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MEDICAL CORPS SOLDIER DESCRIBES BATTLE PATIENTS
- World War I diary with cover imprinted in gold “MY TRIP ABROAD.” Kept by F.C. Reinardy, United States Army Medical Corps, the diary covers the period July 28, 1917 to June 20, 1919, when Reinardy returned home on the “S.S. Henderson.” He was transported to France on the “S.S. Cedric” of the White Star Line. The soldier was assigned to Base Hospital No. 101 which came into existence about July 5, 1917 at St. Nazaire (most of the men assigned there came from the Medical Department of the 1st Division). Base Hospital No. 101 was the first base hospital to operate with the American Expeditionary Forces. The hospital was located in the Municipal College of St. Nazaire, and had been used as a military hospital by the French Army during the three years preceding. When taken over by the United States the hospital contained about 290 sick American soldiers and civilian employees. At one point in the diary Reinardy is assigned to Evacuation Hospital #1 and his entry for the period September 12-18 states: “The Allied offensive in the Toul sector began early in the morning of Sept. 12th and the continuous barrage sounded like a terrible thunder storm. Patients were brought in as fast as the ambulances could bring them and we worked continuously. The shock ward contained only 16 beds so the overflow was placed in another ward. Most of the patients only remained a few hours as they either recovered from their shock or died in that time. Out of 250 patients that went through our hands we lost 63. Each one receives an infusion of either saline or 6% acalia (?) sol. In saline & resuscitation treatment. Blood for transfusion could not be obtained very well as there was an order forbidding Med Corps boys from giving their blood on account of making the unfit for duty for too long a time.” Overall, the diary is most informative and provides a very personal look at duty in an Army medical hospital. For more details about this diary, please contact Beltrone & Company.