Medical Recollections of the Army of the Potomac (With Interactive Table Of Contents)
Author: Jonathan Letterman, Harry Polizzi
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Maine Book Barn Publishing
Release Date: October 12, 1866
Jonathan Letterman (1824-72) was an American surgeon credited as being the originator of the modern methods of medical organization in armies. Dr. Letterman is known today as the "Father of Battlefield Medicine." His system enabled thousands of wounded men to be recovered and treated during the American Civil War.
In this book, "Medical Recollections of the Army of the Potomac," Doctor Letterman, outlines the system he developed for revolutionizing battlefield medicine, as the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. Prior to his appointment & the institution of his system, the wounded were collected as "catch can" which resulted in long delays, unnecessary suffering, & needless deaths. The army reeled from inefficient treatment of casualties in the battles of the "Peninsula" Campaign, in June 1862, which showed how woefully inadequate the Union Medical Department was. Letterman immediately set to reorganizing the Medical Service of the fledgling army, having obtained from army commander Major-General McCellan the charter to do whatever was necessary to improve the system.
By the time of the Battle of Antietam in September, Letterman had devised a system of forward first aid stations at the regimental level, where principles of triage were first instituted. He established mobile field hospitals to be located at division and corps headquarters. This was all connected by an efficient ambulance corps, established by Letterman in August 1862, under the control of medical staff instead of the Quartermaster Department, as well as, arranging an efficient system for the distribution of medical supplies.
Letterman proved the efficiency of his system at the Battle of Fredericksburg in which the Army of the Potomac suffered 12,000 casualties.