War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0531 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE OHIO.

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campaign have been principally diarrhoea and a mild form of intermittent, typhoid fever (typo-malarial fever), and typhoid cachexia, depending on vital exhaustion, from over-fatigue, the exhausting discharges, and perhaps poisonous secretions of diarrhoea, either independently or combined, have been common. Contagious or pestilential diseases have not occurred. The fevers have not presented a pestilential type and the hospitals have been free from typhus poison. Scorbutus has existed constantly, a modifying influence of apparent health and definite disease. Scorbutus has not manifested severe symptoms at any time. The rapid healing of wounds with frequent constitutional decline, depending on this cause, has been observed. It existed rather as a vague cachexia than a definite disease. It was antagonized in the early part of the summer by an abundance of blackberries, and later by green corn, sorghum cane juice, and vegetables. The report of the acting medical inspector gives all the information on the subject which it was possible to obtain. The statistic of the affection are given in the report of the acting medical inspector accompanying. The treatment recommended in diarrhoea, when acute, was mild alkaline purgatives followed by astringents and tonics, and a carefully regulated diet, as far as circumstances would permit, but without starvation or too great restriction. The combination of Fowler's solution and tincture of opium has been found and excellent remedy for chronic diarrhoea, and the practice of painting the abdomen and spine with iodine is frequently a very great advantage. I take this occasion to record the observation, which has been confirmed by the experience of more than one competent witness, that arsenic in combination with opium increases the therapeutical power of the latter in certain directions, and diminishes its secondary unpleasant effect. The narcotic influence appears to be diminished, while its stimulating, regulating, and astringent properties are decidedly enhanced. This practice of applying iodine to the spine is of use also in the fevers of congestive type, and, by relieving the passive congestion of the spinal chord, frequently enables the organ to generate and transmit power sufficient to remove local obstructions and restore integrity of vital function. The subject of prevention of disease, and saving the soldier from unnecessary hardship, exposure, and suffering, constantly asserts its importance, both from the point of view of national economy and humanity. Justice, humanity, and the public good coincide in demanding that all causes shall be removed which unnecessarily exhaust and destroy the soldier. At least four-fifths of the army diseases are preventable, and the ranks may be made a training school of athletes, instead of a mill to grind strong men to powder. It is impossible to recite all the causes of premature destruction or in one word to point out the remedy. I earnestly recommend a commission which shall be neither a meddlesome usurper of the prerogatives of the medical department or a mere dispenser of the public munificence, but which, composed of the highest talent and the largest experience in and out of the service, shall remodel the legislation on the subject of the soldier till a system is adopted as perfect as system can be made. It will then remain to educate and train medical officers to their duties, and cultivate a noble emulation by means of which the working of the system may accomplish the good for which it is designed. This question becomes all the more important in view of the large standing armies which it will be necessary to raise and maintain for the future.