Today in History:

111 Series I Volume XIX-I Serial 27 - Antietam Part I


The camps to which I have just alluded were formed in October, in very eligible and pleasant locations on the outskirts of the city. In these hospitals and camps 62 surgeons, 15 medical cadets, 22 hospital stewards, 539 nurses, and 127 cooks were on duty during the mont of October, when all were in operation. During this month 3,032 patients, chiefly wounded, were received into these hospitals, making, with those then under treatment, on the 30th of September, 5,353. Of this number 403 were returned to duty, 23 were discharged, 3 deserted, 3 were sent on the 31st of October 2,603 remaining in the hospitals. A large number of wounded were sent from the hospitals on the battle-field, through Frederick, to other hospitals, of whom no record was kept, as they were not received into any of the hospitals in that city. No one seeing these hospitals after their establishment can form any conception of the labor required to pu them in the good condition in which they were kept. The zeal and ability displayed by Dr. Milhau in their organization and management, and the hearty co-operation he at all times gave me, deserve especial mention. In addition to our own wounded we had upon our hands from the battles of South Mountain, Crampton's Gap, and Antietam in all about 2,500 Confederate wounded. Those taken at South Mountain were taken to Middletown, and those at Crampton's Gap to Burkittsville.

When the general assumed command of the defenses of Washington, the hospitals in Washington and in its vicinity were placed under my control. We left that city for Maryland on the 7th of September, and few days thereafter those hospitals and the medical affairs of the troops in and around Washington were placed in the immediate charge of Surg. R. O. Abbott, U. S. Army, assistant medical director of the Army of the Potomac. It is perhaps not desirable to go much into details concerning them, and I only give the following statement in order to exhibit the number of hospitals and other points of interest connected with them, with them, which are necessary, as they belonged to the medical department of this army:

Number of hospitals, 38; medical officers, 224; remaining last report, 28,649; number of patients admitted, 23,298; total, 51,947. Returned to duty, 7,104; discharged, 2,100;deserted, 597; sent to other hospitals, 9,026;on furlough, 647; died, 1,498; remaining, 30,975.

It may be gratifying for the general commanding to know that never had these hospitals been in better condition. The excellent system introduced in their management, the complete system of records adopted and carried out, and the care taken to have everything connected with them in fine condition, reflect the highest credit upon the officer in charge, for to him it is due. The very great assistance Surgeon Abbott so uniformly and so unreservedly gave me upon all occasions requires especial notice, and it affords me the greatest pleasure to ask the attention of the commanding general to the richly deserving merits of this officer.

Immediately after the retreat of the enemy form the field of Antietam, measures were taken to have all the Confederate wounded gathered in from the field, over which they laid scattered in all directions, and from the houses and barns in the rear of their lines, and placed under such circumstances as would permit of their being properly attended to, and at such points as would enable their removal to be effected to Frederick and thence to Baltimore and Fortress Monroe to their own lines. They were removed as rapidly as their recovery would permit. The duty of attending to these men was assigned to Surgeon