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Chapter XXXII





The base hospital at Camp Sevier was located about three-fourths of a mile northwest of the railroad and station of Paris, S. C. It was in Greenville County and within 4? miles of the city of Greenville and was situated on rolling country sparsely wooded, but nevertheless very delightful in appearance. It was nearly at the foot of Paris Mountain, one of the foothills of the Blue Ridge chain, its elevation being 1,200 feet above sea level. The climate is very equable, the thermometer being very moderate in its migrations, the maximum temperature being seldom more than 90? F. in the middle of the day, while 12? above zero is only occasionally reached in the coldest of weather. The warm days of summer are freshened by almost constant breezes, and one is exceedingly grateful for the pleasant summer nights, as it is seldom uncomfortable enough to prevent a refreshing sleep. There is almost a total absence of oppression from heat, and there is sufficient change in seasons and in the days to make a continual residence agreeable and to secure the maximum of work with a minimum of discomfort throughout the year.

The soil is rich in nitrites, of a generally sandy consistency, with a top of red clay loam. It is readily convertible into a thick sticky mud in wet weather and as quickly becomes a fine irritating dust in dry seasons.

The streams in the vicinity are small and swiftly running in gravel beds, which, with the permeable soil, materially assisted in solving the sanitary problem of the camp. The zone immediately surrounding the camp was under the supervision of a sanitary officer who supervised the drainage of low?land and stagnant-water areas, removing any possible menace from malaria?carrying mosquitoes.

The roads about the hospital were of the so-called "sandy clay" type, which required considerable attention to keep them passable. They became very muddy and slippery in stormy weather and were the greatest source of dust at other times. To keep them in the best possible condition, they were well crowned and drained.

From a casual inspection of the hospital layout, two decided mistakes were self-evident. The first was that the unevenness of the ground caused some of the buildings to be high, whereas others were quite near the earth's surface; in fact, frequently one end of a ward would be considerably higher than the other. The second mistake was the location of the hospital in its relation to the railroad. It was impossible to construct a spur direct to the main line.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Sevier, S. C.," by Maj. W. E. Kershner, M. C., U. S. A., while on deity 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.


The hospital proper was of semipermanent frame construction, built upon the pavilion system from plans authorized by the War Department. The hospital faced the north and was originally planned and constructed for a capacity of 500 beds. The communicating corridors were open, all windows were well screened, and the doors doubly so. The original plans were enlarged upon, and ultimately double capacity of the original plans was attained.

The actual organization of the hospital occurred on September 21, 1917, when patients were received in two of the wards. To these wards belong the honor of jointly starting the hospital upon its designated mission and the staff upon the arduous duties which the following months were to see. With the opening of these wards little did those present realize that in less than four months the hospital, with that small beginning, would be efficiently handling more than double the number of patients the completed institution was designed for. Ward completions from this time on went forward steadily and at two or three day intervals wards were thrown open for the reception of patients. Frequently ward equipment and patients were being taken into the front door of a ward as workmen were making their exit from the rear. The last ward to be completed was ward 10, which was occupied by patients on Thanksgiving Day, 1917. By the first of the month following, all of the buildings of the original plan were completed except for some minor details, thus making in all 38 buildings. Subsequently the head house was completed and large additions were made to the quarters for the officers and nurses. In addition to these, 9 two-story frame ward buildings were constructed, as well as a nurses' ward.

The officers' quarters and the mess were located at the north of the hospital, across the road and facing the officers' ward. They contained accommodations for about 80 officers. The original officers' quarters contained 24 rooms about 9 feet by 12, but with the increase in the staff three wings were constructed, those on the east and west of the building being designed for additional quarters, and the middle wing for utilization as a mess hall and kitchen. The original nurses' quarters were on the right flank of the hospital, at the east of the receiving ward. Additional quarters were constructed across the street, which included dormitories, a mess hall, and kitchen. These provisions enlarged the capacity of the nurses' quarters to the extent that a little over 100 nurses could be comfortably cared for. The enlisted men's barracks, four in number, were of the usual frame construction. Many of the enlisted men of the Medical Department were quartered under canvas.

In addition to the above buildings, there were three large frame storehouses, situated east of the hospital. These were used for both medical and quartermaster supplies and were in charge of an officer belonging to the division at the beginning of the work. From him the hospital received its supplies on memorandum receipt. This proved to be an unsatisfactory arrangement, and in the early part of 1918 a property officer for the hospital was designated and the office which he represented was separate from that of the property office of the division.

Of the buildings constructed with the original plan, the one most vividly portraying quaint humor was the chapel. For even a small hospital it was entirely too small and inadequate for the purposes for which it was intended, but it had its uses as an emergency ward under difficult conditions and at different times, and subsequently became an adjunct to the general laboratory.


It did prove of material value for the more serious cases during the early epidemics, when many patients were of necessity cared for under canvas. It is not to be inferred that religious services were discontinued here, because the chapel happened to be too small; these services were held in the more commodious mess halls.

Previous to the opening of the base hospital, patients were collected and treated at the regimental infirmaries. There were no hospital facilities at the camp for the employees of the construction company and the civil hospital in Greenville cared for this class of patients.

The water supply of the base hospital was identical with that of Camp Sevier as a whole, and of the city of Greenville. Its source was from a reservoir on Paris Mountain, and it was distributed through the camp by mains. Chlorination was practiced at the source.

Originally the sewerage was wholly surface. Baths and latrines were built in the rear of each ward. The latrines were of a modified "Havard" type, and the baths were warmed by independent heating plants. Subsequently a complete sewerage system was installed and consisted of a gravity underground system, and a septic tank located in the run between the hospital and Paris station. The disposal of garbage and other wastes was accomplished by evaporation and incineration.

Considerable inconvenience was caused in the early days of the hospital by the absence of stoves. It must be stated, however, that cold weather came in earlier than usual and was exceptionally intense for this climate. At first, small heaters were placed in the wards, but these proved entirely inadequate. Later, large drum heaters were installed, which were a marked improvement. The heating of the officers' quarters and nurses' quarters, and in fact all small rooms, was done by individual heaters. After their installation it was possible to keep comfortably warm, but the running of so many independent fires was a source of great danger, caused considerable dust and dirt, was an inconvenience, and certainly represented a huge waste.

The lighting system of the hospital was in common with that of the camp. The current for its operation was obtained from the Southern Power Co. Its operation may be said to have been only fairly good: the current was turned off with nearly every shower, and this made it decidedly inconvenient if it happened while a surgical operation was in progress.

A laundry building was built, but neither equipment nor machinery was furnished. The laundry of the hospital was taken to the civil hospital in Greenville, a practice which effected a decided handicap to the work of the hospital, because of its wastefulness and slowness.

The equipment for the wards and the hospital in general was at all times sufficient for the estimated quota of patients. Early in the history of the hospital, even before construction was complete, epidemics occurred at the camp which made it necessary for the hospital to keep sufficient property ahead for needs. Supplies came promptly when ordered, requisitions were promptly approved, and the problem was always met and controlled exceedingly well. Many apparently insurmountable obstacles arose, but in all cases the exigencies of the service were met by the administrative heads of the hospital. Ultimately the institution became as well and as completely equipped as any in military or civil life.


The post exchange of the hospital was purely a hospital institution; that is, it had no relation whatsoever with any other exchange in the camp. At its inception sufficient credit for its operation was secured by the backing of the officers on duty at the hospital. This initial credit was transferred to merchandise, and so satisfactorily was the exchange business conducted that shortly there was no debt, and the stock was completely owned by the hospital.

For a while, Red Cross work at the hospital was accomplished by representatives of that society from other sections of the camp. During 1918, however, a large and commodious Red Cross building was constructed, which proved a decided benefit to the enlisted men and convalescent patients and visiting members of their families. It also assisted materially in the recreation problem, which before that time was quite acute.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Sevier, Greenville, S. C., from September, 1917, to April 30, 1919, inclusive



Camp Shelby was located in Forrest County, Miss., 10 miles from Hattiesburg. The location ranges from 300 to 500 feet above sea level, 150 to 200 feet above the surrounding country, and is about 55 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The soil is either loam, or sandy loam, with a substratum of clay; in some places clay and gravel. The terrain is undulating and the natural drainage is excellent. The climate is very equable. The annual mean temperature is 67.8? F.; the annual mean rainfall is 58.8 inches; and the annual mean humidity is 77 per cent. During the summer months there is a delightful breeze, usually from the Gulf of Mexico, which blows during the afternoon and evening.

