off  the  books  of  the  Second  Auditor  to  their  credit  until 
sold  by  order  of  the  War  Department. 

They  shall  make  to  the  Surgeon  General  returns  in  detail,  of  the  medicines,  stores, 
&c.,  put  up  for,  and  delivered  or  forwarded  to,  the  several  surgeons  and  mates  stating 
the  numbers  and  marks  of  each  chest,  package,  &c.,  and  to  whom  they  were  delivered. 

The  Apothecary  General  will  make  in  October,  annually,  an  estimate  of  the 
expenses  of  the  Medical  Department  for  the  information  of  the  War  Department. 

The  Assistant  Apothecaries  General  will  purchase  and  issue  whatever  articles 
composing  the  yearly  supply  the  Apothecary  General  may  deem  necessary  to  have 
purchased  in  their  respective  districts,  making  returns  of  the  same  to  him. 


The  senior  surgeon  shall  be  ex-officio  medical  director  and  inspector  of  hospitals 
for  the  army  or  district  to  which  he  is  attached.  He  shall  enforce  the  rules  and  reg- 
ulations given  for  the  government  and  direction  of  the  surgeons  and  mates ;  examine 
and  if  he  approve,  countersign  all  requisitions  upon  the  Apothecary  General  or  his 
Assistants,  except  that  made  on  the  30th  of  September  for  the  ensuing  year;  and  as 
inspector  of  hospitals  he  shall  perform  all  the  duties  required  of  the  Assistant  Surgeon 

The  surgeon  attending  a  general  hospital  shall  observe  the  instructions  of  the 
Assistant  Surgeon  General  and  of  the  Medical  Director  in  every  thing  relating  to  the 
hospital  under  his  charge;  superintend  its  construction,  government  and  police,  and 
be  held  responsible  for  the  manner  in  which  the  subordinate  officers  perform  their 
respective  duties. 

He  shall  keep  a  register  of  all  patients  admitted  into  his  hospital,  in  the  form 
and  manner  prescribed. 

He  shall  receive,  and  carefully  preserve,  the  descriptive  list  of  each  individual, 
noting  on  it  any  payments  made,  or  clothing  issued  to  him  while  in  hospital.  Should 
any  surgeon  or  mate  send  patients  to  his  hospital  without  the  report  required  by  the 
regulations,  and  certified  copies  of  their  descriptive  lists,  or  should  they  be  sent  by 
any  officer  of  the  line  without  their  descriptive  lists,  it  shall  be  his  duty  forthwith  to 
demand  them,  and  if  they  be  not  sent  within  a  reasonable  time,  or  some  good  cause 
given  for  the  neglect,  he  shall  immediately  apply  to  the  commanding  officer  for  the 
arrest  of  such  delinquent  on  the  charge  of  disobedience  of  orders. 

He  shall  keep  a  case  book,  prescription  book  and  diet  book,  in  which  shall  be  daily 
recorded  the  symptoms  in  every  important  case,  together  with  the  medicines  and  diet 
prescribed ;  and  these  shall  serve  as  a  guide  to  the  assistant  surgeon  or  apothecary  in 
delivering  the  medicines,  to  the  steward  in  distributing  the  stores,  and  for  the  infor- 
mation of  the  medical  inspector.  He  shall  keep  a  diary  of  the  weather  in  the  form 
and  manner  prescribed,  noting  everything  of  importance  relating  to  the  medical 
topography  of  his  station,  the  climate,  complaints  prevalent  in  the  vicinity,  &c.,  and 
also  an  orderly  book,  in  which  shall  be  transcribed  all  orders  concerning,  or  any  ways 
relating  to  the  Medical  Department. 

He  shall  divide  his  hospital  into  as  many  wards  as  he  may  have  medical  attend- 
ants, and  every  morning,  at  as  early  an  hour  as  practicable,  visit  each  ward,  prescribe 


himself  in  all  important  cases,  and  consult  with  the  attending  surgeon ;  and  in  the 
evening  enquire  of  the  resident  surgeon  the  state  of  the  sick,  and  again  visit  such  iwi 
may  require  particular  attention. 

He  shall  as  far  as  practicable,  assign  appropriate  wards  to  the  patients  according 
to  the  nature  of  their  complaints;  be  careful  that  the  wards  are  well  ventilated,  and 
the  patients  not  too  much  crowded;  by  a  rigid  attention  to  police,  prevent,  if  possible, 
the  origin  of  contagion,  and  should  it  appear,  make  every  exertion  to  counteract  it 
by  enforcing  personal  cleanliness,  and  by  frequent  changes  of  linen,  bedding,  kc. 

He  shall  prescribe  such  rules  and  regulations  as  he  may  think  necessary  for  the 
direction  of  the  attendants,  and  the  order,  cleanliness,  and  convenience  of  his  patients ; 
and  cause  them  to  be  printed  or  written  in  a  legible  hand,  and  hung  up  in  some  con- 
spicuous place  in  each  ward. 

He  shall  from  the  descriptive  lists  in  his  possession,  make  regular  muster  rolls  of 
the  patients  in  his  hospital,  and  also  of  his  steward,  wardmaster,  cooks,  nurses  and 
matrons,  in  the  form  prescribed,  for  the  examination  and  certificate  of  the  Inspector 
General,  or  officer  acting  as  such,  as  in  other  cases  of  muster  and  inspection  for  pay- 

He  shall  see  that  his  steward  makes  out  correct  returns  for  rations,  agreeably  to 
the  number  of  patients  and  attendants  present;  direct  what  part  of  the  ration  shall 
be  sold  or  commuted,  and  sign  the  requisitions;  and  from  the  proceeds  of  the  parts 
thus  commuted  or  sold,  he  shall  cause  such  articles  to  be  purchased  as  he  may  judge 
necessary  and  proper  for  the  use  of  the  sick. 

He  shall  once  a  month  examine  the  books  and  accounts  of  his  steward  and  ward- 
master;  see  that  the  hospital  stores  have  been  properly  applied,  and  that  themoney 
received  for  parts  of  ration  commuted  or  sold,  has  been  expended  agreeably  to  his 
instructions;  that  the  arms,  clothing  and  equipments  of  the  patients  are  cleansed, 
numbered,  marked,  registered  and  deposited  in  the  wardmaster's  room,  and  that  a 
regular  account  is  kept  of  the  furniture,  bedding,  &c.,  in  use  in  the  hospital;  and  if 
any  attendant  or  patient  shall  be  convicted  of  wilfully  destroying  or  purloining  any 
article  of  public  property,  the  amount  of  its  value  shall  be  charged  to  him  by  the 
Burgeon  on  his  descriptive  list,  and  deducted  from  his  pay  at  the  next  payment;  and 
it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  surgeon  to  prosecute  any  citizen  who  may  buy  or  receive 
public  property  of  any  description  from  any  one  attached  to  the  army,  agreeably  to 
the  law  on  that  subject.  i 

Assistant  Spkgeons  to  General  Hospitai-s. 

The  assistant  surgeons  shall  obey  the  orders  and  instructions  of  the  senior  sur- 
geon; see  that  subordinate  officers  attend  strictly  to  their  duties,  and  aid  in  enforcing 
the  regulations  of  the  hospital. 

Each  assistant  shall  accompany  the  surgeon  in  his  morning  visit  to  the  ward  as- 
signed to  his  particular  charge,  make  the  proper  entries  in  the  case  book,  prescription 
book,  and  diet  book,  and  from  the  latter  fill  up  the  diet  table  for  the  day ;  in  the 
evening  he  shall  again  visit  his  ward,  and,  if  necessary  report  to  the  surgeon. 

He  shall  be  responsible  for  the  proper  distribution  and  administration  of  the 
medicines  prescribed,  for  the  manner  in  which  the  wardmaster  and  nurses  perform 
their  duties  in  his  own  division,  and  that  the  patients  conform  to  the  prescribed 

One  of  the  assistant  surgeons  shall  be  detailed  daily  to  reside  within  or  near  the 
hospital,  at  all  hours  of  the  day  or  night ;  he  shall  prescribe  in  urgent  cases,  examine 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  115 

such  patients  as  may  be  sent  to  the  hospital,  see  that  they  are  regularly  entered  in 
the  register,  that  their  descriptive  lists  are  tiled,  and  if  they  do  not  bring  them,  report 
it  fortliwith  to  the  surgeon,  thfit  the  wardniaster  takes  charge  of  their  clothing,  arms 
and  equipments,  that  they  are  washed,  furnished  with  clean  garments,  and  placed  in 
their  appropriate  wards,  and  report  to  the  surgeon  the  next  morning,  and  immediately 
in  important  cases.  He  shall  make  the  proper  entries  in  the  book  containing  the 
diary  of  the  weather,  and  as  police  officer  of  the  day  see  that  all  the  orders  and  regu- 
lations are  duly  attended  to. 

One  of  the  assistant  surgeons  shall  take  charge  of  the  books  of  the  hospital,  viz: 
the  register,  case  book,  prescription  book  and  diet  book,  that  containing  the  diary  of 
the  weather  and  the  orderly  book ;  and  shall  call  at  the  office  of  the  adjutant  general 
every  day  or  as  often  as  may  be  convenient,  and  transcribe  all  orders  relating  to  the 
Medical  Department.  He  shall  also  take  charge  of  the  descriptive  lists  of  the  patients, 
and  have  them  regularly  tiled  according  to  their  companies  and  regiments  or  corps. 

One  assistant  surgeon  shall  take  particular  charge  of  th6  dispensary,  instruments 
and  medicines ;  keep  an  account  of  expenditures,  agreeably  to  the  prescription  book ; 
make  out  tlie  regular  semi-annual  returns  of  medicines,  instruments,  stores,  &c.,  and 
present  them  to  tlie  surgeon  for  his  examination  and  signature. 

Hospital  Stewards. 

It  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  steward  to  receive  and  take  charge  of  all  hospital 
stores,  furniture  of  every  description,  and  supplies  purchased  for  the  use  of  the  sick; 
to  keep  a  roster  of  the  nurses  and  attendants,  and  from  this  and  the  register  to  make 
out  returns  for  rations  agreeably  to  the  number  in  hospital  and  present  them  to  the 
.surgeon  for  his  examination  and  signature;  to  receive  and  distribute  the  rations,  and 
to  commute  or  sell  such  parts,  and  employ  the  proceeds  in  such  manner  as  the  sur- 
geon may  direct.  He  shall  keep  an  account  of  the  number  of  rations  drawn,  the 
articles  commuted  or  sold,  and  the  amount  received  for  them;  take  proper  vouchers 
for  all  expenditures,  and  present  the  whole  to  the  surgeon  for  examination  at  the  end 
of  each  month. 

He  shall  issue  the  hospital  stores  and  other  supplies  to  the  cooks  and  nurses,  and 
enter  in  a  book  daily  the  amount  of  each  article  delivered ;  for  which  the  diet  book 
and  written  orders  of  the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  shall  be  his  vouchers.  He 
shall  deliver  to  the  wardniaster  such  articles  of  bedding,  furniture,  cooking  utensils, 
&c.,  as  shall  by  written  orders  be  directed  for  the  use  of  the  hospital ;  be  respon- 
sible for  the  order  and  neatness  of  the  storeroom ;  and  on  no  account  allow  any  of  the 
patients  or  attendants  to  enter  it  in  his  absence,  or  to  remain  there  longer  than  may  be 
necessary  to  obtain  their  supplies. 


The  wardmaster  shall  receive  from  the  steward  all  the  furniture,  bedding,  cook- 
ing utensils,  &c.,  required  for  the  use  of  the  hospital,  and  be  held  responsible  for 
them.  He  shall  keep  a  book  in  which  shall  be  recorded  the  articles  distributed  to  the 
several  wards  and  kitchens,  holding  the  nurses  and  cooks  responsible  for  whatever  he 
may  deliver  them.  He  shall  once  a  week  take  an  inventory  of  everything  in  use,  and 
report  to  the  surgeon  whatever  is  missing,  worn  out,  or  destroyed  by  order;  and  also 
the  name  of  any  patient  or  attendant  whom  he  may  suspect  of  wilfully  destroying  or 
purloining  any  species  of  public  property. 


On  the  admission  of  a  patient  he  shall  take  charge  of  his  clothing,  arms  and 
equipments;  see  that  they  are  made  perfectly  clean;  that  they  are  registered  in  a 
book,  which  he  shall  keep  for  the  purpose,  numbered,  labelled  with  the  name,  rank, 
company  and  regiments  or  corps  of  the  owner,  and  deposited  in  an  appropriate  apart- 
ment ;  and  in  case  of  his  death,  he  shall  deliver  the  surgeon  an  inventory  of  the 
above-named  articles,  together  with  any  money,  &c.,  left  by  him. 

The  cooks,  nurses  and  attendants,  shall  be  under  his  immediate  direction  and 
subject  to  his  orders.  He  is  responsible  for  the  cleanliness  of  the  patients  and  at- 
tendants of  the  kitchen,  wards,  furniture  and  cooking  utensils.  He  shall  call  the  roll 
of  the  wards  at  sunrise  and  sunset,  and  report  absentees;  see  that  every  patient  is 
washed  and  his  liair  combed  every  morning,  and  shaved,  when  his  case  will  permit,  at 
least  thrice  a  week;  that  the  wards  are  swept  and  sanded,  and  the  beds  made  before 
the  time  of  the  morning  visit  of  the  surgeon;  that  the  close-stools  and  spit-boxes  are 
made  perfectly  clean  every  morning,  and  the  pans  emptied  and  washed  immediately 
after  being  used,  and  partly  filled  with  powdered  charcoal  and  water;  that  the  beds 
and  bedding  are  frequently  aired  and  exposed  t'o  the  sun,  and  the  straw  changed 
once  a  month,  and  oftener  if  necessary ;  and  .when  a  patient  dies,  that  the  straw  is 
burned,  the  bunk,  bed-sack  and  bedding,  cleansed  and  returned  to  the  steward,  if  not 
wanted  in  the  hospital. 

Regimental  Surgeons. 

The  regimental  surgeon  shall  obey  the  instructions  of  the  Assistant  Surgeon 
General  and  the  Medical  Director;  be  responsible  for  the  order  and  neatness  of  his  hos- 
pital or  infirmary,  for  the  manner  in  which  his  mates  and  attendants  perform  their 
respective  duties,  and  for  the  comfort  and  convenience  of  those  sick  in  quarters. 

He  shall  observe  all  the  regulations  given  for  the  surgeon  attending  a  general 
hospital  in  relation  to  the  register,  case  book,  prescription  book,  diet  book,  orderly 
book,  and  that  containing  a  diary  of  the  weather,  the  medical  topography  of  his  post 
or  station,  &c. ;  and  also  all  those  respecting  the  ventilation  of  his  hospital,  preventing 
or  obviating  the  effects  of  contagion ;  prescribing  suitable  police  regulations ;  making 
out  muster  rolls  of  his  nurses  and  attendants ;  signing  requisitions  for  rations ;  direct- 
ing what  parts  shall  be  commuted  or  sold,  and  in  what  manner  the  proceeds  shall  be 
disposed  of;  examining  the  returns,  books  and  accounts  of  his  steward  and  wardmaster ; 
and  punishing  those  who  wilfully  destroy  or  purloin  public  property,  or  receive  any 
property  thus  purloined. 

He  shall  receive  written  morning  reports  of  sick  from  the  orderly  sergeant  of  each 
company,  who  shall  see  that  those  reported  present  themselves  at  the  place  appointed 
by  the  surgeon,  and  to  be  present  himself  at  their  examination;  he  shall  immediately 
report  all  cases  of  feigned  sickness  to  the  commanding  officers  of  companies,  prescribe 
for  those  who  are  able  to  remain  in  their  quarters,  and  send  those  who  require  it  to 
the  hospital;  he  shall  then  visit  his  hospital,  prescribe  himself  in  all  important  cases, 
and  in  the  evening  again  see  those  who  require  particular  attention. 

Unless  when  specially  directed  or  in  uncommon  cases  he  will  send  no  patients  to 
the  general  hospital,  except  his  own  be  crowded,  or  he  be  ordered  to  march;  when  he 
will  send  all  whom  he  may  judge  unable  to  accompany  the  regiment;  and  with  them 
a  report,  in  the  form  prescribed,  stating  their  names,  rank,  &c.,  together  with  a  gen- 
eral account  of  the  symptoms  and  duration  of  their  complaints,  and  the  treatment 
adopted ;  and  he  shall  on  no  account  neglect  to  obtain  from  the  commanding  officers  of 
companies  certified  copies  of  their  descriptive  lists,  and  to  transmit  them,  together 
with  their  clothing,  arms  and  equipments,  to  the  surgeon  having  charge  of  the  hospital. 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  117 

He  shall  designate  to  the  commanding  officer  those  who  should  be  allowed  to  ride, 
or  have  their  knapsacks,  &c.,  carried  in  the  wagons;  accompany  the  regiment ;  be 
within  call  in  case  of  accident,  and  at  all  times  have  his  instruments  and  dressings 
ready  and  at  hand  to  attend  to  the  wounded. 

He  shall  accompany  the  officer  appointed  to  select  ground  for  an  encampment, 
and,  as  far  as  consistent  with  other  arrangements,  recommend  such  places,  and  that 
the  tents  be  pitched  in  such  manner,  as  may  be  best  calculated  to  protect  the  soldier 
from  the  inclemencies  of  the  weather;  and,  when  necessary,  advise  that  the  floors  be 
raised,  or  other  means  taken  to  prevent  the  bad  consequences  of  low  and  uneven 

When  his  regiment  is  in  quarters  or  permanent  encampments,  he  shall  immedi- 
atelj'  point  out,  and  the  quartermaster  shall  furnish,  a  suitable  place  for  the  reception 
of  the  sick,  and  whenever  it  is  practicable  he  shall  procure  for  this  purpose  some 
building  in  the  vicinity,  only  putting  his  patients  in  tents  when  absolutely  necessary. 
He  shall  frequently  visit  the  tents,  see  whether  they  are  kept  as  dry  as  the  nature  of 
of  the  ground  will  permit,  and  whether  they  are  clean,  and  occasionally  aired  and 
struck.  When  in  quarters  he  shall  from  time  to  time  inspect  the  rooms  and  kitchens, 
and  so  far  direct  the  manner  of  preparing  the  food  as  he  may  think  necessary  for  the 
health  of  the  soldiers  ;  examine  the  quality  of  the  various  parts  of  the  ration,  and 
immediately  report  to  the  commanding  officer  any  defects  he  may  discover;  see  that  the 
vaults  are  dug  at  a  proper  distance  from  the  camp,  and  frequently  covered  with  fresh 
earth ;  and  either  by  reports,  or  in  his  remarks  in  his  morning  reports,  make 
such  observations  and  suggest  such  improvements  upon  all  these  points  as  he  may 
think  necessary  to  preserve  the  health  of  the  troops,  and  for  the  comfort,  convenience 
and  recovery  of  the  sick ;  and  the  commanding  officer  of  his  regiment  shall  issue  such 
orders  as  he  may  think  necessary  and  proper  to  remedy  the  evils  and  supply  the 
defects  thus  reported  to  him. 

He  shall  report  to  the  commanding  officers  of  companies  such  men  as  are  unfit 
for  service;  furnish  a  certificate  of  the  cause,  the  time  when,  and  place  where,  it 
arose,  the  degree  of  disability,  &c.,  and  accompany  the  inspecting  officer  on  muster 
and  inspection  days,  and  see  they  are  mustered  accordingly. 

Regimental  Mates. 

When  the  number  of  patients  permits,  and  both  mates  are  present,  the  hospital 
shall  be  divided  into  equal  wards,  which  shall  be  under  the  immediate  direction  of  the 
respective  mates.  They  shall  accompany  the  surgeon  in  his  morning  visit ;  make  the 
proper  entries  in  the  case  book,  prescription  book  and  diet  book;  frequently  visit  the 
hospital  during  the  day,  and  report  to  the  surgeon  in  the  evening,  and  oftener  in 
urgent  cases;  attend  to  the  preparation  and  distribution  of  the  medicines;  assist  in 
making  out  the  proper  reports  and  returns;  see  that  the  nurses  are  attentive  to  the 
sick,  and  regularly  administer  the  medicines  prescribed;  and  that  the  regulations  of 
the   hospital  are  strictly  attended  to. 

If  both  mates  be  present,  the  senior  shall  take  charge  of  the  register,  and  see 
that  each  patient  be  regularly  entered  therein;  that  the  diary  of  the  weather  be  prop- 
erly kept;  and  that  the  stewai-d  and  wardmaster  attend  to  all  the  duties  required  by 
the  regulations.  The  junior  shall  have  particular  charge  of  the  medicines  and  instru- 
ments, and  be  responsible  to  the  surgeon  for  their  good  condition ;  and  see  that  all 
orders  relating  to  the  Medical  Department  are  transcribed  in  the  orderly  book. 

In  the  absence  of  the  surgeon  the  senior  mate  present  shall  perform  his  duties. 


Post  Surgeoxs. 

The  post  surgeon  shall  obey  the  instructions  of  the  Assistant  Surgeon  General 
and  Medical  Director;  be  responsible  for  the  order  and  cleanliness  of  his  hospital,  the 
the  manner  in  which  his  attendants  perform  their  duties,  and  for  the  comfort  and 
convenience  of  the  sick. 

He  shall  observe  all  the  regulations  given  for  a  surgeon  attending  a  general  hos- 
pital, in  respect  to  the  books  and  accounts  to  be  kept;  the  ventilation  of  his  hospital; 
preventing  and  obviating  the  effects  of  contagion;  prescribing  suitable  police  regu- 
lations ;  making  out  muster  rolls  of  his  nurses  and  attendants,  signing  requisitions  for 
rations,  and  directing  what  parts  shall  be  commuted  or  sold,  and  in  what  manner  the 
proceeds  shall  be  disposed  of;  examining  the  books  and  accounts  of  the  steward  and 
wardmjister;  and  punishing  those  who  destroy  or  purloin  public  property,  or  who 
receive  any  property  thus  purloined. 

He  shall  also  observe  all  the  regulations  given  for  the  regimental  surgeon  in 
respect  to  receiving  morning  reports;  reporting  cases  of  feigned  sickness;  visiting  his 
hospital  and  prescribing  for  his  patients;  selecting  a  suitable  place  for  their  reception; 
inspecting  the  tents,  or  quarters  and  kitchens,  and  directing  the  manner  of  preparing 
the  food;  examining  the  quality  of  the  rations;  making  special  reports  to  the  com- 
manding officer,  or  suitable  remarks  on  his  morning  reports  upon  whatever  may 
conduce  to  the  health  of  the  troops  or  the  recovery  of  the  sick ;  reporting  those  unfit 
for  service,  attending  the  inspecting  officer,  and  seeing  them  mustered  accordingly. 

Stewards  and  Waudmasters  of  Regiments,  Posts  or  Garrisons. 

Kvery  regimental  surgeon  may,  with  the  consent  of  the  commanding  officer,  select 
an  active,  intelligent,  non-commissioned  officer,  and  every  post  surgeon,  a  private,  who 
shall  be  permanently  attached  to  the  hospital,  and  act  as  steward  and  wardmaster; 
and  who  shall  observe  all  the  regulations  above  given  for  the  direction  of  the  steward 
and  the  wardmaster  of  a  general  hospital.  Citizens  may  be  employed  in  lieu  of  soldiers, 
at  the  option  of  the  surgeon ;  if  engaged  for  the  hospital  or  infirmary  of  a  regiment, 
they  will  be  allowed  sixteen  dollars  per  month,  and  one  ration  per  day ;  if  employed 
ut  a  post  or  garrison,  they  will  receive  ten  dollars   per  month  and  one  ration  per  day. 

Ok  Reports,  Returns,  Requisitions,  &c. 

Every  surgeon,  and  mate  acting  as  surgeon,  shall  make  a  quarterly  report  of  sick 
to  the  Surgeon  General  in  the  form  and  manner  prescribed,  with  remarks  relative  to 
the  nature  and  symptoms  of  the  complaints  reported,  the  treatment  adopted,  and  the 
medicines  and  stores  most'in  demand;  and  also  transmit  therewith  a  correct  copy  of 
the  entries  for  the  quarter  in  the  book  kept  for  the  diary  of  the  weather,  with  his 
observations  upon  the  medical  topography  of  the  post,  station  or  hospital ;  the  climate, 
prevalent  diseases,  and  their  probable  causes. 

Every  surgeon  and  mate,  having  charge  of  sick,  shall  make  a  monthly  report  to 
the  Medical  Director  of  the  army,  or  district  to  which  he  belongs;  and  every  one 
attending  the  sick  of  a  regiment,  post  or  garrison,  shall  make  a  morning  report  to  the 
commanding  officer  in  the  form  prescribed. 

Every  surgeon  and  mate,  on  being  ordered  to  a  new  station,  shall  immediately 
inform  the  Surgeon  General  thereof,  and  also  from  whom  he  received  the  order;  on 
receiving  a  furlough  he  shall  also  report  it,  stating  by  whom  and  for  what  length  of 
time  it  was  granted  oud  report  himself  once  a  month  until  his  return  to  duty. 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  119 

Post  surgeons  making  application  for  change  of  station  shall  report  to  the  Surgeon 
General,  with  the  reasons  assigned  therefor. 

Every  surgeon  and  mate  having  charge  of  public  property  of  any  description  for 
the  use  of  the  sick,  shall  make  duplicate  returns  of  the  same  to  the  Surgeon  General 
on  the  31st  of  March  and  30th  of  September,  annually;  and  on  the  30th  of  September 
make  also  duplicate  requisitions  or  estimates  of  the  supplies  required  for  the  ensuing 
year,  noting  the  number  of  troops  for  which  they  are  made. 

All  requisitions  made  upon  the  Apothecary  General  or  his  assistants,  in  active 
service,  except  that  on  the  30th  of  September,  shall  be  examined  and  countersigned 
by  the  Medical  Director  of  the  army,  department  or  district  to  which  the  surgeon 

Requisitions  for  cooking  utensils  and  other  articles  of  liospital  furniture  as  can- 
not be  conveniently  obtained  from  a  commissary  of  purchases,  or  a  military  store- 
keeper, will  be  made  upon  an  officer  of  the  Quartermaster's  Department,  who  will 
furnish  the  articles  required,  the  requisitions  being  countersigned  by  the  commanding 
officer  of  the  department  or  post. 

When  a  surgeon  is  ordered  away  from  the  medical  supplies  under  his  charge,  he 
shall  immediatelj'  make  to  the  Surgeon  General  a  return  of  all  articles  received,  ex- 
pended and  issued  since  his  last  regular  return,  accompanied  with  a  receipt  in  detail 
for  the  remainder,  if  he  be  relieved  by  a  surgeon ;  but  if  he  deliver  it  to  the  quarter- 
master of  a  regiment  or  post,  a  military  storekeeper,  or  other  person  than  a  surgeon, 
he  shall,  with  the  returns  and  one  of  the  receipts  given  him,  transmit  an  invoice  of  the 
articles  delivered  certified  on  honor;  a  copy  of  which  invoice,  signed  by  him,  shall  be 
left  with  the  medicines,  stores,  &c.  And  when  any  surgeon  or  apothecary  receives  the 
articles  thus  left  with  a  quartermaster,  military  storekeeper,  &c.,  he  shall  in  his  next 
return  state  by  whom  they  were  left,    as  well  as  from  whom  they  were  received. 

Surgeons  receiving  a  furlough  will  be  held  responsible  for  all  public  property 
under  their  charge ;  they  will  therefore  take  duplicate  receipts  for  the  same ;  and  if 
they  be  absent  three  months,  they  will  be  required  to  submit  to  the  Surgeon  Gen- 
eral returns,  receipts  and  invoices,  as  directed  in  the  preceding  regulation. 

Whenever  any  instruments,  stores,  &c.,  put  up  for  and  directed  to,  one  post,  gar- 
rison, regiment  or  hospital,  are  by  the  orders  of  any  officer  taken  for  the  use  of  another, 
it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  surgeon  receiving  them  to  report  the  circumstances  imme- 
diately to  the  Surgeon  General,  and  to  transmit  to  him  a  certified  copy  of  the  order, 
the  reasons  for  which  it  was  given  and  a  receipt  for  the  articles ;  and  also  when  prac- 
ticable, to  notify  the  surgeon  for  whom  they  were  intended,  and  on  the  receipt  of  his 
own  supplies  to  furnish  him  with  the  same  amount. 


Every  person  having  charge  of  a  general  hospital,  shall  appoint  his  own  steward, 
wardmaster,  cooks  and  nurses;  and  if  they  be  taken  from  the  line  of  the  army,  it  must 
be  with  consent  of  the  commanding  officer  of  the  army,  district  or  department.  Every 
surgeon  of  a  regiment,  post  or  garrison,  shall  also,  with  the  consent  of  his  immediate 
commanding  officer,  select  his  attendants.  They  shall  be  permanently  attached  to  the 
hospital  or  infirmary,  and  exclusively  under  the  orders  of  the  surgeons  and  mates ;  and 
shall  not  be  removed  except  for  misdemeanor,  unless  in  cases  of  urgent  necessity,  and 
then  only  by  the  order  of  the  commanding  officer  of  the  district,  department,  army, 
regiment,  post  or  garrison,  to  which  they  belong. 

The  following  will  be  the  allowance   of   attendants   on  a  hospital  or  infirmary  in 


ordinary  cases:  To  a  general  hospital,  one  nurse  to  every  ten,  one  matron  to  every 
twenty,  and  one  cook  to  every  thirty  patients.  To  a  regimental  hospital,  one  non- 
commissioned officer,  as  steward  and  wardmaster.  one  cook,  two  matrons  and  four 
nurses.  To  a  post  or  garrison  with  one  company,  one  private  as  steward  and  ward- 
master,  and  two  nurses,  or  one  nurse  and  one  matron;  for  each  additional  company 
t)ne  nurse.  Tlie  non-commissioned  officer  who  acts  as  steward  and  wardmaster,  to 
receive  20  cents  per  day  extra-pay,  and  the  private  employed  as  steward  and  ward- 
master  to  receive  15  cents  per  day  extra  pay.  The  women  to  receive  5  dollars  per 
month,  and  one  ration  per  day. 

The  allowance  of  quarters,  fuel  and  straw,  for  the  sick,  and  of  wagons  for  trans- 
porting medicines,  stores,  furniture,  &c.,  will  be  regulated  by  the  surgeon  and  com- 
manding officer  or  Medical  Director;  the  requisitions  to  be  made  by  the  former  and 
countersigned  by  the  latter. 

Whenever  a  soldier  is  sent  to  a  general  hospital,  or  left  in  the  hospital  or  infirmary 
of  a  regiment,  post  or  garrison,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  officer  or  surgeon  sending 
or  leaving  him  to  furnish  a  certified  copy  of  his  descriptive  list  to  the  surgeon  taking 
charge  of  him ;  who  shall,  on  the  return  of  the  soldier  to  duty,  transmit  it  to  the  officer 
under  whose  command  he  is  put,  with  a  certificate  of  any  payments  made  or  clothing 
issued  to  him  while  in  hospital. 

Should  a  soldier  leave  an  hospital  on  furlough,  he  shall  be  furnished  with  a  cer- 
tified copy  of  his  descriptive  list;  should  he  desert,  it  shall  be  the  surgeon's  duty  to 
advertise  him  in  the  usual  manner;  and  in  case  of  his  death,  his  descriptive  list  shall 
be  preserved  in  the  hospital  for  the  benefit  of  his  friends  and  heirs,  and  on  it  shall  be 
stated  the  amount  of  clothing,  money,  &c.,  left  by  him;  and  the  surgeon  shall  in  all 
these  cases  forthwith  inform  the  commanding  officer  of  his  company  or  regiment  of 
the  facts  and  the  attending  circumstances ;  and  also  of  the  time  to  which  those  who 
die  were  last  paid,  and  the  money  and  eflFects  in  tlieir  possession  at  the  time  of  their 

Whenever  a  soldier  is  rendered  incapable  of  performing  military  duty  by  reason 
of  wounds  or  injuries  received  in  service,  and  while  in  the  line  of  his  duty,  any  sur- 
geon or  mate  of  the  army,  upon  obtaining  sufficient  evidence  of  the  fact,  the  time, 
place  and  manner  of  its  occurrence,  shall  furnish  him  with  the  necessary  certificate 
to  obtain  his  discharge  and  pension. 

No  candidate  shall  receive  the  commission  of  surgeon  or  mate  in  the  army,  who 
has  not  obtained  a  diploma  or  certificate  from  some  respectable  medical  school,  college 
or  society,  or  passed  the  examination  of  an  Army  Medical  Board. 

No  surgeon  of  the  army  shall  be  engaged  in  private  practice. 

When  any  officer  employs  a  citizen  surgeon,  he  shall  immediately  inform  the 
Surgeon  General  of  his  name  and  place  of  residence,  and  also  cause  him  to  be  fur- 
nished with  a  copy  of  the  regulations  of  the  Medical  Department. 

Citizens  employed  as  surgeons  will  be  allowed  the  following  rates  of  compensa- 
tion: For  attending  a  post,  garrison  or  detachment  of  one  hundred  men  and  upwards, 
forty  dollars  per  month ;  of  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  men,  thirty  dollars  per  month ; 
and  for  attending  any  number  under  fifty,  twenty  dollars  per  month,  exclusive  of 
medicine.  When  they  furnish  their  own  medicine  they  shall  be  allowed  an  addition 
of  from  twenty-five  to  fifty  per  cent  upon  their  pay,  the  proportion  to  be  determined 
by  the  Surgeon  General  or  Medical  Director.  If  engaged  to  accompany  a  regiment  or 
detachment  on  a  march  or  expedition  they  will,  while  actually  thus  employed,  be 
allowed  the  full  pay  and  emoluments  of   a  regimental  surgeon's  mate.     They  will  be 

PROM  1815  TO  1821.  121 

required  to  make  quarterly  reports  of  sick  to  the  Surgeon  General,  and  morning 
reports  to  the  commanding  officer,  in  the  form  and  manner  directed  for  the  surgeons 
of  the  army ;  and  when  they  have  charge  of  public  property  of  any  description,  they 
will  make  returns  of  the  same  at  the  times,  and  in  the  manner  required  by  the  reg- 
ulations, or  as  often  as  the  Surgeon  General  may  direct. 

Their  accounts  must  be  accompanied  with  a  certiticate  from  the  officer  employing 
them  of  the  number  of  men  under  his  command  and  the  length  of  time  they  were 
employed,  and  also  with  a  report  of  the  sick  under  their  charge ;  or  of  the  cases  that 
may  have  occurred  subsequent  to  their  last  quarterly  reports. 

Recruiting  officers  will,  if  necessary,  employ  citizens  agreeable  to  these  regula- 
tions ;  the  rate  of  compensation  to  be  determined  by  the  average  number  present 
during  the  month.  If  engaged  merely  to  inspect  recruits,  they  will  be  allowed  one 
dollar  per  man  for  inspecting  and  signing  the  necessary  certiticates. 

No  citizen  shall  be  employed  to  inspect  recruits  at  posts  or  places  where  there  is 
a  surgeon  or  mate  belonging  to  the  army. 

Surgeons  shall  be  particularly  attentive  to  the  examination  of  recruits,  and  will 
suffer  no  man  to  pass,  who  has  not  at  his  examination  been  stripped  of  all  his  clothes, 
in  order  to  ascertain,  as  far  as  possible,  that  he  has  the  perfect  use  of  all  his  limbs ; 
that  he  has  no  tumours,  ulcerated  legs,  rupture,  nor  chronic  cutaneous  affection,  nor 
other  infirmity  which  may  render  him  unfit  for  the  active  duties  of  the  field ;  and  it 
shall  be  their  duty  to  ascertain,  as  far  as  practicable,  whether  he  is  an  habitual 
drunkard,  or  subject  to  convulsions  of  any  kind.  With  any  of  these  defects  the  man 
is  to  be  rejected  as  unfit  for  service;  and  any  surgeon  or  mate,  who  shall  suffer  any 
one  to  pass  without  a  careful  examination  on  all  these  points,  shall  be  dismissed  the 
service ;  and  the  accounts  of  no  citizen  shall  be  allowed,  who  does  not  conform  to  this 
regulation  in  every  particular. 

Invalids  having  piles  or  other  infirmity,  not  always  to  be  discovered  by  the  in- 
specting surgeon,  who  shall  impose  themselves  upon  recruiting  officers  as  sound  and 
able-bodied  men,  shall  previous  to  dismission  be  put  into  close  confinement  or  other- 
wise punished,  at  the  discretion  of  a  court-martial,  as  swindlers  and  imposters. 

Whenever  a  recruit  arrives  at  the  post,  garrison,  station  or  depot  to  which  a  sur- 
geon is  attached,  or  joins  the  regiment  or  corps  to  which  he  belongs,  it  shall  be  his 
duty  forthwith  to  ascertain  whether  he  has  had  the  variolous  or  vaccine  infection,  and 
if  he  has  not,  to  see  that  he  be  vaccinated  as  soon  as  practicable ;  and  for  this  purpose 
he  shall  constantly  keep  good  matter  on  hand,  making  application  to  the  Surgeon 
General  for  a  fresh  supply  as  often  as  may  be  necessary." 

Probably  the  retention  in  the  foregoing  regulations  of  the  paragraph 
forbidding  officers  of  the  Corps  to  engage  in  private  practice  will  excite  some 
surprise.  It  certainly  did  at  the  time,  for  although  it  was  originally  incorpo- 
rated with  the  regulations  of  1814,  it  had  never  been  enforced;  in  fact  the 
position  of  the  frontier  posts,  and  the  comparative  scarcity  of  physicians  fifty 
years  ago,  rendered  it  often  an  act  of  humanity  for  them  to  affi)rd  professional 
assistance  to  citizens  living  in  the  vicinity  of  the  garrisons.  After  the  distribu- 
tion of  these  regulations  Post  Surgeon  McMahon  wrote  to  Doctor  Lovell  on  the 
subject,  and  the  Surgeon  Greneral  replied  "that  the  regulation  forbidding  army 
surgeons  to  engage  in  private  practice,  was  intended  to  prevent  neglect  of  duty, 


by  eiiteriiijr  extremely  into  it.  as  well  as  an  improper  application  of  public 
property  which  often  occurred.''  There  would  be  no  objections  to  this  practice, 
provided  the  oflBcer  desiring  it  would  make  an  application  to  the  Secretary  of  War, 
through  the  Surgeon  General,  setting  forth  clearly  the  circumstances,  in  which 
cjise  especial  authority  would  be  granted. 

On  the  first  of  November,  1818,  the  Surgeon  General  made  his  first  report 
to  the  Secretary  of  War  on  the  sickness  and  mortiility  in  the  army.  From  it 
we  learn  that  the  total  luimber  of  sick  repoited  for  the  quarter  ending  June 
30th,  was  1 ,929 ;  of  these  1 ,569  were  either  returned  to  duty  or  discharged 
the  service,  16  died,  and  344  were  remaining  under  treatment.  The  principal 
dise;ises  were,  inflammatory  fever  (including  slight  cattarrhal  afifections)  229 ; 
venereal  disease,  84;  rheumatism,  93;  diarrhoea  and  dysentery,  294;  typhus 
fever,  29;  malarial  fevers,  92 ;  and  wounds  of  all  kinds,  153.  The  deaths  were 
chiefly  due  to  excessive  indulgence  in  drink,  no  less  than  three  of  them  being 
reported  from  one  post.    Of  the  ofiicers  of  the  Corps,  the  Surgeon  General  says : 

"With  regard  to  the  manner  in  which  the  several  officers  of  the  Medical  Corps 
have  performed  their  duties,  so  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  observe,  they  appear  in 
general  disposed  to  a  prompt  and  strict  obedience  to  orders.  Not  having  been  hereto- 
fore required  to  make  such  reports  and  returns,  as  will  be  necessary  in  future,  some 
time  will  probably  be  required  to  obtain  them  in  a  proper  form  and  regular  manner ; 
particularly  those  relating  to  the  nature  and  treatment  of  diseases,  which  can  only 
be  described  in  general  terms,  while  all  their  usefulness  must  depend  on  the  respec- 
tive surgeons.  Those,  however,  of  Doctor  Gale  of  the  Rifle  Corps,  and  Post  Surgeons 
Mann,  Stewart,  Turner,  and  Mercer,  are  laudable  exceptions  to  this  remark.  Some 
few  surgeons  chiefly  at  the  South  have  as  yet  neglected  all  orders,  and  unless  good 
reasons  be  assigned  therefor,  it  will  be  necessary  to  adopt  some  means  of  enforcing 
obedience,  or  to  supply  their  places  with  those  who  are  disposed  to  be  more  attentive 
to  duty. 

Tlie  Apothecary's  Department  labours  under  all  the  inconveniences  consequent 
upon  irregularity  and  want  of  system,  but  both  Doctor  Le  Barron  and  Doctor  Cut- 
bush,  are  well  calculated  for  their  duties,  and  1  have  no  doubt  will  faithfully  perform 
them.  Doctor  Backus  may  make  a  useful  assistant  to  the  Apothecary  General,  but  is 
not  at  all  calculated  for  an  independent  public  agent." 

Soon  after  making  this  report  the  Surgeon  General  was  called  upon  by  the 
Hon.  J.  C  Calhoun,  Secretary  of  War,  for  recommendations  for  the  improve- 
ment of  the  Medical  Department  for  submission  to  Congress.  In  reply  he 
wrote  the  following  communication : 


2l8t  November,  1818. 

Since  the  new  organization  of  the  Medical  Statf  in  April  last,  it  has  clearly 
appeared  that  its  concerns  cannot  be  properly  regulated,  unless  the  allowances  of  its 
officers  are  so  far  increased  as  to  induce  suitable  persons  to  accept  appointments  in  it, 
and  to  remain  nt  least  a  few  years  in  service. 


FROM  1815  TO  1821.  123 

Besides  the  impracticability  of  obtaining  tlie  necessary  reports,  returns,  estimates, 
etc.,  wiiile  many  if  not  most  of  the  frontier  posts  are  without  regular  surgeons,  and 
while  the  greater  part  of  the  staff  is  continually  changing,  I  am  convinced  of  the 
impracticability  of  our  materially  lessening  the  expenses  of  the  department,  so  long 
as  public  property  to  a  large  amount  is  repeatedly  transferred  from  one  to  another,  and 
is  often  necessarily  in  the  charge  of  citizens,  who  will  not,' and  cannot  become  respon- 
sible for  it,  or  of  those  who  know  nothing  of  its  nature ;  for  when  it  has  once  passed 
out  of  the  regular  channel,  it  is  entirely  without  the  control  of  any  accounting  officer. 

It  has  been  estimated  that  by  proper  and  efficient  regulations,  about  ^50,000  per 
annum  may  be  saved;  but  in  order  to  effect  this,  a  medical  commission  must  be 
sufficiently  valuable  to  enable  the  chief  of  the  department  to  enforce  obedience,  by 
rendering  dismissal  from  service  a  serious  penalty.  Very  few  are  to  be  found  (and 
these  few  are  in  general  students,  by  no  means  qualified  for  the  station)  who  will 
serve  on  the  frontier  or  at  frontier  posts  for  thirty  or  forty  dollars  per  month,  without 
the  expectation  of  promotion,  or  increase  of  pay;  and  none  who  will  remain  there  long 
enough  to  become  acquainted  with  their  duties.  Of  nineteen  mates,  thirteen  have 
been  appointed  within  a  few  months;  several  have  refused  to  accept,  and  some  of 
those  who  have  accepted  begin  to  apply  for  transfers  or  promotion. 

Since,  therefore,  the  good  of  the  public  service,  without  any  reference  to  the 
convenience  of  the  officers,  requires  an  increase  of  their  allowances,  that  mode  of 
doing  it  will  of  course  be  preferable,  which  is  best  calculated  to  induce  them  to  attach 
themselves  permanently  to  the  army. 

If  the  pay  be  increased  to  its  maximum  at  once,  it  should  not  be  less  than  sixty 
dollars  per  month,  and  four  rations  per  day  to  a  regimental  surgeon,  fifty  dollars  per 
month  and  three  rations  per  day  to  a  post  surgeon,  and  forty-five  dollars  per  month 
and  three  rations  per  day  to  an  assistant  surgeon ;  but  from  the  propensity  of  all  men 
to  become  discontented  with  their  present  condition,  unless  they  can  look  forward  to 
some  improvement  in  it,  though  it  be  ever  so  small  or  even  imaginary,  the  plan  adopted 
the  British  service  of  increasing  the  pay  and  emoluments  in  proportion  to  the  time 
they  shall  remain  in  service,  would  probably  be  much  better.  In  this  case  the  follow- 
ing appear  to  be  the  lowest  allowances  that  should  be  made : 

To  a  regimental  surgeon,  fifty  dollars  per  month  and  four  rations  per  day,  to  a 
post  surgeon  forty-five  dollars  per  month  and  three  rations  per  day,  and  to  an  assist- 
ant surgeon  forty  dollars  per  month  and  three  rations  per  day.  The  pay  of  a 
regimental  surgeon  and  assistant  surgeon  to  be  increased  five  dollars  per  month  and 
one  ration  per  day  for  every  three  years,  and  that  of  post  surgeon  five  dollars  per 
month,  and  one  ration  per  day  for  every /ve  years  he  shall  remain  in  the  sawie  grade. 
Post  surgeons  being  attached  to  the  Corps  of  artillery,  are  generally  stationed  at 
convenient  places  along  the  seaboard,  and  therefore  are  more  easily  retained,  whereas 
the  regimental  staff  require  greater  inducements  to  continue  in  service  for  any  length 
of  time.  The  former  plan  would  increase  the  expenses  of  the  medical  stafiF  about 
$20,000,  and  the  latter  not  much  above  half  that  sum  for  several  years ;  so  that 
should  it  have  the  desired  eflfect,  it  would  not  only  secure  a  faithful  performance  of 
duty,  but  actually  save  a  large  amount  annually. 

The  number  of  surgeons  is  by  no  means  sufficient ;  for  supposing  them  all  con- 
tinually on  duty,  (which  can  never  be  expected),  there  are  many  posts  which  must  be 
attended  by  citizens ;  and  when  they  leave  their  posts  from  sickness  or  other  causes, 
it  is  often  impossible  to  supply  their  places.  At  least  a  surgeon  is  required  at  the 
Military  Academy,  which  is  now  attended  by  a  post  surgeon,  and  another  assistant 


surgeon  to  the  Light  Artillery,  which  is  the  only  regiment  in  service  that  has  but  one, 
though  from  the  nature  of  its  duties  it  requires  more  than  any  other. 

In  order  to  enable  the  Surgeon  General  to  superintend  the  disbursements  of  the 
Medical  Department,  a  law  appears  necessary  authorizing  the  Apothecary  General 
and  his  assistants  to  purchase  all  medical  supplies ;  and  requiring  them  to  give  the 
usual  bonds  for  the  faithful  application  of  public  money. 

Much  inconvenience  and  delay  and  some  additional  expense  have  arisen  from  not 
making  letters  and  packages  to  and  from  the  Surgeon  General  free  from  postage;  and 
these  will  be  much  increased  now  all  returns,  i-eports,  etc.,  etc.,  are  made  to  him. 

These  it  is  believed  are  the  most  important  subjects  connected  with  the  Medical 
Department,  which  require  the  aid  of  Congress." 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon   General.'' 

A  controversy  having  arisen  in  the  winter  of  1819  in  reference  to  the 
comparative  rank  of  medical  officers  and  their  position  in  regard  to  choice  of 
quarters  at  the  post  where  stationed,  the  War  Department  decided  the  questions 
in  dispute  by  the  issue  of  the  following  order : 


March  22,  1819. 
GENEaAL  Orders: 

The  Medical  Department  of  the  army  will  be  governed  in  their  relative  rank 
as  follows : 

Surgeons  of  regiments  will  have  precedence  over  post  surgeons,  and  post  surgeon.s 
will  have  precedence  of  regimental  mates;  in  their  several  grades,  further  reference 
will  be  had  to  date  of  commission. 

In  the  choice  of  quarters,  the  Medical  Staff  will  have  precedence  of  subalterns, 
under  the  direction  of  the  commanding  officer,  (who  may  always  claim  precedence  of 
those  under  his  command). 

Medical  and  hospital  supplies  are  not  to  be  detained  or  diverted  from  their  desti- 
nation, except  by  generals  of  division  and  commanding  officers  of  departments,  in 
cases  of  emergence  and  absolute  necessity,  when  a  report  will  be  promptly  made  to  the 
Adjutant   and  Inspector  General,  that  further  orders  for  deficiency  may  be  given. 

*  *  ■    *  *  *  * 

By  Order,  D.   PARKER, 

Adjutant  and  Inspector  General." 

On  the  twenty-seventh  of  December,  1819,  the  Surgeon  General  again 
called  the  attention  of  the  Secretary  of  War  to  the  importance  of  requiring  the 
officers  of  the  purveying  department  to  give  bonds  for  the  faithful  performance 
of  their  duties,  and  consequently  on  the  eighth  of  May,  1820,  Congress  passed 
the  following  act: 

''Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  the  Apothecary  General,  and  Assistant  Apothecary 
General  shall  severally  give  bonds  to  the  United  States  with  good  and  sufficient 
security,  for  the  faithful  performance  of  their  duties,  in  such  sums  as  shall  be  required 
by  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  army,  under  the  direction  of  the  War  Department." 

FROM  1815  TO  1821.  125 

The  passage  of  the  act  of  April  14,  1818,  has  generally  been  considered 
as  the  commencement  of  the  modern  history  of  the  Medical  Corps.  This  is 
true  to  the  extent  that  from  that  date,  by  the  appointment  of  a  Surgeon  Gene- 
ral, and  the  assumption  of  direct  authority  over  the  officers  by  that  official,  a 
great  change  was  made  in  the  responsibility  of  the  Medical  StafF,  in  their 
accountability  for  public  property,  and  in  the  collection  and  preservation  of  the 
records  pertaining  to  their  duties.  Nevertheless,  the  organization  of  the  Depart- 
ment was  not  essentially  diffisrent  from  what  it  had  been  for  many  years  before, 
the  only  material  change  being  the  consolidation  of  the  hospital  and  garrison 
medical  officers  under  the  denomination  of  post  surgeons.  It  was  not  until 
the  reduction  of  the  army  in  1821,  that  the  Corps  assumed  the  form  which  it 
has  retained  without  decided  alteration  to  the  present  time.  It  has  therefore 
been  thought  better  to  close  the  history  of  the  Department  under  the  old  regime 
with  the  general  reduction  of  the  army  in  1821,  and  the  abrogation  of  regimental 
medical  officers.    This  event  will  be  considered  more  in  detail  in  the  next  chapter. 

It^will  be  proper  before  doing  so  to  give  a  brief  statement,  from  such 
information  as  is  now  attainable,  of  the  expenses  of  the  Medical  Department 
previous  to  this  period,  as  a  comparison  of  those  with  subsequent  years  will 
be  of  value  in  estimating  in  one  respect  the  relative  efficiency  of  the  different 
organizations.  Under  the  establishment  of  1802,  the  average  appropriation  for 
the  Medical  Department  was  ^13,500  per  annum,  or  about  $4.00  per  man  for 
every  soldier  in  service.  With  the  increase  of  the  army  in  1808,  the  expenses 
rose  to  $50,000  per  annum,  or  about  $5.00  per  man.  Of  the  cost  of  the 
Department  during  the  war  no  reliable  figures  have  been  found,  but  in  the  years 
1816-18  under  the  military  peace  establishment  of  1815,  the  appropriations 
averaged  $95,382  per  annum,  or  $7.00  per  man,  while  after  the  reorganization 
of  the  Staff  in  1818,  they  were  reduced  to  $39,104  per  annum,  or  only  about 
$3.00  for  each  soldier  in  service.  Commenting  on  this  great  variation  in  the 
expense  of  this  branch  of  the  Staff,  Surgeon  General  Lovell  remarks  (Letter 
to  the  Secretary  of  War,  November  28,  1822): 

' '  In  explanation  of  this  great  difference  in  expense  it  may  Jbe  proper  to  add  that 
a  perfect  system  of  responsibility  for  all  public  property  from  the  period  of  its 
purchase  to  that  of  its  expenditure,  has  been  established  in  this  office;  that  the 
returns  of  the  surgeons,  of  every  article,  are  regularly  rendered  and  examined,  and  full 
receipts  required  in  the  case  of  every  transfer  before  their  accounts  are  settled.  This 
with  the  plan  of  purchasing  adopted,  and  of  paying  all  bills  without  advancing  money 
absolutely  precludes  the  possibility  of  fraud,  extravagance  or  undue  expenditure.  It 
may  also  be  remarked,  that  during  the  last  four  years,  our  military  hospitals  have  been 
regularly  and  abundantly  furnished  with  every  article  of  furniture,  medicine,  stores, 
etc.,  necessary  for  the  comfort,  convenience,  and  recovery  of  the  sick,  to  which  as  well 
as  to  the  skill  and  attention  of  the  surgeons,  the  quarterly  reports  bear  ample  testimony." 



From  the  reorganization  of  the  Corps  in  1821,  to  the  Declaration 
OF  War  against  Mexico. 

The  history  of  the  Medical  Corps  during  the  period  now  to  be  considered 
is  not  an  eventful  one ;  yet  probably  at  no  time  were  the  duties  devolving  upon 
it  so  arduous  and  irksome,  or  performed  under  such  discouraging  circumstances. 
The  long  series  of  years  in  which  the  government  was  engaged  in  the  contests 
with  the  Seminole  and  Creek  Indians  gave  constant  occupation  to  many  medi- 
cal officers  at  unhealthy  stations  in  the  cypress  swamps  and  everglades  of 
Florida,  but  their  reports  pertain  rather  to  the  medical  statistics  of  the  army, 
(which  have  already  been  published)  than  embrace  any  points  of  interest  in 
connection  with  its  history.  The  organization  of  the  Corps  being  satisfactorily 
arranged,  there  was  but  little  legislation  in  its  behalf  during  the  next  twenty 
years.  The  pages  which  follow,  will  consequently  be  chiefly  devoted  to  a  con- 
sideration of  the  congressional  legislation  for  the  Department,  with  such  extracts 
from  orders,  reports,  and  returns  received  and  issued  during  the  period,  as  may 
seem  of  historical  interest,  or  be  useful  for  future  reference. 

The  act  of  Congress  for  the  reduction  of  the  army,  was  passed  on  the 
second  of  March,  1821.  By  its  provisions  '' The  Military  Peace  Establish- 
ment of  the  United  States,"  was  fixed  at  four  regiments  of  artillery,  seven  of 
infantry,  the  corps  of  engineers  and  of  topographical  engineers,  with  such 
general  and  staff  officers  as  were  nec&ssary.  Regimentjil  surgeons  and  mates 
were  dispensed  with,  and  the  offices  of  the  assistant  surgeon  general,  apothecary 
general,  and  assistant  apothecary  abolished.  Section  x  defined  the  future 
Medical  Staff  as  follows : 

^^  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  medical  department  shall  consist  of  one 
surgeon  general,  eight  surgeons  with  the  compensation  of  regimental  surgeons,  and 
forty-five  assistant  surgeons,  with  the  compensation  of  post  surgeons." 

In  arranging  the  medical  officers  in  compliance  with  the  terms  of  this 
bill,  Assistant  Surgeons  General  Watkins  and  Bronaugh,  Apothecary  General 
Le  Barron,  and  the  two  assistant  apothecaries  were  discharged.  The  regimental 
surgeons  were  transferred  to  the  General  SUifF  as  surgeons,  and  the  post  sur- 
geons and  regimental  surgeon's  mates  were  arranged  as  assistant  surgeons  to  the 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.    .  127 

number  allowed  by  law.  Four  post  surgeons,  viz :  Benjamin  Waterhouse,  John 
H.  Sackett,  William  P.  Marshall  and  William  Sterne,  and  two  regimental  sur- 
geon's mates,  viz :  Robert  McMillan  and  Henry  Stevenson,  were  discharged ;  the 
two  latter  were,  however,  subsequently  reappointed  assistant  surgeons. 

The  following  table  of  estimates  for  the  Medical  Department  for  the  year 
1822  will  show  the  economy  of  management  which  existed  at  that  period: 

For   Instruments,         -  -  -  - 

Medicines,  .  _  .  _ 

Hospital  Stores,  _  .  _ 

Bedding,  .... 

Dressings,  -  .        .         . 

Furniture  for  Dispensaries,         -  -  . 

Stationery,  .... 

Medical  Books,  -  .  .  . 

Vaccine  Matter,      -  -  -  - 

Store  Rent,  .  .  .  . 

Printing  and  Ruling  Books, 

Repairing  Instruments,  _  _  . 

Boxes,  Casks,  etc.,  ... 

Porters,  Cartage,  etc.. 

Citizen  Physicians,  -  -  - 

Medicines,  etc.,  supplied  by  them, 

Extra  supplies  for  loss,  miscarriage,  etc., 

Expense  of  sick  soldiers  for  lodging,  etc.,     - 

Total  estimate. 
Probable  balance  after  paying  all  bills  of  1821, 
Appropriation  required  for  1822, 

To  this  should  be  added  the  following  estimate  of  the  expenses  of  the 
Surgeon  Greneral's  Office: 

For  Clerk  hire,         ----- 
Wood  (15  Cords  at  6  dollars  per  cord),     - 

Printing  blanks,  etc.,  -  .  - 

Contingencies,    -  -  -  - 

Total,  -  -  $1,540  00 

This  was  an  average  of  about  two  dollars  and  fifty  cents  per  man,  for  each 
soldier  in  service,  being  less  than  it  had  ever  been  since  the  organization  of  the 
army,  notwithstanding  that  the  extra  expenses  of  the  new  establishment  were 
$4,450  per  annum.  During  the  next  few  years  the  appropriations  averaged 
from  twenty-five  to  thirty  thousand  dollars,  being  expended  for  essentially  the 
same  items  as  are  noted  in  the  above  table. 

$2,130  00 

6,500  00 

8,620  00 

3,888  00 

1,500  00 

1,000  00 

500  00 

300  00 

300  00 

1,000  00 

600  00 

250  00 

1,200  00 

400  00 

2,500  00 

800  00 

3,000  00 

600  00 

$34,988  00 

12,000  00 

22,988  00 

$1,150  00 

90  00 

150  00 

100  00 

50  00 




At  this  time  the  whole  country  was  divided  into  two  militai-y  departments ; 
the  western,  comprising  all  west  of  a  line  drawn  from  the  southernmost  point 
of  East  Florida  to  the  northwest  extremity  of  Lake  Superior,  taking  in  the 
whole  of  Tennessee  and  Kentucky,  and  the  eastern  all  east  of  that  line.  The 
troops  were  healthy  in  the  eastera  division,  except  at  Forts  Severn  and  Moultrie, 
but  in  the  western,  which  embraced  the  Gulf  posts,  yellow  and  malarial  fevers, 
and  diarrhoea  were  very  prevalent,  so  much  so  in  fact  as  to  attract  the  attention 
of  the  General-in-Chief,  who  on  the  tenth  of  May,  1823,  issued  the  following 
order : 


May  10,  1823. 
Obpebs,  No.  32. 

The  Major  General  has  also  noticed  with  great  solicitude,  the  number  of  sick 
which  have  been  and  continue  to  be  reported  in  some  of  the  regiments. 

To  preserve  the  health  of  the  troops  is  an  object  of  the  highest  importance,  and 
experience  proves  that  it  can  only  be  attained  at  some  of  the  Southern  posts 
by  the  greatest  care  and  attention.  To  ensure  it  however,  more  eflFectually,  the  com- 
manding officers  of  Departments  are  directed,  as  they  may  deem  expedient,  to  cause 
the  temporary  removal  of  any  of  the  garrisons  and  their  encampment  during  the  hot 
and  sickly  months,  at  such  positions  in  the  vicinity  of  their  respective  posts,  as  may 
be  less  exposed  to  the  prevailing  diseases  of  that  season. 

By  order  of  Major  General  Brown." 

The  question  of  the  choice  of  quarters  having  again  been  brought  to  the 
notice  of  the  Department,  General  Orders,  No.  36,  of  this  same  year  directed, 
that  "  in  the  selection  of  quarters,  Surgeons  shall  have  choice  next  after  Majors, 
Assistant  Surgeons  who  have  served  ten  years,  with  Captains,  those  who  have 
served  five  years,  with  First  Lieutenants,  and  those  who  have  served  less  than 
five  years,  with  Second  Lieutenants." 

In  1825  a  new  edition  of  the  Medical  Regulations  was  issued.  It  was, 
however,  essentially  the  same  as  that  of  1818,  the  alterations  being  chiefly  in 
phraseology  so  as  to  conform  to  the  new  designation  of  the  medical  officers. 
The  duties  assigned  to  the  Assistant  Surgeons  General  in  the  regulations  of 
1818,  were  given  to  Medical  Directors  of  Departments,  and  those  of  the 
Apothecary  General  and  his  assistants,  to  the  officers  who  might  be  detailed  in 
the  Purveying  Department.  The  only  important  addition  was  a  paragraph  to 
the  effect  that  in  future  no  person  should  receive  an  appointment  as  assistant 
surgeon  until  after  examination  by  a  board  c>f  three  medical  officers,  to  be 
detailed  by  the  Surgeon  General,  but  it  does  not  seem  that  this  was  put  into 
practical  operation  until  aft«r  the  issue  of  General  Orders,  No.  58,  of  July  7, 
1832,  which  defined  the  requisites  for  appointment;  at  least  there  are  no  records 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  129 

of  the  appointment  of  any  boards  previous  to  that  time.  From  the  time  of 
the  reorganization  of  the  army  in  1821,  all  persons  desiring  appointment  as 
medical  officers  made  application  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  through  the  Surgeon 
General,  enclosing  certificates  of  their  being  licensed  to  practice  by  some  respect- 
able medical  association  or  college.  Where  there  were  a  large  number  of 
applicants,  preference  was  usually  given  to  those  who  came  from  states  from 
which  none  had  been  previously  chosen.  Thus  in  February,  1826,  a  certain 
Doctor  Benedict  having  applied  for  the  position  of  assistant  surgeon  was  notified 
that  there  were  upwards  of  one  hundred  applications  on  file,  of  which  one- 
fourth  were  from  New  York,  and  that  as  the  applicant  was  from  that  state,  there 
would  be  no  prospect  of  a  favorable  consideration  of  his  claim.  About  the 
same  time  a  gentleman  from  Connecticut  was  informed  that  as  he  was  the  only 
applicant  from  that  state,  his  desires  would  be  favorably  entertained  on  the 
occurrence  of  a  vacancy.  The  only  other  important  addition  to  the  regula- 
tions was  a  clause  that  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  might  be  appointed 
Judge  Advocates  of  General  Courts-Martial,  but  were  not  eligible  for  detail  as 
members  of  either  general,  garrison  or  regimental  courts. 

Up  to  the  close  of  1825  there  had  been  no  definite  rule  relative  to  the 
assignment  of  medical  officers  to  duty,  and  as  many  of  the  southern  and 
western  posts  were  very  undesirable  as  compared  with  those  at  the  north,  there 
were  continual  applications  for  changes  of  station  which  embarrassed  the 
Surgeon  General,  and  rendered  some  fixed  regulation  on  the  subject  advisable. 
There  was  so  much  dissatisfaction  in  the  Corps  about  this  matter,  that  on  the 
fourteenth  of  November  the  Surgeon  General  addressed  the  following  letter  to 
the  Secretary  of  War: 


November  14,  1825. 

In  consequence  of  the  frequent  applications  from  the  surgeons  for  change  of 
station,  the  difficulty  of  deciding  upon  their  several  cases,  and  the  discontent  of  many 
of  those  whose  requests  cannot  be  complied  with,  or  who  are  removed  from  their 
posts,  I  have  to  propose  that  some  permanent  regulation  be  established  on  the  subject. 
The  following  is  believed  to  be  the  least  objectionable,  both  in  reference  to  the  sur- 
geons and  the  public  service,  viz:  That  the  senior  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons 
shall  respectively  have  choice  of  stations,  on  written  application  through  the  Surgeon 
General,  specifying  the  posts  preferred ;  but  no  surgeon  can  claim  the  right  of  removal 
from  any  post  or  section  of  country,  unless  he  shall  have  served  there  for  two  suc- 
cessive years,  nor  any  one  be  liable  to  removal  from  his  post  on  such  application, 
unless  he  shall  have  been  stationed  there  for  the  same  period. 

As  several  changes  will  probably   take   place   on   the  first  establishment  of  this 
regulation,  which  the  limited  number  of  medical  officers  may  render  inconvenient,  it 
is  recommended  that  no  case  be  decided  on  until  six  months  after  its  promulgation,  in 
order  that  applications  may  be  received  from  the  remote  posts. 


It  should  also  be  understood,  that  surgeons  are  to  be  confined  in  their  selections 
to  such  stations  or  regiments  as  have  been,  or  may  hereafter  be  designated.  Tliese  at 
present  are  West  Point,  New  York,  Fortress  Monroe,  and  the  3rd,  4th,  5th,  0th  and 
7th  regiments  of  infantry. 

This  regulation  will  not  of  course  prevent  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  from 
being  ordered  to  any  station  where  their  service  may  be  specially  required,  the  public 
interest  being  in  all  cases  paramount  to  the  convenience  of  individuals. 

Respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General'' 

In  accordance  with  this  .sujjg^^estion  the  following  order  was  issued   by  the 
War  Department: 


Washington,  December  14,  1825. 
Obdkks,  No.  84. 

I.  Senior  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  shall  respectively  have  choice  of  sta- 
tions on  written  application  through  the  Surgeon  General,  specifying  the  regiment  or 
post  preferred ;  but  no  surgeon  or  assistant  can  claim  the  right  of  removal  from  any 
post  or  station  of  country,  unless  he  shall  have  served  there  for  two  successive  years; 
nor  shall  any  one  be  liable  to  removal  from  his  post  on  such  application,  unless  he 
shall  have  been  stationed  there  for  the  same  period. 

II.  This  regulation  shall  not  be  construed  as  to  prevent  the  competent  authority 
from  ordering  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  to  any  station  where  their  services  may  be 
specially  required. 

By  order  of  Major  Genekal  Brown." 

Immediately  after  the  promulgation  of  this  order  the  Surgeon  General 
issued  the  following  circular  to  the  Medical  Staff: 


December  Iti,  1825. 

I  am  directed  by  the  Secretary  of  War  to  transmit  a  copy  of  the  regulation  of  the 
14th  inst.,  and  to  state  that  it  will  not  be  acted  on  until  six  months  after  promulgation, 
in  order  that  applications  may  be  received  from  those  stationed  at  the  remote  posts. 

Each  surgeon  and  assistant  surgeon  will  specify  several  regiments  or  posts  in  the 
order  in  which  he  may  prefer  them,  as  the  same  station  may  be  applied  for  by  more 
than  one.  The  necessary  changes  will  be  made  as  soon  after  the  expiration  of  the 
period  above  mentioned  as  the  number  of  the  Medical  Staff  and  the  exigencies  of  the 
service  will  permit,  the  senior  applicant  always  having  the  preference  under  similar 
circumstances.  I  am  also  directed  to  state  that  the  surgeons  will  be  confined  in  their 
selections  to  West  Point,  Fortress  Monroe,  and  the  regiments  of  infantry ;  but  it  will 
of  course  depend  upon  the  distribution  of  the  troops  for  the  time  being,  to  which 
regiments  they  shall  be  attached,  there  not  being  a  sufficient  number  to  supply  the 

The  assistant  surgeons  will  be  assigned  as  follows:  To  Forts  Sullivan,  Preble, 
Constitution,  Independence,  Trumbull,  Wolcott,  Wood,  Columbus,  Lafayette,  Delaware, 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  131 

McHenry.  Washington,  Monroe,  Johnson,  Moultrie,  St.  Philip,  Armstrong,  Crawford, 
Snelling,  Howard  and  Niagara,  the  Arsenals  at  Pittsburgh,  Richmond  and  Augusta, 
Savannah,  St  Augustine,  New  Orleans,  Petites  Coquilles,  Mackinac,  Detroit  and 
Sackett's  Harbour  each  one.  To  Fort  Brady,  the  first  and  sixth  infantry  each  two; 
the  fourth  and  seventh  infantry  each  three;  subject  however  to  such  alterations  as 
may  be  made  necessary  by  changes  in  the  position  of  the  troops. 

