both black and white recruits and substitutes goes to substantiate an idea which is common among ethnological authorities, viz, that no race is equally adapted to all circumstances of life; that mankind obey the same general laws that govern the distribution of florae and faunae upon the earth, and that the isotherms between which are limited the health and development of the negro do not comprehend less space upon its surface than those within which the others are confined.
It may be confidently affirmed that the statistics of this office which refer principally to physic-geographical influences and to the effects of the intermixture of blood upon the negro, when taken in connection with those parts of the Surgeon-General's forthcoming report in which he is regarded as amenable to the vicissitudes of war, will form a more complete and reliable physical history of this race than exists at this time.
It would not be in accordance with the plan of this report to enter upon a discussion of the comparative aptitude for military service exhibited by the two types of mankind of which I have been speaking, without the accompanying tables as evidence of the data upon which my opinions were based.
It appears, however, that, of the surgeons of boards of enrollment, five have given their opinion that the negro recruits and substitutes examined by them were physically a better class of men than the whites; nineteen that they were equal; two that they were inferior. A favorable opinion as to their fitness for the army is expressed by seventeen; a doubtful one, because of insufficient data on which to ground the decision, by forty- three; an unfavorable opinion by nine, and by twenty a statement of not having come to any conclusion upon the subject.
The question of the prevalence of disease among the negro inhabitants of different sections of the country is one upon which at present no specific opinion can be expressed. As in the case of the white race,it may be shown hereafter that their maladies conform to those general principles which have been heretofore established. The discussion of the physical characteristics of the negro, as involving the property of his use in war, only belongs to this department. It is difficult and, in the present state of science,most uncertain to erect upon any general characteristics of organization anything but the most general rules concerning the effect of that structure upon the moral and intellectual nature. It may be said, however, that there are not more instances of disqualifying causes of this nature among the negroes, in proportion to the number examined, than are to be found in the records of exemption among the white race.
A resume of the points upon which the completed results of the statistics of this Bureau may be expected to bear will comprehend the physical history of all recruits and substitutes of this race, viz, the height, age, weight, capacity of chest, health, &c. In the form of tables the comparison of equal numbers of both races will be made, exhibiting the resemblance or contrast between the two and their approach toward the ascertained standard of physical perfection; the effect of climatic causes upon the race, as evinced by the prevalence of the intermixture of the races, as shown by the comparative healthfulness of the pure negro and the mulatto, as well the most common infirmities to which both are subject; the moral status of the races, as far as disqualifying conditions are shown to result from infractions of the prevailing laws of property and temperance, &.