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Chapter XXIX

Books and Documents > Medical Department of the U.S. Army in the World War, Volume III, Finance & Supply





In the plans for the construction of a base hospital at all the large training and embarkation camps, three buildings were provided for storehouses for the reserve of medical property for the hospital and the camp. Because the hospital was the logical place for the organizations in the camp to look for things needful for the care of the sick, it was decided to use these buildings for the camp medical supply depot instead of accepting space in the general warehouse group.1 The bulk of the supplies in the hospital storehouses would naturally pertain to the base hospital, but there was sufficient space for those required by the infirmaries and organizations. However, the last buildings to be erected at several of the camps were those of the hospital group. In not a few cases medical supplies arrived before the hospital storehouses were ready. As a result of this delay, it was necessary to utilize one of the buildings in the general warehouse group for the camp medical supply depot until the storehouses in the hospital group were ready. The layout of one of these buildings adapted to the needs of a medical supply depot,2 is shown in Figure 33.2 Figure 34 shows the floor plan and side elevation of one of the standard base hospital storehouses.



It was early foreseen that at every divisional training camp, whether National Army or National Guard, there would he required an officer of the Medical Department to look after the medical property therein and to have charge of the medical supply depot to be established there. The duties required of these medical supply officers called for a familiarity with Army Regulations, with the customs of the service, and with governmental methods of property procurement and accounting. This familiarity could not be obtained in a few days, and the need of trained men became daily more urgent. Since there was no provision whereby nonprofessional men could be commissioned in the Medical Corps, attention was turned to the noncommissioned list of the Medical Department for men for this purpose. They, too, like the commissioned personnel, were all too few and were required for many other duties. It was thought that the retired list might furnish a sufficient number to tide the situation over until the camps could be established and new


FIG. 33.- Layout of a camp medical supply depot in one of the buildings of the general camp warehouse group


FIG. 34.- Floor plan and side elevation of one of the standard base hospital storehouses >


men trained. Authority for the employment of these retired noncommissioned officers as civil employees was first considered.3 Difficulties on account of their lack of civil service status arose, and time was spent in endeavoring to secure a waiver of the requirements. An Executive order was issued May 9, 1917, amending paragraph 2, section IV, schedule B, of the civil service rules so as to permit the appointment of noncommissioned officers as military storekeepers through noncompetitive examination.4 Before appointments under this order could be made an act was passed, May 18, which authorized the employment on active duty of retired enlisted men of the Regular Army, either with their rank on the retired list or in higher grades, with the full pay and allowances of the grades in which they were actually employed. Under this provision orders were requested, May 21, for the assignment of 19 of these noncommissioned officers to active duty at the several supply depots.5 Other retired noncommissioned officers were recalled to active duty from time to time and assigned to supply depots for temporary duty and for instruction in depot methods.

A satisfactory solution of this difficult problem came at the end of June, 1917, when the President directed the organization under the Medical Department of a Sanitary Corps for the period of the existing emergency.6

The officers in charge of the several medical supply depots to which retired noncommissioned officers had been assigned for instruction were directed to submit recommendations of their suitability for commission.7 Such of them as were physically fitted for active duty, and were recommended as possessing the necessary technical qualifications for supply work, were commissioned in the Sanitary Corps and assigned to duty as medical supply officers at the several cantonments and general hospitals. The number of retired noncommissioned officers available being insufficient to fill all the positions, a number of qualified noncommissioned officers on the active list were commissioned and assigned to supply work.8 Several of the retired noncommissioned officers who were commissioned were later relieved from duty and returned to the inactive list by reason of physical disability.8

The original plan contemplated that the camp medical supply depot would be located at the camp base hospital and that the camp medical supply officer would be the property officer of that hospital and the supply officer of the division.9 As the various camps received their quotas of troops and the activities of the base hospital increased it became evident that one officer could not possibly give the time and attention required in looking after the medical property of the division as well as that of the hospital.10 The various surgeons of divisions and commanding officers urged the appointment of an additional officer to act as supply officer for the division.11 Medical supply officers were not available in sufficient numbers to provide one for every hospital in the service. The commanding officers of base and other large hospitals had the option, if they so desired, of detailing a suitable medical officer to duty as property officer of the hospital.12 Tables of organization as amended December 21, 1917, authorized a divisional medical supply organization consisting of 1 officer as division supply officer, 8 enlisted men, and provided with 2 motor trucks (1½ ton each) and 2 motor cycles with side cars.13 As rapidly as suitable men


could be found and trained in supply work, additional medical supply officers were appointed and sent to the divisional training camps to provide two at each camp.

Although two officers were assigned by the War Department to the camp for medical supply duty, the selection of the officer to accompany the division overseas as divisional medical supply officer was left to the camp authorities. Later, when a sufficient number of such officers had been trained and commissioned, an officer of the Sanitary Corps was assigned to every base and general hospital as its medical supply officer.


