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one time.” *
SICKNESS AND MORTALITY OF THE
ing this period, there were 342,107 cases ter two months; and at the end of the
This army had an average of 125 in 1,000, is manifestly more than that which falls or one-eighth of the whole, on the sickupon men of these ages at home.* list.t
In July, 1809, the British Government
Netherlands. They were stationed at
Walcheren, which was the principal seat
Sept. 13, 7,626 were on the sick-list.
19, 8,123 great amount of sickness and mortality
21, 8,684 prevailed. He says, that, besides those
23, 9,046 who were suffering from wounds,“ at some periods more than one-fifth of the army In ninety-seven days 12,867 were sent were in the hospitals." “One regiment home sick; and on the 22d of October bad over one-balf of its men sick.” “ In there were only 4,000 effective men left July and August, 1743, one-half of the fit for duty out of this army of about 40,000 army had the dysentery.” “In 1747, four healthy men, who had left England within battalions," of 715 men each, " at South less than four months. On the 1st of FebBeveland and Walcheren, both in field ruary of the next year, there were 11,513 and in quarters, were so very sickly, that, on the sick-list, and 15,570 had been lost at the height of the epidemic, some of or disabled. Between January 1st and these corps had but one hundred men fit June of the same year, (1810,) 36,500 for duty; six-sevenths of their numbers were admitted to the hospitals, and 8,000, were sick.”+ “ At the end of the cam- or more than 20 per cent., died, which is paign the Royal Battalion had but four equal to an annual rate of 48 per cent. men who had not been ill.” And “when mortality. these corps went into winter-quarters, The British army in Spain and Portutheir sick, in proportion to their men fit gal suffered greatly through the Peninfor duty, were nearly as four to one." I sular War, from 1808 to 1814. During In 1748, dysentery prevailed. “In one the whole of that period, there was a conregiment of 500 men, 150 were sick at stant average of 209 per 1,000 on the sickthe end of five weeks ; 200 were sick af- list, and the proportion was sometimes
swelled to 330 per 1,000. Through the . Medical Statistics U. S. Army, 1839–54, p. 491, etc.
* Observations on the Diseases of the Army, † Observations on the Diseases of the Army,
† Lordon Statistical Journal, Vol. XIX. p. 1 16., p. 53.
forty-one months ending May 25th, 1814, there was an average of 7,909, or 12.9 per with an average of 61,511 men, there was cent., in the hospitals.* an average of 13,815 in the hospitals, The British legion that went to Spain which is 22.5 per cent.; of these only in 1836 consisted of 7,000 men. Of one-fifteenth, or 1.5 per cent of the whole these, 5,000, or 71 per cent., were admitarmy, were laid up on account of injuries ted into the hospitals in three and a half in battle, and 21 per cent. were disabled months, and 1,223 died in six months by diseases. From these causes 24,930 This is equal to an annual rate of almost died, which is an annual average of 7,296, two and a half, 2.44, attacks for each man, or a rate of 11.8 per cent mortality. * and of 34.9 per cent mortality.t
No better authority can be adduced, “ Of 115,000 Russians who invaded for the condition of men engaged in the Turkey in 1828 and 1829, only 10,000 or actual service of war, than Lord Welling. 15,000 ever repassed the Pruth. The ton. On the 14th of November, 1809, rest died there of intermittent feiers, he wrote from his army in Spain to Lord dysenteries, and plague.” “ From May, Liverpool, then at the head of the British 1828, to February, 1829, 210,108 patients Government, “ In all times and places were admitted into the general and regithe sick-list of the army amounts to ten mental hospitals.” “In October, 1828, per cent of all.” † He seemed to consid- 20,000 entered the general hospitals." er this the lowest attainable rate of sick- “ The sickness was very fatal.” “ More ness, and he hoped to be able to reduce than a quarter of the fever-patients died." that of his own army to it: this is more “5,509 entered the hospitals, and of these, than five times as great as the rate of 3,959 died in August, 1829, and only 614 sickness among male civilians of the army- ultimately recovered.” "At Brailow the ages. The sickness in Lord Wellington's plague attacked 1,200 and destroyed 774." army, at the moment of writing this de- “ Dysentery was equally fatal.” In the spatch, was fifteen per cent., or seren and march across the Balkan, 1,000 men died a half times as great as that at home. of diarrhæa, fever, and scurvy." "In
