1 Op. cit., p. 296.
5 Op. cit., p. 311.
3 Op. cit., p. 246.
T0P0GRA1MIY, BTO., OF TIIK WKSTKIi.N HIGHLANDS. 209
when more or less rain falls nearly every day, sometimes in torrents.
The winds are generally from the west, northwest and south, and
-vldom severe. Changes in temperature are very gradual. On ac-
count of the altitude of the post and the dryness of the atmosphere, the
heat of summer is never oppressive, while the nights are always de-
liriously cool. The winter season is very mild, one or two light falls
of snow occurring generally in February and lasting but one or two days.
" In bronchitis, either acute or chronic, this climate is unfavorable for
either cure or relief. The air is too rarefied and too stimulating, and
acts almost as an irritant to the bronchial mucous membrane. I have
also observed in even slight cases of catarrh attended with cough, that they
are very intractable. I have seen several cases of phthisis, and have one
at the present time under my charge, but I have not seen any beneficial
results produced by this climate. They have all gone on from bad to
worse, and finally died. I believe that it is only the very early stages of
tubercular disease that this or any other climate can exert a beneficial
"I have a theory of my own in regard to the disease, and which I be-
lieve I have seen exemplified by several cases; and that is, that there are,
so to speak, two classes of cases, one of which is characterized or accom-
panied by a dry, hacking cough, but with little expectoration and a ten-
dency to haemoptysis. In the other, there is a copious secretion from the
bronchial mucous membrane. This latter class would be benefited by a
mild dry climate, not subject to sudden changes, and of a lower altitude
than this, say 2,000 or 3,003 or 4,000 feet.- The former class would
lead a life of torture here, and this climate, or one similar to it, would
only add to the mischief already done. They would be benefited by a
mild moist climate, in close proximity to the sea. Phthisis is almost
unknown among the Mexican population here, notwithstanding their
filthy habits, probably on account of their living nearly all the time out
of doors, and being natives of the soil and accustomed to this climate. I
know that horses brought here from the States, and cattle introduced
here go down in condition for the first year until they are acclimated,
and I believe that the human race requires also a certain time for accli-
Of 4,728 cases of disease from all causes recorded at the military
posts in New Mexico during four years, 1870 to 1874, 10, or one in 472.8,
were for consumption. The most prevalent diseases at these posts dur-
ing the while were diarrhoea and catarrhal diseases, and intermittent
In Arizona, from Camp Apache, at the altitude of 6,000 feet above
the sea, latitude, 33Â° 40'; longitude, 32Â° 52' west. The climate is
described by Assistant Surgeons J. B. Girard and L. G. Lori ng 1 as
1 Op. cit., p. 525.
210 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS.
being cool and moist, as compared with that of the lower districts. The
forests are extensive, and the plateaus and river bottoms during the
rainy season are luxuriant with rich grasses. Of 1,171 cases of dis-
eases at the post, during the period 1870-74, there was one only of
consumption. There were 446 cases of intermittent fever.
At Camp Grant, in the southern part of Arizona, latitude 32Â° 25'
north; longitude, 32 3 23' 10" west; altitude, 3,985 feet above sea level,
Assistant Surgeon Gr. McMiller' describes the climate as an eminently
disagreeable one. " The warm season is very protracted and the days
very hot. The nights, however, are comparatively cool; otherwise the
heat would be absolutely insupportable. The winters are mild, almost
as much so as those of Florida; but violent winds, frequent at all seasons,
are particularly prevalent during the cool portion of the year, and very
heavy rains are also then frequent, especially during the months of Jan-
uary and February. There are, however, occasional periods of pleasant
and even charming weather, especially during the autumnal months.
The mildness of the winters is fortunate for the military, preventing
much discomfort to imperfectly-sheltered officers and men. The cli-
mate lacks equability at all seasons. The thermometer may indicate, in
winter, a point below freezing at day-break, and the cold may be
very uncomfortable, while at 2 o'clock p.m. of the same day a thin coat
may prove unpleasantly warm to the wearer. Notwithstanding the
mildness of the winters, the frequent and great variations of temperature
will always render the climate an unsuitable one for phthisical invalids.
Catarrhal affection^, of every grade of severity, are exceedingly common."
