Evacuation was major problem for the armies of the Napoleonic Era. Normally, the injured had
to be left on the battlefield to waite to the battle was over. Then the evacuation was slow. Men would often wait three to four days after they were hit, until help came; then many were already
dead from bandits and natural causes.
Some lightly injured soldiers could crawl back to the nearest aid station, while those not so fortunate
often required assistance from comrades. This may seem nice, but it was very troublesome to the armies. Comrades
who would carry the wounded away, were comrades who didn't fight. So that meant a loss in man-power. Carts such
" were used to carry the wounded, but they were cumbersome and bumpy. They had no suspension or pads, so the trip back
was an agonizing horror which was very uncomfortable.
Leading surgeons of both the French and the British armies tried ways of helping those wounded.
invented the flying ambulance
for getting men out of a raging battle to safety.
Dr. James McGrigor
spent much time trying to convince the Duke of Wellington to improve medical evacuation. The Duke was unfourtunatly,
not interested and insisted that it would be too much of a hassle to do it.
Nevertheless, McGrigor did develop mobile hospitals which saved many British lives.