War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0240 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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precautions for insuring the health of troops, which the united experience of the armies of Europe and our own has shown to be indispensable to their efficiency.

I have unceasingly impressed upon all officers of this department the primary importance of carrying into effect sanity measures to prevent sickness, and my suggestion and directions have been carried out with an intelligence and zeal which it affords me great satisfaction to bring to the notice of the commanding general.

It also me pleasure to state that the medial officers have found their military commanders, with very few exceptions, willing to carry into effect their suggestions to their end.

Much, very much, still remains to be done; but the earnestness and ability of the medical officers of this army to which I have alluded, and to which much of the improvement the health of the troops is due, give the assurance that, so far as depends upon their exertions, nothing will be left undone to raise to a still higher degree the effective strength of the Army of the Potomac.

Ratio of sickness per 1,000 of mean strength of March 28.

First Corps..........................................90.02

Second Corps.........................................85.19

Third Corps..........................................75.69

Fifth Corps..........................................61.19

Sixth Corps..........................................46.16

Eleventh Corps.......................................68.96

Twelfth Corps........................................52.78

Cavalry..............................................64.05

Artillery Reserve....................................41.31

Patrick's brigade....................................31.31

Engineer Brigade, Eighth U. S. Infantry, Ninety-third New York Infantry.............................................48.91

[Indorsements.]

APRIL 23, 1863.

The within papers are referred to the Surgeon-General for immediate investigation and report of the facts relating to the publication of Dr. Letterman's report.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

SURGEON-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

April 23, 1863.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War with the accompanying report of Major J. R. Smith, U. S. Army, by whose action the report of the medical director of the Army of the Potomac was published.

I am sure Dr. Smith was actuated by on improper motive, and that his conduct was an inadvertence, to which the best of us are liable. As this is first act of the kind which has occurred in this office, and as Dr. Smith's service and devotion to duty are a high order, I beg that this indiscretion may be overlooked, satisfied as I am that a similar occurrence will not again take place.

W. A. HAMMOND,

Surgeon-General.

SURGEON-GENERAL'S OFFICE.

Washington City, D. C., April 23, 1863.

Brigadier General W. A. HAMMOND,

Surgeon-General, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: To you inquiries in reference to the publication of a report of Surgeon Letterman, and my knowledge of the same, I have the honor to reply that about a week since the report referred to was received at this office, and read by me as an ordinary sanitary report. Soon after its reception, a newspaper came into the office, and to his entreaties for news as to the health of the army, I let him copy