In the same Peninsular War, there was Bulgaria, during July, 37,000 men were of the sick in the French army a con- taken sick.” “At Adrianople a vast barstant average of 136 per 1,000 in Spain, rack was taken for a hospital, and in three and 146 per 1,000 in Portugal. Mr. Ed- days 1,616 patients were admitted. On monds says, that, just before the Battle the first of September there were 3,666, of Talavera, the French army consisted and on the 15th, 4,646 patients in the of 275,000 men, of whom 61,000, or 22.2 house. This was one-quarter of all the per cent., were sick. Lord Wellington disposable force at that station.” “In Oewrote, Sept. 19, 1809, that the French ar- tober, 1,300 died of dysentery; and at the my
of 225,000 men had 30,000 to 40,000 end of the month there were 4,700 in the sick, which is 13.3 to 17.7 per cent. The hospitals.” “In the whole army the loss French army in Portugal had at one to the Russians in the year 1829 was at time 64 per 1,000, and at another 235 per least 60,000 men." I 1,000, and an average of 146 per 1,000, in the hospitals through the war.
The British army that fought the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815, had an average In 1854, twenty-five years after this of 60,992 men, through the campaign of fatal experience of the Russian army in four months, June to September; of these,
* Edmonds in London Lancet, Vol. XXXVI. ! * Edmonds in London Lancet, Vol. XXXVI.
† 16., p. 219. | Despatches.
| Boudin, Traité de Géographie et de Statis| Edmonds in London Lancet, Vol. XXXVI. tique Médicales, Tom. II. p. 289, etc., quoted
by him from Major Moltka.
Bulgaria, the British Government sentity increased to the enormous rate of 1,142 an army to the same province, where the per 1,000, so that, if it had continued unmen were exposed to the same diseases abated, it would have destroyed the whole and suffered a similar depreciation of army in ten and a half months. * vital force in sickness and death. For two years and more they struggled with
AMERICAN ARMY, 1812 TO 1814. these destructive influences in their own camps, in Bulgaria and the Crimea, with We need not go abroad to find proofs the usual result of such exposures in the
of the waste of life in military camps. waste of life. From April 10, 1854, to Our own army, in the war with Great June 30, 7856, 82,901 British soldiers Britain in 1812–14, suffered, as the Eurowere sent to the Black Sea and its coasts;
pean armies have done, by sickness and and through these twenty-six and two death, far beyond men in civil occupathirds months the British army had an tions. There are no comprehensive reaverage of 34,559 men engaged in that ports, published by the Government, of « War in the East” with Russia. From the sanitary condition and history of the these there were furnished to the gen- army on the Northern frontier during eral and regimental, the stationary and
that war. But the partial and fragmenmovable hospitals 218,952 cases: 24,084, tary statements of Dr. Mann, in his or 11 per cent., of these patients were “ Medical Sketches," and the occasional wounded or injured in battle, and 194,- and apparently incidental allusions to the 868, or 89 per cent., suffered from the diseases and deaths by the commanding diseases of the camp. This is equal to officers, in their letters and despatches to an annual average of two and a half at- the Secretary of War, show that sickness tacks of sickness for each man. The was sometimes fearfully prevalent and published reports give an analysis of on- fatal among our soldiers. Dr. Mann says: ly 162,123 of these cases of disease. Of “One regiment on the frontier, at one these, 110,673, or 68 per cent., were of time, counted 900 strong, but was reduced, the zýmotic class, — fevers, dysenteries, by a total want of a good police, to less scurvy, etc., which are generally sup- than 200 fit for duty.” “At one period posed to be due to exposure and priva- more than 340 were in the hospitals, and, tion, and other causes which are subject in addition to this, a large number were to human control. During the two years reported sick in camp." +
