Guide Fort Devens, From Boys to Men

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I am allright. I am in no danger. Those men suffocated as their lungs filled with a bloody, frothy substance, and it only took a few hours, Dr. Nurses from Maine, including 10 from Central Maine General Hospital in Lewiston and six from Milo, loaded trains heading south to help out at the encampment. At the same time, relatives of sick soldiers arrived at the camp in droves to comfort their loved ones, according to historical sources.

He left a wife and two young children behind, and also probably spread the disease to an unknown number of people during his trip home. The flu was quickly becoming an epidemic in Bath, Lisbon Falls and Portland, which had more than cases reported by Sept. That was also the day Skillings entered the hospital. Sixteen days later he remained hospitalized. As the flu spread, state officials began talking about how to contain it.

On Sept. Many other communities followed suit, according to historical sources. At that point, Bangoreans reportedly had the illness.


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At Camp Devens, Skillings was taken to the No. Harvey had lived with the Skillings family in Ripley as a youth. As Skillings entered his third week in the infirmary, he wrote home and told his parents he was battling two diseases. Soldiers moving among camps and to Europe to fight in the Great War spread the disease.

Estimates are that the flu killed between 20 million and million worldwide, including more than , in the United States. Approximately 47, Mainers got sick and around 5, died, but historical sources note the disease was underreported.

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Half of the deaths in Maine occurred in October In Bangor, cases of influenza were reported in an Oct. The Queen City lost 53 locals from the flu and its complications, the newspaper reported. On Aug. The next day, eight cases were reported. On the third day, the toll rose to 58 cases. The sailors were sent to Chelsea Naval Hospital, from which the disease spread to Boston and the rest of Massachusetts. On Sept.

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By Sept. The military camp became a hellhole of death. Soldiers clutching blankets lined up outside the hospital in the rain while cots overflowed into hallways and onto porches. Doctors had to step over piles of corpses to watch an autopsy.


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All assemblages of soldiers taboo. Two hours after admission they have the mahogany spots over the cheek bones, and a few hours later you can begin to see the cyanosis extending from their ears and spreading all over the face, until it is hard to distinguish the coloured men from the white.

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It is only a matter of a few hours then until death comes, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate. One can stand it to see one, two or twenty men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies sort of gets on your nerves. We have been averaging about deaths per day, and still keeping it up. The impact of the flu epidemic spread beyond the military camp to the nearby town. The doctor wrote,.

follow url It takes special trains to carry away the dead. For several days there were no coffins and the bodies piled up something fierce, we used to go down to the morgue which is just back of my ward and look at the boys laid out in long rows. It beats any sight they ever had in France after a battle. By late September, the flu epidemic struck 50, residents of Massachusetts and spread beyond the commonwealth.

By Oct. The next day, the city canceled its Liberty Bond parades and sporting events, closed churches, canceled school and put the stock market on half-day. Doctors could do nothing to contain the disease. They desperately searched for a vaccine and treatments, but failed. They could do nothing but wait and hope. The flu epidemic began to subside in mid-October. Later estimates put the number of Massachusetts flu deaths at 45, from Sept.

On September 11, the first case of flu in Connecticut was reported in New London. Within a week it spread throughout the state. In Hartford, four Yale students walked into the hospital.

Fort Devens, From Boys to Men

They felt ill on the train to New Haven and decided to get off. Twenty-four hours later, all four had died. Doctors turned the Hartford Golf Club into an emergency hospital. Within five weeks, there were reported deaths in Hartford; in Waterbury, in; New Haven and 69 in Bridgeport had 69 deaths. Still, the flue epidemic didn't hit Connecticut as hard as Massachusetts. The commissioner of health urged all nurses and doctors to resist requests for help from Massachusetts. After Massachusetts and Connecticut, the flu epidemic hit Vermont hardest.

Public health officials reported 6, cases during the last week in September. The largest outbreaks occurred in Middlebury, St. Johnsbury, Lydonville, St. Albans, Montpelier, Barre, Randolph and Northfield.

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