Friday, September 25, 2009

The Drum Corps.

In 1776, The United States, the rules and articles, read:

Art. 9. Any person, belonging to the forces employed in the service of the United States, who, by discharging of fire-arms, drawing of swords, beating of drums, or by any other means whatsoever, shall occasion false alarms in camp, garrison, or quarters, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court-martial.

In 1777 each company was to have two drummers, but by the time 1781 came around the Secretary at War had some concerns he felt that to many men were enlisting as drummers and not as soldiers so he wrote to Congress and stated his case.

Secretary at War,
War Office 21st December 1781.

The method hitherto practiced in the Army of enlisting men to serve as fifers and drummers and paying them additional pay is attended with manifest injury to the service for nothing is more common than to see men employed in that duty who are in every respect fit for soldiers, whilst boys hardly able to bear arms are put into the ranks, and the Commanding officers of Corps have not the power of remedying this evil without violating the engagement of the men enlisted as drummers or fifers. I therefore wish Congress would be pleased to order, that for the future no recruit should be engaged as drummer or fifer; but that the commanding officers of Corps should be authorized to employ such of their men on that duty from time to time as shall be most proper and that the additional pay to such who shall be so employed hereafter shall be appropriated to the repair of their drums and fifes. Also that the number of men employed on that duty in any Corps, shall not exceed the proportion allowed the respective Corps in the establishment.

That in future no recruit shall be inlisted to serve as a drummer or fifer. When such are wanted, they shall be taken from the soldiers of the corps, in such numbers and of such description as the Commander in Chief or the commanding officer of a seperate army shall direct, and be returned back and others drawn out as often as the good of the service shall make necessary. That all drummers and fifers, after being supplied each with a good drum and fife, shall keep the same in repair by stoppages from his pay, in such manner as the commanding officer of the corps shall order.

In 1780, the States were asking that their State Infantry should have one drum major and, 10 drummers.

In 1784, the Infantry corps were to have one drum Major and 16, drummers.
The Artillery Corps, was to have one drum Major and 8, drummers.

In 1785, the pay of a drummer was seven dollars per month, it was reduced to that of a private which was six dollars per month.

In 1869, The United States marine corps was to have one drum major and fifty drummers.
Drum Corps, of the Civil War.
The average age of a drummer was between 18 & 20, however there were younger and older ones, by their standers these were just boys, today we would call them young men. There were some when they heard that a man or boy had been in Drum Corps, that he had an easy duty and I too thought that till I researched for this page. Yes it’s true they did play in bands and did a lot of marching in parades but there was more to this corps. When on a march to a new campaign they would be at the head of the column beating out a rhythm to keep the men in step. These boy were in battles and Skirmish, and after it was over they would be sent out to look for the wounded and the dead, when wounded were found they would take them to the hospital. The Drum corps worked in the hospitals a lot as these Two reports will show.

May 19, 1864.
Captain MARVIN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: My musicians have been returned from hospital under the orders of last evening; a portion of them, and especially the First Brigade band, were sent there by my orders, and I am informed by there surgeon in charge have been very faithful. I beg to ask if these men cannot be detailed for that duty in place of armed men, and if they neglect their duty be sent into the ranks with muskets.

November 28, 1864.

During a battle or series of battles, the drum corps of the division, numbering 350 men and boys, were put on duty in the hospital, being organized into five companies, commanded each by a sergeant, and the whole command by a lieutenant, having an orderly sergeant, as an assistant. From this corps details were made, whenever called for by the surgeon in charge, for pitching and striking tents, loading and unloading wounded, bringing wood and water, burying the dead, and for police duties. A provost guard was present at the hospital during an engagement for the purpose of arresting malingerers.

The boys that won’t sent to the hospital had others duty’s to perform at camp and one was that each drum corps of each regiment would beat tattoo and reveille twice a day from different points of the camp, Reveille was called around daybreak. One reason the calls were made from different points of the camp was so all could hear, and another reason was that if it was on the eve or morning of a battle it made the army sound larger then it may have been, and to give the enemy something to think about.

The Drum Corps, not only played the drums, they could fight as well, some drummers would be come famous will others would win medals of honor. But the Drum Corps, is best known for their rhythmic beating of their drums at the head of the column and when they came into a city from a victory or loss, the Drum Corps was at the head beating the way. The following report tells just what it takes to form a Army’s review.

Alexandria, Va., May 22, 1865.

In accordance with instructions received from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, the Army of the Tennessee will pass in review through Washington City on the 24th instant, in the following order, viz: First, general commanding army, staff, and escort; second, the First Regiment Michigan Engineers and the First Regiment Missouri Engineers, Colonel J. R. Yates commanding; third, Fifteenth Army Corps. Major General John A. Logan commanding; fourth, Seventeenth Army Corps, Major General F. P. Blair commanding. The artillery of the army will be marched by brigades, in rear of the infantry of each corps. If the width of the streets will admit, batteries will be moved battery front. The army will march on the 23rd instant from its present camp to the neighborhood of the Long Bridge, and will there be put in bivouac for the night. The troops will be supplied with two days' cooked rations in haversacks, and will march in review without knapsacks.

At daylight on the 24th the army will commence crossing the Long Bridge, with engineer regiments in advance, and move by Maryland avenue to the north and east of the Capitol, massing in streets contiguous to the line of march. The engineer regiments will form on North Capitol street; head of column opposite the northern entrance to the Capitol grounds, prepared to wheel into Pennsylvania avenue precisely at 9 a. m. The Fifteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. Logan commanding, will be formed on Maryland avenue, with head of column near the northern entrance to the Capitol grounds, prepared to move into the rear of engineer regiments.

The Seventeenth Army Corps, Major General F. P. Blair commanding, will be formed on East Capitol street, prepared to move in rear of the Fifteenth Army Corps. The line of march will be up Pennsylvania avenue, past the President's House, where the reviewing officer will stand, round the Circle, and then by K and Fourteenth streets to camps already indicated to corps commanders.

The order of march will be in column of companies closed in mass, right in front, with reduced intervals between regiments, brigades, and divisions. Companies will be equalized by divisions, and whenever they fall below fifteen files the battalion will form column by divisions. Six ambulances, three abreast, will follow each brigade. The troops will be marched at a shoulder arms with fixed bayonets, after passing the Treasury Department and until they shall have crossed Seventeenth street, when the arms will be carried at a right shoulder shift. The cadence step will be taken from the moment the head of column moves from the Capitol.

All colors will be unfurled during the entire march. Corps and division commanders are particularly enjoined to move their commands in such manner as will insure and unbroken and unclogged column, and will study the route of march prior to the review to that end. On approaching the reviewing officer all mounted officers will salute and none other. The corps and division commanders will, after passing the reviewing officer, dismount, and, accompanied by one staff officer, take position near the commanding officer of the army during the periods their commands may occupy in passing, when they will rejoin their troops and conduct them to their camp.

No other officer than those mentioned will leave the column. The drum corps of each brigade will be massed at the head of the brigade and will wheel out of column opposite the reviewing officer until the brigade shall have passed, when they shall pass from position in front of the stands will continue at the head of their respective brigades. The colors will salute by dropping on passing the reviewing officer, and field music will make the ruffle without interrupting the march. Precisely at 9 a. m. a signal gun will be fired by one of the advance batteries, when the column will be put in motion as heretofore directed. Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Ross, chief of artillery, Fifteenth Army Corps, is charged with the execution of this paragraph. Suitable camp guards will be left in charge of the camps, and the trains of the corps will commence moving across the Potomac after the review shall have closed.

By command of Major General O. O. Howard:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
The Photo Gallery.

The New York 93rd. Infantry Drum Corp., Bealeton, Va., August 1863.


The New York 61st., Infantry, Drum Corp, Falmounth, Va., March 1863.


The 10rh, Veteran Reserve Drum Corp., Leisure, Washington D. C., June 1865.


The "Rogue's march" drumming a thief out of camp.

Morris Island S. C.July or August of 1863.


Note. These photo’s can not be enlarged so if you would like a bigger copy let me know and I will see that you receive one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Knapsack.

The Knapsack has been around for a very long time every boy who has gone camping won’t think of going without his knapsack and any good ( Boy scout ) won’t think of leaving it at home. So it is with every service man since the revolutionary war of 1776, which is the year the new invented knapsack was introduce to the army.

In The revolutionary war the regular United States Army was given most of the equipment to it’s men, but not the militia they had to furnish their own it would be after 1836, before this changed.

In 1775 it was stated that each soldier was to be furnished with a good musket, that will carry an ounce ball, with a bayonet, steel ramrod, worm, priming wire and brush fitted thereto, a cutting sword or tomhawk, a cartridge-box, that will contain 23 rounds of cartridges, twelve flints and a knapsack.

In a letter from John Adams to James Warren it was stated: “You have raised every fifth Man to march to New York. But to what Purpose should you send forth your Thousands and Tens of Thousands of Men, if they are all to run away from the Enemy when they come in Sight of them? If whole Brigades, officers and Men are to run away, as Fellows's and Parsons's did on the fifteenth of September, throwing away their Arms, Cloaths, Knapsacks and other Things that they might be the lighter and run the faster.”

