Richmond Dispatch, 11/27/1861

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From the Richmond Dispatch, Wednesday, November 27, 1861

Chimborazo Hospital Again

To the Editors of the Dispatch – Sirs: In your issue of the 26th, you state, editorially, various facts with regard to the hospitals under my charge. 1st. That the men had not a single stick of wood on Sunday after 10 o’clock. 2nd. That the men have but two meals a day. 3rd. That there is neither Commandant, Commissary, or Quartermaster of the post.

Allow me to reply that the first statement is not correct. The post has never less than five cords of wood and sometimes seven or eight cords of wood every day, last Sunday included; and, sir, if you will persuade some of your readers, who sympathize with the soldier but won’t sell him wood at the enormous price of six dollars a cord, I will buy one thousand cords at that price, and pay cash for it.

The statement that there is no commandant, quartermaster, or commissary, is not correct. I claim to be the surgeon in charge; Capt. H. A. Claiborne is the commissary, and Capts. Whitfield, Warren, and Selden are the quartermasters. We have urgently petitioned for a military commandant, and would be very much obliged to you if you will get us a man who will undertake and attend to this department.

Lastly, the statement that the men have but two meals a day is partially true. The sick men are fed under the direction of the attending surgeons, but the convalescents who go to the table are served with breakfast from 8 to 10, and with dinner from 2 to 4 o’clock. They have every variety of food, including fish, molasses, and all the vegetables that can be purchased from the numerous sympathizers with the sick soldiers, and very often at war prices. Not less than $1,200 a month is spent, besides the regular soldier’s rations; and if you will be good enough to get the public to be a little more moderate in their profits, I hope yet to improve their diet considerably.

Your obedient servant,
J.B. McCaw


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