finding and hauling timber so long as a large portion of the first section is required to be, has occupied more time than will be required to get the remainder, which is smaller and shorter lengths.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. DUANE,
Major of Engineers, Brevet Colonel, U. S. Army.
Major General J. G. BARNARD,
Chief Engineer Armies in the Field, City Point, Va.
Numbers 10. Report of Surg. Thomas A. McParlin, U. S. Army, Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Before Petersburg, Va., December 26, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following, in continuation of the report of operations of the medical and hospital department of the Army of the Potomac, for the campaign of the year subsequent to July 31:
Extending from the Appomattox west, the Eighteenth Corps, of the Army of the James, and the Ninth and Fifth Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac, in the order enumerated, occupied, early in August, lines of investment, breast-works, and fortified positions (the Second Corps at the time in camps in reserve) south of Petersburg and the Appomattox, in the area generally northward of the low grounds and rivulets tributary to the Blackwater. The season was generally dry. The soil contained clay sufficient to make the roads after rain almost impracticable for loaded trains. Attention to the enforcement of police and drainage became the more necessary. The location had known malarial influences, and personal movement and labor were restricted in the positions subjected to fire. Wells were dug and good water secured, both in camps and fort. The extension and use of surface railroad since September 14 made heavy trains in great degree unnecessary. The position occupied by the Ninth Corps at the front was exposed to continual picket-firing (often kept up in the night) and to sharpshooters, whose skill and vigilance severely taxed the energies and health of the men at the midsummer season. The Second Corps was encamped (in reserve) in the vicinity of the Deserted House. Their quarters and camps were superior in cleanliness and comfort to those of the previous month. The main hospital was near the Birchett house. The Fifth Corps occupied somewhat elevated ground on the left. Its hospitals were located near general headquarters and the Prince George Court-House road. They accommodated patients with every comfort compatible with the mobility necessary to a field establishment. Officers were in many cases treated in them.
The diet of the army has been at all times an object of especial attention, but in the summer the chief commissary (Colonel T. Wilson) secured an abundant supply of vegetables as soon as the new crop came in. Potatoes, onions, beets, cabbage, dried apples and peaches, turnips and pickles, were everywhere issued and appreciated.
A malarial type and periodic tendency were impressed upon most of the diseases treated. In the Ninth corps the cases responded less favorably to treatment, and many were sent away to depot hospitals at City Point. Cases of biliary disorder were frequent.