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The total rate of VD among the white Union troops was 82 cases per 1000 men, where before and after the war the rate was 87 of 1000.

Union black troops, however, had rates of for syphilis and for gonorrhea.

In an infamous campaign to rid the city of the "public women", Lt. George Spalding loaded the women on to the steamboat Idahoe.

The women were sent to Louisville, where they were not allowed off the ship and sent further along to Cincinnati. Spaulding created a system of registration similar to European ones.

Popular legend has it that they were so common around the Army of the Potomac when Union general Joseph Hooker was in command that the term "hooker" was coined to describe them; however, the term had been in use since 1845.

The number of prostitutes around Hooker's division only "cemented" the term. Among white Union soldiers there was a total of 73,382 syphilis cases and 109,397 gonorrhea cases.

A newspaper estimated there were 5000 public women in the District and another 2500 in Alexandria and Georgetown, bringing the total to 7500 by the war's third year".

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