In 1778, it was stated that two regiments be raised in Virginia and Pennsylvania, to serve for one year, and it is expedient that as many as possible of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers should provide themselves with arms and other necessaries: That each non-commissioned officer and soldier of the said regiment, who shall so provide himself with arms and other necessaries, shall receive the following compensations, to be paid as soon as he has passed muster, upon his producing the said articles, viz. For a good serviceable rifle, with a powder horn, bullet pouch, and mould, eight dollars; for a good serviceable musket, with a bayonet and a powder horn, and bullet pouch, or a good cartouch box, six dollars; for a like musket and accoutrements, without a bayonet, five dollars; for a knapsack, two dollars; for a haversack, one dollar; for a blanket, eight dollars.

In 1836, this letter was written to the Committee on Military Affairs.

WAR DEPARTMENT, February 10, 1836.

SIR: Major General Scott, to whom the operations against the Seminole Indians have been committed, has applied for the necessary camp equipage for the use of the militia who have been called into the service in Florida. It is found, on adverting to the subject, that there is no law authorizing this department to issue these supplies to the militia, although such a measure is obviously necessary. The third section of the act of Congress of February 2, 1813, respecting the calling out of the militia, provided for these issues, but the section was limited to the period of the war then pending. It can hardly be expected that camp kettles and other articles of camp equipage can be provided by the troops themselves. I have therefore the honor to recommend for the consideration of the military committee the propriety of reviving and rendering permanent the provision of the above-mentioned section. Knapsacks also have been required for the use of the militia, but I do not find, on referring to the laws, that any authority to issue them has ever been vested in this department. I therefore lay the subject before the committee, for such action as may appear proper to them.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant
Hon. R. M. J0HNS0N, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives.
Now on to the Civil War.

In a report of May 23, 1863, given by C. W. TOLLES, Lieutenant-Colonel, Chief Quartermaster of the Sixth Corps, he states: No accurate statement of the number of knapsacks and the amount of clothing lost can be made. Requisitions have been submitted for ,887 knapsacks since the movement. Our total number of killed, wounded, and missing was over 4,900. As the knapsacks of these were also in most instances lost, a total of 8,787, knapsacks were lost.

There were many ways to load a knapsack it all depended on the campaign and the march, a fast mach would call for a light load and for a long march a heavier loads. In the report below it tells how the knapsack was packed for that campaign.
April 11, 1864.

1. For the campaign, the knapsack carried on the ammunition chest will not contain more than the following-named articles: One-half shelter-tent, one wool blanket, one poncho, one jacket or blouse, one pair drawers, two pair stockings, two shirts, one pair trousers. The excess of the kits over these articles will be carried by the owner, and the amount of clothing to be packed in the knapsacks may be reduced at the discretion of the brigade commander. The great coat will be carried by the owner.

2. Haversacks and canteens will not be carried on the carriages; they must be carried by the men.

3. Not more than four knapsacks will be transported on the gun carriage, battery wagon and forge, and not more than eight on the caisson. The excess of the number of knapsacks must be carried by the men, or their transportation otherwise provided for.

4. The knapsacks and paulins must be so packed and arranged as to offer no impediment to the service of the guns, or to the prompt procurement of ammunition.

It is to be noted here that the average weight for the knapsacks was between 50 & 60 pounds when fully loaded. In these reports you will also see the word ( Haversack ) used a lot the ( Haversack ) was some what like the knapsack, it was fill with oats to feed the cavalry horses and this was also carried by the soldiers along with the knapsack.
In 1862, they were trying different ideas so the army could move faster here was one idea.
You well note these were French knapsack they were bought by Army in the hopes they would work better then ours.


For each man, empty entirely the knapsack, and refill it with small linen bags containing coffee, tea, sugar, rice, salt, pepper, and Cholet's desiccated and compressed vegetables. Take plenty of lard or suet in the small gamelle or mess-pan with which each man is furnished.

Plenty of cartridges-60 in the knapsack, 40 in the cartridge-box. Each man must have, besides, 7 pounds sea-buscuit, inclosed in a wrapper and placed in the knapsacks under the cover, in the place where the folded coat is usually carried (see the drawings in the album of the packed knapsack, and the instruction which has been to every sergeant and corporal of the regiments which have received French equipments.)

Tell of them men into squads of 8 each, and give, besides the regular equipment of each of them, to one a marmite (or covered kettle), to another a large gamelle, to another an ax, to another a pick, to another a shovel. (These articles are to be fastened under the large strap of the knapsack). One man in each company should carry the hospital knapsack, and it is well understood that each man ought to carry, folded, a blanket and his share of the shelter-tent.

The cavalry should be furnished as the infantry but carry, in addition, pickets and grain for their horses, thus do away with all wagons.
In a battle of May 11, 1863, it tells how important the knapsack was to the soldier. This is just a part of the report.
Occupied this position until about noon of Friday, when I joined the brigade on its advance with the division along the Plank road. When line of battle was formed to the left of the road, we were formed in double column in mass on the second line of battle, in rear of the Second Massachusetts, deployed on the first line. We occupied this position until ordered to fall back, when I faced by the rear and fell back in good order, followed by the Second Massachusetts. When I reached the open ground, I deployed and marched by file. We had, before entering the wood from which we retired, left our knapsacks, and were ordered to take them on our retreat. We had not, however, retired on the same ground by which we had advanced, and were some 400 paces past our knapsacks when we received this order. We faced about, and marched back in the direction of the knapsacks. This brought us to the rear in the retreat, and as I approached the wood where the knapsacks lay, I sent forward Captain Sill and Lieutenant Swayn with a body of skirmishers. Just as our men were taking their knapsacks, our skirmishers were fired upon. They returned the fire with spirit, and did not appear to hear my order to fall back. I hastened up to them, and they obeyed my orders to retire, with reluctance. I am confident they killed several of the enemy, as they were marks men, and fired with deliberate aim, some of them as many as five times.
In a report of August 28, 1864 by Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls, U. S. Army, Chief Quartermaster of Armies operating against Richmond, had to say about the knapsack.

Our troops are undoubtedly loaded down on marches too heavily even for the road, not to speak of battle. I have witnessed great loss of knapsacks and articles of clothing on the routes taken by our troops at the commencement of campaigns. In my report of the Chancellorsville campaign I showed you that the loss of knapsacks of those actually engaged was at least twenty-five per cent. I am in favor of putting the lightest possible weight on the soldier, consistent with his wants and the character of the service.

I do not think the knapsacks should be dispensed with altogether, for it should, ordinarily, form a part of the equipment, but on short campaigns, and on the eve of battle and when near the supply trains, a blanket rolled up and swung over the shoulder and looped up under the arm, is sufficient without knapsack or overcoat. The soldier can carry three days' cooked food in his haversack. If necessary, he can carry two or three days' bread and some underclothes in his blanket. Our men are generally overloaded, fed, and clad, which detracts from their marching capacity, and induces straggling. I do not propose any modification, however, as our commanders understand these matters better than I do, probably; at any rate, they know what they want, and have the power to make such changes as they may deem proper.

Even the enemy know the value of the knapsack, as this report shows.

Camp near Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.

SIR: I beg leave to report that, in obedience to a special order received on the field on Friday last, I proceeded with Company B, of the battalion, to collect together and guard the overcoats, knapsacks, oil-cloths, blankets, &c., left by the enemy in their retreat from beyond Farmington. I divided my company into four squads, each in charge of sergeant, and instructed them to search the woods in the line of retreat and to collect these articles as quickly as possible. I also detailed a guard to protect the large bulk of them near the old gin-house. But few of these articles had been collected by the details, when I received further orders direct from General P. Anderson to save the most valuable, such as blankets, &c., and to leave the remainder. I proceeded forthwith to execute the order, gathering about 150 blankets in one pile and a like number each of oil-cloths, knapsacks, overcoats, &c. These latter were set on fire and were burning rapidly when, an aide of General Bragg came up with a detail of wagons and ordered me to extinguish the fire, which was done at once. He then informed me that he had a sufficient detail of men to take charge of the articles, and relieved me from the further execution of your order.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

All branches of the army were issued knapsacks when in the field; Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery. Here is a report that tells of the summer ware for a battery artillery, and how it was to be packed.


No. 153.
Camp near Falmouth, Va., June 5, 1863.

The following is the summer field allowance of clothing for men of mounted batteries of this army. All surplus will be turned in at the commencement of a march. One half shelter tent; one blanket for each cannoneer; one great coat for each driver; one jacket, one blouse, one pair trousers, three pairs of stockings, two pairs of drawers, two flannel shirts, one pair shoes or boots. So much of this clothing as is not worn on the person will be transported by drivers on the valise saddles; by cannoneers, in the knapsacks, or on the foot-boards. If packed in knapsacks, they will be carried by the men. If carried on the foot-boards, the articles will be closely packed or rolled, and secured in a proper sack or sacks, and batteries so transporting this clothing will turn in their knapsacks. The gunners and chiefs of caissons will be held responsible that the clothing is properly packed and secured on their respective carriages. All attempts to abuse this privilege of transporting their kits will be punished by throwing away the extra articles, excepting the soap, towels, and brushes of the men, and compelling them to carry the regulated allowance themselves.