At Camp McDowell, situated on the Eio Verde about eight miles
above its junction with the Salt River, latitude, 33Â° 40' north; longi-
tude, 34Â° 37' west; altitude, 1,800 feet above the sea: " The climate is
warm and dry. Although the thermometer in the day-time in summer
may show a high degree of heat, the nights are commonly not oppressive.
Thunder clouds from the mountains drop a heavy passing shower once a
month. In winter the rains are lighter, though of much longer dura-
tion. Snow falls on the mountains, but not on the mesa. The winds
are variable and light, except when immediately preceding a thunder
At Camp Mojave, situated on the Colorado Eiver, near the head of
the Mojave Valley, latitude 35Â° 6' north; longitude 37Â° 28' west; alti-
tude, 600 feet above the level of the sea. " The climate is healthy, the
winters pleasant, but the summers extremely hot. There is no rainy sea-
son, though thunder showers are frequent in July and August. The annual
rise of the Colorado takes place in June. The prevailing winds in the
1 Op. cit., p. 535.
2 Assistant Surgeons Charles Smart, D. De Witt, and James Reagles, U. S.
Army. Op. cit., p. 544.
TOPOGRAPHY, i iv., OF mi: wi.sii.kn iik. iiianks. 211
Bummer are from the south, and passing over the arid plains the air La
so heated that its scorches like that from an oven. The nights ai
hoi as the days, the temperature not varying in the slightest degree for
hours â€” so hot that no one can sleep in a house, the whole garrison lying
upon the open plain, endeavoring to catch the faintest breeze, the walls
of the houses becoming so heated as to render t he barracks unendurable. 1
Of 335 cases of disease recorded in four years at this post, 1870â€”181 l. live,
were for consumption.
" In the valley of Granite Creek (at the base of Granite .Mountain near
the northern extremity of the Sierra, Prieta, latitude :il 29' 6" north;
longitude 35Â° 27' 30" west); during the spring and summer tnonl as, the
climate is mild; there being none of the long and scorching heat which
in the southern portion of the territory kills all vegetation except that
on the margin of the streams. Frequent rains fall in the autumn, and
duriug the winter the mountains are covered with snow, which in the
severe seasons may lie even in the valleys for two or three weeks at a
Of 9,121 cases of disease recorded at nine military posts in Arizona
during four years, 1870-1874, 19, or 1 in 480, were for consumption. The
prevailing diseases were intermittent fevers, catarrhal and diarrhceal
The climate of Southern Colorado is reported upon by Assistant
Surgeon P. Moffatt, U. S. Army, 3 from Fort Garland, situated at San
Luis, the southern of the Colorado Parks; latitude, 27Â° 23' north; longi-
tude, 27Â° 20' west; altitude, 7,805 feet above the sea.
Dr. Moffatt observes that : â€”
"In the last few years this region has acquired quite a degree of
notoriety as a sanitarium for persons suffering from various forms of
chronic disease â€” more particularly in cases involving pulmonary affec-
tions. Great numbers of invalids come to this territory yearly from the
Atlantic States, and many from foreign countries in search of health.
This region promises fair to become to health-seekers the Italy and
Switzerland of the American Continent, and the Rocky Mountains to
vie with the Alps and Appenines as a resort for those in search of a new
lease of life.
" In considering the sanitary effects of a sojourn or permanent resi-
dence in this country, including not this point only, but all the elevated
regions of the southwest, two distinct points are to be taken cognizance
of : one is the change in occupation, manner of life, and social relations
to which the individual is introduced, and which he is led to adopt
1 Assistant Surgeons F. S. Stirling and J. B. Lawrence, U. S. Army, Op. cit.,
8 From Fort Whipple, Assist. Surgeons H. R. Lippincott and J. B. Girard,
U. S. Army. Op. cit., p. 556.
3 Op. cit., p. 257.
212 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS.
upon arriving in this country; the other has reference to climatic and
other conditions peculiar to the locality to which he is subjected.
