Winnebago County, Illinois
MANY VOLUNTEERING FOR RED CROSS WORK
Volunteers to make the gauze face masked need to stop the epidemic of influenza at Camp Grant, are asked to come to the Red Cross gauze headquarters over Armstrong's at once. There has already been a splendid response, many women working last-night and all day today on the masks. Eight thousand masks are needed immediately and a large number of workers are asked to assist. The camp medical authorities have asked the co-operation of Rockford women in supplying this immediate need. [Rockford Republic, Thursday Evening, September 26th, 1918]
CAMP GRANT DEATH RATE IS HELD TO 3 PERCENT
9,200 CASES OF INFLUENZA HAVE BEEN REPORTED
During Present Epidemic-- Camp Commander Orders That Names Be Withheld Until Situation is Under Full Control
HOLD BACK NAMES
"In each case of a death a Camp Grant the nearest relative is notified immediately by telegram and the disposition of the remains requested. In order to facilitate the handling of the epidemic now existing, it is necessary that the individual names of those dying be kept out of the newspapers until the situation is under full control." --Statement by Col. C. B. Hagadorn, Commander Camp Grant
Base hospital authorities at Camp Grant at 11 o’clock this morning reported forty-two more deaths from pneumonia during the past twenty-four hours, making the total number of deaths caused by the present epidemic 224. During the past twenty-four hours there were 439 patients admitted to the base hospital and 328 cases were dismissed. Thus far a total number of 9,200 cases as been reported to the base hospital, many of which have already been dismissed. Medical authorities today estimated that there are probably as many more light cases of influenza about the camp as have been reported to the base hospital. These cases, however, are very light ones, and have received treatment at the various infirmaries.
Many Queries Received.
Col. C.B. Hagadorn, commander of Camp Grant, this morning issued an order to the press requesting that for the time being the names of the dead be not published. The reason fro this order is said to be that telegrams from relatives of sick soldiers are pouring in at the base hospital. In many cases five or six relatives will telegraph about the condition of the same patient, and to answer these queries adds greatly to the work of the doctors, nurses, and clerical staff. The death rate in the present epidemic has been three per cent, according to Lieut. A. Kovinsky of the camp surgeon’s office. The hospital said that they are holding their own in combating the epidemic. Hundreds of relatives come hourly to the camp and are being handled by the war camp community service, while a large staff of Rockford women volunteers are running the canteens, providing coffee and lunches for nurses and visitors, and the motor corps of Rockford women are taking the visitors back and forth from the camp.
Camp Surgeon Better
Lieut. Col. George B. Lake, camp surgeon, who was himself ill of influenza, is making good recovery and expects to be back to duty by Monday. Quarantine regulations are rigidly maintained. No passes are being issued to any soldiers except where there is report of illness or death in their families. Such passes as are granted are made for as short a period of absence as possible. Major M.A. Williamson of the gas defense plant, New York City, has reported for temporary duty as assistant camp surgeon.
Rockford Soldier Low
Private Carl C. Culver, 1445 West State Street, is among the seriously sick patients. Miss Mayme Wright of the reserve nurses corps is the second nurse victim of the epidemic. She is seriously sick with pneumonia. Ninety medical officers and fifty-two nurses in the base hospital force are on sick call. [Rockford Republic, Saturday Evening, October 5, 1918]
WORRY OVER EPIDEMIC CAUSES CAMP GRANT COMMANDANT'S SUICIDE
CAMP GRANT, ILL. - Col. Charles B. Hagadorn, acting commandant of Camp Grant, committed suicide in his quarter at the cantonment Monday night. His body, with a pistol wound In the head, was found in bed at about 7 o’clock Tuesday morning. Col. Hagadorn has been in command of Camp Grant for a month. Officers at the camp said Tuesday he had been showing the strain imposed on him by the pneumonia epidemic. which has caused more than 500 deaths In camp. He had been troubled by Insomnia. Col. Hagadorn entered West Point In 1855 and was graduated in 1580. He had served in various Infantry regiments of the regular army and was appointed a colonel last fall. He was unmarried and his home was In Elmira, N. Y. [--Idaho Statesman 10-09-1918]
TELLS OF INFLUENZA TOLL IN ILLINOIS CANTONMENT
Ernest H. Suehr Describes "Present Work of Caring for Epidemic Victims at Camp Grant
