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by the standing committee, or, in case of
emergency, by the associate secretary, on
the inspector's report. The Commission
has done much work of this class. It has
improved the ventilation of hospitals, dug
wells to improve the water-supply of camps,
built temporary hospitals and quarters, to

The Samtm-y Gormnission BuUetin.


replace unwliolesome and dangerous build-
ings, furnished and fitted up hospital trans-
ports, and converted ordinary railroad cars
into railroad ambulances, -with, cooking
apparatus and store-rooms, and litters hung
on springs, in -which thousands of men -with
fractured limbs h&ve traveled thousands of.
miles without suffering or injury.

The results of every inspection are noted
on blanks provided for the purpose, and*
are severally reported. Each report covers
about two hundred distinct points affecting
the sanitary condition and wants of the
force inspected. More than 2,000 of these
reports have been accumulated. They are
digested and tabulated, as receivefl, by a
competent actuary. It is believed that the
body of military and medical statistics thus
collected is among the largest and most
valuable in existence. It can hardly fail
to furnish conclusions of the utmost im-
portance to sanitary science.

The Commission employs other agencies
also for the prevention of disease. It urges
measures of sanitary reform o'n the atten-
tion of Government. It furnished mate-
rial for the vaccination of thousands of
men at a time, now happily past, when the
medical bureau was unable to supply the
tenth part of what was needed, and issued
what it had only after a fortnight's delay.
It has thus stayed the ravages of small-pOx
in regiments crowded on board transports,
after that disease had actually begun to
spread among their men. •

It has done much beside to protect pur
soldiers against this peril. During the first
year of the war, for instance, all cases of
".eruptive disease" in one of our most im-
portant military departments were consign-
ed indiscriminately to a single hospital,
from which men were " discharged cured "
of mumps or measles, and rejoined their'
regiments to sicken and die of smaU-pox
contracted in this "hospital," so called,
and to infect and kill their comrades. It
was through the persevering remonstrance
and protest of the Commission that this
murderous abuse was at last gorreoted.

The. Commission has also circulated
throughout the army, and especially among
the m«dical staff, many hundred thousand
copies of its medical documents. This se-
ries now numbers eighteen pubHeatioSs,

each devoted to some special point of pre-
vention or' cure. Some of them are ad-
dressed to the individual soldier, but the
great ma:jcTrity are for ths use of the medi-
cal staff, and relate to the prevention or
treatmeft of the diseases to which camps
are specially exposed, and to sundry opera-
tions of military surgery with which it
cannot be expected that surgeons recently
appointed from civil life should be gener-
ally familiar. These monographs have
been prepared at the request of the. Com-
mission, by some of the most eminent phy-
sicians and surgeons of the country. Em-
bodying, in a condensed form, the latest
results of science, they have been of great
use to our army surgA)ns, who often en-
counter cases for which their previous
practice has fiot specially prepared them,
and who have neither medical libraries nor
opportunities for consultation.

The Commission institutes special inspec-
tions, also, from tibie to time, outside of its
general inspection system. It employs
medical agents to look into the condition'
of such camps or hospitals a^ seem to re-
quire special attention, and to ascertain
and report the wants of our armies during
or immediately after a trying campaign.
■Within the past year it has made a thorough
inspection of all general military hospitals,
east and west, emt)loying for this purpose
medical practitioners of the highest profes-
sional standing. Their recommendations
of improvement in our hospital system and
its administration have been submitted to
' the proper authorities.

The relief agents of the Commission are
not expressly charged with the office of
sanitary inspection, but their reports and
journals, sent in at short intervals, help to
keep the Commission informed of the con-
dition of the army, and of the measiires rQ?
quired to maintain it in health, at every
point from Annapolis to New Orleans.

As has been already stated, it is, from the
nature of the case, impossible accurately to
estimate how many men have been saved
from death or disease, and how much eifi-
cienCy has been economized for the country
by this preventive service, for though the
results of the treatment of disease can be
more or less accurately recorded, the result
of measures for its prevention cannot be


The Sanitary Commission. Bulletin.

stated ■with any kind of certainty. The only
attainable data are the percentage of disease
among men to 'nhom such preyentive meas-
ures have been applied, and among those
to -whom they have not. Though infere'nces
from a comparison of the two are nSt abso-
lutely to be relied on, (because we can never
be quite sure that the conditions of any two
cases have been precisely the same,) a com-
parison of the mortality rates of our army
with those of the British armies in the Cri-
mea and during the Peninsular war, which
we have given above, will, nevertheless,
throw some Ught on the question.


