The Civil War was the first in which large armies made their appearance on American soil, and in these great army corps of volunteers many of the glorious traditions and hide-bound prejudices of the old Army disappeared along with its regiments and batteries. Yet it was none the less the leaven hid in three measures of meal, which leavened the whole lump, and this is true not less of the Medical Department than of the line.
On Jan. 1, 1861, the Army numbered 16,400 and the medical officers 115, or .7 per cent. of the whole—aconsiderably greater proportion, by the way, than exists to-day. Although by far the largest of the staff corps, it had the smallest proportion in the higher grades, and this also is still the case, with the single exception of the Signal Corps, the junior of all, whose handicap is perhaps a matter of