The  persons  newly  appointed  or  promoted  will  be  ordered  to  the  post  or  station 
which  shall  have  become  vacant,  unless  it  may  have  been  previously  applied  for,  or 
the  public  interest  renders  a  different  arrangement  advisable.  And  every  surgeon 
and  assistant  surgeon  will  be  liable  at  all  times  to  receive  orders  for  any  post  which 
he  may  have  designated  unless  he  shall  have  withdrawn  his  application. 

Respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General.^^ 

Two  trials  by  court-martial  which  took  place  about  this  time  excited  gene- 
ral interest  among  the  members  of  the  Medical  Staff,  involving  as  they  did 
questions  of  the  gravest  consequence  as  to  the  responsibilities  of  surgeons  in 
the  performance  of  official  duties,  and  the  jurisdiction  of  courts-martial  com- 
posed of  non-professional  individuals  over  questions  purely  surgical  in  their 
character.     The  facts  of  one  case  were  as  follows : 

On  the  second  of  July,  1825,  Lieutenant  E.  B.  G ,  second  infantry, 

reported  himself  to  Doctor  Beaumont,  post  surgeon  at  Fort  Niagara,  with  the 
request  that  he  would  examine  his  arm,  as  it  was  so  sore  he  could  not  wear  his 
uniform  coat.  He  had  been  bled  on  the  twenty-first  of  June  and  returned  to 
duty,  but  neglecting  to  perform  it  complaints  were  made  to  the  commanding 
officer,  which  resulted  in  his  again  reporting  sick  on  the  date  above  mentioned. 
Doctor  Beaumont  could  find  nothing  the  matter  with  his  arm,  and  told  him  so, 
but  as  he  insisted  on  being  taken  on  sick  report,  this  was  done.  Nevertheless, 
two  days  after  he  was  well  enough  to  go  with  a  large  party  on  an  excursion  from 
the  post,  but  on  the  sixth  of  July  again  reported  sick.  The  surgeon,  suspect- 
ing that  he  was  malingering,  gave  him  a  mixture  composed  of  twenty  grains  of 
calomel  and  six  of  tartar-emetic ;  but  finding  him  out  in  a  rain  storm  the  same 
afternoon,  struck  him  from  sick  report  and  reported  him  to  the  commanding 
officer.  He  was  then  placed  in  arrest  and  tried  on  the  charge  of  malingering 
and  neglect  of  duty.  Doctor  Beaumont  testified  to  all  the  facts  as  above 
narrated,  as  did  also  others  who  were  cognizant  of  them,  and  the  court  found 
him  guilty  and  sentenced  him  to  be  dismissed  the  service.  The  President 
disapproved  the  action  of  the  court,  and  in  his  review  of  the  proceedings  ani- 
madverted in  very  severe  terms  on  the  conduct  and  testimony  of  Doctor 
Beaumont.  On  the  eighth  of  May,  1826,  the  latter  applied  for  a  Court  of 
Inquiry,  but  this  being  refused,  in  the  following  fall  he  published  a  pamphlet  to 


the  army,  in  which  he  stated  all  the  circumstances  of  the  case,  and  vindicated 
himself  from  the  strictures  contained  in  General  Orders,  No.  9,  February  18, 
1826,   promulgating   the  proceedings  of  the    Court -Martial   on   Lieutenant 

G .     In  this  appeal,  after   detailing   the  facts  of   his  connection  with 

G and  recapitulating  the  evidence  given  before  the  court,  he  thus 

defends  the  propriety  of  his  giving  the  emetico-cathartic,  a  circumstance  which 
had  formed  the  basis  of  the  President's  strictures  in  his  review  of  the 
proceedings : 

"  Resolved  never  to  be  made  the  tacit  medium  of  deception,  nor  the  convenient 
organ  of  official  falsehood,  I  determined  neither  to  let  the  case  pass  unnoticed,  or  waive 
my  duty  of  making  a  correct  report  to  the  commanding  officer.     Viewing  this  case  as 

novel  and  unprecedented, artfully   calculated   to   evade  proof,  and  requiring 

more  than  ordinary  means  and  management  for  detection,  I  consulted  my  duty  to 
government  and  my  professional  character  only  and  at  once  resolved  upon  the  course 
to  be  pursued,  fully  aware  of  the  delicacy  and  difficulties  of  deciding  judiciously 
upon  the  first  case  of  feigned  sickness  in  an  officer,  that  had  ever  occurred  within  the 
sphere  of  my  official  duty.  I  assumed  the  responsibility — considered  the  case — adopted 
my  plan  of  treatment,  which  was  to  soothe  his  agitation — threw  him  off  his  guard  by 
affecting  to  believe  his  declaration ;  prescribing  at  the  same  time  an  emetico-cathartic  of 
well-known,  infallible  and  decided  effects,  when  taken.  The  first  in  two  minutes  com- 
pletely removed  his  agitation,  which  was  the  single  and  only  apparent  deviation  from 
perfect  and  tranquil  health ;  the  medicine  I  left  with  him  to  take  at  discretion,  should 
his  non-descript  sensations  continue,  which  bye  the  bye,  never  after  happened  to  be 
observable,  until  the  time  of  his  trial;  the  medicine  I  am  confident  was  not  taken, 
never  having  been  in  the  least  visible  upon  close  observation  for  two  days.  *  *  *  * 
Whether  the  plan  adopted,  either  in  a  moral  or  professional  point  of  view  be  justi- 
fiable or  not,  I  leave  for  medical  men,  and   candid  judges   to  decide;  it  was  salutary, 

and  had  the  intended  eflfect  of  returning  Lieut.  G •  to  his  duty  without  prejudice 

to  his  health- or  constitution;  neither  is  it  of  very  great  moment  with  me,  whether  a 
successful  experiment  be  of  less  or  more  than  doubtful  propriety,  that  speedily  restores 
a  soldier  from  the  sick  report  to  the  effective  service  of  the  government,  be  he  private, 
non-com.  OT  commissioned  of&cer ;  neither  do  I  think  it  of  very  great  consequence, 
whether  it  be  done  secundem  artem,  secundem  naturam,  or  terrorem,  provided  it  be  well 
done.  It  may  not  be  amiss  here  to  remark,  that  so  far  from  having  administered  a 
medicine  of  violent  operation  to   a  man   whom  I  then  believed  (and  have  ever  since) 

to  be  in  full  health,  I  neither  required  Lt.   G to  take, — believed  he  did  take,  or 

had  any  intention  of  taking  the  medicine  left  with  him ;  but  on  the  contrary  believe  he 
studied  to  deceive  by  pretending  to  have  taken  it,  and  then  representing  its  eflFects ;  it 
was  impossible  to  prove  he  did  not  feel  those  strange  indescribable  sensations;  but  I  know 
he  could  not  disguise  the  eflFects  of  the  medicine  if  taken — with  this  view  I  prescribed 
the  calomel  and  emetic  tartar ;  neither  was  he  receiving  my  professional  advice,  inas- 
much as  I  had  offered  him  none,  either  medical,  or  political, — therefore  it  must  have 
been  close  observatioti  and  my  Morning  Report  of  the  8th  of  July,  that  tested  his  dis- 
position and  the  insincerity  of  his  complaints. 

And  no  consideration  can  ever  warp  my  mind  from  its  fixed  principles  of  acting 
honestly  and  independently  in  the  discharge  of  its  relative  duties.  Should  I  again,  a 
hundred  times  be  placed  in  a  similar  situation,  I  would  do  as  in  this  case  I  have  done ; 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  133 

fearless  of  censure,  reproach,  or  temporary  discredit — regai'ding  far  more  the  sanctity  of 
an  oath,  than  either  the  applause,  or  disapprobation  of  the  highest  earthly  tribunal — 
considering  Integrity,  Faithfulness  and  Fidelity  to  my  God,  my  Conscience  and  my  Country 
paramount  to  every  other  consideration." 

The  second  case  is  of  interest,  being  the  trial  of  a  medical  officer 
on  charges  of  malpractice  in  the  performance  of  his  ordinary  professional 
duties,  and  so  far  as  the  public  records  show,  the  only  one  occurring  in  the 

history  of  the  Corps.     On  the  fifth  of  March,  1827,  Assistant  Surgeon  T 

S.  B was  arraigned  before  a  General  Court-Martial,  convened  at  Fort 

Howard,  Wisconsin,  on  the  following  charges  and  specifications : 

"Charge  I.     Malpractice,  and  incompetency  to  the  practical  duties  of  his  profession. 

Specification  \st. — In  this;  that  on  or  about  the  9th  day  of  February,  1827,  at,  or 

near  Fort  Howard,   Green   Bay,    Michigan   Territory,    Assistant  Surgeon  T S. 

B ,  U.  S.  Army,  did  improperly  and  injudiciously  apply  to  the  left  leg  and  thigh 

of  private  John  Mackay,  "H"  company,  2nd  U.  S.  Infantry,  the  splints  and  dressings 
commonly  used  by  surgeons  for  fractures  of  the  thigh  and  leg,  to  wit:  First,  the  com- 
mon bandage,  pads,  straps,  and  two  rigid  splints  below  the  knee ;  Secondly,  three 
long  splints  four  inches  wide  and  four  lines  thick,  extending  from  the  hip  and  pro- 
jecting beyond  the  heel,  closely  confined  by  strings,  with  counter-extending  straps 
drawn  painfully  tight  round  the  ankle  of  said  leg,  and  firmly  fastened  to  the  project- 
ing ends  of  these  long  splints,  the  upper  end  of  which  pressed  so  forcibly  against  the 
flesh  and  bones  of  the  pubis  and  hip  joint  as  to  occasion  great  distress  for  two  days 
or  more,  when  there  was  no  occasion  for  any  splints,  there  being  no  other  injury  done 
to  the  said  limb,  than  that  of  a  simple  contusion  of  the  muscles  and  skin  of  the  leg; 
thereby  clearly  showing  his  want  of  correct  practical  knowledge,  and  incompetency 
to  the  duties  of  his  profession. 

Specification  2nd. — In  this;  that  on  or  about  the  9th  day  of  February,  1827,  at, 
or  near  Fort  Howard,   Green   Bay,    Michigan   Territory,   the  said  Assistant  Surgeon 

T S.  B ,  having  had  sufficient  time  and  ample  opportunity  for  examination 

and  reflection  upon  the  nature  and  extent  of  an  injury  done  to  the  left  leg  of  private 
John  Mackay,  "H"  company,  2nd  U.  S.  Infantry,  aforesaid,  by  the  kick  of  an  ox,  or 
^  otherwise,  on  or  about  the  8th  day  of  February,  1827,  did  contrary  to  every  rule  of 
operative  surgery,  and  the  principles  of  modern  practice,  then  and  there  wrongfully 
apply  to  the  left  leg  and  thigh  of  private  John  Mackay,  aforesaid,  and  did  uselessly 
and  unnecessarily  keep  the  said  leg  and  thigh  rigidly  and  painfully  confined  in  the 
splints  and  bandages  commonly  used  by  surgeons  for  a  fnactured  thigh  and  leg,  for 
two  days  or  more,  merely  for  a  simple  contusion  of  the  skin  and  muscles  of  the  leg, 
thereby  occasioning  unnecessary  pain  and  distress  to  said  private  John  Mackay,  and 
disclosing  gross  ignorance  of  the  practice  of  surgery,  and  manifest  incompetency  to 
the  duties  of  his  profession. 

Specification  Srd. — In  this ;  that   on   or  about  the  9th  day  of  February,  1827,  at, 

or  near  Fort  Howard,  Green  Bay,  Michigan  Territory,  said  Assistant  Surgeon  T 

S.  B ,  did  erroneously  apply  to,  and  rigidly  and  painfully  confine  the  left  ankle 

and  foot  of  private  John  Mackay,  aforesaid,  in  straps  and  bandages  so  tightly  drawn 
around  the  said  ankle,  for  two  days  or  more  (under  the  pretence  of  extending  the 
muscles  of  said  leg,  as  is  usual  with  surgeons  in  oblique  fractures  of  the  bones)  as  to 
cause  much  pain  and  an  obstinate  stiffness  and  lameness  of  the  said  ankle  joint,  for 


two  or  three  months  or  more,  when  there  was  not  the  least  occasion  for  such  pinictice, 
there  being  no  other  injury  done  to  said  limb  than  that  of  a  simple  contusion  of  the 
flesh  upon  the  shin,  thereby    occasioning   unnecessary   pain    and    distress  to  the  saitl 

John  Mackay,  aforesaid,  from  mere  incompetence  in  the  said  Assistant  Surgeon  T 

S.  B ,  aforesaid,  to  form  a  correct  judgement  of  the  said  injury,  or  to  apply  the 

proper  means  of  relief. 

Specification  Ath. — In  this;  that  he,  the  said  Assistant  Surgeon  T S.  B , 

U.  S.  A.,  on  or  about  the  8th  day  of  February,  1827,  at,  or  near  Fort  Howard,  Green 
Bay,  Michigan  Territory,  did  injudiciously  fipply  to  the  neck  and  face  of  Private  John 
Mackay,  "H"  company,  2nd  U.  S.  Infantry,  a  piece  of  rigid  pasteboard,  six  or  eight 
inches  long  and  three  or  four  inches  wide,  the  upper  edge  embracing  the  under  jaw 
from  ear  to  ear,  and  the  other  edge  pressing  upon  the  breast,  and  did  there  rigidly 
and  worse  than  uselessly,  confine  it  two  days  or  more,  to  the  pain  and  inconvenience 
of  said  Mackay,  when  there  was  no  sufficient  reason  for  so  dressing  him. 

Charge  II.     Neglect  of  duty. 

Specification    l»^ — In  this;  that  on  or  about  the  8th  day  of  February,  1827,  at,  or 

near  Fort  Howard.    Green   Bay,  Michigan    Territory,    Assistant    Surgeon  T S. 

B ,  U.  S.  A.,  did  neglect  properly   to  examine  an  injury  done  by  the  kick  of  an 

ox,  or  otherwise,  to  the  limbs  of  private  John  Mackay,  "H"  company,  2nd  U.  S. 
Infantry,  on  or  about  the  8th  day  of  February,  1827,  and  did  also  neglect  to  ascertain 
the  real  nature  and  extent  of  said  injury,  or  to  apply  the  proper  means  and  dressings 
for  the  relief  of  the  said  John  Mackay,  aforesaid,  thereby  failing  to  administer  the 
necessary  surgical  aid,  and  neglecting  the  duty  required  of  him  as  a  surgeon. 

Specification  2nd. — In  this;  that  on  or   about    the  9th  day  of  February,  1827,  at, 

or  near  Fort  Howard,  Green  Bay,    Michigan   Territory,  Assistant  Surgeon  T S. 

B aforesaid,  after  having  had  sufficient  time,  and  ample  opportunity  to  ascertain 

the  nature  and  extent  of  an  injury  done  to  pinvate  John  Mackay,  "  H"'  company,  2nd 
U.  S.  Infantry,  by  the  kick  of  an  ox,  or  otherwise,  on  the  8th  day  of  Febiiuiry,  1827, 
did  neglect  properly  to  examine  the  said  injury,  and  did  fail  to  apply  the  means  of 
relief  required  of  him  as  assistant  surgeon,  in  consequence  of  which  neglect  and  failure 
the  said  John  Mackay  suffered  much  unnecessary  pain  an<l  distress  for  two  days  or 
more,  between  the  8th  and  11th  days  of  February,  1827." 

There  were  other  charges  and  specifications,  but  they  related  to  matters  for- 
eign to  the  above  case,  and  have  no  interest  at  the  present  time.     Doctor  B 

plcjid  not  guihy,  but  the  court  found  him  guilty  of  the  first  three  specifications 
to  the  first  charge,  with  the  exception  of  those  portions  which  charged  him 
with  incompetency,  and  not  guilty  of  the  fourth  specification.  Of  the  first 
charge  he  was  found  guilty  of  "  malpractice,"  but  not  guilty  of  "  incompetency 
to  the  duties  of  hw  profession."  He  was  found  guilty  of  both  the  second 
charge  and  its  specifications,  and  sentenced  "  to  be  dismissed  the  service  of  the 
United  States;"  and  the  court,  "in  consequence  of  his  inexperience  do  recom- 
mend him  to  the  mercy  of  the  President." 

In  consequence  of  the  department  commander  having  increased  and  reor- 
ganized the  court,  by  an  order  subscfjuent  to  the  date  when  it  convened  and 
after  testimony  had  been  taken,  President  Adams  disapproved  the  proceedings, 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  135 

,  without  any  comment  on  the  merits  of  the  case,  and  Doctor  B was  re- 
turned to  duty.  The  trial,  however,  excited  considei'able  discussion  at  the  time, 
from  the  fact  that  a  court  composed  entirely  of  line  officers,  and  upon  which  the 
Medical  Corps  was  not  (and  under  existing  regulations  could  not  be)  repre- 
sented, was  called  on  to  decide  a  purely  surgical  question. 

During  the  last  yeai-s  of  this  decade  and  the  first  of  the  succeeding  one,  a 
reform  in  the  pay  and  emoluments  allowed  to  medical  officers  became  the  subject 
of  inquiry  in  Congress,  and  of  general  interest  throughout  the  army.  It  wag 
generally  thought  that  their  case  was  one  of  peculiar  hardship.  A  large  pro- 
portion of  them  were  stationed  at  southern  and  frontier  posts  where  the  expenses 
of  living  were  very  great,  many  of  them  had  large  families  to  support,  they 
were  deprived  by  the  regulations  of  the  privilege  of  increasing  their  incomes 
by  means  of  private  practice,  and  their  compensation  remained  at  the  same 
standard  at  which  it  had  been  fixed  by  the  acts  of  the  twelfth  of  April,  1808, 
and  the  thirtieth  of  March,  1814,  while  the  nature  of  their  duties  had  been 
greatly  changed  by  subsequent  enactments,  and  the  cost  of  all  the  necessaries 
of  life  had  increased.  A  bill  to  increase  the  pay  of  captains  and  subalterns 
of  the  line  was  passed  March  2,  1827,  but  although  the  subject  was  twice 
favorably  reported  by  the  Military  Committee  of  the  Senate,  no  action  was  taken 
in  reference  to  the  Medical  Corps.  The  result  was  that  resignations  were 
becoming  so  frequent  as  seriously  to  impair  the  efficiency  of  the  sei-vice,  for  it 
was  found  impossible  to  retain  men  of  high  professional  standing  and  experience 
on  the  miserable  pittance  of  forty-five  dollars  a  month  for  surgeons  and  forty 
for  assistant  surgeons,  and  without  any  hope  of  a  future  increase  by  means  of 
promotion.  As  early  as  the  twenty-eighth  of  December,  1826,  Doctor  Lovell 
submitted  a  report  on  the  subject  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  of  which  the  fol- 
lowing is  a  copy : 


December  28,  1826. 

In  reply  to  the  inquiry  whether  it  be  expedient  to  graduate  the  pay  of  the  sur- 
geons and  assistant  surgeons  of  the  army  in  proportion  to  the  length  of  time  they 
may  have  been  in  service,  I  beg  leave  to  remark  that  forty-five  or  nine-tenths  of  the 
whole  number  are  of  the  latter  class,  and  of  course  can  receive  only  the  lowest  grade 
of  pay  at  any  period  and  under  any  circumstances.  The  eight  surgeons  receive  but 
five  dollars  per  month  and  one  ration  per  day  more  than  the  assistant  surgeons,  which 
therefore  constitutes  the  only  difference  between  the  oldest  surgeon  and  the  youngest 
assistant,  while  the  senior  assistant  who  has  been  upwards  of  twenty  years  in  service, 
and  is  among  the  oldest  officers  in  the  army,  receives  the  same  pay  that  he  did  on  his 
first  appointment  in  1806,  although  an  additional  ration  has  within  a  few  years  been 
allowed  to  every  other  subaltern  officer.  It  is  believed  this  principle  is  adopted  in 
relation  to  the  Medical  Department  in   every  other  service  except  our  own ;  and  it  is 


manifestly  applicable  to  it  in  a  special  manner,  because  in  no  other  profession  is  per- 
sonal experience  of  such  vital  importance. 

When  a  senior  officer  of  the  General  Staff  or  of  the  line  is  removed,  his  place  is 
immediately  supplied  by  one  who  is  nearly  if  not  quite  his  equal,  and  the  case  is  the 
same  in  the  several  promotions  that  take  place  down  to  the  cadet  who  fills  the  last 
vacancy,  and  whose  duties  are  adapted  to  his  years;  but  the  medical  graduate  who 
succeeeds  the  experienced  surgeon  must  at  once  assume  all  his  duties  and  responsi- 
bilities, and  have  the  sole  care  of  the  health  and  lives  of  the  corps  or  garrison  to 
which  he  may  be  attached,  and  the  charge  is  often  a  serious  one  to  those  stationed 
beyond  the  reach  of  all  other  advice. 

Upwards  of  three-fourths  of  the  present  assistant  surgeons  have  been  appointed 
within  the  last  eight  years,  besides  many  others  who  have  from  time  to  time  resigned 
during  that  period ;  and  as  the  prospect  of  a  moderate  increase  of  pay  would  no 
doubt  retain  in  the  army  much  of  the  experience  purchased  at  its  expense,  it  would 
not  only  be  fair  and  just  towards  those  by  whom  this  experience  is  possessed,  but  it 
is  believed  a  full  equivalent  would  be  received  by  the  public.  For  the  actual  expense 
of  recruiting,  transporting  to  most  of  the  military  posts,  and  preparing  one  or  two 
new  men  to  supply  the  places  of  those  who  may  have  been  lost  from  unskilful  treat- 
ment is  fully  equal  to  the  additional  pay  of  the  experienced  surgeon,  who  has  been 
compelled  to  retire  to  private  practice  in  consequence  of  being  unable  to  meet  his 
growing  expenses.  The  reasonableness  of  this  increase  will  further  appear  if  the 
surgeon  be  compared  with  other  officers,  whose  pay  is  about  the  same.  The  captain 
for  example  receives  fifty-eight  dollars  per  month,  and  the  assistant  surgeon  fifty-two; 
they  have  each  one  servant,  and  the  same  allowance  of  fuel,  quarters,  etc.,  and  the 
latter  if  he  actually  keep  horses  in  service  is  also  allowed  eight  dollars  per  month  in 
lieu  of  forage,  which  is  generally  not  more  than  sufficient  to  meet  the  additional 
expense ;  so  that  in  point  of  fact  the  captain  receives  six  dollars  per  month  more 
than  the  assistant  surgeon,  and  but  five  dollars  per  month  less  than  the  full  surgeon 
towards  defraying  his  necessary  and  personal  expenses.  It  is  moreover  perfectly  well 
known  that  even  a  subaltern  officer  can,  and  actually  does  in  almost  every  case,  live 
more  conveniently  and  comfortably  than  the  surgeon,  in  consequence  of  the  various 
little  offices  performed  by  his  men  when  off  duty,  all  of  which  are  a  direct  charge 
upon  the  latter.  But  the  important  difference  between  the  captain  and  the  surgeon 
is,  that  the  pay  of  the  latter  is  invariably  the  same,  while  the  former  is  constantly 
advancing  to  promotion  in  rank  and  emoluments.  The  commission  of  the  oldest 
captain  (who  however  is  Adjutant  General  with  the  pay  of  a  colonel)  is  of  July,  1812, 
and  that  of  the  oldest  assistant  surgeon   is   of  March,  1806,  a  difference  of  six  years. 

But  four  assistant  surgeons  have  been  promoted  in  ten  years,  with  the  additional 
pay  of  only  eleven  dollars  per  month,  without  the  possibility  of  a  further  increase, 
while  in  the  same  period  thirteen  captains  have  been  promoted  to  be  majors,  and 
nineteen  lieutenant  colonels  and  colonels  in  their  respective  grades.  Nor  has  regular 
promotion  been  considered  sufficient  for  the  officers  of  the  General  Staff,  and  of  the 
line,  and  therefore  they  receive  brevet  commissions  for  every  ten  years  of  service,  and 
are  often  entitled  to  all  the  advantages  of  these  commissions  previous  to  their  pro- 
motion. They  are  moreover  entitled  to  double  rations  when  on  separate  command, 
and  are  frequently  on  staff  and  other  duties  by  which  their  compensation  is  materially 
increased,  while  the  surgeon  can  in  no  case  receive  any  additional  allowance  either  on 
accountof  his  situation,  the  extent  or  importance  of  his  duties,  or  his  length  of  service. 

The  surgeons  are  not  only  confined   to   their  original  pay    whatever  may  be  the 

PROM  1821  TO  1846.  137 

necessary  increase  of  tlieir  expenses  as  they  advance  in  life,  but  they  are  more  con- 
stantly on  duty  than  any  other  officer  in  service.  For  the  number  being  barely  sufficient 
to  supply  the  several  posts,  they  are  seldom  permitted  to  leave  their  stations,  as  no  one 
else  can  perform  their  duties ;  and  they  are  thus  sometimes  compelled  in  urgent  cases 
to  hire  a  substitute  at  their  own  expense,  while  at  most  of  the  interior  posts  even  this 
is  impracticable,  and  hence  some  have  been  on  daily  duty  for  ten  years ;  whereas  an 
officer  of  the  line  can  at  once  be  relieved  by  the  next  in  command  or  his  place  be  sup- 
plied by  one  of  the  same  grade.  This  is  a  consideration  of  no  inconsiderable  import- 
ance not  only  comparatively  in  relation  to  others,  but  positively  in  relation  to  the 
surgeon  himself;  for  cases  have  occurred  where  all  the  officers  of  a  post  have  been 
repeatedly  changed  on  account  of  their  ill  health,  while  the  surgeon  has  been  com- 
pelled to  remain  at  the  sacrifice  not  only  of  his  health,  but  in  more  than  -one  instance 
of  his  life;  and  a  standing  order  has  even  been  issued  that  he  shall  in  no  case  be  so 
far  from  the  garrison  that  he  could  not  be  called  on  in  case  of  accident. 

The  present  compensation,  especially  of  the  assistant  surgeons,  is  obviously  incom- 
petent to  the  comfortable  support  of  those  who  are  somewhat  advanced  in  life; 
although  quite  sufficient  on  their  first  appointment.  They  are  allowed  but  one  ser- 
vant, and  one  room  with  the  necessary  fuel,  and  hence  they  are  often  under  the 
necessity  of  applying  a  considerable  portion  of  their  pay  to  these  objects,  leaving  but 
four  or  five  hundred  dollars  for  all  the  other  expenses  of  their  families,  out  of  which 
they  are  compelled  to  meet  considerable  additional  expenses  incident  to  their  com- 
missions, which  are  of  course  never  incurred  by  a  retired  and  economical  private 

To  these  considerations  it  may  be  proper  to  add  that  the  surgeon  is  required 
to  be  a  regular  medical  graduate  in  order  to  become  a  candidate  for  appointment  and 
that  all  the  expenses  of  a  liberal  education  generally  including  a  collegiate  and  a 
medical  course  are  paid  by  himself;  while  the  cadet  is  prepared  for  service  at  the 
public  expense,  and  therefore  while  the  latter  is  in  some  measure  refunding  an  advance 
the  former  ought  to  receive  a  reasonable  consideration  on  account  of  his  own 

Should  it  be  deemed  advisable  to  graduate  the  pay  of  surgeons  on  this  principle, 
the  following  ratio  of  increase  is  respectfully  submitted  for  consideration,  viz:  that 
in  lieu  of  the  monthly  pay  and  rations  as  at  present  allowed,  the  assistant  surgeons 
should  receive  forty  dollars  per  month  and  two  rations  per  day,  and  the  surgeons 
fifty-five  dollars  per  month  and  five  rations  per  day  on  their  first  appointment ;  with 
an  increase  of  five  dollars  per  month  and  one  ration  per  day  for  every  three  years  they 
shall  have  served  in  their  respective  grades,  provided  that  in  no  case  shall  the  increase 
to  the  assistant  surgeon  exceed  ten  dollars  per  month  and  two  rations  per  day,  or  that 
of  tlie  surgeon  five  dollars  per  month  and  one  ration  per  day ;  and  it  will  at  once  be 
perceived  that  nearly  nine-tenths  of  the  whole  number  will  necessarily  be  confined 
within  the  first  limits  for  life,  as  but  eight  can  expect  promotion  in  twenty  years,  or 
arrive  at  the  highest  rate  under  twenty-six  years,  which  with  the  number  that  from 
the  ordinary  incidents  of  the  service  will  always  be  at  the  lowest  rate  and  receive  the 
same  compensation  as  at  present  will  make  about  an  average  increase  of  ten  dollars 
per  month  and  one  ration  per  day,  which  would  amount  to  the  same  as  has  been  pro- 
posed for  captains  when  in  command  of  their  companies. 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General,  U.  S.  A." 


In  the  following  session  of  Congress  a  bill  was  introduced  into  the  House 
of  Representatives  graduating  the  pay  of  medical  officers  on  the  plan  above 
proposed,  but  no  action  was  taken  on  it.  In  consequence  of  the  numerous 
petitions  on  the  subject,  not  only  from  the  Medical  Staff  but  also  from  line 
officers,'the  Senate  on  the  eleventh  of  December,  1828.  passed  a  resolution  of 
inquiry,  which  being  referred  to  Surgeon  General  Lovell,  that  officer  addressed 
an  elaborate  review  of  the  case  to  the  Hon.  Thomas  H.  Benton,  chairman  of  the 
Senate  Military  Committee.  Still,  although  bills  were  introduced  into  both 
houses  providing  for  an  increase  of  pay,  they  failed  to  meet  favorable  consideni- 
tion  for  several  years.  In  his  annual  report  for  1831,  Hon.  Lewis  Cass,  Secre- 
tary of  War,  says: 

"  We  have  sixty-four  military  stations  and  recruiting  stations  requiring  surgeons, 
and  we  have  in  service  but  fifty-three  surgeons  and  assistants.  There  is  no  economy 
in  the  present  management,  nor  is  it  advantageous  to  the  public  interest.  An  increase 
of  the  Corps  as  recommended  by  the  Surgeon  General  is  evidently  required.  The 
considerations  urged  by  him  for  an  addition  to  the  pay  of  surgeons  and  assistants  are 
certainly  forcible.  There  is  no  portion  of  the  army  whose  compensation  is  so  inade- 
quate, nor  is  there  any  which  presents  less  prospects  of  reward.  There  are  but  two 
grades  of  rank  in  our  medical  service,  and  the  emolument  of  the  highest  is  but  little 
superior  to  that  of  a  captain." 

And  again  in  the  following  year  he  says : 

"There  is  probably  no  class  of  officers  under  the  government  whose  compensation 
is  more  inadequate  to  their  service  than  that  of  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  Army.  There 
are  but  two  grades,  surgeon  and  assistant  surgeon,  in  the  Corps,  and  the  pay  of  the 
former  is  forty-five  dollars  a  month,  and  the  pay  of  the  latter  forty  dollars  a  month. 
The  prospects  of  gradual  and  continued  promotion  held  out  to  the  other  officers  of  the 
army,  is  a  powerful  incentive  to  good  conduct,  and  when  realized  becomes  its  just 
reward.  Of  this  the  medical  officers  are  deprived,  for  the  slight  difference  in  rank, 
and  pay  at  present  existing  is  scarcely  worthy  of  consideration;  the  nature  of  their 
profession  requiring  time,  experience  and  pecuniary  means  for  its  acquisition;  the 
responsible  and  arduous  services  demanded  of  them;  the  relation,  not  always  a 
pleasant  one,  in  which  they  stand  to  the  line  of  the  army;  and  I  may  add  in  justice 
to  this  meritorious  class  of  officers  their  general  capacity,  respectability  and  good 
conduct,  entitle  them  to  a  higher  rate  of  compensation,  and  I  indulge  the  hope  that 
their  claims  may  be  favorably  considered." 

To  show  how  deeply  the  unfortunate  condition  of  the  Medical  StaflF  had 
excited  the  attention  and  sympathy  of  the  army  at  large,  the  following  petition 
is  selected  from  a  large  number  that  were  presented  to  Congress  during  the 
years  in  which  this  question  was  agitated.  It  was  made  by  the  officers  of  the 
third  and  seventh  regiments  of  infantry : 
"  To  the  Honorable  the  Senate,  etc., 

The  undersigned  officers  of  the  Army  of  the  United  States,  deeply  impressed  with 
a  sense  of  the  value  and  importance  of  the  services  of  the  Medical  Staff,  and  impelled 
by  the  friendly  interest  which  the  peculiar  nature  of  their  duties  so  naturally  awa- 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  139 

kens  in  our  minds,  respectfully  beg  leave  to  make  to  your  honorable  body  such 
representation  in  their  behalf  as  we  believe  to  be  in  consonance  with  the  attributes  of 
justice,  and  therefore  best  calculated  to  ensure  on  the  part  of  your  honorable  body, 
the  most  favorable  consid'eration  touching  their  present  condition.  It  is  one  of  the 
cardinal  principles  flowing  from  our  form  of  government  and  resulting  from  the 
genius  of  our  institutions,  that  the  rate  of  compensation  shall  always  be  in  a  direct 
ratio  to  the  value  of  the  services  rendered  ;  and  taking  this  principle  for  our  guide, 
we  believe  it  may  be  safely  averred  that  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army  labor 
under  peculiar  disadvantages,  and  that  independent  of  certain  oppressive  disabilities 
incidentally  connected  with  the  tenure  of  their  appointment  as  medical  officers,  a 
spirit  of  justice  calls  for  further  legislative  provision  with  reference  to  their  pay  and 
emoluments.  It  is  not  our  design  to  touch  upon  details,  or  to  anticipate  that  liberal 
spirit  which  has  ever  influenced  your  honorable  body,  by  proposing  any  specific 
increase  of  compensation. 

All  the  information  necessary  on  the  subject  of  the  relative  emoluments  of  the 
several  branches  of  the  army,  is  presumed  to  be  in  the  possession  of  your  honorable 
body,  but  we  should  not  do  justice  to  the  subject  did  we  fail  to  present  for  your  con- 
sideration some  facts  of  primary  importance  which  we  would  fain  hope  may  not  fail 
to  sustain  our  petition,  and  induce  your  aquiescence. 

We  regard  it  as  a  leading  defect  of  the  present  system  of  the  organization  of  the 
Medical  Staff,  that  the  same  services  are  rendered  by  all  of  its  members,  that  they 
severally  incur  the  same  responsibilities,  but  receive  unequal  amounts  of  pay,  etc. ; 
that  there  is  an  absence  of  that  great  stimulus  to  human  exertion,  the  prospect  of 
bettering  their  condition  by  a  graduated  increase  of  emoluments  having  reference  to 
length  of  service,  a  defect  which  is  found  in  no  other  branch  of  the  service,  and  which 
is  believed  to  be  seriously  detrimental  to  its  best  interest. 

It  is  to  be  presumed  from  the  vital  importance  to  the  efficiency  of  the  army  which 
results  from  the  employment  of  well  educated  members  of  the  medical  profession,  that 
in  the  legislative  provision  made  for  their  support,  there  would  be  found  sufficient 
inducement  to  retain  them  permanently  in  service.  Yet  from  the  inadequacy  of  their 
compensation  with  reference  to  their  real,  necessities,  the  disproportionate  rate  of 
compensation  between  themselves  and  officers  of  assimilated  rank,  but  more  especially 
to  the  lucrative  practice  of  the  profession  in  civil  life,  it  follows  that  resignations  are 
for  the  most  part  confined  to  that  class  which  is  best  calculated  to  give  efficiency  to  the 
service,  and  respectability  to  the  medical  profession.  Among  the  regulations  which 
have  been  deemed  necessary  for  the  government  of  the  Medical  Staff,  there  are  a 
number  which  are  singularly  oppressive  and  from  the  operation  of  which  all  other 
branches  of  the  service  are  exempt.  From  their  limited  number  they  are  subjected 
to  do  duty  even  when  under  arrest ;  they  cannot  receive  the  indulgence  of  a  furlough 
unless  they  provide  a  substitute  to  discharge  their  duties  except  by  the  special  sanc- 
tion of  the  Secretary  of  War,  and  are  moreover  debarred  the  advantages  of  private 
practice,  subject  to  the  same  restrictions.  We  therefore  pray  that  their  compensa- 
tion may  be  placed  on  such  a  footing,  as  your  honorable  body  on  consideration  of  the 
subject,  may  deem  correspondent  to  their  services." 

Notwithstanding  these  and  other  urgent  appeals  it  was  not  until  the 
thirtieth  of  June,  1834,  that  Congress  finally  passed  a  bill  "Increasing  and 
regulating  the  pay  of  the  Surgeons  and  Assistant  Surgeons  of  the  Army." 
This  bill  was  as  follows : 


"Section  I.  Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  from  and  after  the  passing  of  this  act,  no 
person  shall  receive  the  appointment  of  assistant  surgeon  of  the  army  of  the  United 
States,  unless  he  shall  have  been  examined  and  approved  by  an  Army  Medical  Board, 
to  consist  of  not  less  than  three  surgeons  or  assistant  surgeons  who  shall  be  designated 
for  that  purpose  by  the  Secretary  of  War;  and  no  person  shall  receive  the  appoint- 
ment of  surgeon  in  the  army  of  the  United  States,  unless  he  shall  have  served  at  least 
five  years  as  an  assistant  surgeon,  and  unless  also  he  shall  have  been  examined  by  an 
army  board  constituted  as  aforesaid. 

Section  II.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  Tliat  the  surgeons  in  the  army  of  the 
United  States  shall  be  entitled  to  receive  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  Major;  and 
the  assistant  surgeons  who  shall  have  served  five  years,  shall  be  entitled  to  receive  the 
pay  and  emoluments  of  a  Captain;  and  those  who  shall  have  served  less  than  five 
years,  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  First  Lieutenant ;  and  that  said  assistant  surgeons 
shall  be  entitled  to  receive  the  same  allowance  for  forage  as  they  are  at  present 
entitled  to. 

Section  III.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  every  surgeon  and  assistant  surgeon 
who  shall  have  served  faithfully  ten  years  in  these  grades  respectively,  shall  be  en- 
titled to  receive  an  increase  of  rations  per  day,  equal  to  the  number  of  rations  to 
which  he  may  be  entitled  under  this  act." 

In  order  to  complete  the  record  relative  to  this  question  of  the  pay  and 
emoluments  of  the  Medical  Staff  we  have  been  obliged  to  anticipate  to  some 
extent  the  regular  course  of  events.  It  will  therefore  be  necessary  to  look 
back  for  several  years,  to  consider  other  matters  of  interest  in  connection  with 
the  history  of  the  Department.  The  general  orders  issued  during  the  period 
were  neither  very  numerous  nor  very  important,  yet  they  are  worthy  of  record, 
as  they  show  the  gradual  manner  in  which  the  deficiencies  and  abuses  of  the 
old  organization  were  rectified  and  the  department  grew  into  the  shape  which 
obtained  up  to  the  commencement  of  the  rebellion.  On  the  second  of  Decem- 
ber, 1828,  the  following  order  was  issued  relative  to  the  duties  of  soldiers 
detailed  in  hospitals: 


December  2,  1828. 

No  non-commissioned  officer  or  private  soldier  who  may  be  selected  to  act  as 
steward,  wardmaster,  cook  or  nurse  of  a  hospital  in  conformity  with  the  provisions  of 
paragraph  1232  of  the  General  Regulations,  shall  be  required  by  any  officer  not  of 
the  Medical  Staff  to  perform  any  duty  except  that  of  attending  weekly  inspections, 
the  regular  musters  for  payment,  and  in  cases  of  the  most  urgent  necessity. 

P.  B.  PORTER, 

Secretary  of  War.'' 

So  much  conftision  and  recrimination  had  arisen  from  the  practice  of 
allowing  medical  officers  to  choose  their  own  stations,  that  the  Surgeon  General 
recommended  a  repeal  of  the  order  permitting  it,  and  in  consequence  on  the 
sixteenth  of  March,  1830,  the  following  order  was  promulgated  by  the  War 
Department ; 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  141 

"The  regulation  of  December  14,  1825,  allowing  senior  surgeons  and  assistant 
surgeons  choice  of  stations  is  hei'eby  rescinded.  They  will  hereafter  be  assigned  to 
the  several  regiments  and  posts  by  the  Secretary  of  War  on  application  through  the 
Surgeon  General. 

No  surgeon  or  assistant  surgeon  shall  receive  a  furlough  or  leave  of  absence  for  a 
period  exceeding  thirty  days,  and  no  extension  of  such  furlough  or  leave  of  absence 
shall  be  granted  until  he  shall  have  returned  to  the  post  where  he  was  stationed  at 
the  time  of  receiving  said  furlough.  In  all  cilses  where  a  furlough  for  a  longer  period 
is  required,  application  must  be  made  to  the  Secretary  of  War  accompanied  with  the 
written  approval  of  the  commanding  officer  of  the  regiment  or  post.  The  expenses 
incident  to  the  employment  of  private  physicians  make  it  necessary  to  withhold  fur- 
loughs unless  under  circumstances  of  high  necessity.  Such  surgeons  and  assistant 
surgeons  as  are  now  on  furlough  will  repair  to  their  respective  posts  by  the  time  of 
the  expiration  of  the  furlough  ;  and  all  will  be  expected  to  be  at  their  posts  by  the 
fifteenth  of  April,  unless  sufficient  cause  to  justify  their  absence  shall  be  shown  to  the 


Secretary  of  War.'" 

Other  orders,  pertaining  to  the  duties  of  medical  officers,  which  were 
issued  about  this  time,  were  as  follows : 


Washington,  April  2,  1880. 
Orders,  No.  13. 

To  avoid  the  inconvenience  resulting  from  the  suspension  of  the  functions  of  the 
officers  of  the  Medical  Staff,  it  is  recommended  to  officers  in  command  that  whenever 
charges  shall  be  preferred  against  a  surgeon  or  assistant  surgeon,  that  they  transmit 
the  charges  to  the  officer  having  authority  to  order  a  General  Court-Martial  for  his 
trial,  and  a  copy  thereof  to  the  party  accused ;  but  not  to  put  the  surgeon  or  assistant 
surgeon  in  arrest  until  the  court  ordered  for  his  trial  shall  have  assembled. 
By  order  of  Alexander  Macomb, 

Major  General  Commanding  the  Army. 
\  ■  R.  JONES, 

Adjutant  General.'" 


May  14,  1830. 
The  Surgeon  General  and  Assistant  Surgeon  resident  at  Washington  will  give 
medical  attendance  to  such  officers  living  at  the  city  of  Washington  on  duty,  and 
their  families  as  shall  become  sick ;  and  no  citizen  physician's  account  will  hereafter 
be  allowed  unless  it  shall  appear  that  the  Surgeon  General  or  the  Assistant  Surgeon 
was  applied  to,  and  that  the  aid  of  neither  could  be  procured. 

J.  H.  EATON, 
V  Secretary  of  War." 

The  question  of  the  reduction  of  the  expenses  of  the  army  was  made  the 
subject  of  discussion  in  Congress  during  the  years  1829  and  1830,  and  on  the 
twenty-sixth  of  April  in  the  latter  year  the  House  of  Representatives  passed 
the  following  resolution : 


''Resolved,  That  the  Secretary  of  War  be  directed  to  report  to  this  House  at  the 
commencement  of  the  next  session,  whether  any  reduction  in  the  number  of  otficers 
in  the  Army  of  the  United  States,  can  be  made  without  injury  to  the  public  service 
and  if  any  what  reduction;  together  with  a  plan  for  the  most  efficient  organizatiot)  of 
the  army  in  conformity  with  the  reduction  proposed." 

To  obtain  the  data  necessary  for  making  the  above  report,  the  Secretary  of 
War  addressed  a  circular  to  all  the  General  and  other  principal  officers,  request- 
ing their  opinion  as  to  what  changes  would  inure  to  the  advantage  of  the 
service.  In  their  replies  Generals  Scott,  Clinch  and  others  recommended  no 
change  whatever;  General  Gaines  and  Colonel  Cummings,  third  infantry, 
advised  a  return  to  the  old  system  of  regimental  medical  officers  and  post 
surgeons;  General  Atkinson  considered  the  Medical  Department  as  essential, 
and  that  under  the  wide  distribution  of  the  troops  any  reduction  of  the  number 
of  medical  officers  would  be  seriously  detrimental  to  the  best  interests  of  the 
service.  Colonel  Crane,  fourth  artillery,  said ;  "  The  Medical  Department  it  is 
believed  would  be  improved  by  abolishing  the  grade  of  assistant  surgeon,  (as 
there  is  no  rank  or  distinction  among  medical  men  except  what  merit  may  give,) 
and  fixing  their  pay  and  emoluments  according  to  their  length  of  service ; 
allowing  them  a  higher  scale  of  consideration  when  they  come  in  contact  with 
officers  of  the  line  than  they  have  heretofore  received." 

The  opinion  of  the  Surgeon  General  was  positive  not  only  against  any 
reduction  of  the  number  of  medical  officers,  but  also  in  favor  of  their  decided 
increase.  For  five  years  in  his  quarterly  reports  to  the  Secretary  of  War  he 
had  not  failed  to  call  attention  to  the  want  of  medical  officers  at  many  of  the 
posts,  and  the  lack  of  economy  and  efficiency  in  the  employment  of  citizen 
physicians  under  contract.  He  had  repeatedly  shown  the  injustice  done  to 
those  in  service,  from  the  fact  of  the  number  of  posts  being  greater  than  that 
of  the  medical  officers ;  some  of  the  latter  having  been  continuously  on  duty 
for  many  years,  without  any  opportunity  to  obtain  a  leave  of  absence  without 
employing  a  physician  at  their  own  expense,  which  they  could  not  affi)rd  to  do. 
Upon  being  called  upon,  therefore,  by  the  Secretary  of  War  for  his  opinion  on 
these  questions  during  the  discussion  of  the  above  resolution  in  the  House  of 
Representatives,  he  wrote  the  following  reply,  reiterating  the  sentiments  ex- 
pressed in  his  previous  reports : 

Hon.  J.  H.  Eaton,  9  January,  1830. 

Secretary  of  Wab. 
Sir:  In  reply  to  your  letter  of  the  seventh  inst.,  enclosing  the  copy  of  a  resolu- 
tion of  the  Committee  on  Retrenchment,  I  beg  leave  to  state  that  any  reduction  of  the 
number  or  compensation  of  the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  of  the  army  is  deemed 
inexpedient,  as  the  necessity  of  an  increase  of  their  number,  and  the  equity  of  an 


FROM  1821  TO  1846.  143 

increase  of  their  compensation,  has  been  fully  stated  in  reports  heretofore  made  to  the 
Department;  and  it  is  understood  that  a  bill  for  these  purposes  has  been  recently 
reported  to  the  House  of  Representatives. 

With  regard  to  the  responsibilities,  economy  and  efficiency  of  the  administrative 
branch  of  this  Department,  I  beg  leave  respectfully  to  refer  to  the  73rd  article  of  the 
army  regulations  defining  the  duties  of  its  several  officers,  and  to  remark  that  the  average 
expense  during  the  three  years  previous  to  its  present  organization  was  about  seven 
dollars  per  man,  and  for  the  two  subsequent  years  about  three  dollars  per  man,  making 
a  difference  of  about  $45,000  per  annum.  Since  the  reduction  of  tlie  army  in  1821, 
the  ratio  of  expense  has  continued  about  the  same,  and  in  proportion  to  the  existing 
establishment  is  less  now  than  it  was  under  that  of  1802.  This  has  been  effected  bj- 
the  regulations  adopted  in  relation  to  purchasing  and  furnishing  supplies,  auditing 
accounts,  securing  responsibility  for  all  public  property  under  the  charge  of  the  several 
officers  of  the  Department,  and  requiring  reports  tliat  shall  show  the  manner  in  which 
their  official  duties  are  performed,  and  it  is  therefore  believed  that  if  any  further 
improvements  are  required  in  these  respects,  they  may  be  made  by  such  alterations 
in  the  regulations  referred  to,  as  experience  may  suggest,  or  the  exigencies  of  the  ser- 
vice may  require,  since  from  the  nature  of  the  case  all  the  expenses  of  the  Depart- 
ment are  contingent,  and  its  economy  and  efficiency  must  mainly  depend  upon  the 
manner  in  which  its  administrative  duties  are  performed. 

•  With  respect  to  the  expenses  of  this  branch  of  the  Department,  I  have  to  state 
that  the  compensation  at  present  allowed  to  its  principal  officer  is  somewhat  less  than 
that  allowed  to  the  other  officers  performing  similar  duties,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Paymaster  General;  and  that  the  only  clerk  employed  receives  a  salary  of  the  fifth 
rate;  there  being  but  two  lower  under  existing  laws.  The  contingent  expenses  for 
fuel,  stationery,  printing,  etc.,  for  the  four  last  years  have  averaged  §226  per  annum, 
and  the  estimates  are  believed  to  be  as  low  as  the  duties  of  the  office  will  permit. 

Previous  to  the  reduction  of  the  army  in  1821  the  officers  of  the  Apothecaries' 
Department,  were  required  bylaw  "to  give  bonds  to  the  United  States,  with  good 
and  sufficient  security  for  the  faithful  performance  of  their  duties  in  such  sums  as 
shall  be  required  by  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  Army,  under  the  direction  of  the 
War  Department,"  (Act  May  8,  1820),  and  I  would  respectfully  suggest  the  propriety 
of  requiring  similar  bonds  from  the  surgeon  or  assistant  surgeons  who  have  been,  or 
may  be  assigned  to  perform  these  duties,  as  they  must  necessarily  have  a  large  amount 
of  property  under  their  charge,  and  would  make  considerable  disbursements  on 
account  of  the  Department. 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General." 

Six  months  later,  he  wrote  again  to  the  Secretary  as  follows : 

Hon.  J.  H.  Eatox,  1  August,  1880. 

Secretary  op  War. 
Sir:  In  compliance  with  a  resolution  of  (he  House  of  Representatives  received 
on  the  fourth  of  May  last,  requiring  a  report  '  whether  any  reduction  in  the  number 
of  officers  in  the  army  of  the  United  States  can  be  made  without  injury  to  the  public 
service;  and  if  any  what  reduction;  together  with  a  plan  for  the  most  efficient  or- 
ganization of  the  army,  in  conformity  with  the  reduction  proposed,'  and  in  relation  to 


the  Medical  Department  I  have  to  state,  that  notwithstanding  a  very  considerable 
increase  in  the  number  of  military  posts  and  stations,  tlie  number  of  medical  officers 
is  less  than  it  has  been  at  any  period  within  the  last  twenty  years. 

Under  the  establishment  of  1808  before  the  late  war,  there  were  sixty-nine  sur- 
geons and  mates;  under  that  of  1815  after  the  war,  there  were  at  first  seventy-seven 
and  subsequently  sixty-nine,  while  under  that  of  1821,  with  a  trifling  if  with  any 
reduction  of  posts  it  was  reduced  to  fifty-three.  Even  under  the  establishment  of 
1802  with  half  the  force  and  probably  less  than  half  the  number  of  stations  there 
were  thirty-three  surgeons  and  mates ;  and  at  least  double  that  number  is  required 
at  present. 

This  number  even  if  a  furlough  or  leave  of  absence  be  granted  on  no  occasion 
and  the  whole  be  constantly  fit  for  duty,  is  insufficient  to  meet  the  demands  of 
the  service,  as  has  been  stated  and  fully  explained  in  former  reports  to  the 
Department  on  this  subject.  From  ten  to  twelve  private  physicians  have  generally 
been  required  at  the  regular  stations,  and  others  are  necessarily  employed  during  the 
year  for  limited  periods.  By  a  report  to  the  Department  on  the  eighteenth  of  April 
last  it  appears  that  $22,633  were  expended  on  this  account  in  the  years  1828  and 
1829,  of  which  §18,370  were  paid  to  those  employed  at  the  several  stations  and  for 
attending  detachments  on  the  march ;  and  the  remainder  for  attendance  on  officers 
and  their  families  stationed  at  places  where  there  was  no  surgeon  of  the  army.  The 
amount  expended  on  this  account  during  the  two  first  quarters  of  the  present  year 
was  $6,025.  Unless  therefore,  there  be  a  material  change  in  the  distribution  of  the 
army,  and  the  posts  be  reduced  below  what  they  have  been  for  the  last  ten  years,  no 
reduction  can  be  made  in  the  number  of  surgeons  without  a  proportionate  increase  of 
the  expenses  of  the  Department,  and  without  disadvantage  to  the  public  service. 

With  regard  to  the  administrative  branch  of  the  Department,  it  is  believed  to 
have  answered  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  established  by  securing  the  professional 
responsibility  of  its  several  officers,  a  strict  accountability  for  public  property,  and  a 
material  reduction  of  its  expenses.  By  the  regulations  of  1818  which  were  compiled 
with  especial  reference  to  the  well  known  deficiencies  of  the  Department  in  all  these 
respects,  both  during  the  late  war  and  under  the  organization  of  1815,  every  officer  is 
required  to  make  full  reports  to  the  chief  of  the  Department  on  all  matters  relating  to 
his  professional  duties,  with  'remarks  relative  to  the  nature  and  symptoms  of  the 
the  diseases  reported,  the  treatment  adopted,  the  medicines  and  stores  most  in  demand, 
&c.,  &c.,  together  with  observations  on  the  medical  topography  of  the  post,  station  or 
hospital,  the  climate,  prevalent  diseases,  their  probable  causes,  etc'  Reports  of  this 
character  from  every  surgeon  having  charge  of  an  hospital,  made  at  various  periods 
and  from  every  section  of  th6  country,  will  enable  the  latter  on  his  part  to  make  the 
'returns  and  reports  necessary  to  explain  all  the  concerns  of  the  Department  under 
his  charge,  with  such  remarks  relative  to  improvements  in  practice  and  police,  and  to 
the  clothing  and  subsistence  of  the  army,  as  may  seem  to  be  required  for  the  preser- 
vation of  health,  the  comfort  and  recovery  of  the  sick,  and  the  good  of  the  public 
service;'  and  if  he  possesses  the  requisite  professional  information  and  experience  in 
army  and  hospital  practice,  these  circumstances  cannot  fail  to  furnish  him  with  the 
means  of  appreciating  the  qualifications,  services  and  merit  of  those  by  whom  they 
are  made. 

The  information  thus  obtained  in  reference  to  the  diseases  of  the  several  posts  and 
the  practice  of  the  surgeons,  as  well  as  of  the  state  of  their  supplies  and  the  quantities 
ordinarily  expended  with  a  given  number  of  men  in  the  several  sections  of  country. 

PROM  1821  TO  1846.  145 

through  the  returns  and  requisitions  required  by  the  regulations,  will  not  only  enable 
liim  to  keep  every  post  regularly  and  amply  supplied,  but  to  examine  all  returns  with 
reference  to  these  facts  and  circumstances,  and  to  see  that  every  article  is  satisfactorily 
accounted  for,  and  that  the  expenditures  are  in  proportion  to  the  diseases  and  cases 
repwted.  From  these  data  again,  accurate  and  specific  estimates  can  be  made  of  the 
probable  expenses  of  the  Department  for  each  year,  and  for  any  given  number  of 
men;  while  a  supervision  of  the  purchases  and  disbursements  enable  him  to  limit  the 
expenses  of  the  several  items  of  appropriation  that  may  have  been  made  in  conformity 
with  these  estimates ;  so  that  while  on  the  one  hand  he  is  held  responsible  that  the 
hospitals  are  regularly  furnished  with  suitable  medical  attendance,  and  amply  supplied 
with  whatever  may  be  necessary  for  the  comfort  and  recovery  of  the  sick,  on  the 
other  he  has  every  inducement  to  effect  this  at  the  least  possible  expense.  The  result 
of  these  arrangements  has  been  to  render  the  expenses  of  the  Department  materially 
less  than  they  have  been  at  any  former  period.  In  1806  and  1807,  under  the  estab- 
lishment of  1802,  they  were  four  dollars  per  man,  in  1810  and  1811,  under  that  of 
1808  and  before  the  late  war,  they  were  five  dollars  per  man,  in  1817  and  1818,  under 
that  of  1815  and  for  the  two  years  previously  to  the  present  organization,  they  were 
seven  dollars  and  a  half  per  man,  while  in  1819  and  1820  they  weje  but  three  dollars 
per  man.  The  average  of  1817  and  1818  was  $95,416,  and  that  of  1819  and  1820, 
but  $39,104.  In  1818,  $87,745  were  expended,  and  in  1819  under  precisely  similar 
circumstances,  but  $40,914,  or  less  than  one-half.  Since  the  reduction  of  the  army  in 
1821  the  ratio  has  continued  the  same,  with  the  exception  of  that  for  private  physi- 
cians as  has  been  above  explained. 

The  seventy-third  article  of  the  army  regulations  are  believed  fully  to  exhibit  all 
the  duties  that  can  devolve  on  the  Medical  Department  either  on  a  war  or  peace  estab- 
lishment, and  it  is  also  believed  that  a  reference  to  these  regulations  and  to  the 
operations  of  the  Department  for  the  last  twelve  years  will  show  that  the  organization 
of  1821  is  well  calculated  to  insure  the  efficiency  of  the  Department  at  the  least  pos- 
sible expense,  it  being  only  necessary  to  increase  the  number  of  surgeons  in  proportion 
to  the  force  to  be  raised,  the  service  to  be  performed,  and  the  number  of  posts  to  be 
occupied ;  and  to  allow  the  chief  of  the  Department  the  assistant  required  for  the 
performance  of  his  duties  as  its  '  Director  and  immediate  accounting  officer.' 

Very  respectfully. 

Your  obedient  servant, 


•  Surgeon  General." 

The  Secretary  of  War  in  communicating  these  various  opinions  to  the 
Military  Committee  of  the  House,  wrote  an  elaborate  report  on  the  subject  of 
anny  organization.  The  only  suggestion  he  made  in  reference  to  the  Medical 
Department  was  as  follows : 

"  The  Surgeon  General  of  the  Army  might  be  dispensed  with.  He  has  no  dis- 
bursements to  superintend  or  make,  no  bonds  to  receive,  no  accounts  to  revise  or 
responsibilities  to  encounter.  The  principal  and  material  duty  to  be  encountered  by 
him  is  in  the  purchasing  and  distributing  of  medicines,  a  duty  which  is  performed  by 
a  quartermaster  of  the  army  at  New  York,  at  which  place  medical  supplies  are 
obtained,  and  from  which  point  they  are  distributed  to  the  several  posts." 

10  • 


It  is  not  surprising  that  so  uncalled  for  a  recommendation  should  have 
been  keenly  felt  by  the  Surgeon  General,  whose  faithful  and  economical  admin- 
istration of  the  aflFairs  of  his  department  for  thirteen  years,  had  been  a  matter 
of  universal  commendation.  After  a  personal  conversation  with  the  Secretary 
on  the  subject,  he  obtained  his  permLssion  to  address  him  another  communica- 
tion to  be  transmitted  to  the  House  of  Representatives.  In  this  letter,  which 
is  too  long  for  insertion,  he  reviews  in  detail  the  history  of  the  Department 
since  he  assumed  control  of  its  affaire.  He  shows  that  the  statement  of  the 
Secretary  that  the  purchasing  and  distributing  of  medicines  was  performed  by 
a  quartermaster  in  New  York,  was  entirely  incorrect,  Surgeon  T.  G.  Mower 
having  been  stationed  for  ten  years  in  that  city  in  the  performance  of  this  very 
duty,  to  which  he  had  been  detailed  on  the  abolition  of  the  Apothecaries' 
Department  in  1821,  and  that  the  Quartermaster's  Department  had  been  by 
paragraph  1010  of  the  Army  Regulations  expressly  prohibited  from  making 
such  purchases,  but  that  in  order  to  meet  certain  contingent  expenses  when  cash 
payments  were  necessary,  that  department  had  in  a  few  instances  made  pur- 
chases of  bedding  and  furniture  for  the  Medical  Department. 

With  regard  to  the  statement  of  the  Secretary,  that  the  Surgeon  General 
"had  no  disbursements  to  superintend  or  make,  etc.,"  he  shows  that  the  princi- 
pal object  in  the  original  establishment  of  the  office  was  to  make  that  officer 
responsible  for  just  such  duties,  and  that  the  seventy-third  paragraph  of  the 
Army  Regulations  was  drafted  with  a  special  reference  to  this  intention; 
that  all  reports  and  returns  from  medical  officers  were  received  by  him,  all 
orders  in  reference  to  their  duties  issued  through  him,  all  estimates  for 
funds  made  by  him,  all  expenditures  of  appropriations  accounted  for  in 
his  quarterly  reports  to  the  War  Department.  He  shows  further,  by  a 
recapitulation  of  the  statistics  given  in  previous  reports,  that  under  his  adminis- 
tration the  expenses  of  the  Department  have  been  only  about  one-half  what 
they  were  previous  to  thp  reorganization  in  1818,  and  they  could  be  still  further 
reduced  if  the  Medical  Staff  was  sufficiently  large  to  enable  him  to  dispense 
with  the  services  of  contract  physicians.  In  every  particular  he  refutes  the 
statements  of  the  Secretary,  and  without  adverting  to  the  "propriety  of  the 
establishment  or  continuance  of  his  office,"  concludes  by  expressing  a  wish  that 
his  statement  might  be  forwarded  to  the  chairman  of  the  Military  Committee  of 
the  House,  to  whom  the  whole  matter  had  been  referred.  That  body,  after  due 
consideration  of  the  various  reports  received,  decided  that  the  circumstances 
demanded  an  increase  rather  than  a  reduction  of  the  Medical  Staff,  and  reported 
a  bill  to  that  effect  to  the  House,  which,  however,  was  not  passed  until  the 
twenty -eighth  of  June,  1832.     The  bill  was  as  follows: 

FROM  1821  TO  1846. 


"i?e  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  the  President  be,  and  he  is  hereby  authorized  by  and 
with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  to  appoint  four  additional  surgeons  and  tea 
additional  surgeon's  mates  in  the  army  of  the  United  States." 

A  question  arose  in  1829  in  reference  to  the  relative  rank  of  some  of  the 
assistant  surgeons.  In  the  reorganization  of  the  Corps  in  1821,  the  position  of 
officers  on  the  Register  was  fixed  according  to  the  "  relative  rank  of  the  parties  at 
the  time  the  present  appointments  were  made."  Consequently  all  officers  were 
arranged  as  they  had  been  under  the  act  of  April,  1818,  when  the  hospital  sur- 
geons and  surgeon's  mates  became  post  surgeons,  the  Corps  being  only  increased  by 
the  addition  of  the  regimental  surgeon's  mates,  who  were  all  an-anged  as  junior 
to  those  who  had  been  post  surgeons.  The  arrangement  of  1818  was  made 
without  any  regard  to  the  date  of  original  entry  into  sei"vice,  but  only  to  the 
rank  held  by  them  at  the  time  of  the  reorganization  ;  consequently  some  officers 
who  had  served  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  indeed  previous  to  that  time,  were 
arranged  below  others  who  had  been  appointed  hospital  surgeons  subsequent  to 
the  war.  Assistant  Surgeons  Eaton  and  Day  claimed  that  injustice  was  done 
them  in  this  arrangement,  the  latter  having  been  a  garrison  surgeon's  mate  in 
1807,  and  the  former  a  hospital  mate  in  1814.  It  was  therefore  proposed  to 
rectify  the  records  so  as  to  arrange  the  assistant  surgeons  on  the  Register  in  the 
order  of  their  original  entry  into  service  without  regard  to  the  rank  they  held 
at  the  time  of  the  reorganization.     This  necessitated  the  following  changes: 



1.  Asst.  Sl 

2.  " 

3.  " 

rg.  Sargent. 
'       Turner. 
'       Swift. 

4.     " 

'       Monroe, 

5.     " 

'       Smith. 

6.     " 

'       Mann. 

7.  " 

8.  " 

'       Day. 
'      Eaton. 

9.     " 

'       Clitherall 

0.     " 

'       Archer. 



Surg.  Sargent, 



"      Day, 



"       Mann, 



"       Turner, 



"       Swift, 



"      Eaton, 



"       Archer, 



"       Monroe, 



"       Smith, 



"       Clitherall, 


The  Secretary  of  War  favorably  considered  the  appeal  of  Assistant  Sur- 
geons Day  and  Eaton,  and  the  proposed  alterations  were  made,  in  accordance 
with  the  suggestions  of  the  Surgeon  General,  on  the  Army  Register  for  1831. 

Although  the  Army  Kegulations  for  1825  contained  a  clause  that  no  person 
should  receive  the  appointment  of  assistant  surgeon  until  after  examination  by 
a  properly  authorized  board,  yet  this  rule  had  never  been  carried  out  on  account 
of  the  difficulty  of  detailing  medical  officers  for  this  purpose.  General  Orders, 
No.  58,  from  the  War  Department,  dated  July  7,  1832,  reiterated  the  regula- 


tion  and  directed  that  hereafter  it  should  be  strictly  enforced,  and  to  carry  out 
its  provisions  the  following  order  was  issued : 


December  13,  1832. 

A  Medical  Board  will  be  convened  in  the  City  of  New  York  on  the  fifteenth  of 
January  next,  who  will  examine  the  qualifications  of  such  candidates  for  appointment 
in  the  Medical  Department  of  the  Army  as  may  be  authorized  to  present  themselves 
for  that  purpose,  and  will  report  to  the  Surgeon  General  thereon. 

The  Board  will  consist  of  the  following  members,  who  will  receive  the  same  allow- 
ances as  are  authorized  to  members  of  a  Court-Martial. 

Surgeon  Thomas  G.  Mower,  President. 

Surgeon  W.  V.  Wheatpn ;  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  P.  Russell,  members. 

In  case  of  the  absence  of  either  of  the  members.  Assistant  Surgeon  Edward 
Macomb  will  supply  the  vacancy. 


Secretary  of  War." 

The  board  assembled  in  New  York  on  the  day  appointed,  and  held  daily 
sessions  until  the  twenty-fourth  of  January,  when  they  adjourned  sine  die. 
Six  candidates  for  appointment  were  examined,  of  whom  five  were  found 

A  second  board  was  ordered  to  convene  in  New  Orleans  on  the  first  of 
April,  with  the  following  detail:  Surgeon  Thomas  Lawson,  President;  Surgeon 
Thomas  Gr.  Mower  and  Assistant  Surgeon  S.  B.  Smith,  members,  with  Surgeon 
J.  P.  C.  Mac  Mahon  as  supernumerary.  This  board  was  directed,  after  exam- 
ining all  candidates  who  might  present  themselves  in  New  Orleans,  to  proceed 
to  Forts  Pike,  Jackson,  Jesup  and  other  stations  in  the  southwest,  and 
examine  the  medical  oflScers  of  those  posts ;  to  proceed  thence  to  St.  Louis,  and 
hold  sessions  for  the  examination  of  candidates  for  appointment;  then  to  visit 
all  the  northern  and  northwestern  stations,  proceeding  to  New  York  city  as 
soon  as  this  duty  was  performed ;  and  finally  to  Wiishington  for  the  purpose  of 
making  their  report.  They  were  also  directed  at  each  post  visited  to  inspect 
and  report  on  the  condition  of  the  hospital,  the  supplies  and  medicines  furnished, 
the  nature  and  treatment  of  the  sick,  and  all  other  matters  pertaining  to  the 
administration  of  the  Department.  The  board  completed  the  duties  assigned 
them  and  arrived  in  Washington  by  the  twenty-fifth  of  October.  Forty-one 
candidates  were  authorized  to  appear  before  the  board,  of  whom  twenty  presented 
themselves  and  were  examined;  of  these  twelve  were  found  qualified  for 
appointment  and  eight  rejected.  Twenty  medical  officers  were  examined  for 
promotion  of  whom  fifteen  received  a  favorable  report. 

