A physician in Washington, DC, US Army contract surgeon Dr James H. Peabody was particularly illuminating about the massive medical effort required and the attendant confusion after Antietam:

I remained on duty at Carver hospital, Washington, D. C, until the night of September 17, 1862, when, with some sixty or seventy others, I was ordered to report to Medical Director Letterman, Army of the Potomac, for temporary duty in the field. The party took a special train, and after traveling all night arrived at the Monocacy on the following morning. The bridge across this stream having been destroyed by the rebels in their retreat, the greater portion of our party were detained nearly all day, awaiting a conveyance to Rohrersville, the point of our destination, some twenty miles farther on. Assistant Surgeons Russel and Phillips, U. S. A., together with myself, separated from the main party early in the morning and made our way toward Rohrersville. We were, however, detained in Frederick City by order cf the Medical Director, and immediately set to work in the care of the wounded, who were by this time arriving by the thousand. The greater number of medical officers having been sent on toward the field, the work for those left in Frederick was almost incessant for a few days. I was temporarily in charge of the United States Hotel hospital, afterward part of Hospital No. 2 …

Peabody was later commissioned Assistant Surgeon, USA and served to the end of the war, lastly as Medical Director of the District of the Platte, Department of Missouri in Omaha, Nebraska. He returned to Omaha in 1866 and had a practice there for the rest of his life.

The photograph above, of Omaha in the mid-1860s, looking northwest from Thirteenth and Farnam Streets is from the Nebraska State Historical Society (RG2341-8). His engraved portrait is from Alfred T. Andreas’ History of the State of Nebraska (1882).

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