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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Civil War Stretchers

Source for this article:  "The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.)  Part III, Volume II, Chapter XV.--Transportation of the Wounded


      The first removal of the wounded from the battle-field was generally effected by means of hand litters. The number of litters issued during the war exceeded fifty thousand(1) (50,000). From the Purveyor's Office at New York, Brigadier General R. S. Satterlee reports that from April 1, 1861, to August, 1865, sixteen thousand eight hundred and seven (16,807) hand litters were issued. At the Medical Purveyor's Depot at Louisville, from November, 1863, to August, 1865, seven thousand and ninety-eight (7,098) hand stretchers were issued, and Surgeon D. L. Magruder, U. S. A., estimated that four thousand seven hundred and thirty-two (4,732) had been given out before November, 1863. The Medical Purveyor's Office at Philadelphia issued, from January, 1863, to August, 1865, five thousand five hundred and forty-eight (5,548), and the Office at New Orleans, from September, 1864, to the end of the war, eight hundred and thirty-five (835) stretchers.

  In the beginning of the war the Satterlee, or U. S. Regulation litter (FIG. 436), was supplied to the regiments. It weighed twenty-four and one-half pounds and was twenty-seven inches wide. The canvas consisted of two pieces, five feet ten inches long, sewed in the centre with a flat seam, and with a hem on either side seven and one-half inches wide, through which the poles were passed; there was an inch and a half hem on each end; on one end were three tarred rope loops to put over the pins on the cross-bar,
(1) The Records of the Property Division of the Surgeon-General's Office show that from 1861 to 1865 fifty-two thousand four hundred and eighty-nine (52,489) litters of various manufacture were purchased and issued to the troops.


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