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Chapter XXXIII







In describing the general situation at the two principal ports, mention was made of the fact that the first hospital to be made available for Army use at New York was St. Mary's Hospital, Hoboken. This civil hospital occupied almost an entire city block, which was formed by the intersection of Fourth Street, Willow Avenue, Third and Clinton Streets. There were a main building and two annexes. The main building had five stories, a basement, and a roof garden; one of the annexes, originally constructed for isolation purposes, had three floors and a basement, and the other annex had three floors and a basement. This second annex, at the north end of the main building, had been used in part as a laundry, the equipment for which was on the first floor. The bed capacity of the hospital was 650.

In June, 1917, arrangements were made with the management of St. Mary's Hospital to admit the sick of the Army at the rate of $2 per day. This charge included all services except professional. Medical officers and enlisted men were assigned to the hospital to provide for the professional care of the patients.

The dual control of St. Mary's Hospital continued until July 1, 1918, when it was leased by the Government and placed entirely under military control as Embarkation Hospital No. 1.

The organization of the hospital as a military institution necessitated furnishing more officers and enlisted men and the replacement of the civilian nurses by members of the Army Nurse Corps.

The female nurses were quartered at the hospital. In the building assigned to them for quarters the general mess was operated. From here to the variously located wards the food was conveyed by means of covered food trucks. The enlisted men were quartered principally at 412 Washington Street, Hoboken. When the number of the personnel reached its maximum, at the height of activities, there was an inadequacy of space at the building on Washington Street and the excess number of men were housed in the Stevens Home, which was at that time a ward of the hospital.

During the summer of 1918 several private houses were offered for use in the care of convalescing soldiers. The offers of these private dwellings were accepted and the buildings were made convalescent wards of the hospital.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Embarkation Hospital No. 1, Hoboken, N. J.," by Lieut. Col. T. C. Quick, 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.


With the advent of the winter of 1918-19, however, their use as adjuvant portions of the hospital was discontinued. These homes were situated at Mendham, Lewellyn Park, and Berwoodsville, N. J.

When the armistice was signed the commanding officer of the hospital was notified that Embarkation Hospital No. 1 would be utilized, to an extent for debarking sick and wounded. Shortly thereafter patients from overseas were received. Successive groups of these patients were admitted to the hospital for classification and evacuation to hospitals in the interior of the United States.

The welfare activities of Embarkation Hospital No. 1 were supervised by a field director of the Red Cross. He, with a number of subordinates, managed the distribution of tobacco and other articles of comfort to the patients.

The chaplain of the hospital acted in the additional capacity of morale officer, and, due to his efforts, much entertainment was afforded the patients. 

Embarkation Hospital No. 1 was discontinued in October, 1919.

Statistical data, United States Army Embarkation Hospital No. 1, Hoboken, N. J., from July, 1918, to October, 1919, inclusive



In July, 1918, arrangements were effected whereby partial use could be made of the Hudson County institutions located on Laurel Hill, overlooking the Secaucus Station of the Erie Railroad. Secaucus is situated in the lowlands to the west of Jersey City, about midway between the hills bordering the western part of the city and the Hackensack River, and is about 4? miles from the docks of Hoboken.

The hospital buildings were of brick but were not fireproof. There was a fire-hose system on each floor of the building used by the Army, and the fire risk was not considered to be grave.

The roads about the hospital were either macadam or Belgian block; and the road to Jersey City was Belgian block for a part of the way, the remainder being asphalt and macadam.

This hospital was used as a communicable-disease hospital and to it were sent all patients suffering from communicable diseases which developed on transports or in the other military hospitals of the port of embarkation, as well as "contacts" requiring hospitalization.

The method of administering the hospital was similar to that which obtained during the early period of the use of St. Mary's Hospital. Shelter, subsistence, medical supplies, and nursing were furnished by Hudson County for the sum of $2 for each patient per day. The Medical Department supplied medical attendance, administrative officers, and enlisted men who acted in the capacity of orderlies. The food furnished by the Hudson County authorities was purchased from the Quartermaster Corps to the extent of the total commuted value of the rations of the enlisted men at the hospital.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Embarkation Hospital No. 2, Secaucus, N. J.," by Capt. W. J. Monaghan, 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.


In January, 1919, further need for this hospital ceased, and on February 8, 1919 , its military use was discontinued. The patients remaining in hospital on February 8 were transferred to Debarkation Hospital No. 1, and the personnel were distributed to the various hospitals still operating at the port of embarkation.

Statistical data, United States Army Embarkation Hospital No. 2, Secaucus N. J., from July 1, 1918, to February 20, 1919, inclusive



Embarkation Hospital No. 3 was located on Hoffman Island, a low-lying artificially made body of land, situated in New York Harbor, in that part commonly referred to as the Lower Bay. Accessible only by boat, this island made an admirable location for a hospital for the treatment of venereal diseases. Both the island and the hospital were the property of the State of New York, and, prior to their accession by the War Department, had been used as a place of detention by the quarantine officer of New York.

The buildings were old and the plumbing, heating, and lighting facilities were inadequate, but during the early period of embarkation the Medical Department looked with much favor upon the acquisition of these buildings, since it meant a relief from the serious situation regarding the bed capacity of the embarkation hospitals.

First used in December, 1917, it was known as the Army Hospital, Hoffman Island. Under this name it continued until July, 1918, when it became Embarkation Hospital No. 3.

The hospital, throughout its existence, was operated much the same as other military hospitals, with the exception that the State of New York provided the food and medical supplies, at the rate of $2 per diem per patient. The Medical Department supplied personnel for the administration of the hospital and the professional care of the patients. The Army subsisted the enlisted personnel on duty at the hospital.

In December, 1918, other and more satisfactory arrangements were made by the Medical Department for the treatment of genitourinary diseases, and Embarkation Hospital No. 3 was abandoned on January 1, 1919. The patients then in hospital were transferred to one of the other hospitals at the port.

Statistical data, United States Army Embarkation Hospital No. 3, Hoffman Island, N. Y, from July, 1918, to December, 1918, inclusive



The hospital of the New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital was leased by the Government on October 20, 1918. The hospital was located at 345 West Fiftieth Street, New York City, 3 miles from the center of activities of the port of embarkation, three blocks from Pier 90 at Fiftieth Street and Hudson River, and one-half block from the electric car lines on Eighth and Ninth Avenues. The building was an 11-story, fireproof structure of steel and concrete, and contained a basement, a cellar, and a subcellar. It had been designed for use as a hospital, and had been completed in 1912. Its ground area was 100 feet square and its gross floor space was 110,000 square feet. Within it there were 94 private rooms and wards, 4 operating rooms, and a number of rooms which had been used for clinical and didactic purposes, and which were readily convertible into wards. These rooms and wards gave a bed capacity of approximately 450. The building contained a kitchen of sufficient capacity to feed 800 persons at one meal; a bakery adequate to prepare all the bread needed for the hospital; a laundry equipped to meet all needs; and a heating plant that not only heated the building in which it was located but five dwellings adjoining the hospital. All stairways were of steel and concrete construction, and they were equipped with fire doors. There were three large elevators ample in size to accommodate stretcher cases. The institution was lighted by both gas and electricity; and, to guard against a temporary failure of the city water supply, had reserve tanks for water on its roof.

