by telegraph the night of the battle. The next morning a propeller was chartered, laden with stores, and with a special relief party, consisting of Dr. H. G. Clark, Dr. S. C. Foster, Dr. Swan, Dr. Homiston, Mr. Elliott, Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Walter, all connected with the Commission, and, with Rev. Mr. Channing, Mr. Page, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Webster, volunteers, I started at evening for the front. We reached Acquia, landing with our extra supplies at daybreak on Monday, and all of the party, with the exception of Mr. Abbott, Mr. Murray, and myself, were immediately sent forward. They arrived in Fredericksburgh to assist in the removal of the wounded to the field-hospitals, where they were all placed in tents, and, under the circumstances, were well cared for. Our camp had been located near the Phillips House, by Dr. Andrew, as being the most central position, and it was here that I found all of our corps, both those who had come forward the day before, and those who had preceded us. The scene at our field station was a busy one. Could the contributors to the stores and the treasury of the Commission have heard the fervent expressions of grateful relief; could they have seen the comfort which their bounty afforded our brave wounded; could they realize by actual intercourse with the wounded, for instance, the suffering from cold alleviated by the abundant supply of blankets which their bounty had provided; could they have observed the change produced when the soiled and bloody garments were replaced by clean and warm clothing which they had sent, they would be eager to replenish our storehouses and keep our hands filled with the means to accomplish these purposes. Early Tuesday morning the rain subsided, the sun appeared, and the weather became clear and cold. The wounded were for the most part placed in hospital-tents, upon a plentiful supply of hay. Blankets had to repair the absence of stoves, which by some singular mistake had arrived in a condition not to be used, the necessary stove-pipe not being included in the shipment. The supply in the hands of the purveyor soon became exhausted from the unusual demands made upon him on account of the severity of the weather. Fortunately we were enabled to supplement his stores, and to answer his calls upon us from the reserve of one thousand eight hundred blankets and over nine hundred quilts, which we had sent forward. Many of these were employed in covering the wounded during the period of their transportation by car and steamboat from the field-hospitals to the general hospitals at Washington. The comfort of the wounded and the result of the treatment of their wounds were materially affected by the change of clothing provided by us. We had been able to get up to our field-station five thousand six hundred and forty-two woolen shirts, four thousand four hundred and thirty-nine pairs woolen drawers, four thousand two hundred and sixty-nine pairs socks, and over two thousand five hundred towels, among other articles. These were liberally distributed wherever the surgeons of hospitals indicated that there was a need. Certain articles of hospital furniture, of which there was a comparatively greater want than of any thing else, were freely obtained by all surgeons at our station. Stimulants, I am happy to say, were in great abundance among the purveyor's stores, so that the calls upon us were few. The same was generally true of food, and positively so of all kinds of medicinal articles, which at other battles have been furnished by us. Nothing of the kind was asked for. In the article of food alone, we issued in one week solely to hospitals sixteen barrels of dried fruit, ten boxes of soda biscuit, six barrels of crackers, nearly one thousand pounds of concentrated milk. The beef stock we had brought up was, I am again happy to say, not needed, there being a bountiful provision among the hospital stores, and fresh beef at command at all times, and in any quantity. As rapidly as the wounded were attended to and put in a condition for safe transportation, they were removed from the field-hospitals to the general hospitals in Washington and Point Lookout. The removal was effected by ambulance or stretcher to the cars, by cars to the landing at Acquia Creek, and thence to Washington by steamboat. The principal battle occurred on the thirteenth December, and on the twenty-fifth the last of the wounded were removed. The floors of both cars and boats were well covered with fresh hay, and in addition to this, the severely wounded had mattresses or bed-sacks. In order to meet whatever demands might arise for the proper sustenance of the wounded while on this trying journey, Mr. Knapp, our special relief agent, was despatched from Washington to Acquia Creek to provide suitable accommodations for furnishing food or shelter at that point. A kitchen was improvised upon the landing, and the first night meals were provided for six hundred wounded brought down by the cars. Mr. Knapp was cordially assisted in this humane work by several members of the Christian Commission who were present at that place. Through the cordial cooperation of the Quartermaster of the Port, Mr. Knapp had a building erected adjoining our portable storehouse, which affords shelter and a good bed to nearly a hundred every night. Our field operations have gradually diminished with the removal of the wounded. The details of the number of articles received and issued, the hospitals to which they were issued, with the quantity in each case, and the acknowledgment of the surgeon, together with the account of the stock on hand on the twenty-fourth instant, I beg leave to present in the accompanying schedule. Our supplies were brought up from Acquia Creek in every case in charge of a special messenger. By the schedule it will be seen that all the division hospitals were visited and supplies furnished to them on requisition. Besides this supplies were also issued to a number of brigade hospitals, and to over fifty regimental hospitals previous to my leaving on the twenty-fourth December. The
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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