War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0668 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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of troops drawn from different localities. For instance, an undue proportion of New England troops was used in the unhealthy Departments of the South and Gulf; and to this circumstance we may attribute in a measure the fact that 70.45 per thousand of the men credited to the Eastern States died of disease. The men of the West were poured into the feverish valleys of the Mississippi and its southern tributaries; and this aided, no doubt, to swell their mortality by disease to the proportion of 71.55 per thousand. The Border State contingents, serving mainly in the same localities, lost from this cause 66.76 per thousand. All the above ratios are higher than the general one of the loyal States, which is but 59.22. On the other hand, the Middle States, whose men fought to a large extent in the Army of the Potomac, suffered under this head to the amount of only 37.88 per thousand, which is 33.67 below the ratio of the Western States and 21.34 below the general ratio. Virginia was a healthier field of service than the bottoms of the Tennessee or the lowlands of Louisiana and South Carolina; and it seems certain, moreover, that the Army of the Potomac was the best provided of all our large armies.

Again, it is to be noted those States which show large mortality on the battle-field likewise show large mortality by disease. Generally, a battle is but the culmination of preceding physical exertions and hardships, such as severe marching, want of rest, exposure, hunger, &c., all of which are causes and conditions of sickness. Moreover, where there are many deaths in battle, there must be a proportionate number of wounded; and men enfeebled by gunshot injuries naturally sink all the easier under subsequent maladies and hardships.

Discharges for disability.*

This branch of the subject is in a measure correlative with the inferences under the foregoing heads. Wherever the table shows a large ratio of deaths by disease and deaths by battle it usually exhibits a similar proportion of discharges for disability. In New England it is 97.07 per thousand; in the Western States, 91.50: in the Border States, 65.99; in the Middle States, only 58.53.


It appears beyond dispute that the crime of desertion is especially characteristic of troops from large cities and of the districts which they supply with recruits. The ratio per thousand of desertions to credits throughout the loyal States is 62.51. In the State of New York it rises to 89.06, and in the small States near New York City it is still higher. In New Jersey it is 107.00; in Connecticut, 117.23; in New Hampshire, 112.22. Yet the general ratio of New England is but 74.24, the ratio of Massachusetts being 66.68, that of Vermont 51.75, and that of Maine 43.90. In the West, where large cities are rare, the average ratio sinks to 45.51.

It is probable that a more minute examination of the statistics of the Army than has yet been made would reveal the fact that desertion is a crime of foreign rather than native birth, and that but a small; proportion of the men who forsook their colors were Americans. It is a notorious circumstances that the great mass of the professional bounty jumpers were Europeans. In general, the manufacturing


* But see foot-note (+), p.664.