© 2016 CSIC. This article presents the first results of a research project aimed at studying the state of health of Spanish army troops in peacetime between 1860 and 1936. Special attention is paid to mortality, morbidity, and the typology of the diseases which had the greatest impact on this group. Two methodological objectives are pursued: first, an introduction to the possibilities and limitations of historical sanitary records for the study of the state of health of the military class is carried out; second, the number of military recruits and their collective features as a group, and to what degree this group is representative of their age and gender group as a whole, are examined. Similarly, the initial results on some indicators of mortality and morbidity among both the drafted troops and the civilian population, as reflected in sanitary records, are also set forth.