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Chapter XXXI

Contents

CHAPTER XXXI

BASE HOSPITALS, CAMPS LEWIS, WASH., LOGAN, HOUSTON, TEX., MacARTHUR, TEX., McCLELLAN, ALA., MEADE, MD., PIKE, ARK., AND FORTS RILEY, KANS., AND SAM HOUSTON, TEX.

BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP LEWIS, WASH.a

Camp Lewis was located on the American Lake prairie, Pierce County, Wash., 17 miles southwest of the city of Tacoma. It was roughly V-shaped in design; and on the right of the closed portion of the V, occupying about 50 acres, was the hospital.

North and east of the camp site is low rolling country, sloping toward Puget Sound. South and east are heavily timbered hills which gradually merge into the rough mountains of the Cascade Range, while to the south and west is a vast prairie, dotted with scattered clumps of conical fir trees. Forty miles due east is snowcapped Mount Ranier, which rises abruptly to the majestic height of 14,000 feet.

The camp was situated in a small level valley about 2 miles in width and 3 miles long, flanked on three sides by low wooded hills. The outlet of the valley faces the west. Its floor slopes gradually toward American Lake, a fresh-water body about 1 mile northwest of the camp. The slope and the undulation of the terrain provided excellent drainage for surface waters and sewage. Sequalichew Creek is a mile west; the Nisqually River, facing toward the sound, is 4 miles south; and Much Creek, which widens out into a number of small lakes, is 5 miles to the east.

Fir trees, with scant intermingling of scrub oak, thickly cover the surrounding hills, serving as a natural barrier against wind.

The base hospital was situated on a slightly higher level than the camp proper, and was half surrounded by low hills topped with fir trees, which offered considerable protection against the weather.

This entire area is a glacial deposit. The soil is a dark loam, heavily impregnated to a great depth with coarse gravel, its porosity insuring the quick absorption of water. Mud is quickly dried and is of loose consistency. The gravelly soil is firm and heavy, not easily converted into high-flying dust.

There are two seasons, the wet and the dry. Rain begins the latter part of September and continues until May, during which time three-fourths of the days are rainy. Fog and heavy mists are prevalent during this period, and there is an occasional light snowfall. The average yearly rainfall is about 43 inches. The winter temperature varies from 30° to 50°. The summer months are warm and pleasant, with a temperature varying between 60° and 80°. Nights

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Lewis, Wash.," by Lieut. W. C. Smallwood, M. C., U. S. A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


710

are uniformly cool. Summer fogs are infrequent, although occasional high mists sweep across from the sound. Mild breezes are frequent throughout the year, but heavy windstorms are very rare.

The entire camp was traversed by concrete roads with bituminized surface. The main arteries of the hospital were of the same composition; the laterals were of gravel or dirt, fairly well kept, and entirely accessible at all times of the year.

Camp Lewis was established as a military cantonment in July, 1917, the command consisting of a few detachments of the Quartermaster Corps and two or three companies of Engineers. On August 10, the commanding officer of the base hospital, which was yet to be constructed, was assigned, and construction of the hospital buildings, on August 17, was commenced. In the meantime a tent hospital was erected for temporary use. From August 10 to September 10 all ambulant patients from the command were treated at the tent regimental infirmary, and bed patients in the tent wards of Provisional Field Hospital No. 30; minor surgical operations were performed in an operating tent; and major surgical cases were taken by ambulance to the Tacoma General Hospital.

The emergency surgical work for the construction employees (several thousand in number) was handled by a group of contract surgeons from Tacoma. An emergency hospital was maintained by them in one of the regimental infirmary buildings as soon as completed. Bed patients were taken to the Tacoma General Hospital.

On September 10, 1917, the first wards of the base hospital, one for medical and one for surgical cases, were ready for occupancy.

The hospital was constructed on the standard plan, and comprised six rows of frame buildings (natural fir), the rows being about 300 feet apart. Each row consisted of nine units, wards, offices, etc., which were placed 50 feet apart. All the buildings were one-story buildings, except those in the fifth and sixth rows, the last to be erected. These were two-storied. The buildings and rows were connected by roofed corridors.

The ward buildings were composed of the ward proper, and its service department; and each contained a private room for the treatment of the seriously ill patients or for isolation purposes. Each ward was surrounded on three sides by side screened porches, and was provided with 20 windows, placed at 9-foot intervals. Ventilation was supplemented by central ventilating shafts running the entire length of the ward and communicating directly with the exterior.

Isolation wards, three in number, were subdivided into small rooms or wards and placed at a little distance in the rear of the main portion of the hospital.

One row of buildings consisted of the administration offices, the general laboratories, the operating pavilion, the offices of the department heads, and the general kitchen.

The quarters for officers and nurses were conveniently located. The personnel quarters consisted of seven barracks situated between the hospital and the camp.


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The officers' quarters consisted of a three-winged building with 51 rooms. In May, 1918, there were 95 officers on duty, 22 of whom lived away from the hospital because of the crowded conditions. Nearly half of the small rooms were occupied by two officers.

There were 2 buildings for the nurses, providing 67 rooms, which, with 200 nurses on duty, were entirely inadequate. The excess over the accommodations were quartered in the officers' ward and in a two-story ward building.

The enlisted personnel were quartered in 7 barracks, for which there were 1 mess building and 3 latrines.

The mess department of the hospital comprised the main kitchen and mess hall, three special kitchens and mess halls, and the various diet kitchens. The main mess hall adjoined the general kitchen and was used for ambulant patients. The equipment for the general mess was at first entirely inadequate, but it was later made complete by the addition of every known labor-saving device for the preparation of food on a large scale. Connected with the mess was a large refrigerating room, the low temperature of which was maintained by an ammonia process. Food for bed patients was prepared at the main diet kitchen and transported to the wards in cabinet roller carts. In the wards were large steam tables, which were used to keep the food warm pending its distribution to the patients. In the spring of 1918 the diet kitchens were placed under the supervision of a competent dietitian.

The medical supply depot of the camp and the hospital storehouse were operated as one institution. This depot consisted of two warehouses, each 60 by 170 feet, giving a combined floor space of 20,000 square feet, and a cubic capacity of 2,700,000 cubic feet. These warehouses were located on a railroad spur, and had a platform for unloading eight cars at one time.

The water supply of the base hospital was identical with that of the camp. The source was a voluminous spring at the head of the Sequalichew Lake, which supplied 3,000,000 gallons of water per day, winter and summer. Purification was unnecessary, the bacteriological content being constantly below 3 per cent. The water was very soft, and admirably adapted for washing purposes. A large storage reservoir was located in the hills north of the hospital. 

The sewerage system of the hospital was connected with the mains of the general camp. There was a sufficient fall to insure proper drainage. The sewage was conducted into the Nisqually River, 6 miles from the camp.

Garbage was collected at the wards in galvanized cans, segregation being made at this time. Tin cans were crushed and baled; paper was sorted and baled; foodstuffs were carted away for hogs; pits and seeds were utilized for gas-mask construction. The surplus was disposed of by concession.

Running hot and cold water was always available in unlimited supply. The wards contained latrines in which there were shower bath, tub bath, toilet, urinals, and washstands. All fixtures were of porcelain and nickel.

The hospital heating plant, situated at the rear, was equipped with eight boilers. A low-pressure system was first installed, but this was subsequently changed to a high-pressure system, which, unlike the first, was entirely successful.


712

The hospital was lighted by electricity, the system being identical with that of the camp. The power was supplied by an outside company, and the system was satisfactory.

In the early months of the hospital the laundry situation was very unsatisfactory. There was a laundry building, but no equipment. The Army post laundry collected the work and hauled it to general laundries in Tacoma, causing great delay. Subsequently a modern steam laundry was installed at the hospital, and collections and deliveries were made daily. A steam sterilizing plant was operated in conjunction with the laundry for the sterilization of blankets and clothing.

The hospital chapel was used for officers' call, staff meetings, and as a reading room, until December, 1917, when it was used exclusively for chapel purposes.

