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AMEDD Corps History > U.S. Army Veterinary Corps

Books and Documents





Prepared under the Direction of


Surgeon General of the Army








At the outbreak of the war the Surgeon General was confronted with the problem of organizing and training a veterinary service adequate to cope with the tremendous responsibilities incident to the purchase, shipping, training, and shelter of a vast number of animals in the United States, their transportation overseas, and their utilization by the American Expeditionary Forces. The difficulties were markedly increased by reason of an absolute lack of provision of veterinary organization in this country. The Veterinary Corps of the Army, which had been established only during the preceding year (1916),1 had not even completed its organization and yet it comprised the only small nucleus of veterinarians in the country possessing any military experience. Ignorance and inexperience of Army personnel, as a whole, in caring for animals was an important factor in reducing animal efficiency. These conditions were incident to our state of unpreparedness and had their foundation in matters of public policy, too far-reaching to be discussed here. Sufficient it is to say that the position in which the Veterinary Corps found itself at the outbreak of the war was a most conspicuous example of lack of preparation for war. It not only bore its own burden, but indirectly carried the burden of the Army, unfamiliar with animals and lacking a knowledge of the basic principles of their use and intelligent conservation.

From 1899 to 1916 the Army veterinary service was rendered by two types of veterinarians, i. e., those assigned to Cavalry and Field Artillery regiments and those employed under contract.2 The act of Congress dated March 21, 1899, provided two veterinarians for each Cavalry regiment, one to have the pay and allowances of a second lieutenant of Cavalry and one to have $75 per month and the allowances of sergeant major. The senior was required to qualify in an examination as to professional, physical, and, moral fitness. The act of February 2, 1901, abolished the second-class veterinarian and provided two veterinarians to a Cavalry regiment and one to a Field Artillery regiment with the pay and allowances of a second lieutenant mounted. The same act provided such number of veterinarians, at $100 per month, as the Secretary of War might authorize to be employed to attend animals of other departments not connected with the Cavalry or Field Artillery. While a limited number of veterinarians were employed by the Subsistence Department for the inspection of meats, specific authority therefor has not been discovered.

Under these provisions, no veterinarians in the Army enjoyed rank or promotion, although the act of March 3, 1911, authorized retirement for the veterinarians of the mounted service only. A veterinary service of this character lacked unification. In so far as the mounted service was concerned there was no organization higher than regimental. The contract veterinarians of


Chart VI.-Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, June, 1918.


the Quartermaster Corps had no organization. Veterinary officers were supervised in their professional work by laymen rather than by men of their profession. Professional requirements were none too high and there existed neither opportunity nor inducement for individual improvement.3

The national defense act of June 3, 1916, created a commissioned Veterinary Corps, making it a part of the Medical Department. Members of this corps entered the Army as second lieutenants and assistant veterinarians; and were eligible to the rank, pay, and allowances of first lieutenant after five years; of captain after 15 years; and major after 20 years of service. They were assigned to mounted organizations, as inspectors of horses and mules, and as inspectors of meats, and constituted the Veterinary Corps. No enlisted personnel was provided. This legislation was the result of 32 years of effort to obtain a commissioned status for Army veterinarians.

Following the passage of the national defense act referred to, the building up of the Veterinary Corps was instituted by the Surgeon General. All veterinarians then in the service were given the first opportunity to take the entrance examination for the regular corps, after which invitations were extended to civilians to enter the junior grade. By April 11, 1917, 62 veterinarians had qualified and had been commissioned; by July 1, 1917, 91; and by July 1, 1918, 118,3 which was the maximum strength of the corps authorized by the national defense act of 1916.

At the outbreak of the war the Surgeon General invited to Washington a veterinary advisory board, made up of leading civilian practitioners.4 The members of this board served in his office, first as civilians, later under commissions in the Veterinary Corps, National Army. Under date of July 14, 1917, a proposed organization plan, prepared by the board, was submitted by the Surgeon General to The Adjutant General. This was returned by the Secretary of War on July 17 (4), with the statement that the Overman Act of May 18, 1917, gave the President full authority for expanding the Veterinary Corps and that no additional legislation was required. The plan contemplated 1 veterinary officer and 16 enlisted men for every 400 animals, the officers to be in grades corresponding with those of the Medical Corps. General Orders, No. 130, W. D., published October 4, 1917, established the Veterinary Corps, National Army, to comprise officers and enlisted men in the proportions which the Surgeon General had recommended, but no officers above the grade of major. Subsequently 2 colonels and 6 lieutenant colonels were authorized.5

The veterinary advisory board laid plans for the expansion of the corps and drew up an organization based on General Orders, No. 130, but following the British system. This plan developed into Special Regulations No. 70 for the government of the Army Veterinary Service, approved by the Secretary of War December 15, 1917. Changes amending many important features were published in July, 1918.6 Other important work inaugurated at this time included Tables of Organization for veterinary units and veterinary supply tables.

