Reprinted in War Department, et al., The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume XLVII , Part 3 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1896), 126-127.
John Osborne, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Hilton Head, S. C, April 7, I865.
Assistant Adjutant -General, Department of the South :
Major: I have the honor to respectfully call the attention of the major-general commanding this department to the sanitary condition of the city of Charleston.
During the rebellion very little attention has been given to the police of the city, and since the bombardment commenced there has been total neglect, especially in the lower part of the city. Buildings have been burned and partly destroyed, cellars have been uncovered and filth has accumulated in the streets and yards to such an extent that without the most active efforts on the part of the authorities a severe epidemic can scarcely fail to occur during the ensuing summer.
The importance of effecting the removal of the filth of the city before hot weather can scarcely be overestimated, as the disturbing of decomposing matter during great heat is a most fruitful source of danger and disease. 1 would therefore respectfully suggest that the inhabitants of the city, white and colored, shall be compelled, for their own safety, to contribute to the immediate policing of the city and the removal of the offal beyond the city limits.
I would also respectfully recommend that 1,000 barrels of lime be required for by the quartermaster of the department, to be used during the summer in the department for disinfecting purposes, and that in Charleston especially disinfectants be freely used. The tilling in and disturbing of large bodies of earth are found to be productive of disease.. The reports on the epidemics of the city of Charleston in former years clearly show the deleterious consequences following the digging down of high places and the using the material thus obtained to fill in low places. I would respectfully suggest tbat the fortifications about the city be disturbed as little as possible during hot weather; that the contraband population of the city who are not employed be removed to the islands, and there provided for, thus avoiding the danger from a too dense population, and that the cleaning the streets of the city shall, if possible, be completed by the 1st of May.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Medical Inspector, U. S. Army.