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Section II, Chapter XXIV






The Board of Publications of the Surgeon General's Office was the war-time expression of the censorship long exercised over the publications of members of the Medical Corps. As early as 1890, medical officers were required to submit to the Surgeon General for authority to publish all papers dealing with military questions:1

(a) Special reports on medical, surgical, or sanitary subjects, when involving only profes- sional interests, and when based on official records or on experience gained in the discharge f official duties should be sent to the Surgeon General through the chief surgeon. If a medical officer desires to publish a paper of this character, request for authority to publish should be made to the Surgeon General. On the other hand, if an officer has written on a subject which is outside of his official work and does not involve reference to official records there is no need to submit the paper to the Surgeon General.

Such communications were submitted, as a rule, to members of the corps who, by virtue of experience in the particular field covered by a given article, were deemed qualified to pass upon the subject matter, and to recommend approval or disapproval for publication. When the United States entered the World War this censorship was still effective : 2

Medical officers will not publish professional papers requiring reference to official records or to experience gained in the discharge of their official duties without the previous authority of the Surgeon General.

It now became applicable not only to the Regular Medical Corps, but to the Medical Reserve Corps. With the rapid expansion of the Medical Department which active participation in the war entailed, and with the entry upon active duty of the large number of doctors from civil life, many of whom were totally unfamiliar with military requirements, this censorship became a much more important and complicated matter than it had been at any other time during peace or war. For a number of months the work was conducted as formerly, under the direction of the Surgeon General, through his adjutant, the various papers submitted being forwarded for review to medical officers of the different divisions or sections of the Surgeon General's Office. The constantly increasing number of papers sent in for authority to publish made it necessary to place the censorship on a more formal and specialized basis. Accordingly, the Board of Publications was organized in April, 1918. 3

A General Publicity Board (q. v.) was created by the same office order, its duty being to review and advise regarding the contemplated publication, in current lay journals, of all matters related to the Medical Department.

It was thus ordered that "no permission to distribute, print, or publish any book, interview, pamphlet, review, abstract, article, or monograph shall be given by any officer of the Medical Department without authorization from the Surgeon General conveyed through the respective boards."


The cooperation of editors of medical publications was invited by the following memorandum. 4

The large number of medical officers recently joining the Medical Department direct from civil life, and unfamiliar with the Army Regulations governing the publication of scientific papers, has resulted in a number of papers being published in various journals without authority from this office.

    Editors of medical publications are requested to cooperate with this office in impressing upon medical officers the necessity for compliance with the inclosed memorandum.

    It is requested that papers received from medical officers in this service which do not show that they have been referred to this office, and authority for publication granted by the Surgeon General, be forwarded direct to this office in order to obtain this authority.

In authorizing the publication of a paper this office does not necessarily signify its accordancewith views or opinions expressed therein. It is, therefore, requested that editors refrain from appending any note or legend expressing the formal authorization of this office.

 Later the following memorandum was sent to medical editors: 5

Attention is directed to the fact that on March 27, 1918, your cooperation was solicited in a memorandum explaining the necessity for medical officers conforming with the regulation of securing authority from this office before publishing professional papers.

    Further attention is now called to that portion of the memorandum for division surgeons which makes it necessary to submit professional papers to this office in duplicate. Will you kindly aid this office by submitting two copies in every instance?

Instructions regarding the submitting of manuscripts to the Board of Publications were issued, through military channels, to medical officers in the following memorandum :

As stated in the circular memorandum for Editors of Medical Publications recently issued by the Surgeon General's Office, all medical manuscript by medical officers of the Army intended for publication should be first submitted to the Board of Publications, Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D. C., for censorship and approval. The authors are requested to send in two type-written copies of their manuscripts to the Board of Publications, care being taken that the manuscripts are double spaced. Attention to this detail will facilitate handling of the manuscripts, both by censors and publishers.


When a paper was received by the Board of Publications with a request for authority to publish, a record was made thereof on two filing cards-one for the title, the other for the author. These cards gave the date of receipt; name of author; title of paper; the division of the Surgeon General's Office having jurisdiction over the particular subject involved, to which the paper was sent for review; report of the division and date thereof; final action (approved, disapproved, or suggestions as to revision, etc.), and date thereof; disposition of paper and duplicate.

