Today in History:

86 Series I Volume XX-II Serial 30 - Murfreesborough Part II


department, on the requisition of the medical director of the department. No buildings, however, will be taken possession of, or alterations thereon made, without the consent of the owners, unless they are known to be disloyal citizens. These orders will not be construed to apply to the erection of hospitals, plans for which must be submitted in due season, for the action of the Surgeon-General of the Army.

By order of Major-General Wright:


Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.

[Inclosure No. 4.]


Louisville, Ky., November 15, 1862.

Brig. Gen. W. A. HAMMOND,

Surgeon-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: In compliance with instructions from Major General H. G. Wright, commanding the Department of the Ohio, I have the honor to submit the following statement:

Immediately after the defeat of our forces at Richmond, Ky., and the capture of Lexington, followed by the evacuation of Bardstown and Lebanon, and the breaking up of the general hospitals at those places, and by the flocking into this city of an utterly demoralized army, it became necessary to increase suddenly and largely our hospital room. Diligent search was made in this city and the vicinity for proper buildings, and all the available buildings were occupied, with the exception hereinafter noticed.

On the arrival of the Army of the Ohio, under General Buell, there was again a sudden call for large accommodations for the sick, and it became a military necessity to take all the city school-houses fit for the purpose, which was reluctantly done, under the order of the military authorities, much against the wishes of not an inconsiderable portion of the community.

When the battle of Perryville occurred we had already as many sick as we could shelter, and Surgeon Murray called on me to receive 1,500 or 2,000 additional patients. In this emergency I telegraphed to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Evansville for such accommodation as they could furnish. But with all the relief which these places could afford, we were unable to receive and properly accommodate the sick and wounded, who were rapidly poured in upon us, and were threatened with the fearful dangers of overcrowding. These I refused to incur, and was authorized by General Buell, then here, to seize for hospital use such buildings as might be necessary. Under this order was taken the Asylum for the Blind, a large and commodious building, about 2 miles from this city, which will fairly accommodate 350 sick, and which had been previously suggested by Surgeon Murray, U. S. Army, medical director. The trustees protested, and referred the matter to Generals Rosecrans and Wright, by whom it was carefully examined. General Wright ordered the occupation to take place. Previous to taking the asylum, however, one of the finest dwelling-houses in the city, that of Mr. Wilder, a notorious secessionist, was placed by me at the disposal of the trustees, with the assurance that if it would not answer their purpose another should be provided for their use. A delay, which in our great need might be deemed unreasonably long, was granted for the removal of the very few pupils in the institution, and I caused unusual precautions to be taken for the preservation of the building and grounds.