When the camp medical supply officer reported for duty at the camp to which assigned he not infrequently found conditions in a chaotic state. Shipments had been received by the local quartermaster and given temporary storage in the general warehouse group. Neither clerical personnel nor a warehouse force had been assigned. Supplies had to be sorted out, unpacked, and prepared for issue. Assistance had to be provided from organizations and personnel on other duties in the camp; for example, at Camp Taylor, Ky., the civilian laborers authorized by the Surgeon General, August 18, 1917, for the installation of heavy fixed equipment at the hospital, were utilized so far as practicable in the habilitation of the depot, construction of counters, shelving, and the like.14 Division surgeons at National Army camps were informed, August 17, 1917, that large quantities of medical supplies had been ordered to the camp and were cautioned to use every effort to provide the supply officer with the necessary assistance and to have the infirmary supplies placed in the buildings allotted to sanitary detachments on their arrival in camp.15

With the arrival of troops and drafted men in the camps conditions began to improve. At Camp Lee, Va., for example, applicants with suitable qualifications were selected by the camp medical supply officer and enlisted in the Sanitary Corps for this duty.16 At other places detachments were assigned to the camp medical supply depots by division orders. These men had little or no military training, but the majority of them showed aptitude and a desire to learn. Such as did not were transferred elsewhere. At some places, Camp Dix, N. J., for example, the men thereafter assigned to the depot were carefully selected by the supply officer on account of their special qualifications for the work.17

To insure a supply of competent and adequately trained men and a uniformity in their selection, the following letter was sent to all National Army cantonments. A similar letter was sent to all National Guard camps.

OCTOBER 4, 1917.

From: The Surgeon General, United States Army.
To: The division surgeon, National Army cantonment. (To all National Army cantonments.)
Subject: Medical supply depot personnel.

1. There is urgent need for trained men for duty in medical supply depots both in this country and with the troops overseas. You are requested to take the matter up with your division commander with a view to selecting capable men and detailing them for duty in the cantonment medical supply depot.


2. The men selected should be high grade in every respect, and should be chosen with particular reference to their qualifications for supply work. Men who have had experience in the offices and shipping departments of wholesale drug firms, manufacturing concerns, express companies, etc., should be sought out and carefully examined.
3. If possible, the entire enlisted personnel of the depot should be selected men. If that can not be done, at least six such men should be detailed.
4. From men thus selected and trained at the depots will be chosen the medical supply contingent to accompany the divisions overseas, and from this personnel we should be able to secure suitable men for commission in the Sanitary Corps as supply officers.

So long as enlistments were permitted, enlisted personnel for the Sanitary Corps were obtained in that manner. After voluntary enlistments had been discontinued, personnel was obtained by the assignment to that corps of men inducted into the service under the draft law. In both methods pains were taken to select men not only physically fit but with such qualifications as would render them particularly fitted for supply work. Conscientious and consistent instruction was given to all men assigned to supply work, technical and military. Training schools were established and every effort was made to insure that every man of the Sanitary Corps assigned to medical supply duty was fully qualified for the task. By the end of June, 1918, there were 1,471 enlisted men of the Sanitary Corps on duty in the various supply depots at home and abroad. As a result of native ability and the training they had received in supply work, 288 enlisted men of the Sanitary Corps were promoted through the various noncommissioned grades to commissioned officers.

Courses of instruction similar to that at Camp Devens, quoted below, were given at all the camp medical supply depots.

Depot Order No. 2

Camp Devens, Mass., March 29, 1918.

1. Commencing Monday, April, 1918, a course of instruction in supply depot work will be started and the following schedule will be observed:
Reveille...................................................................................6 a.m.
Setting-up drill.......................................................................6 to 6.15 a.m.
Breakfast................................................................................ 7 a.m.
Practical depot work.............................................................8 a.m. to 12 m.
Drill..........................................................................................8 to 10 a.m.
Lecture....................................................................................10.15 to 11.45 a.m.
Dinner.....................................................................................12.30 p.m.
Practical depot work.............................................................1:30 to 5 p.m.
Drill .........................................................................................1.30 to 3.30 p.m.
Lecture....................................................................................3.45 to 4.45 p.m.

One-half of the detachment will receive instructions in practical depot work in the forenoon and the other half in the afternoon. Those not engaged in practical depot work will att-end drill and lectures. Drill will include school of the soldier, school of the squad, and school of the detachment, as prescribed in Drill Regulations for Sanitary Troops, including shelter-tent drill.
Lectures will be given by student officers on duty at the depot and will include personal hygiene, sanitation, care of the soldier’s feet on the march, first aid, Articles of War, military courtesies, Army Regulations, Manual for the Medical Department, as far as it pertains to the care and handling of public property.


Drills will be conducted by the noncommissioned officers of the detachment assigned to this duty from time to time.

2. A school for noncommissioned officers will be held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings of each week from 4.30 to 5.30 p. m.
All noncommissioned officers will attend, subjects as follows:
Monday, drill regulations.
Wednesday, Army Regulations and Manual for Courts-Martial.
Friday, Manual for the Medical Department.

3. There will be two men detailed daily, by roster, and ordered to report to the noncommissioned officer in charge of enlisted men’s mess for duty.

4. There will be one man detailed daily as room orderly, who will be in charge of the building occupied as quarters. He will allow no unauthorized person to enter this building and will allow no property of any of the men to be removed therefrom, except upon authority from the detachment commander.


The object of developing in these camp medical supply depots a high degree of efficiency was constantly in the mind of the officer in charge of the finance and supply division of the Surgeon General’s Office. Uniformity of operation and procedure was eminently desirable. In an endeavor to disseminate the correct principles of depot operation and to secure uniformity, the following instructions were issued by the Surgeon General:

Washington, July 10, 1918.

The following tentative instructions are supplemental to the Manual for the Medical Department, and are not intended to supersede the latter.They will be put into effect upon their receipt at camps.

