It is singular at first that in discharges for disability the ratio of the colored troops is less than half that of the volunteers, the former being 37,92 per thousand and the latter 75,99. A smaller proportion of the negroes than of the whites were wounded; but this fact alone will not, it is believed, explain, the whole difference. It will prove, probably, that the colored soldiers rarely applied for discharge on the ground of disability, that their diseases were usually of an acute and mortal rather than of a chronic and merely enfeebling nature.
In desertion, the loss is 67.00 per thousand, which is slightly above the general volunteer ratio of 62.51.
Casualties of Regular Army.*
The most fruitful source of casualties in the Regular Army is desertion; it reaches the high ratio of 244,25 per thousand, while in the volunteers it is but 62.51. The inference is irresistible that the men who enlisted in the regular service were far inferior in character to the troops furnished by the States; and it will probably be found on examination that they were more commonly levied in the large cities and embrace a far larger proportion of foreigners. The regular service did not secure that noble class of native-born soldiers which local pride and State patriotism poured into the volunteer organizations.
In discharges for disability the regulars and volunteers do not greatly vary, the former showing a loss of 75.99 per thousand, and the latter 78.81. The slight difference here is fully accounted for by the fact that the battle mortality of the volunteers (35.10) is somewhat higher than that of the regulars (30.55).
Under the head of deaths by disease the influence of superior discipline in securing cleanliness and other conditions of health is apparent. The loss of the regulars is only 42.27, while that of the volunteers is 59.22.
In Honorable discharges both regulars and colored troops contrast advantageously with the volunteers. Here the regulars lose 17.88 per thousand, the colored troops 15.08, and the volunteers 67.24 Honorable discharge indicates influence of friends, of members of Congress, &c., exerted to obtain the release of a man from service who is physically able to remain in it.
Explanation of section 3, Table III.
The proportional analysis of the table of casualties by services and arms of service, marked section 3, shows the ratios which each service-regular, volunteer, and colored troops-and each arm of service-cavalry, artillery, and infantry-furnished to each thousand of casualties, and also to each thousand of every species of casualty. In examining this table, each column must be considered by itself, inasmuch as each is based on a different element of the total of casualties. For instance, under the head of "killed or died of wounds," the divisor used is the total "killed and died of wounds" of the entire Army, while under the head of "died of disease" the divisor used is the total "died of disease" of the entire Army.
Thus the first column simply exhibits the fact that of every thousand men killed in battle and died of wounds 21 were regulars, 948 (nearly) were volunteers, and 31 were colored; also the fact that of
* But see foot-note (+), pp.664, 665.