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Medical history of the 19th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry Volunteers

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Mahlon Bailey_1869

 

The Report or Medical History of the 19th Kansas.

Made by Mahlon Bailey, the Surgeon.  Dr. Bailey was Assistant Surgeon and later Surgeon of the First Kansas Regiment.  He moved to Chanute from Topeka, where he was practicing his profession in 1871.  He lived there the remainder of his life – Died there in 1893.  Lived in the south part of Chanute on a beautiful tract of 17 acres known as Bailey’s Grove.  Now platted as Bailey’s Addition to Chanute.  His son, Seth J. Bailey, is the only child living there at this time.  He gave the Society this History on the 6th of February, 1922.

 

Dr. Mahlon Bailey was born near Salem, Ohio, about 1835 of Quaker stock.  Came to Kansas about 1855.  Lived at Burlingame a while.  See Life of Plumb, [XX]88, for incident of him.  Married in Rochester, Iowa, about 1864, - Oct.- to Laura A. Jarbore – Had five children – Lawrence Lee, Seth J., William J. – all born in Topeka – and Mabel, now Mrs. A. F. Grubb of Boise City, Idaho, and [XXXXX].  From time he went to Chanute he was in the banking business.  Established first Bank in Neosho County -  Seth J. Bailey lives now, Feb 6, 1922, in Chanute.

 

[Page 1]

 

Medical History of the 19th Regiment of Kansas Cav Volunteers-

This Regiment was organized by Gov. Crawford in October 1868 at Topeka – Enlisted for six months to serve in a winter campaign against hostile Indians on the plains, the organization of the regiment was completed in less than two weeks after the arrival of the first recruits, thence the examination of the men was made in a hurried manner & a few Succeeded by the aid of their company officers – in getting mustered that were not really fit for Soldiers.  A larg number were young men between the ages of 18 & 21.  Very few over 40 & all togather were a fine lot of men physically the best Volunteer regiment I ever Saw.  The men were from all parts of the State.  a great many from Malarial districts hence there was considerable ague in the beginning, but it disapered very fast after we got on the plains—

 

As is always the case when recruits first go into camp, there was a great many cases of Diarrhea & Dysentery or a kind of a combination of the two diseases & I think ought to be called Dysenteria Diarrhea.  Generaly of a mild form however & none of the cases assumed that Severe chronic form which proved so fatal during the late war.

 

The regiment left Topeka on the 5th of November leaving only one man (a case of Remittent fever) behind. – The men were well provided with clothing – including ponchos – but were without tents, or Shelter of any kind.

 

[Page 2]

 

On the 8th it rained all day.  Snowed in the evening & turned very cold.  I left a bad case of Pneumonia at Emporia under charge of Dr Jacobs – the man Suffered Severely –

 

On the 12th we arrived at Camp Beacher on the Arkansas river at the mouth of the little Arkansas.  Here we remained one day & received 5 days rations of  [XXXXX] bread perk & Coffey.  I left in Hospital one case of Pneumonia, one case of accidental Gun-Shot wound & one case of Periostitis.  On the morning of the 14’’ we crossed the Arkansas river left the last vistage of civilization & directed our course South west under the guidance of a Scout known as “Apache Bill” on the night of the 15’’ after raining all day it turned intensly cold, froze hard. The wind blew a perfect huricane from the north, we were encamped in bleak place among Sand hills.  Several of the men had their toes frozen but with the exception of one Severe case of Pneumonia no other bad results from the nights exposure.

 

On the night of the 18’’ while in camp, on Medicine Lodge Creek between 200 & 300 hundred horses Stampeded, several men were Slightly hurt which Swelled the list of contusion for the month & delayed the regiment one day, which was an important item as the distance to Supplies was about an hundred miles, forage all gone & rations nearly out.  The time however was improved by Sending out details to obtain buffalo meat on the night of the 21st it commenced Snowing & continued for 36 hours, not less than two feet of Snow fell

 

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in a little brushy valley & fortunately had plent of wood.  Entirely out of rations, difficult to get buffalo on account of the Snow which made it impossible to see a hundred yards.  A great many of the men actually Suffered from hunger & the limited amount of buffalo that was obtained Saved the necessity of eating horse flesh not only for this day but for the next Six days.  On the 23d we moved out expecting to find the Cimmaron river in a few miles wound around amoung Sand breaks all day & Encamped within three miles of the Cimmaron & about 20 miles below where we should have struck it.  The men & horses were becoming very much exhausted.  The next morning parties were sent out to procure buffalo meat & in the after noon Col Crawford took all that had horses in condition to travel which amounted to but little more than half of the regiment & struck out to find Camp Supply an indeffinite distance & course & Succeeded after three days marching in finding it.  Asst Surg. Kussel accompanied the Reg.  The balance of the regiment under command of Maj Jenkins remained in camp being unable to move & depended intirely on buffalo to live, which were plenty by going a few miles from Camp.  Salt water was carried from the Cimmaron in Canteens to Season the meat with & with out anything else we Succeeded in living.  The men however Suffered considerable from Dysentery in a mild form.  My Supply of Opiates were soon exhausted & I prepared a mixture of Olive Oil, Turpentine Flind Ext. of Ipecac & Cresote which proved to be very efficient.  A number of the men induldged in eating larg quanties of Hackberries which in a few case produced rather Serious results.  The Seeds became impacted in the rectum causing complete obstruction & could only be removed by using a Scoop.

