WW1 Army Camp Libraries
Minnesota Public Library Commission, Minnesota - Department of Education - Library Division.
Good progress is reported in the work of organizing the camp libraries. The headquarters of the Library war service has been transferred to the Library of Congress, with Dr. Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress, as general director; Matthew S. Dudgeon as manager of camp libraries and George B. Utley, secretary of the A. L. A. as executive secretary. The latest report of the director states that at most of the cantonments the buildings are complete, and the shelving and furniture is being shipped.
Thousands of books and magazines have already been gathered, forwarded and issued to the men, in part direct, in part through other agencies. Some of the permanent camp librarians have been appointed, and others have been assigned as organizers, but not enough men are available for this service.
In response to the first call for books in August and September, a total of 15,721 volumes were collected and shipped by Minnesota libraries to the following points:
Chicago Public Library = 3,112
Camp Cody, Deming, New Mexico = 5,609
Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Ga = 3,000
Camp Pike, Little Rock, Ark = 2,000
Camp Beauregard, Alexandria, La = 2,000
Total of 15,721 Books
In response to a later appeal, November 1, 3,589 more books have been reported as shipped, and it is hoped that 1,500 more which were notified to be shipped are now on the way. With the addition of 125 sent to local companies from Detroit, 250 from Austin, and 200 from Crookston, this makes a total of over 20,000 volumes, half of which were sent from Minneapolis.
The following extracts from letters from the librarian at Camp Cody acknowledging the first shipment sent by the Library Commission emphasize strongly the need for books and the eagerness with which, they are received: "The 500 books of the first shipment from you are doing good work in the Y. M. C. A. buildings. There are none in at two of the buildings. Can assure you the books are appreciated."
"A recent census of soldier preference for recreation hours brought a direct message to the A. L. A.; 12,000 men replied to the questlonaire. Of the first fifty cards drawn, 22 men wanted reading and 22 study. Of course you understand Minnesota men are here. Cannot your office send a request to the editor of every Minnesota publication to send a free copy of his paper, magazine, bulletin, etc., to Camp Cody Library, Deming. N. M., as long as Minnesota men are stationed here? In the same letter a request could be made for a similar copy for National Army cantonment housing Minnesota, men."
Annual reports of the Secretary of War, Volume 1, Part 2
By United States War Department
Camp Cody is located 3 miles west of the city of Deming, New Mexico in the valley of the Mimbres River, at an altitude of 4,350 feet. Th terrain is high, drainage good, soil sandy, water supply exceptionally pure. The climatic conditions are very good.
The first increments of troops sent to this camp were National Guard men from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. About 12,000 of these National Guard troops arrived be tween the 1st and 30th of September, 1917. The strength of the camp was gradually increased by increments from other camps, so that the average strength for the month of December was approximately 21,000. The 34th Division was organized here. During 1918 and especially after May, increments of troops were receive from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas Some were received from other camps. The 34th Division moved overseas about August, 1918. After this time the strength of the camp was small, the maximum strength being in November, when it was approximately 9,000. The troops were quartered in tents.
Camp Cody stood fifth from the bottom of the list of camps for admissions. The total number of enlisted men admitted during the year was 14,329, a rate of 888.46. The admission rate was 1,175.27 for January. The low rate for the camp was 434.45 in July; it increased in August, decreased slightly in September, and increased during October, the influenza month at this camp, to a rate of 5,652.58. The rate advanced from 488.53 in May to 720.92 in June. It was during this month that 5,000 recruits were received in camp. During the month of October, the influenza month, 3,102 new men were received in camp. Here, as in Camps Beauregard and Bowie, there were few colored troops.
For the death rate Camp Cody stood near the middle of the list of camps with a rate of 21.52. For January it was 20.26; it declined until the month of May, when it was 3.20. It increased as did the admissions rate and noneffective rate in June to 5.41 and then declined to the low point for the camp of 1.51 in July, when it again increased slightly in August and September and reached the high rate of 359.16 in October.
The number of discharges at Camp Cody was 1,332, the rate being 82.60. The rate was 136.27 in January, after which time it declined to the low rate of 19.09 in July. It increased in August and reached the high rate of 297.06 in September. The 34th Division moved overseas in August. It is presumed that the high rate in August and September was due to a great extent to the diminution of the unfit men from the division.
The number of days lost at Camp Cody was 222,212, a rate of 37.75. This camp stood near the bottom of the list for noneffective rates. It was 46.76 in January, declined in May, rose in June following the addition of new troops, declined again in July, and rose in August and September, and reached the high point in October, when it was 266.38.
Uncomplicated measles which caused a number of admissions during the last three months of 1917 occurred in a small number of cases during the first of the year 1918. Apparently following the arrival of new troops in June there were 49 cases, 47 in July and 14 in August.
Mumps caused a comparatively small number of admissions during the last few months of 1917 and throughout the year 1918. Lobar pneumonia and broncho-pneumonia caused a number of admissions and deaths during the latter part of 1917. These two diseases, particularly lobar pneumonia, were present in the camp throughout the year 1918, causing a number of admissions and a considerable number of deaths.
During the latter part of 1917 there was a sharp outbreak of influenza. In the month of November the rate for this disease was 223.67. It increased to 329.64 in December. It declined during January, 1918, to 177.30. It further declined during the month of February and slightly increased in the month of March with a still further increase to 180.64 in April. A large number of cases of pneumonia and "other respiratory diseases had been reported in the latter part of 1917 and in the early part of 1918. These diseases declined during February and March and did not show the increase in the month of April that occurred in so many of the camps. It was during the month of October that the great epidemic of influenza occurred. This continued during the first part of November. In September before it was recognized in the camp that influenza was present in epidemic form there were 165 cases of primary lobar pneumonia and 2 cases of primary broncho-pneumonia reported. In the month of October after it was recognized that influenza was epidemic there were no cases of lobar pneumonia and only 2 cases of broncho-pneumonia reported.