In a battle near Hanover Court-House In June of 1862, the men had reformed on the field, but the enemy’s artillery soon found their range, it was deemed advisable to retire. Before they left the field they took off their knapsacks as the men were heated as their knapsacks were heavier than usual by the drenching rain of the previous night. Seeing that there was many troops of the enemy’s infantry behind the artillery, they threw themselves into the woods where the fight had began, leaving their dead and badly wounded and their knapsacks behind.

In February, of 1862, at camp Wright, San Diego County, California, the men were getting ready for a campaign and would dill with full knapsacks they would do fast marches for many miles up and back for they were getting ready for a hard march which would take then over hard country and desert. The command was hardening the men as they would have to carry everything as there was to be no horses or wagons. It was ordered that any men that did not dill was to be arrested and would face a general court-martial immunity from the fatigues of a hard march and from the danger of facing an enemy.

Here is part of a report of July 7, 1862, by Captain Walter S. Sampson, Twenty-second Massachusetts Infantry, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill.
About 3 o'clock a. m., Friday, June 27, the pickets in front of the regiment were recalled, and all moved as rear guard toward the camp on Cutis' farm. Along the whole route on the right the battle was raging furiously. On reaching camp orders were given to sling knapsacks and get ready for an immediate movement. Very early on Friday morning I received orders to withdraw my pickets and report at the old camp at Gaines', there to await orders. Here was a mistake. I should have reported at regimental camp on the Curtis farm. By this I lost an hour and half of time. The mistake was discovered, and I hastened to join the regiment. This I could not do, for I met the regiment some distance this side of Curtis' farm, where I received orders from Colonel Gove to hasten to camp, secure our knapsacks, and then destroy everything left behind, such as commissary and quartermaster stores, tents, knapsacks, guns, equipments-in fact, all pertaining to a soldier's comfort or necessities. This duty was faithfully discharged by the officers and men of my command. They had hardly finished the task before the enemy came bounding into the camp, expecting to find an abundance of stores suited to their taste, but, alas for human expectations, nothing met their view but the burning and charred remains.

When the soldiers were taken prisoner by the enemy they would take the knapsacks and it’s contents for their own comfort, so if a soldier thought he was about to be taken prisoner and had the time they would either hid or destroyed their knapsacks so as not to fall into the enemy’s hands.

I have read a lot of reports and read about their wagon trains being attack and when losing some it was a hard blow to them. I didn’t think much about it, but after reading the reports for this page I understood way. These wagons not only carried ammunition and other supplies but many times their knapsacks. If the march was to be long or they had to move fast all the knapsacks were put in the wagons and moved to the front and if a train was lost to the enemy the soldier was left with what he had in his pockets and on his back.

In reading a lot of reports I seen the word ( Knapsack Room ) maybe you have too and like me I never know what they were talking about, will after researching for this page I now know, a ( Knapsack Room ) in a prison or hospital is were a patients or prisoners clothing and necessities are stored.

One thing is clear from my research that the loss of a knapsack could be the diffidence between life and death.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ambulance Corps.

Photo can be enlarged by pushing on it.

Washington, District of Columbia. Ambulance train at Harewood Hospital.

These ambulances may not look like much to us, but to the wounded soldier on the battle field they were a god send and a life saver to many a Union and confederate soldier a like.

The Ambulance Corps Bill passed the House of Congress on February 4, 1863, but would not pass the full Congress till March of 1864, The bill was then called, Uniform System of Ambulances. Even before this Bill, the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac sent out the regulations for the organization of a Ambulance Corps, on August 2, 1862.

There had been little planing on how to move the wounded at the start of the war in 1861, but by the end of December of 1862, every State in the Union were calling for some kind of ambulance service and even the Southern States were working on a Ambulance Corps of some kind. In the wars before the civil war the wounded would be carried off the battle field by any means possible, it could have been a two wheel cart or a flat wagon a stretcher and even by hand. There were those who would try to find better ways to carry the wounded off the battle field. There was one a Dr. Israel Moses, who in 1858, had made a new improved ambulance and was trying to get the army to take it's adoption.

I made this page to help you researchers who may hve had a ancestor in the Ambulance Corps, so you could understand what he went throught, or maybe your just interested and want to know more about this Cops. Well I can tell you this was a dangers duty, ambulance drivers would be shot off their sets, Cannon balls would pass through the ambulance and the stretcher carriers would be shot while crossing the battle fields. These men had no defense as they were not given guns they were there for humanitarian reasons and not to fight. However those who had they own personal side arms or rifles were allowed to carry them for their defense.

By reading the following reports you will learn many interesting thing about the Ambulance Corps, what some of their duty’s were and how they lived on the march and how some bravely died. For those of you who may be interested in how this corps was put together and it’s organization will find this information following the reports

Numbers 125. Report of Capt, William F. Drum, Second U. S. Infantry, Chief Ambulance Officer, of operations August 18-21.

Weldon Railroad, September 1, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following, report of operations of the ambulance corps, Fifth Army Corps, during the recent occupation of the Weldon railroad:

At 4 a. m. August 18 the corps commenced its movement toward the railroad, which it was to occupy and hold. Eighty ambulances (one-half of the whole train) and one medicine wagon to each division were ordered to accompany the command, following in its rear. The remainder of the ambulances, with the heavy portion of the hospital and ambulance train, were left at the old ambulance park near army headquarters, under charge of a commissioned officer. Twenty-five hospital-tent flies were carried in the ambulances to be used as shelter for the wounded. The command reached the railroad about 10 a. m., after driving in and capturing a few of the enemy's cavalry pickets, and immediately commenced destroying the track. The point occupied by the corps is about five miles south of Petersburg, four north of Reams' Station, and six southwest from the Avery house. The enemy soon commenced making demonstrations from the direction of Petersburg, and later in the day made an attack in force.

On the march to this point quite a number of men were so much affected by the heat as to be unfit for duty, and before the action commenced they were sent to the rear in ambulances. Orders were at the same time given to re-establish the hospitals on the old ground (the old hospitals having been packed up on the night of the 17th), and for the remainder of the ambulances to come to the front. During the action in the afternoon a few of the ambulances at a time were taken to a convenient point, as near the line of battle as possible, to which point the wounded were carried on stretchers. They were then conveyed in ambulances a half or three-fourths of a mile to the various depots for wounded established by the surgeons.

After the action was over, and as soon as the wounded were dressed, they were sent to the rear to the hospitals. There not being a sufficient number of ambulances at the front to convey all the wounded, a few were left at the field depots under the tent flies till the next morning. Owing to the long distance back to the hospital and ambulance park, the ambulances sent back with sick and those ordered up did not reach the front till early on the morning of the 19th. Those sent with wounded the evening of the 18th also returned during the morning. Owing to the length of time it required to go to the hospitals and return, in consequence of the distance and soft state of the roads, the medical director of the corps ordered the hospitals to be moved up to a point on the plank road between the Jones house and the Williams house. The wounded left the day before were then sent back to the hospital.

At 3 p. m. on the 19th the enemy made an attack in strong force. The wounded of this day were carried on stretchers to the ambulances, as the day before. Our communication with the hospitals not being for a time safe, the ambulances with the wounded were parked till it was ascertained that road was safe, when they were sent back under charge of commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The last wounded brought in were started for the hospitals by midnight. Having had much rain the roads became almost impassable, even to ambulances, so that it was with great difficulty that a train of wounded could be taken through. During the morning of the 20th all of the ambulances returned to the front, and were in readiness for action.

The day, however, passed quietly. New roads were looked up to be used in case of necessity. On the morning of the 21st the enemy again made a determined assault on our lines, and were severely repulsed, leaving many of their wounded in our hands. The wounded men were carried back, as usual, on the stretchers, and after having their wounds dressed were placed in ambulances, and sent to the hospitals. The ambulances were this day under a severe artillery fire from the enemy.

During the three days' fighting the ambulances conveyed from the field of battle to the hospitals of the corps, 773 of our own wounded, 30 of other corps (Ninth), and 153 of the enemy, besides about 300 sick sent to hospital on the 18th and 19th. Owing to the condition of the roads and the distance, it was considered impracticable to send any of the Fifth Corps ambulances to City Point. Our sick and wounded were, therefore, by direction of the medical director of the army, taken from the Fifth Corps hospitals to City Point by the ambulance train of the Sixth Corps, which duty was performed promptly and cheerfully.

