« PreviousContinue »
present condition. Even under the painful conditions before mentioned and long marches often necessary in the hot hours of the day, the men seemed to stand the strain excellently. At Echague, where we halted for several days, when the men had opportunities to feel and realize any aches and fevers from which they might suffer, the sick rate was very low, and when leaving there only 4 men were sent to Aparri to the regimental hospital. This shows the men to have been in an excellent condition, the few cases treated being infected sores of the feet from going barefooted, mild forms of malarial fever, and diarrheas, all of which were easily checked. At Cordon, 13 miles from Echague, the health still continued. This was the last town north of the mountains. From here we came over the mountains to Bagabag, Solano, and Bayambong. We reached these stations on the 26th of February. The trip over the mountain trail was taken by as easy stages as was practical, in view of the distance necessary to be made by nightfall. When the men arrived at Solano they were in fairly good condition, excellent, in fact, considering everything they had undergone since January 4. This status was maintained until about the 10th of the present month, when it seemed as though the entire command was sooner or later to be prostrated. The first death occurred on the 4th, at Cordon, a private of Company K dying of chronic dysentery after protracted illness. The second died at Solano on the 5th, of acute Bright's disease, a private of the same company.
The men then seemed to lose all energy, appetite, and interest in everything. Malarial fever in some form or other affected more than 50 per cent of the entire command, continuing to grow worse until about the 20th, when the hospital was overcrowded. The steward, hospital corps privates, and extra help, were worked to point of complete exhaustion from doing constant duty day and night. From a simple form at first, the fever seemed to take on the pernicious type, becoming the most fatal condition due to malarial poison alone I have ever seen. Strong healthy men would be assigned a cot at sick call in the morning only to be found a cold and pulseless corpse at night. The depression following a chill of this type was absolutely beyond control. Strychnine, the most universally praised heart stimulant known, had absolutely no effect when used in moderately increased doses by hypodermic injection. Brandy, whisky, aromatic spirits of ammonia, ether, and digitalis were all tried in turn in connection with artificial heat, and hypodermic and rectal injections of quinine in acid solution. Nothing used as routine treatment in malarial poisoning seemed to have a salient effect.
Quinine, Warburg's tincture, Fowler's solution, all failed, until things became in a desperate condition. Between the 11th and 25th eleven deaths had occurred from this malarial fever alone, the four others being due to chronic dysentery and Bright's disease. The epidemic reached the climax between these dates. It has somewhat abated at this time, but the exceedingly depressing condition of the climate in the immediate region keeps the sick and convalescent from gaining and holding their former physical power. The men have been fairly careful of all exposures, bathed regularly, and were discreet in their eating: Boiled water and all sanitary measures possible to employ have failed to correct the condition of affairs I have described. In addition to this, smallpox on yesterday made its unmistakable appearance. Prior to the coming of the battalion to this station I made a trip over the mountain to look into the reported epidemics of smallpox then said to be raging, but after carefully hunting for cases in Solano and Bayambong, I failed to find but one case. I posted notices warning all men of the place and presence of this case.
The towns along this valley, as far as I have been, all seem to me to be miserably situated for any other purpose than graveyards. Saturated the year around by moisture, dews, and poisons resulting from such atmospheric conditions as exist, no other state could possibly be looked for but one of constant illness. I am not in the least afraid to go on record as saying that if this command remains at its present station during the rainy season 50 per cent of its number will die. The present epidemic I believe to be due to malarial poisoning.
Company M of this battalion is stationed at Cordon, north of the mountains, and does not share in the suffering and disease I have mentioned. I visited that company on the 25th instant and found only six men in quarters, while the sick report of the other three companies beyond the mountains were far in excess of the number, as the following table of the number answering sick call in the different companies on that day will show: I Company, Bagabag ...
48 L Company, Solano and Bayambong
68 K Company, Solano.
47 M Company, ('ordon
6 Company L did less work en route than any other company, while M Company did fully as much or the most, and if any company should be affected by the conditions
arising during the trip it should come in for its share. The fact that it does not bears out the statement that the illness is due to immediate surroundings.
W. H. DADE, Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A.
The following is an extract from morning report at Solano, March 28, 1900: “Total enlisted present, 149; sick, 43."
March 29 the record stood: “Total enlisted present, 148; sick, 53.”.
