Medical Department of the army.
--The Richmond Examiner
says the late sickness in the camps ‘"is an everlasting reproach to the medical authorities of the army,"’ whose attention should have been turned to the causes of this mischief and the proper preventive applied.
‘"Their powers,"’ says the Examiner,
‘"are of the amplest character.
We happen to know that they have had every aid from the Generals
and associated officers in command.
In any instances which they have failed because the requisite help was not extended to them by other departments of the army, they should have appealed to the proper authorities here, and if this appeal (contrary to our firm belief) had proved ineffectual, they should have thrown up their commissions rather than appear as the heartless and indifferent spectators of the sufferings of our troops."’
"All the accounts which have come to us have made a most unfavorable impression as to the care of the sick by the surgeons.--We were told the other day, by a gentleman of undoubted credibility, of an instance where some four or five hundred sick men reached Manassas
late in the day on their way to Richmond
The rain was pouring down when these men got to Manassas
, but no provision whatever had been made for their reception.
They were forced out of the cars and left to seek shelter from the rain for themselves as they best could.--Some few of them managed to get into the hospitals; the others were forced to lie down in the rain, helpless and suffering, with no covering but the leaves of the trees and their blankets.
What possible excuse can there be for such wretched mismanagement as this?
What brutality of the Yankees
to our prisoners can exceed this infamous wrong and outrage upon the men who are willing to lay down their lives for their country?
"The soldiers thus brutally treated were allowed to pursue their journey in the cars to Richmond
, without food of any kind, and were dependent on the charity of private individuals for relief from the cravings of hunger.
One of these, we are advised, spent a hundred dollars to relieve them from his own pocket.
On reaching this city a similar neglect prevailed, and men, with frames so weak that they could hardly stand up, were allowed to wander helplessly on the streets without direction or guidance.
This is but one of the many proofs we have had of a spirit of indolence, recklessness, and mismanagement in the medical department.
The subject hardly admits of comment.
We are persuaded that the able and energetic man at the head of the War Department will find, on giving his attention to the subject, that abuses exist which call loudly for reform.--We do not believe that he will permit such things to continue.
The whole subject of the care of the sick of the army must be reorganized, and those of the present medical staff who are unfit for their duties must be turned adrift.
Doubtless many will be found to whom no exception can be taken, and for these our remarks above have no application."
We transfer these serious charges to our columns for the purpose of increasing the chances of arresting the attention of the Government
, and drawing it at once to an investigation.
We have now a letter before us, handed to us by a highly respectable person, containing allegations of conduct at one of our hospitals that would better become the realms of Lincolnism than Virginia
We insist, in the name of the Southern
people, who have given the idols of their hearts to this war, that this thing shall be probed to the, bottom, and these charges, which are flying about as thick as autumn leaves, shall be proved or disproved, so that the wrong may be redressed, the guilty punished, and faithful and competent officers no longer forced to share the odium which belongs alone to the inefficient, intemperate, and brutal.