The large number of casualties is good evidence that the men of the ambulance corps did their duty well under fire. Great credit is, however, due the officers and men of this department for the untiring energy with which they worked day and night, in the rain and mud, in order to transport the wounded back to the hospitals as quickly as possible. It might be proper for me to state that it was not possible for the hospitals to be any nearer, it not being considered safe, and the roads being in such condition that it would have been almost impossible to have gotten the heavy hospital trains through them.

During the three day's engagement 2 sergeants were killed, 1 sergeant and 5 stretcher-men wounded, and 19 stretcher-men missing, making the total number of casualties in the ambulance corps, 27. Eight horses were also killed, and shells passed through two of the ambulances.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Chief Ambulance Officer, Fifth Army Corps

Note. William F. Drum, was from Minnesota, on August 1. 1861, he was given his appointment as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army of the United States. In October of the same year he was made First Lieutenant of the 2nd., regiment of infantry, he would be in the battle of Gaines' Mill, Va., and because of his actions in battle he was given the rank of Captain by Brevet on June 27, 1862. On May 1, 1863, he was made full Captain. Because of his actions before Richmond, Virginia, December 2, 1864, he was given the rank of Major by Brevet. Then for his actions at the battle of Five Forks, Virginia, he was given the rank of lieutenant-colonel by brevet on April 1, 1865.

It should be noted here that because these reports and the Bills I had promised are very long I will only be able to give you three reports. However I will list the men who give their reports then if you decide you would like one of the reports you can write to me and I will be glad to send you one.

Important note. I have thousands of names at this site, so when asking a question about this page or any other pages at this site, please give the ( Title of the page ), for without it I may not be able to help you. My address can be found in my profile.

Numbers 24. Report of Captain John G. Pelton, Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry, Chief of Ambulances.


DOCTOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ambulance Corps, Second Army Corps, during the recent successful campaign:

On the evening of March 27 [28] orders were received to be ready to move at 6 o'clock on the following morning, the 28th [29th], with one-half of the ambulances of each division, one medical wagon and one army wagon to each brigade, and one additional wagon to each division for the transportation of forage. The trains were ordered to follow in rear of their respective divisions. The balance of the trains of the corps were ordered to be parked near the Cummings house, all to be in charge of Lieutenant McCarthy, of the First Division train. His instructions were to report to the chief quartermaster of the corps and accompany the general trains.

On the morning of the 28th [29th] the trains moved out on the Vaughan road in accordance with the orders received. Upon arriving at Humphreys' Station it was found that the corps had not as yet moved out; consequently the trains were parked in the open field near the station until the troops moved out, when it was found, at the crossing of Hatcher's Run, that it would be impracticable for the trains to follow in rear of their division, as the roads were narrow and it was not exactly known how soon the enemy would be found, and at the request of Major-General Humphreys the trains were halted and parked in an open field on the north bank of the river until the corps had crossed. The stretcher men, however, all crossed with their commands. On the 29th [30th] the trains were ordered to cross, and, in accordance with orders, parked at a place known as the "Three Chimneys," where a hospital was established. During its stay at this place all the drivers were engaged in building roads to the front.

On the evening of the 30th [29th] orders were received to send twenty ambulances to assist the Fifth Corps in removing their wounded. Lieutenant Lillibridge, of the Second Division train, was detailed to take command of the twenty-one ambulances that went to the Fifth Corps, assisted by a sergeant from each division train. Lieutenant Lillibridge reached the Fifth Corps hospital a little before daylight on the morning of the 31st [30th], and loaded his ambulances and proceeded to Humphreys' Station. After unloading the wounded he rejoined his command on the evening of the 31st [30th].

During the afternoon of the 31st Lieutenant Callanen, of the Second Division train, received orders from Doctor McParlin, medical director, Army of the Potomac, to remove the wounded of the cavalry, which were at that time in the Second Division hospital. For this purpose seventeen ambulances were sent to Humphreys' Station. In the meantime orders were given him that if he needed more ambulances to send for his reserve train, which he did. During this day the First Division was engaged with the enemy. Ambulances were sent to the front and the wounded were conveyed to the hospitals which were established near the Vaughan road. During this day twenty-four ambulances of the First Division were sent to Warren's Station with wounded, under the charge of Lieutenant Clark, First Division ambulance corps. Lieutenant Paxton, of the First Division train, also took ten of the First Division, nine of the Second Division, and sixteen of the Third Division loaded with wounded to Warren's Station.

April 1, Lieutenant Clark reported back with his train, which had been to the station, and from thence followed the division with nine ambulances. On this day Lieutenant Chase, of the First Division, joined the command with twenty-four ambulances, four medical wagons, and five army wagons; Lieutenant Chase having been on leave of absence. Lieutenant Paxton also joined the command with the train he had taken to Warren's Station.

April 2, the First Division was heavily engaged, and the train employed in removing the wounded to the hospital which had been established at the Moody house. Lieutenant Paxton followed the division with nine ambulances to the Sullivan house, near the South Side Railroad, and the whole night was employed in carrying wounded of the First Division from the Moody and Sullivan houses to the Boydton plank road.

April 3, Lieutenant Chase, with eight ambulances and the hospital train, joined the division at the Sullivan house and followed the troops. Lieutenant Clar, with the remaining thirty-five ambulances and ten of the Third Division loaded with wounded, left the hospital for Warren's Station. The roads being very several animals died on the march from exhaustion.

April 4, the remaining train followed in the rear of the corps, heavily laded with sick.
April 5, the trains followed the corps with sick; no wounded to take up on this day.

April 6, broke camp at daylight, and followed the troops near to Amelia Springs, where they became engaged with the enemy. The trains were immediately ordered to the Springs. The wounded of the First and Third Divisions were brought to the Springs house by the stretcher-bearers until the ambulances to the front on account of the deemed proper to send many ambulances to the front on account of the road being narrow and on each side dense woods, and in case of a retrograde movement of the troops the train would, of course, be in the way; therefore they remained at the Springs house until the troops had advanced some miles, when the First and Third Division were engaged with the enemy. The Second Division being on the extreme right and finding no enemy, the train of the Second Division was not engaged, therefore they were ordered to assist the First and Third Divisions in removing their wounded, which they did. The corps having advanced several miles, it was found that the number of ambulances present was not adequate to the demand, consequently a hospital was established for the Second and Third Divisions at the Vaughan house, which relieved the ambulances and stretcher men very materially. The corps still advanced, and at night encamped near Sailor's Creek. The trains bringing the wounded from Amelia Springs parked near corps headquarters.

On the 7th Lieutenant Clark, of the First Division train, was ordered to proceed with twenty-seven ambulances loaded with wounded to Burkeville Junction. There were also fifteen ambulances of the Second Division sent to Burkeville with wounded of the Third Division, and all of the ambulances but seven of the Third Division were sent to Burkeville with wounded. Upon arriving at High Bridge quite a number of wounded were found belonging to the Second Division. Here nine ambulances were loaded and ordered to join the train which had started for Burkeville about half an hour before; the remainder of the train followed the corps.

Upon advancing about a mile beyond the Brooks house the First Division became engaged with the enemy, as also did the Third Division. During the day a hospital was established at the Brooks house and the wounded were speedily removed to the hospital, in consideration of the number of ambulances we had to work with, the greater portion being moved by the stretcher men, who deserve great credit for their courage and endurance, this being the fourth day they had been without rations, which was not the fault of the ambulance officers or the commissary department. The supply train did not have sufficient amount of rations to issue to all detachments; therefore the ambulance corps was left to take care of itself, which it did in a very creditable manner.

April 8, having left quite a number of wounded at the Vaughan house, we were informed that the Ninth Corps ambulances were ordered to assist us in removing them, whereupon Lieutenant Crawley, of the Second Division train, was ordered to High Bridge to meet them and conduct them to the above-mentioned house. Upon his arrival at High Bridge nothing could be found of them, but after running about the country for an hour he succeeded in finding them. In the meantime all the ambulances except eleven of the corps were loaded with the wounded which were at the Brooks house and sent to Burkeville, Lieutenant Clark, First Division, in charge. On this day Lieutenant T. C. Chase, Twenty-sixth Michigan, commanding First Division ambulance train, was relieved from duty with the train on the grounds of in competency.

On the 9th the hospital train, with eleven ambulances, was ordered to follow in rear of the corps. The march this day was not severe, the trains having scarcely moved out of park before a halt was ordered, it having been announced that General R. E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General U. S. Grant.

On the 10th a train was made up and loaded with sick and a few wounded and went to Burkeville. Lieutenant Page, of the Second Division train, took charge, and was ordered to remain at the station until the corps arrived there.

On the 11th took up our line of march toward New Store, the ambulances and hospital train following in rear of the corps.

On the 12th marched from New Store to Farmville, trains following in the same order as the day previous.

The 13th marched from Farmville to Old Burkeville.

On the 14th selected camp for the trains, the blacksmith and carpenters being engaged in repairing the trains, which were very much in need of repairs.

There is nothing of importance to record from the 14th to the 20th, except that the trains are being put in serviceable condition as rapidly as possible, and are now ready for service.

