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[312] the front or rear. If the ambulance train could not reach the places where the wounded were lying, it was halted at the nearest practicable point, and the ambulance corps went forward and removed the wounded to the ambulances by means of litters.

The ambulance train then removed the wounded to the field-hospitals, the service of which is later discussed and of which there was one to each division, where more elaborate professional treatment was received. These field-hospitals were usually located just beyond the range of artillery fire. Sometimes several of them were established close together, and if tactical conditions permitted, they would be brought up and established on an occupied battlefield, thereby saving the time and suffering incident to removal of the wounded therefrom.

After reaching the field-hospitals and receiving the necessary attention to fit them for further transportation, the wounded were removed as soon as possible to the great base and general hospitals, which at one time aggregated two hundred and five in number.

In continuance of the work of the ambulance service, the railroads and steamships were brought into use. Sometimes conditions permitted trains to be run close to the scene of action and to receive wounded almost on the battlefield itself. This was the first war of great magnitude in which railroads were so employed.

The hospital trains were under the control of the Medical Department. The surgeon in charge was the sole head. Some were made up of passenger-cars which were regularly equipped or constructed by the railroad companies for the better care of wounded; some were hastily improvised at the front from ordinary freight-cars, merely emptied of the supplies which they had brought up and in which the wounded were merely laid on beds of boughs, hay, or straw. Between the two extremes there were all varieties of arrangements. Some cars were fitted with bunks; others with stanchions and supports,

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