From October 20, 1918, the day it was taken over for Medical Department use, until December 18, the building was cleaned, and preparations were made for the reception of patients. During much of this period of time the main hospital building was used as quarters for nurses who were being mobilized for duty overseas. There were a few patients in hospitals representing members of the command, nurses from overseas, etc.; but on December 19, 1918, the hospital was formally opened by the admission of 176 patients from overseas.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Embarkation Hospital No. 4, New York City," by Lieut. Col. J. L. Robinson, 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.


Thereafter, the hospital, though designated an embarkation hospital, functioned principally as a debarkation hospital. On August 15, 1919, the hospital was abandoned.

Statistical data, United States Army Embarkation Hospital No. 4, New York City, N. Y.,  from November 4, 1918, to August 15, 1919, inclusive



Ellis Island comprises three parts known as island No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3, respectively. The group lies midway between Brooklyn and Jersey City, practically at the head of the New York Bay, and about 1? miles from New York City. Two of the islands are artificial, and the buildings upon them have been erected on piling.

The buildings on Ellis Island had been used by the Bureau of Immigration, principally, but partly by the United States Public Health Service.

On February 21, 1918, the Secretary of Labor, in a letter to the Secretary of War, agreed to the partial use of the buildings by the Medical Department of the Army and designated portions of the group that were available. At that time there were 109 patients on the island, representing immigrants and enlisted men of the United States Navy. The hospital, with its patients, was turned over to the Army on March 8, 1918, and the commanding officer of Debarkation Hospital No. 1 assumed charge, relieving the Public Health Service from all responsibility for the care of both patients and property.

The following use was made of the portions of Ellis Island transferred to Army control: Island No. 1 was used primarily as quarters for the enlisted men on duty at the hospital, and for 260 patients; island No. 2, used as the administrative center, contained wards for 280 patients of a surgical character; and island No. 3 was used for 500 patients, in separate wards, located in buildings of one or two stories each. The officers on duty at the hospital were quartered in the buildings of island No. 3, while the nurses were quartered on the third floor of the building on island No. 2.

The buildings occupied practically all the space on the islets, and there was no possibility for expansion. Connecting the buildings, one with another, were covered ways.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Debarkation Hospital No. 1, Ellis Island, N. Y.," by Maj. C. R. Haig, 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.


On each island there was a kitchen which was used for the preparation of food for patients, as well as the duty personnel. The officers had a dining room on island No. 3, the nurses' mess hall was on island No. 2, and the mess hall of the detachment, Medical Department, was on island No. 1. Each group thus had a dining hall in close proximity to its respective quarters. The equipment of the kitchens was mainly that transferred by the Public Health Service.

All departments of the hospital were directly connected with the public waterworks of Jersey City. The water, as supplied, was found to be consistently of excellent quality and of a low bacterial count.

All the buildings contained modern plumbing. The sewage emptied immediately into the surrounding body of water.

For the disposal of garbage, brick incinerators had been constructed on island No. 1. These incinerators satisfactorily disposed of all solid wastes not discharged into the sewerage system.

Each building was comfortably heated by steam that was supplied from the heating plant operated by the Immigration Service.

The lighting of the hospital was by electricity, likewise supplied by the Immigration Service from a power plant on the island. The form of current furnished was 220 volt, direct. The lighting system was only fairly satisfactory. 

When the hospital was transferred to the Medical Department there was sufficient equipment for 500 patients. This equipment was increased to make it adequate for the care of 1,000 patients.

On March 23, 1918, a hospital exchange was started without capital. Subsequently, in addition to its retail department, it conducted a three-chair barber shop, a tailor shop, and a laundry.

During the summer months of 1918 the Red Cross maintained a large tent on island No. 3. Here during the hot days the patients gathered for entertainment or to visit with their friends. At night there were performances of various sorts for the benefit of the patients. In the fall of 1918 the construction of a large fireproof building was begun on island No. 2. This building was completed and ready for use on Christmas day following.

There was no separate building provided by the Young Men's Christian Association, but space was given this organization in the building on island No. 1, where a well-equipped library and reading and writing room were established. There were also musical instruments, pool tables, etc., for the use of members of the detachment as well as the patients. A moving picture apparatus supplied ample evening entertainment.

Since the hospital buildings occupied practically all the available space on the islets, there was little possibility for outdoor recreation. During the summer months the only means of recreation were swimming, boxing, and other forms of outdoor contests which could be carried on in the very limited space. 

This hospital was closed on June 30, 1919, in compliance with a request of the Secretary of Labor, addressed to the Secretary of War on April 1, 1919.


Statistical data, United States Army Debarkation Hospital No. 1, Ellis Island, N. Y., from August, 1918, to June 30, 1919, inclusive



Early in the war it was the plan of the Surgeon General to begin the provision of the debarkation hospital facilities at the port of New York in order that, when the time came, facilities would be available at that port for the reception and temporary treatment of the returned overseas sick and wounded.1 Several properties in the vicinity of New York City were considered. Two tracts on Staten Island, the Mathews site and the Fox Hills site, were chosen as being more suitable than any others. They were both carefully inspected and the latter was selected for the site of the debarkation hospital.

The site was high and rolling and comprised 158 acres situated at Rosebank, near the quarantine dock on the northeastern portion of the island opposite The Narrows. It was 15 minutes by motor from St. George Ferry and approached by good macadam roads.2

On November 8, 1917, the Surgeon General recommended the leasing of the various properties constituting the site.3 This was approved by the Secretary of War on the 10th of that month,3 and on the 15th the Quartermaster General was requested to execute the leases as approved.4 Although the site was hilly and, therefore, rather difficult and somewhat expensive for temporary construction, it was approved by those concerned and the leases were proceeded with.

The total yearly rental to the various lessors was $18,656.5 Four of the lessors tendered their properties at $1 per year; the remainder were commercial leases. By December 18, 1917, most of the leases had been secured.

Meanwhile, further study was given to the planning of the hospital and the general question of the handling of debarking sick, and, as a result, preliminary plans were prepared for a hospital larger than any hitherto constructed for the War Department in the United States.2 Special attention was given to the requirements of the receiving building. It was so planned as to permit the physical examination and the necessary record work incident to the admission of large numbers; and a portion of it was planned to facilitate the discharge of patients en route to the general hospitals of the interior. In conjunction with and attached to it, to unify operation, the laundry, disinfecting, and dry?cleaning buildings were arranged. The latter, a new departure in Army hospital construction, was planned to afford a much-needed utility. In general, the plans of the hospital were the same as for the base hospitals in the cantonments, but the kitchens and mess halls were larger, thus giving the hospital greater expansion possibilities than there were in the other hospitals.6 These preliminary plans were sent to the Quartermaster General in December, 1917, with request for construction.7

The preliminary construction work began in January, 1918, when a spur track was built from the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railroad. This facilitated the construction of the hospital which was to follow and which was carried on as rapidly as weather and other conditions permitted. As originally planned and constructed, the capacity of the hospital was 1,912 beds for sick and accommodations for 40 commissioned officers, 180 nurses, and 440 enlisted personnel. In all, there were approximately 70 buildings.6




A portion of the hospital was completed for occupancy in the early summer of 1918, and by midsummer the hospital, except for certain additions requested, was entirely complete. Six one-story wards and 2 two-story wards were added in the fall of 1918; 6 wards, already constructed, were altered for the treatment of psychiatric cases, and an automatic fire-alarm system was installed.8 The total cost was $2,600,000.

