War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0462 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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over to me by Surgeon Carrington, medical director Army of the Northwest. I know it must have been impossible for him to have kept an accurate record, owing to the confusion are crowded state of the hospitals, but since he 20th of this month from 30 to 100 men have daily been returned to their regiments, discharged cured from the hospitals. From this you will see that about 1,300 men were sent back to Winchester (there being about 450 patients in hospitals before we left.) At least 1,150 of the men returned to Winchester were from General Loring's army. Some of these were seriously sick; most of them labored under colds and cattarhs, and some were returned perfectly well. The great majority of the cases remaining in hospitals are catarrhal and are rapidly convalescing.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HUNTER McGUIRE,

Medical Director, Army of Valley District.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

WINCHESTER, VA., January 31, 1862.

Colonel LAY,

Inspector-General, Department of Northern Virginia:

COLONEL: In the report that I had the honor to make yesterday, in regard to the sick of this army, I was unable to give the exact number of deaths due to the expedition to Romney and Bath. I believe, including casualties, the number of deaths resulting from the expedition amounts to twenty-five or twenty-six. Compare the small amount of mortality with the large number reported sick (1,300), and it will be seen that the diseases in the large majority of cases were very slight, and in many did not exist at all. There were too many of the last class to believe it was altogether accidental, if other evidence was wanting to disprove it. In many cases the officers some in high standing, encouraged the men to return when there was no necessity for it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HUNTER McGUIRE,

Medical Director, Army of Valley District.

[5.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Goldsborough, February 4, 1862.

Brigadier General L. O'B BRANCH,

Commanding, &c., New Berne:

GENERAL: I wrote a partial and hurried reply to your letter of yesterday. In regard to the command in Hyde County, it is not as large as it ought to be, but I do not think it would be advisable to send the six companies of the Thirty-third there at this time. In all probability they would be interecepted in the passage by the enemy. If I properly understand the country, there are but few roads, and those through swamps which at this season must be impassable. Ought not Major Hall to fall back upon the advance of the enemy and obstruct those roads so as to confine him to the coast and prevent his going out of the range of his ships' cannon? It strikes me that he should be instructed to do so. A small force could keep a very large one at bay by throwing up breast-works across the roads. The canals and tide creeks ought also to be so obstructed as to prevent the passage of boats into the interior. In case of necessity I can see no difficulty in Major Hall's withdrawing his