The complete medical equipment on April 1, 1919, including the reserve on hand in storage warehouses, had a rough valuation of $750,000. The medical supply department throughout the war was able to furnish almost every thing that was required in hospital work, although sometimes there was considerable delay in obtaining both drugs and equipment. Service was facilitated by the consolidation of the quartermaster and the medical supply departments.

The post exchange was opened on September 27, 1917, without capital, and with stock valued at $25. The first day the sales amounted to $11. The business and stock developed rapidly, and a tailor shop, a news stand, and pool tables were added. By the end of the first quarter of 1918 the daily sales averaged $300. Dividends were declared each month, and the total profits by the end of April, 1918, were $13,467.89.

Various enterprises for the pleasure and comfort of the patients were inaugurated by Red Cross workers early in 1918, and conducted throughout the year. On February 23, 1919, the Red Cross building was formally opened. It contained five large recreational rooms, luxuriously furnished and handsomely decorated, and several offices and rooms for visitors and workers. Dances, parties, motion pictures, and special entertainments were provided. A class in fine arts was organized.

From the beginning the Young Men's Christian Association maintained workers at the hospital, who aided the staff in every way possible. On February 12, 1919, the Young Men's Christian Association building was completed. It contained recreation rooms, a library, and an auditorium. Lectures, entertainments, and moving pictures were given in the auditorium.

The recreation facilities for the personnel and patients, aside from those provided by the Red Cross and the Young Men's Christian Association, were limited to band concerts twice weekly and an occasional dance or picnic.


713

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Lewis, American Lake, Tacoma, Wash., from July, 1917, to July, 1919, inclusive


714

BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP LOGAN, HOUSTON, TEX.a

The base hospital of Camp Logan was located in Harris County, Tex., 5 miles southwest from the center of the city of Houston, on a level wooded plateau bordering Buffalo Bayou. The situation was ideal with regard to accessibility to the camp and to the city of Houston. The soil of the region is clay, which forms considerable high-flying dust in dry weather, and much sticky, easily carried mud after rains.

The winters are very mild and pleasant; the summers warm. The hospital was not exposed to much wind, being fairly well protected by the trees left on the site.

The roads in the vicinity were constructed of a gravel base with asphalt filler, and were generally in good condition.

Directly to the south of the site of the hospital runs the Buffalo Bayou, 1,000 feet from the nearest building. This stream afforded a good outlet for all the drainage from the hospital neighborhood, thus favoring a satisfactory sanitary status.

The hospital was opened for the reception of patients on September 15, 1917, while construction was still progressing. The buildings as originally called for in the 500-bed hospital plan were completed about November 1, 1917. St. Joseph's Infirmary in Houston was used as an emergency hospital by the contractors during the construction period.

The construction of the hospital conformed to the standard plan.

Officers were quartered in two one-story wooden buildings separated from the hospital. The nurses, also, had two large homelike structures on the eastern boundary of the hospital grounds connected to the hospital with corridors.

The original mess and kitchen equipment consisted of a No. 2 field range. This was set up in a hospital tent back of ward C, and the food for all patients was prepared in this improvised kitchen. As the patients increased it was necessary to obtain from the camp quartermaster, two No. 1 field ranges with Alamo attachments. These, with the No. 2 range, were then set up under a tent fly back of the unfinished kitchen. All the cooking was done on these three stoves until November 1, when, the construction of the kitchen having been finished, four No. 5 ranges were placed in the main kitchen and one in the diet kitchen. However, there was no running water authorized, so the quartermaster put in one faucet. Subsequently, a hot-water tank was purchased and the ranges were fitted with water backs. This arrangement supplied all the hot water for washing dishes, etc. The mess equipment and cooking utensils were increased from time to time, by issue from the Quartermaster and Medical Departments, and in December, 1917, a large warming table was purchased by the quartermaster and placed in the main mess hall. This was heated by steam for which a boiler was obtained, and greatly relieved the congestion on the overworked stoves. In February, 1918, a steam dishwashing machine and steam­jacketed aluminum kettles were purchased and connected with the boiler. About the same time a potato parer and meat grinder, motor driven, were

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Logan, Texas," by Lieut. Col. J. M. Willis, M. C., U.S.A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


715

installed. This furnished a fairly full equipment. About the 1st of June the regularly authorized equipment came. It was necessary to tear up the wooden floor in the kitchen and put in a cement floor. The equipment finally consisted of meat roasters, vegetable boilers, stock boilers, cereal boilers, a hot water tank, large copper water and coffee urns, all of which were operated with high­pressure steam; electrically driven food choppers and vegetable parers, and a meat slicer; and large double ranges and a metal table for the preparation of foods, etc. This equipment remodeled the kitchen so as to make it possible to serve at least 6,000 meals a day without difficulty. The entire kitchen was beaver boarded and painted.

The hospital had three storehouses 29 by 150.  These buildings were used exclusively for hospital purposes by the Quartermaster and Medical Departments, and were satisfactory in character. They were entirely inadequate by half, however, for the needs of a hospital of this size.

The hospital laundry, more properly a laundry exchange, was located in the building originally designed exclusively for laundry purposes. But, there being no equipment for its operation, all work, with the exception of the soiled laundry from the venereal and contagious wards, was sent directly to one of the laundries in Houston. The hospitals possessed commodious steam sterilizers, in which all soiled laundry from the infectious wards was first submitted to sterilization. This sterilized laundry was dried and then sent along with the soiled linen from the other wards, including the regimental infirmaries, the dental department, and the several kitchens, to Houston.

The chapel was built in the autumn of 1917, at the southern end of the hospital grounds near the morgue. It was used, for religious purposes, by the Roman Catholics on Sundays. During the winter months it was used by the officers for medical lectures. Protestant services were held in the bandstand or in the exchange buildings, more centrally located.

Lavatories and baths were situated inside of wards and buildings, and were connected with the hospital sewers.

The water for the hospital was identical for the camp supply and was obtained from the city of Houston; its source was artesian wells, but it was chlorinated.

At first the sewerage system of the hospital was the only one provided at the camp. In the fall of 1918, however, sewerage was installed in Camp Logan, and of this the hospital system was made a part.

At first garbage was disposed of by contract, being moved twice daily. Later all garbage was separated into seven classes and taken care of by the reclamation department of the camp.

All buildings, except the operating pavilion, were heated with stoves. This proved unsatisfactory; the hospital was situated in a southern latitude; and though not subjected to very low temperatures as were those situated in the north, the buildings were of such character that the far-famed "northers," which visited this place with great regularity and frequency made the buildings far from comfortable; it was with great difficulty that patients were prevented from huddling about the stoves in groups-a practice manifestly insanitary; only soft coal was used in the stoves, and even with the exercise of the greatest care the amount of dirt and ash from each stove center was considerable, and the  


716

air was filled with flying soot that soiled everything it touched, making it necessary to have bed linen more frequently laundered than otherwise would have been the case.

Contrasted with all these objectionable features, was the preeminently satisfactory arrangement in the operating pavilion, which was heated by steam from a special plant.

Electric power for the lighting of the hospital was furnished by the Houston Lighting & Power Co. The service was quite satisfactory.

In the early days of the hospital, equipment, notably in the line of surgical instruments and operative facilities, was meager. Later, well-equipped general operating rooms and operating rooms for the eye, ear, nose, and throat buildings provided ample facilities, and the necessary apparatus and instruments for surgical procedures was added from time to time until a very satisfactory stage was attained.

The hospital exchange was inaugurated toward the end of August, 1917. At the beginning, it was housed in one end of a company mess building and, like all exchanges, was liberally patronized. When the exchange building of the hospital was completed it was found that the added space allowed a greater variety of goods to be placed on sale and that the income steadily increased. In May, 1918, the space for the exchange was doubled and a new system of display instituted. A barber shop was operated in connection with the exchange after November, 1917. In June, 1918, the old fixtures of the barber shop were replaced with a new five-chair, sanitary equipment, which rivaled the best shop in town. Another source of income was the exchange tailor shop where there was always sufficient work to keep two tailors busy.