This hospital was one of four where, due to the scarcity of lumber and shipping facilities, large quantities of insulite, a substitute for lumber, were used in its stead in the erection of buildings. Late in 1918 over $50,000 was spent in the application of stucco and paint over the insulite of which many of the buildings were constructed.8

On March 14, 1918, the hospital was designated "United States Army General Hospital No. 10,"9 and on May 10, 1918, it was designated "Base Hospital, Fox Hills, Staten Island," and placed under the commanding general of the Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, N. J.10 It was opened in June, 1918, and was designated "United States Army Debarkation Hospital No. 2,"11 but it was not until October, 1918, that any considerable number of overseas sick and wounded was handled there. Starting with about 50 patients in October, the number reached 229 before the end of the month.12 By the end of November the number had reached 1,500.12 From November, 1918, until March, 1919 (at which time it was taken from the port and made General Hospital No. 41),13 the number of sick in hospital varied from 400 to 1,800.12 The number was never the same two weeks in succession, due to the sudden and frequent arrivals of large numbers from France or to the rapid evacuation of large numbers to the various general hospitals throughout the United States. Within the week of January 4 to 10, 1919, the high and low points varied over 1,200.12



Statistical data, United States Army Debarkation Hospital No. 2, Fox Hills, Staten Island, N. Y., from July, 1918, to February, 1919, inclusive



Debarkation Hospital No. 4 consisted of the Nassau Hotel and several adjoining buildings of minor consequence, situated at Long Beach, Long Island, 25 miles from New York City. The Hotel Nassau was a 7-story fireproof building with a 2-story annex, and it contained 400 rooms above the first floor. The building had been erected directly on the beach, facing the ocean, and was 300 feet long and 140 feet wide. In addition to being fireproof, it was well supplied with fire extinguishers and fire lines with outlets on each floor. It was reached by the Long Island Railroad, the station being five blocks from the hotel.14

The ground floor contained the mechanical department, including the heating, lighting, power plant, laundry, paint shop, storerooms, kitchen, bakery, servants' dining rooms, grill room, barber shop, etc.14 The main floor, surrounded by a large covered veranda, contained the main lobby, reception corridor, ballroom, main dining room, several large private dining rooms, offices, etc.14 The remaining were the sleeping floors containing, with the exception of the sixth, 50 bedrooms each.14 On the sixth floor there were 104 rooms, 4 dormitories, and outdoor sleeping facilities.14 In the two-story annex there were additional sleeping rooms.14 This hotel had been inspected by an officer from the Surgeon General's Office in the fall of 1917, with a view to its use as a general hospital. Negotiations concerning its rental or purchase consumed much time throughout the fall of 1917. The first offer demanded $150,000 rental per year, the purchase of the furniture and equipment at $210,000, the necessary renovation and alteration at $71,500, and an additional $25,000 to restore the property after War Department occupancy had ceased.15 It was decided not to lease this property, but to look elsewhere for hospital facilities, as the above stipulations could not be met by the War Department.


On December 4, 1917, the president of the Nassau Hotel Co. made another offer to lease the hotel to the Government for $150,000 and the purchase of the equipment at $100,000 to $140,000, or the sale of it to the Government for $1,150,000.16 Neither of these propositions was acceptable to the War Department and again negotiations failed.

Until the spring of 1918 it had been the intention to use this hotel, should it be acquired, for general hospital purposes, but by the spring of 1918 the necessity for increasing the number of beds in the port of New York becoming more acute, and with negotiations still unsettled, it was decided, should it be possible to secure it, to use the Nassau Hotel as a debarkation hospital for that port. Accordingly, on May 22, the Surgeon General, for the first time recommended the leasing of this property at not to exceed $125,000 a year. As a result of the surveys made prior to this date, it was reported to have a capacity of 1,300 beds.16 It was not contemplated to purchase the equipment at this time. The lease was approved on June 12,16 preliminary arrangements were made to take possession after September 5, and the rental figure was agreed upon at $105,000 a year.17

Arrangements having been finally completed, the hotel was taken over in September, 1918, and on the 19th of that month was designated "Debarkation Hospital No. 4" and assigned to the jurisdiction of the commanding general of the Port of Embarkation, Hoboken.18

On August 14 a complete survey had been made of the hotel with a view to determining what alterations would be required for its use as a hospital. Based upon the plans prepared, the Surgeon General recommended the expenditure of $25,000.19 Renovation and construction work began soon after September 25, 1918, when those to be in charge of this work arrived. The work done consisted particularly of repairs to the heating plant, the installation of new radiation on the seventh floor to render it habitable in winter for the personnel on duty at the hospital, the installation of a diet kitchen on each floor, some plumbing alterations and installations throughout the building, the erection of necessary partitions, some painting, and the installation of additional kitchen equipment.20 The work was practically completed in December of 1918 and cost $24,889.

The hospital was not put to use during the period of renovation. Conditions at the port of New York in respect to bed space in debarkation hospitals, which previously appeared to be inadequate, now, in December, 1918, proved to be well taken care of. Consequently, when it became available, it was not required for debarking sick. The Surgeon General then recommended that it be designated as a general hospital and placed directly under the control of the War Department, and on December 9, 1918, it became General Hospital No. 39.21

As General Hospital No. 39 it was opened in January, 1919, with a capacity of 500 beds, and a small number of sick was immediately sent there.22 By March the number of sick constantly in the hospital had increased to 500.22 In the meantime, however, February, 1919, the general bed situation in general and base hospitals in the United States was becoming less acute. The Surgeon General's policy for some time had been to use the base hospitals in cantonments as well as the general hospitals for the care of the overseas sick. While there were many sick yet to be returned from France, the date upon which the peak load would be reached had been predicted and had just been reached. On


February 19, 1919, the Surgeon General, under the terms of the lease, recommended cancellation of all leases and the abandonment of the hospital,23 much as it was desired to operate it for the sick through the coming summer season. Patients and personnel were to be removed by April 1. It was contemplated to remove all property and to deliver the buildings to the lessor on April 30. This recommendation was approved and carried out. The sick, meanwhile, having been reduced to a small number by successive stages, were transferred, prior to the removal of Government property and the surrender of the buildings.24

Statistical data, United States Army Debarkation Hospital No. 4, Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N.Y., from October, 1918, to March, 1919, inclusive



On September 16, 1918, the building formerly known as the Grand Central Palace was designated "Debarkation Hospital No. 5," by General Orders, No. 111, Headquarters, Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, N. J. A lease bearing the date September 1, 1918, had been executed by the Government on September 3, at a time when the floors of the building were still in use by tenants. The building was of the loft type of architecture and was considered highly adaptable to hospital purposes. It was located in New York City and covered the entire block from Forty-sixth to Forty-seventh Street on Lexington Avenue, and extended west to Depew Place, a private right of way of the New York Central Railroad. On the east and west the building was 200 feet in height and on the north and south sides it was 272 feet high. It was within one block of the Grand Central Terminal, 1 mile distant from the Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal, and was within easy access of all the docks of Manhattan. The structure was classed as a 12-story fireproof building; its walls were made of steel and light-faced brick, trimmed with terra cotta; and all of its floors except the first three were of cement. The first, second and third floors were of fireproof wooden construction. The total floor area of the building was 600,000 square feet.