Some account will be foimd in Dr. Stei-
ner's report on another page, ®f the prepara-
tions made by the Field Belief Corps of the
Commission for the movement in Virginia.
What we have done, and .are doing for the
wounded of Grant's glorious " eight days"
may be gleaned from the follQwing extracts
from our reports. Mr. Knapp writes from
Washington,- May 11 : .

"You were informed by Dr. CaldweU
yesterday that, at 12 M., we sent to Belle
Plain the Mary F. Eapley, steam transport,
with sixty relief agents and seventy-five or
eighty tons of assorted sanitary stores, the
vessel having in tow a barge with twenty-
one horses and five strong wagons. We
have loaded to day another barge with six-
teen horses and four purchased wagons,
carrying the necessary forage, and to-night,
or at daylight in the morning, she will go *
down, towed by the tugboat Gov. Curtin,
also chartered for the purpose. With these
nine teams the supplies can go on to
Fredericksburg rapidly, where there is need
of them, I can assure you, although Govern-
mei^t is making every exertion to supply
the needs, and is constantly showing in-
creased ability to put in practice what were
last year regarded as only experiments.
Thus the Government hag prepared, and
admirably, two large hospital transports,
and has also arranged for feeding the sick
on board the other boats which are not
regular floating hospitals, A relief agent
of the Sanitary Commission came up last
Bight with a large party of the 'wounded.
They arrived here at 2 A. M., having left '

Fredericksburg yesterday. He says our re-
lief agents who accompanied the army with
their wagons and stores, rendered invalu-
able service, of which he is writing now a
brief report, which I will send you to-mor-
row. He returns on our tugboat leaving
to-night or in the morning.

" To-morrow we hope, at Baltimore, to
hire a boat with which to carry another load
pf suppUes up the James Kiver, where there
is hard fighting, and likely to be more of
it, and where, doubtless, the needs must
be great. That boat, if obtained, will take
up a quantity of the saurkraut, vegetables,
pickles, &c., ordered for Norfolk. ThiswiU
save D^. McDonald the necessity of leaving
his post with his storeboat. Twenty-five
relief agents either have started, or will
start, for Belle Plain this -afternoon. We
shall send some more to-morrow. Our sup-
plies are thus far abundant." '

Dr. Steiner reports:

BeUe Plain, Va., May 11. — We steamed down
the Potomac without any ocourrence of interest
until we passed a transport filled with troops,
bound for Washington, who gave the flag of the
Commission three hearty cheers. Soon after
dark we reached 6ur fleet of hospital steam-
boats and barges, at the wharf of Belle Plain.
Here I went ashore with Mr. Fay, and saw Med-
ical Inspector Wilson, to whom I introduced
myselt H« said: 'You see there is enough
work to be ckme here; I need not point it out;
look around and jou wiU find it' No sooner
said than done. Fay's Auxihary Relief Coips
Immediately took holA ' It is divided into fi-ve
divisions. That section nuider charge of Le
Barrens supplied the men on the barges with
hot coffee, be^ tea and crackers, while the
squad under charge of Mr. Denniston pitched a
large tent, and made arrangements for getting
things to rights. Thus they worked until more
than nine hundred wounded men were sent off
in one boat, andiothers prepared to go. These
labors have bean of the most heartrending
description, though the wounded were handled
with all possible tenderness.

We have sent off *)ur wagons to Fredericks-
burg loaded with sanitary suppUes. The neces-
sities of this post will require me to remain
here to-day. Dr. Cuyler will be in charge, and
is here already; and Wilson will go to Freder-
ieksbm-g, whither Douglas has already gone.
Pope goes with the ti-ain as storekeeper, and
Fay will secure a storehouse for him in some
part of the town. On the whole, the wants of
the wounded at this point are so great that help
is as imperatively demanded, as it must be
freely given. The army may have" started with
splendid supplies, but such an tmprecedented
series of engagements have never, heretofore,
been known, and hence, any amount of regular
supplies would be too small to meet thffemer-
gency. I have heard that our Field Relief
Corps was working in the neighborhood of

The Samtary Commission BuLhtwi.


