BY JOHN MORGAN, M. D. F. R. S. PROFESSOR of the Theory and Practice of PHYSICK in the College of PHILADELPHIA; Member of several Royal Colleges and Academies, and Philosophical and Literary Societies, in EUROPE and AMERICA.


THE MAN, in conscious Virtue bold;
Who dare his secret Purpose hold,
Unshaken, hears the Crowds tumultuous Cries,
And the impetuous Tyrants angry Brow defies.





THAT a mean and invidious set of men have look­ed upon my elevation to the rank of DIRECTOR-GENERAL AND PHYSICIAN IN CHIEF, with an evil eye, and long been concerting my removal, is a matter of which I have too substantial proof to doubt: That the un­wearied pains I have taken to support oeconomy, regu­larity and order, so far as they had been introduced into the department, before it came under my management; to in­troduce, recommend and inforce them, where wanting; and to oppose and reform abuses that were creeping, or had already crept into it, from the infancy of the service, were the root of the enmity which sprung up against my proceedings, are no less certain. It is equally evident that it received its growth and vigour from my inflexible resolution of being faithful to my trust, in not suffering, so far as it was in my power to prevent, the dissipation of the stores entrusted to me, for the uses of the sick that should be sent to the General Hospital under my care, by exposing them to the waste and depredation of men whose schemes tended to the subversion of the General Hospital, in which they laboured to raise themselves into an importance, which neither the General nor Congress ever intended, and from my putting a stop to those abuses of which too many of them had been guilty. That these are the stock from whence have shooted those cla­mours, against me, which have been so carefully culti­vated, with a design to injure my character with the publick, under a pretence of interesting them in the sufferings of the sick, to which the imprudences of others had given rise; and to shift the blame from them on me, I doubt not will appear to the full conviction of every impartial person, who has patience to attend to the fol­lowing Letters, Narrative, Proofs and Illustration of facts, which I propose to lay before them.

[Page V] But that my enemies should be able, with all the arts of malice, to have influenced Congress to proceed to my dismission, on their partial reports, is what I had no thoughts they would have been so bold, or so base, as to attempt; nor if they had, could I have imagined that they would have succeeded in their attempt.

The manner in which I have conducted myself in the General Hospital department; my strict observance of the resolves of Congress; my vigilance, care and activity in the duties of my station; the several plans I devised for putting it in the power of Congress, consistently with their own original schemes of oeconomy, to make a bet­ter provision for the rigimental Surgeons and sick, as well as for the General Hospital itself; the advices I have communicated from time to time to several of the mem­bers, concerning the state and wants of the sick, and of the regimental Surgeons; the evils I have foretold were likely to ensue, and the remedies I pointed out in time to prevent many of them; and lastly, the toils and dan­gers to which I have continually exposed myself in dis­charge of my trust, I concluded would always be a suf­ficient shield to protect me from every assault, till I could have notice of the designs and movements of my enemies, been prepared for my defence, and have had time to have repelled them. Those instances of zeal, diligence and uprightness of conduct, I hoped, were such, as neither malice could scandalize, nor envy mis­intrepret.

Will it be believed in a future day, that so grave and illustrious a set of men, as compose the American Con­gress, should, on any partial representation, without giving the person accused an opportunity of exculpating himself from the charges brought against him, o [...] know­ing what he was accused of; and without calling on him to offer what he had to say, why he should not be so dealt with; making themselves judges as well as hear­ers, pass sentence, as if all that is said, is proved? Will it be believed, that on no better evidence than the cla­mours


[Page VI] and misrepresentations of interested men, they would have dismissed, from an office of the greatest trust, One, whose established character and their good opinion had called from private life, and exalted to that station; One, who, nevertheless, from his first stepping forth on the stage of action, had always met with public appro­bation and distinguished honours, both at home and a­broad; who had served his country in posts of eminent trust and usefulness, with applause; that they would, on the first application, have sacrificed him to the crys of a faction? Would such a proceeding be thought consis­tent with equity, or been compatible with the reputa­tion of a less important Assembly? Would it be thought an act of common justice, in such a court, to proceed to punishment, on a charge, which might be groundless, and that, for ought they knew, might have been refut­ed, as soon as mentioned? Are the Members of Con­gress well assured, that on a mere pretence of something being done that ought not to have been done, or some­thing being omitted that ought to be done, they have not made a victim of an innocent, or even meritorious servant, to promote the ambition of an INDIVIDUAL, or cover the faults of MANY, as if that offering would make atonement for their oversights or misconduct? Is the dismission from an office of such consequence, a matter of so little moment, as to stand in no need of even the formality of an inquiry? Can such a step re­flect honour on the most dignified Body of Men [...] America? Is nothing further necessary to find a [...] guilty, than to accuse him of being so? [...] Assembly be certain, that they were not [...] [...]ceeding, invalidating their own resolves [...] obedience due to their commands, an [...] foundations of their authority?

To degrade an officer from his rank, how [...] it may be thought of by vulgar minds, is an [...] highest rigour, as it opens the mouth of obloquy [...] points the tongue of slander with deadly venom.

[Page VII] What reparation can be made for such a hasty judg­ment, if it is found to be so? Can any future inquiry into the merits of the cause wholly extinguish its fatal influence? Is there a tribunal in the world that has past sentence without a trial, that one may pronounce a proper tribunal, to which an innocent man may safely appeal? The higher the tribunal, the more fatal is the influence of prejudices. Has not the part the Congress has taken, in my dismission, a direct tendency to weaken and corrupt the proper evidences? Can witnesses that might be called in be so impartial, as to give a full and faithful testimony in favour of the accused person? Will they readily produce such proofs in his favour as they could do, that might tend to applaud his conduct, whom Congress, by a resolve, has thought fit to censure; especially when those witness have their reliance on that Court, for present rank and future promotions? Is there a more effectual bribe to stop the mouths of evidences in favour of an innocent man, and to raise up enemies against him? How unhappy then must be the situation of any one, which lays him under so great an inconve­nience, that those who have it in their power to justify his conduct, may be intimidated from doing it, fully and freely, as they wish to do, for fear of giving offence to those on whom they are dependants; so that it is easier for those who incline to it, to do an innocent person a mischief, than to find many men so just, as to produce all they know in his behalf, and, by vindicating him, incur the disfavour of those in power?

Under those circumstances a man's defence must be liable to misconstructions; whereas, had an inquiry been allowed, before dismission, full weight would have been given to the evidences on both sides; but by this summary and unusual proceeding, is not the door shut against impartial justice; and should the person be called to trial, before the Bench that condemned him, are not his Judges become a party against him? In whose favour they are likely to pass judgment, on reference, let the feelings of mankind determine!

[Page VIII] Notwithstanding I was fully sensible of the force of these reasonings, yet so conscious was I of my innocence, and such was my opinion of the incorruptibility of the Congress, that, rather than lay under an imputation that affected my character, dearer to an honest man than life itself, on the first notice of my removal from office, I immediately appealed to the Commander in Chief and to Congress, in hopes they would reconsider what had been so hastily done against me. Three months are elapsed since that appeal, nor have they thought sit to give me any answer.

To what other cause can I impute it but their own reflexions, that there is not a set of men on earth, so free from the influence of their own passions, that a person may trust himself to their decisions, unheard, and to whom it is proper to appeal from their own decisions, thus made? For who are so free from biass, as not to have a secret wish to find, that, in passing judg­ment, they were just. Can it be their desire to find that man blameless, to whom they have behaved, as if they thought him otherwise? Would it not be a reflexion on their hasty judgment, when they have treated him, as guilty, to find him wholly innocent?

But I will not do that Honourable Body the injustice to entertain a suspicion so derogatory to them, as to consider my dismission, and the manner of it, as a re­gular, deliberate act of the Whole Body, or what they approved. I have heard it alledged, in their defence, against so injurious a supposition, that many of the [...]st respectable Members were absent; that some of [...] States were not represented at the time; and that several of the Members were wholly oposed to it; that [...] was an act into which they were suddenly forced, by [...] clamours of a party, whom political necessity, at [...] time, compelled them to gratify.

But such is my opinion of the integrity, and such my [...]iance on the honour of the C [...]ess, as to [...] when they are furnished with the materials for judging [Page IX] properly, they will be as ready to do me justice, as a part of them have been to listen to the malice and mis­representation of my adversaries; and to shew their magnanimity, by allowing that they have been capable of an error, by their readiness to redress it. These considerations have induced me to print such an ac­count of my proceedings, a may enable them, and the publick, to see with clearness, and judge with conviction, on the propriety or impropriety of my conduct; and to put it in their power to condemn, or acquit me, on suffi­cient evidence.

To suppose, as some have been inclined to think, that Congress can object to this appeal, from their judg­ment, to that of the publick, would be a greater reflex­ion, in my opinion, on their justice, and do more inju­ry to that veneration we are bound to pay their virtue and wisdom, than I think any Advocate of Liberty will date to offer so respectable a Senate Would it not be incompatible with every idea of that liberty and justice for which America is now in arms, to dis [...]allow an ho­nest freedom of defence and expostulation, or to shut up the channels of communicating intelligence, by which the publick may be truly informed of the pro­priety of their proceedings, if they mean to maintain the confidence of those who have surrendered to them their power and rights, not for their own, but the pub­lic good? Without this is allowed, all our priviledges are but an empty boast, "the baseless fabrick of a vision,," to which we are sacrificing the most substantial realities.

Out of respect to Congress. I have thus long deferred my application to the publick. I can no longer, con­sistently with my reputation, defer it. The wounds that are given by the envenomed tongue of calumny are deeper, and more fatal than the sword; they destroy what is dearer than life, reputation and peace of mind; blemishes on a man's public character soon fester, and if not speedily removed, will contaminate every thing about him, and infect the very air he breathes. He whose [Page X] reputation is injured, is ever suspected; his society is shunned; he is looked upon as dangerous, as a walking pestilence. I must not therefore pass over, in silence, a proceeding which strikes so home at my honour. It would afford room for ingenious architects to raise a pile of plausible charges, which silence is no ways calcu­lated to refute. Evil reports are apt to spread like wild fire, and even persons not easily inclined to it, by re­peating and circulating a story, snow ball it from hand to hand, whence it cannot fail to accumulate; and where slanders have been suffered to take root, there are never wanting some persons, who will use all kinds of manure to quicken the growth. And though my Friends are disposed to look upon me as an innocent and injured person, yet I do not desire that they, or the world, should set down satisfied with a bare presumption of my inno­cence, as my enemies have with that of my guilt. I ra­ther wish them to unite, in calling on me, to persist in dragging from their dark retreats, and chaining down those barking CERBERI, those pests of society, who lay in wait to prey on the reputation of others; and to pro­ceed in laying open my conduct, and their evil machina­tions, so long as any doubt remains of either, and the means of obtaining and communicating evidence on the facts, are within my power.

Before I enter upon the task, may I be permitted, with­out offence, to guard against a mistake that some may, perhaps, otherwise fall into. They may suppose, from the pains I am taking to vindicate myself from ground­less imputations, that I wish, or aim to be restored, the place from which I have been removed; and that I ought rather, on the first appearance of the injustice done me, to have resigned my commission, by which I might have freed myself from much trouble, and have a­voided the public discred it of being removed from it. After I have given such evidence, as I have done, of the rea­diness with which I consented to serve my Country, at the first call, as a proof of my principles, and of my [Page XI] obedience to their commands, I flatter myself I may, without offence, be allowed to acquaint the world, that, [...] the very first intimation I ever received of the com­plaints made to Congress, I called for an immediate hearing. The honourable Member who informed me of them, gave me a hint of resignation being the most adviseable step to be taken, in the like circumstances, to quiet those clamours. Could I have first vindicated my innocence. I should have resigned with pleasure, for I had not the remotest wish to continue in an office that was so intolerably burdensome, when there was such want of discipline to inforce those regulations, which both the Congress and Commander in Chief thought were best; nor did I think a service that, for want of discipline and suitable provision, was in a state of the ut­most anarchy and confusion, so very honourable, as to have a desire to remain in it, one moment longer, than by so doing I could be useful to my Country.—But had I resigned, before I had been favoured with an examina­tion into my conduct, it might rather have prepossessed the world with an opinion, that there was some ground for those clamours against me, of which I was no ways conscious. I determined, therefore, to insist on an in­quiry into my conduct, and having fully vindicated it, to have closed with their permission to resign, had it been allowed me to do so.

I should then have rejoiced to have escaped from that scene of confusion to which I had been so long a witness, and in which I could not be useful, to my former sta­tion, in private life. On this ground I consider my dismission, not only as more honourable than a resigna­tion, without a previous justification of my conduct, but than a continuance in office, under the circumstances I have been in, almost ever since I accepted that com­mission. But I particularly rejoice in it, [...] affords me an opportunity of vindicating my conduct, not only to the Whole Congress, but to the Whole World, and [Page XII] having done it, I leave the event to that God who rules the world, and in whose hands are all our ways.

Every thing I deem necessary, at present, for my full justification, is contained in the following letter to a friend at Philadelphia, my memorial to General Wash­ington, and the letters and resolves of Congress, with the proofs and illustrations that are sub­joined in the appendix. I shall make no other apo­logy for laying them before the publick in that form and order, than that I think them the best adapted to give both Congress, and the publick, full information of the nature of my conduct; and if, in the course of my narrative, the facts I adduce, and the remarks which arise upon them, should seem to glance obliquely on any particulars, I hope I may be allowed to plead that the treatment I have met with, and the nature of my vindi­cation, requires freedom, and that I shall be excused in the eye of reason, and with every candid mind, if I do not smother the truth and thereby weaken my defence, merely to avoid giving pain to any.

A LETTER to a friend at Philadelphia.

Pudet hoec opprobria nobis,
Aut dici potuisse, aut non potuisse refelli.
Dear Sir,

I Am obliged to you, for the accounts I have received of those loud clamours, which have been circulat­ing through Philadelphia, at my expence. I have inclos­ed, and already sent to the post-office, the news-papers of last week, and of this day, containing my answer to those injurious charges so groundlessly, and yet so mali­ciously propagated, by certain virulent caluminators, which, I flatter myself, will open a door for a full and ample vindication of the whole of my conduct; a con­duct which I shall never suffer to be traduced, in so [Page XIII] vile a manner, as hath been attempted, by a set of weak, or [...] men, whilst I have a tongue to speak, or a [...] hand to employ, to clear myself from those [...].*

[Page XIV] It is in vain for any of my friends to expect, that I will set still under the base imputations, or rest satisfied in that general perswasion they all have of my innocence, or acquiesce in any thing short of a full and impar­tial discussion of every particular, relative to my proceed­ings, in my late station.

You would comfort me with this true observation, that "it is not for men in public stations, in times like these, [Page XV] to expect to be free from censure, nor should they be discouraged at the obloquies, with which some men wish to stain their characters; they ought to content them­selves with this remark, that men of worth, who are not only innocent, but whose conduct is meritorious, are most liable to be traduced by ignorant and designing men; that not to meet with envy and back-biting, is a frequent effect of compliances, which argue, a weakness unworthy of confidence; that my friends know I do not wish to be popular at such a price, but have rather court­ed the slanders of the envious, by a steady perseverance in my duty, than lay a train for the compliments of flatterers, by favouring their dark purposes."

You proceed in remarking, "That it is no unusual matter, in the want of success in any undertaking, for those who have been the authors of any public calamity, in order to shift the fault from themselves, to lay it at the door of others."

You say you are convinced, that what I wrote to you of my suspicions, was true; "that this cry against me is owing to my steadiness to discharge the trust reposed in me, according to the best of my judgment, knowledge and abilities, and in not yielding to the repeated at­tempts of ignorant or bad men, to encroach upon my department, who wished that I would issue all expensive stores to their orders, without their being accountable for them, contrary to my instructions, by which they would be exposed to rapine and dissipation, without a possibility of replacing them, and my character justly suffer for submitting to an unlicensed prodigality and breach of duty and orders. You observe that mine "is not the only instance of a man's reputation being offered up a victim to the ignorance or ambition of others."

You tell me you now see clearly, what I had often told you before, and have now experienced to my cost:" That it is no easy matter for a person, placed at the head of any department, that requires a strict and wary atten­tion, not to be borne down by ignorant or designing [Page XVI] men, or to preserve the dignity of the place committed to him, without which however, he must unavoidably expose himself to a thousand rude attempts to dishonour his judgment, and oblige him to act inconsistent with it." You wish me to support myself under this reflexion, that, "the best provision [...]hose men can make, for all events, who are above such compliances with the ways of the world, as may impeach their honour, or offer violence to their conscience; and to whom the judg­ment and approbation of the world is matter of but se­cond consideration, is to have a firm confidence in Pro­vidence, that he will not suffer their innocency to be ut­terly oppressed, or notoriously defamed, and yet expect the gusts and storms of rumor, envy and detraction; to look on these as a purgatory he is unavoidably to pass through, and depend upon time, and the goodness of heaven for a vindication; and by constantly performing all the duties of his place and station with justice and integrity, prove to all men, how groundless these charges were, that men of secret designs have imputed to him."

To these judicious reflexions and observations, per­mit me to reply—That to pass over, in silence, a proceed­ing, which strikes so home at a man's reputation as that of his dismission from a public station, and being super­ceded, without a cause assigned, will be considered, by most of mankind, as an argument of conscious guilt—The complaints which have been made, ought surely to have been heard before a court of war, which was doubtless the proper method of proceeding for offences, supposed to be committed against the army, before which such an inquiry might be made, as would determine the validity of the acccusation, and how far the person ac­cused was worthy of condemnation, acquital, on honou­rable acknowledgments of the services he had done, and particularly for his care to avoid all those methods and precedents, which men of less scruple would have laid hold of, for their own advantage, and thought even justifiable. Is it not hard to meet with such treatment [Page XVII] as this, when a person's conduct has been highly meri­torious, in the sacrifices he has made by entering into the service; the loss he has endured in it; the fatigues, toils and dangers to which he has been exposed; the throwing himself out of business, and making himself a marked character to serve his Country, in a post where­in his countrymen conceived he could be particularly useful, from his former experience and knowledge in mi­litary hospitals, when they could meet with none other, who had the same pretence to experience, that would accept of it; and who has suggested, to them, the proper plans for improving and putting it on a better footing than he sound it? Must he, in silence, behold others run away with the merits of his performances, and build on his founda­tions, who could neither pretend to the same experience, nor done the same duty, nor run the same risks and hazards, and quietly put up with the misplaced censures of the publick? Must he content himself with the repeated "sic vos non vobis" of the Mantuan Bard?

Where is the honour of a service, or what the safety of accepting a place of trust, if the most punctual com­pliance with the orders of his superiors, and, in many in­stances, contrary to his own judgment, is to lay the founda­tion of a man's ruin? If any sub [...]ile, malicious, or vindictive INSINUATIONS, on the one hand; or the AMBITION of aspiring men, on the other; shall, at any time, prevail against those, who have made a sacrifice of their private interests, to follow their Country's call, in their par­ticular station; who value their integrity more than popularity, and cannot be brought to act in contradic­tion to their conscience or judgment, however powerful attempts are made to oblige them to do it; or if the character and reputation of one, who has served the publick, in places of rank and trust, faithfully, irre­proachably, with honour and applause, is to be immo­lated to the MISREPRESENTATIONS of others, or to the designs and wishes of a more SWELLING INTEREST, without any trial, or giving the party accused the least [Page XVIII] notice of what nature were the complaints laid to his charge, or who were his accusers, that he might be able to show to the world, how groundless the accusations were, and how far their clamours were founded on pri­vate pique, disappointed expectations, or secret resent­ment?

Does not this conduct tend to overthrow the founda­tion of civil Liberty, which can only be secured by im­partial trials, before dis-interested Judges, where the ac­cused person and the accusers, are brought face to face, and where full weight is given to the evidence in favour of the accused? What line is there betwixt this and DESPOTISM? At this rate, who is free from the fatal effects of influence? Have not the States of America claimed this essential right, as one of the main pillars of their Liberties? Or have Americans, who contend against what they declare to be an illegal usurpation from abroad, on the natural rights of mankind, no laws to secure them from oppression at home? Has the British subject a defence against that of a King, that should at­tempt to violate those rights, and an American none against the injustice of his equals, when joined with power to injure him?

Is it a misfortune, easily to be borne, that any persons should lay under a charge, which it was the duty of those, who are the authors of it, to have made good? Is it not consistent with the principles of equity, that every ac­cused person should be deemed innocent, or judgment be suspended till guilt is proved? Let all consider, what mischief may happen to themselves, if, upon a general charge, without the mention of any one crime, a person is to be degraded from his rank and office; for who is secure from the consequences of such a precedent? Or, if men of secret designs can thus shelter themselves, by sacrificing those, who, from a sense of duty, remain im­moveable against every effort to draw them aside from their duty, who is certain that he shall escape the dan­ger?

[Page XIX] TO INCAPACITATE, in this manner, is no such small punishment, that a man may easily endure, though he be innocent. "It is to SCOURGE; it is to WHIP with SCORPIONS; it is a punishment calculated only for GE­NEROUS MINDS, thus to rob men of their HONOURS;" it is to lay a stain upon them, which, though undeserved, a whole life is too short to efface the impression, with­out it be fully vindicated; and, to them, is worse than death. It reaches to innocent friends and relatives, who would rather hear of their death, than their disgrace. It is to destroy a man's peace of mind; it is to expose him to the tongue of slander, and the rude attempts of wicked men, who, by their behaviour, seem to think it a merit to load him with reproaches, as one without the shadow of a virtue,

Nulla virtute redemptum
a vi [...]is.

But if I am proved guilty of misconduct in my office, let my guilt meet with its desert, but on me, on me alone, let the public indignation fall: Let not one friend ever pity me: Let every trace of sympathy and compassion be obliterated from the tender breast of every relative; of every dear and tender connexion! On the other hand, if I am found innocent, I must insist upon my right, of publickly asserting and maintaining that inno­cence, although hosts of evil minded men should oppose themselves to the attempt, and I trust in Heaven, that it will come forth, on the test, as gold tried in the furnace, without mixture of alloy.

Nor shall I rest, at ease, till my vindication is as well known, and circulated as far as the malice of my accusers has spread, and the disreputation fully wiped away, which the Congress has cast upon me, by so shameful a dismission from office, on a mere accusation, without proof, and without an hearing, although repeatedly called for before that took place; and I apprehend it will be found upon proper inquiry, that at the risk of my re­putation, so grosly and shamefully insulted, and of popular [Page XX] favour, which I might easily have acquired however, at the trifling expence of honour, and of the trust reposed in me by Congress, whilst I was fighting in their cause, having escaped the secret ambushes of latent enemies. I was placed, Uriah-like, in the forefront of battle, amidst enemies set in formidable array against me; then deserted, and left to fall, unsupported, by those who placed me there; and whose duty it was to have protected me.

If one, who being only accountable, by his commission, to the Congress and Commander in Chief, and who was more particularly under their wing, could not be shel­tered, even by them, from so furious an onset, such a violation of the common rights of mankind, till he could be brought to trial, and his guilt or innocence established on undeniable evidence, I ask, once more, who then is [...]?

You have gone on, Sir, to tell me, "that on the first rumour of my dismission, and the manner in which it first took place, you felt all that indignation that might be expected from friendship, on so interesting an occa­sion; but that you suffered but a few moments of re­flection to take place, before you were convinced of the falsity of the charges, which you say, you are sure I can clear up to the entire satisfaction of an impartial world; as you proceed, you enter into the sensibilities of my own heart, on the first news of my being treated so unwor­thily."

As you discover a desire to know what reception these rumours met with from myself, I must inform you of certain circumstances that prepared me, in some sort, to think that ill offices had been done me, by unknown persons; which I was determined, if possible, to find out. I acknowledge that I felt resentment rising in my breast, on occasion thereof, the first emotions of which I could not suppress; I was resolved to restrain them, however, till I had set on foot an inquiry into the causes of such treat­ment as I met with, and, if matters were not explained to my satisfaction, to resign my commission, and bid adieu [Page XXI] to a service, in which an injury was offered to my sense of honour.

By the votes of Congress, October the 9th, it seems I was, in effect, degraded from the rank of Director Ge­neral and Physician in Chief, to the rank of Director only, and restricted to the department on the East side of Hudson's-River;—whilst the Director of the flying camp, who had been appointed, after the campaign began, to the temporary service of that campaign, without waiting the issue of his services, was put on an equal, or, to say the truth, a preferable footing, contrary to the rules and discipline of war.* Instead of making his reports to me, as Director-General, as had been formerly ordered, by a Resolve of Congress, July 17, we were both to make our reports to Congress. I was ordered to estab­lish an Hospital, at a proper distance from camp, for the army posted on the East side of the North-River, when there was no convenience for doing it on that side, at any suitable distance, being hemmed in by the two rivers, and the enemy's forces, on either side. He was to establish an Hospital in the Jerseys, on the West of Hudson's-River, and to direct it, where alone any suita­ble accommodations could be provided for the sick, with any the least regard to the convenience of the army, or the preservation of the sick. Here almost the whole of the Hospital stores and medicines were lodged, and near one half of the Hospital Surgeons and Mates of my de­partment were; as well as all the wounded brought from Long-Island, and the sick of the General Hospital at [Page XXII] New-York, who, as the object of my peculiar care, were conveyed to the Jersies, for their greater safety and bet­ter accommodation.

At this very juncture, it was the General's pleasure that I should proceed to Hackinsack, on the West side of the river, to establish other hospitals for the increasing sick. I applied to him, to know in what light I was to consider those resolves; and whether, consistently with them, I could continue to establish hospitals, or provide for the sick, that should be carried from the East to the West side of the river, so that they should remain under my own care and superintendence, or whether I was not by those resolves to be deprived of the only hospi­tals I had, that were fit for the accommodation of the sick and wounded, and of the principal hospital stores [...] had left, that I could command; they being, at the retreat from New-York, sent to Newark, the only place where they could be dispensed with safety and con­venience for the use of the troops on New-York island, and in its neighbourhood.

But General Washington and General Green, who was present, gave it as their opinion, that the resolves of Congress extended only to distinguish the two armies, for which separate hospitals were to be established; that I was directed to establish one for the sick and wounded of General Washington's army, that was posted on the East side of Hudson's-River; and that the other gentleman was to take care of the sick of the flying camp, and such other of the troops, as happened to be then on the East side of the North-River, which was only a temporary station. This view of matters, in some measure, composed my apprehensions at that time. I was unwilling to admit the supposition that Congress, which, I was bound to think, wished order and subordi­nation to be kept up in every department of the army, intended that he should interfere with my power, and superior appointment of Director-General, though, for the sake of present convenience, he might be ordered to [Page XXIII] make his report directly to Congress. I therefore conclud­ed, as well from the construction put upon it by the Gene­rals, as from the reasonableness of the thing itself, that I was not prohibited from fixing hospitals, either on the east or west side of the river, as best answered for the army posted on the east side. I could not conceive that the lives of the men, that composed that army, were to be sacrificed, by a limitation of the place in which they were to be taken care of, or that a plan was laid for reducing me to a mere cypher, and to throw the whole power of the department into the hands of an inferior officer, as Doctor Shippen certainly was, however he might affect an equality.

Agreeable to this inference, I repaired to Hackinsack, by the General's order, to direct the necessary provision to be made, for the reception and accommodation of the sick, from York island, and directed a second division of the Hospital Surgeons, of my immediate department, to attend, and take the care of them.

Although I never was allowed to be absent from the army, and scarcely permitted to be at any distance, for the shortest time, from Head-Quarters; yet the great weight of providing for, and taking care of the sick of the whole army, rested on my shoulders alone; and yet my hands were so tied up by resolves of Congress, and general orders, as to leave little freedom for proper ex­ertions. In particular, I had no Deputy or Assistant under me, to share any part of the burden of my de­partment, however extensive. One Surgeon and five Mates were all that had been allowed me, from the be­ginning to this time, for every five thousand men; when at least one thousand men, in every five, were sometimes considered as unfit for duty. And though I was called upon, as if I was a Commissary, to attend to the daily pro­vision returns of all the sick in the army, spread thro many miles, not only of the hospital, but the regimental sick, and to provide them with accommodations, as a Barrack-Master, and with hospital furniture, as a Quarter-Master, [Page XXIV] and that, contrary to the resolves of Congress (so igno­rant and unreasonable were the Regimental Surgeons, and even some of the militia Generals, in requiring it) yet I had no other aid, than what could be afforded me by those gentlemen, who had only the rank and pay of Hospital Surgeons, but who were obliged to do the duty of Deputy Directors, for which I wished them to be cloathed with more power, than they were entitled to, when acting under the simple commission of Surgeons.

Perhaps artful men may here alledge, that I ought, therefore, to have submitted to the difficulty, and dis­charged my care of the sick, of the army, on the western Director. I would ask them for what purpose, whether to bury him with the load, when he could no more take care of the sick of the flying camp only, than I could of the whole army, unless by depriving me of my own offi­cers and stores; or was it, to reduce me to a cypher, in order to raise him into importance? Had the Congress supposed that I had too much, and he too little to do, I would cheerfully have transferred to him the superin­tendence, and management of as many, as his heart desir­ed, only reserving my rank, and the command of my own officers, hospitals and stores. But I have good grounds to believe, that his underhand attempts to in­terfere with me, in my department, and his interest with a partirular set, which has been employed to effect my removal, with a view to promote his design of succeeding me, have operated more powerfully to accomplish it, than all others, that have been held up, as the ostensible causes of my removal; which, however he may think, from being transacted behind a curtain, they lye conceal­ed, can be easily traced to their author, and are of a tissue with the rest of his conduct towards me, on similar occasions.

But whilst I was left destitute of help, what assistance was allowed, in the mean while, to the Director of the flying camp? I was well assured, from his own lips, that he had not long acted in that station, before he was [Page XXV] complimented with the appointment of a deputy, having the rank, title and pay of Assistant-Director, or, as he told me, however strange and inconsistent it may ap­pear, of Assistant-Director-General. Thus it fares with the man, I will not say as Hamán did, whom the king delights to honour; but whom governing connexions chuse to make considerable, at the expence of others.

However this was effected, whether by his own fore­cast, or that of his friends, will any man pretend to say that this appointment, and the manner of wording the resolves of Congress, October 9th, did not serve the purposes of nest eggs, on which to brood and hatch de­signs, not thought of by Congress, as a body? What will indifferent men think of these resolves, so contrary to my commission of Director-General, October 17, 1775, and the report of Congress, August 20th, to es­tablish my rank beyond dispute? See the appendix, page 30.

Whilst such an auxiliary appointment is made to give weight and importance to a temporary Director of a fly­ing camp; and resolves procured afterwards, to raise him to greater importance, and to bring me down to a [...] level; and when subsequent measures are taken, to dis­possess me of the powers of action, to tye up my hands, and yet to make me accountable for misfortunes, beyond human reach to prevent, and for the misconduct of others; to transfer my stores, my hospitals, my surgeons and officers, to another; and yet blame me for the conse­quences: who is so blind as to see no designs in all this or so wilful, as to ascribe the whole to mere accident? Is it not manifest, that the Director and his attachments, have, from his first coming into the service, pursued such measures, as they conceived were best calculated to raise him over the shoulders of every man who stood in his way, and to constitute him Head of the depart­ment. How truly Machiavelian has been his conduct, and those who have assisted him, per fas atque ne [...]as, to accomplish his ends, whether right or wrong, to make [Page XXVI] all things subservient to them; "to couzen and deceive, so long as it answered any purpose, and might contribute to what he desired upon motives, how foreign so ever; and when that failed further to serve his purposes, to compell submission, by force, to what persons are not able to oppose? How consistent is such conduct with such principles? Where men have entertained designs, that are void of all conscience, they must not think to prosecute them, by the rules of conscience, which was laid aside, or subdued, before they entered upon them; and must make no scruple of doing all those things, which are necessary to compass that, to which they have devoted themselves."* I am persuaded, that both he, and his adherents, have not only watched for, but made oc­casions, to serve as a plausible pretext, for displacing me, to accomplish their own wishes. I am not more assur­edly convinced of my own existence, than I am fully persuaded, that had any other person been Director of the flying camp, and were it not for that object, no clamours of the sufferings of the sick, which were trumpeted through every State, nor any other charge of misman­agement, would have been laid at my door; or that I should have had an opportunity given me of being heard in my defence, and that my conduct would have been fully vindicated, and my reputation for diligence and fidelity, in the discharge of my trust, have been es­tablished, beyond the reach of calumny.

That I may not seem to advance this, without a rea­son, I shall not place the whole stress of the argument upon the single circumstance of no particular charge being ever made known to me, by Congress, although I repeatedly applied to know what was the accusation, and who were my accusers, and no other person was ever called upon, in the department, none accused, or sought after, as if I was answerable, not only for every supposed crime that could be alledged against any part of it but for mere misfortunes; on which I have been proceeded against, and treated in a manner, that, I believe, has no precedent: I [Page XXVII] shall produce such circumstances, as, I trust, will con­vince impartial men, that the ostensible causes of my dis­mission, were not the true ones; and that Congress had, in fact, no well grounded charge, to justify the measure, which some persons were so resolutely bent upon, as to be afraid, if I were admitted to an hearing, their designs, of effecting my removal, would have been frustrated. I think the one I have already pointed out will be found, on an impartial inquiry, to be the conditio sine qua non; or rather, the efficient cause of that event; I mean that I stood in the way of an ambitious man, whom his adherents determined, be the consequences what they might, to raise to the first rank in the depart­ment, and either oblige me to bend, as a reed, before him, or, like a stubborn oak, to be torn up by the roots, for resisting the tempest; and to plant him on my ruin.

I had intimations given me, more than once, that pains would be taken, to deprive me of my rank and distinction, to make room for a rising competitor. I did not readily believe, yet did not wholly discredit the in­telligence. I wrote to some members of Congress, whom I looked upon as my friends, to guard against any step, which, through seeming inattention to military rules, might make it impracticable, consistent with those rules, as a man of spirit, to remain in the service. I told them I did not seek for any extent of power, nor was I averse to any limitation of it, in my own case, compatible with that sense of honour, which is supposed necessary to ac­tuate and quicken men, in every army. I did not know, till I received a letter from the Secretary of Con­gress, to rectify that mistake, that rank, precedence and honour, are all nonsense, and not looked for in our ar­my; and truly, if we may judge from effects, they carry too much conviction, that a sense of honour is no virtue, in his estimation, whatever it may be in that of some men, of a more liberal way of thinking, both in Congress and in the army. I took the liberty to write to the President of the Congress, himself, "that I hoped there would be [Page XXVIII] no unnecessary abridgement of rank and authority in my person, whilst I continued in office, that was necessary for the head of the department, in the person of my predecessor, and was consistent with real usefulness, to which I expressed it to be my desire, that every other consideration should give way, as it would imply a re­flexion upon me, which I was unwilling to suppose I merited."

I also wrote to the Secretary of Congress, on a double account; first, to know the extent of my power, and that of the several Directors, for the sake of conducting business in its proper channel; and next, to get that rank, which was allowed me by Congress, properly re­cognized by the several Directors, to avoid mistakes. Dr. Stringer, one of the Directors, had not only dis­puted it with me, and refused to make his returns to me, as Director-General, as Congress required; but appealed to Congress for its decision, which was given in my favour. See appendix, page 30.

