Making History: Transcribe is made possible in part by federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Medical College of Virginia Base No. 45 Hospital newspaper, 5 November 1917

image 1 of 4

Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.

This transcription is complete!



Dr. McGuire Describes Development and Explains Purposes of Organization Which Is Now Practically Complete

The organization of the Base Hospital at Richmond has been a large undertaking. It has required wide breadth of view in order that every contingency should be provided for, and a capacity for infinite pains in order that no details should be overlooked. The work had to be done according to the regulations of the government which made it more complicated and time consuming.

A base hospital consists of a personnel and an equipment, or the people and material necessary to establish and operate a hospital without asking for any outside assistance except the provision of shelter. This in the present war usually means a deserted hotel, an empty village, a group of wooden huts or a number of large and small tents.

Personnel Is Complete

The personnel of Base Hospital No. 45 has been completed, the officers have been commissioned, the nurses and civilian employes enrolled and the enlisted men mustered in. The medical and surgical staff consists of twenty-four physicians and surgeons who have been carefully selected so that every specialty of medicine is represented. Practically all members of the staff are now on active duty in training camps or hospitals being prepared for their future work.

The nursing corps consists of sixty-five registered nurses', most of whom are graduates of Virginia hospitals. They have all passed rigid physical examination, been immunized against typhoid and paratyphoid and enrolled in the Red Cross nursing service. The civilian employees consist of six women who are stenographers, bookkeepers, dietitians, technicians and artists. They have been carefully selected on account of their fitness for their special duties.

The enlisted men are one hundred and fifty-three in number. Of these sixty-five are orderlies or male nurses and the remaining eighty-eight clerks, bookkeepers, mechanics, etc. The hospital is a little world in itself and must have cooks, butchers, and bakers; barbers, cobblers and tailors; carpenters, plumbers and painters; engineers, electricians, chauffeurs, telegraphers, etc.

I have personally chosen the members of the medical and surgical staff and directed the special training they have received and are receiving.

The nursing corps has been organized by Miss Ruth I. Robertson, who will go with the hospital as chief nurse.

The enlisted men have been selected by Dr. J. F. Geisinger, who has devoted over two months to the task and demonstrated a wonderful degree of patience, industry and ability in the work. I offered Dr. Geisinger the position of permanent adjutant on the staff, but he declined it, as he wanted to devote his time exclusively to surgical work.

Equipment of Hospital

So much for the personnel -- now for the equipment. At first we were told this would be given by the government. Later we were informed that, owing to the condition of the market, it was found that it was physically impossible to supply us, and if we wanted to see service at an early date we must furnish our own equipment, which at the minimum would cost $40,000. Conditions were explained to the Richmond Red Cross Chapter, who immediately appropriated the sum required and appointed

(Continued on third page)


Owing to the partiality of my friends, who secured my appointment, to the liberality of the citizens of Richmond, who have contributed money most generously, and to the number and ability of the members of the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia, who were available for service, I find myself the director of a base hospital, which will be splendidly equipped and have a personnel second to none in the United States.

With the opportunities I have enjoyed and the co-operation I have received it will be my fault if this hospital does not do efficient service at the front, and does not return home with a reputation that will reflect credit on our city and our State.

I realize deeply my responsibility and I promise to give the best efforts of both mind and body and to the discharge of my duties. I ask and will expect the earnest support of all who go with me. I shall endeavor always to be courteous and considerate, but I intend to maintain a discipline that will insure good behavior and render possible the accomplishment of the purpose for which we, together with others of our countrymen, are making great sacrifices.

STUART McGUIRE, Major, M. O. R. C.; Director Base Hospital No. 45.


Commanding Officer: To be appointed by War Department Director: Stuart McGuire, M.R.C. Adjutant: Jas. H. Smith, M.R.C. Quartermaster: To be appointed by War Department Registrar: Greer Baughman, M.R.C. Assistant Director and Chief of Surgical Staff: W. L. Peple, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: R. C. Fravel, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: J. F. Geisinger, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: A. L. Herring, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: Carrington Williams, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: F. C. Pratt, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: H. P. Mauck, M.R.C. Staff Surgeon: Q. H. Barney, M.R.C. Eye, ear, nose and throat: W. B. Hopkins, M.R.C. Orthopedist: W. T. Graham, M.R.C. Assistant Director and Chief of Medical Staff: J. Garnett Nelson, M.R.C. Staff Physician: W. B. Porter, M.R.C. Staff Physician: J. T. McKinney, M.R.C. Staff Physician: R. G. Willis, M.R.C. Staff Physician: J. E. Warriner, M.R.C. Neuroloist: Paul V. Anderson, M.R.C. Assistant Director and Chief of Laboratory: E. Guy Hopkins, M.R.C. Bacteriologist and Pathologist: Chas. Phillips, M.R.C. Roentgenologist: Fred M. Hodges, M.R.C. Dentist: Guy R. Harrison, D.O.R.C. Dentist: J. B. Williams, D.O.R.C. Chaplain: W. Russell Bowie, D.D.

