William Richards Castle William Roscoe Thayer.

The Harvard graduates' magazine online

. (page 32 of 103)
Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 32 of 103)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

that they were going to shoot, although
they had no intention of really doing
so, and the playing for them there of
Chopin's Marehe funibre in order to
probng th«r agonies before they were
finally released. As a student of histoiy
I have always believed that one of my
first duties was "to learn to doubt,'* and
I confess that the report ol Lord Bryce's

Digitized by





oommission (of whidi I knew something
before its publication), and even Prof.
B^dier's notable pamphlet* had left me
somewhat skeptical about €r«man
atrocities; but the sight of Gerb^viller
and my conversation with Sceur Julie
were terribly convincing.

Returning to Lun^ville, we had lunch,
and a walk in the gardens of the palace,
which, though it served as temporary
headquarters of the German army of
occupation, had been left intact "// ta
sans dire qu*iU ont erdevf let pendulee"
as my informant remarked, but the in-
habitants were so very quiet and submis-
sive that most of the buildings in the
town escaped. Leaving Lun6ville in a
northerly direction we passed through
the villages of Biaize, Drouville, Cour-
bessauz, and Rem£r6ville, in each of
which 500 to 1000 French soldiers were
quartered, and at the last-named veered
sharply to the east. The rumbling of
cannon showed that we were approach-
ing the front, and at Ho^ville, the next
place, we were subjected to a particu-
larly searching examination by the sentry
before being permitted to enter. A few
words with an <^Ger there informed us
that we were close to the aoanmgnee,
and the Mayor, who knew the ground
pretty well, thought it advisable after
leaving Ho^ville to swing once more to
the north. A little farther on, where the
road ran along the crest of a high ridge,
the Mayor observed that we could be
plainly seen and fired at from the Ger-
man trenches if th^ chose to waste am-
munition on us. But as we believed that
we were still within the FVench iwant'
Ugnse, we were not seriously disturbed.
At Som6ville, however, a little farther
on, we found our way blocked by a
formidable barbed-wire entanglement
guarded by several rather truculent-
looking soldiers, and were obliged to
turn round. On the way back a number

of French soldiers leaped from a trench
a few hundred yards to the west of us
and brandished their rifles, and thero
was a clatter that sounded veiy much as
if their "action" was being "worked,"
and their bolts thrown into place. Not
a shot was fired, but we should probably
have been pretty uncomfortable had we
then known what the Mayor, after a
conversation with tl^ military authori-
ties, was able t'v^' us on the following
morning, namely, that we had actually
been for several kilometres in front of the
French mainirlignee in "no man's land"
between the two hostile armies. In a
rolling, partially wooded countiy like
Lorraine, where the trenches are not
continuous, but arranged in concealed
strategical positions ccnnmanding the
various routes, it is perfectly easy to
wander in between the lines, provided
one gets past the villages where the ren-
dezvous of the different regiments are.
Once there the assumption is that one is
familiar with the terrain and the dispo-
sition of the troops, and one is suffered
to go pretty well whither one pleases.
There was so little going on that day
that we probably ran almost no risk, but
at a busier season we might well have
been "potted."

Frem Ho^ville we retraced our steps
to Bem£r6ville and then north again to
Erb^viller and Champenouz, which we
entered from the south after another
careful scrutiny by the sentiy. The
Mayor thought that by turning to the
right we might get out to Masenilles
and see some artillery in action. So we
passed swiftly out of Champenouz to the
eastward, only to be brought up after
we had gone half a mile or so by a salvo
from a battery of eoixanU-quifuee in-
stalled in a carefully concealed position
dose to the roadside. We were not 50
yards distant from the guns when they
went off, and feeling that further ad-

Digitized by



War Notes.


