|The prisoner of war camp at Belle Isle in Richmond, Virginia in a post war photograph.|
GENERAL HOSPITAL Numbers 21, Richmond, March 7, 1864.
Surg. W. A. CARRINGTON, Medical Director:
SIR: In obedience to your order I have the honor to submit the following report of the deaths, diseases, and condition of the patients received into this hospital; The daily list of deaths is regulated by the number admitted each day from Belle Isle. During the past month twenty-five cases died before they had been in the hospital twenty-four hours. It is so common an occurrence for the patients sent from Belle Isle to be speechless or delirious and unable to give their names, &c., that I have requested the surgeon in charge, in addition to the list forwarded by the conductor of the ambulances, to pin their names, companies, and regiments of desperate cases on the lapel of their coats. The majority of case die of chronic diarrhea. During the past month 337 cases suffering with this disease were admitted. The deaths from this disease during the month 64. 5 per cent, have died; from diarrhea 59. 7 per cent. The commissary department for five weeks has not been able to furnish me with flour. The meal furnished in lieu thereof is ground with the husk and will produce diarrhea. I have ordered it to be sifted, but it is ground too fine to separate the husk from the meal. The medical purveyor does not furnish the hospital with a sufficient quantity of medicines. I made a requisition on the 1st of March, which has not been filled as yet. I would be most happy to receive suggestions from you in the treatment of diarrhea. I believe the medical officers have tried all known and approved remedies for the disease. In the cases of other all known and approved remedies for the disease. In the case of other diseases, as pneumonia, &c., they generally occur in constitutions already enfeebled by diarrhea, and are generally in the second stage when admitted. In conclusion, the prominent character of all cases is emaciation.
Surgeon in Charge.