The American Red Cross built and turned over for the use of the nurses on duty at this hospital a recreation building. It was well furnished and contained a spacious auditorium, a balcony to be used as a sewing room, and at one end a separate room for a library. In another room equipment consisting of laundry tubs and ironing boards, was installed. In the open space next to the building the American Red Cross put in a shell tennis court for the use of the nurses. 

The Young Men's Christian Association erected and furnished a building, which was located across the street from the officers' quarters, to afford a place of recreation for the officers on duty at the hospital. Writing material and other essentials were provided free, and chess, dominoes, and other games were at the disposal of the officers. A piano and phonograph added to the enjoyment and once a week an excellent concert was furnished in the open air. The secretary in charge visited the officers' ward each day, supplying the invalids' wants in regard to writing paper and envelopes. The building was also at the disposal of officers for lectures and meetings, for which purpose it was used quite frequently.

The hospital was closed March 12, 1919, and transferred to the Public Health Service.  


717

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Logan, Houston, Tex., from September, 1917, to March 12, 1919, inclusive


718

BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP MacARTHUR, WACO, TEX.a

Camp MacArthur was situated in McLennan County, State of Texas, about one-half mile northwest from the outskirts of the city of Waco and about 3 miles from the civic center of the town.

The hospital on that side of the camp which was nearest town was situated on rolling country which had been used for farming purposes. It was, therefore, practically devoid of trees and all forms of vegetation. The top soil in the vicinity of this hospital was of a heavy loam, in depth varying from 1 to 4 feet; under this topsoil a continuous white limerock stratum was encountered. During rainy weather the soil, typical Texas "gumbo," becomes very sticky. In dry weather, however, it pulverizes easily and quickly and is productive of a great deal of dust.

The climate of this part of Texas might be considered fairly equable. Spring commences about the 1st of April and continues until about the 1st of June. During spring the weather is most pleasant; not too warm in the day time and always cool at night. From the 1st of June until the 1st of November the days are usually very warm, but the nights are quite agreeable. Due to the fact that during these months there is an almost continuous southern breeze from the Gulf, the climate is wholly bearable, even in the heat of summer, and the nights are usually sufficiently cool to permit very comfortable sleeping. Beginning about the 1st of November and running through to April 1 the winter season presents an occasional "norther," which may cause the temperature to drop below the freezing point. These changes are all sudden, it being merely a question of minutes when the temperature may drop from 20º to 70º, producing actual suffering to persons not accustomed to them. During the winter of 1917-18 "northers" seemed to arrive at more frequent intervals and also to reach colder degrees. Because of the lack of preparation for freezing weather, the water pipes at this hospital and all through Camp MacArthur froze on numerous occasions. Fortunately, cold spells did not last for much more than 48 hours at a time. In the intervals between the "northers" the temperature usually rose, often reaching the height of 70º. The hospital being situated upon a hill, which is the highest point in McLennan County, exposed it to all the wind that blew.  This exposure made the hospital most ideal for a spring, summer, and fall, but during the winter all the buildings were fully exposed to the "northers."

Running along the entire east side of the hospital reservation was a well­constructed tarvia-coated country road. This connected the hospital directly with the asphalt road which led to the city. The hospital roads proper were built of rock and gravel, were properly drained, and were very satisfactory. 

The hospital was fortunately situated, with practically no civil habitation within a radius of a half or three-fourths of a mile in any one direction. There were no streams near the hospital and the sanitary status of the neighborhood was practically perfect.

The commanding officer of the hospital arrived on August 6, 1917. At that time the actual construction of the hospital had not commenced, nor had

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp MacArthur, Texas," by Lieut. Col. S. W. French, M. C., U. S. A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


719

the location of the hospital site been definitely passed upon. The site was chosen and the actual construction commenced August 10, 1917. The first buildings erected were two storehouses; then, in the order given, wards 13 and 14, the patients' kitchen, mess hall, operating pavilion, administration building, and officers' quarters. Troops began to arrive at Camp MacArthur between the 25th of August and the 1st of September. By the time the troops arrived two of the storehouses had been finished. One of them was used to receive stores which were beginning to arrive in enormous quantities; the other was fitted with screen doors and windows, electric lights, and running water. In one end of the altered storehouse a partition was thrown across it making a small room which was used as an operating room. The rest of the building was furnished with Gold Medal cots, ticks filled with straw, sheets, blankets, and pillows, and was used as a temporary hospital for the care of the sick incoming troops.

No emergency hospital was used for construction employees. It so happened that none of them were seriously injured and all were taken care of in the temporary hospital.

On September 12, 1917, the base hospital was officially opened, wards 13 and 14, the patients' kitchen and mess hall, the operating pavilion, the administration building, and the officers' quarters having been completed. At this time also numerous other wards and buildings were rapidly nearing completion, so that by the 1st of October, 1917, practically all of the original construction was completed.

The plan and distribution of the buildings followed the standard plans for National Guard base hospitals.

The officers and nurses' quarters and the barracks for enlisted men were adequate and comfortable.

The messing arrangements at the hospital were similar in practically all respects to those which obtained at other base hospitals originally constructed with the idea of a very limited use at National Guard camps. These were the main mess for the patients, and separate messes for the duty personnel. The equipment of the main mess, at first very meager in quality and quantity, ultimately became more complete. Innovations were practiced in improving the general appearance of the mess hall. The beaver boarding was calcimined, and the stripping was stained a dark color. The contrasting decorative shades gave to the room a pleasing appearance that was more or less homelike and undoubtedly was conducive to instilling in the men a feeling of comfort and a desire to maintain a high standard of cleanly habits. To facilitate the ease with which the hall could be cleaned, and to make it possible to readily remove the dining tables from the hall and compactly store them temporarily elsewhere, the table tops were suspended from the ceiling by means of chains instead of having the usual supports beneath.

The storehouses of this hospital were five in number, all of the same type, about 120 feet long by 40 feet wide, equipped on one side with a receiving platform. At the time of construction no allowance was made for shelving in any of these storehouses. It was necessary, therefore, to install shelving made out of scrap lumber and packing boxes.  


720

Hospital equipment began to arrive about August 20, 1917. This was part of the initial equipment for a 500-bed hospital, which was issued without requisition. The equipment arrived a great deal faster than it was anticipated and ultimately became complete to an exceptional degree. The five storehouses were well stored with all kinds of equipment, not only for a base hospital, but also for field sanitary units, and veterinary supplies for the remount depot at this camp. The only permanent hospital equipment that was lacking was part of the heavy kitchen equipment such as dish washers, steam cookers, etc., and the machinery for the laundry.

The hospital chapel was completed on October 1, 1917, and was used almost daily as a meeting place during week days for the officers' school, the noncommissioned officers' school, and for various lectures. On Sunday it was used two or three times for church services by various denominations.

The water supply of the hospital was the same as that furnished for the entire camp. It came from the city waterworks, which was approximately 75 per cent deep artesian well water, with 25 per cent filtered and sedimented water from the Brazos River. The artesian wells furnishing this supply of water averaged 600 to 2,200 feet in depth. The water from this series of six wells was practically inexhaustible and unlimited; but, due to the fact that its temperature averaged 109° F., it was found necessary to make the addition of the 25 per cent river water to cool it, that it might be used for most purposes. The filtration plant was part of the system of the city of Waco, which was one of the most complete, efficient, and up-to-date municipal water-purifying plants in the United States. Daily bacteriological examinations of the water were made in the laboratory of the base hospital, from water taken from the tap. In this way a check was made upon the findings reported by the city waterworks.

Very fortunately, but, not without numerous telegrams on the subject, sewers and plumbing were installed in the hospital during original construction. The main sewer outlet from the hospital connected with the city main at a point about 1 mile from the hospital reservation. The latrine arrangements in the double wards were situated in a separate building between these double wards and connecting each side with the inclosed corridor. The toilet room was divided longitudinally by a partition, one side being used to inclose the urinals and toilet and the other side for the hand basins, showers, and bathtubs. In the single wards there were flush bowls, one urinal, one slop sink, and two showers, installed in one of the end rooms of each single ward. The toilet rooms were concreted and drained in the center. The walls around the showers were protected with galvanized sheet iron. The rest of the hospital was adequately supplied with toilet, washing, and shower facilities. 