Although my application to him was respectful, and as I informed him, only made with a view to know my station, and that of others, that I might perform the du­ties expected of me, without interference with any; in­stead of favouring me with any extract from the resolves of Congress, to which I referred for information, he saw fit to substitute his own dictates, in place of those of Congress. See page 149, 150, &c.

My rank and authority being securely fenced in, by repeated acts and resolves of Congress, there was no possibility for the Director of the flying camp, or his friends, to accomplish their secret purposes, without first breaking down the separating wall of distinction. By this means, the person, who would not submit to be de­graded from his rank, would be obliged to resign, and, to insure success, it was easy for artful persons to ex­cite or encourage complaints, and to bring them before Congress, to afford a pretext for displacing him. But then it was of consequence, that he should be kept ig­norant [Page XXIX] of those complaints, and of his accusers, and to prevent his obtaining an hearing, lest he should vindicate himself, and thereby disappoint their hopes. Nothing could answer their purposes better, than to push for ob­taining his dismission, without a trial, which might enable him to clear himself from all aspersions, and justify his conduct in the face of Day, to the confusion of his enemies.

After this detail of facts, compared with the several resolves of Congress, and the proceedings thereon, with the relation I am about to give of the particular beha­viour of the Director, in consequence of them; let every impartial man lay his hand upon his heart, and ask himself, ingenuously, what he thinks of the whole matter, and of the several appearances, which concur, in an uniform series to point to one object? Will they view the resolves of October 9th, and the manner of wording them, after all that had passed, as a mere ac­cidental mode of expression, in men so wise, so much accustomed to weigh, and so well acquainted with the import of words and the force of language, and as on­ly intended to re-iterate, and renew former appoint­ments, without any design, in those who framed the re­solve, I will not say to throw dust in the eyes of the Members of Congress, in general, but to draw them into a measure, of which they might not consider its tendency, not only of effecting an alteration in one de­partment, but of making such an entire innovation upon another, as was not generally thought of, and would lead to the great changes that have since taken place?

Can it be said that neither the Secretary, who, though no Member of Congress, has an interest with many of them, without doors; nor any of the members them­selves, were apprized of the difficulties that would, un­avoidably, arise from a resolve of Congress, calculated to throw down the former settled distinctions, of July 17, 1775, and 1776, and August 20, last; in which my rank was so clearly recognized and established. One part of my [Page XXX] errand to Philadelphia, last June, was to confer with the Committee of Congress, on the necessary establishments for keeping up a clear and regular subordination in the General Hospital, through all its various departments, and this was the subject of several letters, to different Members. If any of the Members of Congress had dis­covered, in me, any want of abilities, for so important a post; is it not reasonable to imagine they would have openly, and avowedly, assigned it as a cause of disquali­fication? But did they ever do it? Nay; what says the Secretary, himself, in his letter, of August 14, by way of making some acknowledgment for the mistake he had committed, in his former, of August 2d. It is the testimony, not of a friend, but an enemy, and one, whom I believe to be a deep agent in my removal. I will therefore quote his very words; for "fas est ab [...]oste doceri."

"There is no man, Sir, acquainted with you, who can doubt of your abilities. All the world bears wit­ness of them, and the learned in Europe, who must be allowed to be the best judges, have given ample testi­mony, by the honours they have heaped upon you. While you exercise your great talents, for the benefit of those entrusted to your care, your Country will honour you, and posterity will do you justice; even though Dr. S—, when you chance to meet, should refuse to give you precedence."

I proceed to the relation of what happened, in con­sequence of those resolves of Congress, of October 9th, and the strange behaviour of Dr. Shippen, the western Director, thereupon.

Being at Hackinsack, soon after this "new arange­ment," as he was pleased to stile it, took place, I employ­ed myself, with all possible industry, to put the hospital affairs in such a train, at Hackinsack, that Dr. Warren might conduct them, without my presence afterwards, that I might, without hinderance, be able to proceed to the White-Plains, to which place, General Washington, [Page XXXI] and the army under him, had marched, a day or two be­fore; and the British troops were taking the same rout. I called, therefore, on General Green, at his camp, near Fort-Lee, to represent to him the situation of the sick, at Hackinsack, and to request his orders for procuring Dr. Warren such assistance, from the Quarter-Master-General's, and the Commissarial departments, as he re­quired. I met the western Director there who, with a peculiar freedom, becoming the elevation to which he seemed to consider himself as already raised, or to be raised, demanded why I was not at my post, on the other side the river? Accustomed to receive accounts from others, and to give orders myself, in the affairs of my department, I could not but feel the indignity of being thus taken to task by him; and answered him ac­cordingly. I discovered his desires and aims, but con­cluded he had more LEE-WAY yet to make, than to en­title him to avow his sentiments so openly; but in this, it seems, I was mistaken.

The day following, Dr. Foster, to whose charge I had left the direction of the hospital, and care of the hospi­tal stores, at Newark, came over, in haste, and desired a private conversation with me, on a subject of some deli­cacy. As I had visited Newark, within a very few days, and every thing was reported to me to be in good order, and I had left all the directions I thought necessary for future regulations, previous to my return to Head-Quarters, I could not conceive the occasion of this un­expected visit. But my foreboding mind took the alarm, of which I was yet ignorant of the cause, for he inform­ed me it was of such a nature, as made him think [...] im­proper to communicate, by letter.

After this preparation, he informed me, that the Di­rector had called on him, and proposed, but with great art and address, the surrendering up of the hospitals and stores to his Direction; the care of the sick to remain under the same persons whom I had sent from my de­partment, but to act under his authority. He replied [Page XXXII] that he considered himself as under my direction only, in hospital matters; and that he did not think himself at liberty to deliver up the stores to any person, without a written order from General Washington, or the Di­rector-General. To this the Director made answer, that whatever like, or dislike, I might shew to this pro­posal, I should find myself obliged to acquiesce in it.

The construction which the gentleman put upon this proceeding, was, that the appointment of the Director, being, to form and superintend the hospital of the flying camp, would terminate in a little time, as the troops, composing the army, raised for that service, were en­listed but for a few months, unless he could carve out some place that he could be pleased with, in the mean while, that would put him on a better establishment. I commended his prudence, in declining to deliver up the stores, without proper orders, and desired, that, if any further demands, of the like kind, were made by Dr. Shippen, to refer him to me, for an answer.

The Director had expressed himself to me, about a month before, in a manner that corresponded with the above idea. He told me, frankly, that he should like, well enough, to continue in the service, as he thought it a more gentlemanny life, than that of a drudging private practitioner. I was truly desirous of his continuance in that station, if he could remain in it, without elbow­ing me out of any thing that appertained to my place; for I did not then imagine he had yet aspired to the place itself.

Having served in the army, the whole of last war, and had pretensions, on that account, to some years ex­perience in military hospitals, which he knew nothing of; and having been appointed to the chief direction of the hospitals, the pr [...]ceeding year, and having borne the burden of the day, ever since, it had not yet entered in­to my imagination, that I was soon to give place to the very man, who, but four months before, not four months, nay, scarcely three, had written to announce [Page XXXIII] his appointment, as Director of the hospital of the fly­ing camp, and that he had enlisted himself in the ser­vice of the American States, confessed his being a mere novice in the management of his (subordinate) depart­ment, and applied to me for instructions in the etiquette, the word by which he chose to express his notion, of the go­vernment of a General Hospital; and who promised, from time to time to report to me the state of the hospitals under him, agreeable to an order of Congress for the purpose; but which, however, he never did. Perhaps he judged, from better information than I could ever obtain, that so soon as he had learned the "etiquette" of military hospitals, his elevation would render it un­necessary.

But what surprized me, in his late conduct, was, that having an opportunity to acquaint me, the day before, in person, at General Green's, with his expectations and demands on the hospitals I had established, he did not chuse to say any thing to myself on the subject, but to apply to subordinate officers, to accomplish his wishes, rather than treat with me as a principal; I thought this portended no good; but then I knew it was of a piece with very many other instances of his conduct, on dif­ferent occasions.

I went over, in a day or two after, to the White-Plains. A letter soon arrived from the Director to General Washington, complaining that his situation was uneasy, for he could not obtain the command of the stores at Newark, and of course of the hospitals I had established there, and of the officers I had detached from my particular department, unless by the General's orders for the purpose, or by directions from me; for which, however, as I observed before, he had never ap­plied.

The General was pleased to communicate this letter to me. I represented to him the inconveniences of de­priving me of those stores, and that I had no others, in any sufficient quantity, to answer the continual calls [Page XXXIV] upon me; that the rest of the stores, which, at his com­mand, were ordered to Stamford, (and from thence were removed by the Stamford Committee, without my knowledge, and with his approbation, as I afterwards learned) could be of no use to me, at that time; that the only medicines, which could be got at, were those at Newark, which I had snatched as a brand out of the fire, at the retreat from New-York; and that I had appoint­ed an Apothecary on purpose to assort and dispense them out to Regimental Surgeons at Newark, as there was no possibility of doing it in an army, constantly moving from place to place, under all the inconveniences we suffered. To be borne down, with incessant demands from all quarters, was hard indeed; and to be depriv­ed of the only resources I had left me, those of my own providing, and of my own saving, with extreme diffi­culty and hazard, to be at the sole command of ano­ther, a junior, and inferior officer, appeared to me to be an unreasonable demand. I had, already, detached near one half of the Surgeons and Mates, of the Ge­neral Hospital, to Newark and Hackinsack, and by the General's command, established hospitals there, at the very time I had pointed out the probable consequences that would ensue from the extraordinary resolves of Congress, October 9th. There were, at this time, above fifteen hundred sick, at those two places, under the care of my own Surgeons. I had just received let­ters from them, which shewed they were gradually working through all their fo [...]mer difficulties, by steadi­ly pursuing the directions I had left them: With these advantages and their own experience they were more likely to compleat the work, than they would be, if in the midst of it they were to receive new directions from one, who, with all due deference to his abilities was less acquainted, than themselves, with the arrange­ments of a General Hospital I observed, that to deli­ver up the hospitals [...] and [...], would be to strip me of all power of being useful; and it was not [Page XXXV] in the power of the director to supply their places, if the stores, hospitals and sick, were to be committed to his care, and my proper officers were to return under my command, on the east side of the River; whence the-sick must suffer; and if the stores were delivered up, we ourselves must become destitute and helpless, and yet exposed to greater clamours than ever. I had, in no instance, interfered with the Director of the Fly­ing Camp, but offered to give him every assistance in my power, that he was pleased to call for. But to be stripped of the rank of a Director-General, and the power of my station, and to be left but the shadow of a Direc­tor, and yet to be accountable for every accident, or misconduct of others, as well as of my own department, and, from the highest post, to be rendered the mere depen­dent of a junior and subordinate officer, was what I ne­ver would submit to. Sooner than be subject to such controul, or give up the stores and hospitals, which by the General's orders I had established for the sick of his own army, when I had no convenience for providing others, I would give up my commission.

The General promised he would, and I doubt not but he did write to the Director, in answer to his let­ter, "That the hospitals I had established, and the surgeons and stores I had sent to Newark and Hackin­sack, were to remain under my direction."

What was my surprize to hear, after some time, from some of the officers of the hospital that were under me, in the Jerseys, [for it seemed proper that I should ne­ver know, but in a circuitous manner, what most im­mediately regarded myself,] that those stores which had been provided for General Washington's army, and which I had saved at New-York, and sent to the Jerseys for safety, and for the convenience of issuing out to the hospital sick under my own care, and to the Regi­mental Surgeons, were now actually ordered, by a late vote of Congress, to be delivered up to the Director of the Flying-Camp; and that he received letters, at [Page XXXIX] appeared on the point of being swallowed up for ever, if some vigorous measures were not immediately pursued to apply an effectual remedy; and I had ven­tured, without waiting for orders, to fly to the place of danger, where I thought my presence most wanted, I had no doubts that I should no sooner have mentioned my apprehended grievance, than I should have had im­mediate redress. Fully persuaded that my services and sacrifices merited consideration, and entirely ignorant that malice had yet attempted to discolour the merit of my proceedings, I did not suspect that any crime had been laid to my charge, till I complained of the injury done me. So short sighted are mortals, and so true it is that a man is never exposed to greater hazards than when he least apprehends them. Now, for the first time, I heard of the clamours about the sufferings of the sick in the Jersies, and at Philadelphia; and although I had been restricted to the east side of Hudson's-River, to make way for one of rising interest, the misfortunes of the department committed to his care, were wholly ascribed to me, notwithstanding the direction was taken out of my hands, for his sake.

I applied for admission to Congress; Mr. Samuel Adams appeared. On mentioning the cause of my ap­plication, he gave me to understand that complaints were brought against me, and the sufferings of the sick charged to me, with circumstances greatly reflecting on my humanity. I denied the justice of the charge, and being at the door of the chamber where the Congress were setting, I thus addressed him: Sir, I do solemnly deny the charge, and do intreat I may, this instant, be introduced to Con­gress, that I may have an opportunity of vindicating my­self against every injurious aspersion. Of this, Sir, I am confident, the more my conduct, in the station of Di­rector-General, is examined into the more lustre will it reflect upon me. I ask [...] an inquiry. I desire to know the particulars of the charge and who are my accusers, to meet them face to face, and am willing to stand the test of the strictest scrutiny.

[Page XI] I was refused admission, it [...] said the Congress was engaged in some important matter. I again desired the gentleman to inform me what particulars were laid to my charge? I could neither learn them, nor who were my accusers. As I could not obtain an audience, at that time, I begged Mr. Adams to inform Congress of the design of my coming, and my desire of admission, and I let him know that I waited at my lodgings, in ex­pectation of an hearing, when Congress had liesure to grant it. I obtained it not. Congress adjourned to Maryland, without taking the least notice of my appeal to them. I repeated my application, through the same gentleman, by letter. My dismission took place without an hearing, and without any answer, and without suspending me from office, till they could be satisfied of the facts alledged against me; for this, it seems would be too great a condescension.

I would fain ask, whether such a denial of my humble request, and keeping me in ignorance of my reputed crimes, and secret accusers, is agreeable to humanity, or what is usually allowed to the greatest criminals? Is it a way to beget a reliance on the safety and honour of the House, that after having passed judgment, without an hearing, I may still depend on ample justice, candour and generosity of treatment? Is such a proceeding us­ual? Might I not have rather expected to have been first suspended, then tried, and judgment to follow, and not precede conviction, on any breach of order or miscon­duct?

Had I been conscious of guilt, may it not be presumed I should have sought to shelter myself, by a resignation, rather than insist on a trial? Could a better pretext have been afforded? The Congress, contrary to every known rule, by a resolve of theirs, had reduced me from the rank of Director-General, removed me from my right, of attending the army under the Commander in Chief, to give place to a temporary Director, who, before, was made accountable to me, as head of the department; [Page XLI] clamours were raised against me, (groundless indeed!) I asked for an hearing, and was refused. Resignation was intimated to me, as what alone would quiet those clamours. What temptation was there for a person conscious of guilt, to wish a continuance in office, till his conduct could be examined into? On the contrary, every thing was to be apprehended under that circum­stance. The most imminent danger that the cause itself was lost filled the minds of many. I saw the black clouds gathering on the margin of the political horrison, threatening, on every side, to over-whelm its abettors in a general destruction, on one hand; and myself in private ruin, on the other; unless I could make my re­treat from the approaching tempest. Did I, coward-like, basely fly; nay, the very appearance of danger de­termined me to face the storm, and prove the falsity of the charges against me. I met two of the Georgia De­legates. I acquainted them with what had happened; that I would stand by the cause, during the present dan­gerous onset; but when that was over, I would insist on an immediate hearing, and, if not granted, then resign.

I repaired to the scene of danger, but was ordered to the east side of Hudson's-River. Submission was [...] duty, for the present moment; redress my hope and expectation, so soon as Congress had liesure, and was in a situation to attend to it. I pursued my business, as though I had received no cause of complaint, till I could obtain an hearing. But instead of redress, the first ac­count I received, but through an indirect channel, was that of my dismission. I had prepared, in haste, a nar­rative of my proceedings, in the department committed to me. I immediately sent it to the General, with a de­sire of its being laid before Congress, for their reconsi­deration of what was done, as I thought with precipi­tancy, and did not doubt that, on better information, they would quickly retract from the measure, or, at least, give me an audience, and judge on the evidence of facts, compared with their own resolves and the General's or­ders.

[Page XLII] At any rate, if they were determined to deliver me up to the cries of a faction, I thought Congress, for its own sake, would have let me down gently. If the sa­crifice must be made to gratify it, I thought Congress would suppose that something was due to the character I had [...] in life, to the rank I had held in my pro­fession, to the general reputation which public honours from the learned societies in Europe are supposed to con­fer. Upon occasion of such unworthy treatment as I have met with, flatt [...] myself, a man may be allowed to speak the truth, in his own favour; without an impeach­ment of vanity. I thought some consideration would have been had for that devotion of my best abilities, which I had shewn, such as they are, to the improvement of li­beral a [...] and sciences in this new world; some regard manifested to an early and zealous attachment to the cause of American liberty; to the sacrifice! had made of my private interest and safety; to my own station, and that of some of my nearest relations and friends, both in and out of Congress, and of the army. And could not all these procure some shadow of lenity, where a victim was to be offered up; something like compassion; some answer to my humble memorial, in my vindication, and my petition only "to be heard"? I must say none. Three months are nearly elapsed, whilst I have not re­ceived one line or message in answer. In the mean while, as if that refusal was the signal; the alarm spread; news-papers bear witness to my degradation. Base and malicious men, the pests of every society, have given free vent to their slanders. Boston has been filled with cla­mours to my prejudice. Villains there are in every place, to coin and circulate reports, prejudicial to a man's character. But why should I pretend to enumerate the evil consequences of such a severity of conduct to­wards me? If it would have answered any valuable purpose; if the sacrifice of my life would have saved my Country, I could have chearfully offered it up. I shall not say so of my honour.

[Page XLIII] To the impartial publick I therefore mean to appeal. At this tribunal, no innocent person need fear to make his defence, nor to allow free scope to be given to that defence; where a man's conduct, and the motives of it being known, he has reason to hope for a candid judg­ment, free from prejudice or party. If I can but ob­tain this indulgence, I hope to evince, to every common understanding, the rectitude of my conduct, and if the most laborious and steady application to the discharge of my trust, and perseverance in the path of duty, can give a claim to hope. I flatter myself, that I shall not only escape their censure, but meet with the warmest approbation of the publick, which it ever has been, and whatever may be the success, ever shall be my study to obtain.

I am, my dear friend, theirs, and your most devoted, humble servant, JOHN MORGAN.
[Page 1]

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON, Commander in Chief of the American Army. The MEMORIAL and REPRESENTATION of Doctor JOHN MORGAN, respecting his Care of the Sick, and Manner of conducting the Department of the General Hospital committed to his Care.


WHEN I was called by the choice of my country, to the station of Director-General of the hospital and Physician in chief, I left a respectable and lucrative practice against the judgment of some considerable persons in my native city, who, from regard to me, and what they conceived to be my interest, endeavoured in vain to dis­suade me from accepting the post, truly honourable as they allowed it to be. Their advice had no influence over me. Without hesitation, I sacrificed it, with every future prospect of better expectations from continuing with them to the satisfaction of serving my country, AT THE HEAD OF THE HOSPITAL, IN THE ARMY, UN­DER YOUR EXCELLENCY'S IMMEDIATE COMMAND.

Having had some experience, in times past, of the nature of the department, I have, ever since I took charge of it, made it my constant study, to make myself master of the subject, and to acquire a thorough insight into it. With what success, I do not think can be judged off, from the outside appearances of last campaign, and the causes which prevented the several regulations I proposed, from taking place agreeable to my wishes. It would be te­dious to enumerate them all; yet it cannot be amiss to point at some of the principal.a

[Page 2] The first of these which I shall mention was, the want of sufficient time and opportunity before the opening of the campaign, to have all the regimental Surgeons properly furnished by Congress, and made acquainted with their duty, of which many of them were very ig­norant, and the error of having them look to the Gene­ral hospital for those supplies of medicines and instru­ments, &c. which it would have been better to have sent to them by Continental Druggists, who might have the means of collecting and preparing every article in a sui­table manner, which it is vain to attempt in a moving army. Another cause was the want of a sufficient num­ber of certain hospital officers and assistants, and the means of procuring them when allowed by Congress, which was late, as Commissaries, Storekeepers, Stewards, Ward-Masters, &c. (b) This difficulty was increased from the nature of the campaign, in which, contrary to expec­tation, it became necessary, to shift the places of the Ge­neral hospital frequently, and to branch it out in such a number of hospitals widely distant from each other. (c) To these may be added, first, the want of sufficient help from other departments, which it was impossible to re­medy in the state our army then was. (d)

2dly, The neglect of the regimental Surgeons, to re­port the sick of their regiments in season, and in an or­derly manner to the General hospital, though often re­quired in General orders, Resolves of Congress and otherwise, to do it; (e) and sometimes keeping back their sick from entering into it at all, or till they became very numerous; then discharging them all at once into the Ge­neral hospital, at the time of an engagement with the ene­my, and when the attention of the whole body of hospi­tal Surgeons was necessary to take care of the wounded. And lastly, the frequent and long absence of the regi­mental Surgeons from their regiments, who, instead of sending the sick, as they ought to have done, to the Ge­neral hospital, had them conveyed to some remote regimen­tal hospitals, where they neither had, nor could obtain sui­table necessaries for their provision and care (f)

[Page 3] On my first arrival at Cambridge, I set about to establish rules for the General hospital Surgeons. I had heard of many abuses being practised by enormous drafts of expensive stores from the General hospital, to which, with your Excellency's approbation, to whom I made re­port thereof, I put a stop and limited the demands of regimental Surgeons to such articles, as Indian meal, oat­meal, rice, barley, molasses, and the like, and required that such sick as wanted others, should be sent to the General hospital, that these things might be dispensed out under my own direction. (g)

The next reformation I attempted was to call upon all the Mates in the hospital to undergo an examination of their abilities, in order to select from the number those who were best qualified for the service.—This was fol­lowed by your Excellency's orders, to see that all the re­gimental Surgeons and Mates should pass a like exami­nation. I began the task, but the movements of the ar­my, the aversion of Surgeons to undergo these examina­tions, from which too they were often screened by their Colonels, and by pretence of sickness, &c. and the in­creasing business on hand prevented my proceeding far in it. (h)

When the army lay before Boston, the small-pox fre­quently made it's appearance in it, owing to the number of persons who came out of that city with the infection upon them, which endangered the spreading of the con­tagion amongst our troops. By the establishment of the small-pox hospital in a suitable place, with proper persons to take care of the sick, and the precaution of sending all infected persons to it, so soon as known to have the dis­ease, and to cut off all communication betwixt it and the troops, the army was preserved from ever receiving any injury from it.

When the troops marched from Cambridge for New-York, all the sick were left behind in the General hospi­tal, amounting to upwards of three hundred men. In less than six weeks, during which time but few died, I [Page 4] was able to discharge the hospital of every man, to settle and pay every account, insomuch as never to have had any further demands from that quarter.

During this time, with little or no expence to the pub­lic but for package and transportation I collected medi­cines, furniture and hospital stores, worth many thousand pounds, and sent them on to New-York. The like quan­tity, I apprehend, could not be procured in any part of America. Nor were these obtained for the use of the army, without much trouble and assiduity, owing to a strong opposition that was made to prevent it. (k)—Besides these, I was able, by means of the subaltern officers in the hospital, some of whom I employed continually at the work, likewise to collect to the amount of near two thousand rugs and blankets, near as many bedsacks and pillows which were taken up from docks, and were ga­thered from hospitals and barracks, &c. These being washed and aired served the last campaign when none others could be got, and many of them are yet in good preservation.—At New-York I collected some hundred sheets, fracture boxes, and other useful articles.

It may be thought perhaps that I place a higher value upon these acquisitions than they merit; be that as it may, I am persuaded the like could not be obtained now for much less than thirty thousand dollars, which is equal to the whole amount of what I have ever drawn or ex­pended for the General hospital, in the space of a twelve­month, including the pay of all the officers and all the hospital expences of every kind, which have fallen with­in my department to settle, and for the faithful expendi­ture of the same, I am ready to produce my accounts, receipts and vouchers, whenever called upon for a settle­ment. Yet the General hospital has had the constant charge of a number from two or three hundred to a thousand sick and upwards to provide for and attend. Nor have any articles of the public stores been embezzled or mis-applied, nor the sick suffered in the General hospital for want of any thing I thought them entitled to draw from the hospital, and that I could procure for them.

[Page 5] The medicines and stores provided, as above mentioned, have been appropriated with equal faithfulness and strict oeconomy to the use of the General hospital; or issued from thence to regimental Surgeons, or remain on hand, subject to your Excellency's order. I have never bur­dened the Quarter-Master-General's department with any unnecessary demand from thence. And as to the Commissary-General, he will do me justice, as he has often declared himself on that head, that my drafts were within the most reasonable bounds. I am persuaded that of the sick who have been drawn for in the General hos­pital, if none of them have been drawn for at the same time with the well men in their regiments, the stoppage of their rations will go a great way towards paying the whole of the expences the hospital has been put to, on their account, for provision and stores of whatever kind. (l)

In a conference I once had with your Excellency at Cambridge, on the subject of hospital expences, you told me, and I took it as a hint of caution and advice to ob­serve the strictest oeconomy in my department (from which I have never deviated) that you were fearful the expences of the General hospital would exceed the esti­mate that had been made of them, by a person of ex­perience in General hospital matters. If I rightly recol­lect, your Excellency thought the sum mentioned to be ten thousand pounds sterling per annum. I was sur­prized, and concluded the gentleman was mistaken; I resolved however, if possible, to employ such strict oecon­omy in the department, as to keep within those bounds, yet was fearful it could not be accomplished, on account of the advanced price of every article of living and hospi­tal stores. Desirous of knowing what were the princi­ples on which he founded the calculation, I wrote to the person that was mentioned, on the subject, in answer to which he informed me, that the estimate, he had given in to General Gates was ten thousand pounds sterling, for every ten thousand men, for six months, and so in proportion, which is equal to 40 000 £. ster. per. annum, for 20,000 men, the number then kept on foot.

[Page 6] At the same time, as one qualified to give me full in­formation, I wrote to him with a view to clear up all doubts, or to confirm my sentiments in regard to the manner in which the regimental Surgeons were supplied in the British service, with medicines and instruments, and to know what right they had to draw stores from the General hospital; to which his answer corresponded with the opinion I had ever entertained of the nature of the service. 'Till Congress, or your Excellency should give orders for a different mode to be pursued, I considered myself to be bound in duty to keep the British establish­ment constantly in my eye, as a directory, making allow­ance for the nature and difference of the service. (m)

Moreover, I was afterwards favored with your Excel­lency's opinion on the subject, contained in those obser­vations you was pleased to bestow on the plan of regula­tions, which, by your command I sketched out, for get­ting again into a proper train, after we had, by one acci­dent or another, been forced from the original plan of a General hospital, and got into confusion, on account of the opposition, some of the resolves of Congress, of July 17 last, met with from many of the regimental Surgeons, and the impracticability of complying with others of them, in the situation we were then placed. Your words were, "What is the practise in this case in the British army? Why should we think of improving upon their system, founded on long experience?"

Upon first entering upon the duties of my station, ap­prehending that the General hospital was not amply sup­plied, as I could wish, with bandages, old linnen and other implements of surgery, that would be required, in case of an action, I set myself to supply those wants im­mediately, which I effected with little expence of money, but with great labor, in which I had all possible assistance from the hospital Surgeons and Mates. I collected large quantities of old linnen, lint and sheets, made up six thou­sand bandages, and six hundred tourniquets, for the use of the General hospital, &c. which, though sufficient for [Page 7] a present ex [...]igency, I did not think more than might be wanted for six hospitals, which I managed at that time.

Being then desirous of knowing how the regimental Surgeons were supplied, I proposed the calling upon them in general orders, for that purpose, and with a view to learn whether their assistance could be depended upon in the field, and whether they were properly fur­nished with medicines. Except Mr. Magaw, Surgeon of Col. Thomson's regiment, and a few others, they had scarcely the shadow of a supply—I gave in a report there­of, with a weekly return of the sick; I also stated to your Excellency what I conceived to be my duty, and that it was limited to the care of the sick in the General hospi­tal.

This inquiry into the wants of regimental Sur­geons, made them turn, as it were, on the General hos­pital. They wished to furnish themselves from it, with those articles of dressings, which the hospital Surgeons had collected, and made up for themselves, which those gentlemen thought an unreasonable demand. Farther, the regimental Surgeons wanted, contrary to all usage, to draw from the General hospital, all they should call for, in the way of stores, whether diaetetic or medicinal, for the use of the sick retained under their care, in re­gimental hospitals, and to be provided by me with in­struments and bandages, or to fix the odium of their in­sufficiency at my door. I therefore recommended in my report the necessity of providing (not in the army or General hospital) but from Continental Druggists (for that was what I intended) "a capital set of medicines, instruments, &c. as soon as possible, and advised that portable chests should be furnished from every regiment for a whole year, at once, and each chest be provided with instruments and bandages."—I did not expect, weak handed as I was, with respect to officers and assistants in the General hospital, from its very establishment by Congress, that this task would be enjoined on me, I thought my duty pointed out by that establishment, as much as I [Page 8] could well execute, and which only related to the Gene­ral hospital itself; although with an earnest desire of pro­moting the good of the service, I early pointed out the wants of the regiment Surgeons, and in time for hav­ing the [...] supplied with necessaries after the manner that has always been practised in the British army, I wrote to inform your Excellency, "that my commission only ex­tended to the care of the General Hospital; the plan of establishment by Congress, of July 28, 1775. The list, number and arrangement of officers, and my instructions from Congress, which were wholly silent concerning re­giments, their Surgeons or supplies confirmed this opin­ion," not to say any thing of the low estimate, which I had understood was formed for the support of the Ge­neral hospital.

I then gave it as my opinion, grounded on the custom of the British army, of supplying the medicine chests by stoppages, "that if the sick, remaining in regiments, were to be supplied at a public expence (and not by stop­pages) that expence ought to be made a regimental charge, and might be delivered in with an abstract of the regiment, (or any other better way,) that the General hos­pital, having nothing to do with the affair from its very nature, ought not to be burdened with their supplies; for then, on the number of sick admitted in the General hospital being known, the expence necessary for their support could, after a while, be better estimated from experience."

I then called on your Excellency, in the same letter, "for instructions what to do?' I informed you "that the nature and design of the General hospital, being little understood, and the nature of my duty so much mis­taken, both by the regimental Surgeons and officers, and many things expected from me, impossible to be complied with, I apprehended it to be absolutely necessary that certain regulations should be fixed upon, to ascertain my duty, and those of the Surgeons and officers under me, as well as those of the regimental Surgeons, which all [Page 9] ought to know, and not hospital and regimental Surgeons only, but in general, every officer of any rank in the ar­my, to prevent interference and mistakes."—

Besides giving this information, in order to bring about a farther explanation of the matter, and with a view to accomplish the end proposed by it; when I came to New-York, I laid a plan before the regimental Surgeons, to ascertain their duty, with a draft for a memorial to be laid by them before Congress stating their present diffi­culties, of which they approved; and I wrote pressingly myself on the subject, to the Doctors Committee of Con­gress; and at various other times I have delivered my opinion on the duties of regimental Surgeons, which may be seen in the general orders, particularly of July 3d, and July 28th, 1776. But although the sentiments con­tained in those orders were enjoined by your Excellency to be made the rule of conduct, and I think they were well calculated to answer the purpose, yet they were little regarded [...]y many of the regimental Surgeons, and openly opposed by others. (n)

With respect to the manner in which I came to have the charge of supplying all the regimental Surgeons with medicine chests, &c. contrary to what I had always conceived to be the proper method, or usual for a Gene­ral hospital, as I had always declared, I beg leave to re­mark, that the surrender of Boston having put us in possession of a large, though unassorted stock of medi­cines, hospital furniture, &c. your Excellency was pleas­ed to order me, by the Quarter-Master-General, to put up medicine chests for five regiments, at Boston, Salem and Marblehead, &c. about the time the rest of the army moved to New-York. This I cannot but look upon as the beginning of all my subsequent difficulties. When I arrived afterwards at New-York, your Excellency was at Philadelphia, and I was repeatedly called upon by letters, and in the way of personal applications from regimental Surgeons and officers, to furnish several regiments that were at New-York, and others gone to Canada, with [Page 10] medicine chests. My hope and expectation had been, that out of the whole stock I had collected, I might be permitted to take such as were wanted for the General hospital, and then to deliver the remainder to any Com­missary or Continental Druggist, appointed by Congress, or by your Excellency, to receive it, for the use of the public, and particularly for furnishing regimental Sur­geons. I received several intimations at this time, from different persons, that Congress expected from me to supply the northern army with medicines and hospital stores.

Having received no orders, however, for that purpose and the campaign then opening, I thought it highly ex­pedient to receive clear instructions on that head, and applied for leave to go to Philadelphia, to have a confe­rence with some members of Congress to know what I had to depend upon. Your Excellency gave me leave of absence for ten days, and although it proved too short a time to settle the business of my department, yet I return­ed punctually on the day appointed.

Before my arrival at Philadelphia, I learned that the Congress had purchased a valuable stock of medicines, which were in the hands of some druggists in town, out of which (on a supposition I imagine that they had more than would be wanted for public use) such considerable sales had been made by permission of Congress, and large quan­tities sent to the Southward, that it appeared to me there was danger, from the great reduction that was made in it already, lest the best collection of medicines I had ever seen in America for an army, might slip out of the power of Congress from such sale, &c. which might prove a loss they might not have it in their power to retrieve in the whole year. (o) I therefore presumed to caution the committee against it. Upon conferring with them on the subject, as I had, though contrary to usage, been obliged to put up medicine chests for some regiments, I under­took, if I might be allowed such a share of what was on hand as might be wanting from time to time to assort [Page 11] those in my possession, to use my best endeavours to sup­ply regimental chests to the regiments at New-York un­der your Excellency's command, for one campaign by way of trial; for I did not want to shrink from any [...], assigned me, whether my proper duty or not, by which I might serve my country, as far as it was practicable for me to do it.

I did not conceive from all I was able to learn that there would be more than forty or fifty regiments assem­bled at New-York; nor did I suppose that one half of those would come destitute of medicines and chirurgical apparatus, when I heard that the Southward regiments were supplied by the Continental Druggists; and I had taken pains at Cambridge, occasionally, to acquaint Gene­ral officers, Commanders of regiments and regimental Surgeons, with my idea that they were not to look to the General hospital for those supplies, but have their regi­ments furnished, where raised, as being the most easy and natural method; nor did I expect such numerous de­tachments of militia, all of which came unprovided, and looked to me for supplies of every thing they wanted, not chusing to send their sick to be under the care of the Surgeons of the hospital.

