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Answered 2012-09-02 12:47:54

200,000 recruits were physically unfit and discharged either because they were ill or they suffered from other maladies, but still many slipped through the cracks and enlisted while very ill. Approximately three out of every five soldiers died of disease especially during the first year of the Civil War. Approximately half the deaths of soldiers were tuberculosis; pneumonia; diarrhea, whooping cough; chickenpox; intestinal disorders; mumps and measles. Because of the unhygienic shape of the Federal camps (rotten food and garbage of all types) bacteria and viruses spread throughout the camps and bowel disorders were common. Well over three quarters of the soldiers would contract chronic diarrhea or dysentery. Typhoid was treated with quinine and reduced fatalities, but malaria struck one quarter of the soldiers. Exposure to the elements, especially becoming damp and cold; pneumonia was the third leading cause of death.

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