Fredericksburg, although a report reaches me
that Wiloox— one of the Second Corps Belief
Agents was captured with his wagon while
coming in from the front. I have sent messages
in all directions for the ageiits to report here, if
possible, with their wagons, so as to secure all
the necessary supplies for our wounded in the
hospitals. I presume to-morrow thoy will be

Eroin Mr. Wilcox, in charge of tlie Field
Belief Agency, with, the Third and Fourth
Divisions, Second Corps, -we get the fol-
lowing: .

May 4. — ^Accompanying the
ambulance trains, under charge'of Lieut. Shook,
of the Third Diyision, Second Army Corps, (a
part of which had moved the evening previous, )
we took up the line of march from our camp
near Brandy Station, proceeding to Ely's Ford,
■which point we reached at dark, crossed the
run, and bivouacked near the river.

Thursday, May 5. — ^We continued our march
toward *hancellorsviUe, which point we reach-
ed at 9 o'clock A. M.,and bivouacked. After
an hour's rest, the march was resumed in the
direction of Todd's Tavern. Up to 3 P. M.,
nothing indicating the whereabouts of the
enemy wi.s apparent at the point of the column
occupied by us; but on arriving at a point with-
in about three miles north of Todd's Tavern,
skirmishing with musketry, and occasional ar-
tillery shots began to be heard. At this time
an order was received from Gen. Hancock to
change route. We then retraced our steps, and
countermarched about two miles, to a point
where a road bearing to the right of Toad's
Tavern -fras met, which we took. Marching in
this direction severg,l miles, we came upon the
rear of our lines, where the wounded were be-
ing brought in; and a point was here desig-
nated as the hospital of the Third and Fourth
Divisions, where I located my wagons and
pitched my hospital tent. «

It was now quite dark, and the fighting had
.'been conducted with vigor in our front all day,
.-continuing until about 9 o'clock. The wounded,
were already numerously strewn through the
grove -where our hospitals were located, and
the demands for our sanitary stores became
frequent and large. The sanitary supplies were
acknowledged ■ by the surgeons in charge as
most timely and prompt. Underclothing and
blankets. were the first articles in demand — the
need for the latter being particularly urgent.

It. may here, be properly remarked, that
throughout the line of march from camp at
Brandy Station, a great waste of blankets could
be noticed. The day was warm, and the soldiers .
■wished to enter the battle unincumbered. The
roads were strewn with blankets to ah extent
■which warrants the belief that enough were
thrown away to have amply provided for every
man who was wounded; whereas, .o^wing to this
waste, hundreds were obliged •to lie in the
ni^t air almost naked, with wounds exposed.

Friday, May 6.— The battle raged to-day in
our front -wifli terrific fury, during which our
forces were obliged to relinquish (Iiree sueces-
Bive advantages gained on the previous day.
The business of dispensing sanitary supplijp
was carried oh briskly all day, requiring every

• effort to fill the demands. The wagons attached
to the First and» Second Divisions of our army
corps, under Mr. Holbrook, were located at a
short distance from my own, though the de-
mands upon them not being so great as on
miAe. At the close of this day my supplies of
clothing, stimulants, &o.,&c., were almost en-
tirely exhausted.

Sakirday, May 7. — Little fighting took place
to-day, but the wounded of yesterday still poured
into our hospitals. My stock of clothing and
other articles was in a measure renewed by
supplies from Mr. Holbrook's wagons. Mr.
Jdhnson and Captain Harris spent a portion *)f
the day at my depot, and the work progressed

well. ;

Sunday, May 8. — Broke camp with division
hospital supply train, and went to Ohaneellors-
ville, and subseqjiently to Fredericksburg, (for
fresh supplies,) where we bivouacked. On the
route from Ohancellors-ville to Fredericksburg,
we accompanied a train o| ambulances and army
wagons, loaded with wounded soldiers and offi-
cers. The sufferings of these men cannot in
any degtee be realized. The road — an old
plank road — wag in a wretched condition, and
the groans and shrieks of the sufferers were
truly heaft-rending. On this march the pres-
ence of the sanitary supplies were acknowl-
edged by the pbor men to be a" godsend, inas-
mijch as ours were jthe only supplies in a train
of two hundred wagons and ambulances. Crack-
ers and stimulants, judiciously dispensed, gave
relief to many suffering soldiers during that
tedious march of twelve hours. We arrived at
Fredericksburg at midnight, the head of the
column having reached that place at noon on
Sunday, and the work of transferring the wound-
ed to the houses was commenced. A tedious
and painful work was this. A former acquaint-
ance with the town enabled me to point out the
most suitable houses for hospital purposes, and
among these the Planters' Hotel, containing a
large number of rooms furnished with beds,
,&c. This proved g, great advantage as a ready
means of making many wounded comfortable.