On September 18, 1918, the constructing quartermaster forwarded to the Construction Division, War Department, a $215,000 estimate, covering the alterations deemed necessary to convert the building to hospital purposes. Revised plans were received September 20, 1918, but it was not until October 3 that actual work on alteration was begun. The building, being in good general condition and readily adaptable to the purpose intended, obviated any structural changes. The revised plans, however, called for partitions, plumbing, and other fixtures. Numerous baths and showers were installed, the work conforming in a large measure, in finish and construction, to that of the base hospitals in cantonments. The existing building was disturbed as little as possible.

The many partitions referred to were required to divide the floors into wards, toilet sections, cafeterias, a post exchange, gymnasium, assembly room, a theater, closets, kitchen, and storeroom departments, in addition to the various offices and recreation rooms. These partitions were made of semifireproof plaster board and extended to a height of about 7 feet, being topped by a 2 by 6 inch rider, though in some instances they extended from the floor to the ceiling.

All the wards were well ventilated and heated and had abundant light on two sides. In each of the east wards there was a floor space of over 10,000 square feet, while in each of the smaller or west wards there was a floor area of about 8,000 square feet. A large recreation room was located between two of the main wards on each floor and was so placed as to give a view of the eastern part of the city and the East River. Each floor used for wards had two quiet rooms, two toilet and service sections, as well as a cafeteria dining room. Offices, living rooms, and closets were conveniently and amply provided. The toilet sections comprised a ward toilet section with 6 closet bowls, 1 urinal,

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Debarkation Hospital No. 5, New York City," by Capt. J. D. Caldwell, 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.




1 double lavatory, a shower, and tub bath; a utility room with flushing hopper; a nurses' toilet room with 2 closet bowls; an officers' toilet with 1 bowl. The typical ward floor had 370 beds, and the bed capacity of the entire hospital was 3,500.

The twelfth floor differed from the typical floor plan in that it was somewhat smaller. There was less light because of restricted window space and because of the obstruction caused by the overhanging roof. The eleventh floor also differed from the typical ward floor in that it was subdivided into smaller wards, there being 10 in all, varying in capacity from 2 to 25 beds. On this floor were diet kitchen, living rooms, offices, and conveniently located compartments. In the center were located the dispensary and the pharmacists' room. The dispensary was large and commodious, was well supplied with the needs of the hospital, and was always well kept.

The surgical section, X-ray, dental, ear, nose and throat, eye, genitourinary, dressing departments with four sterilizers, two separate pairs of operating rooms (between each of which there was a sterilizing and wash-up room), the morgue, autopsy rooms, three wards, the laundry, the Carrel-Dakin room, and the surgeon's office were all located on the third floor.

The first or main floor was one of the most important in the building. Here were located the receiving and evacuating rooms, the kitchen, and the kitchen storerooms, the Red Cross offices, officers' lavatory, the nurses' locker room and lounge, and the chaplain's office.

The basement, on the east, was at the level of Lexington Avenue. Many offices were located here, which included the quartermaster department, and in addition there were the sterilizer, the ice plant, telephone exchange, carpenter's room, guardhouse, and the street level for the elevators.

The Lafayette House, at 112 East Fifty-Ninth Street, formerly the German Club, was operated as an auxiliary to this hospital and was used as an officers' ward. This building was equipped by the American Red Cross and was operated by them, except that the control and treatment of the patients was maintained by the hospital. The building was adequate for the care of convalescent officers but had no equipment for the care of the seriously sick or injured.

In December, 1918, the Bible Teachers' Training School, a block away from the hospital, was leased for nurses' quarters.

The principal difference between this hospital and Debarkation Hospital No. 3 was that in the Grand Central Palace building it was necessary to establish a floor unit arrangement. The Greenhut building had but 6 stories, all of which intercommunicated by means of 12 elevators and 6 stairways, thus permitting ambulant sick and personnel to come to meals at the central mess hall without overtaxing the elevators or producing a great amount of noise on the stairways. The Grand Central Palace had 12 stories and but 9 elevators and 4 stairways. Since it was essential that noise be kept at a minimum the constant use of the stairways by large numbers was precluded. If the mess hall had been established on the first floor the second floor only could be excluded from the numbers that would have had to use the elevators, since it could be expected that only those on the floor above the mess hall would utilize the stairway when coming to meals. To have reduced the number using the elevators, by establishing the mess hall on the sixth floor, so as to require those from the fifth and seventh  


floors to use the stairways, would have necessitated establishing the cooking facilities on the same floor, to which there were too many practical obstacles.

The kitchen was installed on the first floor. It extended from the service storage end of the building to the service elevators which connected with the floors above. Service and mess rooms were then provided each floor, adjoining the service elevators. Each serving room was equipped to receive food from the main kitchen, to serve it from steam tables to the patients' mess or the cafeteria counter, to make up the trays for the bed patients, and to wash and store necessary dishes and utensils.

The initial installation of the floor unit was more expensive; it cost more to operate it; and it occupied more space than the centralization of these activities necessitated, such as was the case at the Greenhut Building. It operated with entire satisfaction.  


The American National Red Cross was placed in charge of the general information bureau which concerned patients as well as visitors. The location of the hospital in the heart of New York, as well as the fact that the building had a reputation of being a former show place, attracted many visitors. The Red Cross completely equipped many recreation rooms in the hospital and provided personnel for them. To carry on its work the Red Cross was organized into the following departments: A home service, a, department for entertainment and outside recreation, an educational department, a social service department, the information bureau for questions of compensation and war-risk insurance, and an information bureau concerning recreation work and vocational education.

The American Library Association operated in conjunction with the Red Cross and supplied an immense number of daily newspapers, books, and much reading matter for the patients.

On June 2, 1919, the last patient was received, and on June 16 the last patient was evacuated. The work of removing medical supplies had already started and the property was rapidly being removed when, on June 30, 1919, the hospital was officially closed and the work of dismantling and restoring the building to its original status was begun.

