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In the medical branch of your bureau are filed medical records relatirg to the physical aptitude of this nation for military service.

The important and highly interesting medical records, showing in what way the soldier has been disabled, are on file in the Surgeon General's office, and when published will doubtless present to the world highly scientific medical results never before equalled in reference to the hygiene of armies.

The Pension Bureau contains the records of those who, having been discharged from service on account of wounds or diseases, return to civil life.

The important question relating to the physical aptitude of the colored race for military service can be discussed, as also the question as to whether the colored race are more subject to any particular diseases than the white race.

From the result of all these data and experience thus gained fixed rules can be deduced for the government of future recruiting. For example: the relation of weight to height; the relation of chest circumference to height and weight; the relation of height, chest measurement and weight to age.

The health statistics of this nation can now from these records be to a very great extent made known, and medical questions of great importance, in reference to the beneficial effect of different sections of the United States on disease, or the effect of occupation thereon, be ascertained and made public.

PREFACE TO TABLES.

In presenting the following tables, I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that they are submitted without comment. The period of time which has elapsed since the organization of this branch of your bureau has scarcely permitted the completion of tabular views of the prevalence of disease. In order to carry out the original plan, it would require another year at least, in which to finish the report. All of those questions which have been referred to, in speaking of the extent and value of the records on file here, remain untouched, or have been made the subjects of such incomplete investigation as will preclude the opinions that may have been formed from admission into this report.

It is scarcely necessary, now that the attention of the world has been so generally directed to the subject of vital statistics, to insist upon the importance of data more comprehensive and extensive than any other government has as yet collected.

It is beyond dispute that these tables exhibit a more complete view of the physical condition of this nation than has been heretofore compiled ; and it is not unreasonable to expect that when they shall have been more completely discussed, they will be found to throw light upon the causes of many of the more common diseases to which mankind are subject.

The only condition under which any researches of this nature can aspire to a true scientific value is that in which the investigator, proceeding from the observation of phenomena, arrives finally at the laws regulating their manifestation. Whether this could be done in the case of these records has not been tried by the test of experience. It would not be premature, however, to declare that the accompanying data afford an opportunity never surpassed for the determination of the truth of some of the most important principles which the science of health has ascertained. This is the case, because, both on account of their magnitude and the variety of the conditions they embrace, they afford the opportunity of comparison with the varied but less extensive tables of European statisticians.

In the future elaboration of the records on file in this branch, it may be expected that the results which will be deduced will be ascertained and compared with each other.

That a series of tabular illustrations of the various conditions of race, age, height, complexion, occupation, geographical position, &c., will be presented, and an explanation of them attempted, and that in the future these labors will

enable the government of the United States to publish a work more complete in its character than has yet been issued by any foreign power.

Among the questions that have been already referred to as possibly capable of solution through a more complete study of the records of this office, there are some which have not as yet attracted the attention of statistical writers. Of these, “ what nationality presents the greatest aptitule for the military service" is the first.

In alluding to it in this preliminary report, all subsequent remarks are based solely upon the opinions expressed by the surgeons of boards of enrolment to whom the question was proposed. It is needless, then, to say that the following criticisms are not presented as demonstrable truths.

For the most part these officers have given it as the result of their experience, that the physical, moral and intellectual characteristics of the American gave him the precedence over other nations in respect to his fitness for war. A smaller proportion have recorded their opinion in favor of the Germans. Still fewer decide for the Irish; one or two for the English and Scotch.

It is believed that, from its nature, this point is one which it will be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to determine definitely.

For this opinion several reasons may be assigned. Among these, it might be urged that the data upon which a decision must be founded embrace not the nations (whatever they may be) with which the comparison is made, but that portion residing in this country-not, perhaps, the best specimens of the race, and men who certainly have experienced or are in the transition state of those multifarious modifying influences known under the generic term of acclimation.

It has been frequently asserted (and not without foundation in history for the remark) that, ceteris paribus, all first-class nations excel their enemies upon their own soil. However this may be, it would afford a ground for the opinions expressed by the great majority of the surgeons, that, because of his physique, élan, and intelligence, the American was the best type of the soldier on this continent.