The administrative work, connected with the expansion and functions of the Veterinary Corps, in the Surgeon General's Office, was successively in the charge of the veterinary advisory board and of individual veterinary or medical officers verbally assigned to that duty until June 21, 1918, when a medical


officer was detailed as Director of the Veterinary Corps.7?? Eventually the administrative work was organized under this officer as the Veterinary Division of the Surgeon General's Office and has so continued.

At the outbreak of the war the 62 officers who had qualified prior to April 11, 1917, comprised the entire veterinary service.3 The corps was augmented to its authorized strength of 118, as stated, hut it became necessary to examine and commission reserve officers and assign them to active duty to provide professional service and to inspect animals being purchased and distributed to the remount depots then under construction at the Army cantonments. The deans of the leading veterinary schools were requested to hold professional examinations for men between 20 and 55 years of age; and from this group the candidates were examined physically by a medical officer. Those qualifying were commissioned as second lieutenants.8 Under the provisions of General Orders, No. 130, W. D., 1917, veterinary reserve officers on active duty became a part of the Veterinary Corps, National Army, and were promoted therein. On September 30, 1917, examinations were suspended, 795 officers being at that time on active duty. There was a waiting list of about 500, which became exhausted in July, 1918. Examinations were then resumed through the operation of examining boards composed of experienced veterinary officers and convened at all the large stations. The work of these boards assured a reasonably close scrutiny of the qualifications of applicants and, until terminated by the end of the war, yielded a steady supply of officers.

All appointments in the Veterinary Reserve Corps were made in the grade of second lieutenant, as were those in the National Army, with the exception of 16 majors and one captain appointed directly from civil life into the latter. The exceptions were prominent civilians of mature age, selected for administrative duties.

Under the provisions of the act of June 3, 1916, a few veterinarians of National Guard organizations inducted into the Federal service were automatically transferred, without examination, as commissioned officers to the Veterinary Corps of the National Army.

Veterinary officers commissioned from the ranks came from two classes: Graduate veterinarians who enlisted prior to the establishment of the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps and those who, as undergraduates, were enlisted in the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps and were called to active duty on graduation. Graduate veterinarians in the ranks were authorized to take the examination for a commission on their own application, and from this source was derived a constant though small supply of officers having had the advantages of some military training.

The Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps, while it actually produced only a small number of officers for the Veterinary Corps, would have eventually become the chief source of supply. Based on section 55 of the act of June 3, 1916, it operated to permit the enlistment of veterinary students within the draft age and to allow them to remain on an inactive status until graduation when they were called to duty as required. Members of the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps were first assigned to Camp Greenleaf (q.v.) for a course of training followed by examination for commissions. A relatively small number of officers resulted


because the work was only well started when it was stopped by the signing of the armistice.

The maximum number of veterinary officers on active duty at one time reached 2,234 on November 30, 1918. The source of all those on active duty during the war was as follows:9

Regular Army


National Guard


Civil life (commissioned in Veterinary Officers' Reserve Corps)


Civil life (commissioned in Veterinary Corps, National Army)


Civil life (commissioned in Veterinary Corps, United States Army)


Enlisted forces (commissioned in Veterinary Officers' Reserve Corps)


Enlisted forces (commissioned in Veterinary Corps, United States Army)


Retired list


Contract veterinarians




The allowance of one veterinary officer for every 400 animals (2.5 per 1,000)specified in General Orders, No. 130, W. D., 1917, at no time was sufficient for the requirements of the service. The ratio steadily mounted upward as the war progressed, and was 4.7 per 1,000 on November 30, 1918, being practically the same in France and the United States.

The fact that the vast majority of veterinary officers entered the Army in the junior grade made the question of promotion an important consideration from the first. The rule was adopted that promotion should be based on the record of the officer and the recommendation of his superiors.10 So far as practicable, the written recommendation of a general veterinary inspector was made a prerequisite to each promotion. In December, 1917, all veterinary officers who had been recommended were given written examinations for promotion, and a waiting list established from which promotions were made as rapidly as vacancies became available. All promotions were passed upon by a board composed of the senior veterinary officers on duty in the Surgeon General's Office, after which they were subject to the approval of the Director of the Veterinary Corps. Difficulty was especially encountered in supplying senior officers for units proceeding overseas, and many such units departed in charge of juniors. It was felt that the authorities in the American Expeditionary Forces would be better qualified to make promotions with the advantage of at much longer period of observation. All vacancies in grade for overseas units were set aside as pertaining to the American Expeditionary Forces as soon as the units embarked and thereafter no such vacancies were filled in the United States. Promotions in the United States were suspended on November 11, 1918, and a large number of recommendations, which had been submitted by the Surgeon General, consequently failed to receive favorable consideration.10

