Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

Of those who were engaged in these non- and musket-balls and shells, which nineteen battles, one in 51.6, or 1.93 per inflict more deadly injuries. cent., were killed. The deaths in consequence of the battles, including both

DANGERS IN NAVAL BATTLES.
those who died of wounds and those that
died among the missing, were one in It may not be out of place here to show
30, or 3.3 per cent. of all who were in the dangers of naval warfare, which aro
the fight. It is worth noticing here, that discussed at length by Mr. Hodge, in a
the British loss in the Battle of New

very
elaborate

paper in the eighteenth Orleans was larger than in any other bat- volume of the Statistical Society's journal. tle here adduced, except in that of Albu- From one of his tables, containing a conera, in Spain, with the French, in 1811. densed statistical history of the English na

In the British army, from 1793 to vy, through the wars with France, 1792– 1815, including twenty-one years of war, 1815, the following facts are gathered. and excluding 1802,

the year

of

peace, During those wars, the British Parthe number of officers varied from 3,576 liament, in its several annual grants, votin the first year to 13,248 in 1813, and ed 2,527,390 men for the navy. But the the men varied from 74,500 in 1793 to number actually in the service is estimated 276,000 in 1813, making an annual av- not to have exceeded 2,424,000 in all, or erage of 9,078 officers and 189,200 men, a constant average force of 110,180 men. and equal to 199,727 officers and 4,168,- Within this time these men fought five 500 men serving one year. During these hundred and seventy-six naval battles, twenty-one years of war, among the offi- and they were exposed to storms, to shipcers 920 were killed and 4,685 were wreck, and to fire, in every sea. In all wounded, and among the men 15,392 these exposures, the records show that the were killed and 65,393 were wounded. loss of life was less than was suffered by This is an annual average of deaths from the soldiers on the land. There were battle of 460 officers and 369 men, and

Killed in battle, officers,

346 of wounded 2,340 officers and 1,580 men,

men,

4,441 among 100,000 of each class. Of the officers less than half of one per cent., or

Total, 4,787 1 in 217, were killed, and a little more

Wounded, officers,

935 than two per cent., or 1 in 42, were

men,

13,335 wounded; and among the men a little

Total, 14,270 more than a third of one per cent., 1 in 271, were killed, and one and a half per

Drowned and otherwise destroyed in cent., 1 in 63, wounded, in each year.

battle,

Estimated deaths among the wounded, 1,427 The comparative danger to the two is,

Total destroyed by battle,

6,663 of death, 46 officers to 37 men, and of wounds, 234 officers to 158 men. A lar- Lost by shipwreck, accidental drown

ing, and by fire,

13,621 ger proportion of the officers than of the

Total deaths, from other causes than soldiers were killed and wounded; yet a

disease,

20,284 larger proportion of the wounded officers recovered. This is attributed to the fact Comparing the whole number of men that the officers were injured by rifle- in the naval service, during this period, balls, being picked out by the marksmen, with the mortality from causes incident to while the soldiers were injured by can- the service, the average annual loss was—

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

449

.

[ocr errors]

.

Killed in battle,

one in 506, or .197 per cent. Drowned and lost in battle, and died of wounds,

one in 1,292, or.077 per cent. Wounded,

one in 169, or .588 per cent. Drowned and lost by shipwreck, fire, etc., otherwise than by battle, one in 178, or .561 per cent. Total annual loss by battle and the special dangers of the sea, one in 119, or .836 per cent.

[blocks in formation]

TABLE III. - BATTLES BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN SHIPS.

BRITISH.

AMERICAN.

Date.

Duration
of action.

Ship.

Loss.
Guns.

Casualties.
Broadside. Men. Killed. Wounded.

Number. Per 1000.

Ship.

Guns.
Broadside. Men.

Killed and wounded.
Number. Per 1000.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mr. Hodge's second table shows the den on the hospitals in that war, through conditions and casualties of thirteen bat- forty-two months, were diseased patients, tles between fleets and squadrons. This and only one-fifteenth were wounded. In is condensed and quoted on the preced- the Crimean War, 11.2 per cent. in the ing page.

hospitals suffered from injuries in battle, His third table includes thirty-five ac- and 88.8 per centfrom other causes. 10 tions with single ships on each side, be- per cent of the French patients in the tween the years 1793 and 1815. 8,542 same war were wounded, and 90 per cent. men were engaged, and 483, or 56.5 per had fevers, etc. In the autumn of 1814, 1,000, were killed, and 1,230, or 144 per there were 815 patients in the great mil1,000, wounded.