The  experience  gained  by  the  sessions  of  these  boards  made  it  evident 
that  ftirther  regulations  were  advisable  relative  to  appointments  and  promotions. 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  149 

and  on  the  recommendation  of  the  Surgeon   General  the  following  additional 
rules  were  promulgated: 

"1.     In  deciding  on  the  fitness   of    candidates   for   appointment  or  promotion  in 
the  Medical  Staff  to  perform  the  duties  of  the  several  stations  to  which  they  are  to  be 
appointed,  the    Medical   Board    of  Examination   shall   take   into   consideration  their" 
physical  qualifications  and  moral  habits,  as  well  as  their  professional  acquirements. 

2.  Wlien  a  candidate  for  appointment  shall  fail  to  receive  a  favorable  report  from 
a  Medical  Board  of  Examination,  he  shall  if  desired  be  entitled  to  a  second  examina- 
tion after  the  expiration  of  two  years,  and  on  a  second  failure  shall  be  dropped  from 
the  list  of  applicants. 

3.  When  an  assistant  surgeon  shall  fail  to  receive  a  favorable  report  from  a 
Medical  Board  of  Examination,  his  connection  with  the  Medical  Staff  shall  from 
that  time." 

The  following  order  in  reference  to  hospital  stewards  was  issued  during 
this  year: 


October  15,  1833. 

At  garrisons,  posts  and  stations  where  a  suitable  hospital  steward  cannot  be 
obtained  from  the  command,  the  surgeon  or  assistant  surgeon  is  authorized  to  enlist  a 
man  for  the  purpose,  who  will  be  permanently  attached  to  the  hospital  and  will  be 
mustered  with  the  other  hospital  attendants.  Tlie  hospital  steward  who  may  be  so 
enlisted  will  be  entitled  to  receive  fifteen  cents  per  day  extra  pay  when  the  garrison, 
post  or  station  consists  of  from  one  to  five  companies,  and  twenty  cents  per  day  when 
it  exceeds  that  number. 


Secretary  of  War.^' 

In  the  summer  of  1832  occurred  the  Black  Hawk  war,  or  the  "Cholera 
campaign"  as  it  was  generally  known  in  the  army,  from  the  dreadful  ravages  of 
that  disease  among  the  troops  ordered  to  the  field.  The  Sac  and  Fox  Indians 
having  assumed  a  hostile  attitude  on  the  borders  of  Illinois  and  Michigan,  all 
the  regular  troops  at  the  west  were  concentrated  for  field  service  at  Fort  Dearborn 
(now  Chicago)  under  command  of  G-eneral  Atkinson.  It  being  anticipated  that  this 
force  would  not  be  sufficient  to  successfully  prosecute  the  war,  troops  were  also 
ordered  from  the  sea-board  and  eastern  lake  stations,  and  Major  General  Win- 
field  Scott  assigned  to  the  command  of  the  whole  force.  Surgeon  Josiah 
Everett  was  Medical  Director.  Seven  companies  of  troops  from  Fort  Monroe 
and  New  York  Harbor,  under  command  of  Colonel  Twiggs,  left  Bufialo  for 
Detroit  on  the  third  of  July  on  the  steamer  "  Henry  Clay."  The  next  day 
when  near  the  latter  city,  a  man  was  taken  suddenly  ill,  and  his  case  pro- 
nounced by  Assistant  Surgeon  Robert  E.  Kerr  to  be  Asiatic  cholera.  Up  to 
that  time  the  disease  had  not  appeared  in  the  United  States,  although  it  had 


been  very  prevalent  at  Quebec  and  other  places  in  Lower  Canada.  The  boat 
was  very  much  crowded,  and  a  large  portion  of  the  men  were  obliged  to  sleep 
on  the  upper  deck  exposed  to  the  night  air.  Just  after  arrival  at  Detroit  a 
second  case  occurred  and  the  first  died,  and  General  Scott  ordered  the  command 
up  the  lake  to  disembark  if  necessary  at  Bois  Blanc,  an  island  near  Mackinaw. 
Surgeon  Everett,  Medical  Director  of  the  Northwestern  Army,  accompanied 
them.  After  leaving  Detroit  cases  multiplied  so  rapidly  and  there  was  such 
alarm  among  the  men  that  Colonel  Twiggs  considered  it  best  to  disembark  as 
soon  as  possible,  and  accordingly  the  troops  were  landed  and  encjmiped  just 
below  Fort  Gratiot.  Just  afl^r  the  disembarkation  a  terrible  rain  storm  came 
up,  which  drenched  the  men  and  materially  increased  the  number  of  cases.  A 
large  barn  was  immediately  taken  for  a  hospital  and  the  sick  made  as  comforta- 
ble as  possible,  but  they  multiplied  so  fast  that  soon  it  was  impossible  to  give 
them  the  requisite  attention.  Doctor  Everett  reported  that  up  to  the  eighth  of 
July  there  had  been  twenty-five  cases  and  seven  deaths.  The  next  day  he  was 
taken  sick  Ijiiuself,  and  died  on  the  fourteenth.  Up  to  the  sixteenth  the  num- 
ber of  deaths  was  thirty-four,  thoiigh  this  does  not  represent  the  total  mortality, 
for  many  soldiers  deserted  in  the  panic  which  ensued  on  their  first  arrival  at 
Fort  Gratiot,  and  taking  the  disease  were  found  dead  and  dying  on  the  roads 
for  many  miles.  After  the  sixteenth  the  disease  declined,  there  being  but  two 
deaths  subsequently. 

The  following  extract  of  a  private  letter  from  a  veteran  ofiicer  of  the  army, 
who  was  on  board  the  "  Henry  Clay,"  besides  giving  an  interesting  description 
of  the  outbreak,  pays  a  high  tribute  to  the  fidelity  and  efficiency  of  Assistant 
Surgeon  Kerr: 

"In  1832  the  troops  in  New  York  Harbor  and  elsewhere  were  ordered  to  the  west 
to  act  against  the  Sacs  and  Foxes  then  hostile  to  us.  Accordingly  the  Fourth  Artillery 
embarked  on  the  eighteenth  of  June  for  Chicago,  via  the  Hudson  river,  the  canal  and 
lakes.  The  Asiatic  cholera  had  then  just  made  its  appearance  in  Canada,  but  not  yet 
in  the  United  States,  and  all  along  the  line  of  the  canal  to  Buffalo,  we  met  evidences 
of  panic  and  alarm  among  the  citizens.  We  arrived  without  incident  at  Buffalo,  and 
sailed  from  thence  on  the  third  of  July  on  the  steamer  Henry  Clay,  Assistant  Surgeon 
Robert  E.  Kerr,  a  young  officer,  being  our  only  medical  officer,  and  of  him  and  not  of  our 
expedition  I  propose  to  write.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  fourth  of  July,  after  we  had  a 
fourth  of  July  dinner,  being  oflF  the  port  of  Erie,  and  while  the  young  officers  were 
joking  about  the  cholera,  the  then  prominent  subject  of  thought,  the  hospital  steward 
came  into  the  cabin  and  reported  to  the  doctor  that  one  of  the  privates  was  taken  sud- 
denly very  ill.  We  went  on  deck  and  found  the  man  in  great  agony,  and  the  doc- 
tor at  once  pronounced  it  a  case  of  cholera.  He  took  the  case  in  hand  and  was  unre- 
mitting in  his  attentions,  but  the  man  died  at  half  past  three  the  next  morning.  This 
was  I  think  the  first  case  in  the  United  States,  and  the  man  came  immediately  from 
Baltimore  and  had  never  been  wliere  the  cholera  was. 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  151 

Before  he  died  another  case  occurred,  and  during  the.  night  we  arrived  at  Detroit, 
where  we  were  visited  by  Dr.  Everett  and  several  citizen  physicians  who  all  pronounced 
the  disease  to  be  Asiatic  cholera.  General  Scott  ordered  us  to  proceed  about  three 
miles  up  the  strait,  and  there  await  his  further  orders.  The  next  morning  having 
been  joined  by  Dr.  Everett,  who  was  chief  of  General  Scott's  Medical  Staff,  we  were 
ordered  to  proceed  on  our  voyage.  The  cases  at  this  time  increased  very  fast,  the  first 
three  being  from  Major  Payne's  company,  but  then  it  extended  not  only  to  the  other 
troops  but  also  to  the  crew,  so  that  before  we  got  to  Fort  Gratiot  the  decks  were 
covered  with  the  dead  and  dying,  and  not  enough  men  remained  to  navigate  the 
vessel,  so  that  the  voyage  was  broken  up  and  we  landed  about  a  mile  below  Fort 
Gratiot  where  we  encamped.  A  heavy  rain  came  on  and  the  cases  increased  rapidly 
and  among  them  Dr.  Everett,  so  that  Dr.  Kerr  was  the  only  medical  officer.  The  sick 
were  removed  to  a  neighboring  barn,  which  was  soon  filled;  I  counted  one  morning  in 
passing  it,  six  dead  bodies  lying  outside  awaiting  burial. 

The  disease  raged  with  unabated  fury  (including  several  officers  among  its  victims, 
of  which  two.  Dr.  Everett  and  Lieutenant  Clay  died)  until  July  11th,  when  it  began 
to  abate  though  there  were  daily  deaths  for  some  time  afterwards.  Amid  all  these 
scenes  Dr.  Kerr  unassisted  attended  to  officers  and  men  both  day  and  night,  and 
I  think  never  had  the  slightest  relaxation  during  that  time.  His  devotion  to  duty  was 
the  admiration,  and  his  power  of  endurance  the  wonder  of  all.  The  last  case  was 
taken  sick  on  the  sixteenth,  and  the  last  deatli  occurred  on  the  twenty-first.  We  lost 
I  think  between  forty  and  fifty,  and  I  lost  one-third  of  my  company." 

Two  days  after  the  command  above  mentioned  left  Detroit,  the  cholera 
broke  out  in  a  detachment  of  troops  from  Fort  Niagara  which  was  in  Detroit 
awaiting  transportation  to  Chicago.  Within  twenty-four  hours  there  were 
eleven  cases  and  four  deaths;  when  the  city  authorities  becoming  alarmed 
requested  the  removal  of  the  troops,  and  they  were  accordingly  embarked  on 
the  steamer  "Superior"  en  ronte  for  Chicago.  The  day  after  their  departure 
fourteen  new  cases  came  on  sick  report  and  two  died,  and  it  was  thought  advis- 
able to  land  the  troops,  which  was  done  at  a  point  fourteen  miles  south  of  Fort 
G-ratiot.  Assistant  Surgeon  H.  Stevenson  was  medical  officer  to  this  command. 
Of  a  total  strength  of  but  seventy-eight,  sixty-three  had  the  disease  up  to  the 
fourteenth  of  July,  and  there  were  nineteen  deaths.  In  the  garrison  at  Fort 
Gratiot,  under  charge  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Steinecke,  during  the  same  period 
there  were  twenty-one  deaths.  The  disease  was  carried  to  Chicago  by  steam- 
boats from  Detroit,  from  whence  Assistant  Surgeon  DeCamp  reported  two 
hundred  cases  admitted  to  hospital  in  six  days  of  a  mean  strength  of  about  one 
thousand,  and  fifty-one  deaths.  This  command  marched  subsequently  to  the 
Mississippi  river  and  the  pestilence  reappeared  among  them  on  their  arrival  at 
their  destination  and  proved  almost  as  fetal  as  in  Chicago.  In  fact  the  whole 
expedition  was  completely  broken  up  by  the  ravages  of  the  disease ;  but  as 
General  Atkinson's  command  had  taken  the  field  before  its  appearance  it 
escaped,  and  was  enabled  to  prasecute  the  war  to  a  successful  termination. 


3Iuch  astonishment  was  expressed  at  the  time  that  the  disease  should  have 
broken  out  on  steamers  on  the  lake  many  miles  from  any  land,  and  it  was 
thought  by  many  to  be  an  instance  of  the  transfer  of  the  contagious  elements 
through  the  atmosphere ;  but  it  was  subsequently  ascertained  that  both  the 
"Henry  Clay"  and  the  "Superior"  had  been  employed  in  carrying  emigrants 
(among  whom  the  disease  prevailed)  from  Quebec  to  Montreal,  and  there  seems 
little  reason  to  doubt  that  the  boats  were  infected  previous  to  their  charter  by 
the  United  States.  In  the  Southern  Division  and  especially  at  New  Orleans 
the  disease  was  very  prevalent.  Three  hundred  and  eighty-four  cases  were 
reported,  of  which  eighty-eight  died. 

On  the  third  of  March,  1834,  the  third  medical  board  convened  in  Wash- 
ington. It  was  composed  of  the  same  members  as  the  preceding  one.  Twenty 
candidates  for  appointment  were  authorized  to  appear  for  examination,  of  whom 
eight  received  a  favorable  report.  On  the  third  of  November  a  fourth  board 
assembled  in  Now  York  city,  composed  of  Surgeons  Thomas  G.  Mower  and 
Zina  Pitcher  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Thomas  Henderson,  with  Assistant  Sur- 
geon Joseph  P.  Russell  as  supernumerary.  Thirteen  candidates  were  authorized 
to  appear,  of  whom  nine  were  examined  and  four  passed  a  satisfactory  exami- 
nation. This  was  the  first  board  assembled  pursuant  to  the  act  of  Congress  of 
June  30,  1834,  and  it  may  be  interesting  to  present  an  account  of  the  manner 
in  .which  exanainations  were  conducted  at  that  time,  as  given  in  the  following 
extract  of  a  report  by  Surgeon  Mower : 

"In  ascertaining  the  professional  attainments  of  candidates  it  became  at  first  the 
duty  of  the  Board  to  decide  on  the  mode  of  conducting  the  examinations.  The 
most  important  step  was  to  arrange  the  branches  in  which  examination  should  be 

As  the  branches  of  pi*actical  medical  science  are  now  conventionally  and  very  pos- 
itively established,  there  was  no  diificulty  or  doubt  in  arranging  them. 

They  were  divided  by  the  Board  as  follows : 

1.  Anatomy  and  Physiology. 

2.  Surgical  Anatomy,  the  Principles  of  Surgery,  Operative  Surgery. 

3.  The  Theory  and  Practice  of  Medicine. 

4.  Obstetricy. 

•!).     Materia  Medica  and  Pharmacy.  ^   • 

6.  Chemistry. 

7.  Medical  Jurisprudence. 

That  the  first  three  divisions  are  essential  to  the  army  medical  officer  none  can 
doubt.  It  was  therefore  requiretl  that  in  all  these  branches  the  attainments  of  the 
candidates  should  be  unquestionably  respectable.  The  fourth  division,  Obstetricy, 
refers  to  a  class  of  patients  not  recognized  by  army  regulations  as  within  the  specified 
duties  of  the  surgeon.  Yet  universal  usage,  the  dictates  of  humanity,  a  high  sense  of 
professional  pride  and  duty  concur  to  place  the  families  of  officers  and  soldiers  in  a 
moral  relation  to  the  army  surgeon  deeply   interesting  to  them  and  him;  binding  him 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  153 

to  them  as  strongly  as  though  that  relation  were  of  military  obligation.  Nothing  can 
add  to  the  interest  which  the  good  surgeon  feels  towards  that  class  of  persons ;  therefore 
Obstetricy  becomes  an  important  branch  of  practical  medical  science  in  the  view 
of  the  Board.  Of  Materia  Medica  it  suflBces  to  say,  that  to  be  properly  acquainted 
with  surgery  and  practical  medicine  implies  a  suitable  knowledge  of  the  articles  used 
in  treating  injuries  and  disease.  Therefore  examination  was  not  so  minute  in  this 
branch  as  in  the  preceding.  The  candidates  were  questioned  almost  exclusively  on 
what  is  termed  Medical  Chemistry;  and  Medical  Jurisprudence  was  referred  to  only 
as  it  practically  involved  the  interests  and  fate  of  its  subjects. 

It  will  be  hence  seen,  that  if  to  some  branches  primary  and  essential  importance 
be  ascribed,  from  no  recognized  branch  of  practical  medical  science  was  due  or  relative 
consequence  withheld.  The  relation,  strictly  maintained,  was  that  of  foundation  and 
superstructure.        *        *        *        * 

The  examinations  were  long  and  patiently  conducted.  Two  sessions  were  allotted 
to  every  case  except  one,  and  part  of  three  days  were  given  to  that  case. 

Every  effort  was  made  to  render  the  examinations  unembarassing.  Perspicuity 
and  precision  were  constantly  studied ;  and  in  no  instance  was  the  candidate  occasioned 
the  least  perplexity.  It  was  well  ascertained  that  the  scope  of  every  question  was 
perfectly  understood  by  the  candidate.  It  was  a  leading  feature  in  the  examination 
that  they  were  confined  to  subjects  of  practical  importance.  All  speculative  or  abstract 
discussions  were  avoided. 

It  was  stated  to  the  candidates  that  in  answering  questions  and  in  giving  their 
opinions,  they  might  refer  to  any  respectable  authority ;  and  that  the  Board  would 
highly  regard  inferences  drawn  from  experience.  Liberality  on  these  points  was  not 
at  all  incompatible  with  an  exercise  of  the  critical  judgment  of  the  Board.  The  ex- 
aminations were  minute,  because  positive  and  particularly  because  relative  merit  could 
only  be  thereby  duly  developed. 

Finally,  the  examinations  were  thus  plainly,  impartially,  practically  and  delib- 
erately conducted,  that  the  candidate  if  rejected,  might  be  convinced  of  his  own  incompe- 
tency.  That  this  expectation  was  not  unwarrantable  is  fully  established  by  several 

The  only  general  order  issued  during  this  year  by  the  War  Department 
which  related  to  the  Medical  Staff,  was  the  following  alteration  in  paragraph 
57  of  the  Army  Regulations : 


March  19,  1834. 
Genekal  Obdees,  No.  23. 

The  following  order  has  been  received  from  the  War  Department : 
'  The  assignment  of  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  to  regiments  and  posts  will 
be  made  by  the  Secretary  of  War.  When  the  circumstances  of  the  service  will  permit, 
those  who  shall  have  served  three  years  in  their  respective  grades  shall  have  choice 
of  stations  agreeably  to  rank,  on  written  application  through  the  Surgeon  General's 
Office  stating  the  reasons  therefor,  but  no  one  will  be  transferred  from  the  post  to 
which  he  may  have  been  assigned  for  the  purpose  of  making  room  for  another.' 

By  obder  of  Major  General  Macomb: 


Adjutant  Oeneral." 


The  next  army  board  met  on  the  eighteenth  of  May,  1835,  in  New  York 
city,  and  was  composed  of  Surgeons  Mower,  Wheaton  and  Pitcher.  There 
were  eighteen  candidates  authorized  to  appear  for  examination,  of  whom  seven 
were  favorably  reported  on. 

The  long  pending  troubles  with  the  Seminole  Indians  ui  Florida  assumed 
the  form  of  open  war  in  December  of  this  year.  On  the  twenty-eighth  of  the 
month  the  Indians,  led  by  the  celebrated  Osceola,  attacked  two  companies  of 
troops  under  command  of  Major  Dade,  fourth  infantry,  while  on  the  march 
across  the  peninsula.  But  two  soldiers  escaped  out  of  a  strength  of  about  one 
hundred  and  ten.  Among  the  victims  was  Assistant  Surgeon  John  S.  Gatlin, 
a  young  man  of  great  promise,  who  had  entered  the  army  at  the  head  of  his 
class  but  two  or  three  years  before.  Troops  were  immediately  hurried  to  the 
scene  of  hostilities  from  all  parts  of  the  country.  A  regiment  of  volunteers 
was  raised  in  Louisiana  by  Colonel  P.  F.  Smith,  of  which  Surgeon  Thomas 
Lawson  was  offered  the  Lieutenant  Colonelcy.  He  accepted  it,  and  in  this 
rather  anomalous  capacity,  rendered  as  efficient  serA^ice  as  he  had  done  for 
many  years  in  his  appropriate  sphere.  In  May,  1836,  the  troops  from  the 
north  destined  for  service  in  Florida  and  Alabama  were  concentrated  at  Fort 
Mitchell,  Alabama,  and  Doctor  Lawson  (whose  term  of  service  as  a  volunteer 
officer  had  expired)  was  assigned  to  duty  as  Medical  Director.  A  brigade  of 
regular  troops  came  from  Louisiana  and  took  the  field,  with  Tampa  as  a 
base  of  supplies.  Of  this  column  General  Gaines  had  the  command  and 
Assistant  Surgeon  H.  L.  Heiskell  was  chief  medical  officer,  subordinate,  how- 
ever, to  Surgeon  Lawson.  Assistant  Surgeon  Edward  Worrell  was  ordered 
from  New  York  in  charge  of  a  large  quantity  of  medical  stores,  and  a  purvey- 
ing depot  established  for  their  distribution,  under  charge  of  Assistant  Surgeon 
George  F.  Turner.  In  August,  1836,  a  general  hospital  was  organized  at 
St.  Augustine,  which  was  placed  in  charge  of  Assistant  Surgeon'  Joseph  P. 
Russell.  On  account  of  the  difficulties  attendant  on  communication  with  the 
eastern  side  of  the  peninsula  from  head-quarters.  Surgeon  H.  S.  Hawkins  was 
appointed  Medical  Director  of  the  forces  operating  to  the  east  of  Lake 
0-kee-cho-bee.  In  consequence  of  the  war  the  demand  for  medical  officers 
was  very  great,  and  many  posts  in  other  sections  of  the  country  were  deprived 
of  regular  medical  attendance  to  meet  the  necessities  of  the  troops  in  the  field. 
Surgeon  General  Lovell  addressed  several  reports  to  the  Secretary  of  War. 
calling  his  attention  to  this  deficiency  in  medical  officers,  and  urging  an  addition 
of  at  least  five  surgeons  and  ten  assistant  surgeons  to  the  Corps.  Accordingly 
on  the  fourth  of  July,  1836,  Congress  passed  an  act  of  which  the  following  is 
an  extract : 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  155 

"Section  IV.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  President  of  the  United  States 
be,  and  he  hereby  is  authorized  and  empowered  to  appoint  three  additional  surgeons 
and  five  assistant  surgeons  to  be  attached  to  the  Medical  StaiF  of  the  army." 

To  fill  these  vacancies  a  medical  board,  consisting  of  Surgeon  Pitcher 
and  Assistant  Surgeons  Russell  and  Hawkins,  was  ordered  to  convene  at  Bal- 
timore. Twenty-four  candidates  were  authorized  to  appear  for  examination, 
of  whom  six  were  passed  and  eight  rejected.  These  not  being  sufficient  t6  fill 
the  Corps  to  the  maximum,  another  board  met  in  New  York  city  on  th6  first  of 
August.  This  was  composed  of  Surgeon  Mower  and  Assistant  Surgeons 
Steinecke  and  Henderson,  and  examined  thirty-four  candidates,  of  whom  but 
seven  received  a  favorable  report. 

Almost  the  last  official  act  of  any  importance  performed  by  Sur- 
geon General  Lovell  was  his  report  of  June  4,  1836,  to  the  Secretary 
of  War  on  the  condition  of  the  Medical  Corps,  and  the  necessity  for  its 
increase.  Soon  after  his  wife,  a  most  estimable  lady,  to  whom  he  was 
devotedly  attached,  died,  and  he  never  recovered  from  the  effects  of  the  blow. 
Naturally  of  a  delicate  constitution,  his  affliction  utterly  prostrated  him,  and  he 
died,  worn  out  by  grief  and  anxiety,  on  the  seventeenth  of  October.  The 
National  Intelligencer  of  Washington  contained  the  following  obituary  notice 
a  few  days  after  his  death : 

"  It  rarely  falls  to  our  lot  to  record  the  death  of  one  whose  loss  to  the  com- 
munity and  the  profession,  both  military  and  civil,  of  which  he  was  a  distinguished 
member,  is  so  deeply  and  widely  spread  as  the  untimely  exitof  Doctor  Joseph  Lovell, 
late  Surgeon  General  of  the  army.  Cut  down  in  the  prime  of  life,  in  the  full  career 
of  great  usefulness,  he  has  left  a  void  in  society  and  in  the  military  services  of  his 
country  which  but  few  who  may  follow  can  adequately  fill.  Doctor  Lovell  entered 
the  army  in  1812,  on  the  declaration  of  war  with  Great  Britain,  as  surgeon  of  the  9th 
regiment  of  U.  S.  Infantry.  He  served  in  the  memorable  campaigns  on  the  Niagara 
frontier  in  1813  and  1814.  His  patriotic  devotion  to  the  public  service,  and  the  faith- 
ful discharge  of  his  official  duties,  soon  distinguished  him  in  the  camp  and  in  the  field 
among  his  brother  officers  and  in  his  profession.  Promoted  to  the  rank  of  Hospital 
Surgeon,  he  was  eventually  selected  by  President  Monroe  in  1818  to  fill  the  important 
station  of  Surgeon  General  of  the  army,  a  post  which  his  talents,  medical  skill  and 
above  all  his  great  experience  as  a  tried  officer  of  the  Medical  StaflF,  eminently  quali- 
fied him  to  fill  with  honor  and  great  advantage  to  the  public  service.  In  his  social 
duties,  the  domestic  circle,  and  as  father  and  husband — all  the  ties  which  bind  the 
christian  and  the  man  to  the  obligations  of  the  world — Doctor  Lovell  stood  conspicuous. 
His  bereaved  family,  eleven  motherless  and  now  fatherless  children,  who  will  attempt 
to  depict  their  woe !  Let  other  hands  at  a  more  appropriate  season  fill  up  the  outline 
of  the  character  and  services  of  the  lamented  Lovell,  now  hastily  and  so  briefly 

Every  mark  of  respect  was  paid  to  his  mortal  remains  last  evening  at  four  o'clock, 
by  his  numerous  friends,  both  officers  and  citizens.     We  also  noticed  the  President's 


family,  the  Heads  of  the  Departments  and  Bureaux,  and  the  principal  officers  of  the 
government  now  at  Washington.  The  pall-bearers  were  Major  General  Macomb,  Brig- 
adier General  Jones,  General  Towson,  Colonel  Wainwright,  Commodore  Rogers,  Com- 
modore Morris,  Colonel  Twiggs,  Major  Cross.  The  clergy,  medical  faculty,  and  officers 
of  the  army,  navy  and  marine  corps  present  at  the  seat  of  government  followed  tlie 
relations  of  the  deceased  as  mourners.  We  understand  that  it  was  the  wish  of  several 
volunteer  corps  of  the  District  to  have  participated  in  paying  the  highest  military 
honors  to  the  deceased  if  time  and  circumstances  had  permitted." 

The  greatness  of  the  loss  to  the  army,  and  especially  to  the  Corps  which 
he  may  almost  be  said  to  have  brought  into  being,  can  hardly  be  exaggerated. 
He  was  one  of  those  rare  and  lovely  characters  of  whom  it  is  no  aflfectation  to 
say  that  "the  world  was  not  worthy."  One  who  had  long  been  intimately 
connected  with  him,  who  watched  by  his  bed  and  closed  his  dying  eyes,  said  to 
the  writer  of  these  pages,  that  during  a  long  life  of  eighty  years  he  esteemed  it 
his  greatest  privilege  to  have  known  and  loved  such  a  man.  Throughout  his 
official  career  he  had  gained  the  universal  respect,  admiration  and  affection  of 
all  with  whom  he  was  associated.  His  predominent  characteristics  were  a  strong 
sense  of  the  dignity  of  his  position  and  of  the  profession  to  which  he  belonged, 
and  a  gentleness  of  demeanor  in  all  his  relations  both  official  and  personal  with 
the  subordinate  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff.  The  first  was  shown  in  his 
indignant  remonstrance  against  the  misrepresentations  contained  in  the  recom- 
mendation of  the  Secretary  of  War  to  abolish  the  office  of  Surgeon  General ; 
in  his  earnest  efforts,  continued  through  many  years,  for  the  passage  of  an  act  to 
increase  the  pay  and  improve  the  condition  of  the  Medical  Staff;  and  in  his 
quick  resentment  of  any  imputation  on  the  honor  or  integrity  of  any  of  its 
members.  When  the  professional  reputation  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Henderson 
was  foully  aspersed  by  the  Chaplain  at  West  Point,  Doctor  Lovell  wrote  a 
letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War  in  his  defence  which  could  hardly  be  surpassed 
in  its  keenness  of  invective,  the  logic  of  its  argument  and  its  warm  solicitude 
for  the  honor  of  the  Corps  which  he  represented.  On  another  occasion,  when 
a  comparatively  young  officer  endeavored  by  political  influenpe  to  supplant 
Surgeon  Mower  in  New  York  city,  he  denounced  the  attempt  as  an  outrage 
on  the  Corps,  subversive  of  all  military  discipline,  and  a  grievous  injustice  to 
all  those  who  had  earned  their  right  to  choice  stations  by  long  and  faithful 

On  the  other  hand,  in  his  correspondence  with  the  officers  of  his  Depai-t- 
ment  no  one  could  be  more  gentle  and  even  tender.  When  the  necessities  of 
the  service  obliged  him  to  refuse  an  application  for  a  leave  of  absence,  he  seemed 
to  regret  to  have  to  communicate  the  unpleasant  intelligence  almost  as  much  as 
the  officer  to  receive  it.      In  arranging  the  stations  for  officers,  he  used  his 


FROM  1821  TO  1846.  157 

utmost  endeavors  to  please  everybody,  and  especially  those  who  had  large 
families  to  support ;  but  if  he  at  any  time  saw  an  inclination  to  take  advantage 
of  his  kindness  of  disposition  his  indignation  knew  no  bounds. 

Nor  was  his  good  service  confined  to  the  Corps  of  which  he  was  the 
official  chief,  but  extended  to  every  branch  and  department  of  the  army.  It 
was  through  his  strenuous  efforts,  as  evidenced  in  a  number  of  able  reports, 
that  the  whiskey  ration,  which  was  making  drunkards  of  the  entire  army,  was 
finally  abolished ;  by  his  representations,  that  Congress  passed  the  bill  by  which 
obnoxious  officers  were  weeded  out  through  the  agency  of  boards  of  examina- 
tion ;  and  from  his  deep  study  of  the  subject,  that  the  rations  and  the  clothing 
of  the  soldier  were  improved,  post  hospitals  built  on  a  rational  principle,  and 
officers  held  to  a  rigid  accountability  for  their  treatment  of  the  sick  and  the 
expenditure  of  supplies.  In  all  his  relations,  whether  as  christian  philanthro- 
pist, profound  scholar,  skilful  surgeon,  experienced  officer  or  true-hearted 
gentleman,  he  was  one  of  whom  the  Medical  Staff  may  always  be  proud  and 
the  memory  of  whose  good  life  is  written  on  every  page  of  its  history. 

In  1842  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Corps  testified  their  appreciation  of 
his  virtues  by  the  erection  of  a  handsome  monument  over  his  grave  in  the 
Congressional  Cemetery  at  Washington. 

Assistant  Surgeon  Benjamin  King,  who  at  the  time  of  Doctor  Lovell's 
death  was  on  duty  in  Washington,  succeeded  to  the  office  of  Surgeon  General, 
ad  interim^  the  necessary  presence  of  the  senior  surgeon  in  the  field  rendering 
it  inadvisable  that  any  appointment  should  be  made  immediately. 

It  does  not  come  within  the  scope  of  this  history  to  give  in  detail  the 
events  of  the  Florida  war.  A  large  proportion  of  the  Medical  Staff  were  kept 
on  constant  duty  there  for  several  years ;  duty  of  the  most  irksome  character, 
in  which  great  privations  were  to  be  endured,  continual  obstacles  to  be  overcome 
and  but  little  glory  to  be  gained.  That  they  maintained  the  already  high 
reputation  of  the  Corps  for  fidelity  and  efficiency  may  be  inferred  from  the  fol- 
lowing extracts  from  official  reports  made  at  various  times  during  the  war. 
Colonel  Fanning  wrote  after  the  battle  near  Fort  Mellon,  February  9,  1837  : 
*'  Assistant  Surgeon  Laub  dressed  the  wounded  under  the  fire  of  the  enemy. 
In  feet  I  never  saw  the  sick  soldier  more  promptly  or  faithfully  attended  to, 
than  since  this  detachment  left  Volusia."  Colonel  Zachary  Taylor  reported 
after  the  battle  of  0-kee-cho-bee,  December  25,  1837:  "The  attention 
and  ability  displayed  by  Surgeon  Satterlee,  Medical  Director  on  this  side  of 
the  peninsula,  assisted  by  Assistant  Surgeons  McLaren  and  Simpson  of  the 
Medical  Staff  of  the  army,  and  Doctors  Hannah  and  Cooke  of  the  Missouri 
Volunteers,  in  ministering  to  the  wounded  as  well  as  their  uniform  kindness  to 


them  on  all  occasions,  can  never  cease  to  be  refeiTed  to  by  me  but  with  the  most 
pleasing  and  grateful  recollections."  And  again  on  the  twentieth  of  July,  1839, 
he  writes  to  the  General-in-Chief;  "  Owing  to  the  dispersed  state  of  the  troops 
the  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  have  been  unusually  occupied,  having  to 
visit  several  forts  at  some  distance  from  each  other ;  their  duties  have  been 
performed  with  cheei-fiilness  and  ability." 

The  following  is  the  report  of  Sui^eon  Satterlee  concerning  the  battle  of 
0-kee-cho-bee : 


5th  January,  1838. 

I  have  the  honor  to  inform  you  that  the  brigade  to  which  I  am  attached  as  Med- 
ical Director,  has  had  a  very  severe  engagement  with  the  Mickasuckie  and  Seminole 
Indians  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  from  this  place  near  a  lake  called  0-kee- 
cho-bee  ;  it  took  place  on  the  twenty-fifth  ultimo  and  lasted  nearly  two  hours,  and 
resulted  in  the  total  defeat  of  the  Indians,  but  with  great  loss  to  our  troops  in  killed  and 
wounded.  Under  the  circumstances,  as  we  had  no  permanent  hospital  nearer  than 
this,  and  as  the  troops  must  from  the  nature  of  the  country  retire  from  it  long  before 
the  wounded  could  recover,  I  deemed  it  proper  to  bring  them  immediately  to  this 
place.  I  arrived  with  them  last  evening,  and  have  now  the  satisfaction  to  say  that 
they  are  in  comfortable  quarters.  I  found  the  ambulances  very  serviceable,  but  as 
some  of  the  wounded  could  not  be  transported  in  them  on  account  of  the  roughness 
of  the  road,  between  thirty  and  forty  of  them  were  brought  a  part  of  the  way  on  lit- 
ters between  two  horses.  This  is  a  very  comfortable  means  of  transportation  but 
difficult  on  account  of  the  number  of  men  and  horses  required.  I  have  requested  the 
quartermaster  to  have  twenty  litters  constructed  here,  except  the  poles,  which  I  t^iink 
can  be  obtained  in  the  woods.  We  were  obliged  to  use  blankets  and  raw  hides  of  the 
cattle  which  we  found  on  our  way,  but  the  length  of  time  taken  to  construct  them 
together  with  the  want  of  proper  tools,  and  at  a  time  when  the  medical  officers  with 
me  (Assistant  Surgeons  McLaren  and  Simpson)  as  well  as  myself  were  fully  occupied 
night  and  day  with  the  wounded,  it  was  found  very  diflficult  to  construct  them ;  this 
is  the  reason  why  I  wish  them  to  be  on  hand  and  ready  for  any  emergency  that  may 
occur.  The  wounded  including  volunteers  amounted  to  one  hundred  and  eleven, 
about  seventy  of  which  were  regulars.  These  have  been  placed  in  hospital  under  the 
charge  of  Surgeon  Wood  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Suter,  and  it  is  my  intention  to  add 
one  more  assistant  as  soon  as  one  comes,  which  I  am  anxiously  looking  for.  The  vol- 
unteers are  established  in  hospitals  by  themselves  under  the  care  of  their  respective 
medical  officers,  all  of  course  under  the  inspection  of  the  senior  medical  officer  of  the 
regular  army.         *        *        *        * 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 


Surgeon,  U.  S.  Army, 
Medical  Director  south  of  Withlacoochie." 

Meanwhile,  the  question  of  the  succession  to  the  vacant  chair  of  Surgeon 
General  was  agitated  in  Washington.  Very  strong  efforts  were  brought  to  bear 
upon  the  President  to  induce  him  to  appoint  a  civilian  to  this  position,  and 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  159 

various  names  were  mentioned  in  connection  therewith,  none  of  them  of  any 
importance  and  all  of  whom  have  long  since  been  forgotten.  The  army  almost 
as  a  unit  desired  the  appointment  of  Surgeon  Thomas  Lawson,  who  was  the 
senior  surgeon  in  the  army,  had  seen  long  and  faithful  service,  and  was  second 
to  none  in  professional  ability.  Very  many  of  the  officers  including  all  those  of 
high  rank  united  in  petitions  to  General  Jackson  to  appoint  Doctor  Lawson. 
The  President  for  a  time  held  the  matter  under  advisement,  during  which 
Assistant  Surgeon  King  continued  acceptably  to  perform  all  the  duties  of 
the  office.  At  length,  on  the  thirtieth  of  November,  1836,  Doctor  Lawson 
received  the  appointment,  to  the  great  satisfaction  of  the  Medical  Corps,  who 
had  been  extremely  apprehensive  that  the  great  political  influence  which  had 
been  brought  to  bear  would  result  in  the  appointment  of  some  person  from 
civil  life. 

It  was  not,  however,  until  late  in  the  spring  of  1837  that  he  an*ived  in 
Washington,  and  being  then  detailed  to  accompany  Ex  -  President  Andrew 
Jackson  to  his  home  in  Tennessee,  and  on  the  completion  of  this  duty  ordered 
by  the  War  Department  to  organize  a  battalion  of  New  York  and  Pennsylva- 
nia Volunteers  for  service  in  Florida,  did  not  enter  permanently  on  the  duties  of 
his  office  until  the  following  year.  Doctor  Lawson  was  a  native  of  Virginia, 
and  first  saw  service  as  surgeon's  mate  in  the  navy  in  1809.  This  position  he 
resigned  in  1811,  to  accept  that  of  surgeon's  mate  of  the  sixth  infantry,  to 
which  he  was  appointed  on  the  twenty-eighth  of  January.  He  was  promoted 
surgeon  of  the  same  regiment  in  May,  1813,  and  was  highly  distinguished  for 
efficiency  during  the  war  with  Great  Britain.  In  the  reduction  of  the  anny 
after  the  war  he  was  retained  as  surgeon  of  the  seventh  infantry,  and  on  the 
reorganization  of  the  Corps  in  1821  was  transferred  to  the  General  Staff"  as  the 
senior  surgeon  in  the  army.  As  Medical  Director  at  New  Orleans  and  subse- 
quently of  the  Department  of  the  South  he  had  achieved  a  high  reputation, 
while  his  long  service  on  the  frontier  and  in  the  field  gave  him  a  practical  experi- 
ence of  the  wants  of  the  army  and  the  department,  of  the  greatest  value  in  his 
new  executive  duties. 

The  army  board  which  met  in  New  York  in  May,  1837,  was  composed  of 
Surgeons  Mower  and  Hawkins  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Steinecke.  Thirty 
applicants  were  invited  to  present  themselves  for  examination,  of  whom  fifteen 
appeared  and  five  were  found  qualified.  That  for  1838,  consisted  of  Surgeons 
Mower  and  Heiskell  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Henderson,  and  met  in  Washington 
city.  Forty-three  candidates  were  invited  to  appear,  twenty-three  were  exam- 
ined, and  ten  received  a  favorable  report  from  the  board.  This  last  board  was 
convened  to  fill  the  vacancies  created  by  an  act  passed  by  Congress  on  the  fifth 


of  July  "  To  increase  the  present;  military  establishment  of  the  United  States 
and  for  other  purposes."  This  bill  contained  the  following  sections  concerning 
the  Medical  Department: 

"Section  XXI.  And  be  it  further  enacifd,  That  all  letters  and  packages  on  public 
business,  to  and  from  the  Commanding  General,  the  Colonel  of  Ordnance,  the  Surgeon 
General,  and  the  Head  of  the  Topographical  Corps  shall  be  free  from  postage.     *      * 

Section  XXIV.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  hereafter  the  officers  of  the  Pay 
and  Medical  Departments  of  the  army  shall  receive  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  officers 
of  cavalry  of  the  same  grades  respectively,  according  to  which  they  are  now  paid  by 
existing  laws.     *       * 

Section  XXXIII.  And  he  it  further  enacted.  That  the  President  be,  and  he  is 
hereby  authorized,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  to  appoint  seven 
additional  surgeons  and  that  the  officers  whose  appointment  is  authorized  in  this  sec- 
tion shall  receive  the  pay  and  allowances  of  officers  of  the  same  grades  respectively." 

This  bill  further  provided,  in  consequence,  of  urgent  appeals  from  the 
Surgeon  General  on  the  subject,  that  hospital  stewards  at  posts  of  more  than 
four  companies  should  have  the  pay  and  allowances  of  a  sergeant  of  ordnance ; 
at  all  other  posts  those  of  sergeant  of  infantry.  It  also  included  a  section  that 
all  officers  whether  of  the  line  or  staff,  exclusive  of  General  officers,  should 
receive  one  additional  ration  per  diem  for  every  five  years  service.  There  being 
some  doubt  as  to  the  construction  of  this  paragraph  iri  relation  to  certain  officers, 
a  supplementary  act  was  passed  on  the  seventh  of  July,  including  the  Paymas- 
ter General  and  Surgeon  General  in  its  provisions. 

Ever  since  the  examination  of  candidates  had  been  made  an  absolute 
prerequisite  to  appointment,  the  Secretary  of  War  and  the  Surgeon  General  had 
been  annoyed  by  complaints  from  rejected  candidates  that  they  had  been 
unfairly  treated  in  the  decisions  of  the  boards.  Frequently  political  influence 
was  brought  to  bear  to  induce  the  Department  to  reverse  the  action  of  the 
board,  or  to  order  a  reexamination.  In  reference  to  one  of  these  cases,  where 
the  circumstances  were  unusually  aggravated  and  the  unsuccessful  applicant 
very  pertinacious  in  his  demands  for  redress.  Surgeon  General  Lawson  addressed 
the  Secretary  of  War  the  following  characteristic  letter : 


12  August,  1837. 

In  reply  to  your  question  touching  the  nature  of  Dr.  N 's  complaint,  I  have 

to  say  that  from  his  communication  I  cannot  exactly  discern  what  he  means  or  what 
he  wants. 

All  that  I  can  learn  from  his  incoherent  language  is  that  the  Army  Medical  Board 
and  himself  are  at  variance  in  opinion  as  to  his  talents  and  attainments,  and  that  he 
has  raised  a  complaint  against  the  Board  for  not  accepting  his  word  and  the  negative 
testimony  of  his  friends  as  evidence  of   his  qualifications  to  practice  physick  and 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  161 

surgery  in  the  ai-my  of  the   United   States.      Dr.   N has   brought   himself  to 

believe  that  the  letter  of  invitation  to  appear  before  the  Medical  Board  is  a  letter  of 
appointment;  that  the  examination  is  a  mere  matter  of  form  not  at  all  calculated  to 
aifect  the  appointment ;  and  that  the  Board  has  done  violence  to  his  rights  as  a  citizen 
in  withholding  from  him  a  passport  into  the  army.  Under  this  view  of  the  subject  he 
has  conceived  the  idea  of  forcing  his  way  into  the  army  through  the  medium  of 
political  influence,  and  hence  these  threats  of  vengeance,  this  show  of  violence.     Dr. 

N has  however  no  cause  of  complaint  nor  ground  upon  which  to  base  a  charge 

against  the  Medical  Board ;  and  his  murmurs  can  be  silenced  and  himself  strangled 
to  death  without  an  effort  on  our  part.  If  faint  praise  can  damn  a  man,  he  was  com- 
pletely cursed  by  those  who  pretended  to  recommend  him  to  the  consideration  of  the 
Department,  and  should  not  have  been  taken  up  as  an  accepted  candidate  for  appoint- 
ment to  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army. 

Dr.  N has  been  twice  examined   and   in  both  instances  greatly  failed,  and 

from  my  own  knowledge  of  him  I  am  free  to  say,  that  he  can  never  reach  the  lowest 
niche  even  on  the  standard  of  merit  which  has  been  reared  by  the  Army  Medical  Board. 

All  of  which  is  respectfully  submitted. 


Surgeon  General." 

The  resignation  of  Surgeon  William  Beaumont,  who,  by  his  scientific 
investigations,  had  reflected  great  credit  on  the  Medical  Department,  was  ac- 
cepted on  the  thirty-first  of  December,  1839.  He  was  a  native  of  Maryland, 
and  originally  entered  the  service  in'  1813  as  surgeon's  mate  of  the  sixteenth 
infantry.  In  1814  he  was  transferred  to  the  sixth  infantry.  He  served 
throughout  the  war  and  was  retained  in  the  reduction  of  the  army 
in  1815,  but  declined.  In  1819  he  reentered  the  service  as  post  sur- 
geon, was  retained  as  assistant  surgeon  on  the  reorganization  of  the  Corps  in 
1821,  and  was  promoted  surgeon  November  26,  1827.  In  1822,  when  sta- 
tioned at  Mackinac,  Michigan  Territory,  he  was  called  upon  to  attend  the  case 
of  a  young  Canadian  about  eighteen  years  of  age,  named  Alexis  St.  Martin,  who 
by  the  accidental  discharge  of  a  musket  loaded  with  duck-shot  was  severely 
wounded  in  the  left  side.  The  charge  blew  ofi"  the  integuments  and  muscles 
for  a  space  of  several  inches  in  circumference,  "  fracturing  and  carrying  away 
the  anterior  half  of  the  sixth  rib,  fracturing  the  fifth,  lacerating  the  lower 
portion  of  the  left  lobe  of  the  lungs,  as  well  as  the  diaphragm  on  the  left  side 
and  perforating  the  stomach."  In  the  course  of  treatment  the  integuments  and 
muscles  sloughed  away  to  a  considerable  extent,  and  eventually  the  sides  of  the 
wounded  portion  of  the  stomach  adhered  to  the  pleura  costalis  and  the  external 
opening,  making  a  permanent  gastric  fistvda,  through  which  a  free  exit  was 
afforded  to  the  contents  of  the  stomach.  It  was  at  first  necessary  to  keep  a 
compress  and  bandage  over  the  wound  to  prevent  this,  but  eventually  a  sort  of 
valve  was  formed  by  a  fold  of  the  stomach  which  covered  the  aperture  and 


prevented  the  escape  of  the  food,  while  it  did  not  interfere  with  an  examination 
of  the  cavity.  In  1825,  the  man  having  completely  recovered  his  usual  health, 
Doctor  Beaumont  commenced  a  series  of  experiments  upon  the  nature  of  the 
gastric  juice  and  the  physiology  of  digestion,  which  were  kept  up  at  intervals 
until  1833,  when  he  published  the  result  in  a  work  entitled  "The  Physiolog}' 
of  Digestion,  or  Experiments  with  the  Gastric  Juice."  This  work  attracted  great 
attention  both  at  home  and  abroad ;  it  was  translated  into  German  and  French, 
and  received  appreciative  notices  from  all  the  eminent  physiologists  of  the  day. 
Doctor  Beaumont's  opportunity  was  unparalleled,  and  he  made  use  of  it  with 
great  credit  to  himself  and  benefit  to  the  profession  at  large. 

Another  severe  loss  sustained  by  the  Department  and  the  army  during  this 
year  was  in  the  death  of  Surgeon  Richard  Clark.  He  was  in  attendance  on 
two  posts  in  Middle  Florida,  when  a  malignant  remittent  fever  broke  out  at 
Fort  Roger  Jones,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  McCormick,  post  surgeon  at  that 
station,  being  taken  sick,  he  went  to  his  relief,  and  died  of  the  prevailing  disease 
on  the  twenty-ninth  of  June.  Surgeon  R.  C.  Wood,  Medical  Director  of  the 
Army  of  the  South  said  of  him  that  "  his  professional  attainments  and  uniform 
kindness  and  devotion  to  the  sick  commanded  the  respect  and  esteem  of  all." 
The  Surgeon  General,  in  his  annual  report  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  pays  this 
tribute  to  his  memory : 

"The  service  in  Florida  to  most  of  the  medical  officers  employed  there,  has  been 
indeed  not  only  irksome,  but  exceedingly  laborious  and  hazardous,  many  of  them 
having  from  the  very  dispersed  state  of  the  troops,  to  give  their  attendance  to  two, 
three  or  more  posts  or  stands ;  frequently  passing  from  one  station  to  another  without 
an  escort  and  occasionally  under  the  fire  of  the  enemy. 

Anlong  others  whose  lot  it  was  to  perform  more  than  ordinary  duty  was  the 
accomplished  Surgeon  Richard  Clark,  who  in  the  height  of  his  usefulness  was  lately 
cut  olf  by  disease.  Doctor  Clark  having  been  called  to  a  distant  post  where  the  whole 
command,  officers  and  men,  lay  prostrate  from  disease,  he  at  once  gave  all  the  energies 
of  his  mind  and  body  to  the  assistance  of  his  suffering  comrades,  and  while  thus 
engaged  in  administering  by  day  and  by  night  to  the  diseases  and  to  the  wants  of  the 
sick,  he  was  inhaling  the  noxious  vapors  of  the  place,  even  to  his  own  destruction. 
After  rendering  much  assistance  and  indeed  all  the  aid  practicable,  he  himself  sank 
to  the  ground  and  in  a  day  or  two  afterwards  yielded  up  liis  gallant  spirit,  a  martyr 
to  the  calls  of  humanity  and  his  country's  good.  For  this  very  severe  and  perilous 
duty,  this  extraordinary  devotion  to  their  country's  cause  (this  extra  service  being 
peculiar  to  themselves  and  not  absolutely  to  be  required  of  them)  these  officers  are 
entitled  to  a  full  measure  of  praise,  and  I  do  not  hesitate  thus  to  express  the  high 
sense  that  I  entertain  of  their  public  services  and  of  their  public  worth." 

The  medical  board  which  convened  in  New  York  city  in  1839,  consisted 
of  Surgeons  Mower,  Finley  and  Tripler.  Of  thirty-six  candidates  invited  to 
appear  before  the  board  twelve  declined  examination,  two  were  excluded  on 

I.T10M  1821  TO  1846.  163 

account  of  their  age,  eighteen  were  rejected,  and  only  four  recommended  for 
appointment.  As  it  was  impossible  for  the  medical  officers  stationed  in  Florida 
to  proceed  to  New  York  to  be  examined  for  promotion,  a  board  consisting  of 
Surgeons  Beaumont,  Craig  and  Wood,  with  Steinecke  as  supernumerary, 
assembled  for  the  purpase  at  Tampa,  Florida,  in  November.  They  examined 
but  one  candidate  for  appointment,  who  received  a  favorable  report. 

This  year  the  first  volume  of  the  "  Anny  Medical  Statistics"  was  pre- 
pared by  Assistant  Surgeon  Samuel  Forry,  and  issued  under  direction  of  the 
Surgeon  General.  It  embraced  statistics  of  the  sickness  and  mortality  in  the 
army  from  1819  to  1839,  the  medical  topography  and  meteorology  of  the  various 
posts,  a  report  on  the  construction  and  condition  of  the  various  barracks  and 
hospitals,  and  much  other  information  of  interest  to  the  medical  officer,  chiefly 
in  reference  to  prevailing  diseases  and  their  treatment. 

The  question  came  up  before  the  Comptroller  of  the  Treasury  in  March^ 
1840,  of  the  employment  and  payment  of  hospital  stewards  to  troops  when 
serving  in  the  field,  and  that  official  decided  that  under  existing  laws  no  stew- 
ards could  be  employed  except  at  garrisons  and  permanent  posts.  As  during 
the  war  in  Florida  hospital  stewards  were  more  needed  for  field  service  than  in 
any  other  capacity,  it  became  necessary  to  immediately  amend  the  regulations  so 
as  to  provide  for  their  employment,  and  the  following  order  was  issued : 


March  28,  1840. 

The  services  of  hospital  stewards  with  troops  on  a  march  being  indispensable, 
authority  is  hereby  given  for  the  employment  and  payment  of  suitable  persons  to  per- 
form that  duty  with  troops  operating  in  the  field.  The  compensation  to  stewards 
serving  with  a  detachment  consisting  of  more  than  four  companies,  will  be  the  pay, 
clothing  and  rations  of  a  sergeant  of  ordnance ;  and  when  serving  with  a  smaller 
detachment  of  more  than  one  company,  it  will  be  the  pay,  clothing  and  rations  of  a 
first  sergeant  of  infantry.  In  the  event  of  there  being  no  person  specially  enlisted  as 
hospital  steward,  the  surgeon  will,  with  the  approbation  of  the  commanding  officer, 
appoint  a  suitable  non-commissioned  officer  or  private  to  perform  that  duty. 


Secretary  of  War." 

In  October,  1840,  a  new  uniform  was  adopted  for  the  Medical  Depai-t- 
ment,  as  follows : 

"Uniform  and  Dress  of  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  Army  of  the  United  States. 

Coat — Dark  blue  cloth,  double  breasted;  two  rows  of  buttons,  ten  buttons  in  each 
row;  the  rows  to  commence  at  the  collar  and  to  run  in  right  lines  to  the  bottom  of  the 
lapels,  four  inches  apart  at  the  top,  and  two  and  a  half  inches  at  the  bottom ;  the  but- 
tons in  each  row  to  be  equidistant;    standing  collar  and  cuflFs  of  black  velvet;  the 


collar  to  meet  with  hooks  and  eyes,  and  to  rise  no  higher  than  to  permit  the  chin  to 
turn  freely  over  it;  to  be  embroidered  at  each  end  with  a  gold  laurel  branch  five  inches 
long;  the  outer  edges  to  be  embroidered  with  a  gold  vine  of  laurel  leaves. 

The  cuffs  to  be  three  inches  deep,  and  to  have  a  laurel  branch  and  vine  similar  to 
that  on  the  collar.  The  skirts  to  be  made  after  the  fashion  of  a  citizen's  coat  lined 
with  blue  cloth,  with  a  button  at  each  hip,  one  at  the  end  of  each  fold,  and  one  inter- 
mediate in  each  fold. 

Epaulettes — Gold,  with  solid  bright  crescent.  Tlie  bullion  of  the  Surgeon  General 
will  be  half  an  inch  in  diameter  and  three  and  a  half  inches  long ;  that  of  the  sur- 
geons, half  an  inch  in  diameter  and  three  and  a  half  inches  long;  that  of  assistant 
surgeons  over  five  years  [in  service],  one-fourth  inch  diameter  and  two  and  a  half 
inches  long ;  and  of  assistant  surgeons  under  five  years  [in  service] ,  one-eighth  inch 
diameter  and  two  and  a  half  inches  long.  Within  the  crescent  a  laurel  wreath  em- 
broidered in  gold,  and  the  letters  '  ^.  §.'  in  old  English  characters  within  the  wreath. 
The  straps  to  be  gold  lace  for  all  the  grades  except  the  surgeons,  which  will  be  silver 
lace ;  the  letters  to  be  silver  where  the  lace  is  gold,  and  gold  where  the  lace  is  silver. 
A  spread  eagle  of  solid  silver  metal  to  be  worn  by  the  Surgeon  General  only,  is  to  be 
placed  upon  the  epaulette  strap  above  the  wreath. 

Buttons — Gilt,  convex,  with  spread  eagle  and  stars,  and  plain  border. 

Hat — Cocked,  with  black  silk  binding;  fan  on  back  part  not  more  than  eleven 
inches,  nor  less  than  nine  inches ;  the  front  or  cock  not  more  than  nine  inches  nor  less 
than  eight ;  each  corner  six  inches ;  black  button  and  black  silk  gimp  loop,  ornamented 
with  a  cockade  and  gilt  spread  eagle,  tassels  gold. 

Plume — Black  feathers. 

Cravat  or  Stock — Black  silk. 

Trousers — From  the  first  of  October  to  the  thirtieth  of  April  dark  blue  cloth  with 
a  black  stripe  down  the  outer  seam  one  and  a  half  inches  wide ;  from  the  first  of  May 
to  the  thirtieth  of  September,  plain  white  linen  or  cotton. 

Boots — Ancle  or  Jefferson. 

Spurs — Yellow  metal  or  gilt. 

Sword — Small  sword  and  scabbard,  according  to  pattern. 

Swordknot — Gold  lace  strap  with  gold  bullion  tassel. 

Waistbelt — Black  patent  leather,  one  and  a  half  inches  wide  with  slings  and  hooks. 

Plate — Gilt,  having  the  letters  '  IS.  ah'  and  a  sprig  of  laurel  on  each  side  in  silver. 

Gloves — White. 


F^oek  Coat — Dark  blue  cloth,  single  breasted,  with  stand  up  collar;  regulation 

buttons ;  one  row  of  eight   buttons   on   the   breast ;    lining  black   silk  or  blue  cloth ; 

'  pockets  in  the  folds  of  the  skirts,   with  one  button  at  the  hip  and  one  at  the  end  of 

each  pocket,  making  only  four  buttons  on  the  back  and  skirts  of  the  coat ;  shoulder 

straps  according  to  grade. 

Cloak — Blue  cloth,  lined  with  blue. 
Forage  Cap — According  to  pattern." 

The  board  of  officers  which  recommended  the  foregoing  uniform,  had  at 
first  given  to  medical  officers  an  aiguilette,  but  no  epaulettes.  To  this  many  of  the 
medical  officers  very  strongly  objected  that  it  made  an  uncalled  for  distinction 
between  them  and  the  officers  of  the  other  staff  departments,  and  they  requested 

PROM  1821  TO  1846.  165 

Surgeon  Greneral  Lawson  to  appeal  to  the  Secretary  of  War  on  the  subject.  This  he 
declined  to  do,  but  he  addressed  a  letter  to  the  Adjutant  General,  which  is  given 
herewith,  not  only  from  its  interest  in  connection  with  the  Corps,  but  also 
because  it  forcibly  illustrates  the  character  of  its  chief: 


.July  5,  1839. 

Doctor  King  informs  me  that  yon  have  expressed  a  wish  that  I  should  call  with 
him  on  the  Secretary  of  War,  and  speak  to  him  on  the  subject  of  epaulettes  for  the 
Medical  Staff. 

As  it  is  unusual  for  a  subaltern  officer  to  dictate  to  his  chief,  I  have  upon  I'eflec- 
tion  come  to  the  conclusion  that  it  is  better  for  me  not  to  suggest  anything  to  the 
Secretary  in  relation  to  a  change  of  uniform. 

I  have  been  twenty-six  and  more  years  in  the  military  service  of  my  country, 
and  very  generally  with  troops  on  the  frontiers  and  in  the  field. 

I  have  been  on  the  theatre  of  immediate  action  in  every  war  in  which  the  country 
has  been  engaged  within  my  period  of  service,  whether  with  a  civilized  or  savage 
enemy,  except  that  with  Black  Hawk,  and  then  I  volunteered  my  services  for  the  field, 
but  could  not  obtain  permission  to  leave  my  station. 

I  have  acted  as  quartermaster  and  as  adjutant,  and  have  been  for  months  at  a 
time,  in  command  of  a  company  of  men  in  the  regular  army.  I  have  also  commanded 
a  battalion  and  a  regiment  of  men  in  the  volunteer  service,  and  have  led  them  to  the 
theatre  of  war ;  in  the  first  instance  under  a  commission  from  the  executive  of  the 
state  of  Louisiana,  and  on  the  last  occasion  by  the  almost  unanimous  consent  of  the 
officers  and  men  who  served  under  my  orders ;  and  although  my  services  have  not 
been  attended  with  such  brilliant  results  as  those  of  some  other  persons,  my  military 
career  has  certainly  not  been  discreditable  to  myself,  or  altogether  unprofitable  to  the 

If  under  these  circumstances  the  commanding  general  of  the  army  could  feel 
himself  justified  in  putting  me  off  with  an  aiguilette,  a  piece  of  tinsel  on  one  shoulder, 
while  he  decorates  every  brevet  second  lieutenant  with  an  epaulette  on  each  shoulder, 
and  the  staff  lieutenant  with  an  aiguilette  besides,  I  must  be  satisfied  to  remain  with- 
out a  military  dress. 

As  I  am  a  soldier  in  feeling  and  somewhat  in  practice  too,  I  should  be  gratified 
with  having  the  privileges  of  a  military  man  in  the  way  of  dress  even ;  but  if  I  am 
never  to  wear  an  epaulette  until  I  ask  for  it,  my  shoulders  will  never  be  decorated 
with  that  badge  of  distinction.  All  that  I  have  to  ask  is,  that  I  shall  not  be  com- 
pelled to  wear  the  prescribed  uniform,  a  demi-military  dress,  alike  unsuited  to  my 
taste  and  to  my  feelings,  nor  forced  to  follow  in  the  train  of  a  general  officer,  on  gala 
days,  or  in  procession.  As  a  citizen  with  plain  clothes  on,  I  can  command  respect, 
and  feel  that  I  am  respected ;  but  to  be  brought  in  contact  with  military  men,  on  cer- 
tain occasions,  with  half  a  uniform  on,  and  the  only  chief  of  a  military  bureau  in  the 
same  predicament,  I  could  not  but  be  conscious  of  my  inferiority,  and  must  therefore 
beg  leave  to  be  saved  from  the  necessity  of  experiencing  such  a  state  of  mortification. 

The  subject  of  a  new  uniform  was  broached  by  me  the  other  day,  at  the  pressing 
instance  of  a  number  of  the  members  of  the  Medical  Staff;  and  as  these  officers  are 
constantly  present  on  duty  with  the  soldiery,  many  of  whom  are  not  disposed  to  pay 


homage  to,  or  to  yield  prompt  obedience  to  any  person  who  does  not  wear  the  badge 
of  military  rank,  the  good  of  the  service  would  seem  to  call  for  a  respectful  consider- 
ation of  their  application  for  a  strictly  military  dress. 

The  rigid  rules  of  military  service  having  been  already  dispensed  with  in  order 
to  decorate  the  persons  of  platoon  officers  with  two  epaulettes,  who  before  were  entitled 
to  one  only,  either  on  the  right  or  on  the  left  shoulder,  there  cannot  be  any  great  mil- 
itary impropriety  in  extending  the  indulgence  to  those  staff  officers,  who,  although 
they  have  not  military  rank  proper,  must  in  the  regular  discharge  of  their  duties 
necessarily  command,  or  have  military  control  over  non-commissioned  officers  and 
privates,  and  also  over  the  commissioned  officer  when  sick  and  in  hospital. 

Epaulettes  would  embellish  the  person,-  and  thereby  gratify  the  pride  of  these 
officers  (whether  foolish  pride  or  not  is  immaterial  to  the  question)  without  doing  a 
jot  of  injury  to  the  discipline  of  the  army,  or  interfering  at  all  with  the  rights  or  with 
the  dignity  of  a  single  officer  with  military  rank.  And  if  these  indispensable  officers, 
and  I  am  free  to  say,  intelligent,  zealous  and  efficient  members  of  the  Medical  Corps 
(the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons)  can  be  brought  to  set  a  higher  value  on  their 
commissions,  or  to  feel  better  satisfied  with  their  condition  in  the  army,  at  so  small  a 
cost  as  the  privilege  of  wearing  epaulettes,  the  indulgence  surely  should  not  be 
withheld.  , 

I  am,  very  respectfully,  etc., 

Major  S.  Cooper,  Surgeon  General. 

Assistant  Adjutant  General^ 

This  remonstrance  had  the  desired  effect,  and  as  has  been  shown,  on  the 
appearance  of  the  regulations  for  the  new  uniform  in  the  ensuing  year,  the 
coveted  decoration  was  prescribed  for  medical  as  well  as  other  officers  of  the  army. 

The  medical  board  for  this  year,  1840,  consisted  of  Surgeons  Mower,  Finley 
and  Hawkins,  and  met  in  Philadelphia  on  the  first  of  May.  Nineteen  candidates 
were  examined,  of  whom  nine  were  approved.  That  for  the  ensuing  year  was 
composed  of  Surgeons  Mower,  Finley  and  McDougall  and  met  in  the  same 
place  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  May.  Twenty-six  candidates  were  invited  to 
appear  before  the  board ;  of  which  number,  twenty-two  presented  themselves, 
three  voluntarily  withdrew,  three  did  not  come  within  the  prescribed  regulations, 
fourteen  were  completely  examined  and  six  approved.  In  1842  the  board  met 
as  before  in  Philadelphia.  The  detail  was  Surgeons  Mower  and  Steinecke 
and  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  M.  Cuyler.  Of  seventeen  candidates  for  appointment 
who  were  invited  to  present  themselves  before  this  board,  ten  were  examined 
and  only  two  found  qualified. 

The  practical  termination  of  the  Florida  war  by  the  transfer  of  the  larger 
portion  of  the  Seminoles  to  the  territory  west  of  the  Mississippi,  rendered  it 
unnecessary  to  maintain  so  large  a  military  force  as  had  been  done  for  several 
years,  and  consequently  on  the  twenty-third  of  August,  1842,  Congress  passed 
an  act  "  Respecting  the  organization  of  the  army  and  for  other  purposes."  The 

'  FROM  1821  TO  1846.  167 

rank  and  file  was  reduced  by  diminishing  the  number  of  non-commissioned 
officers  and  soldiers  to  a  company,  while  maintaining  the  former  organization ; 
in  regard  to  the  staff,  reduction  was  accomplished  by  the  discharge  of  officers 
whose  services  were  no  longer  required.  The  fourth  section  of  this  act 
provided : 

"That  within  one  month  after  the  passage  of  this  act,  the  offices  of  one  Inspector 
General,  of  three  paymasters,  two  surgeons  and  ten  assistant  surgeons  of  the  army  shall 
be  abolished,  and  that  that  number  of  paymasters,  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons, 
shall  be  discharged  by  the  President;  and  they  shall  be  allowed  three  month's  pay,  in 
addition  to  the  pay  and  emoluments  to  which  they  may  be  entitled  at  the  time  of  their 

Immediately  after  the  passage  of  this  act  the  following  order  was  issued 
by  the  Secretary  of  War: 


August  26,  1842. 

The  fourth  section  of  the  act  of  Congress  entitled  '  An  act  for  the  reorganization 
of  the  army,  and  for  other  purposes,'  approved  August  23,  1842,  provides  that  within 
one  month  after  the  passage  of  the  act,  the  offices  of  three  paymasters,  two  surgeons 
and  ten  assistant  surgeons  shall  be  abolished,  and  that  number  of  paymasters,  sur- 
geons and  assistant  surgeons  shall  be  discharged  by  the  President.  The  remote 
distance  of  many  of  the  officers,  renders  it  necessary  that  the  persons  to  be  disbanded, 
should  be  designated  as  soon  as  practicable,  that  they  may  not  be  embarrassed  in 
rendering  their  accounts  for  services  beyond  the  time  prescribed  by  the  act. 

The  difficulty  of  discharging  the  duty  thus  enjoined  by  law,  has  been  anxiously 
felt.  Many  meritorious  officers  must  necessarily  be  laid  aside,  not  from  any  demerit 
of  their  own,  but  simply  because  the  public  no  longer  requires  their  services.  As  a 
guide  in  the  performance  of  that  duty,  authentic  information  has  been  collected  from 
official  sources,  and  an  impartial  judgment  formed  without  reference  to  any  other 
considerations  than  such  as  regarded  the  best  interests  of  the  service.  And  in  the 
designation  of  those  whose  lot  it  is  to  retire,  it  is  to  be  distinctly  understood  that 
nothing  is  to  be  inferred  derogatory  to  their  fame  or  worth. 