W. C. G0RGAS, Surgeon General.



The following commissioned personnel of the Sanitary Corps will, as far as practicable be assigned to each cantonment, and their relation to each other will be as follows:
1. The camp medical supply officer. - He will be in full charge of all medical property in use or stored at the camp, and will be the accountable officer for same. He will be held responsible that all organizations at the camp are properly supplied. He will be in command of all commissioned and enlisted personnel on duty with the medical supply branch.

2. The divisional medical supply ojflcer. - He will, while at a camp, act as an assistant to the camp medical supply officer, irrespective of rank.  As such, he will attend to all issues of supplies to divisional organizations arid requisitions for such supplies. He is the responsible officer for all such property. He is also in charge of the authorized divisional transportation, which consists of:
2 motor trucks, 1 ½ tons each.
2 motor cycles with side cars.
  This transportation should be utilized at camp medical supply depots, when available.

3. The property officer of the base hospital. - He will act as an assistant to the camp medical supply officer with special reference to requisitions, issues, and care of all medical property used at the base hospital. He is the responsible officer for all such property.

4. If any additional officers of the supply branch of the Sanitary Corps are detailed at a camp for duty, they will be assigned as assistants to the camp medical supply officer and will perform such duties as this officer may direct.



While at cantonment, all enlisted men assigned to duty with the supply bmaiichi am-c under the direct command of the camp medical supply officer. They are divided into the following permanent detachments:
1. Camp medical supply detachment. - One hospital sergeant, two sergeants, first class, two sergeants, 15 privates, first class, or privates.
2. Divisional medical supply unit - One sergeant, first class, one sergeant, six privates, first class, or privates.
3. Base hospital property office detachment. - One sergeant, first class, one sergeant, six privates, first class, or privates.

All men assigned to duty with any of the above mentioned detachments will be transferred from any organization to which they may now belong and permanently assigned for duty with the medical supply branch. They may be rationed and quartered with either the camp medical detachment or the detachment of the base hospital as the camp or division surgeon may direct.

The divisional medical supply unit will be assigned to the camp medical supply depot for duty and instructions while the division to which they belong is at a cantonment.

Additional men sent to camps for training in supply work will form a part of the enlisted personnel of the supply branch under the command of the camp medical supply officer, who will assign themn to duty with the camp medical supply depot, or the property office of the base hospital, as understudies to the permanent personnel.


In addition to the practical instructions which each man receives in the performance of his duties, the following theoretical course of instruction will be given as far as practicable to all enlisted men on duty with the medical supply branch at a camp:

Lectures on personal hygiene, sanitation, care of the soldier’s feet on the march, first aid, articles of war, military courtesies, Army Regulations, Manual for the Medical Department as far as it pertains to the care and handling of public property, reports and returns used in the supply branch of the Medical Department, Quartermaster Corps, and Ordnance Department, and general orders of the War Department relating thereto.

The following schedule may he used as a guide for practical and theoretical instructions:
   Reveille................................................................................6.00 a.m.
   Setting up drill....................................................................6.00 to 6.15 a.m.
   Breakfast.............................................................................7.00 a.m.
   Practical depot work..........................................................8.00 to 12.00 a.m.
   Drill.......................................................................................8.00 to 9.00 a.m.
   Lecture................................................................................10.15 to 11.45 a.m.
   Dinner..................................................................................12.30 p.m.
   Practical depot work..........................................................1.30 to 5.00 p.m.
   Drill.......................................................................................1.30 to 2.30 p.m.
   Lecture.................................................................................3.45 to 5.00 p.m.

   One half of the detachment will receive instruction in practical depot work in the forenoon and the other half in the afternoon. Those not engaged in practical depot work will attend drill and lectures. Drill will include school of a soldier, school of the squad, and school of the detachment, as prescribed in drill regulations for sanitary troops, including shelter-tent drill.
  Lectures will be given by officers on duty at the depot, while drills will he conducted by noncommissioned officers of the detachment, assigned to this duty from time to time, under the supervision of a commissioned officer of the Sanitary Corps.

A record in book form must be kept of every individual’s progress, and his aptitude will be indicated by marks, using 0 as lowest and 10 as highest mark.


Should any member of the detachmnemit, after having received instruction for a reasonable length of time, prove to he not adaptable for this work, he should be reported to the Surgeon General as being unsuited for duty in the supply branch of the Medical Department, with a view to having him placed in a more suitable branch. All qualifications which a man possesses must be reported on the proper form.


All requisitions for medical supplies from any camp must emanate from the office of the camp medical supply officer. For this reason, requisitions from all organizations must be submitted to the camp medical supply officer, through the camp or division surgeon. These requisitions will be filled as far as practicable from stock on hand. Articles not in stock will be consolidated on a monthly requisition by the camp medical supply officer, unless the camp or division surgeon should decide that they are so urgently needed as to justify an emergency requisition.

The camp medical supply officer must endeavor to keep a well-balanced stock of medical supplies on hand at all times, and if the necessary care is exercised in the preparation of his monthly requisition for replenishment of supplies it will seldom be necessary to resort to emergency requisitions.

In preparing requisitions, the nomenclature, order of entry, classification, and the weights and measures of the supply table will be followed. To facilitate the handling of these papers, one line of writing only will be placed in each interlineal space.
In requesting supplies, the possibility of the different classes being supplied from the different depots should be borne in mind, and the articles listed accordingly:
Field supplies from Washington.
Dental supplies froni New York.
Veterinary supplies from St. Louis.
Automobile supplies from Louisville, Ky.

