TUESDAY, November 10, 1863.
Visited and inspected the different wards, kitchen, dining-rooms of the Hammond General Hospital, which is now mostly occupied by the rebel sick, and in charge of Anthony Heger, surgeon, U. S. Army, who was very kind and courteous toward me and was glad that I had come to make an official visit to the hospital. He, in company with the officer of the day (Doctor Bidlack), visited with me every ward, kitchen, bathroom, &c., and showed me every attention in their power. Doctor Heger, assisted by the following gentleman, W. H. Gardner, U. S. Army, assistant surgeon; George McC. Miller, U. S. Volunteers, assistant surgeon; C. S. Hogeboom, R. N. Wright, W. W. Bidlack, W. A. Harvey, George Johnston, M. A. Booth, H. Smith, T. Liebold, William F. Buchanan, J. Koerper, and Judson Gilman, acting assistant surgeons; Chaplain Rev. J. Spooner; Chief Steward H. C. Archibald, Hospital Stewards J. P. Stambaugh, R. L. Wernwag, and J. E. McGowan. The hospital is arranged like the spokes of a wheel and has fifteen wards, together with one building used as the executive department, and containing also the sleeping apartments of the different surgeons, dispensary, linen-room, &c. The capacity of the hospital, allowing 900 cubic feet per bed, is 1,050 beds or 70 beds to each ward. Including the convalescent ward and the wards for erysipelas and hospital gangrene there are about 1,400 beds. Ventilation good, high ceilings and plenty of good sea air. Number of patients at present in the hospital is 1,277; of these 493 are Union men and 784 rebels. The Union soldiers are all nearly convalescent, while the prevailing disease among the rebels is chronic diarrhea. Of the 1,208 sick in the hospital last week there were 46 deaths or 38. 07 per cent, and the mortality slightly on the increase. They receive on an average thirty per day from the hospital within the encampment and in the very worst condition. Some are moribund when they arrive at this hospital. At the post mortem examinations the doctor said nearly all of those who died of diarrhea had pneumonia. Did not show itself during life, probably from the extreme weak condition of the patient. From the 1st of March to the end of September there were only twenty-eight deaths. Union soldiers then occupied the hospitals, and the sick report on the last day of July was 1,192. The highest number was 1,330, but the average for the six months was 1,100. Diseases, typhoid fever, diarrhea, and typhoid pneumonia. The wards were in very good condition, but there was a vast difference in the cleanliness of those occupied by our men; no spitting on the floor or lounging on the bets with clothes on, as was seen among the rebels. Could do nothing with them; impose no punishment, for they were too weak. Every attention was paid them, and all possible care to keep the wards and bedding as cleanly as possible. In the half and low diet kitchen found the trays all ready to convey the food to the sick. The rebels received the same as our own men; no distinction whatever. Potatoes, rice, cabbage, sweet milk, soft bread and butter, and farina or corn starch being prepared in this kitchen; had female cooks. The full-diet kitchen was by the side of the dining-room, with everything complete, ovens, boilers, &c. The dining-room, capable of seating 1,000 persons, was in splendid condition, with tables, floor, &c., in good order. I shall not enter into the detail of these various apartments, but will speak of the rations, which to us now is of more interest. It was my fortune to enter the dining-room as dinner was being placed upon the table, and found about 6 ounces of fresh beef, boiled; 3 potatoes, 2 thick slices of bread, butter, 1 pint of soup with vegetables, and the condiments pepper, salt, vinegar, and mustard; and to this the