I supplied from 40 to 50 regiments with medicine chests by the end of August, besides all the branches of the General hospital at New-York, in the bowry and neighbourhood, and at Long-Island, which reduced many of our capital articles to an insufficiency for the General hospital for the remaining part of the campaign. And these I was obliged to collect elsewhere as well as I could; for although there was a great show of medicines and furniture left, yet many of the principal medicines being exhausted, and other ar­ticles not being duly prepared, nor such as were usually called for or wanted for regimental use, that show availed but little. To give what were at hand and could be spared from hospital use, which the regimental Surgeons would neither accept of nor be answerable for, would be, as scripture expresses it, to give one that asked for bread, a stone; or for an egg, a serpent.

[Page 12] It was by your Excellency's command that I shipped off part of the stores, as I did, to Stamford, to prevent the whole being lost, in case the enemy should possess themselves of New York From thence they were sent into the country, as some frigates had got into the Sound, and it was easy to land near Stamford, whereby the stores might be destroyed. (p) It was by a like com­mand that I visited [...]oppon, Haverstraw and Orange, to look out for a suitable place for a General hospital; and by your orders, in writing, that I went over to Newark a day or two before the evacuation of New-York, to make provision [...] about a thousand sick, including those wounded at the last action on Long-Island, who were there committed to the care of Doctors Foster and Bur­net, Surgeons in the General hospital, with seven or eight Mates to take care of them. (q) Part of the medicines remaining at New-York, were ordered over by the Ad­jutant-General, to whose personal activity and the assis­tance he gave to the Surgeons, it is owing, that they were saved. The most valuable part, however, was still left in New-York, when the enemy had effected a landing, drawn a line across the island, and were supposed to be then entering New-York. (r)

At this critical juncture, I went over with some of the hospital officers, and brought off all that had been left, in a pettiauger, which was filled therewith. I had or­dered two chests, for hospital use, to be put up and sent to Kingsbridge, it being impossible to get more up there, in a retreat.

The sick and wounded above-mentioned were landed in haste and disorder, at Hobuck, Weho [...]k, &c. Some of our Mates fell into the hands of the enemy, and many of the Nurses and Waiters fled, and the militia ran off and impressed every waggon they could find in the neighbourhood. It therefore required some days to get on all the sick and wounded, through many difficulties, from the fright of the inhabitants and their reluctance to admit of the hospitals being stationed at that place. [Page 13] I had provisions to collect, a Commissary and Ward-Master to seek, and Nurses and Waiters to procure, with every thing necessary for the comfortable accommoda­tion of the sick and wounded. I had but little assistance enough to perform this task, your Excellency having en­joined me to leave the most considerable number of Sur­geons and Mates at York island, in case of need. I made all possible haste, however, to put the hospitals at New-Ark on a safe footing, which I accomplished in about ten days, and then returned to head-quarters.

After this, judge, Sir, of my distress, to find how much this affair had been misrepresented to your Excellency, as I perceived it was by a letter just written to me by your Aid-de-Camp, setting forth the miserable situation to which the sick were reduced, and the clamour for want of medicines, absolutely insisting on an immediate and sufficient supply, for "whilst I was reserving the medi­cines for cases of emergency, the sick were dying in num­bers for want of a necessary supply." I had just sent to an eminent private Druggest, as well as to Mr. William Smith, the Continental Druggist, at Philadelphia, pray­ing for a supply of such articles as either I had not or could not be got at, enclosing each of them a list for the purpose. (s) Instead of ten pounds of Tartar Emetic, I sent for, four ounces were all I could obtain for the whole army, scarcely equal to the demands of a single re­gimental Surgeon, or for one day's consumption for the army I prevailed on the Surgeon of a regiment to go ex­press to Hartford, Norwich, Providence, Rhode-Island and Boston, to procure medicines, which places were so bare of the articles that we principally wanted, as to occasion a great disappointment. What is more worthy of remark, they never came to hand till a short while be­fore the retreat from Hackensack I had applied to Governor Trumbull by letter, for some assistance, which, though it was sent as expeditiously as possible, took time (v) I also applied in person to the State of New-York, at Fish-Kills, hearing they had part of a stock of medicines [Page 14] purchased for the use of that State on hand, and found it had been ordered to Albany for the use of the Nor­thern department.

What made it more astonishing that the number and clamors of the sick should be so great at that time is, that in a consultation which your Excellency, General Green and General Parsons had, a few days before the evacua­tion of New-York it was there proposed to send off the sick and all unfit for duty in brigades, with some careful officers out of each brigade to attend them, and money to defray the expences of suitable accommodations and refreshments; and a Surgeon was ordered a long with the sick of each brigade, that they might not suffer for want of medical assistance.(w) I am still of opinion, it was the best step that could have been taken to prevent the sick from falling into the enemy's hands, unless what I once mentioned to your Excellency as my wish could have been accomplished, viz. That protections might be granted to the hospitals on both sides, and the sick not become prisoners of war, but their persons and attendants might be priviledged and safe, as was the case betwixt the French and English in the wars of Europe.

Yet all the consequences of the sick suffering for want of necessaries—sad spectacles of human woe presenting themselves in towns, villages and on the roads, and straggling through the country, thereby exciting the terror as well as the compassion of the in­habitants; have been ascribed to my department and the officers under me, at a time when we ourselves suf­fered, and called in vain for assistance from other depart­ments, and so far as we were able, became fatigue-men and laborers to the sick and wounded, as we could pro­cure none from the army, and, as I mentioned before, many of our attendants and nurses fled.

At the time of my greatest difficulty to procure an as­sortment of medicines, I gave orders to the Apothecary at Newark to assort what he had there, which was all that could be got to dispense; to issue to all applyers [Page 15] for regimental sick, what could be spared at [...] from the hospital practice, and referred [...] upon me for medicines, to him.(x) That did not [...] all, many expecting, as it seems, wherever they happened to be stationed, or wherever any part of the hospital [...] open for the reception of the sick and wounded, that they had a right to draw any medicines they wanted and to be furnished from thence with whatever they [...] for, though that part was only provided for its own con­sumption, and the Surgeons of the hospital were [...] to take care of the sick sent to them for that pur­pose.

In the midst of this scene of perplexity and confusion I received a note from Col. Grayson, Aid-De-Cam [...] your Excellency, desiring to know from you, whether I could, or whether I thought it in the line of my duty to supply the regimental Surgeons with what they wanted; to which I returned for answer, "that I never had [...] ­ceived it to be properly in the line of my duty, though I had done every thing in my power to perform that [...] for want of a better establishment, the present being in that respect contrary to every known practice, as I had always declared, and if it was ever so much expected from me I had not the means" It was then by your order that I drew up the proposed regulations for a better establish­ment, which I forwarded to Congress so soon as it was returned to me, and herewith send your Excellency a copy, (y) It was to no purpose that I made the [...] [...] ­claration to Officers and Surgeons in general, as I had done to your Excellency. Their importunities [...] as great as ever.

[...] this, I received a charge to [...] farther [...] be situated more [...] that time [...] officer to [...] as the most [...] on the Island [...] [Page 16] the enemy had just made a descent above Kingsbridge. I was ordered over the river to view Hackensack, and to report what numbers of sick could be provided for at that place. On my return, I did accordingly report that if a sufficient number of carpenters and masons were set to work immediately to fit up the church, court-house, manufactory and a store house or two, &c. six or seven hundred men, and perhaps more might be accommo­dated in the town and neighbourhood; but it would re­quire many workmen, and some time to prepare places for their convenient reception. I was then ordered back to carry the plan into execution with all possible diligence. I went accordingly, and next day no less than 300 men were brought into the neighbourhood for me to look after, though I was quite alone in respect to help. They daily increased in numbers, so that within a few days they amounted to upwards of a thousand. I had left in­structions for Dr. Warren, and a number of Mates and other hospital officers to follow and attend the sick. (z)

At first we had neither bread, flour, nor fresh provi­sions in readiness nor were Commssaries at hand, from whom I could obtain any help. General Green, to whom I sent to fort Lee for assistance, was gone over to York-island. So soon as my hands were strengthened with Dr. Warren's and Mr Zabrisky's help, and the appoint­ment of a Commissary and Quarter-Master, difficulties abated by degrees very day, and our affairs got into a more promising train. In the mean while the two armies having marched towards the White Plains, a battle was expected. I therefore hastened to join your Excelleny. On my arrival I found the Surgeons of the General hos­pital, in consequence of orders from head-quarters, to look out for a place for the wounded at a convenient distance, had pitched upon the church at North-castle, as the most suitable they could meet with. I went to view it, and to prepare matters if the enemy's troops should come to action.

[Page 17] Whilst we were getting in readiness, a firing of can­non was heard anew, for there had been a firing heard, the day before, at fort Washington. On learning it was at the White Plains, every Surgeon of the hospital then present set out with me, immediately, for the Plains, several Mates following, with a waggon, to bring the in­struments and dressings. We fixed near the lines, and I never stirred from thence till the enemy retreated, which was about a week after; nor till your Excellency crossed the river, to hasten to the support of fort Washington. In the mean time, the situation of affairs would not permit your Excellency to give me leave to return to North Cas­tle, but for a few hours, to give directions, and to assist in providing for the sick and wounded; an hospital Surgeon, and some times two or more, with three or four Mates, attending the whole time, at the Plains, in expecta­tion of a second action.

Here I cannot but feel for the Hospital Surgeons, who before they could obtain any quarters, except such as a few hours industry enabled them to do, in a country which was not well calculated to afford any good, were suddenly overwhelmed with numbers of sick sent to them, as well as the wounded, in time of an engagement, and whilst many of the regimental Surgeons were absent in the country, having left their corps in the field, without assistance, contrary to orders of July 3d, at a time when an engagement was considered as inevitable, there were few at hand to give any aid. Hence, whilst the hospital Surgeons were preparing matters at their proper stations in the hospital, clamors were excited against them for not being with the troops, and when they were detained at the lines, to supply the places of regimental Surgeons, who ought to have been there; the wounded, who were conveyed [...]o to the hospital, naturally demanded the at­tention of the whole body of Surgeons, to administer aid to them. (&)

When I was at liberty to repair to North-Castle, all my applications for workmen, to out the hospital in or­der, [Page 18] to construct chimneys, and secure the sick and wounded from cold, the effects of which were severely felt at that time, and of which it is thought some died, proved abortive. Such then as could not be accomo­dated here, under care of Doctors Adams and Mc Knight, were sent to Stamford and Norwalk, to the amount of above a thousand, under the care of Doctors Turner and Eustis, Surgeons of the General hospital, and every accommodation possible was provided for them.

Before I go on with this narrative of General Hospital proceedings, I shall just observe, that in part of a day and night's time, several hundred sick and wounded, were transported from Long-Island to New-York, amidst a heavy rain, which fell during our retreat. They were landed at different wharves, and carried into different houses, whilst myself and those about me used all our endeavours to collect them together, into barracks, and hospitals I had provided for them; and although all possible care was taken to prevent it, yet may of them unavoidably suffered, though we were up great part of the night in this service.

So soon as I was able to attend that duty in person, I gave my assistance in dressing the patients, so that there was not a single one, of those wounded in the action on Long-Island who were brought to the General hospital at New-York, that I did not dress myself; and I assisted in all operations that I knew of, wherever I was present and could attend; for I always visited as many sick offi­cers and others, out of the hospital, by myself, and in con­sultation, as was any ways possible for me to do, consis­tent with my other calls of duty. (aa)

How much pains I took by writing and conversation to assist in getting the regimental Surgeons on some footing, satisfactory to them, and useful to the army, I could adduce many proofs, if required; that I never could effect it, is what I have to lament. The causes I shall not take up your time to investigate. If the plan, now before your Excellency, should take pleace either in [Page 19] whole, or part, it may perhaps effect that desirable purpose, where my endeavors must rest. (bb)

The orders and instructions I have given to the Sur­geons of the General hospital, at different times, are numerous; some of them your Excellency read, approved, and subscribed yourself.

Sometimes when houses for hospitals have been assign­ed me by public authority, I have met with great op­position in getting possession of them, from protections in favor of the proprietors and occupiers, or others, as in the case of Stuyvesants, and in those in the Bowry, where a brigade of militia dispossessed the sick of the houses, assigned for that purpose, by the New-York committee. (cc)

To bring this narrative of my conduct to a conclusion. So soon as I heard of the loss of Fort Washington, Fort Lee, Hackensack and Newark, judging your Excellency would require my presence, I left the best directions I could, for the Surgeons of the General Hospital on the east side of Hudson's-River, and hastened to join you, which I did, the day after you crossed the Delaware. I was distressed to find your Excellency entirely destitute of Surgeons, at hand, to take charge of the wounded, in case of battle.

With your Excellency's approbation I proceeded to Philadelphia, to lay this matter before Congress, and get an explanation of the meaning of their resolves of October 9th, respecting my being stationed on the east side of Hudson's-river. I applied to several members, and requested an audience, but, on account of the situa­tion of affairs at that time, it was impossible to obtain it. The Congress was fully employed, and adjoured within a day or two afterwards, to Maryland. The sick were brought daily to the city, in great numbers, objects of pity. For the care of them, I gave the best advice I could, to Dr. Potts, who was employed by the Council of Safe­ty for that purpose. Several waggon loads of medicines and hospital articles, which had been preserved from fall­ing into the enemy's hands, and sent from New-York to, [Page 20] Newark, and from thence to Philadelphia, were brought to the college, in no good condition. It was my care to collect from them, what was of most value, and chiefly wanted for hospital use, and send to Bethlehem. The rest, by order of Congress, were shipped to Wilmington and Christeen, where I sent a Surgeon to review and see them repacked, in good order, and to make out an invoice of the same, and send it to Congress.

I returned to head-quarters, and that day received a letter from an honorable member, which I shewed to your Excellency, giving it as his judgement, that it was the design of Congress, I should attend to the care of the sick on the east side of Hudson's-river, and be restricted to that place; which I could not but consider as a singular restriction for a Director-General.

In obedience, however, to this resolve of Congress, I determined to repair to that station, but sound it necessary to take Bethlehem in my way, as my papers and baggage, and most of the hospital Surgeons and Mates of my department were at that place, and to deliver over to some proper persons, for the use of your Excellency's army, the chief articles of the medicines I had sent there. Of these however, I reserved a few, and comparatively but a few, of such as were wanted, with some few stores, likewise wanted, for the sick on this side, together with my instr [...]ments and bandages. But your Excellency having seen fit to send for these, by express, they were ac­cordingly dispatched by the same messenger.

Of ten thousand Bandages I had prepared for use in the beginning of the campaign, what with the consump­tion loss, supplies to the General Hospital and regimental Surgeons, few are left.

The difficulties of attending to the wants and demands of so many sick, spread through so great a tract of coun­try, and the clamors which have been raised, in conse­quence thereof, have induced me to trouble your Excel­lency with this long and particular detail of facts, and to request your Excellency's order for a court of Inquiry, [Page 21] how the sick have been taken care of, in the General Hospital; composed of officers best acquainted with the rules and discipline of war, and of hospital matters; by which it may be known in what manner, agreeable to the establishment of our General Hospital, by authority of Congress, and the instructions I have received, from time to time, from Congress and your Excellency, and the information and assistance I have repeatedly applied for, provision has been made for the sick; that the na­ture of military hospitals, in general; and of ours in par­ticular, may be ascertained; and if the sick have suffered more than was inevitable, from the nature, peculiar hard­ships and difficulties of last Campaign, the causes may be known, and a seasonable remedy applied, and those on whom any imputations have fallen, either of neglect or mismanagement, may have an opportuniy of vindicat­ing their proceedings, before a proper tribunal, which is what I intreat for myself, and for the department under me.

I have requested Dr. M'Knight to take charge of these dispatches, and hope for your Excellency's answer, when leisure will permit; being, with the greatest deference,

Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant. JOHN MORGAN.
[Page 22]

To His Excellency General WASHINGTON.

SENSIBLE of the great difficulties, which have at­tended the department of Director General, owing to a great variety of causes that were not in my power to govern, by which the sick of the army suffered very much last campaign; I had just finished the memorial, which accompanies this containing a narrative of my conduct in that department, with the hope and expectation of ob­taining, from your Excellency's known humanity, and love of justice, a court of inquiry respecting it; that those causes might be examined into, and rightly understood, and I might have an opportunity of vindicating myself, before a just and candid tribunal, from any allegations that might be laid at my door, of neglect, or misconduct in the discharge of the duty of my station, according to the best of my judgement, knowledge and abilities, when Dr. Foster called to shew [...] your Excellency's order to him, of January 22d. It informed him, that as I was dismissed from the Director-Generalship by Congress, he was called upon, as eldest Surgeon, to take charge of the hospitals on the east side of the river, till a further no­mination to that post. This dismission has taken place, without my being ever notified by Congress with the rea­sons for it, or having been called upon, to answer for my conduct, though I had heard from a member, that heavy charges had been brought against me, for the sufferings of the sick; on which I desired him to inform Congress, that I was ready to stand the test of an examination, and requested an audience, immediately, which I could not be favoured with. This I did verbally, and afterwards applied to Congress, through him, by letter, to which I never received any answer.

On this account I drew up the present memorial, flat­tering myself I should obtain the wished for inquiry, from your Excellency.

[Page 23] A dismission by Congress from my station, without their having acquainted me with the nature of my sup­posed offences, and allowed me a previous hearing, ap­pears to me a very severe, if not unusual proceeding. I am obliged, therefore, still to trouble your Excellency, to request your perusal of the memorial, and to express my desire that it may be laid before Congress, for their con­sidera [...]ion.—It is not, Sir, that I dispute the authority of that august Body, to appoint at pleasure, as well as to re­voke their appointment of persons, to offices of rank and trust; but when a revocation is made in such a manner, as not to leave the person removed an opportunity of justifying his proceedings, in case any accusations are brought against him, it cannot fail of operating to his disadvantage, in the eyes of the world.

It is natural, therefore, to expect, and what every man has a right to hope for, that he may, though late, be heard with candor and impartiality, and to wish that a true state of his conduct in any public department may be known, that according to the evidence of facts it presents, he may be condemned or acquitted.

I propose to go from hence to Stamford and Norwalk, to deliver up the hospital stores, with which I have been entrusted, to Dr Foster's charge, and then proceed, as I have opportunity, to Philadelphia or Baltimore, for the settlement of my accounts.

As I shall stand in need of assistance for transporting my books, papers and baggage, I flatter myself your Ex­cellency will be pleased to give such orders as may enable me to get them removed, without which I may suffer great delays and inconvenience.*—Wishing you success and happiness, equal to your exalted merit, I have the honour to subscribe myself, with all possible veneration,

Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant, JOHN MORGAN.
His Excellency General WASHINGTON.
[Page 24]
[Page 25]


COPY OF THE RESOLVES OF CONGRESS, relating to the General-Hospital, and the Duties of the Director-General, Directors of Hospitals, Surgeons of Hospitals and Regiments, and to the Provision for the Sick, &c.

IN CONGRESS, Thursday, July 17, 1775.

RESOLVED, That for the establishment of an Hospital for an ARMY, consisting of 20,000 men, the following officers and other attendants be ap­pointed, with the following allowance and pay.

A Director-General and Chief Physician,his pay 4 Dollars per day.
4 Surgeons, per day, eachone and a third, do.
1 Apothecary,one and a third, do.
20 Mates, each per day,two-thirds, do.
1 Clerk,two-thirds, do.
2 Storekeepers, each4 Dollars per Month.

1 Nurse to every 10 sick, one-fifteenth of a Dollar per day, or 2 Dollars per Month.

Labourers occasionally.


Director and Chief Physician to furnish medicines, bedding and all other necessaries; to pay for the same; superintend the whole; and to make his report to, and receive orders from the Commander in Chief.

[Page 26] Surgeons, Apothecaries and Mates, to visit and at tend the sick, and the Mates to obey the orders of the Physician, Surgeons and Apothecary.

Matron, to superintend the Nurses, bedding, &c.

Nurses to attend the sick, and obey the Matrons orders.

Clerk, to belong to the Director and Storekeeper.

Storekeeper, to receive and deliver the bedding, and other necessaries, by order of the Director.

Extract from the Minutes. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.

RESOLVED, That the appointment of the four Surgeons, and the Apothecary, be left to the Di­rector General and Chief Physician.—That the Mates be appointed by the Surgeons; and that the number do not exceed twenty; and that the number be not kept in constant pay, unless the sick and wounded should be so numerous as to require the attendance of twenty, and to be dismissed as circumstances will admit; for which purpose, the pay is fixed by the day, that they may only receive pay for actual service.

That the Clerk, Storekeepers and Nurses, be ap­pointed by the Director.

Extract from the Minutes. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary. By Order of CONGRESS. JOHN HANCOCK, President.
[Page 27]

IN CONGRESS, September 14, 1775.

RESOLVED, That SAMUEL STRINGER, Esq be appointed Director of the Hospital, and Chief Physician and Surgeon, for the ARMY in the Nor­thern Department.

That the pay of the said SAMUEL STRINGER, Esq as Director, Physician and Surgeon, be four Dollars per day.

That he be authorized, and have power to appoint a number of Surgeons-Mates under him, not exceeding four.

That the pay of said Mates, be two-thirds of a Dol­lar per day.

That the number be not kept in constant pay, unless the sick and wounded be so numerous as to require the constant attendance of four, and be diminished as cir­cumstances shall admit, for which reason the pay is fixed by the day, that they may only receive pay for actual service.

That the Deputy Commissary General be directed to pay Doctor STRINGER, for the medicines he has pur­chased for the use of the ARMY, and that he purchase and forward such other medicines as General SCHUY­LER, shall, by his warrant direct for the use of the said ARMY.

A Copy from the Minutes. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary. By Order of the CONGRESS. JOHN HANCOCK, President.
[Page 28]

IN CONGRESS, July 17, 1776.

RESOLVED, That the number of the Hospi­tal Surgeons and Mates, be increased in proportion to the [...] of the ARMY, not exceeding one Surgeon and five Mates, to every five thousand men [...]; to [...], when the ARMY is reduced or when [...] no further occasion for so great a number.

[...] as many persons be employed in the several Hos­pitals in quality of Storekeepers, Stewards, Managers [...], as are necessary for the good of the service [...], to be appointed by the Directors of [...] Hospitals.

[...] the several regimental chests of medicines, and [...] instruments which now are, or hereafter [...] in the possession of the regimental Surgeons, be [...] to the inspection and inquiry of the respective [...] of Hospitals and the Director General, and [...] the said regimental Surgeons shall from time to [...] when there to required, render account of the said [...] and instruments to the said Directors; or if [...] be no Director in any particular department, to the Director General; the said account to be transmit­ted to the Director General, and by him to the Con­gress; and the medicines and instruments not used by any regimental Surgeon, to be returned when the regi­ment is [...]duced, to the respective Directors, and an ac­c [...] [...]ereof by them rendered to the Director Gene­ral [...] by him to this Congress.

That the several Directors of Hospitals in the several departments, and the regimental Surgeons where there is no Director, shall transmit to the Director General, regular returns of the number of Surgeons-Mates, and other officers employed under them, their names and pay; also an account of the expences and furniture of the Hospital under their direction; and that the Direct­or General make report of the same, from time to time, to the Commander in Chief, and to this Congress.

[Page 29] That the several Regimental and Hospital Surgeons, in she several departments, make weekly returns of their sick to their respective Directors, in the said depart­ment.

That no regimental Surgeon be allowed to draw upon the Hospital of his department, for any stores except medicines and instruments, and that when any sick per­son shall require other stores, they shall be received in­to the said Hospital, and the rations of the said sick persons be stopped, so long as they are in said Hospital; and that the Directors of the several Hospitals report to the Commissary, the names of the sick when received in­to, and when discharged from the Hospital, and make a like return to the Board of Treasury.

That all extra expences, for bandages, old linen, and other articles necessary for the service, incurred by any regimental Surgeon, be paid by the Director of that de­partment, with the approbation of the Commander thereof.

That no more medicines belonging to the Continent, be disposed of till further orders of Congress:—That the pay of the Hospital Surgeons, be increased to one Dollar and two-thirds of a Dollar by day; the pay of the Hospital Mates be increased to one Dollar by the day; and the pay of the Hospital Apothecary be increas­ed to one Dollar and two-thirds of a Dollar per day; and that the Hospital Surgeons and Mates take rank of regimental Surgeons and Mates.

That the Director General and the several Directors of Hospitals, be impowered to purchase, with the ap­probation of the respective departments, medicines and instruments for the use of their respective Hospitals, and draw upon the Paymaster for the same, and make report of such purchase to Congress.

JOHN HANCOCK, President. A true Copy from the Resolves of Congress. J. REED, Adjutant-General.
[Page 30]

IN CONGRESS, July 20, 1776.

RESOLVED, That Doctor SENTERS, be recommended to Doctor MORGAN, who is desir­ed to examine him, and if he find him qualified, to employ him in the Hospital as Surgeon.

Extract from the Minutes. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.

DOCTOR STRINGER, having presented [...] Congress, the substance of which was,— [...] explanation of the resolves of Congress, [...] nature and extent of his own, as well as [...] MORGAN's appointment."

THE Committee appointed to consider of Doctor STRINGER's petition, report as follows:

That Dr. MORGAN was appointed Director General, and Physician in Chief of the American Hos­pital.

That Doctor STRINGER, was appointed Di­rector and Physician of the Hospital, in the Northern department, only.

RESOLVED, That no regimental Hospitals be [...] future allowed, in the neighbourhood of the Gene­ral Hospital.

[Page 31] That JOHN MORGAN, Esq provide and super­intend a Hospital, at a proper distance from the camp, for the ARMY posted on the East side of Hudson's River.

That WILLIAM SHIPPEN, Esq provide and superintend a Hospital for the ARMY in the State of New-Jersey.

That each of the Hospitals be supplied "by the re­spective Directors," with such a number of Surgeons, Apothecaries. Surgeons-Mates and other [...]; and also with such quantities of medicines and [...], and other necessaries, as they shall [...].

That they make weekly returns [...] the Commander in Chief, of the officer [...] of each denomination; and also the [...] and deceased, in their respective Hospitals.

That the regimental Surgeons be direct [...] [...] to the General Hospital such officers and [...] their respective regiments, as confined by wounds, [...] other disorders, shall require Nurses or constant attendance, and from time to time apply to the Quarter-Master Ge­neral, or his Deputy, for convenient waggons for this purpose: Also, that they apply to the Directors in their respective departments for medicines and other necessa­ries.

That the wages of Nurses be augmented to one Dol­lar a week.

That the Commanding Officer of each regiment, be directed once a week to send a commission officer, to visit the sick of his respective regiment, in the General Hospital, and report their state to them.

Extract from the Minutes. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.
[Page 32]



THE nature of my station having led me to make many reflexions, on the situation of the sick, in the army, and the means required for their relief, I have been anxious to lay before your Excellency, what appears to me, to be necessary for this purpose, and want­ing to render the business of the General Hospital more easy and compleat. I am desirous to suggest to you, what benefits may be supposed to arise, from the establish­ment of regimental Surgeons and Mates; what are, and ought to be looked upon, as the duties of their place; to shew the insufficiency of any powers hitherto given them, "by Congress or your Excellency," to supply the defects "of their station, which they at present labour under," without some fixed regulations, and without some provision being made for them, that, for ought I see, they are almost wholly destitute of, and which they are at a loss how to remedy, and without which they can be of little service to the sick. This I am willing to under­take at large, and to point out some plan, for putting it in their power to supply the sick, of their regiments, whilst al­lowed to remain under their care, "with whatever is sup­posed requsite for the purpose" At the same time, I am de­sirous of pointing out a method of regulating the expences of the General hospital, and of furnishing the sick in it with many necessaries and refreshments, "which they at present want," in the most suitable and least chargeable ways. To do it properly would be a work of time, and I find little leisure at present for a task that would require [Page 33] some vacancy from the daily avocations of my business, to effect. Yet I keep the design in view, when other necessary calls of duty will permit.

"But although I cannot perform this work fully now, yet it is necessary to say something; our circumstances and situation require a general explanation of what is wanting." The nature and design of a General hospital is so little understood, and my particular duty so much mistaken, both by regimental Surgeons and other officers; so many expectations are formed, and so many things looked for, from me, which are impossible to be complied with, that I apprehend it to be absolutely necessary that certain regulations be fixed upon, for the better govern­ment of the hospital, myself, and the Surgeons and offi­cers of the hospital under me, as well as o [...] the regimen­tal Surgeons, which all ought to know; by which they may be respectively kept within their line of duty, with­out interference with each other, and which every officer who has any thing to do with the sick may be apprized of, to prevent mistakes.

To begin with my own department, I beg leave to re­fer your Excellency to the particular duty which is as­signed by the Congress to the Director-General, and chief Physician of the hospital, and to the powers with which he is vested.

His DUTY is to furnish medicines, bedding, and all other necessaries; to pay for the same, to superintend the whole, TO MAKE HIS REPORT TO and RECEIVE HIS OR­DERS FROM THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, &c.

Your Excellency will be pleased to observe that I have never had "any mention made to me of," nor received the least instructions concerning either regimental Sur­geons or regimental sick; and yet there is not perhaps a single regimental Surgeon, and even but few officers who do not suppose they have a right to insist upon my furnishing every regiment, as well the established soldiery, as the militia, with whatever articles they are pleased to demand from the hospital, as though it was a store [Page 34] house, or magazine for the whole army, "and not con­fined, in the intention of its establishment, to the purpose of taking care of those sick and wounded, that might be reported to it as proper objects, and admitted accord­ingly." Thus, besides what medicines are allowed, as well to the militia as to every other regiment in the ar­my, regimental Surgeons have a custom of making de­mands on the General hospital for instruments of sur­gery, bandages, linnen, tourniquets, wine, rum, sugar, molasses, chocolate, coffee, butter, candles, soap, brandy, raisins, rice, flour, Indian meal and fresh meat. They suppose I am obliged to comply with any order signed by a "regimental" Surgeon or Mate, for those articles, in any quantity they see fit to demand. I have been in­formed, that some officers have taken it much amiss, if they wanted veal or mutton, that they could not have it from the hospital, "on sending for it for their own tables." What is more unaccountable, no regimental Surgeons ever thought it their duty to make any report to me of the state of their sick, to leave me room to judge of the propriety of issuing, or of refusing to issue out whatever stores they were pleased to call for.

To shew in what light the hospital is viewed, and my duty as Director of it, accounts of soldiers that I know nothing of, and who have never been reported to me for directions about them, are sent to me for payment, and from all quarters, near and afar off. Officers who are sick in the country, at a distance from the army, under coun­try practitioners, send in their accounts by those Doctors for me to discharge.* So numerous and unreasonable are the demands of officers, regimental Surgeons, "and others, directed by them to the Director-General of the hospital for payment," that were all those demands gra­tified, the expences of the sick, as the Commissary-Ge­neral hath often remarked, would exceed all the expences of the whole army besides.

"To give a pretext for the propriety of their claims, [Page 35] they plead their inability of being furnished elsewhere with what they want;" the cry of the regimental Sur­geons is, there is no provision made for us. "My an­swer is, nor have I any orders to provide for any but what are under my own direction in the General hospital. They ask where they are to get instruments and dressings, and what they want for the sick under their care, or of what use are they, if left unprovided. I refer them to their commanding officers, and to make representations of their situation to them, to apply to Congress to establish means of furnishing what they want; whatever orders are given me, they shall be obey­ed, but I cannot go beyond my instructions." Do they imagine that 4 Surgeons and 20 Mates (which are all the Surgeons allowed me in the General hospital, for an army of 20000 men) employed in attending all the sick and wounded that are sent to them from the whole army, and as they can find, or make liesure from that employ, constantly busied in preparing lint, bandages, compresses, splints, tourniquets and other dressings for hospitals use in case of any considerable action, must be subjected to their demands, and obliged to unfurnish the hospital, and give up the labour of their hands, to three or four score of regimental Surgeons and Mates, who were to have no trouble themselves, in making any preparations for their own use.

Has not your Excellency "recommended the strictest oeconomy, and" informed me that from the estimates given in to Congress, it was computed that £. 10,000 per ann. was sufficient to answer all the demands of the General hospital, "and that you were apprehensive the expences already exceeded what was imagined a sufficiency?" The salaries of all the officers in employ, the nurses and atten­dants, nearly equal to half that sum, without taking into the account the expence of hospital furniture, bedding, blan­kets, medicines and instruments. From such limited funds, for the support of the General hospital, can it be expected that between thirty and forty regiments shall [Page 36] draw supplies intended only for the General hospital itself?

In this situation, I humbly request your Excellency's instructions. "Be pleased to consider that" my COMMIS­SION only extends to the care of the HOSPITAL itself; and yet every regimental Surgeon, apparently, expects me to supply him with whatever he wants, and to prepare every thing to his hand, or to lay the odium of his defi­ciency at my door.

This application of mine does not proceed from any desire or inclination to shrink from any service I can render them; but, if this service (contrary to my present duty) is required of me, the means must be established, and I must receive positive instructions for it, lest I be deemed guilty of neglecting, or not sufficiently providing for my own department, for the sake of those who are not comprehended within it.

On the whole, I think it my duty to represent to your Excellency, that I have thought it incumbent on me, to give directions to the stores-keepers of the General hos­pital to issue no stores from thence, on the bare order of any regimental Surgeon, except Indian meal, rice or oatmeal, and if they want wine, rum, sugar, or other the like stores, they must produce an order for these, countersigned by me, and take a receipt for the same, to make them accountable for the disposal of what they thus receive, if called upon. I have directed the apothe­cary to issue out medicines to them, for the use of each regiment, in such quantities, as their present occasions may require, but so as not to unfurnish the hospital, or exhaust the stock, faster than I can get a fresh supply. To enable, you, Sir, to form some judgment of what is necessary for the purpose, I must observe that such an army as is now on foot, will require an additional sum of two thousand pounds sterling per annum at least for the use of the regimental Surgeons, over and above what is necessary for the supply of the General hospital itself. And it will be for ever needy, and even destitute of capi­tal [Page 37] medicines, if not speedily furnished with a fresh sup­ply, to the amount of two or three thousand pounds: medicines being very scarce and dear.

Another observation I beg leave to make is, that every regiment ought to have a small portable chest, for the whole year at once, and be provided with instruments, bandages and dressings.

It is not with any view to reflect upon the regimental Surgeons, but for the better purpose of procuring them relief from their difficulties, that I am obliged to inform your Excellency, that there are but very few of them, as far as I can learn, who have what can be called even a tolerable supply of any, even the most essential articles for regimental Surgeons, instruments or bandages, and that they are deluding themselves with a false opinion, that in case of action, every regimental Surgeon will be immediately furnished with those articles from the hos­pital. I fear, from this circumstances, most of them would be extremely at a loss what to do, or be even use­less in a battle.