Second Lieutenant James H. Griggs, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, commanding ambulances First Division; Second Lieutenant Clark, First Division; Lieutenant Callanen, One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, commanding ambulances Second Division; Lieutenant J. R. Pancoasts, commanding ambulances Third Division; Lieutenant Painter, Third Division, and the stretchermen of the entire command deserve great credit for the untiring energy displayed in the speedy removal of the wounded.
I am, doctor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Chief of Ambulances, Second Army Corps.

In another report given by Captain William F. Drum, on operations to June 30, 1864, he give a list of some of his men and I will list them here.

First Lieutenant W. S. Walker, Eighteenth Massachusetts Volunteers; First Lieutenant E. H. Liscum, Twelfth U. S. Infantry; First Lieutenant J. H. Malbon, Sixteenth Maine; First Lieutenant W. T. McPhail, First Pennsylvania Volunteers Reserve Corps; Captain C. F. Hulse, One hundred and twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers; First Lieutenant L. H. York, One hundred and forty-sixth New York Volunteers; First Lieutenant J. B. Sinclair, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry (severely wounded); First Lieutenant J. W. Marshall, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers; Second Lieutenant B. F. Babcock, One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers; Second Lieutenant Joseph H. Stonebraker, First Maryland Volunteers; Second Lieutenant C. A. Garcelon, Sixteenth Maine; Second Lieutenant E. A. Campbell, Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers; Second Lieutenant A. J. Dickenson, One hundred and forty-seventh New York Volunteers; First Lieutenant W. M. Ward, Twenty- second Massachusetts; First Lieutenant H. H. Clover, Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers Reserve Corps; Second Lieutenant J. B. Dayton, Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Reserve Corps; Second Lieutenant Frank E. Jordan, Eighty-third New York Volunteers; Second Lieutenant J. E. Jacobs, Sixth New York Heavy Artillery, Sergt. Milton Powers, of the Eleventh U. S. Infantry.

Numbers 188. Report of Captain James A. Bates, Chief Ambulance Officer.

August 27, 1863.

DOCTOR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the ambulances of Fifth Corps during the fight at Gettysburg. The corps went into action about 4 p. m. July 2, accompanied by the stretcher-bearers. The ambulances were brought in rear of the corps, and as near as was thought safe, to which place the wounded were carried by the stretcher-bearers, then transported by the ambulances to the hospital, a distance of about 1 mile from the scene of action. As soon as it grew dark, the ambulances drove on to the battle-field, picking up the wounded. The ambulances kept constantly running from the hospital to the battle-field until 4 a. m. July 3, when it was found that all the wounded had been removed excepting about 6, who were beyond our pickets, in which case we were unable to get them.

I will here state that some of the attendants in charge of Lieutenant Clay, Second Division, went beyond the pickets to remove a wounded man. When in the act of removing him, they were fired on by the enemy's pickets. The number of wounded transported by eighty-one ambulances from 4 p. m. July 2 to 4 a. m. July 3 was 1, 300. Great praise is due both officers and men for their promptness in removing the wounded. The number of casualties in the ambulance corps was 1 man severely wounded in the arm. About 10 a. m. July 3, orders were received from the medical director to remove the wounded 1 mile farther to the rear, as the enemy had commenced to shell the hospital. In consequence of having to remove the wounded a second time, the eighty-one ambulances transported 2, 600 wounded men a distance of 1 1/2 miles in forty-eight hours. I will here state that the horses were in a very poor condition, having been constantly on the march for three weeks. While at Gettysburg, they had to live on half rations.

Orders were received by the chief of the First Division train to take his train to the battle-field and remove 100 wounded, which were still on the field. On reaching the battle-field, and after a thorough search, he found but 2 of the First Division. He found a number of the Third Corps, which he had put in his ambulances and transported to their corps hospital.
Yours, respectfully,
Captain, and Chief Ambulance Officer, Fifth Corps.

Here is a list of men who also give reports.

1. Lieutenant, M. R. BALDWIN, Chief First Division Ambulance Corps, 1st A. C.

2.William F. Drum, give many reports other then the one recorded above.

3. John G. Pelton, give many reports other then the one recorded above.

4. Thomas L. Livermore, Captain, Fifth New Hampshire Infantry, Ambulance Officer,

5. Charles K. Winnie, Asst. Surg. U. S. Army, Medical Inspector.

6. Thomas A. McParlin, Surg. U. S. Army, Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.

7. *Elias J. Marsh, Asst. Surg. U. S. Army, of operations July 19-30.

8. Joseph C. Ayer, Lieutenant, Chief Ambulance Officer, First Division.
There are other reports by Ayer.

9. J. Theodore, Surg. Heard, Medical Director, Fourth Army Corps.

10. John A. Lidell, Surg. U. S. Army, Inspector of Medical and Hospital Department.

11. William S. King, Surg. U. S. Army, Medical Director.

12. John R. Pancoast, Lieutenant, One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Infantry, Ambulance Officer.

13. Frank W. Mix, Major, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, of operations August 18-22 (Kilpatrick's raid). This report is about the Ambulances running for their lives.

14. Thomas A. McParlin, Surg. U. S. Army, Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.

15. George E. Cooper, Surg. U. S. Army, Medical Director, Department of the Cumberland.

16. Elias J. Marsh, Asst. Surg. U. S. Army, Surgeon-in-Chief, of operations July 30-December 12.

*Elias J. Marsh give a list of names in his report I will list them here.

Asst. Surg. S. Powell, First New Jersey Cavalry, died August 8, 1864, at Macon, Ga., while a prisoner of war; Asst. Surg. Z. A. Northway, Sixth Ohio Cavalry, died September 27, 1864; Asst. Surg. S. M. Murphy, Twenty-first Pennsylvania Cavalry, died November 16, 1864; Hospital Steward S. M. Potter, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, died September 6, 1864; Asst. Surg. J. C. Stanton, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, taken prisoner September 16, 1864; Surg. A. Wood, First Massachusetts Cavalry, discharged from service for physical disability on November 2, 1864; Asst. Surg. P. E. Sickler, Tenth New York Cavalry, discharged from service for physical disability on November 30, 1864.

Asst. Surg. S. Powell, First New Jersey Cavalry; Asst. Surg. P. E. Sickler, Tenth New York Cavalry, and Hospital Steward Bates, First Massachusetts Cavalry. Assistant Surgeon Powell died at Macon, Ga., August 8, of chronic diarrhea. Assistant Surgeon Sickler was released about September 10, and on November 30 was discharged from service on account of chronic diarrhea contracted while a prisoner.

17. John R. Pancoast, Lieutenant One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Infantry, Ambulance Officer.


Numbers 147. Camp near Harrison's Landing, Va., August 2, 1862.

The following regulations for the organization of the ambulance corps and the management of ambulance trains are published for the information and government of all concerned. Commanders of army corps will see that they are carried into effect without delay:

Note. These regulations were revised many times.

1. The ambulance corps will be organized on the bases of a captain to each army corps as the commandant, of the ambulance corps, a first lieutenant for a division second lieutenant for a brigade and a sergeant for each regiment.

2. The allowance of ambulances and transport carts will be 1 transport cart, 1 fort horse and 2 two-horse ambulances for a regiment; 1 two-horse ambulance for each battery of artillery, and 2 two-horse ambulance for the headquarters of each army corps. Each ambulance will be provided with two stretchers.

3. The privates of the ambulance corps will consist of two men and a driver to each ambulance and one driver to each transport cart.

4. The captains is the commander of all the ambulances and transport carts in the army corps, under the direction of the medical director. He will pay special attention to the condition of the ambulances, horses, harness, &c., requiring daily inspections to be made by the commanders of division ambulances, and reports thereof to be made to him by these officers. He will make a personal inspection once a week of all the ambulances, transport carts, horses, harness, &c., whether they have been used for any other purpose than the transportation of the sick and wounded and medical sullies; reports of which will be transmitted through the medical director of the army corps to the medical director of the army every Sunday morning. He will institute a drill in his carts, instructing his men in the most easy and expeditious method of putting men in and taking them out of the ambulance, taking men from the ground and placing and carrying them on stretchers, observing that the front man steps off with the left foot and the rear man with the right, &c. He will be especially careful that the ambulance and transport carts are at all times in order, provided with attendants, drivers, horses, &c., and the kegs rinsed and filled daily with fresh water, that he may be able to move at any moment.

Previous to and in time of action ge will receive from the medical director of the army corps his orders for the distribution of the ambulances and the points to which he will carry the wounded, using the light two-horse ambulances and the points to which he will carry the wounded, using the light two-horse ambulances for bringing men from the field and the four-horse ones for carrying those already attended to farther to the rear, if the medical director considers it necessary. He will give his personal attention to the removal
of the sick and wounded from the field and to and from the hospitals, going from point to point to ascertain what may be wanted, and to see that his subordinates (for whose conduct he will be responsible attend to their duties in taking care of the wounded, treating them with gentleness and care, and removing them as quickly as possible to the places pointed out, and that the ambulances reach their destination. He will made a full and derailed report after every action and march of the operations of the ambulance corps.

