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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Medical Director’s Office, Camp Winfield Scott, April 12, 1862
SIR: Your letter of April 11 has been received. I find that in very many instances the supplies on hand in regiments in their old camps have been left behind under various pretexts that are not satisfactory to me. Want of transportation is most usually alleged. How this can be when the troops came by water I cannot understand. I have determined, therefore, to issue no more three-months’ supplies, but to confine the issues to such articles as are required for immediate use. Liquors will be sent to medical directors of corps, to be issued in their discretion, in hopes that by this means there may be some preserved when we are brought into action. We are now at least four weeks distant from our sources of supplies, and unless some economy is observed in the use of important articles we shall be destitute when most in want. In many instances I observe great waste in the expenditure of bandages. These articles must not be thrown away when once used, but washed out and used again till worn-out. If the medical officers will reflect upon what is before them, and the responsibility to which they will be held, the most indifferent among them will see the necessity for counting every pin before it is used. Their own credit, as well as the comfort and lives of the soldiers under their care, depends upon their vigilance in preserving their supplies.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Medical Director Army of the Potomac.
MEDICAL DIRECTOR KEYES’ CORPS.
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Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.199
web page Rickard, J (25 October 2006)