The following letters from Washington
explain themselves:
Mb. Knapk

Deab Sib— Four boatloads of wounded men
arrive.d during the night, viz. : .

Connecticut, 1,300; Key Port, 425; Wanasett,
350; Daniel Webster, 400. Total, 2,475.

One-fourth part were severely wounded."
Three hundred or more, were brought ashore
■ on stretchers. The surgeon of the Connecticut
says he is deeply indebted to the Sanitary Com-
mission for their aid and kindness. The sur-
geon of the Key Port says; " He does not know
what he should have done had it not been for
the Sanitary Commission, who furnished him
■with stimulants at Belle Plain for the wounded;
he brought up."

We gave chocolate this moming'to nearly five
hundred veteran soldiers of the Sixty-seventh
Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. They are
on their way to the front.

We have distributed since last night — ■
5 barrels of crackers,
50 gallons of coffee,
50 gallons of chocolate,



The Sanitary Commission BuUetin.

150 gallons of lemonade,
30 gallons of. milk punch.
We -have fed the ambulance drivers, at the
request of Mr. Tucker, Superintendent of the
Ambulance Corps of Washington. Most of
these drivers have been on duty, night and day,
for the last four days, and I have yet to hear
the first one grumble.

Mr. Staoy merits much praise for his seal in
the work of feeding and looking after the wound-
ed men here.

Tour obedient servant,
, J. B. .Abbott.

Washington, D. C, Tlmisaay, Map 12.
/ Mr. Knapp again asks me to give you a short
account of the condition of our work. The
Kapley sailed again this afternoon, loaded with
seventy or eighty tons of stores. Mr. Fairchild
"went with her, in charge of thirty volunteer
nurses, including Miss Woolsey.

A barge, with eighteen horses and four large
wagons, went down yesterday. Offers of as-
. sistance from all the departments are coming in
all the time. »

I enclose, by Mr. Khapp's direction, three
letters, which will give you a good sftcount of
the work done at the front.

The wounded that have arrived thus fax are
but slightly injured, and are very well cared for
on the boat.

Yours respeotfillly,

(Signed,) G. C. Caldweil.


David S. Pope, Belief Agent, in his account
of a trip to Washington with the surplus furni-
ture, &a., of the Sanitary Station, which was
broken up at Brandy,, on the moving forward of

■ the army, says:

"About six o'clock next taorning, a train
passed us at almost lightning speed, and then

■ came a crash. We looked out of the car, and
saw the wreck of five or six cars heaped tip
alongside of the track just a few feet beyond us,
and soldiers crawling out from under the ruins,
Mr. Marfh, Mr. Dubosq, aiid myself went up,
and aided in removing the wounded, six or
seven of whom were very seriously injured; one
oifthem, more than likely, died before he reached
Alexandria; ano&er will have to suffer amputa-
tion of his leg, which was fearfully crushed.

" We were the fortunate instruments of allevi-
ating their sufferings to a great extent. Although
a surgeon was present, he was unable to do
m«ch, his stores and instruments having passed,
his regiment being on the move. With our
stimulnuts, mattresses, cots and blankets, we
made the poor fellows comparatively comfort-
able, but they were probably without surgical
attendance until they reached Alexandria." -


.^®" The length of lower line of the diagram
giving the pattern of flannel drawers, in No.
13, was omitted. It should have been marked
18 inches.

The quarterly report of Mf . Caldwell, one
of our Hospital Visi tors in Washington, con-
tains some valuable- hints for our branches
of supply. He says:!

Sib — During the quarter ending with
this date, (March 31st,) I have made nearly
three hundred visits in the General, Post
and Kegim-ental Hospitals in this Depart-

In March, the two hospitals at Annapolis
and one at Annapolis Junction, were added
to my list, it seeming to be desirable that
such important points as those should be
regularly visited by some one from Wash-
ington, whence their supplies were drawn.

