The following chapter was published in 1917 and represents an unofficial teaching policy for Cadets to the US Army at that time. This chapter, describing simple hygienic measures to avoid disease, was obviously an important aspect of the young officer's training but the passage on venereal disease appears to have been written by Major Moss, who was not medically qualified, in such a manner as not only to enlighten but also to scare the students about the dangers of syphilis.

The term "plant" is an archaic synonym for "germs", there are no such vegetables as "Chancroid" nor "Clap" plants.

Dr M. G. Miller




Officially adopted by ONE HUNDRED AND TWO [102] of of our military schools and colleges.

Intended, primarily, for use in connection with the instruction and training of Cadets in our military schools and colleges and of company officers of the National Guard, Officers' Reserve Corps and the National Army; and secondarily, as a guide for company officers of the RegularArmy, the aim being to make efficient fighting companies and to qualify our Cadets and our National Guard and Reserve Corps and National Army officers for the duties and responsibilities of company officers in time of war.



1451. Importance of good health Good health is just as necessary to an army as rifles and ammunition. Not only does every sick man take away one rifle from the firing line but in addition he becomes a care and a burden on the hands of the army. Indeed, it is fully as important for a soldier to take care of his health as it is for him to take care of his rifle and ammunition. The importance of doing everything possible to look after one's health is shown by the fact that in every war so far, many more men have died from disease than were killed in battle or died from wounds. In our Civil War, for instance, for every man on the Union side who was killed in battle or died from wounds, two died from disease In the Spanish American War the proportion was 1 to 5 and a half.


To do all that he can to keep in good health is a duty that the soldier owes his country.

1452. GERMS. Diseases are caused by little, tiny live animals or plants called germs. They are so small that you require a magnifying glass to see them.

The Different Ways of Catching Disease


There are only five ways to catch disease:

1. By breathing in the live germs

2. By swallowing the live germs.

3. By touching the live germs

4. By having the live germs stuck into the skin by insects that bite.

6. By inheritance from parents


1464. The more common diseases. The following are some of the more common diseases caught by breathing in the germs: Colds, diphtheria, tonsillitis, grippe, scarlet fever, pneumonia and consumption.

The germs that cause these diseases grow well in the dark, warm moist lining of the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs, and they are coughed or sneezed out or blown out and float in tiny bubbles in the air or fall to dry into dust which is blown about with the wind, and so are breathed in, or they may be transferred directly by kissing invalids and sick children.

1455. How to avoid breathing in sickness. Do not visit sick people or a house where the children are sick. Do not let other people cough or sneeze over your food or in your face.Do not allow others to spit on the door of your squadroom or tent.

Do not do these things yourself.

Blow your nose into a handkerchief that can be boiled or into a piece of paper that can be burned.

Put your hand before your face when you cough or sneeze.

Rinse out the nose with hot, weak salt water at night and especially ifyou have been inhaling dust.

Brush the teeth after each meal and before going to bed.

Do not pick the nose with the finger nails; it makes sore spots in which germs grow.

On dusty hikes tie a handkerchief across the nose and mouth.

Never sweep the door with a dry broom. Use a damp mop and so pick the germs up and carry them out instead of driving them up in the air as dust.


1466. THE MORE COMMON DISEASES. The following are some of the more common diseases caught by swallowing the germs: Typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and ptomaine poisoning.

1457. Water as a distributor of disease. Impure water is one of the most common distributors of disease that there is. Therefore, water from sources unknown or soiled by sewage, should be avoided as deadly and should not be used, unless boiled for drinking, brushing the teeth or rinsing mess kits.

You can not always tell polluted water by its appearance, smell or taste. Unless from a sewer or drain, it may look clear and sparkling with no smell and have a pleasant taste, so water that is not known tbe pure should not be drunk

1468. Vegetables as a distributer of disease. In some localities the inhabitants use the streams for all purposes; drinking, washing clothes, bathing, washing vegetables and table utensil and as a sewer. When kitchen gardens are irrigated with such water the germs are to be found on the cabbages, beets, etc..

1469. Food, fruit, cigarettes, and drinking cups as distributors of disease: Germs may be smeared on the bands and thus transferred to articles of food, fruit, cigarettes, or drinking cups, especially in public places, so that he who buys at the public stands may have disease handed to him with his purchase.

1460. The Fly as a disease carrier: The ordinary fly is one of the worst and filthiest transmitters of disease in existence. Flies carry germs from privies, latrines, spittoons and sick rooms tothe food on your table, by mean, of their smeared feet, in their spit or in their specks.





