Health of the Troops at Corpus Christi

 

We have two different accounts with regard to the health of the troops at Corpus Christi.  The Galveston papers mention on the authority of persons who have recently arrived from Aransas that the troops at Corpus Christi enjoy excellent health.  We learn however from persons who have arrived from Victoria that a number of the soldiers are sick and that three or four have died daily for several successive days.  As there are now almost 3000 troops at that point and many of them have been necessarily subjected to great hardships in their long journeys from the extreme northern limits of the Union to the Gulf coast, it would appear strange indeed if some of them should not be taken sick.  We believe however that a far smaller proportion of the soldiers in the American camp are now sick, than there was at any one time while our army was stationed at the west.  We learn that rations of whiskey, rum & c. are daily given to the soldiers at Corpus Christi.  We fear this will produce disease.  While our army was encamped near Victoria, the soldiers for sometime, were in the habit of drinking whiskey and other ardent spirits, but many of them were taken sick owing to the use of spirits, and the General in command was compelled to forbid its further use.  The brackish water at Corpus Christi will create a sort of morbid thirst, and if this is aggravated by large rations of ardent spirits disease will follow as a natural consequence.  In this warm climate we believe soldiers would enjoy far better health if limited to one quarter of the rations of ardent spirits that they were accustomed to use at the stations in the northern States.

 

Source: The Telegraph, Houston, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 1845, p. 4, col. 3

 

Research by:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell

Transcription by:  Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission


Corpus Christi Public Libraries 2004