After receiving the memoranda from Dr. Dade I made many inquiries as I passed through the country regarding the presence of malarial fevers and the seasons in which they were most frequent. My inquiries brought information to the effect that while there was always a great deal of sickness in the valley the worst season for the malarial fevers was during the winter or dry season, but that after April 1 sickness of this kind decreased and was hardly to be found at all during the rainy season. Attention is invited to the fact that one case of smallpox had occur
curred, that there is no virus on hand to vaccinate the troops, and none to vaccinate the native population.
I made a careful inspection of the quarters of the troops and their surroundings in Solano. For barracks the troops occupy two buildings. One of these was very much crowded. The men had all provided themselves with bunks at their own expense. The floors are raised 8 or 10 feet above the ground and the space underneath is entirely clear and open. Along the road from Bayambong to and into Solano for more than a mile there runs a stream, with deep banks in alluvial soil, with comparatively small volume of water and feeble current. This is the main stream through the town of Solano, and the quarters of the troops are less than 100 yards from its banks. A spring in the side of the bank is boxed in and is the source of the water supply. The stream is used for a mile or more along its course by the people of the town for all purposes-washing clothing, bathing for carabao, and as an open sewer to carry off waste of all kinds. The water used for drinking purposes is boiled, but the injurious effect of the stream above described is obtained by living in close proximity to it, and it is quite possible that the health of the troops would be better if the troops were moved even only a few miles.
The following is a list of the towns in the valley, with the population and organization:
6,000 5,000 4,700 4,000 3,000 1, 800
11 9 6 8 8 4 3
Organization under General Order 43 in all the above towns had just been completed. Raymundo Ariola, former civil governor, has been continued in office and has been of the greatest assistance to the military authority. Civil affairs throughout the province are in an entirely satisfactory condition, no disorders, no difficulties or complaints of any kind.
Of the above towns all are in the bottom of the valley, except Bambang, Dupax, and Aritao, and I believe these three towns, especially Bambang and Dupax, will prove to be more healthful locations for our troops than the bottom towns. The valley is shaped like an oval bowl; the valley from Bagabag is the bottom, and mountains on all sides form the rim, with Bambang, Dupax, and Aritao at different points up the sides of the bowl.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS,
First. I concur with Captain Lassiter in the opinion that the military necessities of the Bayambong Valley could be met by a force of 125 men and three officers. With the main part of the battalion at Echague and Cordon, this force of 125 men should be made a detail from the battalion and changed from time to time, thus avoiding any extended detail in the valley where the health conditions appear so very unfavorable.
Second. There are 320 men at present in the valley practically with barely suffi
cient rations to subsist from day to day. They require about 1,000 pounds per day. The men are suffering also for clothing, especially shoes. A sure line of supply is now in operation as far as Carranglan, but no farther. I recommend that a pack train of approximately 100 mules be sent to Carranglan at once to carry supplies to Dupax. Reserve supplies for four months should be in Dupax before June 1, so that a large part of them can be carried to Bayambong across the Magat River by that date. Palay for forage should be secured in quantity at Carranglan and Dupax for the use of this pack train. It can be obtained at both places, but it will require some time to do so at Dupax.
The guard for the pack train should be mounted men. If the packers are armed with revolvers the additonal guard need not be more than 15 men, as there is very little chance of attack from any parties armed. I would recommend that 15 horses and the necessary equipments be sent to Carranglan for the use of this guard. Thus equipped, the train can work continuously between Carranglan and Dupax. The trail follows mountain streams, suitable camping places are frequent, and the journey can be broken to suit the hour of day and the distance to be traveled. I believe this will be better than to make an intermediate station at Salaza or Santa Clara.
Third. Bacon in crates should not be shipped to Bayambong. The crate becomes a burden beyond San Jose, and is discarded at the latter place and the bacon carried in carts and on packs exposed to the sun and rain. I would recommend that canned bacon, 9-pound cans and smaller cans, be forwa for the troops at Bayambong. Evaporated potatoes and onions should be sent at present. When the supply line is in runnirg order all the way through a small quantity of fresh vegetables should be forwarded.
A supply of sales stores for two months is on hand at Solano. Sales stores, therefore, can be sent after the reserve supply of rations has been forwarded.
Fourth. The quartermaster and commissary of the Sixteenth Infantry battalion-at present First Lieut. John F. Preston, jr.-is in constant need of funds. Money had been forwarded to him from Aparri March 1, but had not reached him at Solano March 29. He was entirely out of funds on this latter date and had contracted debts almost equal to the amount en route to him. There are also a number of outstanding debts contracted by other troops. I would recommend that Lieutenant Preston be furnished funds and be instructed to pay all debts contracted by any United States troops that have been in the valley. Great difficulty exists regarding a local supply of fresh beef, but if a herd of beef cattle can be purchased in Isabella province that would seem the best solution of the difficulty. This has been recommended by Captain Lassiter.