A request for these different classes of supplies should therefore be made on separate requisitions.

All requisitions will be made on Form 35, M. D.; they must he prepared in quadruplicate and forwarded to the Surgeon General through the camp or division surgeon. The medical supply officer will find it to his advantage to prepare a fifth copy to be retained by him until the fourth copy is returned to him with action indicated.

All requisitions should be consecutively numbered and kept in a separate file for ready reference. Special instructions issued from time to time and the directions given in the Manual for the Medical Department should be freely consulted in the preparation of requisitions

The quantities to be asked for replenishment of supplies will be determined in the following manner: Previous month’s consumption to be multiplied by 3 and deducting the actual amount on hand, will give a balance which should be requisitioned for. If this is done, a two months’ supply will always be on hand. and a third month will be in transit.


The camp medical supply officer is the only accountable officer for medical property at a camp.

Nonexpendable articles. - These will be issued on memorandum receipts to the divisional medical supply officer for all organizations belonging to the division, and to the property officer of the base hospital for all supplies issued to the base hospital, upon requisitions approved by the camp or division surgeon. This relieves the camp medical supply officer of the responsibility, but not of the accountability.

Memorandum receipts will be numbered and all items on these receipts abstracted on a stock card. As this stock card also shows the amount in storerooms, the total shown on stock cards must correspond with the balance carried on return of medical property. At least once every three months the stock cards must be carefully checked with the property return. Any surplus, the cause for which can not be determined, which may appear at this


time must be taken up on the property return as “Found at camp,” and any shortage must be carefully investigated, and if the missing article can not be located a survey must be made at once.

Expendable property. - This will be issued on approved requisitions, or issue slips in case of base hospital. Receipt for these articles will be acknowledged on requisition or issue slips. These receipts will be consolidated daily, the consolidated record numbered, and total amounts entered on stock card. Once a month, total entries on stock cards for that month will be dropped from the return of medical property. This should be done at the time when monthly requisition for replenishment of supplies is prepared, as it will show balance on hand at that time. This balance will be verified by a commissioned officer, by taking inventory of stock in storerooms.

Red Cross supplies. - Supplies issued by the Medical Department should not be asked for from the Red Cross. When supplies are given by this organization, the camp medical officer should be informed at once, so as to enable him to take them up on his return of medical property. All Red Cross property must be accounted for in the same manner as regular medical property. A copy of the receipt furnished the Red Cross or, if no receipt is given, a certificate covering those supplies received will be used as a voucher to the returms.

Unserviceable property. - When nonexpendable property in use becomes unserviceable, it should be turned into the camp medical supply depot, with affidavits in triplicate showing how the property became unserviceable. These affidavits are attached to the report of survey or to the inspection report, which will finally dispose of these articles. Unserviceable bed linen, towels, and ward clothing should be torn up when surveyed and used for cleaning rags, instead of being turned over to the reclamations or conservation officer. Care should be enjoined in the use of these rags, lest the supply become exhausted.

Divisional sanitary equipment . - This will be issued by the camp medical supply officer to the divisional medical supply officer on memorandum receipt, and by the latter in turn to the organizations. The divisional medical supply officer must inspect this equipment at least once a month, to see that same is kept intact, in good repair, and that none of the expendable supplies are used while the division is at a cantonment. This equipment will be invoiced to the divisional medical supply officer when orders for overseas duty for the divisions are received.


The property officer is responsible, but not accountable, for all medical property in use at the base hospital. He must be able to tell at all times where nonexpendable articles, held by him on memorandum receipt, are located. To enable him to do this, the following system will be put into effect:

The property officer will make a list of all nonexpendable articles in each department of the base hospital, to which he will attach the following certificate:

I certify that I have this date received the above-mentioned articles of medical property from the property officer, base hospital, for which I will be fully responsible until this property has been either returned by me to the property officer, or until I have been relieved of thus responsibility by another officer.


This list of property will be submitted to all officers responsible for medical property, with the request that these receipts be accomplished at once. All items listed on these memorandum receipts should be entered on the location card. The total of the articles shown on the location card and all articles in stock in the storerooms should be the total amount of property for which the property officer is responsible.

An envelope will be used for each department of the base hospital in which will be placed the memorandum receipt for nonexpendable property, signed by the officer in charge


of the department, and to this should be added from time to time future issue or credit slips. Once a month, a new memorandum receipt of nonexpendable property should be prepared for each department, with the necessary additions and deductions made. Issue and credit slips can then be destroyed.

These memorandun receipts should be frequently verified by actual check of property in use in each department.


The four warehouses generally built at the base hospital for the storage of medical supplies will be turned over by the commanding officer of the base hospital to the camp medical supply officer for his use, with the exception of one-half of one of the warehouses, which may be assigned for use of the base hospital quartermaster.
   The following distribution of storage space will be found to he of advantage and should be followed as nearly as practicable:

Warehouse No. 1 - (a) Office of camp medical supply officer.
(b) Open stock of field supplies and supplies issued to camp infirmaries, arranged on shelves.
(c) Blank forms.
(d) Dental supplies.
(e) Veterinary supplies.

Warehouse No. 2. - (a) Property office of base hospital.
(b) Open stock of base hospital supplies arranged on shelves.
(c) Original cases containing base hospital supplies.

Warehouse No. 3. - (a) Automohile supplies.
(b) Original case goods, field and base hospital supplies.
   Warehouse No. 4. - (a) Original case goods, field and post supplies.
(b) Gas defense supplies.
(c) Unserviceable property.