The  President  therefore  directs  that  the  following  named  officers  be  disbanded, 
and  honorably  discharged  from  the  army  of  the  United  States  from  and  after  the 
twenty-third  day  of  September  next,  when  they  will  receive  the  three  month's  addi- 
tional pay  provided  by  the  act,  viz: 

*  *  *  *        P.  Maxwell,  surgeon,  thpre  being  now  one  vacancy 

in  the  office  of  surgeon. 

Edward  Worrell,  John  Emerson,  L.  A.  Birdsall,  S.  R.  Arnold,  W.  T.  Leonard,  B. 
W.  Woods,  C.  W.  Stearns,  Dabney  Herndon,  George  Buist,  Charles  C.  Keeney,  assis- 
tant surgeons  in  the  army. 

The  disbanded  paymasters,  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  may  consider  them- 
selves as  having  leaves  of  absence  as  soon  as  they  can  be  relieved,  for  which  prompt 
measures  will  be  taken  by  the  proper  Departments  of  the  Staif. 


»  J.  C.  SPENCER, 

.  Secretary  of  War." 


The  question  of  the  relative  status  of  medical  officers  when  serving  with 
officers  of  the  line  came  up  for  decision  about  this  time,  on  an  application  made 
by  Assistant  Surgeon  Edward  Worrell  at  Fort  Niagara,  New  York,  for  infor- 
mation as  to  his  position  when  detailed  to  serve  on  a  council  of  administration 
with  junior  officers  of  the  line.  The  line  claimed  that  medical  officers  having 
no  actual  rank  could  not  preside  over  such  councils,  as  that  involved  the  exercise 
of  military  command,  to  which  they  were  forbidden  by  law,  and  on  at  least  one 
occasion  a  junior  line  officer  refused  to  take  his  seat  unless  the  regulation  was 
construed  to  meet  this  interpretation.  Doctor  Worrell  and  other  medical  officers 
demurred  to  this  construction  of  the  law,  and  appealed  to  the  Surgeon  General. 
Doctor  Lawson  being  absent  from  Washington  at  the  time  on  special  duty, 
Surgeon  Heiskell,  who  was  in  temporary  charge  of  the  Surgeon  General's 
Office,  advised  Doctor  Worrell  to  acquiesce  in  the  view  taken  by  the  line  officers 
as  being  productive  of  the  harmony  and  friendly  relations  which  should  exist 
between  the  different  branches  of  the  service.  Subsequently  to  the  writing  of 
this  letter,  the  Revised  Army  Regulations  for  1840  were  issued,  and  among 
other  changes  was  a  paragraph  which  expressly  denied  the  right  of  any  staff 
officer  to  preside  over  a  board  of  survey  or  council  of  administration,  though 
they  were  still  liable  to  detail  as  members  of  such  bodies.  This  caused  indig- 
nant protests  from  the  army  medical  board  then  in  session,  from  a  number  of 
the  older  and  most  esteemed  medical  officers  and  even  from  some  officers  of  the 
line,  and  Surgeon  Heiskell  placed  all  these  papers  before  the  Secretary  of  War, 
accompanied  by  the  following  vigorous  appeal  for  the  rights  of  the  officers : 


November  4,  1841. 
Hon.  J.  C.  Spencer, 

Secketaky  of  War. 

Sib:  In  respectfully  inviting  your  attention  to  the  enclosed  papers  numbered  from 
one  to  six  inclusive,  I  beg  leave  to  submit  a  few  explanatory  remarks. 

Section  2  of  the  act  of  Congress  '  To  increase  and  regulate  the  pay  of  the  surgeons 
and  assistant  surgeons  of  the  army,'  approved  June  30,  1834,  provides  that  surgeons 
'  shall  be  entitled  to  receive  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  major,  assistant  surgeons 
who  shall  have  served  five  years  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  captain,  and  those  who 
shall  have  served  less  than  five  years  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  &  first  lieutenant.' 

The  army  regulations  which  were  published  the  succeeding  year  (1835),  in  refer- 
ence to  the  Medical  Staff  (and  other  staff  officers  without  military  rank)  adopted 
precisely  the  same  scale  of  assimilated  rank,  classifying  surgeons  with  majors,  assis- 
tant surgeons  of  five  years  [service]  with  captains,  &c.,  and  permitting  them  to  'take 
their  places  on  boards  and  councils  according  to  [that]  classification.'  This  regulation 
having  the  legislation  of  Congress  evidently  for  its  basis,  and  alike  due  to  justice  and 
the  well  earned  character  of  the  Medical  Staff,  has  been  set  aside  in  the  army  regu- 
lations of  the  present  year,  and  another  substituted,  which  is  calculated  to  degrade 
them  in  their  own  eyes,  as  well  as  in  the  opinion  of  the  whole  army. 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  169 

The  objectionable  regulation  to  which  I  allude,  is  contained  in  the  latter  clause  of 
paragraph  5,  article  II,  which  specifies  that  '  Staff  officers  of  the  army  not  having 
military  rank,  shall  in  no  case  be  appointed  or  sit  as  president  of  a  mixed  board  or 
council,  or  exercise  any  military  authority  or  command  whatever  over  commissioned 
officers  invested  with  military  rank,  and  the  senior  officer  of  the  board  or  council  of 
the  latter  claSs  shall  preside.' 

By  the  operation  of  this  regulation,  medical  officers  who  number  from  twenty-five 
to  thirty-five  years  of  faithful  service,  are  compelled  to  yield  precedence  on  boards  or 
councils  to  the  favoured  officer  'invested  with  military  rank,'  who  cannot  reckon  as 
many  years  of  his  whole  life — who  was  not  even  born — or  if  he  had  existence,  was 
perhaps  puling  in  his  nurse's  arms  while  the  war-worn  surgeon  was  mingling  in  the 
strife  of  battle  and  rendering  assistance  to  the  bleeding  soldier.  This  is  no  fancy 
sketch ;  it  is  a  picture  of  painful,  mortifying  truth ;  depicting  the  medical  officer  as 
unworthy  of  occupying  any  other  than  an  humble  and  subordinate  position. 

The  laws  and  regulations  entitle  the  surgeon  to  all  the  pay  and  allowances  of  a 
major ;  in  the  selection  of  quarters  he  has  choice  with  him  (and  of  course  before  all 
others  of  an  inferior  grade) ;  he  is  allowed  the  same  number  of  tents,  rooms,  servants 
and  horses ;  the  same  badges  of  rank ;  and  yet,  on  a  board  or  council,  he  is  required 
and  liable,  to  sit  below  the  youngest  brevet  second  lieutenant  in  the  army. 

Having  I  trust  shown  the  injustice  of  the  regulation,  I  beg  leave  now  to  exhibit  a 
few  of  its  absurdities. 

At  a  post  where  a  common  superior  to  a  surgeon  and  a  major  can  be  detailed,  and 
the  surgeon  is  of  older  date  than  the  latter,  he  is  permitted  to  take  his  place  on  a 
board  or  council  next  to  the  President,  and  of  course  above  the  major.  If  from  any 
cause  the  post  should  the  very  next  day  be  left  in  command  of  a  captain  (who  would 
not  be  eligible),  with  two  lieutenants,  the  surgeon  would  be  placed  below  one  of  the 
lieutenants ;  and  if  there  was  but  one  lieutenant,  and  that  one  the  youngest  in  the 
army,  the  surgeon  would  still  occupy  the  inferior  place ;  exhibiting  the  incongruous 
phasis  of  passing  within  twenty-four  hours,  from  a  position  above  that  of  a  major,  to 
one  below  a.  second  lieutenant !  But  the  inconsistency  does  not  end  here ;  paragraph 
170,  new  regulations,  prescribes  that  'the  junior  member  [shall]  act  as  secretary.' 
Who  is  the  junior  member — the  presiding  lieutenant  or  the  surgeon  of  thirty-five 
years  service?  The  term  junior  is  not  to  be  found  in  the  military  lexicons ;  but  John- 
son defines  it  as  'one  younger  than  another.'  It  will  hardly  be  contended  that  the 
surgeon  is  younger  in  service  than  the  lieutenant ;  if  not  it  must  be  the  latter ;  and 
the  singular  anomaly  is  presented  of  the  president  and  secretary  being  united  in  the 
same  person ! 

But  it  is  contended  by  those  who  are  opposed  to  the  claim  of  the  Medical  StaflF, 
that  the  right  to  preside  on  boards  and  councils,  implies  the  right  to  command.  As 
there  is  more  plausibility  than  truth  in  this  assertion,  a  brief  examination  of  the  ques- 
tion is  necessary.         *        *        *        * 

It  would  be  difficult  for  the  most  ingenious  hair-splitter  to  detect  anything  of  a 
military  character  in  the  duties  of  boards  and  councils ;  and  if  they  are  not  military 
but  as  we  contend  purely  administrative,  can  the  authority  of  the  president  of  such  a 
council  be  construed  to  imply  '  military  command  ?'  But  what  is  the  momentous 
authority  of  the  president  of  a  council  which  would  so  wound  the  sensibilities  of  some, 
if  exercised  by  an  officer  'without  military  rank?'  As  the  army  regulations  do  not 
enlighten  us  on  this  point,  we  must  seek  for  an  answer  in  the  practice  of  the  service 
in  such  cases.  It  is  no  more  nor  less  than  to  preserve  order!  In  common  with  the 


other  members  he  votes  when  they  vote,  and  can  only  adjourn  the  council  when  a 
majority  so  decides;  and  with  the  secretary,  sign  the  proceedings  for  the  approval  or 
disapproval  of  the  commanding  officer. 

But  whether  this  authority  is  military  or  not,  it  may  be  questioned,  from  an 
analogous  case,  whether  it  is  not  a  violation  of  the  rights  of  the  officers  of  the  Medical 
Staff,  to  disqualify  them  by  regulation  from  the  exercise  of  functions  which  the  law 
clearly  concedes  to  them.  Tlie  64th  article  of  war  (see  army  regulations)  prescribes 
that  '  general  courts-martial  may  consist  of  any  number  of  commissioned  officers  from 
five  to  thirteen  inclusively ;  but  they  shall  not  consist  of  less  than  thirteen  where  that 
number  can  be  convened  without  manifest  injury  to  the  service.'  As  the  medical 
officer  is  '  commissioned,'  and  holds  his  commission  by  precisely  the  same  tenure  as 
any  other  officer,  it  will  not  be  denied  that  he  is  eligible  to  a  seat  on  a  court-martial ; 
and  if  detailed  as  a  member,  that  he  cannot  be  deprived  of  the  right — his  commission 
being  of  an  older  date  than  the  others — to  take  his  seat  as  the  president  of  the  court. 
If  the  position  here  assumed  is  correct^ — as  I  humbly  conceive  it  is — it  may  then  be 
demanded,  on  what  just  ground  are  medical  officers  disqualified  from  presiding  on 
boards  and  councils? 

In  conclusion  and  in  behalf  of  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army,  I  appeal  to  you  for 
a  careful  investigation  of  this  subject — a  subject  which  may  appear  to  you  to  involve 
matter  of  small  moment,  but  deeply  affecting  the  feelings  and  just  pride  of  a  class  of 
officers,  whose  services,  general  intelligence  and  professional  merit,  entitle  them  to 
hope  for  a  more  just  appreciation  of  their  deserts  than  the  degrading  regulation  awards 
to  them. 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 


Acting  Surgeon  General.^' 

Nor  did  the  matter  rest  here,  for  the  Surgeon  General  issued  a  circular  to 
all  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Corps  inviting  them  to  give  their  views  on  the 
subject,  and  during  the  next  three  years  many  able  papers  were  received  at  the 
Surgeon  General's  Office  in  reference  thereto.  Some  of  the  more  distinguished 
members  of  the  Corps,  notably  Surgeons  Mower,  Tripler  and  Heiskell  thought 
that  the  only  remedy  would  be  a  law  ^ving  positive  rank  to  medical  officers, 
which  indeed  they  claimed  was  intended  by  the  act  of  June  30,  1834;  and 
plans  of  enactments  were  drawn  up  by  them  for  the  action  of  Congress  and  a 
strong  eSori  made  to  interest  individual  members  in  the  subject,  but  it  was  not 
for  a  number  of  years  afterwards  that  the  object  in  view  was  finally 

A  letter  of  Surgeon  General  Lawson  on  the  proper  distribution  of  the 
hospital  fund,  which  was  written  to  the  Medical  Purveyor  in  Florida  in  the 
spring  of  this  year,  (1841,)  contains  some  points  of  sufficient  intorest  to  deser\'e 
quotation,  as  the  same  question  is  likely  to  be  a  source  of  anxiety  to  medical 
officers  whenever  a  large  fund  accumulates  from  certain  troops,  who  are  after- 
wards^removed  from  the  locality  without  deriving  any  benefit  from  the  saving. 
It  will  be  seen  that  General  Lawson  took  the  very  proper  ground  that  a  hospital 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  171 

fund  once  formed  could  not  be  reserved  for  any  particular  regiment  or  corps, 
but  became  the  property  of  the  Medical  Department  for  the  general  benefit  of 
the  army. 


May  24,  1841. 
Dr.  B.  Randall, 

Surgeon,  U.  S.  A. 

Sir  :  Your  letter  of  the  twenty-seventh  of  April  reporting  that  you  had  received 
§2,951.37  of  hospital  fund,  and  requesting  to  be  informed  whether  or  not  the  money 
is  to  be  appropriated  to  the  exclusive  benefit  of  those  regiments  with  whom  the  fund 
was  accumulated,  has  been  received. 

In  reply  to  your  communication  I  have  to  say  that  the  very  circumstances  of  hav- 
ing the  money  accruing  from  the  retained  rations  of  the  sick,  withdrawn  from  the 
assistant  commissaries  of  subsistence  at  the  various  posts  and  with  the  diiFerent  corps, 
and  concentrated  in  the  hands  of  one  or  two  acting  medical  purveyors,  shows  that  it 
is  to  constitute  a  general  fund  with  which  to  purchase  supplies  for  the  sick  of  the 
army  without  regard  to  companies  or  corps,  who  cannot  be  otherwise  provided  with 
the  necessaries  of  life. 

The  money  accruing  from  the  retained  rations  of  the  sick  in  hospital  does  not 
belong  to  the  individuals  whose  rations  are  retained,  or  to  the  company  or  regiment  to 
which  they  belong.  The  fund  can  accrue  only  by  the  soldiers  being  taken  into  the 
hospital  and  subsisted  on  the  hospital  stores  of  the  government,  and  the  accumulation 
is  greatest,  and  is  great  only  at  those  places  where  the  commissariat  fails  to  furnish 
the  necessary  articles  of  diet  for  the  sick. 

Under  the  regular  system  of  supplying  provisions  to  the  soldiers  of  the  army, 
the  sick  men  in  hospital  are  subsisted  by  the  Subsistence  and  the  Medical  Departments 
conjointly.  Should  the  man  in  hospital  be  unable  to  eat  his  bread  and  pork,  and  the 
commissary  cannot  furnish  in  lieu  thereof,  fowls,  mutton,  eggs,  milk,  butter  or  any- 
thing else  that  the  sick  man  requires,  the  patient  must  necessarily  be  subsisted  on  the 
barley,  sago,  chocolate,  tea,  wine,  brandy,  &c.,  &c.,  in  the  hospital;  and  thus  the 
medical  stores  which  were  intended  for  a  six  or  twelve  month's  supply  to  the  troops, 
are  frequently  exhausted  in  half  the  time  contemplated.  If  then  the  sick  soldier 
lives  entirely  upon  the  hospital,  instead  of  being  subsisted  by  the  Medical  and  Sub- 
sistence departments  conjointly,  and  thus  causes  an  extraordinary  consumption  of 
hospital  stores,  and  the  consequent  necessity  of  renewing  the  supply  again  and  again 
at  the  expense  of  the  Medical  Department  alone,  what  better  disposition  can  be  made 
of  the  commutation  allowance  for  the  retained  rations  than  giving  it  to  that  appropri- 
ation from  which  the  extraordinary  supplies  have  been  drawn.    , 

The  idea  that  the  pork  and  beans  of  a  sick  soldier,  withheld  from  him  because  it 
would  be  injurious  to  him  to  eat  them,  if  not  immediately  commuted  for  mutton,  eggs, 
etc.,  and  given  to  him,  must  be  held,  or  the  equivalent  for  it,  forever  afterwards  for 
his  special  benefit,  is  so  preposterous  that  I  cannot  with  any  sort  of  patience  argue 
upon  the  subject.  Has  not  the  sick  man  if  he  can  swallow  at  all  already  gotten  from 
the  government  his  commutation  allowance,  or  the  equivalent  for  his  ration,  in  brandy, 
sago,  tea,  chocolate  or  wine?  Can  he,  when  he  is  sick  and  doing  nothing,  claim  of 
the  government  full  rations  and  hospital  stores  to  boot?  Is  it  not  competent  for  the 
Executive  of  the  Nation  to  alter  or  reduce  the  soldier's  ration  at  will?  And  if  he 
chooses  by  regulation  to  authorize  the  medical  officer  to  abridge  or  withhold  the  ration 


altogether  when  necessary,  is  there  any  violence  done  to  the  man's  rights?  The  ration 
of  the  sick  soldier  can  be  withheld  from  him  whenever  it  is  essential  to  his  safety,  or 
the  treatment  of  his  disease ;  and  if  the  pay,  as  well  as  the  rations  of  the  officers  and 
privates  both,  could  be  held  back  when  they  are  on  the  sick  report,  there  would  not 
be  so  many  people  wandering  over  the  country  with  sick  certificates  in  their  pockets. 
Again,  many  of  the  men  whose  rations  contributed  to  make  up  the  hospital  fund 
turned  over  to  you,  have  died  or  have  long  since  been  discharged  the  service ;  shall 
their  portion  of  the  fund  be  given  to  members  of  the  corps  to  the  third  and  fourth 
generation?  The  fund  for  instance  called  the  Third  Regiment  Hospital  Fund,  was  I 
believe  in  part  accumulated  with  the  seventh  infantry  while  I  was  with  it  at  Fort 
Jesup  eighteen  and  more  years  ago ;  and  are  the  present  members  of  the  third 
infantry,  some  of  them  then  unborn,  and  all  of  them  as  to  their  term  of  enlistment  in 
the  third  or  fourth  degree  removed  from  the  original  contributors,  more  legitimate 
heirs  to  the  estate  than  the  government  who  supported  the  men  at  the  time?  In  what- 
ever light  we  view  this  question,  the  claim  of  the  government  to  the  hospital  fund  is 
80  apparent  that  I  can  scarcely  bring  myself  to  believe  that  any  man  can  seriously 
entertain  a  doubt  upon  the  subject.  The  money  in  your  hands  then,  is  a  public  fund, 
to  be  disbursed  for  the  benefit  of  the  government.  It  is  intended  to  meet  those  extra- 
ordinary drafts  upon  the  medical  appropriations  through  the  medium  of  special 
requisitions  upon  the  Quartermaster's  Department.  And  it  must  be  disbursed  in  the 
purchase  of  necessaries  for  those  sick  who  cannot  be  otherwise  supplied  with  the 
essentials  of  life,  more  particularly  at  those  posts  where  the  hospital  fund  accruing  for 
the  time  being  is  not  available. 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General.^' 

The  regular  annual  meeting  of  the  medical  examining  board  for  1843  took 
place  in  New  York  city  on  the  first  of  July.  The  detail  was  Surgeons  Mower, 
Steinecke  and  Tripler,  members,  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright,  recorder. 
A  regulation  was  issued  by  the  War  Department,  to  take  effect  from  the  meet- 
ing of  this  board,  that  if  no  vacancy  occurred  in  the  Medical  Staff  for  the  space 
of  two  years  from  the  time  of  the  examination  of  any  approved  candidate, 
such  examination  should  be  considered  null  and  void,  and  the  candidate  be 
required  to  undergo  a  further  examination  before  appointment.  This  regula- 
tion was  deemed  necessary  on  account  of  the  great  changes  which  two  years 
might  produce  in  the  physical  as  well  as  the  professional  qualifications  of  a 
candidate  for  appointment.  Fourteen  applicants  presented  themselves  before 
this  board ;  of  these,  one  was  found  physically  disqualified  to  perform  the  duties 
of  a  medical  officer,  three  withdrew  before  their  examination  was  completed,  six 
were  rejected  and  four  passed  a  satisfactory  examination.  Of  those  approved, 
two,  George  Buist  and  Charles  C.  Keeney,  had  been  previously  commissioned 
in  the  Corps,  but  were  disbanded  on  the  reduction  of  the  army  in  1842. 

The  following  decision  of  the  Greneral-in-Chief  relative  to  the  proper 
salutes  to  be  paid  to  medical  officers  was  issued  in  consequence  of  numerous 

FROM  1821  TO  1846.  173 

complaints  from  those  officers  that  they  were  not  honored  by  sentinels  in  accord- 
ance with  their  rank : 


Washington,  August  3,  1843. 
Sir:  Surgeon  Foot's  letter  of  the  twenty-third  ult.,  relative  to  the  proper  salute  to 
be  paid  by  a  sentinel  on  post  to  the  surgeons  of  the  army,  referred  by  you  to  this 
office,  has  been  laid  before  the  General-in-Chief  and  duly  considered. 

The  like  question  heretofore  submitted  to  the  General-in-Chief  has  been  decided 
as  follows: — Surgeons  are  by  regulations  classed  with  majors  in  regard  to  certain  mat- 
ters of  allowance  as  quarters,  &c.,  and  they  are  entitled  to  precedency  as  such  in 
mixed  boards;  but  not  having  the  military  'rank'  of  'field  officers,'  they  are  not 
entitled  to  the  salute  prescribed  for  majors. 

I  am,  sir,  very  respectfully, 

Your  obedient  servant, 
Surgeon  General  T.  Lawson,  R.  JONES, 

U.  S.  Army.  Adjutant  General." 

The  Surgeon  General  having  at  the  same  time  requested  an  opinion  relative 

to  certain  points  pertaining  to  the  purely  military  duties  of   medical  officers, 

the  following  decision  was  rendered  by  the  Greneral-in-Chief : 


Washington,  August  4,  1843. 

Your  letter  of  the  twenty-ninth  of  July  renewing  the  inquiry  found  in  your  com- 
munication of  the  sixth  of  April,  agreeably  to  your  request  has  been  duly  considered 
and  laid  before  the  commanding  general. 

I  quote  from  your  letter : 

'  1st.  Whether  the  position  of  the  medical  officer  on  parades  for  muster  and 
inspection,  reviews  or  other  dress  parades,  at  posts  garrisoned  by  one  company  only, 
is  the  same  as  with  a  battalion  of  men,  and  if  not,  where  is  his  position? 

2nd.  Whether  it  is  required,  or  has  been  customary  for  the  medical  officer  to 
appear  in  full  dress,  and  on  parade  with  the  company,  at  the  punishment  of  prisoners ; 
and  if  so,  where  would  be  his  position  on  the  occasion?' 

Answer  to  the  first  question :  The  position  of  staff  officers  including  the  surgeon 
and  assistant  in  the  order  of  battle,  parades,  reviews  in  line  and  column,  is  relatively 
the  same,  whether  the  command  be  a  battalion  or  consist  of  a  single  company.  [See 
infantry  tactics  vol.  1,  plate  1,  and  paragraph  44;  see  also  nos.  615  and  621  army 

Answer  to  the  second  question :  No  matter  what  the  occasion  may  be,  if  the  troops 
be  under  arms  in  uniform,  it  would  be  with  the  commander  to  decide  whether  the 
officers  (including  the  surgeon)  be  excused  from  appearing  in  full  dress;  but  in  wit- 
nessing punishments  I  think  the  medical  officer  ought  to  be  excused,  because  his 
professional  services  might  be  necessary.  As  respects  his  'position,'  when  with  the 
troops  under  arms  to  attend  the  punishment  of  a  prisoner,  if  not  in  his  fixed  position  as 
pointed  out  by  the  regulations,  he  should  take  his  station  near  the  prisoner,  with  the 
view  to  his  professional  observation  and  services  or  advice,  should  he  deem  it  necessary. 

I  am,  sir,  very  respectfully,  etc., 


Adjutant  General." 


The  medical  examining  board  for  1 844  met  in  New  York  city  on  the  first 
of  July.  The  detail  was  Surgeons  Mower  and  Steinecke  and  Assistant  Surgeon 
Hitchcock.  Eleven  candidates  were  authorized  to  present  themselves  for 
examination.  Of  these,  seven  were  examined  and  three  approved.  That  for 
1845  examined  eleven  applicants,  of  whom  nine  were  rejected  and  two  favorably 
reported  on.  The  detail  was  the  same  as  before,  substituting  Assistant  Surgeon 
Henderson  for  Doctor  Hitchcock. 

In  May,  1845,  the  propriety  of  a  medical  officer's  engaging  in  private 
practice  was  brought  to  the  notice  of  the  Department  for  decision,  in  conse- 
quence of  protests  forwarded  by  private  physicians  at  Sackett's  Harbor,  New 
York,  against  the  practice  on  the  part  of  the  post  surgeon  at  Madison  Barracks 
of  attending  to  patients  in  that  village;  alleging  that  he,  (the  post  surgeon) 
came  into  injurious  competition  with  them.  These  protests  were  replied  to  by 
the  Surgeon  Greneral  as  follows: 


.June  4,  1845. 
Gentlemen : 

Your  communication  (without  date)  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  representing  that 
Doctor  Foot,  the  surgeon  stationed  at  Madison  Barracks,  and  Mr.  Veits  the  hospital 
steward  of  the  post,  come  in  'competition'  with  you  in  the  practice  of  the  adjacent 
village  and  country,  and  asking  for  the  interposition  of  the  Department  of  War  in  the 
matter,  has  been  referred  to  this  office. 

Whether,  by  your  expression,  'putting  themselves  in  competition'  with  you,  you 
mean  to  convey  anything  more  than  that  they  comply  with  the  applications  of  those 
who  desire  their  professional  aid,  is  not  clearly  understood.  If  neither  a  breach  of 
professional  etiquette,  nor  any  improper  means  to  obtain  professional  employment  is 
charged  against  them,  it  is  not  perceived  that  this  Department  can  with  propriety 
interfere  in  the  matter.  In  the  absence  of  reasons  such  as  have  just  been  stated,  the 
only  other,  and  indeed  the  principal  circumstance  that  would  seem  to  call  for  the 
restraint  of  authority  in  the  present  case  would  be,  that  they  neglect  or  have  neglected 
their  official  duties  by  engaging  in  private  practice.  This  you  have  not  alleged ; '  and 
as  no  report  has  been  made  upon  the  subject  by  their  commanding  officer,  it  is  to 
be  presumed  there  is  no  cause  of  complaint  on  that  score.  Indeed  the  elevated 
character  and  fidelity  of  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Staif  afford  satisfactory  guaranties 
that  this  will  seldom,  if  ever  occur.  If  however,  they  should  so  far  forget  what  is  due 
to  the  government  and  expected  of  themselves,  as  to  engage  in  private  practice  to  the 
neglect  of  the  officers  and  soldiers  who  are  dependent  on  them  for  medical  aid,  they 
can  be  readily  checked  by  their  immediate  military  commander;  and  if  they  should 
persist  in  this  dereliction  of  public  duty,  they  can  promptly  be  brought  to  trial  before 
a  military  tribunal. 

When  therefore,  it  does  not  interfere  with  their  military  duties,  medical  officers 
have  a  right  to  give  their  professional  advice,  &c.,  to  whomsoever  they  please,  and 
they  have  always  been  permitted  to  do  so  with  a  view  to  their  professional  advance- 
ment. Indeed  at  military  posts  occupied  by  a  small  number  of  troops,  and  where  of 
course  the  subjects  of  disease  are  few  in  number,  and  the  complaints  of  these  few 

KROM  1821  TO  1846.  175 

present  but  little  variety  of  character,  it  is  rather  desirable  than  otherwise  that  the 
army  physician  should  extend  his  sphere  of  action  to  the  citizens  immediately  around 
him,  so  as  to  become  familiar  with  disease  under  all  circumstances,  the  maladies  pre- 
vailing through  the  country  and  among  the  citizens  generally,  as  well  as  the  diseases 
peculiar  to  the  soldier,  or  to  military  life  in  camp  or  garrison.  To  deprive  the  army 
surgeon  of  any  reasonable  opportunity  of  practical  advancement  in  his  profession, 
would  surely  be  inflicting  an  injury  upon  the  service  generally,  and  especially  upon 
those  who  have  to  depend  upon  him  for  professional  aid. 

Again,  while  this  Department  in  its  reply  to  your  communication  desires  to  con- 
fine itself  strictly  to  official  considerations,  or  such  as  affect  the  public  service  merely, 
it  may  not  be  out  of  place  incidentally  to  state,  that  to  prohibit  a  medical  officer  (when 
his  public  duties  will  permit)  from  extending  relief  to  those  of  his  fellow  citizens  who  may 
apply  for  his  services — having  confidence  in  his  professional  attainments — would  be  as 
ungracious  to  them  as  it  would  be  devoid  of  the  common  dictates  of  humanity ;  and  might 
afford  as  just  and  perhaps  a  better  cause  for  complaint  on  the  part  of  the  neighboring 
community  than  the  one  alleged  by  yourselves,  which  relates  exclusively  to  private 

In  reply  to  your  proposition  that  you  may  be  permitted  to  come  into  competition 
with  them  (the  surgeon  and  steward)  inside  'the  garrison,'  and  'the  amount  of  our 
[your]  services  to  be  deducted  from  their  pay,'  I  beg  leave  to  say  that  as  there  are  gen- 
erally a  number  of  persons  at  a  military  garrison,  who  receive  the  professional  services 
of  the  surgeon  only  by  right  of  courtesy  (which  has  always  however  been  regarded  as 
obligatory),  they  are  entirely  at  liberty  if  they  think  proper  to  employ  you ;  and  as  far 
as  the  discipline  of  the  service  will  permit  and  my  jurisdiction  extends,  I  can  offer  no 
objections  to  their  so  doing;  but  as  the  pay  of  the  surgeon  and  steward  is  fixed  by 
law,  it  is  not  competent  for  the  Department  to  order  you  to  be  paid  for  your  services 
in  the  manner  you  propose. 

Very  respectfully,  etc., 


Acting  Surgeon   General.''^ 

The  threatening  aspect  of  affairs  rendering  a  war  with  Mexico  not  an 
improbable  occurrence,  in  August,  1845,  a  hirge  body  of  troops  was  concen- 
trated at  Corpus  Christi,  Texas.  This  was  placed  under  command  of  General 
Z.  Taylor,  and  was  entitled  the  "  Army  of  Occupation."  In  anticipation  of  this 
movement  the  Medical  Purveyor  at  New  York  was,  in  June,  instructed  to 
forward  a  years  supply  for  fifteen  hundred  men  to  New  Orleans,  to  be  subject 
to  General  Taylor's  orders,  and  an  additional  quantity  was  forwarded  to  Corpus 
Christi  in  August.  Assistant  Surgeon  McCormick  was  also  detailed  to  pur- 
chase in  New  Orleans  such  supplies  for  immediate  use  as  might  be  needed  by 
the  troops  en  route  to  Texas.  The  troops  thus  constituting  the  "  Army  of 
Occupation,"  were  the  second  dragoons,  the  third,  fouith,  fifth,  seventh  and 
eighth  regiments  of  infantry,  and  portions  of  the  first,  second  and  fourth  regiments 
of  artillery.  Surgeon  Presley  H.  Craig  was  appointed  Medical  Director  and 
Surgeon  W.  L.  Wharton,  Medical  Purveyor  to  the  army.  This  latter  officer 
was  subsequently  relieved  on   account   of  ill    health   and    was   succeeded  by 


Assistant  Surgeon  James  Simons.  A  general  hospital  was  established,  which 
was  placed  in  charge  of  Surgeon  N.  S.  Jarvis.  The  following  medical  officers  were  in 
charge  of  the  various  regimental  hospitals,  viz:  third  infantry,  Assistant  Sur- 
geon J.  B.  Porter ;  fourth  infantry.  Assistant  Surgeon  Madison  Mills ;  fifth 
infantry.  Surgeon  R.  C.  Wood;  seventh  infantry,  Assistant  Surgeon  H.  E. 
Cruttenden ;  eighth  infantry,  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright ;  second  dragoons. 
Assistant  Surgeon  L.  C.  McPhail ;  battalion  artillery,  Surgeon  H.  S.  Hawkins ; 
battalion  field  artillery.  Assistant  Surgeon  John  B.  Wells.  In  addition  to  these 
the  following  medical  officers  were  either  attached  to  the  general  hospital  or  to 
the  various  regiments:  Assistant  Surgeons  Moore,  Byrne,  Conrad,  DeLeon, 
Steiner,  Kennedy,  Buist,  J.  W.  Russell,  Glen  and  Levely.  In  March,  1846, 
the  army  was  transferred  from  Corpus  Christi  to  Brazos  Santiago.  The  sick 
that  were  unable  to  be  transported  were  left  behind  in  general  hospital,  which 
was  then  placed  in  charge  of  Surgeon  H.  S.  Hawkins,  with  Assistant  Surgeon 
William  Roberts  as  his  assistant,  and  removed  to  St.  Joseph's  Island  near 
Aransas  Pass.  Surgeon  Jarvis,  who  had  been  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital, 
was  assigned  to  the  third  infantry,  and  accompanied  it  on  the  march  to  the 
Rio  Grande.  Assistant  Surgeon  Porter  was  transferred  in  consequence  fi-om 
the  third  infantry  to  the  battalion  of  artillery.  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  R.  Conrad 
relieved  Assistant  Surgeon  McPhail  in  charge  of  the  second  dragoons,  and  the 
latter  officer  was  assigned  to  the  seventh  infantry.  Assistant  Surgeon  Byrne 
remained  with  a  detachment  of  troops  guarding  stores  at  St.  Joseph's  Island. 
Such  was  the  distribution  of  medical  officers  in  the  camp  opposite  Matamoras, 
when  on  the  sixth  of  May,  1846,  the  bombardment  of  our  works  at  that  point 
(afterwards  known  as  Fort  Brown)  precipitated  the  conflict  which  had  long  been 
felt  to  be  inevitable,  and  for  the  third  time  in  its  history  the  country  entered  on 
a  foreign  war.  The  consideration  of  the  services  rendered  by  the  Medical  Staff 
in  the  campaigns  which  followed  will  appropriately  form  the  subject  of  a 
separate  chapter. 



From   the   commencement   op   the   Mexican   War  until  the  bom- 
bardment OP  Fort  Sumter  in  1861. 

On  the  thirteenth  of  May,  1846,  President  Polk  issued  his  proclamation 
announcing  to  the  people  of  the  United  States  that  Congress  had  declared  that 
"  By  the  act  of  the  Republic  of  Mexico,  a  state  of  war  exists  between  that 
government  and  the  United  States." 

The  war  was  in  actual  operation  on  the  Rio  Grande  previous  to  this  pro- 
clamation ;  for  the  bombardment  of  Fort  Brown  took  place  on  the  sixth  of  May, 
the  battle  of  Palo  Alto  on  the  eighth,  and  that  of  Resaca  de  la  Palma  dn  the 
ninth.  As  these  battles  were  both  fought  in  the  afternoon,  the  wounded  were 
attended  to  as  well  as  circumstances  permitted  during  the  night.  As  soon  as 
possible  after  the  actions  they  were  sent  to  Point  Isabel,  where  a  general  hospital 
was  hastily  established  with  hospital  tents,  and  by  clearing  out  some  of  the 
quartermaster's  storehouses.  Surgeon  Robert  C.  Wood  was  placed  in  charge, 
with  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  W.  Russell  as  assistant ;  but  the  latter  being  obliged 
to  leave  the  country  on  account  of  his  health.  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  B.  Wells 
was  assigned  to  his  duties  in  the  general  hospital  and  also  relieved  Assistant  Sur- 
geon Simons  as  Medical  Purveyor,  the  latter  joining  the  army  at  Matamoras.  One 
hundred  and  thirteen  wounded  were  received  into  this  hospital  at  Point  Isabel, 
and  the  remainder,  numbering  forty-eight,  were  sent  to  the  general  hospital  at 
St.  Joseph's  Island,  Corpus  Christi  Bay,  under  charge  of  Surgeon  Hawkins. 

The  following  is  Greneral  Belknap's  report  of  the  conduct  of  the  medical 
officers  at  these  actions : 


June  10,  1846. 
Capt.  W.  W.  S.  Bliss, 

Assistant  Adjutant  General. 
Sib:  In  reporting  the  operations  of  the  first  brigade  on  the  eighth  and  ninth  of 
>i[ay,  Palo  Alto  and  Resaca  de  la  Palma,  a  proper  reference  to  the  services  of  the 
Medical  Staff  was  inadvertantly  omitted.  I  beg  leave,  therefore,  to  offer  this  supple- 
mentary statement.  It  is  due  to  Surgeon  Wright  and  Assistant  Surgeons  Porter, 
UeLeon  and  Madison  to  say  that  their  professional  aid  was  required  early  in  the  action 
of  the  eighth  instant,  and  that  the  number  of  wounded  soon  called  for  their  unceasing 
attention.  I  am  happy  to  bear  testimony  that  the  devotion  of  these  officers  to  the 


wounded  under  their  care,  was  conspicuous  during  the  day  and  through  the  entire 
night.  In  the  action  of  the  ninth,  Doctors  Wright  and  Porter  were  again  present  and 
passed  a  second  sleepless  night  in  the  performance  of  their  arduous  duties.  Their 
eflForts  to  alleviate  pain  and  suffering  were  as  benevolent  as  they  were  untiring;  serv- 
ing with  equal  kindness  and  zeal  our  army  and  the  large  number  of  the  enemy's 
wounded  that  fell  into  our  hands. 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 


Lieutenant  Colonel, 
Commanding  First  Brigade. ^^ 

When  General  Taylor  moved  his  amiy  across  the  river  and  occupied  Mata- 
moras,  a  hospital  was  established  at  Fort  Brown  under  charge  of  Assistant 
Surgeon  L.  C  McPhail,  and  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  June  a  general  hospital 
was  opened  in  Matamoras,  and  placed  in  charge  of  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright. 
Meanwhile,  a  body  of  troops  occupied  Reynosa,  Mexico,  about  a  hundred  miles 
up  the  river,  where  the  hospital  was  attended  by  Assistant  Surgeon  Laub,  who 
on  the  arrival  of  the  main  army  at  Camargo  in  August,  joined  that  body,  having 
been  relieved  by  Assistant  Surgeon  Wotherspoon. 

Early  in  September  the  purveying  depot  at  Point  Isabel  was  moved  to 
Camargo,  which  was  established  by  General  Taylor  as  his  base  of  supplies  on  the 
march  to  Monterey.  On  the  departure  of  the  army,  Assistant  Surgeon  Wells 
in  addition  to  his  duty  as  purveyor,  was  given  the  general  direction  of  all  the 
hospitals,  regular  and  volunteer,  in  and  around  Camargo.  In  this  portion  of  his 
duties  he  was  relieved  in  November  by  Surgeon  G.  F.  Turner.  The  battle  of 
Monterey  was  fought  on  the  twenty-third  of  September.  Of  the  conduct  of 
the  medical  officers  in  this  action,  General  Taylor  thus  speaks  in  his  official 
report :  "  Surgeon  Craig,  Medical  Director,  was  actively  employed  in  the  important 
duties  of  his  department,  and  the  Medical  Staif  generally  were  unremitting  in 
their  attentions  to  the  numerous  wounded ;  their  duties  with  the  regular  regi- 
ments being  rendered  uncommonly  arduous  by  the  small  number  serving  in  the 
field."  General  Worth,  in  reporting  the  operations  of  his  division,  says:  "In 
common  with  the  entire  division,  my  particular  thanks  are  due  tb  Assistant 
Surgeons  Porter  (senior),  Byrne,  Conrad,  DeLeon  and  Roberts,  Medical 
Department,  who  were  ever  at  hand  in  the  close  fight,  promptly  administering  to 
the  wounded  and  suflPering  soldier." 

While  these  events  were  transpiring  with  the  main  army,  a  column  of 
troops  marched  from  Leavenworth,  Kansas,  to  Santa  F6,  to  occupy  the  territory 
of  New  Mexico.  The  medical  officers  who  accompanied  this  expedition  were 
Surgeon  S.  G.  I.  De  Camp,  Medical  Director,  Assistant  Surgeons  J.  S.  Griffin 
and  R.  F.  Simpson.  In  September  a  body  of  troops  was  collected  at  San 
Antonio,  Texas,  under  command  of  General  Wool,  destined  for  the  invasion  of 


Chihuahua.  Surgeon  Lyman  Foot  was  -  assigned  as  Medical  Director  of  this 
ai-my,  but  was  soon  after  relieved  on  account  of  ill  health,  and  Assistant  Sur- 
geon C.  M.  Hitchcock,  who  was  at  the  time  Medical  Purveyor  at  San  Antonio, 
was  appointed  Medical  Director,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  John  C.  Glen,  Medical 
Purveyor.  The  latter  was  also  placed  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital.  This 
column  consisted  of  portions  of  the  first  and  second  dragoons,  fourth  artillery 
and  sixth  infantry,  besides  Kentucky  and  Illinois  volunteers.  The  other  regu- 
lar medical  officers  were  Assistant  Surgeon  Josiah  Simpson,  in  charge  of  the 
sixth  infantry  and  Kentucky  volunteers,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  W.  Levely,  in 
charge  of  the  dragoons  and  artillery.  There  were  also  several  volunteer  sur- 
geons and  citizen  physicians.  They  left  San  Antonio  in  the  last  week  in 
September,  and  marched  to  Presidio  del  Norte. 

Surgeon  General  Lawson  in  his  annual  report  to  the  Secretary  of  War, 
dated  November  9,  1846,  thus  speaks  of  the  services  of  the  medical  officers  in 
the  campaign  which  closed  with  the  capture  of  Monterey: 

"The  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  serving  with  the  several  army  corps  employed 
against  the  enemy  have  participated  largely  in  the  toils,  the  privations  and  the  dangers 
of  the  field,  with  their  associates-in-arms  of  the  line  of  the  army.  The  services  of 
those,  with  Medical  Director  Craig  at  their  head,  attached  to  the  Army  of  Occupation, 
have  been  more  conspicuously  brought  to  our  notice;  and  it  is  but  justice  to  say  that 
they  have  been  found  present  wherever  their  honor  and  their  duty  called  them,  nobly 
fulfilling  in  every  particular  their  obligations  to  their  country. 

Those  gallant  spirits  led  on  by  Major  General  Taylor,  always  in  the  presence  of 
the  enemy  and  frequently  in  conflict  with  him,  have  necessarily  afforded  ample  scope 
for  their  exercise  and  judgment  in  practical  surgery ;  and  the  ability  which  the  med- 
ical officers  have  displayed,  and  the  unremitting  attention  they  have  bestowed  on  the 
sick  and  wounded  soldier  (the  enemy  included)  have  called  forth  a  willing  tribute  of 
respect,  and  the  grateful  acknowledgments  of  all  who  have  experienced  or  witnessed 
the  results  of  their  humane  efforts  and  practical  skill." 

It  will  be  necessary  now  to  look  back  a  little  and  ascertain  what  measures 
were  taken  by  the  government  to  supply  the  additional  demand  for  medical  officers 
caused  by  the  great  increase  of  troops  at  the  seat  of  war.  An  act  of  May  13, 
1846,  called  for  fifty  thousand  volunteers,  to  be  apportioned  ^ro  rata  among  the 
diiFerent  states ;  these  were  supplied  with  medical  officers  on  the  basis  of  one  surgeon 
and  one  assistant  surgeop  to  each  regiment  called  into  service  by  the  act  of  June 
18th,  all  such  medical  officers  to  be  appointed  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the 
advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate.  No  increase  was  made  during  this  year  in 
the  regular  Corps,  although  its  necessity  was  urged  by  the  Surgeon  General  in 
several  communications  to  the  Secretary  of  War.  The  examining  board  for 
this  year  consisted  of  Surgeons  Mower,  Steinecke  and  McDougall,  and  met  in 
New  York  city  on  the  first  of  July.      Sixty-three  applicants  were  invited  to 


present  themselves  for  examination ;  forty-three  of  these  appeared,  of  whom 
three  were  rejected  for  physical  disqualifications,  fifteen  retired  without  exami- 
nation, and  of  the  remainder  eight  received  a  favorable  report. 

After  the  battle  of  Monterey,  geperal  hospitals  for  each  of  the  divisions  of 
the  army  were  established  in  that  city.  That  at  St.  Joseph's  Island  was  broken 
up  and  Surgeon  Hawkins  with  the  remaining  sick  and  wounded  removed  to 
Matamoras.  On  the  twenty-fourth  of  October,  Surgeon  C  A.  Finley  arrived  at 
Monterey  and  by  virtue  of  seniority  relieved  Surgeon  Craig  as  Medical  Director 
of  the  army.  About  the  middle  of  November  the  column  under  General  Wool 
which  had  been  destined  for  Chihuahua,  was  ordered  to  join  the  main  army 
and  arriving  at  the  town  of  Parras  was  henceforth  known  as  the  Second  Division 
of  the  Army  of  Invasion.  Assistant  Surgeon  Hitchcock  was  detached  fi-om  the 
division  at  Agua  Nueva  and  ordered  to  Saltillo  as  Purveyor,  Assistant  Surgeon 
Josiah  Simpson  relieving  him  of  his  duties  as  Medical  Director.  This  position 
the  latter  soon  after  relinquished  to  accompany  the  sixth  infantry  on  its  march 
to  join  Worth's  division,  destined  for  Vera  Cruz,  and  Doctor  Hitchcock  once 
more  assumed  its  duties.  About  this  same  time  the  city  of  Tampico  was  captured 
by  the  naval  forces,  and  immediately  occupied  by  our  troops  under  command 
of  Colonel  Belton.  Of  this  command  Assistant  Surgeon  John  M.  Cuyler  was 
the  chief  medical  officer. 

The  end  of  the  year  1846  found  the  army  of  General  Taylor  occupying 
Saltillo  as  its  advanced  station,  with  one  division  at  Parras  and  the  head-quar- 
ters at  Monterey.  General  Scott  at  this  time  was  at  Brazos  Santiago  organizing 
the  expedition  against  Vera  Cruz  by  way  of  Tampico  and  Lobos  Island.  For 
this  purpose  in  January  Twiggs'  division  was  detached  fi"om  General  Taylor's 
army  and  ordered  to  Tampico,  and  Worth  with  his  division  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Rio  Grande.  On  the  first  of  February  (as  near  as  can  now  be  ascertained)  the 
following  was  the  distribution  of  the  medical  officers  serving  with  the  army : 
Surgeon  P.  H.  Craig  had  again  relieved  Surgeon  Finley  as  Medical  Director  of 
General  Taylor's  army,  the  latter  having  left  the  country  on  leave  on  account  of 
his  health.  At  Monterey  the  general  hospital  was  in  charge  of  Surgeon  N.  S. 
Jarvis,  with  Assistant  Surgeon  B.  M.  Byrne  as  his  assistant.  At  Camargo, 
Surgeon  Turner  was  in  charge  of  the  purveying  depot  and  Assistant  Surgeon 
S.  P.  Moore  of  the  post  hospital.  At  Matamoras,  the  general  hospital  was  in 
charge  of  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright,  who  had  on  duty  with  him  Assistant  Sur- 
geons McPhail  and  Holden,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  F.  Head  in  charge  of  the 
post  hospital  at  Fort  Brown.  The  general  hospital  at  Point  Isabel  remained  in 
charge  of  Surgeon  R.  C.  Wood  and  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  W.  Russell.  At 
Saltillo  Assistant  Surgeon  C.  M.  Hitchcock  was  on  duty  as  Medical  Director  of 


the  Second  Division,  and  Assistant  Surgeons  Madison,  Levely  and  Prevost  were 
attached  to  regiments.  At  Tampico,  Surgeon  B.  F.  Harney  was  Medical  Direc- 
tor, Surgeon  Satterlee  was  in  charge  of  the  garrison,  composed  of  portions  of 
the  second,  third  and  fourth  artillery,  and  Surgeon  Tripler  was  with  the  second 
infantry.  Assistant  Surgeons  Cuyler,  Mills,  Steiner  and  Newton  were  also  on 
duty  with  troops  at  this  place.  Surgeon  Hawkins  and  Assistant  Surgeons 
Simons  and  Edwards  were  on  duty  with  General  Taylor's  army  at  or  near 
Monterey,  and  the  following  officers  were  either  en  route  or  under  orders  to  join 
the  forces  which  were  to  rendezvous  at  Lobos  Island  for  the  capture  of  Vera 
Cruz :  Surgeons  McLaren  and  Porter  and  Assistant  Surgeons  Suter,  Laub. 
J.  Simpson,  DeLeon,  Barnes,  Wotherspoon,  Keeney  and  Roberts.  These 
officers  were  changed  so  frequently  from  one  regiment  or  hospital  to  another 
during  the  rapidly  shifting  scenes  of  the  war,  that  it  is  not  possible  now  to  give 
the  exact  duty  to  which  each  was  assigned  at  any  particular  time ;  it  is  desira- 
ble, however,  to  place  on  record  the  names  of  those  officers  who  took  part  in 
this  victorious  campaign,  and  hence  the  foregoing  and  other  lists  are  given, 
imperfect  as  they  may  be  in  their  details. 

In  December,  1846,  Surgeon  General  Lawson  left  Washington  for -New 
Orleans  on  official  business.  On  his  arrival  in  the  latter  city  he  was  invited  by 
General  Scott  to  accompany  him  on  his  projected  campaign  in  Mexico,  as  chief 
of  his  Medical  Staff,  an  invitation  which  was  promptly  accepted,  and  in  Febru- 
ary, 1847,  he  departed  with  him  for  Lobos  Island.  During  his  absence  from 
Washington,  Surgeon  H.  L.  Heiskell  performed  the  duties  of  Surgeon  General. 

On  the  eleventh  of  February,  Congress  passed  an  act  "  To  raise  for  a 
limited  time  an  additional  military  force  and  for  other  purposes."  This  act 
provided  for  the  raising  for  the  war  of  ten  additional  regiments  (nine  of  infan- 
try and  one  of  cavalry)  to  be  added  to  the  regular  army.  Each  regiment  was 
to  be  entitled  to  one  surgeon  and  two  assistant  surgeons ;  to  be  appointed  by  the 
President  and  confirmed  by  the  Senate  in  the  same  manner  as  those  of  the 
permanent  establishment,  and  to  take  rank  with  them  as  long  as  they  were 
retained  in  service.  In  addition,  the  increase  of  the  Corps,  which  the  Surgeon 
General  had  strongly  urged  a  number  of  times,  was  authorized  by  the  eighth 
section : 

^' And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  President  of  the  United  States  is  hereby 
authorized,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  to  appoint  two  addi- 
tional surgeons,  and  twelve  additional  assistant  surgeons  'in  the  regular  army  of  the 
United  States,  subject  to  the  provisions  of  an  act  entitled  'An  act  to  increase  and  reg- 
ulate the  pay  of  the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  of  the  army,  approved  June  30, 
1834;'  and  that  the  officers  whose  appointment  is  authorized  by  this  section,  shall 
receive  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  officers  of  the  same  grades  respectively ;  and  that 


the  rank  of  officers  of  the  Medical  Department  of  the  army  shall  be  arranged  on  the 
same  basis  which  at  present  determines  the  amount  of  their  pay  and  emoluments; 
Provided,  That  the  medical  officers  shall  not  in  virtue  of  such  rank  be  entitled  to  com- 
mand in  the  line  or  other  staif  departments  of  the  army." 

The  fifth  section  of  this  act  provided,  "  That  the  said  officers,  musicians 
and  privates,  authorized  by  this  act,  shall  immediately  be  discharged  from  the 
service  of  the  United  States  at  the  close  of  the  war  with  Mexico."  On  the 
conclusion  of  peace,  however,  it  was  found  that  by  the  acquisition  of  California 
and  New  Mexico  the  number  of  additional  posts  to  be  garrisoned  was,  so  great, 
that  a  proportionately  large  medical  staff  was  necessary,  and  on  the  nineteenth 
of  July,  1848,  the  following  clause  was  passed  in  "  An  act  to  amend  an  act 
entitled,  '  an  act  supplemental  to  an  act  entitled,  an  act  providing  for  the  prose- 
cution of  the  existing  war  between  the  United  States  and  the  republic  of 
Mexico'  and  for  other  purposes,"  which  was  as  follows : 

'*  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  so  much  of  said  act  passed  on  the  eleventh  of 
February,  1847,  as  requires  the  discharge  hi  the  close  of  the  war  with  Mexico,  of  two 
additional  surgeons  and  twelve  ad(jlitional  assistant  surgeons,  as  authorized  by  the 
eighth  section  of  the  said  act,  *  *  *  *  be  and  the  same  is  hereby  repealed ; 
Provided,  that  no  vacancy  happening  under  the  provisions  so  repealed  shall  be  filled 
up,  until  further  authorized  by  law." 

A  most  important  clause  in  the  act  of  February  11,  1847,  waa  that  which 
gave  definite  rank  to  medical  officers.  The  Surgeon  General  and  the  officers 
of  the  Department  had  always  claimed  such  rank,  by  virtue  of  the  laws  giving 
them  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  officers  of  cavalry  of  certain  grades,  but  the 
concession  had  not  been  generally  made  throughout  the  army,  and  hence  medical 
officers  were  often  placed  in  disagreeable  positions,  such  as  grew  out  of  contro- 
versies similar  to  the  one  noted  already  in  reference  to  their  position  on  boards 
of  survey.  The  medical  officers  neither  claimed  nor  desired  any  right  to  com- 
mand outside  of  their  own  department;  they  did  demand  the  right  to  be 
supreme  within  it,  and  to  be  recognized  as  something  more  than  mere  civilian 
employees  of  the  government  authorized  by  courtesy  to  wear  a  uniform.  The 
bill  only  placed  them  on  an  equality  with  the  other  staff  departments  of  the 
army,  and  gave  no  jurisdiction  to  medical  officers  which  they  did  not  feel  they 
had  a  right  to  exercise. 

As  soon  as  possible  after  the  passage  of  this  act,  a  medical  board  met  in 
New  York  city,  to  examine  candidates  for  appointment.  The  members  were 
Surgeons  Mower,  Finley  and  Steinecke,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Southgate, 
recorder.  One  hundred  and  three  persons  were  invited  to  present  themselves 
for  examination ;  of  these  fifty-eight  appeared.  Five  were  rejected  for  defec- 
tive physical  or  moral  qualifications,  eight  withdrew  without  examination,  thirty- 


four  failed  to  pass  the  board,  and  eleven  were  found  qualified  and  received  a 
favorable  report. 

As  a  general  hospital  for  the  sick  and  wounded  arriving  in  New  Orleans 
from  the  seat  of  war  was  much  needed,  the  barracks  and  adjoining  buildings  in 
the  vicinity  of  that  city  were  fitted  up  for  this  purpose  and  placed  in  charge  of 
Assistant  Surgeon  W.  J.  Sloan  and  subsequently  the  hospital  and  barracks  at 
Baton  Rouge,  Louisiana,  were  devoted  to  the  same  purpose  under  direction  of 
Assistant  Surgeon  A.  W.  Kennedy. 

On  the  twenty-third  of  February  the  battle  of  Buena  Vista,  four  miles 

from  Saltillo,  was  fought.      The  severely  wounded  were  sent  to  general  hospital 

at  Saltillo  while  trifling  injuries  were  treated  in  the  regimental  hospitals.     Surgeon 

Craig,  the  Medical  Director,  was  not  present  at  this  action,  having  been  detailed 

elsewhere  on  special  duty  by  Greneral'  Taylor's  orders.     He  arrived  on  the  field 

of  battle,  however,  the  following  morning   and  rendered  efiicient  service   in 

superintending  the  removal  of  the  wounded.     During  the  action  the  direction 

of  the  hospital  devolved  on  Assistant  Surgeon  C.  M.  Hitchcock,  as  the  next 

officer  in  rank.     Greneral  Taylor  in  his  official  report  thus  speaks  of  the  services 

of  the  medical  officers : 

"The  Medical  Staif  under  the  able  direction  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Hitchcock, 
were  assiduous  in  their  attentions  to  the  wounded  upon  the  field  and  in  their  careful 
removal  to  the  rear.  Both  in  these  respects  and  in  the  subsequent  organization  and 
service  of  the  hospitals,  the  administration  of  this  department  -was  everything  that 
could  be  wished." 

General  Wool  in  the  report  of  the  operations  of  his  division,  says : 

"Surgeons  Hitchcock,  Levely,  Hensly,  Price,  Roane,  Madison,  Peyton,  Herrick, 
Roberts  and  Glen,  for  their  devotion  to  the  wounded  of  the  Mexican  Army,  as  well 
as  those  of  our  own  are  entitled  to  my  highest  praise." 

It  is  gratifying  also  to  be  able  to  record  the  following  opinion  of  a  distin- 
guished officer  who  was  present  at  the  battle,  and  wrote  a  history  of  it.  It  is 
taken  from  Carleton's  "  History  of  the  battle  of  Buena  Vista  :" 

"Of  the  Medical  Staff,  there  were  on  the  field  Doctor  Hitchcock,  Doctor  Madison, 
Doctor  Levely  and  Doctor  Prevost.  The  courageous  manner  in  which  these  gentlemen 
passed  along  the  lines  and  rendered  assistance  to  the  wounded,  oftentimes  at  the 
moment  they  fell ;  the  positions  of  imminent  peril  to  which  they  cheerfully  and  at  all 
times  hurried  whenever  their  professional  services  were  required  on  the  instant ;  the 
care  with  which  they  had  those  who  were  struck  borne  to  the  rear,  and  subsequently 
carried  to  Saltillo,  and  their  assiduity  in  attending  on  them  day  and  night,  gained  for 
them  the  unqualified  praise  of  the  whole  army." 

Some  months  after  the  battle,  General  Wool  paid  the  following  tribute  to 
the  services  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Grayson  M.  Prevost,  in  a  special  report,  to  the 
Secretary  of  War: 



August  9,  1847. 
General : 

In  my  report  of  the  battle  of  Buena  Vista,  4th  March  last,  I  intended  to  name 
all  the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  who  were  on  the  field  of  battle  during  the  two 
eventful  days  of  the  twenty-second  and  twenty-third  of  February.  It  appears  that  I 
omitted  the  name  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Prevost.  At  the  time  I  was  not  personally 
acquainted  with  him,  and  he  was  I  supposed,  in  Saltillo,  where  he  had  been  stationed. 
From  statements  recently  received,  it  appears  that  he  was  not  only  on  the  field  attend- 
ing to  the  wounded,  but  that  he  rendered  me  important  and  gallant  services  during 
the  battle.  Seeing  me  alone  (my  staff  being  all  absent  in  endeavoring  to  rally  the 
tiying  troops  from  the  field)  he  came  to  me,  when  I  made  use  of  him  on  several  occa- 
sions to  hasten  up  the  troops,  in  order  to  attack  the  heavy  column  of  Mexican  lancers 
and  infantry  which  had  succeeded  in  getting  to  our  left  and  rear.  He  also  carried  my 
orders  to  the  Mississippi  and  Third  Indiana  regiments,  to  charge  the  enemy  under  the 
most  trying  circumstances — a  tremendous  fire  from  the  Mexicans,  not  only  from  the 
lancers  and  infantry,  but  from  their  pieces  of  artillery,  which  had  been  brought  to 
bear  on  the  right  flank  from  the  plain  in  front  of  our  centre. 

At  this  time  I  supposed  he  was  an  ofi&cer  who  had  just  arrived,  and  belonged  to 
the  staff  of  General  Taylor  and  called  him  captain.      It  is  therefore  that  I  would 
recommend  Assistant  Surgeon  Prevost  to  the  special  notice  of  the  Secretary  of  War, 
for  his  daring  courage  and  gallant  bearing  on  the  fields  of  Buena  Vista. 
I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 

Bbioameb  General  R.  Jones,  Brigadier  General. 

Adjutant  General,  Washington." 

The  army  under  Greneral  Scott  was  assembled  at  Lobos  Island,  sixty  miles 
south  of  Tampico,  in  the  latter  part  of  February,  1847.  It  was  organized  as 
follows:  the  regular  troops  (excepting  the  cavalry)  were  formed  into  two 
brigades  under  command  of  Generals  Worth  and  Twiggs,  and  the  volunteers 
into  a  division  of  three  brigades,  conunanded  by  General  Patterson,  the  brig- 
ades being  under  the  command  of  Generals  Pillow,  Quitman  and  Shields, 
respectively.  After  the  siege  of  Vera  Cruz  the  regular  brigades  were  formed 
into  divisions  of  two  brigades  each. 

On  the  eighth  of  March  the  army  effected  a  landing  at  Sacrificios,  near 
Vera  Cruz,  and  the  regular  siege  operations  commenced  on  the  tenth.  During 
the  investment  the  sick  and  wounded  were  treated  in  hospital  tents  by  their 
regimental  medical  officers,  but  on  the  surrender  of  the  city  on  the  twenty-ninth 
of  March  a  general  hospital  was  established  in  a  monastery  with  Surgeon  John 
B.  Porter  in  charge.  A  purveying  depot  was  also  opened  under  the  direction 
of  Assistant  Surgeon  C  H.  Laub. 

On  the  twenty-fifth  of  March,  during  the  progress  of  the  siege,  the  second 
dragoons,  under  command  of  Colonel  Harney,  had  a  severe  skirmish  with  the 
enemy  at   the  stone  bridge  of  Medellin,  some  miles  south  of  Vera  Cruz. 


Assistant  Surgeon  J.  K.  Barnes  was  at  the  time  the  medical  officer  of  the 
regiment,  and  Colonel  Harney  in  his  report  of  the  aiFair  makes  special  mention 
of  him  for  activity  and  zeal  in  the  performance  of  his  duties. 

During  the  campaign  from  Vera  Cruz  to  the  city  of  Mexico,  Surgeon 
General  Lawson  was  chief  medical  officer  on  the  staff  of  General  Scott,  acting, 
however,  rather  in  an  advisory  than  a  directing  capacity.  Surgeon  B.  F.  Harney 
being  the  actual  Medical  Director.  Surgeon  R.  S.  Satterlee  was  senior  surgeon 
to  Worth's  di\asion-of  regulars,  and  Surgeon  C.  S.  Tripler  occupied  the  same 
position  on  General  Twiggs'  staff.  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright  was  Purveyor  to 
the  army.  The  other  medical  officers  were  on  duty  with  the  various  regular 

The  army  reached  Plan  del  Rio,  not  far  from  Cerro  Gordo,  during  the 
second  week  in  April,  and  on  the  eighteenth  the  battle  of  Cerro  Gordo  was 
fought.  In  the  week  previous  a  temporary  general  hospital  in  charge  of  Sur- 
geon Cuyler  was  established  at  the  Plan,  which  was  occupied  by  the  sick  who 
were  unable  to  march,  and  to  which  the  wounded  in  the  battle  were  sent.  The 
day  before  the  action  the  General  commanding  issued  the  following  order : 

General  Orders,  No.  111. 


Plan  del  Rio,  April  17,  1847. 


As  soon  as  it  shall  be  known  that  the  enemy's  works  have  been  carried  or  that 
the  general  pursuit  has  commenced,  one  wagon  for  each  regiment  or  battery  and  one 
for  the  cavalry  will  follow  the  movement,  to  receive  under  the  direction  of  the  medical 
officers  the  wounded  and  disabled,  who  will  be  brought  back  to  this  place  for  treat- 
ment in  general  hospital.  The  Surgeon  General  will  organize  this  important  service 
and  designate  that  hospital  as  well  as  the  medical  officers  to  be  left  at  it. 


By  command  of  Ma.ior  General  Scott: 

H.  L.  SCOTT, 
Acting  Assistant  Adjutant  General." 

The  labors  of  the  medical  officers  in  this  engagement  were  very  severe. 
Cerro  Gordo  being  a  high  hill,  destitute  of  houses  or  cultivation,  the  surgeons 
were  engaged  for  from  twenty-four  to  thirty-six  hours  attending  to  the  wounded 
in  the  open  air,  without  any  shelter.  In  the  various  official  reports  their  con- 
duct is  uniformly  spoken  of  as  deserving  of  the  highest  praise.  Colonel  Childs, 
of  the  first  artDlery,  thus  commends  the  services  of  the  medical  officer  of  his 
regiment :  "I  beg  particularly  to  notice  the  untiring  attention  of  Assistant 
Surgeon  Steiner  to  the  wounded  of  the  regiment,  and  to  those  of  the  enemy 
that  fell  into  our  hands.  His  professional  services  were  in  constant  requisition 


for  more  than  forty-eight  hours."  Surgeon  Wright  and  Assistant  Surgeon 
Keeney  were  also  specially  mentioned  by  their  respective  conmianders. 

In  the  progress  of  the  army  towards  the  city  of  Mexico  general  hospitals 
were  established  at  Jalapa,  under  the  charge  of  Surgeon  McLaren,  (to  which 
the  sick  and  wounded  from  Plan  del  Rio  were  moved),  at  the  Castle  of  Perote, 
also  under  Doctor  McLaren's  charge,  and  at  Puebla,  of  which  Surgeon  Madison 
Mills  was  in  charge.  For  most  of  these  hospitals  large  monasteries  or  colleges 
were  used,  but  at  Perote  the  casemates  of  the  castle  were  occupied,  which  were 
so  cold  and  damp  that  Surgeon  McLaren  advised  the  removal  of  the  patients 
to  Jalapa,  at  which  place  the  hospital  had  been  abandoned  soon  after  its  estab- 
lishment in  consequence  of  the  removal  of  the  United  States  garrison  to  Puebla. 

The  condition  of  the  army  during  the  period  from  the  battle  of  Cerro 
Gordo  to  those  of  Contreras  and  Churubusco  in  August  was  far  from  satisfac- 
tory'. It  found  in  the  diseases  of  the  country  foes  more  to  be  dreaded  than 
the  Mexican  troops.  To  such  an  extent  did  the  command  suffer  from  fevers, 
dysentery  and  diarrhoea,  and  so  crowded  were  the  hospitals  that  the  Surgeon 
General  called  for  special  reports  from  the  chief  surgeons  of  divisions  on  the 
causes  of  the  sickness  and  mortality.  These  reports  may  appropriately  be 
introduced  without  abridgment,  showing  as  they  do,  better  than  any  other 
description,  the  obstacles  that  the  medical  officers  had  to  encounter  from  causes 
beyond  their  jurisdiction  in  all  their  strenuous  efforts  to  increase  the  efficiency 
of  the  army  by  prpsers'ing  its  health.  The  following  is  Surgeon  Satterlee's 


July  5,  1847. 

In  obedience  to  your  instructions  that  I  should  report  for  the  information  of  the 
General-in-Chief  the  probable  causes  of  the  great  amount  of  sickness  and  mortality 
prevailing  among  the  troops,  I  proceed  to  state  that  sufficient  causes  of  disease  exist, 
and  have  existed  since  and  during  the  siege  of  Vera  Cruz,  to  account  for  all  the  sick- 
ness that  prevails;  and  not  a  few  of  these  causes  have  been  spoken  of,  both  in  the 
reports  of  the  medical  officers  of  the  first  division  and  in  their  conversations  and  often 
by  them  deplored. 

To  prove  the  above  position,  it  is  only  necessary  to  give  a  brief  history  of  the 
operations  and  changes  of  the  division  from  the  time  it  left  Vera  Cruz  until  the  present 

1.  The  division-left  Vera  Cruz  with  the  most  limited  means  of  transportation, 
not  being  allowed  to  bring  even  their  tents;  in  consequence  of  which  they  have  been 
obliged  to  bivouac  in  all  situations  from  the  'Tiei-ra  Caliente'  to  the  cold  and  elevated 
positions  of  Jalapa,  Ias  Vegas  and  on  the  march  to  this  place.  This  would  under  any 
circumstances  produce  diseases  of  the  thoracic  and  abdominal  viscera  from  the  great 
change  of  temperature,  and  when  it  is  recollected  that  many  of  the  men  were  without 


blankets  or  great  coats,  having  iniprovidently  thrown  them  away  while  exposed  to  the 
scorching  heat  of  the  sun  in  the  low  country,  or  while  hurrying  to  the  support  of  the 
advance  on  the  day  of  Cerro  Gordo,  I  think  the  position  will  not  be  denied. 