5. The first lieutenant assigned to the ambulance corps of a division will have complete control, under the commander of the whole corps and the medical director, of all the ambulances, transport carts, ambulance horses, &c., in the division. He will be the acting assistant quartermaster for the division ambulance corps, and will receipt and be responsible for the property belonging to it, and be held responsible for any deficiency in ambulances, transport carts, horses, harness, &c., pertaining to the ambulance corps of the division. He will have a traveling cavalry forge, a blacksmith, and a saddler, who will be under his orders, to enable him to keep his train in order. He will receive a daily inspection report of all the ambulances, horses, &c., under his charge from the officers in charge of brigade ambulance corps, will see that the subordinates attend strictly to their duties at all times, and will inspect the corps under his charge once a week; a report of which inspection he will transmit to the commander of the ambulance corps.

6. The second lieutenant in command of the ambulances of a brigade will be under the immediate orders of the commander of the ambulance corps for the division and have superintendence of the ambulance corps for the brigade.

7. The sergeant in charge of the ambulance corps for a regiment will conduct the drills, inspection, &c., under the order of the commander of the brigade, ambulance corps, and will be particular in enforcing rigidly all orders he may receive from his superior officers. The officers and non-commissioned officers of this corps will be mounted.

8. The detail for this corps will be made with care by commanders of army corps, and no officer or man will be selected for this duty except those known to be active and efficient, and no man will be relieved except by orders from these headquarters. Should any officer or man detailed for this duty be found not fitted for it, representations of the fact will be made by the medical director of the army corps to the medical director of this army.

9. Two medical officers from the reserve corps of surgeons of each division, and a hospital steward, who will be with the medicine wagon, will be detailed by the medical director of the army corps to accompany the ambulance train when on the march, the train of each division being kept together, and will see that the sick and wounded are properly attended to. A medicine wagon will accompany each train.

10. The officers connected with the corps must be with the trains on a march, observing that no one rides in the ambulances without the authority of the medical officers, except in urgent cases; but men must not be allowed to suffer, and the officers will, when the medical officers cannot be found, use a sound discretion in this matter, and be especially careful that the men and drivers are in their proper places.

11. The place for the ambulances is in front of all wagon trains.

12. When in camp, the ambulances, transport carts, and ambulance corps will be parked with the brigade, under the commander of the corps for the brigade. They will be used, on the requisition of the regimental medical officers, transmitted to the commander of the brigade ambulance corps, for transporting the sick to various points and procuring medical supplies, and for nothing else. The noncommissioned officer in charge will always accompany the ambulances or transport carts when on this or any other duty, and he will be held responsible that they are used for none other than their legitimate purposes. Should any officer infringe upon this order regarding the uses of ambulances, &c., he will be reported by the officer offending in arrest for trial for disobedience of orders.

13. Good serviceable horses will be used for the ambulances and transport carts, and will not be taken for any other purpose except by orders from these headquarters.

14. The uniform for this corps is: For privates, a green band 2 inches broad around the cap, a green half chevron 2 inches broad on each arm above the elbow, and to be armed with revolvers; non-commissioned officers to wear the same band around the cap as a private, chevrons 1 inches broad and green, with the point toward the shoulder, on each arm above the elbow.

15. No person will be allowed to carry from the field any wounded or sick except this corps.

16. The commanders of the ambulance corps on being detailed will report without delay to the medical director at these headquarters for instructions. All division, brigade, or regimental quartermasters having any ambulances, transport carts, ambulance horses, or harness, &s., in their possession will turn them in at once to the commander of the division ambulance corps.

By command of Major-General McClellan:
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Washington, March 16, 1864.


The following act of Congress is published for the information and guidance of all concerned: PUBLIC--Numbers 22.

AN ACT to establish a uniform system of ambulances in the armies of the United States.

Be it enacted by the State and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the medical director, or chief medical officer, of each army corps shall, under the control of the medical director of the army to which such army corps belongs, have the direction and supervision of all ambulances, medicine, and other wagons, horses, mules, harness, and other fixtures appertaining thereto, and of all officers and men who may be detailed or employed to assist him in the management thereof, in the army corps in which he may be serving.

SEC. 2. And be further enacted. That the commanding officer of each army corps shall detail officers and enlisted men for service in the ambulance corps of such army corps, upon the following basis, viz: one captain, who shall be commandant of said ambulance corps; one first lieutenant for each division in such army corps: one second lieutenant for each brigade in such army corps; one sergeant for each regiment such army corps; three privates for each ambulance, and one private for each wagon; and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the ambulance corps shall be mounted: Provided, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates so detailed for each army corps shall be examined by a board of medical officers of such army corps as to their fitness for such duty; and that such as are found to be not qualified shall be rejected, and others detailed in their stead.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted. That there shall be allowed and furnished to each army corps two-horse ambulances, upon the following basis, to wit: three to each regiment of infantry of five hundred men or more; two to each regiment of infantry of more than two hundred and less than five hundred men or more; and one to each regiment of infantry of less than two hundred men; two to each regiment of cavalry of five hundred men or more; and one to each regiment of cavalry of less than five hundred men or more; and one to each regiment of cavalry of less than five hundred men; one to each battery of artillery--to which battery of artillery it shall be permanently attached; to the headquarters of each army corps two such ambulances; and to each division train of ambulances tow army wagons; and ambulances shall be allowed and furnished to division brigades and commands not attached to any army corps upon the same basis, and each ambulance shall be provided with such number of stretchers and other appliances as shall be prescribed by the Surgeon- General; Provided, That the ambulances and wagons herein mentioned shall be furnished, so far as practicable, from the ambulances and wagons now in the service.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That horse and mule litters may be adopted or authorized by the Secretary of War, in lieu of ambulances, when judged necessary, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the medical direction of each army corps.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the captain shall be the commander of all the ambulances, medicine, and other wagons in the corps, under the immediate direction of the medical director, or chief medical officer, of the army corps to which the ambulance corps belongs. HE shall pay special attention to the condition of the ambulances, wagons, horses, mules, harness, and other fixtures appertaining thereto, and see that they are at all times in readiness for service; that the officers and men of the ambulance corps are properly instructed in their duties, and that their duties are performed, and that the regulations which may be prescribed by the Secretary of War, or the Surgeon-General, for the government of the ambulance corps are strictly observed by those under his command. It shall be his duty to institute a drill in his corps, instructing his men in the most easy and expeditious manner of moving the sick and wounded, and to require in all cases that the sick and wounded shall be treated with gentleness and care, and that the ambulances and wagons are at all at times provided with attendants, drivers, horses, mules, and whatever may be necessary for their efficiency; and it shall be his duty also to see that the ambulances are not used for any other purpose than that for which they are designed and ordered. It shall be the duty of the medical director, or chief medical officer, of the army corps, previous to a march, and previous to and in time of action, or whenever it may be necessary to use the ambulances, to issue the proper orders to the captain for the distribution and management of the same, for collecting the sick and wounded and conveying them to their destination. And it shall be the duty of the captain faithfully and diligently to execute such orders. And the officers of the ambulance corps, including the medical director, shall make such reports, from time to time, as may be required by the Secretary of War, the Surgeon-General, the medical director of the army, or the commanding officer of the army corps in which they may be serving; and all reports to higher authority than the commanding officer of the army corps shall be transmitted through the medical director of the army to which such army corps belongs.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted. That the first lieutenant assigned to the ambulances corps for a division shall have control, under the captain of his corps and the medical director of the army corps, of all the ambulances, medicine, and other wagons, horses, mules, and men in that portion of the ambulance corps. He shall be the acting assistant quartermaster for that portion of the ambulance corps, and will receipt for and be responsible for all the property belonging to it, and be held responsible for any deficiency in anything appertaining thereto. He shall have a traveling cavalry forge, a blacksmith, and a saddler, who shall be under his orders, to enable him to keep his train in order. He shall have authority to draw supplies from the depot quartermaster, upon requisitions approved by the captain of his corps, the medical director, and the commander of the army corps to which he is attached. It shall be his duty to exercise a constant supervision over his train in every particular, and keep it at all times ready for service.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted. That the second lieutenant shall have command of the portion of the ambulance corps for a brigade, and shall be under the immediate orders of the first lieutenant, and he shall exercise a careful supervision over the sergeants and privates assigned to the portion ;of the ambulance corps for his brigade; and it shall be the duty of the sergeants to conduct the drills and inspections of the ambulances, under his ordered, of their respective regiments.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted. That the ambulances shall be used only for the transportation of the sick and wounded, and, in urgent cases only, for medical supplies, and all persons shall be prohibited from using them, or requiring them to be used, for any other purpose. It shall be the duty of the officers of the ambulance corps to report to the commander of the army corps any violation of the provisions of this section, or any attempt to violate the same. And any officer who shall use an ambulance or require it to be used for any other purpose than as provided in this section shall, for the first offense, be publicly reprimanded by the commander of the army corps in which he may be serving, and for the second offense shall be dismissed from the service.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted. That no person except the proper medical officers, or the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the ambulance corps, or such person as may be specially assigned, by competent military authority, to do duty with the ambulance corps for the occasion, shall be permitted to take or accompany sick or wounded men to the rear, either on the march or upon of the field of battle.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted. That the officers, non- commissioned officers, such manner as the Secretary of War shall deem proper; Provided, That officers and men may be relieved from service in said corps and others detailed to the same, subject to the examination provided in the second section of this act, in the discretion of the commanders of the armies in which they may be serving.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the commander of the army corps to transmit to the Adjutant- General the names and rank of all officers and enlisted men detailed for service in the ambulance corps of such army corps, stating the organizations from which they may have been so detailed; and if such officers and men belong to volunteer organizations, the Adjutant-General shall thereupon notify the Governors of the several States in which such organizations were raised of their detail for such service; and it shall be the duty of the commander of the army corps to report to the Adjutant-General, from time to time, the conduct and behavior of the officers and enlisted men of the ambulance corps, and the Adjutant-General shall forward copies of such reports, so far as they relate to officers and enlisted men of volunteer organizations, to the Governors of the States in which such organizations were raised.