▼ance might lead us into difficulties we
stopped the car and got out. The squad
that was serving the battery looked at
us with curiosity, but ventured no re-
mark, and we were hesitating what to
say to them when a middle-aged lieuten-
ant-colonel, much out of breath and
considerably excited, appeared on the
scene and asked us by what authority
we had ventured so far. Our safe-con-
duct was produced, blT^roved unsatis-
factory; it authorized us to enter Chamr
penouz aaru douie, but not to passer d
tout viiesss beyond it as we had done.
Feeling that it was none of my business,
I retired with M. Petit and watched with
some amusement while the lieutenant-
colonel "gave it" to the Recteur and
the Mayor. First he poured out the vials
of his wrath upon the former until finally
the Mayor interposed and informed him
that he was addressing the Recteur of
the University of Nancy; then came the
Mayor's turn until the Recteur inter-
posed and introduced him. By that time
it had become obvious that the lieuten-
ant-colonel had said his say and was
convinced that we were n*t spies: indeed,
he seemed only to be looking for an ex-
cuse for being extra polite; and the Rec-
teur furnished him one by stating that
he had in tow "trn jeune AnUricain de
VUniversUS Harvard" who loved France
and wanted to see how her sons could
fight. A minute later the lieutenant-
colonel had taken me familiarly by the
arm and was pointing out all the beauties
of the s<nxante~qtnme. The gun is a per-
fect marvel and has hardly been changed
at all since it was first put forth in 1899;
its simplicity and the speed and con-
venience with which it can be manipu-
lated are its outstanding merits. Of
course the target at which the batteiy
was firing was out of sight over the brow
of a hill; the gxms that composed it were
pointed at an angle of 45 degrees; the

range-finder, two or three kilometres
away, was the only person who could see
the shells it fired explode, and he sent
back the result of his observations to the
officer in conunand of the battery by
field telephone, whose wire was strung
along on forked sticks. The officer issued
his directions accordingly, and every
man on the gun repeated them aloud
alter him so as to make sure that there
was no mistake. The men themselves
were of the sort that it does one's heart
good to see — cheerful, quick, and effi-
cient: the speed with which the fat man
of the party was made to jump up on,
break, and dear away a board which one
of the guns had accidentally caught up
on the recoil was delightfully impressive.
Some S5 shots were fired while I remained
there: once I went out and sat on the
ground a few hundred feet in front of the
battery and listened to the wonderful
metallic lengthening, undulating wail
which the shells made as they fiew over
me. The Germans were singularly slack
in replying. Every now and then we saw
one of their shells explode, but nothing
came near enough to worry us seriously.
They were apparently devoting most of
their attention to another battery far-
ther north, and they also wasted a num-
ber of shots on some of the numerous
"fake" or "Quaker" guns with which
the hillside was liberally sprinkled: I
should have said there were two or three
of them for every real one in the se tion
where I was. Apparently it is ahnost
impossible to distinguish them from the
"genuine article" when seen from aero-
planes, provided they are sufficiently
screened with bushes; indeed. I was inter-
ested to observe that on several occa-
sions the French had not even taken the
trouble to provide perfectly straight logs
to carry out the deception.

The ground in front of the battery was
scored with trenches and parallels, and

Digitized by



War Note$.


as the evening shades began to fall,
squads of soldiers issued from them while
others went forth to take their places.
Most of them had not fired a rifle for
several days and were getting a little
weary of the calme abtolu. Like the
lieutenant-colonel who came from Metz
and longed for his revanche, they yearned
for the day of the great advance. It may
still be a long time before it comes, but
most of those who have seen the French
army at work will await with serene con-
fidence the final issue.

R, B. Merriman, '96.

Harvard Men in Eoepiial Work.
More especially the nun connected wiih

the activities of the American Ambtir

lance Hospital, Paris.

Ever since the commencement of the
great European war graduates of Har-
vard have been connected with the State
Hospital, or War Departments of the
various nations involved. More partic-
ularly, and in greater numbers, have
they seen such service in France. My
personal experience in Europe covers
only the months of April, May, and
June, 1915, but the stimulus received
was perhaps sufficient to carry my inter-
est and observations pretty well back
over the entire course of the catastrophe.
Once the game was on, the American
Embassy in Paris became one of the
busiest places in Europe, on it having
devolved the care of those citizens of all
the nations fighting against the French,
still resident in, or traveling through,
France. Many Harvard men were among
those at once pressed into the corps of
workers in the Embassy: Robert Bacon,
'80, Robert W. Bliss, '00, 1st Sec. of the
Embassy, and W. O'D. Iselin, '05, were
active workers from the very beginning.
Since those days there have been many
changes. Major Morton Henry, '92,
Edward Pickman, '08, and other Har-

vard men have at different times helped
in the Embassy.