When a paper was returned to the board, with the recommendation of the division or section to which it had been sent, the author was immediately notified of the action taken. If requested by the author, one copy of the paper, if approved, was forwarded to the journal in which publication was desired. The duplicate copy was filed under the author's name. a If only one copy was submitted, this was placed on file and the author was notified to send another copy (in the case of approved papers) to the journal in which he wished it published.

    a For purposes of expedition, and for the convenience of the Historical Division of the Surgeon Generals Office, the Board of Publications was permitted to retain in the office of the board all correspondence. copies of papers, and other data concerned in the execution of its functions.


In some instances, as when the author was overseas or at a distant post, the manuscript was copied, or the journal to which it was sent was requested to send duplicate proof for filing. Each successive step in the procedure was recorded on the cards, so that information regarding the disposition of a paper was always available. All correspondence concerning the papers was kept on file in the office of the Board of Publications. In some instances, as in the case of a book dealing with the complete history of an overseas base hospital, a complete investigation dealing with disciplinary or other measures of a military rather than strictly medical character, the question of authority to publish was referred to The Adjutant General's Office, Publication Division.

From May 17, 1918, to February 1, 1920, 1,670 papers were acted upon in the manner outlined. 7


In addition to its routine work, the board prepared from its files complete bibliographies of the different subjects covered, supplying such bibliographies upon request to contributors to the Medical and Surgical History of the War.


In February, 1918, a Committee on Publicity was organized in the Surgeon General's Office 8 to review and pass upon all information which might be given out by the office for official publication. In April the General Publicity Board was created 9 to review and advise regarding the contemplated publication by members of the Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Sanitary, and Nurse Corps in lay journals of all matters relating to the Surgeon General's Office, to vis e requests from the Committee on Public Information, from newspaper correspondents, magazine writers, and others for information deemed suitable for publication in the public press.

In November, 1918, the scope of the board was enlarged to include the establishment and supervision of newspapers at Army hospitals. 10 On December 5, 1918, the first of these papers, The Come Back, was published at Walter Reed Army General Hospital, Takoma Park, D. C. In February,1919, the board became the Section of General Publicity, Surgeon General's Office, and its functions and relations to the physical reconstruction of disabled soldiers were described, in part, as follows: 11

 (A) To coordinate and standardize, as far as feasible, existing hospital newspapers and further to establish other hospital newspapers wherever the morale and the educational needs of the hospital demand them. In this connection it should be stated that where feasible each hospital issuing a newspaper should have all of the facilities for the publication of the paper at the hospital.

    (B) To assist the Educational Department and other responsible officers of the hospital in the publication of the paper by helpful suggestions; by supplying news from this office which relates to the Medical Department; by furnishing photographs, cartoons, and other original illustrations or cuts, plates, or matrices; and by aiding in increasing the advertising patronage and the circulation of the newspaper in the hospital and to the public at large.

    (C) To cooperate with the Division of Physical Reconstruction by furnishing to the Educational Department of the hospital the services of expert newspaper men and printers as instructors of the patients who may be benefited mentally or manually by the training and education embraced in any branch of printing and the mechanical operations of newspaper work, as well as in reporting, advertising, circulating, editorial writing, illustrating, cartooning, and story writing.


(D) To furnish the daily press and the popular and scientific periodicals news items, photo-graphs, and special articles descriptive of the curative work applied in the treatment of disabled soldiers, in the attempt to keep the public informed as to what is being done for the improvement and the cure of disabled soldiers in military hospitals, and other information from the Medical Department of general public interest.

  1. It is the policy of the Section of General Publicity to serve the hospital and camp authorities in an advisory capacity. The desire is to encourage local enterprises by every possible assistance it can render. It will endeavor to place at the disposal of the local authorities the services and the advice of a body of experts in the news gathering, the making, the publication, and the circulation of an effective newspaper.

2. In order that the fullest cooperation in publicity may be obtained, you are directed to instruct the chief educational officer to send to the Division of Physical Reconstruction of this office such clippings, items, photographs, publications, posters, and special notices as will givea comprehensive idea of the work of physical reconstruction in your hospital. It is also desirable that reports should be made concerning results with individual patients and other interesting matter that will help the public to form a just estimate of the value of training, education, and play as curative measures should be reported.