The Comptroller of the Treasury on August 20, 1918, ruled that there was no authority in the national defense act for the appointment or promotion of a veterinarian to the grade of major.11 On October 9, 1918, the same officer held that the President was without authority under the selective-service act to make temporary appointments in the grade of major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel for the reason that such grades were not considered to have been provided for in the national defense act of 1916.10 On December 6, 1918, the Auditor for the War Department ruled that there was no authority for the promotion of a veter-


inary officer above the grade of second lieutenant until he had completed five years service, this decision likewise reverting to the provisions of the national defense act.

This series of decisions, by operating to demote practically every veterinary officer above the grade of second lieutenant, and to return many to a civilian status, threatened serious consequences to the veterinary organization. Many of the demoted officers were recommissioned at large in the United States Army and assigned to veterinary duties. The situation was presented by the Surgeon General to the War Department and resubmission of the entire question to the comptroller for reconsideration was urged. The Judge Advocate General and the Attorney General rendered opinions in the main favorable to the contention of the Surgeon General and eventually, on April 9, 1919, the comptroller practically reversed his former findings in a decision which restored the commissioned status of veterinary officers.

While long considered necessary by veterinarians, there is no evidence that the military authorities, until the outbreak of the war, had ever seriously contemplated the provision of an enlisted veterinary force. For many years the duties naturally devolving on such personnel were performed by men temporarily detailed from the line, an arrangement obviously unsatisfactory in many ways. General Orders, No. 130, W. D., 1917, was therefore revolutionary in that it authorized for the first time enlistments in the Veterinary Corps, in the several grades corresponding to those in the Medical Department. Enlisted men were obtained by voluntary enlistment, by special induction, ahead of their turn, of men within the draft age, by direct assignment of increments of the draft, and by transfer from other organizations. Authority was secured for the voluntary enlistment of specially qualified men and for the transfer to the Veterinary Corps of graduate veterinarians enlisted in other branches. The process of special induction made it possible to secure many recruits with special suitability for the veterinary service, such as veterinary and agricultural students, horsemen, ranchmen, farmers, and men with packing-house experience. Familiarity with animals is a basic qualification for the enlisted man of the veterinary service and neglect of this requirement in the assignment of recruits inevitably interfered with efficiency. Whenever a draft increment was requested, it was therefore necessary to specify the essential vocational qualifications. The Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps was the source of some excellent noncommissioned officer material.

Enlisted men were required for assignment to units proceeding overseas and for the service of camps, ports, and depots in the United States in the proportion of approximately two for the former purpose to one for the latter. The type of men sent to France was on the whole excellent; but in this country the veterinary service, in common with others, was compelled to make use of its share of limited service men, alien enemies, and conscientious objectors, practically all of whom were assigned to the hospital service at remount depots, where, if not of great efficiency, they proved to be of the least handicap. Until the end of the war, all enlisted were white with the exception of the personnel of Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 3, 4, 5, 22, and 23, Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 5, and Base Veterinary Hospital No. 3, a total of about 1,679 colored.


The total enlisted strength of the Veterinary Corps increased from zero on April 7, 1917, to more than IS.000 on October 31, 1918.12 Reduction followed equally rapidly and, through the discharge of the selective-service men, threatened extinction of the enlisted part of the corps. Circular No. 141, War Department, 1919, granting authority for resuming enlistments in the Veterinary Corps, corrected this serious situation, and General Orders, No. 127, War Department, 1919, authorized an increase in the Medical Department of 1,500 men to be enlisted for the Veterinary Corps.

The training of veterinary officers and enlisted men in their military duties was conducted in the divisional units and the detachments at their stations and at several training schools. The instruction at stations was more or less continuous and was based on schedules furnished by the Surgeon General.13 There was established at the Medical Officers' Training Camp, Fort Riley, a veterinary section devoted solely to the training of enlisted men in duties pertaining to the veterinary service and in such specialties as cooking and horseshoein1.14 Immediately after graduation these men were assigned to organizations for overseas duty. This school operated from February 4, 1918, to September 30, 1918, when personnel and property were transferred to the Veterinary Training School at Camp Lee, Va. During this time 527 enlisted men were received, of whom 488 were eventually assigned to duty with troops.