The last subject to which I shall refer in these concluding remarks is embraced in the question concerning the physical qualifications of the colored race for military service.”

In reference to this question, which, in order that it may be properly decided, involves a comparison between the two most widely different types of mankind, viz., the Caucasian and the negro, a few prefatory remarks can alone be presented. The materials which would enable us to discuss this subject more fully exist, but, as was before said, no time has been permitted for their elaboration.

A sufficiently careful investigation, however, of the vital statistics relating to negro substitutes and recruits, has already been made to enable me to say, that when they shall have been tabulated, the conclusions at which ethnologists have arrived in regard to the typical physical characteristics of the race will be found to be borne out in all important particulars. Excluding all hypotheses concerning the origin and permanence of type, and solely basing these criticisms upon the data which we possess, it may also be proper to say that, according to the information we have been able to obtain, it may be doubted whether the moral idiosyncracies which anatomists have founded upon their peculiarities of structure can be shown to exist to so great a degree as most anthropologists have supposed.

That the organization of the negro differs from that of any other of the great races of men, no one, perhaps, will be hardy enough to dispute; but that this difference, and those anatomical peculiarities that form the contrast between this and other types, involve an unfitness for the service, does not appear to be the case. A study of the opinions expressed by 115 surgeons engaged in the examination of both black and white recruits and substitutes goes to substantiate

equally adapted to all circumstances of life, that mankind obey the same general laws that govern the distribution of flora and faunæ upon the earth, and that the isothermes between which are limited the health and development of the negro do not comprehend less space upon its surface than those within which the others are confined.

It may be confidently affirmed that the statistics of this office which refer principally to physico-geographical influences and to the effects of the intermix. ture of blood upon the

negro, when taken in connexion with those parts of the Surgeon General's forthcoming report, in which he is regarded as amenable to the vicissitudes of war, will form a more complete and reliable physical history of this race than exists at this time.

It would not be in accordance with the plan of this report to enter upon a discussion of the comparative aptitude for military service exhibited by the two types of mankind of which I have been speaking, without the accompanying tables as evidence of the data upon which my opinions were based.

It appears, however, that, of the surgeons of boards of enrolment, five have given their opinion that the negro recruits and substitutes examined by them were physically a better class of men than the whites; nineteen, that they were equal; two, that they were inferior. A favorable opinion as to their fitness for the army is expressed by seventeen; a doubtful one because of insufficient data on which to ground the decision by forty-three; an unfavorable opinion by nine, and by twenty a statement of not having come to any conclusion upon the subject.

The question of the prevalence of disease among the negro inhabitants of different sections of the country is one upon which at present no specific opinion can be expressed. As in the case of the white race, it may be shown hereafter that their maladies conform to those general principles which have been hereto. fore established. The discussion of the physical characteristics of the negro, as involving the propriety of his use in war, only belongs to this department. It is difficult, and, in the present state of science, most uncertain, to erect upon any general characteristics of organization anything but the most general rules concerning the effect of that structure upon the moral and intellectual nature. It may be said, however, that there are not more instances of disqualifying causes of this nature among the negroes, in proportion to the numbers examined, than are to be found in the records of exemption among the white race.

A resumé of the points upon which the completed results of the statistics of this bureau may be expected to bear will comprehend the physical history of all recruits and substitutes of this race, viz: the height, age, weight, capacity of chest, health, &c. In the form of tables, the comparison of equal numbers of both races will be made, exhibiting the resemblance or contrast between the two, and their approach towards the ascertained standard of physical perfection; the effect of climatic causes upon the race, as evinced by the prevalence of disqualifying diseases in different localities; also the results of the intermixture of the races, as shown by the comparative healthfulness of the pure negro and the mulatto, as well as the most cominon infirmities to which both are subject; the moral status of the races, as far as disqualifying conditions are shown to result from infractions of the prevailing laws of propriety and temperance, &c.

The foregoing comprehend, perhaps, all the points which belong to the province of the statistician and physician to determine, but it is plain how much will be accomplished for the physical history of mankind when these results shall have been made known with those already referred to in the archives of the Surgeon General's office.