itary hospital at Burlington, Vermont. Twenty-six of these actions were with Of these 50 were wounded, and the rest French ships, which are here omitted, had the diseases of the camp. and nine with American ships, which are In the Crimean War, 16,296 died from shown in the second table on the preced- disease, and 4,774 from injuries received

in battle. In the Peninsular War, 25,304 There is a very remarkable difference died of disease, and 9,450 from wounds. in the loss which the British suffered in During eighteen years, 1840 to 1857, naval and in land battles :

19,504 were discharged from the home, and 21,325 from the foreign stations of

the British army. Of these, 541, or 2.7 Vessels.

Wound-
Killed.

per cent. of those at home, and 3,703, or

ed. One in One in 17.3 per cent. abroad, were on account

of wounds and fractures, and the others 13 Fleets..

64.0 20.4 on account of disease, debility, and ex35 Single ships.

haustion. 26 French single ships. 19.8 9 American do. do. 12.7 4.4 19 Land battles.... 30.0 11.0

ing page.

No, of
Battles.

17.7

6.9 10.6

NATIONS DO NOT LEARN FROM EXPE

RIENCE

TO

PREPARE FOR ARMY

SICKNESS.

The danger both of wounds and death in these contests was three times as great in the single ships as in fleets, and NATIONS, when they go to war, preabout five times as great in battles with pare to inflict injury and death on their the Americans as in fleet-battles with oth

opponents, and make up their minds to er nations. The dangers in fleet-battles receive the same in return; but they

1 ; were about half as great as those in land- seem neither to look nor to prepare for battles, and these were but little more sickness and death in their camps. And than half as great as those in fights with when these come upon their armies, they single ships.

seem either to shut their eyes to the facts, or submit to the loss as to a disturbance

in Nature, a storm, a drought, or an earthCOMPARATIVE DANGER OF CAMP AND

quake, which they can neither prevent

nor provide for, and for which they feel These records of land-battles show no responsibility, but only hope that it that the dangers from that cause are not will not happen again. Nevertheless, very great; probably they are less than this waste of life has followed every arthe world imagines; certainly they are my which has been made to violate the much less than those of the camp. Of laws of health, in privations, exposures, the 176,007 admitted into the regimental and hardships, and whose internal history hospitals during the Peninsular War, on- is known. The experience of such disly 20,886 were from wounds, the rest from astrous campaigns ought to induce Govdiseases ; fourteen-fifteenths of the bur- ernments to inquire into the causes of the

31

BATTLE-FIELD.

VOL. X.

CRIMEAN WAR.

the same way.

a

suffering and loss, and to learn whether a work that ought to be done by the Gorthey are not engaged in a struggle against ernment, and carrying out a plan of opNature, in which they must certainly fail, erations that should be inseparably assoand endeavoring to make the human ciated with the original creation of the arbody bear burdens and labors which are my and the whole management of the war. beyond its strength. But Governments are slow to learn, especially sanitary lessons. The British army suffered and died in great numbers at Walcheren and The lesson which the experience of South Beveland, in the middle of the last the Russian army of 1828 and 1829 century. Pringle described the sad con- taught the world of the mortal danger dition of those troops, and warned his of Bulgaria was lost on the British Govnation against a similar exposure; yet, ernment, which sent its own troops there sixty years later, the Ministry sent anoth- in 1854, to be exposed to, and wither er army to the same place, to sink under before, the same destructive influences the malarious influences and diseases in But at length sickness prevailed to such

The English troops at an extent, and death made such bas. Jamaica were stationed in the low oc, in the army in the East, that Eng. grounds, where, “ for many generations,” land's great sympathies were roused, " the average annual mortality was 13 and the Ministers' attention was drawo per cent.” “A recommendation for their to the irresistible fact, that the stronges: removal from the plains to the mountains of Britain's soldiers were passing rapidly was made so far back as 1791. Numerous from the camp to the hospital, and from reports were sent to the Government, ad- the hospital to the grave. Then a doub: vising that a higher situation should be occurred to the minds of the men in selected"; but it was not until 1837, af- power, whether all was right in the Criter nearly half a century of experience mea, and whether something might not be and warning, that the Ministry opened done for the sanitary salvation of the artheir eyes to this cost of life and money in my. They sent a commission, consistiog excessive sickness and mortality, and then of Dr. John Sutherland, one of the ablest removed the garrison to Maroontown, sanitarians of the kingdom, Dr. Hector where the death-rate fell to 2 per cent., or