"In the case of the tourists travelling for pleasure or for health, the
drudgery of business has been suspended, and recreation is made the object
of life for the time; or the indolent and luxurious life of the city has been
exchanged for the novelties, exercise, and less sumptuous fare of "the
mountains." In the case of those who have settled permanently in the
country, they too have adopted occupations and habits of life materially
different from what they were accustomed to before coming here. It is
quite a usual thing in these mountainous regions to find people living a pas-
toral life, or prospecting for ledges amidst the modest surroundings, and
in the most primitive style, who had been reared in affluence and fashion
in some of the larger cities of the East or of Europe. The number of
the population who prepare their victuals over the camp fires, or in the
rudest cabins, and who work, eat, and sleep in the open air, is by no
means inconsiderable. Closely-built buildings, heated with stoves, are
the exception out of the larger towns. Most of the habitations are so
constructed as to admit of free ventilation, and are warmed by the
primitive back-log upon the hearth, or the little fire place in one corner
of the room, where the wood is burned on end after the Mexican man-
ner. It is my opinion that no small degree of the undoubted benefits of
residence in these mountainous regions is, in certain forms of disease,
attributable to these causes. From what I have observed, it is by those
who place themselves under such circumstances, more frequently than
by those who endeavor to approximate as closely as possible to the per-
sonal surroundings of older communities, that improvement in health is
enjoyed. â– As a general thing, the more thoroughly the person can ap-
proximate his occupation and manner of life to the state of existence
known as ' roughing it/ the better the result.
" The principal distinguishing feature of Fort Garland and vicinity, in
a sanitary point of view, is its great altitude. Little perceptible effect
is observed upon the respiration of persons in good health, as a general
thing, but some individuals do complain of a want of breath on slight
exertion. The respiration is somewhat increased in frequency, and the
action of the chest deeper than at ordinary altitudes. This is rendered
necessary from the fact that a greater volume of air is required to fur-
nish a given quantity of oxygen to the economy in this place, where the
barometer indicates a pressure of only about 22.50 inches, than at ordi-
" To this increased mechanical action or play of the lungs, and disten-
tion of the parenchymatous tissue, may be attributed part of the bene-
ficial effects of high altitudes in certain diseases of these organs. The
effect of this place (San Luis Park, Col., altitude 7,805) upon the cir-
culation is quite as marked as upon the respiration. The pulse of
fifteen persons, all in good health, was carefully noted. In every case
TOPOGRAPHY, BTO., OF THB WESTERS SIOBLAND8. 213
the person was in a state of quiei at the time of the examination, the
subjects being either seated or in the recumbenl postnre. Three of the
number were females. The average per minute of the fifteen was, in
round numbers, ninety, lacking only the Blightesl fraction, in exam-
ining the pulse for diagnostic purposes, I had, prior to these observa-
tions, and almost unconsciously, dropped into the habil of allowing an
increase of ten to fifteen in frequency over the usual rate per minute
without attaching any significance thereto. A very noticeable feature
in connection with the pulse is its rapid rise in frequency upon exertion.
The pulse in four persons in perfect health was noted while at rest,
and again after a brisk walk on level ground of a hundred yards, with
an increase in frequency, respectively, of 28, 42, 35 and 23 per minute.
This rapid action of the heart and excitability upon exertion is in ac-
cordance with the increased rapidity of the respiration, but it constitutes a
very serious objection to this place as a residence for those laboring
nnder cardiac disease, or any affection in which it forms a-complication.
I have not seen cases of this nature here; but from what I have observed
in other localities of considerable altitude, I am satisfied of the truth of
this remark. Altitude seems to have an effect upon those suffering from
heart disease something similar to the exertion of ascending a stair or
walking up hill. In any case in which this condition exists as compli-
cation, whatever may be the benefit otherwise, I am satisfied that the
embarrassment caused to the heart will be a serious offset, if not an in-
superable obstacle, to any real improvement. . . .
" Vesicular emphysema, and that form of chronic bronchitis associated
with disease of the heart, I believe unsuited to a residence here, or in
any locality possessing this altitude. The other forms of chronic bron-
chitis, chronic pneumonia, and phthisis, are the diseases par excellence
for which I believe this region peculiarly well fitted.
