previous next


The success of the plan under McClellan induced Grant to adopt it in the Army of the Tennessee, in an order dated March 30, 1863. Finally, Congress tardily passed an act, approved by the President on March 11, 1864, establishing a uniform system of ambulance service throughout the military forces. After it was once established, the value of this ambulance organization in the saving of life, suffering, and tears cannot be overestimated.

The ambulances were of a number of types, two-and fourwheeled. The former were soon found intolerable from their incessant rocking motion. The four-wheeled type was issued in various forms, successive models designed to avoid the demonstrated defects of their predecessors being issued. The Rucker ambulance was the final development toward the end of the war and gave much satisfaction. In a general way, it was the prototype of the improved ambulance now used in our army. One great fault of all these four-wheeled ambulances was their excessive weight in relation to their transportation capacity. After every great battle, any available supply wagons were used to supplement the ambulances. These were springless, but, with their floors well bedded with brush and hay, were made very comfortable for the wounded placed in them, while their canvas tilts served admirably to screen against rain and sun.

The medical-transport service in battle, as finally perfected, worked about as follows: The medical officers of regiments accompanied their organizations into action and established stations as near the firing-line as possible and usually at a sheltered point, with ready access from both front and rear. Hither the wounded resorted or were conveyed as the situation permitted, had their wounds dressed, and were set aside or started for the field hospital, if able to walk.

As soon as possible the ambulance corps came up and took over the helpless wounded, freeing the regimental surgeons and enabling them to accompany their organizations to

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Rucker (2)
George B. McClellan (2)
James Grant (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 11th, 1864 AD (2)
March 30th, 1863 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: