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[286] Nashville, and there Doctor Stout himself, before his promotion, was placed in charge of the Gordon Hospital, formerly an old warehouse.

This hospital had been in charge of a committee of ladies who had employed civilian physicians to attend the sick, and the hospital attendants were not under military discipline. Through the exercise of considerable tact, Doctor Stout reorganized the hospital and brought it under military rule without offending the sensibilities of the ladies. Doctor Stout was an excellent business man and required frequent statements from the commissary of the amount of money due the hospitals from commutation of rations, and the fund thus obtained was used liberally for the benefit of his patients, procuring for them articles of food to be had in the market. When chickens, butter, and eggs were not brought to the hospital in sufficient quantities, he sent out wagon-loads of cotton yarn purchased from the factories, and exchanged it for the much needed delicacies.

After his promotion to the office of medical director, Doctor Stout was particularly insistent that real coffee should be served the patients in the hospitals under his control, and sent subordinates to Wilmington and Charleston to purchase it from the blockade-runners. A bakery was established at every hospital, and the saving thus made inured to the benefit of the hospital fund.

He even went so far as to purchase at Chattanooga a printing outfit on which the numerous blanks needed for the use of the various hospitals were prepared. This was placed under the charge of privates detailed for the purpose and soon became a source of income.

Seeds were bought for gardens, and, when the number of convalescents was not sufficient to work them, labor was paid from the hospital fund. Cows, horses, and wagons were purchased whenever needed, without waiting for the formal approval of the surgeon-general. ‘I thought that economy of ’

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Samuel H. Stout (8)
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