 

[Page 4]

 

While here I evaporated just one half pint of water from the Cimmaron river & obtained, when perfectly dry – 94 grams of Salt.  What is properdly the Salt plains of the Cimmaron is a narrow Strip along the South Side of the river opposite this point.  On the night of the 28” of Nov. we received rations & forage by Capt. Pliley who had been sent out on the 22nd to find Camp Supply & procure provisions.

 

On the 1st of Dec. the detachment joined Col. Crawford at Gen. Sheridan Supply depot Situated on the North fork of the Canadian near the mouth of Beaver Creek.  350 miles South west of Topeka KS where we remained for 7 days & started to Ft Cobb left a detachment of about 300 dismounted men under command of Maj. Simond & in charge of the Surgeon of the post 10 of the number on Sick report, 3 of whome were wounded by accident.  Upon the arrival of Dr Aikman 2d Asst. Surg. of the regiment Sometime in December he took charge of the detachment.  His reports & the reports of a detachment of about 80 men Sent to Ft Dodge & also the reports of two companies that were detailed to escort trains are not not included in my reports.

 

We arrived at Ft Cobb after a 12 days march during very cold weather.  The regiment was provided with Shelter tents – had plenty to eat & enjoyed excellent health.  We moved South to the East End of the Wichita Mountains in the forepart of January & remained for about two months.  Good country.  Excelent water & plenty of fuel.  As the reports for January & February

Show there was almost no Sickness at all.

 

The weather was generally mild no Snow, considerable rain,

 

[Page 5]

 

and with the exception of a [XXXXX] about every two weeks, was decidedly pleasant.  The men built fire places to their “pup” tents, generally had rations Sufficient, to which was added, no small amount of game.  Such as deer, antelope turkey &c.

 

            On the 2d of March the Command under Gen. Custar consisting of the 7” U.S. Cav. [XXXXX] & the 19” Kansas – dismounted Started west in Serch of the Chyennes Indians, the men Suffered considerably from Sore & blistered feet but it very Soon became evident that the infantry could out march the Cavalry & when on the 5” day out Gen. Custar divided his command he Sent about two thirds of the Cavalry & only one third of the Infantry a Short route to Supplies & with the balance of the Command made a march of Some 300 miles in 17 days on short rations.  Which were intirely exhausted & the men devoured with a relish the mules that were killed because they could travel no further & decided the meat better that the texas cattle that had been furnished by the Commissary department.  After the expedition, marches were continued at the rate of about 25 miles per day intill our arrival at Ft Hays.  A good many of the men became tired & foot sore but fortunately there was a larg number of empty wagons along that after considerable delay were obtained to transport those that were unfit to march.

 

The total distance marched by the regiment was about 1200 miles, 2/3 of the distance on foot.

 

I Shall not enter into any description of the country over which we marched further that to Say that after leaving the Arkansas river at Wichita one hundred & fifty miles S.W. of Topeka with the exception of the immediate vicinity of the East End of the Wichita Mountains there is no country over which we passed that is not approprietly named the “Great American desert” & in every thing that constitutes a country

[Page 6]

 

SucSeptable to Settlement is as much inferior to the plains west of Ellsworth in Kansas as those plains are to a good agriculture country—In fact the whole region South of the Arkansas & Especially South of the Cimmaron river & west of the Wichita Mountains is one vast desert of red Clay & Sand, with Scatering Gypsom & Salt desposits

 

The following is a consolidation of the Monthly reports of the regiment which gives the number taken sick & wounded during such months, it Shows that the whol number taken Sick was 262 & the number wounded 34, & also that more that half of the number of case for the term of service from Oct 30” 1888 to April 18” 1869 occured in the month of November.  Which can be accounded for by the Sudden change from civil to Camp life.  Excessive rough weather, want of Shelter & sufficient provisions.

 

Although for the month the number taken on sick report is larg in comparison with the other months still the cases were generally mild, only requiring to be relieved from duty for a few days & the morning reports Show that the average no. [XXXXX] Sick report was put little over one per sent

 

[Page 7]

 

of the gunshot wounds reported none were severe & only one required any Surgical interference & that only the amputation of a finger.

 

The case of typho-malarial fever which proved fatal was a well marked case – treated with Quinine Whiskey &c.

 

The treatment of Dysentery was generally commenced with Castor oil & turpentine or Epson Salts which was followed by Opium combined with Campher or Ipecac.