How the Spanish influenza epidemic is taking toll of enlisted men at Camp Grant, Illinois is told in a letter under date of October 9, received here from Ernest H. Suehr, formerly linotype operator on the Twin Fals News, who is in training at the Illinois cantonment as a candidate for an officer’s commission. He says: The company of which I am a member is composed of western men sent here from Camp Lewis. There are 206 in the company and so far no one has had the "flue." Nearly all of the company has been detailed o help care for the bodies of those who die. There have been from 75 to 100 deaths in this camp each day from the "flu" epidemic. Part of our company is that the base hospital and part at the morgue in town. The disease, however, is on the decline here. About six per cent of all cases die. Yesterday there were 500 discharged from the hospital and 200 new cases. There are at present about 3.000 in the base hospital, 900 of which are pneumonia cases. All drill has been suspended on account of the epidemic, so I have lots of time to kill. I am going to try to get a furlough to go to my old home, which is only about a hundred miles from here, after my wife arrives, whom I am expecting in a few days. I am presumably here to be trained as a non-commissioned officer. Then I will get a chance to train rookies, and, if I make good, I will have an opportunity for a commission. Private Suehr was a member of the national guard organizations of Illinois and Utah, serving with the Twin Falls unit on the Mexican border in 1916 with a rank of corporal. He remained at Camp Lewis, after waiving deferred classification and being inducted into the service in September, only a few days before being transferred to Camp Grant. His wife was Miss Pauline Evans, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J.T. Evans of Twin Falls. [Twin Falls News, 10-15-1918]
CAMP’S MALADY NOT FROM "FLU"
BACILLUS OF INFLUENZA PLAYED NO PART IN EPIDEMIC, EXPERT SAYS WAS LOBAR PNEUMONIA
Influenza had no part in the Camp Grant epidemic, according to conclusions reached by Capt. Edwin P. Hirsch, who has been making inquiry into the scourge which prevailed at the cantonment for five weeks. It is declared to have been "an epidemic of lobar pneumonia." A synopsis of the findings in the research work conducted by Captain Hirsch, head of the camp laboratory, was made public today by Lieut. Col. George B. Lake, camp surgeon. German prisoners at Camp Grant played a part in the scientific inquiry into the cause of the epidemic. For the purposes of comparison, as none of them was ill, Captain Hirsch took cultures from the throats of about fifty of the one hundred Germans interned at camp. Pneumococci found in these smears it is said, were different from those found in the throats of the American solders, and were nor of the type which brought on serious illness. Only one German prisoner had a slight attack of the grip. The Germans have been carefully segregated ever since they arrived here.
CONCLUSIONS IN INQUIRY
The conclusions in brief of the investigation conducted by Captain Hirsch, as announced today by Lieutenant-Colonel Lake are as follows:
1. That the epidemic of lobar pneumonia at Camp Grant is due to infection by a virulent strain of pneumococcus.
2. That the virulence of this organism exceeds greatly that of strain usually identified in lobar pneumonia.
3. That this virulence is such as to explain the epidemic of lobar pneumonia
4. That the bacillus of influenza played no part in the epidemic at Camp Grant
The number of deaths during the epidemic, all declared due to pneumonia, was 1037
[--Rockford Register-Gazette, Saturday October 26, 1918]
OFFICER HOUSING IS STILL UNSOLVED NOW
Forty-acre Island Rejected as Site Because of Spring Inundation -- Knight Tract Too High in Price
At the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce directors last night the proposition of providing living quarters for the families of Camp Grant’s prospective officers was taken up and considered in detail. Several proposed tracts were discussed as sites for the colony. B.A. Knight offered fifty acres of his land on the west bank of the river near the camp but his demand of $5,000 annual rental was considered prohibitive. Forty-acre island was practically decided to be impossible owing to the fact that it is under water during the spring floods. Work is being pushed to close deals on land near the camp for this purpose. The arrangements are in charge of the cantonment site committee. As soon as the site is decided on the erection of electric lighting, sewer and water systems will be started. It is expected that the expenses of buildings and improvements will be taken care of by a state fund to be raised under the direction of the National Council of Defense. [Rockford Republic, AUG 07 1917]
PRIVATE IN TROUBLE
