War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0350 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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will be sufficient during the present season. That when troops are to 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 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 wagon yards, 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 in the 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.

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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS, U. S. A.,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Directions for cooking in camp.

The importance of soup as a diet for troops is not sufficiently apprehended except by veteran soldiers those of experience in the field. It cannot be too highly esteemed, and should be used to a much greater extent than it is. Been soup, when properly made, is one of the best that can be used; when improperly made, one of the worst. The beans must be washed, steeped in water overnight, put on the fire at reveille, and boiled slowly for six hours; a piece of pork, say one ration for three men, put in three hours before dinner; this, eaten with a little pepper and vinegar, makes a wholesome and palatable dish. The cooking is everything; if not well done, it is positively injurious; if well done, it is wholesome. The great principle in making soup is that it must be boiled slowly and for a long time; it cannot be boiled too much. In making beef soup all the bones should be used, together with half rations of beef rice, and desiccated and fresh vegetables, with salt and pepper; the desiccated vegetables should be steeped in water for two hours, and boiled with the soup for three hours; the rice should be added, after having been washed half and hour before the soup is served; the beef must first be put in cold water, and the soup kept at a low boil for five hours. Beef should not in any case be used for cooking until cold. Hard bread will be more palatable and more easy of digestion if placed in the ashes until thoroughly heated; it can also be improved by breaking it in pieces in inch or two square and soaking it thoroughly in