Just where should one begin? Obviously at the very beginning of the United States Army. For practical purposes, one should start with the year 1775, for it was then that the history of the Medical Department, or as it was once called, the Hospital Department, first came into being. The Army was at Cambridge following the battle of Lexington, and, from that day to the present, many of its medical officers have made history over a period of one hundred and seventy-two years.
It is by no means easy to make even a fair evaluation of the work of the many persons contributing to the results achieved in nearly a century and three quarters. In our examination, we physicians are confronted with the problems of the dim past and the recent past, with the living and with the dead, with the meager accounts of difficult and laborious tasks of long