Statistical data, United States Army Debarkation Hospital No. 5, Grand Central Palace, New York City, from December, 1918, to June 30, 1919, inclusive



Situated almost midway between the small towns of Cresskill and Dumont, three-fourths of a mile due west, the base hospital at Camp Merritt was pleasantly located in the southeastern part of Bergen County, N. J. Englewood was the nearest large town, about 5 miles distant, and Hoboken, the port of embarkation, lay 14 miles to the south. Both Cresskill and Dumont contained railroad stations. A spur of the Erie Railroad passed through Cresskill, and Dumont was pierced by the main line of the West Shore Railroad, running from Weehawken, through Dumont, west.

The ridge on which Camp Merritt and the base hospital were situated runs north and south, with a general declivity to the south. The terrain dips moderately toward the west and sharply to the east. To the east, west, and south of the hospital the country was wooded, with alternating stretches of open ground. There was excellent natural drainage, and there was no marsh country within 10 miles of the hospital.

The soil of the region is a light sandy loam with a slight mixture of some gravel. It is neither so friable as to cause high-flying dust in dry seasons nor so compact as to create a tenacious mud after rains.

The climate is typically that of the New England States; that is to say, it is hot in summer, cold in winter, mild during the intervening months, but invigorating throughout. This is not a region of high winds. The usual thing is for a light breeze to blow either from the west or north.

The roads about the base hospital were in the usual condition of dirt roads at the time of the organization of the hospital. They were good in good weather and very bad after rains. During the summer of 1918 concrete roads were laid to the extent of 1,117 yards; macadam roads, 1,350 yards; cinder roads, 660 yards; and 2,450 yards of road were improved. The interior roads of the hospital were constructed of crushed stone, tarvia covered.

In the latter part of August, 1917, some of the barracks of the camp had been roofed. In these accommodations were obtained for members of the

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Merritt, N. J.," by Maj. J. I. Sloat, 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.


Medical Department assigned to the base hospital. From Madison Barracks came 3; from Fort Hancock, 12 men, with 2 noncommissioned officers. This handful constituted the enlisted personnel until October 6, 1917, when 30 men arrived from Fort Ethan Allen, Vt. During the month of September the few men on duty at the hospital were messed by the Red Cross Society at Englewood, N. J., their food being brought by motor car. They slept in the half?completed barracks.

While the hospital was in the course of construction throughout the summer and fall of 1917 the 12-bed hospital and dispensary fitted up by the contractors, at their own expense for the use of their own men, was made use of to care for medical cases, accidents, etc., occurring among civilian help. Accidents were not uncommon at that time, and members of the medical detachment were assigned to duty in turn to work in this dispensary and hospital for the sake of the training afforded in emergency work. The Red Cross Society at Cresskill, 1 mile east of the hospital, offered the use of its building in October, 1917, as a temporary hospital, and some patients were transported thither by ambulance. During November, troop movements through Camp Merritt, which was then beginning to take its place among the embarkation camps, became a matter of importance to the camp hospital because of the number of sick attached to these moving organizations that were dropped for immediate medical attention. In the absence of adequate local hospital quarters the serious cases were sent to St. Mary's Hospital, Hoboken, N. J., a distance of about 14 miles, by combined ambulance and train service. This necessitated too much handling of patients and too long a trip for the very sick, and on December 19, 1917, through verbal instructions from the surgeon, port of embarkation, the commanding officer of the hospital took over two wards in the civil hospital at Englewood, N. J., for the use of sick soldiers, the Medical Department furnishing the supplies for them. This meant a journey of 5 miles only, entirely by ambulance, the fatigue of which could be well borne. This arrangement with the Englewood Hospital continued to operate until the opening of the base hospital on January 9, 1918.

No definite date can be easily fixed upon as the date of organization of the base hospital. On October 29, 1917, a commanding officer of the base hospital was designated. This was, perhaps, the date of organization of the hospital, for an officer was assigned charge of the medical service, another was made acting chief of the surgical service, and a third combined the duties of commanding officer of the Medical Department detachment and the adjutant. It was well on toward the month of December, 1917, however, before the staff of the base hospital had been augmented sufficiently to care for the needs of the hospital service. On January 9, 1918 , the base hospital was formally opened with a personnel of 20 commissioned officers, 11 nurses, 97 enlisted men, and a bed capacity of 416.

The standard type was adopted for the buildings of the hospital. The wards were 166 by 25 feet, with screened-in porches on two sides. The first building of wards, which was the first stage of construction for the hospital, was in the form of a 4-sided figure, the 16 wards forming in their 2 batteries of 8 wards on a side, the east and west sides of the figure; the administration building, officers' quarters, and receiving ward the north side of the line; while  


the mess hall, kitchen, post exchange, and medical supply warehouse No. 1 roughly constituted the south line. These buildings with the auxiliary structures for quarters, chapel, morgue, laundry, garage, power house, etc., constituted the first stage in the construction of the base hospital, answering to the need of a 500-bed institution.

Without pause the second stage of construction was entered upon in the spring of 1918. The additional buildings erected then comprised 16 wards, extending the original side of the quadrangle farther to the south, one extensive officers' ward with kitchen and mess room attached; an elbow to one of the wards; warehouse No. 2; a wing on the northeast and a wing on the northwest corner of the mess hall, doubling the seating capacity thereof; additions to the receiving ward to afford additional space for men's belongings; three additional barracks and a bathhouse for the quarters for the personnel.

Although the construction itself can be strictly divided into its four proper stages, it is by no means easy to affix to each stage a definite date of commencement, for the reason that every stage was overlapped by the stage that preceded or followed. Thus the third stage, wherein the effort was almost localized to the southern portion of the hospital, was begun before the second stage was half completed in the early summer of 1918. At this time the convalescent wards or ward barracks, with a large kitchen and mess hall, were constructed. The new wards were in part shaded by the trees of the original woods, which were cut and trimmed with that end in view. A new set of officers' quarters was also added at this time at the northwest portion of the hospital area. It was fitted with two bathhouses, a library, sleeping room, and a large reception room. An extensive addition was made to the nurses' quarters and connected with the hospital proper by covered corridor.

The sweeping epidemic of influenza which so taxed the utmost resources of the Camp Merritt base hospital during the months of September and October, 1918, when 3,800 beds and cots were occupied by sufferers from influenza and its sequel?, found the fourth stage of construction so well advanced that nine new wards were completed and equipped to receive this influenza rush. Fortunately the property officer, with sufficient foresight, had acquired supplies of mattresses, bedding, etc., well in advance of the need of the moment, anticipating some such strain. Everything except sufficient iron beds was on hand. Cots were lent by the Quartermaster Department, and by utilizing the verandas and all idle space in the wards the hospital was able to take care of 3,800 patients on a normal bed capacity of 2,500. The fourth stage of construction included also a new isolation ward on the northeast corner of the group of four; a new warehouse to the rear of warehouse No. 1; a new diet kitchen; enlargement of the general mess by means of a double extension on each end, doubling the already increased seating capacity; and a new wing on the east end of the receiving ward, making it adequate for the storage of 2,565 separate packages of soldiers' effects. The administration building also was enlarged by a new wing, which made a single well-lighted room with daylight on both sides of its length, for use of the service-record department and the sick-and-wounded department.