Kitchen waste was disposed of in three ways: All edible refuse was placed in distinctive cans and hauled away daily by a civilian under contract; clean papers, tin cans, bottles, burlap, and excelsior were conserved and collected daily by the conservation department of the camp quartermaster; dish water was run directly into the sewers, and inedible waste, such as coffee grounds, orange and lemon peelings, etc., was incinerated in a large incinerator located directly behind the kitchen.  


721

The heating of all hospital buildings during the winter of 1917-18 was effected by the use of coal stoves. The larger buildings, such as the wards, contained three coal stoves in the ward proper and one or two smaller stoves in the smaller rooms at the end of each ward. The heating was altogether satisfactory. However, with approximately 240 separate coal fires for heating purposes in the hospital, the liability to fire, especially during the heavy winds which accompanied the "northers," was great. The hauling of coal to the wards and various buildings and the hauling of ashes away from these created an immense amount of work.

The hospital was adequately lighted throughout by electricity, the system being a part of that for the camp. The lighting was entirely successful and satisfactory.

The laundry building was erected at the time the hospital was constructed. No machinery was received, consequently no laundry work was done at the hospital.

The pharmaceutical service at this hospital was exceptionally good; in the detachment were about six registered pharmacists. These men all did excellent work and brought the dispensary to a high state of efficiency. General supplies were received in good time with comparatively little difficulty, and special drugs were purchased locally as emergency required.

The hospital post exchange was started shortly after the organization of the hospital. It proved a source of good income to the hospital fund and provided amusement and convenience to patients and persons on duty at the hospital. Besides selling the usual articles found in post exchanges, there were six pool tables, an electric player piano, and a well-appointed barber shop with six chairs, run in connection with the post exchange. The exchange business reached such a size that it was necessary to double the capacity of the building early in 1918. This was done out of post exchange funds and with no expense to the Government.

The Young Men's Christian Association building was constructed early in 1918. Church services were held on Sunday and Wednesday nights, and on other nights it was used for the recreation of patients. The Young Men's Christian Association supplied the patients with paper and envelopes and writing material. 

The Red Cross Convalescent building, the largest, most complete, and most extensive building in Camp MacArthur, was dedicated on June 20, 1918. It filled a long felt need because of its capacity and facilities. One feature in particular that made it most useful was the fact that it contained 12 bedrooms which could be used by the friends and relatives of the sick. The American Red Cross did most excellent work in furnishing the various parts of the hospital with articles which were not included on the supply table. They were most eager to assist at any and all times.

In the spring of 1918 a band of 28 pieces was organized among the members of the detachment, Medical Department. These men had all had band experience previous to entering the service, and made a most excellent organization. Concerts were given, three afternoons a week, in a band stand which had been erected and donated to the hospital by the Rotary Club of Waco. These band concerts were a source of a great deal of pleasure to the patients in the hospital. A moving-picture machine was received by the American 


722

Red Cross and pictures were shown each night in the open air adjacent to the new Red Cross building. The hospital band furnished music with the pictures. The Medical Department detachment was given the use of barracks No. 7 as a recreation hall. This building was all lined with beaver board, out of funds from the post exchange, and members of the detachment decorated the walls very artistically, built a stage and provided artistic scenery for occasional entertainments. In this room there were also two pool tables, and two victrolas for the use of the detachment. A baseball team, track team, and basket ball team were formed in the detachment and showed most excellent results in all athletic meets in which they competed. One source of great pleasure was the large swimming pool which was constructed on the initiation of the commanding officer of the hospital. Here, officers, nurses, or enlisted men could obtain surcease from the heat of the prolonged summer.

This was one of the hospitals which were dispensed with early. It was closed in March, 1919.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp MacArthur, Waco, Tex., from September, 1917, to March 6, 1919, inclusive


723

BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP McCLELLAN, ALA.a

Camp McClellan, with its base hospital, was located in the hills of Calhoun County, Ala., 6 miles northeast of Anniston. Hemmed on all sides by the thinly wooded foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the site selected was well adapted in many ways for the purpose for which it was chosen, at the same time possessing the disadvantages common to regions where hills and trees predominate. The soil is a sandy reddish-yellow clay which is tenacious when wet; when dry it is easily pulverized into dust, which is wafted above the highest tree tops by even a gentle breeze.

The climate, while given to sudden changes, is not severe. In summer the days are hot, but the nights are always cool. During the winter, which is short, rainfall is abundant, and there is an occasional snowstorm which is never of long duration. The hospital was well protected from high winds by the surrounding hills and trees.

The roads on the Army reservation were of gravel, and were kept in good repair. Those of the vicinity, like the roads of any hilly country, were mostly dirt, and were rough. The main highway leading to Anniston was brick, made for the purpose of heavy hauling. It served this purpose only fairly well because of the nature of the soil, which was not suited for roads of this character.

A small mountain brook zigzagged its way across the camp, dividing it into two unequal portions, and serving as an outlet for the drainage system, which was mostly natural. On a large and fairly level hilltop just above this brook the base hospital was most advantageously situated. It was not too

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp McClellan, Ala.," by Capt. C. A. Hoberecht, M. C., U.S.A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


724

far distant from any organization in camp, and yet it was not on the main road, noise and dust being thus eliminated.

The first officers arrived for duty August 17, 1917. With the continued arrival of commissioned and enlisted personnel the organization was gradually effected and was practically complete by the end of September, 1917. The Box Springs Farm House was used as headquarters prior to the completion of the hospital buildings. At this time, ward cases were received and cared for by the Virginia National Guard field hospital. Emergency major cases were taken for operation to one of the hospitals in Anniston. During the construction of the camp an emergency hospital was maintained by the construction company for the workmen. This was a one-story wooden building, 20 by 120 feet, and contained 20 beds. The personnel consisted of one civilian doctor and one female nurse.

The first ward of the hospital to be finished and opened for Army use was occupied by both medical and surgical cases. Other wards were opened in rapid succession, and the completion and occupation of the receiving station and the administration building on October 28, 1917, marked the formal opening of the hospital.

The function of the base hospital was to treat all cases arising in Camp McClellan, and medical, surgical, and venereal diseases from overseas.

The wards were separate buildings arrayed on either side of two parallel covered board walks, and so arranged that each ward faced an open space instead of another ward on the opposite side. The distance from the side of one ward to the side of the next was 35 feet. The interior arrangement of each was the same. The forward third was occupied by the office of the ward surgeon, kitchen, toilet and bath, linen closet, and a single small room for the isolation of cases seriously ill or under special observation. In the ward proper the beds were placed along each side, with heads to the wall and a window between each two. On the outside a broad screened porch extended along the entire length and across the rear end of the ward.

The receiving station and ward were near the road. Two exceptions to the general plan were the convalescent wards, locally called double-deckers, and the contagious, or isolation, wards. The former were two-story frame buildings arranged along a covered board walk and on the opposite side of the road from the main part of the hospital. In these buildings the entrance, office, stairway, kitchen, baths, and linen rooms were in the middle. At either end of each floor was a large wardroom, each of which accommodated 30 patients. The isolation wards were single-story buildings, very similar to the two-story wards, excepting that the end rooms were smaller on account of each building containing 10 small rooms for the isolation of seriously ill cases or those in which there might be some doubt as to the diagnosis.

The officers were quartered in two buildings, known as the old and new quarters. The former was first used as such on November 15, 1917, and three and one-half months later, March 5, 1918, the new quarters were initiated into the service of housing the ever growing commissioned personnel. These buildings were divided into rooms, each large enough to accommodate two with a little crowding, and such was the necessity when officers from  


725

hospital units 126 and 127 were present and waiting for orders to proceed overseas. At that time the overflow was taken care of in tents near the hospital, and later on in one of the two-story wards. Before the officers' quarters were built the officers lived in tents, and later on in one of the nurses' barracks and in some of the newly finished wards.

