Vectors Of Death

This land is covered with a rank, dense, tangled growth of trees, reeds, grasses and water plants. . . . Its stagnant water is poisonous, [water] moccasins and malaria abound; flies and mosquitoes swarm. . . . Here was to be the home of our New Hampshire men, who had never sniffed malaria nor breathed miasma. Here for two months they were to dwell in the midst of alarms in "this horrible place," during the very hottest of the Southern year.

—Journal entry of a Union surgeon recounting the conditions that the Confederate forces defending Richmond forced the Army of the Potomac to endure in the summer of 1862

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