I would therefore recommend to your Excellency, that "a person be appointed for the purpose," and instructions given for furnishing a regimental chest of medicines, with instruments, lint, tow and bandages, &c. for each regiment; that orders be issued, that every regimental Surgeon make out a report of what he has of those articles in readiness, and a representation of what he may further want, to be collected together, in order to judge of their present deficiencies; and that the re­gimental chests be inspected from time to time. As con­tinual complaints are made of the ignorance and unfit­ness of many called regimental Surgeons and Mates for that post, and I find them generally unacquainted with what duties are to be expected of them, in that station; I would advise, "if it be thought practicable under pre­sent circumstances," that some kind of examination be made of their respective abilities, by a chosen committee; being a practice observed in all countries, which is essen­tial [Page 38] to the service, and is now established in the middle colonies.

"I have been amazed to hear it said, and that it should have been thought, even by some members of Con­gress, that little use was expected from regimental Sur­geons, where there was a General hospital; and this has been given to me as a reason for their being so much ne­glected, or so ill provided with the means of being use­ful, and is, perhaps, the best reason that can be given that there are comparatively so few amongst them, at present, of any tolerable education, experience or know­ledge in the business and duties of the station." Before I put an end to this letter, I must beg your indulgence whilst I trouble your Excellency with two observations more. The first is, that regimental hospitals and regi­mental Surgeons, under proper regulations and subor­dination to the General hospital, are absolutely necessary, and, in my opinion, may be made extremely serviceable in an army; secondly, were matters so well regulated that whenever any soldier was taken ill, whether sent to the General hospital, or whether he continued with his regiment, under the care of his proper Surgeon; if his rations were stopped for the time, and paid for in money, it would, in my opinion, be sufficient or nearly so, pro­vided he was dieted as he ought to be for a sick man, and as he is directed to be, in the General hospital, not only to pay for his diet, but to supply him with every necessary refreshment without any, "or with little" addi­tional expence to the publick, from the stores of the Ge­neral hospital. To prove this, may require an explanation, which I shall willingly give when called for.*

[Page 39] Permit me, Sir, to conclude with this remark that if the sick in regiments are to be supplied at a public expence, that expence ought to be a regimental charge, and may well enough be included in the abstract of the regiment. The General hospital having nothing to do with regi­mental sick, till they are reported to, and admitted as proper objects, ought not to be burdened with the ex­pence. In this manner, the expence of "main­taining the sick in regimental hospitals will be known," and that of supporting a General hospi­tal, unmixed with the former, may be pretty exactly as­certained from experience; nor would it be charged with enormous accounts, which the General hospital, proper­ly speaking, has nothing to do with.

I remain, Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant, JOHN MORGAN.

(b) P. S. I would observe to your Excellency, that the sum allowed by Congress for the payment of the store-keepers is so insignificant as four dollars a month; about half the wages of a common soldier; though it is a place of great trust, and requires talents and applicati­on to business, as well as integrity to perform it well.

The pay of nurses is [...]ixt by Congress at half a dollar per week. Whilst it is so low, we shall never be able to furnish good nurses, or in short any nurses, in proportion to the number wanted for the sick. They complain of [Page 40] their pay, and are jealous that more is allowed, but that part of it is stopped: Most of them say they were promis­ed a dollar per week. I have only paid them what is allowed by my instructions.

There is a necessity for having occasional officers in the General hospital, of whom no mention is made in the establishment by Congress. Some such I have found here on my arrival. They remain without pay, nor is their pay settled. I have neither confirmed their ap­pointment, nor have I dismissed them, instructions being wanted.

It is necessary that I report to your Excellency the dis­mission of five Mates from the General hospital, as, by order of Congress, they were only employed by the day; and they have refused to submit to any examination of their qualifications.

See W. M. Philips's account, subjoined to this letter.
General Parsons. I am informed by the Commissary-General, has, to his great credit, [...] tried the experiment, and on this plan the sick of his brigade were provided last summer with every thing necessary and comfortable to men in their situation, and there was a saving of sixty pounds lawful, after every article was paid for, from the stoppage of the sick men's rations, and receiving the amount in cash, in lieu of rations.

N. B.The above Letter is printed from the original rough draft of it, wrote in haste, and delivered to General Washington, and which he returned for a fair copy, in which the lines and words comprehended betwixt inverted comma's, are interlineations, perhaps a few of them addi­tions, but none others are. I think proper to mention this as I would not willingly incur the charge of altering the sense of the original, or making an addition, but of a few words, to render the sense more obvious, or compleat, for the ease of the reader.

It is proper to remark here, that this very letter was read two several days before the medical committee of Congress in the conference I had with them in June last when I went to Philadelphia for that purpose and I then laid be­fore them for their consideration the several regulations, which did not appear in their resolves till near a mouth after.

[Page 41] Amongst other accounts I had before me, at the time of writing this letter, I shall select one, as it is un­dersigned by persons in a public station, who are well known, and I doubt not, if necessary, will attest the truth of the copy, of which I still have all the original accounts in my possession.


Please to pay Deacon Wm. Doliber or order, seventeen pounds four shillings and six pence, it being the amount of the charges of Wm. Meserve Phillips's, having the small-pox in this town, as per account above, and you'll oblige your humble servants,

  • James Mugford,
  • St. Phillips,
  • Edward Fettyplace,
  • William Doliber,
To John Morgan, Director-General.

[Page 42] To gratify the curiosity of such who may wish to know some of the principal articles of those charges, I have se­lected them from the several accounts, and classed them as follows.

To N. Demen for 19 Day's Attendance in Nursing, at 2-thirds of a Dollar per Day,£. 3160 
To Elizabeth Smith's Account of ditto,280 
To Richard Tarr's for do. at Pest-House, i. e. S. P. Hosp.534 
 £. 1174 
To Beef, Lamb, Mutton and Salt Pork, at 7d. l. m. p. lb.111102
To the Doctor for 4 visits, a vomit and six fever powders 811 
The other Articles, including New-England and other Rum, (to the amount of sixteen Quarts) Wine, BRAD FOR THE MUL [...]O [...] and Syrrup of SERFEN, Candles, &c.31642
Total amount (equal to 57 Dollars 2-6.)£. 1746 

From the Doctor's visits and accounts (which must be confessed to be very low) compared with the diet, salt pork, wine and rum, &c. it must appear how necessary such an expensive attendance was for a private soldier, in the small-pox, and what idea was entertained of the duty of a Director-General, if liable to pay such ac­counts.

I had also before me, at this time, a copy of the drafts of one regimental Surgeon at Cambridge, upon the store of the General Hospital, for above an hundred gallons, or an hogshead of rum; wine, loaf and brown sugar, and molasses in proportion; and to shew the extreme necessity, one pint of oatmeal was added to the list, being for one regiment only; all within the space of about six weeks; and yet there was no return made of the sick, but all de­manded on the faith of an order, signed by a regimental Surgeon or Mate.

I shall here likewise, remark, that, when after regi­mental Surgeons were repeatedly called upon, by general orders, to make reports of the state of the sick, although many of them never complied at all with those orders, [Page 43] amongst those who did make their returns, some indivi­duals reported above an hundred, each. But when Doctor Foster, then Surgeon in the General hospital, attended, by my directions, to visit, in particular, Col. Parsons's regiment, of which the Surgeon was suddenly taken ill, in order to receive such as were proper objects, into the General hospital; on calling over the list by name to examine their cases, there were but few of them, who were not found, and did not acknowledge them­selves, to be fit for duty.

In some returns, of which I took care to keep the ori­ginals, forty waiters and upwards were included on the sick list, to exempt so many from duty. Some regimen­tal Surgeons made a practice of selling recommendations to furloughs and discharges; for which only one, out of the number supposed to merit that distinction, was drummed out of the army, for such mean and scanda­lous practices Had all who deserved it, met the same reward, it would have reduced the list very considerably. Cordials and refreshments were drawn by others, from the stores of the General hospital, which by the parts some of the officers took in supporting the unreasonable demands of those men, gave room for many to believe they shared in the plunder themselves.

Is it any wonder, on being repeatedly informed of these particulars, that I put a total stop to the unauthoriz­ed practice of the regimental Surgeons drawing stores from the General hospital, without obliging them to be accountable for the same? Is it a matter of surprize that regimental Surgeons and officers of that cast, should manifest a declared enmity against one, who contravened their shameful measures; or that they should have in­fluence with some of the privates, in concert with whom they preyed on the vitals of the publick, to declaim against the General hospital, whilst those who were pro­per objects for it, and had once experienced the benefit of that institution, were glad to have recourse to it, as often as they stood in need?

[Page 44] When the estimate of hospital expences was so very low, and such oeconomy, for I may not call it parsimony, was manifested in the pay allowed to the hospital officers by former resolves of Congress, so different from the generous munificence of the present day, that four dollars per month, was then thought a sufficiency for the hospi­tal store-keepers. [Great proof of its being the inten­tion of Congress, that they should issue stores, to the amount of many hundred thousand dollars per annum, to regimental Surgeons;] is it any wonder that I would not suffer regimental Surgeons to draw, ad libitum, for whatever their unbounded appetites and fancies craved from the General hospital; or, when I discovered so many arts, put in practice, to defraud the publick, that I would pay no accounts of soldiers, out of the hospital, contracted without my knowledge, and out of the sphere of my department? Had I allowed myself to be drawn into this snare, who can tell what limits they would have set to their growing demands? Some large accounts of private practitioners, were brought to me; from more than an hundred miles distance. Some of them had charged near five pounds, a day, for attendance on com­mon soldiers, who ailed but little. Had I passed those accounts would it not have been at the risk of my own reputation? but why mention reputation? Have I not suffered more obloquy from the malignity of such men, on account of saving prodigious sums to the Continent, with great toil, but no possible advantage to myself, than some others for engulphing the public monies? Such are the rewards of care and exactness in business to serve one's country; glorious pledges of liberty! when offi­cers of rank are to be forced from their stations, to make way for undermining and ambitious men, on their partial representations, without any hearing! oh fortunatos [...]imium, sua si bona no [...]int agricol [...]e!

[Page 45] (b) The want of sufficient assistance from other de­partments was attended with many and great inconve­niences. For example, When it was thought necessary to establish a General hospital above Kingsbridge, in the neighbourhood of that wing of the army commanded by Major-General HEATH, in October, after the proper places were pitched upon for that design, I called upon the Deputy-Quarter-Master-General for workmen and materials, to put the several houses in order, to build chimnies, to construct births, and to make suitable apart­ments for the sick and wounded. The Q. M. General being then at Philadelphia, the D. Q. M. General in­formed me that every carpenter and mason under his direction in the army were engrossed, and could not be taken off from their present employ. He advised me to make application to General HEATH, for an order, to obtain as many of the militia, or other soldiers who were proper workmen, to be drafted from their respective re­giments under his command, as would suffice for the present occasion. I sent to General HEATH for this purpose. The answer I received was, that the General did not chuse to meddle with any thing to be done in the Quarter-Master-Generals department. When General MIFFLIN, Quarter-Master-General, returned some time after from Philadelphia, where he was then gone, I pro­cured an order from him on his Deputy, for a dozen carpenters and masons; but they could not be spared from other business; and not one was sent to me all the time I remained on York-Island, from the biginning of October, to the time of my going over to Hackinsack, after the middle of the month, when the army began to retreat to the White Plains.

The same thing happened frequently at other times and places particularly at North Castle; when, after ear­nest applications made by myself and the Surgeons of the General hospital, to that department, and orders were given by the Quarter-Master-General himself, or his Deputy, on the Commander of the Artificers, they could [Page 46] not be procured, it being always declared that all hands were engaged by prior orders, for other purposes of the army. I do not mention these difficulties with a view to reflect upon, either the Quarter-Master-General, or his Deputy. Men of greater activity, or greater abili­ties for the respective posts, I do not imagine can be produced: Nor were they wanting in inclination to give me all the assistance they were capable of affording. But if they had it not in their power, still the inconve­niences were no less on account of that inclination; yet was I to suffer, and be blamed for wants which neither the whole army, nor perhaps the Congress itself; at least no other persons were capable of making a timely provision for, and to be answerable, as it would seem for all the misfortunes of the campaign?

When I was at Hackinsack I was expressly forbidden by the General, to draft any workmen from the army. My whole dependence was placed on such as I could meet with in the country, and which I ought to have had from the Quarter-Master-General's department; few were to be found in the neighbourhood of the army, when affairs went on otherwise than prosperously. Nor had I any company or guards allotted to me, for any purposes of the General Hospital, when I first went to Hackinsack, and men were wanting to go after provisions and for other necessaries, besides waiting on the sick and wounded, that were hourly brought in great numbers, without any per­sons whatever to attend them.

Once, indeed, when the sick became very numerous, about ten days before the retreat from New-York, and when I stood in greater need than usual, of an increase of labourers and waiters in the General Hospital, and there were no men to be had in the city, who were will­ing to engage in that service, after repeated applications for that purpose, it was given out in general orders, that fifty men should be drafted from the line, who were al­lotted to that duty. No day passed without making per­sonal application myself, to the officers appointed to di­rect [Page 47] the performance [...] his order, yet a week passed be­fore it was complied with. When the men were parad­ed, and marched to the New-York college, to receive their orders from me, at what hospitals they were to be employed, and how to be disposed of, they declared they would not remain there. They said they were cheated, having been told they were ordered for quite a different duty. I reasoned with them, and shewed the necessity there was of their help, promised to make their services as easy and agreeable to them as possible, and to allow them each a gill of rum per day, if they behaved well, and threatened them, if they left me, to report them as guilty of disobeying the General's orders. They feigned acquiescence. Yet, by next day, most of them had de­serted from the hospital, and returned to their companies, although, besides the sick, there were near one hundred wounded to attend. Such was the discipline of the army at that time. Before I could take any step to have these men called to account, I was ordered over to Newark, to provide accommodations for the sick at that place, in the midst of which, great part of the remaining Waiters, and some of the Nurses left the hospital.

AS the following letters, selected from a number of others, written by me, to different members of Congress, on the business of my department, bear testimony to the pains I took to give full and timely information to that Body, of the state of the sick in the General hospital and the army, of the deficiencies and inconveniences both la­boured under, for want of suitable regulations, and of what supplies were wanting, in time for affording more effectual relief, at least in many instances, had that in­formation been duly attended to by Congress, I need not make any apology for publishing them in this place, at full length, and in their original dress I am not sure, if I were to give only extracts, o [...] an abridgment of them, that it would be satisfactory. If they appear rather pro­lix to the reader, I must beg leave to inform him, [...], it was for want of leisure they [...] [Page 48] nor did I expect at the time they were written, that I should ever think it necessary to print them. Besides, in business of so much importance, I imagine it will be considered as a less fault, to be minute and particular, and even to repeat the same things, in the hurry of writ­ing, than to give so cursory a relation, as to fail of an­swering the design of affording full information of what­ever falls under the writer's notice, that may inform those in office of the true state of his department, and be any further inducement to them, than they already have, to exert themselves, in giving all the timely assistance that is needful, to remedy every want, or remove every incon­venience under which it labours.

On my arrival from Cambridge, at New-York, the latter end of May, 1776, I found several orders, drawn upon me, from the Northern Army, for supplies of medicines and instruments, and particularly for a large supply of medicines from Doctor Stringer, Director in that department. I heard from a number of officers, of great rank, who were just returned from Philadelphia, that Congress expected me, as Director General, to or­der the necessary supplies of Hospital stores, for the Northern department. I had received no such orders. As I thought proper regulations were wanting, to ascer­tain the respective limits of authority, intended by Con­gress to be vested in myself, and the several Directors, I requested leave to go to Philadelphia, to obtain an audience of a committee of Congress, on that subject, which I obtained. I left proposals of several regula­tions with that committee, for introducing order into the different branches of the General Hospital depart­ment. Amongst others, I proposed that the several Directors and Superintendants of Hospitals, should be ordered and impowered to provide their respective de­partments with Hospital stores, without depending on me for supplies; it being impossible for me, circum­stanced as I was, to answer their demands. Nothing was determined till a month afterwards. In the mean [Page 49] while, upon my return to New-York, Doctor Potts, who had a separate charge of certain Hospitals, which were to be established to the Northward, applyed to me for the appointment of Surgeons and other Hospital officers to act under him, and for a farther supply of medicines, than he had yet obtained. He expressed it as his opinion, that he was obliged, in duty, to look to me for assistance, and said he should depend upon me only, as head of the department, for every thing of which he should stand in need. At the same time, Doctor Lind, applied to me for medicines, for General Sullivan's army, on which, I wrote the following Let­ter.

TO THE HONORABLE SAMUEL ADAMS, Esq Member of the Medical Committee of Congress.


THE state of the army in Canada, according to Dr. Lind's account, (who is just arrived from thence, by order of General Sullivan, for a supply of medicines,) is truly deplorable. I have seen no return of the sick, but he assures me, that in the beginning of this month, there were no less than 1800 men down with the small-pox; and the total of sick and unfit for duty, amounted to 3,300 men; and he says, they have no medicines: Such a report is scarcely credible, but you may learn the particulars, yourself, from him, as he intends going to Philadelphia.

General Gates sets out to-morrow, to take the com­mand of the army in Canada. Dr. Potts will accom­pany [Page 50] him. I have therefore given orders to supply him, from the General Hospital, with a large chest of such medicines as I can best spare; and which can be got ready to-morrow before his departure. Upon looking into Dr. Potts's commission, I find he is appointed Physician and Surgeon in the department of Canada; but whether it be of a regiment, or in the Hospital, is not specified; nor does it shew whether it is the inten­tion of Congress, to vest him with the power of a Director, in the General Hospital: Nor can I learn, what appointment Dr. Stringer has, or what is the na­ture of his commission.

From all I am able to learn, every thing in the medi­cal department, in Canada, displays one scene of con­fusion and anarchy: Nor have the Congress taken upon itself, to establish, or vested any person whatever, with a power sufficient to establish a General Hospital in Ca­nada.

The Congress cannot, in my humble opinion, be too speedy in determining what steps are to be taken for this purpose, and for settling a due subordination amongst the Surgeons there. It would be of particular use, that the intentions of Congress were made known in re­spect to Dr. Stringer and Dr. Potts, whether either of them is to be considered as Director, by appointment of Congress, and which of them; or whether they are both to be looked upon as Surgeons depending on, and acting by instructions from me. I have never seen Dr. Stringer's commission. In either case, they will require more help than they have at present; and in the latter, I suppose I ought to have the appointment of three or four more Hospital Surgeons, an Apothecary, and a sufficiency of Mates in that department, without dim [...] ­nishing the number I have allowed me for the army at New-York, as I have none here that are superfluous. Other officers, as a Storekeeper, Stewart and Matron, are also wanted in Canada, with Nurses and occasional Labourers. Whatever is determined on, in respect to [Page 51] these matters, I should be glad to know immediately: Till then, my hands are tied up, and the army suffering for want of help. I am not sure that our disgrace and misfortunes in Canada are not owing, in a great mea­sure, to the shameful proceedings of the Surgeons, in spreading the small-pox by innoculation, amongst the sol­diery, in face of the enemy. Instead of innoculating the soldiery, under like circumstances before Boston, General Washington, upon my representation, conti­nued to keep in pay a Surgeon and Mate, to attend all that fell ill of the small-pox. A Hospital was fixed for their reception only, in a retired place, and a guard set round it, and all communication betwixt it and the ar­my was cut off; and so soon as any one was seized with the infection, of whatever rank, he was sent to the small-pox Hospital. By this means, every inconvenien­cy, arising from the appearance of the small-pox, was prevented, and the army effectually secured from dan­ger, from that quarter.

Had there been a General Hospital in Canada, there would have been better orders, and some subordination observed, which is now wholly wanting; and it is to be feared, that whilst the Congress, occupied in a mul­tiplicity of weighty concerns, can proceed but slowly on this matter, the opportunity may be lost. Rather than postpone, however, so important a concern, would it not be right to place full confidence and power in a pro­per person, capable to arrange these matters, as they ought to be, with ample authority for the purpose, ra­ther than suffer a loss of men, to the discouragement of the whole army, for want of a due provision being made for the sick and wounded.

If the Congress will six on the means and manner of establishing a General Hospital at Canada, it will ease me of much trouble; but if they are not at leisure, or not sufficiently acquainted with what is the proper manner, and will order me to do it for them, giving me such power as they think adequate, I will do the best I can, [Page 52] to effect this desirable end immediately. Excuse, Sir, my dwelling so earnestly on this subject; it is of the ut­most consequence to the service, and delays are danger­ous. I cannot expect to receive instructions, on this matter, from General Washington; he supposes, that I understand the affairs of this department, and relies wholly on me for every thing which relates to it. But I neither durst, nor will I presume, to meddle in affairs, out of my province, or that are beyond the sphere, in which I suppose, I was designed originally, by Congress, to move.—Such, I imagine, is the arrangement of Hospital affairs, in Canada, and the undertaking to supply the Surgeons there with what is necessary for a General Hospital, without fresh instructions, or more ample power than I now have, either from the Con­gress or Commander in Chief, as my commission directs me to look to them, for orders.

I wait, impatiently, for an order from Congress, to impower me to demand such a proportion of the Con­tinental medicines, left in the care of Messieurs De Lan­cy and Smith, as they may think fit to allot for this de­partment. In determining that proportion, they will please to consider (if we can trust to Dr. Lind's account) that there is not an article of medicine in Canada, in the hands of any Surgeon on that expedition.

June 26, 1776. Since writing the above, Dr. Potts having received a supply of medicines, from the Gene­ral Hospital store, Dr. Lind has set off with General Gates and him, for Canada.

I remain, with great esteem, SIR, Your most obedient, and very humble servant, JOHN MORGAN.
[Page 53]

☞ This may certify, that I remember to have heard Doctor MORGAN read the foregoing letter in July, 1776, together with several others, upon the subject of the General Hospital and Regimental Surgeons, all inculcating the immediate necessity of putting them upon a proper foot­ing.

JOHN WARREN, Hospital Surgeon.

BEFORE I proceed to exhibit a copy of the next letter, which I wrote to Congress, it will not be im­proper to inform the reader of the occasion of it.

Having been returned from Philadelphia, about a fortnight after my conference with the Medical Com­mittee of Congress, in which I had set forth my insuf­ficiency, without farther powers and instructions to answer all the calls daily made on me, in an extensive and unsettled department; and, having received no or­ders or directions from Congress, all this while, in an­swer to my application for that purpose: A powerful fleet and army from Great-Britain, intended for the re­duction of New-York, being likewise already arrived on the coast; and having prepared every thing in my de­partment that was in my power. I then considered the unsettled state of the regimental Surgeons in order to bring them, by degrees, into greater regularity, and to make them more useful in case of action, as many of them had but newly entered the service, and most of them, from want of experience, were yet novices in the duties of a military Surgeon I thought it advisea­ble to give them some instructions which might [...] their minds to a sense of what duty was [...] them, as regimental Surgeons, in time of action [...] it could not be supposed, was very distant, [...] drew up the following directions and [...] them to the General.—He approved of [...] of the day; and commanded the several [...] [Page 54] of Regiments to wait upon me for copies, and to regu­late themselves according to the proposed plan.

Each Surgeon was allowed a copy, and commonly, at the same time, I gave him an order on the Apothe­cary, of the General Hospital, for a medicine chest, for every Battalion, which he also obtained, if he was not already provided, together with a number of bandages and tourniquets and a quantity of lint, tow, and old linnen, for chirurgical dressings.


IT is proposed by the Director-General, and or­dered by his Excellency the Commander in Chief, That the Regimental Surgeons and Mates may be the better prepared for the discharge of their duty, in case of action, to hold themselves in immediate and constant readiness for service; and, in the first place, to make a return to the Director General of the Hospital, of their names and stations, and of the instruments and ban­dages, &c. they have at hand, agreeable to the follow­ing FORM, viz.

[Page 55]

A REGIMENTAL Return of Surgeon's Instruments and Bandages, &c. now in Readiness for immediate Service, belong­ing to Colonel—'s Regiment, in Brigadier General—'s Brigade, en­camped at—, July 3, 1776.
Names of the Sur­geon and Mate, and the dates of their commission.Instruments [...] for use.Number & kind of Bandages &c. Ligatures, &c.Old Linnen and other Implements.
Surgeon-Mate.Amputating Instruments. Trepanning, do. Incision knives. Pocket Instru­ments. Bullet Forceps. Crooked needles Strait do. Pins.Simple [...] Double do. F [...]iated ban­dages. Splints. Tourniquets. Ligatures. Tape. Thread. [...] of old Linnen [...] weight of Rags. Weight or Quantity of Lint, Tow, &c. Spunge. (Place to be signed by the Surgeon.)

AS the General Hospital will not admit of the Hos­pital Surgeons and Mates being divided, or detached from the places where the General Hospital is fixed, and may require occasional assistance from the Regimental Surgeons, in case of many wounded being sent to it, in order that the Hospital and Regimental Surgeons may concur, at this time, to render their mutual ser­vices more effectual and extensive, the following regu­lations are to be observed for the present, and till any change of circumstances may require an alteration.

Part of the General Hospital is now fixed at Long-Island, for the reception of sick and wounded persons, whose cases may require it; which JOHN WARREN, Esq Surgeon in the General Hospital is appointed to superintend and direct, with the assistance of three [Page 56] Hospital Mates, and such other Regimental Surgeons and Mates, belonging to that part of the army stationed at Long-Island, as may be required. In case of evident necessity, arising from an attempt being made on Fort Defiance, (afterwards called Fort Washington,) two of the Hospital [...], with Doctor M'Henry now at Mont e [...]or Island, and whom he is to superintend and direct, are to repair to that post, with a proper assort­ment of instruments and bandages The remainder of the Surgeons and Mates of the General Hospital, are to continue at King's-College, and New-York Hospital, for the reception and care of such wounded as are sent to them, from what ever part. It being the duty of the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, in case of action, in the field, to attend the Corps to which they belong, in order to dress the wounded in battle; they are to take post in the rear of the troops engaged in action, at the distance of three, four, or five hundred yards behind some convenient hill, if at hand, there to dress the wounded, who require to be dressed, on or near the field of battle If the Regiment or Corps to which they belong, are engaged within a fort, or lines thrown up for defence, that fort or place of defence, is then the proper station for the Regimental Surgeons: But as a Regiment may be divided, and distributed into different posts, so as to render it impracticable for the Regiment­al Surgeon and Mate, belonging to that Regiment, to be near some parts of their Corps, it is necessary that, an account of the number of Surgeons and Mates, in any Brigade, or any division of the army, that occupies one or more detached posts, be taken, and delivered to the Commanding Officer of said posts or division. It is to be considered as the duty of each Regimental Sur­geon and Mate respectively, wherever stationed, to re­gard himself, as having a joint charge of the whole Bri­gade, with the rest of the Surgeons of that Brigade, rather than as if his care was to be confined only to those officers and soldiers who are of the Regiment to [Page 57] which he belongs. It must unavoidably happen, at times, that both officers and soldiers may be wounded in action, and their particular Surgeons be elsewhere employed, so as not to be able to attend them. The amputation of a limb, or performance of any capital operation, cannot well take place in the heat of a brisk action: It is seldom possible, or requisite. What the Surgeon has chiefly to attend to in cases of persons be­ing much wounded in the field of battle, is to stop any flux of blood, either by tourniquet, ligature, lint and compress, or a suitable bandage, as the case may require; to remove any extraneous body from the wound; to re­duce fractured bones; to apply proper dressings to wounds; taking care on the one hand, not to bind up the parts too tightly, so as to injure the blood's circu­lation, increase inflammation, and excite a fever; or so loosely, as to endanger the wounds bleeding afresh, or to allow broken bones, after they are properly set, to be again displaced. The wounded being thus dressed by the Regimental Surgeons, are next to be removed to the nearest Hospital belonging to the Brigade, or to the General Hospital, as may be most convenient.

As the General Hospital may at times, be fully croud­ed with sick persons, or in the time of action, so many wounded may be sent there, as to require a greater number of hands, than that part of the General Hospi­tal, where many of the wounded are sent, is furnished with, it may be absolutely necessary for the superintend­ing Surgeon, besides the proportion allowed him, from the General Hospital, to call for the assistance of a num­ber of Surgeons and Mates, from the Brigade, division or part of the army where he is, either before an en­gagement, or, when the number of wounded persons sent to him becomes very great, making such assistance needful. For this purpose, he is to apply to the Com­mander of that Brigade, or part of the army, who is hereby ordered to send him as many Regimental Sur­geons [Page 58] and Mates, for that purpose, as are required, and can be spared from their posts.

To prevent confusion, and that the Regimental Sur­geons may know the better what part of duty is expect­ed from them, some one, at least, of the Surgeons, es­pecially those fixed at out posts, are directed, as soon as possible, to call upon and arrange matters, in time, with the Hospital Surgeons nearest at hand, in behalf of the Brigade, or Corps acting together, that no disorder may arise, in time of action, for want of so necessary a pre­caution. The Regimental Surgeons ought to call on the officers of the Corps to which they belong, to settle with them, what persons are to be employed in carrying off the wounded, and for a supply of wheel-barrows, or other more convenient biers, for conveying them from the field of battle, to the place appointed for reception of the wounded, or General Hospital. Each Regiment­al Surgeon and Mate ought to have a portable box, with suitable divisions for containing his lint, bandages, in­struments, and other implements of Surgery, which ought to be well provided with every necessary.

In applying a common tourniquet to stop the flow of blood, from any principal artery in a limb, till it can be otherwise properly secured, care must be taken not to twist it too tightly about the limb; and to prevent the tourniquet from slipping, so as to endanger a fresh loss of blood, it must be fastened with a ligature of thread or tape.

JOHN MORGAN, Director-General.

IN consequence of the foregoing plan and orders, some reports were made, although [...]y came in but slowly. Near a fortnight passed over before I received them from more than fifteen Regimental Surgeons: It is to be ascribed, if not to that backwardness which the Regimental Surgeons ever shewed to complying with [Page 59] General Orders, perhaps, to a conscious shame of being entirely destitute of any necessary articles, but what they had been previously indulged to draw from the General Hospital: Some of them, whom I afterwards met, and inquired into the cause of their neglect, con­fessed this to be the truth. As my intention in desiring those reports to be made to me, was, to lay them be­fore the General and Congress, with remarks on their insufficiency, that the Medical Committee might be in­cited to use more diligence, than heretofore, to fall on some measures for supplying the Regimental Surgeons, with every necessary to qualify them for greater useful­ness in their station. I drew up, from the separate re­ports delivered to me, one general return of the state of the abovementioned fifteen Regiments. All the in­struments were reported to be private property, and amounted to six sets of amputating instruments, two of trepanning ditto, fifteen cases of pocket instruments, seventy-five crooked, and six strait needles. Amongst the whole fifteen Surgeons, there were only four scalp­els or incision knives, for dilating of wounds, or any other purpose; three pair of forceps, for extracting bullets; half a paper and seventy pins; and but few bandages, ligatures or tourniquets, and as little old lin­nen, lint or tow, but what they had procured from the General Hospital; and only two ounces of spunge in all. Amazing deficiency for fifteen Surgeons, and as many Mates!

Upon inquiry how they could think of marching with their Regiments, without providing, at least, old linnen for dressings; or of joining the army, without the ne­cessary instruments, as, if ever they reflected at all, they must be sensible of the impropriety of so doing, and of its being much easier for each man, to procure those ar­ticles, within the sphere of his acquaintance, connex­ions or neighbourhood, than to obtain them in an ar­my, in general, destitute of necessary supplies, of what was not to be procured in America, but with great dif­ficulty. [Page 60] Their constant answer was, whenever they applied to their superior officers for those things, they were always told, they would be furnished with every thing they wanted, so soon as they should have joined the army. Upon being informed that I had only a suf­ficiency of those articles for the use of the General Hospital, and that I would by no means unfurnish it, to supply them, they appeared quite confounded, and expressed great uneasiness, [...] having no proper estab­lishment; and said, they knew not how, or where to obtain the necessary articles, to be any ways useful in the army, if I did not assist them.

As I was not ignorant of the many inconveniencies, under which they had hitherto laboured, from a want of attention in the Congress to relieve, or place them on a better footing, and as I felt for their distress, I as­sured them of my readiness to assist them, all in my power, consistently with my proper duty, and the or­ders I had, or should receive from Congress. I advised them to meet in a body; to converse on the matter with each other; and then chuse one or more Deputies, from each Brigade, to state their helpless situation, and pray for relief; in which I was willing to second their application, with all the influence of which I was master.

As they complained much of not being allowed pro­per Regimental Hospitals, and, as I had, in opposition to what always appeared to me to be the sentiments, both of the Congress and General, ever uniformly given it as my opinion, that Regimental Surgeons and Regimental Hospitals, under proper regulations, and due subordination to the General Hospital, might be ve­ry useful, I took that matter under my consideration. I likewise drew up a memorial, and proposals, to be shewn to the General, for his approbation and concurrence, to be laid before Congress. At the same time, I penned for the use of the Regimental Surgeons, a form, and directions for keeping a proper register of the sick, and [Page 61] for making every kind of necessary returns of sick, provisions, &c. also tables of the various kinds of diet, used in the General Hospital, as an example for them­selves, to copy after, under the heads of full diet, half diet, low diet, milk diet and fever diet, with the me­thod of calculating the differences betwixt these, and the amount of the well rations; to enable them to draw the value of the difference, whether in cash or refresh­ments, but for the use of the sick only: And I shewed them a list of what instruments, bandages, ligatures, lint, tow, old linnen and other articles, I esteemed ne­cessary for a Regiment; which I shall subjoin to the substance of the memorial and petition to Congress, and the proposals I had sketched out for their con­sideration.

At the first meeting I had with them, by appointment, to confer on these several particulars, before I produced the papers referred to, I addressed them in these words, which I had written, and of which I kept the original.



I HAVE, with all the care and attention in my pow­er, taken into consideration, the state of the Regi­mental Surgeons, with a view to getting them provided with Regimental Hospitals, and pointing out the means for their being, in future, supplied with the usual requi­sites, for the more easy, more regular, and more exten­sive discharge of the duties annexed to their station. To answer this end, I have considered what is within our power, as matters now stand, and what we are to aim at, for further improvement; and have, by a train of reflexions on the subject, been led, in the first place, to propose certain regulations which appear to me to be both salutary and practicable, if they meet with your [Page 62] concurrence; for which I shall submit them to your hearing and strictures, for correction and amendment. If we can agree in them, it will be one step gained, and may serve as a foundation, on which to proceed, in smoothing every difficulty that may still remain, to­wards forming a more perfect plan, or model of oecono­my, in the conducting of Military Hospitals, and pro­viding for the sick and wounded.

The next step which I apprehend we have to take, is to apply to Congress for an immediate supply of chi­rurgical instruments and bandages, for the Regimental Surgeons, and for its approbation of the proposed re­gulations, as well as that of the Commander in Chief; that those regulations may have a proper authority to rest upon, for their sanction and support; and, 3dly, to suggest such others, as may be still more useful, in future, should the continuance of the war make any further regulations necessary.

