War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0577 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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upon their duties. I think a great amount of the misery experienced in the hospital and throughout the camp might be obviated if a little more energy was displayed by the surgeon in charge. There is a lack of system and want of discipline, neither of which (with all due respect to the doctor) do I think he is possessed of. The assistants saw what was needed and were determined to entirely renovate and change the whole condition and aspect. If done, much suffering might, be alleviated and less sickness would ensue. It is in the quarters that we have the most complaint and suffering. Men of all ages and classes, descriptions and hues, with various colored clothing, all huddled together, forming a motley crew, which to be appreciated must be seen, and what the pen fails to describe the imagination must depict; yet I will endeavor to convey their exact condition, &c., and give as accurate description as possible. They are ragged and dirty and very thinly clad; that is, the very great majority. Occasionally you will find one the fortunate possessor of an overcoat, either a citizen's or the light-blue ones used by our infantry, and these serve as coverings for the ranges beneath. Others, again, are well supplied as regards underclothing, especially those who are from Baltimore, being sent to them by friends. But the great mass are in a pitiable condition, destitute of nearly everything, which, with their filthy condition, makes them really objects of commiseration. Some are without shirts, or what were once shirts are now hanging in shreds from their shoulders. In others the entire back or front will be gone, while again in some you will see a futile attempt at patching. Their clothing is of all kinds and hues-the gray, butternut, the red of our zouaves and the light and dark blue of our infantry, all in a dilapidated condition. Of their shelter there can be no possible complaint, for they all have good tents, such as wall, hospital, Sibley, wedge, shelter, hospital, and wall-tent flies. Majority are in the wedge tent. Average in a hospital tent, from 15 to 18 men; in wall tent, from 10 to 12; in shelter tent, 3; in Sibley tent, from 13 to 14; in wedge tent, 5; under hospital fly, 10 to 13; under wall-tent fly, from 3 to 8. The shelter tents, only a very few are excavated and boarded at the sides, and almost every tent throughout the camp has a fireplace and chimney built of brick made by them from the soil (which is clay) and sun baked. In a few of the Sibleys holes are dug, fire built, and covered at the top. Generally the tents are filled with smoke. Although they have fireplaces wood is not issued to them, but they are allowed to go out in squads every day and gather such as may be found in the woods where trees have been cut down, but they are not allowed to cut down others. There are instances where they have completely dug around the root of a stump and taken all; for it is impossible in this way for them to get enough to keep them warm, and as they are poorly supplied with blankets they must have suffered severely from the cold, more so where they are, for it is a very bleak place. On visiting the quarters, found them crowded around a few coals in their respective tents, some having good blankets thrown across the shoulders, others pieces of carpet, others a gum blanket, others a piece of oilcloth commonly used for the covering of the tables. Generally they have one blanket to three men, but a great many are entirely without. A great many of the tents have been pitched over old sinks lightly covered. Complaints have been made, but nothing has been done to change them. The interior of the tents are in keeping with the inmates, filthy; pieces of cracker, meat, asked, &c., strewn around the tent, and in which they will lie. In preference to sitting on

37 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI