Camp Gaston, Cal.
May 17, 1878
Surgeon General U.S.A.
I have the honor to enclose herewith a Receipt for a package I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster for shipment to you, for the Army Medical Museum.
The package contains a four-legged chicken. It was hatched from an egg of a common hen and was born alive. Mrs. Williams, a soldiers wife, told me yesterday forenoon that one of her hens had during the night, hatched out a chicken with four legs which was still alive and doing well. I at once went with her to see it. We found the feathered quadruped but it was dead. I do not know whether it was killed by accident, or whether its malformation was incompatible with a continuance of its life. It must have lived several hours at least.
I have not examined any of the viscera but have left all untouched. I have placed it in Alcohol, having first filled the alimentary canal with Alcohol, so far as I could by introducing a tube into the throat and allowing as much to run in as would do under a hydrostatic pressure of about one foot.
This specimen may not be rare or valuable but it is the first of the kind that has fallen under my observation.
Your Obt. Servt.
Asst. Surg. U.S.A.
A note on the envelope said the Museum's anatomist discarded it.