 3. For the information of the patients, their relatives, and friends, the hospital newspaper should contain some authoritative statements furnished by the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and by the Federal Board of Vocational Education, which embrace the benefits provided by the Government of compensable disabled soldiers and sailors after their discharge from the Army and Navy.

As the hospitals closed, the newspapers were suspended. Regulations of the Joint Committee on Printing of Congress dated September 19, 1919, authorized the Surgeon General to publish not more than seven publications at Army hospitals.


(April, 1917, to December, 1919.)


Lynch, Charles, Col., M. C., secretary.

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

Garrison, F. H., Lieut. Col., M. C., secretary.

Seelig, M. G., Lieut. Col., M. C., secretary.

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

McAfee, Loy, Contract Surg., secretary.

McKnight, Mary Pearson, Contract Surg., secretary.


Lyster, T. C., Brig. Gen., M. D.

Church, James R., Col., M. C

Longcope, Warfield T., Col., M. C.

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

Welch, Wm. H., Col., M. C.


Bushnell, George E., Col., M. C.

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

Harris, Seale, Lieut. Col., M. C.

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

The names have been arranged alphabetically, by grades, irrespective of chronological sequence of service.



Noble, R. E., Maj. Gen., M. D.

Munson, E. L., Brig. Gen., M. D.

Ashburn, Percy M., Col., M. C.

Parker, Walter R., Col., M. C.

Yoder, J. P., Capt., S. C. (also liaison officer with Chief of Staff,

Morale Branch).


Cook, C. Fred, Maj., Infantry, chief.

Smith, W. W., Maj., S. C., chief.

Gregory, Joseph P., Capt., S. C., chief.

Pullman, E. H., Capt., S. C., chief.

Wynkoop, D. W., Maj., M. C.

Halloran, Edward R., Capt., Signal Corps.

Henry, M. C., Capt., M. C.

MacLeod, C. A., Capt., chaplain.

McKenney, J. L., Capt., Q. M. C.

Mearns, W. H., Capt., S. C.

Randall, J. F., Capt., A. S. A.

Alexander, Paul A., Lieut., A. S. A.

Boyd, Reuben E., First Lieut., chaplain.

Crudington, C. T., First Lieut., S. C.

Lamar, E. H., First Lieut., chaplain.

Palmer, Alfred C., First Lieut., F. A.

Patterson, K. M., First Lieut., Infantry.

Snider, James E., First Lieut., Cavalry.

Weisblath, W. B., First Lieut., Cavalry.

Wright, Robert C., First Lieut.; Infantry.

Beamer, Gail H., Second Lieut., A. S.

Carson, Ivan D., Second Lieut., Infantry.

Garrett, Roger, jr., Second Lieut., S. C.

Lloyd, T. L., Second Lieut., A. S. A.

Matteson, B. V., Second Lieut., M. T. C.

Sanderson, Z. C., Second Lieut., S. C.


(1) Manual for the Medical Department, 1890, par. 176.

(2) Ibid., 1916, par. 423.

(3) Office order, No. 21, S. G. O., April 29, 1918.

(4) Memo., S. G. O., to editors of medical journals, March 27, 1918. Filed, Board of Publica tions, S. G. O.

(5) Memo., S. G. O., to editors of medical journals, May 22, 1918. Filed, Board of Publications, S. G. O.

(6) Memo., S. G. O., to medical officers (B-338). Filed, Board of Publications, S. G. O.

(7) Report of the activities of the Board of Publications, February 1, 1920. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(8) Office order, No. 6, S. G. O., February 12, 1918, On file, Record Room, S. G. O. 024-2.

(9) Office order, No. 21, S. G. O., April 29, 1918. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 000.7 (Board of Publicity).

(10) Memo. of conference with General Munson, chief of morale branch of the General Staff, November 15, 1918. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 250-2 (Morale).

(11) Circular letter, No. 66, S. G. O.. February 1, 1919. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 024.2 (Administrative Division, S. G. O.).