The camp was located on land from which long-leaf pine had been removed a few years previously. This land had never been cultivated; therefore, during dry weather, the dust was not such a disturbing factor as in some regions, though it was, of course, an annoyance where the soil had been pulverized by much activity incident to drilling. After rains the water ran rapidly from the surface and the mud was not of the sticky type.

There was an abundance of gravel near the camp, and this simplified the construction of roads through the camp. Roads were sprinkled around the hospital, and in many other parts of the camp, thus minimizing dust. Many of the public roads in the territory adjacent to camp were either graveled or improved dirt roads.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Shelby, Miss.," by Maj. W. W. Crawford, 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.


The hospital was organized September 17, 1917. Prior to the completion of the base hospital, a field hospital cared for the medical cases, and the important surgical cases were sent to the South Mississippi Infirmary, in Hattiesburg.

On September 26, 1917, the hospital had its formal opening, though some of its departments-notably the surgical pavilion and the X-ray department-were not prepared to operate until several weeks later, on account of lack of equipment. The plan followed in the construction and the distribution of the hospital buildings was principally that outlined by the Surgeon General's Office. Deviation in the location of some buildings was made to conform to terrain.

Quarters were furnished for both nurses and officers. The buildings were of the same type, being large one-story structures, roughly furnished but crudely comfortable. The nurses were housed in two buildings, built and equipped especially for this purpose, that were situated at the south boundary of the hospital grounds, facing each other, one on either side of the main thoroughfare through the grounds. These buildings were rectangular in shape, with three wings built on to the back. There were 26 private rooms in the old building and 38 in the new. The two end wings were used for dormitories in the new building, while the middle wing was used for the dining room and kitchen. Each building had an office and reception room. They were equipped with running water, hot and cold baths, both shower and tub, and they were electric lighted throughout. The rooms were sparingly furnished, but comfortable. A small infirmary was attached to one wing. The officers' quarters were situated opposite the officers' ward, facing the main thoroughfare. It was built on the same plan as the nurses' quarters. It comprised a main, building and three wings, and had a total of 55 rooms. The middle wing was divided into an assembly room, dining room, and kitchen. The remaining wings were partitioned into separate rooms, each containing a wardrobe and small table. The building was equipped with hot and cold water, a shower and tub bath, and electric lights.

During the first few days after the hospital was opened, meals were served the commissioned personnel from the contractor's mess. This plan was followed until the officers' ward was opened, where meals were then served until April, 1918, when the officers' mess was organized. The enlisted men's mess was located at the extreme northern portion of the hospital grounds. It was of the standard one-story type, consisting of two long parallel buildings united by an inclosed corridor. The first wing was but partially completed September 21, 1917, when it began serving 120 men. In November, 1917, the number served had increased to 270, and in March, 1918, to 500, which number necessitated serving the men in two shifts. Mess kits were used until about May 1, 1918 , because table equipment could not be obtained previous to that time. In June, 1918, the second wing was completed, the old kitchen fixtures were torn out, and modern, up-to-date equipment installed. Double screen doors, ample storerooms; built-in refrigeration, etc., were provided.

There were four storehouses connected with the base hospital. These accommodated the needs of the institution comfortably, though they did not exceed its requirement.


The laundry building was completed, but no machinery was installed in it. Laundry work was done by local commercial companies.

Located between ward 12 and the mortuary was the chapel, which had a seating capacity of about 200. During the measles epidemic of 1917-18, it was used as a ward. Later, religious services were held in it under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association and the various chaplains of the division.

The original water supply for both camp and base hospital came from a number of springs of cold crystal water, located about 1 mile from the hospital. Three-quarters of a million gallons of water was daily provided from this source. Though of excellent quality, it was thought best to chlorinate it as an added caution. Three 6-inch artesian wells were sunk to the depth of 350 feet. Their combined daily capacity was 800,000 gallons. On account of the increased consumption of water incident to sprinkling, etc., in summer, the quartermaster constructed another 6-inch well to a depth of 725 feet.

Originally there was no sewerage system, which entailed the use of latrines. Ultimately, however, a sewerage system was provided the hospital.

The garbage from the various messes was placed in properly closed galvanized-iron cans and was removed once or twice daily by a farmer who utilized it for feeding hogs. The tin cans were crushed, punctured, subjected to heat in an open furnace, and then carted away.

During the early months of the hospital, an extemporized shower bath of cold water was the only available form of bath. Later, each ward had a shower of hot and cold water; a modern tub, two lavatories, two commodes, one urinal, and a sink. In addition, there were two sinks, one in the diet kitchen and one in the scrub room, and a lavatory stand in diet kitchen and in office.

The heating system of the hospital was unsatisfactory: two large stoves with galvanized hoods around them were installed in each ward; the type of stove suggested that it was probably intended as a hot-air furnace; but when used with its hood in place, practically all the heat was directed upward and escaped through the ventilators. The removal of the hoods improved the situation, but the amount of coal required was enormous. The surgical pavilion had its own heating plant and was quite popular during the cold weather.

The camp and the base hospital received their electric current from the Hattiesburg Traction Co. The supply was adequate and satisfactory. Wards were lighted by one central row of ceiling lights, shaded by opaque bulbs.

Located in the quadrangle of the main hospital grounds, the post exchange building performed a threefold function: it provided a barber shop, a recreation room, and one large room in the center of building in which were sold soft drinks, tobacco, candy, cakes, fruit, and a number of small articles that were so essential to the comfort and pleasure of the patients and the enlisted personnel. The post exchange not only filled a rather definite place in the economics of hospital comfort, but its dividends were a source of definite inflation of the hospital fund.

The Young Men's Christian Association had no building, but had a resident secretary who contributed to the comfort of the patients in several ways. The camp Young Men's Christian Association, with its numerous buildings, was


a very definite factor in the entertainment and diversion of the men in camp, but inasmuch as it had no definite headquarters or recreation facilities at the base hospital, it did not make the same impression on the convalescent population as the Red Cross. The latter organization found its definite place in the economics of the base hospital through the advent of the Red Cross nurse.

Subsequent to the opening of the base hospital, the Red Cross spent approximately $100,000 for the benefit of the soldiers stationed at Camp Shelby. About $25,000 of this amount was expended for permanent improvements, which included a nurses' recreation building and a large recreation building for the convalescent patients and the enlisted personnel of the hospital.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Miss., from September, 1917, to June, 1919, inclusive



The base hospital of Camp Sheridan was located in Montgomery County, Ala., about 5 miles northeast of the city of Montgomery.

The terrain of this region is a slightly rolling open country. It is well watered, and is recognized as good farming land. The soil is a sandy loam, covering a deep clay substratum, and there are areas of gravel along the banks of an adjacent creek just to the northeast of the hospital site. In hot, dry weather there is a great deal of dust but, inasmuch as the hospital was situated 2 miles from the military camp, off the line of autobuses, and beside a road that was traveled mainly by vehicles in business association with the institution, the hospital did not suffer seriously from clouds of dust such as occasionally visited the camp.

Rains in this region are very heavy, sometimes torrential in character, but the fields do not become very muddy, and the water is absorbed or carried off so rapidly that walking over the ground is possible within a few hours after.

The climate might well be considered ideal for a military post. The United States Weather Bureau has compiled the statistics of meteorological conditions for the past 45 years, between 1872 and 1916, and these show that the average mean temperature for the spring months (March, April, and May) is 65.6? F.; for the summer months, 80.8?; for autumn, 65.8?; and for the winter months,

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Sheridan, Ala.," by Maj. Henry O. Reik, 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.


49.5?; which makes the average annual temperature 65.5? F. During the year 1916, the latest for which published figures are available, the extremes of temperature were as follows: Highest, 99? on May 27; lowest, 21? on February 3. There was no snow that year and the same held true for the winter following. The rainfall, however, amounted to a total of 46 inches, with 5.73 inches as the greatest fall within 24 hours; that occurring July 6 and 7. Sunshine existed in 63 per cent of the possible number of hours. In the course of the year there were 62 thunderstorms, 30 of these occurring during the months of June and July, while October and November were the only months entirely free of this phenomenon. High winds are unusual, the average velocity for the year 1917-18 being 6.6 miles per hour; only once during the year did the extreme velocity exceed 36 miles. In the spring and summer months the prevailing winds are west to southwest, and in the fall and winter months northwest to north.

