War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 1041 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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4 7/10 ounces daily. Potatoes-Of these each man gets 10 pounds 15 4/10 ounces per month, or 56/10 ounces daily. Onions-Of these a fraction more than 1 pound per month to each man was issued. Beans-Of these 1 pound 9 ounces were issued during thirty-one days to each man, or 25/31 of 1 ounce daily. It should be added that cucumber pickles were also issued to and used by the men during the month, but to what extent I do not know.

We have seen that a high sick rate and special types of disease prevailed amongst these men. Those of a various character had of course a specific fevers, nor the erysipelas, nor the other kindred disorders depended, it is clear, on any one cause, but rather on several concurrent causes and influences. It should be remembered that these men were not in full health when received upon the island. From previous hard service and short rations their general condition was considerably below the par of health. Besides, captivity itself half a depressing effect. With it are associated nostalgia, disappointment, anxiety, a listless, monotonous life, absence of discipline and of regular exercise and occupation, all of which are lowering and disease inviting influences. Looking for the more proximate causes we find, first, that the island on which the men are quartered is low, damp, and to some extent miasmatic; second, that 1,505 men are congregated in one common barrack with insufficient space, thus engendering crowd poison with its evils; third, that the temperature of the quarters is too low. This cause, combined with humidity, particularly encourages scurvy and other cachectic troubles; fourth, the diet may, I suppose, be considered fair, both as to quantity and quality. Under a favorable or ordinary circumstances it probably would not have led to scurvy, but in this case, considering the other distempering influences, the diet, I apprehend, has not been quite sufficient in quantity, nor composed quite largely enough of vegetables. These facts and views suggest at once the proper preventive and sanitary measures, and these, which I respectfully recommend, are as follows: First. That during the continuance of cold weather the quarter be kept comfortably warm; those men, few in number, who have insufficient clothing should be clad. Second. The congregation of so many men in one barracks should be avoided. The 1,505 men now thus together should be put into at least two barracks; there is no difficulty in doing this since there are several unoccupied buildings. They were thus concentrated in order to economize fuel, but this motive should not outweigh sanitary considerations. Third. Ventilation of there is at present no marked neglect of policing, yet too much care cannot be given to it. Fourth. The diet needs to be improved. The present issue of bread I regard as sufficient, but the coffee should be for the present, and until further health shall prevail, increased to the full ration, perhaps also a small increase in the meat ration would be desirable; but the quality of vegetables especially should be increased particularly of good, sound potatoes and onions. The proper extent of this increase can only be determined by careful observation on the spot, but I think the two articles last named should be at first increased 33 per cent. The mode of cooking and serving these vegetables deserves also attention. At present I believe they are all put into soup. If some of them were well cooked and eastern solid advantage would result.

The accumulated savings from the ration, amounting, I think, on the 1st of February to $23,000, afford abundant means for the proposed increase.

* * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.


Medical Inspector-General of the Army.]


March 12, 1864.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to return my communication of the 2nd instant containing Special Orders, Numbers 49, with your indorsement of the 7th instant thereon. In reply thereto I would respectfully suggest that my object seems to be misunderstood. I do not raise a question, but the order for Camp Sumter simply directs Colonel Persons to take command without designating to whom he shall report.