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THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.
July 27, 1775, Congress created an Hospital Department for the Army, its chief being designated as Director-General and Chief Physician. By the resolution of April 7,1777, Congress adopted the scheme for a Medical Department prepared by the Army Medical Committee of Congress, based on the organization of the British service and accepted because it was so, for, as General Washington said, “The number of officers mentioned in the inclosed plan I presume are necessary for us, because they are found so in the British hospitals.
For some years subsequent to the close of the Revolutionary war the Army consisted of troops enlisted for short terms of service, with no provision for medical service other than that afforded by regimental medical officers. The act of March 16, 1802, allowed two surgeons and twenty-five mates as the peace establishment, and by the act of April 12, 1808, the President was authorized to appoint such number of hospital surgeons and surgeons' mates as the service might require. There was, however, no provision made for a chief of the Department until, under the act of March 3, 1813, the office of Physician and Surgeon-General was created; but the act of April 14, 1818, gave to the Medical Department, for the first time in its history, a permanent chief under the title of Surgeon-General.”
Director-General and Chief Physician.
July 27, 1775.-Dr. Benjamin Church (Massachusetts).
Apr. 11, 1777.—Dr. William Shippen, jr. (Pennsylvania).
Dr. Amini Ruhamah Cutler (New Hampshire), Eastern Department.
Dr. Walter Jones (Virginia), Middle Department.
Dr. Philip Turner (Connecticut), Eastern Department.
Dr. Benjamin Rush (Pennsylvania), Middle Department.
Physician and Surgeon-General.
Dr. William Burnet (New Jersey), Eastern Department.
Chief Physician and Surgeon.
Oct. 6, 1780.- Dr. John Cochran (Pennsylvania).
Physician-General. July 19, 1798.-Dr. James (raig (Virginia).
Physician and Surgeon-lienral. June 11, 1813.- Dr. James Tilton (Delaware).
June 11, 1813.–Dr. Francis le Baron (Massachusetts).
Apr. 18,1818. - Dr. Joseph Lovell (Massachusetts).
THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.
JOURNALS OF THE AMERICAN (CONTINENTAL) CONGRESS.
July 19, 1775.
That a committee of three be appointed to report the method of establishing an hospital.
The committee chosen are, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Paine, and Mr. Middleton.
July 27, 1775. The Congress took into consideration the report of the committee on establishing an hospital for the Army, and the same being debated, was agreed to as follows:
That for the establishment of an hospital for the Army, consisting of twenty thousand men, the following officers
be appointed, with the following allowance or pay, viz:
One director-general and chief physician, his pay per day, four dollars.
Four surgeons, each ditto, one and one-third of a dollar.
One nurse to every ten sick, one-fifteenth of a dollar per day, or two dollars per month.
THE DUTY OF THE ABOVE OFFICERS.
The director to furnish medicines, bedding, and all other necessaries, to pay for the same, superintend the whole, and make his report to and receive orders from the Commander in Chief.
Surgeons, apothecaries, and mates--to visit and attend the sick, and the mates to obey the orders of the physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries. Matron—to superintend the nurses, bedding, etc. Clerk-to keep accounts for the director and storekeepers.
Storekeeper—to receive and deliver the bedding and other neces: saries by order of the director.
The Congress then proceeded to the election of officers for the hospital, when
Benjamin Church was unanimously elected to be director of, and physician in, the hospital.