War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0451 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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missing. There was no advanced regular entrenchment observed out left of the railroad, and the only new line discovered is the one indicated on the map, directly north of Fort Howard, and which appears from the information I can gain to be continuous from the lead-works to the northwest, and the main works to the northeast. The dotted lead line in the sketch* indicates the advanced position of yesterday; the dotted red line, the present position of the picket-line of the corps, and the continuous lead line, the former position of the picket-line on the right.


Brigadier-General, Commanding Corps.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff.

Numbers 123. Report of Surg. T. Rush Spencer, U. S. Army, Medical Director.



April 30, 1865.

COLONEL: In compliance with instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the medical department of this corps from November 1, 1864, to April 30, 1865:

The corps remained encamped in the vicinity of the Yellow House upon the line of the Weldon railroad, some six or seven miles south of Petersburg, from the time of the battles by which this line had been secured on the 18th, 19th, and 21st of August. The hospitals of the corps, established at the same time near Parke's Station, two miles in the rear, remained in the same position on November 1. The ambulance train had its park near the hospitals. The sites occupied for camp were such as were dictated by military necessity upon or near the battle-field. They were upon a thin, sandy soil, underlaid by clay, holding moisture and giving it forth readily under the rays of the sun. The general surface was flat and but poorly drained. The water obtained from springs or very shallow wells was necessarily bad. Wood of a second growth and sufficiently abundant. The troops, fatigued, worn, and exhausted by the severest campaign of the war-that from the Rapidan through the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Bethesda Church, Petersburg to the Weldon railroad-would have well nigh recovered, it would seem, from the effects; but the constant labor in the trenches, on forts, in the building of roads, together with daily and nightly exposure in rifle pits and the sleepless vigilance of picket duty, kept up the constant strain upon the physique, as well as morale of the men. The absence of anything like an abundance of fresh vegetables, the scarcity of soft bread, the noxious emanations from a soil saturated with decaying vegetable and animal matter, and that in a region noted for its malarious character, had its natural effect upon the health of the command, as seen in numerous cases of camp diarrhoea, malarious and typo-malarial fevers. The hospitals of the corps, placed upon slightly elevated sites, enjoyed the advantage of fair drainage, and, by means of wells, passably good water. The hospitals, it is perhaps unnecessary to remark, are organized by divisions, three


*Not found.