The roads in and about the hospital reservation were excellent, being constructed of a sand-clay base with a gravel-top dressing.

The buildings occupied the high ground to the east of Lomax Creek, a tributary of the Alabama River, while to the eastward spread out a rolling plateau for a distance of 4 miles, to the Tallapoosa River, this region being intersected by many small branches and creeks flowing northward into one or the other of the above-named rivers. The main road from the city, or the camp, crossed Lomax Creek by a concrete bridge, 75 feet long, with an arch 30 feet above the water. The stream at this point was some 30 feet wide and quite shallow, not exceeding 3 feet deep in its central pools. On each side of the creek there was a strip of wooded swamp which was properly drained and prepared against mosquito development. The outflowing water from the hospital's septic-tank sewage plant emptied into the creek just below this bridge. There were no near-by farmhouses, none within a mile and a half to the west, south, or east, and those to the northeast were upon land that necessarily drained into the streams flowing away from the hospital district.

The base hospital was organized by the commanding officer reporting for duty August 15, 1917, in compliance with Special Orders, No. 176 (par. 108), W. D., July 13, 1917. On August 21 the general plan of grounds for the base hospital were staked out, and the work of grading same started on August 25. There were present for duty in the beginning the commanding officer, a supply officer, one sergeant, first class, Medical Department, and three sergeants, Medical Department.

Quartermaster's warehouse No. 6 was, by permission of the camp quartermaster, first occupied as an office for the base hospital and for a medical supply depot. On September 13, 1917, the infirmary of the 74th Brigade was turned over to the base hospital for temporary quarters and on October 9 removal was made to the present hospital; the administration building, one structure for officers' quarters and six hospital wards being then sufficiently advanced for occupancy.

The construction of the hospital had been sufficiently advanced by October 9, 1917, to permit the use of the administration buildings and six wards. From this date the organization of the institution may be said to have begun. Construction was subsequently pushed, and within a comparatively short time


all of the buildings originally planned for had been completed. As constructed, the hospital groups covered an area of 40 acres. Its pavilions, arranged on the standard plan for base hospital, ran east and west, which limited the exposure of their walls to the sun's rays practically to the southern side. There were 25 wards originally constructed; but, to increase the capacity of the hospital, six two-story ward barracks were provided during the early part of 1918. In the same year an extension was made to the laboratory building, almost doubling its capacity; and a head surgery building was erected, with special clinic rooms for ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and dentistry. The ward additions made a total authorized bed capacity of 1,310.

The officers' and nurses' quarters were frame buildings of the simplest form of construction-buildings 25 by 100 feet, with a central hall running lengthwise, and the small rooms (10 by 10 feet) opening off either side. Near the center, one room was fitted with toilet facilities and one for bathing purposes. The enlisted men occupied barracks constructed in much the same manner save that they were in the form of a dormitory instead of having separate rooms.

There were three large kitchens and mess halls. The largest, situated nearly in the center of the hospital quadrangle, was for the patients and the enlisted personnel. The others were for the officers and the nurses in their respective quarters. All were well equipped with the essential apparatus.

Five warehouse buildings were used for the storage and issue of supplies; one was the camp medical supply depot, one the hospital medical supply depot, one the hospital quartermaster's supply station, and two were general storehouses, one of these being used in part as a carpenter shop.

A separate building at the south end of the grounds was provided for a laundry, but it was not equipped for work, and it was used solely as a sorting room, all the linen being sent to the city laundries.

In the early days of the organization there was, quite naturally, considerable delay in securing satisfactory equipment, and the work had to be done under many difficulties. The surgical department suffered perhaps more from this than did the medical. The operating pavilion was not started until after most of the wards had been completed, and even then there was a long delay in procuring the necessary furniture and supplies and, especially, in installing the steam sterilizers. Pending that, all of the surgical work was performed in the city; all surgical cases being transported to St. Margaret's Hospital, where every facility was placed at the disposal of the Army surgeons.

Ultimately, the equipment of the hospital was almost perfect, and the most complicated and technical surgical procedures could have been undertaken with the same assurance of success as would attend similar operations in civil hospitals. At first some of the surgeons had to rely upon instruments of their own, fortunately brought along, but this condition rapidly became corrected by requisition.

The water supply for both the hospital and the camp was obtained from the general supply of Montgomery City through the medium of a special pipe line. The origin of this water was a series of artesian wells, and it was so pure that neither filtration nor any form of sedimentation was necessary.


In the early days of the hospital regulation Army latrines were used, but these were all disposed of, and all wards and nearly all the other buildings were equipped with water-closets connecting with underground sewer pipes that conveyed the sewage to a large septic tank located on the bank of the creek about 100 yards to the west of the hospital.

No animals being kept at the hospital, manure disposal was not a problem. Kitchen waste and general garbage were destroyed in open-air incinerators.

Each of the officers' quarters, nurses' quarters, and ward buildings was supplied with a lavatory and bathroom, provided with hot and cold water, the heating being done by a stove installed in a shed outside each building.

It was unfortunate that no central heating plant was established. In the wards a large soft-coal burning furnace was located in the central part of the room. In quarters and in the smaller buildings reliance was placed upon small egg-shaped stoves, also burning soft coal. Naturally, the heating was imperfect and irregular, an inordinate amount of service attention was required, great waste was a necessary evil, and fire risk was beyond exaggeration.

January 18, 1918, fire broke out in the officers' quarters at 5 p. m., causing an estimated loss of $1,000, beside the heavy personal losses of those resident in that building. February 11, 1918, fire in ward 41, at 11.45 a. m., caused an estimated loss of $750. An efficient volunteer fire department, and the fact that both fires occurred during the daytime, were all that prevented serious catastrophes.

The lighting of the hospital was by electricity furnished from the Montgomery Electric Light & Power Co. The service was both efficient and cheap. In fact, the rate, 5? cents a kilowatt hour, was considered exceptionally low. Montgomery enjoyed this rate by virtue of the fact that the electricity could be made by water power from the Alabama River. In consequence, the lighting of the hospital buildings, corridors, and grounds was very satisfactory. 

The chaplain of the old 2nd Ohio was attached for special duty to the base hospital on November 8, 1917. The following Sunday, November 11, religious services were held. As the little building designated "the chapel" was so distantly related to the main part of the hospital, it was decided to use one of the rooms in the receiving ward, which was much more convenient, as the place of worship.

The hospital post exchange opened September 5, 1917, in an unused camp mess hall. When the new hospital was opened a special exchange building was provided, and here, in addition to the store, a barber shop, tailoring shop, and the post office were established. The exchange was well patronized and considerable profit was derived from it, which was periodically invested to the benefit of the enlisted men of the hospital.

There was no Young Men's Christian Association building at the hospital, but representatives of the organization provided entertainment for the patients and personnel, making use of the patients' mess hall and Red Cross convalescent building.

The American Red Cross constructed a handsome building for its activities and a recreation building for the nurses.


During the early weeks of the base hospital's existence no, or at best but sporadic, attempts were made to furnish diversion and amusement for the sick and injured. The hospital itself was far from being completed and the energies of everyone were bent in that direction. In November the 1st and 7th Ohio Regiments were absorbed by the 147th Infantry, leaving their bands unattached. One of these bands was secured by the hospital and detailed there by order of the division commander. This was the band of the former 1st Ohio Infantry, Cincinnati. The members, being quartered in one of the old barracks, entered into their new duties with enthusiasm and in a short time converted the band from a marching body into a concert organization. Concerts were given daily in the quadrangle between the operating pavilion and the patients' mess hall. Later, when the weather became cooler, the concerts were held Tuesday evenings in the temporary chapel. Soon the townspeople began to show an interest and the concerts were augmented by vocal and instrumental solo selections, to which the faculty of the Women's College lent no little aid. On Sunday afternoons at 2 o'clock the band held open-air concerts in front of the hospital.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Ala., from August, 1917, to May 15, 1919, inclusive



The hospital group was about 3 miles from the center of the town of Chillicothe (15,000 inhabitants, 1915), Ross County, Ohio, and 54 miles from Columbus, the capital of the State.

The choice of a site upon which to build Camp Sherman, and with it the base hospital group, was influenced by the fact that it is an historic military spot. In this region, then a part of the old Northwest Territory, a detention camp was established for British prisoners of the War of 1812; and it is an interesting commentary on that fact that some of their descendants assisted in the erection of the buildings and in preparing the grounds of the hospital. Moreover, a portion of the camp site was occupied in the early days by an old Indian stockade, used for camping and war purposes by the aborigines.

