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Section II, Chapter XXV

Contents

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SECTION II.

CHAPTER XXV.

HISTORICAL DIVISION.

As originally created, the administrative organization charged with the duty of collecting and preparing material for a medical and surgical history of American participation in the World War was known as the Historical Board. 1 With the reorganization of the Surgeon General's Office in 1918, it became the Historical Section of the Library Division,2 and finally the Historical Division. 3

During the early months of our participation in the conflict the work of the Historical Board consisted largely of correspondence and conferences, the collection and cataloguing of literature (interim reports), reports, and other official documents from base and general hospitals in the United States, and from the Chief Surgeon's Office, and hospital centers, American Expeditionary Force S. The many reports and protocols made by medical observers at the front Before our entry into the war were likewise collected from the Council of National Defense and the Record Room of the Surgeon General's Office, and a special catalogue thereof was made.

Medical officers in the field, particularly in the American camps, were early informed 4as to the duty of collecting material for the history, and it was soon ascertained that plans had been laid independently to tarry out a similar pro- gram on the Western Front. Mimeographed questionnaires' were sent out to camps and base and general hospitals in home territory, with a view to collecting separate medical histories of these establishments. Medical officers in the field were urged to keep notebooks concerning important matters of personal observation, if responsible for medical and surgical records at the front or at a hospital, to submit war diaries, to see that such records were made as complete and accurate as possible, and to take every precaution against loss of records, whether in the possession of the medical officer or being transmitted. 6 Medical officers were urged to keep this historical purpose in mind throughout the war; to contribute official and private writings having historical interest or value; to collect printed matter, pictures, specimens, models, and other significant objects, and materials secured by exchange or otherwise from representatives of other Governments. The Historical Division was the authorized custodian of all such historical medical data. Commanding officers of base hospitals were authorized to make subject indices of medical and surgical cases and to make and transmit histories of epidemics or of unusual cases.

Arrangements were made for the safe custody and transportation of historical material accumulated on the Western Front and in Italy. 7

Through the courtesy of The Adjutant General's Office and the Provost Marshal General's Office the medical records of recruitment and mobilization were placed at the command of the Surgeon General for the purposes of the history. 8 It was arranged with The Adjutant General's Office that records be permitted to be taken to the Medical Record Division of the Surgeon General's Office in


526

order that the statistical material needed for the history might be made available for this purpose. Arrangements were made likewise with the Provost Marshal General's Office whereby a copy of the physical examination for each man placed in class 5 as permanently disqualified for military service was sent through the adjutant general of the State to the Surgeon General's Office for filing. 9 thus became possible to obtain from The Adjutant General and the Provost Marshal General a complete medical military census of the men of draft age in this country.

A medical office 10 visited most of the Army camps in the Southern and Middle Western States during May and June, 1918, in an effort to stimulate interest in the production of historical records and for the purpose of personally collecting as much historical data as possible. One of the executive officers was ordered overseas 11 to confer with the chief surgeon, American Expeditionary Forces, and with other officers of our own Medical Department, with regard to the collection of historical material and with the French and British officers for the purpose of profiting by their longer experience in this war.

From the start a careful check was kept of the compilation of the administrative histories of the separate divisions of the Surgeon General's Office for use in administrative history of the Medical Department in the United States (the present volume). Continuity in all these records was maintained by means of annual reports from the administrative divisions and supplemental war diaries from the camps, and base hospitals.

Meanwhile the curator of the Army Medical Museum cooperated with the Historical Board in the collection of pathological specimens, with attached protocols and clinical histories, and in the production of graphic material for illustrating the work as required.

Through the Hospital Division the commanding officers of base hospitals were directed to prepare indices of medical and surgical cases to be used as a key or guide to these records after they have passed into the hands of the Adjutant General of the Army.12 Every effort was made to stimulate the production of clinical material in medicine and surgery from the base hospitals, and since no funds existed at that time for having such material printed by the Public Printer, these contributions were published in the various medical journals, through the Board of Publications (q. v.), which kept on file manuscripts or reprint copies of each for use, as needed, in the compilation of the history.

On July 2, 1918, an advisory council was appointed to act in conjunction with the Historical Board. The personnel of this body changed from time to time, until finally, with the demobilization which followed the armistice, the council ceased to function.

With the reorganization of the Surgeon General's Office in the autumn of 1918 (see Chart XXIV), the Historical Board became the Historical Section of the Library Division, 2 the librarian, by virtue of his office, being executive officer of the section.

Shortly after the signing of the armistice a tentative program for the composition of the several volumes of the history was drawn up through conference of the officers of the Historical Section with the Surgeon General and his administrative chiefs. Officers were then assigned as authors or editors of the different volumes, parts, or sections, and, through correspondence with


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these prospective contributors, it was possible to collect a large amount of material to be drawn from as required in the compilation of the history.

