Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Federal Medical Report relative to the Battle of Chattanooga
Report of Surg. Israel Moses, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Post of Chattanooga.
OFFICE OF MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF POST, Chattanooga, Tenn., October 1, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders, I repaired to this post, and, arriving September 18, reported to the commanding officer as medical director. Receiving orders from you to prepare beds for 5,000 wounded, I found scant supplies for not more than 500, and buildings capable of holding that number built by the Confederates and occupied as a hospital, with about 150 sick already in. Also a large building, two stories high, built by the Confederates as a receiving hospital, capable of holding 150. These buildings were without doors or windows and destitute of every convenience.
A partial supply of medicines, blankets, furniture, and dressings was on hand, estimated for 1,000 men, but deficient in many articles. I selected several buildings which might be converted into hospitals.
On September 19, Saturday, an engagement took place about 7 or 8 miles distant, and was renewed with great fierceness during the forenoon of the 20th [Sunday], during which our wounded numbered over 6,000. On this and the following day [Monday], as nearly as I can estimate, 4,000 wounded officers and men were received and assigned to various buildings and private houses, hotels, and churches. The following general hospitals were established during Sunday and Monday:
No. 1. Buildings [13] on the hill, which received nearly 1,000.
No. 2. Receiving hospital at base of hill, which received about 300.
No. 3. Crutchfield Hotel, which was taken possession of, and accommodated, on beds and floors, about 500.
No. 4. Three churches, which held about 200.
No. 5. Lofts over buildings occupied as the commissary storehouses, which received about 300.
No. 6. Buildings opposite the above, which accommodated 400.
No. 7. Officers' Hospital No. 1, a large brick building on a hill, which received 100 officers.
No. 8. Officers' Hospital No. 2, a large private mansion, which received 35.
No. 9. Private houses were taken late at night, and about 150 to 200 obtained shelter.
All the severe cases were dressed the same night they arrived, and other the next day, and all received food, of which many had been deprived for two days.
This work was performed by a corps of 43 surgeons who reported to me either by your order or as volunteers (of whom 4 were Confederate medical officers).
About three-fourths of the wounds were flesh, or of a lighter character, the other fourth being of the gravest character inflicted by musketry.
Few shell wounds or by round shot were seen, owing to the fact that little artillery was employed by the enemy.
On Monday the lighter cases were sent across the pontoon bridge, and on Tuesday others to the number of nearly 3,000. The officers who could bear transportation were sent in ambulances toward Stevenson.
On Wednesday not more than 800 of the gravest cases remained in town, and many of them have since been removed to the camp hospital.
Owing to the establishment of division hospitals there remains under my charge only Hospital No. 1, the Crutchfield Hospital, and Officers' Hospital.
Into these hospitals were received, on the evening of September 29, about 250 wounded, who were brought in from the Confederate lines.
Our hospitals are at the present time crowded beyond their capacity, and should they thus continue it would render a serious fear in my mind that our operations would be unsuccessful.
I have performed a large number of amputations and resections in the several hospitals, all of which thus far promise well.
Operations have been performed by various surgeons, in charge of hospitals and on the field, with a fair amount of success thus far.
The amputations have been mostly circular mode. To this date five cases of tetanus have come to my notice, but none of hospital gangrene or erysipelas.
The general condition of the patients is good, but our hospitals are greatly in need of bunks and mattresses, at least one-third of the grave cases being still on the floor, with only a folded blanket to lie on.
In view of the increasing risk of so many patients with suppurating wounds being crowded together, I would respectfully suggest an early provision for increased accommodations by tents with flooring, and that new temporary pavilions be constructed out of some incomplete buildings south of the railroad depot.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. MOSES, Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, Medical Director of Post.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 30, pt. I, pp. 244-245.

1, “The Right Way to Do;” a private sector skirmish with and capture of guerrillas* 
A gentleman of this city was robbed yesterday morning, a few miles from Memphis, on Nonconnah creek, by a band of ruffians, misnamed guerrillas, who spared his life on the express condition that he would decoy Mr. Spiro, a cotton buyer of this city, into their clutches. Mr. Spiro is a the gentleman whom our readers will recollect as reported in the Bulletin two weeks since, the sufferer by a couple of thieves in the same quarter, who relieved him of a valuable horse, and several hundred dollars in greenbacks. The trap was arranged to delude Mr. Spiro into the belief that a large lot of cotton was waiting for him in that vicinity, and to persuade him to bring out several thousand dollars to purchase it. But the messenger informed Mr. Spiro of the whole scheme. Burning with revenge, our enterprising friend took seven others with him, men of nerve, pluck and skill, and started out yesterday afternoon in quest of adventure. It was a bold exploit and came to a successful issue. The shearer was shorn; the trap was sprung, but caught the hand that set it.
The party struck Nonconnah some two miles below the place where Mr. Sprio was expected, and rode briskly through the woods to their appointment. Arrived at the public road, they met an elderly person who informed them that he, too, had just been robbed by the same bandits, and guided them to the place of their concealment.
Scarcely had his statement been made, when the foe came boldly into the road a little way ahead, and the forces met. The enemy were five in number, three of them being Captains in Chalmers’ (guerrilla) command, the whole commanded by Capt. Crawford. After a brief skirmish the miscreants turned tail, and our friends pursued in hot haste. One of the enemy fell from his horse, was overtaken and might easily have been killed as was so righteously deserved but for mercy’s sake was spared, this lenity he acknowledged by escaping into the brush. The remaining four ensconced behind a log hut, and gave fight, and for some minutes the popping was brisk as a champagne supper. But al such games were too exciting to last. Capt. Crawford was soon killed, one of the foe was taken prisoner, begging upon bended knees for his miserable life, and brought to Memphis as a trophy, together with a horse, ten saddles, three revolvers, and some captured friends.
It was a gallant thing, and will long be remembered in that “debatable” strip of ground which has witnessed so many robberies and murders of late, as an evidence of what a few brave men can do at guerrilla-catching. This morning we understand a company is going out to the locality to bury the scamps who lay there.
Memphis Bulletin, October 2, 1863.*Ed. note - There is no reference to this skirmish in the OR or Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

1, “A Model Counsel.”
Gabriel and Ned, “brack gemmen,” [sic] staked $50 aside on a game of “seven up.” Office Smith came upon them, like the unwelcome guest, and lodged them in jail. A lawyer undertook their defense, and mustered for the occasion all the eloquence and rhetoric of which he was master. In the course of his argument he held that gambling was only a slight offense, and too trifling to demand punishment. He considered it trifling, in fact, and so innocent, he occasionally indulged in it himself, and had tried his luck only the night before. At this the Court smiled, the City Attorney laughed. The eloquent counsel had make a good hit, and, in appreciation thereof, the accused were released on paying the trifling fine of $10 each and cost. It was quietly suggested to our reporter that the legal gentleman was considerably more than “half primed.”
Memphis Bulletin, October 1, 1864.

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