Condition of Grant's army.
--The Young's Point
correspondent of the St. Louis Republican
thus speaks of the terrible condition of the army before Vicksburg
To ignore longer the terrible condition of our army before Vicksburg
cannot but be fatal.
Unless the truth be spread before the country, ere long the brave army of the Mississippi I will be destroyed, and the world will stare to think that they have been cruelly, shamefully murdered by our own neglect.
You must know that we have much sickness — too much.
The warm, moist, mirky atmosphere, the muddy ground, the worse quarters of steamboats the hard fare and the swollen river are of themselves sufficient to produce numerous diseases; but these unfavorable conditions are rendered still worse by the wretched inefficiency of the surgeons, the actual cruelly of their assistants, and in a great measure by the want of suitable food for the men.
The number of sick now here cannot be estimated readily, as they are so scattered.
One sixth of the army iron the sick list.
The admissions to the hospitals are about three hundred a day. They were greater, but now give signs of decreasing.--From thirty to fifty a day have died within the past month.
That rate, of course, could not long be endured without destroying the entire army.
The principal hospital of the camp before the arrival of the new hospital boats from above was a collection of negro quarters, situated at the edge of the camp, and on a small bayon, and known as 'Ballard
's Huts.' There are about forty of them, and in these huts were confined about four hundred patients, all huddled together in a noisome, dark, noxious, filthy atmosphere — the dead, the dying and the invalid in one common lot. There is literally nothing anywhere to be seen which resembles or gives an idea of a hospital, unless, indeed, it be a row of newly made graves not far distant.