In the last days of August and early
in September the American Ambulance
was established as a military hospital
for wounded soldiers, by members of the
American Colony in Paris, and especially
by those on the staff of, or interested in,
the American Hospital, which had long
been established in Paris, The Ambu-
lance has been generously supported by
Americans both in Paris and at home.
It is directly under the control of the
Service de SantS of the French War De^
partment, and is independent of French,
English, or American Red Cross Socie-
ties. The Lyc^ Pasteur, a very large
school building, still under construction,
at Neuilly, a suburb of Paris, was secured
by the War Office, and after some alter-
ations and finishing work, which was
most admirably done in a very short
space of time, was converted into an
excellent hospital. All the administra-
tive departments of a modem hospital
were put into operation: kitchen, laun-
dry, supply room, diet kitchen, apothe-
cary, etc. The beds were divided into
several services, in addition to which
were established a Dental Department,
Throat and Nose Department, Eye
Department, and an X-ray Department.
An excellent corps of trained nurses was
brought into being, and a remarkable
organization of volunteer or auxiliary
nurses and orderlies fitted in to act as
assistants. It is fair to say that without
this efficient group of volunteer workers
the cost of adequate maintenance of the
hospital would have been very much

Beginning with 170 beds the capacity
was gradually increased, until, in June,
1915, it contained beds for over 570 pa-
tients. Of this number the University
Service (Service D) had 190 beds, the
rest being divided between the other

Digitized by



War Jiot€8.


three aervioef, m follows: Service A»
Dr. C. W. Dubouchet, turgeon-in-diief ;
Service B, Dr. Joseph A. BUke; Service
C, Dr. Blignon. The University Service
was composed of 18 wards, containing
each 10 or 11 beds, with a q>ecial operat-
ing-room and laboratoiy provided on
the fourth floor of one wing.

Simultaneously with the beginning of
the medical work in the hospital, the
Ambulance Service was started, and in
this corps Harvard men were enrolled
from the beginning. Intimately associ-
ated with the foundation and early days
of the hospital were several Harvard
men, especially Bobert Bacon, '80, and
Charies Carroll, '87. At the request of
the Medical Board of the American'
Ambulance a surgical omtingent was
organised by the Harvard Medical
School, and sent to France to take
charge of the so-called University Serv-
ice in that hospital from April 1 to
July 1, 1015. This contingent, common-
ly known as the "Harvard Unit," was
composed of 17 surgeons and nurses.
The funds needed for their equipment
and transportaticm were generously pro-
vided by William Lindsey, of Boston,
who, though not a graduate himself, has
a son, K. L. Undsey, '10. The personnel
of the unit was as follows: Dr. Harvey
Gushing, m '05, Professor of Surgery,
surgeon; Dr. Robert B. Greenough, 'OS;
Assistant Professor of Surgery, surgetm
and executive officer; Dr. Richard P.
Strong, Professor of Tropical Medicine,
bacteriologist; Dr. Robert B. Osgood,
m '00, orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Beth
Vincent, '08, assistant surgeon; Dr.
Walter M. Boothby, '02, anesthetist;
Drs. Fred A. CoUer, m '12, and Elliott
C. Cutler, '00, resident surgeons; Drs.
Philip D. Wilson, m '12, M. Smith-
Petersen, m '14, and Lymon G. Barton,
Jr., m '12, house officers; Dr. Orville F.
Rogers, Jr., '08, medical asnstant; Dr.

George Benet, m '18, laboratoiy assist-
ant; BtCsses Edith I. Cos, Genldine
Martin, Hden Paries, and Marion Wil-
son, operating-room nurses.

About April 10 Dr. Strong was obliged
to leave Paris for Serbia to take up the
position of Director of the Red Cross
Sanitary Commission; May 1, Dr. Cusb-
ing and Dr. Boothby left for home, and
May 28 Miss Wilson left for En^d.
The rest of the unit, however, remained
working in the American Ambulance till
our departure for home July 1.

Immediately on our arrival, April 1,
we took over the Uniyersity Service. As
soon as possible stenographers were ob-
tained and a system of filing and keeping
records was established. A photographer
was added to our retainers to aid in mak-
ing our observations and records more
complete. Histories were obtained on
all patients, except the few disdiarged
shortly after our arrival, and notes were
dictated on cases almost daily. These,
with duplicate X-ray prints, our own pho-
tographs, and various accessory studies*
made our records fairiy complete, and we
brought back two complete sets whidi
are to be filed away in the Library of Um
Medical School.

The supply of wounded to the Ameri-
can Ambulance was probably as con-
stant as that to any of the Fk«nch mili-
tary hospitals, but, of course, varied with
the activities at the front. Under or-
dinary circumstances a soldier wounded
in the trenches has an inmiediate first-
aid dressing applied by himsdf or a
friend; then he walks or is carried to the
poHe de teeourt, which is the emergency
dressing-station, immediately on the
field of battle, generally in some sort of a
bomb-proof shelter; here he is observed,
q>lints applied or an operation performed
if necessity demands it, and then is at
once evacuated to a first-line ambulance
just beyond artillery fire; here he is again

Digitized by



War Notes.

studied, lus bandage dianged and he may
be operated on if necessary, but if his
condition warrants it he is at once evacu-
ated to the railway and shipped south
on a "sanitary train." On such trains
the wounded reach Paris and the great
distributing centres, and are at once
divided among the local hospitals.
From the station they reach the hospi-
tals by nuytor ambulances.