SEC. 12. And be it further enacted. That nothing in this act shall be construed to diminish or impair the rightful authority of the commanders of armies, army corps, or separate detachments, over the medical and other officers and the noncommissioned officers and privates of their respective commands.

Approved March 11, 1864.
By order of Secretary of War.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Hospital Steward.

I learned a lot doing this page. In the beginning I knew little about what the Hospital steward did or what his duty’s were. There were three class of stewards, first, second and third class. Most steward started out as a private and rose up in rank to that of a first Lieutenant, the rank may have gone higher, but I found no steward higher then first Lieutenant. Their duty was a dangers one at times, Although they carried no guns they would run onto the battle field to take care of the wounded and the dieing. Many themselves would be killed or wounded will performing his duty. Even when a field hospital was about to be over ran by the enemy he would not leave the wounded behind, he would take the chance of being captured.

The Hospital Steward had many duty’s outside of caring for the wounded, he would be a ambulance driver, a letter writer for the sick a book keeper, and while a prisoner of war or working in is own sides prisons a overseer of the hospital cook to see that the food was prepared to the hospitals standers. There were no sides while he was on the battle field, yes his men came first but will there, if there was time he would give aid and some comfort to the enemy as it was the human thing to do.

A Bill
December 9, 1872.
For the relief of
William Childs.

Whereas a commission as first lieutenant was issued by the governor of Ohio, on January eighteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, for William E. Childs, a hospital-steward in the Fifty-Fifth Regiment Ohio Veteran Volunteers; and Whereas the said William E. Childs, by reason of being on duty with his regiment in General Sherman's campaign from Savannah, Georgia, to Goldsborough, North Carolina, from January tenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, to March twentieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, was unable to receive his commission and be mustered as a commissioned officer until March twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and failed to come under the provision of the fourth section of the act of March third, eighteen hundred and sixty-five: Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Paymaster-General be, and he hereby is, directed to pay to the said William E. Childs, out of any money appropriated for the pay of the Army, the ‘,‘ three months’ pay proper of a first lieutenant of infantry provided by the fourth section or the act of March third, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, the same as if he had been mustered at the date of the passage of said act.

1862, The petition of Leon Alcau, praying compensation for services as hospital steward.

1866, Tenth Regiment of Infantry.
Hospital Steward Guy Morrison, of the United States Army, to be second lieutenant, April 7, 1866

To be second lieutenants.
Hospital Steward Charles Bendin.

1866, The petition of William Beall, praying compensation for his services as hospital steward.

1865, To be commissaries of subsistence with the rank of captain.
Hospital Steward Hollis Stedman, United States Army.

1837, Eleanor O'Donnell, widow of Bernard O'Donnell, a hospital steward in the navy, praying a pension.

1850, The petition of Lucretia Gardner, of Fort McHenry, in the State of Maryland, and widow of Francis R. Gardner, deceased, praying for a pension on account of the long and faithful services of her said husband as hospital steward.

1875, Seventeenth Regiment of Infantry.
Hospital Steward James Brennan, United States Army, to be second lieutenant.

1873, Daniel Ivens, late hospital-steward of the Thirty-sixth Iowa Volunteers, praying compensation for services rendered as an assistant surgeon during the war.

War Department, January 23, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to propose for your approbation the name of Hospital Steward Selden A. Day, of the United States Army, to be second lieutenant in the Fifth Regiment of Artillery.

To be second lieutenant.
Hospital Steward Edward Harris.

1867, Resolved, That the Secretary of War be directed to furnish this house with copies of all letters and papers on file in his department relating to the reduction to the ranks of William Beale, a hospital steward on duty at camp William Penn, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by General Order No. 429, and particularly a letter of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Wagner, of the 88th Pennsylvania volunteers, of or about November 14, 1864, upon that subject, and recommending his discharge.

1867, Tenth Regiment of Infantry.
Hospital Steward Walter S. Duggan, United States Army, to be second lieutenant, January 3, 1867.

1866, Twelfth Regiment of Infantry.
Hospital Steward Valentine M. C. Silva, of the United States Army, to be second lieutenant, October 2, 1865, to fill an original vacancy.

1868, Hospital Steward Patrick Kelliher, United States Army, to be second lieutenant in the Thirty-ninth Regiment United States Infantry, November 6, 1868.

1867, Hospital Steward William Gerlach, United States Army, to be second lieutenant in the Thirty-seventh Regiment United States Infantry, May 22 1867.

1867, Horace P. Sherman, late hospital steward Eighteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, to be second lieutenant in the Thirty-fifth Regiment United States Infantry, June 8, 1867.

1863, Hospital Steward George Wright, of the United States Army, to be medical storekeeper, August 13, 1862, to fill an original vacancy.

Photo can be enlarged by pushing on it.

Savage Station, Virginia. Union field hospital after the battle of June 27. It was created in 1862 by Gibson, James F., b. 1828.

The Civil War.
Washington, April 29, 1863.

The following is the organization of regiment and companies of the Volunteer Army of the United States under existing laws:

1. Regiment of infantry, 1 hospital steward.
2. Regiment of cavalry, 2 hospital stewards.
3. Regimental of artillery, 1 hospital steward.
Report of Asst. Surg. Elias J. Marsh, U. S. Army, Surgeon-in-Chief, of operations July 30-December 12.

There were no casualties in the ambulance corps. Those in the medical department were as follows: Hospital Steward Samuel M. Potter, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, died September 6, 1864.
Note. Samuel M. Potter, mustered in on October 2, 1862, Promoted from private company K, January 28, 1863; discharged by General Order, July 6, 1865, Part of his record from Co. K, mustered in September 19, 1863, Promoted to Hospital Steward, November 10, 1862.

As probably there will be no report of this division prior to the date at which I took charge, I desire to record the names of the following officers who were ordered to remain with the wounded at Trevilian Station on June 13, 1864, and were thus left in the lines of the enemy. After attending to the wounded under their charge for a few days only they were sent to the military prison. The names were: Hospital Steward Henry B. Bates, First Massachusetts Cavalry Company A.
Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor here with to report the actions of the Thirteenth Regiment Michigan Infantry in the sanguinary battles of the 19th and 20th instant:
Hospital Steward V. E. Dunnen, was captured at the field hospital, near Gordon's Mills.
Note. Vincent E. Dunnen, was of the 26th., Ohio Infantry company C., Mustered in July 26, 1861, as a private then promoted to Hospital Steward, mustered out July 25, 1864.
Hospital Steward pay.
PUBLIC-Numbers 122. AN ACT to increase the pay of soldiers in the United States Army, and for other purposes.

Hospital stewards of the first class, thirty-three dollars; hospital stewards of the second class, twenty-five dollars; hospital stewards of the third class, twenty-three dollars.

John H. Fisher, hospital steward, Fourteenth New York State Militia. John H. Fisher, was a witness at a murder trial on December 8, 1862.
Mr. Thomas Whitten, acted as a Hospital steward.

The Sixty-seventh Regiment New York State National Guard left Buffalo for Harrisburg, Pa., June 25, 1863, at 3p. m., Charles F. Goodman, hospital steward was one of the 300, men.

Whereas, at the battle of Pea Ridge, in Benton County, Arkansas, on the 7th and 8th of March last, between the forces of the Confederate States and the United States, Captain Richard Fields, Surg. James P. Evans, Hospital Steward Walter N. Evans, and Private James Pidey, members of the regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles, commanded by Colonel John Drew, and William Reese, a member of the regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles, commanded by Colonel Stand Watie, were taken prisoners by the United States, and are still held as such.
Note. Walter N. Evans, was of company H.
Numbers 57. Report of Colonel Robert Farquharson, Forty-first Tennessee Infantry.

