From the Richmond Daily Whig, 30 November 1863

A GROSS OUTRAGE – We have received a communication from a soldier, giving an account of what he terms a "gross outrage" practised on invalid soldiers at Chimborazo Hospital. It seems that when the patients obtain sick furloughs, and are about to start for the trains which are to convey them homeward, a person named Hix proposes to convey them to the depot in an ambulance for three dollars per head. The indignation of our correspondent has been aroused at this treatment of soldiers "whose health and limbs have been shattered in the service," because he was lead to believe that the ambulance belonged to the Government. We are informed, however, that Hix owns an ambulance, and, presumptively, the team, which, being the fact, it is no "outrage" on his part to charge soldiers a reasonable fare when they use his ambulance. But we also learn that there are two or three Government ambulances under the control of the authorities of Chimborazo, and it seems outrageous that they do not use them in sending furloughed soldiers, enfeebled by disease or wounds, to the depots, instead of turning them loose to get there on foot, or by paying Hix three dollars for the privilege of a ride in his ambulance.

From the Richmond Daily Whig, 1 December 1863

NOT A "GROSS OUTRAGE." – In yesterday’s paper we published, with appropriate qualification, a charge preferred by an intelligent young man, of this city, (serving as a private in Gen. Lee’s army," against a person named Hicks (not Hix) employed at Chimborazo Hospital. The charge was that Hicks exacted $3 per man from furloughed soldiers for carrying them to the depots in a Government ambulance. The qualification was that Hicks owned the ambulance (as we had been informed) and was therefore at liberty to "charge soldiers a reasonable fare when they used his ambulance." We noticed the complaint in order that we might call attention to what "seemed"{ to be dereliction on the part of the "authorities of Chimborazo" in failing to send furloughed and sick or wounded soldiers to the depots, in Government ambulances, free of expense to them. – We now learn that this is done. Mr. Hicks vindicates himself in the following communication, in reference to which it is only necessary to say that the name of the complainant will be given:


Chimborazo Hospital
November 30, 1863

To the editor of the Whig:


An article appears in your paper this morning entitled "A Gross Outrage," in which my name occurs in a somewhat questionable connection. It is said that I am in the habit of charging $3 to furloughed soldiers, whose health and limbs have been shattered in the service, for conveyance in an ambulance to the Depot on their way homeward. This charge against me is a serious one, and but for its grossness and total lack of truth, would be entitled to greater attention. I will, however, unqualifiedly deny it, and say that I have never had either the right nor the audacity to demand any compensation whatever, as I have control of a Government Ambulance, and do not, nor have I ever owned such a conveyance myself. Your sense of justice will prompt you to publicly, or otherwise, give the name of your informant.

E. H. Hicks


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