"A case is under my observation at present at this post, of a man who
left the Atlantic coast a little over one year ago, and came to Colorado for
bis health. Before leaving the East he had suffered three alarming
hemorrhages from the lungs, and his case was considered grave in the
extreme. Since coming to this region he has much improved, and has
had no repetition of the hemorrhage. A permanent residence in this
country will, in all probability, confer length of years upon a life which
was considered doomed before he left his home in the East. Another
case has come under my observation in contrast with this, where a man
came to this region in the third stage of pulmonary tuberculosis ten
months ago. He w T as not improved by coming here; but on the con-
trary, the increased labor imposed upon the portion of lung still re-
maining caused a constant uncomfortable feeling of want of breath.
At an unexpected moment, after he had been in this country some
months, violent pulmonary hemorrhage occurred, and the man died
within ten minutes."
214 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS.
Of 2,124 cases of disease recorded at Forts Garland and Lyon, Colo-
rado, during four years, 1870-1874, 5, or 1 in 422.8, were for consump-
tion. Of these, 1,2G7 cases, and 4 for consumption occurred at Fort
Garland, 7,805 feet elevation; and 857 cases, and 1 for consumption,
occurred at Fort Lyon, 3,800 feet elevation. The most prevalent dis-
eases at both places were catarrh and bronchitis, and diarrhoeal diseases.
At the military posts of Kansas for the same period, 15,051 cases
were recorded, of which 29, or one in 347.3 were for consumption.
In Nebraska, for the same period 9,777 cases, of which 14, or one in
G98.3, were for consumption. Catarrh and bronchitis, and diarrhceal
diseases, were alike the most prevalent diseases in the military posts of
both these States.
Wyoming. Assistant Surgeon Charles Smart reports from Fort
Bridger, altitude 7,010 feet. 1
" The climate is temperate and salubrious the greater part of the year.
The weather during the fall months is mild and delightful, excepting a
few snowstorms of short duration. No severe weather occurs before the
middle of December; after that time there are frequent storms and high
winds. Cold weather continues late in the spring, and the grass does
not begin to grow until in May. Although the post is in a valley, with
streams all around and through it, the atmosphere is comparatively dry,
the reading of the wet and dry bulb thermometers varying from ten to
fifteen degrees. The prevailing winds are from the west, and on an
average blow from that quarter twenty-eight days in a month.
" In investigating the amount and the character of the sickness at this
station, the records of the past eight years, 1866-1873, have been ex-
amined. Although the port has been in existence since 1857, the records
are complete only from the close of the war, when the volunteers were
relieved by a regular garrison. During these years 2,335 cases were
entered on the register, of which six died and forty-nine were dis-
charged, 2 an annual average of 1,932 cases per thousand of mean
strength, with a mortality of 1 in 392 cases. This is a healthier record
than the average of the army during the same period. The discharges,
as a whole, have a greater bearing on the physique of the recruits re-
ceived than the diseases prevalent at the station; setting them aside, the
other diseases show to the advantage of Fort Bridger. If we express the
sickness and mortality of the army, each as a unity, Fort Bridger's sick-
roll will be represented by .81, and its mortality by .25. Acute rheu-
matism, conjunctivitis, catarrh, quinsy, laryngitis, and phthisis are
specially the diseases of the station. These would seem, with the excep-
tion of conjunctivitis, to be developed from climatic influences. The
spread of the eye diseases was the result of low ceilings, overcrowding,
^p. cit., p. 316.
2 Op. cit., p. 316.
TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THH \vi-iik\ HIGHLANDS. '2 1 .">
and defioienl means for effeoting personal cleanliness. It continued
iminenl on the reoords for three years, and disappeared with repairs
and improvements, winch furnished increased air-space by heightening
the ceiling of the barrack-rooms and abolishing donble-tiered bunks. This
point in the history of the post offers a good example of what sanitary
science can accomplish. Non-prof essional men, in their superiority to
such trifles, may smile at the doctor's insistence on air-space, ven-
tilation, lavatories, and soon; but a disease completely expunged from
the record by attention to these trifles proves the virtue there maybe
" Acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and pleurisy are rare dis-
eases at this station, only three of pleurisy and two of pneumonia having
occurred during the eight years. This is a favorable showing; nor is it
detracted from by the fact that four of the six deaths are set down to
lung affection. Two are reported as from congestion of the lungs; but
intemperance and exposure are added, materially qualifying the part
which climate enacted in the deaths. The third was from abscess of the
lung (latent) in a soldier prematurely old, and broken down by long
courses of dissipation. The fourth is from 'acute phthisis/ as a sequel
to mountain fever. Peritonitis is responsible for the fifth (particulars
not given), and penetrating chest wound for the sixth. . . .
