Carrington, 1863 Report

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From William A. Carrington CSR (M331): Report of 5/13/1863 reporting on post-Chancellorsville flood of patients.

Medl Director’s Office
Richmond, May 13th, 1863

        I respectfully call your attention to the supply of Medl Officers in the Department of Genl Hospls in the State of Va. Since the Battle of Chancellorsville we have had 10,000 sick & wounded received into these Hospitals without an attendant or Medl officer – 8000 of these were wounded, many of them severely – I have made use of all the available means of transportation to send S & W from Richmond but still many thousand remain here as you will see from the morning reports. With 13,000 beds in the Hospitals out of Richmond & 8000 sick & wounded I have now 178 Medl Officers & contract physicians – I find that I have not a sufficient no of Medl officers in Richmond, the proportion being one to 70 – not sufficient considering that the time of many of the Surgeons in charge is occupied by executive duties – I have engaged some 25 contract physicians – These are generally men who fear an examination & should not be entrusted except in emergencies with the lives of our sick & wounded allowing one Medl officer to every 50 of the inmates of Hospitals in Richmond there are found 2700 S. or Wd not supplied or work for 54 Medl Officers. I suggest a plan of providing for their attendance better in my opinion for the S. & Wd & the discipline of the surface.

When assistance is needed at the Genl Hospl after a battle let the Genl commanding the Army send back the No of Medl Officers required for temporary duty to return as services are required in camp or cease to be indispensable in Hosls. Surgeon Gaillard could easily have designated one or more Medl Officer from each brigade to accompany the wounded to the Hosls & remain until for temporary duty, & this obviates the necessity of employing inexperienced men as A. A. Surgeons – I respectfully suggest this system for your opinion & such action as you may think best.

                                                    Very Respectfully,
                                                        Your Obedient Servant,
                                                            Wm. A. Carrington
                                                                Medl Director

Surgeon Genl S. P. Moore
Richmond, Va.


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