The nurses were quartered in five buildings very similar in their general plan to those occupied by the officers. Two of these five buildings were occupied by the student nurses, who were kept entirely separate from the graduate nurses, and for whom a separate mess was maintained. The nurses' quarters were first used as such on November 19, 1917. During the influenza epidemic extra nurses were quartered in one of the two-story wards.

At the time of the organization of the hospital the enlisted men lived in tents, later in some of the wards, and finally in the barracks, 6 in number, each accommodating 48 men. These buildings were similar in construction to the wards, the forward end of each being divided into small rooms for the noncommissioned officers. The toilets and baths were in separate buildings conveniently located.

Food for the patients was prepared and served in the patients' mess building, which was centrally located. Here there were accommodations for feeding 1,000 men. The enlisted men's mess was located midway between barracks No. 1 and No. 6, and was within easy access to all. The nurses' mess was in the main nurses' quarters. The officers' mess was planned to accommodate 75, but during the epidemic of influenza its capacity was taxed to accommodate twice that number. The first officers' mess was maintained in one of the vacant wards, then in one of the buildings later occupied by nurses, and finally in its permanent location.

The laundry work of the hospital was done on contract by one of the local laundries. The building designated as the laundry served as a place for the sorting and counting of the hundreds of pieces of clothing and linen from the 46 wards of the hospital.

Storage room for the supplies of the hospital was amply provided for in four warehouses, which were occupied by the medical supply depot and by the hospital quartermaster department. A storeroom for the provisions was in the patients' mess building.

At the time of organization the equipment of the hospital was somewhat lacking, especially in surgical instruments and supplies; for this reason the first operation by the staff was performed in one of the hospitals in Anniston. At this time the supply of beds and bedding was also limited. From time to time additional equipment was secured and finally in March, 1918, the last of the surgical equipment was moved in. From that date the hospital was fully equipped for any line of work and capable of handling any emergency no matter how large.

The hospital water supply was identical with that of the camp, and was furnished by the city waterworks of Anniston. Each building was piped throughout for both hot and cold water. The supply was from springs, and the water was purified by chlorination.

The sewage was taken care of by means of drains which led to a sewer emptying into a septic tank, and thence drained into the brook already men-  


726

tioned. There were no outdoor latrines. A more than sufficient number of water-closets was conveniently placed in all the buildings, each ward having two or more.

Formerly all kitchen garbage was immediately burned in incinerators located near the mess hall. Later, bread and other foodstuff were collected in fly-proof cans and used for hog feed. Stable manure was hauled to a farm more than 2 miles from the hospital.

Each ward contained at least 4 lavatories, 1 shower, and 1 tub. In the isolation wards each of the small rooms already described had a lavatory and a water-closet. All of these were connected with the main sewer by iron drains with water-tight joints.

The heating system, though adequate, was very expensive. Coal stoves and furnaces were used in each of the buildings and were looked after by the enlisted personnel. Hot water was supplied by a small coal-heater, housed on the outside of the building.

Electricity, furnished by the Alabama Power Co., of Anniston, lighted the entire hospital and its surrounding grounds.

No building was constructed for devotional purposes. A small structure, situated near the mortuary, was used from time to time for funeral ceremonies. Religious services were held regularly in one of the wards in the patients' mess hall, and later in the Red Cross Convalescent House.

The hospital dispensary was run in conjunction with the receiving station. Here the men reported for sick call and were examined by the receiving officer or the officer of the day. Treatment was prescribed or the case was admitted to the hospital as the occasion might require. The drug store was under the supervision of a sergeant and two assistants, all of whom were graduate pharmacists. The supplies were those prescribed by the War Department for base hospitals. Any drug not carried might be secured through the Red Cross.

The post exchange was started October 1, 1917, in the rear of ward 2, and the stock consisted of a few dozen bottles of pop and two or three boxes of cigars. The stock was increased until its valuation was $12,000. A barber shop and a tailor shop were run there.

There was no Young Men's Christian Association building at the base hospital. The American Red Cross erected two excellent buildings, the first a recreation house for the nurses. A small branch of the American Library Association was housed herein. The floor was prepared for dancing and a good piano and a victrola were supplied. The Red Cross Convalescent House for patients was opened January 5, 1919. Here daily papers, books, and games were furnished to while away the weary hours of recuperation following illness. Good moving pictures were shown every evening. One evening of each week this building was turned over to the officers for a dance and on another to the enlisted men for the same purpose. The Red Cross was one of the most valuable institutions having any relationship to the base hospital and to the camp. Four men and three women were kept constantly employed. Letters were written for the seriously ill and illiterates and various articles for the comfort of the patients were distributed at regular intervals. During the great influenza epidemic blankets, sheets, pillowcases, clothing, and medicines were  


727

furnished in great quantities, and had it not been for this worthy organization the suffering of the stricken hundreds would have been far greater.

Various athletic teams composed of base hospital personnel were organized. During the winter of 1917-18 the basket-ball games played in the Red Cross Convalescent House afforded entertainment for all who cared to attend. Convalescent patients were admitted to these contests.

This hospital was closed in June, 1919.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp McClellan, Anniston, Ala., from, August, 1917, to June, 1919, inclusive


729

The sanitary condition in the neighborhood of the hospital was good. There was a small amount of swampy ground, which was readily eliminated by the construction of drainage ditches, and, since the region was malarious, there was thus removed what otherwise would have been a menace.

In August, 1917, steps were taken for the organization of the base hospital at Camp Meade, when the commanding officer was assigned. He established headquarters in the camp proper and superintended the construction of the hospital. Ground was broken for the buildings on September 1, 1917, at which time the commanding officer and 40 officers moved to quarters in the base hospital. The detachment, Medical Department, at this time was composed of 50 enlisted men. The hospital was not ready for occupancy and the adequate care of the sick until November 10, 1917, when the first patients were admitted. 

During the period of construction of the hospital those who required medical care were looked after mostly in infirmaries in the camp and in temporary wards arranged in the hospital; the more serious cases were sent to Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D. C.

The base hospital was constructed on the standard plan, and when completed comprised a group of more than 105 buildings, occupying a somewhat isolated site about a mile and a half from the headquarters of the camp. Of these, 36 were wards, with a capacity of 34 beds each.

Officers' quarters were located apart from the hospital proper. Fifty-five rooms were for sleeping quarters, accommodating 108 officers. There were seven bathrooms.

The hospital mess furnished food to all patients and to members of the detachment, Medical Department, whose duties required that they use this mess. This mess prepared and served food for about 1,200 men.

The detachment mess prepared food for from 350 to 400 men of the Medical and Quartermaster Departments on duty at the base hospital. It was entirely separated from the hospital mess, except that all supplies were drawn through the latter.

The officers on duty at the hospital had their own mess. A considerable amount of their supplies was drawn through the hospital mess, for which supplies the officers' mess was charged cost price.

The nurses had a separate mess in which were employed civilian cooks, maids and dining-room help. Their supplies were drawn through the hospital mess and the limit of expenditures was kept within the income derived from rations for nurses and civilian employees.

The hospital storehouse consisted of two buildings and an office. Men were constantly on duty to protect the goods, to repair the breakage when possible, and to issue supplies upon proper requisition.

As was the case at the other base hospitals, a laundry building was constructed but no equipment for it was furnished. Up to November, 1918, all laundry was taken by ward orderlies to the laundry collection room, whence it was removed by quartermaster trucks to the camp laundry.

The chapel was in constant use as an office and storeroom. Religious services conducted by chaplains, civilian clergymen, Knights of Columbus, Young Men's Christian Association, and Young Men's Hebrew Association, were held in barracks, in wards, and in the officers' quarters.


730

The function of the base hospital was to care for cases arising in Camp Meade, and medical, surgical, and venereal cases from overseas.

The hospital water supply was identical with that of the camp. Its source was the watersheds of the Little Patuxent River. The water was filtered with chlorine. Because the watersheds were inhabited, the water was treated by sedimentation, rapid sand filtration, and chlorination. It was stored in large elevated tanks.

The hospital sewerage system was connected with that of the camp. 

