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Sale 38 Lot 136A

AMBULANCE CORPS REPORTS FROM GETTYSBURG, FREDERICKSBURG, AND ELSEWHERE Important, fine content bound set of reports and orders of an ambulance corps attached to the Third and Second Corps, 38pp. of handwritten reports, Aug. 28, 1863 to Apr. 22, 1865, containing much fascinating detail, including the unit's service on the field at Gettysburg and Fredericksburg. In small part: "[Gettysburg]...Lieut Michael Sheehan was at that time in command of the Ambulance Corps of this Division...About noon of July 2nd when our Division advanced in Line of Battle towards the Emmittsburg Road, the Ambulances were parked in the rear of the troops on the Taneytown road in readiness for immediate service, and the stretcher bearers sent to their respective Regiments under the charge of Sergeants. But 44 stretcher bearers could be mustered in the Division out of 76...I beg leave energetically to protest against a policy...which refuses to the Ambulance Corps the number of men allowed...Every man taken or withheld from it must come from the stretcher bearers who in battle are those most needed...When the engagement commenced, the Ambulances were moved up to the edge of the woods skirting the Taneytown road near the field and where the 3rd Corps Colors were planted and plied between that point and the Hospital as fast as filled...Brigade Officers and Sergeants paid personal attention to conveying the wounded from the field...Some confusion and much delay was caused...by the change in the location of the Division Hospital...Ambulance Officers not being notified of its removal...By one o'clock AM July 3rd all wounded of the Division were removed from inside the picket lines and as far outside as we could venture with safety, all of the officers engaged having been fired at. On July 3rd all of the wounded men of the Corps scattered throughout...were removed to the new Corps Hospital established on the Creek near the Baltimore Pike. On July 4th and 5th the enemy's retreat uncovering the Battlefield it was thoroughly searched and the balance of our wounded carried to our Corps Hospital. On July 7th the Rebel Hospitals were visited and all of our own and a large number of Confederate wounded conveyed to our own Hospital...the number of stretcher bearers allowed is too small to carry off without considerable delay the wounded men...Three men were wounded during the fight while carrying off the hurt, and several stretchers destroyed by shells and solid shot...stretcher bearers should be kept together under their own Officers...[Aug. 26, 1863]...Ambulances...are not [to be] used as a means of transportation...they can only be used for the specific purpose [of transporting wounded]...[Aug. 27, 1863 - Rules for drilling Ambulance Corps members]...[Sep. 2, 1863]...[report on battle at] Wapping Heights...Lieut. Michael Sheehan was at that time in command...we turned off the road in a field about 300 yds. Behind the line, and when the skirmishers advanced , we sent all the stretcher men ...with the troops...A portion of the Ambulances were moved up to the railroad as near the field as practicable...A portion of the stretcher men by your order followed the 2nd Division...assisted in carrying back their wounded. That night the Train removed the wounded of our Division from the Hospital...nearly one half the Ambulances were loaded with wounded who were kept with the train until arrangements were made for their removal to Washington...Some confusion arose...[as to] who should furnish medical assistance to the wounded soldiers in the Ambulances...[Oct. 3, 1863]...see that ambulances are not used to sleep in and no private property will be allowed in or about the train. The sides of the ambulances will be walled up every morning...[Dec. 7, 1863]...On the morning of the [Nov.] 26th, the train moved in the rear of the Division; orders from Genl. Meade having been received...crossed the river reporting to Maj. Gen. Birney...the 1st Division became engaged and all the stretcher bearers were sent to the field...impossible to bring the remainder of the train up...by midnight all the wounded that could be found were removed - another careful search was made of the field in the morning and but three men found...wounded were put in and with the Corps train. I moved on to Robinson's Tavern...Hospital tents were put up and the stretcher bearers ordered to the front...the 1st Division was engaged for a short time and the wounded sent back to the Corps Hospital...we crossed the ford that afternoon [Dec. 1]...moved with the train to within two miles of Brandy Station...Ambulance trains constantly should have the right of way and an order from the proper authorities establish it beyond a question...five hundred wounded men were subjected to much suffering which might otherwise have been avoided ... [Feb. 10, 1864]...report of operations...during the recent demonstration towards the Rapidan...camped for the night near the Division about three mile from Culpeper...near Raccoon Ford with 11 ambulances...received an order from Maj. Gen. Birney to send the balance of my train...As our Division was not engaged there were no wounded to carry...but two persons applied to ride in the train...[July, 1864]...morning of May 5th...[at] cross-roads of the Wilderness. A Hospital was established near this point...we were engaged during the remainder of the 5th and the whole of the 6th & 7th in bringing off the wounded...moved with them that night to Chancellorsville...on the 10th to Spotsylvania...I supplied the place of Ambulances by Spring Wagons from the different Hd. Qrtrs...to remove the wounded with promptness...I was wounded during the charge of that date placing Lt. Shoup in command...10 ambulances were ordered to follow their respective Divisions...On June 2d...we started for Cold Harbor...crossed the Chickahominy on the 15th...On the 21st [at Petersburg]...During this whole period of 53 days there was scarcely a day upon which fighting did not go on rendering necessary the service of the Corps, the stretcher carriers were constantly with the troops...midnight always found every wounded man accessible removed from the field. The Surgeons have always found a sufficient supply of medicines and hospital stores...The casualties of the command have been 1 officer wounded, 2 men killed, 1 man prisoner, 12 horses shot & died...[Oct. 17, 1864 lists a number of stretcher carriers killed or wounded in action and location of their wounds]...in spite of the natural jealousy existing previous to this campaign against the Ambulance corps not a single complaint has ever been made...On June 16th the Division became engaged...losing heavily about 600 men though but ten ambulances had as yet crossed the James...the hospital over two miles to the rear, the wounded were all at the Hospital by 11 P.M.. At the charge of June 18th where the Division lost above 700 men the wounded were all at the Hospital within three hours...it requires more true moral courage to advance up to a line of battle unarmed and unsupported than it does to charge in line nerved by presence of officers and the excitement of battle...[Apr. 22, 1865]...enemy evacuated the works at Burgess Stove...3 miles from Petersburg...On [April] 7th with all the Corps ambulances which could be spared we loaded with the officers and most gravely wounded privates, I moved to near Farmsville sending all the ambulances to Burksville...in Rebel ambulances captured by the Corps...". The reports are signed by a variety of officers, including Capt. John G. Pelton, 2nd Lt. John R. Pancoast, and others. Much more important content! Binding is weak and a few pages are disbound, front cover nearly detached and Gettysburg-related pages have traces of glue stains at margins, yet overall the contents are in very good condition. Overall, the tone of these reports is one of almost despair, showing the lack of appreciation for the brave efforts of the stretcher bearers and ambulance drivers.
Estimate $ 2,500-3,500

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