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Here is a little vignette about the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. With more than 27,000 wounded, scattered across more than 100 field hospitals there was little organization and far too few surgeons to care for the mangled and bleeding soldiers. On July 4th, the day after the battle ended, a certain medical inspector, (name not given) from Washington arrived attempting to bring order out of chaos. His first stop was the Abraham Spangler farm where he began to set up “wards” in and around the farm buildings. He sent someone to the barn to have Captain John Rock and Lieutenant Orrick Look of the 22nd Massachusetts moved to one of the new “wards,” they refused.

Both men had made themselves comfortable in Spangler’s cool, dry barn. On hearing of their refusal the director was furious, and went to the barn to order them out. Entering the barn, he faced a drawn revolver. The two officers stated that if they were disturbed, “daylight would shine through your miserable carcass.” The medical man retorted that, “After all, they will be quite comfortable here,” and a fourth “ward” was created around these two stubborn and dangerous men.

From Greg Coco’s book, “War Stories.”

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