The veterinary section of the Medical Officers' Training Camp at Camp Greenleaf was the principal training school for commissioned officers. It was opened in February, 1918, with a veterinary officer as commandant and a class of 50 student officers.15 The first class was graduated on April 20, and by July, 1918, arrangements had been completed for graduating 100 officers each month after a two months' course of intensive training. Student officers were organized in separate companies with company officers detailed from their number and formed a separate veterinary battalion. Successive classes were made up of civilians newly commissioned, later reenforced by selected officers who had already been on duty at stations. From the graduates of the school suitable men were assigned to the Veterinary Training School at Camp Lee for incorporation in veterinary units being formed for overseas; others were returned to service at stations. In addition to its purely training function, this school rendered valuable service by reason of the facilities afforded the instructors for observing new officers, to recommend whether they should be discharged for disability or inefficiency, or promoted, and to determine the character of service for which they were best adapted. A total of 738 officers reported at the school, of whom 650 were ultimately sent to duty with troops. The last class reported November 15, 1918, and had received about one month's training when the school was closed.

An enlisted section was also maintained at this school, in which noncommissioned officers and specialists were trained. This section received all the veterinary graduates of the Medical Enlisted Reserve Corps called to active duty, including the graduates of 1918.15 The latter received not only instruction in the basic duties of the soldier but also special training in their duties as future officers and, as rapidly as they were reported as qualified, were authorized to take the examination for commission. A total of 652 graduate veterinarians reported as enlisted men between July and November, 1918. Of this number


409 were given the opportunity to take the examination and 257 qualified. All further action terminated on November 11. 1918. and many soldiers who had qualified failed to receive their commissions and many others were excluded altogether from taking the examination.

The Veterinary Training School at Camp Lee, Va., was designed for organizing and training veterinary field hospital units for overseas service.16 This school was a complete administrative and teaching plant with barracks for 1,600 men and quarters for 90 officers. A modern and complete veterinary hospital, with a capacity of 500 patients, was subsequently constructed as an integral part of this school. The first officers and students reported in June, 1918, and up to November 11, 1918, 8,200 men had been received, of whom nearly 6,500 went overseas in veterinary organizations. Personnel was usually secured by an increment from the draft sufficient to organize the units of one phase of the priority schedule. After a few weeks, sometimes (lays, of basic military training, the men were assigned to units and sent overseas. Classes in horseshoeing were maintained. The school was kept open several weeks after the signing of the armistice, until it had become clear that no further personnel would be needed.

A school for instructing veterinary officers in meat and forage inspection originated at the general supply depot at Chicago in 1917;17 and, subsequently, enlisted men were received as students. The progressive development of the food-inspection function of the veterinary service and the excellent facilities available in Chicago for this type of instruction resulted in the permanent establishment of this school and its recognition as an essential factor in the technical training of veterinary officers and enlisted men.

A veterinary laboratory was established by War Department orders on January 19, 1918, at Philadelphia.18 The laboratory rooms were provided by the University of Pennsylvania and the supplies were furnished by the Army Medical Department. In this laboratory the cause, prevention, and treatment of influenza, pneumonia, and strangles were investigated, sera and other specimens were examined, and mallein was made. Veterinary officers trained in laboratory work at this laboratory were placed in the department laboratories, where they were of great value in advancing the efficiency of the service. The personnel and equipment of this laboratory were subsequently transferred to the laboratory of the Army Medical School.

The national defense act placed the responsibility with the Veterinary Corps for meat inspection for the Army. Special Regulations No. 70 required that the Veterinary Corps provide for inspection of meat-producing animals before and after slaughter, of dairy herds supplying milk for the Army, of dressed carcasses, and authorized a meat inspector for the headquarters of each division. This service was an outgrowth of the embalmed-beef controversies of the Spanish-American War period, the outcome of which established the important principle that products for the Army should be inspected by a representative of the Army. This service had its actual origin at the general supply depot in Chicago, which was the central purchasing point during the war and where a small nucleus of veterinarians had been engaged on inspection duties for many years. It naturally expanded to other purchasing points at packing-house centers and, eventually, to the field. The inspection service


at camps and stations developed more slowly and much of the personnel required special training in the veterinary school at Chicago before assignment to duty.17 This branch of the veterinary service, as developed, included the inspection of meats and meat food and dairy products purchased for the Army at time of purchase, upon shipment, in storage, and at the time of issue. It included the inspection of the processes to which the food products were subjected, the sanitation of the establishments, storehouses, refrigerators, and cars in which they were handled, and, in addition, the inspection of milk herds and dairies. During, the early months of the war this inspection was conducted, when at all, by various agencies. In a camp, the quartermaster applied for and secured the assignment of lay inspectors from the Bureau of Animal industry for the inspection of meats at the local commissary. The dairy inspection was made by the camp sanitary officer, and the local butchers handling meat products were not, as a rule, subject to any inspection. Because of this unsatisfactory condition a conference was held in the Office of the Surgeon General on May 6, 1918, at which there were represented the Bureau of Animal Industry, the Public Health Service, and the Quartermaster Corps. As a result of this conference the Secretary of War directed that the meat and dairy inspection service be continued by the Veterinary Corps and that the Surgeon General issue the necessary regulations.19 The lay inspectors of the Bureau of Animal Industry were gradually replaced by enlisted men of the Veterinary Corps, who were usually men possessed of packing-house experience.

