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XVI. hospitals and ambulances.

The sketch embodied in this chapter is an attempt in a limited space to give the public a more adequate idea of the medical department of the army, what it was, how it grew up, and something of what it accomplished. I enter upon it with a quasi-apology for its incompleteness, understanding fully how inadequate any mere sketch must be regarded by those whose labors in this department made its record one of the most remarkable in the history of the war; yet, like all the other topics treated in this volume, it must undergo abridgment, and I can only hope that what is presented will, in some degree, do justice to this much neglected but very interesting theme in the Rebellion's annals.

At the time of the battle of Bull Run there was no plan in operation by which the wounded in that battle were cared for. Before this engagement took place, while the troops were lying in and around Washington, general hospitals had been established to provide for the sick. For this purpose five or six hotels, seminaries, and infirmaries, in Washington and Georgetown, and two or three in Alexandria, had been taken possession of, and these were all the hospital accommodations to be found at the end of the first three months. So general was the opinion that the war

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