 

The case of Pneumonia were all Severe.  all treated on the Stimulating plan togather with [XXXXX] & all recovered. although exposed to an extent that would be Sufficient to account for the death in any case of Pneumonia in private practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 8]

 

Report of Sick & wounded of the 19th Reg. Kans

Cav Vols from Oct 30 1888 to April 18” 1869 inclusive

 

[XXXXX] Mean Strength of Regiment – included in this report

Taken Sick in

21days

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mch

Apr

Total

Returned

To Duty

Died

Sent  to

Hosp

Diseases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typho-Malarial fever

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

Remittent fever

2

1

2

 

 

 

 

5

3

 

one [XX] at home 1

Intermittent fever

4

40

17

5

3

11

4

84

84

 

 

Acute Diarrhea

5

12

7

2

 

 

2

28

28

 

 

“ Dysentery

 

32

9

5

3

4

2

55

55

 

 

Tonsillitis

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

Gonorrhea

 

1

1

 

 

 

 

2

2

 

 

Acute Rheumatism

 

3

1

1

1

1

 

7

7

 

 

Neuralgia

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

2

 

 

Conjunctivitis

 

2

 

 

1

1

 

4

4

 

 

Catarrh

 

5

2

 

1

1

 

9

9

 

 

Pneumonia

 

3

1

 

1

1

1

7

4

 

3

Pleurisy

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

3

3

 

 

Colic

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

Constipation

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

 

1

Ingumal Hernia

 

1

1

 

 

 

 

2

2

 

 

Inflammation of testicle

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

Inflammation of Periostern

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

2

Abscess

 

4

2

1

 

 

 

7

7

 

 

Boil

2

7

1

1

 

1

 

12

12

 

 

Ulcers

 

2

4

 

 

1

 

7

7

 

 

Burns & Scalds

 

 

1

2

 

 

 

3

3

 

 

Contusions

1

12

1

 

 

 

 

14

14

 

 

Sprains

 

2

2

 

2

 

1

7

7

 

 

Frostbites

 

7

9

1

 

 

 

17

17

 

 

Gun Shot Wounds

 

5

2

1

 

 

 

8

4

 

4

[XXXXX] worms

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

2

2

 

 

Obstruction of Rectum

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

4

4

 

 

Total

16

150

64

21

12

23

10

296

283

1

12

 

 

[Page 9]

 

The following is the average per cent on Sick report, during Oct – 1 per cent

                                                                                               Nov   1.13 “   “

Total No. taken Sick 262            }                                              Dec.  1.3 “    “

Wounded                    34        }                                              Jan    1.1 “    “

                                                                                                Feb     .7 “    “

                                                                                              March   .6 “   “

                                                                                               April   .75 “   “

 

Which makes on an average of one pr cent during the term of Service, this includes all case of Sick & wounded that were relieved from duty.  I have not the necessary Statistics to make comparisons but I think the above reports indicates that the Reg. Suffered less from Sickness that is usual among troops & even on the plains & it also Shows that as far as the health of troops is concerend there can be no objection to winter campaigning & the great “[XXXXX]” that active operations must stop when winter Sets in on the plains is I think thourghly demolished by last winters Campaign. in fact as far as health & comfort of troops are concerned (to say nothing of other military advantages) I would prefer winter to the summer months.

 

Of those Sent to Hospital all recovered & were returned to duty except one, who died in Hosp at Ft Hays

 

Besides the death from Typho-Malarial fever reported above there was one man accidentally shot & instantly killed.  Also one man died of disease in the detachment under charge of

 

[Page 10]

 

Dr. Aikman, one man died of disease & one accidentally killed in the companies that were detached from the regiment, making in all six deaths four from disease & two killed.

 

While I Speak with plasure of the good health & few causalties in the regiment I regret to say that we interfered to no alarming extent with the comfort & good health of the hostile indians whome we found, but punished not for the atrochious deeds committed but a few weeks befor upon defenceless citizens of our own State deeds, which 1200 brave men of Kansas volunteered to avenge on the first Sound of the bugle to arms!  Men who were able & willing to stand any exposure, march any distance, endure any hardship, necessary to punish in a manner that would hereafter Secure there own homes & families & the wives & children of the frontier settlers from the merciless ravages of Savage brutes who considers every act of kindness indications of fear & the fostering care of the Government an admission of its mobility or fear  to punish them.

 

[Page 11]

 

Before closing I wish to extend to the Commanders & all the officers of the Regiment my regard for the prompt assent at all times to all measures Suggested by the Medical officers in regard to the health & Sanitary Condition of the command & their non-interference  with matters pertaining to the Medical Dept.

 

I also take the privilage to express my high respects for Asst. Surg. E.K. Kussell (who was constantly with the regiment) for the prompt & Skillfull manner in which he performed his duties always ready & willing to do all in his power to aid the Sick & no less vigilant in guarding against malingers also Asst. Surg Aikman who had charge of a detachment of the Key & proved himself to be an efficient officer & a gentleman.

 

& if the medical officers of the regiment were more fortunate in one thing than another it was in having a Hosp. Stewd. (I.G. Land) that in everything pertaining to the duties of a Steward could not be excelled.  He combined with Superior qualifications an enduring energy & a disposition to promptly do all his duties that will long be remembered by those connected with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

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