1461. The dog as a distributed of disease. Dogs are often distributors of disease. They use their tongues for toilet paper and afterwards lick their coat or the hands of their friends. Petting dogs or letting them lick our hand is dangerous.


1462. How to avoid swallowing disease. Do not drink water that is not known to be safe If you have no one to ask and are travelling, it is safer to drink tea or coffee, because they have been made front boiled water, or to drink bottled mineral waters. In the field boil your drinking water. Boiled germs are dead and will not grow. They are, therefore, harmless. Beware of water from wells, farm pumps, ponds, cisterns, water coolers and barrels, espial in railroad cars, stations, and ferry boats.

Do not drink lemonade, soft drinks, or milk from peddlers.

Beware of the public drinking cup

Always wash your hands before going to meals and before putting things into your mouth, especially after going to the toilet or handling animals.

Do not adopt strange dogs and do not pet dogs.

Before eating fruit or raw vegetables, wash and peel them unless picked from the tree by yourself.

Do not eat food that is spoiled, smells or tastes badly or is flyblown or maggoty or full of bugs.

Do not eat food which is not sufficiently cooked. All smoked, timed or salt meats or fish, such as ham, bacon, sausage, dried beef, bloaters, salt mackerel or codfish, must be well cooked, as they may contain "Measles" or other worm eggs. Cooking kills the egg.

Do not eat food exposed on public stands to dust, flies, dirty hands, dirty water, dirty cans, or dirty glasses and buckets.

Do not allow flies to breed in dirt or other filth around the house, nor allow them to walk on your food. This is possible by burning, burying or otherwise removing the dirt or filth, and by using fly traps, "swatters" and fly paper.

Do not wet lead pencils with your spit.

Do not wet your fingers with spit when you deal cards or turn over pages of books or magazines.

Keep the teeth brushed and the mouth clean. Have decayed teeth repaired at once. Decayed teeth drop out and they cause abscesses, which may destroy the jaw bone or cause brain fever. Old snags give the stomach the germs of rotting, which cause dyspepsia.


1463. The more common diseases. The following are some of the more common diseases caught by touching the germs: Ringworm, mange, barber's itch, sore eyes, boils, carbuncles, lockjaw small pox, chancroid, syphilis, and gonorrhoea (clap).

1464. Ringworm, mange, and barber's itch These diseases are carried from person to person by finger nails and hands and from dirty water to those who bathe in it or have their underwear washed in it

1465. Lockjaw. The germs of lockjaw are found in manure and in oil fertilized with it; hence, a bullet which passes through such soil before wounding carries these germs into the wound. Any wound soiled with such dirt will be infected. Also, wounds made by toy pistols and firecrackers often contain lockjaw germs.

1466. Chancroid, syphilis and gonorrhoea (clap). These are diseases whose germs are usually caught from prostitutes and whores, or from husbands who have caught the germs from prostitutes and whores. They are called "Venereal diseases,", after Venus, Roman goddess of lustful love, but they are very often caught in other ways than in sexual intercourse, and by innocent persons.

The chancroid plant causes a very nasty sore, the chancroid, which often destroys much flesh and causes buboes. The germ can be carried on the fingers to any part of the body. When the chancroid is healed and the bubo becomes a scar the disease is cured.

The syphilis germ will grow first where it is rubbed in, causing n hard ulcer, called a chancre, and after that it travels through the entire body. No place is sacred to its destructive power and it lives us long as the patient does. It is the cause of much insanity, palsy, apoplexy, deafness, blindness and early death. In mothers it can cause miscarriages and in children it causes stillbirths, freaks, deformities, feeble minds and idiots; also, deaf and dumb, palsied, stunted, sickly and criminal conditions.

A syphilitic person in always dangerous although apparent well. He often has a sore mouth and his spit is as dangerous as that of a mad dog. The bite of such a man will develop a chancre and any pipe, cup, or tooth pick which he uses, or his kiss, will give syphilis. A syphilitic tattooer who wets his needles and his India ink with spit will put a chancre into the skin with the picture

The instruments of cheap advertising dentists and of quack doctors or ignorant nurses can carry these germs from one person to another So can the razors and caustic stick of barbers who are careless.

The clap plant likes to grow in the linings of the openings of the body where it is dark and warm and moist where it causes a catarrhal discharge called Clap, which is easily smeared on hands, towels, handkerchiefs or by actual contact.

It grows well in the eyelids, causing great damage and often blindness. Many babies get the clap plant into the eyes during birth, from the mother, and unless treated within a few minutes after birth, have sore eyes and go blind, a terrible calamity to the child and the family If you have clap the germs can be carried on your hands to your eyes.