aggreending with March, 1856, 16,224 died of gate of the army at Fort George and its diseases, of which 14,476 were of the zy- dependencies was about 5,000. From an motic or preventable class, 2,755 were estimate of the number sick in the genkilled in battle, and 2,019 died of wounds eral and regimental hospitals, it was my and injuries received in battle. The an- persuasion that but little more than half nual rate of mortality, from all diseas- of the army was capable of duty, at one es, was 23 per cent.; from zymotic dis- period, during the summer months ” I of eases, 21 per cent. ; from battle, 6.9 per 1813. “During the month of August cent. The rate of sickness and mortality more than one-third of the soldiers were varied exceedingly in different months. on the sick-reports." S Dr. Mann quotes In April, May, and June, 1854, the deaths Dr. Lovell, another army-surgeon, who were at the annual rate of 8.7 per 1,000; says, in the autumn of 1813 : “A mornin July, 159 per 1,000 ; in August and ing report, now before me, gives 75 sick, September, 310 per 1,000; in December, out of a corps of 160. The several regithis rate again rose and reached 679 per ments of the army, in their reports, ex1,000; and in January, 1855, owing to the great exposures, hardships, and privations British Army, p. 524.
* Report on the Sanitary Condition of the in the siege, and the very imperfect means † Medical Sketches, p. 39. of sustenance and protection, the mortal- | 16., p. 204.
16., p. 66.
hibit a proportional number unfit for du- my was at times very great by sickness
Dr. Mann states that “the troops in that war. at Burlington, Vt., in the winter of 1812- General Scott wrote: 13, did not number over 1,600, and the deaths did not exceed 200, from the last
"Puebla, July 25, 1847. of November to the last of February.” | May 30, the number of sick here was But Dr. Gallup says: “ The whole num- 1,017, of effectives 5,820." ber of deaths is said to be not less than “ Since the arrival of General Pillow, 700 to 800 in four months,” and “the we have effectives (rank and file) 8,061, number of soldiery stationed at this en- sick 2,215, beside 87 officers under the campment [Burlington) was about 2,500 latter head.” * to 2,800.” | According to Dr. Mann's Again : statement, the mortality was at the annual
“ Mexico, Dec. 5, 1847. rate of 50 per cent.; and according to that “The force at Chapultepec fit for duty of Dr. Gallup, it was at the rate of 75 to is only about 6,000, rank and ble; the 96 per cent. This is nearly equal to the number of sick, exclusive of officers, beseverest mortality in the Crimea.
ing 2,041." + General William H. Harrison, writing According to these statements, the proto the Secretary of War from the borders portions of the sick were 17.4 to 27.4 and of Lake Erie, Aug. 29, 1813, says:
“ You 24.7 per cent of all in these corps at the can forin some estimate of the deadly times specified. effects of the immense body of stagnant General Taylor wrote: water with which the vicinity of the lake
“ Camp near Monterey, July 27, 1817. abounds, from the state of the troops
“ Great sickness and mortality have at Sandusky. Upwards of 90 are this
prevailed among the volunteer troops in morning reported sick, out of about 220.”
front of Saltillo." I This is a rate of over 40 per cent.
August 10th, he said, that “nearly 23 “Those at Fort Meigs are not much bet
per cent. of the force present was disabled ter.” S
by disease.” General Wilkinson wrote from Fort George, Sept. 16, 1813: “We count, on The official reports show only the nonpaper, 4,600, and could show 3,400 com- ber that died, but make no distinction as batants"; that is, 25 per cent. and more to causes of death, except to separate the are sick.
