commands. The beneficial effects of the orders and the inspections were very evident in the improvement of the various camps and regimental hospitals. In a few regiments the sickness increased; in some others it remained nearly stationary, and in others it decreased one half. On the whole, the health of the army was improving. On the 30th of July I informed the Surgeon-General that the number of sick in the army was about 12,000, 2,000 of whom could take the field. The cases became less severe and were manageable, more readily yielded to treatment, and continued so until the army evacuated Harrison's Landing.
It is impossible to convey in writing to any one not mingling with the troops a true idea of the improvement which took place in the health ported sick on the regimental returns cannot by any means be taken as the true condition of the health of the army upon its arrival there. I does not give the real amount of its effective fighting strength. The want of proper nourishment, the poisonous exhalations from the streams and swamps of the Peninsula, the labor undergone, and the anxiety felt had were apparently well. The effective strength of the army when it reached Harrison's landing and for some time thereafter was less than the returns would indicate. And then, on the other hand, there many ways in which improved health manifests itself that cannot be adequately described. There was so much in the appearance, in the life and vivacity exhibited by the men in the slightest actions, even in the tone of the voice, which convened to one's mind the impression of health and spirits, of recovered tenacity of mind and body, of the presence of vigorous and manly courage, an impression which to be under stood must be felt-it cannot be told. The real strength of the army when it left Harrison's Landing was greater than the large number at that time sent on the transports for the sick would lead you suppose.
It was agreeable to notice that the measures adopted for the improvement of the health of to notice that the measures adopted for the improvement of the health of the troops were so ably and so cordially seconded by the medical directors of corps, that by their exertions and that of the officers under them encouraging results were brought about, and that they were so able and so willing to assist in restoring the health and re-establishing the vigor of the Army of the Potomac. Time showed that those who were not sick were, well, that the spirits of the troops had risen, and that the army when it left Harrison's Landing was in a better condition by far than there was every evidence to "expect the health of this army to be in as good a state as that of any army in the field."
From the 15th of july the transports for the sick were chiefly employed in bringing over wounded and sick exchanged prisoners from Richmond and carrying them to the Northern cities, principally to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. They were almost wholly occupied in this duty until the 3rd of August, at which time the last were received at City Point. Shortly after communication was opened with the Confederate authorities; large supplies of fresh lemons, brandy, lint, &c., were by direction of the general commanding, sent to City Point, to be turned over to them for the use of the wounded, but would not be received by them, and were returned. As the general commanding visited the vessels as they returned from that place loaded with our wounded and sick, he will, doubtless, remember the pains taken to have these men in every respect well cared for. I inspected every vessel before it was allowed to leave for the North, that I might