Nursing Personnel Miss Ruth I. Robertson, Chief Nurse, Richmond, Va. Miss E. P. Edmunds, Richmond, Va. Miss M. J. Campbell, Richmond, Va. Miss Carrie M. Copenhaver, Marion, Va. Miss Marie E. Curtis, Richmond, Va. Miss Josephine Dennen, Richmond, Va. Miss Anne Eloise Fort, Waco, Tex. Miss Mattie Frank, Rice, Va. Miss E. G. Friend, Richmond, Va. Miss Pattie Hargrave, Wakefield, Va. Miss Janet C. Hughes, Staunton, Va. Miss Mary H. King, Richmond, Va. Miss Marie Lebby, Charleston, S.C. Miss Ruth Middlebrooks, Athens, Ga. Miss Ellie C. Nelson, Scottsburg, Va. Miss L. E. Pollard, Rodophil, Va. Miss Eliza Price, Gala, Va. Miss Eva Pugh, Danville, Va. Miss Frances Robinson, Richmond, Va. Miss Lucile Wilkinson, Newport News, Va. Miss Lurie Wood, Concord, Va. Miss Annie Allen, Richmond, Va. Miss Ruth Atkins, Blackstone, Va. Miss Josie Ashby, Mt. Airy, N.C. Miss Margaret Ashton, Norfolk, Va. Miss Lillian Anderson, Richmond, Va. Miss May M. Broaddus, Bowling Green, Va. Miss Elise H. Bolling, Staunton, Va. Miss E. C. Brekenridge, Fincastle, Va. Miss A. V. Bennett, Pittsylvania County Miss Celia Brian, Danville, Va. Miss Emma M. Broaddus, King and Queen Co., Va. Miss A. M. C. Campbell, Bedford City, Va. Miss Sarah Lee Coleman, Nelson Co., Va. Miss Annie R. Cropper, Stormont, Va. Miss Ethel Cameron, Graham, Va. Miss Bessie Chapman, Greenbackville, Va. Miss Madge Driver, Richmond, Va. Miss Helen Day, Baltimore, Md. Miss Jane Eckles, Black Mountain, N.C. Miss Pattie Evans, South Boston, Va. Miss Cora Foy, Gastonia, N.C. Miss Annie Gwyn, Yanceyville, N.C. Miss Hallie Inge, Richmond, Va. Miss Werta Johnston, Richmond, Va. Miss Annie Jerdone, Orange, Va. Miss Garfield Leech, Clifton Forge, Va. Miss Juliet Montgomery, Deerfield, Va. Miss Louise Martin, Bristol, Tenn. Miss Grace Morrison, Fredericksburg, Va. Miss Virginia Mullins, Ferrum, Va. Miss Annie Pierce, Powhatan County, Va. Miss Martha Sue Pigg, Chatham, Va. Miss Nannie Quarles, Hallsboro, Va. Miss Alberta Reed, Berkeley Springs, W. Va. Miss Louise Reinhardt, Black Mountain, N.C. Miss Powhatan Stone, Knoxville, Tenn. Miss Sarah Tilton, Savannah, Ga. Miss Ida Lee Thomasson, Louisa, Va. Miss Mabel Vaughan, Rice, Va. Miss Lula West, Copper Hill, Va. Miss M. E. Williamson, Salisbury, N.C. Miss Corinne Bell, Goshen, Va. Miss Hettie Reinhardt, Black Mountain, N.C. (Continued on fourth page)


Heads of Red Cross Service Insist that Virginia Woman Be Placed In Charge of Unit

The selection of a chief nurse for the base hospital has received the attention of its importance demands. In fact, the question has been uppermost in the mind of the director for several weeks, and only just now has been disposed of and in a manner decidedly unexpected.

At the outset it was realized that the situation demanded a combination of qualifications never before so precisely outlined and consequently never before so difficult to secure. In the matter of general experience and personal attainments, the director fortunately had in his own hospital in Miss Ruth I. Robertson a degree of ability unexcelled in this section of the country. In the matter of familiarity with battleground emergencies and ward work on an immense scale no one in Virginia could meet the requirements. Miss Robertson was willing to undertake the task, but preferred not to do it, and the director very pointedly hesitated to burden her with so serious an undertaking. It appeared wiser to attempt to secure elsewhere someone already acquainted with war hospital regimen, leaving Miss Robertson's undivided time and energy to other things.

Objection to Miss Twedten

The entire country was then searched and certain authoritative quarters in Washington encouraged the idea of going as far afield as might be necessary to get the right person. Finally, with the assistance of his former superintendent, Miss Louise Powell, now at the University Hospital, Minneapolis, Dr. McGuire located Miss Hilda Twedten, a Norwegian by birth, a Southerner by temperament, a graduate of the Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago, and a young woman who appeared to present the happy combination of necessary experience, executive ability, and personal charm. The position was offered to her; she accepted, and public announcement of the selection was made.

The appointment was communicated to Washington and immediately met with objection from the chief of the army nursing corps, Miss Thompson, the chairman of the national committee on nursing service, Miss Delano, and the director of the bureau of nursing service, Miss Noyes. The main point of their contention was that the chief nurse of a Virginia unit should be a Virginia woman acquainted with Virginia nurses in intimate detail.

The importance of this Dr. McGuire immediately admitted and furthermore he pointed out that, though second in command, Miss Robertson would still be present and probably in closer association with the nurses than she could possibly be if absorbed in the gigantic task of hewing a pathway into work with which she had never previously been brought into contact. He emphasized in vain the necessity of such actual field experience as that possessed by Miss Twedten and not possessed by anybody in Virginia.

The heads of the nursing division insisted that to the superintendent of a base hospital personal acquaintance with the nurses was more essential for good order and discipline and cooperation than personal acquaintance with the work. They spoke in the highest terms of Miss Twedten, but felt that even should the Surgeon General be willing to transfer her from her present important assignment at Fort Snelling she could never overcome the fact that she was a stranger to Virginians. Finally Miss Delano and Miss Noyes agreed to yield under

(Continued on third page)