On January 8, 1919. an Editorial Board 13 was appointed by the Surgeon General to pass upon the several volumes as presented for publication, subject to approval by the Historical Section of the War Plans Division of the General Staff, now the Historical Section, the Army War College. 14

On December 4, 1919, the Historical Section was reorganized, becoming a separate entity, the Historical Division of the Surgeon General's Office. 3

In June, 1920, an appropriation was obtained from Congress for the preparation, printing, and binding of the history. The item covering this expenditure applies to the Surgeon General's Office, and appears in the sundry civil bill providing for the year ending June 30, 1921. It reads as follows:

Medical and Surgical History of the War with Germany; toward the preparation for publication, under direction of the Secretary of War, of the Medical and Surgical History of the War with Germany, including printing and binding, at the Government Printing Office, and the necessary engravings and illustrations, $50,000: Provided, That the cost of such history shall not exceed $150,000.

Another appropriation of $50,000 was added the next year.

PERSONNEL. a

(April, 1917, to December, 1919.)

HISTORICAL BOARD.

McCulloch, Champe C., jr., Col., M. C.

Fulton, John S., Lieut. Col., M. C.

Garrison, Fielding H., Lieut. Col., M. C.

ADVISORY BOARD.

Vaughan, Victor C., Col., M. C.

Welch, William H., Col., M. C.

Wood, Casey A., Lieut. Col., M. C.

HISTORICAL DIVISION.

Winter, F. A., Brig. Gen., M. D., chief.

Lynch, Charles, Col., M. C., chief.

Straub, Paul F., Col., M. C., chief.

Duncan, Louis C., Col., M. C.

Steiner, Frank, Capt., S. C.

McAfee, Loy, Contract Surg.

McKnight, Mary Pearson, Contract Surg.

Morgan, Audrey, Contract Surg.

    a In this list have been included the names of those who at one time or another were assigned to the division during the period, April 6, 1917, to December 31, 1919.

There are two primary groups-the chiefs of the division and the assistants. In each group names have been alphabetically, by grades, Irrespective of chronological sequence of service.


REFERENCES.

(1) S. O., W. D., No. 196, pars.217 and 218, August 23, 1917. On file, Historical Division, S. G O.

(2) Office order, No. 97, S. G. O., November 30, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(3) Office order, No. 1151, S. G. O., December 4, 1919. On file, Historical Division. S. G. O.

(4) Circular letter, S. G. 0. to medical officers in base and general hospitals (not dated). Subject: Medical and Surgical History of the War. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(5) Questionaires to camps and hospitals. Copies on file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(6) Memo., S. G. O., for camp and division surgeons and commanding officers of base hospitals, June 24, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(7) Letter from the Surgeon General to the chief surgeon, A. E. F., France, January 24, 1919. Subject: Annual Report of the Surgeon General. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 319.1-2 (A. E. F. France) (Y). Letter from the chief surgeon, May 16, 1919. Subject: Material for Annual Report, the same to be turned over for use in the Medical and Surgical History of the War. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 314.7 (Medical History, A. E. F., France) (Y). Letter from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., France, to the Surgeon General, June 3, 1919. Subject: Material for Annual Report of the Surgeon General, the same to be forwarded to Historical Division for use in compiling Medical and Surgical History of the War. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 319.1-2 (A. E. F., France) (Y).

(8) Memo. for The Adjutant General of the Army from the Provost Marshal General, the Surgeon General of the Army, and the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, January 9, 1918. Subject: Tabulation of Records of Men Rejected for Physical Defects; and first indorsement thereto, from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, dated January 28, 1918. Subject: Authorizing the taking of records from The A. G. O. On file. Record Room, S. G. O., 413.5 (Tabulating Machines).

(9) Letter from the office of the Provost Marshal General to draft executives of all States, August 23, 1918. Subject: Form 1010 for Unconditionally Rejected Registrants. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., Correspondence File, 315.-1.

(10) Orders No. 20672, Special detail of Maj. Fielding H. Garrison, M. C. On file, A. G. O., 201 (Files). Garrison, Fielding, Maj., M. R. C.

(11) Confidential orders No. 162, par. 33, July 12, 1918, detailing Col. C. C. McCulloch, jr., M. C., to special duty overseas. On file, Commissioned Personnel Division, S. G. O.

(12) Circular letter from the Surgeon General, June 25, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(13) Correspondence on file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(14) Letter from The Adjutant General of the Army to the chiefs of all staff bureaus, and Chief, Historical Branch, War Plans Division, April 5, 1920. Subject: Unification of Historical Publications. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.