The Scioto Valley, in which the base hospital was situated, although not far from the Kentucky line, is usually quite cold in winter; the thermometer in January and February often reaches zero, Fahrenheit, or below it, and there is generally plenty of snow during these months. The summers are sometimes quite hot.

The hospital buildings were erected facing the Frankfort Pike, between it and the low range of hills that encircle the flat valley plateau on which the camp proper was built. There are scattered groups of trees along the highways and on the hills.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Sherman, Ohio," by Lieut. Col. Casey A. Wood, 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.


The soil (cultivated farm land) is a sandy gravel covered by a layer of gumbo clay of varying thickness. Water-smoothed, small-sized gravel, containing very few bowlders and admirably adapted for road building, can almost everywhere be found at a depth of from 3 to 10 feet. The principal objection, from a hospital standpoint, to the site as a cantonment hospital was this upper?soil deposit of clay, commonly known as gumbo. After rains this stratum is readily converted into an adherent mixture that is easily carried into the hospital buildings, and which, in spite of steel scrapers and other devices, is almost impossible to remove from the footwear. In continued dry weather also the clay forms a fine, impalpable dust which rises in clouds from the dirt roads and filters through the screens of neighboring windows. There are no disagreeable prevailing winds.

At first there were few concrete or asphalted roads or streets in or near the hospital. This defect was slowly remedied, however, until in the spring of 1918 cindered walks and roads were built all over the site of the hospital.

The water supply, from artesian wells, was demonstrated to be remarkably clear and bacteria free, but impregnated with iron and lime salts, hence quite hard and pleasant to drink, although far from ideal for washing purposes or

FIG. 197.-View of Base Hospital, Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio

for use in the boilers of the heating plant and laundry, owing to the deposition in them of ferrocalcitic salts. The water supply of the whole camp was obtained from one large dug well and five drilled wells located in the northeastern portion of the cantonment property, near the Scioto River. All of these wells secured their supply from an excellent water-bearing gravel stratum at depths varying from 80 to 90 feet from the surface. The dug well was 20 feet in diameter and about 70 feet deep and was cased with steel piling supported by a wood templet or centering. The top of the well was curbed with brick and concrete and provided with a tight wooden cover. Two of the drilled wells were 6 inches and three of them 8 inches in diameter. They were located about 250 feet apart. The water from the wells was pumped by means of motor-driven centrifugal pumps. Four of these pumps were located in the main pumping station and were of sufficient capacity to furnish 750 gallons per minute each against a head of 250 feet. The small centrifugal pumps had a capacity of 400 gallons per minute and pumped the water into a suction well of 25,000 gallons capacity near the pumping station, the suction lines for the main pumps being connected with this well.


The water was pumped directly through the distribution system to four 100,000-gallon storage tanks located on a hill northwest of the cantonment. These tanks were constructed of redwood on concrete foundations and were about 220 feet above the water in the wells. There were also two 25,000-gallon tanks located on the hill above the hospital group at the same elevation as the main storage tanks. This additional water supply not only helped, from the ordinary consumption point of view, but it meant more protection in case of fire. The distribution system was made up largely of wood pipe from 6 to 14 inches in size, and extended throughout the cantonment. Hydrants were provided at frequent intervals, and small service pipes were connected with the various lavatories and kitchens. As an additional sanitary precaution a liquid chlorine disinfectant device was provided at the pumping station to disinfect the water supply in case of emergency.

The main sewerage system of Camp Sherman, of which the hospital system formed a part, consisted of two trunk sewers from 8 to 24 inches in size, one of which was located on each side of the cantonment, discharging into an outfall sewer 30 inches in size. This sewer in turn joined a treatment plant, located along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, to an outlet in the main channel of the Scioto River, a small stream that skirted the east boundary of the camp at a point near the outlet of the most northerly sewer for the town of Chillicothe. Connected with the main trunk sewers was a large number of 6-inch lateral sewers extending to the various lavatories and kitchens throughout the cantonment. Manholes, located at frequent intervals, were constructed of concrete with wood covers. The sewage was disposed of in two concrete tanks 50 by 150 feet in plan and having a capacity of 500,000 gallons. The effluent from these tanks was treated with liquid chlorine disinfectant solution. This device was located in a separate house adjacent to the tanks and automatically fed into the tank effluent in proportion to the rate of flow through the tanks.

The urinals and closets were of the latest and best types of permanent construction; they emptied into the sewerage system just mentioned. 

Hospital construction at Camp Sherman may be divided into two periods: first, that of camp construction in general, and second, that of readiness for the reception of patients.

During the former period the so-called emergency hospital was very useful and served especially the Bentley organization, and was commonly known as the Bentley Hospital. It was, however, inaugurated and controlled by the Aetna Insurance Co., which had charge of all the insurance of the Bentley employees. This small building was placed at the entrance of the camp, and prominent signs posted all over the cantonment gave instructions to rush all injured men to it. There were generally but a few patients in this small hospital, but it acted as an emergency hospital for the Chillicothe hospital mainly, and, later, the embryo base hospital.

On June 20, 1917, the first contingent of troops (to guard construction work) appeared, when Company D, of the Ohio Engineers, from Cleveland, pitched their tents on the grounds. Shortly after, the commanding officer of the base hospital was selected, and his staff began to arrive at Chillicothe. At that time the organization consisted of a small group of officers in barracks B-33. The commanding officers' offices, officers' mess, and the enlisted men's mess


were all in barracks A-34. With one or two exceptions the officers of the staff slept and had their quarters in barracks B-33. By the end of November, 1917, the staff numbered about 65.

The single operating room of the future base hospital was for the time the kitchen of barracks A-34, the second story of the building being given up to ward space. The small number of patients, between 20 and 30, were more than amply provided as to wardmasters, nurses, and orderlies by the assignment of an ambulance company of 100 men, recruited from Northwestern University and Evanston, Ill., and at that time stationed at Fort Sheridan,  Ill. This fine body of men, with the patients and personnel of the hospital itself, were transferred to the permanent buildings of the base hospital group on the 17th of September, 1917. This portion of the enlisted equipment, with the exception of some half dozen men, subsequently was detached from the hospital service to various other organizations, but especially to the aviation section of the Signal Corps. In addition to these, 21 enlisted men of the Medical Department of the Regular Army were assigned to the base hospital, of whom 15 were still on the same duty on November 20, 1917.

At last the commanding officer decided that the wards of the base hospital were sufficiently finished to permit of their partial use in receiving bedridden patients, so on September 17, 1917, the equipment of the primitive hospital was conveyed by ambulances and automobile lorries to what were later known as wards 9 and 10 of the permanent base hospital, the services being divided into medical and surgical. At the same time the staff officers moved to regular officers' quarters. In this connection it is to be noted that the original plans of the base hospital provided for two such buildings, one on each side of the house allotted to the commanding officer. However, it was discovered that the site assigned on the plan for the second building was the middle of the high road or pike and so it was not constructed in that locality and not until the following year. In consequence, late arrivals had to be quartered in the officers' ward and elsewhere.

For the 1,000-bed hospital there were buildings for administration, receiving ward, officers' quarters, officers' ward, nurses' quarters, operating room, X-ray and research laboratory, 32 single wards, 4 isolation wards, kitchen, mess hall, exchange, powerhouse and heating plant, laundry, commissary stores, repair shop, 6 barracks with 2 lavatories, a chapel, mortuary, fire-engine house, garage, and guard house. All of these buildings (65 in number) were built of frame construction.

The ward buildings, administration, officers' and nurses' quarters, and exchange had porches.

At first there was little privacy and but little chance of improvement, even in permanent officers' quarters. Before a fortnight had elapsed, however, a remarkable change had taken place in them as well as in all the hospital buildings. In the early days only wards 9 and 10 were occupied, by all classes of patients, there being at that time no general infectious cases. The dispensary was settled in ward 10. There was, at first, an irregular supply of water, doubtful and insufficient lighting, and no heat, except from a scant supply of coal-oil stoves, a few electric heaters, and one or two electric lamps. It was also quite a common occurrence to have the electric light fail during the mess hour or at


some other critical period, when those officers who possessed candles became quite popular with their fellows. However, these were only incidents in the game, "all in the day's work," and nobody complained either then or afterwards, because it was realized that everyone was doing the best he could and that it was his privilege as well as his duty to help others by being as cheerful and as hopeful as possible.