A standard mess hall, general kitchen, diet kitchen, barber shop, and storeroom, planned for the requirements of a 500-bed hospital, were installed at  


Camp Merritt and necessarily underwent several phases of enlargement and reconstruction on the many calls for more room and more efficient service. When the hospital was opened on January 9, 1918, the food for the personnel and for all patients except those requiring special diets was prepared in the mess kitchen. Meals were then served in an established order, namely, to the patients in the ward first, then to the ambulant patients able to walk to the mess hall, and then to the duty personnel. The food for those patients who required special diets was prepared in the diet kitchen. The nurses ate in a mess hall of their own, which was located in the building assigned to them for use.

In the early spring of 1918, the period corresponding to the second stage of reconstruction, the general mess hall was enlarged by the addition of two end wings which converted the original T-shaped room into an E-shaped one, and provided a seating capacity of 750. Shortly after, it became apparent that the new wards in process of construction in the wooded area at the south of the hospital group would require a separate mess hall, a general kitchen, and a diet kitchen. A request for the construction of these additional messing facilities was accordingly made and in the latter part of July, 1918, this building was completed and placed in operation. In the early autumn of 1918 the final enlargement of the general mess hall and kitchen was effected by converting the E-shaped mess hall into a rectangular figure, providing a seating capacity of 1,150, and by adding to the main kitchen the space previously occupied by the adjacent diet kitchen, through the elimination of the partition that had separated the two, and the installation there of steam cooking apparatus for use in the general mess. Meanwhile a new diet kitchen was under construction. This new diet kitchen, which was opened in September, 1918, in good time for the influenza epidemic which followed in the succeeding month, had received very close attention on the part of the personnel of the hospital, and the care bestowed on this adjunct was well repaid by the excellent service later rendered. At the time of its opening about 300 light diets, 80 liquid diets, 10 soft diets, and 3 special diets were served therefrom daily. During the epidemic of influenza and pneumonia that followed, the maximum daily service from this single kitchen was 1,700 light diets, 400 liquid diets, 50 soft diets, and 13 special diets. The location of the new diet kitchen was selected from the special viewpoint of the necessities of the special-diet service; that is to say, it had adequate outside light, it was surrounded by porches, there were corridor connections for the use of orderlies carrying meals to patients, and there was proper equipment for the storage of food and its preparation for special diets.

With the exception of the head nurse, practically the entire nursing personnel at the base hospital was composed of nurse units arriving at this hospital for training in Army work prior to their departure for duties overseas. The chief nurse arrived for duty at the hospital on January 6, 1918, a day before the nurses' quarters at the hospital were ready for occupancy. She and several assistants slept this first night in one of the office buildings and moved to the nurses' quarters the day following. Accommodations in the nurses' quarters were at first of the crudest. For five days, while the dining room was being prepared, the nurses' meals were supplied from the enlisted men's mess. After 


that the nurses had their own mess in their quarters and ate food prepared in their own kitchen.  Before the end of January, 48 nurses were domiciled at the nurses' quarters. On February 10, 1918, the additional nurses and night nurses made it imperative that the building subsequently used as the post exchange be turned over to the nursing staff and fitted up for their use. Within a few weeks these quarters were outgrown, and on March 31 the nursing staff, then numbering 77, was given an additional set of quarters at the southern portion of the hospital. To this additional set of quarters the construction of an enlargement was completed by May 3, 1918, adding to the existent accommodations 87 rooms for nurses and 9 rooms for servants.

In August the Red Cross presented to the base hospital a fine nurses' recreation house, built and equipped at a cost approximating $10,000. The recreation house contained all the comforts and many of the refinements of home life and included a library, reception room, suitable for dances, and a kitchen with modern conveniences. The recreation house was utilized to great advantage during the epidemic of influenza in September and October, 1918. On September 22, the day when the epidemic really got started at the hospital, an immediate call was made for additional nurses. Immediately these nurses began to arrive from the different replacement units then mobilizing in New York City. In order to accommodate the extra number, 34 cots were placed in the nurses' Red Cross Recreation House, in addition to 100 which were placed in the Red Cross Convalescent House. On November 1, 1918, a large and handsome private residence in the vicinity of the base hospital was requisitioned as an additional nurses' quarters. This dwelling accommodated 38 nurses quite satisfactorily and served to relieve the congestion in the dining room of the main nurses' house.

A laundry building 25 by 125 feet was erected coincidently with the original buildings of the hospital group, and prior to the date of the opening of the hospital it had been provided with laundry machinery. Unfortunately, the machinery was of a type adequate for a 100-bed hospital only. Consequently, the building could be used only as a place for the exchange of clean for soiled linen. By authority of the Surgeon General dated January 12, 1918, the laundry work of the hospital was done by a commercial laundry at Hackensack, N. J. The arrangement was entirely satisfactory, but by the end of February, 1918, the Government had taken over for its own use a large laundry at Hoboken, and on March 1, 1918, the base hospital laundry work was transferred to Hoboken daily by means of a motor-truck service. This service, thoroughly satisfactory in its practical results, continued throughout the existence of the hospital. It is of interest to know that the bill for laundry work done for the hospital for the month of October, 1918, was $11,000.

The hospital chapel was also among the first buildings to be erected. It was used daily for funeral services for patients dying at the hospital, but at different times it was put to other uses. During the influenza epidemic in October, 1918, the dead which exceeded the capacity of the adjoining mortuary were placed in the chapel while awaiting disposition.

For the storage of the medical supplies required by the base hospital there were provided three warehouses located south of the main portion of the hos-  


pital. Each building was 25 by 125 feet. To one of them was added an annex of equal dimensions for the use of issues and current stock only.

An efficient sterilizing plant consisting of one permanently installed sterilizer and one portable sterilizer was installed in the south end of the laundry building. The portable sterilizer was never used as a portable apparatus, but was converted into a stationary machine by affixing it to the exterior of the building and connecting it with the steam pipe from the central heating plant. The sterilizing for the whole camp was accomplished at the base hospital. Four men on duty constituted the personnel assigned for this work.

It was early recognized that a post exchange would materially add to the satisfaction of the enlisted personnel and to the comfort of the convalescent patients, and a beginning was made in February, 1918, in a small room intended as a storeroom of the general mess hall. The mess officer started the post exchange with $50 of his own funds. The business of the exchange rapidly outgrew its confined quarters and in the latter part of May, 1918, it was transferred to a building facing the general mess hall on the north. A general stock of goods of all kinds was carried. The value of the business done averaged in gross sales $500 daily. At one end of the post exchange building there was a hospital barber shop, equipped with seven modern chairs, hot and cold water service, electric attachments, sanitary white enamel fixtures, and nickeled plumbing. The sterilizing of brushes and instruments was carefully performed and a condition of spotless cleanliness prevailed throughout.

