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[308] complete, to be used for succoring and transporting sick and wounded men, ‘and for nothing else.’

The advantages of this organization became speedily manifest, and at the battle of Antietam, in the following month, it gave admirable service. Of its operation in the battle of Fredericksburg, Surgeon Charles O'Leary, medical director of the Sixth Corps, said in his official report:

‘During the engagements of the 13th, the ambulances being guided and governed with perfect control and with a precision rare even in military organizations, the wounded were brought without any delay or confusion to the hospitals of their respective divisions. Not a single item provided for the organization of the field-hospitals suffered the slightest derangement, and the celerity with which the wounded were treated, and the system pervading the whole Medical Department, from the stations in the field selected by the assistant surgeons with the regiments to the wards where the wounded were transferred from the hands of the surgeons to be attended by the nurses, afforded the most pleasing contrast to what we had hitherto seen during the war. . . .’

In the operations at the time of the battle of Chancellorsville in the following May, the Sixth Corps charged and took Marye's Heights behind the town of Fredericksburg. The medical director of the corps, in his report, says: ‘The charge was made at 1 P. M.; the heights were taken, and in less than half an hour we had over eight hundred wounded. Two hours after the engagement, such was the celerity and system with which the ambulances worked, the whole number of wounded were within the hospitals under the care of nurses.’

In the battle of Gettysburg the ambulance organization was intact, and such was the perfection of its administration, that, on the early morning of the 4th of July, the day after the battle ended, not one wounded man of the great number who had fallen was left on the ground. The inspector-general of the army himself reported this interesting fact from personal examination.

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