GENERAL ORDERS NO. 106.

WAR DEPT., ADJT, GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, March
16, 1864.

UNIFORM SYSTEM OF AMBULANCES.

The following act of Congress is published for the information and guidance of all concerned:

PUBLIC--No. 22.
AN ACT to establish a uniform system of ambulances in the armies of the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the medical director, or chief medical officer, of each army corps shall, under the control of the medical director of the army to which such army corps belongs, have the direction and supervision of all ambulances, medicine, and other wagons, horses, mules, harness, and other fixtures appertaining thereto, and of all officers and men who may be detailed or employed to assist him in the management thereof, in the army corps in which he may be serving.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the commanding officer of each army corps shall detail officers and enlisted men for service in the ambulance corps of such army corps, upon the following basis, viz: one captain, who shall be commandant of said ambulance corps; one first lieutenant for each division in such army corps; one second lieutenant for each brigade in such army corps; one sergeant for each regiment in such army corps; three privates for each ambulance, and one private for each wagon; and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the ambulance corps shall be mounted: Provided, That the officers, non-com-missioned officers, and privates so detailed for each army corps shall be examined by a board of medical officers of such army corps as to their fitness for such duty; and that such as are found to be not qualified shall be rejected, and others detailed in their stead.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be allowed and furnished to each army corps two-horse ambulances, upon the following basis, to wit: three to each regiment of infantry of five hundred men or more; two to each regiment of infantry of more than two hundred and less than five hundred men or more; and one to each regiment of infantry of less than two hundred men; two to each regiment of cavalry of five hundred men or more; and one to each regiment of cavalry of less than five hundred men; one to each battery of artillery--to which battery of artillery it shall be permanently attached; to the headquarters of each army corps two such ambulances; and to each division train of ambulances two army wagons; and ambulances shall be allowed and furnished to division brigades and commands not attached to any army corps upon the same basis, and each ambulance shall be provided with such number of stretchers and other appliances as shall be prescribed by the Surgeon-General: Provided, That the ambulances and wagons herein mentioned shall be furnished, so far as practicable, from the ambulances and wagons now in the service.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That horse and mule litters may be adopted or authorized by the Secretary of War, in lieu of ambulances, when judged necessary, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the medical director of each army corps.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the captain shall be the commander of all the ambulances, medicine, and other wagons in the corps, under the immediate direction of the medical director, or chief medical officer, of the army corps to which the ambulance corps belongs. He shall pay special attention to the condition of the ambulances, wagons, horses, mules, harness, and other fixtures appertaining thereto, and see that they are at all times in readiness for service; that the officers and men of the ambulance corps are properly instructed in their duties, and that their duties are performed, and that the regulations which may he prescribed by the Secretary of War, or the Surgeon-General; for the government of the ambulance corps are strictly observed by those under his command. It shall be his duty to institute a drill in his corps, instructing his men in the most easy and expeditious manner of moving the sick and wounded, and to require in all cases that the sick and wounded shall be treated with gentleness and care, and that the ambulances and wagons are at all times provided with attendants, drivers, horses, mules, and whatever may be necessary for their efficiency: and it shall be his duty also to see that the ambulances are not used for any other purpose than that for which they are designed and ordered. It shall be the duty of the medical director, or chief medical officer, of the army corps, previous to a march, and previous to and in time of action, or whenever it may be necessary to use the ambulances, to issue the proper orders to the captain for the distribution and management of the same, for collecting the sick and wounded and conveying them to their destination. And it shall be the duty of the captain faithfully and diligently to execute such orders. And the officers of the ambulance corps, including the medical director, shall make such reports, from time to time, as may be required by the Secretary of War, the Surgeon-General, the medical director of the army, or the commanding officer of the army corps in which they may be serving; and all reports to higher authority than the commanding officer of the army corps shall be transmitted through the medical director of the army to which such army corps belongs.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the first lieutenant assigned to the ambulance corps for a division shall have complete control, under the captain of his corps and the medical director of the army corps, of all the ambulances, medicine, and other wagons, horses, mules, and men in that portion of the ambulance corps. He shall be the acting assistant quartermaster for that portion of the ambulance corps, and will receipt for and be responsible for all the property belonging to it, and be held responsible for any deficiency in anything appertain-ing thereto. He shall have a traveling cavalry forge, a blacksmith, and a saddler, who shall be under his orders, to enable him to keep his train in order. He shall have authority to draw supplies from the depot quartermaster, upon requisitions approved by the captain of his corps, the medical director, and the commander of the army corps to which he is attached. It shall be his duty to exercise a constant supervision over his train in every particular, and keep it at all times ready for service.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted. That the second lieutenant shall have command of the portion of the ambulance corps for a brigade, and shall be under the immediate orders of the first lieutenant, and he shall exercise a careful supervision over the sergeants and privates assigned to the portion of the ambulance corps for his brigade; and it shall be the duty of the sergeants to conduct the drills and inspections of the ambulances, under his orders, of their respective regiments.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the ambulances in the armies of the United States shall be used only for the transportation of the sick and wounded, and, in urgent cases only, for medical supplies, and all persons shall be prohibited from using them, or requiring them to be used, for any other purpose. It shall be the duty of the officers of the ambulance corps to report to the commander of the army corps any violation of the provisions of this section, or any attempt to violate the same. And any officer who shall use an ambulance or require it to be used for any other purpose than as provided in this section shall, for the first offense, be publicly reprimanded by the commander of the army corps in which he may be serving, and for the second offense shall be dismissed from the service.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That no person except the proper medical officers, or the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the ambulance corps, or such persons as may be specially assigned, by competent military authority, to do duty with the ambulance corps for the occasion, shall be permitted to take or accompany sick or wounded men to the rear, either on the march or upon the field of battle.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the ambulance corps shall be designated by such uniform or in such manner as the Secretary of War shall deem proper: Provided, That officers and men may be relieved from service in said corps and others detailed to the same, subject to the examination provided in the second section of this act, in the discretion of the commanders of the armies in which they may be serving.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the commander of the army corps to transmit to the Adjutant-General the names and rank of all officers and enlisted men detailed for service in the ambulance corps of such army corps, stating the organizations from which they may have been so detailed; and if such officers and men belong to volunteer organizations, the Adjutant-General shall thereupon notify the Governors of the several States in which such organizations were raised of their detail for such service; and it shall be the duty of the commander of the army corps to report to the Adjutant-General, from time to time, the conduct and behavior of the officers and enlisted men of the ambulance corps, and the Adjutant-General shall forward copies of such reports, so far as they relate to officers and enlisted men of volunteer organizations, to the Governors of the States in which such organizations were raised.

SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed to diminish or impair the rightful authority of the commanders of armies, army corps, or separate detachments, over the medical and other officers and the noncommissioned officers and privates of their respective commands.

Approved March 11, 1864.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source:  "Official Records of the War of the Rebellion"

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