The return of medical property, which is to be rendered upon transfer of property to another officer only, will be kept up to date at all times; vouchers must be entered as soon as they are accomplished. Medical supplies may be received on approved requisitions or upon the order of the Surgeon General from medical supply depots, or direct from the manufacturers. If they are received from a medical supply depot the property should be promptly checked and receipt acknowledged on Form 28. If received directly from the manufacturer--the medical supply depot, having placed the order, should at once be notified of the receipt of the articles so that they may be invoiced in the usual manner.

As far as practicable medical property not in original cases should be arranged in storerooms in the order as enumerated in the Manual for the Medical Department.
Poisons, liquors, narcotics, and instruments, as well as silverware, should he kept in a closet cinder lock and key, the key to he kept in the possession of the supply officer. A record must be kept of issues of all liquors and narcotics. (See par. 514, M. M, D,)
Antitoxins, serums, and all other perishable articles must be kept in an ice box, but freezing of serums mnust be prevented.
Rubber goods must he carefully examined from time to time to see that they are not deteriorating; to prevent this, they should be packed in talcum.
Field chests should be carefully gone over at least once a month to see that they are in good condition.
Blankets should be frequently inspected and well taken care of so as to prevent their becoming infested with moths.

Whenever an excess in medical property exists which can not be used at the camp to advantage, the Surgeon General should be notified in order that instructions for their proper disposition may be issued. Only serviceable property will be reported if in excess.



About the time the foregoing instructions were issued it became essential to supervise and coordinate the work of medical supply officers at the training camps and larger hospitals. Two officers of the Sanitary Corps, qualified by long training and experience, were selected for this purpose. They were detailed as inspector-instructors and placed on an itinerary covering in their respective circuits all the training camps in a period of approximately two months. This resulted in what amounted to a monthly inspection of medical property and property methods at all camps. The object of these inspections was twofold: To ascertain existing conditions and defects and correct them, and to impart instruction concerning methods of medical supply work. Their work along this line was effective and resulted in material good to the service. A written report of each inspection was forwarded to the Surgeon General. A copy of one of the earlier reports while these two officers were working together in the evolution of the plan above outlined appears below. It is typical of those which followed.


JULY 8-9, 1918.

Personnel. - Captain, Sanitary Corps, camp medical supply officer, second Lieutenant, Sanitary Corps, assistant to supply officer.

Enlisted personnel. - List by qualifications and adaptability as to supply work herewith attached. Instructions are given daily for eight hours; four hours practical, four hours theoretical. The type of men sent to this depot is very good and come from civil life with occupations adapted to medical supply work. The conduct of the men is excellent in every respect, and very little occassion for discipline was necessary. The men are not equipped for field duty; when men are ordered for duty overseas, equipment is issued to them. A schedule of instructions given is attached hereto. Men are rationed and quartered at the base hospital, which is satisfactory. The records pertaining to the detachment are kept in the office of the camp medical supply officer. The enlisted strength of the detachment at date of inspection is:

Records. - Records are properly kept and up to date. Property return is rendered upon the transfer of property only. A separate record is kept for alcohol, liquors, and narcotics. Stock record is kept on Form 17 and is very satisfactory. Issues of supplies are made on approved requisitions of camp surgeon only. Only one property accountability is maintained at this camp, and all supplies not expendable are issued out on memorandum receipts. These memorandum receipts are abstracted, thus showing location of nonexpendable property. This system is considered very satisfactory and the use of Form 17 as stock card is excellent because these forms are on hand at all depots, and if adopted at other camps this would make an excellent uniform stock record throughout the country.
Qualification cards of men are kept by camp personnel officer in compliance with existent orders.
Buildings. -  Of the four storerooms, three are used for supply depot, and one is the medical property storeroom for the base hospital. These storerooms are sufficient for the needs of this camp. Office is well equipped. Water barrels, fire extinguishers, and water


buckets are placed throughout each storeroom and 1 noncommissioned officer and 12 men are detailed to man hose reel No. 29, which is part of base hospital fire apparatus. A sentry from cantonment patrols grounds where storehouses are located, which provides ample security against theft.
Transportation. - One motorcycle with side car for use at depot. It is desired that one 1-ton truck be provided for transporting medical supplies about the cantonment Organizations now call for supplies, but it would greatly facilitate work if supplies could be delivered with depot transportation. It sometimes requires several days before organizations are able to secure transportation from quartermaster.

Supplies. - Post supplies are received from Philadelphia and New York depots; field supplies from Washington. It takes approximately thirty days from the requisition is made until supplies are received. Express shipments are satisfactory with the exception that these shipments are generally received in broken lots. In case of loss or damage of property by transportation companies time responsibility is fixed by a survey; the survey report contains the necessary data as to accountable officer, appropriation’ involved and fiscal year. Generally, supplies arrive in good shape, are well packed, and very little damage has thus far been caused which could be traced to faulty packing. Direct shipments are promptly acknowledged upon receipt of same. These shipments are not made very promptly as specified on order, but this seems to be due to difficulty caused by transportation of same. A maximum or minimum allowance has not been established; this is impracticable due to the fluctuations in strength of command and certain supplies cased more at certain seasons than others. Requisitions are submitted once monthly, on the 20th day of each months, and are consolidated by the camp medical supply officer; one requisition only made for all needs at camp. Sufficient supplies for three mouths will be on hand after requisition for this month has heen submitted. A list of excess needs of supplies turned into this depot from Camp Bartlett, Mass., was submitted to Surgeon General’s Office, and authority was granted to ship these supplies to the Philadelphia depot; this will be done in the near future.
The provisions of paragraph 514, Manual for the Medical Department, in regard to liquors and narcotics are strictly enforced and keys are kept by one noncommissioned officer only, who is detailed in charge of storeroom; these supplies are issued upon approved requmisition by camp surgeon only and receipt is taken on Form No. 16-a for each individual issue of liquor or narcotics. Check of liquors and narcotics is made once monthly by a commissioned officer.
Biological products are received from Army Medical School and the Squibb Agency at Fitchburg, Mass., and Lederle Laboratories; it takes from one to four days to receive these produucts from time they are ordered, which is satisfactory.