Available veterinary hospitals at the outbreak of the war consisted of permanent structures which had been erected at some of the older posts having mounted troops. With the new construction incident to mobilization, a remount depot was built at each divisional cantonment.20 Three of these depots had an official capacity of 10,000 animals, 8 of 7,500, and 23 of 5,000. It was their function to receive and condition newly purchased animals and turn them over to the divisions as required. The failure of many of the divisions to take their animals overseas resulted in an accumulation, and in some cases overcrowding, at the depots not originally contemplated, which had an important bearing on the work and efficiency of the veterinary service. When the depots were constructed, a number of stables were set aside for the sick, and designated as veterinary hospitals, but little was done toward providing accessory utilities essential to the operation of complete hospitals. These? meager accommodations were often overcrowded with the sick, whose presence in the midst of great numbers of sound animals normally inhabiting the depot? rendered the handling of communicable diseases exceedingly unsatisfactory. Estimates and plans were eventually prepared by the Surgeon General for the establishment of camp hospitals outside the remount depot areas, hut definitive action was stopped by the ending of the war. The foregoing conditions resulted in the veterinary hospitals at the camp remount depots being the site of the principal veterinary activities at the camps. Veterinary detachments of 12 officers and 150 enlisted men were maintained at the largest depots; 9 officers and 100 enlisted men for those of intermediate size, and 6 officers and 75 enlisted men for the smallest.21

In order to develop proper sanitary standards and to improve the efficiency of the veterinary personnel, the territory of the United States was divided


into five zones, and in December, 1917, five experienced officers were assigned thereto as general veterinary inspectors.22? These officers acted both as inspectors and instructors and remained at a station sufficiently long, not only to inspect, but to correct defects and improve the efficiency of the veterinary personnel by instruction. In the presence of an outbreak of communicable animal disease the inspector assumed veterinary charge of the situation until the disease had been brought under control. The work of these inspectors was of the utmost importance in improving the general efficiency of the veterinary service, and, in connection with the inspection of stockyards used in the shipment of public animals, it had a beneficial effect on the animal industry of the United States.

The application of the principles of veterinary preventive medicine in preserving the physical efficiency of the animals was closely involved with the conditions under which the animals lived at the remount depots where most of them were sheltered. The principal part of these depots was large corrals, holding in some cases several hundred animals. The corral fences ran up hill and down, inclosing woodland or swamp, as might be the case. It was impossible to clean the corrals and in many instances they became quagmires of manure. No shelter was available for the great majority of the animals and it was frequently necessary to overcrowd the corrals. In these cases it was practically impossible to maintain proper sanitation. Preventable conditions and communicable diseases caused extensive disability and losses, which decreased appreciably as the animals became seasoned, the overcrowding reduced, and the most objectionable corrals abandoned.

On December 19, 1917, a weekly telegraphic report was established for each station, giving the animal strength, the number of sick, and the number of animals having communicable diseases.23? This procedure was of great importance in furnishing the Surgeon General with prompt and accurate information regarding sick animals. In July, 1918, a monthly sanitary report was required from every command in which there were animals.6

The direction of the Veterinary Corps being a function of the Surgeon General's Office, the veterinary service of the military departments was regarded as being under the supervision of the department surgeon. As rapidly as they became available, experienced veterinary officers were assigned as assistants of the department surgeons. In the field, however, the division veterinarian was not an assistant of the division surgeon, but was, as was the division surgeon, a member of the staff of the commanding general. Veterinarians of depots, posts, and other stations were likewise independent of the senior medical officer. As the divisions moved out of cantonments, the camp veterinary service was organized, consisting of the camp veterinarian, a meat and dairy inspector, and an enlisted detachment, with such additional personnel as the extent of the service demanded. The camp veterinarian, being on the staff of the camp commander, was his advisor in all veterinary matters. His duties were similar to those of the division veterinarian, and included responsibility for meat and dairy inspection.

