This unofficial history describes the origins and development of principles and practices designed to prevent disease and preserve the life of soldiers. It correlates the military discoveries and advances with the knowledge derived from public health and preventive medicine.
The army had a big stake in preventive medicine. Many of its essential operations were formerly attended with great risk. Universities assembled 10,000 youths in dormitories every fall, usually with impunity; armies collected similar numbers of the same age in barracks or in camp, and epidemics promptly followed. The differences concerned factors in preventive medicine and epidemiology, which were discovered only gradually. The author shows that army medicine contributed richly to the solution of these and other problems.
Source material is scanty prior to the Revolution but increases greatly with time and wars. The progress, slow for over two centuries, exploded with the microbiological era. A number of old administrative orders,