Today in History:

28 Series I Volume XXVII-I Serial 43 - Gettysburg Campaign Part I

Page 28 Chapter XXXIX. N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC.

To obtain the whole number of wounded of both sides, there must be added those of Chambersburg, Carlisle, Williamsport, and Hagerstown. * * * Before the arrival of Medical Inspector Cuyler, as far as my time and opportunities admitted, I endeavored to make up the deficiencies in medical supplies at Gettysburg by telegraphing to Surgeon [Josiah] Simpson, U. S. Army, at Baltimore. In reply, he ordered liberal supplies of alcohol, solution chloride of soda, tincture of iron, creosote, nitric acid, permanganate of potassa, buckets, tin cups, stretchers, bed-sacks, and stationery of all kinds for 10, 000 men in field hospitals. On the day after my arrival, the demand for stationery, disinfectants, iodine, tincture of iron, and some other articles was so great and immediate, that I purchased them in Gettysburg, and sent the bills to the quartermaster there form payment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.


P. S. -I neglected to comment in the proper place upon the utter indifference manifested by the railroad companies toward the sufferings and wants of our wounded at Gettysburg, Pa. I allude to those over whose roads our mangled soldiers traveled to various points from Gettysburg. The period of ten days following the battle of Gettysburg was the occasion of the greatest amount of human suffering known to this nation since its birth, and, as was natural and unavoidable among a Christian people, benevolent societies, Sanitary and Christian Commissions, express companies, fire organizations, bands of generous people of all denominations, and individuals from great distances, all came forward with their offerings, sympathy and personal service, forming a spectacle at once touching and magnificent, exceeding any similar outburst of sympathy and sacrifice ever witnessed. The railroad companies, who got the only profit of the battle, and who had the greatest opportunities of ameliorating the sufferings of the wounded, alone stood a aloof and rendered no aid. Their trains were allowed to go off without a single individual attached to them in any way authorized to minister to the wounded. There was no check-line or means of stopping the train in case of necessity; no way provided for passing from car to car. The cars-ordinary sock and freight cars-were always unclean; no one connected with the companies to clean them; the dun of cattle and litter from freight often remaining to be removed by any extemporized means at hand. There was no water, or vessels to contain it, no lanterns, no straw-absolutely nothing but the bare cars, filthy from the business of transporting freight and cattle. The only agents of the railroad companies that appeared upon this memorable scene were those sent especially to look after their pecuniary interests, and I can testify to their zeal in getting the actual numbers transported and securing the proper certificates therefor, but beyond this they did nothing.

Page 28 Chapter XXXIX. N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC.