Saturday, October 27, 2012
The September 1899 edition of CONFEDERATE VETERAN Magazine ran this photo of the reunion of the 22nd Mississippi Infantry on the cover. Dr. George C. Phillips is in the back row on the left.
Dr. Phillips: “You have asked me to give you my experience in removing the wounded of my brigade from Corinth Miss., after the disastrous battles fought there Oct., 3rd and 4th, 1862 by the Confederates under General Earl Van Dorn. Of the desperate charges made by our men against the enemy’s breast works, line after line of which they carried, until checked on the second day by the enemy, concentrating their entire force on the almost impregnable position of College Hill.
The infirmary corps ambulance drivers and asst. surgeons were informed where to bring the wounded. The surgeons of the brigade then set to work to prepare for the wounded that we knew would soon be on hand, improvising tables from wagon beds or any pieces of board we could get, or door of a house if any was near, having pots of water boiled, buckets of cold water set handy, instrument and bandages put in order. We had no tents. In the mean time the battle had opened and was waging in our front. By the time our crude preparations were finished, the wounded commenced coming in, those who could walk, on foot, others in ambulance, some in wagons, as we had but few ambulances.
The men were taken out and laid on the ground in the shade of trees, and the conveyances sent back for others. Now came hard work for the surgeons, first in the lignating arteries that were bleeding, cutting out bullets that could be felt, laying aside, often a hurried examination, those requiring a capital operation until the rush was over, splinting and bandaging broken limbs that might be saved.
Late in the night, working by candle light. We finished, first work, with the lot of wounded and the poor fellows as comfortable as we could with the scant means at hand, lying on the bare ground with only their one blanket around them. Fortunately it was not cold, early the next morning the battle reopened and all through the day the wounded continued to come in, though not so numerous as the day before, the artillery doing most of the fighting in our front, the infantry supporting it.”