Civil War Ambulance Corps records and Graham family accounts
During the early stages of the Civil War, the removal of casualties from battlefields was slow and inefficient. Charles S. Tripler, medical director for the Army of the Potomac, initially proposed the establishment of an official ambulance corps in the fall of 1861 and his successor, Jonathan Letterman, later successfully implemented the organization of a corps in the Eastern Theater of the war. Union armies in the West quickly followed suit. The ambulance corps received official congressional recognition in March 1864.