J. M.


Sets forth, THAT when troops were assembled in haste, at the first breaking out of the war, Regimental Surgeons were appointed to ac­company them, provided with medicine chests, from the different parts of the country, where they were raised, at a Colonial expence.—That when it became a common cause of the whole continent, and provision was made, by Congress, for the care of the sick and wounded of the army, by the establishment of a Gene­ral [Page 63] Hospital, with a Director General, four Surgeons and twenty Mates, there was no mention of the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, nor any provision made for them, either of medicines, instruments, or other necessaries; yet they were kept in pay.—That, in this situation, al­though it might be presumed the Hospital Surgeons and Mates, appointed to take care of the sick and wounded, were scarcely sufficient to attend so great a number of patients as an unhealthy season, or an active campaign might produce; yet the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, for want of a suitable provision, must, in their present situation, be very useless; although they were so much more numerous than the Hospital Sur­geons and Mates, and always professed an ardent de­sire of being properly employed, and of answering the design of their appointment.—That not knowing where else to look for relief, they had applied to the Director-General, who assured them of his inclination to serve them; but having no orders to issue out supplies to them, and it being unusual for Regimental Surgeons to depend upon the General Hospital for all they wanted, he had advised them to make application to the Com­mander in Chief, or Congress, for establishing a proper method to obtain supplies, promising to second their applications, with the warmest representations from himself—That it was with his advice, the present me­morial was drawn up, to lay before Congress.—That he had given them several meetings, and a set of proposals were agreed upon, as regulations, provided they met with the approbation of Congress, which were inclosed for consideration; praying for such relief on [...]he pre­misses, as to the wisdom of Congress should seem meet.

[Page 64]

REGULATIONS proposed by the Director-General of the Hospital; and agreed upon with the Regimental Sur­geons, to be laid before CONGRESS FOR THEIR DETERMINATION upon them.

1st. THAT the Regimental Surgeons apply to the Quarter-Master-General, and obtain from him, or the Barrack-Master, by an order from him, some proper quarters convenient for the situation of each Brigade, by the name of Regimental or Brigade Hos­pitals.

2d. That the said Hospitals be furnished from the Quarter-Master General's department, with necessary utensils and Hospital furniture, according to a list of enumerated particulars.

3d. That the Regimental Surgeons be supplied, in future, by Continental Druggists, with medicines, in­struments and old linnen for bandages, and necessary dressings.

4th. That they shall report to the Director-General, or Surgeons of the General Hospital, all such sick pa­tients of their Regiments, who are proper objects; making use of every possible precaution, to guard against crowding the Hospital with putrid cases, that require fresh air for recovery of the sick, least hospital, ma­lignant, or pestilential diseases be excited, to the great devastation and ruin of the army.

5th. That they shall keep an exact register of the sick, in which they shall enter the names of the pa­tients, the companies to which they belong, the disor­ders they labour under, the times of their admission, or being considered as unfit for duty; with the times and event of their diseases, of recovery, death, or dis­mission.

6th. That they make proper reports, extracted from [Page 65] said register, to accompany every person they recom­mend to the General hospital, with an account of the patients case, and previous treatment, and what cloath­ing is sent with each patient, certified by the Surgeon or Mate, and signed also by a commissioned officer.

7. That they make daily returns to the Quarter-Master or Adjutant of the regiment; of the sick belonging to that regiment, who are unfit for duty, whether remain­ing under their own care, or sent to the General hospi­tal, that no soldiers may be exempted from duty, as sick men, that are not borne on the Doctor's list; and that no rations be drawn for them, amongst the effective men, whilst they are drawn for with the sick, whether in the General or regimental hospitals.

8. That they make weekly returns of the sick from their registers, both in the General hospital, and regi­mental, or brigade hospitals, as well to the Director-General, as to the Commandant of the regiment or bri­gade, that a true state of the sick of the whole army may be made out, to lay before the Commander in chief, and to be transmitted to Congress, weekly.

9. That agreeable to the sick list returned to the Director General, the regimental Surgeons be intitled to draw from the General hospital, for the sick remaining un­der their care, any articles they may chuse, agreeable to the various diet tables made use of for the patients of the General hospital; and whatever other stores or re­freshments they chuse, with which the General hospital is supplied, to the full amount of their rations. If they require more from the General hospital, the sick are to be sent to the General hospital.

10. That the Colonels of regiments be allowed to draw monies for defraying any extraordinary or incidental charges of regimental hospitals, and for such articles as are not to be got in the store of the General hospital, nor in the commissarial, or Quarter-Master's department, and an account of the disbursements to be settled, with the weekly or monthly abstract of the regiment.

[Page 66] 11. That the state of the several regimental or brigade hospitals, of the sick, and of the medicine chests, be sub­ject to examination, from time to time, of the Director-General, or such hospital Surgeons as he shall appoint to that duty.

12. That in all things, not particularly ascertained in these regulations, the usage of the British and other armies be followed, till otherwise directed, as far as is consistent with the good of the service.

THE foregoing, as nearly as I can recollect, is the sub­stance of the memorial and proposals agreed upon. I remember the import well. If it differs materially, it is in the power of the regimental Surgeons to shew the difference, by printing the orginial papers. I gave my drafts thereof to them, which they considered, and pro­posed some alterations, that I convinced them could not be adopted. They acquiesced in the reasons I gave. I then made some small emendations in the copies, which, with the alterations and interlineations in my own hand writing, are still in possession of Doctor Story, late Sur­geon of Colonel Little's regiment; one of those who were present at the conference. It is not long since I called on him for a copy of both the memorial and proposals. He promised to let me have them; but af­terwards, being void of honour, broke his word, for which he would assign no other reason, than that he did not know what use I should make of them to his disadvantage, though I told him, before my design of publishing them, and that I wished to have the original papers before me, or exact copies of them, that I might not be charged with any misrepresentation to the pub­lick; which, by communicating them to me, it was in his power to prevent. But this is not the only instance of meanness, joined with insolence of behaviour, which I have had occasion to publish to the world, and which I have yet to produce, to delineate the cha­ [...]r of this shameless man.

[Page 67]

LETTER SECOND. TO MESSIEURS SAMUEL ADAMS, Esquire, And the rest of the Medical Committee of Congress.


HAVING put the General hospital on a good footing at New-York, and provided it with a pretty considerable stock of what it may stand in need of (as a general hospital) I have thought it my duty to turn my attention to the regimental Surgeons. Their situation, ever since I have been in the army, has been such as to require a great deal of regulation.

If I were to confine myself to the true and proper business of Director General of the hospital, I should have very little concerns with them as regimental Sur­geons, according to the plan of the British establishment. It would be principally confined to the receiving such sick from them, into the General hospital, as they could not take care of themselves; to assist in the examination of such as offered themselves candidates for the places of Surgeons and Mates; and to give orders to them to sup­ply themselves with proper medicinal chests, for each regiment, and all the instrnments and implements neces­sary for them to be provided with, and see it done. The making provision of those articles should depend on themselves; but they ought to be supplied with the means, whether by an allowance of money adequate to the provision, or by a stoppage from the mens pay.

I found them, upon enquiry, destitute of every arti­cle, whether of medicines, instruments, bandages or other implements of surgery; and not knowing where to provide what was necessary, or who to look to for assistance.

[Page 68] With a view to promote the service all that lay in my power, I have attempted to bring them together, to exa­mine into the state of their wants; to point out what they ought to be furnished with; to direct them where to look for supplies; and to bring them under some proper regulations.

To answer these several purposes, I began, by request­ing the General to issue out orders for each Surgeon, to make a return of what medicines he had on hand. To my sorrow, I must say it, excepting two or three Regiments, the stock of all the Regiments at Cam­bridge put together, would scarcely have made one good chest. I procured all I could get at Boston, and have, from thence, and from some purchases of shops at Sa­lem and some articles I got at Newport, Norwich and New-York, furnished Regimental chests to all the Re­gimental Surgeons, who have hitherto applied, to the amount of near twenty; and am still furnishing all the new regiments that daily come in.

In the next place, I sketched out a plan of conduct, for the Surgeons of Regiments in case of action, of which the General approved, and gave out in orders, that they should attend, and take directions from me, on that head*. At the same time, I desired a re­port to be delivered in, of their Surgeons instruments, and bandages fit for use, agreeable to a form give them for the purpose. Fifteen Regimental Surgeons made their returns accordingly; from which I have drawn up one general return, to shew the amount: I suppose them to be, at least, as well provided as any others, that have neglected to pay due attention to the order; and do find, that the Regiments now coming in have Surgeons and Mates, but not one article of medicine, or any thing in the way of Surgery, but all depend on me for supplies.

I have sketched out, what in my opinion, every Re­giment ought to be supplied with, in the way of instru­ments. [Page 69] By comparing this sketch, with the returns made for fifteen Regiments, the great want of every thing essential to them, as Surgeons, will be evident.

To make amends for their defect, I am well off in the Gen. Hospital, except in a few particulars. I have provided 10,000 bandages, have some hundred old sheets, and a stock of medicines (tho' unassorted;) I have of capi­tal instruments nearly enough for Hospital use. But, in the mean time, what is to become of the Regimental Surgeons? Should I divide my stores amongst them, they would be dissipated, and ourselves left destitute. To observe a medium. I have ordered to be issued from the General Hospital stores, 60 bandages, 2 sheets, 4 tourniquets, a quantity of lint and tow, and a chest of medicines, out of what I have collected with the as­sistance of the Hospital Surgeons and Mates, who bare no proportion, in number, to the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, (there being, perhaps, 40 Regiments here,) reserving the rest to supply that particular part of the army which may stand in most need: But of instru­ments, I have none to spare, and I begin to want some capital medicines.—Moreover, symptoms of a putrid fever begin to appear.

In this situation, I have called many of the Regi­mental Surgeons together; have had a conference with them; desired a deputation from each Brigade; have given them a plan of regulations for Regimental Hos­pitals, and a form of a memorial, or representation to Congress They all look to me, for supplies of every thing they want: I have no authority for that purpose. It is contrary to my judgment to supply them with all they want. To prove this, I refer you to all who know any thing of the matter. I refer you to Dr. Bass, in Philadelphia, who knows these matters as well as any man: I refer you to a copy of a letter, on this subject, from a man of experience, which I enclose*. I must not, I durst not transgress orders, or exceed my [Page 70] line of duty more than disobey, or go contrary to them. It is the same thing. I call for orders. I shall shrink from no fatigue: Say what is my duty, and to the best of my power, I will obey: But leave me not without orders Every General, every Colonel of a Regiment, every surgeon in the army think I have full power, and ample instructions, and know not where to apply for the relief of their men, if sick or wounded, and needing uncommon supplies, if I cannot afford them. It is a cruel situation. My errand to Philadelphia was to represent these things; to settle the channels of sup­ply; to obtain sufficient means, or authority sufficient to procure them. I am bound to a spot: Scarcely could I obtain permission to leave this place, for a few days, to come to Philadelphia, and lay these matters before you.

Again, I am pressed on the side of Canada. I have wrote pressingly on this subject. I have sent you a let­ter from Dr. Potts. He says, there are 3000 sick, coming to Albany. I have not received the least an­swer, or instruction from Congress; nor can I give any assistance to that part of the army, without orders or power. Let them give me orders, whether limited or ample, they shall be obeyed. I will answer for my conduct. But do not make me nominal Gen. Direct­or, and leave me, at the same time, a destitute, a help­less one. I have requested my proportion of the medi­cines in the hands of Messieurs Delaney and Smith, to be kept sar [...]ed, untouched, subject to my order: Per­haps it is too late to repeat the request.

I will inclose this, with a plan observed by the Bri­tish, in the conduct of their General and Regimental Hospitals; and papers to illustrate and support what I have written; sufficient to compile some rules, or form some orders. I beg instruments may be sent us, par­ticularly amputating; crooked needles and spunge. The enemy are at hand: The campaign is opening: I have done all my limited power will allow. I hope, [Page 71] though late, almost too late, yet that it is not altoge­ther so, either to receive power, instructions, or means to regulate the affairs of my department. I have done my duty, in giving the necessary information for what is connected with it, and in preparing for the faithful discharge of my trust. I now rest the matter on your determinations, being, with all possible regard,

Gentlemen, Your most dutiful and obedient Servant, JOHN MORGAN.

I remember to have heard Doctor MORGAN read this letter, about the month of July last, with seve­ral others on the subject to shew what he was then doing, to put the Regimental Surgeons on some better footing.

W. EUSTIS, Surgeon in the Gen. Hosp.
See that plan and orders of [...] Page 50.
See the next letter.

THE only letter I received from Mr. Adams, is dated August 5, in which he says: "I have received several letters from you, which I should have sooner acknowledged, if I could have found leisure. I took, however, the necessary steps, to have what you re­quested, effected in Congress."

THE letter from a gentleman originally consulted by Congress, on the establishment of the General Hos­pital, mentioned in the note, page 69; being the same with that to which I referred General WASH­INGTON, in my memorial page 6, is as follows:

[Page 72]



LAST week, I received yours, of the 1st inst. The Regimental Surgeons were never allowed medicines from the Hospital, unless their own happen­ed to be expended, from being long encamped in a part of the country, where none could possibly be got: And to prevent their being out of medicines, as much as possible, previous to their taking the field, their medicine chests were always examined, by order of the Commander in Chief, by the officers of the Hospital; to see they were provided with their proper stores for the service they were going upon, and a report was made to the Commander in Chief, accordingly.

When it was found proper to deliver them medicines, they were no more than might serve them till they went into quarters, or could be supplied from any neighbour­ing place. AS TO ANY OTHER STORES, I never knew them once thought of, or demanded.

Every Regiment had an Hospital to itself, for slight cases, which the Surgeon and his Mates took care of; the charges of which were always defrayed by the Re­giment.

The medicinal and chirurgical stores for the Hospi­tal were, for every campaign, fixed and ordered, the preceeding winter, by the Physicians, Apothecaries and Surgeons, in a joint consultation.

To give you our long lists of medicines, &c. ("on any expedition last war, as you request,") would avail you little at present, as many of the articles are not to [Page 73] be had; nay, I am certain, one half of them might, at any time, be left out: When you come to town, you shall see them; They are too long for a letter.

We always made our own bandages, splints, tourni­quets, &c. from old linnen, leather, &c. we sent out on purpose. We had never less than five hundred old sheets, and two or three hundred skins came out at once, which the Hospital Mates made into the different kinds of bandages, &c. in common use.

General Gates can inform you, that the estimates I gave in for the Hospital, including the pay of the offi­cers, were ten thousand pounds for the first six months, for ten thousand men, and in the same proportion for a larger number.

I am, Sir, Your most humble Servant, &c.

The following is a report of what instru­ments, bandages, ligatures, tow, &c. a Regimental Surgeon and Mate ought to have in readiness, for service, in case of action, for a Regiment, consisting of a thousand men; and so in proportion.

Instruments for Surgeon and Mate.Bandages, &c.Linnen, &c.
A set of amputating Instru­ments, consisting of at leastOf Bandages, Rol­lers, &c. of various kinds, at least 300.Six pair of old sheets, or rags equi­valent, for compress­es, &c.
A large knife, a saw with two blades, 2 [...] crooked needles, and a screw tourniquet.One or two dozen set [...] of splints, [...] dozen common tour­niquets, 3 ounces of thread, fo­ligatures, a peice or two of inch wide tape, 16 or 18 inches square of sadler's-leather, and a piece of sadler's inch wide girting.Lint, 2 or 3 pounds at least, 6 pounds of fine tow, 6 ounces of spunge.
A case of 6 incision knives, 2 sets of pocket instruments, 4 bullet forcipes, an artery forceps, 2 dozen strait needles, a paper of pins, a cases of lancets.Bandages, tourni­quets, splints, &c. should be made by the Surgeon and Mate.J. M. D. G.

IN the same packet, with the foregoing letter to the Medical Committee of Congress, page 67; I in­closed a variety of papers for their consideration, name­ly, copies of the instructions given to the Regimental Surgeons July the third, page 54; of their intended memorial to Congress, page 62; of the regulations proposed and agreed upon with them, for the allow­ance of Regimental Hospitals, page 64; of the pre­ceeding letter, from a gentleman at Philadelphia, very conversant in the subject, to shew what were the usages and customs of the General Hospital, in the British ser­vice; and particularly to declare what kind of stores, and under what circumstances, the Regimental Sur­geons were allowed to draw from the General Hospi­tal in that service, page 72; and of the foregoing re­port of instruments and bandages necessary for every Regiment, page 73; together with copies of the dif­ferent diet tables, and other regulations of the General Hospital. These were severally indorsed and numbered, being calculated for the purpose, and intended to an­swer the promise I had made his EXCELLENCY GE­NERAL WASHINGTON, in the beginning of my let­ter to him, of March, page 32; by explaining the na­ture, both of the General and Regimental Hospitals; [Page 75] pointing out the uses and proper government of each; their separate and distinct designs; the means of sup­plying the Regimental, and rendering them more use­ful, by placing them in a due subordination to the Ge­neral, Hospitals. I did not doubt the works being ac­ceptable, both to the General and the Congress, as it might be supposed, they were not much versed them­selves, in these matters; with which, however, it was necessary for the good of the service, they should be acquainted.

To understand the better what were the uses of the copies of the different diet tables, and of other regu­lations of the General Hospital, which accompanied my letter to the Medical Committee of Congress; and to demonstrate, at the same time, what pains I was at, to introduce method and exactness into every branch of the department entrusted to my care, as I have omitted to mention the particulars before, it will be very proper to take notice, in this place, of the steps I had taken for that purpose, when at Cambridge.

So soon after my arrival in the army as to have been able to take a review of the state, in which the General Hospital then was, I appointed a meeting of the Hos­pital Surgeons to take under consideration the proper steps to be pursued for the better government of the Hospital. I, therefore, in the first place, shewed them my commission, with the instructions from Congress for the establishment of the General Hospital; I ex­plained to them my idea, of the duties of the several officers, and gave them a form of the various returns which I expected [...] be made, on the various occasions of the Hospital, [...] laid before them the different diet tables that were in use, in the General Hospital of the British army, last war, as well as those in the different Hospitals of London and Westminster, with all the re­gulations observed, in each distinct part and office, for the government of St. Thomas's Hospital, which I had procured at the time I was pupil there, under the cele­brated [Page 76] Physicians, Milner, Akenside and Russell, and brought with me to the army.

With these regulations before us, compared with the nature and diseases of the climate, and those incident to an army, with the provisions of the country, and manner of living, as well as the nature of our establish­ment, several sets of rules were drawn up for the bet­ter regulating of our own Hospitals, and particularly for ascertaining, and enforcing the duties of the Sur­geons, the Mates, the Apothecaries, the Stewa [...]s, the Matron and Nurses, the Waiters and Attendants; and also rules for the observance of the Patients. It would protract this piece, to too great a length, were I to in­sert them here: I therefore content myself, with taking notice, that the perfecting them was a work of time and of mature reflexion, which would do no discredit to any of the gentlemen that were concerned in the performance, were I to publish them at large. And I must, to do justice to this task enjoined them, which was submitted to my own corrections, observe, that it was the means of introducing that exactitude in duty, and that better oeconomy and discipline into the Ge­neral Hospital, that were wanted, as might be naturally expected; by means of which, all the proper business of the Hospital was afterwards conducted with more regularity, ease and satisfaction to the officers, and greater benefit and advantages to the patients; all which were much wanted, in all the transactions I have ever had with the Regimental Surgeons.

This I thought a proper employment for a Director General, and deserving the attention of the Congress and Commander in Chief. I therefore dispatched them to the General, by return of one of his servants, sent to engage me to come to Head-Quarters, for his peru­sal at first, and then to be forwarded to Congress; hoping he would be pleased to second my letter to Con­gress, with some representation from himself, of the necessity of adopting these, or some other regulations [Page 77] to answer the intention, for which these papers might serve as a proper foundation on which to proceed. They were accompanied with a note to Colonel Reed the Adjutant-General, in which I wrote as follows:


I imagine the annexed regulations, &c. for the establishment, management and supplies of the Regi­mental Hospitals, will be of great use in the army, and tend to remove the frequent complaints of Regimental Surgeons, respecting the want of some better provi­sion for the sick under their care, and enable them to discharge their duty with more CHEARFULNESS, and ADVANTAGE to the service.

They are submitted with the Memorial &c. to Con­gress, to General Washington's perusal, if he has time to consider them, for his approbation. It will appear on reading them, that those, or some such regulations, are much wanted, and cannot take place, unless they have his sanction in General Orders.

Perhaps you may have so much leisure as to examine the several enclosed papers, and communicate the sub­stance of them to the General, if he is not sufficiently disengaged to look over them, himself. I intend, agreeeable to your desire, to be at Head-Quarters early, to come at two o'clock, that there may be some time for conversing on this subject, before dinner."

I requested, that after the General had satisfied him­self in respect to the contents of these papers, they might be forwarded with his dispatches to Congress.

WHEN next I had an opportunity of speaking with the General and supposed he might have acquainted himself with the purport and design of those papers, I took the liberty of asking his opinion of them. He had been greatly hurried, as I could perceive by the number of applicants to himself, on a variety of busi­ness [Page 78] of different departments. His answer, therefore, was such as might be expected, couched in the follow­ing interrogatory: How can you think, I have time to read over such a bundle of papers? I told him I was sensible of his situation, and how precious his time was; that the reason of my troubling him with so much writing, was that he might not be interrupted by long consultations, though on the most necessary matters; but be able to make himself master of the subject, when most at leisure to consider it, with the means be­fore him: I informed him as briefly as possible, of the general contents, and what I had written to the Adju­tant General, in whose abilities he placed great confi­dence; and concluded with a request, that if he should not have leisure shortly, to read them over himself, that he would refer them to Colonel Reed, or any other person he chose, to give him an account of them, that some orders might issue in consequence: They related to important matters, and nothing could be done in them, without his orders, on which he let me know, that I should hear from him soon, on the business they were intended to recommend to his notice.

I think it was that very day, the resolves of Con­gress, July 17th, came to hand, and were communicated to me, of which I obtained a certified copy from the Adjutant-General, and another, about four days after­wards from Colonel Robert H. Harrison, Secretary to the General, which bears date July 26, 1776.

In the mean time, the Regimental Surgeons, who were impatient to know the General's mind, that they might take their measures accordingly, for making a personal application to himself, which they judged would answer as well as applying to Congress; or for forwarding the memorial and petition to Congress, as might appear most suitable, on knowing his mind; were made acquainted with the beforementioned resolves. These resolves produced a general disgust in the Regi­mental Surgeons, as they anticipated, and might pre­vent [Page 79] the success of any application to Congress at that time; and cut them off from all present hopes of car­rying into execution, their favourite scheme of having Regimental Hospitals under their own management, furnished and supplied to their wishes; and from the expectation of handling public monies

The chagrin and bitterness of spirit which they ma­nifested on this occasion, is inexpressible; and every mean artifice that could be devised, was carried into execution by some of them, to counteract, and, if pos­sible, to evade those resolves. They gave proof indeed, that, for the infamy of it, deserves to be recorded, to what degrees of weakness, blindness and folly, men destitute of the principles of honour and honesty will be transported, by a false pride, and the disappointment of secret and ambitions views, when they prefer the gratification of their own desires, however unjust, to the interest of the cause they are engaged to promote, if opposed to each other. But I shall defer giving the particulars, till I have first communicated a letter, which with a view to serve those ungratefal men all in my power, I wrote to General Washington, and is as fol­lows:



THE Congress having come into a number of re­solves respecting the General Hospital, &c I find that one of them, as it now stands, gives great uneasi­ness to the Regimental Surgeons. It is that which pro­hibits them from drawing upon the Hospital of their department for any stores, except medicines and instru­ments; and orders, that when any sick person shall [Page 80] require other stores, they shall be received into the Ge­neral Hospital, and the rations of the said sick persons be stopped, so long as they are in the said Hospital.

The Regimental Surgeons seem to think, if this re­solve should remain as it now stands, without any pallia­tive construction in favor of supplying the sick under their care, with necessary articles of diet, &c. (for no provision is made by any of these resolves for changing the diet of the sick, and their rations would be very improper diet.) they have nothing left, but immediate­ly to order the whole of their sick into the General Hospital. What would be the consequence? Instead of about three hundred, which is the present number of the sick in the General Hospital, it would imme­diately amount to two thousand or upwards, and the numbers increase every day. But where we shall get room for them, is the difficulty; and in case of an ac­tion, and many persons being wounded, that difficulty would increase: The General Hospital would be crowd­ed, and the Regimental Surgeons, who profess their ar­dent desire of being usefully employed, would complain of having nothing to do. But what is the worst part of it, as the dysentery, and fevers of a putrid kind now prevail; the crowding so many together into the Gene­ral Hospital, would certainly engender a malignant, pesti­lential fever, that would threaten the ruin of the army.

These difficulties, in my opinion, might for the pre­sent, be got over in one of these two ways, the choice of which is left to your Excellency.

The first, is by adopting a set of regulations, drawn up and agreed upon, betwixt the Regimental Surgeons and myself, (if it met with your Excellency's approba­tion,) and which I laid before your Excellency, a fort­night ago, for your consideration.

Otherwise, let the Regimental Surgeons be suffered to keep such men in their own Regimental Hospitals, under their own care, whose cases would endanger the spreading of putrid and infectious distempers Let [Page 81] them be reported to, and born on the list of patients admitted into, the General Hospital, but remain with the Regimental Surgeons, under their care: Then their rations will be stopped, discounted with the Commissa­ry-General, and in lieu thereof, they will receive sup­plies of such articles, as the General Hospital can fur­nish them with; of wine, vinegar, molasses, meal, &c. which I believe would not far exceed the amount of those rations: This would answer to a plan I proposed to your Excellency last winter, and which was approv­ed: Your Excellency only wished then, that some me­thod might be taken to prevent the rations of the sick being twice drawn. I apprehend that matter is fully guarded against, by the method pointed out by the 6th resolve of Congress, of July 17, on the subject of the G. Hospital. The first method would give the greatest sa­tisfaction, not only to the Regimental Surgeons, but to the officers, and to the men; and an experiment would be made of the real expence attending Regimental Hospi­tals, and every cause, or even shadow of complaint, vanish: It would encourage the soldier in his duty, and if it is found, on trial, subject to any abuse, I imagine that abuse could be easily remedied, by future regulations, or a stoppage in the men's pay, at the time of a new enlistment.

The present increase of the sick is a serious matter, and requires a speedy remedy. I regret the calling for your Excellency's attention (for ever so short a time) to my department; but, I flatter myself, the importance of the subject, and the advantages which may accrue to the service from it, will evince the necessity, and be a sufficient apology for it.

I remain, Your Excellency's most obedient, and very humble Servant, JOHN MORGAN.

[Page 82] ANY man of the least knowledge of the world, that reflects ever so little, will readily own, how disa­greeable a piece of business it must be, for any gentle­man, to break in upon a Commander in Chief, circum­stanced as General WASHINGTON was, with so great a burden of managing an army of undisciplined men, in which the nature and extent of the various departments were so unsettled, and so few officers knew their duty, and therefore teized with numberless applications, which must make him, at times, un­avoidably, more difficult of access; and to importune him repeatedly on business, which is supposed to be already settled, either by his own orders, or those of Congress, must be very irksome.

After reading the foregoing letter, can there be a person found, who will not allow that I exerted myself to the very utmost in favour of the Regiment­al Surgeons, to serve them to the extent of my abi­lity; and after those repeated exertions, and steady perseverance at all times, to promote their reasonable wishes, as far as was consistent with my duty, even in opposition to the sentiments of the General and Con­gress, when theirs did not agree with my own senti­ments; was not the ingratitude and wickedness of those Regimental Surgeons of the deepest dye; because I would not sacrifice to their importunate craving, the duty of my station, and the trust reposed in me, as well as the com­mands of my superiors; to be guilty, as they were, of private cabals and secret conspiracies, (of which I have lately received full proof,) to injure my cha­racter and misrepresent my conduct, with a view, if possible, to ruin me, for ever, in the public esteem?

THAT none may imagine I wished to reduce the Regimental Surgeons to any improper dependence on myself, which might be assigned as a reason for their opposition to me, I think fit to declare, that I never [Page 83] sought for any authority over them, inconsistent with their true interest, or upon any occasion, that I was not compelled to assume. On the contrary, I declined those occasions that frequently offered, of making them more dependent upon me, than I knew would be agreea­ble to themselves, ever since they had taken exceptions to the General's public order at Cambridge, that no Regimental Surgeons should receive commissions in the army to be raised, for the time to come, till they had submitted to such examination of their abilities, as I thought necessary; and had found means to evade it, by prevailing with their Colonels, who (I have been informed) had blank commissions by them, to fill them up with the names of the former Surgeons, without any regard to that order. Yet if I had ever made any representation of this matter to the General, I am con­vinced, he would not have suffered his own orders to have been dispensed with, in so extraordinary a man­ner. So far was he from desiring to enlarge their pow­ers, or to lessen my authority, that he was pleased to propose it to me, himself, in one of the last confer­ences, I had with him, on the subject of regulating the Regimental Surgeons, in order to make them more absolutely dependent upon me, that they should receive warrants at my hands only, for acting in that station. This proposal I declined, on purpose to avoid the envy that would attend so much power, and the consequent misconstructions that, I was confident, would be passed on the most perfect and upright use, that any man, in my post, could make of it. I was desirous to avoid giving room for jealousies to a set of men, of such tur­bulent and refractory tempers, as I discovered some of them to be, and of which I experienced the ill effects in the instances I have already, and am further to re­late, of Mr. Story.

He once called upon me, on business of Colonel Little's Regiment, soon after my arrival from Cam­bridge [Page 84] to New-York, when I had not yet laid aside all thoughts of finishing the task began at Cambridge, on the general's order, to examine the Regimental Sur­geons, with a view to confirm those who were qualified for the office, and to report such as were deficient in education, or abilities. He had been previously re­presented to me, as a mere firebrand; and as one that was not thought to be properly qualified for a Sur­geon's place; whether justly, or not, I shall not pre­sume to say, as I never proceeded to any examination of his abilities. I asked him whether he acted as Sur­geon to that Regiment: He told me that he did. On reminding him of the General's order, for examining the Regimental Surgeons, he behaved in a very inso­lent, and impertinent manner, giving me to know, "that he had his commission already, no thanks to me, which was as valid, and of as good authority as my own, and that, truly, he never would submit to any examination of mine."

Had I been disposed to treat him, as he merited on that occasion, I imagine he would have found that I could easily have obliged him to it, or to quit the ser­vice: But peace was my object. This made me pass over his present rudeness of behaviour; and encourag­ed him in those subsequent acts of insolence, and dis­honourable conduct which, I believe, took their rise from the above cause; and if he was not always at the bot­tom, yet he always shewed himself to be one of the most violent agitators, and [...]omentors of disturbances, that I have ever met with.

If I may be allowed to mention, in this place, what I take to be the true causes of the malevolence of the Re­gimental Surgeons against me; they were 1st, my disal­lowing them to draw stores, at pleasure, from the G. Hos­pital; 2dly, my having recommended it to the General to require some proof of the qualifications of those men, who were to be entrusted with the lives of the sick and wound­ed soldiery, for which many of them were conscious of [Page 85] their being found unequal to the task, if they were obliged to submit to the inquiry; and 3dly, it was a received opinion of theirs, that the resolve of Congress, "that the Hospital Surgeons and Mates should take rank of the Regimental Surgeons and Mates," was owing to me.

These were unpardonable sins, which they were deter­mined never to forgive nor forget. From the day these last resolutions of Congress were known, they left no scheme untryed to injure my character, and misrepresent my conduct Of this I have had the strongest assurances from some gentlemen, who, since my dismission, and not before, have informed me of their having received application from those men to join them in their cabals and conspiracy against me; who were struck with a­stonishment at the proposal, and from the respect which, they were pleased to say, they entertained for my cha­racter and conduct, endeavoured to dis [...]wade them from their wicked purposes, and to convince them that I had shewn, in a very striking manner, my inclination to serve them, in the memorial and proposals I had drawn up for that purpose, and the letters I had written to Congress and the General, in their favour; but being bound to act agreeable to my orders, it was not in my power to swerve from them. It was the hope of having prevailed with them, by these remonstrances, to lay aside their intentions, and their ceasing to importune them further on the subject, that inclined them to make no mention of this affair to me, till they after­wards learned they had, though secretly, put their de­signs into execution, with a success that amazed them.

The acts they pursued to frustrate the intentions of Congress, and to force me to a compliance with their measures; were first, a neglect of reporting the sick for admission into the General-Hospital; the next was their leaving their proper posts with their respective Regi­ments, and carrying the sick to a distance from the army, where they suffered much, and ascribed all the ill effects of their misconduct, to my not receding from the re­solutions [Page 86] of Congress: And again, their infusing jea­lousies and groundless suspicions into such officers as they could influence by their representations, and at­tempting, by that means, to mislead the General Offi­cers and Members of Congress, to my prejudice. Whatever mischances happened to the sick from their own perverseness, or ignorance, were laid by them at my door, as one so wedded to his own plan, as not to yield to the united voice of all the Regimental Sur­geons, to come into their measures. And, true it is, my perseverance in what I conceived to be my duty, and for the good of the service, was unshaken; nor could any consideration induce me to deviate from the commands of my superiors; although, had the Con­gress seen fit to alter their resolves, in some particu­lars, I should have thought it would have been for the better, as my letters fully prove.

I am now led, in the order of events, to lay before the public, some specimens of the wickedness of that set of men, in counterfeiting, caballing, and endeavouring to make impressions upon General Officers and others, in their favour, and to my prejudice.

And first, as to their actor counterfeiting, and passing what they had counterfeited as a resolve of Congress.

Having already mentioned the chagrin and bitterness of spirit, which many of them discovered, on knowing the resolves of Congress, July 17; which cut off all their immediate hopes to effect their favorite scheme of having Regimental Hospitals allowed them, on such a footing, as to enable them to accumulate stores at pleasure, and to give them some disposal or public mo­nies; it is to be remarked, that what compleated their chagrin was, the determination of Congress, which had before raised the pay of themselves and Mates, to increase that of the Hospital Surgeons and Mates, which was always more than theirs, in such proportion as they thought proper; but what above all things kindled their malice and resentment was, that the Congress, in [Page 87] the same vote, had also resolved, that the Hospital Sur­geons and Mates should take rank of Regimental Sur­geons and Mates, as beforementioned, see page 29.

Let it be remembered, then, to the perpetual infamy of the mean scandalous set who were guilty of it, that upon my furnishing them with a copy of those re­solves, for the information of all the Surgeons in the army, they made an alteration in the copy of the eighth resolve, by leaving out the particle of, and substituting the word with in its place, which made an entire change of the meaning of that resolve, into another of an opposite signification, thus foisting in a brat of their own begetting, to usurp the authority of a vote of Congress, they discovered what their secret machi­nations tended to continually, as if this silly device could serve the purpose of their wishes, to lower the estimation of the General-Hospital, and raise them­selves into imaginary consequence.