Gradually the necessary equipment was furnished, which, supplemented by private efforts and the loans and purchases of members of the staff, produced a really effective hospital.

The number of patients in the permanent hospital on September 17, 1917, was 17; on November 30, 1917, they numbered 811; while on March 31, 1918, the base hospital was caring for 910 patients in all lines of medicine and surgery. The maximum number of patients was 9,736 in October, 1918. This rapid increase in the number of patients was mainly due to transfers from the regimental infirmaries. Additional wards were opened and equipped as the exigencies of the service demanded, although the equipment was quite scarce and often insufficient, because Government supplies came in slowly. However, in a few weeks the whole 16 wards of the inner hospital group, and finally many of the outer group, were called into requisition, partly because of the natural increase due to the arrival of the draft, partly because of epidemics, such as tonsillitis, cerebrospinal meningitis, pneumonia, and venereal diseases-the latter especially among the colored troops from Oklahoma.

Following the modified plan of the base-hospital group, ground was broken for the head surgery hospital at Camp Sherman on September 28, 1917. Perhaps as good an idea as can be formed of the almost marvelous fashion in which the construction and erection of buildings in this camp were carried on is obtainable from the fact that this special building, with its four operating rooms and their surroundings of special chambers for special work, was practically roughed in and completed in its essentials within a space of 10 days. Although, owing to the difficulties of heating and lighting, it was not utilized until the end of October, yet there was soon established a large and flourishing eye, ear, nose and throat clinic.

The reason the laboratories, wards, and operating rooms of the hospital at Camp Sherman were earlier and better equipped than most of the cantonment hospitals lies in the fact that the commanding general, wearying of the continued and persistent excuses which all the medical officers were, of necessity, obliged to offer in explanation of a lack of the implements and appliances needed for their service, and of the constant apologies they were obliged to make not only to the general himself but to visitors and friends, decided upon a radical step. One day he called together the commissioned officers of the base hospital, the chiefs of services and their assistants, and, after telling them that he expected a change in this state of affairs, ordered them to buy at once such instruments and other equipment as would convert the defective hospital into one of the first class. As a result of this order, there were obtained from Columbus, Cincinnati, and other neighboring towns numerous medical and surgical supplies, including a large amount of drugs and other requisites. Four surgical operating rooms received several coats of white enamel paint, numerous pine examination booths were colored a dead black, a few floors were oiled and some of them


covered with linoleum of various hues, and windows were decorated with curtains. Unattractive floors were stained, and every necessary appliance that could be had was added to the previous scanty equipment. This emergency equipment undoubtedly enabled the medico-military officials of the head surgery building of the base hospital and, to some extent, the heads of other services, to do much effective work that would have been impossible or further postponed until the necessarily tardy arrival of the Government outfit.

Hospital storehouses were four in number. Three were for medical supplies and one for quartermaster supplies. The buildings were 150 feet long and 24 feet wide, with heat and light. Medical supplies for the cantonment hospital and the organizations of the division, as well as the veterinary and dental supplies for the division, were all kept in these buildings. 

Hospital linen was washed at Washington Court House, Ohio, until November 6, 1917, when the camp laundry took over the work; but it was not entirely satisfactory.

The chapel at Camp Sherman base hospital was used for religious purposes; just as frequently, however, it was put to such secular uses as lectures, conferences, and instruction classes of various kinds. Here the clinical society of the hospital first met.

Kitchen wastes were divided into four classes, sorted and sold to contractors. They consisted of (a) bones and fats; (b) other kitchen garbage; (c) cans, bottles, coffee grounds, etc.; (d) combustible waste.

The hospital heating plant consisted of eight boilers. Steam and hot-water pipes were carried overhead, insulated. Pipes in the corridors were not covered until late in the winter of 1917 and the heating plant was inadequate. Oil stoves (over 1,000) were in use throughout the hospital. At one time the coal supply was deficient. One very cold night in February, $1,500 worth of radiators froze and burst.

Electricity was obtained from Chillicothe, Ohio, until November 1, 1917; subsequently, from Columbus. The former supply was uncertain and unsatisfactory, but the latter was excellent.

Manure was collected at a central point, sold to contractors, and loaded on freight cars.

There never was a proper hospital exchange. The one that was in existence was a part of the division exchange system, run on the concession plan, and, as such, was of no appreciable advantage to the hospital.

Buildings were constructed by the Red Cross, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Knights of Columbus, which formed part of the hospital. In them the entertainment and recreation of both patients and duty personnel were fostered.


Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, from September, 1917, to July 20, 1919, inclusive



The base hospital at Camp Zachary Taylor was located about one-half mile from the center of the camp, in Jefferson County, Ky., and about 5 miles southeast from the center of the city of Louisville. The terrain of the region is for the most part flat or slightly rolling. The land was largely under cultivation when it was taken over for cantonment purposes, but there were scattered wooded areas for a distance of from one-half to 3 miles in all directions. The soil is clayey, mixed with loam, as a result of the truck gardening which had been practiced. The soil readily pulverizes in dry weather and becomes converted into a tenacious, heavy mud after rains. Before the permanent system of roadways for the camp had been completed there was much inconvenience from both dust and mud; and even subsequent to the provision of the good roadways the dust readily carried from the camp drill grounds, one eighth mile from the hospital.

The climate of this part of Kentucky is decidedly pleasant; the winters are mild, the falls and springs are delightful, and the summers, though hot, are quite bearable.

The buildings in the camp were made ready for occupancy before work on the hospital was concentrated. While the hospital was being constructed, temporary use was made of barracks, which had been provided for a portion of the 84th Division. The first use of these barracks was made on August 20, 1917, and they were temporarily occupied until September 13, 1917. There were no emergency hospitals, but a first-aid station was established in one of the barracks of the 84th Division, where, under the direction of a civilian physician employed by the construction company, emergency treatment was given laborers engaged in construction work.

On September 13, 1917, the first of the buildings of the base hospital was occupied, and thereafter, as the necessity arose, additional wards were filled. The hospital as originally planned was completed on November 25, 1917, or at a time which was approximately three months after that when the buildings of the cantonment had been completed. In design, the hospital as it was originally constructed conformed to the plans furnished by the War Department. As at other base hospitals planned for the National Army cantonments, subsequent additions were made to augment the bed capacity. These additions included 12 two-story ward barracks; an increased number of barracks for the enlisted men, Medical Department; extra buildings for the officers and nurses; and enlargements of the various messes. There were four main corridors in the hospital, the direction of which was north and south. From these corridors the wards extended at right angles, and at intervals of about 75 feet. In the space between the fourth corridor and the neuropsychiatric pavilion, which had been located 600 feet distant from the fourth corridor, sufficient room remained to permit the erection of the 12 ward barracks. The location of these ward barracks in this area made them an integral part of the hospital, thus obviating all the difficulties incident to a greater separation of this group of convalescent buildings found to be existent at so many of the other base hospitals.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Zachary Taylor, Ky.," by Maj. H. B. McMurdo, 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.


The first officers' quarters provided accommodated but 30. It was therefore necessary to quarter the excess number of officers, on duty at the hospital, in wards until the additional quarters were provided. Similar conditions obtained with regard to the nurses. About April 1, 1918, an addition was made to the existent officers' set of quarters and an additional building was provided. A new set of quarters was also provided for the nurses, to which a later addition was made. With these provisions the quarters for both the medical officers and the nurses were inadequate, and, while the strength of the personnel was at its maximum, it was necessary to house 35 officers in one of the hospital wards and to give up two wards in their entirety to the nurses for quarters.

The general mess was adequate for at least 1,400 patients. The seating capacity of the general mess hall was 880; but, at the height of activities, the average number of patients who ate in the mess hall was 650. The detachment, Medical Department, messed separately. Until the construction of other additional sets of officers' quarters, which was begun April 1, 1918, the medical officers ate in the dining room of the patient officers' ward. Here the space was totally inadequate. Nor was there sufficient room in the officers' mess, as ultimately provided, to permit all officers to eat at one sitting. The nurses' mess was conducted in the set of quarters which had been provided for them.

Properly speaking, there was no hospital storehouse. Medical Department storehouses existed in the camp and they were used as camp and divisional medical supply depots. It was from the camp medical supply depot that supplies for the hospital were obtained from time to time as they were needed.

