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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gettysburg is Overwhelmed

By Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein
 
Wounded and dead soldiers overwhelmed the town of Gettysburg and its environs, At least 160 locations served as hospitals, including the courthouse, college and seminary buildings, businesses and warehouses, hotels, churches, schools, forty-five homes in town, barns, farmhouses, and outbuildings.,
 
Yet many wounded soldiers remained lying in the open air in the rain. The Union fores were initially handicapped because, despite the protests of his medical director Jonathan Letterman, [General George G.] Meade had ordered the medical supply wagon trains to park near Westminster, Pennsylvania, about twenty-five miles from the fighting, so that ammunition transport would not be obstructed.
 
As a consequence, all but the Twelfth Corps (which somehow did not receive or obey the command) had only their ambulances and medicine wagons, no hospital tents, food, clothing, utensils or other supplies needed for the wounded. No tents arrived until July 5.
 
Excerpted from: "The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine"

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