From the Richmond Enquirer, 9/26/1862, p. 1, c. 3
Improving the Hospitals.
The Senate on
yesterday, adopted a bill for better providing for the sick and wounded of the
army in the Hospitals. The bill was accompanied by an interesting report of Mr.
Simms, of Kentucky, Chairman of the Committee on Hospitals, which will be found
in another column.
The report fully
exonerates the Surgeons in charge of the Hospitals of Petersburg and Richmond,
for any discomforts suffered by the sick. These are due to other causes, to the
removal of which the bill judiciously addresses itself. It provides for an
increase of the commutation of rations, for sick soldiers, to one dollar, to be
paid into the Hospital fund. This will enable the directors to buy food suitable
for the sick soldier. It provides for a better supply of nurses, of whom there
are to be two matrons-in-chief, with two assistants; and two matrons for each
ward. – Also, for as many suits of underclothing and pants for the patients as
there are beds in a hospital. Also, for the collection together of the soldiers
of each State, so far as practicable, the hospitals to be designated
accordingly. Also, for facilitating the collection of the pay due to sick
soldiers. Also, for promoting their comfort during transportation; requiring
cars to be reserved, and assistance provided in obtaining tickets, seats,. &c.
This bid strikes at the
real evils which have added to the discomforts of our sick soldiers. It has been
customary to lay everything upon the Surgeons. Now that the true causes have
been diligently probed and discovered, we are gratified that the Senate, by a
unanimous vote, has prepared for the corrective. Nothing now remains but the
sanction of the House to earn the gratitude of the soldiers and the blessings of
their distant families.
That it may be seen how
vast a number are interested in the humane objects of Mr. Simms’ bill, we will
state, from the report, that since the commencement of the war, 99,508 soldiers
have been admitted into the Richmond
Hospitals, and 11,170 in those of
Petersburg. The number at present in the Hospitals are 10,720 here, and 1,892 in
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