Animal embarkation depots were constructed at the ports of embarkation of Newport News and Charleston, and large numbers of animals were assembled at these places and at Hoboken for transportation to Europe.24 The scarcity


of shipping interfered with shipments and it became necessary to retain the animals at the depots for many months. Large hospitals and an extensive veterinary service was developed at Newport News and at Charleston under the general control of the port veterinarian, who also supervised the veterinary service of the animal transports.25

The veterinary service on animal transports was provided by temporary transport veterinarians and casual officers detached from units proceeding overseas.26 Finally these temporary details were changed to the permanent assignment of 1 veterinary officer and 25 enlisted men to each transport. The duties of the veterinary personnel on transports were to care for the sick, supervise the sanitation of the animals on the outward voyage, and to clean and disinfect the ship on its return. From October 15, 1917, to May 5, 1918, 28,473 animals were shipped from Newport News, with a total loss of 463, or 1.6 per cent, including 247 lost by storm on the Hercules.26 During the period from August 11 to November 30, 1918, 18,764 were shipped with a loss of 49, or 0.26 per cent.26 In October, 1918, animal shipments were abruptly begun at Hoboken, and by November 30, 1918, 18,834 animals had been shipped, among which there was a loss of 439, or 0.79 per cent.26 In the grand total of 66,071 horses and mules shipped overseas, there were only 660 lost, or 1 per cent.26

Veterinary supplies were purchased and issued by the Finance and Supply Division of the Surgeon General's Office. Tentative supply tables were prepared and published as paragraphs 904, 966-977 of the Manual for the Medical Department, Changes No. 4, November 19, 1917.27? It soon became evident that these tables were inadequate and, on the request of the Surgeon General, the British war office lent a complete set of veterinary field chests and wallets, which were used as models for those adopted for our service in the new supply tables compiled by the Surgeon General and approved by the Chief of Staff on January 22, 1918.28

The paramount duty of the Veterinary Division of the Surgeon General's Office from the beginning of the war was considered to be the organization of a veterinary field service for the American Expeditionary Forces. When General Pershing's headquarters sailed for France, in May 1917, neither personnel nor plans for a veterinary service went along for the very excellent reason that they were nonexistent. Veterinary officers were sent across in small numbers as requested, but the calls for them did not become urgent until large animal shipments began in October of that year.

It was first necessary to organize a veterinary service and prepare regulations for its guidance, and when this work was well advanced early in November, 1917, two well-qualified veterinary officers were sent to France for consultation in connection with organizing, equipping, and supplying the veterinary department of the expeditionary forces.29 These officers carried an advance copy of Special Regulations No. 70, which was officially approved while they were in France.

While organization plans were being developed in the Surgeon General's Office, similar work was being done in the American Expeditionary Forces, and a memorandum was forwarded from General Pershing, dated September 18, 1917, describing the veterinary service as it was proposed to operate it.30 On the requirements of this memorandum were based the Tables of Organization


for veterinary units subsequently approved by the War Department. Issued on September 18, 1917, General Orders, No. 39, Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, attached the veterinary service to the remount service of the Quartermaster Corps, operating to detach it wholly from the Medical Department with the exception of supply of personnel and mat?riel.

This procedure was not contemplated by Special Regulations No. 70. In the face of this situation, the two veterinary officers above mentioned, after making such recommendations as they deemed appropriate for the betterment of the veterinary service, returned to the United States. Thereafter veterinary personnel was enrolled in the Medical Department, trained under Special Regulations No. 70, and on its arrival in France was diverted to the Quartermaster Corps and functioned under General Orders, No. 39, of the American Expeditionary Forces.?? An anomalous situation existed until Julv, 1918, when, on request from General Pershing,31 a senior veterinary officer was sent to France as Chief veterinarian and the veterinary service of the American Expeditionary Forces was reorganized in the manner prescribed by Special Regulations No. 70.

Tables of Organization for the veterinary service were promulgated about January 1, 1918.32? The service with regiments of cavalry, field artillery, and other units, both divisional and otherwise, having animals was provided by the attachment of one or more veterinary field units composed of one officer and three enlisted men.? For each infantry division, an evacuation unit was authorized, known as the Mobile Veterinary Section and consisting of one officer and 21 enlisted men.? Each division was allowed a division veterinarian and a division meat inspector and had a total veterinary personnel of 12 commissioned officers and 51 enlisted men. With the exception of the 1st, 2d, 26th, 42d,? 41st, and 32d Divisions, the veterinary divisional personnel was organized, trained, and equipped at the divisional camps and proceeded overseas with the unit to which attached.?? The six divisions above mentioned, and in the order given, departed with practically no veterinary personnel, and the Mobile Veterinary Sections were subsequently formed and sent to France as a part of the first phase.? The table below shows each division, the official number of the Mobile Veterinary Section as authorized by General Orders, No. 8, War Department, 1918, and the name of the camp at which the latter was organized:33

Division No.