On March 26, 1918, a site was allotted by the commanding officer of the hospital upon which to erect the Red Cross house for convalescent patients. This house was completed and furnished by June 27, 1918, at a cost of $24,000 and was turned over to the commanding officer of the hospital on that day, to be used for the benefit of patients. The building was designed in the form of a cross, the large central space forming the assembly room.  It was equipped with comfortable chairs, rugs, tables, reading matter, writing materials, a piano, etc., and was later provided an excellent library donated by the American Library Association. One arm of the building connected directly with the corridors along which the patients, under cover in wet weather, walked to the Red Cross house through the convalescent wards adjoining. One arm was filled by a stage for entertainments of various sorts, at either side of which there was a dressing room for the convenience of performers. A small canteen where candy and tobacco were purchasable was situated just off the central space on the ground floor. The offices of the house director and of the social service worker occupied the two remaining arms of the building. The upper story was divided into 12 bedrooms, some of which were used for the Red Cross staff and some were held unoccupied as emergency bedrooms for relatives of soldiers sick in hospital.

The water supply of the base hospital and Camp Merritt was the Hackensack River. The water was furnished by the Hackensack Water Co. from its watershed 3 miles north of Camp Merritt. A pumping station near the town of New Milford, controlled and policed by the military authorities, drew the water from the Hackensack River into a sediment reservoir, from which it flowed through modern filters to storage tanks, where it was treated by chlorination. After this process it was pumped into the large mains that dis-


tributed it to the camp, to the hospital, and to the surrounding towns that lay within a radius of 16 miles. Frequent analyses showed the water to be of the highest quality.

The sewerage system of the hospital was identical with that of the camp. The trunk line of the sewerage system discharged into a disposal plant situated between the towns of New Milford and Dumont, about 2 miles west of the hospital. This disposal plant consisted of three double-chambered, covered, settling tanks and three double evaporating and settling beds.

The method of handling the hospital garbage was simple and highly effective. In the mess kitchens, whence came the bulk of all garbage, the waste material was carefully separated into three classes: tin cans, broken glass, and china; combustible material such as paper, wood shavings, etc.; food refuse such as coffee grounds, egg shells, peelings, etc.

The standard metal garbage cans with well-fitted covers were marked to indicate the class of garbage for which it was used. As the cans became filled they were placed outdoors on raised platforms at the right side. Daily these filled cans were removed from all garbage stands and at the same time were replaced by a supply of clean, disinfected, empty cans.

The problem of heating the institution of the size and character of the base hospital, Camp Merritt, was a difficult one because the plan of construction had of necessity to be an elastic plan to provide for frequent additions to the details of the heating plant. This difficulty was not made lighter by reason of the fact that the distribution pipes of the heating system had to be suspended above ground and could not, on account of the time factor in the case, feed an underground return system. The main heating plant was equipped with five return tubular boilers of 150 horsepower each, giving a total potential of 1,200 horsepower for winter use, 300 horsepower being sufficient for the summer months. The final insulation of the overhead pipes threading the corridors of the hospital to deliver steam to the 16 wards completed in the first stage of hospital construction was not accomplished until the middle of April, 1918, by which time it was apparent that the power house would be adequate only for the needs of a 500-bed hospital; therefore, a second power house was located at the extreme southern boundary of the ultimate hospital group. This second power house was equipped with two tube boilers of 500 horsepower each and two water pumps capable of handling 15,600,000 pounds of water per month.

The source of artificial light and power for the camp was selected as the logically right source for the hospital, and the Public Service Electric Co. of New Jersey, deriving power from its main generating plant 5 miles out of Jersey City, put in a transformer and substation to supply the hospital with light and power. The current was developed throughout the hospital by 19 subtransformers operated by snap switches. The lighting problem of the hospital was quite adequately met by the methods employed, the service being in every respect satisfactory.  


Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Merritt, N. J., from December, 1918, to December 15, 1919, inclusive



The base hospital at Camp Mills was situated in Nassau County, Long Island, N. Y., about 10 miles from the eastern boundary of Greater New York, and 1 mile, to the east, from Mineola.

The terrain is practically flat. The soil is a sandy loam in which there is a small amount of gravel.  It readily pulverizes in dry weather, forming easily carried dust, and becomes a tenacious mud after rains.

The climate is moderate during the greater portion of the year. In the winter there is an occasional severely cold spell; the spring and fall are delightful; and during the summer about two or three weeks only might be considered uncomfortably warm.

Camp Mills was selected as a mobilization camp for the Rainbow Division (42nd), so called, because the sources of its component elements were geographically diversified. The division assembled in the early part of September, 1917; and, after a training period of one and one-half months, embarked for France. Because it was known that this division would remain but a short time in the United States, and that the subsequent mobilization of divisions was an uncertainty, no cantonment type of base hospital was constructed at Camp Mills at this time. A camp hospital, composed of a few existing buildings and of tentage mostly, was organized for the care of the sick of the 42nd Division.

The organized camp hospital remained at Camp Mills, upon the departure of the 42nd Division, to care for the sick of that command whom it was necessary to leave in the United States. It was fortunate that the hospital was in existence, for on October 26, 1917, the 41st Division was ordered from Camp Greene, N. C., to Camp Mills, with the view to its embarkation for France within a short period.

In the general description of the conditions of the various embarkation and debarkation hospitals at the port of Hoboken, it was related how, because of the total inadequacy of the cluster of hospital tents for the care of the sick of the 41st Division at Camp Mills, supervisory control of the hospital at that camp was given to the port surgeon, Hoboken, and how relief from the situation was had by transferring selected patients to civil hospitals in New York City and on Long Island.

It was not until April 6, 1918, that a base hospital was organized. At this time Evacuation Hospital No. 4 was sent to Camp Mills from Camp Crane, Allentown, Pa., and it was utilized in the establishment of a base hospital.

The fair grounds at Mineola contained 6 cattle sheds, 1 poultry house, 1 grand stand, 5 exhibition buildings, 2 small houses for the storage of paint, and the stables. These buildings were occupied by Evacuation Hospital No. 4 on April 9, 1918.

The stables were utilized for quarters for officers. The nurses were domiciled in houses in Mineola, rented by the Quartermaster Corps. The enlisted men were quartered partly in the stables and partly in tents.

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History, Base Hospital, Camp Mills, Long Island," by Lieut. Col. A. W. Cutler, 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 mess was at first located in the poultry house. This arrangement was found to be very unsatisfactory, and the lower portion of the grand stand was converted into a kitchen and mess hall, where the enlisted men and ambulatory patients ate. The officers of the organization maintained their own mess in the stables, using the broad isle between the stalls-the sleeping compartments-for a dining hall.

There were no storehouses, so tents and sheds were used in which to store the supplies.

The water supply was derived from Mineola. Its source was artesian wells, and the quality of the water was so excellent as to require no purification treatment.

A sewerage system was constructed so as to connect the various buildings of the fairgrounds with a main sewer, the outlet of which was a small sewage-disposal plant on the grounds. Each cow shed contained two toilet bowls, and each exhibition building had five.

