The Lamar Rifles

Soldiers on the Campaign
As posted by Chris Rideout

In an ordinary campaign sickness disables or destroys three times as many as the sword.

On a march, from, April to November, the entire clothing should be a colored flannel shirt, with a loosely buttoned collar, cotton drawers, woolen pantaloons, shoes and stockings, and a light-colored felt hat, with broad brim to protect the eyes and face from the glare of the sun and from the rain, and a substantial but not heavy coat when off duty.

Sun-stroke is most effectually prevented by wearing a silk handkerchief in the crown of the hat.

Colored blankets are best, and if lined with brown drilling the warmth and durability are doubled, while the protection against dampness from lying on the ground is almost complete.

Never lie or sit down on the grass or bare earth for a moment; rather use your hat — a handkerchief, even, is a great protection. The warmer you are the greater need for this protection, as a damp vapor is immediately generated, to be absorbed by the clothing, and to cool you off too rapidly.

While marching, or on other active duty, the more thirsty you are the more essential is it to safety of life itself to rinse out the mouth two or three times, and then take a swallow of water at a time, with short intervals. A brave French General, on a forced march. fell dead on the instant by drinking largely of cold water, when snow was on the ground.

Abundant sleep is essential to bodily efficiency, and to that alertness of mind which is all important in an engagement; and few things more certainly and more effectually prevent sound sleep than eating heartily after sundown, especially after a heavy march or desperate battle.

Nothing is more certain to secure endurance and capability of long-continued effort, than the avoid once of everything as a drink except cold water, not excluding coffee at breakfast. Drink as little as possible of even cold water.

After any sort of exhausting effort, a cup of coffee, hot or cold, is an admirable sustainer strength, until nature begins to recover herself.

Never eat heartily just before a great undertaking; because the nervous power is irresistibly drawn to the stomach to manage the food eaten, thus drawing off that supply which the brain and muscle so much need.

If persons will drink brandy, it is incomparably safer to do so after an effort than before; for it can give only a transient strength, lasting but a few minutes; but as it can never be known how long any given effort is to be kept in continuance, and if longer than the few minutes the body becomes more feeble than it would have been without the stimulus, it is clear that its use before an effort is always hazardous and is always unwise.

Never go to sleep, especially after a great effort, even in hot weather, without some covering over you.

Under all circumstances, rather than lie down on the bare ground, lie in the hollow of two logs placed together, or across several smaller pieces of wood, laid side by side; or sit on your hat, leaning against a tree. A nap olden or fifteen minutes in that position will refresh you more than an hour on the bare earth, with the additional advantage of perfect safety.

A cut is less dangerous than a bullet wound and heals more rapidly.

If from any wound the blood spurts out in jets, instead of a steady stream, you will die in a few minutes unless it is unless it is remedied; because an artery has been divided, and that takes the blood direct from the fountain of life. To stop this instantly. tie a handkerchief or other cloth very loosely between the wound and the heart; put a stick, bayonet, or ramrod between the skin and the handkerchief, and twist around until the bleeding ceases, and keep it thus until the surgeon arrives.

If the blood flows in a slow, regular stream, a vein has been pierced, and the handkerchief must be on the other side of the wound from the heart — that is, below the wound.

A bullet through the abdomen (belly or stomach) is more certainly fatal than if aimed at the head or heart; for in the latter cases the bill is often glanced off by the bone, or follows round it under the skin; but when it enters the stomach or bowels, from any direction, death is inevitable under all conceivable circumstances, but is scarcely ever instantaneous.

Let the whole beard grow, but not longer than some three inches. This strengthens and thickens its growth, and thus makes a more perfect protection for the lungs against dust, and of the throat against winds and cold in winter, while in the summer a greater perspiration of the skin is induced, with an increase of evaporation; hence greater coolness of the paris on the outside, while the throat is less feverish, thirsty, and dry.

Avoid salts and fat meat in summer and all warm days.

Whenever possible, take a plunge into any lake or running stream every morning as soon as you get up. If none at hand, endeavor to wash the body all over as soon as you leave your bed, for cleanliness acts like a charm against all diseases, always either warding them off altogether, or greatly mitigating their severity and shortening their duration.

Keep the hair of the head closely cut, say within an inch and a half of the scalp in every part, repeated on the first of each mouth, and wash the whole scalp plentifully in cold water every morning.

Wear woolen stockings and moderately loose shoes, keeping the toe and finger nails always cut close.

It is more important to wash the feet well every night than to wash the face and hands of mornings, because it aids in keeping the skin and nails soft, and to prevent chafing, blisters and corns, all of which greatly interfere with a soldier's duty.

The most universally safe position. after all stunning, hurts and wounds, is that of being placed on the back, the head being elevated three or four inches only, aiding more than any on thing else can do to equalize and restore the proper circulation of the blood.

The more weary you are after a march or other work, the more easily will you take cold, if you remain still after it is over, unless the moment you cease motion you throw a coat or blanket over your shoulders. This precaution should be taken in the warmest weather, especially if there is even a slight air stirring.

The greatest physical kindness you can show a severely-wounded comrade, is first to place him on his back, and then run with all your might for some water to drink. Not a second ought to be lost. If no vessel is at hand, take your hat; if no hat, off with your shirt, wring it out at once, tie the arms in a knot, as also the lower end, thus making a big, open at the neck only. A fleet person can convey a bucket full half a mile in this way. I've seen a dying man clutch at a single drop of water from the finger's end, with the voraciousness of a famished tiger.

If wet to the skin by rain or by swimming rivers. keep in motion until the clothes are dried, and no harm will result.

Whenever it is possible, do, by all means, when you have to use water for cooking or drinking from ponds or sluggish streams, boll it well, and when cool shake it, or stir it, so that the oxygen of the air shall get to ti, which greatly improves it for drinking. This boiling arrests the process of fermentation which arises from the presence of organic and inorganic impurities, thus tending to prevent cholera and all bowel diseases. If there is no time for boiling, at least strain it through a cloth, even if you have to use a shirt or trouser leg.

Twelve men are hit in battle dressed in red where there are only five dressed in a bluish grey "a difference of more than two to one; green, seven; brown, six.

Water can be made almost ice cool in the hottest weather by closely enveloping a filled canteen, or other vessel, with woolen cloth, kept plentifully wetted and exposed.

While on a march lie down the moment you halt for rest. Every minute spent in that position refreshes more than five minutes standing or loitering about.

A daily evacuation of the bowels is indispensable to bodily health, vigor and endurance; this is promoted in many cases by stirring a tablespoonful of corn (Indian) meal in a glass of water, and drinking it on rising in the morning.




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