"In a tabulated statement of sickness, giving the monthly ratios per
thousand of mean strength, average of eight years, 1866-73, the lines
Average mean strength,
Inflammation of lungs, .
Acute bronchitis, .
Total climatic disease, .
Chronic bronchitis, .
" From the above it is seen that catarrh, numerically considered, is
pre-eminently the disease of the station, four out of every ten men being
affected annually. It is difficult to perceive why March should exceed
the other months so remarkably in its production of this disease, unless it
be attributed to the alternate freezing and thawing, caused by variations
above and below the mean temperature of 28.51Â° Fahrenheit. April,
May, and June follow on the list; the gradual rise in the temperature
melts the snows of winter, necessitating precautions against damp feet
from slush and mud, and furnishing more cases than the colder months.
Another cause of the prominence of this disease during the months of
rising temperature is the change which the warm mid-day hours call for
in the soldier's clothing: the extra shirt is laid aside, and after sunset a
slight chilliness ushers in the attack. July, August, September, and
-October have less of these cases, August notably so.
216 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS.
" Pure cold seems to have much to do with the production of tonsilli-
tis; December and January, the two coldest months, giving by far the
largest numbers, although February, which takes rank next as to cold,
gives fewer cases than the warmer months that follow, perhaps because
the variation and humidity are relatively less. In this disease also,
June shows the effects of lessening the clothing. In August and Sep-
tember the disease is at its minimum. I believe that these catarrhs
and quinsies could be much reduced by a system of ventilation. During
four months of the year, the temperature falls below zero at night. The
great object of the men in quarters in such weather is to keep warm.
The fires are well attended to, and every chink which admits fresh air,
and can be reached, is carefully stopped up. With the thermometer so
low, there is seldom any wind to promote change in the atmosphere of
the room, and it soon becomes loaded with exhalations and depressingly
warm, leading the men to sick-call from exposure at the reveille; pro-
perlv constructed ventilation, which would renew the air and prevent
the rooms from becoming overheated, would relieve the sick-report of
many a case which burdens it under existing arrangements."
These remarks are no less significant in regard to family quarters in
the ordinarv domicile in cold seasons and climates in the United
States generally, than to soldier's quarters.
" Laryngitis appears in the colder months and early spring, and is un-
known in the summer.
" Rheumatic fever is scattered over the months without reference
to season, wind, humidity, temperature, or its fluctuations. . . .
"Summer is the season for the remittents, but they appear during all
the other months, except September and October. I am not aware of
any case of consumption which has originated in this neighborhood; but
although the country has been settled as now for some fifteen years, and
several large families have been brought up, the population is too scanty
to give this point by itself much weight. The prevailing impression
among the citizens is that the climate, though severe in the winter, is
verv beneficial to such cases of consumption as are able to stand it.
Such ideas among the people are usually the reflection of professional
opinion, and I state the above to indicate what has probably been that
of my predecessors at the post.
'â€¢'Twelve entries of consumption appear on the registers: of these, one
died, as recorded above; eight were discharged, one returned to duty,
and two are presumed to have returned, although mutilation of part of
the records prevent certainty; at all events, they arc not borne on the
monthly reports as discharged or dead. Of the eight discharged, one
only is stated to have originated prior to entry into the service; the other
seven are reported as having been developed in the line of duty â€” that is,
the men, whether affected with incipient phthisis or not before their
arrival in this climate, were able to perform their duty while at the post,.
TOPOGBAPHTj ETC., OF Till', wkstkkn iih.iil \m>s. ^17
and broke down cinder the progress of the disease while exposed to the
climatic influences of the station. To the twelve entries I have added
in tin- table a thirteenth, appearing in May, L871, as a discharge Cor
"debility on account, of catarrh. " This gives L0.76 per thousand of
mean strength of eases of consumption developed at Fort Bridger an-