From the Richmond Enquirer, 9/26/1862, p. 1, c. 3
Improving the Hospitals.
The Senate on yesterday, adopted a bill for better providing for the sick and wounded of the army in the Hospitals. The bill was accompanied by an interesting report of Mr. Simms, of Kentucky, Chairman of the Committee on Hospitals, which will be found in another column.
The report fully exonerates the Surgeons in charge of the Hospitals of Petersburg and Richmond, for any discomforts suffered by the sick. These are due to other causes, to the removal of which the bill judiciously addresses itself. It provides for an increase of the commutation of rations, for sick soldiers, to one dollar, to be paid into the Hospital fund. This will enable the directors to buy food suitable for the sick soldier. It provides for a better supply of nurses, of whom there are to be two matrons-in-chief, with two assistants; and two matrons for each ward. – Also, for as many suits of underclothing and pants for the patients as there are beds in a hospital. Also, for the collection together of the soldiers of each State, so far as practicable, the hospitals to be designated accordingly. Also, for facilitating the collection of the pay due to sick soldiers. Also, for promoting their comfort during transportation; requiring cars to be reserved, and assistance provided in obtaining tickets, seats,. &c.
This bid strikes at the real evils which have added to the discomforts of our sick soldiers. It has been customary to lay everything upon the Surgeons. Now that the true causes have been diligently probed and discovered, we are gratified that the Senate, by a unanimous vote, has prepared for the corrective. Nothing now remains but the sanction of the House to earn the gratitude of the soldiers and the blessings of their distant families.
That it may be seen how vast a number are interested in the humane objects of Mr. Simms' bill, we will state, from the report, that since the commencement of the war, 99,508 soldiers have been admitted into the Richmond Hospitals, and 11,170 in those of Petersburg. The number at present in the Hospitals are 10,720 here, and 1,892 in Petersburg.