A chapel was constructed. It was first used for religious purposes during March, 1918. Thereafter, the only purposes to which it was put were for funeral services and formal religious ceremonies.

The water supply was an extension of that provided the camp and formed part of the water supply of Louisville. The source of the water was the Ohio River, which necessitated careful treatment to render the water potable. This purification treatment comprised sedimentation (enhanced by aluminum sulphate), chlorination, and sand filtration. The results attained were eminently satisfactory.

The sewerage system of the hospital was also a part of the camp sewerage system, which connected with the city system. Ample toilet facilities existed throughout the hospital.

The heating plant of the hospital was originally a nonreturn steam radiator system. The steam pipes, connecting the central heating plant and the various buildings, were all overhead, suspended on A trestles. During the winter of 1917-18 the advent of severe weather antedated the completion of the heating system, and there was experienced in consequence considerable discomfort and some suffering. During the extremely cold weather of the same winter there was an insufficient amount of steam pressure in the heating system to keep all parts of the hospital comfortably warmed, and it was necessary to close off some mains to insure adequate heating of only a portion of the hospital buildings. To relieve this deplorable condition, as many coal stoves as possible were obtained from the quartermaster of the camp, and to these were added oil stoves, obtained by private contributions, and they were placed in the various buildings. During the summer of 1918 the heating system was converted into


a high-pressure return system and the heating plant was enlarged. The results obtained were equivalent to an added efficiency of 50 per cent; and, thereafter, it was possible to effectually maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the hospital.

In common with the camp, the hospital was electrically lighted. The system gave thorough satisfaction at all times.

The disposal of garbage and wastes formed a part of the general system of the camp. Kitchen wastes were deposited in well covered galvanized cans which were removed daily, by a sanitary squad controlled by the quartermaster of the camp, to a central disposal plant whence it was carried away by a civilian under contract. Portions, which were unfit for use as food for hogs, were incinerated. 

The hospital exchange began its operations on October 17, 1917. Its stock on hand comprised candies and tobacco, principally, which had been obtained on credit. Its business grew, so that by midsummer, 1918, its capital amounted to $6,000.

In the convalescent ward area the Red Cross and the Young Men's Christian Association constructed recreation buildings for the use of both patients and personnel.

Within each ward there was a phonograph for which there was a supply of choice records. Frequently, entertainments were provided in the patients' mess hall, at first, then in the recreation buildings. For the convalescent patients, such games as baseball, tennis, etc., were fostered.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Ky., from September, 1917, to July 18, 1919, inclusive



Camp Travis was situated at the northeast portion of San Antonio, Tex., and was contiguous to the military reservation of Fort Sam Houston. Since the general physical characteristics of that locality have been described in connection with the history of the base hospital at Fort Sam Houston, they will not be reiterated.

The site selected for the location of the base hospital at Camp Travis was at the northern extremity of the camp, thus making it the farthest removed activity from San Antonio. It was the most elevated portion of the camp and it was therefore well drained.

The actual organization of the base hospital dates from August 22, 1917; but, as no hospital buildings were ready for occupancy at that time, use was made of the infirmary buildings in the camp. It was not until November 23, 1917, that the wards of the base hospital had been completed and it was upon this date that the hospital was opened.

The plan of the hospital conformed to the original block plan for base hospitals at National Army cantonments. Its capacity was materially increased during the year 1918, by the addition of 12 two-story ward barracks, 2 barracks for the detachment, Medical Department, a large nurses' quarters as well as 4 smaller ones, and increased space in the general kitchen and mess hall.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Travis, Tex.," by Capt. D. S. Childs, 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 the official reports from various divisions of the hospital. The history is on file in the Historical Division, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C.-Ed.


The medical officers were quartered in a one-story building which, very early in the history of the hospital, had to be enlarged. Adequate accommodations were never provided the officers, at their maximum number, and the quartering of the excess number in one of the ward barracks, was necessitated. The original set of nurses' quarters was also enlarged, and additional sets were provided.

No storehouse was controlled by the hospital. Supplies were obtained from the medical supply depot which was a part of the activities of the camp. 

There were five separate messes in the hospital. The general kitchen was used for the preparation of the food for the patients. Attached to it there was operated a special diet kitchen, in which were prepared the special articles of food for the sick. The mess for the detachment, Medical Department, was located in one of the buildings of the barracks group. The medical officers and the nurses had separate messes located in their respective quarters. There was a fifth mess, maintained in the officers' ward for the patients therein.

A chapel was constructed at the northwestern edge of the hospital group. Besides being used for funeral and church services, it was utilized by the Young Men's Christian Association to provide entertainment and indoor recreation for the members of the detachment, Medical Department.

The water supply of the hospital was a part of that of the camp. Its source was artesian wells, and it required no purification methods.

The sewerage system emptied into the camp sewerage system, which, in turn, emptied into the city sewage disposal system. Each ward of the hospital had a connecting lavatory section, in which there were adequate toilet facilities.

The group of hospital buildings was steam heated. To operate the heating system a central heating plant was provided, which, for the first year, consisted of low-pressure boilers. The experience of the winter 1917-18 amply demonstrated the inefficiency of this method of attempting to heat the buildings. To maintain a sufficient degree of heat in the wards it was necessary to totally disconnect the quarters of the entire personnel from the system. But, even with these drastic measures, it was extremely difficult to heat the buildings of the isolation section. During the midyear of 1918 new high?pressure boilers replaced the old ones, and a return system was provided. Subsequently the heating system was entirely satisfactory.

The hospital was lighted by electricity, the current for which was obtained from San Antonio. The lighting system was very satisfactorily arranged, and it operated with entire success.

A post exchange was operated by the hospital. It began to function in November, 1917, within a short time of the opening of the hospital, and soon was on a very successful basis.

The activities of the Red Cross and the Young Men's Christian Association were so divided that the Red Cross concerned itself principally with the patients and the Young Men's Christian Association with the duty personnel. Both organizations provided buildings in which to carry on their separate activities. There were provided for the personnel opportunities and material for such athletic contests as base ball, running, etc., as well as indoor entertainments. The patients likewise had access to these things.


Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Travis, San Antonio, Tex., from October, 1917, to March, 1919, inclusive



The base hospital at Camp Upton, N. Y., was located in Suffolk County, Long Island, 17 miles from Patchogue, the county seat of Suffolk, and about 65 miles east of New York City. It lay inland, about midway between Long Island Sound on the north and the Atlantic Ocean on the south. While the terrain is generally flat in all this section, the hospital buildings were located on the eastern aspect of a rolling incline of about 1 per cent. The soil is a sand loam formation, covered with pine trees of moderate size and a dense, low brush. In dry, windy weather there was much high-flying dust from the cleared areas, and after a rain there was much easily carried mud, though the trouble from the latter was partially overcome by the splendid system of connecting corridors in the hospital.

The climate in this region is temperate, though the winter of 1917-18 was unusually severe. Still, the temperature range is not great, the locality benefiting, as does all this coast region, from its close proximity to the Gulf Stream. On the whole, the climatic advantages are splendid, and the location from that viewpoint was nearly ideal for a general hospital of this type. The hospital site was completely surrounded by wooded areas, which served to protect it from the high winds which occasionally prevailed for short periods.

The roads in and about the hospital, very bad when the first buildings were occupied, were somewhat improved. They consisted partly of cinders, partly of dirt, and partly of tarred macadam. A tarred macadam road connected the main camp with the hospital. All roads leading into the camp from the surrounding country were, until the completion of the military road connecting with Merrick Road at Tangier, Long Island, dirt roads. Their condition during the spring thaw of 1918 is indescribable; and even afterwards, when the ground had dried and settled, they were still obviously very disagreeable, though, of course, negotiable.

The base hospital was organized on September 1, 1917. It was on this date that the first patient was admitted. Previous to this time, 17 patients were given hospital care in a regimental infirmary.

Prior to the construction of the hospital proper, regulation two-story barrack buildings, located in the center of the camp, were used for hospital purposes. One building was used for administration, surgery of the head, a mess for officers, a receiving office; and one building was assigned to each of the following divisions: Medicine, surgery, and genitourinary diseases. Later on, about three weeks prior to moving to the permanent buildings, the number of patients increased so rapidly that it was necessary to utilize another building. During all this time, the base hospital maintained a dispensary and clinic, and treated practically all the ambulatory cases in the whole camp.