Garbage from the kitchens and wards was deposited in galvanized iron cans, arranged on a stand in the rear of the kitchen building. The garbage, which was in solid or semisolid state, was separated into the following classes: Bottles and tin cans, bones and grease, vegetable waste, and papers. Paper and paper boxes were hauled away daily by the hospital police wagon; ashes were used for repairing roads in and near the hospital grounds; and the bottles and tin cans, bones and grease, and vegetable waste, were hauled away daily by the Quartermaster Department. The large cans containing the garbage were replaced by clean empty cans daily. The Quartermaster Department was responsible for the cleaning of the cans.

All lavatories and baths were connected to the sewer by means of cast­iron soil pipes. The plumbing was modern and sanitary. Each ward had a tub bath and shower bath in separate compartments.

The hospital was lighted by electricity, furnished by a 2,200-volt, 25-cycle transmission line and stepped down by use of transformers to 110 volts for lighting.

Heat was supplied from a central power plant. There were eight 150­horsepower Kewanee horizontal return tubular boilers installed in four batteries. Each boiler had an independent stack 3 feet in diameter and 80 feet high. Six of the boilers were designed to supply high-pressure steam to the laundry, the main kitchen, the diet kitchens, and the sterilizing apparatus. The camp utilities managed and maintained the steam plant. The total area of radiation, excluding piping, was approximately 156,000 square feet; the total steam condensed in zero weather was approximately 150,000 gallons per 24 hours; and the longest steam-supply line was 4,000 feet in length. The handling of fuel for this plant was a serious problem, owing to the fact that the hospital was located 2 miles from the coal trestle, necessitating the use of trucks to haul fuel to the plant. Due to an inadequate protection of exposed pipes, to the poor quality of coal, and to inexperienced firemen, the plant was neither efficient nor adequate in cold weather.

When the hospital was first opened the equipment was meager, chiefly because the railroads were lacking in proper shipping facilities. This, together with the lack of material, made it difficult to complete the equipment. Finally, however, the entire hospital was brought up to standard equipment, the wards, laboratories, and operating rooms equaling and in many cases surpassing civilian hospitals of years' standing.

A separate building was provided for the post exchange, where various necessities were supplied. The building housed the Young Men's Christian Association, a sanitary barber shop, and a tailoring, cleaning, pressing, and repair service.  


731

The Red Cross building, which was completed during the summer of 1918, was devoted to the usual purposes of comfort and recreation for convalescent patients and visiting relatives and friends. Representatives of the Red Cross were stationed in the hospital to render such assistance as occasions demanded. The cultivation of about 15 acres of ground between two of the wards for convalescents was undertaken by the Red Cross, in cooperation with the commanding officer. Ten acres were devoted to vegetables and 5 acres to flowers and shrubbery. Part of the work of cultivation was done by convalescents.

Band concerts, moving pictures, graphophones, games, books, and periodicals contributed to the recreation of the patients and personnel.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Meade, Md., from September, 1917, to June, 1919, inclusive


732

BASE HOSPITAL, CAMP PIKE, ARK.a

The base hospital at Camp Pike was located at the northern end of the cantonment 8.79 miles from the city of Little Rock, Ark.

The terrain of the region possesses a rolling wooded surface with a sandy loam soil. During the dry season there is much high-flying dust; and after rain, mud of sticky consistency is present. The spring and fall months are delightful in character, the days being clear and brilliant, with moderate breezes. The summer months, especially August and September, are very hot and dry, the thermometer in the sun frequently registering as high as 110° F. Room temperature during this season averages between 80° and 90°. The winter months are for the most part clear and moderately cold, with frequent cold rains and mist and rarely snow. During the spring and early summer months there are electrical storms of great severity.

The roads about the base hospital were of sand and gravel, with an oil binder; and though the hospital site was much exposed to wind, being the highest point in camp, there was little dust because of the improved condition of the roads and drill fields, the latter having been oiled. The wooded surroundings also helped in preventing what dust there was from reaching the hospital buildings.

The sanitary condition of the hospital neighborhood was good. It was improved by a system of drainage which handled the sudden and heavy rainfall adequately.

The base hospital was organized on September 27, 1917. Until that time, from about August 11, 1917, Regimental Infirmary No. 1 was used for base hospital purposes. During the construction period, employees of the con­

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Pike, Ark.", by Col. L. A. Fuller, M. C., U.S.A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.  


733

tractors who were sick or injured were treated in the same building. A few accident cases were sent to the hospital at Fort Logan H. Roots. The first occupation and opening of the hospital may be dated on September 27, 1917. The plan and the distribution of the hospital buildings followed the standard plan of the War Department.

Officers' quarters originally consisted of three buildings. These proved inadequate and necessitated the assignment of officers to various parts of the hospital for sleeping quarters, at times. Later, by the addition of wings, the officers' quarters were made entirely adequate.

Originally the nurses were assigned two buildings, and for a while it was necessary to furnish them with a ward, for use as a dormitory. Four additional buildings were constructed for nurses' quarters, which, with the original buildings, furnished adequate housing facilities for the nurses. There never was adequate dormitory space for the detachment, Medical Department, in spite of the additional construction of two barracks. The situation was ameliorated by the use of two vacant two-story wards, but as the hospital population grew these wards had to be given up, and tents were utilized.

Upon the opening of the hospital, officers, nurses, and the enlisted personnel were all messed in the general mess. No provisions had been made for a mess hall for officers until the erection of a separate wing on one of the sets of officers' quarters had been effected. Later, a new mess hall was authorized in connection with the additional quarters constructed. The new mess hall had a capacity for seating at least 150. For a while the nurses' mess was operated in the first nurses' quarters to be constructed. The mess hall was very small, and the cafeteria plan of feeding had to be adopted to obviate having three or four sittings. A new mess hall was about to be constructed when the armistice was signed, which placed a halt on all construction work. As with the officers and the nurses, the mess hall for the patients proved inadequate in size. The general kitchen and the diet kitchen were enlarged and remodeled, and the general mess hall was considerably enlarged. The equipment for the general mess was made more modern, and many additions were made to it. Thereafter no difficulty was experienced in its operation. The mess for the officer patients, located in the officers' ward, satisfactorily answered all purposes. The mess for the detachment, Medical Department, was situated in one of the group of barrack buildings provided for the enlisted personnel. At first, entirely inadequate, it was made satisfactory by the enlargement of the kitchen, and the conversion of an adjoining barracks into a mess hall.

There were four storehouses, two with shelves and two without, in the medical supply depot. They were steam heated, electric lighted, and protected by heavy iron-wire mesh over windows. The supply officer had his office in building No. 1. It was necessary to turn over one of these buildings to the quartermaster of the base hospital for his supplies. The remaining three buildings constituted the medical supply depot for Camp Pike, and in them were stored all medical, dental, and veterinary supplies for the camp and for the base hospital. The steam railroad from Little Rock to the base hospital ran by these storehouses and was convenient for loading and unloading supplies.  


734

A laundry building was erected, but it was not equipped. It was used principally for the disinfection of clothing, bedding, etc., by means of a steam sterilizer. The laundry of the hospital was done in Little Rock.

The chapel was opened the latter part of November. It was put in use at once for religious services. It was also used in the evenings for the instruction of officers and noncommissioned officers, and to some extent for the instruction of nurses.

The hospital water supply was the same as that used in the city of Little Rock, Ark., and in the cantonment. The water was pumped from the Arkansas River and was chlorinated.

A water-carriage system for the removal of the sewage was in use in connection with the general system of the cantonment. The sewage from the whole cantonment was treated in a septic tank. The various latrines, toilets, showers, and sinks were connected with a vitrified clay pipe sewer forming part of the general system. It was necessary at times to use latrines, which were systematically filled in and abandoned as soon as their use could be discontinued.

A small amount of hospital garbage and waste was incinerated. Kitchen garbage was removed by the contractor for the cantonment. Manure from the hospital farm was carted away.