Post supplies -  There has been no shortage within the past four months; there is now a two months’ supply on hand, and requisition will be submitted to bring this up to a three months’ supply. Bed capacity of base hospital is 2,000. No supplies have thus far been submitted to the action of an inspector. Articles of furniture which become temporarily unserviceable are repaired. Woolen textiles are protected and those in use are freely aired. Rubber goods are kept in dark room and protected with talcum.

Field supplies -  These are issued intact and in original packages and not turned over to organizations until they are under orders for duty overseas. They are issued on memorandum receipts to organization surgeons and invoiced to divisions medical supply officer prior to leaving camp. There are at present no divisional units on hand, but requisition will be submitted as soon as a new division is formed at this camp. There are 19 infirmaries at this camp supplied from this depot; they are permanent organizations belonging to the cantonment. Chests stored at depot are kept in their original packages.

Dental supplies. - There are 31 base dental units at this cantonment supplied from this depot and a two months’ supply of dental articles is on hand at present. These supplies are received very promptly from New York, and requisitions are filled as put in from here. There are three portable dental outfits at this camp, placed in camp infirmaries at the cantonment; these are only temporarily used until base dental infirmary is completed.

Veterinary supplies -  These are supplied from St. Louis and Philadelphia and are satisfactory with the exception that it takes a considerable time to receive these supplies


from St. Louis. A two months’ supply is now on hand; one requisition has not yet been filled. There are approximately 8,068 animals at camp and the capacity of the veterinary hospital is 400.

General remarks - The following sanitary equipment is on hand:
Regimental hospital equipment................................................number..... 1
Litters............................................................................................ do ........ 423
  Officers'equipment...................................................................... do .......     6
Enlisted men's equipment.........................................................  do .......    11
  Sufficient first-aid packages, foot powder, and adhesive plaster is on hand to equip command. A full divisional equipment is now needed to equip a division, and requisitions for same will be submitted this month.
Unserviceable spare parts of ambulances are turned in to reclamation officer and rubber tires are sent to Louisville, Ky., by freight. At present a small percentage of the permanent organization use field dressings; i. e., compressed bandages, small packages of gauze, etc.
There is no excess demand of any supplies and no wastage has been noted in any of the departments.
In emergency supplies can be purchased in Boston, a distance of 35 miles from camp. Total amount of local market purchases during past three months was $5,603.56, of which  $2,835.48 was for biological products, animals for laboratory, and feed for same. When Royal typewriters are in need of repair they are repaired by a mechanic sent by the Royal Typewriter Agency in Boston without cost to the Government.

Remarks.  - The depot at this camp is run in a very efficient manner. The men are well trained in their respective duties. Understudies are continuously broken in, and there are now two or more men available for each important work. If a man shows no adaptability for supply work, recommendations should be made to transfer him to another branch of the Medical Department, but this has thus far not been necessary, as all men detailed here like the special work assigned to them. It requires at least three months of training to qualify a man in supply work, and about 3 per cent of the men thus trained would make good supply officers, based on past experience of about 200 men who received training within the past eight months. This small percentage is given because the supply officer has not had an opportunity to test the full capacity of a man who has been with him for a short time. If more time were given the supply officer in testing out these men, a much larger percentage would undoubtedly qualify for commissions. In order to give the men a full course of valuable instructions in supply work, at least one additional commissioned officer of the Sanitary Corps should be detailed as assistant to the medical supply officer to act as instructor, detachment commander, and personnel officer.

Recommendations. -
(1) That one 1-ton truck be provided for use at depot
   (2) That veterinary supplies be shipped from Philadelphia depot instead of St. Louis.
   (3) That no field dressings be used by permanent organizations in Camp, and post supplies only be furnished on approved requisitions by camp surgeon.
   (4) That at training camps one additional officer of the Sanitary Corps be detailed as assistant instructor and detachment commander for the men detailed at supply depot.


Property officer - First Lieutenant Sanitary Corps, National Army.
Enlisted men. - Noncommissioned officers: Sergeant, first class, 1; sergeant, 1; corporal, 1. Privates: Privates, first class, 2; privates, 10.
These men are permanently assigned to duty with the property office of the base hospital and are rationed and quartered at the base hospital.
The records are kept by the detachment commander.
Each man is assigned to a certain position in the property office and is riot intended, except when necessity demands it.
No course of instruction is being given to them.
Buildings. - The property office of the base hospital is located in one of the warehouses intended for the camp medical supply depot.


