War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0966 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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The number of patients remaining in general hospitals June 30, 1863, was 9.1 per cent., and in the field 4.4 per cent. of the entire mean strength of the Army, of whom 11 per cent. were sick and 2.5 per cent wounded.

The mortality during the month of June, 1862, from disease alone, was 4.7 per thousand of mean strength; that for June, 1863, 3.9 per thousand, giving a decrease in mortality from disease that, it is thought, will be shown to have maintained throughout the fiscal year.

During the past year health of the troops has been good. The armies of the south and southwest have escaped epidemics of unusual severity. Scurvy has been almost unknown among them. Yellow fever appeared in the fall of 1862 at Key West and extended to Hilton Head; the number of cases was limited and the proportion of deaths not excessive.

The general condition of the service in all matters of sanitary precaution and police exhibits marked improvements over the previous year. The corps of medical inspectors, authorized by the acts of Congrees of April 16, 1862, and of December 27, 1862, have, by the uniform and thorough system of inspections and reports established, added materially to the efficiency of the medical and hospital service; and the value of their labors is apparent in the prevention and prompt correction of errors and abuses affecting the health and comfort of the troops.

Two medical boards for the examination of candidates for appointments in the medical staff of the Regular Army were in session during the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1862, and ending June 30, 1863.

The first board, at Washington, D. C., examined eight candidates, two of whom were found qualified; the remaining six withdrew before the examination was concluded. They alsosistant surgeons for promotion; one was approved and one found not qualified.

Forty-seven candidates were invited before the second board, assembled at Philadelphia, Pa. Thirty-three only presented themselves for examination. Of these seventeen withdrew before their examination was concluded, one was not examined on account of physical disability, fourteen were approved, and one was rejected. This Board also examined seven assistant surgeon for promotion, six of whom were approved and one found not qualified.

All the candidates approved by these two boards have been appointed.

There are at present three vacancies in the medical staff of the U. S. Army.

Companies of the Second Battalion, Invalid Corps, composed of meritorious officers and soldiers disabled for active service, have been assigned to many of the general hospitals as a part of their organization, under the direction of the surgeon in charge. The experience of a few months warrants the belief that this military organization will prove the most economical and advantageous mode of supplying a permanent corps of nurses and attendants to such hospitals, and make available for active service the able-bodied hitherto detailed for these duties.

The Army Medical Museou, aided by the appropriation of the last Congress and the cordial co-operation of medical officers throughout the country, embraces over 3,000 specimens, and has attained a value