North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   Mr. Olmstead says: The
health of our armies is evidently not above the average of armies in
the field.  The - Page 220
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Mr. Olmstead Says:

"The health of our armies is evidently not above the average of armies in the field.

The mortality of the army of the Potomac during the summer months averaged 3 1/2 per cent., and for the whole army it is stated at 5 per cent." "Of the camps inspected, 5 per cent.," he says, "were in admirable order; 44 per cent. fairly clean and well policed. The condition of 26 per cent. was negligent and slovenly, and of 24 per cent. decidedly bad, filthy, and dangerous." Thus 50 per cent. were either negligent and slovenly, or filthy and dangerous. I wonder what the report would have been had Camp Benton, at St. Louis, been surveyed! "In about 80 per cent. of the regiments the officers claimed to give systematic attention to the cleanliness of the men; but it is remarked that they rarely enforced the washing of the feet, and not always of the head and neck." I wish Mr. Olmstead had added that they never enforced the cutting of the hair. No single trait has been so decidedly disadvantageous to the appearance of the American army as the long, uncombed, rough locks of hair which the men have appeared so loath to abandon. In reading the above one cannot but think of the condition of those other twenty regiments!

According to Mr. Olmstead two-thirds of the men were native born, and one-third was composed of foreigners. These foreigners are either Irish or German.

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