Morris Keller, a private in Co. D. 6th development battalion of the 151st depot brigade, wrote a letter to a girlfriend in Milwaukee, Wis., demanding that she send him five dollars. Little did he dream that his latter would be forwarded to President Woodrow Wilson and finally be returned to this camp a become important evidence in a court-martial in which he played the stellar role. Private Keller's parents reside in Sauk City, Wis. Some time before the war he left his home city and went to Milwaukee, where he became acquainted with the girl to whom he wrote the letter for which, as subsequent events turned out, he is sorry. This letter, it is said, reached the girl for whom it was intended. She turned it over to her mother, who is said to have forwarded it to President Wilson. After it was considered at Washington it was declared to be obscene and was referred back to the military authorities at this camp to take proper action. Keller was charged with writing an obscene letter and sending through the United States mail. He has been tried by a court-martial and it is unofficially reported that he was convicted. His sentence, however, is being withheld until it is reviewed by the proper authorities. [--Rockford Register-Gazette, Saturday, October 26, 1918]
TENTS PITCHED AT CAMP GRANTS FOR TRAINING
DISTRIBUTE EQUIPMENT FOR 8,000 MEMBERS OF I.N.G. HERE SATURDAY
With only two days remaining before the arrival of more than 8,000 members of the Illinois National Guard on Saturday, equipment distribution and tent-pitching was the order of the day today for advance detachment of some 600 men who are engaged in putting Camp Grant in shape for the two weeks training period which opens Saturday. Most of the commanding officers of the units ordered to camp and a large section of the 33rd. Division arrive tomorrow to supplement the forces already at work preparing for Saturday's troop movement--the largest in Illinois since the war. Major Gen. Roy D. Keehn, commander of the 33rd. Division, and Col. William R. Gowenlock, chief of staff, are not expected to arrive until Saturday, however.
22 Trains Here Saturday
Already stationed at the camp are Brig. Gen C.E. Black, state adjutant general, and Col. Richings J. Shand, assistant adjutant general; Col. J.P. McAdams, senior instructor of the regular army, and Maj. J.C. Hattie, his executive officer, together with a staff of 22 army instructors; Capt. Leo M. Boyle, assistant 33rd. division adjutant and Lieut. Paddy Nolan, also a member of the adjutant's staff. Col. S.O. Tripp, assistant quartermaster, has been at camp for several weeks, making arrangements for the opening on Saturday. More than 8,000 state guardsmen will move to Camp Grant Saturday on 22 trains running over nine railroads. The first train will arrive soon after sunrise, and from then until mid-afternoon there will be a steady discharge of troops at the Camp Grant station.
Reserves Here This Year
On Sunday, more than 100 members of the Illinois Organized Reserves, detailed to Camp Grant for the first time, will arrive to begin training. They will become part of the regular National Guard Infantry regiments, participating in the activites of the latter as though they were regular members of the organizations. Motor transport units from Chicago have been stationed at Camp Grant for several days, doing heavy hauling work from the 12 camp warehouses to various sections of the cantonment and from Rockford warehouses to the camp. Mail was distributed through the regular camp postoffice for the first time this morning, a member of the motor transport group hauling a large sack of letters and packages from the Rockford postoffice to the camp branch station.
With the opening of camp Saturday and the arrival of the members of a special group appointed to determine the best site for the Camp Grant artillery range, to be constructed before next year's training period, further discussion of the exact location of the range is expected to take place next. Two or three sites in the Winnebago-Ogle territory south and east of the camp are said to be under consideration for the artillery range, with a hilly area to the east of the camp listed as preferable. Land further to the south, it is said, is considered too flat for the range, although no definite opinion on the subject has been given by national guard officers in charge. Included in the 22 trains moving to Rockford on Saturday will be many flat-cars bearing the field pieces of the state's artillery brigade to Camp Grant for the first time in many years.
The artillery units totaling more than 1,500 men will be at Camp Grant this year as a result of the national guard artillery range plans by the state legislature at the recently concluded special session. Although no firing will be done by the artillery units, they will be able to maneuver with the remainder of the division, obtaining much valuable instruction which they could never receive at Camp McCoy, Sparta, Wis., where they have formerly trained. With the addition of the artillery units to the remainder of the division here, the total number of men stationed at camp this summer will pass the 9,500 mark, including the 100 reserves never before trained here. [--Rockford Republic, July 31, 1930]
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