The laundry is stored in the laundry building, built in the rear of the base hospital. These buildings are sufficient for all the needs of the base hospital property office.
The building is protected by 8 water barrels located on the outside of the building and 35 water buckets. A fire extinguisher and 6 water buckets are located on the inside of the building. The building itself is located in the vicinity of the fire house, about 200 feet from same. This protection is deemed sufficient.
The buildings are locked at night and the keys kept in the possession of two noncommissioned officers. A regular guard is provided for the base hospital who patrols the vicinity of the warehouse.

Requisitions - The base hospital has a capacity of 2,000 beds, of which at the present time about 1,200 are in use.
Requisitions are prepared in the following manner:
The head of each department of the base hospital prepares an original requisition which is submitted to the property officer oms the 5th of each month for supplies needed for the following month.
The property officer consolidates these requests and forwards this requisition, through the division surgeon, to the camp medical supply officer. This requisition is then filled by the camp medical supply officer, as far as his stock will allow.
Additional articles which he may not have on hand are requisitioned for by the camp medical supply officer and as soon as they are received by him are issued to the base hospital.

Supplies. - The property officer states that on the whole supplies have been ample and satisfactory. This, too, is concurred in by the commanding officer of the base hospital. Supplies are generally received within two weeks from the time when requisition was submitted.
No maximum or minimum limit on stock records has been established, but the property officer states that he intends to do so in the future. A month’s supply of expendable articles is carried in the storeroom by the property officer.
All narcotics and liquors are kept in a closet under lock and key. A record is being kept of the amount on hand and issues made. These records are balanced once a month and are inspected by the property officer from time to time. The key is kept in the possession of the sergeant.
A sufficient amount of biological products is kept on hand at the laboratory. They are procured from the camp medical supply officer and no difficulty has been experienced in obtaining them at any time.
Accountability. - The property officer holds all nonexpendable property on memorandum receipt from the camp medical supply officer. These memorandum receipts at the present time are made on issue slips (Form 16B, M. M. D.). No consolidation of these slips has as yet been made, but the property officer is starting a consolidated record of his nonexpendahle property. As yet he is unable to state the quantity of each article on hand.
Every department in the base hospital is charged with all nonexpendable property in use therein. These receipts are signed by the officer in charge of the individual department. Credits and debits are added from time to time and are posted to date.
   A consolidated location card is being kept by the property officer, showing the location of every article of nonmexpendable property for which the property officer is responsible, and as soon as the consolidated memorandum receipt record is completed the total responsibility of each article can be shown on these cards.

Supplies. - Three regular issues are made weekly.
Emergency requisitions are only made upom the approval of the adjutant. Receipt is taken for all expendable property for the protection of the property officer. These receipts are consolidated daily and posted on the stock record and the stock record balanced daily.
Requisitions are carefully scrutinized and only the quantity which is actually needed is issued.


The property officer states that no medical property is being used improperly. He bases his statement on the fact that no medical property is being issued by him for improper purposes.
The property rendered unserviceable is being surveyed by the property officer of the base hospital and the completed survey reports turned over to the camp medical supply officer.

Red Cross property
. - Red Cross supplies have been received and are being issued. The property officer keeps a lists of this property and issues it on memorandum receipt to the different wards. None of this property is being carried on the return of medical property of the camp.
Recommendations. - The following recommendations are made:
1. That the property officer give a course of instruction to the men on duty at the property office, covering duties of men in the supply branch.
2. That the men be interchanged in their duties from time to time.
3. That the property officer retain a key to the warehouse in his possession at all times and that the other key be intrusted to the senior noncommissioned officer on duty at the property office.
4. That the key to the liquor room be kept in the possession of the property officer and that the property officer check all liquors in the closet once a week.
5. That the property officer be instructed to make frequent visits to all parts of the base hospital and assure himself of the fact that all medical property is not being used improperly.
6. That the property officer make an inventory of all supplies received from the Red Cross, which inventory he should turn over to the camp medical supply officer, to have these articles taken up on the return of property. The property officer should receipt to the camp medical supply officer for these articles, on memorandum receipt.
7. That all unserviceable property be exchanged for serviceable property by the camp medical supply officer and that the camp medical supply officer dispose of the unserviceable property.


The regulations in force prior to and for several months following the declaration of war required an officer in every Medical Department organization to take up and account for all medical property which came into the possession of the organization.18 Every such officer was required to render a return upon being relieved of such duty, or yearly, as the case might be, of all medical property received by him. It was early appreciated that under this system, a vast number of such returns would he rendered and by a multitude of different officers, from the training camps; furthermore, it would be very difficult to settle many of them satisfactorily if it could ever be accomplished. To lessen the number of returns and to increase the efficiency of the medical supply service at the camps the following instructions were issued by the Surgeon General, October 12, 1917, to all camps having a medical supply officer:19

1. In order to reduce the clerical work as much as possible it is proposed to have all accountability for the Medical Department property at the camps and cantonments confined to the medical supply officer.

2. The medical supply officer will be accountable for all medical, dental, and veterinary property, except web belt equipment in the personal possessions of medical officers. The latter will render individual returns for such equipments as required in paragraph 507 (a), Manual for the Medical Department.

3. All nonexpendable property will be issued on approved requisitions by the medical supply officer, who will take memorandum receipts for it.


4. When an organization is relieved from duty at the camp the Medical Department property taken with it will be invoiced to the proper medical officer by the supply officer.

