War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0792 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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same month of the previous year the total was 7.3 per thousand of mean strength, or over seven-tenths of 1 per cent.

During the fiscal year from July 1, 1863, to June 30, 1864, an army medical board was appointed to meet in New York on the 15th of October, 1863, for the examination of candidates for the medical staff of the U. S. Army and of assistant surgeons of that corps for promotion. Twenty applicants for admission into the medical staff were invited to present themselves before this Board. Of this number six were fully examined and approved, five withdrew before their examinations were concluded, and nine failed to appear. One assistant surgeon was examined for promotion and found qualified. Of the approved candidates five have been appointed assistant surgeons.

Boards have been in session in New York; Washington, D. C.; Hilton Head, S. C.; New Orleans, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark., and Cincinnati, Ohio, for the examination of candidates for appointment in the volunteer medical staff. Two hundred and seventy-seven candidates have been invited before these boards, ninety-two of whom have passed satisfactory examinations and been appointed accordingly. The remainder were rejected, failed to appear, or withdrew before their examinations were completed.

The casualties in this corps since June 30, 1863, are as follows: Appointed, 102; promoted, 54; restored, 5; resigned, 20; declined, 6; died, 5; dismissed, 6; discharged, 8; transferred to Regular Army as medical inspectors, 3.

Boards for the examination of candidates for appointment as medical officers to colored troops have been in session permanently at Boston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Saint Louis, and are convened at other points from time to time as the exigencies of the service demand.

The establishment of medical depots within reach of the armies in the field and their prompt supply upon the field of battle; the transportation of sick and wounded by ambulance, railroad, and hospital transports; the sufficiency and successful administration of the vast system of general hospitals; the sanitary precautions, as well as all minor details of this department tending to the greater comfort of the sick and wounded as well as to the health and efficiency of the troops, have during the year undergone the severest possible test, and in no instance have the movements of our successful generals been impeded or delayed from any cause within the control of the Medical Department.

The commutation value of the soldier's ration as reduced by act of Congress approved June 20, 1864, is insufficient to supply the necessary articles of extra diet, and additional legislation will be required.

House bill Numbers 543, Thirty-eighth Congress, having passed the House of Representatives, was not reached in the Senate and awaits final action. The proposed well-deserved promotion of meritorious medical officers cannot fail to increase their efficiency by placing them upon an equal footing with those of other staff corps in regard to local rank, and it is respectfully submitted that the faithful performance of arduous duties by officers of the Medical Department should be recognized and rewarded by brevets equally with the other branches of the service.

The Army Medical Museum continues to increase in value, and is already one of the most instructive pathological collections in the world. A descriptive catalogue is in course of preparation, an examination of which will, it is thought, fully establish the importance of