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minent part in the operations of the siege,” it was under 4 per cent. But in the Line regiments there was a striking diversity in the rate of mortality
“The average loss of four regiments which arrived in and about January, and did not, for nearly a month, take any part of the duties in the front, was only 7 per cent. The average of four other regiments which arrived in December, and were sent immediately to the front, was 27 per cent. In the Highland Brigade stationed at Balaklava, the average was 24 per cent.; while in the regiments employed in front, on which the duties of the siege chiefly devolved, the average was 45 per cent.; and in eight of these corps which suffered most, it was 73 per cent."
In marked contrast to these, is the loss sustained by a detachment of 154 men of the 68th Regiment, “stationed at Lord Raglan's head quarters during the winter, and exempted in a great measure from the various heavy duties, exposure, and privations which affected the other part of the regiment," and which amounted only to 2 per cent.!
Various peculiarities attaching to the different arms of the service, explain in a great measure the exemption enjoyed by some of them from the excessive mortality which almost annihilated several Line regiments. Thus, the Naval Brigade had
"From three to four nights in bed for one on duty; their cooking was well arranged, and hot meals were always ready for them when they cane from the trenches; they were well provided with boots, stoekings, and clothing; and in addition to their rations they made good soup of ox-heads which they bought of the commissariat butchers for that purpose.”
They also had arrangements by which, on their return from the trenches, they got their clothes and blankets thoroughly dried. The Cavalrywas entirely exempt from the labours of the siege ; they had but little night duty; and being in the vicinity of Balaklava they had greater facilities for getting supplies.” As regards the Ordnance,
“ Two troops and one battery of artillery being constantly at Balaklava, were exempt in a great measure from trench duties; the men in the field batteries in front did not remain all night in the trenches. .... The siege train companies remained in the trenches, but in a smaller proportion than the men of the line; and the batteries, having their wagons, were provided regularly with rations and other supplies, and were thus spared the fatigues they would otherwise have undergone for that purpose."
Each man also had an oil-cloth to lie upon, and was thus protected from the damp ground. The Sappers and Miners had two nights in bed for one on duty, and they had also
"An officer at Balaklava who purchased all kinds of groceries, flour, and other food for them from the shipping, whenever they could be obtained, and had them conveyed to the front on fifteen mules belonging to the corps, which were maintained effective throughout the winter."
It would thus appear that the exemption from mortality in the different arms, was in proportion to their exemption from night duty, and to their facilities for obtaining supplies of warm clothing and nutritious food. The same principle will account for the difference in the various infantry corps, the loss having been smallest in the corps which arrived after the period of great privation and exposure had passed ; and next to that, in the Highland Brigade, wbich was much nearer
its supplies, had less trench duty, and was butted at an earlier period than the regiments in front.
These facts fully confirm the conclusions we formerly expressed,* as to the causes which gave rise to the fearful mortality which nearly annihilated the Crimean force, and justify the question with which Colonel Talloch closes the introduction to his very able book
* With the graves of ten thousand of their countrymen before their eyes, with the mouldering remains of Britain's choicest cavalry beneath their feet. and with an overwhelming mass of evidence in their possession, to show how much of this loss might have been averted by a proper application of the supplies, could the Commissioners be expected to arrive at the conclusion of the Board of General Officers, that for all this no one in the Crimea was to blame?”
After all that was said of the deficiencies of the Army Medical Department in the early part of the war, it is satisfactory to find by Lord West's evidence, that the medical officers “are not in any way responsible for the great sickness that prevailed in the Crimea.” The Committee of the House of Commons also report, that having “had incidentally brought before them the admirable manner in which the army and civil surgeons have performed their duties in the East, your Committee are glad to take this opportunity of recording the high opinion they entertain of their merits.”
REVIEW IX. The Census of Ireland for the Year 1851. Eleven Vols. Presented
to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty
Dublin, 1856. We propose in this article to give some account of the last Census of Ireland, that of 1851, in its bearings on the diseases of the country and on medical science, so far as it tends to illustrate the one and to aid in the advancement of the other.