2.  The  almost  total  change  in  the  character  of  the  rations  issued  to  the  troops, 
while  on  board  the  transports  and  during  the  siege  operations  before  Vera  Cruz.  They 
were  almost  exclusively  confined  to  salt  meat  and  hard  bread,  without  vegetables  so 
tar  as  I  know,  except  beans  and  rice,  not  even  the  antiscorbutics  allowed  by  regulations 
except  in  rare  instances.  This  when  the  march  into  the  country  was  commenced,  was 
exchanged  for  fresh  mutton,  pork  and  beef  (the  latter  always  of  inferior  quality),  and 
instead  of  the  hard  bread,  always  considered  healthy  when  good,  in  several  instances 
flour  has  been  issued,  and  since  our  arrival  at  Puebla,  Mexican  bread,  which  experi- 
ence has  taught  us  is  not  healthy,  at  least  for  us,  and  the  unrestrained  indulgence  in 
crude  and  unripe  fruits,  and  the  vile  liquors,  both  distilled  and  fermented.  All  this  is 
without  doubt  a  fruitful  source  of  disease. 

3.  The  quarters  that  the  troops  occupy  are  undoubtedly  far  from  being  healthy. 
Many  of  the  rooms  are  low  and  damp,  and  almost  without  ventilation,  and  in  many 
instances  surrounded  by  high  walls  which  exclude  in  some  degree  the  fresh  air;  in 
other  cases  the  men  are  quartered  in  long  entries,  through  which  there  is  a  rush  of 
cold  air,  rendered  more  unhealthy  by  having  passed  through  damp  places.  In  some 
instances  the  men  are  greatly  crowded,  nearly  three  times  the  number  of  men  allowed 
by  regulations  for  hot  climates  living  in  one  room.  Almost,  if  not  all  the  quarters  have 
thick  stone  walls  with  floors  of  the  same  material,  or  brick,  upon  which  the  men  sleep 
with  only  a  mat  under  them  (and  that  but  recently),  and  with  scant  covering.  This  the 
men  now  suffier,  and  did  at  Perote,  and  the  first  brigade  and  light  troops  of  the  divi- 
sion, while  at  Tepeahualco  had  added  very  bad  water  from  brackish  wells.  These 
things,  I  think  cannot  be  denied  to  be  prolific  sources  of  disease. 

4.  The  unacclimated  state  of  many  of  our  men  and  their  ignorance  of  a  soldier' s 
life.  Nearly  if  not  quite  two-thirds  of  some  corps  are  recruits.  In  one  regiment  that 
has  lost  fifteen  men  since  our  arrival  in  Puebla,  thirteen  were  recruits,  and  the  char- 
acter of  the  recruits  that  have  recently  joined  is  of  such  a  nature  that  disease  and 
death  must  be  expected  among  them.  Many  of  them  are  boys  entirely  too  young  to 
undergo  the  hardships  of  a  soldier's  life,  while  others  are  old  and  worn  out  men  who 
should  never  have  been  enlisted. 

5.  The  great  want  of  personal  cleanliness.  Many  patients  are  received  into  our 
hospitals  who  probably  have  not  washed  their  persons  for  months,  and  who  for  weeks 
have  not  changed  their  underclothes,  and  who  are  not  only  filthy  but  covered  with 
vermin.  This  remark  does  not  apply  of  course,  to  our  old  brave  and  faithful  soldiers 
who  are  an  ornament  to  any  service,  but  particularly  to  the  recruits,  a  great  part  of 
whom  are  indolent  and  of  course  filthy.  Now,  it  is  impossible  for  men  to  be  healthy 
under  such  circumstances. 

6.  The  rainy  season,  exposure  to  the  warm  sun  in  the  morning  and  cold  damp 
atmosphere  at  night,  is  exceedingly  deleterious. 

7.  The  great  elevation  of  our  position.  The  rarified  air  permitting  no  evapora- 
tion from  the  surface,  the  skin  becomes  dry  and  feverish  as  well  as  inactive,  the  natural 
excretions  of  the  body  are  of  necessity  thrown  upon  the  thoracic  and  abdominal  viscera, 
the  large  glands  from  this  over  exertion  and  excitement  become  torpid  and  refuse  to 
perform  their  functions,  hence  the  great  amount  of  bilious  derangements,  etc. 

The  above  statements  I  have  drawn  up  in  obedience  to  your  orders.  I  consider 
them  to  be  very  plain  facts  open  to  the  cognizance  of  the  most  common  observer  who 


will  take  the  trouble  to  investigate  them.  They  are  the  concerted  opinions  of  all  the 
medical  officers  of  the  division  and  have  often  been  the  subject  of  conversation,  as 
well  as  of  official  reports.     They  are  submitted  with  the  respectful  consideration  of 

Your  most  obedient  servant, 


Senior  Surgeon,  \st  Division,  U.  S.  Army." 

The  report  of  Surgeon  Tripler  on  the  same  subject  was  as  follows : 


6th  July,  1847. 

Agreeably  to  your  instructions  of  the  third  instant,  I  called  together  yesterday 
the  medical  officers  of  the  second  division  for  the  purpose  of  consultation,  and  the 
interchange  of  opinion,  upon  the  causes  of  the  diseases  now  so  extensively  prevailing 
among  the  troops.     I  have  the  honor  to  submit  the  result. 

We  consider  the  origin  of  the  evil,  the  inferior  physical  constitution  of  so  many 
of  the  men  that  are  enlisted  for  the  service.  In  peace,  when  we  have  good  comfortable 
quarters,  good  hospitals,  abundance  of  clothing  and  bedding,  and  no  exposure  for  our 
men,  the  greatest  care  and  caution  are  exercised  in  the  inspection  of  recruits,  and  it 
is  seldom  a  man  gains  admission  into  the  ranks  who  is  not  qualified  to  perform  the 
duties  of  a  soldier.  But  in  war,  where  a  still  greater  degree  of  physical  vigor  in  the 
soldier  is  required,  from  the  necessary  privation  and  exposure  to  which  he  must  be 
subjected,  a  relaxation  in  the  scrutiny  the  recruit  is  submitted  to,  is  winked  at  and 
even  encouraged,  with  the  effects  of  giving  us  armies  on  paper,  filling  our  hospitals 
and  embarrassing  the  operations  of  our  Generals  in  the  field.  It  is  undeniable  that 
the  recruits  the  regiments  of  this  division  have  received  within  the  past  year,  have 
been  of  the  most  inferior  description,  and  it  is  among  them  the  greatest  proportion  of 
disease  has  occurred. 

Another  cause  of  disease  is  the  necessary  and  rapid  transition  of  climate.  It  is 
believed  that  few  individuals  in  private  life  make  a  rapid  transit  from  one  climate  to 
another,  without  experiencing  some  disturbance  of  healthy  function.  This  cause 
would  of  course  operate  to  a  greater  extent  among  soldiers  from  the  peculiarity  of 
their  circumstances,  and  it  is  one  that  cannot  be  obviated. 

Deficiency  of  clothing  is  another  cause.  In  many  and  perhaps  most  instances, 
this  is  the  fault  of  the  soldier  himself.  Men  will  throw  away  their  clothing  on  a  march 
to  relieve  their  knapsacks,  preferring  future  pain,  disease  and  death  to  present  fatigue. 
This  evil  has  prevailed  extensively  on  the  march  from  Vera  Cruz  to  Puebla. 

Tlie  sudden  and  violent  change  of  habits  the  recruit  must  undergo  in  becoming  a 
soldier  produces  an  unfavorable  influence  upon  the  power  of  his  constitution  to  resist 
disease.     This  cause  is  also  irremediable. 

The  neglect  of  personal  cleanliness  is  another  cause  of  disease.  It  is  a  fact  that 
numbers  of  our  men,  particularly  tliose  reporting  sick,  neglect  to  a  shameful  extent 
such  ablutions  as  are  necessary  to  health. 

The  quarters  occupied  by  our  troops  are  for  the  most  part  open  to  the  weather, 
those  which  are  within  doors  are  small  and  ill  ventilated  apartments,  the  floors  upon 
which  the  men  sleep  are  of  brick,  and  at  least  one-half  on  the  ground  floor  and  neces- 
sarily damp.  This  is  a  palpable  cause  of  disease.  It  has  been  mitigated  to  some 
degree  by  the  issue  of  mats  to  the  men. 


The  use  of  fresh  provisions  extensively  no  doubt  occasions  disturbance  of  the 
digestive  organs  and  swells  the  number  of  our  cases  of  diarrhoea.  The  imprudent  use 
of  the  fruits  of  the  climate  occasions  many  cases  and  is  a  great  impediment  in  the 
way  of  convalescence.  It  is  also  thought  that  a  proper  attention  is  not  given  to  the 
cooking  of  the  rations;  that  the  cooks  are  frequently  careless  in  the  performance  of 
their  duties  and  that  bad  cooking  makes  a  doubtful  diet  positively  injurious. 

But  an  important  reason  for  the  increase  in  the  number  of  the  sick  report  may 
be  found  in  the  climatic  influence.  Ordinarily  men  when  relieved  of  disease  rapidly 
recover  strength  and  flesh,  and  are  able  to  return  to  duty.  Here  this  is  not  the  case, 
convalescence  is  astonishingly  slow,  and  an  improvement  scarcely  perceptible  is  made 
from  day  to  day  in  men  who  do  not  want  any  further  medical  treatment.  Of  this 
class  are  most  of  those  now  on  the  surgeon's  reports. 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 


Medical  Director,  2nd  Division." 

The  condition  of  the  garrisons  left  on  the  coast  was  equally  bad.  The 
vomito  broke  out  at  Vera  Cruz  very  soon  after  the  departure  of  the  army,  and 
the  permanent  garrison  and  the  troops  arriving  en  route  to  the  seat  of  war  had 
suiFered  severely.  One  medical  officer,  Assistant  Surgeon  Robert  C.  Wiekham, 
died  on  the  thirteenth  of  May,  and  Surgeon  Finley,  Medical  Director  of  the 
Department  of  Vera  Cruz,  Assistant  Surgeons  Laub,  John  Campbell,  J.  S.  Battee 
and  others  had  been  incapacitated  for  duty  for  a  large  portion  of  the  summer 
by  attacks  of  yellow  fever.  Even  those  who  escaped  this  disease  suffered  much 
from  the  enervating  influences  of  the  climate  and  became  a  prey  to  exhausting 
diarrhoeas,  which  reduced  them  mentally  and  physically.  The  want  of  medical 
officers  was  very  great,  and  the  citizen  physicians  obtainable  for  the  most 
part  adventurers  who  had  come  to  Vera  Cruz  to  see  what  they  could  pick  up, 
and  were  utterly  worthless.  Great  credit  was  due  under  these  trying  circum- 
stances to  the  energy  and  fidelity  to  duty  of  Surgeon  J.  B.  Porter,  who,  though 
himself  broken  down  by  climatic  influences,  managed  the  general  hospital  with 
great  efficiency,  and  in  addition  acted  as  Medical  Director  for  a  large  portion  of 
the  season. 

The  army  advanced  from  Puebla  between  the  seventh  and  tenth  of  August. 
On  the  twentieth  the  battles  of  Contreras  and  Churubusco  were  fought.  Im- 
mediately previous  a  general  hospital  was  established  at  San  Augustin.  The 
wounded  of  Worth's  division  were,  however,  at  first  taken  to  houses  in  the  imme- 
diate vicinity  of  Churubusco,  and  afterwards  removed  to  regimental  hospitals  at 
Tacubaya.  There  were  also  large  hospitals  established  at  San  Antonio,  San 
Angel  and  Mixcoac.  The  former  was  principally  filled  with  Mexican  wounded, 
who  although  they  had  numbers  of  their  own  surgeons  to  attend  them  showed  a 
decided  preference  for  our  officers,  and  frequently  refused  to  have  their  wounds 


dressed  by  the  former  if  they  saw  any  prospect  of  being  attended  by  an  Ameri- 
can surgeon. 

The  official  reports  of  these  engagements  show  that  the  medical  officers 
performed  their  duty  with  their  accustomed  fidelity.  General  Worth  writes  from 
Tacubaya  on  the  twenty-third  of  August:  "The  Medical  Corps,  consisting  of 
Surgeons  Satterlee  (senior)  and  Wright;  Assistant  Surgeons  Simpson,  DeLeon, 
Simons,  Holden,  Roberts  and  Dyerle,  presents  claims  to  especial  thanks  and 
admiration — ever  among  the  most  fearless  and  indifferent  to  hazard  during  the 
conflict.  It  is  after  the  battle,  when  others  seek  repose,  that  they  are  found 
Skilfully  and  noiselessly  fulfilling  the  duties  of  their  high  vocation  in  adminis- 
tering comfort  to  the  crushed  and  sorrowful  soldier.  *  *  *  *  To 
Surgeon  Satterlee,  senior  surgeon,  the  highest  praise  is  due." 

General  Twiggs  reported :  "  The  medical  officers  of  the  division,  always 
ready  to  administer  to  the  comfort  of  the  sick  and  wounded  were  particularly 
active  on  this  occasion.  With  no  conveniences  for  themselves  and  but  little 
shelter  for  the  wounded,  this  admirable  corps  of  officers  spent  the  entire  night 
exposed  to  the  pitiless  storm  in  dressing  the  wounded  and  alleviating  their  suf- 
ferings. I  cannot  do  less  than  give  their  names  a  place  in  this  report.  Surgeons 
C.  S.  Tripler,  B.  Randall  and  J.  M.  Cuyler;  Assistant  Surgeons  A.  F.  Suter, 
H.  H.  Steiner,  C.  C.  Keeney  and  Hammond  make  up  the  number."  In  his 
report  of  the  volunteer  division  General  Pillow  makes  special  mention  of  Assist- 
ant Surgeon  E.  Swift,  who  was  serving  with  the  regiment  of  voltigeurs,  "  for 
devoted  attention  to  the  wounded." 

The  report*  of  subordinate  commanders  are  no  less  commendatory.  Major 
J.  L.  Gardner,  of  the  fourth  artillery,  says :  "  To  Doctor  Cuyler,  surgeon  of  the 
regiment,  I  offer  my  thanks  for  his  able  services,  always  marked  by  his  kindness 
and  humanity."  Captain  T.  Morris,  commanding  the  second  infantry,  speaks  of 
the  same  officer :  ''  Surgeon  Cuyler,  though  not  attached  to  my  regiment,  attracted 
my  attention  by  his  energy  and  perseverance  in  following  the  brigade  throughout 
the  actions  of  San  Geronino  and  Contreras,  and  for  his  humanity  and  attention 
to  the  wounded  of  the  regiment,  receives  my  warmest  thanks.  To  Surgeon 
Tripler  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Hammond  (the  latter  attached  to  the  second 
infantry)  for  their  prompt  and  able  attention  to  the  wounded,  and  also  to  Sur- 
geon W.  J.  Berry  of  the  eleventh  infantry,  who  very  kindly  and  seasonably 
aided  in  attending  to  the  wounded  of  the  battle  of  the  afternoon,  are  tendered 
my  warmest  thanks." 

In  the  report  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Plympton,  seventh  infentry,  it  is  re- 
marked :  "  Particular  praise  is  due  to  Surgeon  B.  Randall  for  his  zeal  in  following 
the  regiment  and  attending  to  the  wounded  and  sick." 


Captain  Alexander,  commanding  third  infantry,  says :  "  In  closing  my  report 
it  gives  me  great  pleasure  to  add  that  the  wounded  received,  through  our  assist- 
ant surgeon,  Doctor  Keeney,  every  relief  which  skill  and  unwearied  attention 
could  ensure."  Major  Lee,  of  the  fourth  infantry,  reports:  "Assistant  Surgeon 
James  Simons  of  the  Medical  Staff  was  in  attendance  with  the  battalion  in  the 
zealous  discharge  of  his  duties."  Colonel  Judson  Dimick,  of  the  first  artillery, 
'•  calls  to  the  notice  of  the  Commanding  Greneral  the  untiring  attention  of  Assistant 
Surgeon  H.  H.  Steiner  to  the  wounded  both  of  our  army  and  that  of  the  enemy. 
He  deserves  the  highest  reward  for  his  unceasing  exertions  to  alleviate  their 
sufferings."  Major  Loring,  of  the  mounted  rifles,  says :  "  The  surgeon  of  the 
regiment,  Doctor  Suter,  deserves  the  highest  praise  for  his  untiring  exertion  in 
behalf  not  only  of  the  wounded  of  his  own  regiment  but  of  the  army  at  large." 
Similar  praise  is  accorded  to  Assistant  Surgeon  DeLeon  by  Major  Montgomery', 
of  the  eighth  infantry. 

On  the  sixth  of  September  the  Archbishop's  palace  at  Tacubaya,  was  taken 
for  a  general  hospital  and  placed  in  charge  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Josiah  Simpson. 
This  was,  strictly  speaking,  a  division  hospital  for  the  sick  and  wounded  of 
Worth's  command,  but  during  the  ensuing  engagements  wounded  from  all 
portions  of  the  army  were  brought  here  for  treatment ;  the  hospital  at  Mixcoac 
accommodating  the  remainder.  Two  days  after  the  establishment  of  this  hospi- 
tal the  battle  of  Molino  del  Rey  took  place.  The  slaughter  was  unprecedented 
for  the  number  of  men  engaged.  The  wounded  were  taken  to  Tacubaya  as 
rapidly  as  possible  on  stretchers  and  in  ambulances ;  but  soon  it  became  necessary 
to  load  the  army  wagons  with  the  sufferers,  and  the  jolting  in  these  rough 
vehicles  no  doubt  contributed  greatly  to  the  excessive  mortality  which  ensued. 
This  action  possesses  an  especial  but  mournfiil  interest  to  the  Medical  Staff,  from 
the  mortal  wound  received  by  one  of  their  number.  Assistant  Surgeon  William 
Roberts,  who  had  gained  during  his  term  of  service  the  esteem  of  the  whole 
army.  The  writer  is  fortunate  in  being  able  to  present  an  authentic  statement 
of  the  circumstance  through  the  kindness  of  Lieutenant  Cplonel  Lugenbeel,  at 
the  time  adjutant  of  the  fifth  infantry. 

"  At  the  battle  of  Molino  del  Rey,  Doctor  Roberts  established  his  attendants  in 
rear  of  the  regiment  in  a  slight  hollow,  so  as  to  be  protected  from  the  fire  of  the  enemy. 
When  the  line  was  formed  and  advanced  upon  the  enemy  I  did  not  notice  the  doctor. 
Very  soon  afterwards  I  saw  Second  Lieutenant  C.  S.  Hamilton,  fifth  infantry,  who  com- 
manded company  'I'  of  that  regiment  stagger,  and  fall  as  if  severely  wounded.  As- 
sistant Surgeon  Roberts  ran  up  to  him  from  the  rear  and  after  examining  his  wound 
said  something  to  him  and  then  started  for  the  line  of  battle.  I  called  to  him  to  go 
back,  but  he  pointed  to  Hamilton's  company  and  ran  on.  The  next  I  saw  of  him  he 
was  lying  down  on  the  field  of  battle  with  the  wound  in  his  forehead  which  afterwards 
caused  his  death.     When  I  saw  Hamilton  I  asked  him  about  Roberts'  singular  conduct. 


and  he  told  me  that  Roberts  came  and  examined  his  wound,  and  told  him  to  go  to  the 
rear  where  his  stewards  and  attendants  were,  and  that  he  (Roberts)  would  run  for- 
ward and  take  command  of  his  company  as  it  was  without  an  officer. 

On  the  twentieth  of  August,  at  the  battle  of  Churubusco,  Roberts  attempted  to 
enter  into  action  with  the  regiment  in  the  same  manner,  but  I  was  fortunately  near 
enough  to  him  to  capture  him  and  send  him  to  the  rear,  where  Worths  division  hos- 
pital was  temporarily  established,  telling  him  that  he  was  the  only  doctor  we  had  and 
that  he  must  not  go  under  musketry  fire. 

I  don't  think  I  ever  saw  a  doctor  who  enjoyed  a  fight  more  than  he  did,  and  with 
all  this  pluck  and  go  ahead  courage,  he  was  as  gentle  as  a  woman,  an  attentive,  intel- 
ligent physician  and  a  kind  hearted,  good  man." 

Doctor  Roberts  had  been  two  days  before  detailed  for  duty  at  the  general 
hospital  at  Tacubaya,  which  was  being  organized  by  Assistant  Surgeon  Simpson, 
but  he  preferred  duty  with  his  regiment  and  obtained  an  order  relieving  him 
from  hospital  duty,  and  rejoined  the  fifth  infantry  but  a  few  hours  before  the 
charge  on  the  Molino.  Aft^r  he  was  wounded  he  was  carried  to  Tacubaya  and 
attended  by  Doctor  Simpson,  whose  pen  ftimishes  the  following  interesting 
account  of  his  case : 

"  The  action  commenced  at  daybreak,  and  about  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning 
Assistant  Surgeon  Roberts  was  brought  to  my  room  in  the  Bishop's  palace  wounded  in 
the  head.  He  was  struck  by  a  musket  or  escopet  ball  on  the  temporal  ridge  of  the 
frontal  bone,  about  two  inches  above  the  left  supra-orbital  arch,  the  ball  glanced, 
fractured  and  carried  away  a  portion  of  the  frontal  bone,  leaving  the  brain  exposed ; 
abscesses  formed  in  the  cavity  of  the  cranium,  and  he  died  in  convulsions.  Assistant 
Surgeon  Roberts  received  his  wound  in  the  assault  made  by  the  fifth  infantry  on  the 
Casa  Mata,  a  stone  work  on  the  enemy's  right.  All  the  officers  of  one  company  \i&y- 
ing  been  shot  down,  he  took  command  and  was  mortally  wounded  in  the  assault. 
From  the  Bishop's  palace  he  was  moved  to  Mixcoac,  and  from  there  to  the  house  of 
the  Minister  of  War  in  the  city  of  Mexico,  near  the  Mineria,  where  he  died  October 
13,  1847." 

Doctor  Roberts  had  attracted  special  attention  during  the  whole  campaign 
by  his  skill  as  a  medical  officer  and  his  personal  bravery.  Colonel  Mcintosh  of 
the  fifth  infantry,  thus  mentioned  him  in  his  official  report  of  the  battle  of 
Churubusco:  "  His  talents  and  zeal  were  not  alone  confined  to  his  profession, 
but  were  displayed  in  a  more  military  capacity  in  aiding  and  urging  on  the  men 
to  the  contest."  Captain  Chapman,  the  senior  officer  of  this  regiment  after  the 
terrible  conflict  at  Molino,  reported :  "  Assistant  Surgeon  W.  Roberts  was  again 
found  as  at  S^n  Antonio  in  the  most  exposed  position  attending  to  the  wounded 
and  encouraging  the  living  to  the  contest.  But  he  was  not  permitted  to  escape 
unhurt,  and  was  cut  down  most  severely  wounded  in  the  midst  of  his  useful- 
ness." In  the  annual  report  to  the  Secretary  of  War  of  the  condition  of  the 
Medical  Department  during  the  year  1847  occurs  the  following  mention  of 
this  intrepid  officer : 


"In  the  many  conflicts  with  the  armies  of  Mexico,  which  have  reflected  so  much 
glory  upon  our  arms  and  imperishable  honor  upon  our  troops,  it  is  due  to  the  officers 
of  the  Medical  Department  to  say  that  they  have  ever  maintained  their  reputation  for 
professional  skill  and  devotion  to  duty,  and  have  uniformly  elicited  the  unqualified 
praises  of  their  respective  commanders.  Among  the  gallant  spirits  who  have  sealed 
their  devotion  to  duty  with  their  lives,  the  army  has  to  mourn  the  loss  of  Assistant 
Surgeon  Wilwam  Roberts,  who  with  another  officer  of  the  Medical  Department,  was 
wounded  in  the  memorable  battle  of  Molino  del  Rey.  Although  the  career  of  Doctor 
Roberts  was  brief,  he  had  already  given  evidence  of  high  professional  merit  united 
with  undaunted  courage,  and  secured  for  himself  the  confidence  and  esteem  of  his 
brother  officers." 

The  "other  officer"  refen'ed  to  above  was  Assistant  Surgeon  James  Simons, 
who  was  slightly  wounded  while  "  zealously  and  actively  engaged  in  the  dis- 
charge of  his  professional  duties,"  attending  the  fourth  infantry  during  the  same 
action.  He  had  sufficiently  recovered  to  perform  his  duties  during  the  subse- 
quent engagement  at  Chapultepec. 

Major  General  Worth,  ever  ready  to  acknowledge  the  faithful  service  of 
his  medical  staff,  in  his  official  report  of  the  operations  of  his  division  at  Molino, 
says:  "It  is  again  my  gratifying  duty  to  present  to  the  General-in-Chief 
those  ever  faithful  and  accomplished  medical  officers — Satterlee,  Wright,  Simp- 
son, Simons,  Dyerle  and  Roberts;  the  last  mentioned,  when  the  men  of 
his  regiment  were  almost  deprived  of  commanding  officers,  assumed  the  duties 
of  his  fallen  comrades,  and  was  desperately,  probably  mortally,  wounded."  The 
reports  from  subordinate  commanders  were,  as  at  Contreras,  of  similar  tenor. 
Among  others  the  following  from  Colonel  E.  V.  Sumner,  commanding  the 
second  dragoons,  is  given  because  the  cavalry  being  a  separate  command  the 
reports  of  their  operations  are  not  found  among  those  forwarded  by  the  division 
commanders:  "I  have  also  to  state  that  Assistant  Surgeon  Barnes  was  very 
assiduous  in  his  duties  and  took  such  measures  that  our  wounded  men  received 
prompt  attention." 

It  was  found  very  soon  after  the  action  at  Molino  del  Rey  that  the  village 
of  Tacubaya  was  within  range  of  the  enemy's  guns  from  the  fortress  of  Cha- 
pultepec; consequently,  on  the  thirteenth  of  September,  the  wounded  in  the 
Archbishop's  palace  were  removed  to  Mixcoac,  whence  they  were  shortly  after- 
wards transferred  to  hospitals  in  the  city  of  Mexico. 

The  final  battles  at  Chapultepec  and  the  gates  of  the  city  of  Mexico 
occurred  on  the  thirteenth  of  September,  and  the  city  surrendered  on  the  follow- 
ing day.  The  following  is  a  complete  list  of  the  officers  who  participated  in  this 
triumph,  and  the  duty  to  which  they  were  assigned :  Surgeon  General  Lawson, 
with  the  General-in-Chief;  Surgeon  B.  F.  Harney,  Medical  Director  of  the 
army.  The  latter  officer  was  not  actually  present  at  the  surrender,  having  been 


wounded  some  months  before,  (June  6th,)  while  en  route  from  Vera  Cruz  to  the 
army  with  a  detachment  commanded  by  Colonel  Mcintosh,  fifth  infantry.  In 
consequence  of  disability  resulting  from  his  wound  and  subsequent  indisposition 
he  was  placed  in  general  charge  of  all  the  hospitals  at  Mixcoac,  at  which  place 
he  remained  until  the  twenty-ninth  of  September.  Surgeons  Satterlee  and 
Tripler,  as  before  mentioned,  were  Surgeons-in-Chief  of  the  two  regular  divisions, 
and  Surgeon  Wright  was  Medical  Purveyor.  The  following  officers  were  at- 
tached to  regiments.  Surgeons  B.  Randall,  seventh  infantry,  and  J.  M.  Cuyler, 
fourth  artillery;  Assistant  Surgeons  A.  F.  Suter,  mounted  rifles,  Josiah  Simp- 
son, sixth  infantry,  D.  C.  DeLeon,  eighth  infantrj',  H.  H.  Steiner,  first 
artillery,  James  Simons,  fourth  infantry,  Joseph  K.  Barnes,  cavalry  brigade, 
L.  H.  Holden,  third  artillery,  C  C.  Keeney,  third  infentry,  J.  F.  Head,  Ma- 
gruder's  batter}',  John  F.  Hammond,  second  infantry,  J.  M.  Steiner.  first 
dragoons,  E.  P.  Dyerle,  second  artillery,  and  E.  Swift,  voltigeurs. 

Coincident  with  the  surrender  of  the  Mexican  forces  at  the  Capital  large 
bodies  of  guerillas  made  demonstrations  of  a  hostile  character  against  our  garri- 
son left  at  Puebla.  Thay  were  subsequently  reinforced  by  Santa  Anna  with 
several  thousand  troops,  and  the  afiair  soon  assumed  the  importance  of  a  siege. 
The  garrison  consisted  of  only  about  eight  hundred  men,  under  command  of 
Colonel  Childs,  first  artillery,  and  eighteen  hundred  sick,  wounded  and  disabled 
in  the  general  hospital  under  charge  of  Surgeon  Madison  Mills.  The  siege 
la.sted  from  the  thirteenth  of  September  to  the  fourteenth  of  October,  taxing 
severely  the  ienergies  of  both  officers  and  men  by  continual  details  day  and 
night.  The  official  report  of  Colonel  Childs  renders  a  deserved  tribute  to  the 
important  assistance  obtained  from  those  attached  to  the  hospital : 

"To  Surgeon  Mills,  chief  of  the  Medical  Department  and  to  his  assistants,  great 
praise  is  due  for  their  unwearied  and  laborious  services.  Left  with  eighteen  hundred 
sick  and  limited  supplies,  with  but  six  assistants,  their  utmost  exertions  were  neces- 
sary to  administer  timely  remedies  to  so  many  patients.  Their  attention  to  the 
wounded  deserves  my  notice  and  thanks.  These  gentlemen  were  not  only  occupied 
in  their  professional  duties,  but  the  want  of  officers  and  men  compelled  me  to  make 
large  requisitions  for  the  defence  of  the  hospitals  on  surgeons  and  invalids,  and  they 
were  nightly  on  guard,  marshalling  their  men  upon  the  roofs  and  other  points.  To 
them  I  am  greatly  indebted." 

As  soon  as  possible  after  the  occupation  of  the  city  of  Mexico,  the  sick 
and  wounded  were  removed  from  Mixcoac  and  Tacubaya  to  buildings  within  the 
city,  where  division  hospitals  were  established,  the  regimental  surgeons  attend- 
ing to  their  own  patients,  but  under  the  immediate  supervision  of  the  senior 
surgeons  of  divisions,  who  were  refjuired  to  visit  the  hospitals  daily  at  a  stated 
hour  and  give  as  much  of  their  personal  attention  as  possible  to  the  sick  and 


wounded.     These  firequent  movements,  often  in  springless  army  wagons,  had  a 

most  injurious  eifect  on   the  condition  of  the  wounded,    and  when  added    to 

the  cold,  damp  and  ill-ventilated  buildings  occupied  as  hospitals,  caused  a  very 

great  mortality  among  those  who  had  been  wounded  in  the  previous  battles.   On 

this  subject  Surgeon  Josiah  Simpson  remarks  in  a  recent  communication : 

"The  buildings  used  in  Mexico  for  hospitals  and  barracks  were  entirely  unsuited 
for  either  purpose,  being  constructed  around  quadrangles,  with  interior  court  and  cor- 
ridors, to  which  the  doors  and  windows  opened ;  built  of  rubble  masonry,  with  floors 
mostly  of  brick  or  tile ;  without  chimneys ;  they  were  deficient  in  light,  ventilation 
and  means  of  warming;  cold,  damp,  dark  and  cheerless;  a  fruitful  cause  of  the  low 
forms  of  fever  and  bowel  affections  so  prevalent  among  our  troops." 

Soon  after  the  surrender  and  occupation  of  the  city  Colonel  Harney  was 
ordered  with  a  force  to  open  communication  with  Vera  Cruz,  and  in  December 
detachments  were  ser\t  for  various  purposes  to  Toluca,  Pachuca  and  other  towns 
in  the  interior.  These  opei-ations  necessitated  the  establishment  of  a  general 
hospital  in  the  city,  the  ordera  for  which  were  issued  on  the  sixteenth  of 
December,  to  be  carried  out  under  the  direction  of  Surgeon  Satterlee,  who  on 
the  twenty-sixth  of  October  had  relieved  Surgeon  Harney  as  Medical  Director, 
the  latter  being  ordered  to  the  United  States. 

The  duty  of  organizing  and  taking  charge  of  the  general  hospital  was 
assigned  to  Surgeon  Tripler.  Assistant  Surgeons  DeLeon  and  N.  L.  Campbell, 
with  several  medical  officers  of  the  new  regiments  and  of  volunteers,  were 
ordered  to  report  for  duty  to  Doctor  Tripler,  and  some  weeks  later  Assistant 
Surgeons  J.  Simpson  and  Cooper  received  similar  orders.  The  buildings  occu- 
pied for  the  purpose  were  those  known  as  the  Bishop's  palace,  the  Grovernor's 
palace,  the  Iturbide  palace,  the  Inquisition,  the  College  of  Mines,  and  the  con- 
vent of  Santa  Isabella.  Stewards,  cooks  and  nurses  were  detailed  from  the 
various  regiments,  and  all  regiments  sending  sick  to  hospital  were  required  to 
deposit  a  certain  portion  of  their  regimental  hospital  fund  to  procure  for  them 
any  needed  luxuries.  Throughout  this  period  the  want  of  a  sufficient  number 
of  medical  officers  was  a  great  obstacle  to  the  efficient  management  of  the  depart- 
ment. The  number  of  hospitals  required  was  very  large,  the  extent  of  country 
occupied  very  great,  and  the  officers  of  the  regular  corps  were  taxed  to  the  utmost 
to  perform  all  the  duties  required  of  them,  especially  as  several  had  been  obliged 
to  leave  the  country  on  account  of  ill  heath.  The  volunteer  surgeons,  with  a 
few  honorable  exceptions,  were  inefficient;  several  of  them  had  absented  them- 
selves for  a  long  time  without  permission,  and  the  distance  from  the  United 
States  prevented  the  supply  of  reliable  men  to  fill  their  places.  An  army  board 
met  in  New  York  city  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  October,  consisting  of  Sur- 
geons Mower,  Steinecke  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Southgate,  which  examined 


twenty-two  candidates  and  accepted  six.  These  not  proving  sufficient  for  the 
needs  of  the  army,  another  convened  in  the  spring  of  1848,  composed  of 
Surgeons  Mower,  Porter  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Southgate.  This  board 
passed  four  out  of  twenty-one  candidates. 

With  the  close  of  the  year  1847  active  operations  on  the  part  of  the 
Army  of  Invasion  terminated.  The  early  months  of  the  ensuing  year  were 
occupied  with  the  collection  of  the  tax  imposed  on  the  Mexican  states  and  the 
negotiations  for  peace.  Except  a  few  changes  in  the  details  of  medical  officers 
there  was  no  important  alteration  in  the  condition  of  the  Depai-tment.  Surgeon 
Craig  succeeded  to  the  charge  of  the  hospital  at  Jalapa,  Surgeon  Wells  relieved 
Surgeon  Wright  at  Vera  Cruz,  and  Surgeon  Cuyler  became  chief  medical  officer 
of  the  forces  at  Toluca.  This  uneventful  condition  of  affiiirs  did  not  obtain, 
however,  at  the  West,  to  which  section  the  attention  of  the  country  was  now 
directed.  When  General  Kearney  marched  from  Santa  F^,  New  Mexico,  for 
California,  in  September,  1846,  he  left  Surgeon  De  Camp  in  charge  of  the  general 
hospital  in  that  city,  and  took  with  him  Assistant  Surgeon  John  S.  Griffin, 
who  was  the  first  medical  officer  ever  stationed  on  the  Pacific  coast.  Assistant 
Surgeon  Robert  Murray  arrived  there  early  in  1847,  having  accompanied  Colo- 
nel Stevenson's  regiment  of  volunteers  from  New  York  city. 

After  the  departure  of  General  Kearney,  General  Sterling  Price  com- 
manded in  New  Mexico,  and  early  in  1848  he  conceived  the  idea  of  an  invasion 
of  Mexico,  by  way  of  El  Paso  del  Norte.  He  accordingly  left  Santa  F6  on  the 
eighth  of  February,  with  a  force  of  United  States  dragoons  and  some  Missouri 
and  Santa  F6  volunteers,  and  reached  the  city  of  Chihuahua  early  in  March.  At 
Santa  Cruz,  sixty  miles  from  Chihuahua,  he  had  a  severe,  but  victorious  engage- 
ment with  the  enemy.  The  medical  officei-s  of  the  expedition  were  Assistant  Sur- 
geons Richard  F.  Simpson  and  H.  R.  Wirtz,  and  are  thus  mentioned  by  General 
Price  in  his  official  report  of  the  affair :  "  To  the  Medical  Staff,  conducted  by 
Assistant  Surgeon  R.  F.  Simpson,  I  have  to  express  my  acknowledgments. 
The  attention  and  ability  displayed  by  Assistant  Surgeon  Simpson  to  our 
wounded  on  the  field  as  well  as  to  those  of  the  enemy  after  the  action  has  won 
for  him  admiration  and  esteem  from  both  armies." 

On  the  fifth  of  March,  1848,  the  armistice  provided  for  by  the  treaty  of 
Guadaloupe  Hidalgo  went  into  effect.  Subsequent  military  operations  were  only 
against  the  guerilla  bands  which  infested  the  routes  of  communication  to  the 
Capital,  and  immediate  steps  were  taken  for  the  abandonment  of  the  country 
by  the  American  forces.  A  board  consisting  of  the  ranking  medical 
officers  in  the  city,  met  to  advise  a  plan  for  the  removal  of  the  troops 
with  the  least  danger  to  life  in  passing  through  the  unhealthy  regions  bordering 


on  the  coast.  Their  recommendations  were  that  the  troops  should  be  marched 
towards  the  coast  until  the  border's  of  the  "  Tierra  Caliente"  were  reached,  and 
then  halted  until  it  was  positively  ascertained  that  transports  were  in  readiness 
at  Vera  Cniz  to  receive  them;  that  these  transports  should  be  anchored  in 
stream  and  allowed  no  communication  with  the  shore,  and  that  every  thing  being 
ready  for  embarkation,  the  troops  should  be  rapidly  marched  through  the  "  Tierra 
Caliente,"  and  on  reaching  the  city  of  Vera  Cruz  should  be  embarked  imme- 
diately on  tug  boats  and  transported  to  the  vessels  in  the  stream,  without  a 
moment's  delay  in  the  city.  Unfortunately  this  excellent  advice  was  not  follow- 
ed, and  as  will  be  seen  hereafter,  disastrous  results  in  more  than  one  instance 

On  the  fifth  of  April  orders  were  issued  providing  for  the  selection  of  six 
hundred  men  from  the  wounded  and  chronic  cases  in  the  general  hospitals  in 
the  city  of  Mexico,  and  two  hundred  from  that  at  Puebla,  and  their  removal  to 
Jalapa  under  charge  of  Surgeons  Craig  and  Tripler.  Assistant  Surgeons  J. 
Simpson,  N.  L.  Campbell,  Ryer  and  Wheaton  were  assigned  to  duty  with  this 
expedition.  The  general  hospital  at  Vera  Cruz  was  at  the  same  time  cleared  of 
patients,  and  all  those  not  subjects  for  discharge  transferred  to  New  Orleans 
under  charge  of  Surgeons  Wright  and  Mills.  On  the  twentieth  of  May  the 
general  hospital  at  Jalapa  was  abandoned,  and  the  sick  sent  to  New  Orleans  in 
charge  of  Surgeon  Craig  and  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  Simpson.  On  the  first  of 
June  the  hospital  at  Puebla  was  broken  up,  the  sick  being  sent  to  their  respec- 
tive regiments  as  they  passed  through  that  city.  Soon  after  Assistant  Surgeon 
Simons,  Medical  Purveyor  at  head-quarters,  was  ordered  to  New  Orleans  with 
all  surplus  medical  stores,  and  on  the  twelfth  the  transfer  of  flags  took  place  and 
the  army  took  up  its  line  of  march  for  the  coast.  No  hospitals  were  left  behind, 
all  the  sick  being  transported  with  their  regiments  and  attended  by  the  regi- 
mental medical  officers.  On  General  Taylor's  line  nearly  all  the  troops  had 
long  before  been  transferred  to  General  Scott's  army,  those  left  being  encamped 
at  various  points  along  the  Rio  Grande.  These  and  the  purveying  depot  at 
Tampico,  under  charge  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Hitchcock,  were  removed  to  New 
Orleans.  Here  the  volunteers  of  the  araiy  were  discharged,  the  regiments  for 
the  war  mustered  out,  and  the  old  regular  army,  with  its  brave  and  efficient 
body  of  medical  officers  distributed  to  various  posts  throughout  the  country. 

The  arrival  of  large  numbers  of  sick  at  New  Orleans  with  the  returning 
army  rendered  necessary  the  establishment  of  general  hospitals.  Accordingly 
Surgeon  R.  C.  Wood  was  detailed  to  make  a  report  on  the  hospital  accommo- 
dations at  Baton  Rouge  and  New  Orleans  barracks.  It  was  found  that  the 
number  of  available  beds  was  entirely  inadequate  to  the  proper  care  of  the 


patients  and  it  was  decided  to  build  a  new  hospital  at  New  Orleans,  and  pending 
its  construction  to  establish  a  general  hospital  at  some  other  convenient  point. 
Greenwood  Island,  near  East  Pascagoula,  Mississippi,  was  finally  fixed  upon,  and 
the  hospital  opened  on  the  first  of  July  under  the  name  of  Camp  Lawson,  in 
honor  of  the  Surgeon  General.  Surgeon  John  B.  Porter  was  in  charge,  with 
a  large  number  of  the  returned  medical  ofiicers  as  his  assistants.  In  November 
this  hospital  was  broken  up  and  the  patients  transferred  to  the  new  hospital  at 
New  Orleans,  Doctor  Porter  continuing  in  charge. 

The  fourth  regiment  of  artillery  on  arrival  at  New  Orleans  was  ordered 
direct  to  Fortress  Monroe,  Virginia.  On  the  passage  the  yellow  fever  broke 
out  on  the  transports  and  before  reaching  their  destination  there  were  eighty- 
seven  cases  and  thirteen  deaths.  The  medical  officers  were  Surgeon  John  B. 
Wells  and  Assistant  Surgeon  E.  Swift.  Afl«r  their  arrival  the  fever  continued 
to  prevail  in  the  regiment,  causing  thirty-eight  deaths  in  August  and  Septem- 
ber. It  did  not  extend  to  the  other  troops  composing  the  garrison  of  Fortress 

The  latter  part  of  the  year  1848  was  occupied  chiefly  in  the  distribution 
of  the  medical  officers  to  the  numerous  new  posts  established  in  the  great  area 
of  new  territory  gained  by  the  treaty  of  Guadaloupe  Hidalgo.  A  number  went 
to  the  Pacific  coast,  others  to  New  Mexico  and  Texas,  whence  during  the 
next  few  years  many  very  valuable  reports  were  received  on  the  medical  topog- 
raphy, the  fauna  and  flora  of  those  sections,  etc.,  which  were  afterwards  embodied 
in  the  second  volume  of  Army  Medical  Statistics.  The  large  number  of  new 
garrisons  rendered  an  increase  of  the  Corps  a  necessity,  and  on  the  urgent 
representations  of  the  Surgeon  General,  Congress  on  the  second  of  March,  1849, 
pissed  the  following  bill : 

''Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  so  much  of  section  third  of  an  act  entitled  'An  act  to 
amend  an  act  entitled  an  act  supplemental  to  an  act,  entitled  an  act  providing  for  the 
prosecution  of  the  existing  war  between  the  United  States  and  the  Republic  of  Mexico, 
and  for  other  purposes,'  approved  .July  19,  1848,  as  prevents  the  filling  of  vacancies 
in  the  Medical  Department  of  the  army  until  further  authorized  by  law,  be,  and  the 
same  is  hereby  repealed. 

Sfxtion  2.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army  be  in- 
creased by  the  addition  of  ten  assistant  surgeons,  to  be  appointed  as  provided  by 
existing  laws  and  the  regulations  made  under  them." 

A  board  for  the  examination  of  candidates  to  fill  these  vacancies  met  in 
New  York  on  the  first  of  May.  The  detail  was  Surgeons  Mower,  Wood, 
Cuyler  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Henderson.  Seventy-five  candidates  were  invited 
to  appear,  of  whom  fifty-two  presented  themselves.  Eighteen  withdrew  of  their 
own  accord,  the  invitation  of  one  was  cancelled  because  he  was  not  a  citizen  of 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  199 

the  United  States,  seven  were  found  physically  disqualified,  and  nine  were 
accepted.  The  long  experience  of  Surgeon  Mower  on  these  boards  had  satisfied 
him  that  certain  requirements  in  addition  to  those  heretofore  exacted  would 
inure  to  the  advantage  of  the  Corps,  and  the' board  accordingly  addressed  a  special 
report  on  this  subject  to  the  Surgeon  General,  which,  as  its  suggestions  were 
adopted  and  have  since  been  recognized  in  all  examinations  for  admission,  be- 
comes an  important  item  of  the  history  of  the  Department.  The  following  are 
extracts : 

"The  Board  have  given  to  the  examination  of  candidates  ample  time,  calm  reflec- 
tion, unbiassed  judgment,  disinterested  decision.  The  session  just  closed  adds  to  the 
uniform  experience  of  medical  boards,  that  but  a  single  object  has  been  kept  in  view, 
viz :  the  good  of  the  service ;  in  attaining  which  nothing  has  been  lost  sight  of  that 
could  impress  on  the  minds  of  successful  and  unsuccessful  applicants,  that  this  was 
the  sole  purpose  of  the  board. 

Accumulated  observations  on  successive  boards  cannot  fail  to  present  from  time 
to  time  points  of  novel  or  increased  interest  to  the  Department.  Action  on  these 
points  leads,  if  to  anything',  to  an  improvement  or  elevation  of  standard ;  and  the 
Board  have  now  the  duty  to  ask  the  attention  of  the  Surgeon  General  to  some  highly 
important  particulars.  These  are  a  knowledge  of  Latin;  of  Physics  or  Natural  Phi- 
losophy; of  a  given  amount  of  Practical  Anatomy  in  the  form  of  dissection,  and  a 
certain  amount  of  Clinical  Instruction. 

1.  Latin.  To  show  the  importance  of  a  knowledge  of  this  language  to  the  med- 
ical student  and  practitioner,  one  fact  may  suffice.  In  no  one  instance,  within  the 
knowledge  of  the  Board,  has  a  candidate  ignorant  of  Latin  ever  been  approved.  Here 
the  Board  states  in  terms  not  to  be  misunderstood,  that  ignorance  of  Latin  was  not  the 
direct  cause  of  rejection ;  but  it  shows  conclusively  the  connection  between  liberal  pre- 
liminary education  and  the  science  of  medicine  generally,  and  specially  too,  as  the 
technicalities  of  medical  science  are  inseparably  interwoven  with  the  Latin  tongue. 
Another  instance  just  witnessed  illustrates  with  singular  force  the  importance  of  this 
language.  A  highly  intelligent  approved  candidate  in  his  'exercise,'  wrote  in  fine 
Latin  a  prescription  with  directions,  'inform  for  the  apothecary;'  in  two  instances 
candidates  who  said  they  had  studied  Latin,  could  not  understand  or  translate  that 
prescription.  How  could  such  cases  maintain  the  standing  of  the  Medical  Depart- 
ment before  the  highly  educated  line  of  the  army,  or  before  society  at  large.  How- 
ever desirable  the  classics  or  dead  languages  may  be,  on  general  grounds  for  candidates, 
and  however  true  it  is  that  just  in  proportion  as  the  mind  is  by  preliminary  education 
expanded,  so  is  it  prepared  for  the  cultivation  of  medical  knowledge ;  those  are  not 
the  points  involved  in  these  remarks.  The  point  is  the  inseparable  relation  existing 
between  the  Latin  language  and  medical  education ;  this  relation  has  been  established 
by  the  uniform  experience  of  the  Board,  and  by  universal  professional  concurrence. 
The  Board  therefore  recommend  that  in  the  circular  forwarded  to  applicants  for  in- 
vitation they  be  notified  that  a  knowledge  of  Latin  is  requisite. 

2.  Physics,  or  Natural  Philosophy.  The  relation  that  this  branch  of  knowledge 
bears  to  medicine  gives  much  but  not  undue  importance  to  Physics  in  the  estimate  of 
the  Board.  The  object  is  to  have  the  subject  so  appreciated,  that  its  bearing  on  med- 
ical pursuits  may  be  rightly  understood.  It  is  taught  in  schools,  academies  and  in 
colleges  for  general  purposes ;    it  should  be  studied  by  the  physician  for  special  pro- 


fessional  purposes.      Therefore  the  Boartl  recommend  the  introduction  of  Natural 
Philosophy  as  a  study  preliminary  to  examination. 

3.  Practical  Anatomy  by  Dissection.  It  will  be  seen  that  the  Board  have  laid  much 
stress  on  this  branch  of  medical  study.  Nor  can  too  much  weight  be  given  to  it.  It 
is  assumed  as  an  axiom  that  a  candidate  cannot  be  qualified  for  the  duties  of  a  medical 
officer  without  having  done  a  fair  amount  of  dissection.  It  would  be  little  short  of 
injustice  to  the  well  ordered  views  of  the  Surgeon  General  to  suppose  a  word  of  argu- 
ment necessary  to  enforce  a  point  so  self-evident.  Yet  it  is  common  to  have  candidates 
admit  that  they  have  dissected  a  little;  and  not  very  uncommon  to  find  that  no  dissec- 
tion at  all  has  been  done,  because  forsooth,  the  cost  was  a  few  dollars  for  subjects,  or 
it  may  be,  that  dainty  fingers  might  not  be  soiled.  Be  that  as  it  may,  while  the  point 
is  so  essential,  it  is  neglected  to  a  lamentable  extent ;  and  the  only  remedy  is  to  render 
it  henceforth  obligatory  on  the  Board  to  adopt  the  principle,  which  is  unquestionable 
with  every  rightly  ordered  mind,  that  Anatomy,  Physiology,  the  Principles  and  Practice  of 
Surgery  can  neither  be  appreciated  nor  comprehended  without  this  fairamount  of  Practi- 
cal Anatomy.  Divest  the  army  medical  officer  of  this  appreciation  and  of  this  compre- 
hension and  what,  the  Board  ask  in  the  name  of  the  service  and  of  the  profession,  is 
left  to  him?  It  is  not  the  object  of  the  Board  to  specify  the  amount  of  dissection. 
It  is  sufficient  to  say  for  all  legitimate  purposes,  that  the  practical  anatomy  of  the 
whole  body  should  have  been  carefully  done. 

4.  Clinical  Instruction.  It  is  gratifying  to  see  that  professional  sentiment  is 
acquiring  rapidly  force  as  to  the  importance  of  this  department  of  medical  instruction. 
If  at  first  view  it  might  be  supposed  that  difficulties  surround  positive  arrangements 
on  this  point,  these  vanish  when  deliberately  looked  at.  A  young  man  graduates 
reputably  at  the  schools ;  he  comes  before  the  Board  and  passes  the  examination.  An 
order  awaits  him  to  repair  to  a  post,  or  to  duty  where  he  is  without  aid.  This  young 
man  may  never  have  resided  in  a  hospital,  nor  walked  a  ward,  nor  had  experience  in 
private  practice.  Where  is  he  and  how  is  he,  in  this  fearfully  responsible  position? 
Where  and  how  are  the  officers  and  soldiers  and  the  attaches  of  the  post  with  none  but 
t  his  inexperienced  man  for  reliance  ?  Can  this  be  corrected  prospectively  ?  It  can  to 
a  great  extent  by  constituting  one  of  three  things  the  requisite;  1.  Residence  in  a 
hospital ;  2.  Clinical  attendance  on  such  an  institution ;  or  3.  Experience  in  private 
practice;  satisfactory  evidence  on  this  point  being  given  to  the  Board.  It  has 
occurred  more  than  once  to  this  Board,  that  candidates  who  have  gone  through  the 
schools,  obtained  diplomas  and  came  well  recommended,  were  utterly  unable  to  apply 
a  roller  to  the  leg,  and  were  equally  uninstructed  or  inexpei'ienced  in  minor  surgery. 
It  is  at  the  bedside  only  that  these,  and  more  important  matters  can  be  learned;  and 
hence  to  this  subject  the  attention  of  the  Surgeon  General  is  earnestly  invited.     *    * 

Much  as  may  have  been  done  heretofore  in  order  to  elevate  the  standard  of  qual- 
ification for  the  candidates,  it  cannot  be  imagined  that  in  a  department  comparatively 
so  recently  organized  as  that  to  which  the  Board  belongs,  and  in  a  science  so  broad  in 
its  bearings  and  so  important  in  its  interest  on  the  health,  life  and  happiness  of  the 
officer  and  soldier — it  cannot  be  supposed,  that  room  for  improvement  is  exhausted. 
Far  from  it.  The  standard  of  medical  education  in  the  schools  throughout  the  land 
is  being  elevated.  The  Army  and  Navy  Medical  Boards  are  from  their  very  nature 
and  object,  moving  in  advance  of  these  schools.  Tlie  influence  of  these  boards  if 
wisely  brought  to  bear,  cannot  fail  to  be  salutary,  not  only  to  the  respective  arms  of 
the  service,  but  to  the  profession  at  large;  for  it  is  from  these  schools  and  from  this 
profession  that  candidates  emanate.  It  is  therefore  especially  proper  that  suggestions 
duly  weighed,  should,  from  time  to  time,  be  presented  to  the  Surgeon  General. 

PROM  1849  TO  1861.  201 

Nor  can  it  for  a  moment  be  supposed  that,  in  selecting  the  above  subjects  as 
worthy  of  present  consideration,  any  incautious  or  impolitic  movement  is  suggested 
in  undue  advance  of  a  sound  public  sentiment.  They  bear  on  their  front  an  im- 
portant aspect,  and  thus  they  are  commended  to  the  consideration  of  the  Surgeon 
General,  with  a  confident  hope  of  meeting  his  approval." 

The  number  of  candidates  passed  by  this  board  not  being  sufficient  to 
meet  the  requirements  of  the  service,  another  was  ordered  to  convene  on  the 
fifteenth  of  October  in  Philadelphia.  This  was  composed  of  Surgeons  Mower 
and  Satterlee  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Southgate.  It  examined  twenty-one  can- 
didates, of  whom  seven  were  approved. 

On  the  fifteenth  of  September,  1849,  Assistant  Surgeon  Joseph  P.  Rus- 
sell, one  of  the  most  esteemed  officers  of  the  Medical  Stafi",  died  at  Fort 
Columbus,  New  York.  His  widow  and  children  were  left  in  narrow  circum- 
stances by  his  untimely  decease,  and  so  great  was  the  respect  in  which  his 
memory  was  held  by  all,  both  of  the  line  and  the  staff,  with  whom  he  had 
served  during  a  period  extending  over  thirty-five  years,  that  it  was  suggested 
that  no  more  fitting  monument  could  be  erected  to  him  "  who  never  forgot  the 
widow  and  the  fatherless,  and  who  was  himself  so  liberal  to  others  in  like  cir- 
cumstances" than  a  voluntary  testimonial  on  the  part  of  the  whole  army,  in  the 
shape  of  a  subscription  for  the  benefit  of  those  whom  he  had  left  behind.  Ac- 
cordingly circulars  were  sent  to  all  medical  officers,  inviting  them  to  interest 
themselves  in  the  project.  The  result  exceeded  the  most  sanguine  expectations 
of  the  projectors.  Every  officer  in  the  army  gave,  and  gave  liberally,  and  in 
June,  1851,  when  the  accounts  were  closed  upwards  of  four  thousand  dollars 
had  been  collected  and  judiciously  invested  for  the  benefit  of  the  family,  a  noble 
monument  both  to  the  worth  of  the  lamented  Russell,  as  well  of  the  liberality  of 
the  army  of  which  he  was  so  long  an  ornament. 

In  1851  the  board  consisted  of  Surgeons  Mower  and  De  Camp  and 
Assistant  Surgeons  Eaton  and  J.  Simpson.  It  met  in  New  York  city  on  the 
fifteenth  of  May,  and  examined  twenty-two  candidates,  of  whom  seven  were 

Allusions  have  been  several  times  made  in  the  course  of  these  pages  to  the 
controversies  which  had  arisen  from  time  to  time  on  the  relative  rank,  positions 
on  army  boards,  etc.,  of  the  officers  of  the  Greneral  Staff  and  of  the  line.  The 
same  vexed  questions  had  repeatedly  come  up  for  decision  in  the  various 
bureaux  of  the  navy.  The  attention  of  Congress  was  at  length  called  to  the 
matter,  and  that  body  on  the  eighteenth  of  July,  1850,  passed  a  resolution 
requesting  the  President  of  the  United  States  to  communicate  to  the  House, 
his  views  "  of  the  rules  and  regulations  which  should  be  established  by  law," 
upon  all  the  points  in  controversy.  To  enable  the  President  to  present  an 


opinion  which  should  as  far  as  possible  reflect  the  ideas  of  the  officers  of  the 
two  services,  a  joint  board  was  ordered  to  convene  in  Washington,  October  14th. 
to  investigate  and  report  on  the  whole  subject.  The  detail  on  the  part  of  the 
army  was : 

Major  General  Winfield  Scott. 

Brevet  Major  General  Thomas  S.  Jesup. 

Brevet  Major  General  John  E.  Wool. 

Colonel  J.  B.  Crane,  first  artillery. 

Brevet  Colonel  C.  A.  Waite,  eighth  infantry. 

Surgeon  Thomas  G.  Mower. 

Paymaster  David  Hunter. 

Brevet  Lieutenant  Colonel  Henry  L.  Scott,  Recorder. 

The  army  portion  of  this  board  presented  a  report,  with  a  draft  of  a  bill, 
which  they  recommended  be  passed  by  Congress.  The  following  sections  which 
refer  to  the  Medical  Department,  are  presented  to  show  the  opinions  of  the 
leading  officers  of  the  army  on  the  status  of  the  officers  of  the  non-militarj- 

"Section  5.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  rank  conferred  by  section  8  of 
the  act  approved  February  11,  1847,  entitled  'an  act  to  raise  for  a  limited  time,  an 
additional  military  force,  and  for  other  purposes,'  upon  the  oiRcers  of  the  Medical 
Department,       *  *  *  *      shall  entitle  the  officers  holding  such  rank  to 

choice  of  quarters  and  to  precedence  according  to  rank  on  courts,  boards  and  councils, 
and  to  the  military  honors  of  that  rank,  and  when  they  chance  to  be  at  a  post  or  with 
a  detachment  commanded  by  a  junior  officer  they  shall  not  absent  themselves  from 
the  post  or  detachment,  without  notifying  the  commanding  officer,  though  of  inferior 
rank,  of  their  intention  to  do  so." 

The  boards  were  also  directed  to  report  on  the  comparative  rank  of  officers 
of  the  army  and  navy;  but  on  account  of  the  great  difference  of  opinion 
existing  between  them  as  to  the  status  of  staff  officers  in  the  two  services,  found 
themselves  unable  to  do  so,  the  officers  of  the  navy  board  insisting  upon  a  lower 
relative  grade  for  officers  of  the  Medical  and  Pay  Departments  than  the  army 
board  thought  expedient  to  accede  to. 

It  was  not  long  before  the  comparative  status  of  the  staff  and  the  line  was 
brought  up  in  another  shape,  by  the  trials  of  two  officers  of  the  Medical  Corps 
for  disobedience  of  orders  and  contempt  and  disrespect,  in  refusing  or  neglect- 
in"  to  obey  the  commands  of  junior  officera  commanding  the  posts  where  they 
were  sfcitioned.  Both  were  sentenced  to  be  dismissed.  The  President  of  the 
United  States,  in  remitting  the  sentences,  makes  the  decision  that,  "  whatever 
doubts  may  be  entertained  on  the  subject  in  regard  to  the  officers  of  other  staff 
eorps,  none  can  exist  in  regard  to  those  of  the  Medical  Department.     The  law 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  203 

of  1847,  expressly  excludes  them  from  command.  Now  the  officers  of  that 
corps  are  not  a  distinct  and  independent  body,  but  are  a  part  of  the  army  and 
as  they  cannot  command  it  follows  that  when  on  duty  they  must  be  commanded." 
This  was  a  practical  settlement  of  the  whole  question  and  has  been  the  rule  of 
the  service  ever  since,  with  the  exception  of  certain  modifications  growing  from 
the  establishment  of  general  hospitals  during  the  last  war  which  will  be  noticed 
in  the  proper  place. 

In  1850  it  was  considered  advisable  by  the  Surgeon  General  that  the  Corps 
should  be  represented  at  the  annual  meeting  of  the  American  Medical  Asso- 
ciation, which  was  to  occur  in  Cincinnati  on  the  seventh  of  May.  Accordingly, 
Surgeon  C.  S.  Tripler,  who  was  elected  a  delegate  by  the  State  Medical  Society 
of  Michigan,  was  directed  also  to  appear  on  behalf  of  the  Medical  Department 
of  the  army.  Doctor  Tripler  was  very  cordially  received,  and  in  connection 
with  Surgeon  Ruschenberger  of  the  navy  rendered  valuable  service  in  bringing 
to  the  notice  of  the  Association  the  claims  of  the  medical  officers  of  the  army 
and  navy,  both  upon  the  profession  at  large  and  upon  the  country  as  represented 
in  Congress. 

In  1851  the  unifonn  and  dress  of  the  army  was  again  changed,  and  the 
one  adopted  which  has  been  in  use  during  the  past  twenty  years,  and  which  has 
just  been  dispensed  with.  One  little  item  in  connection  with  this  change  may 
be  thought  worthy  of  record.  The  board  which  devised  the  new  uniform  gave 
no  sash  to  the  medical  officers.  To  this  Surgeon  General  Lawson  objected,  and 
in  a  letter  to  the  Adjutant  General,  dated  June  12, 1851,  insisted  upon  a  green 
sash  for  the  Medical  Corps,  because,  "  to  take  it  from  them  now,  would  be 
making  an  invidious  distinction  between  them  and  the  other  staiF  officers  of  the 
army."  The  green  sash,  accordingly,  was  prescribed  to  be  worn  by  all  medical 

The  Medical  Department  was  represented  this  year  in  the  American  Medi- 
cal Association,  which  met  at  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  by  Surgeon  John  B. 
Porter,  who  like  his  predecessor  Surgeon  Tripler  was  treated  with  marked 
cordiality  and  attention  by  the  assembled  delegates. 

The  examining  board  for  1851  met  in  New  York  city  on  the  fifteenth  of 
November,  and  was  composed  of  Surgeons  Mower,  Steinecke  and  Cuyler  and 
Assistant  Surgeon  J.  Simpson.  Fifty-two  candidates  were  invited  to  present 
themselves,  of  whom  twenty-seven  appeared  and  ten  were  recommended  for 

This  was  the  last  board  dignified  by  the  presence  of  Surgeon  Thomas  G. 
Mower.  This  distinguished  officer  died  on  the  seventh  of  December,  1853. 
Probably  no  person,  not  even  the  Surgeon  General,  had  been  more  intimately 


associated  than  he  with  the  rise  and  development  of  the  Medical  Staif;  and  the 
officers  of  the  Corps,  especially  the  older  ones  who  knew  and  loved  him  in  life, 
will  not  consider  too  much  space  occupied  if  a  few  pages  are  devoted  to  the 
record  of  his  life  and  services  and  to  some  of  the  numerous  tributes  oflPered  t(t 
his  memory.  The  following  sketch  was  written  for  his  family  by  Surgeon 
Mower  himself  a  short  time  before  his  death : 

"Thomas  Gardinkr  Mowkr  was  born  at  Leicester,  near  Worcester,  Massachu- 
setts, February  18,  1790.  His  father  dying  when  he  was  seven  years  old,  his  early 
education  was  directed  by  an  uncle.  He  graduated  at  Harvard  University  in  1810, 
and  studied  medicine  with  Thomas  Babbitt,  an  eminent  surgeon  of  Brookfield,  Massa- 
chusetts, and  formerly  a  surgeon  in  the  United  States  navy.  Having  been  examined 
and  licensed  to  practice  medicine,  he  was  appointed  surgeon's  mate  in  the  9th  regi- 
ment, U.  S.  Infantry,  December  2,  1812,  and  immediately  joined  his  regiment  in  win- 
ter quai'ters  at  Burlington,  Vermont.  In  the  spring  following  he  accompanied  the 
regiment  to  Sackett's  Harbor  and  afterwards  to  Niagara;  during  this  year  (1813)  he 
participated  in  the  capture  of  Fort  George,  and  in  the  actions  of  Chrystler's  Fields. 
In  the  spring  of  1814  he  accompanied  the  9th  from  its  winter  quarters  at  French's 
Mills  to  the  Niagara  frontier.  This  regiment,  forming  a  part  of  Scott's  brigade,  was 
the  first  to  land  on  the  Canadian  shore,  under  the  fire  of  the  enemy,  on  the  third  of 
July,  1814,  and  the  writer  was  in  the  leading  boat  conveying  the  regimental  field  and 
staff,  also  General  Scott  and  Staff.  In  this  year,  June  30,  he  was  promoted  to  the 
surgeoncy  of  his  regiment,  and  continued  on  the  New  York  frontier  till  the  close  of 
the  war,  February,  1815.  He  participated  in  the  active  campaign  on  the  Niagara 
frontier,  having  been  engaged  in  the  battles  of  Chippewa,  Lundy's  Lane,  and  in  the 
assault  by  the  British  on  Fort  Erie.  At  the  close  of  the  war  he  was  one  of  ten  regi- 
mental surgeons,  out  of  at  least  forty,  that  was  selected  for  the  peace  establishment. 
After  nine  or  ten  years  service  on  the  frontier  (the  last  two  on  the  upper  Missouri), 
he  was  placed  on  special  duty  in  the  harbor  of  New  York,  and  charged  with  various 
duties  pertaining  to  the  station.  Here,  with  occasional  absences  on  duty,  he  has  con- 
tinued till  the  present  time  (1851).  In  1833  and  1834  he  travelled  under  orders 
upwards  of  12,000  miles  as  a  member  of  a  medical  board  of  examination  and  inspec- 
tion, which  visited  most  of  our  military  posts  southwest  and  northwest  of  New  York. 
He  was  a  member  of  every  medical  board  except  one,  that  was  convened  from  the 
first  organization  in  1832  to  the  present  time,  and  with  the  above  exception  and  one 
other  was  the  presiding  member.  To  the  operation  of  these  boards  the  present 
efficiency  and  high  standing  of  the  Medical  Staff"  are  mainly  attributable.  In  the 
year  1818  he  received  the  degi-ee  of  doctor  of  medicine  at  the  College  of  Physicians 
and  Surgeons,  New  York,  and  in  1844  he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  American 
Philosophical  Society  of  Philadelphia,  an  institution  over  which  Franklin  and  Jefferson 
had  presided." 

