A cartridge is provided for applying staples to the disunited fascia of a patient. The cartridge is adapted to associate with a surgical stapling instrument which supplies rectilinear thrust to power the cartridge. The cartridge houses a plurality of staples mounted on a flexible belt. A pusher is slidably mounted in the cartridge for forming the staples around an anvil. A spring pawl associated with the pusher moves the staples into a position ready to be fired as the forwardmost staple is being formed around the anvil. As a staple is formed around the anvil, a spring associated with the cartridge cover holds the staple against the anvil. This spring also provides the function of ejecting the staple from the cartridge after it has been formed. On the return stroke of the pusher, a spring pawl arrangement associated with the cartridge cover prevents the belt and staples from moving rearward away from the anvil. The staples have a wide spacing between the points of the staple arms and enclose a large amount of fascia as the arms of the staples sweep through an arc as the staples ae being formed. Also, the staples are formed into a configuration in which the arms of the staples resist being pulled apart so that the staples will not be inadvertently disconnected from the fascia.