[Transcribed by Megan Stevens]
Sir, From the nominal return of deaths in the general hospitals at Scutari between the 2d and 7th inst., as given by your correspondent in his letter of the 8th, it appears that, out of some 130 cases, the number of deaths produced either by dysentery or diarrhœa was more than 100. The small remaining number proceeded chiefly from fever or wounds. The evidence to be gathered from the published letters of the medical officers in the Crimea clearly shows that, in their opinion, the dysentery is caused by the salt pork rations being still continued, with little, if any, variation; and that the diarrhœa owes its prevalence to the wet and salt pork together. The officers suffer most from this kind of food; the men, unable like the officers to command a change of clothes, suffer from the food and the wet together. Surely the Government, with nearly 200 transports at their command, might find means to throw in some supply of fresh meat at certain intervals of time, if not at all times. The supply at Eupatoria may now be stopped by the Turkish occupation in force; but it is not there alone that supplies are to be had. In Turkey there are plenty of cattle; in Asia Minor plenty of sheep. Had the Home Government sent orders through Foreign-office to the several British consulates of these two countries, instructing them to communicate with the local authorities in order to make known the wants of the British Government at the chief market towns of their districts, there can be little doubt that the Balkans and the plains of Bulgaria would in time have contributed large supplies of cattle for embarcation [sic] at Varna, and that plenty of sheep would have been procurable at Sinope or Trebizond. The owners of sheep and cattle would soon have found out that the British commissariat was a liberal and a ready paymaster, and the supply would have been abundant.
What have our War Departments done for their poor suffering subjects in the Crimea in this direction?
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,