Medical Documents

Many of the documents in Sandusky’s collection pertain to the day-to-day operation of Lynchburg’s hospitals and their needs. Among the collection are requests for supplies, invoices for supplies, morning bed reports of sick and wounded, and directives from the Surgeon General of the Confederate States of America (CSA). These documents, which range in date from 1862 until 1865, testify to the changes in needs and procedures across the span of the war. For example, an 1864 directive from Confederate high command requested hospitals to acquire a copy of the Daily Richmond Enquirer in order to more quickly receive general war orders from the war department and to prevent the war department from having to send additional orders to each individual hospital. According to the directive, orders would be delayed “through the usual channels, [and] are not to be obtained for several weeks after their first publication.” The historical evidence regarding this change in tactics shows that the Confederacy was still streamlining its bureaucratic processes three years into the war.

Letter of Medical Supplies Invoice

An example of the documents in Sandusky’s collection. This particular document is a directive from the medical purveyor of the CSA E.W. Johns sent to assistant surgeon R.P. Taliaferro requesting that he furnish the Surgeon General with copies of any invoices for supplies ordered at his hospital.