After passing this counterfeit resolve, and circulat­ing it briskly, two of their champions, the famous Doctor Story, and an associate of his, with a view to insult the gentlemen of the Hospital, went about, ex­ulting in imaginary triumph, to vent their reproachful language against them, and thereby had nearly accom­plished what they were intent upon; which was, to make their situation so disagreeable, notwithstanding they never interfered with them, as to induce them ra­ther to quit a station that was rendered so irksome by them, rather than be subject to such insolence of con­duct. One of those gentlemen was Doctor Warren, (brother to the deceased General Warren,) a gentle­man, who was so happy, [...] gain the esteem of all who knew him, by his understanding his humanity, his affable and polite behaviour, and his great assiduity and attention to discharge the duties of his station: He was at that time acting in the place of a Director of the Military Hospitals at Long-Island, (where, among others, Colonel Little's Regiment was posted,) with the [Page 88] title and pay only of Surgeon in the General Hospital, in which he had given great satisfaction to General Green, and every officer of rank at Long-Island, who always spoke of him, to me, in high terms of appro­bation. On which, it may not be amiss, transiently, to consider this, as a full proof how salutary those orders were, which I had given, for providing for the relief and comfortable accommodations of the sick at Long-Island, as well as the efficacy with which they were car­ried into execution, by the wisdom and prudence of the officer who managed the Hospital department there, by my instructions.

Disappointed in their malicious designs, in the first, they desisted not from other, attempts, to perplex the officers of the General Hospital; and till their aims were accomplished, a party of them determined to leave nothing undone, which they could have hopes of effecting, to produce a prevailing uneasiness and dis­content in the General Hospital.

In consequence of my letter to General Washing­ton, of July 25th, in favour of the Regimental Sur­geons, the Adjutant-General called upon me, by his Excellency's command, to consider how far theirs and my request could be granted, consistently with the in­tention of Congress, without setting aside their re­solves. On which, such General Orders were issued out July 28, as I thought would afford them some sa­tisfaction, if the good of the service was what they had in view, and not their own private advantage and emolument. But I was greatly mistaken in this sup­position: They were allowed Regimental Hospitals under certain restrictions; amongst which one was, a power given me to send Hospital Surgeons to visit their Hospitals, to prevent crowding them, and keeping more sick on hand, than they could take good care of, who were to be judges what patients were proper objects for, and directed to receive them into the General Hospital.

They clamoured exceedingly, drew up an appli­cation [Page 89] to the General on that head, which was laid be­fore a Council of General Officers; and some farther points given up to them, by a General order of August the third. The insolence of a party of the Regiment­al Surgeons rose, in proportion, as they were gratified in any concessions made to them, by the officers of the Hospital, for the sake of peace; who never visited their sick, on that account, but submitted to receive them, as they saw fit to report, and send them to the General Hospital, rather than give room for supposing they had any contention with the Regimental Surgeons: In truth they had not; unless the fire which was kept up, on one side only, by a factious part of the Regi­mental Surgeons, could be called a contention, and to the keeping up of which, the Hospital Surgeons only contributed by their patience, and suffering for a while, for the good of the service, those men to sport them­selves, without interruption, in their unreasonable pur­suits, or by opposing them only, with gentle remon­strances. If this is contention, it is of that sort of which Juvenal, in his satyr, gives a lively description. "ubi tu [...]al [...]as, ego vapulo tantum," or in which one side re­ceives, and the other gives all the blows.

At length, the sense of what was due to themselves wrought so far upon the two eldest of the Hospital Surgeons, Dr. Foster and Dr. Warren, who princi­pally experienced the insolence of those men; that, be­ing unwilling to endure it further, and equally un­willing to be concerned in any disputes with them, they chose rather to quit their present stations: The former let me know his intention to leave the service; and the latter, in a genteel, manly and sensible letter, made known to me his situation, and the resolutions into which this conduct of theirs, had forced him: He represented to me, what he had experienced from the rude and ungovernable temper of this set of men; that, not content with the determination of Congress and the General orders respecting them, they [Page 90] were ever restless, and ever making new and unautho­rized demands, inconsistent with the peace and good government of the General Hospital; that they were seeking continual occasions for dispute and differences; and as they found the gentlemen of the Hospital did not chuse, on every occasion, which they knew how to call forth for matter of disputation, to trouble either me or themselves with frequent references of their disputes, they would gradually gain one point after another, till all their ends were, at last answered, in the subversion and ruin of the General Hospital. In this situation, as there were daily expectations of the enemys landing at Long-Island he flattered himself, he could be more useful in the military, than in the hospi­tal department, thus circumstanced; and requested my permission, that he might resign his place in the General Hospital, and be allowed to act as a volun­teer, upon the approaching action.

To have been deprived of the assistance of those gentlemen, at so critical a time, whose places I could not have supplied, with others of equal experience in the conducting of Military Hospitals, on the plan of the Congress, would have thrown the department into that confusion, which a designing party were busy to excite, in hopes, by fishing in troubled waters, to de­rive those advantages to themselves, in the accom­plishment whereof, their wishes seemed to center. By explaining to the gentlemen of the Hospital, the mis­take into which this perverse conduct of the party had led them, and by supporting their authority, in a proper manner, on every occasion, they were con­tented to continue in their stations.

The next measures those men chose to take, as I have since learned, from information that I can depend upon, was to interest such officers, over whom they had, or could acquire any influence, to make repre­sentations in their behalf, to Members of Congress, [Page 91] and to the General. I have cause to believe this was often done to the former, without my having the least intelligence of their proceedings: Of course, I had it not in my power to explain matters, that ought to be known, or to obviate objections, however ill sounded. I must, in justice to the General, acknowledge, I have no suspicion that his Excellency ever suffered me to re­main long ignorant of any representations, that were made to impeach my conduct by which I was, in all the instances I knew, enabled to answer in my justifi­cation to him, and I hope satisfactorily. But I cannot say so of the Congress; for, so far from giving me any information of any such transaction, the Members of whom I have made enquiry, carefully evaded it: Of which I shall have occasion to make more particular mention, in its proper place.

The representations, in favour of Regimental Sur­geons, which were calculated to injure me; besides dwelling on the dissatisfaction which the Regimental Surgeons had infused into many of their men, on groundless pretences, and which made some, who knew nothing of the General Hospital themselves, express their dislike against being sent to it; commonly set forth, that it would be highly prejudicial to the service, when a new army was to be raised;—that the sick could not be comfortably accommodated in Regimental Hos­pitals. The fact is, many of the officers had been chosen, as it were, by the men, who had not a regard to, or any consideration of merit, in that choice, or any love of discipline, but were attached to the persons of the officers they chose, in proportion to the knowledge they had of their being [...]en of the same mean, sordid, grovelling disposition, with many of themselves; void of the sentiments of brave soldiers, love of honour and of liberty on principle, but ready to associate with them on a footing of equality; who would drink drams with them, allow them to plunder, or exempt them from duty, when they did not feel themselves, "bold to fight," [Page 92] and who had no objection to fill the army with malig­nerers, public extortioners and cowards.

Here a shocking group of disagreeable facts present to my remembrance in reflecting upon the expedients that have been made use of to raise troops, and the shameful consequences. It is a fact, I believe too ge­nerally known to be disputed, that in order to engage men to enter more readily into the service, officers com­missions were allowed to men, whose ranks were to be determined by the number of levies they could raise. Prudence, courage, conduct, education experience, ta­lents, or fitness to command, were not the requisites for officers. No wonder, then, that such kind of men were chosen officers, as many of them were; men of the meanest figure and capacity, such as they termed civil fellows, but in strictness of meaning. Major Sturgeons, or errant Jerry Sneaks with noses of wax, so very pli­ant as to be governed by the privates, and many of those, if we may judge of causes by effects, had little in view by entering the service but to make money, by fas­tening themselves, as leeches, on every thing, from which they could draw pelf. And therefore it was no unu­sual thing, as I have been often told, when a company was forming for the men to chuse those, from amongst themselves, for officers, who consented to throw their pay into joint stock with the privates, from which, com­missioned and non-commissioned officers; Captains, Lieutenants, Ensigns, S [...]jean [...]s and Corporals, with [...] and privates, drew equal shares. Some of those, who consented to be privates for one six weeks, three months, or six months, as it happened, expect­ing to have their turn to command, on a new enlist­ment, and perhaps to command those very men who were now their officers.

What was to be expected from such men and officers, under no discipline but to run away, by whole compa­nies, at the appearance of a handful of the enemy. Will any man deny this to be a fact? I will appeal to [Page 93] one instance, out of many. At the approach of an ad­vanced party of the British troops, after the landing at York Island, about three hundred of the men, who were advantageously stationed for opposing them, re­treated, without giving fire, with great precipitation; or, in common language, ran-away: They were met by Glover's Regiment, which stopped their flight: As was no unusual thing, on being charged with cowardice, the common men cast the reproach from themselves on their officers, declaring it to be their faults, who, instead of putting themselves at the head of the men, and leading them on to the attack, or there sustaining the charge like soldiers, were the first to scamper off, leaving their company, to fly to such places of safety as they could. The officers of Colonel Glover's regiment, one of the best corps's in the service, and who were indeed gentle­men, immediately obliged the fugitive officers and sol­diers, equally, to turn into the ranks with the soldiers of Glover's regiment, and obliged the trembling wretch­es, to march back to the ground they had quitted. I have been an eye-witness, myself, to whole battalions running off from Powle's-Hook, and the heights of Bergen, upon the firing of a broad side from a man of war, in her sailing down the North River to join the fleet below, when obliged to remove from her station, to avoid a fire-ship, although not a man was hurt by that fire. These doughty champions never stopped till they came to Second River, but forced away the very waggons that were impressed to transport the sick, and those wounded at Long-Island, to Newark; to carry off themselves and baggage, for many of them chose to ride, to save their legs, in case of being more nearly pursued. A cannon being planted in the causeway, that commanded the ferry at Second River, was point­ed towards them, by an officer of artillery, who com­manded there; and who threatened to mow them down, if they did not return to their posts. What was their next shift? They betook themselves to a ferry a mile [Page 94] above: The boats happened to be on the other side, but within reach of their shot; on which, being fear­ful of any delay, they called out to the ferrymen to hasten over with their boats, or they would discharge a volley upon them; and thus, they made good their retreat!

When such were the officers, is it to be wondered at, or rather is it to be believed? But how incredible soever it may appear to those at a distance, it is an in­disputable truth, that a Captain was tried and broke, by a Court-Martial, for stealing his soldiers blankets, the minutes of which Court-Martial are not only publish­ed amongst ourselves, but reprinted in the New-York or Newport papers; and one officer, in the face of the General's family, and many officers of distinction, was found shaving his men, acting in so menial a capacity, long after the retreats from Long-Island and New-York, whether for the pence he could collect, or that he might stand a chance of interest and preferment, and "that he might not be prejudicial to the service, when a new army was to be raised," let casuists determine. Whether giving ear to the unreasonable clamours of such men as these, and the gratifying them, by indul­gences in their senseless demands, dismissing an officer of distinguished rank and trust, for non-compliance with them, against the express commands of Congress, was the most likely means of promoting the service, or procuring respect and veneration for the Congress it­self, time will manifest, credat Judaeus, non ego.

What instances of thieving, plundering and oppres­sion, both in officers and men, have come to my know­ledge, that would disgrace the lawless Arab, the barba­rous Scythian, the rude Goth, or wild and savage Tar­tar; who spare their own, when they war on their ene­mies!

" Birds prey on birds, fish on each other prey,
" But man alone, does kindred man betray."

[Page 95] I was present when a lady from West-Chester, lodg­ed a complaint with a General Officer, against a Captain of the regiment of artificers, who had got into her house, and under pretence of protecting her, as a friend, from the incursions of the enemy, robbed her of a trunk, containing many costly articles; silks and other wearing apparel, to the amount of fourteen hundred pounds; and disposed of her cloaths at a pub­lic sale, which being proved upon him, he was justly cashiered.

From my own knowledge, and indeed my particular loss, having been a great sufferer, I can declare that what the enemy have spared to our own people, less compassionate men, from amongst ourselves, have car­ried off and destroyed; and Hessian cruelty to an ene­my, has been exceeded by the more savage cruelty of the very men, paid by us, to defend our property. An injured man has a right to complain; and truth will force conviction on the minds of fellow-men, however harsh and ungrateful it may be, to some, to hear the truth.

But that I may not pass beyond the limits of my own department, and what has a connexion with it, I will confine myself in the instances I shall now exhibit of disorderly conduct, to those facts, of which I came to the knowledge, in the discharge of my duty, and the opposition I met with in the discharge thereof. I pass over other examples of oppressing helpless women, and families of the best fortune and distinction, on whom sick and well, indiscriminately, have been forced, or men that ought to have been reported to the General Hospital, for my directions; in which no regard has been had, whether the persons were well disposed, or otherwise affected, to the cause of American Freedom; but "tros rutilusve suit, nullum discrimen habetur," The object was to get possession of their houses and pro­perty, under the pretext of accommodating the sol­diery, and particularly for Regimental Hospitals. I [Page 96] shall select one case, in which were complicated, dis­regard to Congress, disrespect and breach of the Ge­neral's orders, opposition to the General Hospital, which sustained great injury from such proceedings, and great inhumanity to the fair and weak part of the creation. The circumstances of which are well known to some, who are officers of rank in the army, and of irreproachable honour, to whom, if necessary, I can appeal, in support of what I advance.

About the month of August, 1776, having made frequent representations at Head-Quarters, that I could not obtain regular reports from the Regimental Sur­geons, of the state of their sick; but that they were seizing on those very houses for regimental sick, that were assigned to me, by the State of New-York, for the use of the General Hospital; an order was issued, requiring the Regimental Surgeons to deliver in the re­ports I had demanded, &c. and to inforce it, all Colo­nels, and Commanders of Regiments were called upon, to make it known to their Surgeons, that they might not plead ignorance, and were directed to see that the order was duly observed.

Just at that time, a Brigade newly arrived from the Massachusetts-Bay Government, under command of General Fellows, was ordered to be stationed along the river, from Greenwich to Chelsea and upwards, to throw up lines, and defend the same against any attempts of the enemy to land there. Most of the houses fit for the accommodation of the officers of that Brigade, and for quartering of the men, being previously seized up­on by the Regimental Surgeons, for themselves and their sick; Colonel Moylan, then Quarter-master General, desired we might ride out together, to take a view of the sick, and of the houses in that quarter. He order­ed a large dwelling house, on the estate of the deceased Admiral Warren, then in possession of certain Regi­mental sick, to be evacuated, and cleansed for the ac­commodation of the officers of the Brigade, posted in [Page 97] the neighbourhood, to whom therefore it was very con­venient, as it adjoined the works thrown up for defence of the landing, but a very improper place to contain sick persons, as it was close to the bank of the river, and particularly exposed to the firing of the ships, that might pass up or down the same.

The very mention of dispossessing the Regimental Surgeons of their Hospital, gave great dissatisfaction, though I undertook to receive their sick into the Gene­ral Hospital. That proposal met with opposition. That the Surgeon might have a place for the accommodation of his patients, I informed him of a large commodious barn of Mr. Campbell's at Greenwich, with two spare rooms on the back part, and lower floor of the house, at a small distance, adjoining the kitchen, being rooms the best sheltered from the shot of passing men of war, and most retired from the river. Such spacious, airey barns as the above, well floored, and secure from rain, yet cool, and pervious to the wind, answer to the pla­ces, recommended by Sir John Pringle physician to the British army, in a former war, as proper for hospitals. Such, assuredly, are better calculated for the recovery of dysenteric and putrid diseases, that prevailed at this time, to any of the dwelling houses, with plaistered walls, and small or confined chambers, which, though convenient for a private family, are not proper for the crowding of sick into them. But fine houses were commonly preferred by the Regimental Surgeons; and this gentleman let me know, that he should expect to be broke, if he consented to accept of a barn, however commodious, for the reception of his sick.

The house itself, he could not have, it being pre­occupied by another Surgeon, for the use of a Regi­mental Hospital. On looking into the rooms, they were found to be filled with the sick, and the Surgeon who had the care, panting for breath, in the midst of them, It was amidst the sultry heats of summer: In vain I re­presented to him the danger of engendring a putrid [...] [Page 98] fever, from crowding so many sick, in confined rooms, in that hot season. He had near a hundred sick in the house: I forbad him then, as I had uniformly prohi­bited every Regimental Surgeon I conversed with on the subject, from taking charge of more than thirty or forty sick, on the outside, at any one time, being a larger number than they could well attend; as I desir­ed to know how they intended to manage, i [...] called to the field of battle, or on any sudden removal of their regiments, an event daily expected, and they encum­bered with so many sick. As the other Surgeon had refused to occupy the barn, and shady rooms on the ground floor, back of the house, I recommended it to him, to send at least one half of his sick to the Gene­ral Hospital, and remove the greater part of the men into the barn: He disregarded my advice, a putrid fe­ver prevailed, he caught the infection, and paid the for­feiture of his rashness, with his life.

I then went to General Heath, who commanded that division of the army, and represented the matter to him; and as it was but a small distance from his quar­ters, requested him to give himself the trouble, of see­ing with his own eyes, and judging himself of the truth of the facts I related. The General, in polite terms, declined my most importunate solicitation, upon this unanswerable objection, that it might look, as if he made himself a party against the Regimental Surgeons.

As the Surgeon had never made his report, and the order had been issued a week, I had waited on the Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, in person, before I saw the Surgeon and complained of his neglect, in not reporting his sick, and in not sending such as exceeded the number he could take care of, to the General Hos­pital. I reminded him that, by the General Order, he was required to see that the Surgeon complyed with said order. The answer he gave me, was in these very words: "That the Regimental Surgeons could read the orders for themselves; and it not, he should give him­self [Page 99] no trouble about it; adding, that, if it was in his power to prevent it, none of his men should ever be carried to a General Hospital."

Perhaps it may be imagined from such a reply, he had reason to assert, that the General Hospital was not kept in a clean and proper state, and that the Regi­mental Hospitals were: The reverse of which was true: The former were always kept clean and airey and, in the words of General Green's letter, which I shall have occasion to publish at large, "well provided with eve­ry thing, and the sick very comfortable;" whereas most of the Regimental Hospitals, I had ever seen, on ac­count of the filth and nastiness of them, deserved the appellation they have acquired in the Eastern Govern­ments, of pest-houses; for such they commonly turn­ed out to be. I asked him his reasons: He made no re­ply to my question; but required of me to give him an order, which it seems he thought proper to demand of me, in favour of his Surgeon, for a number of bed frames.

This leads me to shew in what manner the Regiment­al Surgeons and such officers were ever at work, by their plans, and method of proceeding, to exhaust, unfurnish, or prevent the supplies of the General Hos­pital, all in their power I had engaged the Quarter-master General, to give orders in his department, for making a large number of bed frames, for the sick of the General Hospital. So fast as forty or fifty were made, the Regimental Surgeons, with, or without or­ders from their officers, applyed for, and carried them away. Colonel Moylan, told the Officer in my hearing, "that they had carried off above two thou­sand, that were intended for the General Hospital; which of course, could not be provided with them as fast as was wanted." Upon every movement of a regi­ment, that required a shifting of the houses for Regi­mental Hospitals, many of the bed frames were left be­hind, or burned, or carried off; and the Surgeons, [Page 100] probably, made fresh applications for others, whilst the General Hospital could not be provided with spare bedsteads, for additional sick, or wounded that might be sent in.

On that occasion, I remonstrated in favour of the General Hospital, and had a stop put to the further supplies of bed frames to the Regimental Surgeons, [...] was better furnished Upon this, and in like in­stances, I have been visited by some of the militia Co­lonels and Brigadiers who, by their representations, seemed to think it a hard case, that I would not concur with their Surgeons and them, to subvert the General Hospital, which I was appointed to establish and go­vern; to enable them, contrary to the designs of Con­gress the General's Orders, and the very nature of things, to transfer all the property and power of the General Hospital, to Regimental Surgeons. Colonel Moylan then and often, told me, that by the repeated concessions I was making to those men, he should not wonder if they succeeded, in what he saw they were aiming at, to subvert the General Hospital, and plant themselves on the ruins, to the confusion of all order and discipline.

But to return from this relation, which being con­nected with, and part of the subject I am upon, is not an improper digression, I now resume the narra­tive of that particular instance of brutal conduct, which I have had in view, to illustrate my declaration of en­croaching on my department, by an outrage upon all military order and discipline, and on humanity itself.

Mr. Campbell, who had purchased a lease of the house aforementioned, at Greenwich, from Mr. De­lancey, was a stranger, and with his lady and family of children, of whom he had several, all young, and some mere infants, came into America to settle, about the time our unhappy disputes, with Great Britain, be­gan, or soon after they began to be attended with such consequences, as civil war and bloodshed. Congress [Page 101] being satisfied that he had not come over to America, with any inimical intention of taking part in the dis­pute, against this country, saw fit, as I am informed, to grant him their protection; on the faith of which he determined to become an American, by settling here with his family: He chose the neighbourhood of New-York, for his residence, and [...]eased the house, with the estate, already mentioned, at Greenwich, where he conducted himself inoffensively and irreproachably The lustful eye of some of the Regimental Officers, or Surgeons, marked it out for a Regimental Hospital. I had the account from Mr. Campbell's own mouth, with cir­cumstances that gained my credit to his relation: He informed me, that with out any previous notice, to de­part, and resting on the assurances of the Quarter-master General, that he should not displace him, (for he saw no occasion for it;) a gallant officer came up one day to the house, followed with a long train of sickly soldiers, who were ill, with dys [...]nt [...]ys, putrid, and other fevers, and put them in p [...]ss [...]ssion of his house, without any regard to the owner, or to the circumstances of his family, as if on purpose to drive them out from their habitation.

This he effected; but not immediately, as Mr. Camp­bell had no other house in which he had a right, or that he could hope for liberty, to shelter himself, his wife and helpless children; nor before these, who were of a delicate frame were seized with the infection, and nearly destroyed by the filth of the sick, which had drove them from room to room, till they had no far­ther retreat. On attempting mildly to expostulate with the officer, and to know, [...] he acted by any authority, or command of the Quartermaster General or other su­perior officers, this heroic man, just deigned, with a magisterial air, to spend as much precious breath, as to acquaint him, he wanted not to exchange conversation, or to throw words away, unnecessarily, upon him; and triumphantly turning on his heel, faced to the right [Page 102] about; and left him astonished at so unfeeling and bar­barous an insult. Beset in this manner, with objects of terror, and disgust, which were hourly increasing, he hastened with his family, from their own house, to seek cover elsewhere: The most of the family, to my own knowledge, as I had occasion to meet with them in one of the houses in the neighbourhood, assigned to me for an hospital, for they applied to me for relief, very narrowly escaped, if they did all escape, perishing, in consequence of the putrid dysentery, contracted as above.

It is, with great aversion, at the recollection of this distressing scene, that I but faintly delineate it, not with­out throwing a veil over such parts, as shock me, ac­customed, as I have ever been, to hospitals and sick, when I connect the ideas of delicacy in breeding and manners, and what protection is due to female dignity and helpless infancy, with such more than savage treat­ment, not of enemies, but of friends and strangers! Quis talia fando temperat a lachrymis!

As I cannot prevail on myself to dwell longer on scenes, whereof this is but one of many that have offer­ed to my notice, and not less distressing, I hasten, from them, to try if I can recover some less offensive grounds, on which to proceed. A man that can enter into minute descriptions of particulars, so disgustful and distressing, may seem to have lost his finer feelings; but if any man can have any gratification in wading through the dirty puddles of such business, he must have a strange perverseness of taste indeed: Are there men that would take delight in painting a Demon, in all the shocking picture of black deformity? Let them do it, I cannot; but being compelled in my vindication. I have touched the subject slightly. The many things that have intruded upon my memory, on this occasion, I have endeavoured to refuse admittance, wishing to bury the whole in oblivion, to rise no more in judg­ment against us.

[Page 103] Of the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, I will only observe this once, that as I have done justice to those of them, who merited it, by declaring there were some amongst them of liberal manners, education and abili­ties; I must be permitted to declare, there were many, very many of them, unlettered, ignorant, and rude to a degree scarcely to be imagined. Some of them, I have been informed, and from what I observed, could readi­ly believe, were never educated to the profession of physick, nor had ever seen an operation of Surgery: Many of them had but small appearances of either li­terature or breeding, in which respect they fell short of some of the privates. It would display a farce of the most ridiculous kind, to give the public an account of the learning and attainments, which some of them, whom I have had an opportunity of examining, have discovered; or to give a transcript of their reports. And that this ignorance was pretty general, may be safely inferred from their repugnance to stand the test of inquiry, so contrary to the practice of those, who are men of talents, improved by education, who shun no occasion, of giving proof thereof, by their compli­ance with those laws and regulations, which the wis­dom of States, or the good policy of seminaries, and corporations of the learned in the profession, devise, to encourage genius and merit, and to put a stop to the rapid growth of empyricism: And I observed, that it was generally the most ignorant, the most opiniated and the most disorderly, and irregular in their conduct, who were the most troublesome, and loudest in their cla­mours. These were the men, from whom I found the greatest opposition, to every regulation for introduc­ing method, discipline and improvement, into the de­partment of physick and [...].

It is with much regret I have yielded to the necessity I have been under, in clearing up my own conduct from the imputations of a set of wicked men, to dis­play the true character and behaviour of those, [...] [Page 104] were my accusers, and from the many samples of ra­pine, disorder and oppression of which they have been guilty, to select some of their nefarious practices, and of such amazing prodigality, as, if it were allowed to pass without notice, would have been sufficient to in­sure destruction to any army, or people. I am fully perswaded that we owe many of the misfortunes and miscarriages of last campaign, to those men, who were guilty of them. I have but barely skimmed over the surface of them. A reluctance to enter deeper into such a sink has restrained me: Were I to attempt an enumeration of them all time would fail.

It is sufficient to shew their destructive tendency, in general; to make a remark on the mean and sordid practice, which was pursued by some of the Regiment­al Surgeons, of selling certificates for furloughs and discharges, at a less sum than a shilling a man. At this rate, a number equal to a regiment might be dis­charged for a much less sum, than has been since given, to raise a single recruit. At a moderate computation, so many men have been born on some sick lists of Re­gimental Surgeons, including waiters, fit for duty, that if the practice was common, the strongest Brigade in the army was not equal to the number thus maintained in idleness. I am willing to hope that those instances of mal-practice I have adduced are sufficient to shut the door against the like abuses in future, and to introduce better discipline, and better men into stations of public trust: And that men of better principle, as well as of more knowledge and humanity, are engaged in the present service. To promote the interests of these, were the motives of my conduct, and the object I invariably pursued in all my proposed regulations.

Amongst those in employ the last year, some, in the time of need, deserted the army altogether, and others shunned to attend their regiments to the field of battle.

It was a general complaint, that at the battle of [Page 105] the White-Plains, few of the Regimental Surgeons were with their respective Battalions, in consequence of which many of the wounded bled to death, who, it was supposed, might have been saved, had they been present, and done their duty: Their absence obliged me to fix myself at the lines, with some of the Hospital Sur­geons. This produced the following circular letter to be sent round the country, with orders to the Surgeons of the General Hospital who were at a distance from camp, to call upon the Regimental Surgeons, in pur­suance of the resolves of Congress, and the General's commands, to deliver up all their sick to the Hospital, and to return to their proper posts, signed, with the following declaration.

"I have read, and much approve of those instructions and orders."


CIRCULAR LETTER. To the Regimental Surgeons and Mates, belonging to the Army of his Excellency General WASHINGTON, now absent, with, or without the sick of their respec­tive Regiments and Brigades, on either side of Hudson's River.


FEW of the Surgeons or sick, allowed to remove from camp, some time ago, being yet returned, and no report made of them to me, His Excellency the Commander in Chief, conceives, that his former indulgence to the sick, in permitting them to retire from camp, for the recovery of their health, has been much abused, both by the sick, and the generality of the Sur­geons and Mates, under whose care they were allowed [Page 106] that indulgence: It is his Excellency's orders, there­fore, that each of you do forthwith wait upon Isaac Foster, Esq at Newark, John Warren, Esq at Hack­insack, or Philip Turner, Esq at Norwalk; Surgeons in the General Hospital, whoever of them is nearest at hand, and make a faithful and accurate report of the state of the sick and wounded under your care, and remove those who are fit subjects, immediately, to the General Hospital, under their care; for which you are to apply to the Quartermaster General's department, for waggons, and accompany them yourselves. Such of you as those gentlemen require to assist them for the present, in the General Hospital, and who are willing to attend their sick there, under their direction, are al­lowed to do so, till further orders; all others are to repair immediately to Head-Quarters, and join their re­spective regiments; first furnishing me with an accurate register, duly certified, of the state of the sick that went out with them, or have been since under their care, specifying the time of their being taken ill, their diseases, and events as to death, recovery or continuance; and whether any of the sick have been allowed to withdraw from under their care, and when. As all, who are ab­sent without leave, must naturally be looked upon as deserters. And the Surgeons or Mates, who cannot give a regular and satisfactory account of the faithful discharge of their duty, necessarily subject themselves to an inquiry into their conduct.

JOHN MORGAN, Director-General and Physician in Chief.

AMONGST other methods used by the Regimental Surgeons, to accomplish their purposes, I have men­tioned their infusing jealousies and groundless suspicions into such officers as they could influence by their repre­sentations, [Page 107] in hopes, by their means, to mislead the Ge­neral Officers, and Members of Congress, to my pre­judice.

I do not pretend to have knowledge of all the appli­cations that have been made, to different Members of Congress, to give weight to the clamours of the Regi­mental Surgeons; but one of them, that I do not know of, requires my serious attention.

Having called one day, upon General Green, to con­sult him about some regulations of the hospitals, I found him busy in writing a letter to the President of Congress, complaining much of the sufferings of the sick, for want of such establishment, as provided pro­perly for taking good care of them. Not the least no­tice was taken of the unwearied pains I had bestowed to accomplish that purpose; which might lead Con­gress to imagine me very negligent of my duty, or in­attentive to matters that so nearly concerned me: I told him so: He then added a postscript, in which he seemed barely to guard against reflexions upon me; yet forebore to do me that justice, which I thought my­self well entitled to expect from him, if to be had from any man in the army.

I had attended General Green in two dangerous fits of illness, in which he had proofs of my attention to him, and assiduity to the business of my station, that merited a far different return. The last was at a time, when General Green had the command at Long-Island, and about the time when the enemy were landed not many miles below. Although I was then incessantly engaged on New-York Island, I made all other business give way to my daily attendance on him; and finding his life en­dangered, by a putrid and billious fever, under which he laboured, prevailed with him to leave the island, and provided him with one of the most healthy, airey, safest and best accommodated habitations, in the center, betwixt the two rivers, two miles distant from the city of New-York. My place of duty changed, likewise, [Page 108] and my presence was demanded every day at Long-Island, to attend to the care and removal of the wound­ed. Yet I visited him, daily, once, twice or oftner, under a variety of difficulties, and watched over him with the strictest attention, and an affection little less than fraternal, till his recovery was so far compleated, that he was out of all danger. I should not have giv­en this account of matters, but for the following rea­sons: The first is, because it was at General Green's desire, I established a General Hospital at Long-Island, for the benefit of that part of the army under his com­mand, which was so well conducted by Doctor War­ren, as to compell him to pass high encomiums on its management, in a Council of General Officers, held on the complaints made by the Regimental Surgeons, that were found to be groundless and unreasonable.

If there was any deficiency in either that part of the General Hospital itself, or any want in the accommo­dation of the sick of the regiments stationed there, that could be obtained, the fault must be laid at his door, and his only, because he had expressly engaged, at my first consenting, in compliance with his request, to provide a General Hospital there; to build or fur­nish sufficient quarters for all the sick belonging to that division of the army under his command; and because by my orders to Doctor Warren, my instructions to the Regimental Surgeons, July 3d, and General Wash­ington's order, matters were so regulated that the sick might remain under the care of their own Surgeons, in such quarters or hospitals as General Green himself might order for them; and be considered as parts of one General Hospital, of which Doctor Warren was to be esteemed the Director and Head: They were to be allowed all necessary refreshments, and the Regimental Surgeons and their sick might partake of every advan­tage, which the sick in the General Hospital enjoyed, under the immediate care of the Hospital Surgeons, if the Regimental Surgeons would consider themselves as [Page 109] acting under the direction of the General Hospital, with this only restriction, that every demand was to be made, and granted under the acknowledged authority of Doctor Warren, to whom I had [...] all my own power for their good, for which he was to be ac­countable: And I forbad him to deliver out any stores, of any kind, to the Regimental Surgeons, for the sick, not reported to, and considered as in the General Hos­pital.

A second reason, is the following letter from Gene­ral Green to General Washington, of August 11th.

A third reason, is my having been censured, for de­laying to communicate to the Congress the plan of re­gulations I had promised to draw up for their consider­ation, so long after I had undertaken it, during all which time it was left with Gen. Green, for the benefit of his observations and remarks, viz. from about the mid­dle or end of October to the 20th of December, al­though I repeatedly applied to him by message and let­ter, to expedite it for that purpose; and it was then returned to me in the state I delivered it, without any remark to accompany it.

And lastly, the liberty which Doctor Story took, of making use of General Green's name, to sanctify his assertions, that the sufferings of the sick lay at my door.

On these several accounts, I now call on General Green (in a more especial manner) and on any, and every other officer, of whatever rank, whether Gene­ral or Field Officers, or those of inferior rank, who have thought fit to make any representations, either to Congress as a body, or to particular Members of it, or to the Commander in Chief, concerning the causes of the sufferings of the sick, if they can lay any thing to my charge, whether relating to the disposal of Hospi­tal Stores, the disposition of public monies, or any other article entrusted to me: I desire to know if they can accuse me of any neglect of duty, of indo­lence, [Page 110] inactivity, inattention to the calls of my station, or of any breach, either of General Orders, or of the Resolves of Congress: If they can do any of these, I shall be glad they will publish it to the world, in a man­ner that will afford me an opportunity to reply, in print. Did ever any General, Field Officer, or other, on any suggestion of the sick suffering for want of care, visit the General Hospital, and judging with his own eyes, report to me a single instance of the sort? I de­clare they never did: So that the complaints of the suf­ferings of the sick, are not of those under my care, but of those that were hindered from coming, or who were never reported to the General Hospital, for admission. On the contrary, the complaints ever were, that "whilst in the General Hospital, the sick were well taken care of, they could not enjoy the like advantages in Regimental Hospitals," But if so, the fault of not sending them to the General Hospital, is the more conspicuous, and the wickedness of ascribing the sufferings of the sick to the General Hospital, or myself, from whose care they were kept back, and which is justly chargeable on the Regimental Surgeons, who kept them back, and the officers who supported them in such a contumacious disobedience of every order, of the Congress and Ge­neral, is the more flagrant. But, let us attend to Ge­neral Green's letter.



THERE is no proper establishment for supplying the Regimental Hospitals with proper utensils for the sick; they suffer therefore for want of proper ac­commodation. [Page 111] There is repeated complaints on that head. The Regimental Hospitals are, and ever will be rendered useless, nay grievous, unless there is some proper fund, to provide the necessary conveniences. The General Hospital cannot receive all the sick; and those that are in the Regimental Hospitals, are in a suffering condition. If this evil continues, it must greatly injure the service, as it will dispirit the well, to see the sick suffer, and prevent their engaging again, up­on any conditions whatever. Great humanity should be exercised, towards those indisposed. Kindness up­on one hand, leaves a favorable and lasting impression, neglect and suffering on the other, is never forgotten.

