was, that they were God's ministers on those ensanguined fields, and that “le vrai chirurgien ne regarde pas l'uniforme.”
True it was, as it must ever be, when men are maddened by the blood-thirst of a deadly fray, that there were instances of cruelty and outrage.
Yet neither by report nor by my personal knowledge, did I ever know a case in which the wounded on either side did not receive the most humane attention possible from the medical officers
to whom they were committed.
On the Confederate
side, cut off from the outer world by a rigid blockade, with the armies confined entirely to an agricultural region— with no manufactories, and with the scantiest supplies of medical resources, it was in many instances impossible to furnish adequate relief to sick or wounded, whether they were friends or foes.
The far more fortunate armies of the North
were differently situated.
With thousands of workshops, with unrivalled chemical laboratories, and with unrestricted commercial intercourse with the entire globe, they were supplied not only with the necessaries, but with all the luxuries that were desirable; and they possessed the best appointed medical staff which in the history of the world ever marched into the field.
It was not astonishing that broad and even invidious comparisons were drawn between the two.
The truth is, there was no just measure of comparison between them, save in this one thing— their willingness to give, and their unfailing gladness to distribute what they had for the relief of suffering.
Here, at least, the one had no advantage of the other; for I must repeat again, and still again, that, in the hospital, the surgeons of both armies disregarded uniforms and gave the best they had to all who lacked.
As an evidence of the true sentiments which governed the medical men of the sections in their actions toward each other, I need but refer to the kindly relations which existed between them when, by the fortunes of war, they were thrown together.
Let those who were so situated answer, whether an instance can be cited where they were not met as brothers and as equals, from the first shock of arms at Manassas
, to the going down of the ‘Southern Cross’ on the fatal field of Appomattox
At the closing of the war, the action of the American Medical Association in its first meeting, attests the feelings which have bound the profession together.
While the politician has been tearing open the wounds which were inclined to heal—and might have healed by first intention—while the whole State has been unsettled in transition from the storm of war to peace, look at the course which has been pursued