War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 1034 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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action for the protection of our troops. A rigid military quarantine was established on the southern Atlantic Coast and sanitary precautions enforced. The adoption of these measure availed to control or eradicate the disease at the recruiting depots and forts where it appeared before it assumed its usual alarming epidemic form; and official recognition has been given to the meritorious services of medical officers whose fidelity, energy, and skillful administration succeeded in averting or diminishing the horrors of widespread pestilence. In other respects the general health of the troops has been good. Among white troops the proportion of deaths, from all causes, to cases treated has been one to every fifty-two. Among the colored troops the proportion of cases taken sick has been greater than with the white troops, and the mortality rate one death to every twenty- nine cases treated. There were remaining in general hospitals June 30, 1865, and admitted during the year 64,438 patients, of whom, on June 30, 1866, only ninety-seven remained under treatment. The comfort and proper medical treatment of the sick and wounded are secured in well-arranged post hospitals, of which there are at present 187, with a total capacity of 10,881 beds.

Measures have been adopted for the purpose or providing suitable shelter for the troops now stationed on the plains, and for these which may be ordered thither, and to prevent suffering during the winter. The Army has been well supplied with forage, about one- half the quantity having been supplied from the stock remaining on hand at the cessation of hostilities. The consumption for the year has been 3,300,000 bushels of oats, 5,061,000 bushels of corn, 136,000 tons of hay 2,700 tons of straw.

Subsistence stores of good quality have been supplied to the Army, and though the larger part has been obtained at the principal market centers of the Northern States, yet the general of the citizens, North and South, to the productiveness of peace, and the consequent reopening of the customary channels and sources of trade, have enabled a partial resumption of the course of procuring supplies at the points where they are to be consumed. Eighty-nine contracts for fresh beef have been made in the Southern States at a general average price of 11.06 cents per pound, and in the interior of those States other articles, to a small extent, have been purchased. The market at New Orleans is now so well furnished, and has so far resumed a healthful mercantile condition, as to render it possible to procure there, at satisfactory prices, most of the subsistence stores required in the Department of the Gulf. On the Pacific Coast, for several years after California was admitted to the Union, all the supplies for troops there stationed were required to be shipped from New York, but an ample and reliable market, comprising the products of California and Oregon and the foreign countries bordering upon the same ocean, is now found in San Francisco, and most of the subsistence stores for troops in the Division of the Pacific have been there obtained. In general the subsistence supplied purchased during the year have been procured upon contracts, concluded in pursuance of advertisements for sealed proposals, written proposals, and acceptances.

The importance of speedily providing the Army with breech-loading small-arms of the best pattern has been recognized and acted upon. By an order of January 3, 1866, a board of competent officers was convened for the purpose of examining, testing, and reporting on the various models of original breech-loaders, and the various plans