At no time during the quarter has the
number of patients in the hospitals in the
Department gjt Washington been large, and
the proportion of quite sick, or ba^ fast.
Such as are usually most in need ofthe as-
sistance furnished by the Commission, has
been aU the time very small; consequently,
the issues to these hospitals have been

The two hospitals at Annapolis have been
partially filled with the sick among the re-
leased prisoners, and have needed more aid
than those in Washington and Alexandria; ■
even these have twice received aU. the sick
from the Army of the Potomac.

On my first visit to Annapolis I found
one of the hospitals very much in need of
delicacies, and a liberal order was made out;,
in the other, I was much pleased with the
admirably arranged storeroom well stocked
with most of the Commission supplies; and
a large invoice was daily expected from
Washington, of s*ioh things as were want-

The regiments garrisoning the defences
of Washington, have received a large num-
ber of new recruits; and their sick lists
have been larger in proportion; 'and con-
sequently the issues to them have been
larger in like proportion.'

Most of the hospitals depend upon the
Commission for their supply of brandy;
surgeons in charge understand that they
cannot get it from the Medical Purveyor.
The issue of this precious article has, how-
ever, been small, and very carefully made.
Cherry cordial and blackberry brandy are
much esteemed wherever they have been
introduced; there should .be a good supply
of these stimulants on hand for issue in the
summer, when the complaints for which
they contribute so serviceable a remedy,
are most prevalent.

In all cases where brandy is called for, I
endeavor to substitute wine therefor, and
with various success. Some surgeons like
it quite as well, while others can make but
little use of it.

Dried apples, pickles and porter, have

The Sanitary Commission Bulletin.


been issued to some hospitals when the
funds were, low. '

The pickles are always very acceptable,
and their quality is very highly praised;
they are usually much better than those ob-
tained ?ii the market or from the Coinmis-

A few cases of peaches that happened to
come this way, were most Aighly prized,
being far better than any That could be
bought here; they were issued only where
I felt sure they would be well used.

Domesiio wines are but little used. Their
quality anji strength are too uncertain, and'
they cannot he depended upon.

The Boston crackers are very much val-
ued, and the issue of them is quite con-

There is a constant call for white sugar;
itj is so fitly used in many oases in the cook
room, where the low diet is prepared, for
dishes that would be half spoiled by the
brown sugar of the Commissary.

Lemons and dried beef are often asked

Of assorted dried fruits, there is always
too little in store; a good cook can with
these, make very good substitutes for jelly;
and, considering the sad waste of this arti-
cle in the course of transportation, the
people at home, the Commission, and the
soldier, would all be gainers, if the fruit
were dried, instead of being converted into
jelly. ■ Then there would be no waste, and
far less difficulty and lab.or in packing and
transportation. Would it not be well to
recommend this change to the branches?

At my suggestion, a small supply of yarn
has been put in store for issue for mending
socks; those issued by Government are of
an inferior quality, and need much mend-
ing. Quite as necessary as yarn is 6otton
thread, for repairing cotton garments; the
calls for ft are frequent, and I should be
glad to be able to give it.

Woolen underclothing has not been is-
sued largely. The wool shirts issued by
Government aire often half cotton, and very
rough and harsh; some men who need
woolens'cannot wear them.

For such cases, when the men have not
the means to buy for themselves, Or have
families to whom they have to send their
spare earnings, I allow to be given freely.
Pillow- pases are often called for, and I
supply but a small portion of the der&and,
for the reason that they are furAished to a
certain extent by the Government.

But the Government supply is based upon
but one pillow to a man; of those small pil-
lows, two or three are hardly enough for
common comfort. Moreover, the Govern-
ment arrangement for condemning worn
out hospital clothing is not prompt and
sufficient; and a hospital sometimes has to
' wait .six or nine months before it can have
such clothing put aside as unfit for use; and

till then', it can ask for no more to take its

Of towels- and handkerchiefs, the issue
hasjpeen constant; a great inany are given
to the men for their own property.

The slippers supplied by Government are,
like our own, cloth or carpet ones, of very
iittle use to a man who is about on his feet;
they are soon worn out.

The attendants have to move about in
their heavy shoes, and have not usually nmch
time to spend in walking on tip-toe; the .
noise they cannot but make, must be an,
annoyance to sick men, if not positively

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