M.V.S. No.


















































































Fort Clark




























































































The authorized veterinary hospital units for field service were: Corps mobile veterinary hospital (evacuation), with two officers and 35 enlisted men; Army mobile veterinary hospital (evacuation), with four officers and 144 enlisted men, and designed foro500 patients with half the equipment of a veterinary hospital; base veterinary hospital (stationary) identical as to personnel and equipment with the preceding; and veterinary hospital (stationary) with eight officers and 311 enlisted men. The latter was the typical hospital for the service of the rear, with a standard capacity of 1,000 patients.32

Veterinary hospital units of the foregoing types were called for by General Pershing's schedule of September 18, 1917,30 to be shipped iii the successive phases of the shipping project in the following numbers:

Corps mobile veterinary hospitals


Army mobile veterinary hospitals


Veterinary hospitals


Base veterinary hospitals


Replacements, 50 officers and 795 enlisted


For phases subsequent to the fifth, the Surgeon General was directed to organize the following additional units:34

Corps mobile veterinary hospitals


Army mobile veterinary hospitals


Veterinary hospitals


Base veterinary hospitals


Replacements, 40 officers and 790 enlisted



The units of the first phase were organized at Camps Devens, Upton, and Lee from miscellaneous enlisted men who had been assigned to the Veterinary

Corps.34 Thereafter all units were organized at the Veterinary Training School. Camp Lee, in the order called for by the priority schedules. The following units were sent overseas:35


Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive.

Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 1.

Base Veterinary Hospital No. 1.


Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 7 to 11, inclusive.

Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 2.

Army Mobile Veterinary Hospital (1/2) No. 1.


Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 12 to 16, inclusive.

Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 3.

Base Veterinary Hospital No. 2.


Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 17 to 21, inclusive.

Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 4.

Army Mobile Veterinary Hospital (1/2) No. 2.

Four replacement units, aggregating 50 officers and 795 enlisted.


Veterinary Hospitals No. 25.

Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 2.

Army Mobile Veterinary Hospital (1/2) No. 1.


Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 7, 8, 9.


Veterinary Hospitals Nos. 22, 23, 24, Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital No. 5, Base Veterinary Hospital No. 3, and Replacement Unit No. 5, which comprised 40 officers and 210 enlisted, were organized but did not embark, and the termination of the war removed any need for the remaining units which had been authorized.


(April, 1917, to December, 1919.)

Miller, Reuben D., Col., M. C., chief.?

Morse, Charles F., Col., M. C., chief.

Griffin, Gerald E., Lieut. Col., V. C., chief.

Marshall, Clarence J., Lieut. Col., V. C., chief.

White, D. S., Col., V. C.

Bemis, Harold E., Lieut. Col., V. C.

Stanclift, R. J., Lieut. Col., V. C.

Blair, W. R., Maj., V. C.

Cotton, Charles E., Maj., V. C.

Derrick, Jesse D., Maj., V. C.???

Fish, P. A., Maj., V. C. ?????

Foster, R. J., Maj., V. C. ?????

Hanvey, George A., Maj., V. C.?????

Hill, W. P., Maj., V. C. ?????

Hornbaker, J. N., Maj., V. C. ?????

Jewell, Charles H., Maj., V. C. ?????

Klein, L. A., Maj., V. C. ?????

Lange, Aug. F., Maj., V. C. ? ???

Lininger, Daniel B., Maj., V. C. ?????

McKillip, George B., Maj., V. C.?????

Mason, Alfred L., Maj., V. C. ?????

Powell, George R., Maj., V. C. ?????

Staley, Raymond M., Maj., V. C.?????

Stokes, W. J., Maj., V. C. ?????

Towner, A. N., Maj., V. C. ?????

Turner, John P., Maj., V. C. ?????

Ward, S. II., Maj., V. C. ?????

Clarke, Harold, Capt., V. C. ?????

Curley, E. M., Capt., V. C. ?????

Eakins, H. S., Capt., V. C. ?????

Moone, J. G., Capt., V. C. ?????

O'Connell, E. P., Capt., V. C. ?????

Carey, L(lward F., Second Lieut., V. C.?

? a In this list have been included the names of those who at one time or another were assigned to the division during the period, April 6, 1917 to December 31, 1919. ??

There are two primary groups the chiefs of the division and the assistants. In each group names nave been arrange alphabetically, by grades, irrespective of chronological sequence of service.

211 ??????

Bennett, S. E., Dr.?????

Cotton, Charles E., Dr.??????

Howard, L. H., Dr. ??????

