A wise physician skilled our wounds to heal,I believe that the real feeling which actuated the great body of our medical men who entered the service of their respective sections, was that they were called by Providence to a great work of mercy and compassion to their fellowmen; and I believe that, as a body, they did do their duty in that generous and catholic spirit which has ever characterized the actions of our noble profession. As good Samaritans, they went to pour the oil of consolation into the lacerated wounds of their bleeding countrymen. When the turbulent, self-interested politician was employing all his powers to rouse the baser passions of his fellowmen, and add fresh fagots to the already blazing pyre of national prosperity; when even some misguided members of the Christian Ministry forgot the gentle teachings of the Prince of Peace, the meek and lowly Jesus, filled the pulpit with the hoarse cries of the hustings, and profaned the surplice to the purposes of mere political intrigue; at such a time, consider how the surgeons of both armies were employed. They, verily, were doing Christ's work, and in no unworthy way. Think of their weary watches through the lonely nights, and their long days of never ceasing toil while following a vanquished or victorious army through the dreary marches of a four years campaign! See them at the earliest dawn, before the ‘reveille’ has roused the soldier from his troubled sleep, rising at the first ‘sick call!’ Watch them on their rounds through the hospital tents, bearing a gentle hand for this wound and a soothing word for that distress! Follow them in imagination as the grim battalions rush into the heat of battle! Take one last look at them, worn out with work and misery at midnight, after some victory or defeat! and then tell me who the men were in both armies, who displayed the most faith, hope and charity in the tremendous struggle through which we have just passed? In those dark days of the Republic, when we met amid the clash of arms and the red glare of battle, I honestly believe that the one sentiment which actuated the high-toned medical men of the armies
Is more than armies to the public weal.
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