The Commission's executive secretary Frederick Law Olmsted (most famous for his work on New York City's Central Park) noticed that the Army's Quartermaster Corps had several surplus steamers and asked if the Commission could use them as hospital ships. At first, the Quartermaster Corps said no, when it did say yes, often pull the ships away from the Commission at the last second. By late April 1862, however, Olmsted's persistence paid off and the Commission received the steamer Daniel Webster. By mid-May, the Commission's Hospital Transport Service had seven ships working out of White House, Virginia on the York River and Harrison's Landing on the James River.
|J H Spaulding|
The Service ended with the end of the Peninsula Campaign in July 1862. Several thousand men were saved because of the ships. Two of the Commission's nurses penned an excellent first person account of the Hospital Transport Service in their memior Woman's Work in the Civil War.