War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0093 Chapter XIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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maskable. Thus, the Second Rhode Island had but .45 per cent. sick, the Seventh Massachusetts 1.99, the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania 1.21, the First Long Island 1.46, and the mean of Keyes' division was but 3.29. During this time, so far as rumor was concerned, the Army of the Potomac was being decimated by disease every month. The reports from the regimental headquarters were only less erroneous than rumor. The statistics I have given are from the weekly and monthly reports of medical officers. It was ascertained to be the general Havit of the captains to report every man sick who found it convenient to report himself so. The difference between these reports and the facts is illustrated in my letter to General Williams of January 28, 1862, a copy of which is appended, marked K. I append also a report in relation to that subject made to the Surgeon-General of the Army January 4, 1862 (L).

During this period there were frequent skirmishes, giving a number of wounded men. Two affairs of importance took place: On the 21st of October, 1861, the battle of Ball's Bluff, and on the 20th of December, General Ord's affair at Dranesville. In the former, 280 men were reported wounded; in the latter, 34. Of the wounds at Ball's Bluff 93 were in the head and face - a very large proportion - showing the accuracy of fire of the enemy, as well as the skill with which they availed themselves of the advantage they possessed on that occasion.

This concludes the first period. I hope to resume the subject and to report upon the second period in a few days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. S. TRIPLER,

Surgeon, U. S. Army.

Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army.

[Appendix A.]

GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, October 3, 1861.

Numbers 20..

The following regulations respecting the duties of brigade surgeons are published for the government of all concerned:

I. The brigade surgeons will frequently inspect the police, cooking, clothing, and cleanliness of the camps and men in their respective brigades; the position and condition of the sinks, the drainage of the camp grounds, the ventilation of the tents, & c.; making written reports to the brigade commanders whenever, in their opinion, any errors in these respects require correction, and sending duplicates of these reports to the medical director of the army.

II. They will see that the medicines, hospital stores, instruments, and dressings of the several regimental surgeons are kept constantly sufficient in quantity in good order, and always ready for active service.

III. They will collect from the several regimental surgeons and transmit every Saturday morning to the medical director a copy of their morning report made to the commanding officer of their regiment, and will accompany these with remarks showing the character of the principal diseases prevailing.

IV. They will promptly report to the medical director all changes in station or location of themselves or of any of the medical officers in their brigades, with the number, date, and authority of the order by which such changes were made.

V. They will inspect carefully all men receiving certificates of disability for discharge, and if they approve, they will countersign such certificates.