It  is  a  statement  which  will  be  endorsed  by  every  one  who  ever  appeared 
before  him  for  examination,  that  no  one  had  to  undergo  that  ordeal,  without 
pleasant  recollections  of  his  dignity  and  learning,  his  gentleness  and  tenderness 
of  character,  the  personal  interest  which  he  felt  in  every  young  candidate  for 
the  honor  of  a  position  in  the  Corps.  The  variety  of  his  services  was  as  exten- 
sive as  the  country.     There  was  hardly  a  project,  involving  the  exercise  of  more 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  205 

than  usual  judgment  or  foresight  that  was  not  refen-ed  to  him  for  decision. 
Indeed,  for  the  last  twenty  years  of  his  life,  so  constantly  was  "his  advice  sought 
for  and  listened  to  with  deference,  that  he  possessed  an  influence  coequal  with 
the  Surgeon  General,  an  influence  which  it  is  hardly  necessar}^  to  say,  was 
invariably  exercised  on  the  side  of  truth,  justice  and  the  advancement  of  his 
beloved  Corps.  Doctor  Lovell,  who  had  many  traits  of  character  in  common 
with  Doctor  Mower,  thus  spoke  of  him,  in  a  letter  written  shortly  before  his 
death : 

"I  can  confidently  aflu'm,  without  the  fear  of  contradiction,  that  there  is  not  in 
the  whole  Department  a  single  officer  who  is  better  qualified  than  the  present  occu- 
pant [Doctor  Mower]  to  perform  the  various  duties  which  devolve  upon  him,  either 
as  the  medical  officer  of  the  station  [New  York],  as  inspector  of  recruits  at  the  largest 
rendezvous  and  depot  of  the  army,  as  president  of  the  medical  board  of  examination 
which  usually  convenes  in  New  York,  and  which  devolves  upon  him  as  the  senior 
officer  but  one  in  the  Department,  or  as  acting  apothecary  in  purchasing  and  distribut- 
ing the  medical  supplies  for  the  various  posts.  In  the  latter  capacity  especially  he  is 
invaluable  to  the  Department,  and  his  removal  from  any  cause  would  be  a  serious  loss 
both  to  the  Department  and  to  the  public  service. 

Without  increase  of  expense  the  supplies  have  been  increased  in  quantity  and 
highly  improved  in  quality,  and  they  are  so  reported  by  the  several  surgeons  from 
year  to  year,  with  scarcely  an  exception,  as  well  as  to  have  been  safely  and  carefully 
packed,  and  to  have  arrived  in  good  order;  a  result  which  is  entirely  due  U>  the  dili- 
gence, intelligence  and  fidelity  of  Surgeon  Mower.  *  *  *  From  personal 
observations  during  the  war  (with  Great  Britain),  both  in  the  field  and  in  the  hos- 
pitals and  from  subsequent  official  relations,  I  can  with  confidence  add  my  testimony 
to  those  with  whom  he  has  served,  that  he  is  second  to  no  officer  in  the  Department, 
either  as  to  the  extent  or  importance  of  the  services  which  have  devolved  on  him 
during  this  period,  or  in  the  faithful  and  intelligent  manner  in  which  these  services 
were  performed." 

Surgeon  General  Lawson,  who  was  always  chary  in  praise,  in   his  annual 

report  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  November  8,  1854,  remarks: 

"Although  we  have  been  called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss,  not  only  of  many  of  our 
number,  but  of  some  of  our  best  and  most  distinguished  officers,  it  will  be  doing  no 
injustice  to  others,  whether  of  the  living  or  of  the  dead,  to  render  a  richly  merited 
tribute  of  respect  to  the  memory  of  Surgeon  Thomas  G.  Mower,  for  many  years  the 
senior  surgeon  of  the  army,  its  Chief  Medical  Purveyor,  and  the  presiding  officer  of 
its  boards  of  medical  examiners.  During  a  service  of  forty-one  years  he  had  fre- 
quently confided  to  him  the  highest  and  most  responsible  duties,  all  of  which  were 
invariably  performed  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  Department.  To  the  judgment  and 
discretion  with  which  he  exercised  the  power  delegated  to  him  as  president  of  the 
army  boards  of  medical  examiners,  the  Medical  Staff  owes  much  of  its  present 
efficiency  and  reputation,  and  it  is  hoped  the  influence  of  his  example  will  not  be  lost." 

The  New  York  Timefi  of  January  11,  1854,  contains  a  notice  of  his  life 
and  career,  from  which  the  following  admirable  summary  of  his  character 
is  taken : 


"  lu  all  the  relations  of  life  he  was  most  exemplary  and  unexceptional;  as  a  hus- 
band, devoted  and  affectionate;  as  a  parent,  kind  and  indulgent,  and  most  solicitous 
for  the  honor  and  welfare  of  his  children;  as  a  friend,  ardent,  disinterested  and  un- 
changeable; as  a  man,  upright,  punctilious,  exact  in  all  his  dealings,  charitable  and 
tvctively  benevolent;  as  a  gentleman,  affable,  polite,  courteous  and  deferring  to  his 
equals,  and  ever  considerate  of  the  feelings  and  interests  of  those  below  him  in  posi- 
tion; as  a  soldier,  jealous  of  the  honor  of  his  profession,  firm,  decided  and  brave, 
knowing  no  fear  but  the  fear  of  a  mean  action,  quick  to  perceive  and  prompt  to  exe- 
cute; ivs  a  physician  and  surgeon,  mature  in  judgment,  sound  in  theory,  skilful  in 
practice,  humane,  sympathetic  and  self-sacrificing  in  his  efforts  to  relieve  or  alleviate 
the  sufferings  of  his  patients;  as  a  christian,  sincere  without  ostentation,  believing  in 
religion  as  a  principle  rather  to  be  possessed  than  spoken  of,  and  practicing  rather 
than  professing  the  Golden  Rule.  That  he  has  gone  to  the  enjoyment  of  that  reward 
promised  to  the  just  made  perfect  no  one  can  doubt  who  knew  his  manly,  generous 
nature  and  many  virtues." 

Surgeon  Josiah  Simpson,  through  whose  kindness  the  foregoing  extracts 
have  been  obtained,  adds  the  following  personal  description  of  Surgeon  Mower : 

"He  was  of  slender  figure,  exact  and  martial  in  carriage,  with  prominent,  bright 
blue  eyes,  niddy  complexion,  and  a  pleasing  expressive  face;  of  delicate  physical 
organization,  in  height  not  over  five  feet  ten  inches,  in  weight  probably  not  more  than 
one  hundred  and  thirty  pounds.  Scrupulously  neat  in  dress  and  person,  pure  and 
chaste  in  word  and  deed,  he  was  a  noble  type  of  what  an  army  surgeon  should  be." 

Since  the  commencement  of  this  decade  death  had  been  unusually  busy 
with  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Corps.  In  addition  to  the  lamented  Mower, 
nine  vacancies  had  occurred  by  death  among  its  members.  Among  them  were 
Surgeon  William  Hammond,  who  died  at  Benecia,  California,  February  13, 
1851 ;  Assistant  Surgeon  Sylvester  Day,  the  oldest  officer  in  the  Department, 
having  seen  continuous  service  since  1807,  who  died  at  Alleghany  Arsenal, 
Pennsylvania,  February  20,  1851 ;  Assistant  Surgeons  Kennedy,  Sprague, 
Fullwood  and  Dyerle ;  and  Surgeon  John  B.  Wells,  an  officer  of  the  highest 
distinction,  who  died  at  Baltimore,  Maryland,  July  24,  1853. 

In  addition  to  these,  one  young  officer  of  promise,  Assistant  Surgeon 
Edward  H.  Watson,  who  had  but  just  received  his  commission,  was  lost  at  sea. 
He  sailed  from  Philadelphia  on  the  schooner  "  Mechanic"  for  Indianola,  Texas, 
on  the  twenty -seventh  of  August,  1853,  but  neither  the  vessel,  or  any  on  board 
were  ever  heard  of  afterwards.  ^ 

An  examining  board,  consisting  of  Surgeons  Finley,  Wright  and  Cuyler 
and  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  Simpson,  met  in  New  York  on  the  first  of  December, 
1853.  Thirty-four  candidates  reported  for  examination,  of  whom  three  were 
found  physically  disqualified,  seven  withdrew  without  examination,  and  of  the 
remainder  fifteen  were  found  (jualified  for  appointment  in  the  Medical  Staff. 

There  were  several  points  of  great  importance  to  the  efficiency  of  the 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  2(»7 

Medical  Department  urged  by  General  Lawson  in  his  annual  reports  to  the 
Secretiiry  of  War  for  1853-4-5.  The  fii-st  of  these  related  to  the  necessity  for 
an  increase  in  the  number  of  medical  officers.  Although  the  Corps  was  already 
very  large  in  comparison  with  the  size  of  the  army,  yet  the  great  number  of 
new  posts  which  had  been  established  in  the  new  territories  rendered  it  impos- 
sible to  supply  them  all  with  medical  attendance  with  the  number  of  surgeons 
at  that  time  allowed  by  law.  Besides  garrison  duty,  medical  officers  were 
constantly  needed  to  accompany  detachments  of  troops  ordered  on  Indian 
expeditions,  which  made  it  necessary  always  to  have  several  surplus  officers  in 
every  department.  On  this  subject  the  Surgeon  General  reports,  November 
10,  1855  : 

"Tlie  duty  again  devolves  upon  me  to  i-eport  that  the  numerical  strength  of  the 
Medical  Corps  of  the  army  is  not  sufficient  to  meet  the  requirements  of  the  service. 
It  may  appear  at  a  first  glance  that  ninety-four  medical  officers  should  suffice  for  an 
army  of  nineteen  regiments  and  corps  of  the  line,  with  the  necessary  officers  and  men 
of  the  staff  departments,  the  whole  force  numbering  17,861  men:  but  upon  an  ex- 
amination into  the  matter,  it  will  be  found  that  the  Corps  with  its  present  number 
does  not  and  cannot  give  the  necessary  medical  aid  to  all  the  troops  dispersed  through- 
out our  very  widely  extended  territory. 

The  number  of  physicians  does  not  depend  upon  the  numerical  force  of  the  army, 
but  upon  the  manner  in  which  it  is  employed ;  that  is  upon  the  divisions  and  sub- 
divisions it  has  to  undergo,  and  the  particular  service  in  which  it  is  engaged.  One 
surgeon  and  two  assistant  surgeons  will  suffice  for  one  regiment  or  corps  of  ten  com- 
panies, or  a  thousand  men ;  these  three  officers  may  also  serve  that  corps  divided  into 
three  battalions;  but  they  cannot  possibly  render  tlie  necessary  medical  aid  to  the  ten 
companies  of  the  corps,  each  company  occupying  a  separate  post,  the  one  twenty  miles 
distant  from  the  other. 

Our  army  is  spread  all  over  the  country,  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific  oceans, 
occupying  eighty-nine  military  posts  and  arsenals,  each  station  requiring  one  physician 
and  some  of  them  two.  To  supply  medical  officers  to  the  military  posts  garrisoned  by 
troops  of  the  line,  and  furnish  the  necessary  complement  of  physicians  to  serve  with 
detachments  of  men  constantly  operating  in  the  field,  would  exhaust  the  whole  num- 
ber of  our  regular  corps,  ninety-four  in  number,  were  they  all  efficient  and  present 
for  duty ;  leaving  us  to  supply  medical  aid  to  troops  passing  in  transports  or  by  land, 
from  one  section  of  the  country  to  another ;  to  the  officers  and  men  stationed  in  our 
large  cities,  on  staff  and  other  duties ;  to  the  many  forts  on  the  Atlantic  not  gar- 
risoned, but  held  in  charge  by  a  few  engineer  and  ordnance  men ;  and  to  the  various 
recruiting  rendezvous,  as  best  we  can,  under  contract  by  the  month,  or  by  the  day 
and  the  visit. 

Officers  of  the  Medical  Department,  however  get  sick  as  well  as  other  people ; 
they  are  entitled  to  occasional  relaxation  from  duty  like  other  officers;  and  again  they 
have  a  claim  the  same  as  officers  of  the  line  and  other  staff  departments  of  the  army, 
to  the  indulgence  of  a  leave  of  absence  from  duty  to  visit  their  families  and  friends, 
and  attend  to  important  private  business. 

With  the  aged  and  permanently  disabled  officers  and  the  sick,  together  with  those 
entitled  to  leaves  of  absence,  our  force  of  ninety-four  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons 


may  be  considered  as  reduced  on  an  average,  eight  or  ten  per  cent.,  or  to  eighty-five 
effective  men  for  duty.  At  this  time,  however,  there  is  but  one  medical  officer  on  leave 
of  absence:  and  this  one  has  just  now  returned  from  a  six  years  tour  of  service  in 
the  Department  of  the  Pacific. 

Within  the  last  three  years  there  has  been  paid  out,  on  account  of  the  employ- 
ment of  private  physicians,  seventy-two  thousajid  five  hundred  and  twenty  dollars, 
averaging  twenty-four  thousand  one  hundred  and  seventy-three  dollars  per  annum; 
this  last  sum  being  about  the  amount  of  the  annual  pay  of  twenty-four  assistant  sur- 
geons of  the  army.  Now  as  we  have  to  expend  annually  for  extra  medical  attendance 
twenty-four  thousand  dollars  and  more,  or  the  sum  of  the  pay  and  emoluments  of 
twenty-four  medical  oflBcers  of  the  army,  the  question  arises  whether  we  shall  pay 
out  the  money  to  private  physicians,  unknown  to  us  and  employed  on  the  spur  of  the 
occasion,  instead  of  regularly  instructed  and  disciplined  medical  officers,  who  have 
been  examined  by  competent  persons  and  found  qualified  morally  and  physically, 
as  well  as  professionally  for  the  practice  of  physic  and  surgery  in  the  army." 

A  second  matter  to  which  General  Lawson  invited  the  attention  of  Congress 
was  the  advisability  of  the  enlistment  of  a  certain  number  of  competent  persons 
to  serve  especially  as  hospital  stewards.  Previous  to  this  time  hospital  stewards 
were  detailed  from  time  to  time  from  the  line  of  the  army,  on  the  recommen- 
dation of  the  post  surgeon,  and  were  liable  as  soon  as  they  were  carefully 
instructed  in  their  duties  to  be  returned  to  duty  with  their  companies,  either 
by  the  caprice  of  commanding  officers,  or  the  inevitable  movements  of  troops. 
To  remedy  this  evil,  General  Lawson  suggested  the  enlistment  or  appointment 
by  the  Secretary  of  War,  of  a  certain  number  of  competent  persons,  to  serve 
as  hospital  stewards  and  to  belong  to  the  general  non-commissioned  staff  of  the 
army,  and  to  have  the  rank  and  pay  of  first  sergeants  of  infantry. 

A  third  measure  was,  "  the  making  of  some  provision  by  which  to  requite 
hospital  nurses  and  attendants,  for  the  laborious  and  loathsome  duties  they  have 
to  perform,  and  in  consideration  of  their  frequent  exposure  to  contagious 
diseases."  By  acts  of  Congress  passed  in  1819  and  1854,  all  soldiers  on 
fatigue  duty,  and  all  on  "  extra  or  daily  duty  involving  constant  labor  for  a 
period  not  less  than  ten  days,"  were  entitled  to  extra  compensation  therefor, 
and  for  many  years  cooks  and  nurses  in  hospitals  had  received  this  extra  pay 
the  same  as  other  detailed  men.  Recently,  however,  it  had  been  decided  by 
the  Treasury  Department  that  soldiers  detailed  in  hospitals  did  not  come  within 
the  provisions  of  these  acts,  though  performing  much  more  constant  labor  and 
of  a  more  disagreeable  character  than  any  other  detailed  men.  General  Law- 
son  therefore  asked  for  the  passage  of  a  special  act  giving  them  the  same  extra 
allowance  as  others,  and  characteristically  remarks : 

"  In  conclusion,  I  beg  leave  to  say  that  the  doctrine  which  seems  now-a-days  to 
obtain,  viz:  that  nurses  and  physicians  administering  to  the  body,  as  well  as  the  high 
personages  of  the  church  who  administer  to  the  soul  of  man,  have  to  look  for  their 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  209 

reward  in  Heaven,  for  the  good  deeds  done  in  this  world,  may  be  very  consolatory,  very 
satisfactory,  and  even  very  flattering  to  some  of  us  of  the  craft,  particularly  as  it  brings 
us  somewhat  in  juxtaposition  with  the  pure  members  of  the  hierarchy.  There  are  other 
persons,  however,  and  among  them  soldiers  of  the  army,  faithfully  laboring  by  day 
and  by  night  as  nurses  in  our  hospitals,  who  cannot  brook  the  idea  of  being  placed 
beyond  the  pale  of  rightful  consideration  accorded  to  soldiers  employed  in  making  a 
bridge  or  cutting  a  road,  and  who  cannot  be  brought  to  believe  otherwise  than  that 
they  might  as  well  receive  a  portion  if  not  their  full  measure  of  recompense  on  earth 
here  below,  and  take  their  chance  for  higher  and  more  permanent  reward  in  another 
and  a  better  world." 

Bills  were  several  times  introduced  in  the  years  before  mentioned  to  meet 
these  suggestions  of  the  Surgeon  General,  but  it  was  not  until  1856,  when  the 
army  was  increased  by  the  addition  of  four  regiments,  that  any  of  them  re- 
ceived a  favorable  consideration.  On  the  sixteenth  of  August,  of  that  year, 
Congress  passed  an  act,  "  For  a  necessary  increase  and  better  organization  of  the 
Medical  and  Hospital  Department  of  the  Army,"  which  was  as  follows: 

"  Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  there  be  added  to  the  Medical  Department  of  the  army, 
four  surgeons  and  eight  assistant  surgeons,  to  be  appointed  in  accordance  with  exist- 
ing laws.  • 

Section  2.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Secretary  of  War  be,  and  he  is 
hereby  authorized  to  appoint  from  the  enlisted  men  of  the  army,  or  to  cause  to  be 
enlisted,  as  many  competent  hospital  stewards  as  the  service  may  require,  not  to  ex- 
ceed one  for  each  military  post.  The  said  hospital  stewards  to  be  mustered  and  paid 
on  hospital  muster  rolls  as  non-commissioned  staff  oflScers,  with  the  rank,  pay  and 
emoluments  of  a  sergeant,  of  ordnance,  and  to  be  permanently  attached  to  the  medical 
and  hospital  department,  under  such  regulations  as  shall  be  prescribed  by  the  Secre- 
tary of  War. 

Section  3.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  soldiers  acting  as  cooks  and  nurses  in 
hospitals  be,  and  are  hereby  allowed  the  extra  pay  authorized  to  soldiers  on  fatigue 
duty,  by  '  an  act  to  increase  the  rank  and  file  of  the  army,'  approved  August  4, 

A  medical  examining  board,  consisting  of  Surgeons  Finley,  Satterlee  and 
Moore,  met  in  New  York  city,  April  1,  1855,  for  the  examination  of  assistant 
surgeons  for  promotion.  No  candidates  for  appointment  were  invited  to  present 
themselves,  as  of  the  fifteen  passed  by  the  board  in  1853  seven  yet  remained 
uncommissioned.  In  1856,  when  it  became  certain  that  the  foregoing  bill 
would  become  law,  a  board  was  ordered  to  convene  at  Newport  Barracks,  Ken- 
tucky, for  the  examination  of  candidates  for  appointment.  The  detail  was 
Surgeons  C.  S.  Tripler,  N.  S.  Jarvis  and  A.  N.  McLaren,  and  it  met  on  the 
first  of  August.  Of  thirty-nine  candidates,  ten  were  found  qualified.  This 
number  not  being  sufficient  to  fill  all  the  vacancies,  another  board,  consisting  of 
Surgeons  Finley,  DeCamp,  Wright  and  Abadie,  met  in  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  on 
the  first  of  November.  Eighteen  candidates  presented  themselves,  of  whom 
two  were  passed. 


In  July.  1856,  the  second  part  of  the  "  Medical  Statistics,  U.  S.  Army," 
was  issued.  This  was  intended  to  be  a  continuation  of  the  volume  prepared  by 
Assistant  Surgeon  Samuel  Forry  in  1839,  and  to  give  topographical  and  statis- 
tical reports  of  the  various  posts  since  that  date.  In  1852  General  Lawsou 
had  issued  a  circular  to  each  officer  of  the  Corps  calling  for  information  in 
regard  to  the  location,  topography  and  prevailing  diseases  of  the  various  posts, 
the  geology  and  natural  history  of  the  neighboring  country,  with  such  observa- 
tions on  climate,  manners  and  customs  of  the  inhabitants,  etc.,  as  would  subserve 
the  end  in  view.  The  compilation  of  this  work  was  entrusted  to  Assistant  Sur- 
geon Alexander  S.  Wotherspoon,  but  on  his  death  in  May,  1854,  Assistant 
Surgeon  R.  H.  Coolidge  was  detailed  to  complete  it.  Besides  the  special  reports 
above  referred  to,  the  work  contained  statistical  tables  of  the  sickness  and  mor- 
tality of  the  army,  observations  and  statistics  on  the  recruiting  service,  and  a 
valuable  series  of  papers  on  the  administration  of  quinine  in  large  doses,  which 
was  first  brought  to  the  notice  of  the  profession  through  the  observations  of 
members  of  the  Stafi"  stationed  in  the  southwest.  The  work  received  general  com- 
mendation from  the  profession  at  large,  as  reflecting  great  credit  not  only  on 
the  compiler  but  on  every  officer  who  had  contributed  to  its  columns. 

Equally  valuable  as  a  contribution  to  science,  was  the  "  Army  Meteoro- 
logical Register,"  compiled  by  Assistant  Surgeon  Coolidge,  under  direction  of 
the  Surgeon  General,  and  published  by  order  of  the  Secretary  of  War  in  1855. 
The  meteorological  observations  of  the  army  had  been  taken  continuously  since 
1820.  "The  result  of  the  observations  for  1820  and  1821  were  published  at 
the  end  of  each  year.  Those  of  subsequent  observations  have  been  published 
in  a  series  of  Army  Meteorological  Registers,  of  which  the  first  volume, 
embracing  the  years  from  1822  to  1825,  inclusive,  was  issued  by  Surgeon 
General  Lovell  in  1826.  The  second  and  third  volumes  of  the  series,  com- 
prising respectively  the  years  from  1826  to  1830,  and  from  1831  to  1842, 
inclusive,  were  prepared  and  published,  the  former  in  1840,  the  latter  in  1851, 
under  the  direction  of  the  present  Surgeon  General,  Doctor  Thomas  Lawson." 

In  1842  instruments  of  an  improved  character  were  ftirnished  to  the 
diflFerent  posts,  and  the  army  examining  board,  then  in  session  in  Philadelphia, 
consisting  of  Surgeons  Mower  and  Steinecke  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Cuyler, 
were  instructed  to  prepare  a  series  of  rules  for  taking  meteorological  observa- 
tions. The  result  of  their  labors  was  approved  by  the  Surgeon  General,  and 
the  volume  now  printed  (embracing  the  period  from  1842  to  1854,  inclusive) 
contained  the  observations  taken  in  accordance  with  the  directions  then  drawn 
up.  It  contained  the  result  of  observations  of  the  thermometer,  direction  and 
force  of  winds,  clearness  of  sky  and  fall  of  rain  and  snow,  with  a  special  report 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  211 

"  on  the  prominent  features  of  general  climate  in  the  United  States,  as  exhibited 
in  the  distribution  of  temperature  and  of  rain,"  and  a  number  of  charts  of 
mean  distributions  of  temperature  for  each  season  of  the  year,  the  whole  form- 
a  quarto  volume  of  nearly  eight  hundred  pages.  The  publication  of  this  volume 
brought  forth  a  communication  from  Professor  Joseph  Henry,  Secretary  of 
the  Smithsonian  Institution,  to  the  Surgeon  General,  in  which  he  accused  the 
Medical  Bureau  of  plagiarism  in  reference  to  the  construction  of  the  isothermal 
and  rain  charts  in  the  work,  and  asserted  besides  that  these  charts  were  con- 
structed on  "unreliable  and  insufficient  data."  General  Lawson  was  not  the 
man  to  tamely  submit  to  such  at  attack,  and  an  angry  controversy  ensued,  in 
which  much  personal  feeling  was  shown  on  both  sides  and  a  great  deal  of  ink 
expended,  with  the  final  result  of  the  whole  matter  being  referred  to  the  Secre- 
tary of  War,  Jefferson  Davis,  who  gave  the  rather  non-committal  opinion,  that 
the  Medical  Department  had  evidently  never  intended  to  appropriate  anything  ■ 
belonging  to  the  Smithsonian,  but  that  even  if  it  had  the  charts  were  of  no 
value  to  science,  so  that  the  Smithsonian  had  no  right  to  feel  aggrieved,  a  decis- 
ion which  most  probably  satisfied  neither  side. 

The  army  board  which  met  in  New  York  city  on  the  first  of  May,  1857, 
consisted  of  Surgeons  Finley,  Satterlee  and  McDougall.  There  were  twenty- 
six  candidates  for  appointment,  of  whom  one  was  found  physically  disqualified, 
eleven  withdrew  without  an  examination,  ten  were  rejected  and  five  passed. 

In  the  summer  of  1857  troops  were  concentrated  at  Fort  Leavenworth 
for  the  operations  against  the  Mormons,  generally  known  as  the  Utah  Expedi- 
tion. Surgeon  Madison  Mills  was  assigned  to  duty  as  Medical  Director.  The 
troops  originally  composing  the  column  were  the  fifth  and  tenth  regiments  of 
infantry,  the  second  dragoons  and  a  battery  of  the  fourth  artillery,  to  each  of 
which  was  assigned  a  medical  officer.  Subsequently  they  were  reinforced  by 
the  seventh  infantry  and  a  battery  of  the  third  artillery.  These  forces  remained 
encamped  at  Camp  Floyd  and  Fort  Bridger  until  just  before  the  outbreak  of  the 
Rebellion.  In  January,  1858,  Surgeon  J.  J.  B.  Wright  was  assigned  to  duty 
as  Medical  Director,  but  after  reaching  Fort  Leavenworth  his  destination  was 
changed,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Thomas  H.  Williams  in  July  relieved  Surgeon 
Mills  and  also  assmned  the  duties  of  Purveyor  to  the  Utah  army.  He  in  turn 
was  relieved  by  Surgeon  J.  B.  Porter  in  September,  1859.  There  was  no  gen- 
eral hospital  established,  the  sick  being  treated  by  their  regimental  medical 

The  examining  board  for  1858  was  composed  of  Surgeons  Finley,  Satterlee 
and  S.  P.  Moore  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Edwards,  and  met  in  Richmond,  Virginia, 
on  the  first  of  April.     There  were  forty-four  candidates  invited  to  appear  for 


examination,  of  whom  twenty-seven  reported  in  person.  Four  withdrew  with- 
out examination,  seven  after  failure  on  a  partial  examination,  six  were  foiuid 
physically  disqualified,  and  of  the  remainder,  ten  were  rejected  and  two  found 
qualified  for  appointment.  The  next  board  met  in  Philadelphia,  April  1,  1859. 
and  was  composed  of  Surgeons  Finley,  Cuyler  and  S.  P.  Moore  and  Assistinit 
Surgeon  C.  H.  Crane.  Twenty-five  candidates  were  invited  to  appear,  only 
seven  of  whom  were  examined.     Of  these  four  were  rejected  and  three  passed. 

In  the  following  year  the  board  met  in  New  York  city  on  the  first  of  May. 
the  detail  being  Surgeons  Finley,  McDougall  and  Cuyler  and  Assistant  Surgeon 
J.  F.  Hammond.  It  passed  four  candidates  out  of  a  total  of  twenty-one,  three 
being  rejected  for  physical  disability.  Just  subsequent  to  its  adjournment 
Congress  added  an  amendment  to  the  Army  Appropriation  Bill  for  the  year 
ending  June  30,  1860,  providing  for  an  addition  of  four  surgeons  and  four 
assistant  surgeons  to  the  Corps.  This  necessitated  the  meeting  of  another 
board  to  fill  the  vacancies  thus  created,  and  accordingly  one  was  called  to  meet 
in  Baltimore,  Marj'land,  on  the  twentieth  of  September.  The  detail  was  Sur- 
geons Finley,  Satterlee  and  Tripler  and  Assistant  Surgeon  C.  H.  Smith. 
Eleven  applicants  for  appointment  reported  for  examination,  of  whom  seven  were 
examined  and  five  passed. 

On  the  first  of  November,  1859,  a  board  of  medical  officers,  consisting  of 
Surgeons  Finley,  Satterlee.  Tripler  and  Cuyler,  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Coolidge 
as  recorder,  met  in  Washington  to  examine  models  for  ambulances  and  to  revise 
the  Standard  Supply  Table.  Various  models  for  ambulances  were  presented 
before  this  board,  and  afl^r  mature  deliberation  it  decided  to  advise  that  a  four 
wheel  ambulance  in  accordance  with  a  plan  proposed  by  Surgeon  Tripler  be 
adopted,  and  also  that  two  wheel  ambulances,  on  plans  suggested  by  Surgeon 
Finley  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Coolidge,  be  constructed  and  sent  to  various 
frontier  stations  for  trial  in  the  field.  The  Standard  Supply  Table  was  completely 
revised  so  as  to  include  most  of  the  modem  improvements  in  medicines  and 
hospital  stores,  instruments  and  dressings.  The  board  also  reported  a  plan  for 
an  ambulance  system  for  troops  sen'ing  in  the  field. 

The  sendees  of  the  medical  officers  during  the  ten  years  previous  to  the 
civil  war,  were  characterized  by  all  the  hardships  of  iictual  war,  without  any  of 
its  compensating  opportunities  for  distinction.  The  new  territory  acquired  by 
conquest  from  and  subsei^juent  treaty  with  Mexico,  and  by  treaty  with  Great 
Britain,  was  filled  with  tribes  of  hostile  Indians,  which  resisted  every  attempt  at 
the  settlement  of  the  country.  Consequently,  our  troops,  scattered  over  a  great 
extent  of  country  in  Florida,  Texas,  New  Mexico,  Utah,  California  and  Oregon, 
were  continually  engaged  in  hazardous  expeditions  against  the  savages,  taxing 

FROM  1849  TO  1861.  21 H 

often  to  the  utmost  the  resources  of  the  Surgeon  Greneral's  Bureau  to  supply 
medical  attendance  from  the  small  number  of  medical  officers  available.  The 
records  of  the  Surgeon  Greneral's  Office  during  this  period  contain  a  rich  store 
of  reports  of  these  various  expeditions,  many  of  them  embracing  facts  of  the 
greatest  interest  in  reference  to  the  topography,  diseases,  climate,  and  physical 
characteristics  of  the  country  and  its  wild  inhabitants,  all  attesting  the  energy 
and  fidelity  with  which  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  performed  their  irk- 
some and  arduous  duties.  It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  the  limits  of  this 
work  do  not  permit  a  more  extended  notice  of  these  services  and  extracts  fi'om 
these  reports,  but  on  examination  it  was  found  impossible  to  make  a  selection, 
and  the  collection  is  too  extensive  to  admit  of  even  a  reference  to  them  all. 
The  third  volume  of  Army  Medical  Statistics,  compiled  like  its  predecessor  under 
direction  of  Assistant  Surgeon  Coolidge,  which  was  issued  in  1860  does  full 
justice  in  its  pages  to  the  officers  of  the  Corps,  and  bears  ample  testimony  to 
the  truth  of  the  above  statements. 

The  Medical  Staff  during  this  decade  was  called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of 
many  of  its  best  and  most  distinguished  members.  Besides  those  tf)  whom 
allusion  has  been  made  on  a  previous  page.  Assistant  Surgeon  Thomas  Hender- 
son died  at  Lexington,  Virginia,  on  the  eleventh  of  August.  1854.  Doctor 
Henderson  had  long  been  incapacitated  for  active  duty  by  age  and  infirmity, 
but  in  his  prime  there  was  no  officer  of  the  Corps  more  distinguished  for  pro- 
fessional culture.  He  was  the  author  of  a  "  Manual  for  the  examination  of 
Recruits,"  originally  published  in  1840,  which  had  for  many  years  been  the 
standard  authority  on  the  subject.  Assistant  Surgeon  Joel  Martin,  a  veteran 
officer,  died  at  Norfolk,  Virginia,  December  10,  1854.  Surgeon  Henry  L. 
Heiskell,  so  well  known  to  the  whole  army  as  the  confidential  assistant  tt)  the 
Surgeon  Greneral  through  a  long  series  of  years,  and  who  was  Acting  Surgeon 
Greneral  during  General  Lawson's  absence  in  Mexico,  died  in  Washington  on 
the  twelfth  of  August,  1855;  and  Surgeon  H.  A.  Steinecke,  another  old  and 
experienced  surgeon,  at  Baltimore,  Maryland,  on  the  twentieth  of  December  of 
the  same  year.  Surgeon  B.  F.  Harney,  the  senior  surgeon  in  the  army,  a 
veteran  of  the  war  of  1812,  and  continuously  on  duty  since  that  time,  died  at 
Baton  Rouge,  August  29,  1858.  Except  the  Surgeon  Greneral,  there  were  now 
left  but  two  officers  whose  service  extended  back  to  the  last  war  with  England. 
Surgeon  W.  V.  Wheaton  and  Assistant  Surgeon  Joseph  Eaton.  Neither  of 
them  lived  to  witness  the  commencement  of  the  Rebellion,  the  latter  dying  at 
Fort  Hamilton,  New  York,  March  16,  1860,  and  the  former  at  Philadelphia. 
April  23,  1860.  The  following  eulogium  on  Surgeon  Wheaton  was  addressed 
by  Greneral  Lawson  to  the  Secretary  of  War  on  receiving  news  of  his  death : 



"Surgeon  Wheaton's  military  life  extended  over  a  period  of  forty-seven  years, 
and  was  alike  honorable  to  himself,  to  the  army,  and  to  his  country  at  large.  I  can- 
not injustice  to  my  own  feelings  announce  the  death  of  this  veteran  officer  and  old 
companion  in  arms  during  the  war  of  1813,  without  paying  a  passing  tribute  to  his 
gallantry  and  efficiency  as  an  officer,  and  to  his  many  excellent  qualities  as  a  man.' ' 

In  addition  to  those  above  named,  Surgeon  Bernard  M.  Byrne,  an  oflBcer 
of  twenty-five  years  service  in  the  Medical  Corps,  died  at  Fort  Moultrie,  Char- 
leston, South  Carolina,  on  the  sixth  of  September,  1860. 

With  the  close  of  the  year  1860,  the  Medical  Department  entered  upon 
a  new  era  in  its  existence.  The  commencement  of  the  great  war  swept  out  of 
sight  in  a  moment  many  ideas  which  had  been  so  long  cherished  that  they  had 
become  part  of  the  organic  law  of  the  Bureau.  Old  things  passed  away  not 
because  they  were  faulty,  but  because  they  were  adapted  to  an  army  of  nineteen 
regiments  and  not  to  one  of  half  a  million  of  men.  New  organizations  were 
forced  upon  us  by  the  exigencies  of  the  first  few  months  of  1861,  new  regula- 
tions had  to  be  adopted,  new  and  varied  services  were  called  for  from  the  ofiicers/ 
Yet  the  experience  gained  in  the  war  with  Mexico  and  twelve  years  of  almost 
incessant  expeditions  against  hostile  Indians  on  the  western  frontiers  was  sure  to 
be  of  value  in  the  conflict  in  which  they  were  called  on  to  participate,  and  the 
prestige  gained  by  the  Corps  in  the  past  gave  favorable  augury  for  success  in 
the  future. 


PART   V. 

From  the  commencement  op   the   Rebellion   to  the  present  time. 

The  time  has  not  yet  arrived  to  write  an  impartial  history  of  the  Rebellion, 
either  in  its  political  or  personal  aspects.  The  events  are  too  recent  and  too 
many  of  the  prominent  actors  therein  still  living  to  render  it  possible  to  give  in 
detail  every  circumstance  connected  even  with  the  comparatively  uneventful 
record  of  the  services  of  the  Medical  Corps,  without  trenching  on  matters  which 
might  give  rise  to  controversy,  and  hence  be  foreign  to  the  object  of  this  volume. 
Enough  will  be  written  to  show  that  the  Medical  Department  maintained  its 
high  standard  of  efficiency,  gaining  new  laurels  in  every  campaign  and  possess- 
ing at  the  close  of  the  war  the  admiration  of  the  profession  throughout  the 
world.  The  details  of  hospital  construction  and  management,  the  conduct  of 
field  ambulance  service,  the  record  of  the  vast  variety  of  wounds  and  injuries 
treated  and  of  the  immense  number  of  camp  diseases  which  came  under  the 
observation  of  the  medical  officers ;  these  and  kindred  topics  have  been  en- 
trusted to  the  abler  hands  who  are  engaged  in  writing  the  "  Medical  and 
Surgical  History  of  the  War,"  and  hence  anything  more  than  a  passing  reference 
to  them  is  rendered  unnecessary  in  these  pages ;  but,  indeed,  were  it  otherwise 
any  attempt  to  treat  of  them  in  a  volume  of  the  size  of  this  would  be  very 
unsatisfactory.  It  is  only  proposed,  therefore,  in  what  follows  to  give  a  detail 
of  the  legislation  for  the  Medical  Department,  with  such  occasional  references 
to  individuals  as  the  circumstances  of  the  case  may  demand. 

On  the  first  of  January,  1861,  the  Medical  Corps  consisted  of  one  Sur- 
geon General,  thirty  surgeons  and  eighty-three  assistant  surgeons.  Of  these, 
three  surgeons  and  twenty-one  assistant  surgeons  resigned  to  take  part  in  the 
Rebellion,  and  three  assistant  surgeons  were  dismissed  for  disloyalty.  Five 
surgeons  and  eight  assistant  surgeons,  natives  of,  or  appointed  from  the  states 
which  took  part  in  the  Rebellion,  remained  true  to  the  flag.  Considering  the 
universal  disafiection  which  prevailed  throughout  the  service,  and  the  strong 
pressure  brought  to  bear  on  every  man  of  southern  birth  in  the  army,  these 
figures  are  exceedingly  creditable  to  the  Corps. 

Very  soon  after  the  attack  on  Fort  Sumter,  and  while  troops  were  hurry- 
ing from  all  parts  of  the  country  to  the  defence  of  the  Capital,  the  Surgeon 
General,  whose  long  experience  and  military  proclivities  would  have  rendered 


liis  services  invaluable  in  the  critical  aspect  of  affairs,  was  compelled  to  leave 
the  "office  where  he  had  labored  so  faithfully  for  thirty-four  years,  and  retire  for 
his  health  to  Norfolk,  Virginia.  In  that  place  on  the  fifteenth  of  May,  1861, 
he  was  seized  with  a  stroke  of  apoplexy  and  died  in  a  few  hours.  He  was  the 
last  of  that  gallant  band  of  medical  officers  who  had  upheld  the  credit  of  the 
(Jorps  under  such  difficult  circumstances  during  the  arduous  campaigns  of  the 
second  war  with  England.  He  had  seen  continuous  service  for  forty-eight  years, 
and  had  wielded  his  vigorous  pen  in  the  office  of  Surgeon  General  ever  since 
the  death  of  the  lamented  Lovell.  Whatever  may  have  been  the  judgment  of 
his  contemporaries  on  other  points,  no  one  denied  him  the  possession  of  an  extra- 
ordinary vigor  of  intellect,  an  industry  which  did  not  fail  with  advancing  yeai-s, 
an  ardent  love  for  the  military  profession,  and  a  high  sense  of  the  value  of  his 
Corps  to  the  army  ;  the  determination  to  secure  for  it  every  right  which  his 
judgment  thought  just,  and  to  weed  out  from  it  every  member  whom  he  con- 
sidered to  reflect  no  credit  on  its  history.  These  traits  of  character  brought 
him  frequently  in  collision  both  with  his  superiors  in  the  War  Office  and  his 
subordinates  in  the  army,  but  he  was  dismayed  neither  by  authority  nor  influ- 
ence in  the  prosecution  of  a  favorite  design  or  the  establishment  of  a  cherished 
plan.  Consequently,  while  the  energy  of  his  character,  the  sincerity  of  his 
purpose  and  the  ability  of  his  administration  caused  him  to  be  officially  respected, 
he  possessed  none  of  those  traits  which  had  endeared  Lovell  to  the  entire  army, 
and  lacked  that  personal  magnetism  which  obtains  for  those  in  high  position  the 
confidence  and  love  of  their  subordinates.  He  was  thoroughly  conversant,  from 
long  service  in  camp  and  garrison,  with  all  the  details  of  a  medical  officer's 
duties,  was  a  skilful  surgeon  and  experienced  hygienist,  and  in  the  long  war 
waged  by  the  Medical  Corps  for  their  rights  of  rank  in  the  army  was  perhaps 
the  fittest  man  to  lead  them  to  final  success.  The  Medical  Staff  can  well  forget 
his  defects,  in  recalling  the  great  services  he  rendered  in  the  long  series  of  years 
during  which  he  filled  the  position  of  Surgeon  General. 

On  the  receipt  of  official  information'  of  his  death  the  War  Department 
issued  the  following  order : 


Adjutant  General's  Office, 

Washington,  May  20,  1861. 
Qeneral  Orders,  No.  28. 

It  is  with  pain  that  the  Secretary  of  War  announces  to  the  service  the  loss  of  a  dis- 
tinguished veteran  oflBcer,  the  late  Surgeon  General  Thomas  Lawson,  of  the  army, 
who  died  at  Norfolk,  Virginia,  on  the  15th  instant. 

Having  in  1811  resigned  from  the  navy,  where  he  had  served  two  years.  Doctor 
Lawson  passed  immediately  into  the  army — a  service  with  which,  from  that  time,  he 
has  been  uninterruptedly  connected.    Full  of  a  military  fire,  which  not  even  the  frost* 



of  age  could  quench,  and  of  a  zeal  for  the  honor  of  his  profession  which  made  his 
administration  of  the  Medical  Department  a  model  of  inflexibility,  efficiency  and 
economy,  he  never  spared  himself,  and  was  always  prompt  to  volunteer  his  services 
wherever  they  might  be  required. 

Thus  after  having  gone  with  credit  through  the  war  of  1812-15,  he  was  one  of 
tlie  first  to  hasten  with  General  Gaines  to  the  relief  of  our  forces  in  Florida ;  and 
having  been  placed  at  the  head  of  a  regiment  of  volunteers  by  the  suff"rages  of  the 
gallant  Louisianians  who  composed  it,  he  acquitted  himself  with  much  credit  in  this 
new  sphere  of  duty,  and  proved  himself  an  able  and  effective  colonel. 

In  fact,  so  marked  were  the  military  traits  in  his  character,  and  among  these, 
especially,  his  personal  intrepidity,  that  at  the  close  of  the  Mexican  war,  he  was 
rewarded  for  his  services  in  it  by  a  brevet  of  Brigadier  General  in  the  army. 

As  an  appropriate  tribute  of  respect  to  his  memory  there  will  be  fired  at  every 
military  post,  on  the  day  after  the  receipt  of  this  order,  eleven  minute  guns,  com- 
mencing at  meridian — and  the  national  flag  will  be  displayed  at  half  mast  from  the 
same  hour  until  sunset  of  the  same  day ;  and  for  thirty  days  the  prescribed  badge  of 
mourning  will  be  worn  by  the  officers  of  the  army. 

By  Order, 


Adjutant  General.'" 

During  the  absence  of  General  Lawson  from  Washington  Surgeon  Robert 
0.  Wood  performed  the  duties  of  Surgeon  General,  and  immediately  after  his 
death,  Surgeon  Clement  A.  Finley,  the  senior  surgeon  in  the  army,  was  ap- 
pointed to  fill  the  vacancy.  The  new  Surgeon  General  was  a  native  of  Ohio, 
from  which  state  he  was  appointed  surgeon's  mate  of  the  first  infantry  in  1818. 
He  was  retained  as  assistant  surgeon  on  the  reorganization  in  1821,  and  pro- 
moted surgeon  in  July,  1832.  At  the  time  of  his  promotion  he  was  president 
of  a  medical  examining  board,  which  convened  in  New  York  city  on  the  first  of 
May.  The  other  officers  composing  the  detail  were  Surgeons  McDougall  and 
Sloan.  The  approach  of  war  and  prospective  increase  of  the  Corps  caused  the 
number  of  applicants  for  appointment  to  be  much  greater  than  usual.  One 
hundred  and  fifty-six  received  invitations  to  present  themselves  before  the  board, 
of  whom  one  hundred  and  sixteen  appeared.  The  services  of  the  new  officers 
being  much  needed  in  the  field  it  was  considered  advisable  that  they  should  be 
appointed  as  soon  as  possible,  and  the  board  was  consequently  directed  to 
arrange  the  successful  candidates  in  three  classes  in  the  order  in  which  they 
were  examined.  Of  the  first  class,  embracing  those  examined  up  to  the  twenty- 
fifth  of  May,  three  were  rejected  for  physical  disability,  three  voluntarily  with- 
drew before  the  completion  of  their  examinations,  and  twenty-two  received  a 
favorable  report.  Of  the  second  class,  embracing  all  examined  up  to  the  first 
of  July,  seven  were  rejected  for  physical  disability,  seventeen  withdrew,  seven 
were  rejected  for  defective  professional  acquirements,  and  twenty-nine  were 
recommended  for  appointment.  The  third  class  included  those  examined  up 


to  the  final  adjournment  on  the  fourteenth  of  August.  Eight  failed  to  pass 
the  examination,  nine  withdrew  their  names,  and  eleven  were  accepted,  making 
in  all  sixty-two  approved  candidates. 

A  board  for  the  examination  of  brigade  surgeons  met  in  Washington  in 
August,  and  was  composed  of  Surgeons  McLaren,  Holdeu,  TenBroeck  and 
White.  It  examined  one  hundred  and  thirty  candidates  for  the  position  of 
surgeon  of  brigade,  of  whom  one  hundred  and  ten  were  approved.  Thirty- 
seven  candidates  for  the  regular  Medical  Staff  also  appeared  before  this  board, 
of  whom  twenty-four  were  found  qualified  for  appointment. 

The  first  troops  brought  into  the  field  at  the  commencement  of  the  war 
consisted,  as  will  be  remembered,  of  the  three  months  militia  called  for  by  the 
President's  proclamation,  issued  soon  after  the  attack  on  Fort  Sumter.  These 
brought  with  them  their  own  medical  ofiicers,  and  the  only  active  service  seen  by 
them  was  at  the  battles  of  Big  Bethel  and  Bull  Run,  Virginia,  where,  considering 
their  lack  of  experience  in  military  surgery,  many  of  them  rendered  efficient 
service.  Several  were  captured  by  the  enemy  while  attending  to  the  wounded 
of  the  latter  fight.  On  the  third  of  May  the  President  issued  a  second  proc- 
lamation calling  for  an  additional  force  of  forty  regiments  for  two  years  ser- 
vice, to  be  apportioned  among  the  various  states.  To  each  of  these  regiments 
one  assistant  surgeon  was  allowed  to  be  appointed  by  the  governor  of  the  state 
fiimishing  the  troops,  but  only  after  examination  by  a  properly  authorized 
board,  to  be  appointed  in  like  manner.  Soon  afl^r  this  organization  was  altered 
80  as  to  provide  for  one  surgeon  and  one  assistant  surgeon  to  each  regiment. 
In  the  matter  of  appointment  of  these  officers,  the  clause  retjuiring  them  to  be 
examined  was  not  rigidly  executed,  and  so  many  received  appointments  on 
personal  grounds  who  proved  incompetent,  that  it  was  found  necessary,  at  the 
request  of  the  Surgeon  General,  to  issue  an  order  authorizing  Medical  Directors 
to  summon  any  medical  officer  reported  as  unfit  from  any  reason  for  his  posi- 
tion before  a  board  of  examination,  and  any  who  failed  to  receive  a  favorable  report 
from  this  board  were  ordered  to  be  dropped  from  the  rolls  of  the  army.  This 
order  had  a  most  excellent  effect,  and  in  the  regiments  raised  in  accordance  with 
the  act  of  Congress  of  July  22nd,  in  which  the  same  organiztition  was  main- 
tained, a  much  more  efficient  class  of  medical  officers  was  obtained.  By  the 
President's  proclamation  of  May  8rd  the  force  called  for  was  organized  into 
divisions,  to  each  of  which  was  allowed  a  surgeon  to  act  as  Medical  Director ; 
but  afl^r  the  passage  of  the  act  of  Congress  just  mentioned  this  organization 
was  abandoned,  and  a  corps  of  brigade  surgeons  provided  for,  who  were  to  be 
appointed  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate. 

The  number  of  medical  officers  in  the  regular  army  being  evidently  insuf- 


ficient,  Congress  on  the  third  of  August  passed  an  act  for  the  "  Better  organi- 
zation of  the  military  establishment,"  of  which  the  following  are  extracts: 

"Section  2.  A?id  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  President  be  and  is  hereby 
authorized  to  appoint  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  in  addition 
to  the  number  authorized  by  existing  laws,  and  in  accordance  with  existing  regulations, 
*  *  *  *  ten  surgeons  and  twenty  assistant  surgeons,  to  have  the  pay,  rank 
and  allowances,  and  perform  the  duties  of  similar  officers  in  the  present  military 


Section  5.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  there  be  added  to  the  Medical  Staff  of 
the  army  a  corps  of  medical  cadets,  whose  duty  it  shall  be  to  act  as  dressers  in  the 
general  hospitals  and  as  ambulance  attendants  in  the  field,  under  the  direction  and 
control  of  the  medical  officers  alone.  They  shall  have  the  same  rank  and  pay  as  the 
military  cadets  at  West  Point.  Their  number  shall  be  regulated  by  the  exigencies  of 
the  service,  at  no  time  to  exceed  fifty.  It  shall  be  composed  of  young  men  of  liberal 
education,  students  of  medicine,  between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and  twenty-three,  who 
have  been  reading  medicine  for  two  years  and  have  attended  at  least  one  cours^  of 
lectures  in  a  medical  college.  TTiey  shall  enlist  for  one  year  and  be  subject  to  the 
I'ules  and  articles  of  war.  On  the  fifteenth  day  of  their  last  month  of  service,  the 
near  approach  of  their  discharge  shall  be  reported  to  the  Surgeon  General,  in  order 
if  desired,  that  they  may  be  relieved  by  another  detail  of  applicants. 

Section  6.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  in  general  or  permanent  hospitals, 
female  nurses  may  be  substituted  for  soldiers,  when  in  the  opinion  of  the  Surgeon 
General  or  medical  officer  in  charge  it  is  expedient  to  do  so ;  the  number  of  female 
nurses  to  be  indicated  by  the  Surgeon  General  or  surgeon  in  charge  of  the  hospital. 
The  nurses  so  employed  to  receive  forty  cents  a  day  and  one  ration  in  kind  or  by 
commutation,  in  lieu  of  all  emoluments  except  transportation  in  kind. 


Section  17.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  the  Secretary  of  War,  under  the 
direction  and  approval  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  shall,  from  time  to  time 
as  occasion  may  require,  assemble  a  board  of  not  more  than  nine  nor  less  than  five 
commissioned  officers,  two-fifths  of  whom  shall  be  of  the  Medical  Staff;  the  board 
except  those  taken  from  the  Medical  Staff,  to  be  composed  as  far  as  may  be  of  their 
seniors  in  rank,  to  determine  the  facts  and  nature  and  occasion  of  the  disability  of 
such  officers  as  appear  disabled  to  perform  military  service,       *  *  *  * 

Provided,  always,  That  the  members  of  the  board  shall  in  every  case  be  sworn  to  an 
honest  and  impartial  discharge  of  their  duties,  and  that  no  officer  of  the  army  shall 
be  retired  either  partially  or  wholly  from  the  service  without  having  had  a  fair  and 
full  hearing  before  the  board  if  upon  due  summons  he  shall  demand  it." 

As  originally  reported  from  the  Military  Committee  to  the  Senate,  this  bill 
contained  a  section  providing  for  the  appointment  of  two  Assistant  Surgeons 
Greneral,  to  have  the  rank  of  lieutenant  colonels  of  cavalry,  who  were  to  be 
assigned  to  duty  as  inspectors  of  hospitals,  but  in  the  course  of  the  debate  this 
clause  was  stricken  out. 

In  the  House  of  Representatives  a  bill  was  passed  on  the  thirteenth  of 
July,  providing  that  boards  for  the  retirement  of  disabled  officers  should  be 


composed  entirely  of  medical  officers ;  but  as  the  Senate  a  few  days  subse- 
quently passed  the  bill  above  quoted,  no  action  was  ever  taken  on  the  House 
bill  by  that  body,  and  it  was  enacted  that  retiring  boards  should  be  composed 
two-fifths  of  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff. 

The  capture  of  medical  officers  of  volunteers  at  the  battle  of  Bull  Run 
has  been  incidentally  mentioned.  During  the  first  year  of  the  war  the  same 
fate  befell  a  number  of  the  officers  of  the  regular  staff.  On  the  surrender  of  the 
United  States  troops  in  Texas,  through  the  treachery  of  Twiggs,  several  of  the 
medical  officers  on  duty  in  that  department  were  taken  prisoners.  These  were 
Surgeon  E.  H.  Abadie,  Medical  Director,  Assistant  Surgeons  Joseph  R.  Smith. 
R.  D.  Lynde,  D.  C.  Peters  and  C.  C.  Byrne.  On  the  surrender  of  Fort  Fill- 
more, New  Mexico,  in  July,  1861,  Assistant  Surgeons  J.  C.  McKee  and  Charles 
H.  Alden  were  also  captured  by  the  enemy.  All  these  officers  after  a  short 
detention  were  released  on  parole.  At  the  first  battle  of  Bull  Run  Assistant 
Surgeons  C.  C.  Gray  and  G.  M.  Sternberg  volunteered  to  remain  behind  in 
charge  of  our  wounded  at  Sedley  Church,  and  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  * 
The  latter  wjis  released  in  a  few  days,  but  the  former  was  carried  to  Rich- 
mond, where  during  his  detention  he  was  required  to  attend  our  wounded  in 
the  "  tobacco  warehouse."  He  was  afterwards  sent  to  Castle  Pinckney  in 
Charleston  Harbor,  and  from  there  to  the  prisons  at  Columbia  and  at  Salisbury, 
from  which  place  he  was  finally  released  on  the  twenty-eighth  of  July,  18()2, 
having  endured  upwards  of  a  years  imprisonment.  Surgeon  Lyman  H.  Stone, 
U.  S.  Army,  Assistant  Surgeon  C.  S.  DeGraw  of  the  eighth  New  York  militia, 
(now  Assistant  Surgeon,  U.  S.  Army)  with  several  other  volunteer  medical 
officers,  were  likewise  captured  at  this  battle.  Afler  the  battle  of  Wilson's 
Creek,  Missouri,  Assistant  Surgeon  P.  C.  Davis  was  detailed  to  remain  in  charge 
of  our  wounded  at  Springfield,  where  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy  on 
their  occupation  of  that  town.  He  was  released  on  parole  on  the  twentieth  of 

In  his  annual  report  to  the  Secretary  of  War  for  the  year  1861  Surgeon 
General  Finley  thus  speaks  of  the  corps  of  medical  cadets  brought  into  service* 
by  the  act  of  August  3,  1861 : 

"They  have  been  found  to  be  of  great  service  in  the  field  and  in  hospitals,  in- 
creasing the  efficiency  of  the  Medical  Department  by  an  intelligent  assistance,  and 
gleaning  for  themselves  an  amount  of  knowledge  impossible  to  be  obtained  in  the 
study  of  their  profession  in  civil  life,except  at  the  cost  of  the  labor  of  years. 

As  no  provision  was  made  by  the  act  for  the  subsistence  of  medical  cadets,  it  is 
therefore  respectfully  recommended  that  they  be  allowed  one  ration  for  each  per  diem . 
There  is  also  no  allowance  for  camp  and  garrison  equipage  made  for  their  accommoda- 
tion in  the  field.  They  should  have  the  same  as  is  now  allowed  subalterns  in  the 
army.     It  is  respectfully  recommended  that  this  deficiency  be  supplied. 


In  view  of  the  advantage  derived  fvom  tlie  employment  of  this  body  of  young 
men,  and  the  increased  comfort  that  is  afforded  by  their  means  to  the  sick  and 
wounded  of  our  brave  army,  it  is  respectfully  recommended  that  fifty  more  cadets  be 
added  to  the  corps,  to  be  appointed  in  the  same  manner,  and  to  enjoy  the  same  priv- 
ileges and  emoluments  as  those  already  in  service." 

Other  recommendations  made  by  the  Surgeon  General  in  thi.s  report  were : 
an  addition  of  one  a.ssistant  surgeon  to  each  regiment  of  volunteers  ;  an  increase 
of  the  regular  Medical  StaflP  by  ten  surgeons  and  thirty  assistant  surgeons  ;  the 
enlistment  of  civilians  as  nurses  in  the  general  hospitals,  and  the  addition  to  the 
organization  of  each  company  of  two  men  to  attend  the  sick  in  the  field  under 
orders  of  the  regimental  surgeon.  He  also  called  the  attention  of  the  Secre- 
tary to  "  the  inequality  in  rank  in  proportion  to  the  services  and  exposures  that 
obtains  in  the  Medical  Coi"ps  of  the  regular  army,  compared  with  other  branches 
of  the  General  Staff.'" 

On  the  seventh  of  February,  18G2.  Mr.  Wilson,  chairman  of  the  Military 
Committee  of  the  Senate,  introduced  a  bill  "  To  increase  the  efficiency  of  the 
Medical  Department  of  the  Army."  The  provisions  of  this  bill  effecting  deci- 
ded changes  in  the  organization  of  the  Medical  Coi-jis,  gave  rise  to  much 
discussion  in  both  Houses  of  Congress.  After  being  amended  in  many  partic- 
ulars, it   finally  became  a  law  on  the  sixteenth  of  April  in  the  following  form : 

^^  Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  there  shall  be  added  to  the  present  Medical  Corps  of  the 
army  ten  surgeons  and  ten  assistant  surgeons,  to  be  promoted  and  appointed  under 
e.xisting  laws;  twenty  medical  cadets  and  as  many  hospital  stewards  as  the  Surgeon 
General  may  consider  necessary  for  the  public  service,  and  that  their  paj'  and  that 
of  all  hospital  stewards  in  the  volunteer  as  well  as  in  the  regular  service  shall  be  thirty 
dollars  per  month,  to  be  computed  from  the  passage  of  this  act.  And  all  medical 
cadets  in  the  service,  shall,  in  addition  to  their  pay.  receive  one  ration  per  day,  either 
in  kind  or  commutation. 

Section"  2.  And  he  it  further  e?iacted,  That  the  Surgeon  General  to  be  appointed 
under  this  act  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  brigadier  general.  There 
shall  be  one  Assistant  Sui'geon  General  and  one  Medical  Inspector  General  of  Hospi- 
tals, each  with  the  rank,  paj'  and  emoluments  of  a  colonel  of  cavalry,  and  the  Medical 
Inspector  General  shall  have,  under  direction  of  the  Surgeon  General,  the  supervision 
of  all  that  relates  to  the  sanitary  condition  of  the  army,  whether  in  transports,  quarters 
ox  camps,  and  of  the  hygiene,  police,  discipline  and  efficiency  of  field  and  general 
hospitals,  under  such  regulations  as  may  hereafter  be  established. 

Skotion  8.  And  he  it  further  enacted,  That  there  shall  be  eight  Medical  Inspectors, 
with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  each  of  a  lieutenant  colonel  of  cavalry,  and  who 
shall  be  charged  with  the  duty  of  inspecting  the  sanitary  condition  of  transports, 
quarters  and  camps,  of  field  and  general  hospitals,  and  who  shall  report  to  the  Medi- 
cal Inspector  General,  under  such  regulations  as  may  be  hereafter  established,  all 
circumstances  relating  to  the  sanitary  condition  and  wants  of  troops  and  of  hospitals, 
and  to  the  skill,  efl&ciency  and  good  conduct  of  the  officers  and  attendants  connected 
with  the  Medical  Department. 


Section  4.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Surgeon  General,  the  Assistant 
Surgeon  General,  Medical  Inspector  Genei'al,  and  Medical  Inspectors  shall,  immedi- 
ately after  the  passage  of  this  act,  be  appointed  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the 
advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  by  selection  from  the  Medical  Corps  of  the  army, 
or  from  the  surgeons  in  the  volunteer  service,  without  regard  to  their  rank  when  so 
selected,  but  with  sole  regard  to  qualifications. 

Section  5.  And  he  it  further  enacted.  That  Medical  Purveyors  shall  be  charged 
under  the  direction  of  the  Surgeon  General,  with  the  selection  and  purchase  of  all 
medical  supplies,  including  new  standard  preparations,  and  of  all  books,  instruments, 
hospital  stores,  furniture  and  other  articles  required  for  the  sick  and  wounded  of  the 
army.  In  all  cases  of  emergency,  they  may  provide  such  additional  accommodations 
for  tlie  sick  and  wounded  of  the  army,  and  may  transport  such  medical  supplies  as 
circumstances  may  render  necessary,  under  such  regulations  as  may  hereaftef  be 
established,  and  shall  make  prompt  and  immediate  issues  upon  all  special  requi- 
sitions made  upon  them  under  such  circumstances  by  medical  officers;  and  the 
special  requisitions  shall  consist  simply  of  a  list  of  the  articles  required,  the  qualities 
required,  dated  and  signed  by  the  medical  officer  requiring  them. 

Section  6.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  whenever  the  Inspector  General  or 
any  one  of  the  Medical  Inspectors,  shall  report  an  officer  of  the  Medical  Corps  as 
disqualified,  by  age  or  otherwise,  for  promotion  to  a  higher  grade,  or  unfitted  for  the 
performance  of  his  professional  duties,  he  shall  be  reported  by  the  Surgeon  General, 
for  examination,  to  a  Medical  Board  as  provided  by  the  seventeenth  section  of  the  act 
approved  August  third,  eighteen  hundred  and  sixty-one. 

Section  7.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  the  provisions  of  this  act  shall  con- 
tinue and  be  in  force  during  the  existence  of  the  present  Rebellion  and  no  longer; 
Provided,  hoieever,  That  when  this  act  shall  expire,  all  officers  who  shall  have  been 
promoted  from  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army  under  this  act  shall  retain  their  re- 
spective rank  in  the  army,  with  such  promotion  as  they  would  have  been  entitled  to." 

It  was  proposed  in  the  course  of  discussion  on  this  bill  to  give  the  chief 
of  the  Medical  Bureau  the  title  of  Director  General,  and  also  to  appoint  a 
Medical  Purveyor  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  lieutenant  colonel 
of  cavalry,  but  both  these  propositions  were  voted  down  in  committee.  The 
day  before  the  passage  of  this  act  Surgeon  General  Finley  was  retired  from  ac- 
tive service  on  his  own  application  after  forty  years  service,  under  the  fifteenth 
section  of  the  act  of  Congress,  approved  August  3,  1861.  On  the  twenty-fifth 
of  April,  Assistant  Surgeon  William  A.  Hammond  was  promoted  to  the 
vacancy,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  brigadier  general.  Surgeon 
Robert  C.  Wood  was  appointed  Assistant  Surgeon  General,  and  Brigade  Sur- 
geon Thomas  F.  Perley,  Medical  Inspector  General,  each  with  the  rank,  pay 
and  emoluments  of  a  colonel.  The  following  officers  were  appointed  medical 
inspectors,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  lieutenant  colonel :  Surgeons 
John  M.  Cuyler,  Richard  H.  Coolidge,  Charles  C.  Keeney  and  Edward  P. 
VoUum  of  the  regular  corps ;  Brigade  Surgeons  George  H.  Lyman,  William 
H.  Mussey  and  George  T.  Allen;  and  Surgeon  Lewis  Humphreys,  of  the  twenty- 
ninth  Indiana  volunteers. 


The  following  general  order  in  reference  to  general  hospitals  and  to  the 
discharge  of  soldiei-s  on  surgeon's  certificate  of  disability  was  issued  on  the 
seventh  of  April,  1862: 

"Gexekai,  Orders,  No.  36. 

1.  The  general  hospitals  are  under  the  direction  of  the  Surgeon  General.  Orders 
not  involving  expense  of  transportation  may  be  given  by  him  to  transfer  medical 
oflBcers  or  hospital  stewards  from  one  general  hospital  to  another,  as  he  may  deem 
best  for  the  service. 

2.  The  chief  medical  officer  to  whom  the  charge  of  all  the  general  hospitals  in  a 
city  may  be  entrusted,  will  cause  certificates  of  disability  to  be  made  out  for  such 
men  as,  in  his  judgment  should  be  discharged.  He  will  be  responsible  that  the  cer- 
tificates are  given  for  good  cause  and  that  they  are  made  in  proper  form,  giving  such 
medical  description  of  the  cases,  with  the  degree  of  disability,  as  may  enable  the 
Pension  Office  to  decide  on  any  claim  to  pension  which  may  be  based  upon  them. 
The  certificates  of  disability  will  be  signed  by  the  chief  medical  officer  and  forwarded 
by  him  to  the  military  commander  in  the  city,  who  shall  have  authority  to  order  the 
discharge  and  dispose  of  the  case  according  to  existing  regulations. 

3.  The  final  statements,  and  all  the  discharge  papers,  will  be  made  out  under 
the  supervision  of  the  military  commander  and  signed  by  him.  AVhere  the  men  are 
provided  with  their  descriptive  rolls  there  will  be  no  delay  in  discharging  them  after 
their  certificates  of  disability  are  acted  on.  But  if  they  have  no  descriptive  rolls,  ap- 
plication will  be  made  to  the  company  commander  for  the  proper  discharge  papers,  and 
the  men  may  be  maintained  a  reasonable  time  while  awaiting  them,  to  avoid  their  being 
turned  off  without  means  of  support.  The  discharge  will  in  all  cases  bear  the  d^te 
when  the  papers  are  actually  furnished  the  soldier. 

4.  When  a  man  is  received  in  any  hospital  without  his  descriptive  roll,  the  fact 
will  be  immediately  reported  by  the  medical  officer  in  charge  to  the  military  com- 
mander, who  will  at  once  call  on  the  company  commander  in  the  name  of  the  Secretary 
of  War,  promptly  to  furnish  the  military  history  of  the  man,  and  his  clothing,  money 
and  other  accounts  with  the  government. 

5.  When  too  long  a  delay  would  arise  in  discharging  the  man  because  of  the  remote 
station  of  his  company,  application  will  be  made  by  the  medical  officer  to  the  Adjutant 
General  for  such  account  of  the  man  as  his  records  will  furnish.  To  this  partial  de- 
scriptive roll,  the  medical  officer  will  add  the  period  for  which  pay  is  due  the  man  since 
his  entry  into  the  hospital.  The  man  will  then  be  discharged,  and  receive  the  pay 
and  traveling  allowances  thus  shown  to  be  due  him,  leaving  the  balance  due  him  on 
account  of  clothing,  I'etained  pay,  &c.,  for  settlement  in  such  manner  as  may  here- 
after be  determined.     *        *        *        * 

9.  Whenever  the  chief  medical  officer  shall  report  a  number  of  patients  as  fit  to 
join  their  regiments,  the  military  commander  will  give  the  necessary  orders  to  have 
them  forwarded  in  good  order  and  under  suitable  conduct. 

10.  The  chief  medical  officer  in  each  city  is  authorized  to  employ  as  cooks, 
nurses  and  attendants  any  convalescent,  wounded  or  feeble  men,  who  can  perform 
such  duties  instead  of  giving  them  discharges.     *        *        *        * 

By  obdeb  of  the  Secretaby  of  Wab: 


Adjutant  General^ 


In  order  to  still  further  facilitate  the  discharge  of  enlisted  men  for  disa- 
bility, and  thus  relieve  the  general  hospitals  from  the  large  number  of  chronic 
cases  that  were  crowding  them  to  the  exclusion  of  others,  Congress  on  the 
fourteenth  of  May  passed  the  following  bill : 

"  Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  the  Medical  Inspector  General,  or  any  Medical  Inspector 
is  hereby  authorized  and  empowered  to  discharge  from  the  service  of  the  United  States 
aay  soldier  or  enlisted  man,  in  the  permanent  hospitals,  laboring  under  any  physical 
disability  which  makes  it  disadvantageous  to  the  service  that  he  be  retained  therein, 
and  the  certificate  in  writing  of  such  Inspector  General  or  Medical  Inspector,  setting 
forth  the  existence  and  nature  of  such  physical  disability,  shall  be  sufficient  evidence 
of  such  discharge ;  Provided,  however,  That  every  such  certificate  shall  appear  on  its 
face  to  have  been  founded  on  personal  inspection  of  the  soldier  so  discharged,  and 
shall  specifically  describe  the  nature  and  origin  of  such  disability;  and  that  such  dis- 
charge shall  be  without  prejudice  to  the  right  of  such  soldier  or  enlisted  man  to  the 
pay  due  him  at  the  date  thereof,  and  report  the  same  to  the  Adjutant  General  and  the 
Surgeon  General." 