I am sensible, there has formerly been great abuses in the Regimental Hospitals, but I am in hopes, men of better principles are elected to those places, and that the same evils will not happen again. But the Conti­nent had better suffer a little extraordinary expence, than the sick should be left to suffer, for want of those conveniences that may be easily provided.

I would beg leave to propose, that the Colonels of regiments be allowed to draw monies, to provide the Regimental Hospitals, with proper utensils; an account of the disbursements weekly, or monthly, to be render­ed: This will prevent abuse, and remedy the evil.

Something is necessary to be done, speedily, as many sick are in a suffering condition.

The General Hospital is well provided with every thing, and the sick very comfortable. I wish it was extensive enough to receive the whole, but it is not.

I am, your Excellency's most obedient Servant, NATH. GREEN.

I SHALL now take the liberty of propounding a few questions, on the contents of the above letter.

WAS General Green acquainted with the resolves of [Page 112] Congress, of July 17, page 29? If so, has not his letter a direct tendency to oppose and overset them?

What reason can be assigned for Regimental Hospi­tals being established on Long-Island, with all the fur­niture and apparatus of a General Hospital, when the sick might have the benefit of the General Hospital there, in compliance with General Green's own re­quest, although a very improper place for establishing an Hospital, where the enemy were expected to land, especially when there was a General Hospital on the Island of New-York, for the reception of those who could not be accommodated at Long-Island?

Of what use could Regimental Hospitals be at Long-Island; or rather, with what disservice must they be at­tended, when the enemy were expected to land there? Was it to retain more sick there, to embarrass the ar­my, when the works were besieged, or to keep Regi­mental Soldiers from accompanying their corps into the field, in case it was judged expedient to march forth, to meet the enemy at a distance, from the lines; or was it convenient, at such times, to be discharging ma­ny hundreds of sick, in the time of action, upon the Hospital Surgeons on the Island, at the same time with the wounded?

It is said the General Hospital cannot receive all the sick, and those in the Regimental Hospitals were in a suffering condition. Had any been reported to the Ge­neral Hospital at Long-Island, that were ever refused admission? I never heard of an instance. But if there was no room at Long-Island, was there no room in the General Hospital at New-York? Would neither the College, with all its spacious apartments; the City Hospital, with all its great and magnificent conve­niences; the City Barracks, capable of accommodating above a thousand men; the many vacant houses in the Bowry, or neighbourhood of New-York, and whole streets, appropriated for the purpose, and assigned to the Director-General, by the Convention of the State [Page 113] of New-York, and the City Committee, and to be at his disposal only: I say, were not all these sufficient for their reception and accommodation? If not, he had the choice of most of the country seats, for the space of seven miles from the city, to answer that purpose. And were not these enough?

But suppose it to have been necessary for the sick to be accommodated on Long-Island: What reason can be assigned, if they were to be permitted to draw stores and furniture from the General Hospital, why they should not range themselves under the direction of Doctor Warren, which was the only possible method, that, with much reflexion, could be devised to entitle them to the necessaries and comforts, which it was allowed the General Hospital was well provided with? Could the Regimental Surgeons, who were so earnest for hav­ing separate and distinct Hospitals, have any thing in view, by remaining unaccountable for their supplies? What other reason could they have for refusing to have the state of their sick inspected by Hospital Surgeons, with a power to order such sick, as appeared to be pro­per objects, into the General Hospital, but to retain as many sick, or nominal sick, as they pleased, on their lists, till the time of an action, and then to pour them all into the General Hospital, and to receive the wounded under their care, for the sake of trying ex­periments, and of performing operations, which some of them had never seen performed? From all their actions, it is plain this was an object they had much at heart. And what would that be, but to reduce Gen­tlemen, of the first class in their profession, to be subordinate to all their purposes, and meer ministers of their pleasure?

For what purpose are superior rank and greater pay allowed to Hospital, than to Regimental Surgeons, if not to engage men of the first ability, education, and experience, to take that charge upon them?

And after all, is there any thing proposed in Gene­ral [Page 114] Green's letter, that I had not urged before, both to General Green himself, as well as to General Washing­ton and the Congress, for the relief of the Regimental Surgeons, who might be situated at some distance from the General Hospital? Wherefore, if there could be any exception made to the plan, it must be to except those on Long-Island, where it was unfit there should be Regimental Hospitals, when the enemy were expect­ed to land there, and when there was a General Hospi­tal at hand, of which they might have the same bene­fits, with those under the immediate care of the Hos­pital Surgeons and Mates; if they would submit to the same regulations.

Upon the whole of this inquiry; when the Congress who, for ought General Green knew to the contrary, might be supposed to have weighed matters deliberately, had fixt upon a plan, which, by every subsequent set of resolves, restricted the Regimental Surgeons, within narrower limits than before; or, at least, enforced the former, with new and additional weight: Where was the necessity, expedience, or propriety, of supporting the Regimental Surgeons in their clamours? They were ever backward to send their sick to the General Hospi­tal, to have a plea for Regimental Hospitals, and to draw stores at discretion, which never was allowed in any army, and which Congress had not seen fit to allow them? Would it not have been more consistent with the idea of submission to the commands of our supe­riors, if General Green, instead of giving that weight to the prejudices, and ignorance in point of duty, and in the proper management of the sick of an army, which the Surgeons laboured under, had seen fit to have enjoined their making weekly returns of their sick to the General Hospital, for admission, agreeable to the orders of Congress; and thereby helped to cure or re­move those prejudices? This might have checked them in their career, of aspersing reputations to accomplish [Page 115] their aims, and must have contributed to their own ease, and the great benefit of the suffering sick.

But whilst Regimental Surgeons were so intent upon the establishment of Hospitals for their regiments, and General Green was so earnest in seconding their desires, by his application to the President of the Congress, and Commander in Chief: What was the opinion of Ge­neral Washington, if we are to judge by his orders? They agreed with the resolves of Congress: And as to the Members of Congress, all that I ever heard speak of them, exactly corresponded with Mr. Gerry, who wrote me his opinion of the matter, in the following words: "With respect to small Regimental Hospitals, I cannot but think them an unnecessary and dangerous institution; for, upon every removal of such regi­ments, those Hospitals are a dead weight, and must be removed, or be exposed to the enemy. The latter, you will agree, is by no means admissible; and the remov­ing such Hospitals, is attended with hardships to the diseased, and prevents them from an early recovery."

Let us attend to what he next writes, of REGI­MENTAL SURGEONS: "As to the REGIMENTAL SURGEONS, says he, being otherwise wholly USELESS, I have always supposed, that they were never intended to answer any other purpose, in time of war, than to cure, in camp, slight wounds and diseases, by which the patients were not confined, and to attend the regiments, in time of action; to dress the wounded soldiers, un­til they can be removed to the General Hospital."

Where persons of rank and influence, as General Officers and Members of Congress, draw such different ways, is it possible for any man, to conduct in such a manner, betwixt them, as to give satisfaction to every one?

But that it may be seen, how I endeavoured to dis­charge my duty, by adhering exactly to my orders, where they restricted me to a point; and yet in pruden­tials accommodated myself, as well as I could, to the [Page 116] reasonable desires of others: I shall here publish a co­py of my directions, to Doctor Warren, for establish­ing, and for the manner of conducting the Hospitals, under his care, at LONG-ISLAND.



YOU are desired to go over to Long-Island, and to consult with General Green, about the proper houses for the forming of an Hospital (to be part of the General Hospital) for the reception of the sick in his Brigade. For your assistants you will be pleased to take over three of the Hospital Mates, of which Mr. Glover is to be one, the other two as you agree with the other Surgeons.

Make out a proper assortment of medicines, such a list as you think needful, after consulting with Doctors Foster Adams and M'Knight, and order it to be put up from the Hospital stores: If you have occasion for fur­ther assistants, make a requisition from General Green's Brigade, of as many Surgeons and Mates as you shall stand in need of.

Keep a register of the sick, in which you are to make an entry of the times of their admission and discharge, as well as of the diseases they labour under, and require of the respective Surgeons of the different regiments, weekly returns of the sick in the Hospital belonging to their regiments, in order to compare with yours: From which, once a month, a roll is to be made out for re­ceiving the ration money, from the Commissary Gene­ral; which you will get signed by the Brigadier-Gene­ral, after you have compared it with the return of sick born on the rolls of the Regimental Surgeons: From the time they are admitted into the General Hospital, [Page 117] their rations are to be stopped in the regiments. The list of the Regimental Surgeons, compared with yours, ought to be delivered by them to the Adjutant, or Quartermaster of every regiment, in order to prevent rations being drawn for the sick, in the regiments, so long as they remain in the hospital.

You will be pleased to fix up, in the hospital, the re­gulations already agreed upon by the Surgeons of the Hospital, for the government of the officers, nurses, attendants and patients; and appoint some person to have them read in every ward: The rules of diet, ought to be fixed up in the same place, and a strict at­tention paid to the same.

You are to take over Mr. Weld, to act as a Store-keeper, who is to obey your commands in all things relating to his department: Whatever stores you have occasion for, in the department of the Commissary-General, or Quartermaster-General, you will apply for by an order under your hand, signed by order of the Director-General, with your name, of which di­rect the Storekeeper to keep an exact account, and of the distribution of the same.

What nurses you require for the sick, you will engage at the price of half a dollar per week; the number not to exceed one for every ten persons, sick or wounded; the necessary labourers to be employed by the day, as usual, in which avoid engaging a greater number than is absolutely necessary.

Deliver out no stores of any kind to the Regimental Surgeons: When the sick require further aids than they can give, let them be reported to you, and if their cases require, receive them into the General Hospital.

Take with you at least 1500 bandages, and a quan­tity of tow, with a set of capital instruments, and all suitable dressings, in case of an action.

Use your best endeavours to make the Surgeons and Mates of the regiments attentive to their duty.

For any debts contracted for the use of the General-Hospital, [Page 118] agreeable to the above rules, draw on me. You will employ the same person to supply fresh meat, and at the same prices, as in the hospital at New-York.

Weekly returns of the sick to be sent over early eve­ry Monday morning as usual.

Be pleased to call on Mr. Delamater, for 100 addi­tional blankets, for the use of the hospital in Long-Island, and as many beds, applying to the Quartermaster for straw, from time to time, and order the nurses, washer women, &c. to clean them from time to time.

An orderly Mate is to take charge of the blankets, and bedding, &c. and of the Hospital furniture every week; to enter into a book for the purpose, what stores of this kind are given out, to examine what each sick brings with them, and to see that nothing is carried out, on their dismission, not belonging to them.

An orderly serjeant, or corporal, or careful soldier, (if the General will allow) ought to be stationed at the hospital, to take charge of the arms, &c. of the sick, whilst in the hospital, and to give them up on his death or dismission.

A Carpenter, ought to attend constantly, to make coffins, or perform other work, for which you will ap­ply to the Quartermaster-General.

No blankets, or other effects of the Hospital, to be expended at the funeral of those soldiers, who die in the hospital.

I remain, Sir, your most humble servant, JOHN MORGAN.
To JOHN WARREN, Esquire, Surgeon in the General-Hospital.
The above is a true Copy, from the original.

WHEN General Green; as already related, re­moved from Long-Island, on account of the dangerous [Page 119] state of his health, General Sullivan was appointed to succeed him in the command; on which I thought it my duty to communicate to him, the plan observed in the government of the General Hospital, and for the regulation of the Regimental Surgeons, and to acquaint him with the above instructions to Dr. Warren, and the mode in which he managed his department; and wrote him a letter on the subject, that he might the bet­ter retain the principal heads of the proceedings, in his memory, should he have any occasion to refer to them, in issuing out orders, respecting the sick and wounded, as the enemy were already on Long-Island; and some important engagement with them, expected daily. To which I received the following answer:


I Received your favour of yesterday; am much pleased with your plan, respecting the Surgeons; shall take care that it is in every respect carried into ex­ecution; and am, with respect,

Your most obedient Servant, JOHN SULLIVAN.
To Doctor MORGAN, Director-General of the Hospitals, &c.

And now, whilst I am on the subject of ortlers issued by me, to the different Gentlemen, for the better ma­nagement of the General Hospital, on whose care I was to depend principally, for their being carried into exe­cution, I must take the liberty to observe, that were I to transcribe all I have delivered to them, in writing on­ly, for that purpose, it would require a separate vo­lume.

To Doctor Foster, as being the eldest Surgeon, I wrote much and often; and have now before me, co­pies of various orders to him, in a series of letters, &c. of [Page 120] which I will only mention dates, and occasions, without detaining the reader with particulars. The first (with­out date) was on his setting out from Cambridge, about the latter end of March, or beginning of April, 1776, to establish a General Hospital, at New-York. The next, likewise from Cambridge, April 22d: The next was at New-York, on my setting out from thence, for the management of the Hospital in my absence, whilst I proceeded to Philadelphia, to apply to Congress for further instructions, though I came away without ob­taining them, but not without application, and as long time of attendance, as the General would allow me. The next, were dated at New-York, August 5th, the 19th, the 23d, and 27th; and September the 9th. The next, was also at New-York, September the 13th, for the intended removal of the sick and wounded, to Newark, respecting the manner of their removal, and the provision to be made for them, on that occasion, and for taking care of them, by the way. The next are dated September 24, October 18, and 20; November 3d, and 6th; whilst he had the care and superintendance of the sick at Newark; and of December the 10th and 31st; and January the 10th, at Bethlehem, for remo­val to the east side of Hudson's River.

Numerous and particular are the directions, which, in like manner, I have delivered in writing, on various occasions, as well as verbally, to Doctors Warren, Adams, M'Knight, Turner, and Eustis, Surgeons in the General Hospital; on their being detached to dif­ferent places, for the establishment of Hospitals, for the conveniency of the sick, in parts distant from each other, in which my directions were drawn up with con­sideration, and not in a careless, negligent, or perfunc­tory manner; for that was neither the way, in which I chose to do business myself, or to require others to perform it, who were subject to my authority.

I shall now explain another difficulty, to which I was often subjected.

[Page 121] IT was no unusual thing for Officers and Regi­mental Surgeons, on detached posts, wherever they happened to be stationed, though ever so distant from the main body of the army, whether on a march, or a retreat, to expect a General Hospital to accompany, or follow them in the rear; as if it were possible, like the Polypus, though cut up into ever so many pieces, that each part should instantly repullulate, and become an entire Hospital, properly furnished with every ne­cessary accommodation, attendants, and conveniences, although amidst Highlands, alps, or a forsaken and wasted country, without any help or assistance from those who had the command; or, as if it were possible to save, or remove the weighty and cumbersome appa­ratus, every where, with as much expedition as they could retreat, and without any regard to the unfitness of the place for a General Hospital.

I hope no intention of disrespect will be imputed to me, when I am sometimes necessarily obliged to make use of the names of Gentlemen of rank, for whom I have a personal and due respect, in the course of relat­ing facts, which the vindication of my conduct requires I should discuss, with all becoming freedom, I think it proper to guard against such a wrong supposition, on the present occasion.

At a time when I had formed General Hospitals at Newark, Hackinsack, North-Castle, Stamford, and Norwalk, all crowded with sick, to the number of near 4000 men; and of course, the Hospital Surgeons, who were not numerous, stationed at various distances, through a space of near an hundred miles, were fully em­ployed, I received a letter from General Heath, at Peek's-Kill; of all places I have seen one of the worst, that could be thought of for a General Hospital, as well for want of accommodations, as of a proper coun­try, to support it: It bore date, November the 19th, on which he observed, that there was neither General Hospital, nor any one General Hospital Surgeon, at [Page 122] that post; that he received daily complaints from the Colonels of the several regiments, of the sufferings and distresses of the Regimental sick; and that "the neg­lect of them, was likely to prove very prejudicial to the inlistment of a new army."

From the similarity of language in this letter, the complaints of officers concerning the sufferings of the sick, and the evil consequences that were predicted of their proving prejudicial to the inlistment of a new army, I was apprehensive of the latent influence, and was determined, if I could any ways prevent it, they should not have it in their power to lay the fault at my door. I might, indeed, have remonstrated to the General, that it was the duty of the Regimental Surgeons to send their sick, whom they could not take care of, to the nearest branch of the General Hospital, wherever I thought it most convenient for fixing it, and which I never did, without first advising with the officers who were in chief command, that they might be properly taken care of: But instead of that, the General Hospi­tal was expected to attend every movement of theirs, not so much for sending their sick into it, as to claim supplies from it, or Hospital Surgeons to attend their regiments as was sometimes required, whilst they were absent, and scattered through the neighbouring States, in pursuing the uniform scheme they constantly kept in view, of establishing Regimental Hospitals, for which they explored distant towns, and retired to them with part of their sick: These places became an asylum for idleness, riot and dissipation, for when once they got into such places, they were in no haste to return, and the numbers that resorted to them, increased amaz­ingly.

On receipt of General Heath's letter, I determined to ride from North-Castle to Peek's-Kill, to wait up­on him, and concert the necessary steps to be taken, for accomplishing his desire, which I did; but first, I represented to him, how impracticable the design of [Page 123] having a General Hospital there was, unless convenient quarters were first in readiness; that the providing quarters for the reception of the men being in the Quartermaster General's department, was under Gene­ral Heath's command, and not in my power; but if he would undertake to give such orders, as would be exe­cuted, for the appropriating and fitting up rooms and births, for 300 sick, and would enforce obedience to the orders of Congress, October 9th, to allow no Re­gimental Hospitals in the neighbourhood of the Gene­ral Hospital; and would call on the Regimental Sur­geons, to remain with their respective corps, agreeable to General Washington's pleasure, of November 5; and to make such regular returns of the sick, that I could know the state of them; ordering some atten­dants on the Hospital, that would be much wanted, I would forthwith send a detachment of the General Hospital to attend his commands. I acquainted him, that it would answer no purpose, but to bring unmerit­ed reproach on the hospital, if Gentlemen were sent up to take charge of it, and, when they came, no quar­ters could be had for their accommodation, or that of the sick*.

That the nature of the establishment and manage­ment of a Military Hospital might be the better under­stood, I drew up, November 20, an account of what­ever was necessary, for providing quarters and accom­modations, furnishing of supplies, and for the regular admission, care and attendants on the sick, with the ne­cessary reports to be made, from time to time, to con­duct matters with regularity, and to discover who do their duty, and who neglect it; so that if complaints are made of the sufferings of the sick, it may be known where the fault lies, and how to correct it. These I enclosed in my letter to him.

In return, the General "thanked me by letter, ap­proved of my care and attention, and commended my [Page 124] plans and directions; and, as General Sullivan had done before, promised to take care that they were, in every respect, carried into execution."

Doctor Adams, and Doctor M'Knight, successively waited upon General Heath, by my desire, to request that he would order such quarters, for the sick at Peek's-Kill, as were necessary for a General Hospital, which they were to direct; but never could be provid­ed with any proper accommodations, when they were there; but, were obliged to cross the Highlands, to Fish-Kills, twenty miles off, before they could meet with any suitable place, for the reception and accom­modation of the sick.

Of the clamours of Regimental Surgeons, from want of Medicines.

OF all the complaints that have been made in respect to the sufferings of the sick, none have been so loud and clamorous, as those proceeding from a want, or pretended want of medicines. I proceed, therefore, to examine into the nature and causes of those complaints, and I doubt not, to be able to convince the impartial world, and Congress itself, that whether or not the Gentlemen, that compose that illustrious body, can just­ly exculpate themselves from the charge of neglect, in not providing the necessary supplies of medicines, for the Regimental Surgeons, and furnishing them there­with in season to be of use to them, I am free from any merited blame, on that account. And I wish the reader to remark, that the complaints, on account of the [...]uffer­ings of the sick, from want of medicines, were but mere whispers before the battle and retreat from Long-Island, compared to the clamours from that time forwards.

From the day of that retreat, August 28, 1776, a dreadful scene of confusion and disorder took place, which had a particular effect in disjointing all the mea­sures of the Regimental Surgeons, and involving the [Page 125] affairs of the General Hospital department, so far as it was complicated therewith, in the greatest difficulties, for the remainder of the year

These misfortunes were increased by the obstinacy of the Regimental Surgeons, in withstanding the orders of Congress; in which they were still supported by offi­cers, who, to put the most favourable construction on their motives, were either not acquainted with the de­terminations of Congress respecting them, or not skil­ful in the duties of Regimental Surgeons, and the na­ture of Military Hospitals; or they were owing to the want of a proper arrangement in settling the duties of the Regimental Surgeons, and providing them with the proper means of discharging those duties. This may be imputed to the vast variety of business, that con­stantly occupied the Congress, which did not leave them sufficient leisure to attend to them, or their not sufficiently understanding the subject, from the defect of experience, on the first raising of an army; whereas they ought to have been early provided with medicines, instruments and bandages, by a Continental Druggist, or chosen Committee, before the campaign began: And the militia which came late to the field, should have been provided by the different States, before they joined the army: Some of them did not come till just before, and many not till after the retreat from Long-Island; and then came wholly unprovided with those articles, at a time when it was impossible, if there had been ever so great a plenty of medicines in the hos­pital or army, subject, as both were, to continual move­ments, and when the officers of the hospital were divided, and as busily employed as men could be in taking care of the sick and wounded, to dispense them out to all applyers.

I early foresaw that this evil might happen, and as ear­ly pointed it out to the General, in the month of Fe­bruary, for the sake of applying a remedy, and of not being burdened with the charge of it, as may be seen in my letter to him, page 32. The contents of this let­ter, [Page 126] I also communicated to Congress, the first oppor­tunity [...] I had for doing it, in person, which was in June following.

And after the retreat from Long-Island, I described my own situation to them, and that of the Regimental Surgeons, in the live left terms I could, praying for farther assistance, and pointing out the means of it, without success, as my letters to different members of the Medical Committee, will abundantly prove; but all my applications, on this subject, were in vain. I never received the least assistance from them.

In my narrative to General Washington, from page 7, to page 12, I have described what pains I had been at, to make provision of medicines, for the Regiment­al Surgeons, and to have the mode of furnishing the supplies clearly and properly established.

To what I then wrote, I have now to add some fur­ther observations, to free me from any misrepresent­ation, on this head.

When I made an offer of my best services to the Me­dical Committee of Congress, to supply the Regiment­al Surgeons at New-York, with regimental chests, though not in my line of duty to do so; it was not be­cause I wished for the employ, being already burdened with much more business than belonged to my place, but because I did not find that Congress had taken any step for the purpose; and was apprehensive, lest when the evil arising from the neglect thereof, should be more sensibly felt and complained of, the ill consequen­ces of that neglect would be charged upon me; and I expected thereby to get rid of a still greater evil, with which I heard I was threatened, as I told the Commit­tee, that of being called on to furnish the hospitals and regiments, in the northern department, with instru­ments, medicines, &c. a thing impracticable in my si­tuation, and in the exhausted state of America in re­spect to them. And I still expected, if Congress ac­cepted of my proposal, they would have appointed an [Page 127] apothecary for the army, distinct from the hospital; or to have had the medicines put up at Philadelphia, in proper chests for regiments, to be sent to camp, duly pre­pared, of which I left with the Committee a proper list for the purpose. But what is surprizing, they never gave me any answer to these proposals, so that notwith­standing I engaged in the business, I never was proper­ly authorized, or assisted for the discharge of that sla­vish employment; although, it seems, I was answerable for the consequences of my offer, as though I had been enabled, in every respect, to perform it.

Far be it from me, to charge the Committee with neglect in this business. All I mean is to defend my­self against any imputation. What answer did they ever give me on that subject? None, except what is contained in a resolve of Congress, July 17th, of which I knew nothing, till that month was nearly expired; for when I was obliged by the General's order to return to camp, they had come to no determination. Nor, do those resolves enjoin it as a duty: They only forbid the Regimental Surgeons to draw any thing from the hospital, except instruments and medicines

That it was not the intention, however, of Con­gress, to give them a right to demand these, except, as mentioned in the printed letter, page 72, (a copy of which I had laid before the Committee in June.) in small quantities, only to serve them till they could be supplied from any neighbouring place, is evident from the following consideration.

The Congress had committed their stock of medi­cines at Philadelphia, into the hands of Mr. William Smith, and by a vote of theirs appointed him Conti­nental Druggist, or Commissary of Medicinal Stores, for which they allowed him pay, equal to go dollars per month. What was I to conclude from hence, but that the Congress had seen sit, and proper it was it should have done it long before to relieve me from a task foreign to my station, and to provide a person on [Page 128] purpose to supply the wants of the Regimental Sur­geons: And that this was their idea, will appear far­ther probable, if it may be supposed the mind of Con­gress was known to one of their Members, who, some time after this, in a letter he wrote to me, expresses himself as follows: "With respect to supplying the Regimental Surgeons with medicines, I am fully of opinion that the Directors cannot well attend to it, but the applica­tion ought to be to them; in the first instance, and they to sign orders on the Continental Druggist, for so ma­ny chests as they shall judge necessary, and have the medicines assorted, as they shall think proper."

IN REGARD TO INSTRUMENTS; anxious to have it in my power to furnish the hospitals more plentiful­ly, as I had found it necessary to increase the number of Hospital Surgeons and Mates, and to recruit my stock of medicines, which was almost wholly exhausted of capital articles, I sent Doctor Bi [...]n [...]y to Philadelphia, a gentleman of the hospital, in whose zeal and activity I placed great reliance, to forward to camp, with all dispatch, what medicines I had there of my own, and as much as he could procure from Congress, for I could not be sufficiently supplied at New-York. I enjoined him to use the utmost diligence to purchase instruments, if to be had, ready made, or to engage a workman to make a great number of sets, on my ac­count. He soon informed me, by letter, that there were no instruments to be purchased at any rate; and that the only workman in the city that could make sur­geon's instruments was engaged by Mr. Marshall, for the Congress; and that he could not undertake any work for me, for a long time to come. Is not this an addi­tional proof that Congress, in their resolves of July 17th, did not intend to make me answerable for the supplying of Regimental Surgeons, either with medi­cines or instruments; or, if it was their intention that I should furnish them; why did they not enable me to do it? Or why did they deprive me of the means?

[Page 129] By much assiduity, Doctor Binney, who was detain­ed near a month in Philadelphia, at length sent for­ward such a supply of medicines as he could procure, which was very different, however from the list I had sent for, which arrived at Newark [...] short time before the retreat from Long-Island. It was then un­safe to attempt, if not impracticable to get them over to New-York; on which account, till the army abandon­ed the city, and the hospital stores were all removed to Newark, they remained there, where they had been left, except some articles which were wanted to supply the General Hospital, formed at this time near Kings­bridge, towards which place the army had retreated. I fixed Mr. Cutting, Assistant Apothecary, at Newark, which I considered as the most convenient and proper place at the time, for storing the medicines I had col­lected there, and referred such Regimental Surgeons, as applied to me for medicines, to him. This being my magazine of all that were most valuable, or most in de­mand, I felt the loss more sensibly, when they were ta­ken out of my hands, in so irregular a manner, as I have already described in the first part of this work.

IN no part of the vast variety of duty and fatigue that I went through, have I been so sensible of ILL TREATMENT, as in what related to the supplies of medicines and hospital stores, except the more shame­ful and injurious manner in which I was deprived of them. It is next to impossible, to describe the toils that myself, and most of the Gentlemen of the hospital, have endured in that business; and the injurious reflex­ions that have been cast upon me, for conducting this affair, in a way the most meritorious, is truly matter of astonishment, and only to be equalled by the treat­ment I met with from Congress, in return for all those services.

To judge of this matter clearly, it is necessary to call to mind the difficulties under which I laboured for want [Page 130] of sufficient help, to consider the scarcity and value of medicines, and how troublesome or impracticable to procure them, in quantity, in America. I found no large stock on hand, when I first took charge of the hospital, to supply the vast demands of an army, in which generally more is wasted than used: The strictest oeconomy was also enjoined me, in supplying the wants of the hospital, however much the plan of Congress is now changed. It is worth observing here, that the first piece of business the Congress employed me in, af­ter my appointment to the Director-Generalship, was to look over a list of medicines made out by my pre­decessor, and not a large one, to supply the immediate wants of the hospital: A Committee of Congress put it into my hands, not so much, as I could understand, to add to it, if I thought necessary, as to curtail it: What was said on the occasion, at least, looked that way. With such views, such wants, and such oecono­my demands were made on me, from all quarters of the army, and out of the army, to distant parts of the country. All the assistance Congress allowed by their original establishment to procure assort, prepare and dispense medicines, was one apothecary It being im­possible to perform this service, without further help, a mate had been employed before my arrival, and an assistant with little more than soldiers pay, whom I also found here on my arrival, and continued him in his place, without being allowed any other help, till the year was almost over; when the Congress by their third resolve of October 9, 1776, at once, enjoined me to furnish such further quantities of medicines and bedding, as I might judge expedient, and impowered another, at the same time, to deprive me of what I had, with toil and fatigue immense, collected, and saved from destruction.

To be ordered by the General to collect medicinal stores, in the manner already mentioned, and to be abused and calumniated for performing that duty; and after supplying chests to five battalions at Boston, near [Page 131] fifty at New-York, and sent twenty more to the nor­thern department, and furnished the hospitals at Long-Island, New-York, Newark, Hackinsack, and Kings-bridge; and when I made demands on the Continental Druggist for a small supply, to assort what remained on hand, not to be furnished with that necessary supply, was hard to be born: And yet to be baited like a bear at the stake, with incessant demands, and made respon­sible for the clamours of the Regimental Surgeons, for all the wants of new troops daily arriving, without sup­plies, and for the sufferings of the sick, arising from their opposition to General Orders; and so artfully excited that if I was at the General Hospital, crys were raised because I was not at camp, and if at camp, that they could not meet me at the General Hospital, was not less intolerable. The same noise pervaded from the remotest towns in the neighbouring States, to which the Regimental Surgeons had conveyed the sick, beyond the reach of relief, to terrify and alarm the country. Nor were these circumstances sufficient to fill up the measure of my distress. The most affecting represent­ations were made to the General, from the distance of several hundred miles, ascribing the misfortunes of the army, ready to mutiny at the northward, to me, when I had early acquainted Congress with their situation, and prayed for relief for them in vain, although no part of my care. And notwithstanding I had sent them what I could spare from my own stock, and officers to assist them, at the earnest request of the director; I never met with the least acknowledgment for these ser­vices from the Congress but, on the contrary, the strangest and most uncival returns from the Secretary, only for presuming to inquire of him, concerning the nature of the appointments Congress had made in some other departments, for the care of the sick, that I might the better understand, and understanding, better perform my own duty. Can there be a more striking instance of ingratitude than I have met in the whole of [Page 132] my treatment, where the obligations to shew me a very different one, for my attention to, and for the manner of discharging my trust, were neither small nor few.

I shall here relate an instance of insolent and injurious treatment I met with, for what I had not done, in place of thanks for what I had done to serve the nor­thern department. It is contained in a letter from a certain Parson David Avery to Doctor Lind, and for­warded by him to the General, in September last; in which, after giving a high wrought description of the sufferings of the sick, at the lakes, for want of medi­cines, he introduces this virulent aspersion: "Men of chief consideration, (says he) are more than unea­sy on this head, and do not hesitate to speak freely of first rate characters, as the authors of those calamities, some blaming the Congress, and some the Surgeon-Ge­neral, (meaning the Director-General) of the Ameri­can Army, and some the Director of the Northern De­partment. For my part, continues this reverend ca­lumniator, I will not say which of them is the most guilty, but this I will affirm, that great guilt lies at some one's door." Strange that a preacher of the gospel, which breathes charity to all, and especially to strangers, should carry the poison of asps under his tongue, and spout forth his venom at this indiscriminate rate, against persons whom he knows little of, as is the case at least of one that had nothing to do in this matter, but as an act of extra-official benevolence, and who, though oppressed, as he was, with the greatness of his own burden, strove to mitigate and lighten that of others! And such are the grateful returns made to him for it.

BUT a circumstance that happened at that time, which I think of the most consequence to explain ful­ly to the public is the REMOVAL of part of the HOSPI­TAL STORES from New-York to Stamford, previous to [Page 133] the evacuation of Long-Island, and from thence to the interior parts of Connecticut; as this transaction was laid hold of as a handle of censure against me, and induced the General, by one of his aids, to write to, and acquaint me with the miserable situation to which the sick were reduced, and the clamours excited, as it was alledged, (but without reason,) for want of medi­cines as set forth in my narrative, page 12, and 13. I shall now prove the truth of what I there alledged; that it was by his Excellency's own order, that I ship­ped the stores which were sent to Stamford; and the sending them from thence farther inland, was by his commands, of which I had no knowledge at the time, whence the General himself, and every other reasona­ble person, must be so far from condemning, that they cannot, in justice, but approve my conduct. This ac­count will likewise evince the impracticability of what he afterwards insisted upon I should comply with im­mediately; but will shew, at the same time, that it was undertaken with all diligence, and executed with all possible dispatch.

Sanguine as the generality of men unexperienced in military operations were, that the strength of our works, and so large an army as we had, were sufficient to defend New-York, against all the force that could be brought against it; others, of better understanding and cooler judgment, had great abatements in their belief of it. At any rate, they concluded it was very possible the town might be destroyed by the shipping, whether a landing was effected or not. Had a shell fallen a­mongst the combustible articles of medicines, the whole might be destroyed, to the irreparable loss of the army. I therefore asked the General what he thought of removing those articles that could be best spared for the present, and mentioned Stamford, as a place to which they might be easily transported by water, and from whence they might, at any proper time, when wanted, be brought back either by water or land. He [Page 134] not only approved of the proposition for their remo­val, but ordered it to be carried into execution, as ex­peditiously as I could. At this time, being the month of August, I had as I imagined, supplied almost every regiment in the army, with medicine chests: But fresh demands occurring every day, and the want of a trans­port vessel, impeded the performance of the General's commands, for some weeks.

It being in the most violent heat of summer, and so the less wanted, I ordered the greater part of the rugs and blankets, the newest and best bedding, of which I had collected a very large stock, and a thousand sheets of which I had lately got to the amount of near two thousand, many of them new, and a number of new shirts, at New-York, to be set apart for the purpose; and a large quantity of heavy hospital furniture, some of the largest best metal and iron mortars, a number of crates of vials and gaily pots, the largest bottles, with the most bulky articles, and those in the least demand, as some hogsheads and casks of cascarilla, and other such particulars as we could best spare, to accompany them. To these, I ordered a share of whatever we had in so great a plenty, as not to fear being soon destitute of them, to be added, with a small assort me [...] of chosen medicines, to be made up, and kept together in one or two suitable boxes, as a reserve, most likely to be wanted, and the most easily to be got at, on any pressing occasion. In the mean while the British troops landed at Long-Island, and many officers and some Surgeons, perhaps the very men, who were afterwards foremost in the clamour, for want of medicines, came to the hos­pital, and expressing their apprehensions for the safety, took upon them to be very importunate for the remo­val of the hospital stores. I met the Adjutant-Gene­ral, and told him in what state they were, and as re­ports of some frigates being shortly expected to appear in the sound prevailed, I proposed, once more, to know the General's mind, with regard to the removal of the [Page 135] stores: He told me he had heard the General express himself on the subject very lately, with wishes of their being gone; whereupon he, believing it to be so, in­formed him of such his assurance, that they were alrea­dy sent away; and urged me to lose no time to have it done. A small transport being forth with engaged, the abovementioned stores, amounting to eighteen tons, were immediately put on board, and sent off, under the care of Doctor Ledyard, of the hospital; they were safely landed at Stamford, and committed to the care of John Lloyd, Esq of that place, who stored them in his own house.