“The enemy, from the best in- deaths from wounds received in battle formation we have, have about 3,000 on from those from other causes. paper, of whom 1,400," or 46.6 per cent., During that war, 100,454 men were “are sick." ||
sent to Mexico from the United States. They were enlisted for various periods, but served, on
an average, thirteen
months and one day each, making a total There was a similar waste of life of 109,104 years of military service renamong our troops in the Mexican War. dered by our soldiers in that war. The There is no published record of the num
total loss of these men was 1,549 killed ber of the sick, nor of their diseases. But in battle or died of wounds, 10,986 died the letters of General Scott and General from diseases, making 12,535 deaths. BeTaylor to the Secretary of War show sides these, 12,252 were discharged for that the loss of effective force in our ar- disability. The mortality from disease
was almost equal to the annual rate of * Medical Sketches, p. 119.
11 per cent., which is about ten times as † Ib., p. 199. 1 On Epilemics, p. 70.
* Executive Documents, U. S., 1847-48, Vol. United States Documents, 1814.
VII. p. 1013. | 16., 1814.
† 16., p. 1033.
| 16., p. 1185.
SICKNESS IN THE PRESENT UNION
great as that of men in ordinary, civil Blenker's,
47.7 life at home.
54.1 Dix's, .
71.8 United States Regulars, .
77.5 THERE are not as yet, and for a long
87.6 time there cannot be, any full Govern· ment reports of the amount and kind of Probably there has been more sickness sickness in the present army of the Unit- in all the armies, as they have gone fared States. But the excellent reports of ther southward and the warın season has the inquiries of the Sanitary Commis- advanced. This would naturally be exsion give much important and trustwor- pected, and the fear is strengthened by thy information in respect to these mat- the occasional reports in the newspapers. ters. Most of the encampments of all the Still, taking the trustworthy reports herein corps have been examined by their in- given, it is manifest that our Union army spectors; and their returns show, that the is one of the healthiest on record; and yet average number sick, during the seven their rate of sickness is from three to five months ending with February last, was, times as great as that of civilians of their among the troops who were recruited in own ages at home. Unquestionably, this New England 74.6, among those from better condition of our men is due to the the Middle States 56.6, and, during six better intelligence of the age and of our months ending with January, among those people, -especially in respect to the danfrom the Western States 104.3, in 1,000 gers of the field and the necessity of propmen. From an examination of 217 regi- er provision on the part of the Governments, during two months ending the ment and of self-care on the part of the middle of February, the rate of sickness men, - to the wisdoin, labors, and comamong the troops in the Eastern Sanitary prehensive watchfulness of the Sanitary Department was 74, in the Central De. Commission, and to the universal sympapartment, Western Virginia and Ohio, thy of the men and women of the land, 90, and in the Western, 107, in 1,000 who have given their souls, their hands, men. The average of all these regiments and their money to the work of lessenwas 90 in 1,000. The highest rate in ing the discomforts and alleviating the Eastern Virginia was 281 per 1,000, in sufferings of the Army of Freedom. the Fifth Vermont; and the lowest, 9, in the Seventh Massachusetts. In the Cen
OTHER LIGUTER AND UNRECORDED tral Department the highest was 260, in the Forty-First Ohio; and the lowest, 17, in the Sixth Ohio. In the Western De- The records and reports of the sickpartment the highest was 340, in the ness in the army do not include all the Forty-Second Ilinois; and the lowest, depreciations and curtailments of life and 15, in the Thirty-Sixth Illinois. strength among the soldiers, nor all the
On the 22d of February, the number losses of effective force which the Governof men sick in each 1,000, in the several ment suffers through them, on account of divisions of the Army of the Potomac, disease and debility. These records conwas ascertained to be, —
tain, at best, only such ailments as are of
sufficient importance to come under the Keyes's,
observation of the surgeon. But there Sedgwick's,
are manifold lighter physical disturbances, Hooker's,
which, though they neither prostrate the Banks's,
45.0 • MS. Letter of Mr. Elliott, Actuary of the Porter's,
46.4 Sanitary Commission.