The  next  legislation  on  the  part  of  Congress  in  reference  to  the  Medical 
Department  was  a  bill  for  the  appointment  of  medical  storekeepers  and  hospital 
chaplains,  which  was  passed  without  debate  on  the  nineteenth  of  May,  and  was 
its  follows : 

''Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  the  Secretary  of  AVar  be  authorized  to  add  to  the  Med- 
ical Department  of  the  army,  medical  storekeepers,  not  exceeding  six  in  number,  who 
shall  have  the  pay  and  emoluments  of  military  storekeepers  in  the  quartermaster's 
department,  and  who  shall  be  skilled  apothecaries  or  druggists,  who  shall  give  the 
bond  and  security  required  by  existing  laws  for  military  storekeepers  in  the  quarter- 
master's department,  and  who  shall  be  stationed  at  such  points  as  the  necessities  of 
the  army  may  require ;  Provided,  That  the  provisions  of  this  act  shall  remain  in  force 
only  during  the  continuance  of  the  present  Rebellion." 

On  the  approval  of  this  act,  the  following  general  order  was  issued  in 
reference  thereto : 


Adjutant  General's  Office, 

Washington,  May  24,  1862. 
General  Obdebs,  No.  55. 


II.  The  following  are  the  regulations  which  will  govern  the  appointment  of 
medical  storekeepers,  under  the  first  section  of  the  foregoing  act  of  Congress. 

1.  A  board  of  not  less  than  three  medical  officers  will  be  assembled  by  the  Sec- 
retary of  War,  to  examine  such  applicants  as  may,  by  him,  be  authorized  to  appear 
before  it. 

2.  Candidates  to  be  eligible  to  examination,  shall  be  not  less  than  twenty-five 
years,  nor  more  than  forty  years  of  age ;  shall  possess  sufficient  physical  ability  to 
perform  their  duties  satisfactorily;  and  shall  present  with  their  applications,  satis- 
factory evidence  of  good  moral  character. 


3.  Candidates  will  be  required  to  pass  a  satisfactory  examination  in  the  ordinary 
branches  of  a  good  English  education,  in  pharmacy  and  materia  medica;  and  to  give 
proof  that  they  possess  the  requisite  business  qualifications  for  the  position. 

4.  The  board  will  report  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  the  relative  merit  of  the  candi- 
dates examined,  and  they  will  receive  appointments  accordingly. 

5.  When  appointed  each  medical  storekeeper  will  be  required  to  give  a  bond  in 
the  amount  of  forty  thousand  dollars,  before  he  shall  be  allowed  to  enter  on  the  per- 
formance of  his  duties. 

By  order  of  the  Secretary  of  War: 


Adjutant  General.'" 

On  the  twelfth  of  May,  1862,  Surgeon  Nathan  S.  Jarvis,  a  veteran  officer 
of  the  highest  distinction,  died  at  Baltimore,  Maryland,  where  he  had  been  on 
duty  as  Medical  Director.  He  was  appointed  from  New  York  to  be  assistant 
surgeon  in  the  army  in  1833,  and  had  served  faithfully  in  Louisiana,  Florida, 
Texas  and  Mexico,  holding  many  important  trusts  as  medical  purveyor,  medi- 
cal director,  member  of  examining  boards,  and  delegate  to  the  American  Medi- 
cal Association,  in  all  of  which  he  had  performed  his  duties  to  the  credit  of 
the  Corps  of  which  he  was  a  worthy  member. 

On  the  first  of  June  a  medical  board,  consisting  of  Surgeon  General 
William  A.  Hammond  and  Assistant  Surgeons  Jonathan  Letterman,  J.  J. 
Woodward  and  M.  J.  Asch,  met  in  Washington  to  examine  candidates  for 
appointment  both  as  assistant  surgeons  and  medical  storekeepers.  Twenty-one 
candidates  for  the  position  of  assistant  surgeon  appeared,  of  whom  seven 
received  a  favorable  report,  the  remainder  withdrawing  before  their  examination 
was  completed.  The  board  reconvened  on  the  ninth  of  July,  with  Surgeon 
L.  A.  Edwards  as  president,  and  examined  eight,  of  whom  two  were  passed. 
Ten  applicants  for  the  position  of  medical  storekeeper  were  invited  to  appear  for 
examination,  six  of  whom  were  found  qualified. 

Very  soon  after  his  appointment  Surgeon  General  Hammond  saw  the 
great  advantage  that  would  accrue  to  the  cause  of  scientific  medicine  and  sur- 
gery by  rendering  the  enormous  experience  of  the  war  available  for  future 
study.  Hardly  ever  in  the  history  of  the  world  had  such  an  opportunity  been 
offered  for  the  collection  of  statistics  upon  all  points  of  military  medicine,  sur- 
gery and  hygiene,  and  of  obtaining  specimens  illustrative  of  pathological 
anatomy.  It  was  therefore  determined  to  commence  such  a  collection  in  Wash- 
ington, and  the  initiatory  steps  were  taken  by  the  promulgation  of  the  follow- 
ing circular: 


Washington,  D.  C,  May  21,  1862. 

ClECULAE,    No.   2. 

In  the  monthly  report  of  sick  and  wounded  the  following  details  will  be  briefly 
mentioned  in  accompanying  remarks : 



Fractures — ^Tlie  date  of  reception,  the  situation,  character,  direction,  treatment 
and  result  in  all  cases. 

Gunshot  wounds — The  date  of  reception,  the  situation,  direction  and  character, 
the  foreign  matters  extracted  (if  any),  and  the  result  in  all  cases. 

Amputations — The  period  and  nature  of  the  injury,  the  character  of  the  opera- 
tion, the  time,  place,  and  result. 

Exsections — All  operations  for,  with  a  statement  of  the  injury  demanding  them, 
the  date  of  injury,  the  date  of  operation,  the  joint  or  bone  operated  upon,  and  the 


Fevers — Tlieir  character  and  symptoms,  an  outline  of  the  plan  of  treatment  found 
most  efficient,  with  remarks  on  the  location  and  sanitary  condition  of  camps  or 
quarters,  during  the  prevalence  of  these  disorders. 

Diarrhoea  and  Dysentenj — Grade  and  treatment,  with  remarks  on  the  character  of 
the  i-ation,  and  the  modes  of  cooking. 

Scorbutic  diseases — Character  and  symptoms  with  observations  on  causation,  and  a 
statement  of  the  means  employed  to  procure  exemption. 

Respirator}/  diseases — Symptoms,  severity  and  treatment,  with  remarks  on  the 
sheltering  of  the  troops,  and  the  atmospheric  conditions. 

Similar  remarks  on  other  preventable  diseases. 

Important  cases  of  every  kind  should  be  reported  in  full.  Where  post  mortem 
examinations  have  been  made,  accounts  of  the  pathological  results  should  be  carefully 

As  it  is  proposed  to  establish  in  Washington  an  An-viy  Medical  Museum,  medical 
ofBcers  are  directed  diligently  to  collect  and  to  forward  to  the  Office  of  the  Surgeon 
General,  all  specimens  of  morbid  anatomy,  surgical  or  medical,  which  may  be  regardeil 
as  valuable;  together  with  projectiles  and  foreign  bodies  removed,  and  such  other 
matters  as  may  prove  of  interest  in  the  study  of  military  medicine  or  surgery. 

These  objects  should  be  accompanied  by  short  explanatory  notes.  Each  specimen 
in  the  collection  will  have  appended  the  name  of  the  medical  officer  by  whom  it  was 


Surgeon  General." 

The  original  organization  of  the  volunteer  medical  staff  was  found  in 
practice  to  be  verj'  defective,  and  the  next  legislation  by  Congress  which  was  of 
interest  to  the  Medical  Department  was  a  bill  approved  July  2nd,  to  reorganize 
that  service  so  as  to  bring  the  medical  officers  of  the  volunteers  more  directly 
under  the  control  of  the  Surgeon  General,  and  assimilate  their  grades  more 
nearly  to  those  of  the  regular  staff.     It  was  as  follows ; 

"  Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  there  shall  be  appointed  by  the  I'resident,  by  and  witli 
the  advise  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  forty  surgeons  and  one  hundred  and  twenty 
assistant  surgeons  of  volunteers,  who  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of 
officers  of  corresponding  grades  in  the  regular  army ;  Provided,  That  no  one  shall  be 
appointed  to  any  position  under  this  act,  unless  he  shall  previously  have  been  exam- 
ined by  a  board  of  medical  officers  to  be  appointed  by  the  Secretary  of  War,  and  that 
vacancies  in  the  grade  of  surgeon  shall  be  filled  by  selection  from  the  grade  of  assistant 


surgeon,  on  the  ground  of  merit  only;  and  provided  further ,  That  this  act  shall  continue 
in  force  only  during  the  present  Rebellion. 

Section  2.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  ft-om  and  after  the  passage  of  this 
act,  brigade  surgeons  shall  be  known  and  designated  as  surgeons  of  volunteers,  and 
shall  be  attached  to  the  General  Medical  Staff,  under  the  direction  of  the  Surgeon 
General;  and  hereafter  such  appointments  for  the  medical  service  of  the  army  shall 
be  appointed  surgeons  of  volunteers. 

Section  3.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  instead  of  'one  assistant  surgeon,' 
as  provided  by  the  second  section  of  the  act  of  .July  22,  1861,  each  regiment  of  vol- 
unteers in  the  service  of  the  United  States  shall  have  two  assistant  surgeons." 

The  medical  board  for  the  examination  of  these  new  officers  consisted  of 
Surgeons  John  H.  Brinton  and  Meredith  Clymer,  U.  S.  Volunteers,  and  Assist- 
ant Surgeon  Warren  Webster,  U.  S.  Army. 

Soon  after  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  was  organized  the  officers  assigned  to 
its  head-quarters  as  chiefs  of  the  Quartermaster's  and  Subsistence  Departments 
were  made  additional  aides-de-camp,  under  the  provisions  of  the  act  of  August 
5,  1861,  so  as  to  give  them  the  rank  of  colonels.  No  such  additional  rank  was 
given  to  the  Medical  Director,  although  his  services  were  equally  onerous  and 
his  responsibilities  far  greater.  The  officers  of  the  Medical  Staff  were  naturally 
desirous  that  the  official  head  of  their  Department  in  the  field  should  enjoy 
equal  privileges  of  rank  with  those  of  the  other  staff  corps,  and  to  attain  this 
end  if  possible,  Surgeon  General  Hammond  on  the  fifth  of  July,  1862,  ad- 
dressed a  letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  requesting  that  the  temporary  rank  of 
colonel  might  be  conferred  on  the  Medical  Directors  of  the  armies  under  com- 
mand of  Grenerals  McClellan  and  Halleck.  To  this  Secretary  Stanton  returned 
an  unfavorable  answer,  upon  the  receipt  of  which  the  Surgeon  General  addressed 
the  following  letter  to  the  Secretary : 


July  17,  1862. 
Hon.  E.  M.  Stanton,  ' 

Secketaky  of  Wak. 

Sir  :  I  have  the  honor  to  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  a  copy  of  your  endorsement 
on  my  application  to  have  the  temporary  rank  of  colonel  given  to  the  Medical  Directors 
of  General  McClellan's  and  General  Halleck's  armies.  In  that  endorsement  it  is 
stated : 

'  Refused  unless  it  can  be  shown  that  the  skill  and  efficiency  of  surgeons  are 
increased  by  an  increase  of  rank  and  pay.' 

I  cannot  undertake  to  show  this.  I  do  not  believe  it  to  be  true,  that  the  skill  and 
elficiency  of  surgeons  would  be  increased  by  an  increase  of  rank  and  pay — but  if  not 
surgeons,  certainly  not  quartermasters  or  commissaries,  or  engineer  officers.  I  think 
however  and  I  am  sure,  sir,  you  will  agree  with  me,  that  no  men  work  more  for  less 
reward  than  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Department. 

My  request  was  not,  however,  intended  to  refer  to  surgeons  as  such,  but  to 
the  Medical  Directors  of  large  armies.      The  duties  of  Medical  Directors  are  purely 


administrative,  they  are  on  the  Staff  of  the  Commanding  General,  and  have  control 
of  all  the  medical  officers,  supplies  and  details. 

Their  duties  are  most  onerous.  For  the  proper  performance  of  important  duties 
it  is  a  recognized  principle  in  military  affairs,  that  rank  is  essential.  A  Medical 
Director  has  only  the  rank  of  any  other  surgeon,  that  of  major,  and  I  truly  believe 
that  increased  rank  will  enable  him  to  perform  his  duties  better  by  causing  his  wishes 
to  be  treated  with  greater  respect  by  his  commanding  officer,  and  his  commands 
obeyed  more  willingly  by  his  subordinates.  The  application  was  made  without  the 
knowledge  of  either  of  the  officers  who  would  be  benefitted  by  the  request  being 

Upon  presenting  the  matter  to  General  McClellan  he  assured  me  that  it  met  with 
his  cordial  approval  and  he  authorized  me  to  say  so  to  you. 

Other  staff  officers  whose  duties  are  of  no  greater  importance  than  those  of  the 
officers  for  whom  I  ask  increased  rank,  and  which  are  not  of  so  purely  a  military 
character,  have  had  this  rank  conferred  upon  them.  It  certainly  does  not  appear 
just  that  the  chiefs  of  the  Adjutant  General's,  Quartermaster's  and  Subsistence  Depart- 
ments should  receive  greatly  increased  rank  and  the  chief  of  the  Medical  Department 
be  entirely  overlooked. 

I  again  therefore  ask  that  the  Medical  Directors  of  General  McClellan' s  and  Gen- 
eral Halleck's  armies  may  be  appointed  aides-de-camp  with  the  rank  of  colonel,  and  I 
beg  leave  to  add  to  this  request  that  the  same  rank  be  given  to  the  Medical  Director 
of  General  Pope's  army.  I  assure  you  that  no  act  would  be  received  with  greater 
satisfaction  by  the  three  thousand  medical  officers  of  our  army  than  this. 
I  am,  sir,  very  respectfully,  etc., 


Surgeon  General  J" 

No  action  was  taken  on  this  application,  and  it  was  not  until  February, 
1865,  that  Medical  Directors  were  granted  additional  rank,  which  was  then 
given  them  by  act  of  Congress. 

At  the  battle  of  Antietam,  on  the  seventeenth  of  September,  the  Medical 
Corps  lost  a  most  valuable  officer  in  the  person  of  Surgeon  W.  J.  H.  White,  at 
the  time  on  duty  as  Medical  Director  of  the  Sixth  Army  Corps.  He  was 
riding  in  company  with  General  Franklin  and  others,  somewhat  in  advance  of 
the  line  of  battle,  when  a  volley  was  fired  from  a  neighboring  clump  of  woods, 
by  which  he  was  instantly  killed.  Surgeon  Letterman,  Medical  Director  of  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac,  thus  mentions  the  medical  officers  slain  in  this  action : 

"I  have  alluded  to  the  loss  of  medical  officers  in  battle.  Three  of  them  fell  upon 
the  battle  field  of  Antietam,  whose  devotion  to  duty  I  cannot  pass  over.  Surgeon  W. 
J.  H.  White,  U.  S.  Army,  Medical  Director  of  the  Sixth  Corps  under  General  Franklin, 
was  killed  on  that  field  by  a  shot  from  the  enemy.  He  was  a  skilful  surgeon,  a  gal- 
lant officer,  and  a  gentleman  whose  deportment  was  kind  and  courteous  to  all  who 
had  intercourse  with  him.  These  admirable  traits  together  with  his  familiarity  with 
the  medical  affairs  of  that  Corps,  made  his  loss  deeply  to  be  deplored,  and  especially 
on  that  day.  Assistant  Surgeon  Revere  of  the  twentieth  Massachusetts  volunteers, 
accompanying  his  regiment  into  the  midst  of  the  fight,  fell  by  the  hands  of  the  enemy. 
Qobly  and  fearlessly  discharging  his  duty  to  the  wounded.     Assistant  Surgeon  A.  A. 


Kendall  of  the  twelfth  Massachusetts  volunteers  was  killed  by  the  enemy  while  with 
his  regiment  in  this  battle.  He  was  a  faithful  and  efficient  officer,  active  and  zealous 
in  his  devotion  to  his  duty,  to  which  he  fell  a  victim  in  the  midst  of  battle." 

On  the  receipt  of  the  news  of  the  death  of  Surgeon  White,  the  Surgeon 
General  issued  the  following  memorial  circular : 


September  20.  186'2. 

It  is  with  feelings  of  profound  grief  that  the  Surgeon  General  announces  to  the 
Medical  Department  the  untimely  death  of  Surgeon  W.  J.  H.  White,  who  was  killed 
in  the  battle  of  Antietam,  on  Wednesday,  the  17th  instant. 

Surgeon  White  was  appointed  assistant  surgeon  in  the  army  on  the  12th  of  March, 
1850,  and  was  ordered  to  New  York  city  to  report  to  Surgeon  Mower,  then  the  prin- 
cipal Medical  Purveyor  of  the  army.  In  August  of  the  same  year  he  sailed  with 
recruits  under  Colonel  Craig  for  Port  Lavacca,  Texas,  and  accompanied  them  to  El 
Paso,  from  whence  he  was  soon  ordered  to  accompany  the  escort  to  the  Boundary 
Commission  as  medical  officer.  Being  relieved  in  May,  1851,  from  duty  with  that 
escort,  he  was  assigned  to  Abiqui,  New  Mexico,  and  served  at  different  posts  in  that 
department  (he  was  one  of  the  pioneers  of  Fort  Craig)  until  the  year  1855,  when  he 
was  ordered  before  the  Medical  Board  at  New  York  for  examination  for  promotion. 
Having  been  examined  and  found  qualified,  he  received  a  short  leave  of  absence,  at 
the  expiration  of  which  (August  18,  1855)  he  was  assigned  to  temporary  duty  at 
Fortress  Monroe,  and  shortly  after  received  orders  to  sail  with  troops  for  Texas.  In 
this  department  he  served  at  Fort  Davis,  San  Antonio,  Camp  Colorado,  Forts  Duncan, 
Mcintosh  and  Clark,  from  which  latter  post  he  was  relieved  on  the  nineteenth  of 
December,  1860,  and  ordered  to  report  in  person  to  the  Surgeon  General. 

In  January,  1861,  Doctor  White  arrived  at  Washington,  and  after  being  for  some 
time  attached  to  the  Surgeon  General's  Office,  was  detailed  for  duty  with  ti-oops  in 
this  city.  Here  he  was  in  charge  of  the  general  hospital  in  the  Washington  Infirmary, 
and  in  addition  to  his  duties  in  that  hospital,  was  detailed  as  member  of  the  Army 
Medical  Board  convened  in  this  city,  for  the  examination  of  candidates  for  the  position 
of  surgeon  of  brigade  and  for  appointment  in  the  Medical  Staff  of  the  army. 

On  the  sixteenth  of  April,  1862,  he  was  appointed  surgeon  to  fill  an  original 
vacancy,  and  on  the  twenty-third  of  June  was  ordered  to  report  to  the  head-quarters, 
Army  of  the  Potomac,  where  he  served  as  Medical  Director  of  Franklin's  Corps;  and 
it  was  while  fulfilling  the  duties  of  this  office  that  Surgeon  AVhite  was  killed  on  the 
field  of  battle. 

The  first  medical  officer  of  his  corps  who  has  fallen  in  battle  during  the  present 
war,  the  Surgeon  General  feels  it  no  less  his  duty  than  his  pleasure  to  bear  tribute 
to  the  many  estimable  qualities  which  had  endeared  Surgeon  White  to  his  brother 
officers.  Amiable  in  disposition,  and  of  talents  and  integrity  unquestioned,  Surgeon 
White  performed  every  duty  which  devolved  upon  him  during  a  service  of  more  than 
twelve  years,  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  this  Department,  which  feels  his  loss  as  that 
of  an  officer  not  easily  to  be  replaced. 

As  a  tribute  of  respect  to  his  memory,  the  usual  badge  of  mourning  will  be  worn 
by  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Department  for  thirty  days. 


Surijeon  General,  U.  S.  A." 



An  arniy  medical  board  of  examination,  consisting  of  Surgeons  Abadie 
and  A.  K.  Smith  and  Assistant  Surgeons  Dunster  and  Asch,  met  in  Philadel- 
phia on  the  first  of  October.  It  continued  its  sessions  at  intervals  until  the 
following  April,  Surgeon  Abadie  being  relieved  as  president  in  December  by 
Medical  Inspector  Cuyler.  In  all  thirty-three  candidates  presented  themselves,  of 
whom  fourteen  were  approved,  one  rejected,  and  eighteen  withdrew  their  names 
before  their  examinations  were  completed. 

In  his  annual  report  for  1862  to  the  Secretary  of  War  the  Surgeon  Gen- 
eral makes  the  following  suggestions  to  increase  the  ability  of  the  Medical 
Department  to  care  for  the  sick  and  wounded : 

••But  there  are  still  other  measures,  which  if  adopted  cannot  fail  to  add  to  the 
efficiency  of  the  Department,  and  these  I  desire  to  urge  through  you  on  the  attention 
of  Congress.  First  among  these  is  the  establishment  of  a  permanent  hospital  and 
ambulance  corps,  composed  of  men  specially  enlisted  for  duty  in  the  Medical  Depart- 
ment, and  properly  officered,  who  shall  be  required  to  perform  the  duties  of  nurses  in 
the  hospitals,  and  to  attend  to  the  service  of  the  ambulances  in  the  field.  By  the 
establishment  of  this  corps,  several  thousand  soldiers,  now  detached  as  nurses,  cooks, 
etc.,  would  be  returned  to  duty  with  their  regiments  and  the  expense  now  incurred 
by  the  necessary  employment  of  contract  nurses  obviated.  *  *  *  *  Xhe 
necessity  of  such  a  corps  has  been  recognized  in  all  European  armies,  and  I  am  able 
to  speak  from  personal  observation  of  the  great  advantages  to  be  derived  from  it. 


Considerable  progress  has  been  made  in  the  establishment  of  an  Army  Medical 
Museum.  The  advantages  to  the  service  and  to  science  from  such  an  institution  can- 
not be  overestimated.  I  respectfully  recommend  that  a  small  annual  appropriation 
be  made  for  its  benefit. 

An  Army  Medical  School  in  which  medical  cadets  and  others  seeking  admission 
into  the  Corps  could  receive  such  instruction  as  would  better  fit  them  for  commissions 
and  which  they  cannot  obtain  in  the  ordinary  medical  schools,  is  a  great  desideratum. 
Such  an  institution  could  be  established  in  connection  with  any  general  hospital,  with 
but  little  if  any  expense  to  the  United  States.  A  hospital  of  a  more  permanent  char- 
acter than  any  now  in  this  city,  is  I  think  necessary,  and  will  be  required  for  years 
after  the  present  Rebellion  has  ceased.  I  therefore  recommend  that  suitable  build- 
ings be  purchased  or  erected  for  that  purpose.  If  this  is  done,  the  medical  school 
and  museum  will  be  important  accessions  to  it. 

The  Engineer  and  Ordnance  Department  are  charged  with  the  erection  of  build- 
ings, which  require  special  knowledge.  Tlie  building  of  hospitals  also  requires 
knowledge  of  a  peculiar  character,  which  is  not  ordinarily  possessed  by  officers  out  of 
the  Medical  Department.  It  would  therefore  appear  obviously  proper  that  the  Med- 
ical Department  should  be  charged  with  the  duty  of  building  the  hospitals  which  it 
is  their  duty  to  administer. 

In  the  matter  of  transportation,  the  interests  of  the  service  require  that  the 
Medical  Department  should  be  independent.  Much  suffering  has  been  caused  by  the 
impossibility  of  furnishing  supplies  to  the  wounded,  when  those  supplies  were  within 
a  few  miles  of  them  in  great  abundance. 


The  establishment  of  a  laboratory,  from  which  the  Medical  Department  could 
draw  its  supplies  of  chemical  and  pharmaceutical  preparations,  similar  to  that  now  so 
successfully  carried  on  by  the  Medical  Department  of  the  navy,  would  be  a  measure  of 
great  utility  and  economy.  I  therefore  respectfully  recommend  that  authority  be  given 
for  this  purpose.     *         *         *         * 

Soon  after  my  appointment,  I  issued  circulars  to  medical  officers,  inviting  them 
to  cooperate  in  furnishing  materials  for  a  Medical  and  Surgical  History  of  the  Rebel- 
lion. A  large  number  of  memoirs  and  reports  of  great  interest  to  science  and  military 
surgery  especially  have  been  collected,  and  are  now  being  systematically  arranged. 
The  greatest  interest  in  this  labor  is  felt  by  medical  officers  of  the  army  and  physicians 
at  large." 

In  addition,  the  Surgeon  Greneral  advised  the  increase  of  the  regular 
Medical  Corps  by  another  Assistant  Surgeon  General,  two  more  Medical  Inspec- 
tore  General,  eight  medical  inspectors,  twenty  surgeons,  and  forty  assistant  sur- 
geons ;  and  to  the  volunteer  medical  staiF,  of  fifty  surgeons,  and  two  hundred 
and  fifty  assistant  surgeons.  He  also  recommended  that  so  much  of  the  first 
section  of  the  act  of  June  30, 1834,  as  forbade  the  promotion  of  any  assistant 
surgeon  until  he  had  served  five  years  in  that  grade  should  be  repealed.  He 
repeated  his  previous  recommendation  that  increased  rank  should  be  given  to 
INIedical  Directors  while  serving  as  such. 

On  the  twenty-seventh  of  December,  an  act  was  approved  "  To  facilitate 
the  discharge  of  disabled  soldiers  from  the  Army,  and  the  inspection  of  conva- 
lescent camps  and  hospitals,"  by  the  appointment  of  additional  medical  inspec- 
tors.    The  following  is  the  text  of  this  bill : 

" i?e  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  there  shall  be  added  to  the  present  Medical  Corps  of  the 
army,  eight  medical  inspectors,  who  shall  immediately  after  the  passage  of  this  act 
be  appointed  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate, 
without  regard  to  their  rank  when  so  selected,  but  with  sole  regard  to  qualifications, 
and  who  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  now  authorized  by  law  to  officers 
of  that  grade. 

Section  2.  Aiid  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Inspector's 
Department  shall  be  charged,  in  addition  to  the  duties  now  assigned  to  them  by  exist- 
ing laws,  with  the  duty  of  making  regular  and  frequent  inspections  of  all  military 
general  hospitals  and  convalescent  camps,  and  shall  upon  each  such  inspection,  des- 
ignate to  the  surgeon-in-charge  of  such  hospitals  or  camps,  all  soldiers  who  may  be. 
in  their  opinion,  fit  subjects  for  discharge  from  the  service  on  surgeon's  certificate  of 
disability,  or  sufficiently  recovered  to  be  returned  to  their  regiments  for  <luty,  and 
shall  see  that  such  soldiers  are  discharged  or  so  returned;  and  the  medical  inspecting 
officers  are  hereby  empowered,  under  such  regulations  as  may  be  hereafter  established, 
to  direct  the  return  to  duty  or  the  discharge  from  service,  as  the  case  may  be,  of  all 
soldiers  designated  by  them.'' 

When  this  bill  was  first  introduced  into  the  Senate  from  the  Military  Com- 
mittee it  contained  a  clause  providing  for  the  appointment  of  two  additional 
Medical  Inspectors  General ;  but  this  was  stricken   out.      It  was  endeavored, 


however,  to  carry  out  the  suggestions  of  the  Surgeon  General  in  another  bill 
reported  by  Mr.  Wilson  from  the  Military  Committee  on  the  nineteenth  of  Jan- 
uary, 1863,  "To  provide  for  the  greater  comfort  of  the  sick  and  wounded 
soldiers,  and  to  promote  the  efficiency  of  the  Medical  Department  of  the  Army." 
This  bill  provided  for  the  addition  to  the  Medical  Corps  of  one  Assistant  Sur- 
geon General,  two   Medical   Inspectors   General,  twenty   surgeons  and   forty 
assistant  surgeons ;  also,  ten  medical  storekeepers  and  as  many  medical  cadets  as 
the  Surgeon  General  might  deem  necessary  for  the  public  service.     So  much  of 
the  first  section  of  the  act  approved  June  30,  1834,  as  forbade  the  promotion 
of  assistant  surgeons  before  they  had  served  five  years  was  repealed.     These 
measiires  it  will  be  observed  were  precisely  those  urged  by  the  Surgeon  General 
in  his  last  annual  report.     In  addition,  the  bill  contained  the  following  changes : 
In  the  organization  of  army  corps,  each  corps  was  to  have  besides  the  stafi" 
authorized  by  existing  laws,  a  Medical  Director,  with  the  rank  pay  and  emolu- 
ments of  colonel  of  cavalry.      All  Medical  Directors  of  departments  and  the 
senior  surgeon  on  duty  in  the  Surgeon  General's  Office  were  given  similar  rank. 
Fifty  surgeons  and  two  hundred  and  fifty  assistant  surgeons  were  added  to  the 
volunteer  medical  stafi".     At  the  request  of  the  Surgeon  General  a  section  was 
proposed  by  Mr.   Pomeroy,  of  K^ansas,  providing  for  the  selection  of  three 
officers  from  the  regular  or  volunteer  corps,  who  should  be  assigned  to  duty  in 
the  Surgeon  General's  Office,  as  chiefs  of  the  Medical,  Sanitary  and  Statistical 
branches  of  the  Medical  Department,  and  who  were  to  have,  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Surgeon  General,  the  control  of  all  matters  pertaining  to  these 
branches,  and  to  constitute  with  the  Surgeon  General  a  council  of  advice  upon 
all  matters  which  might  be  referred  to  them  by  the  Surgeon  General ;  such 
chiefs  of  branches  to  have  while  acting  as  such  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments 
of  colonels  of  cavalry  and  to  rank  next  after  the  Surgeon  General.     This  sec- 
tion met  with  so  much  opposition  from  various  senators  that  after  a  long 
discussion  it  was  withdrawn.      This  bill  was  debated  on  several  occasions, 
Senators  Wilson  and  Pomeroy  urging  its  passage  and  others  opposing.     Finally 
all  of  the  bill,  except  the  section  providing  for  an  addition  to  the  volunteer 
force,  was  stricken  out,  and  in  this  emasculated  shape  it  passed  the  Senate.     In 
'  the  House  it  was  referred  to  the  Military  Committee  on  the  twenty-sixth  of 
January  and  that  was  the  last  heard  of  it. 

The  medical  inspectors  appointed  under  the  act  of  the  twenty-seventh  of 
December,  1862,  were  as  follows:  Surgeon  Joseph  K.  Barnes,  U.  S.  Army; 
Surgeons  Frank  H.  Hamilton,  Peter  Pineo  and  Augustus  C.  Hamlin,  U.  S. 
Volunteers ;  Doctor  George  K.  Johnson,  of  Michigan ;  Surgeon  John  E.  Sum- 
mers, U.  S.  Army ;  Doctor  N.  S.  Townshend,  of  Ohio,  and  Surgeon  George  W. 
Stipp,  U.  S.  Volunteers. 



In  a  bill  for  promoting  the  efficiency  of  the  Corps  of  Engineers,  etc., 
approved  March  3,  1863,  occurs  the  following  section  relative  to  the  duties  of 
medical  officers : 

"Section  8.  A7id  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Depart- 
ment shall  unite  with  the  line  officers  of  the  army,  under  such  rules  and  regulations 
as  shall  be  prescribed  by  the  Secretary  of  War,  in  supervising  the  cooking  within  the 
same,  as  an  important  sanitary  measure ;  and  that  the  said  Medical  Department  shall 
promulgate  to  its  officers  such  regulations  and  instructions  as  may  tend  to  insure  the 
proper  preparation  of  the  ration  of  the  soldier." 

As  has  been  already  mentioned,  a  number  of  the  medical  officers  of  the 
army  were  held  as  prisoners  of  war  by  the  enemy  soon  after  the  beginning  of 
the  Rebellion ;  some  of  them  being  detained  in  rebel  prisons  for  upwards  of  a 
year.  Efforts  had  been  made  for  the  arrangement  of  a  cartel  by  which  non- 
combatants  on  either  side  should  be  exempted  from  the  penalties  of  capture  on 
the  field  of  battle.  These  had  proved  unsuccessful,  but  our  government,  willing 
to  take  the  initiative  in  a  good  cause,  plainly  enunciated  its  views  upon  this 
subject  in  paragraph  53,  of  General  Orders,  No.  100,  dated  April  24,  1863, 
containing  "  Instructions  for  the  government  of  the  armies  of  the  United  States 
in  the  field,"  drawn  up  by  Professor  Francis  Lieber,  LL.D. : 

"The  enemy's  chaplains,  officers  of  the  medical  staff,  apothecaries,  hospital 
nurses  and  servants  if  they  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  American  army,  are  not  to  be 
treated  as  prisoners  of  war  unless  the  commander  has  reason  to  detain  them.  In  this 
latter  case,  or  if  at  their  own  desire,  they  are  allowed  to  remain  with  their  captured 
companions,  they  are  treated  as  prisoners  of  war,  and  may  be  exchanged  if  the  com- 
mander sees  fit." 

After  this,  though  there  was  no  formal  cartel  on  the  subject  between  the 
two  governments,  surgeons  and  other  non-combatants  were  generally  released  as 
soon  as  captured. 

On  the  tenth  of  August,  1863,  Medical  Inspector  General  Thomas  F. 
Perley  resigned  and  Medical  Inspector  Joseph  K.  Barnes  was  promoted  to  fill 
the  vacancy.  Soon  after  his  promotion  the  following  order  was  issued  by  the 
Secretary  of  War  relative  to  the  duties  of  medical  inspectors : 


Adjutant  General's  Office, 

Washington,  September  12,  1863. 
Geneeal  Orders,  No.  308. 

The  Medical  Inspector  General  has  under  the  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  duties  of  inspecting  the  sanitary  con- 
dition 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  oificers  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  punctual- 
ity 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  mitiga- 
tion, 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  cooperation  of  military  authority,  are  urgently  demanded,  they  will  report  at 
once  in  writing  to  the  officer  commanding  Corps,  Department  or  Division,  the  circum- 
stances 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  Sur- 
geon General's  orders. 

Upon  or  near  the  beginning  of  each  month,  medical  inspectors  will  make  minute 
and  thorough  inspections  of  hospitals,  barracks,  camps,  transports,  &c.,  &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  arrange- 
ment and  administration  of  hospitals,  camps,  barracks;  the  necessity  for  im- 
provement, alteration  or  repair,  with  such  recommendations  as  will  most  certainly  con- 
duce 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  to  hospitals,  whether  general, 
field,  division  or  regimental,  and  will  satisfy  themselves,  by  rigid  examination  of 
accounts  and  expenditures,  that  the  fund  accruing  from  retained  rations  is  judiciously 
applied,  and  not  diverted  from  its  proper  purposes  through  the  ignorance  or  inatten- 
tion of  medical  officers,  giving  such  information  and  instruction  on  this  subject  as  may 
be  required.  They  will  also  give  close  attention  to  the  supervision  of  cooking  by  the 
medical  officers,  whose  duty  it  is,  under  the  act  of  Congress  of  March  3,  1863,  and 
General  Orders,  No.  247,  of  1863,  to  'submit  his  suggestions  for  improving  the  cooking, 
in  writing  to  the  commanding  officer,'  and  to  accompany  him  in  frequent  inspections 
of  the  kitchens  and  messes. 

They  will  exercise  sound  discrimination  in  reporting  '  an  officer  of  the  Medical 
Corps  as  disqualified,  by  age  or  otherwise,  for  promotion  to  a  higher  grade,  or  unfitted 


for  the  performance  of  his  professional  duties,'  and  be  prepared  to  submit  evidence  of 
its  correctness  to  the  Medical  Board,  by  whom  the  charge  will  be  investigated. 

Medical  Inspectors  are  also  charged  with  the  duty  of  designating,  to  the  surgeon 
in  charge  of  general  hospitals  and  convalescent  camps,  all  soldiers  who  are  in  their 
opinion  fit  subjects  for  discharge  on  surgeon's  certificate  of  disability,  or  sufficiently 
recovered  to  be  able  for  duty.  In  h\l  such  cases  they  will  direct  the  surgeon  to  dis- 
charge from  service,  in  accordance  with   existing  orders  and  regulations,  or  return  to 

duty  those  so  designated. 


It  is  expected  that  all  commanding  .officers  will  aff"ord  every  facility  to  Medical 
Inspectors  in  the  execution  of  their  important  duties,  giving  such  orders  as  may  be 
necessary  to  carry  into  eifect  their  suggestions  and  recommendations ;  and  it  is  enjoined 
upon  all  medical  officers,  and  others  connected  with  the  Medical  Department  of  the 
United  States  army,  to  yield  prompt  compliance  with  the  instructions  they  may  receive 
from  Medical  Inspectors  on  duty  in  the  Army,  Department  or  District  in  which  they 
are  serving,  on  all  matters  relating  to  the  sanitary  condition  of  the  troops,  and  of  the 
hygiene,  police,  discipline  and  efficiency  of  hospitals. 
By  oeder  of  the  Secretary  of  War: 


Assistant  Adjutant  General." 

The  sanitary  condition  of  the  Departments  of  the  South  and  the  Gulf 
requiring  special  attention  and  care  at  this  period,  Surgeon  General  Hammond 
was,  in  the  latter  part  of  August,  directed  to  proceed  to  Hilton  Head,  Charles- 
ton Harhor  and  other  points  on  the  southern  coast,  and  give  his  special  personal 
attention  to  the  management  of  the  medical  branch  of  the  service  in  those 
departments,  making  his  head-quarters  in  New  Orleans,  and  reporting  to  the 
Secretary  of  War  every  ten  days.  To  enable  him  to  give  his  whole  time  and 
attention  to  this  important  work,  and  to  obviate  any  intermission  in  the  transac- 
tion of  the  routine  duties  of  the  Department,  he  was  relieved  from  the  charge 
of  the  bureau  of  the  Surgeon  General  at  Washington.  On  the  third  of  Sep- 
tember, the  following  order  was  issued  providing  for  the  performance  of  the 
duties  of  chief  of  the  Bureau  during  his  absence : 


Adjutant  General's  Office, 

Washington,  September  3,  1863. 
Special  Orders,  No.  396. 


3.     Medical  Inspector  General  J.  K.  Barnes,  is  under  the  provisions  of  the  act  of 
July  4,  1836,  empowered  to  take  charge  of  the  Bureau  of  the  Medical  Department  of 
the  army  and  to  perform  the  duties  of  Surgeon  General  during  the  absence  of  that 
officer.     He  will  enter  upon  the  duties  herein  assigned  him  without  delay. 
By  order  of  the  Secretary  of  War: 


Assistant  Adjutant  General." 


A  medical  examining  board,  consisting  of  Surgeon  TenBroeck  and  Assist- 
ant Surgeons  Shorb  and  Mecbem,  met  in  San  Francisco,  California,  on  the 
twenty-ninth  of  April,  but  no  candidates  appearing  before  it  adjourned  on  the 
eighth  of  May.  A  board,  consisting  of  Surgeons  Wright  and  Abadie  and 
Assistant  Surgeon  Bill,  was  ordered  to  meet  in  New  York  city  on  the  fifteenth 
of  October.  Nineteen  candidates  were  invited  to  present  themselves,  of  whom 
eleven  reported.  Of  these  six  were  passed,  the  others  withdrawing  before  their 
examinations  were  completed. 

There  was  no  fiirther  legislation  by  Congress  in  behalf  of  the  Medical 
Corps  in  the  year  1863,  nor  was  there  any  in  the  following  year,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  an  act  passed  March  11, 1864,  and  promulgated  in  Greneral  Orders,  Ntt. 
106  from  the  War  Department,  "For  the  establishment  of  a  uniform  system  of 
ambulances  in  the  armies  of  the  United  States."  This  act  provided,  first,  that 
the  medical  director  of  each  army  corps,  under  the  control  of  the  medical  direc- 
tor of  the  army,  should  have  entire  direction  and  supervision  over  all  ambu- 
lances, medicine  wagons,  etc.,  and  of  all  officers  and  men  detailed  for  ambulance 
duty ;  second,  that  there  should  be  detailed  in  each  army  corps  for  ambulance 
duty,  one  captain,  one  first  and  one  second  lieutenant,  with  non-commissioned 
officers  and  privates,  and  that  all  persons  so  detailed  should  be  examined  by  a 
board  of  medical  officers  as  to  their  fitness  for  such  duty.  The  remaining  sec- 
tions of  the  act  detailed  the  respective  duties  of  the  various  officers,  and  the 
management  of  the  ambulances  and  other  property  of  the  corps,  and  defined 
the  relations  between  medical  directors  and  the  officers  detailed  on  ambulance 
duty.  By  an  order  issued  a  short  time  previously  the  ambulance  flags  for  the 
army  were  designated  as  follows : 

*'^or  General  Hospitals;  of  yellow  bunting  9  by  5  feet,  with  the  letter  H,  24 
inches  long,  in  green  bunting,  in  the  centre. 

For  Post  and  Field  Hospitals;  of  yellow  bunting  6  by  4  feet,  with  the  letter  H,  24 
inches  long,  in  green  bunting,  in  the  centre. 

For  ambulances,  and  guidons  to  mark  the  way  to  field  hospitals:  of  yellow  bunting 
14  by  28  inches,  with  a  border  one  inch  deep  of  green." 

The  work  of  collecting  specimens  for  the  Army  Medical  Museum  and 
materials  for  the  preparation  of  a  Medical  and  Surgical  History  of  the  War, 
was  vigorously  prosecuted  during  the  years  1863  and  1864.  Additional  circu- 
lars were  issued  November  11  and  24, 1863,  the  first  requiring  medical  directors 
to  detail  suitable  officers  to  collect  all  reliable  data  relative  to  the  operations  of 
the  armies  in  the  field,  more  particularly  with  reference  to  the  following  points : 

"The  morale  and  sanitary  condition  of  the  troops,  condition  and  amount  of  med- 
ical and  hospital  supplies,  tents,  ambulances,  etc. ;  the  points  at  or  near  the  field  where 
the  wounded  were  attended  to;    degree  of  exposure  of  the  wounded  to  wet,  cold  or 



heat;  adequacy  of  supplies  of  water,  food,  stimulants,  etc.;  mode  of  removal  of 
wounded  from  field  to  field  hospitals.;  to  what  general  hospital  the  wounded  were 
transferred — by  what  means  and  where;  the  character  and  duration  of  the  action, 
nature  of  the  wounds  received,  etc." 

The  circular  of  November  24th  was  as  follows : 


Washington,  D.  C,  November  24,  1863. 

The  attention  of  medical  officers  in  charge  of  U.  S.  A.  General  Hospitals  is  invited 
to  the  importance  of  preparing  illustrations  of  the  results  of  surgical  operations. 
These  can  in  many  instances  be  conveniently  obtained  by  means  of  plaster  casts, 
which  are  readily  made  without  subjecting  patients  to  the  slightest  inconvenience. 

The  casts  most  desired  are  those  of  stumps  of  amputations  of  every  variety,  and 
models  of  limbs  upon  which  excisions  may  have  been  performed. 

In  selecting  proper  subjects  for  representation,  it  would  be  well  to  choose  not 
only  cases  in  which  the  results  have  been  favorable,  but  also  those  in  which  they  may 
have  been  unfavorable.  In  a  collection  like  the  National  Museum,  truthful  rep- 
resentations of  both  good  and  bad  results  are  alike  instructive  and  valuable  for  future 
reference  and  study.     *         *         *         * 

All  preparations  should  be  accompanied  by  proper  histories,  with  name,  rank  and 
station  of  the  contributor,  who  will  be  duly  credited  in  the  museum  catalogue. 


Acting  Surgeon   General.'" 

The  following  Circular  Letter  on  the  same  subject  was  issued  on  the 
twenty-fourth  of  June,  1864  : 


Washington,  D.  C,  June  24,  1864. 

Medical  officers  in  charge  of  hospitals  are  directed  diligently  to  collect  and  pre- 
serve for  the  Army  Medical  Museum  all  pathological  surgical  specimens  which  may 
occur  in  the  hospitals  under  their  charge. 

The  objects  which  it  is  desired  to  collect  for  the  Museum  may  be  thus  enumerated : 

Fractures,  compound  and  simple — fractures  of  the  cranium. 

Excised  portions  of  bone. 

Diseased  bones  and  joints. 

Exfoliiitions,  especially  those  occurring  in  stumps. 

Specimens  illustrative  of  the  structure  of  stumps,  (obliterated  arteries,  bulbous 
nerves,  rounded  bones,  etc.) 

Integumental  wounds  of  entrance  and  of  exit,  both  from  the  round  and  conoidal 

Wounds  of  vessels  and  nerves. 

Vessels  obtained  subsequent  to  ligation  and  to  secondary  haemorrhage. 

Wounded  viscera. 

Photographic  illustrations  of  extraordinai-y  injuries,  portraying  the  results  of 
wounds,  operations  or  peculiar  amputations. 

Models  of  novel  surgical  appliances,  and  photographic  views  of  new  plans  of 


Plaster  casts  of  stumps  of  amputations,  and  models  of  limbs  upon  which  excisions 
may  have  been  performed. 

It  is  not  intended  to  impose  on  medical  officers  the  labor  of  dissecting  and  pre- 
paring the  specimens  they  may  contribute  to  the  museum.  This  mil  be  done  under 
the  superintendence  of  the  Curator. 



Actinff  Surgeon  General." 

On  the  twentieth  of  August,  1864,  Surgeon  General  William  A.  Ham- 
mond was  dismissed  the  service  by  sentence  of  a  General  Court-Martial. 

Medical  Inspector  General  Joseph  K.  Barnes,  who  had  been  acting  as 
Surgeon  General  ever  since  General  Hammond  departed  for  his  southern  tour  of 
inspection,  as  already  stated,  was  promoted  to  be  Surgeon  General,  and  Medical 
Inspector  John  M.  Cuyler  assigned  temporarily. to  duty  as  Medical  Inspector 
General.  On  the  first  of  December  Surgeon  Madison  Mills  was  appointed 
Medical  Inspector  General  vke  Barnes  promoted,  and  Lieutenant  Colonel  Cuy- 
ler resumed  his  duties  as  Medical  Inspector. 

A  medical  board,  consisting  of  Surgeons  Tripler,  King  and  Perin,  met  in 
Cincinnati  on  the  eighteenth  of  October.  But  five  candidates  were  examined, 
of  whom  two  were  approved. 

In  June,  1864,  a  bill  was  passed  by  the  House  of  Representatives  giving  the 
increased  rank  to  Medical  Directors  which  had  been  repeatedly  asked  for  during 
the  war.  It  went  to  the  Senate,  and  being  referred  to  the  Military  Committee 
was  reported  back  by  them  without  amendment  on  the  second  of  July ;  but 
objection  being  made  to  its  consideration,  it  was  laid  aside,  and  did  not  come  up 
again  until  the  twenty-third  of  the  following  February,  when  it  was  passed  with- 
out amendment.     As  approved  by  the  President  the  act  read  as  follows : 

"Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  That  the  Medical  Director  of  an  army  in  the  field  consisting 
of  two  or  more  army  corps,  and  the  medical  director  of  a  military  department  in  which 
there  are  United  States  General  Hospitals  containing  four  thousand  beds  or  upwards, 
shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  colonel  of  cavalry ;  and  the  medical 
director  of  an  army  corps  in  the  field,  or  of  a  department  in  which  there  are  United 
States  General  Hospitals  containing  less  than  four  thousand  beds,  shall  have  the  rank, 
pay  and  emoluments  of  a  lieutenant  colonel  of  cavalry.  But  this  increased  rank  and 
pay  shall  only  continue  to  medical  officers  while  discharging  such  special  duties,  and 
the  assignments  from  time  to  time  to  such  duty  shall  be  at  least  two-thirds  of  them 
from  among  the  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  of  volunteers." 

The  military  control  of  general  hospitals  had  been  a  vexed  question,  giv- 
ing rise  to  many  controversies  throughout  the  whole  war.  This  had  partly 
arisen  from  the  fact  that  the  Army  Regulations  and  General  Orders  in  existence 
contained  no  specific  instructions  on  the  subject,  and  partly  from  an  indisposi- 


tion  on  the  part  of  many  officers  to  recognise  the  right  of  medical  officers  to 
command  even  in  their  own  department.  It  frequently  happened  that  officers 
of  the  line  or  of  other  staff  departments  were  stationed  at  general  hospitals  or 
admitted  to  them  for  treatment,  and  they  were  indisposed  to  acknowledge  the 
authority  of  the  surgeons-in-charge  in  reference  to  military  duties  connected  with 
the  hospitals.  In  other  cases  the  hospitals  were  situated  in  th6  immediate 
vicinity  of  military  posts,  the  commanding  officers  of  which  would  attempt 
to  exercise  command  over  them  as  appendages  of  their  posts,  an  assump- 
tion of  jurisdiction  not  conceded  by  the  medical  officers.  Hence  arose  frequent 
conflicts  of  authority  which  tended  to  subvert  the  efforts  of  the  Medical 
Bureau  to  perfect  the  hospital  system,  and  to  bring  into  contempt  the  authority 
of  medical  officers,  even  over  their  own  patients.  As  early  as  February,  1862, 
Surgeon  General  Finley  gave  this  matter  his  careful  attention  and  addressed  the 
following  letter  on  the  subject  to  the  Secretary  of  War : 


February  14,  1862. 
Hon.  E.  M.  Stanton, 

Secretary  of  War. 
Sir:  In  order  to  aid  in  the  administration  of  the  hospital  system  of  the  army  and 
to  relieve  the  several  Medical  Directors  of  each  of  the  Military  Departments  of  the 
Grand  army,  I  have  after  much  consideration  on  the  subject,  concluded  that  it  would 
conduce  to  the  interests  of  the  service,  to  have  the  establishment  and  control  of  the 
General  Hospitals  placed  in  charge  of  the  Surgeon  General. 

In  view  then  of  the  responsibility  of  the  head  of  the  Medical  Bureau,  I  have  the 
honor  to  propose  the  following  regulations : 

1st.  Medical  Directors  of  an  army  in  the  field  shall  have  control  only  over  the 
brigade  and  regimental  hospitals  belonging  to  the  division  or  army  with  which  they 
are  serving.  They  shall  make  monthly  reports  of  the  sick  and  wounded  to  the  Gene- 
ral commanding  the  division  or  army  in  the  field  and  to  the  Surgeon  General. 

2nd.  The  control  of  the  General  Hospitals  shall  be  in  the  War  Department  by 
the  Surgeon  General.  No  change  in  the  organization  of  those  hospitals  or  in  the 
medical  officers  attached  thereto  shall  be  made  but  by  order  of  the  Secretary  of  War  or 
Commander-in-Chief,  through  the  Surgeon  General. 

3rd.  The  Surgeon  General  shall  select  from  the  Medical  Staff"  of  the  United  States 
army  as  many  medical  officers  as  he  may  consider  necessary,  who  shall  by  his  order 
visit,  inspect  and  report  to  the  Surgeon  General,  the  condition  of  said  hospitals  at 
least  once  in  each  month  and  a  condensed  statement  of  those  reports  shall  be  sent  by 
the  Surgeon  General  to  the  office  of  the  Adjutant  General  of  the  United  States  army 
monthly,  for  the  information  of  the  Secretary  of  War  and  the  Commander-in-Chief. 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  etc., 

C.  A.  FINLEY, 

Surgeon  General. ^^ 

Any  action  on  the  last  of  these  recommendations  was  rendered  unnecessary 
by  the  passage  of  the  act  for  the  appointment  of  medical  inspectors.      The 


suggestion  in  regard  to  the  control  of  general  hospitals  was,  by  the  War  De- 
partment General  Order  of  April  7,  1862,  so  far  acceded  to  as  to  place  them 
under  the  supervision  of  the  Surgeon  General,  but  it  was  not  sufficiently  explicit 
in  its  terms  to  cover  all  the  questions  likely  to  arise  and  which  did  arise,  relative 
to  the  authority  of  medical  officers  to  have  and  exercise  command  in  the  hospi- 
tals of  which  they  were  placed  in  charge.  Nothing  less  than  a  positive 
acknowledgment  of  this  right  would  render  the  hospitals  efficient,  and  enable 
the  surgeons  to  perform  their  multifarious  duties  so  as  to  conduce  to  the  best 
interests  of  the  service.  No  medical  officers  ever  thought  or  desired  to  usurp 
the  place  of  officers  of  the  line  by  exercising  general  command  over  troops,  but 
they  did  assert  their  right  to  be  considered  as  commanding  officers  of  posts 
when  placed  in  charge  of  general  hospitals.  They  were  required  to  muster 
troops,  to  make  out  post  returns  and  perform  all  the  other  duties  which  apper- 
tain usually  to  post  commanders,  and  if  without  any  military  authority  how 
could  even  these  routine  duties  be  performed,  not  to  mention  the  maintenance  of 
discipline  and  the  preservation  of  order.  Nor  was  there  anything  new  or  extra- 
ordinary in  these  claims  by  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Department,  for  the 
Army  Regulations  of  1814,  1816,  1818,  and  1825  distinctly  provided  that 
•'  The  surgeon  attending  a  general  hospital  shall  observe  the  instructions  of  the 
[Assistant  Surgeon  General  and  of  the]  Medical  Director  in  everythivg  relating 
to  the  hospital  under  his  charge ;  superintend  its  construction,  government  and 
police,  and  be  held  responsible  for  the  manner  in  which  the  subordinate  officers 
perform  their  respective  duties."  This  continued  to  be  the  regulation  until 
1840,  when  a  new  edition  being  issued  the  word  "construction"  in  the  above 
paragraph  was  striken  out.  This  edition,  however,  explicitly  stated  that  the 
Surgeon  General  "  is,  under  the  direction  of  the.  Secretary  of  War,  charged 
with  the  administrative  details  of  the  Medical  Department,  and  has  the  complete 
control  of  all  officers  belonging  to  it.  He  will  assign  the  surgeons  and  assistant 
surgeons  to  regiments,  posts,  or  stations,  and  will  issue  all  orders  or  instructions 
relating  to  their  professional  duties;"  and  further,  that  "hospitals  are  under 
the  immediate  direction  of  their  respective  surgeons."  These  provisions  were 
reiterated  in  the  edition  of  the  Regulations  for  1850,  and  it  was  not  until  1856 
that  they  were  omitted,  when  substantially  the  present  code  was  adopted  by 
order  of  Jefferson  Davis,  Secretary  of  War  at  that  time.  It  will  therefore  be 
seen  that  there  was  no  foundation  for  the  statement,  made  in  an  official  form  by 
a  distinguished  officer  of  another  staff  corps  that  "  a  systematic  course  has  been 
pursued  by  the  Medical  Department  to  erect  itself  into  a  military  corps,  exer- 
cising all  the  functions  of  command,  not  only  over  the  large  number  of  patients 
and  convalescents  properly  brought  under  it  for  treatment,  but  over  all  officers 



and  troops  stationed  at  general  hospitals  as  guai'ds,  *  *  *  * 
claiming  to  be  entirely  independent  of  every  other  officer  of  whatever  rank, 
except  the  Surgeon  General."  No  such  claim  was  ever  made  on  behalf  of  the 
Medical  Staff,  but  merely  the  right  which  the  Army  Regulations  had  given 
them  for  forty  years,  and  the  justice  of  the  repeal  of  which  they  had  never 

After  the  issue  of  General  Orders,  No.  36,  of  April  7,  1862,  no  further 
immediate  action  was  taken  on  the  subject  by  the  Medical  Department,  although 
on  every  appeal  from  an  officer  in  charge  of  a  general  hospital  the  matter  was 
again  brought  to  the  notice  of  the  War  Department.  In  consequence  of  the 
trial  of  an  officer  of  the  Corps  in  the  latter  part  of  1863  on  charges  growing 
out  of  the  uncertain  relations  of  surgeons  in  charge  of  general  hospitals, 
Mr.  Nesmith,  of  Oregon,  brought  before  the  Senate  a  resolution,  which  was 
agreed  to,  calling  for  the  proceedings  of  this  court,  and  providing  also,  "  That 
the  General-in-Chief  of  the  army  be  requested  to  report  in  detail  what  authority, 
if  any,  subordinate  military  commanders  have  by  existing  regulations,  inde- 
pendent of  the  Medical  Department,  over  general  hospitals;  what  distinction, 
if  any,  there  is  in  that  respect  between  field  or  post  hospitals  and  general  hospi- 
tals ;  what  orders  or  decisions  have  been  made  by  the  Secretaiy  of  War,  Gene- 
ral-in-Chief or  Surgeon  General  on  the  subject ;  and  whether  the  interests  of 
the  service  do  not  require  that  all  orders  relating  to  the  management  of  general 
hospitals,  the  reception,  treatment  and  transfer  of  patients  should  pass  through 
the  Surgeon  General  or  his  immediate  representative  the  Medical  Director."  In 
compliance  with  this  resolution  the  General-in-Chief  (Major  General  Halleck) 
wrote  a  voluminous  report,  which,  however,  contained  nothing  positively  settling 
the  jurisdiction  of  officers  in  general  hospitals,  as  he  considered  the  existing 
regulations  amply  sufficient  to  decide  every  question  likely  to  arise  in  reference 
thereto.  In  1864  the  question  was  referred  to  a  board  of  officers,  consisting  of 
Major  General  Hitchcock  and  Brigadier  Generals  Ketchum  and  Delafield,  who 
were  directed  "to  make  a  thorough  examination  of  the  subject  of  management 
and  military  control  of  U.  S.  General  Hospitals,"  but  for  some  reason  this  board 
never  made  a  report.  Meanwhile,  as  the  great  increase  in  the  number  of  gene- 
ral hospitals  consequent  on  the  prolongation  of  the  war  vastly  augmented  the 
duties  and  responsibilities  of  the  Surgeon  General's  Bureau,  and  as  conflicts  of 
authority,  often  in  relation  to  such  trifling  matters  as  the  issue  of  bread  to  a  hos- 
pital or  the  building  of  a  partition  in  a  ward,  were  continually  occurring  and 
seriously  interfered  with  the  usefulness  of  these  institutions,  the  Surgeon  Gene- 
ral, on  the  thirteenth  of  September,  1864,  addressed  the  following  letter  to  the 
Secretary  of  War,  with  a  view  to  the  final  settlement  of  the  whole  matter : 



September  13;  1864. 

Sie:  I  have  the  honor  to  request  that  the  following  may  be  published  in  General 
Orders : 

United  States  General  Hospitals  are  under  the  exclusive  control  of  the  Surgeon 
General,  and  will  be  governed  by  such  regulations  as  the  Secretary  of  War  shall 
approve,  upon  his  recommendation. 

Medical  officers  assigned  to  duty  in  charge  of  United  States  General  Hospitals, 
acting  under  the  instructions  of  the  Surgeon  General  and  not  subject  to  the  orders  of 
local  commanders,  other  than  those  of  geographical  military  departments  or  divisions, 
are  charged  with  all  the  duties  of  commanding  officers  and  will  be  obeyed  and  re- 
spected as  such. 

Repairs,  additions  and  alterations  involving  expenditures  of  public  funds,  will  in 
no  instance  be  ordered  by  surgeons-in-charge,  who  will  refer  all  necessary  requisitions 
for  these  purposes  through  the  medical  director,  for  the  recommendation  of  the  Surgeon 
General  and  the  action  of  the  War  Department. 

Enlisted  men  fit  for  duty  in  the  field  will  not  be  detailed  to  or  retained  in  Gene- 
ral Hospitals  in  any  capacity.  Companies  of  the  Second  Battalion,  Veteran  Reserve 
Corps,  will  be  detailed,  with  or  without  commissioned  officers  as  the  Surgeon  General 
may  direct,  for  guards,  attendants,  nurses,  cooks,  etc.,  at  General  Hospitals. 

Companies  and  detachments  so  detailed  will  be  regularly  mustered  by  surgeons-in- 
charge,  and  will  not  be  relieved  or  transferred  except  by  order  of  the  Secretary 
of  War. 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

J.  K.  BARNES, 

Surgeon  General." 

The  Medical  Department  owes  a  debt  of  gratitude  which  can  never  be  for- 
gotten to  the  Hon.  E.  M.  Stanton,  Secretary  of  War,  for  the  interest  he  took 
in  this  matter,  by  directing  the  issue  on  the  twenty-seventh  of  December  of 
General  Orders,  No.  306,  embracing  the  above  points,  and  which  finally  settled 
the  right  of  medical  officers  to  command  within  their  own  sphere  of  action. 

The  question  of  the  jurisdiction  of  medical  officers  over  hospitals  being 
thus  satisfactorily  settled,  the  attention  of  the  Department  was  next  directed  to 
the  subject  of  hospital  transportation  by  sea.  From  an  early  period  in  the  war 
sea-going  steamers  had  been  used  to  transport  the  sick  and  wounded  from  one 
part  of  the  coast  to  another,  and  had  been  found  of  the  greatest  service. 
Though  belonging  to  the  Quartermaster's  Department  the  control  of  these  ves- 
sels had  been  vested  entirely  in  the  Medical  Bureau.  The  propriety  of  this 
action  was  manifest  when  the  nature  of  the  service  performed  by  them  was 
considered.  However,  in  November,  1863,  the  hospital  steamer  "  Cosmopoli- 
tan," which  had  been  used  in  transporting  sick  from  one  point  to  another  in  the 
Department  of  the  South,  was  taken  away  from  the  Medical  Department  and 
turned  back  to  the  Quarterma.ster's  Department  by  order  of  Major  General 
Gilmore.     The  Acting  Surgeon  General  requested  the  return  of  the  steamer  to 



the  Medical  Department,  which  being  referred  to  General  Grihnore  for  remark,  he 
replied  that  the  vessel  was  only  temporarily  loaned  to  the  Medical  Department, 
and  that  "as  commanding  officer  of  the  department,  I  hold  myself  responsible 
for  the  administration  of  its  internal  aifaii-s,  and  consequently  assume  the  right 
to  apply  its  resources  as  the  exigencies  of  the  service  may  seem  to  require." 
To  this  endorsement  the  Acting  Surgeon  Greneral  replied,  on  the  twenty-fifth  of 
December,  in  the  following  letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War  : 


December  25,  1863. 

Sir:  I  have  the  honor  to  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  Major  General  Gilmore's 
endorsement  upon  my  application  for  the  restoration  of  the  steamer  "  Cosmopolitan" 
to  the  Medical  Director,  stating  that  "The  steamer  Cosmopolitan  belongs  to  the  Quarter- 
master's Department  and  was  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Medical  Director  for  tem- 
porary purpose  by  orders  from  these  Head-quarters." 

In  the  request  of  November  24,  no  question  was  made  of  the  power  of  the  General 
commanding  the  Department  to  dispose  of  the  steamer,  but  the  necessity  for  her 
services  was  stated  as  a  reason  for  her  restoration.  The  Cosmopolitan  was  selected  by 
the  then  Medical  Director,  under  orders  from  Major  General  Hunter  and  by  his  orders 
was  fitted  up  and  especially  assigned  to  the  Medical  Department,  as  a  hospital  steamer 
and  not  as  a  temporary  transport.  All  hospital  steamers  are  owned  or  employed  by 
the  Quartermaster's  Department,  but  their  outfits  and  movements  are  under  charge  of 
the  Medical  Department.  Upon  the  only  occasion  of  emergency  when  Major  General 
Hunter  used  the  Cosmopolitan  as  a  dispatch  boat,  he  did  so  after  advisement  with  his 
Medical  Director.         *        *        *        * 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

•J.  K.  BARNES, 

Acting  Surgeon  General.'^ 

The  Secretary  of  War  directed  the  steamer  to  be  returned  to  the  Medical 
Department,  which  was  accordingly  done,  but  in  the  following  June  she  was 
again  taken  from  it  by  Greneral  Hatch,  and  much  suffering  to  the  sick  and 
wounded  resulted.  A  similar  interference  with  the  Medical  Department  in  the 
case  of  the  hospital  steamer  "  Spaulding"  was  reported  by  Medical  Inspector 
Gr,  H.  Lyman  in  December,  1864.  This  report  was  forwarded  to  the  Secretary 
of  War,  with  the  following  endorsement : 

' '  Respectfully  forwarded  to  the  Honorable  Secretary  of  War,  with  the  urgent 
request  that  orders  may  be  issued  prohibiting  interference  with  Hospital  Transports 
by  other  Departments. 

The  Hospital  Transport  "Spaulding"  has  just  been  fitted  up  at  great  expense, 
and  was  dispatched  to  meet  General  Sherman's  army  upon  notification  of  its  arrival 
at  Savannah.  To  divert  it  to  other  purposes  entirely  cripples  this  Department  in  its 
efforts  to  provide  properly  for  the  sick  and  wounded  and  subordinates  all  its  interests 
to  the  caprice  or  whim  of  local  commanders. 

S.  G.  0.,  ,     J.  K.  BARNES, 

Januari/  3,  1865.  Surgeon  Oeneral." 



On  the  twenty-third  of  Januarj',  1865,  the  Surgeon  General  addressed  a 
further  letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War  on  this  subject,  of  which  the  following 
is  a  copy : 


January  23,  1865. 

Sir:  From  the  nature  of  the  service  upon  which  they  are  employed,  it  is  abso- 
lutely essential  that  Hospital  Transports  and  Hospital  Boats  should  be  exclusively 
under  the  control  of  the  Medical  Department,  and  not  under  any  circumstances 
diverted  from  their  special  purposes  by  orders  of  local  commanders  or  officers  of  other 
departments.  I  have  therefore  the  honor  to  request  that  orders  to  this  effect  be 
issued,  and  that  the  Hospital  Steamer  "Cosmopolitan,"  be  restored  to  the  Medical 
Department  and  placed  under  the  immediate  control  of  the  Medical  Director,  Depart- 
ment of  the  South,  at  Hilton  Head,  South  Carolina,  to  be  used  as  a  hospital  tender  for 
the  troops  operating  under  Major  General  Sherman  in  that  department. 

Very  respectfully, 

Your  obedient  servant, 

J.  K.  BARNES, 

Surgeon  General." 

In  accordance  with  this  request,  the  following  order  was  issued  on  the 
eighth  of  February : 

"  Hospital  transports  and  hospital  boats,  after  being  properly  assigned  .as  such, 
will  be  exclusively  under  the  control  of  the  Medical  Department,  and  will  not  be 
diverted  from  their  special  purposes  by  orders  of  local  or  department  commanders,  or 
of  officers  of  other  staflF  departments." 

This  definitely  settled  the  whole  question. 

Immediately  after  the  surrender  of  the  rebel  armies  in  April,  1865,  orders 
were  issued  by  the  War  Department  "  that  the  chiefs  of  the  respective  bureaus 
of  this  Department  proceed  immediately  to  reduce  the  expenses  of  their  respec- 
tive departments  to  what  Ls  absolutely  necessary  in  view  of  an  immediate 
reduction  of  the  forces  in  the  field  and  garrison,  and  the  speedy  termination  of 
hostilities."  Accordingly,  the  energies  of  the  Surgeon  General's  Office  were 
directed  during  the  next  few  months  to  the  reestablishment  of  the  Medical  De- 
partment on  a  peace  footing.  The  army  boards  for  the  examination  of  candi- 
dates for  admission  into  the  volunteer  medical  corps,  which  had  been  in  session 
at  Philadelphia,  Washington,  Cincinnati,  and  Hilton  Head,  South  Carolina, 
were  dissolved,  as  were  also  all  those  for  the  examination  of  acting  assistant  sur- 
geons, medical  cadets  and  hospital  stewards.  All  soldiers,  patients  in  hospital. 
except  veteran  volunteers,  veterans  of  the  First  Army  Corps  and  those  belong- 
ing to  the  regular  army,  were  ordered  to  be  discharged.  Medical  Purveyors 
were  directed  to  suspend  the  purchase  of  medical  and  hospital  supplies,  and  all 




except  the  principal  purveying  depots  were  discontinued.  Medical  Directors 
received  instructions  to  reduce  as  rapidly  as  possible  the  number  and  accommo- 
dation of  the  general  hospitals  within  their  respective  departments,  substituting 
post  for  general  hospifcils  with  all  permanent  commands.  They  were  also 
ordered  to  discharge  all  contract  physicians,  civilian  nurses,  cooks  and  other 
employees  whose  services  could  be  spared.  The  Assistant  Surgeon  G-eneral, 
Medical  Inspector  General  and  the  medical  inspectors  were  mustered  out  of 
service  in  October,  those  who  belonged  to  the  permanent  establishment  resuming 
their  former  positions  in  the  Corps,  and  the  remainder  retiring  to  private  life. 