It seems complex, but we often got
patients in the hospital in Paris within
12 to 14 hours after they have been hit,
even when coming from Arras or the line
farther north toward Ypres. On arrival
in the hoq>ital patients are at once seen
by the receiving officer, who, in our
service, was one of the residents, and by
him senteither to the ward direct, to have
a bath first, or to the operating-room, as
each sin^e case demanded. The larg-
est number of admissions to the Univer-
sity Service in any 24 hour period was 88
cases. In the three months 295 new cases
were allotted to us — an average of over
8 cases a day. In all 441 cases were at
one time or another under our observa-
tion and care. Of the 888 cases on which
we have full records 818 received actual
wounds by missiles — as follows:

Rifle baU 128

Shrapnel ball 81

SheU fragment 133

Shell fra«ment and rifle oall 5

Shell fragment and ahrapnel 1

Doubtful 5

Bomb fngpnenta 9

Hand-crenade 3

Barbed wire 1

Mine explosion 1

RevoirerbaU 1

Total 818

Of the 65 cases in which no actual
wounds were produced by missiles, a
large number were due to falls, chiefly
from horses or into trenches, and to men
being thrown down by a mine or large
shell or bomb explosion near by. Also
there were a few simple surgical condi-
tions, as appendidUs and hernia, de-

manding surgical treatment. Many of
the cases presented more than one
wound, there being 670 instances of med-
ical or surgical conditions in 888 cases.
A glance at the following table shows a
rough estimate of the location of wounds,
but, of course, it must be kept in mind
that this is not a true measure of the
proportion of wounds received in battle,
for most of the head and abdominal in-
juries are fatal at the front, and never
reach the great base hospitals:

Skun fractures 20

Spinal cord injuries 7

Superficial wounds, head and face 10

Fractures, upper and lower Jaw 63

Diseases and injuries of the abdomen. . 13

Injuries of pelvis 4

Peripheral nerve lesions 39

Joint lesions without fracture 13

IV»Btures of extremities (13 required

amputation) 140

Upper arm 31

Leg 36

Thigh 21

Inj tines of the chest (9 perforating

wounds) 21

Lesion of soft parts alone 257

In several cases several missiles, com-
monly shell fragments, produced multi-
pie wounds. In others one missile pro-
duced multiple wounds in the same in-
dividual; thus in one instance eight
wounds were produced in one individual
by a single rifle ball.

Fully 90 per cent of the wounds were
badly infected, this in great part being
due to the fact that pieces of dothing
were frequently carried into the wounds,
the short fibre of the stuff used in the
French uniforms being particularly eas-
ily shot in, because of its texture. As
frequently as possible cultures were
made from wounds, either directly at
entrance when the dressing was first
changed, or on the operating-table.
These bacteriological studies will later
be reported by Drs. Rogers and Benet.
As we gradually took in the nature of
the infection and type of wounds we
came more and more to subjecting each

Digitized by



War Notes.


case to operation as soon at pooible, in
order to dean out the wounds, to remove
whatever pieces of clothes, missile, or
broken bone oould be found, and to
establish thorou^ drainage. This be*
came the routine and our results seemed
to justify, the procedure, for the rapid
recovery in cases thus treated was often

Of all cases the compound fmctures
were the most serious and diflScult to
handle, and in the preparation of and
advice as to what type of .apparatus we
had best put such patients into. Dr.
Osgood was an invaluable asset. As a
whole the cases did well, and we evacu-
ated many cases in excellent condition,
quite ready to return to the front. We
had seven deaths in all, three from men-
ingitis following head injuries, one from
peritonitis due to a shell fragment per-
forating the bowel, one from a bad shell
fragment tear of a lung, one from general
gas bacillus infection following amputa-
tion of a broken, gas-gangrene arm, and
one from gradual toxaemia following
complete paralysis from the chest down,
due to a spinal injury. The French sol-
diers, with whom we had almost entirely
to deal, proved to be an exceptionally
patient, cheerful, and brave type, and
we found it hard to leave many of them.

But there were and are Harvard men
scattered in hospital work not only else-
where in France, but in England and
even Serbia. With Prof. Strong in Serbia
went Dr. George Shattuck, '01, Dr. F.
B. Grinnell, '09, and Dr. Sellards, in-
structor in Tropical Medicine in the
Harvard Medical School.

