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3rd Massachusetts Cavalry

Item DOC-5123
May 28, 1864 Daniel F. Leavitt
Price: $125.00


Period ink document dated May 28, 1864, from Surgeon Daniel F. Leavitt of the 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry.

Headquarters 3rd Mass Cavalry
Morgan’s Bend, La
May 28, 1864

Surgeon Bidwell,

Sir in conformity with a circular received this day I have the honor to report that river water was used during the first three days of the past seven by the men of this command with no increase of sickness. During the past four days water has been used which soaks through the soil into cavities about six feet deep dug by the men.

Within twenty four hours from the time the men began the use of swamp water was an increase of twenty five percent in cases of diarrhea (simple flux-acute). The increase since that time has been steady and rapid.

Malarial and remittent fevers are increasing to considerable extent also.

Several officers including myself have suffered in both these respects

At New Orleans water was used by the men of the command having a similar appearance and taste was drawn from a similar sail and the affects which were experienced for a longer time were similar and continued to increase as long as the water was used and began to abate soon after its use was prohibited and use being made of rain water as a substitute.


D. Y. Leavitt
3rd Massachusetts Cavalry

Surgeon Bidwell