War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0209 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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of them had used them regularly. Orders for this issue had been promulgated long before, as well as instructions as to the chief commissary to inquire into the matter, and learned that the men very generally refused to use the desiccated vegetables; that he had abundance of them, and could not get rid of them. Even potatoes had been suffered to rot upon his hands and in the camps.

A general order was again applied for and issued on the troops to draw and use the desiccated vegetables in soup daily, unless prevented by being actually on the march; prohibiting the frying of meat, and commanding it to be always roasted or boiled.

Upon my arrival at headquarters I inquired into the grounds of the report, and learned that it had been made by the medical director of General F. J. Porter's corps, Dr. George H. Lyman. This gentleman, one of the ablest and most energetic medical officers of the volunteer service, informed me that he not seen any cases, but had considered of his duty to make it known for prudential reasons as soon as it was mentioned to him by Brigade Surgeon Waters and by some young assistant surgeon of the Regular Army. I sent for Dr. Waters, and found he had seen no cases; that it had been reported to him by some volunteer regimental surgeon. I directed him to have the men brought to me immediately for inspection. He subsequently reported to me that the patients have been sent to the general hospital at White House. A short time afterward I visited this hospital, and there found two cases sent down as cases of scurvy. I examined them. One had no sings of scurvy about his; the other was a rather robust man, with an erythematous patch upon one shin, swelling of the leg and knee, discoloration of the hams, without hardness, and with no swelling or sponginess of the gums. The affection came on, according to the account of the patient, in one night, from seeping without shelter after a hard day's march through deep mud. i could not consider this case scorbutic under the circumstances, and accordingly, feeling relieved as to the fact, I reported that no scurvy existed in this army.

About this time the lemons arrived and were distributed through the several corps d'armee. On the 14th June, Surg. J. F. Hammond, medical director of Sumner's corps, reported to me by telegraph that there were some cases of scurvy in that corps, and requesting a further supply of lemons. I ordered to him immediately all that remained of the consignment, as well as a quantity of cream of tartar. I then sent my senior assistant, Dr. A. K. Smith, to inspect the men said to be affected. His report I inclose.* Upon receipt of this I telegraphed to Colonel Clarke commissary of subsistence at White House, a request to send potatoes, dried apples, and pickles to Sumner's corps. He replied that these articles were at the depot from which General Sumner drew his supplies and that he would send more. I also addressed a letter on the subject to General Marcy, chief of staff, to endeavor to get some more stringent orders issued on this important matter. i inclose a copy of that letter. I have seen Colonel Clarke since, and be he assures me his assistant commissaries have not been able to make the men use the desiccated vegetables; that he half plenty of them, and they were always ready for issue. If the men will not use the means of preventing scurvy, and if their officers will not make them use them, cases of the lisease must be expected to occur.

To meet the cases existing I telegraphed you yesterday for a further


* Not found.