War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0213 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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views which I then had the honor of submitting for the consideration of the commanding general, viz:

The diseases prevailing in our army are generally of a mild type and are not increasing. Their chief causes are, in my opinion, the want of proper food (and that improperly prepared), exposure to the malaria of swamps and the inclemencies of the weather, excessive fatigue, and want of natural rest, combined with great excitement of several days's duration, and the exhaustion consequent thereon. i would recommend, to remedy these evils, that food, with abundance of fresh vegetables, shelter, rest, with a moderate amount of exercise, be given all the troops, and general and personal police be enforced. To accomplish this I would suggest that an abundant supply of fresh onions and potatoes be used by the troops daily for a fortnight and thereafter at least twice a week, cost what they may; that the desiccated vegetable, dried apples or peaches, and pickles be used thrice a week; that a supply of fresh bread, by floating ovens or other methods, be distributed at least three times a week; that the food be prepared by companies and not by squads, and that there be two men detailed from each company as permanent cooks, to be governed in making the soups and cooking by the inclosed directions; that wells be dug as deep as the water will permit; that the troops be provided with tents or other shelter to protect them from the sun and rain, which shall be raised daily and struck once a week and placed upon new ground; the tenses d'abris also to be placed over new ground once a week; that the men be required to cut pine tops, spread them thickly in their tents, and not sleep on the ground; that caps be formed not in the woods but at a short distance from them, where a free circulation of pure air can be procured, and where the ground has been exposed to the sun and air to such an extent as to vitiate the noxious exhalations from damp ground saturated with emanations from the human body and from the decaying vegetation. Sleep during the day will not compensate for the loss of it at night, and I suggest that as far as possible the troops be allowed the natural time for rest; that not more than two drills per day be had, one in the morning from 6.15 to 7 and one in the evening from 6.30 to 7.15; that the men be allowed to sleep until sunrise, and that they have their breakfast as soon as they rise. This, with the labor required for policing, will be sufficient during the present season. That when troops march they should have breakfast (if only a cup of coffee) before starting, and after their arrival in camp each man be given a gill of whisky in a canteen three fourths filled with water. I would also recommend that the strictest attention be paid to policing, general and special; that all the troops be compelled to bathe once a week, a regiment at a time if possible, being marched to the river, from a brigade one hour after sunrise or an hour and a half before sunset, to remain in the water fifteen minutes; that sinks be dug and used, 6 inches of earth being thrown into them daily, and when filled to within 2 feet of the surface new sinks to be dug and the old ones filled up; that holes be dug at each company kitchen for the refuse matter and filled in like manner; that the entire grounds of each regiment be thoroughly policed every day, and the refuse matter, including that from stables and wagons-yards, be buried 2 feet below the surface or burned; that dead animals and the blood and offal from slaughtered animals be not merely covered with a layer of earth, but buried at least 4 feet under ground; that the spaces between regiments be kept policed, and no nuisance whatever be allowed anywhere within the limits of this army, and that regimental commanders be held strictly accountable that this most important matter is attended to. I think if these suggestions be carried into effect that we may with reason expect the health of this army to be in as good a state as that of any army in the field.

Every effort is being made by the commissary and quartermaster's departments to provide such articles as I have mentioned belonging to their departments.

This extract will, perhaps, be sufficient to explain the views entertained by me on this subject, so vital to the army and to the country.

After about 7,000 sick and wounded had been sent away there remained 12,975, making a total of nearly 20,000. The greater portion of the army reached Harrison's Landing on the 2nd of July. On that day I addressed a letter to the Surgeon-General, asking that 1,000 hospital tents and 200 ambulances might speedily be sent for the use of the army. I felt convinced that great destitution in tents would be found to exist and that many ambulances had been lost, and that it would be necessary to have both of these articles replaced. The tents I considered would be especially needed to shelter the wounded and sick, whom it would be desirable to keep with the army. No one thing so much disheartens troops and causes homesickness among those who