In a small hospital at Fort Mahon,
France, were Dr. George Pierce, '94, and
Dr. Charles S. Butler, '93; at the Cha-
teau Passy Hospital, near Sens, were
Dr. Percy Tumure, '94. and Dr. I. C.
Walker, Assistant in Medicine, H.M.S.
In the hospital at Juilly, an institution

allied to the American Hospital, Parish
and supported by Mrs. H. P. Whitney,
of New Yoric, were at different times
Dr. Jason Mixter, '00, and Dr. George
£. Brewer, '85. Richard Norton, '92,
headed the American Volunteer Corps
working for the St. J<^n's Ambulance
Association (British), With headquarters
near Amiens. At Paignton, England,
Dr. Howard Beal, m '98, heads the Red
Cross Unit, in which is also Dr. H. H.
Howard, m '18.

And now only recently a second Har-
vard Unit has gone over to serve in the
Royal Medical Corps (British), taking
rank and pay as an integral part of the
English Hospital forces. They are al-
ready situated at Etaples, France, close
to the Channel coast. The personnel is
as follows: Dr. £. H. Nichols, '86, Assoc.
Professor of Surgery, chief surgeon; Drs.
C. A. Porter, '88, M. E. Faulkner, '87,
H. P. Mosher, '92, F. B. Lund, '88, A.
Quackenboss, m '92, N. S. Hunting, '84,
Roger I. Lee, '02, H. F. Hartwell, '95,
R. H. Vose, m '96, D. B. Reardon, m '03,
B. P. Stookey, m '13. F. A. CoUer, m '12,
R. P. Borden, m '13, Allen Greenwood,
m '89, A. M. Frost, m 'IS, W. M. Lacey,
w '12, P. A. Leavitt, '10, G. W. Bach-
mann, '06, H. M. Goodwin, m '13, R. R.
Sattler, m '18, W. A. Lane, m '99, C. W.
Bressler, medical special, Paul T^thing-
toB, '10, W. E. Hunter, medical special,
A. A. Barrows, m '02, G. L. Tobey, m '08,
F. W. Snow, m '02. W. J. Dodd, m '01,
V. H. Kazanjian, d *05, F. G. Brigham,
m '09, F. H. Cushman, Dn. '15, R. S.
Austin, m '11, and S. A. Hopkins, M.D.
Col P. & S., N.Y., '80.

To sail shortly to join this same unit
are Dr. C. C. Simmons. '99, and Dr.
Edward P. Richardson. '02. The under-
taking is veiy large, and the preparations
involved a great amount of work and
energy. But that Boston should send
such a large contingent of our ablest

Digitized by




Ed '•
O *

S5 S







Q « ^ I

Digitized by


Digitized by



War Notes.


surgeons, and tliat they are all Harvard
graduates, or have been at some time
connected with the University, is a
source of much satisfaction. We, who
have just returned, wish them the best of

Thus it is seen that really greaVnum-
bers of Harvard men are actually in
Europe, and closely associated with the
relief of the su£Fering and destruction
that is the inevitable price of war. Be-
sides such as I have named there must
be others, for it is indeed hard in such
times to locate individuals definitely.
Beyond those in hospital work there are,
of course, the Harvard men in the Ambu-
lance services, those actually engaged in
the war, and those in the diplomatic ser-
vices. The number is creditable and the
work such as we know it, has, we hope,
been of some aid and support along the
best lines of endeavor. The effort is cei^
tainly praiseworthy. But before closing
let me say that there is much yet to be
done, that the opportunity for helping is
limitless, and that, to those who have
gone over, the reward has been found

E, C. Cutler, '09.

Perianal Nolee.

E. M. Pickman, '08, J. D. Paul, '08,
N. Roosevelt, '14, Day KimbaU, '15,
and H. G. Carey, 'IS, are all assisting in
the tremendous work of the American
Embassy in Paris.

Richard Norton, '92, has been award-
ed the French military cross, the Croix
de Guerre, for bravery in his work among
the wounded on the battlefield. He was
told by the Government that the deco-
ration was awarded especially for his
heroic work in rescuing the wounded
during the evacuation of a village within
ffOO metres of the enemy's lines.

Victor C. Chapman, '13, who is a
member of the French army, has been

promoted for conspicuous bravery. He
is in the famous Foreign Legion, which
has always been renowned for its brav-
ery and daring.

J. R. Childs, A.M. '15, and A. R.
Jennings, Sp.L.A., have gone to France

Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 32 of 103)