Bread Versus whiskey.
--In your paper of Saturday you make a suggestion against distilling grain into whiskey, only sufficient for medical purposes.
The question arises, How much is necessary for medical purposes?
It is my opinion, after two months observation, and the field extensive, that our people are killing soldiers more rapidly by the indiscriminate use of whiskey than any one agent in existence.
The cry from one end of the army to the other.
‘"Drink whiskey plenty — break out the measles — cure the mumps — keep off camp fever — the best remedy for cold and pneumonia"’--as sure as I live it is as false as the Great Evil Spirit
On the other hand, when a whiskey drinker is sent to one of our hospitals with camp fever his case is hopeless — constitution broken down, his very existence artificial, and every organ functionably deranged with a low insidious disease, girdling the very centre of life and stopping nutrition.
I have had hundreds of patients recently under my direct supervision, and as soon as I learn one of them is the habitual drinker I despair of his recovery.
This is the history of all diseases that appear among a mess of men. It is so in cholera, and when yellow fever breaks out in one of our Southern cities, the departing knell of many a dram drinker is sounded.
Besides this, it is demoralizing the men of our country.
I was greatly astonished to find men in Virginia
who I had known in Georgia
as sober, discreet citizens — members of the different churches — some deacons and official members — even preachers — in the daily and constant habit of drinking whiskey for their health, and have often been urged to drink myself ‘"to keep off sickness"’ Members of the Medical Staff
should check the mighty tide that bears upon its bosom such destructive consequences — destroying the health of the army, degrading and brutalizing the noble spirit that actuated the war, and in forming habits that will — if spared to live in peace with the world — make them enemies to brother, mother, sister, and even themselves I have looked at this thing in sorrow, and it is only a duty I owe to my country — my noble, generous-hearted, brave countrymen, that I should thus speak.
Come, soldiers, if you would sustain your characters, as brave and chivalric, be temperate; if you desire long life, be temperate; if prosperity and happiness, never drink whiskey, and if a peaceful, tranquil home on the verge of eternity, and a blissful home with the good, don't drink whiskey.
Then, we shall have bread in abundance, and no demand for whiskey.