in the rotunda of the Capitol
, was taken to the supreme-court room, where his foot was amputated.
It was then decided to fit up the room as a field hospital; and it became the first army hospital established in the Rebellion
Its beds were soon all occupied; and the care of sick and wounded devolved upon the members of the association, who were promptly seconded by the Massachusetts
ladies then in Washington
, of Salem
, sister of the late General Frederick W. Lander
, was a leader in these good works.
She ‘headed the advance-guard of that corps of mercy.’
This volunteer association fulfilled its mission.
As the war went on, many of the most active members entered the army and navy.
The demands for hospital accommodations now required the action of the Government
, and an organized system.
In the summer of 1862, when the sick and wounded were returned in great numbers from the peninsula of Virginia
, the Governor
decided to appoint Gardiner Tufts
the agent for Massachusetts
; and, on the 18th of July, Mr. Tufts
was commissioned for that purpose.
His instructions were prepared at the State House
, and forwarded to him. He was to prepare a weekly report of the disabled Massachusetts
soldiers in Washington
, with the company and regiment to which they belonged.
As far as practicable, he was to visit the hospital in person, and supply all proper wants of our men. He was to communicate with the families of the patients, stating their wants, and how the needed supplies could be forwarded.
He was to have an oversight of the burial of the dead, and, when requested by their friends, to have the bodies forwarded, at the expense of the parties requesting it. He was to aid the soldiers with money in returning home, if they had not sufficient for their wants themselves.
The instructions were very comprehensive, and drawn with marked ability.
They covered every service which an agent could do, or a soldier require.
entered upon his duties July 28, 1862.
There were, at that time, forty-four army hospitals in the District of Columbia, Fairfax
, and Falls Church, Va.
The battles of Cedar Mountain
, second Bull Run
, and Centreville