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 the United States deficient as regards its medical organization and equipment. At the opening of hostilities between the States the personnel of the Medical Department of the regular army was composed of one surgeon-general with the rank of colonel, thirty surgeons with the rank of major, and eighty-four assistant surgeons with the rank of first lieutenant for the first five years of service, and thereafter with the rank of captain, until promoted to the grade of major. There was no hospital corps, but the necessary nursing and other hospital assistance were performed by soldiers temporarily detailed to hospital duty from organizations of the line of the army, and here it may be parenthetically remarked that the qualifications and character of the soldiers so detailed were usually far from satisfactory. The Medical Department, with the above personnel, formed one of the coordinate branches of the general staff of the army as it existed in 1861. Its members were not permanently attached to any regiment or command, but their services were utilized whenever required. Although a separate regimental medical service still existed in many foreign armies, as it did in our militia, experience had demonstrated that our national system of a separate department was better adapted to the needs of troops when scattered over an immense area, and usually serving in small and isolated commands. The latter requirements explained the unusually large proportion of surgeons necessary at the time, amounting to about one per cent. of the total strength. This little force of one hundred and fifteen trained medical officers theoretically available at the beginning of the war was, however, materially depleted. Many of its members were of Southern birth and sympathy, and no less than twenty-seven resigned from the army at the outbreak of hostilities. Three who so resigned entered into the practice of their profession, declining to assist either against their Southern kindred or
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