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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Supply Situation at Gettysburg Improves

By Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein
 
Many Gettysburg civilians did what they could to nurse and feed the patients, but their own supplies were low because of Confederate raiding a few days before the battle.
 
With the reopening of the railroad on July 6, the supply situation improved dramatically. Trains also took those patients able to be moved to Baltimore for transfer to other hospitals.
 
As the crisis passed, the medical department established a consolidated hospital on the George Wolf farm about one and a half miles east of Gettysburg. Camp Letterman, as it was called, had at least 400 hospital tents arranged in neat rows, each tent housing eight to ten patients. The camp was located by the railroad for ease of transferring supplies and patients. The hospital opened on July 22, but transporting the wounded to the hospital took about two weeks. By October 18, only 326 patients remained at Camp Letterman, and the camp closed entirely on November 20, 1863.
 
Excerpted from: "The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine"
 
IMAGE: Dr. Martyn Fonds attending surgery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania., during the Civil War
 
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