Originally the hospital was heated by a central low-pressure steam plant. During the first winter the heat radiation was very unsatisfactory; the boiler capacity was none too large; scale and other substances choked the disk or seat, causing the return pipes and even the radiators to fill with water of condensation, at times giving rise during the coldest weather to freezing of the contents and a consequent bursting of the equipment. These defects were remedied by the provision of more boiler space and a high-pressure system.

The steam and hot-water pipes were carried above ground on A frames of wood, and all the pipes were insulated.

The hospital was lighted by an electric current furnished by the Little Rock Railway & Electric Co., of Little Rock, a 13,000-volt line running to the substation at the corner of Twelfth and South Boulevard in the cantonment, and thence a 2,300-volt line to the base hospital, a 110 to 220 volt distribution being made to the hospital buildings.

The equipment of the hospital in the early days of its organization was that of a unit of 500 beds complete. This equipment steadily increased in nearly every particular and ultimately became adequate for the official bed capacity of 2,220 beds.

The post exchange was established on September 20, 1917, supplies being obtained on credit. The exchange was at first a branch of the division exchange. Afterwards, for some months, it led an independent existence. About January 15, 1918, it again became a branch of the division exchange. From the start the exchange had a prosperous existence. The surplus accumulated amounted to more than $28,973.75, and monthly sales eventually averaged $14,000.

The Young Men's Christian Association, popularly known as Base Hospital Y, continued in service throughout the existence of the hospital, except during the influenza epidemic, when it was closed and turned over to the base hospital authorities for use as barracks for additional enlisted men. The Y secretaries  


735

performed many duties in addition to that of furnishing amusement to the soldier. Among these duties were letter writing, educational work, and the supervision of athletic contests. During the influenza epidemic the staff volunteered their services to the commanding officer of the hospital, and they were of great help in meeting relatives of sick soldiers, acting as guides, performing religious services for the dying or those seriously ill, and in locating chaplains of any faith as requested by the individual soldier.

Three Red Cross buildings were eventually in active use. The first one constructed was situated near the railroad tracks at the base hospital and was called the rest cottage. It was designed to serve the relatives and friends of sick soldiers and functioned admirably in this respect. The second building, known as the "convalescent house," served the convalescent soldiers. It furnished reading material, the base hospital library being situated there, and also housed various entertainments for the soldiers in hospital. The third was a clubhouse for nurses, furnishing a social center for them.

Programs arranged by the Red Cross and the Young Men's Christian Association furnished almost nightly entertainment for all. The enlisted personnel of the base hospital maintained baseball and football teams and a field was supplied for their use. There was a tennis court for officers, which was very popular.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Pike, Little Rock, Ark., from September, 1917, to June, 1919, inclusive


736

BASE HOSPITAL, FORT RILEY, KANS.a

The base hospital at Fort Riley was the one exception where, among the 16 National Army cantonments, a group of semipermanent buildings was not constructed de novo for the hospital care of the troops of the National Army divisions to be mobilized. The Fort Riley reservation comprised 19,446 acres of Government-owned property upon which there was ample room to establish Camp Funston. The portion of the reservation chosen for the location of the camp was a "flat," bounded on three sides by the Kansas River, 3 miles to the east of the post. The post proper comprised two permanently constructed regimental garrisons, for which there was a large post hospital, and was readily convertible into hospital buildings. Since there was no greater purpose to which

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Fort Riley, Kans.," by Col. E. R. Schreiner, M. C., U. S. A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


737

the permanent buildings at Fort Riley could be put than to use such of them as would be necessary for hospital purposes, the construction of a semipermanent base hospital as a part of the cantonment was never seriously considered.

The terrain presents a moderately narrow, flat strip along the Kansas River, which roughly forms the reservation's southern boundary. From this strip, on the north, there is a fairly abrupt rise of approximately 100 feet to the highlands beyond, where the characteristics of a rolling prairie are found.

The soil most commonly found in the vicinity is a loam, though along the flatland there is a sufficient admixture of clay to cause the soil to resemble the "gumbo" of Texas. Since the base hospital was located in the permanent garrison, where there were well-constructed roads and walks, while the land elsewhere was grass covered, no disadvantageous qualities were imparted to the soil by either dry or wet weather.

Because Fort Riley is situated far inland, in a treeless section, the climate is one of extremes. The winters include some intensely cold weather, but this is not continuous, and many weeks of the winter months are favorable to outdoor drill. The summers are decidedly warm, some of the days and nights, when the hot winds are blowing from the southwest, being little more than just bearable. However, the permanent nature of the hospital construction alleviated the condition to a considerable extent.

The hospital was organized September 27, 1917. Prior to its organization as such, however, the permanent post hospital building at Fort Riley had been used for base hospital purposes.

This building, subsequently becoming section "K," served as the surgical department of the base hospital. Six two-story gray stone artillery barracks fronting on the artillery parade ground, were adapted to hospital purposes almost coincidentally with the organization of the base hospital. Temporary wooden structures were subsequently added and equipped.

The plan and distribution of the hospital buildings were both convenient and attractive. The general appearance of the group, with the tree-fringed parade as a center, furnished a very pleasing effect. Facing the parade from the west was the headquarters building in which were housed the administrative offices and the laboratory. Forming a semicircle about the upper portion of the parade were the officers' quarters. These were used principally as quarters for bachelor officers, and consequently housed a considerable number. After these was Randolph Hall, consisting of two-room apartments, the officers' mess and clubhouse, which, with the 10 sets of quarters mentioned above, accommodated practically the entire commissioned personnel of the hospital. Around the lower portion of the parade were eight brick buildings utilized principally for the neurological section of the hospital, and for officer patients. North of the parade and beyond the boulevard connecting the hospital with Camp Funston, there was a surgical department (the old post hospital), and to its left a section used for the isolation and treatment of cases of meningitis (formerly the isolation section of the post hospital). To the rear and on the right of section "K" was a group of semipermanent buildings constructed for the eye, ear, nose, and throat cases and orthopedic and genitourinary cases. On the boulevard and east of section "K," a receiving section was constructed. Just east of the parade were six temporary wooden wards which were used for


738

genitourinary patients, and 100 yards farther east and slightly to the north, were 12 semipermanent buildings utilized for the various contagious diseases. Occupying the summit of a hill, 100 yards to the east of the contagious disease section, a group of 10 wards was constructed, utilized as a convalescent section of the hospital. For the group a separate kitchen and mess hall was provided.

For the nurses, two-story buildings were constructed, on the standard War Department plan.

Quarters for the detachment, Medical Department, were two-story frame buildings. For the emergency quartering of a part of the Medical Department personnel, the stone artillery gun sheds south of the parade were remodeled and made habitable.

Because of the peculiar structural characteristics of the base hospital at Fort Riley, a considerable number of separate messes was necessitated. The commissioned personnel of the hospital was fed in several small messes of the capacity of 7 or 8 men each, and in one large mess in the officers' mess hall which accommodated 50 men. These messes were variously conducted by the officers composing the respective groups. They were efficiently managed, and general satisfaction prevailed among the participants. The permanent artillery barracks, which were adapted to either ward or detachment-quarters use, contained also an existent kitchen from which the personnel located in a particular barracks was fed. At first, because of the wide separation of the hospital buildings, and there being no separate kitchen or mess hall for the Medical Department personnel, it was impracticable to feed patients separately. Ultimately, however, a kitchen and dining room for the Medical Department personnel was constructed, and a separation of the messes was then made possible. The rapid expansion of the hospital, while the construction of cantonment wards was in progress, made it necessary to utilize several temporary kitchens which subsequently were replaced by permanent construction. A mess for nurses was established in one of the permanent sets of officers' quarters; during October this fed an average of 10 nurses. During November, because of the increase in the number of nurses, an additional nurses' mess was opened in another set of officers' quarters, and these two operating messes fed an average of 42 during November. The nurses' home, the temporary wooden structure mentioned above, was completed and occupied on January 8, 1918, and subsequently an average of 200 people, including the housemaids and other help, were fed from this kitchen. To keep nurses attending contagious cases isolated from those performing ordinary duty, one of the messes operating in an officers' set of quarters was continued in use. At this mess about 30 nurses were fed subsequent to March 1, 1918. 