Gavin, and Robert Rawlinson, civil enless than one-sixth of what it had been.* gineer, to the Black Sea, to inquire into

The American army, in the war with the state of things there, to search out Great Britain fifty years ago, suffered the causes of the sufferings of the army, from the want of proper provision for and see if there might not be a remedy their necessities and comfort, from ex- found and applied. At the same time, posures and hardships, so that sometimes Miss Nightingale and a large corps of half its force was unavailable; yet, at the assistants, attendants, and nurses, women present moment, a monstrous army is col. of station and culture and women of lected and sent to the field, under the same hire, went to that terrible scene of misery regulations, and with the same idea of and death, to aid in any measures that man's indefinite power of endurance, and might be devised to alleviate the condi the responsibility and superintendence of tion of the men. Great abuses and neg. their health is left, in large measure, to ligence were found; and the causes of an accidental and outside body of men, disease were manifest, manifold, and the Sanitary Commission, which, although needless. But a reform was at once inan institution of great heart and energy, stituted; great changes were made in the and supported by the sympathies and co- general management of the camp and operation of the whole people, is yet doing hospitals and in the condition of the sol. Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Brit

diers. Disease began to diminish, the ish Army, p. 212. Colonel Tulloch.

progress of mortality was arrested, and

a

in the course of a few months the rate between the manner of living and the of death was as low as among men of health, and demonstrate that the severe the same ages at home.

life of war, with its diminished creation This commission made a full reportof vital force, by imperfect and uncertain when they returned, and described the nutrition and excessive expenditure in state of things they found in the Crimea exposures and labors, necessarily breaks and on the shores of the Black Sea, down the constitution. It subjects the the camps, barracks, huts, tents, food, body to more abundant disorders, and manner of life, and general sanitary con- especially to those of the depressive, dition of the troops, their terrible suffer- adynamic type, which, from the want ings, and the means and ways of caring of the usual recuperative power, are for the sick, the measures of reform which more fatal than the diseases of civil life. they had proposed and carried out, and These works may be considered generic their effects on the health of the men. as well as specific. They apply to and This report was published by the Gov- describe the sanitary condition and the ernment.

pathological history of all armies engagBesides this commission, the Govern- ed in hard and severe campaigns, as well ment sent Dr. Lyons, a surgeon

and

pa- as those of the Crimea. They should, thologist of great learning and acumen, to therefore, be read by every Government investigate the pathology or morbid con- that engages in or is forced into any war. dition of the army. According to his in- They should be distributed to and thorstructions, he spent four months in the oughly understood by every commander Crimea and at the great hospitals on the who directs the army, and every surBosphorus. He examined and traced geon who superintends the sanitary conthe course of disease and disturbance in dition of, and manages the sickness among, the sick and wounded. He made very the men; and happy will it be for those many thorough examinations after death, soldiers whose military and sanitary diin order to determine the effects of vi- rectors avail themselves of the instructions tiating influences upon the organization, contained in these volumes. and the condition of the textures and There are several other works on the organs of the body in connection with Crimean War, by surgeons and other ofthe several kinds of disorders. Dr. Ly- ficers, written mainly to give a knowledge ons's extremely instructive report was of the general facts of those campaigns, published by national authority as one of but all incidentally corroborating and the Parliamentary folio volumes. After explaining the statements in the Govthe war was over, Dr. W. Hanbury and ernment Reports, in respect to the health Staff-Surgeon Matthew, under the direc- and sufferings of the British and French tion of the Secretary of War, gathered, armies. In this view, Dr. Bryce's book, analyzed, and prepared the records of “ England and France before Sebastoall the surgeons of the several corps of pol,” and M. Baudens's and M. Scrive's the Crimean army. To these they add- medical works in French, are worthy of ed a long and valuable treatise on the great attention and confidence. nature and character of the diseases, The most important and valuable work, and their connection with the condition in this connection, is the Report of the and habits of the men. These are pub- British Commission appointed in May, lished in two very thick folio volumes, 1854, "to inquire into the regulations and give a minute and almost daily his affecting the sanitary condition of the tory of the life, labors, exposures, priva- British army, the organization of the miltions, sufferings, sickness, and mortality itary hospitals, and the treatment of the of each regiment. These two works, of sick and wounded." This commission inDr. Lyons and Drs. Hanbury and Mat- cluded some of the ablest and most learnthew, show the inseparable connection ed physicians and surgeons in the civil

« PreviousContinue »