The constructing engineers maintained an eight-bed emergency hospital for their employees. In connection with this hospital they also maintained a dispensary, civilian physicians being in attendance. The equipment was very limited and the efficiency of the institution low. It was inspected

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Upton, N. Y.," by Col. Harlow Brooks, 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.


daily by staff officers of the base hospital under direction of the commanding officer.

The first buildings of the permanent hospital were completed and occupied on November 2, 1917, the evacuation of the old buildings being accomplished in about six hours. At this time, only nine wards were available. These nine wards were fairly well equipped, and the general operating rooms were sufficiently completed to permit emergency surgery.

The officers' quarters contained 56 rooms, some of which were suitable for two men; 22 of the rooms were steam heated. During the winter of 1917-18, toilet and bathing facilities were limited and, at times, a complete failure. However, new toilets, showers, and tubs were installed later, and these, with the hot-water apparatus, increased the comforts very materially. The nurses' quarters were built on the same plan as were those for the officers. Because of the increase in the size of the detachment, Medical Department, it was necessary to construct three additional barracks.

The main mess hall and kitchen for the patients, the mess for the contagious service, that for the neuropsychiatric service, and that for the enlisted personnel, Medical Department, were all under the general supervision of one commissioned officer, who had the necessary number of assistant noncommissioned officers and enlisted men. In the main mess alone, were employed 4 noncommissioned officers, 2 dietitians, 3 cooks, and about 30 enlisted men. In this mess, all ambulant patients, except those from contagious and neuropsychiatric services, were rationed. All other patients, who for any reason were confined to the wards, were provided food rapidly transported on food wagons and trays and kept warm by steaming tables until served.

The general mess was equipped originally to feed 1,000 patients. Subsequently, equipment was added from time to time to keep pace with the increasing capacity of the hospital. Food was served to ambulant patients in the cafeteria style. This manner of serving permitted the seating of 800 patients in the mess hall at one time.

The commissioned personnel maintained their own mess, according to the usual custom. When the hospital was first occupied, the medical officers ate in the main mess hall, being served at hours when the hall was not needed for patients. After about three weeks a separate room became available in the officers' sick ward, and this room was used as a dining room until May 18, 1918, when the mess hall and kitchen in the officers' quarters was completed and occupied.

The hospital did not maintain a separate laundry. All laundry work was done at the immense cantonment laundry, which was completed on December 5, 1917. Prior to that date, the hospital laundry work was done in Brooklyn, N. Y. 

A commissioned officer was detailed to the base hospital as medical supply officer for Camp Upton and property officer for the base hospital. Three storehouses, about 120 by 36 feet, were used at first. Later, two additional houses were needed and constructed.

The hospital chapel was never used for religious services. Services for 11 sects were held in the post exchange building, until the completion of the Red Cross building, which was then used for all religious services.


The equipment furnished the hospital in the early days of its organization was not all that could be desired. However, sheets, blankets, mattresses, beds, etc., were sufficient; and while surgical and diagnostic apparatus, drugs, and sera were limited, the nearness of the hospital to New York City and the ease of communication served to provide any special equipment or supplies in any emergency that presented. Patients at no time suffered in any way through lack of care, equipment, or supplies of any sort. Ultimately, the institution was well equipped, and practically all the essential supplies were provided or procurable on short notice.

The water supply was obtained from the same source as that of the main camp. About 3 miles to the west of the camp the Government had sunk 18 deep wells. From these wells the water supply of the hospital and the entire camp was obtained. Four huge tanks of about 850,000 gallons capacity, and located sufficiently high to furnish good pressure to every building on the reservation, were used as a reservoir. The water was abundant in quantity, of an excellent quality and taste, and did not require filtration, sedimentation, or treatment of any sort.

Each ward on the inner corridors had its own individual lavatory, shower, and bathtub. On the outside corridors and between each two wards a larger lavatory with shower and tub was installed. The sewerage system of the hospital unit was connected with the sewerage system of the main camp, all sewage being conveyed to a point about 3 miles east of camp, where it was disposed of by an immense septic tank and sand filters.

The kitchen waste and all hospital garbage was at first destroyed in incinerators. Later, all kitchen waste of edible value, together with all similar waste from the wards and the entire camp, was sold by the Government to civilians for use as food for hogs. All useless waste of the hospital was incinerated.

All buildings of the hospital were heated from a central heating plant, located across the road from the rectangle, to the west of the main mess hall. The heating plant was equipped with 8 boilers, 2 of which were high pressure and 6 low pressure. It was located on the highest ground in the vicinity, and this obviously prevented any return flow. It was necessary, therefore, constantly to pump cold water into the boilers, the quantity needed in cold weather amounting to thousands of gallons daily. The cost of maintenance was thus tremendously increased and the efficiency of the plant correspondingly diminished. Several errors were made in distribution of pipe lines, which also materially diminished the plant efficiency, but these were later partly corrected. Additional boilers were installed, and the system was changed into a high-pressure return system.

Electricity for lighting the hospital was furnished by the Northport Electric Co., 14 miles distant. This company also furnished light and power to the entire camp. The current was ample and was at all times eminently satisfactory.

The hospital post exchange was opened late in November, 1917. A stock of cigars, tobacco, cigarettes, cakes, candy, etc., was kept, together with a few of the minor necessities. It was at first run on a more pretentious basis, but later was kept open only during late afternoon and early evening hours,


and was run purely for the accommodation of the enlisted personnel, Medical Department.

The work done by the Young Men's Christian Association was very beneficial to patients. It freely furnished books, periodicals, stationery, religious pamphlets, and religious advice to patients. Religious services were conducted and entertainments provided. The organization was also active in encouraging and promoting athletic games.

The American Red Cross provided a beautiful building, connecting by covered corridor with the ward corridors, so that it might be conveniently reached in all weather. The building was used for the recreation of convalescent patients. Moving pictures, vaudeville and musicales, and other forms of entertainment were provided. Perhaps the most important work of this organization was its civilian relief work; ward workers were constantly soliciting and investigating the status of dependents of soldiers and much suffering and privation was mitigated or wholly relieved.

A gymnasium was available to the enlisted personnel for indoor sports. For outdoor athletics, a baseball field and tennis courts were provided.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Upton, N. Y, from September, 1917, to July 18, 1919, inclusive



On the outskirts of Spartanburg, and at a point 19 miles due east of Camp Sevier, the site for Camp Wadsworth was chosen. The physical characteristics of the place were much the same as they were at Camp Sevier, for a description of which the reader is referred to the historical sketch of the base hospital at Camp Sevier.

The portion of the camp which was selected for the site of the base hospital was at its southwest corner. This site was adjacent to the National Highway from Spartanburg, but was farthest removed from the railroads.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Wadsworth, S. C.," by Maj. W. Barndollar, 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.


Prior to the construction of the hospital, sick of the division, mobilized at Camp Wadsworth, were hospitalized in the field hospitals attached to the division, and the necessary operative surgery was performed in the civil hospitals at Spartanburg by the personnel which had been provided for the base hospital. 

On September 1, 1917, the officers' quarters of the base hospital were completed and occupied. On October 8, 1917, the first ward of the hospital group was ready for occupancy. On this date, the base hospital was formally organized and the completed ward was put to use in the care of patients. Thereafter, so rapidly as the wards were constructed they were utilized, the last one being made available on December 18, 1917.

The officers' quarters when first used had neither water supply nor toilet facilities, and were inadequate for the personnel. Subsequent additions were made and the requisite utilities were supplied. The original nurses' quarters were, likewise, inadequate; there were accommodations for but 83 nurses. An additional set of nurses' quarters was provided in which there were 36 bedrooms, each sufficiently large to accommodate two nurses in an emergency. The mess hall of the original set of nurses' quarters was used as a dormitory, after the later set of quarters in which there was a larger mess hall had been made available.

Six barracks were provided for the enlisted men, Medical Department. The normal capacity of each of these barracks was 40 men. At one time in the history of the hospital there were 400 enlisted men of the Medical Department, and it was necessary to place 55 of them in each barrack and to house the remainder in the building which had been provided for a laundry. When the two-story ward-barracks were erected, sufficient space in them was taken to provide dormitories for the excess number of enlisted men.

At the base hospital six separate messes were conducted. These were the general mess for the enlisted patients, a mess for the isolation wards, an officer patients' mess, a mess for the detachment Medical Department, a nurses' mess, and a medical officers' mess. The general mess was at first inadequate to properly feed the large number of patients in hospital. As at other base hospitals, both increased space and equipment were provided, so that, with the use of the cafeteria style of feeding, it was ultimately possible to prepare food for and to feed, within a reasonably short period of time, 1,500 patients.

