The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 258
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
spring months. The nights are somewhat cool during the sununel
months, compensating in a measure for the excessively depressing
effect of the heat of the days. But little rain falls in the summer,
and it is in the winter and early spring months that vegetation
receives its re-establishment and support from rain and moist winds.
There is but little dew. The quantity of rain which fell from Sept.
1852, to May 31, 1853, was 16.56 inches. The months in which the
greatest amount fell were February (6.60 inches), April (2.25 inches),
and May (3.33 inches). Overflows of the river sometimes occur
covering the bottoms and salt marshes in the vicinity, and leaving
at their subsidence small lagoons of stagnant water. Thus, as might
be expected, from the great heat of the climate and these overflows
the prevalent diseases are dysentery, diarrhea and periodical fever.
During the winter months diseases of the respiratory system prevail
to some extent. From the want of vegetable diet the command has
suffered from scurvy, of which thus far there have been thirty-five
cases. The scorbutic condition was also observable in influencing
other diseases; and there is at all times such a tendency to this
disease as to make a constant supply of potatoes extremely desirable,
as it is impossible to cultivate a garden, on account of the excessive
heat, and the want of rain, dew and even moist winds.
Although the number of cases of disease at the post compared with
the mean strength of the command since its occupation, does not
seem unusually large, Doctor Simpson is convinced, from the causes
operating, that it cannot fail to prove a sickly station. That the
health of the troops has not been more unfavorably influenced by
the locality-he attributes to the nature of the service which has
kept the men actively employed upon scouting duty.
There is no hospital building at the post, but the sick men were
comfortably lodged in good hospital tents, iron bedsteads and ex-
cellent bedding being provided for them. Every proper attention
to their condition seemed to be paid by Asst. Surgeon Simpson and
his associate Dr. Johns. The supply of medicine and medical stores
was abundant and of excellent quality. The hospital books were
regularly kept, and order and neatness prevailed in every depart-
ment of the establishment.
(To be continued)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/326/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.