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and bravery of the medical officers of the command, very serious consequences would have resulted. This enemy was the small
Memphis reached, the surgeons selected such quarters as would accommodate and make comfortable their sick in their rerespective regiments; in this way the summer passed, and in the latter part of November the command was again putin motion on an expedition to the Tallahatchie. The medical department of the command, expecting active work, was all ready for any emergency, but only the usual routine of duties was required. The ohject of the expedition having been accomplished without any conflict of arms, General Sherman with one division returned to Memphis. I accompanied him by order of General Grant.
In ten days we were again on the move with a strong force down the Mississippi, our destination being Vicksburg, by the way of the Yazoo river; here our surgeons had considerable work which was performed with celerity. I remember one time, we were quietly waiting events, suddenly rapid firing was heard; in five minutes a hundred wounded needed attention. In two hours all the operations had been performed, they had been fed warm soups, and sent to the boats prepared to receive them. At one time during the last day of our sojourn near Chickasaw bayou we found ourselves with our field hospital in advance of the main line of battle, the troops at that point having fallen back without informing us. We withdrew in good order, our modesty forbade our staying.
That night we withdrew on our boats to the mouth of Yazoo river. Six days later we were at Arkansas Post; here, under the combined attack of the navy and land forces, Fort Hindman surrendered. The number of wounded in General Sherman's command was four hundred and forty, which were promptly cared for and sent up the river.
I have heretofore stated that our supplies were not equal to the demand. Of chloroform and ether we had not enough to allow of their being used except in capital operations, as the amputation of an arm, or leg, or one of equal magnitude, and orders were issued restricting their use to that class of cases.
The heroic fortitude displayed by the wounded on the various battle fields that it was my fortune to see, was a subject of surprise and admiration. When we explained to them why we could not give them an anæsthetic and make them insensible to pain they submitted to the surgeon's knife without a murmur.
January 14, 1863, three days after the battle at Arkansas Post, in obedience to the order of the commanding General, John A. McClernand, I went up the river to assume the duties of Medical Director of the District of Memphis, to which I had been assigned by H. Wirtz, Medical Director of the Department of the Tennessee.
I had arrived at Memphis and reported for duty but a few days, when an order from General Grant, at Young's Point, La., reached me, ordering me to report at his headquarters immediately for duty. I proceeded down the river and reported to General Grant, as ordered, and was assigned by him to duty at his headquarters. I learned that the reason for my being summoned was, his medical director, C. H. Laub, Surgeon, U. S. A., was sick, and some one capable of doing active work was needed to assist him.
The pressing need for my services there having passed, I again went up the river to Memphis and took part in organizing the post hospitals needed for the accommodation of the sick and wounded that were being almost daily increased from the forces below.
I was ordered to take the Gayoso block, renovate it, and fit it up for surgical cases. It consisted of four large buildings, the lower stories being one hundred and fifty feet deep and twenty-three feet wide; the second and third stories only extended back about sixty feet, the second story was cut up into rooms, giving us offices, drug-room, linen-room and other necessary store-rooms. The third story was a hall over the whole front of the building, being about sixty by ninety, with very high ceilings and large windows. In the rear part, where the building was only one story, were large skylights which could be opened and shut at will. The Gayoso hospital was admirably adapted for the uses to which it was put, on account of the buildings being new, having good light, and permitting of thorough ventilation.
When the Surgeon-General, Wm. H. Hammond, made his tour of inspection, he pronounced it the best appointed, and in the best order of any hospital he had seen west of the mountains. It was well equipped with medical officers in charge of the different wards, and nurses, some of whom were soldiers who had been sick, and while they were able for such duty, they were not yet fit for active duty in the field. There were also several young ladies who had been sent down by the sanitary commission and assigned to this hospital. They were faithful and did excellent work. Last, but not least, Mother Bickerdyke, when in Memphis, made her home at the Gayoso, always bringing with her stores of good things, which she distributed as her judgment directed; she was a noble woman and worked in a noble cause.
To continue a portrayal of the scenes and recite the events that occurred on different battle-fields, or while the troops were on the move, from a medical stand-point, would be but to recount over and over again what has been already written. The recital of a report extending over a period of four months, the original of which is in Washington, will give some idea of the magnitude of the work performed by the surgeons during the war.
It reads as follows:
Report of sick and wounded received into Division Field Hospital (2nd division 15th Army Corps) from May 1st, 1864, to September 6th, 1864. No of sick received into Division Hospital..
.3,316 * “ sent to rear from Division Hospital
.2,419 + “ returned to duty from Division Hospital ....
853 died in Division Hospital.................
. 44 No. of wounded received into Division Hospital
....2,939 “ sent to rear from Division Hopital.........
returned to duty from Division Hospital ....
.............. 251 Total number of sick and wounded received into Division Hospital.....6,285
" sent to rear from Division Hospital. 5,062
returned from Div. Hospital to duty. 928
... 3,312 Total number of wounded returned to duty in the field during the campaign, including three from furlough...........
Valuable lessons in military surgery were learned during our civil war, from which the whole world will profit in the future. The improved arms, projectiles, and powder of the future, it is to be hoped, will yield a class of wounds that will give less trouble by going clear through the body, and thus lessening the danger of pyaemia and septicæmia and consequent death.
Our method of caring for the sick and wounded taught the sur
geons of France and Germany how to care for theirs in the war of 1870.
My personal recollections of the scenes and occurrences in which I took a part during the war, and the impressions they made on my mind will never be effaced so long as memory lasts.
I found the medical officers that formed a part of the commands to which I was assigned kind and courteous gentlemen, ever ready to respond where duty called. Not only on the field of battle, but in the hospitals, fighting day and night our greatest enemy, disease.
D. W. HARTSHORN. Captain Andreas announced that the Society would be received by Mrs. Potter Palmer, at her residence at two o'clock to-morrow, to meet Mrs. Grant.
Captain Gile, on behalf of the Entertainment Committee of the Loyal Legion, invited the members of the Army of the Tennessee to visit the headquarters of that Society.
Captain McAuley announced that, by invitation of the Captains of the revenue cutters Fessenden and Johnson, the ladies accompanying visiting members would be received on those cutters and carried to the lake front of Lincoln Park to view the unveiling of the Grant monument.
On motion, the thanks of the Society were given these officers for their courtesy.
The meeting then adjourned to take part in the exercises at Lincoln Park.
NOTE.—The clause in the Recording Secretary's report, giving the terms of Colonel Dayton's bequest to the Society, was not read at the meeting, as the Secretary was not then in possession of it. This explanation is given, because the subject of appropriating a portion of Colonel Dayton's bequest to a monument to General Sherman was considered at this session.