The medical supply depot, situated on the grounds of the base hospital consisted of four warehouses, 155 by 25 feet, with two small rooms, 8 by 12 feet, in each building, one at each end. Only one of the buildings was provided with sufficient shelving. There was no shelving in the other buildings.

The hospital laundry was handled at the supply depot, where it was exchanged daily for soiled linen from the various departments of the hospital. It was called for and delivered to the agent of the Asheville Laundry Co., who, in turn, delivered it to the express company at Spartanburg, for shipment to Asheville, N. C., where it was laundered and then returned. This process required an average of five days, but it was not possible to get the work done at a place nearer than Asheville.

The hospital chapel was first used for religious purposes April 7, 1918. It was thereafter used regularly each week for both the Protestant and Catholic  


services. It was also used as a hospital library, and frequently as a recreational and amusement hall, and proved to be very popular and helpful to the men of the detachment, and to the patients in the hospital.

The water supply of the base hospital was a part of the camp's water supply which was obtained from Spartanburg. There were two sources for the city's supply of water, namely, Scully Creek and Lamson Falls. From these mountain streams the water was piped to a covered reservoir, 1? miles from the city, whence it was distributed. The quantity of the water was adequate, and its quality was so good as to require no methods of purification.

No sewerage system was originally provided for the hospital. In its absence, pit latrines were used for the disposal of excreta, and surface drainage removed water from the baths. On February 5, 1918 , a sewerage system was opened. Connected with the sewerage system there were two septic tanks, one for the main group of hospital buildings and the other for the isolation wards.

Until the sewerage system was installed all liquid wastes from the kitchens were evaporated in Guthrie incinerators. Thereafter it was discharged into the sewerage system. Solid garbage was removed by civilian labor.

No heating facilities were at first provided for the hospital. After the advent of freezing weather in the fall of 1917, small sheet-iron, wood-burning stoves were installed in the buildings. These stoves proved very unsatisfactory and they were replaced by cast-iron stoves, two for each ward. These cast-iron stoves in time were found to be ineffective and were replaced by an equal number of hot-air furnaces. At the time of the installation of the hot?air furnaces facilities for regulating the ventilation of the wards-to conserve the heat-and beaver-board lining for ceilings and walls were provided. Following these improvements the temperature of the wards was more regularly maintained at a comfortable degree.

The hospital, in common with the buildings of the camp, was electrically lighted. Current for the lighting system was obtained from a public utility company of Spartanburg. The service was uniformly good.

The exchange of the hospital was opened October 8, 1917. Local merchants readily extended sufficient credit to permit a small beginning with such things as cigars, cigarettes, and candies. In the spring of 1918 the value of the stock increased to approximately $10,000. A restaurant was opened for a period of about two months and though a splendid paying feature, was closed for lack of sufficient space. A seven-chair barber shop was conducted and there was a shoe and a tailor shop connected with the exchange.

The Red Cross conducted a "hospital service" department after February 18, 1918. In May, 1918, their convalescent house was completed and opened.

Facilities for the recreation of both patients and personnel at the hospital were provided by the Red Cross and the American Library Association.

The base hospital at Camp Wadsworth was designated "General Hospital No. 42" on March 18, 1919. On March 24 it was formally opened as a general hospital for the purpose of treating patients suffering from tuberculosis whose homes were in the southeastern portion of the United States.


The authorized bed capacity of the hospital was reduced from 1,630 to 1,000, and as this size institution it continued to function until October 1, 1919, when it was formally closed and abandoned.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, S. C., from October 8, 1917, to October 1, 1919, inclusive



Camp Wheeler was situated in Bibb County, Ga., approximately 5 miles to the southeast of Macon, the county seat. The base hospital was located on the western side of the camp on high ground that had excellent natural drainage in all sections. Much of the ground within the hospital inclosure had been fertilized, plowed, and made into truck gardens. The soil was quite sandy, and though readily pulverized in dry weather, giving rise to easily carried dust, it did not form tenacious mud after rains.

The climate of this region is fairly equable. The summers are quite hot, but the winters are not rigorous. There is very little snow.  

The surroundings of the hospital were satisfactory from a sanitary viewpoint. To the west of the hospital area there was a large swamp, but this was drained and its menace as a malarial breeding place was thus removed.

On September 1, 1917, the first National Guard troops of the division began arriving. The Florida Field Hospital, which was one of the units of the division, was utilized to establish a camp hospital. This organization used its own tentage and supplies and for additional material drew on the supplies which had arrived for the base hospital. At this time work on the buildings for the base hospital had not been begun. Work on the base hospital (a 500?bed unit), was begun about September 10, and was rapidly pushed. By October 30 it had been about half completed, with perhaps 10 buildings that

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Wheeler, Ga.," by Lieut. Col. J. H. Stearns, 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.


could have been occupied. The camp hospital was expanded by the addition of more tentage and was continued in use until October, 1917, when eight single wards of the base hospital were opened for patients.

The plan of the base hospital followed the standard plans furnished by the War Department for base hospitals of National Guard camps.

For the original number of officers on duty at the hospital, the quarters constructed for them were adequate, but when this personnel was increased no additional quarters were provided and the excess number of officers were housed in convalescent ward barracks or in tents. For the nurses several buildings were constructed as quarters. There were two one-story buildings, type E, and one single building. For the student nurses a ward barrack was used for quarters. For the enlisted men there were 2 single barracks with a capacity of 50 men each and 2 ward barracks. These facilities were inadequate for the maximum number of enlisted men on duty at the hospital and it was necessary to use 60 pyramidal tents to house the excess number.

All the duty personnel and all the ambulatory patients were fed in the general mess. The cafeteria system was used for feeding the ambulatory patients and enlisted personnel, and the entire operation of the mess was very satisfactory.

Three small buildings were used for the storage of both the supplies for the base hospital and the supplies for the division in training in the camp. This space was inadequate at all times.

A laundry building was constructed, but as no equipment was supplied for it the laundry work was done by a commercial company in the city of Macon. 

All of the buildings of the hospital were heated by means of stoves. During 1918, small water heaters were installed in penthouses adjacent to the wards for the purpose of heating hot water for baths. For heating the tents which were used to quarter a portion of the detachment, Medical Department, Sibley stoves were used.

The base hospital, in common with the camp, was lighted by electricity, which was obtained from Macon. The service, because the current was subject to frequent interruptions, was not entirely satisfactory.

The water supply of the hospital was a part of the camp supply, which in turn was obtained from Macon. The source of the supply was Ocmulgee River, and since the water was contaminated it was treated by sand filtration and chlorination.

When it was determined, during the year of 1917-18, that certain of the base hospitals at National Guard camps should have a sewerage system, one was provided at the base hospital at Camp Wheeler. After its installation, which was effected about March 1, 1918, it was connected with the main sewer of the city of Macon. Prior to the installation of the sewerage system, pit latrines had to be used and they were very unsatisfactory.

Guthrie incinerators were used for the disposal of liquid wastes before the sewerage system had been installed, and at that time garbage was collected by a civilian, under contract, and removed by him. During 1918 the garbage was collected and properly disposed of by the conservation and reclamation department of the camp.

On September 12, 1917, a post exchange was opened, its stock having been obtained on credit. It was operated very satisfactorily, for at the end of the  


year 1917, after paying dividends amounting to over $3,000, there was a cash balance on hand of about $6,500.

Both the Young Men's Christian Association and the American National Red Cross constructed buildings for the entertainment and recreation of those at the hospital. In the Young Men's Christian Association building, intended primarily for the duty personnel of the hospital, various entertainments were given, including moving pictures. On Sundays religious services were held. In the Red Cross building, likewise, entertainments were given. In this building there was a limited number of rooms which were available for the friends and relatives of the seriously ill patients in the hospital. Before either of these annexes to the hospital had been provided, one of the barracks for the enlisted men had been converted into a recreation room. This room was very well equipped with furniture; a library was provided as well as various means of indoor entertainment. Outdoor games such as baseball, football, basket ball, etc., were conducted in season, for both patients and duty personnel.

Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Wheeler, Macon, Ga., from September, 1917, to March 10, 1919, inclusive


TABLE 22-Consolidated statistical data (sick and wounded, and strength of personnel) at United States Army camp hospitals