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Manassas1

The Wounded and the Field Hospital

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On April 7, 1862, Assistant Surgeon Bernard J. D. Irwin, Army of the Ohio, established a 300 bed tent hospital at the far right of the Union Line in Cantrell Field.  The surgeries were conducted in the Cantrell House.

Other than the facts above, I know very little about this Shiloh tent hospital.  Does anyone know how long the hospital existed? Were both Union and Confederate wounded cared for there?  Did the Sanitary Commission assist in any way?  How many soldiers died there?

The Manassas Belle

 

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There was a hospital not far from Cherry Mansion  that treated soldiers on both sides as there are 2 marked graves in the national cemetery CSA Louisiana with their names.As the story goes they were prisoners and receving treatment in hospital and fdied but not before becoming friends with all ther.so the were buried there.Its been said that they are several more buried there in "unknown" headstone.I will go on later and look up answers to your questions . got to get back to work

Mona

P.S. jim can fill in more about this also as he found out from the river museum the location i beleive.

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Guest C.D.RICKMAN

The field hospital was in the northwest corner of cantrell field. it's claim was that it was the first hospital to ever be set up on a battle field, the first mash if you will. both sides were treated in this hospital, of course most of the confederate wounde had been loaded into wagon and transported to a hospital that was set up in the pebble hill community. this is the one that sherman captured several days later. but back to the federal field hospital an eyewitness at the cantrell house the 8th stated that arms and legs were piled up to the window sills with the doctors still operating. I will have to go back and find this as I have forgotten what book and report it was in. the one report went in to the chief medicial officer in the war dept.

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BERNARD JOHN DOWLING IRWIN

BRIGADIER GENERAL, MEDICAL CORPS, U. S. ARMY.

Bernard John Dowling Irwin (June 24, 1830-Dec. 15, 1917), Brigadier General, Medical Corps, U. S. Army, was born in County Roscommon in the west of Ireland. With an early bent for a military life he enlisted as a private in the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard, serving three years (1848-51). In 1850 he entered the Castleton Medical College at Castleton, Vermont, but later transferred to the New York Medical College where he graduated in 1852. Following graduation he went to the State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island where he served as house surgeon and house physician until 1855. In that year he was appointed an acting assistant surgeon in the army and sent to Fort Columbus at Corpus Christi, Texas. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was still at Fort Buchanan. Irwin shared the hardships and misfortunes of the 7th Infantry until it arrived at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, in November 1861. He had been promoted to captain on August 28, 1861. Early in the next year he was appointed medical director of General Jeremiah T. Boyle’s brigade and then medical director of General William Nelson’s division in the Army of the Ohio. In this capacity he took part in the campaign which culminated in the battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862. At this battle he organized a tent field hospital, credited with being the first of the kind and the model upon which our later field hospitals were based. For his service in this battle he was given special commendation by the army commander. A tablet upon the Shiloh field, erected by the Government, marks the site of his hospital.

Some interesting info about the field hospital.

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If you look at the Staff Ride paper CD references in another posting on page 92 it mentions the field hospital that was set up by Dr. B J D Irwin, 4th Division, Army of the Ohio (Tour Stop 11). There is a lengthy paragraph about the hospital which mentions the hospital was one of the first ever tent field hospitals. The vignette in the Staff Ride paper references a report prepared by Dr. Irwin that was included in Medical and Surgical History of the war of The Rebellion, vol II, part III, 1883, pg 921-922.

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Guest C.D.RICKMAN

In the staff ride report there was also mention of the confederates setting up field hospitals in the abandoned union camps, also that wagons were leaving all day sunday loaded with the wounded. there is a tale told by some of our ancestors of a wagon load of ammunition being dumped and wounde being placed in the wagon. the story we got was that a wagon of ammunition turned off the road near the bottom of sugar hill and drove into the bottom returning after a short while empty then taking on a load of wounded departed in the direction of corinth. the staff ride report also speaks of states and cities sending steamers for the wounded and the only steamer that would take the confederates was the boat from louisville. the number of confederate wounded is listed as 1000 that the union army cared for.

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Interesting about the wagonload of ammunition CD.

It makes me wonder about the other "found" goods.  I realize the local residents lost a great deal and had much of their possessions stripped to feed the army, but what about the aftermath? I know many Confederate soldiers carried off as much as they could from the Yankee tents. But there must have been uncounted amounts of "stuff" left behind. Clothing, canteens, blankets, knapsacks, knives and tools as well as guns and ammunitions of all kinds. Was there a recovery effort or salvage effort by the locals or did the stuff just lay there? What would they have done with the surplus gathered? Not an important question maybe but one of those things never covered in the Shiloh books. This is why your knowledge and that of others descended from the locals are so valuable and interesting in this forum (and in the book I hope you write!). There is so much left unsaid.

As for the field hospital did they just dig a trench and fill it will the amputated arms and legs?

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Guest C.D.RICKMAN

As achild I played with a musket that my uncle had picked up off the battlefield in the 19teens, possibly around 1915 as he was born in 1903. the stock had rotted and it was pitted and rusty but he had handcarved a stock for it and it made a wonderful toy for a young lad. I shot many yankees with that musket. another thing about growing up around a battlefield, no cowboys and indians for us it was all rebels and yankees. And your bellybutton, that was where a yankee shot you. sorry got off on the trail of a rabbit again. there were and still are weapons laying on the battlefield and in other places, last year just to the east of gladden road a revolver was excavated with ammunition still in chambers.

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Not too far off topic...

Shiloh and the Purple Heart

According to wikipedia, The Purple Heart award has its origins as the “ The Badge of Military Merit” first awarded by General George Washington in 1782 (the tangible decoration a piece of purple cloth in the shape of a heart.) As result of the sacrifice and battle wounds suffered by Americans during World War One, it was believed fitting to institute a new award, to recognize combat veterans (but the discussion and proposals dragged on through the 1920s and 1930s). And before a decision was reached, and the “activation” of the Purple Heart was instituted, by Executive Order of the President of the United States, effective 22 FEB 1932 – the 200th Anniversary of George Washington’s birth… it was discovered that “the original” award had never lapsed, but been simply forgotten. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of men from past wars were potentially eligible for the updated award (during the Great Depression, at a significant cost to the U.S. Government.) Therefore, it was stipulated that “in order to receive the Purple Heart Award for service prior to 1917, the veteran claiming that award had yet to be alive.”

Because of its pedigree, the Purple Heart is recognized as “the oldest American military decoration.” And because of restrictions, only a handful of Shiloh veterans ever received the Purple Heart (but all of the men wounded while fighting for the North were technically eligible for the Badge of Military Merit.)

References:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Heart

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_of_Military_Merit

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1935-02-24/ed-1/seq-76/#date1=1932&index=1&rows=20&words=PURPLE+Purple+purple&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=District+of+Columbia&date2=1938&proxtext=Purple+&y=11&x=13&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1

 

 

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