5. Nonexpendable property now held by medical officers of organizations should be invoiced by them to the medical supply officer, who, after verification of the property, will receipt for it and will take memorandum receipts from the invoicing officer. The invoicing officer will then close his accountability by rendering a final return in the usual manner, dropping thereon the expendable supplies for which he may be accountable as well as the nonexpendable supplies transferred to the medical supply officer.

6. Unserviceable property should be disposed of, as provided in paragraph 678, Army Regulations, as amended by C. A. R. No. 30, July 24, 1915.

7. Returns of Medical Department property will be rendered by the medical supply officer, as provided in paragraph 507, Manual for the Medical Department.

8. You are directed to institute such measures as may be necessary to impress upon all officers in the Medical Department (medical, dental, and veterinary) of your division that this arrangement is made for the purpose of reducing clerical work and that responsibility for the proper use and care of Government property rests with them as heretofore.

9. If the plan herein outlined is found to be a practicable solution of the accountability problem, it is the purpose of this office to extend the method by having provided a division medical supply officer who will secure and distribute all Medical Department supplies for the division and who will be accountable for same.

10. If any serious objections to thus plan should occur to you, or if you have any suggestions to make in regard thereto, please communicate them to this office as soon as possible.

Under this plan officers having unserviceable property on memorandum receipt could take it to the local medical supply depot and exchange the damaged article for a new or serviceable one with no other formality than the necessary certificates showing how the property became unserviceable. It gave the medical officer a better opportunity to keep an efficient check upon the methods used by different organizations in the care of their equipment.20 It was intended by these instructions to make the medical supply officer the only officer at the camp who would account for and make a return of medical property. Accountability for expendable property ceased upon issue to organizations. The medical supply officer was expected to secure duplicate receipts from the officer to whom the expendable property was issued, but he was not expected to invoice it.21


(1) Supply Letter No. 17, S. G. O., July 6, 1917.
(2) Report of the Medical Supply Officer, Camp Lee, Va., October 1, 1917. Subject: Monthly Report, Medical Supply Depot, for September, 1917. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 534-Misc./18.
(3) Letter from the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, to the Secretary of War, April 21, 1917. Subject: Employment of retired noncommissioned personnel, Medical Department. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 169, 559.
(4) Letter from the Assistant and Chief Clerk, War Department, to the Surgeon General, May 18, 1917. Subject: Military Storekeepers. 0n file, Record Room, S. G. O., 169, 559-A.
(5) Letter from the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, to The Adjutant General, May 21, 1917. Subject: Recommendation that retired men be ordered to active duty. On file, Record Room, S. G. 0., 169, 559-C and D.
(6) G. O. No. 80, War Department, June 30, 1917, as amended by G. O. No. 113, War Department, August 22, 1917.


(7)Telegrams from the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, to Medical Supply Officers, New York, N. Y.; St. Louis, Mo.; San Francisco, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Philadelphia, Pa.;  San Antonio, Tex.; and El Paso, Tex., July 24, 1917. On file, Finance and Supply Divisions, S. G. O., 14, 039-174.
(8) Personal reports. On file, personnel division, S. G. O.
(9) Telegram from the Surgeon General to the Department Surgeon, Southeastern Department, August 3, 1917. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 14,738-13.
(10) Letter from the commanding officer, Base Hospital, Camp Sevier, S. C., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, November 22, 1917. Subject: Accountability for medical property. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O.,  534-Misc./18.
(11) Letters and indorsements from division surgeons and commanding officers of base hospitals at various National Army and National Guard camps, October 18, 1917, to November 22, 1917, relative to medical supply officers and property and property accountability. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 534-Misc./18.  
(12) Second Indorsement, from the Surgeons General, to the commanding officer, Base Hospital, Camp Sevier, S. C., December 1, 1917, relative to a separate supply officer for that base hospital. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 534-Misc./18.
(13) Letter from the Adjutant General, to the Chiefs of War Department Bureaus and Commanding Generals of all National Army and National Guard Divisions, December 21, 1917. Subject: Medical supply officers for divisions and cooks for regimental medical detachments. On file, Record Room, S. G. 0., 320.3-1.
(14) Monthly report of the camp medical supply officer at Camp Taylor, Ky., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, August 31, 1917, on operation of the camp mnedical supply depot. On file, Finance and Supply Divisions, S. G. O., 531-129/17.
(15) Letter from the Surgeon General to the division surgeons, at all National Army camps. August 17, 1917. Subject: Prompt issue of supplies. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 531-123/1.
(16) Letter from the camp medical supply officer, Camp Lee, Va., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, October 1, 1917. Subject: Monthly report of medical supply depot. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O.,  534-Misc./18.
(17) Letter from the camp medical supply officer, Camp Dix, N. J., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, September 30, 1917. Subject: Monthly report of medical supply depot. On  file, Financeand Supply Division, S. G. O.,  531-123/22.
(18) Manual for the Medical Department, U. S. Army, 1916, paragraphs 501-502.
(19) Mimeographed letter from the Surgeon General to division surgeons, October 12, 1917. Subject: Accountability of Medical Department property.
(20) Letter from the medical supply officer, Camp Lee, Va., to Col. H. A. Shaw, M. C., S. G. O., August 31, 1917. Subject: Issue of nonexpendable medical, dental, and veterinary equipment. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O.,  534-Misc./18.
(21) Personal letter from Col. Edwin P. Wolfe, M. C., S. G. O., to Lieut. Col. Levy M. Hathaway, M. C., Divisions Surgeon, 33d Division, Camp Logan, Tex., October 6, 1917. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 534-127/16.