We are apt to associate with the Census of a people little more than an array of figures in a tabular form, restricted to the numbering of souls and the distinction of sexes. Such was its primitive limit. In progress of time, and especially in modern times, its character has changed ; it has become developed, and expanded into a complex system, tabulating great general facts, and displaying the condition of society in most of the particulars capable of being expressed iu nuinbers. This character is specially that of the Irish Census, so remarkable for its comprehensiveness, the labour involved in its details, the judgment displayed in its arrangement, and the collateral science and research brought in aid by which it has been enlightened, and made so inteTesting and instructive.
The comprehensive nature of this great work is well displayed by the parts into which it is divided. They are six, and the following: Ist, The Townland Census, in four volumes, detailing the Electoral divisions and the several townlands (of which latter there are 86,700 in Ireland), the area, population, and houses in each, distinguishing the
British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, July, 1856, p. 118.
inhabited, uninhabited, and those building, in 1841 and 1851, according to provinces,-altogether constituting the most minute subdivision of the kingdom that has ever before been attempted. 2nd, The Agricultural Statistics for 1851, and in addition those of 1852, in two volumes, showing the number of holdings, divided into nine classes according to the area of the farms, the average under crops, and the quantity of life stock on each class of holdings, with sundry tables bearing on the rural economy of Ireland. 3rd, A Report in one volume on the Status of Disease in Ireland, giving the results of the first attempt ever made to ascertain in a single day of the year the amount of sickness, and the diseases of a temporary and permanent nature, by which the people at that time were affected,-a part to which the Commissioners justly attach much importance, as showing the numbers of the principal maladies, approximate and proportional, prevailing at the same time,—the numbers of the deaf and dumb, of blind, of the lunatic and idiotic, &c., of zymotic and sporadic diseases, distinguishing those found in hospitals, workhouses, &c., and specifying the more important by name, according to a nosological chart introduced with their synonyms, popular, local, and in the Irish language. 4th, A Report, in one volume, on Ages and Education in the several provinces, counties, baronies, and towns, giving the number, age, and per-centage of those who could read and write, read only, and who could neither read nor write, in 1841 and 1851,-also the number of schools and of scholars, with a table showing the number, by counties, of the Irish-speaking population. 5th, Tables of Deaths, and a Report on the Deaths, in two volumes, so far as could be ascertained in the absence of a general registration of births, marriages, and deaths, of which Ireland is the only country of the United Kingdom-nay, of any European kingdom-so destitute, a deficiency much to be regretted, and to which the Commissioners, with great propriety, urgently call the attention of the Government. Included in the same part is a tabulated abstract of cosmical phenomena, of epizootics, famines, and pestilences, extending from the earliest records to the year 1851. This, we understand, is the special labour of the AssistantCommissioner, Mr. Wilde. It is a new feature in a work of this kind, and great credit is due to its author for its completeness. We shall presently have to recur to it. The 6th, and last part, is the General Report, containing the remarks of the Commissioners on the condition of the Irish people, under the several heads comprised in the preceding parts, with additional tables in further illustration, especially relating to the innates of public institutions, their pursuits and degrees of education, house accommodation, condition as to marriage, Irishspeaking population, the occupations of the people, and the very important subject of emigration. These several parts are comprised in eleven folio Blue Books, the thinnest extending to 149 pretty closely printed pages, the thickest to 780, and altogether amounting to 4820.
We state these common place particulars the better to give some idea of the extent of the work, and the labour entailed in its elaboration. From its nature it is essentially one of reference. The short
notice we have given of its contents may serve as a guide, or a brief expositor to those who may wish to consult it on any of the many subjects it comprises appertaining to medical science and research.
Our further notice of it must necessarily be very limited. We shall begin with its most attractive and novel portion—that which constitutes the Reports on the Tables of Deaths, with the appended table of Cosmical Phenomena, &c., to which we have already referred. In this table we find briefly sketched the most memorable events recorded in history relating to unusual phenomena, meteorological especially; to epizootics, famines, and pestilences; showing on the whole a remarkable similarity, as if the past prefigured the future, and the almost present were a reflex of the past. The whole time to which the record extends is divided by the Commissioners into three principal epochs :
“The first or præchristian period, extends from the earliest times to which tradition refers, -when the first colonization of Ireland is dimly shadowed forth in the Bardic and legendary annals of the past, and before fixed history and chronology existed among the natives of this kingdom,-to the reception of Christianity by the inhabitants of Ireland, about the middle of the fifth century. The second, which may be styled the Historic period, in which the notices of plagues and famines become more distinct, and derive authority from cotemporaneous writings, extends from the Irish Christian era, dating from the arrival of St. Patrick, A.D. 432, to about the middle of the seventeenth century, when the adoption of a scientific nomenclature, the extension of medical knowledge, and the more general diffusion of literature through the art of printing, helped to dispel the mists of superstition and ignorance; when historians, both professional and general, began to describe with accuracy the history and symptoms of various maladies which affect the animal creation, and when authentic records of disease commenced to occupy the place of the barren historic annals which had hitherto merely related the circumstances of the wet, the drought, the plague, or murrain. The third period, which we (the Commissioners) have nominated the scientific, extends from the year 1650 to the present time." (Part V., vol. i., p. 2.)
