Academic journal article Military Review

A GRATEFUL HEART: The History of a World War I Field Hospital

Academic journal article Military Review

A GRATEFUL HEART: The History of a World War I Field Hospital

Article excerpt

A GRATEFUL HEART: The History of a World War I Field Hospital, Michael E. Shay, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2002, 237 pages, $62.00.

Michael E. Shay, a Superior Court Judge from Connecticut, does a fine job with A Grateful Heart: The History of a World War I Field Hospital. His interest in World War I medicine began as a young boy when he visited his grandparents' home and discovered pieces of his grandfather's uniform. His grandmother told him that his, "grandfather was 'like' a doctor in the Army." This began Shay's study of World War I and, especially, his grandfather's unit-the 26th "Yankee" Division, National Guard, 101st Sanitary Train.

Shay researched and examined all aspects of the unit from the organization of four ambulance and four hospital companies from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to its accomplishments in combat. The story begins with the division's formation in New England in the volunteering spirit of the "Minute Man" and progresses through stateside predeployment activities. Because of efforts by Major General Clarence R. Edwards, who was the division commander and an 1883 graduate of West Point, the division became the first National Guard Division in France.

After arriving in France in November 1917, the soldiers were introduced to army expeditionary camp life with its plethora of camp illnesses caused by cold and wet weather-colds, influenza, trench foot, and bronchitis. The group first saw combat in February 1918 under the command of the French Army's 11th Corps. Shay devotes several chapters to major offensives in which the 101st Sanitary Train participated-Aisne-Marne, St. …

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