Saturday, February 11, 2012

Advice to Soldiers

The April 19, 1861 edition of the Baltimore Sun provided a few tips to those leaving for war:

1. Remember that in a campaign more men die from sickness than by the bullet.

2. Line your blanket with one thickness of brown drilling this adds but four ounces in weight, and doubles the warmth.

3. Buy a small India rubber blanket (only $1.50) to lay on the ground or to throw over your shoulders when on guard duty during a rain storm. Most of the eastern troops are provided with these. Straw to lie on is not always to be had.

4 The best military hat in use is the light-colored soft felt; the crown being sufficiently high to allow space for air over the brain. You can fasten it up as a continental in fair weather, or turn it down when it is wet or very sunny.

5. Let your beard grow, so as to protect the throat and lungs.

6. Keep your entire person clean; this prevents fevers and bowl complaints in warm climates. Wash your body each day, if possible. Avoid strong coffee and oily meat. Gen. [Winfield] Scott said that the too free use of these (together with neglect in keeping the skin clean) cost many a soldier his life in Mexico.

7. A sudden check of perspiration by chilly or night air often causes fever and death.-When thus exposed do not forget your blanket.

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