Fifth. The telegraph line now runs direct from Aritao to Bambang and does not include Dupax. The road via Dupax is in constant use, and the line could be easier maintained via Dupax, and the latter is also an important place. More of the line is at present out of repair between Aritao and Bambang than along the whole of the rest of the line between Carranglan and Bayambong. I would, therefore, recommend that the line be constructed along the road from Aritao via Dupax to Bambang and the direct section from Aritao to Bambang be abandoned.
Sixth. There was one case of smallpox among the troops at Solano on March 29, and considerable apprehension existed with regard to it. The surgeon had been temporarily absent when the case first developed, and the man was in the crowded hospital for nearly twenty-four hours, thus exposing a number of other patients to the disease. I would recommend that virus be sent to the surgeon at Solano, both for the use of the troops and for the native population. The care of the sick in the Bayambong Valley is a matter calling for special attention. I would recommend that at an early date a medical officer be sent to the valley to carefully investigate and report upon the needs of the medical department for the proper care of the troops in that locality. Very repectfully,
R. A. Brown,
Major and Inspector General, U. S. Volunteers. "The ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Second Division, Eighth Army Corps.
Have been furnished with 16 mules and 4 escort wagons; no axle grease. Mules came from Aparri to Cordon without pack saddles of any kind and carried packs. Consequently backs were in a terrible condition. Most of them had two or more shoes off; no blacksmith. One developed glanders and was ordered shot. One other
Onze alv-at 1.100 pounds per day.
A sure line of supply is 5:. I rommend that a pack
kar si se to (arty supplies to winner before June 1, so that
ST* Magat River by that 18 : ( artangian and Dupax for systct it will require some
If the packers are armed han 15 men, as there is very Irai reummend that 15 horses
itbe 1 of this guard. Thus tamaran and Dupax. The
Serireuent, and the journey 3tite traveled. I believe this
&: in or Santa Clara. Tiina
Parg. The crate becomes **
de Sit? par and the bacon carried
Irummend that canned
Turnir the true at Bayambong. Films
2. When the supply line is in namin.
at vi insh vegetables should be turuania I SUPER
erschat siano. Sales stores, therelinical
**n forwaniei. Fourth Thi
Sreenth Infantry battalion-at
Inceart Deal of fun.is Money hand we'n formandenta Vini, breachei him at Solano Vanda Hie usporedbi stes late and hai contracted debts alueen al forn . Tiedra) a number of outstandin de bienfaitherine Ivcimiento that Lieutenant Preston lai turnissentiunis zibil into para se apnisited by any l'nited States in that have manevr. triat exists neaning a local Nupponitih lettlitia animi enhaski in Isabella province that will se'm shoe lees sara huiy. This has been recommended by Chiarn later
Puth. I'he telegraph live new runsaat inm Aritso to Bamlang and does not include the The nulla assinarsantre, and the line could be easier maintained in Duran, a theaters an imprant pace. More of the line is 110 penont of rewir letaknr: fanlarg than along the whole of the rew of the line htiriler'd annan srl Harumbing I would, therefore, recommend that the line feminiserie along the na innritao via Dupax to Bambang and the line sertion in Aritme to Pandung beaccioned.
Ninth There was one per sms frame the troops at Solano on March 29, and connerabile apprehensioners with ruani to it. The surgeon had been temporarily went when the tip tirar developed, and the man was in the crowded hospiul lor newly twenty four hours thus erpusing a number of other patients to the
limewire I would nommend that virus beat to the surgeon at Solano, both for The art of the crops anal for the native population. The care of the sick in the Harambong Vallen in a matter calling for sp*tial attention. I would recommend ilmat at an early chitos medical ottiver les ant to the valley to carefully investigate mwport pon the needs of the medical department for the proper care of the tempat ini thu localitv.
R. A. BROWN,
Manoraad Instaxtor General, l. S. Volunteers. The ARTANT CENTRAL,
Nicow thinestone, Eighth Army (brzae.
Tuvo con furnished with 10 mules and 4 escort wagons; no axle grease. Mules wines from pri to (bordon without puck saddles of any kind and carried packs. (underently burden werd in a terrible condition. Most of them had two coming wowe oll, no blacksmith. One developed glanders and was ordered shot a