The larger middle period the Commissioners have subdivided accord. ing to marked political events, such as the early Danish invasion, the later Anglo-Norman conquests-events materially affecting the people, by opening intercourse with foreigners, and favouring the introduction of new diseases. In the formation of this epitome, in which events are only noticed, authorities for the record are in all instances given, showing much curious and learned research, especially as regards the earlier period, when it would appear from clear evidence that Ireland was in advance of Britain, and bore marks of a remote colonization by a people not destitute of the arts, literature, and science, such as belonged to the more civilized nations of the ancient world. In glancing over this collection of events, and in passing from one period to another, we are reminded of a museum in which objects of art and science are arranged according to ages, and where, even by a rapid survey, some well-marked idea may be formed of the several stages of history to which the objects that meet the eye belong, one period in its occurrences well illustrating its antecedent, and the three together instructively contrasted. We may adduce in proof an example or two from the cosmical or meteorological phenomena in the way they are described. In the early period we find showers of blood noted down as not of unfrequent occurrence, and other showers not less extraordinary-showers which in our own time, with the same appearance, lose their marvellousness their true nature being determined by the methods of science,-those called showers of blood being resolved, under such scrutiny, into either rain, coloured by red impalpable dust, or sand, the produet of a volcano, or drifted from the desert by a hurricane, or the droppings of swarms of insects, their urinary excrement, consisting chiefly of lithic acid of the same colour. In like manner the reported, and in the olden time credited, turning of lakes and standing waters into blood, is now read and understood to be a phenomenon of colour, depending mostly on the appearance, in countless numbers, of red microscopic algæ, and of animalcules belonging to the class of rhizopodes. To give another instance: in 1695, a dew like butter, and so called, is reported to have fallen on the grass in low marshy places, and again in a subsequent year, and to have been used by the natives for the purpose of greasing the axles of their carts,-a pbenomenon resolving itself, according to the observations of science, into the occurrence of a fungus of wonderfully rapid growth, the othalium ftavum of Link, which occasionally, under peculiar states of atmosphere, suddenly appears, and, somewhat like butter in appearance, looks as if it had fallen from the air. In all times, let it be remembered that the ignorant are the representatives of the dark ages, and of the periods of fable and superstition, and that their accounts of phenomena almost always stand in need of enlightened interpretation.
To the medical inquirer, this tabulated epitome of events is chiefly interesting as marking the occurrence of epidemics in connexion with meteorological phenomena and a fluctuating state of society, especially as influenced by desolating war, or more desolating famine. The similarity of scourges to which the country has been subject is very remarkable, and is strongly displayed in these annals. The chief of them, even from the remotest historical period, have been the same as those which have desolated the country in our own times-viz., epidemic fovers of various types, dysentery and colie, or cholera, but more especially the two first, and traceable to similarity of causes. Famine, fever, and dysentery, it wonld appear, have been as constantly allied in Ireland at all periods, as they were in the Crimea in our gallant and ill-provided army before Sebastopol in the dreadful winter of 1854-5. For information on these important and deeply-interesting topics, this table of events is invaluable to the medical inquirer, and no doubt will often be referred to by him ; and let us hope that, escaping the ordinary fate of blue-books, it will have, as it so much deserves, the attention of statesmen studying the causes of the well-being of a people, and the influences opposing that well-being. As the record approaches our own time it increases in fulness and completeness. the last great famine and of the potato disease, and of the consequences
The account oL of these on the population, is given in ample and impressive detail, and