Site Logo
Home Page | Descendants | Find A Soldier | Units | Site Map

Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1865 Report
Appendix A



Adjutant and Inspector General's Office.
Woodstock, December 6, 1864.

General Order No. 4.

The following instructions, prepared by the Surgeon General of the State, are hereby approved, and are published for the guidance of physicians and surgeons who examine enlisted men of companies of Militia raised under General Order No. 1 of the Governor of Vermont, dated November 29, 1864:


Surgeon General's Office, December 1, 1864

In order to preserve uniformity in the examination of recruits, and secure to the service of the State able-bodied men to fill the regiments about to be organized under the act of the General Assembly of Vermont, entitled "An Act for Organizing the Militia," approved November 22, 1846, the following instructions to physicians and surgeons area hereby issued:

The examining surgeon will submit to the recruit a series of questions, sufficient to ascertain whether he is in health at the time of the examination; whether subject to previous sickness, and the nature of the disease, if any; whether subject to fits; whether he has received any injury of the head, or has had a fracture, dislocation, or sprain, from which he has imperfectly recovered; whether he is subject to piles, or any derangement of the urinary organs; and whether he is suffering from any of the serious constitutional effects of vice and dissipation. He will also test the organs of hearing, vision and speech, and ascertain whether they are perfect, and also wether the teeth are sufficient to ensure a proper mastication of food.

The recruit should then be so far divested of clothing as to enable the surgeon to examine him with reference to his physical development; and he should make sufficient examination to ascertain that there does not exist any permanent disease of the skin, or cicatrices indicating previous disease, or injury, to such an extent as to produce deformity, and impair his mental and physical ability to perform the duties of a soldier,--to see that there is no badly united fracture,--that the chest is sound, and that the action of the heart and lungs is perfect,--that he has no chronic difficulty of the bowels--no fistula, troublesome piles or hernia, or any large varicocele or varicose veins which extend above the knee,--or if there are present on the leg dark spots or other traces of old ulcerations.

The recruit will be directed to execute such movements of his body and extremities, as will satisfy the surgeon that there is no disease of the spinal column, and that he is capable of exercising with perfect freedom the motions of all the joints o the upper and lower extremities.

The following absolute disqualifications should be kept in mind:--the letter D (deserted) branded in,--the recent loss of the ungual phalanx of the thumb or of the first phalanx of the fore finger of the right hand,--the loss of two or more phalanges of the thumb or of two or more fingers of the right hand,--the loss of either thumb,--the loss of any two fingers of either hand,--the mutilation of all the last phalanges of either hand,--the loss of the great toe, or the great toe crossing the other very much,--or ingrowing or ulcerated toe nail.

The standard of height is five feet,--but recruits less than five feet and two inches in height should not be accepted, unless sound and entirely able-bodied in other respects. The circumference of the chest, on a line of the nipples, should not fall below thirty-one and a half inches in measurement, nor be less than one half of the stature of the individual.

Great care should be observed, that men who have been discharged for disability are not again re-enlisted, unless perfectly and entirely recovered from their disability, and they are of such an age as to warrant their usefulness in the service.

Surgeon General.

One copy of this Order will be furnished to each recruiting officer for the Militia, who will deliver the same to the examining surgeon previous to the commencement of any examination of recruits.

By Order of His Excellency, J. GREGORY SMITH Governor and Commander-in-Chief PETER T. WASHBURN Adjutant and Inspector General