Langie, A. F., Dr. ? ????

?Mohler, J. R., Dr. ??????

Moore, V. A., Dr. ??????

Ward, S. H., Dr.


(1) Bull. No. 1a, W. D., June 22, 1916.

(2) A. R. 88 and 89, 1913.

(3) Annual Report of the Surgeon General, United States Army, 1918, 415.

(4) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Advisory Board. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 198610 and 190950 (Old Files).

(5) Annual Report of the Surgeon General, United States Army, 1919, Vol. II, 1203.

(6) Special Regulations No. 70, Changes No. 1, July 5, 1918.

(7) Letter from Col. Charles F. Morse, A. C., to Col. Charles Lynch, M. C., editor-in-chief, The Medical Department of the United States in the World War, November 10, 1921. Subject: History Veterinary Corps. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(8) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Examining Boards. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 157275 (Old Files). Correspondence. Subject: Examination of Veterinarians for Appointment. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 157595 (Old Files). Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Colleges. On file. Record Room, S. G. O., 161034 (Old Files).

(9) Compiled from personal cards on file in Veterinary Division, S. G. 0.

(10) Annual Report of the Surgeon General, United States Army, 1919, Vol. II, 1202.

(11) Twenty-five decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury, April 9, 1919, 751 (Veterinarians, Army). Correspondence. Subject: Commissioning Veterinary Officers. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 210.1-1 (Veterinarians), and 322.055-1 (Veterinary Corps).

(12) Annual Report of the Surgeon General. United States Army, 1919, Vol. II. 1200.

(13) Schedule of Instruction. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 353.1 (Aug. 26, 1918).

(14) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Training. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 352.4 and 353 (Fort Riley) (C).

(15) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Training School at Camp Greenleaf. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 352.4 and 353 (Camp Greenleaf) (C).

(16) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinary Training. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 352.4 and 353 (Camp Lee) (D); and 319.1 (Veterinary Training School, Camp Lee) (D).

(17) Correspondence. Subject: Veterinarians as Inspectors of Meat-Chicago. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 199171 (Old Files). Historical Report of Chicago Depot. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 314.7-2.

(18) Special Orders, No.9, W.D., January 11, 1918. Circular No. 121, Veterinary Division, S. G. O., May 3, 1918.

(19) Circular No. 34, Veterinary Division, S. G. O., March 22, 1919.

(20) Annual Report of the Surgeon General, United States Army, 1919, Vol. II. 1204.

(21) Letter from the Surgeon General to The Adjutant General, May3, 1918. Subject: Veterinary Service at Posts, Camps, etc. On file, Record Room. S. G. O., 322.3 (Veterinary corps).

(22) Memo. for the Inspector General from the Surgeon General, December 10, 1917. Subject: Losses of Animals by Death and Sick Rates from Infectious Diseases; letter from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, December 15, 1917. On file, Veterinary Division,S. G. O., 322.055-1 (Veterinary Corps). (Marked Appendix I, and 1-2, respectively.)

(23) Weekly reports of animals. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 728 (Veterinary Sanitation, Hippology); and 484.3 (Veterinary Service, General).

(24) Annual Report of the Surgeon General. United States Army. 1919, Vol. II, 1205.

(25) Statements of personnel required by the Veterinary Corps, Medical Department, Table A, authorized May 23, 1918. On file, Adjutant General's Office, 322.34 (Miscellaneous Division).



Statistical tables, transport reports. On file, Veterinary Division, S. G. O.; routine reports on change of animals, Form 101. On file, Veterinary Division, S. G. 0.

(27) Manual for the Medical Department, 1916. Changes No. 4, November 19, 1917, pars. 902,966-977.

(28) First endorsement from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General, January22, 19318. On file, Finance and Supply Division, S. G. O., 742.

(29) Reports of Majors Klein and Mason. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 484.3 A. E. F.

(30)? Memo. of project for the service of the rear. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.055-1 (A. E. F., France) Y.

(31) Cablegram No. 1410 from General Headquarters, A. E. F., July 3, 1918.? On file, Cable Record, S. G. O.

(32) Tables of Organization, Nos. 43, 109, 330, and 331.

(33) Mobile veterinary units. On file, Record Room, S. G. O., 322.3-32 (Veterinary Units, A. E. F.) (V); 322.3-32. Veterinary Units, Camp Lee) (D).

(34) Letters from The Adjutant General to the Surgeon General. On file in cable record, S. G. O.: Letter of January 10, 1918; letter of September 10, 19]8 (A. G. 0. 370.5 EE) (Misc. Div.); letter of October 24, 1918 (A. G. 0. 370.5 EE) (Misc. Div.).