The garbage from the hospital was disposed of to local farmers, who made collections twice daily.

On May 6, 1918, the construction of a surgical pavilion was begun. This building comprised seven rooms and some linen closets, and was planned to house not only the surgical activities, but the eye, ear, nose and throat, X-ray, dental, and genitourinary departments. It was ready for occupancy June 15, 1918, but could not be utilized for surgical operations until later, because of the lack of equipment.

On September 16, 1918, the constructing quartermaster received authority to construct a semipermanent 2,000-bed base hospital. A site was selected northwest of Camp Mills and just to the east of the fairgrounds. Work on the construction of the hospital was rapidly pushed, and the first 600 beds were ready for occupancy on October 26, 1918. The entire group of buildings was completed by February 1, 1919.

The arrangement of the buildings conformed to the ultimate block plan designed in the office of the Surgeon General-block plan E, Figure 13. Each building was two-storied, and, because of the close proximity to one another, were made of fire-resisting material-metal lath with stucco covering.

On September 18, 1919, there being no further use for it, the base hospital was abandoned.  


Statistical data, United States Army Base Hospital, Camp Mills, Mineola Long Island, N. Y.,  from April 6, 1918, to September 18, 1919, inclusive


At the Rockefeller Institute, New York City, a war demonstration hospital had been founded, the purpose of which was to demonstrate an exact method of treating infected wounds, following the Carrel-Dakin technique, and

aThe statements of fact appearing herein are based on the "History United States Army Auxiliary Hospital No. 1, New York City," by Maj. George A. Stewart, 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.


to demonstrate the feasibility of a unit system of base-hospital construction. In order that the War Demonstration Hospital might obtain wounded soldiers from the Western Front, it was essential that it have an Army status. Consequently, on August 24, 1918, in order to bring this about, the hospitals in connection with the United States Army Auxiliary Laboratory No. 1 at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research were organized as United States Army Auxiliary Hospital No. 1 and placed under the jurisdiction of the commanding general, Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, N. J. Before the hospital was so organized, dependence was placed upon civil cases for clinical purposes and special methods of treatment; but, subsequent to August 24, 1918, the work was practically restricted to the treatment of wounded soldiers. All cases treated in the hospital were infected cases, both acute and chronic. All cases were treated under an exact method, following the basic principles of mechanical cleansing, chemical sterilization, control, and closure.

Instructions were given to medical officers of the Army and Navy, to enlisted men of the Army and Navy, to civil surgeons, and to female nurses of the Army and of civil hospitals. Instruction was given for the most part to men in classes in the laboratories, on the wards and in the operating room, and by lectures with lantern slides and moving pictures. The total number receiving instruction was 998. During the life of the hospital 237 patients received treatment in it.

Besides the work of clinical instruction, investigations were made of various substances and apparatus, reports of which were made to the Surgeon General. With the assistance of commercial firms, it was possible to develop several articles of use to the Army.

The need for the hospital ceased to exist during the early part of 1919, and on April 5, 1919, the institution reverted to its former status.

Statistical data, United States Army Auxiliary Hospital No. 1, Rockefeller Institute, New York City, from August 24, 1918, to April 15, 1919, inclusive



(1) Letter from the Division of Special Hospitals and Physical Reconstruction, S. G. O., to Surgeon General, September 18, 1917. Subject: Classification and distribution of invalided officers and men. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 701-1 (General).

(2) Letter from the officer in charge cantonment construction to the Surgeon General, November 20, 1917. Subject: Report on Fox Hills Hospital site. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Fox Hills, Staten Island, N. Y.) S.

(3) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Secretary of War, November 8, 1917. Subject: Clearing hospital, port of New York. Approval of Assistant Secretary of War, dated November 10, 1917, indorsed thereon. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Fox Hills, Staten Island, N. Y.) S.

(4) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Quartermaster General, November 15, 1917. Subject: Lease of site for clearing hospital, port of New York. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 632 (Fox Hills, Staten Island, N. Y.) F.

(5) Seventh indorsement from the representative, real estate service, Eastern Department, to the Director of Real Estate Service, May 7, 1920. Subject: Leases on premises occupied by General Hospital No. 41, Fox Hills, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 680.4 (Gen. Hosp. No. 41) K.

(6) Shown on plans of hospital, Fox Hills, N. Y. On file, Hospital Division, S. G. O.

(7) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Quartermaster General, December 26, 1917. Subject: Clearing hospital, Fox Hills, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 632 (Deb. Hosp. No. 2) I.

(8) Report from commanding officer, General Hospital No. 41, Fox Hills, N. Y., to the Surgeon General, June 30, 1920. Subject: Report of activities. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O. (Gen. Hosp. No. 41).

(9) Letter from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, March 14, 1918. Subject:  General hospitals, designation of. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3 (General Hospitals) K.

(10) Letter from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, May 10, 1918. Subject: Designation of hospital at Fox Hills, Staten Island, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3 (Deb. Hosp. No. 2) I.

(11) Second indorsement from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, July 23, 1918. Subject: Change in designation of hospitals. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3 (Port of Emb., Hoboken, N. J.) N.

(12) Shown on bed reports. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 632 (U).

(13) First indorsement from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, March 8, 1919. Subject: Change of designation of hospital, Fox Hills, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 680.1 (Deb. Hosp. No. 2) 1.

(14) Report on Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, Long Island, N. Y., July 25, 1918. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N. Y.) S.

(15) Letter from John Seager, president Nassau Hotel Co., to the Surgeon General, December 4, 1917. Subject: Nassau Hotel. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N. Y.) S.

(16) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Chief of Staff, May 22, 1918. Subject: Lease of Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, Long Island, N. Y. And indorsements thereto. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Long Beach, N. Y.) S.

(17) Memorandum from the Director of Purchase and Supplies to the Director of Operations, General Staff, July 12, 1918. Subject: Lease of Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 601 (Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N. Y.) S.

(18) Second indorsement from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, September 19, 1918. Subject: Designation of hospital. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3 (Debarkation Hospital No. 4) I.

(19) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Construction Division, War Department, August 14, 1918. Subject: Repairs and alterations, Hotel Nassau, Long Beach, N. Y. On file Record Room, S. G. O., 632 (Long Beach, L. I., N. Y.) F.  


(20) Letter from the constructing quartermaster, Lakewood, N. J., to the Chief of the Construction Division, March 8, 1919. Subject: Alterations made at Nassau Hotel, Long Beach, N. Y. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 481 (Gen. Hosp. No. 39) K.

(21) First indorsement from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, December 9, 1918. Subject: Designation of general hospital. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3 (General Hospital No. 39) K.

(22) Shown on bed reports. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 632 (U).

(23) Letter from the Surgeon General to the Director of Operations, office of the Chief of Staff, February 19, 1919. Subject: Cancellation of leases. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 481 (Gen. Hosp. No. 39) K.

(24) Letter from the commanding officer, General Hospital No. 39, to the Surgeon General, May 19, 1919. Subject: Report of abandonment of this hospital. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 602 (Gen. Hosp. No. 39) K.