The weather improved in Fredericksburg in late March, 1863, but camp diseases that had earlier plagued the army returned. They’d never really quit, but now they were more widespread.
“The scarlet fever has broken out amongst the troops,” Spartan Band quartermaster clerk William H. Hill wrote in his diary on March 24, “but no cases have terminated fatally.”
Likewise smallpox, he recorded two days later.
“Several cases of smallpox have appeared in the Brigade in the last three days, none have yet terminated fatally.”
It wouldn’t be long before typhoid pneumonia also appeared in scores of men in Barksdale’s Brigade and some of them would die of it.