By  the  annual  report  of  the  Surgeon  General  it  is  shown  how  successfully 
these  difficult  undertakings  were  achieved.  On  the  fii-st  of  January,  1865, 
there  were  two  hundred  and  one  general  hospitals  in  operatit)n.  and  three  were 
subsequently  added.  The  hospital  transport  system  included  ft»ur  first  class 
sea-going  steamers,  equipped  with  stores  and  supplies  for  five  thousand  beds, 
besides  a  large  number  of  river  hospital  boats,  hospital  railway  trains,  ambu- 
lances, etc.  By  the  twentieth  of  October  one  hundred  and  seventy  general 
hospitals  had  been  discontinued,  the  property  turned  into  the  purveying  depots 
or  sold  and  the  proceeds  covered  into  the  Treasury,  the  patients  discharged  and 
furnished  transportation  to  their  homes,  and  the  medical  officers  and  attendants 
of  all  kinds  mustered  out.  Three  out  of  the  four  sea-going  transport  steamers 
had  been  given  up,  and  all  those  employed  on  the  rivers. 

During  the  war,  besides  those  who  entered  the  regular  corps,  there  had  been 
appointed  five  hundred  and  forty-seven  surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  of  vol- 
unteers. There  were  mustered  into  service  between  April,  1861,  and  the  cktse 
of  the  war  two  thousand  one  hundred  and  nine  regimental  surgeons  and  three 
thousand  eight  hundred  and  eighty-two  regimental  assistant  surgeons.  During 
the  same  period  there  were  employed  under  contract  eighty-five  acting  staff 
surgeons,  and  five  thousand  five  hundred  and  thirty-two  acting  assistant  sur- 
geons. That  this  large  body  of  men,  numbering  almost  an  army  in  itself,  was 
faithful  to  the  important  trusts  confided  to  its  charge  is  evinced  not  only  in  the 
numerous  reports  of  the  general  officers  in  command  of  troops,  but  also  by  the 
special  testimony  of  the  Surgeon  General,  who  says  in  his  annual  report  for  1865 : 

"In  conclusion  I  desire  to  bear  testimony  to  the  ability,  courjige  and  zeal  mani- 
fested throughout  the  war  by  the  officers  of  the  Medical  Department,  under  all 
circumstances  and  upon  all  occasions.  Willi  hardly  an  exception  they  have  been 
actuated  by  the  highest  motives  of  national  and  professional  pride  and  the  number 
who  have  been  killed  and  wounded  bears  most  honorable  testimony  to  tJieir  devotion 
to  duty  on  the  field  of  battle." 

That  they  did  not  shirk  the  post  of  danger  is  most  cf»nclusively  shown  by 
the  following  record  of  the  casualties  of  the  regular  and  volunteer  staff  during 


the  war.  Thirty-two  were  killed  in  battle  or  by  guemllas  or  partizans,  and  nine 
by  accident.  Eighty-three  were  wounded  in  action,  of  whom  ten  died.  Four 
died  in  rebel  prisons,  seven  of  yellow  fever,  three  of  cholera,  and  two  hundred 
and  seventy-one  of  other  diseases,  most  of  which  were  incidental  to  camp  life 
or  the  results  of  exposure  in  the  field,  making  a  roll  of  honor  embracing  four 
himdred  and  nine  names  of  those  who  it  is  a  common  error  to  ^  consider  not 
exposed  to  the  dangers  and  chances  of  war. 

An  idea  of  the  amount  of  labor  perfoimed  by  the  Medical  Staff  will  be 
obtained,  when  it  is  stated  that  one  million  fifty-seven  thousand  four  hundred 
and  twenty-three  cases  of  wounds  and  diseases  occurring  among  white  troops 
were  treated  in  general  hospitals  alone,  not  including  the  vast  number  that  were 
attended  in  regimental  and  post  hospitals.  The  cost  of  maintaining  the  Medical 
Department  formed  no  small  portion  of  the  total  expenses  of  the  war,  and  it  is 
a  matter  of  just  pride  that  it  can  be  said  that  the  medical  disbursing  ofiicers 
performed  their  duties  honestly  and  faithfully  and  that  the  immense  quantities 
of  medical  supplies  distributed  all  over  the  country  were  almost  without  excep- 
tion properly  accounted  for.  The  expenditures  on  behalf  of  the  Medical 
Department  to  the  close  of  each  fiscal  year  on  the  thirtieth  of  June,  from  1861 
to  1866,  were  as  follows :  » 

1861,  -        -        -        -  $194,126  77, 

1862,  ...        -        2,371,113  19, 

1863,  -    -    .    .     11,594,650  35, 

1864,  ...    -   11,025,791  33, 

1865,  -    -    -    -     19,328,499  23, 

1866,  -    -    -    -    2,837,801  37, 

making  a  total  of  forty-seven  million  three  hundred  and  fifty-one  thousand  nine 
hundred  and  eighty-two  dollars  and  twenty-four  cents,  ($47,351,982  24) 
expended  during  the  war  (exclusive  of  salaries  of  couimissioned  officers)  for 
the  benefit  of  the  sick  and  wounded  soldiers  of  the  nation. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  very  much  of  the  success  which  was  attendant  on 
the  administration  of  the  Medical  Department  during  the  Rebellion  was  due  to 
the  uniformity  with  which  every  judicious  recommendation  from  the  Surgeon 
General  was  acquiesced  in  by  the  Secretary  of  War.  This  indefatigable  official 
overburthened  with  the  gigantic  responsibilities  incident  to  the  period,  yet  found 
time  to  give  his  special  attention  to  the  improvements  asked  for  by  the  Surgeon 
General  to  increase  the  administrative  efficiency  of  the  hospital  service.  Prompt 
to  censure  and  unrelenting  in  punishing  any  neglect  in  a  medical  officer,  he  was 
equally  ready  to  commend  where  praise  was  due.  The  following  occurs  in  his 
annual  report  for  1865  : 


"The  establishment  of  medical  depots  within  reach  of  armies  in  the  field,  and 
their  prompt  supply  upon  the  field  of  battle ;  the  transportation  of  sick  and  wounded 
by  ambulance,  railroad  and  hospital  transports ;  the  sufficiency  and  successful  admin- 
istration of  the  best  system  of  general  hospitals;  the  sanitary  precautions  as  well  as 
all  the  minor  details  of  this  department,  tending  to  the  greater  comfort  of  the  sick 
and  wounded,  as  well  as  to  the  health  and  efficiency  of  the  troops,  have  undergone 
the  severest  possible  test  and  in  no  instance  have  the  movements  of  successful  gene- 
rals been  impeded  or  delayed  from  any  cause  within  the  control  of  the  Medical 

The  Surgeon  General  but  expressed  the  opinion  of  every  person  connected 
with  the  Medical  Staff  in  writing  in  his  report  for  1866  to  the  Secretary: 

"  It  is  a  matter  of  just  pride  and  congratulation  to  the  medical  profession  through- 
out the  civilized  world,  that  your  deep  interest  in  the  health  and  hygienic  condi- 
tion of  tlie  army,  your  constant  vigilance  and  most  liberal  assistance  in  all  that 
could  in  any  manner  conduce  to  the  greater  comfort  and  welfare  of  the  sick  and 
wounded,  and  your  official  recognition  of  faithful  and  meritorious  service  by  officers  of 
this  Department,  have  been  responded  to  on  their  pai-t  by  redoubled  exertions,  un- 
failing devotion  to  duty,  and  an  esprit  du  corps  that  secures  to  it  professional  talent 
of  the  highest  order.  Letters  from  the  most  eminent  surgeons  and  physicians  in 
Europe,  in  acknowledgment  of  publications  from  this  office,  do  not  express  more 
astonishment  at  the  magnitude  of  the  war,  than  admiration  of  the  unvarying  support 
and  encouragement  extended  to  the  Medical  Staff"  under  your  administration  of  the 
War  Department." 

The  medical  examining  board  for  1865  met  in  New  York  city  on  the 
twentieth  of  September,  and  continued  its  sessions  until  the  fifteenth  of  the 
following  February.  The  detail  was  Surgeons  Tripler,  Wirtz  and  Heger  and 
Assistant  Surgeon  Lee.  Ninety-eight  candidates  were  invited  to  present  them- 
selves, of  whom  thirty-one  failed  to  appear.  Of  the  remainder,  seventeen  with- 
drew before  their  examinations  were  completed,  thiity-one  were  rejected  for 
defective  physical  or  professional  qualifications,  and  nineteen  were  recommended 
for  appointment. 

On  the  twenty-third  of  January,  1866,  Surgeon  Richard  H.  Coolidge,  the 
Medical  Director  of  the  Department  of  North  Carolina,  died  after  a  brief  illness. 
Doctor  Coolidge  had  been  long  and  favorably  known  to  the  iarmy  as  an  accom- 
plished officer  and  christian  gentleman.  His  long  service  in  the  Surgeon 
General's  Office,  on  army  boards  of  examination,  and  as  the  compiler  of  the 
Army  Medical  Statistics  and  Army  Meteorological  Register,  had  made  him 
thoroughly  familiar  with  the  interests  of  the  Department,  and  his  whole  life  had 
been  devoted  to  its  advancement.  During  the  war  he  had  added  to  the  distinc- 
tion of  his  previous  service  by  the  ability  with  which  he  had  performed  the 
duties  of  medical  inspector. 

The  attention  of  Congress  in  the  early  part  of  1866  was  devoted  to  fixing 


the  peace  establishment  of  the  United  States  army.  As  early  as  the  tenth  of 
January  Mr.  Wilson  reported  to  the  Senate  a  bill  for  this  purpose,  which  was 
referred  to  the  Committee  on  Military  Affairs  and  ordered  to  be  printed.  This 
bill  was  several  times  reported  and  recommitted.  As  reported  to  the  Senate  on 
the  seventeenth  of  January  the  sections  relating  to  the  Medical  Department 
were  as  follows : 

Section  XVIII.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Medical  Department  of  the 
army  shall  hereafter  consist  of  one  Surgeon  General,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emolu- 
ments of  a  brigadier  general ;  one  Assistant  Surgeon  General,  with  the  rank,  pay  and 
emoluments  of  a  colonel  of  cavalry ;  seventy-five  surgeons,  with  the  rank,  pay  and 
emoluments  of  a  major  of  cavalry;  one  hundred  and  fifty  assistant  surgeons,  with  the 
rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  captains  of  cavalry  after  three  years  service,  and  with 
the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  first  lieutenant  of  cavalry  for  the  first  three  years 
service;  and  five  medical  storekeepers,  with  the  same  compensation  as  is  now  provi- 
ded by  law ;  and  the  vacancies  hereby  created  in  the  grades  of  surgeon  and  assistant 
surgeon  shall  be  filled  by  selection  from  among  the  persons  who  have  served  as  staff 
and  regimental  surgeons  or  assistant  surgeons  of  volunteers  two  years  during  the  war; 
and  persons  who  have  served  as  assistant  surgeons  three  years  in  the  volunteer  ser- 
vice shall  be  eligible  for  promotion  to  the  grade  of  captain. 

Section  XIX.  Afid  be  it  further  enacted,  That  upon  the  recommendation  of  the 
Surgeon  General,  the  Secretary  of  War  may  detail  a  surgeon  as  Chief  Medical  Pur- 
veyor, who  while  performing  such  duty,  shall  be  in  charge  of  the  principal  purchasing 
and  issuing  depot  of  medical  supplies,  and  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments 
of  a  colonel  of  cavalry,  and  not  to  exceed  five  medical  officers  as  assistant  medical 
purveyors,  who  while  performing  such  duty  in  the  different  geographical  divisions  or 
departments,  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  a  lieutenant  colonel  of 

Section  XX.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Surgeon  General  be,  and  he  is 
hereby  empowered  to  detail  from  time  to  time,  subject  to  the  approval  of  the  Secre- 
tary of  War,  not  to  exceed  five  officers  of  the  grade  of  surgeon,  for  duty  as  medical 
inspectors,  who,  while  performing  such  duties,  shall  have  the  rank,  pay  and  emolu- 
ments of  colonel  of  cavalry,  and  who  shall  receive  their  instructions  from,  and  make 
their  reports  direct  to  the  Surgeon  General.         *        *        *        * 

Sf-ction  XXIX.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  IheA,  the  *  *  *  *  gur. 
geon  General  *  *  *  *  shall  hereafter  be  appointed  by  selection  from 
the  corps  to  which  they  belong  [he  belongs.] 

Section  XXX.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  no  person  shall  be  appointed  to 
any  vacancy  created  by  this  act,  in  the  *  *  Medical  Department,  *  * 
until  he  shall  have  passed  the  examination  now  required  by  law." 

After  some  discussion  the  bill  was  laid  aside,  and  no  ftirther  action  taken 
on  the  subject  until  the  fifteenth  of  February,  when  Mr.  Wilson  reported  a 
new  bill  to  fix  the  military  peace  establishment.  The  differences  in  the  sections 
relating  to  the  Medical  Department  in  the  new  and  old  bills,  were  that  section 
xviii  was  altered  so  as  to  provide  that  two-thirds  of  the  vacancies  created  by 
the  act  should  be  filled  from  among  the  volunteer  medical  officers  and  one-third 


from  the  regular  staff;  and  sectitm  xx  was  struck  out  entirely .  The  bill  was 
further  amended  in  the  Senate  by  adding  after  the  word  *•  selection,"  in  sec- 
tion xviii,  the  words  "  by  competitive  examination,"  and  adding  at  the  end  of 
this  section  a  clause  providing  for  the  appointment  of  as  many  hospital  stew- 
ards as  the  service  might  require.  In  this  amended  form  the  bill  was  passed 
by  the  Senate  on  the  fourteenth  of  March.  On  the  sixteenth  of  March  the 
subject  came  up  in  the  House  of  llepresentatives,  and  was  referred  to  the 
(Committee  on  Military  Affairs,  who  on  the  ninth  of  July  rtsported  back  the 
Senate  bill,  with  an  amendment  to  strike  out  all  after  the  enacting  clause  and 
insert  a  substitute.  The  sections  in  the  substitute  which  referred  to  the  Medical 
Department  were : 

••Section  XXI.  And  bi-  it  further  enacted,  That  the  Medical  Department  of  the 
army  shall  hereafter  consist  of  one  Surgeon  General,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emolu- 
ments of  a  brigadier  general;  one  Assistant  Surgeon  General,  with  the  rank,  pay  and 
emoluments  of  a  colonel ;  one  Chief  Medical  Purveyor  and  four  assistant  medical 
purveyors,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  lieutenant  colonels,  who  shall  give 
the  same  bonds  which  are  or  may  be  required  of  Assistant  Paymaster  Generals  of  like 
grade,  and  shall,  when  not  acting  as  purveyors,  be  assignable  to  duty  as  surgeons  by 
the  President;  seventy  surgeons,  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  majors;  one 
hundred  and  forty  assistant  surgeons  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  first  lieu- 
tenants for  the  first  three  years  service,  and  with  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of 
captains  after  three  years  service ;  and  five  medical  storekeepers  with  the  same  com- 
pensation as  is  now  provided  by  law ;  and  at  least  two-thirds  of  the  original  vacancies 
in  the  grades  of  surgeon  and  assistant  surgeon  shall  be  filled  by  selection  by  competi- 
tive examination  from  among  the  persons  who  have  served  as  staff  or  regimental 
surgeons  or  assistant  surgeons  of  volunteers  in  the  army  of  the  United  States  two 
years  during  the  late  war,  and  one-third  in  the  same  manner  from  similar  officers  in 
the  regular  army ;  and  persons  who  have  served  as  assistant  surgeons  three  years  in 
the  volunteer  service  shall  be  eligible  for  promotion  to  the  grade  of  captain.  And 
the  Secretary  of  War  is  hereby  authorized  to  appoint  from  the  enlisted  men  of  the 
army,  or  cause  to  be  enlisted,  as  many  hospital  stewards  as  the  service  may  require, 
to  be  permanently  attached  to  the  Medical  Department,  under  such  regulations  as  the 
Secretary  of  War  may  prescribe.         *        *        *        * 

Section  XXVII.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  in  all  the  staff  corps  *  * 
one-third  of  the  promotions  may  be  made  on  the  ground  of  merit  alone,  and  without 
regard  to  seniority  in  the  date  of  appointments  or  commissions.        *        *        *        * 

Section  XL.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  in  all  cases  where  a  volunteer  officer 
has  been  appointed  in  the  regular  army  to  the  same  rank  or  grade  which  he  may  have 
held  in  the  volunteer  forces,  or  to  any  lower  rank  or  grade,  his  name  shall  be  borne 
on  the  army  register  with  the  date  of  his  volunteer  appointment,  and  he  shall  take 
rank  as  with  continuous  service  from  such  date." 

Meanwhile,  the  Senate,  finding  the  House  had  taken  no  action  on  the  bill 
passed  by  them  on  the  fourteenth  of  March,  passed  another  bill  with  the  same 
title.     This,  so  far  as  the  Medical  Department  was  concerned  was  essentially  the 


same  as  the  substitute  subsequently  passed  by  the  House,  but  differed  materi- 
ally as  regards  other  departments.  When  the  House  substitute  was  reported 
back  to  the  Senate,  on  the  twenty-fourth  of  July,  Mr.  Wilson  moved  to  strike 
out  all  after  the  enacting  clause  and  substitute  their  second  bill,  which  was 
agreed  to.  This  necessitated  a  conference  committee  on  the  part  of  the  two 
Houses,  which  was  accordingly  appointed  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  July.  This 
committee  failed  to  come  to  any  agreement,  and  were  accordingly  discharged 
and  a  new  committee  appointed  on  the  twenty-seventh,  which  made  a  report 
which  was  adopted  by  the  two  houses,  and  the  bill  finally  became  a  law  on  the 
twenty-eighth  of  July.  The  organization  of  the  Medical  Department  was  the 
same  as  has  been  given  in  section  xxi  of  the  bill  passed  by  the  House  on  the 
ninth  of  July,  with  the  exceptions  that  sixty  surgeons  and  one  hundred  and 
fifty  assistant  surgeons  were  provided  for,  instead  of  seventy  surgeons  and 
one  hundred  and  forty  assistant  surgeons ;  and  substituting  the  following  clause 
for  the  corresponding  one  in  the  House  bill : 

"  And  all  the  original  vacancies  in  the  grade  of  assistant  surgeon,  shall  be  filled 
by  selection  by  examination,  from  among  the  persons  who  have  served  as  staff  or 
regimental  surgeons  or  assistant  surgeons  of  volunteers  in  the  army  of  the  United 
States  two  years  during  the  late  war." 

The  clause  was  also  a'dded  fi-om  the  Senate  bill  requiring  the  Surgeon 
General  to  be  hereaftier  appointed  by  selection  fi-om  the  Medical  Corps.  The  new 
offices  created  by  this  act  were  filled  as  follows:  Surgeon  Charles  H.  Crane  was 
appointed  Assistant  Surgeon  General  on  the  twenty-eighth  of  July,  and  on  the 
twenty-second  of  August  Surgeon  R.  S.  Satterlee  was  appointed  Chief  Medical 
Purveyor,  and  Surgeons  C.  McDougall,  E.  H.  Abadie,  Robert  Miuray  and  Charles 
Sutherland,  assistant  medical  purveyors.  To  fill  the  vacancies  in  the  grade  of 
assistant  surgeon  created  by  this  law  an  examining  board  was  called  to  meet  in 
New  York  on  the  twentieth  of  September.  The  officers  composing  the  detail 
were  Surgeons  Joseph  B.  Brown,  H.  R.  Wirtz,  A.  Heger  and  Warren  Web- 
ster. Surgeon  Heger  was  subsequently  relieved  by  Surgeon  John  Moore. 
This  board  continued  its  sessions  until  October  5, 1857,  having  during  that  time 
examined  one  hundred  and  sixty  candidates,  out  of  two  hundred  and  seventy- 
two  that  were  invited  to  present  themselves.  Of  those  examined,  forty-eight 
were  found  qualified  and  recommended  for  appointment,  ninety-one  were 
rejected,  and  twenty-one  withdrew  after  a'  partial  examination. 

By  an  epidemic  of  cholera  which  prevailed  at  Hart  Island,  New  York 
Harbor,  in  the  summer  of  1866  the  Medical  Corps  lost  a  young  officer  of  great 
promise.  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  Theodore  Calhoun  died  in  the  faithfiil  per- 
formance of  his  duties  on  the  nineteenth  of  July.  In  his  official  report  of 
this  epidemic  Surgeon  John  J.  Milhau  thus  speaks  of  his  untimely  death : 


"  Brevet  Major  J.  Tlieodore  Calhoun,  assistant  surgeon,  United  States  army,  died 
July  19,  at  1  p.  m.,  of  cholera,  after  an  illness  of  ten  hours.  He  was  faithfully 
attended  by  Brevet  Major  Warren  Webster.  The  funeral  cortege  consisted  of  officers 
only,  six  of  whom  bore  the  coffin  to  the  grave  on  the  island.  Thus  ended  the  career 
of  a  kind  hearted,  energetic,  conscientious  and  intelligent  medical  officer,  whose  ser- 
vices in  the  field  and  at  the  post  had  endeared  him  to  all  with  whom  he  had  served. 
He  was  stricken  down  while  in  the  zealous  discharge  of  his  duties,  and  his  memory 
will  long  be  cherished  by  his  old  associates  and  his  former  patients." 

Another  officer,  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  E.  McDonald,  died  of  cholera  at  St. 
Louis,  Missouri,  on  the  tenth  of  September. 

The  death  of  Surgeon  Charles  S.  Tripler,  which  occurred  at  Cincinnati, 
Ohio,  on  the  twentieth  of  October,  after  a  long  and  painful  illness,  left  a  vacant 
place  in  the  ranks  of  the  Medical  Staff  difficult  to  be  filled.  He  was  one  of 
its  most  distinguished  members,  who  during  upwards  of  thirty-five  years  ser- 
vice had  ever  been  foremost  in  all  enterprises  for  the  advancemeht  of  the  interests 
of  the  Corps,  and  the  dignity  of  the  medical  profession.  So  highly  was  he 
appreciated  in  the  army  that  the  War  Department  paid  to  his  memory  the 
unusual  tribute  of  announcing  his  death  in  a  general  order,  which  was  as  follows : 


Adjutant  General's  Office, 

Washington,  October  27,  1866. 
General  Orders,  No.  89. 

The  following  notice  of  the  decease  of  a  distinguished  officer  of  the  Medical  De- 
partment of  the  army,  by  the  chief  of  his  Department,  is  published  to  the  army: 


Washington,  October  23,  1866. 
To  THE  Adjutant  General,  U.  S.  Army  : 

Sir  :  I  have  the  honor  to  report  the  death,  at  Cincinnati,  on  the  20th  instant,  of 
Brevet  Brigadier  General  Q,  S.  Tripler,  Surgeon,  U.  S.  Army,  Medical  Director, 
Department  of  the  Lakes. 

Entering  the  army  as  assistant  surgeon,  October,  1830,  General  Tbip&er  served 
continuously  for  thirty-six  years,  during  which  time  he  held  with  credit  to  himself  and 
advantage  to  the  government,  positions  of  high  trust  and  responsibility,  taking  part  in 
the  Seminole  war,  the  war  with  Mexico,  the  occupation  of  California,  and  being  the 
first  Medical  Director  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. 

His  skilful  administration  and  conscientious  discharge  of  duty,  has  been  rewarded 
by  three  brevets  for  '  faithful  and  meritorious  services.'  The  Medical  Corps  possesses 
in  his  distinguished  career  a  bright  example  of  the  union  of  great  professional 
attainments,  with  the  military  zeal  and  pride  of  an  officer,  and  those  qualities  which 
mark  the  christian  gentleman. 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

J.  K.  BARNES, 

Surgeon  General. 
Bt  order  of  the  Secretary  of  War  : 


Assistant  Adjutant  General." 


(xenei-al  Tripler  was  born  of  English  parents  in  New  York  city  on  the 
nineteenth  of  January,  1806.  He  was  prepared  for  college,  but  through  the 
failure  of  his  father  in  business  was  compelled  to  abandon  this  intention,  and 
thrown  upon  his  own  resources  at  an  age  when  most  youths  are  commencing 
their  education.  He  supported  himself  for  several  years  as  a  clerk  in  a  dnig 
store,  and  in  1828  commenced  the  study  of  medicine  with  Doctor  Stephen 
Brown,  of  New  York,  graduating  at  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons 
in  1 827.  After  receiving  his  degree  he  served  as  resident  physician  at  Bellevue 
Hospital,  where  he  highly  distinguished  himself  during  an  epidemic  of  small-pox. 
carrying  with  him  to  his  grave  the  marks  left  by  his  enctiunter  with  this  malady. 
About  this  time,  through  the  influence  of  a  great  uncle,  he  was  oflPered  a 
position  in  the  Honorable  East  India  Company's  service,  but  this  he  declined, 
having  already  in  view  an  appointment  in  the  Medical  Staff.  He  went  very  soon 
after  this  to  West  Point,  where  he  entered  the  family  of  the  late  Surgeon  Walter 
V.Wheaton,  and  studied  the  practical  duties  of  a  military  surgeon  with  that  officer 
until  1830,  when  he  received  an  appointment  as  assistant  surgeon.  His  subse- 
quent career  is  so  well  known  to  the  whole  army  as  to  need  no  mention  here, 
but  the  following  brief  lines  by  the  one  who  knew  him  best  in  this 
world,  though  not  written  with  a  view  to  publication,  may  appropriately  be 
given  to  show  that  in  private  life  he  was  not  less  exemplary  than  distinguished 
as  a  public  man  : 

"  He  made  many  friends  at  West  Point  during  the  time  he  lived  there,  among 
the  Professors  as  well  as  among  the  future  officers  of  the  army.  He  was  always  a 
student,  though  he  described  himself  as  a  lazy  hoy,  who  learned  nothing  unless  it  was 
beaten  into  him.  He  certainly  was  beaten  into  the  habit  of  study;  he  went  through 
the  mathematical  course  pursued  by  the  cadets  while  he  was  at  West  Point  ;  he  after- 
wards learned  the  French  language  so  as  to  be  able  to  translate  with  fluency  and 
elegance,  the  same  with  Italian  and  Spanish.  He  made  no  attempt  to  speak  any  but 
the  Spanish.  He  was  no  mean  musician.  His  great  desire  seeme<l  to  be  to  learn  well, 
what  he  did  learn. 

He  wrote  less  than  he  studied,  but  his  stores  of  knowledge  were  always  at  the 
service  of  his  professional  friends  in  civil  life,  who  had  less  time  than  himself  to  give 
to  books.  As  far  as  I  know  he  printed  but  the  following:  1.  Remarkn  on  Delirium 
Tremens,  1S27,  being  his  graduating  Thesis,  published  by  request.  2.  A  Treatise  on 
the  duties  of  physicians  in  regard  to  popular  delusions.  8.  A  Treatise  on  the  nature, 
cause  and  treatment  of  scurvy.  4.  Manual  for  the  medical  officers  of  the  army  of  the 
United  States.  Part  I.  Recruiting  and  the  inspection  of  recruits,  1858.  ').  Hand- 
book for  the  military  surgeon,  1861.  These  last  two  were  incomplete,  the  latter  on 
account  of  his  going  to  the  field  at  the  beginning  of  the  Rebellion,  and  the  former 
being  only  the  first  part  of  the  work,  which  he  hoped  to  live  to  complete  to  his  own 

There  is  little  more  to  say.  Any  record  of  Doctor  Tripler  should  tell  of  prompt 
obedience  of  orders,  of  twenty-three  years  of  service  at  one  time   without  a  leave,  of 

SINCK    THK    RKBKl.lJON.  2i).) 

thirty  years  of  devotion  to  his  corj)!<  and  to  ever}'  duty  to   Jiis  country,  of  his  services 
in  three  wars  so  ill  rewarded. 

He  was  not  in  the  habit  of  talking  about  himself.  lie  was  one  of  the  most  self- 
denying  and  charitable  of  men,  but  no  one  would  have  dreamed  it  from  anything  he 
said.  With  nothing  but  his  pay,  he  supported  his  own  mother  for  twenty  years  and 
his  wife's  mother  and  sister  for  half  that  time,  and  never  to  his  own  wife  mentioned 
the  money  which  was  sent  each  quarter  with  unfailing  regularity.  A  devout  christian, 
he  avoided  the  subject  of  religion  in  general  conversation  most  carefully  only  to  make 
more  telling  some  private  talk  which  souls  now  on  earth  and  many  in  Paradise  listened 
to,  to  their  eternal  welfare.  His  own  faith  never  wavered ;  he  bore  his  painful  sick- 
ness, his  horrible  pangs  more  than  patiently,  he  bore  them  thankfully:  when  he  was 
struck  he  gave  the  ring  of  the  true  metal,  and  so  died." 

A  few  uioiiths  after  hi.s  death  the  officers  of  the  Corps  caused  a  handsoinc 
monument  to  be  erected  over  his  grave  in  th('   cemetery  at   Detroit.  Michigan. 

Previous  to  the  war  of  the  Rebellion  the  only  brevet  ever  conferred  on  a 
medical  officer  was  in  the  case  of  Surgeon  (leneral  Lawson.  who  at  the  close  of 
the  Mexican  war  was  brevetted  a  brigadier  general  for  ''meritorious  services'' 
in  the  campaign  which  resulted  in  the  capture  of  the  city  of  Mexico.  At  the 
close  of  the  Rebellion,  however,  owing  to  the  j)ersistent  efforts  of  the  Surgeon 
General,  in  which  he  received  the  cordial  support  of  Mr.  Stanton,  the  principle 
was  at  last  recognized  that  medical  officers  who  were  equally  exposed  on  the 
battle  field  with  officers  of  the  line,  and  were  frequently  called  upon  to  face 
the  more  appalling  dangers  of  pestilence  in  camp  and  hospitals,  were  equally 
entitled  to  some  mark  of  distinction  for  the  faithful  discharge  of  duty  with 
those  of  other  branches  of  the  service.  Consequently,  at  th^  termination  of  the 
war  and  afler  the  subsequent  epidemics  in  1866  the  Medical  Staff  was  not  over 
looked  in  the  distribution  of  these  marks  of  distinction.  The  Surgeon  General 
was  brevetted  a  major  general,  twelve  surgeons  to  the  rahk  of  brigadier  general, 
fourteen  surgeons  and  one  assistant  surgeon  to  the  rank  of  colonel,  fifty-three 
surgeons  and  assistant  surgeons  to  the  rank  of  lieutenant  colonel,  sixty-three 
assistant  surgeons  to  the  rank  of  major,  and  eight  to  the  rank  of  captain. 

The  seventeenth  section  of  the  act  of  July  28,  1866,  contained  a  clause, 
that  "  persons  who  have  served  as  assistant  surgeons  throe  years  in  the  volun- 
teer service  shall  be  eligible  for  promotion  to  the  grade  of  captain."  Although 
not  so  intended,  the  phraseology  of  this  clause  had  the  effect  of  excluding  from 
such  eligibility  all  those  who  had  served  in  the  grade  of  surgeon,  thtis  confining 
its  benefits  to  but  a  small  proportion  of  the  volunteer  medical  officers.  This  was 
remedied  by  adding  a  section  to  a  bill  approved  March  2,  1867,  so  as  to  make 
the  clause  in  question  read,  "all  persons  who  have  served  as  surgeons  or  assist- 
ant surgeons,  etc."  By  the  same  act  military  storekeepers,  including  those  of 
the  Medical  Department  were  given  the  rank,  pay  and  emoluments  of  captains 
of  cavalry. 


The  nomination  of  Surgeon  E.  H.  Abadie  to  be  Assistant  Medical  Pur- 
veyor having  failed  of  confirmation  by  the  Senate,  expired  by  constitutional 
limitation  on  the  fourth  of  March,  1867,  and  he  resumed  his  former  position  as 
surgeon.  On  the  twentieth  of  July  Surgeon  J.  H.  Baxter,  TJ.  S.  Volunteers, 
received  the  appointment  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

The  year  1867  was  one  of  unusual  fatality  to  the  ofiicers  of  the  Medical 
Stafi".  Surgeon  Robert  O.  Abbott,  so  well  known  as  the  eflScient  Medical  Di- 
rector of  the  Department  of  Washington  throughout  the  war,  died  on  the 
sixteenth  of  June,  after  a  lingering  illness.  Few  were  better  known  in  the 
army  and  none  more  universally  beloved  than  this  high  mindfed  and  able  officer 
and  gentleman. 

Severe  epidemics  of  yellow  fever  at  the  south,  and  of  cholera  at  the  west, 
caused  the  loss  of  a  number  of  valuable  lives.  No  less  than  thirty-one  medical 
officers  were  attacked  with  yellow  fever  while  battling  with  that  pestilence 
along  the  Gulf  coast,  of  whom  ten  died.  These  were,  Surgeon  George  Taylor, 
Surgeon-in-Chief  of  the  District  of  Texas,  who  died  at  Galveston  on  the  fifth  of 
August ;  Assistant  Surgeon  Charles  H.  Rowe,  on  the  fifth  of  September,  at 
Galveston;  Assistant  Surgeon  J.  Sim  Smith,  on  the  eighth  of  September,  at 
Fort  Jefferson,  Florida;  Assistant  Surgeon  Samuel  Adams,  on  the  ninth  of 
September  at  Galveston  ;  and  six  citizen  physicians  employed  under  contract. 
By  cholera  the  army  was  deprived  of  the  services  of  Assistant,  Surgeon  G.  M . 
McGill,  who  died,  July  20,  on  the  plains  while  en  route  with  troops  to  New 

The  last  army  board  convened   in  New  York   city   on   the  first  of  May, 

1868.  The  detail  was  the  same  as  in  1867,  except  that  Assistant  Surgeon 
Woodhull  was  substituted  for  Surgeon  Warren  Webster  as  recorder.  Ninety- 
three  candidates  were  invited  to  appear  for  examination,  of  whom  sixty-three 
were  examined.  Fifteen  were  found  qualified,  forty  were  rejected,  and  eight 
withdrew  after  a  partial  examination. 

There  were  still  a  large  number  of  vacancies  in  the  Corps,  but  in  conse- 
quence of  a  section  added  to  the  Army  Appropriation  Bill  approved  March  3, 

1869,  these  and  others  which  have  occurred  since  that  time  have  never  been 
filled.     This  clause  was  as  follows : 

"  Section  VI.  And  be  it  further  enacted,  That  until  otherwise  directed  bv  law, 
there  shall  be  no  new  appointments  and  no  promotions  in  the  *  *  Medical 

Just  before  the  passage  of  this  bill  General  R.  S.  Satterlee,  Chief  Medi- 
cal Purveyor,  and  General  C.  McDougall,  Assistant  Medical  Purveyor,  were,  by 
direction  of  the  President,  retired  from  active  service.     An  effort  was  made  in 


Congress,  on  the  twenty-second  of  March,  to  pass  a  bill  restoring  them  to  the 
active  list,  but  it  met  with  so  much  opposition  that  the  matter  was  indefinitely 

Brevet  Brigadier  General  Robert  C.  Wood,  a  veteran  surgeon  of  great 
experience  and  extensive  acquirements,  died  in  New  York  city  of  pneumonia 
on  the  twenty-eighth  of  March,  1869.  General  Wood  was  a  native  of  Rhode 
Island,  from  which  state  he  was  appointed  an  assistant  surgeon  in  May,  1825. 
For  the  first  ten  yea]-s  of  his  service  he  was  stationed  at  various  posts  in  the 
northwestern  territory,  and  being  promoted  surgeon,  July,  1836,  was  ordered  to 
Florida,  where  he  remained  until  1840.  He  was  then  stationed  at  Buffalo 
until  1845.  He  was  surgeon  of  the  fifth  infantry  at  the  commencement  of  the 
Mexican  war,  and  organized  and  conducted  the  general  hospital  at  Point  Isabel 
during  the  Rio  Grande  campaign.  In  the  latter  part  of  the  war  he  had  direc- 
tion of  the  general  hospital  at  Jackson  Barracks,  New  Orleans,  Louisiana.  He 
was  post  surgeon  at  Fort  McHenry,  Maryland,  from  1850  to  1854,  and  subse- 
quently in  the  office  of  the  Surgeon  General  until  1862,  being  frequently 
during  this  period  on  duty  as  Acting  Surgeon  General.  He  was  appointed  Assist- 
ant Surgeon  General,  June,  1862,  and  stationed  at  Louisville,  Kentucky,  in 
charge  of  the  medical  department  of  all  the  western  armies  until  the  close  of  the 
Rebellion.  His  last  duty  was  as  a  member  of  the  board  to  retire  disabled  officers, 
from  which  he  was  relieved  and  himself  retired  in  February,  1869,  a  month 
before  his  death.  In  all  his  long  service  he  was  distinguished,  adorning  every 
high  position  which  he  occupied,  and  just  before  the  close  of  his  career  was  re- 
warded by  the  government  with  three  brevets  for  faithful  and  meritorious  services. 

General  Wood  was  soon  followed  to  the  grave  by  Surgeon  John  B.  Por- 
ter, who  died  at  Coventry,  Connecticut,  on  the  fifteenth  of  June.  He  entered 
the  service  as  assistant  surgeon  in  December,  1833,  had  highly  distinguished 
himself  during  the  Florida  and  Mexican  wars,  (especially  during  the  prevalence 
of  yellow  fever  at  Vera  Cruz  in  1847)  and  as  Medical  Director  of  the  forces  in 
Utah  from  1859  to  1861.  He  was  retired  in  1862  for  "disability  resulting 
from  long  and  faithful  service,"  and  assigned  as  Medical  Purveyor  at  Chicago, 
from  which  duty  he  was  relieved  in  1 864,  and  passed  the  remainder  of  his  life 
at  his  home  in  Connecticut. 

To  this  roll  of  the  depaited  the  name  of  Surgeon  Samuel  G.  I.  De  Camp 
was  added  on  the  eighth  of  September,  1872.  For  forty-eight  years  he  had 
served  his  country  as  a  medical  officer,  the  last  nine  of  which,  however,  were 
passed  in  retirement  at  his  home  at  Saratoga,  New  York,  where  he  died.  His 
long  and  varied  service  had  been  performed  with  credit  to  himself  and  the  Corps, 
and  profit  to  his  country. 


A  bill  pa.ssed  Congress  on  the  fourth  of  March.  1872.  to  provide  for  the 
apjMjintment  of  a  Chief  Medical  Purveyor.     It  was  as  follows : 

"Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  the  President  of  the  United  .States  be,  and  hereby  is. 
authorized  to  appoint  by  selection  from  the  jiresent  assistant  medical  purveyors,  by 
and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  a  chief  medical  purveyor  of  the  army, 
to  fill  the  vacancy  now  existing.  Nothing  herein  shall  be  construed  to  increase  the 
l>ay  of  the  officer  appointed  to  fill  said  vacancy." 

Assistant  Medical  Purveyor  J.  H.  Baxter  was  promoted  to  be  (^hief  Medi- 
cal Purveyor  in  accordance  with  the  provi.sions  of  this  act. 

The  large  number  of  vacancies  in  the  Medical  Department  rendered  it 
impossible  to  supply  all  the  military  garrisons  in  the  country  and  provide  the 
necessary  details  for  other  duty,  except  by  the  employment  of  a  large  number 
of  citizen  physicians.  It  became  therefore  very  advisable  that  the  legislation 
forbidding  promotion  and  appointment  in  the  staff  corps  should  be  repe^ded.  in 
so  far  as  it  referred  to  the  Medical  Department.  The  Surgeon  Gi-eneral  ear- 
nestly urged  such  acti(m  by  Congress  in  his  annual  reports  for  1870.  1871  and 
1872,  and  it  was  strongly  recommended  in  the  latter  year  by  both  the  Secretary 
of  War  and  the  President.  Nevertheless,  no  action  was  taken  thereon.  At 
the  last  session  of  Congress  several  bills  were  introduced  with  this  t)bject  in 
view,  and  one  of  them  passed  the  Senate  on  the  third  of  March,  but  the  final 
adjournment  of  Congress  taking  place  the  next  day.  it  failed  to  reach  a  vote  in 
the  House  of  Representatives. 

There  are  at  present  (June,  1878)  two  vacancies  in  the  grade  of  Assistant 
Medical  Purveyor,  five  in  that  of  surgeon,  fifly-five  in  that  of  assistant  surgeon 
and  one  in  that  of  medical  storekeeper ;  in  all  sixty-three,  a  reduction  of  the 
effective  working  force  of  the  Department  that  cannot  but  be  disastrous  to  the 
best  interests  of  the  Medical  Staff  and  of  the  service  at  large. 

We  have  now  in  a  rapid  manner  sketched  the  more  important  events  in  the 
history  of  the  Medical  Staft",  from  its  inception  in  1775  to  the  present  time. 
Want  of  space  has  prevented  the  consideration  of  much  valuable  material  on 
file  in  the  Surgeon  General's  Ofiice,  but  as  this  is  chiefly  of  a  personal  charac- 
ter, relating  rather  to  individuals  than  to  the  corps  at  lai^e,  it  was  thought  best 
to  omit  everything  which  was  not  of  general  interest  either  in  the  decision  of 
disputed  points,  the  establishment  of  precedent,  or  the  maintenance  of  the  high 
standard  of  the  Corps  and  the  profession.  It  now  remains  only  to  mention  the 
work  performed  under  the  auspices  of  the  Surgeon  General's  Bureau  since  the 
close  of  the  war. 

The  Army  Medical  Museum  has  continued  to  increase  in  interest  and 
importance  from  the  date  of  its  incipience.     It  is  now  permanently  located 


in  the  old  Ford's  theatre  building,  in  which  the  lamented  Lincoln  was 
assassinated,  which  was  purchased  for  this  purpose  in  1866,  and  havin<^ 
been  completely  refitted  and  rendered  fire-proof,  was  opened  to  the  public  on 
the  fouiteenth  of  April,  1867.  Since  that  time  it  has  been  visited  yearly  by 
many  thousand  persons,  embracing  not  only  the  ordinary  class  of  sight-seers, 
but  also  medical  and  scientific  men  from  all  parts  of  this  country  and  Europe, 
by  whom  it  is  pronounced  the  most  complete  collection  of  the  kind  in  the  world. 
It  is  divided  into  sections  embracing  specimens  in  surgery,  medicine,  anatomy, 
microscopy  and  comparative  anatomy.  The  surgical  section  contained  on  the 
fii-st  of  July,  1872,  six  thousand  and  ninety-three  preparations,  embracing  gun- 
shot fractures  of  every  description,  plaster  casts  showing  the  results  of  opera- 
tions, tumors,  calculi,  missiles  of  war,  surgical  instruments  of  every  variety 
and  a  large  number  of  wet  preparations  illustrative  of  every  description  of 
surgical  disease  and  injury.  The  medical  section  contained  eleven  hundred  and 
twenty-five  specimens  and  is  especially  rich  in  its  illustrations  of  the  diseases 
incident  to  camps  and  hospitals,  though  by  no  means  confined  to  this  speciality. 
In  the  microscopical  division  are  nearly  six  thousand  specimens  carefully  mounted 
and  labelled,  afibrding  a  wide  field  for  the  study  of  histology  and  medical 
and  surgical  pathology,  which  is  being  rapidly  increased  under  the  direction 
of  able  and  experienced  microscopists.  The  anatomical  collection  embraces 
nearly  a  thousand  crania  of  existing  tribes  of  Indians,  a  series  of  skulls  from 
tumuli  and  many  rare  specimens  of  artificial  deformities  of  the  cranium,  and 
will  eventually  become  a  rich  field  for  ethnological  research.  In  the  section  of 
comparative  anatomy  are  two  hundred  and  ninety-five  complete  skeletons  of 
animals,  and  upwards  of  seven  hundred  crania  of  birds,  reptiles,  fishes  and 
mammals.  To  all  these  should  be  added  a  complete  collection  of  models  of  am- 
bulances, litters  and  other  appliances  for  the  transportation  of  sick  and  wounded, 
aitificial  limbs  of  every  known  design,  a  collection  of  photographs  illus- 
trative of  the  result  of  operations,  etc.,  etc. ;  making  in  all  upwards  of  fifteen 
thousand  specimens  on  the  catalogue,  which  is  being  constantly  increased  by  the 
receipt  of  new  preparations  from  all  parts  of  the  country. 

In  the  same  building  with  the  Museum  is  situated  the  Library  of  the 
Surgeon  General's  Office.  At  the  commencement  of  the  war  this  contained 
but  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  text  books  and  journals.  In  October,  1865, 
the  number  of  volumes  was  about  eighteen  hundred,  since  which  time  it  has 
increased  rapidly  by  purchase,  donation  and  exchange,  until  at  the  present  time 
it  numbers  about  twenty-five  thousand  volumes  and  thirteen  thousand  single 
pamphlets,  most  of  the  latter  being  unbound  theses.  Among  the  former  are  six 
hundred  and  fifty-eight  bound  volumes  of  the  Paris  theses,  and  upwards  of  six 


hundred  volumes  of  pamphlets,  makinp;  the  total  number  of  titles  nearly  forty 
thousand.  About  two  thousand  of  the  books  are  not  of  a  professional  charac- 
ter, being  works  on  the  history  of  the  late  war,  on  meteorology,  on  physics,  and 
various  public  documents.  The  library  is  especially  complete  in  its  collection 
of  American  medical  periodicals.  It  is  open  to  the  public  under  the  same 
regulations  as  the  Library  of  Congress.  Its  future  depends  to  a  great  extent 
on  the  liberality  of  Congress,  but  it  may  be  confidently  expected  that  at  no 
distant  day  it  will  be  recognized  as  the  standard  medical  library  of  this 
country  and  will  compare  not  unfavorably  with  the  best  collections  of  the  old 
world.  To  the  industry  and  sound  bibliographic  judgment  of  Assistant  Sur- 
geon John  S.  Billings,  who  has  devoted  his  time  to  this  work,  in  addition  to  the 
ordinary  duties  devolving  upon  his  official  position,  much  credit  is  to  be  given 
in  connection  with  the  selection  of  the  books  now  composing  the  collection 
and  the  preparation  of  a  complete  catalogue  of  authors  and  an  alphabetical 
index  of  subjects. 

The  army  chemical  laboratory  is  also  situated  in  this  building,  and  is  em- 
ployed in  such  chemical  investigations  as  are  needed  from  time  to  time  by  the 
Surgeon  General,  such  as  analyses  of  specimens  of  water  sent  to  it  from  various 
parts  of  the  country,  the  detection  of  adulterations  in  the  various  constituents 
of  the  soldier's  ration  and  in  medicines  and  other  articles  fiimished  by  the 
Supply  Table,  etc.,  etc.  It  has,  under  the  able  direction  of  Acting  Assistant 
Surgeon  B.  F.  Craig,  become  a  most  useful  and  important  adjunct  to  the  Sur- 
geon General's  Office. 

Since  the  close  of  the  war  the  Surgeon  General  has  printed,  by  authority 
of  the  Secretary  of  War,  the  following  books  : 

Circular,  No.  6.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  Novem- 
ber 1,  1865.  Report  on  the  Extent  and  Nature  of  the  Materials  available  for  the 
preparation  of  the  Medical  and  Surgical  History  of  the  Rebellion.      Quarto,  pp.  166. 

Catalogue  of  the  United  States  Army  Medical  Museum.  Prepared  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  Surgeon  General,  U.  S.  Army.     Washington,  1866.     Quarto,  pp.  960. 

Circular,  No.  5.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  O^ce,  Washington,  May 
4,  1867.  Report  on  Epidemic  Cholera  in  the  Army  of  the  United  States  during  the 
year  1860.     Quarto,  pp.  65. 

Circular,  No  7.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  July  1, 
1867.     A  Report  on  Amputations  at  the  Hip-Joint  in  Military  Surgery.    Quarto,  pp.  87. 

Circular,  No.  1.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  June 
10,  1868.  "Report  on  Epidemic  Cholera  and  Yellow  Fever  in  the  Army  of  the  United 
States  during  the  year  1867.     Quarto,  pp.  156. 

Circular,  No.  2.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  January 
2,  1869.  A  Report  on  the  Excisions  of  the  Head  of  the  Femur  for  gunshot  injury. 
Quarto,  pp.  141. 


Circular,  No.  4.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  Decem- 
ber 5,  1870.  Report  on  Barracks  and  Hospitals,  with  descriptions  of  Military  Posts. 
Quarto,  pp.  494. 

Circular,  No.  2.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  Washington,  July  27, 
1871.     Approved  Plans  and  Specifications  for  Post  Hospitals.     Quarto,  pp.  14. 

Circular,  No.  3.  War  Department,  Surgeon  General's  Office,  August  17,  1871. 
Report  of  Surgical  Cases  treated  in  the  Army  of  the  United  States  from  1865  to  1871. 
Quarto,  pp.  296. 

Catalogue  of  the  Library  of  the  Surgeon  General's  Office,  with  an  alphabetical  inde^ 
of  subjects.     Washington,  1872. 

In  addition  to  the  above,  during  the  period  referred  to  there  have  been 
written  by  officers  of  the  Medical  Department  the  following  special  reports  : 

On  the  hygienic  fitness  of  the  present  uniform  and  allowance  of  clothing  fojr 
enlisted  men.     Washington,  January  31,  1868. 

A  report  made  to  the  Commissioner  of  Agriculture  on  the  Diseases  of  Cattle  in 
the  United  States.    1869. 

Report  to  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  United  States  Army  on  the  Magnesium  and 
Electric  Lights  as  applied  to  Photo-micrography.    January  5,  1870. 

Report  to  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  United  States  Army  on  the  Oxy-calcium 
Light  as  applied  to  Photo-micrography.     June  4,  1870. 

Report  to  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  United  States  Army  on  certain  points  con- 
nected with  the  Histology  of  minute  bloodvessels.    July  6,  1870. 

Report  to  the  Surgeon  General  on  an  improved  method  of  photographing  Histo- 
logical Preparations  by  Sunlight.    1871. 

Report  to  the  Secretary  of  War  on  Quarantine  on  the  Southern  and  Gulf  Coasts  of 
the  United  States.  December  4,  1872. 

Report  to  the  Surgeon  Genei'al  of  the  Army  on  the  Minute  Anatomy  of  two  cases 
of  Cancer.     1872. 

"Copies  of  these  publications  have  been  distributed  to  medical  officers  of  the  army 
and  navy,  to  a  large  number  of  volunteer  surgeons  who  served  during  the  war  and  to 
many  colleges  and  learned  societies.  They  have  been  adjudged  at  home  and  abroad 
to  contain  real  and  valuable  additions  to  human  knowledge  on  the  special  subjects  of 
which  they  treat,  and  the  demand  for  them  has  been  so  great,  that  the  large  editions 
printed  proved  insufficient  and  it  was  necessary  to  refuse  copies  to  many  applicants." 

The  work  done  in  the  microscopic  section  of  the  Museum  in  the  direction 
of  photo-micrography  has  also  been  very  extensive  and  has  been  highly  appre- 
ciated by  the  most  eminent  microscopists  in  all  parts  of  the  world,  to  whom 
copies  of  many  of  the  photo-micrographs  were  sent.  So  have  also  the  effi^rts 
made  to  disseminate  a  knowledge  of  the  collections  of  the  Museum  by  means  of 
photographs,  models  of  ambulances  and  hospitals,  of  improvements  in  artificial 
limbs  and  surgical  appliances,  which  were  exhibited  at  the  Paris  Exposition  and 
sent  to  various  governments  and  leading  societies  in  Europe.     A  collection  of 


four  volumes  of  photographs,  illustrating  every  kind  of  surgical  injury,  modes 
of  repair  and  the  results  obtained  by  conservative  surgery,  has  been  distributed 
in  this  manner  and  met  with  the  most  flattering  reception  from  such  professional 
leaders  as  Larrey,  Legouest,  Longmore,  Pouchet,  Parkes  and  others.  All  of 
this  work,  however,  important  and  valuable  as  it  is,  has  been  subordinate  to  the 
"  Medical  and  Surgical  History  of  the  War"  of  which  the  first  part,  embracing 
two  large  quarto  volumes,  has  just  been  published  and  is  now  being  distributed. 
It  is  yet  too  early  to  ascertain  the  verdict  of  the  professional  world  on  this  great 
storehouse  of  facts  relative  to  military  medicine  and  surgery,  but  the  results  of 
the  past  warrant  us  in  believing  that  a  like  appreciation  will  be  shown  to  the 
labors  of  the  distinguished  compilers  of  these  volumes  and  still  greater  credit 
accrue  to  the  Medical  Department  from  their  publication  than  have  already  been 
accorded  to  their  predecessors. 

The  work  above  spoken  of  has  been  of  such  a  character  as  to  be  of  compara- 
tively little  interest  outside  of  the  medical  and  scientific  world.  In  addition 
the  Medical  Bureau  since  the  war  has  been  engaged  in  other  labors  which  appeal 
most  forcibly  to  the  sympathies  of  the  community  at  large.  The  "  Record  and 
Pension  Division"  of  the  Surgeon  G-eneral's  Office  has  been  the  means  of  fur- 
nishing information  in  many  thousand  cases  of  application  for  pension  for 
disease  or  disability  contracted  during  the  war,  verifying  from  its  admirably  kept 
records  the  justice  of  the  claim  or  protecting  the  government  in  the  event  of  a 
fraudulent  application.  From  July  1,  1865,  to  April  30,  1873,  applications 
for  information  from  the  various  departments  of  the  government,  as  well  as 
from  the  parties  concerned,  have  been  made  in  two  hundred  and  thirty-eight 
thousand  three  hundred  and  ninety-five  cases.  Answers  have  been  re- 
turned in  two  hundred  and  thirty-seven  thousand  two  hundred  and  eighty- 
nine  of  these,  leaving  but  eleven  hundred  and  six  unreturned  at  the  last  date. 
These  came  from  the  following  offices : 


Adjutant  General,  74,464,  74,167,  297. 

Commissioner  of  Pensions,  140,096,  139,294,  802.' 

Paymaster  General,  11,972,  11,972, 

Miscellaneous,  11,863,  11,856,  7. 

The  supplying  of  artificial  limbs  to  disabled  soldiers  was  placed  in  charge 
of  the  Medical  Department  at  an  early  period  during  the  war.  Up  to  the 
thirtieth  of  April,  1873,  there  had  been  ftimished  the  following  number  and 
variety : 



Arms,  3,177  ;  Legs,  5,894 ;  Feet.  59 ;  Apparatus  for  resections,  234 : 
making  a  total  of  9,364. 

While  these  pages  are  passing  through  the  press,  information  is  received 
that  two  more  officers  of  the  Corps  have  passed  away  from  the  scene  of  their 
earthly  usefulness.  Brevet  Brigadier  General  Madison  Mills,  after  thirty-nine 
years  faithful  sei-vice,  in  which  he  held  many  positions  of  trust  and  importance, 
died  at  Fort  Columbus,  New  York  Harbor,  on  the  twenty-ninth  of  April.  The 
following  memorial  circular,  recently  issued,  gives  the  history  of  his  military 
career : 


SuKGEON  General's  Office, 

Washington,  May  5,  1873. 

The  Surgeon  General  announces  with  regret  to  the  Medical  Corps  the  death  of 
one  of  its  senior  members,  Surgeon  and  Brevet  Brigadier  General  Madison  Mills, 
which  occurred  at  Fort  Columbus,  New  York  Harbor,  on  the  28th  of  April. 

Receiving  his  commission  as  Assistant  Surgeon,  U.  S.  A.,  in  April,  1834,  Surgeon 
Mills'  service  extended  over  a  period  of  thirty-nine  years,  during  which  it  was  his 
fortune  to  take  part  in  the  Florida  war,  the  war  with  Mexico,  the  Utah  expedition  of 
1858  (as  Medical  Director)  and  the  war  of  the  Rebellion.  He  was  Medical  Director 
of  the  Department  of  Tennessee  (General  Grant's  Army)  at  the  time  of  the  siege  and 
surrender  of  Vicksburg,  and  in  December,  1864,  was  appointed  Medical  Inspector 
General,  the  duties  of  which  position  he  discharged  most  satisfactorily.  In  November, 
1864,  the  brevets  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  and  Colonel  and  in  April,  1865,  that  of  Briga- 
dier General  were  conferred  upon  him  for  faithful  and  meritorious  services. 

Possessed  of  unflinching  determination  and  courage  and  guided  by  professional 
abilities  of  a  high  order,  his  administration  of  tlie  trusts  c(Jnfided  to  him  was  marked 
by  a  prompt  efiiciency  and  sound  judgment  that  secured  successful  results,  even  under 
tlie  most  adverse  circumstances. 

J.  K.  BARNES, 

Surgeon  General,  U.  S.  Arm;/." 

Assistant  Surgeon  Thomas  McMillin  died  of  heart  disease  in  the  field 
while  chief  medical  officer  of  the  forces  operating  against  the  Modoc  Indians  in 
Oregon.  As  Medical  Purveyor  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  in  1862  and 
1863  he  contributed  greatly  by  his  efficient  management  of  this  important 
charge  to  the  admirable  medical  service  of  the  campaigns  in  which  that  army 
was  engaged,  and  subsequently  as  surgeon  in  charge  of  the  hospital  transports 
"  Baltic"  and  "  J.  K.  Barnes  "  superintended  the  transfer  of  many  thousand 
sick  and  wounded  soldiers  from  various  points  at  the  south  to  northern  hospi- 
tals, performing  all  his  duties  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  the  Department.  His 
excellent  personal  traits  caused  him  to  be  as  much  beloved  as  he  was  officially 

Ninety-eight  years  have  now  elapsed  since  the   first   humble  beginning  of^ 



the  Anny  Medical  Department  at  the  siege  of  Boston.  The  successors  of  those 
pioneers  in  American  military  surgery  can  say  with  pride  that  during  that  long 
period  they  have  taken  no  step  backward.  Under  the  leadership  of  such  wise 
and  accomplished  chiefs  as  Morgan,  Shippen,  Cochran,  Tilton,  Lovell  and 
Lawson  the  Corps  steadily  advanced  from  the  inchoate  condition  of  its  birth  to 
the  comparative  perfection  in  organization,  discipline  and  learning  to  which  it  had 
attained  on  the  outbreak  of  the  Rebellion.  Under  their  equally  distinguished 
successors,  who  were  forced  to  meet  the  emergencies  of  a  gigantic  campaign 
with  an  experience  gained  on  the  most  limited  scale,  the  Corps  proved  true  to 
its  past  record,  and  has  astonished  the  world,  not  less  by  the  vastness  of  it« 
operations  than  by  the  success  of  their  accomplishment.  During  the  Revolu- 
tion we  but  copied  the  systems  in  vogue  in  European  araiies,  and  unavailingly 
endeavored  to  adapt  them  to  the  partisan  warfare  which  characterized  the  cam- 
paigns of  that  period.  To-day  the  great  surgeons  of  Europe  recognize  their 
indebtedness  to  us  for  much  that  constitutes  progress  in  military  medicine, 
hygiene  and  surgery,  and  European  governments  send  special  commissions  to 
avail  themselves  of  the  vast  treasures  of  experience  accumulated  by  the  Medical 
Department  in  our  last  great  war.  In  the  past  history  of  the  Medical  Corps, 
in  the  gradual  increase  of  its  reputation  and  usefiilness,  in  the  high  esteem  in 
which  it  has  always  been  held  by  the  rest  of  the  army,  in  the  distinguished 
names  which  have  adorned  its  ranks,  as  well  as  in  the  encomiums  which  have 
recently  been  so  freely  accorded  to  it,  there  is  every  encouragement  to  maintain 
a  high  standard  of  individual  and  professional  integrity,  and  the  esprit  dv  corps 
which  is  so  important  an  element  of  its  very  existence. 

the  end. 




Reoisteu  of  Medical  Officers  who  served  to  the  close  of  the  Revolution 

AND    WERE     discharged    IN    1783. 

As  it  is  impossible  at  this  date  to  ascertain  the  names  of  all  the  medical  of&cers  who 
served  during  the  Revolutionary  war,  those  only  are  given  in  the  following  table  who 
are  known  to  have  been  honorably  discharged  at  the  termination  of  hostilities.  The 
list  has  been  obtained  from  Force's  American  Archives,  from  pension  returns  and 
Revolutionary  muster  rolls.  The  roster  of  hospital  surgeons  is  believed  to  be  very 
nearly  complete ;  that  of  the  regimental  medical  officers  is  necessarily  imperfect  from 
lack  of  data  to  ascertain  to  what  regiments  many  officers  were  attached,  from  the 
want  of  uniformity  in  the  nomenclature  of  regiments,  and  from  the  fact  that  during 
the  last  year  of  the  war  many  officers  availed  themselves  of  the  indefinite  furlough 
granted  to  all  officers,  and  were  never  discharged  at  all. 

The  hospital  officers  are  arranged  according  to  rank,  those  attached  to  regiments 
by  states. 


John  Cochran,  of  New  York. 

Deputy  Director. 
David  Olyphant,  of  South  Carolina. 

Physician  to  the  Army. 
James  Craik,  of  Virginia. 

Thomas  Bond,  of  Pennsylvania. 

Assistant  Purveyors. 
Isaac  Ledyard,  of  New  York,  N.  Brownson,  of  South  Carolina. 

Apothecary  General. 
Andrew  Craigie,  of  New  York. 

J.  B.  Cutting,  of  New  York,  Henry  C.  Flagg,  of  South  Carolina. 



Hospital  Surgeons. 

1.  Malachi  Treat,  of  New  York, 

2.  Charles  McKniglit,  of  New  York. 

3.  Peter  Fayssoux,  of  South  Carolina. 

4.  James  Tilton,  of  Delaware. 

5.  Samuel  Adams,  of  Mass. 

6.  David  Townshend,  of  Mass. 

7.  Henry  Latimer,  of  Delaware. 

8.  Philip  Turner,  of  Connecticut. 

9.  William  Burnet,  of  New  Jersey. 

10.  John  Warren,  of  Mass. 

11.  William  Eustis,  of  Mass. 

12.  George  Draper,  of  New  York. 


13.  Barnabas  Binney,  of  Penn. 

14.  Robert  Johnson,  of  Penn. 

15.  William  Read,  of  South  Carolina. 

16.  Joseph  Young,  of  New  York. 

17.  Goodwin  Wilson,  of  Penn. 

18.  Daniel  Jenifer,  of  Maryland. 

19.  Samuel  Edmondston,  of  Maryland. 

20.  George  Campbell,  of  New  York. 

21.  Thomas  T.  Tucker,  of  South  Carolina. 

22.  Samuel  Vickers,  of  South  Carolina. 
28.  William  Barnett,  of  New  Jersey. 
24.  Thomas  Tillotson,  of  Maryland. 

Hospital  Surgeon's  Mates. 
Andrew  Caldwell,  of  Penn.  Joseph  Savage,  of  Virginia. 

W.  Hooker  Smith,     do  George  Yates,         do 

John  A.  Saple,  do  Samuel  J.  Axson,  of  South  Carolina. 

George  Stevenson,     do  Charles  Lochman,  do 



Mathew  Mans,  of  Penn.     Invalid  Corps. 
Robert  R.  Henry,  First  N.  H.  Regiment. 
Ebenezer  Stockton,  Second  N.  H.     do 
Azel  Washburn,  Warner's  N.  H.       do 
Joseph  Fisk,  First  Mass.  do 

John  Hart,  Second     do  do 

Samuel  Whitwell,  Third  Mass.  do 

Daniel  Shute,  Fourth        do  do 

James  B.  E.  Finley,  Fifth  do  do 

Henry  Adams,  Sixth         do  do 

Samuel  Finley,  Seventh    do  do 

John  Thomas,  Eighth         do  do 

John  DuflBeld,  Crane's       do      Artillery. 
Samuel  Tenney,  First  R.  I.  Regiment. 
David  Adams,  Durkee's  Conn.      do 
Noah  Coleman,  C.  Webb's  do        do 
Timothy  Mather,  Swift's  do        do 
.John  Rose,  Webb's  do        do 

John  Noyes,  Starr's  do        do 

Thomas  Skinner,  Russell's  do  do 
John  R.  Watrous,  Wyllis'  do  do 
Ebenezer  Crosby,  Guard's  do  do 
Caleb  Sweet,  First  New  York  do 
Daniel  Minnema,  Second  do  do 

Kenlock  Woodruff,  Third  do  do 

John  T.  Vache,  Fourth    do  do 

Ebenezer  Elmer,  Third  New  Jersey  Reg't. 
John  McDowell,   First  Penn.  do 

Richard  Allison,  Second    do  do 

James  Jones,  Third  do  do 

Alexander  Stewart,  Third  do  do 

Reading  Beatty,  Fourth  do  Artillery. 
James  Davidson,  Fifth  do  Regiment. 
Joseph  Brown,  Seventh  do  do 
Hugh  Martin,  Eighth  do  do 
Andrew  Ladley,  Twelfth  do  do 
Alexander  McCoskey,  Artificer  do 
Thomas  McCalla,  Fourth  Penn.  Dragoons. 

William  Adams, do  Artillery. 

Reuben  Gilder,  First  Delaware  Regiment. 
Louis  Denwood,  Maryland  Infantry. 
William  Kilty,         do  do 

Walter  Warfield,     do  do 

Thomas  Chryslie,  First  Virginia  Regiment. 
David  Holmes,  Second    do  do 

Joseph  Davis,  Third        do  do 

Robert  Rose,  First  Va.  Light  Dragoons. 
John  Trezvant,  Second  Va.     do 
James  Wallace,  Third    do      do 
Alexander  Skinner,  Lee's  Va.  Legion. 
Joseph  Blyth,  First  N.  C.  Regiment. 
William  McClure,  do  do     Dragoons.  (?) 



Surgeons — Continued. 

Samuel  Cook,  Fifth  New  York  Regiment. 
Thomas  Reed,  Livingston's  N.  Y.  do 
Nicholas  Schuyler,  Hazen's  do    do 
.Jacob  Harris,  First  New  Jersey  do 
Garret  Tunison,  Second  do  do 

James  Martin,  South  Carolina  Infantry. 
Frederick  Sunn,         do  do 

James  Houston,         do  do 

Benjamin  Tetard,      do  do 

Surgeons  ichose 
Ezekiel  Brown,  of  Mass. 
Daniel  Bartlet,  do 

John  Crane,  do 

Walter  Hastings,        do 
Abij  ah  Richardson,    do 
Thaddeus  Thompson,  do 
Timothy  Hosmer,  of  Connecticut. 
Peter  Turner,  of  Rhode  Island. 
William  McGaw,    of  Penn. 
Peter  Peres,  do 

regiments  are  unknown. 

John  R.  B.  Rodgers,  of  Penn. 
Ezekiel  Hame,  of  Maryland. 
Richard  Pindell,         do 
Cornelius  Baldwin,  of  Virginia. 
Mace  Clement,  do 

George  Munroe,  do 

Bazil  Middleton,  do 

James  Fergus,  of  North  Carolina. 
James  W.  Green,  do 

Solomon  Hailing,  do 

Regimental  Surgeon^  s  Mates. 

David  Allen,  First  N.  H.  Reg