An apprehension and alarm prevailing soon after, that the enemy were about to make a sudden descent upon that place, and might destroy the stores if not re­moved farther from the sound; Mr. Lloyd wrote to the General on the subject, and received his commands in return; in pursuance of which the Committee had them removed further into the interior country, and particularly the most valuable were conveyed to no less a distance than fifty miles, for safety; of which I had no notice at the time, but have since obtained a copy of the General's order for their removal, and a certificate from the Committee at Stamford, of their removal, in virtue of the General's said order, contained in the fol­lowing letter.

TO JOHN LLOYD, Esquire, at Stamford.


I HAVE it in command from his Excellency Ge­neral Washington, to acknowledge your favour of, this date, and to request, in his name, that you will ap­ply to the Committee of Stamford [...]or assistance, to re­move the stores in your possession, to such place or places as you and they may judge necessary for their se­curity. Whatever expences shall attend their removal, will be punctually paid, as soon as the bill them of is rendered. As these stores are of great use, and may [Page 136] be of the utmost consequence, and things are so cir­cumstanced here, that persons and carriages, proper to convey them, cannot be sent; his Excellency is hope­ful you will excuse this trouble, and that yours and the Committee's kind exertions, will most readily be em­ployed upon this occasion.

I am, Sir, your most obedient Servant, ROB. H. HARRISON, Secretary. A true Copy, JOHN LLOYD.

Long-Island was abandoned to the British troops, 3 days before the date of the above letter; and in less than 3 weeks more, New-York also fell into their hands. With difficulty could the remaining hospital stores be saved, by transporting them, over the North River to the Jerseys, and thence to Newark. And yet it was within ten days, from that time, and whilst I was taking measures to overlook and put in order the medi­cines, and to get a fresh list of capital articles, wanted to assort them, that, owing to the clamours beforemen­tioned, I received that severe and unmerited reprehen­sion, quoted in my narrative, page 13.

I wrote to Philadelphia for medicines, but could get none, or next to none. The Gentlemen, to whom I wrote, acquainted me their shops were exhausted. From the Continental Druggist I obtained a very small supply indeed, with a proper apology for it.

Under all these difficulties, I did not slacken my en­deavours to obtain a supply. I sent through the dif­ferent States of New-England, and applied, in person, to the State of New-York, at Fish-Kills, and, not long after, had hospitals established at Stamford and Norwalk, well supplied with medicines and other stores, the former of which, received into it above 12,00 pa­tients, who were comfortably provided for, under the care of Doctor Philip Turner, most of whom recover­ed; and the latter above 700, under the care of Doctor [Page 137] Eustis; both of whom furnished, from the hospital, all Regimental Surgeons who applied, with whatever medicines they called for, to the full of their demands. By the exactest accounts and returns of the patients re­ceived into the hospital at Stamford, from November 5th, to the time of my dismission being known there, in February following, the amount was near thirteen hundred, of whom the number, remaining in the hos­pital, was then reduced to twenty-five, in all. Doctor Eustis informed me, that upwards of seven hundred sick and wounded were well provided for, by means with which I had sufficiently furnished him, whom he was enabled to attend, much to their satisfaction; and that when he left Norwalk, in March, the number re­maining was reduced to eight or ten.

The GOVERNOR of CONNECTICUT has also fa­voured me with the following testimonial of my appli­cation to him for assistance, and of the good effect of it.


That in the beginning of October, 1776, Doctor John Morgan, then Director General of the Hospitals, of the American Army, made application to me, by [...], for my assistance, in supplying the troops of the State of Connecticut, with medicines and other neces­saries for their sick; mentioning the general want there­of, and his inability (without some aid of this kind) to answer the numerous demands daily made on him, and the consequent distress of the sick and wounded of the army. In compliance with which request. I im­mediately sent Doctor Philip Turner, with a quantity of necessary articles to his assistance, and by this means the complaints of the soldiery were greatly lessened.

JONATHAN TRUMBULL, Gover­nor of the State of Connecticut,

[Page 138] WERE it necessary to produce other evidences of the pains I took to acquaint Congress of the suffering condition of the sick, I could refer to a number of let­ters I have written to several of the members, contain­ing a particular history of the movements of the hos­pitals and sick, during the whole campaign, particu­larly to Mr. Gerry, Member for Massachusetts-Bay, and Doctor Rush, of Philadelphia, and especially in a letter I wrote to the former, October 6th.

In that letter I informed him "of the great cla­mours that prevailed, at the time, amongst the Regi­mental Surgeons, because they could not be supplied with every thing they wanted, from the General Hospi­tal, of which I gave him a full and just representation. It contained, likewise, a long and particular relation of all my proceedings in the care of my department, from the time I entered into the service, to that period, con­formable to what I have delivered in my narrative to General Washington. I pointed out to him the state of the Regimental Surgeons, ever since I entered into the service, and the destitute condition they were in, at my first arrival in the army, in respect to all sorts of stores, in­struments and medicines. I acquainted him with the pains I had been at, to furnish them with necessaries, and the extent to which I had done it, with my appli­cations to the General and Congress to settle the chan­nels of supply, and with the applications to me from Ca­nada, for that purpose. I let him know, that I had sent off to the amount of twenty regimental chests, for the troops at Lake George and Albany, besides what I had sent to General Gates at Ticonderoga, (exclusive of be­twixt forty and fifty regimental medicine chests, sup­plied to the forces under the immediate command of General Washington,) and acquainted him with what had been sent by the General's order to Stamford."

"I further gave him as exact a description, as it was in my power, of the state of the sick and wounded, and of the unusual complaints amongst the [...]; of [Page 139] the continual vicissitude in the state of the sick, from the various movements of the army, and consequent shiftings of the hospital; and of the difficulties to which this reduced the officers employed in attending it; of the necessity we were under to remove the stores and sick to Newark; and the obstacles we had to overcome, under many inconveniences, to convey them to a place of safety, and to provide them with quarters; and with­all, I told him of the unruly behaviour of the surgeons of the militia regiments and their tumultuous appli­cations for medicines; and informed him how widely they were scattered through the country; of the deser­tion of some of the Regimental Surgeons, and the calls on the Mates of the Hospital to supply their places."

"I concluded my letter to him with the following observations: "Upon the whole matter, it ap­peared to me, that a general mistake prevailed concern­ing the duty of the Regimental Surgeons, and the man­ner in which they ought to be furnished with instru­ments, medicines and necessary stores. I gave it as my opinion, in the most express terms, that they ought not to depend on the General Hospital for them, be­cause, in its present exhausted condition, and the loose state in which every thing was, from the scattered con­dition of the sick, and the vast variety of duty, and infinite fatigue of the department, it was impossible for me to furnish the Regimental Surgeons, and not essen­tially injure, or totally overthrow the General Hospi­tal. And observed to him, that whilst there was such a limitation in the number of surgeons and other offi­cers in the hospital, and the Regimental Surgeons could claim any right to depend upon it for supply of what they required, it must soon be entirely exhausted of the means of answering its design, and be rendered wholly useless. I therefore recommended to Congress, the ap­pointment of proper persons, to look out, and purchase medicines sufficient for a store to be formed at Phila­delphia, from whence what might be wanting for regi­mental [Page 140] use, could be sent up in proper chests to every Regimental Surgeon, as his occasions required."

"Thus, I observed, being somewhat more disengaged from the present innumerable calls on me, that were foreign to my duty, I should enjoy more leisure for what were proper to my station, and then would sketch out some further plan for the better government of the General Hospital and Regimental Surgeons, and the best means of furnishing the needful supplies." And, soon after, I sent such a list of medicinal stores and surgeons instruments, &c. as I concluded would be ne­cessary for an army of 20,000 men, for a twelvemonth, including both hospitals and regiments.

I accordingly drew up the above mentioned plan in a few days after, by the General's Orders; which being first submitted to his remarks, and those of Lord Ster­ling, and of General M'Dougall, as it was agreed up­on, was then forwarded shortly after, by General M'Dougall, to General Green, that his remarks being added, it might be returned to me, with all dispatch, to compare the whole, and revise it for laying before the Congress.

As General Green had shewn so much zeal in the affair, and had made such warm representations, suc­cessively, to General Washington, and to the President of the Congress, on the subject, setting forth, that if the present evil was not quickly remedied, it would fa­tally injure the service: I did not doubt, that he would give it all possible dispatch, and send it to me, so soon as he could examine it. But although I wrote, and sent message after message, I could never get it again, till a few days before Christmas, when I called on him for it, in person, and received it, without the benefit of a single observation of his, to accompany its return, However, I sat down, so soon after as I could, and re­duced the whole into eight articles, which I enclosed to Mr. Samuel Adams, to lay before Congress, with two sheets of paper, containing remarks, and reasons in sup­port [Page 141] of them. Of these, together with what I had communicated to the Committee, at my conference with them in June, and to several of the Members, in my letters to the President and others, I find they have not disdained to make great use, in the arrange­ments which have since taken place, on a very large scale, and especially in what related to the arrangement of the superior officers, and the subordination they have traced out in the department.

I have not mentioned Gen. Green's omission to per­form what he undertook, from believing it to be volunta­ry; but as some persons, who having no better reason at hand to assign for my removal, have, it seems, charg­ed me, with having promised to lay some plan before Congress, for better regulating the department, and having then neglected it for near three months, during which time, many of the evils complained of, continued without redress, I thought it became me to give a true re­lation of the cause of that delay, so far as it respected myself. I doubt not General Green's being able to give such substantial reasons for his delaying to perform his promise, as will be fully satisfactory: But as that regards him more than myself, I leave it to him to state this matter as he pleases, if he should chance to think the taking notice of it at all, to be worthy of his attention.

BESIDES the afore-described letter to Mr. [...], written with a view to give Congress all neces­sary information of the state of my department, and every thing that had a relation to it, to awaken their attention to the state of the sick and Regimental Sur­geons, as well as the hospital department, to make what reformations and amendments in it they thought pro­per, I wrote a letter to Dr. Rush, a Member of the Medical Committee; and from the same motive, my anxiety on account of the sufferings of the sick, to [...]ouse the attention of Congress to make this matter a [Page 142] serious subject, before they should be compelled to do it, from being overtaken with those calamities which too soon after came on, and, with the rapidity of a tor­rent, swept away many hundreds, if not thousands, in­to the ocean of eternity.

Although it is a long letter, and contains repetitions of matters, some of which I have already mentioned, more than once; yet on that very account, of their be­ing repetitions, they have their use; and the length of my letter, at a time when I had so much to claim my attention, is a proof that my mind was deeply engaged in the subject: They carry with them the most convin­cing evidence, that if the sick suffered, as they indisput­ably did, more than might be expected, had the Con­gress done their part, either in making the necessary provision, before the campaign began, or understood how to regulate matters rightly at first; or had been as attentive, in applying seasonable remedies, as I was, to point out the disorders and means of redress, it was not owing to any neglect of mine, or any fault that I have yet been reproached with, from want of expe­rience or abilities for the task, or of zeal and activity in discharging my duty: But of this, let the impartial judge. The letter is as follows.

To Doctor BENJAMIN RUSH. Member of the Medical Committee of CONGRESS.


BY command of General Washington, all the sick and wounded, both in the General Hospital, and those remaining under the care of Regimental Sur­geons, are removed within these two days, to this side the river, and chiefly in this neighbourhood: They amount to several hundreds, in addition to about 300 who were before removed to Newark, and 4 or 500 in Orange County. I have neither Commissary near at hand, nor Quartermaster, and brought with me only [Page 143] three Mates: One Surgeon who was to follow, is hourly expected. The General's commands were to leave a re­spectable body of Surgeons and Mates above Kingsbridge, a general action being daily expected, as the whole force of the enemy is drawn to that quarter. So soon as I get this part of the General Hospital into order and re­gularity, I am to return, and provide accommodations at the White Plains, for which indeed I gave the neces­sary orders before I came over, that in case the commu­nication by the North-River should be cut off, for a while, which no doubt the enemy mean to attempt, suitable provision may be made for the wounded, should there be a general action, which is daily expected. I wrote to Mr. Gerry, giving an account of the state of the hospital, since the affair of Long-Island which I wish you to see. My anxiety to preserve hospital stores occasioned my removal of the heavy articles to Stam­ford, which I effected, just in time to prevent their fall­ing into the enemy's hands. Great part of what re­mained at New-York, were again divided, part to be removed to Kingsbridge, with the Hospital Surgeons and Mates, who remained with the army; the rest to be sent with the sick to Newark. In packing and unpack­ing medicines, and dealing them out, with other hospi­tal stores, to Regimental Surgeons and Mates, near one half of our mates of the hospital have been employed the whole summer and autumn, to this time, to the mere subversion, and almost total destruction, of the Ge­neral Hospital. We are now scarcely any thing more than collectors and retailers to Regimental Surgeons and Mates; and the stores are so divided, wasted, and dissi­pated, that without a new arrangement, and abundant more assistance than we have, or can have, or the hos­pital continuing fixed in one place, we shall shortly be incapable of yielding any assistance at all. The greatest difficulty is the supplying medicines to the whole army. Think how I came to have that charge, [...] addition to my duty as Director-General, &c. and that it was only [Page 144] designed as a temporary expedient, and consider the difficulties and inconveniences of continuing to execute it, and you must soon be convinced how impracticable it is for me to answer [...]. When I first ar­rived in the army. I [...] Regimental Surgeons de­stitute of medicines, [...] and bandages; there­fore a useless set, [...] I represented this to General Washington, [...] pointed out to him [...] ne­cessity of every regiment [...] supplied, the ensuing campaign, with a medicine chest for the whole year: But where to get the medicines was the question, or who was to fit out the Surgeons I recommended an application to Congress, to employ some one in Phila­delphia, to provide chests for each regiment. Whilst matters were under consideration, Boston was evacuated by the British troops: By dint of unwearied assiduity, I collected a great number of blankets, beds and rugs, which had been left, by the British army, in hospitals, barracks, and in the river: I had them washed, and made fit for use By the General's Orders I took pos­session of a large Druggist's shop, and a small one of a private practitioner, after they were gleaned of capital articles, as camphor, rhubarb, bark, opium. &c. The General concluding it would be a means of supplying the regiments, as well as General Hospital, ordered me to purchase such articles as were wanted, and as I could get, and make out chests for every regiment, in the ar­my which he commanded: This made it late before I could get to New-York, and above half the mates were employed, in packing and accompanying the medicines to New-York. Hearing, on my arrival, that the Con­gress had a large assortment of medicines at Philadel­phia, and being called upon by the surgeons, in the nor­thern department, to supply them, I hastened to Phila­delphia to confer with a Committee of Congress, and have my duty better ascertained: I found that of a va­luable assortment of capital articles, which the Congress had purchased, there had been considerable deductions [Page 145] for the use of the southern army, and part sold, as if the quantity was greater than was required for public use: On which I represented to the Committee the necessity of husbanding the stock well. I begged that a share might be appropriated for the use of the army under General Washington, and undertook to furnish for the present campaign, the regiments of that army, with chests for the campaign, not imagining they would ex­ceed the number of 40 regiments, especially as the Flying Camp was to form a separate department; and was fearful lest, if regiments were unequally served, great part of the Surgeons would be destitute and useless. To make out the better, I bought up all the valuable articles I could meet with at New-York, and elsewhere: Besides 5 regi­ments which I supplyed with chests at Boston, and 20 to the northward, I supplyed, from the beginning of Ju­ly to the middle of August, above 40 chests. Then fresh demands came from hosts of militia, the numbers countless, who joined the army, destitute of every thing necessary for sick and wounded, as instruments, ban­dages, or medicines: They demanded even their provi­sions, as well as medicines, from me, and our whole force of Surgeons and Mates were chiefly employed to furnish the Regimental Surgeons: The labour was too great, the task beyond our abilities, for medicines became more scarce every day, and our stores dissipated. The mak­ing provision, to save part of our stores, before the af­fair of Long-Island, and the confusion in which we have been ever since, moving about by detachment; the sick scattered, under the care of Regimental Sur­geons, for a tract of 30 miles and upwards; only one apothecary being allowed; no leisure for either him or me to leave the army, and look out for supplies; and none to be got for writing, or next to none; the wound­ed requiring our care; destitute of help from Quarter-masters and Commissaries, when removed to a distance. All concur to shew that the resolve of Congress, that the Directors shall supply medicines to the Regimental [Page 146] Surgeons, is a thing impossible, at least in my depart­ment, for any length of time, unless I am allowed to leave the camp, and range through the different States, or rather to employ a variety of persons for that purpose. I have represented the matter to the General, and now hope the Congress will take it into consideration. I have been reduced to the necessity of sending a surgeon to proceed through New-England, to collect medicines, as Doctor Stringer is gone in person, for his depart­ment. I have wrote to Governor Trumbull and the Assembly of Connecticut, for their assistance; to the State of New-York for help; sent for and issued out all my own stock of medicines; purchased from public bo­dies, and private practitioners; wrote to Mr. Bass, Mr. Smith and others: All is insufficient. I shall make out another list, and send to Mr. Smith; but I fear much that I shall not get what I want, in Philadelphia: It is distressing to the last degree, to be harrassed with such unceasing clamorous demands, for what I neither have, nor can get; and if I had them, I have not help suffi­cient to issue them out, it being as much as two or three persons can do to prepare, and issue out medicines for the sick in the General Hospital, diffused as ours is, and necessarily so.

General Washington has ordered me to draw up a plan for the government of the General Hospital, and of the Regimental Surgeons, such as I think practicable in the execution, and best calculated to answer the de­sign of both: I presented him with a rough sketch, which he has examined, and made his remarks: Lord Sterling has done the same; and it is now in the hands of General M'Dougall; and it is to pass through General Green's, then to undergo corrections and a­mendments, to lay before the Congress, for which this may prepare you.

This minute I learn, that the British troops have with­drawn from Frog's-Point; are landed at New Rochell; [Page 147] a general action is hourly expected; an important event, on which much depends.

The design of this letter is, principally, to prepare the attention of Congress to the affairs of my department. We want rags, old linnen, bandages, lint, tow, thread, needles and pins, &c. They are not to be got here. Would it not be worth the attention of a Committee of Congress, or some active Members, to set some inhabi­tants of the city to collect these, and other necessary articles, and send off with dispatch. They cannot come too soon, or in larger quantity than sufficient. The hospital has been drained by supplying Regimental Sur­geons. We must depend on the public to furnish fresh supplies: They are not to be got here: I am over­whelmed with business; I cannot leave the hospital to go in search of them. I now give notice of my difficulties, while I can, in time, that in case of falling short of the quantity of those necessaries, I may not be blamed for the impossibility of collecting them.

I shall inclose you a list of medicines wanted for such an army as General Washington's, which I conceive to be rather moderate than extravagant. Without so ca­pital a stock is provided in time, we shall be unfurnished for another campaign: Nor do I think it sufficient for more than six such months as the last. Judge then whether it will not be necessary to employ Commissaries to pur­chase medicines; to prepare them before they come to the army; to provide a place of safety, at a proper dis­tance from danger, and not subject to continual move­ments; to have an Apothecary for the army or regi­ments, distinct from the Hospital Apothecary, and mates and labourers to assist in issuing them out, when wanted, to the respective Surgeons. I remain,

Sir, your most humble Servant, JOHN MORGAN.

The Public may desire to know what was the effect of the above representation and earnest application for [Page 148] some relief. There are few, perhaps, but readily con­clude, that this notice of my difficulties produced im­mediate and powerful assistance; or, that the Congress did me ample justice, in exculpating me from all cen­sure and blame for want of it. Quite the contrary of all this is the fact. No more notice was taken of this information, that ever came to my knowledge, than if it were a tale of what happened in ages past, that did no ways concern ourselves.

When the remnant of the army that retreated from Brunswick had crossed the Delaware, I proceeded to Philadelphia, to wait on Congress, and to lay matters before them in person, for such regulations for the bet­ter care of the sick and wounded, as were suitable to the occasion, and to obtain an explanation and amendment of the resolves of Congress, October 9th. I met Doc­tor Rush in the street, and attempted, for a moment, to detain him, till I could acquaint him with the present circumstances, and situation of affairs: He gave me no time: All he said was, that "he was glad I was come; it would take a great burden from his shoulders," and passed on. When I afterwards called upon him, at his house, to represent matters to him there, as a Member of the Medical Committee, for relief; the sum of his answer was, that "he would not, for ten times the con­sideration, go through the amazing toils and difficulties of my station." But instead of relief from the difficul­ties and hardship of my situation, all the returns I re­ceived from Congress, are complaints disregarded, griev­ances unredressed, and, without an hearing, and without assigning a reason, a dismission from my station, as if Congress intended to fix a stigma on my character. But however hidden the motives for such conduct are, a day may come, when these will be fully understood.

The same Gentleman who then felt, or seemed to feel for my situation, having since accepted a place, near of kin to that which he then so earnestly deprecated, may perhaps remember it. I can truly say, should he aspire [Page 149] to, or hereafter enjoy, that very place, I do not wish him the ill-treatment and ingratitude for his services in it, which I have experienced.

TO SHEW how difficult it was for me to re­ceive any exact information from Congress, on such particulars as I conceived it necessary to know, I need only acquaint the reader with the following particu­lars.

Being applyed to by Doctor Potts, who acted in the character of Director in a separate branch of the nor­thern department, to send him proper persons, to assist him, otherwise it would not be in his power to dis­charge the trust reposed in him, I nominated two gen­tlemen for that purpose, in the quality of a Surgeon, and Apothecary to that part of the hospital.

As other demands of that fort might be made upon me, I wrote to Mr. Charles Thomson, Secretary, re­questing him to acquaint me, from the Journals of the Congress, whether the nomination of Surgeons to fill up vacancies, in any part of the General Hospital of the northern department, rested with me as Director-Ge­neral and Physician in Chief of the American Hospital. It appeared, that Doctor Stringer had been impowered to take charge of the northern department, the nature of which I did not fully understand: But I thought the resolves of July 17, last, warranted me to call upon him, as one of the Directors, for returns of surgeons, mates, and other officers, &c. but then he had wrote word to me, that he conceived himself to be a senior of­ficer, and upon a supposition of our ever coming toge­ther, expected precedence, from that priority, or to take rank of me; and had given me to understand in express terms, that he never would be accountable to me, or to any person, but the Commander of the parti­cular department where he was, or to the Commander in Chief: And referred me to the votes of Congress, September 14, for the particulars of his appointment. [Page 150] Having no access to those votes otherwise, I informed the Secretary, in the letter which I wrote him, of my desire to avoid interfering with Doctor Stringer, in his department, from any misconception of the intentions of Congress; and asked as a favour, that he would be pleased to let me have a copy of the votes, relative to Doctor Stringer's appointment and instructions, and to Doctor Shippen's appointment and instructions, that I might know whether it was the duty of those Gentlemen to make me the specified returns of July 17th, or not.

Did he comply with my request? O [...] what answer did this polite, obliging Secretary, return me, and two other Gentlemen, Members of Congress, to whom I also wrote to request they would second my application to him for copies of the votes and instructions, &c.? He sent them not, but in place thereof, in a positive ma­gisterial way, gave me to understand, (in which how­ever, he was greatly mistaken) that "undoubtedly, at the appointment of those Gentlemen, they had the same powers given to them, in all respects, of nominating their own surgeons, nurses, &c. in their departments, as I had myself in mine; and as to rank and prece­dence, and all that nonsense (as he called it) there was nothing in the Journals to establish it."

By this time, I had obtained from Doctor Stringer himself a copy of his appointment, and of the powers vested in him by Congress, Sept. 14, 1775 (see page 27) which enabled me to point out his mistake, by shewing him that Doctor Stringer had no power given him, by those resolves, of nominating a single surgeon, or any officers whatever, except a number of mates, not to exceed four; a power not equal to that given to any of the surgeons, appointed by me, as each of them had a power of nominating five mates; and having taken the liberty to tell this GREATMAN! that in what it con­cerned me to be well acquainted with, for the direction of my conduct, I preferred a state of facts to his gloss­es, on which I could form a judgment of my own, on the evidence they afforded; and that had he been [Page 151] pleased to have examined these resolves of Congress, his disobliging observations on rank and precedence, might have been spared; I further told him, that men bred up in the army, had different notions from what he seemed to entertain, and that supposing their rank and their pay were to come into competition with each other, every officer of spirit and honour, would rather sacrifice his pay, as of less consequence, than his rank; and then asked him, if it was a matter of no impor­tance, how it came to pass that the Congress, in their late resolves, had determined that the surgeons and mates of the hospital should take rank of regimental surgeons and mates.

His letter, in reply to this, contained in it several ex­pressions so rude, and impertinent to the matter in hand, that I chuse to [...] but he very cynically ob­served, that "having never been conversant in courts or camps, he doubted not that his way of thinking, (as if that were to be the standard, and supercede the votes of Congress, of which he ought to have considered him­self the servant, and not the master) might appear as old fashioned to them, as their proceedings, at times, appear ridiculous to him, where rank stands for merit, and that fantastical thing called honour, (with which, by his invectives on it, he gives room enough to suppose he is little acquainted) supplys the place of virtue;" and con­cluded with a rhapsody on Commonwealths, that I con­ceived to be very foreign to the subject, as I never asked for a display of his principles, having barely requested such information of the resolves of Congress as might enable me to know, and to discharge my duty, the better. I only wished to guard against breaking down those bar­riers, which were most like [...]y to secure my rank and authority from innovations upon them; and which, per­haps, this very Gentleman might be instrumental in in­troducing, afterwards, into the votes of October 9th, which I conceived I had so much reason to complain of, as the first approach that was made to undermine my [Page 152] commission, which however could not be thoroughly effected, without attempting likewise to blow up my reputation, though unsuccessfully.

THAT I may at length bring this detail and exa­mination of facts to a conclusion, I shall make some abstracts from several certificates and testimonials, pre­sented to me by the Gentlemen of the General Hospi­tal who have accidentally fallen in my way, since the affair of my dismission happened, which has enabled me to obtain their sentiments on the subject.

These abstracts set forth, that on being called upon for the purpose, and considering themselves in honour obliged to certify facts of which they are acquainted, respecting the conduct and management of JOHN MORGAN, Esq late Director-General of the Ame­rican Hospital, and Physician in Chief, from being officers in said hospital, and therefore falling under their cognizance.


They testify,—That the said JOHN MORGAN, gave orders to the different Surgeons of the General-Hospital, to receive under their care all patients belong­ing to the army, whether sick or wounded, that were duly reported and found to be proper objects, without distinction, with full power to draw on the said depart­ment for whatever medicinal and other stores could be procured—That the said Director-General was ever at­tentive to any calls which they made upon him, for the supply of the hospital, and for procuring comfortable accommodation, provision, necessaries and refresh­ments for the sick—That in particular instances, on the breaking up of Regimental Hospitals, and routing of the sick, by the approach of the enemy, the sick being poured upon his care in vast numbers, without either Surgeon, Mate, Quartermaster, or any one officer to accompany: Doctor MORGAN having but little [Page 153] assistance for such amazing and sudden increase of numbers, went from house to house, to procure quar­ters for the sick, and provision for their support; in­structing the Country People in what manner to take charge of them, even to seeing them provide their meals for present refreshment, and take care for their future sustenance—That he visited the hospitals, going through each ward in person, to see that the sick were duly at­tended, and provided for—That he consulted very rea­dily with the Surgeons, and gave his assistance whene­ver there was occasion, and shewed a readiness to re­move any difficulty that offered to the utmost of his power—That he performed capital operations himself, when present, or assisted the Surgeons of the hospital therein, and hath stooped to do the duties of a mere mate, in dressing the most simple, as well as the most dangerous wounds of the soldiers in the General Hos­pital, as an example and encouragement to the officers under him, to attend carefully to that duty—That if the sick have at any time suffered more than usual, it has been from unavoidable accidents, not in his power to remedy—That there were no complaints of the sick suffering in the General Hospital under their care; but that the uneasiness which arose was, concerning the care and provision of those who were retained in their regi­ments, and not reported to the General Hospital—That they have been witnesses to his constant application and attention to the duties of his station, in which his dili­gence, assiduity, care of, and humanity towards the sick and wounded, were abundantly evident—That the principal causes of the sufferings of the sick, the last campaign, proceeded from the regimental sick not being properly reported to the General Hospital, and, in some instances, to the unavoidable scarcity of par­ticular medicines and other stores, which could not be procured, at all times, in sufficient quantities, and not, so far as ever came under their notice, to any want of care and attention in the Director-General; but princi­pally [Page 154] from the repeated movements of the army, which exposed the sick and wounded to sufferings that could in no ways be remedied, under those circumstances—And are firmly of opinion, that no person whatever, acting in the station of Director-General, under the same circumstances, could possibly have given univer­sal satisfaction."

THE above abstracts are taken from certificates signed by John Warren, Philip Turner, and William Eustis, Esquires, Surgeons of the General Hospital, and Isaac Ledyard, Esq Apothecary to the General Hospital, in the Eastern Department. Doctor Foster was generally detached, and at a distance. I have never seen Doctors Adams, M'Knight, or Burnet, since my dismission, to converse with them on the subject; but have no doubt of meeting with equal readiness in them, to testify to the same faithful discharge of my duty, with the other Gentlemen, whenever they are called upon for that purpose. But what occasion is there for further evidence. To accumulate it, would, in my opi­nion, be as unnecessary as to hold up torches to the sun.

" When Ph [...]ebus does his beams display,
" To tell men gravely, that 'tis day,
" Is to suppose them blind."

It may not be improper to say a few words, respect­ing the Gentlemen who have acted immediately under me; one of whom is raised to the rank of Deputy Di­rector General: None of them, that I know of, have done discredit to their places.

However Congress may reconcile it to themselves, and to the justice that is supposed to be due to Gentlemen of unexceptionable characters, that have served them faithfully, and with approved ability, from the begin­ning of the war; and have deserved well at their hands, for what they have done and suffered, from being con­stantly engaged as Surgeons in the General Hospital, [Page 155] since its first establishment; to pass them by, and to place over their heads some who were never before in the service, and others who were their juniors; they have, however unintentionally, done great honour to my appointments. Of three Gentlemen whom I no­minated, and who have served under me, as Surgeons, who are all I ever appointed, and were the youngest in the hospitals of my department, two of them are pro­moted, by Congress, to the stations of Physician Gene­ral, and Surgeon General, in the Army. Can a stron­ger proof be given of the care and fidelity with which I exercised that trust, than in employing, as officers un­der me, Gentlemen whom the Congress itself has seen fit, since, to distinguish in so extraordinary a manner? And when one of the beforementioned Gentlemen, who had just reason to expect to be noticed amongst the first appointments in the department, was for some time, at least, wholly overlooked, by them, as he was to my knowledge, probably, because he could not con­sent to be troubling Congress, either by himself or friends, with solicitations in his behalf, though they were not ignorant of his services; and though brother to HIM, who laid down his life in their CAUSE, and whose memory is held sacred by them; but who, with­out deriving merit from any extrinsic or adventitious circumstances, has conducted himself in a manner that reflects honour upon his talents and humanity!

If Congress could be capable then, of so long neglect­ing the known, but modest worth of Doctor JOHN WARREN, the world may less wonder they should so easily get over the obligations they owed to myself, and to their own reputation.

As to the Mates, many of them are raised to the rank of Surgeons of Regiments, and I doubt not, that by their superior knowledge in the duties of their sta­tion, above what many of their predecessors enjoyed, they will reflect credit on the General Hospital, under my direction, as a School to qualify them for superior services.

[Page 156] As to myself, and the unworthy treatment I have met with; I call it unworthy, for so it is, in respect to me, however worthy it may be of the authors of it; whatever credit and growing fame some may imagine they have acquired by it, I consider it not as any disho­nour to me, but to those only who have procured it. Time, the great revealer of Mens motives as well as actions, will perhaps, one day, un mask the private and disguised designs of men, who cover them at present, with a pretext of public good, but which are visible by their actions to the quicker sight of discerning men, who judge of a tree, not by its appearances, but its fruits. I do not envy them, but rather wonder, and wish them to enjoy the just reward of their devices.

" Nec Drances potius, sive haecest ira deorum,
" Mor [...]e [...]uat; sive est virtus aut gloria, tollat."

I doubt not, but they will fail, however, in one part of their design, and by endeavouring to throw an odium on my character, fix an indeliable mark on their own; and, perhaps, find that injustice so sweet to their taste, may, before it is digested, bring forth gaul and bitterness, and what they have sowed in deceit and folly, they may reap in remorse and disappointment.

Leaving them, therefore, to the opinion which the juster and wiser part of mankind may have of them in this proceeding, and to the operation of that inward monitor in their own breasts, I am satisfied in having hung out lights to those embarked in the same bottom with designing men, who steering amidst rocks and quick-sands, "hold themselves in readiness to plunder the vessel they mean to wreck."

I have endeavoured to discharge my duty in what I undertook from principle, according to my degree of knowledge and capacity, with faithfulness and diligence; and what I value more than knowledge or capacity a­lone, with humanity; from whence results the approba­tion of a good conscience, which as my enemies, with [Page 157] all their power, cannot give, so neither can they take away. Why then should I repine at the portion of difficulties, that, in times like these, have fallen to my lot, and which I have neither coveted, nor been able to shun? Having been born in freedom, I claim it, in common with every other freeman, as an indisputable, unalienable right, which I have never surrendered to any one, to defend my good name from the attacks of insidious men, of whatever class or denomination. Be it ever, therefore, my part to declare, without fear and without reserve, that true Freedom is my "unconquer­ble delight," and that I am equally a foe to false preten­ces of liberty, and "to every species of bondage," but most to "that of the mind."

As to those who have made themselves busy to reflect on my character, I consider their envy to be rather a proof of merit, than dread the power of their malice to affect me, since, in every age,

Envy does merit, as its shade, pursue,
And by the shadow, proves the substance true.

But neither pretending, nor wishing, to derive any merit from that source, I willingly subject the validity of the preceeding narrative, and exact representation of facts, to the strictest scrutiny of the impartial and dis­interested part of the community: To their equitable and candid decision therefore, this Defence of my pub­lic conduct, against all the secret arts and impotent ma­lice of a set of invidious and plotting men, who have sought to establish their power and influence, on my injured Innocence and Reputation, is chearfully sub­mitted.

[Page 158]


†*‡ The Italick Letters (in parenthesis) in the Memorial to General WASHINGTON, were, at first, intended to point out to those parts of the Ap­pendix, which more particularly regard the facts, there mentioned; but it being afterwards found necessary to change the order of the proofs and illustrations, the references were afterwards dropped, for the sake of connecting them with those facts, and others which were omitted in the Memorial, in the stile of a continued Narrative, for the greater ease of the Reader.

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