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[460] remove the depot further to the rear, when within one mile we drew our ambulances up behind a small stream, and guarded in front by miry ground, thus securing a sufficiency of water, yet not of suitable protection against missiles from rifled guns.

For three hours, without a second's intermission, had the battle been raging, when suddenly, after a heavy artillery discharge, we heard from the front three lusty cheers, and the firing ceased abruptly. Our troops fell back about one mile, and I received the order to bring our wounded as far to the rear as we could reach with our (limited) transportation. Ambulances, caissons, army wagons, litters, single horses, carts, in short, every conceivable mode of carrying was made use of, to secure the large number of our wounded, and with a readiness which deserves high commendation, did everyone busy himself to excute the order. There was no depression of spirits manifested; on the contrary, the morale of the command expressed its brave determination in the words: “We will give it back to them!”

Our troops fell back to Barber's, under the protection of our cavalry brigade, which, during the battle, was quietly drawn up in the rear of our right and left.

Passing Sanderson, I sent the following telegrams:


To Surgeon in charge of Field Hospital at Barber's Station:
A large number of wounded. Prepare coffee, tea and beef soup.


Send immediately a train of cars, with bales of hay, lint, bandages and stimulants. Call on Sanitary Commission.

Dr. A. M.

We reached Barber's at midnight, and while, unhappily, some forty cases of badly wounded had to be left at the ambulance depot, near the battle-field (under charge of Assistant-Surgeon C. A. Defendorf, Forty-eighth New York volunteers, and twenty-three more at Sanderson, we had now, after dismounting two companies of cavalry, for the purpose of securing an additional eighty, to take care of and forward, by car and wagon, some eight hundred and sixty wounded, two hundred and fifteen of whom were at once delivered to the hospital ship “Cosmopolitan,” awaiting at wharf of Jacksonville. A list of the first shipment will be forwarded by the surgeon in charge of that steamer. A list of those admitted to the hospital in Jacksonville, from the surgeon in charge, William A. Smith, Forty-seventh New York volunteers, I hereby have the honor to transmit, together with a list of all casualties, as gathered from the surgeons in charge of brigades.

I beg leave to now add the following remarks: The expedition into Florida, and its occupation, we believed not to be a sauguinary one; no one expected, at least, a resistance so bold and stubborn, because no concentration of from twelve to fifteen thousand enemies was deemed possible, and our hospital preparations at the post, as well as in the field, had, up to the time of the engagement, remained a mere consolidated regimental affair in supplies. When, under those circumstances, the comparatively large number of cases have been well cared for, I feel it to be my duty to be thankful to the aid and assistance of the ever-ready and assiduous agent of the United States Sanitary Commission, Mr. A. B. Day, and to the untiring exertions of our worthy colleague, Surgeon William A. Smith, in charge of hospital. Under no ordinary circumstances should I have departed from the rule of not making requisition on the “Commission,” and unless such an emergency had arisen, in which our wants were urgent and large. Again, the very limited number of ambulances could, inside the department, not have been largely increased; therefore, transportation on army wagons and caissons could not well have been avoided; yet, in spite of these deficiencies, will any contribution to the “Surgical history of the war” speak but favorably of the manner in which the medical officers bore themselves, to the credit of the profession and administration. True, such could not have been the case were the character of the wounds in the majority grave; but, happily, the number of slight cases is large, showing, for the most part, wounds of the lower extremities, with but few cases of operations. Five hundred, at least, will be able for duty in less than four weeks, and our loss will, therefore, be mostly temporary. We have to regret the many casualties among officers, and the fact that we could not recover all our wounded, notwithstanding an effort to do so by requesting this privilege under a flag of truce. I made the proposition to the General commanding, who entertained the opinion that they might be well taken care of by the enemy, but he finally yielded to the request, which, unfortunately, was refused by our opponents. Meanwhile, the number of wounded at this post (including those of former encounters) has decreased to one hundred and sixty-five by transfer of cases to transport steamers “Cosmopolitan,” “Dictator” and “Delaware,” the former making within one week two trips to Hilton Head and Beaufort.

It is, perhaps, not out of place to recommend that no general hospital, beyond those already existing, be established; and especially that the general hospital at Jacksonville be merely conducted as a receiving depot, whence to forward to the above hospitals, adding thereto St. Augustine, Florida. The remoteness from the main depot of supplies of the department, with all its annoying and delaying consequences, and the readiness with which the returning empty transports can be employed for transportation of sick and wounded, brings me to this conclusion; and, while the interior of Florida, in regard to healthfulness among a larger command, is yet to be tested, there presents itself at the convalescent hospital, St. Augustine, a hospital

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