War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0605 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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pital gangrene was prevailing it was impossible for any wound to escape contagion under these circumstances. The results of the treatment of wounds in the hospital were of the most unsatisfactory character, from this neglect of cleanliness in the dressings and wounds themselves, as well as from various other causes, which will be more fully considered. I saw several gangrenous wounds filled with maggots. I have frequently seen neglected wounds amongst the Confederate soldiers similarly affected, and, as far as my experience extends, these worms destroy only the dead tissues and do not injure specially the well parts. I have even heard surgeons affirm that a gangrenous wound which bad been thoroughly cleansed by maggots healed more rapidly than if it had been left to itself. This want of cleanliness on the part of the nurses appeared to be the result of carelessness and inattention rather than of malignant design and the whole trouble can be traced to the want of the proper police and sanitary regulations and to the absence of intelligent organization and division of labor. The abuses were in a large measure due to the almost total absence of system, government, and rigid but wholesome sanitary regulations.

In extenuation of these abuses it was alleged by the medical officers that the Confederate troops were barely sufficient to guard the prisoners, and that it was impossible to obtain any number of experienced nurses from the Confederate forces. In fact the guard appeared to be too small even for the regulation of the internal hygiene and police of the hospital.

The manner of disposing of the dead was also calculated to depress the already desponding spirits of these men, many of whom had been confined for months, and even for near two years, in Richmond and other places, and whose strength had been wasted by bad air, bad food, and neglect of personal cleanliness. The dead-house is merely a frame covered with old tent cloths and a few bushes, situated in the southwestern corner of the hospital grounds. When a patient dies he is simply laid in the narrow street in front of his tent until he is removed by Federal negroes detailed to carry off the dead. If a patient dies during the night he lies there until the morning, and during the day even the dead were frequently allowed to remain for hours in these walks. In the dead-house the corpses lie upon the bare ground, and were in most cases covered with filth and vermin.

At short intervals in the lanes between the tents wooden boxes are arranged for the reception of the excrements of those patients who are unable to walk to the sinks along the banks of the stream. As a general rule these are not emptied until they are filled with excrements. At all times the emaciated men, worn down to skeletons by diarrhea and dysentery, are seen evacuating their bowels into these filthy receptacles, which from their wooden structure can never be kept properly cleansed. Notwithstanding these objectionable arrangements, the surgeons, from the limited resources of the purveying department of the Confederate States? appear to be unable to devise any better mode of collecting and removing the excrements of the sick. Metallic or earthenware vessels would be far preferable, but it is said that they cannot be obtained at the present time. Time and again I saw patients who apparently had ample strength to walk to the sinks evacuate their bowels within the tent doors. The whole soil appeared to be saturated with urine and filth of all kinds and emitted a most disgusting odor.

The cooking arrangements are of the most defective character. Four large iron pots, similar to those used for boiling sugar cane, appeared to be the only cooking utensils furnished by the hospital for the cooking of near 2,000 men, and the patients were dependent in great measure upon