The historical and political significance of such a work addresses itself to the reason without the necessity of an explanation. But, in conclusion, it might not be inappropriate to say, that whatever the exigencies of the state may be, there are laws of the natural world which heretofore, and in all conceivable conditions, have and must supersede the legislation of mankind.

To utilize and control successfully any animal, it is indispensable to know the vital and physical necessities of his being; not less so in the government of men.

The physical history of a race illuminates not only the past, but the future, and is alike indispensable to those whose profession it is to superintend the phenomena of the body or the mind. No rational expectation can be entertained that the accidents of legislation can be eliminated until the knowledge of those laws which inevitably sway the destinies of the world are known, and no hope exists that the history of races can have other than an empirical value unless the causes which produce their idiosyncracies can be ascertained.

It is not only in these departments that accuracy is to be expected to attend the completion of the physical history of humanity. It is alike applicable to the efforts of hygienic science to preserve the health of the world, and to the physician who combats the diseases of individuals There lies hidden within this domain the nature of those occult physiological forces that preside over the growth, maturity, and decay of nations.

ENUMERATION OF TABLES.

I respectfully submit the following statistical tables, illustrative of the mental and physical disabilities occurring under the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th drafts made under the enrolment act, showing the number of drafted men exempted, and ratio per 1,000 of those exempted to the number examined by the several boards of enrolment, and comparing these statistics with those of foreign countries.

Tables are also given, showing the number of recruits and substitutes examined, the number rejected by surgeons of boards of enrolment, and the ratio rejected per 1,000 examined during the months of September, October, November, and December, 1864, and January, February, March, and April, 1865; in addition to which, tables giving the average height, and chest measurements at expiration and inspiration, are annexed.

These statistical tables are 158 in number, and are divided as follows :

Tables No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 relate to the medical statistics of the first draft, under call of July, 1863, viz:

Table No. 1, showing, by congressional districts of each State, the distinct diseases and disabilitus, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service ; also the total number examined, total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in each district, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 2, showing, by States, the distinct diseases and disabilities, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number examined, total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in each State, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 3, showing, by congressional districts of each State, the distinct diseases and disabilities classified for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number exempted in each district, total number examined, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in the United States, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 4, showing, by States, the distinct diseases and disabilities classified for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number exempted in each State, total number examined, and ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in the United States, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 5, showing the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted

per 1,000 examined for each distinct disease or disability, alphabetically arranged, in the United States ; also the total number examined,

disease or disability, alphabetically arranged, in each State, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 6, showing the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined for each class of diseases and disabilities, in the United States; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined for each class of diseases and disabilities in each State, under the draft of 1863, (being the first draft made under the enrolment act.)

Tables Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 contain the medical statistics of the second draft, made for deficiencies arising under call of March 14, 1864, being the second draft under the enrolment act, as follows :

Table No. 7, showing, by congressional districts of each State, the distinct diseases and disabilities, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in each district, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 8, showing, by States, the distinct diseases and disabilities, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men are found unfit for military service; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in each State, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 9, showing, by congressional districts of each State, the distinct diseases and disabilities, classified, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number exempted in each district, the total number examined, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in the United States, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 10, showing, by States, the distinct diseases and disabilities, classified, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number exempted in each State, the total number examined, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in the United States, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 11, showing the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined for each distinct disease and disability, alphabetically arranged, in the United States ; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined for each disease or disability, alphabetically arranged, in each State, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 12, showing the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined, for each class of diseases and disabilities, in the United States; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined, for each class of diseases and disabilities, in each Statē, under the draft made under the call of March 14, 1864, (being the second draft made under the enrolment act.)

Tables Nos. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 present the medical statistics of the third draft, made under call of July 18, 1864, and contain the following data :

Table No. 13, showing, by congressional districts of each State, the distinct diseases and disabilities, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men were found unfit for military service; also the total number examined, the total number exempted, and the ratio exempted per 1,000 examined in each district, under the draft made under the call of July 18, 1864, (being the third draft made under the enrolment act.)

Table No. 14, showing, by States, the distinct diseases and disabilities, alphabetically arranged, for which drafted men were found unfit for military ser

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