In the old barracks which were made over into wards, a diet kitchen was provided on the second floor of each section. In the new ward buildings which were constructed a diet kitchen was installed in each. For the supervision of these diet kitchens six dietitians were employed.

Enlisted personnel attached to the kitchens and mess comprised 11 mess sergeants, 35 cooks, and a varying number of men on kitchen police for dining room duty.

From the time the hospital was organized storage was a difficult problem. At the beginning two vacant gun sheds which were available were utilized for  


739

storage purposes. However, these were not entirely satisfactory; they were not large enough to contain a sufficient reserve stock for the new sections which were then being constantly opened. One of these gun sheds was eventually taken over for the enlisted personnel of the adjacent medical officers' training camp. An unused stable was then occupied as a storeroom, and the basement of the old post hospital building was used as an issue room.

No laundry building was constructed at this hospital. At the time the base hospital was organized its laundry work was done by the post laundry at Fort Riley. This arrangement was continued until the opening of the camp laundry at Camp Funston, in November, 1917. At this time the work had grown to such proportions that the Fort Riley post laundry could no longer handle it, and the work was transferred to the camp laundry at Camp Funston.

There was no chapel at the hospital, but the post chapel of Fort Riley, within a hundred yards of the hospital parade, though not placed under control of the base hospital, was always available for hospital uses. There, every Sunday, the chaplain attached to the base hospital conducted a religious service for both the commissioned and enlisted personnel.

The water system originally provided for the post of Fort Riley furnished all the water used by the base hospital. It was obtained from wells on the reservation whence it was pumped into a reservoir and distributed, without treatment or filtration. The supply was separate from that at Camp Funston. 

The lighting of the hospital was by electricity, the current for which was obtained from the Junction City Light & Power Co. Its operation was successfully maintained.

The sewerage system of the hospital was an augmentation of the original post sewerage system which emptied directly into the Kansas River, untreated. 

Garbage was collected daily by persons under contract and hauled away by them. Manure was dumped on a flat near the Kansas River and there burned.

The permanent buildings used by the hospital were separately heated by steam plants originally provided there. All of the buildings constructed of frame, for hospital use, were steam heated by separately located heating plants. Those frame barracks which were taken over by the hospital and used as wards were heated by stoves. All of the various heating measures were operated satisfactorily.

On June 1, 1918, a building was made available and within it a post exchange was established. The basement floor of this building had been used as a sub-exchange of the Fort Riley post exchange. These rooms were occupied and the stock on hand taken over at an invoice price of approximately $2,000. It was found later that under the provisions of a War Department general order, 1917, the exchange would be administered by the exchange officer at Camp Funston. On June 8, an order was issued by the headquarters at Camp Funston, designating an exchange officer, and subsequent to that time business pertaining to the hospital exchange was conducted through the Camp Funston exchange. Financial transactions increased from $200 on the opening day to an average of about $400 a day for the month of June, 1918.

In the midst of the buildings comprising the convalescent group of the hospital, the American National Red Cross erected a typical Red Cross conva-  


740

lescent house for the use of the patients and their visitors. As in Red Cross houses provided at other camps, the upper floor of this building contained 12 rooms which were utilized as sleeping quarters for the local representatives of the Red Cross and for the accommodation of relatives of critically ill patients who visited the camp.

The Young Men's Christian Association occupied a permanent one-story gray stone building at the lower end of the parade ground. This building was formerly a part of the post at Fort Riley, but had been transferred to the Medical Department for use for hospital purposes. The Young Men's Christian Association was fully organized and performed an efficient service to both patients and enlisted personnel of the Medical Department.

Baseball and football teams were organized among the enlisted personnel of the hospital, and they were decidedly successful in furnishing the necessary diversion for the men.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Fort Riley, Kans., from September, 1917, to June, 1919, inclusive


741

BASE HOSPITAL, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEX.a

The base hospital was located within the confines of Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Tex., at the northwestern portion of the post. It had formerly been Base Hospital No. 1, which comprised a main building of nine wards, a mess hall and kitchen, an X-ray and operating room. Adjacent structures contained the laboratory and the mortuary. During the fall of 1916, 20 pavilion wards and a kitchen were erected to the east of the main building to provide an increased capacity necessitated by the mobilization of troops on the Mexican border.

The terrain of the region is gently rolling. The soil is a mixture of loam, clay, and gravel, which readily pulverizes in dry weather and becomes a tenacious mud following rains. In the vicinity of the hospital there were very few trees to afford surcease from the rays of the sun. The climate is excellent during a great part of the year, with a predominance of sunshine. During the short winter the thermometer seldom goes below the freezing point. In summer, however, one is made overly conscious of the heat because of the relatively high degree of humidity. This heat of the day usually lingers until well along toward the early morning hours, when a breeze from the Gulf of Mexico gently neutralizes it.

There were a few good roads in the hospital area at the time of its enlargement. These were added to during the year 1918. Connecting Fort Sam

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Tex.," by Capt R. D. Wilson, M. C., U. S. A., while on duty as a member of the staff of that hospital. The material used by him in the compilation of the history comprised official reports from the various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


742

Houston with its surroundings were many serviceable and durable gravel roads which had been covered with an asphaltum compound.

In the summer of 1917, 10 additional pavilion wards were constructed at a place just to the east of that where the 20 temporary wards had been erected the year previously. In the fall of 1917, a main kitchen was constructed, and an extension of the main building was made to provide for a new operating room, an X-ray department, and a ward for women patients. In the spring of 1918 a new building was constructed for the department laboratory, and the building which had been previously used as a laboratory was converted into a mortuary. Not long after this time the contagious disease section grew to such proportions as to necessitate a reorganization, and 10 temporary buildings were constructed with a view to their use for isolation purposes. For this reason they were placed at a point separate from the remainder of the wards and were provided with an auxiliary kitchen which permitted the practice of absolute quarantine. Two wards for psychiatric cases were completed later in the spring, giving the hospital a very valuable addition to its services.

The main hospital building, constructed for peace-time needs, was conveniently arranged in its plan. It was adequately heated by steam, was well ventilated, and lighted by electricity. The temporary pavilions, however, were hastily planned and constructed. They had been placed quite too closely together, and because of this interrupted the free access of breezes.

The original quarters for the nurses were inadequate for the increase in their number, so 4 two-story dormitories were constructed during 1918 for the accommodation of the excess. The same condition of affairs was true regarding the enlisted men of the Medical Department, and an additional barrack of 300 capacity was erected. Prior to its construction, men who could not be quartered in barracks were given tents in which to sleep.

Three kitchens were operated at the hospital. In the main kitchen was prepared the food for the medical officers, the officer patients, and the nurses. The pavilion kitchen was used in which to prepare the food for the sick in the various pavilion wards and the enlisted men of the detachment, Medical Department. In the auxiliary kitchen food was cooked only for those in isolation in the detached group of isolation wards. From the kitchens in which food was prepared for patients, the cooked food was conveyed to the various wards in insolated food trays mounted on trucks.

An ample water supply was already existent. This was the supply of Fort Sam Houston and San Antonio, the source of which was in wells located on Edwards Plateau, 75 miles distant. It was excellent in quality, though a bit hard, and needed no treatment.

The sewerage system of the hospital was a part of that of Fort Sam Houston. Wastes were disposed of in the incinerator or were carted to the city dump. All refuse food was classified, the edible portions being sold to a contractor for hog feed.

No laundry building was provided the hospital; soiled linen was washed in the post laundry, an activity controlled by Fort Sam Houston.

In the midst of the hospital buildings, the Red Cross constructed a convalescent house for the patients. This Red Cross house was built on the plan commonly used at other base hospitals, and, as elsewhere, it proved a valuable  


743

asset to efforts looking to the comfort and welfare of ambulant patients. The Red Cross Society also provided a recreation hall for the nurses. The Young Men's Christian Association was fairly active at the hospital. It provided funds for the construction of a hut which was largely used for the comfort and entertainment of members of the detachment, Medical Department.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Tex., from April, 1917, to December, 1919, inclusive

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