Fever Commission; The Detachment Hospital Corps, Columbia Barracks, Cuba
The Walter Reed Medal is a military decoration of the United States Army which was created by an act of the United States Congress on February 28, 1929. The medal recognizes the accomplishments of both United States civilian and Army doctors who investigated the cause and treatment of yellow fever between 1901 and 1902.
The Walter Reed Medal, named for Major Walter Reed (1851 to 1902) was a one time only decoration which was retroactive by design. The award was intended to denote the accomplishments of a group of American medical personnel who had discovered that the cause of yellow fever was that of infection caused by the mosquito. As part of the so named “Yellow Fever Investigation”, twenty four Americans had exposed themselves to yellow fever in certain areas of Cuba between 1900 and 1901. The Walter Reed Medal recognized the bravery of both living in a disease infested area for the cause of science, and also the enormous significance of discovering the cause of yellow fever.
The original Walter Reed Medal was first bestowed upon the following Americans:
Around the time 1957, the Medal had also been awarded to Gustaf E. Lambert and Roger Post Ames.
Surviving Walter Reed Medals appear as bronze medallions, upon which is the image of Walter Reed. Earlier versions of the medal depicted the figures of a man and a woman, with the woman holding a caduceus and the medal bearing the words “Conquest of Yellow Fever”. There are no known original Walter Reed Medals in existence with the later version being the only surviving examples.
While the Walter Reed Medal was an official United States Army award, the medal was never designed to be worn on a military uniform and did not appear on any military precedence charts nor are there any photographs of the medal being displayed on an active military uniform. A red ribbon for the medal did exist and was authorized for wear on civilian attire.
Letter from John H. Andrus to John J. Moran, January 14, 1937
Your letter brings back the old days very clearly, by reason of the people and places you refer to, which I have known. That we never met is accounted for by the fact that you were, apparently, a jump or two ahead of me all along the line.
To give you the complete picture: After being mustered out of the Third New York Volunteer Infantry, I reenlisted in the regulars and, about the middle of May, 1899, joined Battery "F", Second Field Artillery, at Camp Columbia.
Had been there but a short time when I developed typhoid. Was treated, at the Post Hospital, by Dr. Pinto and
nursed by, among others, Sonntag - one of the y. f. volunteers. When convalescent, was sent to Military Hospital
After rejoining the Battery, was still in the "rookey" stage when, during "monkey drill", was kicked from my horse, by the horse ahead. My fractured patella (kneecap) was operated on by Major Kramer, assisted by Lieut. Truby.
When able to hobble around, with my leg still in a cast, was again sent to No. 1. (Havana) I had a bugle (of my own) with me and used to go to a distant point in the hospital enclosure to practice. There was a large detachment of corps men at the hospital, they had a bugler (Bastable -?) who was also a cook. I was transferred to the corps, as bugler, and Bastable was made cook.
(Guess they thought that, if I was going to hang around the hospital all the time anyway, they might as well make me useful.)
Remained at No. 1 until it was closed and the detachment scattered. John D. Schwieger and I were sent to Guanajay. We evidently landed there after your departure. Captain Quinton was Post Surgeon. Had been there but a short time when the epidemic of yellow fever broke out. Schwieger and I were on night duty at the time. (Captain Quinton was absent from the Post at this time.) Among those I recall, all of whom you probably knew, are : Dr. Robert P. Cooke, one of the y. f. volunteers - Dr. J. F. Dunshie and, later,
The y. f. broke up the post and the detachment was scattered. I was assigned to Columbia Barracks and remained there until a couple of weeks before my enlistment expired, when, with Dr. Amador, I accompanied two troops of the Seventh Cavalry to Chickamauga Park, where I was discharged.
Am sorry I never quite caught up with you for, from what you tell me, I imagine we have many tastes in common. I, for example, have always devoured everything readable and enjoy discussing what I read. Unless you belie your race you are a keen student of politics and political affairs, if so,
It is a shame that, after having made so valiant an effort, you never attained your ambition to become a physician. You don't have to tell me how long the grind is for my son put in six years at college and a year as interne before the
Your account of how Kissinger became the outstanding hero of Walter Reed's experiments is interesting but not surprising. I have always entertained the belief that, for reasons you may be able to guess, he did not realize what he was letting himself in for. He was, when quartered in the barracks, the victim of more practical jokes than anyone else I recall and, after he was made "Lance Acting, etc." the men did not treat him with the respect due to one in his exalted station.
I should feel ashamed for referring to Kissinger sarcastically but if, in addition to all you know of his seeking the spotlight, you could see a letter I had from him, telling of his "lectures" in schools, before Legion posts, chambers of commerce, etc., I am not sure you would not join me.
If we could read that "lecture" I feel quite certain we would learn things we never knew. Did you hear him on the Lux Radio Theater program a couple of months ago? He was quizzed by Cecil B. DeMille, very briefly, and was not as bad as I had expected it would be.
Am afraid you will be disappointed in the little help I can give relative addresses of volunteers. I wrote all of them at the time I first wrote you and sent my envelopes to the Veterans Bureau for them to address.
From replies received - and from other sources - here is the list as complete as I have been able to get it.
Walter Reed, James Carroll, Jesse W. Lazear, Aristides Agramonte,
You will note that I have covered all the names listed in the roll of honor. It seems that I have heard that Folk is dead but am not positive. I do not believe that the Veterans Bureau has Forbes' address.
I enjoyed your letter very much and hope that you will write
Wishing you every success and happiness,
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