In obedience to an order from General Pillow, the regiment arrived at Fort Donelson about 10 a. m. Thursday, February 13, 1862.
John K. Farris, hospital steward and acting assistant surgeon.

Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., April 1, 1865.

Captain Ephraim Palmer's company (B), First Oregon Infantry, at Fort Hoskins, will repair without delay to Fort Dalles. Hospital Steward Edward Colmache will repair to Fort Dalles and report to the commanding officer for temporary duty. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.

Camp Drum, New San Pedro, Cal., May 3, 1863.

In view of the facts attendant upon the recent calmitous accident which resulted in the loss of many lives and serious injury of many estimable citizens by the explosion of the steamer Ada Hancock, in the bay of New San Pedro, Cal., on Monday afternoon, April 27, 1863, the major commanding desires to noticing eneral orders those whose conduct under his especial observation are deserving of commendation.

Hospital Steward S. K. Fleming and the nurses under his charge, by their faithful attendance and care bestowed to those injured, are deserving of special notice.

Report of Lieutenant James A. Waymire, First Oregon Cavalry.
CAMP LINCOLN, South Fort John Day's River, Oreg., April 17, 1864

Our expedition has occupied twenty-four days. During the first thirteen days we had a snow-storm every twenty-four hours. The road in many was almost impassable. The grass has just begun to grow, and will not be good in the those mountains before the middle of May. I think we fought no less thatn 150 Indians on the 7th instant; possibly twice that number. They have a great deal of stock in that country, and may be several hundred strong. A few good howitzers would be very useful with a command in that region. I cannot refrain for mentioning to the general the noble conduct of the men whom I have had the honor to command in action. They were constantly self-possessed, and as prompt in the execution of commands as on ordinary drill. Without a murmur they have endured all the hardships and privations of the expedition. Hospital Steward Henry Catley accompanied me with medical stores, and has been efficient in rendering very valuable
service in his department.
Note. Henry Catley was of company D., of the First Oregon Cavalry.

Report of Colonel De Witt C. Thomas, Ninety-third Indiana Infantry, of operations March 19-April 9.

In the Field, Ala., April 12, 1865

My thanks to Hospital Steward Lee M. Sackett, for his untiring energy and prompt attention to the sick and being ever present.


On the 24th instant the rebel ram Webb passed New Orleans under rebel colors and was pursued by the U. S. gun-boat Hollyhock. About twenty-five miles below the city, having come in sight of the U. S. gun-boat Richmond, the Webb was set on fire by her officers and then ran ashore on the left bank of the Mississippi. The officers and crew then abandoned her, endeavoring to make their escape fifteen of whom afterward surrendered to the U. S. authorities as prisoners of war

J. C. Hines, the hospital steward, states that in one of the Confederate hospitals at Shreveport, where he was stationed, there were 200 patients, and that sickness prevailed to a considerable extent in the Confederate army.

Camp Averell, Va., March 12, 1865.

I returned by the Back road, picked up ten prisoners and three deserters, viz: William B. Crawford, Company B, Second Foreign Battalion; William D. Stout, clerk in hospital at Staunton, and J. H. Slasher, hospital steward, general hospital, Harrisonburg.

Report of Colonel Thomas F. McCoy, One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.

I would also mention for their faithfulness and good conduct Asst. Surg. R. S. Dana and Hospital Steward James A. Watson.

Report of Major Eagleton Carmichael, Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry.

Joseph Impey, hospital steward, requests that he may keep one horse which was captured, that is now in his possession, in lieu of one stolen last winter.
Note. Joseph Impey, was of the 15th, Illinois Cavalry, Company D., Was discharged December 29, 1864, at Helena Arkansas, term had expired.

Report of Surg. Henry S. Hewit, U. S. Army, Medical Director.


I beg leave to make honorable mention of Hospital Steward M. C. Wilcox in the office of the medical director, for faithful and intelligent discharge of duty and deep personal interest in the good of the service, and the correct transaction of the business of the office.
Note. Milton C. Wilcox was of the 104, Ohio Infantry, Company E. & H.

Baltimore, Md., August 19, 1864.

Hospital Steward C. E. Tehon, U. S. Army.

Hilton Head, S. C., September 11, 1864.

Major General SAMUEL JONES,

Commanding Confederate Forces in S. C., Ga., and Fla.:
GENERAL: I would respectfully call your attention to the following-named medical officers and non-combatants who are confined within your department, and request that they be released in accordance with the cartel and by the precedents established between ourselves: John A. Mendenhall, hospital steward, Second Indiana Cavalry, Company I.
Numbers 36. Report of Colonel William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry.

Manchester, Tenn., June 30, 1863.

In the conflict of each day ever officer and man performed his duty. There was no hesitation; no mistakes; no lack of energy, and, of course, no failure, but an enthusiasm execution of every order. For valuable aid on the field, Hospital Steward John M. Corey was present with a well-organized corps of attendants, and our wounded received prompt attention.
Note. John M. Corey, was of the 49th, Ohio Infantry Company B.

List of the field and staff officers and members of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry (or more familiarly known as the "Anderson Cavalry"), who went to the front and were engaged in the battle of Murfreesborough.

Hospital Stewards James L. Anderson, mustered in August 22, 1862, Promoted from Private, Company I; discharged on Surgon's Certificate, January 25, 1863.

Charles P. Sellers, mustered in August 22, 1862, Promoted from Private, Company H, November 1, 1864; mustered out with Regiment, June 21, 1865.

Medical Director's Office, October 30, 1862.
JONA. LETTERMAN, Medical Director.

I cannot act justly without mentioning the faithful services of Hospital Steward Robert Koldeway, U. S. Army, who has been constantly with me. His attention to duty has been invariably most marked. Shrinking from no labor by day or by night, in everything he has acquitted himself to my entire satisfaction, and it gives me no little pleasure to bring to the notice of the general commanding a non-commissioned officer who has acted so well.
Note. Robert Koldeway was of the 6th, regiment United States Infantry, Company K.

Colonel KINNEY, Fifty-sixth Ohio.

I answered this note in effect that our orders were to "return to Memphis as soon as the bridge was completed or as soon as General Sherman's division came up," and that I was now acting in obedience to that order and preparing to return. An orderly soon cam down with the information that the Fifty-second Indiana were coming to guard the bridge. After reaching the neighborhood of Colliersville and on down until this side of Germantown the enemy were hovering all around us, but our dispositions for defense probably deterred them from making an attack. Lewis H. Hamilton, acting hospital steward, and George Lowry, drummer, Company K, straggling to the front against positive orders, were captured by the enemy. I append a list of the prisoners taken from the train and belonging to this command.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fifty-sixth Ohio Regiment.
Note. Lewis H. Hamilton was of the 56th, Ohio Infantry Company D.
No. 36. Report of Colonel James H. Lane,
Twenty-eighth North Carolina Infantry, of engagement May 27.
HDQRS. TWENTY-EIGHTH Regiment NORTH CAROLINA VOLS., Near Richmond, June 1, 1862.

Both Surg. Robert Gibon and Asst. Surg. R. G. Barham allowed themselves to be taken prisoners rather than leave the wounded. Surgeon Gibbon subsequently succeeded in making his escape, the wounded having been cared for and sent, in accordance with order of a Federal officer, to a Federal hospital. We were at one time deceived by the flag of the Twenty-second Massachusetts Regiment, which in nearly white, when our firing ceased, and John A. Abernathy, our regimental hospital steward, volunteered to meet it, and was fired upon by the enemy. Though Companies D and E took most of the prisoners, yet the new Springfield rifles, repeaters, and swords, now in the possession of the regiment, show that all behaved well.
Note. John A. Abernathy, was of the North Carolina 28th, Infantry, Company H., mustered out as a 2nd, Lieutenant.

Numbers 97. Report of Colonel William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding Sixth Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH BRIGADE, Field of Shiloh, April 10, 1862.

I beg leave to make special mention of Mr. Rodig, hospital steward of the Fifteenth Ohio, whose industry and attention to the wounded excited general admiration.
Note. Charles J. Rodig, enlisted in the 15th, Ohio Infantry as a private in Co. A, was promoted to Field and Staff as a Hospital steward with rand of 2nd, Lieutenant, mustered out as a Hospital steward with rand of 1st., Lieutenant.

Numbers 4. Report and statement of Asst. Surg. J. Cooper McKee, U. S. Army.
ALBUQUERQUE, N. MEX., August 16, 1861.

SIR: I hereby inclose, through you, tot he honorable Secretary of War, my parole of honor, given at Las Cruces, N. Mex., to the commanding officer of the Texas troops, after the base surrender of our forces by Major Lynde, of the Seventh U. S. Infantry (on the 27th July, 1861).

I also report that my hospital steward, Charles E. Filtzwilliams, chose to remain with the Texans as a prisoner of war. All paroled troops, officers and men, are ordered to Fort Union, preparatory to leaving for Fort Leavenworth, Kans.