The clap plant also grows well in the cavities of the joints, causing rheumatism and crippling; it grows in the heart, sassing valvular heart disease, which is incurable, and also in the generative organs of men and women, causing self made eunuchs and childless wives. It is the cause of most of the severe abdominal diseases of women requiring the use of the knife to cut out the diseased part.

The venereal diseases cause more misery than any others an most of the doctors would have to go into other professions to earn their living if these diseases did not exist.

When a young man is "sowing his wild oats" he is really planting in his own body the syphilis and clap plants, and the harm will be greater than any other crop. He will reap it in days of bed ridden misery, and possible sudden death. Ho will reap it in bitter hours by the bedside through the illness and death of his wife or in her long years of ill health. He will reap it in little white coffins, idiot babies. blind, deaf and dumb, sickly and stunted children. And it will cost him lost wages and hospital and doctor fees.

Yes, the wild oats crop is a bumper crop. King Solomon was wise when he warned his son against the harlot, "for her end is bitter".

The best way to avoid venereal diseases is to keep away from lewd women, and live a clean moral life. It is said by medical authorities that sexual intercourse is not necessary to preserve health and manly vigor, and that the natural sexual impulse can be kept under control by avoiding associations, conversations, and thoughts of a lewd character. However, persons who will not exercise self-control in this matter can greatly lessen the risks of indulgence by the prompt use, immediately upon return to camp or garrison, of the prophylaxis prescribed by War Department orders and which all soldiers are required to take after exposing themselves to the danger of venereal infection. Men who immediately after intercourse urinate and wash the private parts thoroughly with soap and water will lessen the chances of infection. Drunkenness greatly increases the risk of infection.

Should one be so unfortunate as to contract venereal disease, he should see a first-class, reputable physician AT ONCE, the sooner the better. It is a fatal mistake to try to conceal venereal disease by not seeing a doctor, he who does so is taking a most dangerous chance of ruining himself physically for life.


Keep your skin clean with soap and water.

Do not bathe or wash your clothes in dirty water, have them boiled when laundered.

Do not go barefoot, even in barracks.

Do not use towels or toilet articles of other people, especially in public wash-rooms unless they furnish a fresh towel for you. Do not sleep in houses left empty by the enemy unless ordered to do so.

Do not sleep in native shacks in the tropics.

Do not rub the eyes with dirty hands. When dirt gets in, have a doctor get it out.

If you have clap, do not rub your eyes with your hands, and wash your hands well with soap and water after taking treatment or passing water.

Do not handle dogs or cats, especially strange or sickly ones.

Do not clean the ears with sticks or straws, - have a. doctor do it for you.

Do not have cheap, advertising dentists fix your teeth. Have the army dentist fix them and see him at least once every six months,--or see a good civilian dentist.

Do not have pictures tatooed on your skin.

Do not smoke other men's pipes.

Do not handle or touch wounds with anything but a first aid package.

Beware of chipped drinking glasses in cafes, restaurants and other places. The slightest cut from such a glass whose chipped part has been in contact with the mouth of a syphilitic person will give you syphilis.

Seek good companions like your mother and sister. Keep away from John Barleycorn. He always wants to turn you over to a harlot.

Whores and prostitutes are all diseased and will give you germs that will live to give diseases to you, your wife and your children, forty years from now. Keep away from them.

Diseases Caught from Biting Insects

1468. The more common diseases. The following are some of the more common diseases caught from the bites of certain insects: Malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

The germs of malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever live in the blood, and are sucked up into the blood by mosquitos when they bite.

Malaria germs, however, will develop only in the mosquito called anopheles.

Yellow fever germs will develop only in the mosquito called Stegomyia.

Dengue fever germs will develop in the mosquito called Culex and in Anopheles.

After a period of development in these mosquitos the germs will find their way to the spit glands, and are injected into the person whom the mosquito bites. (Note. Male mosquitoes cannot bite.)

Absolutely the only way that malaria, yellow and dengue fevers can possibly be caught is from mosquitoes.

1469. How to avoid malaria, yellow and dengue fevers. To avoid these diseases, which are carried by mosquitoes, we screen all houses with fine wire screens and use mosquito nets on the beds. Also, under certain conditions we take daily doses of quinine in malarious regions.

We kill the mosquitoes.

To do this we must know their habits.

Mosquitoes all lay eggs in water. These hatch out as 'wigglers' or larvae, which have to come to the top frequently to breathe. In about twelve days or longer they turn into 'tumblers' or pupas, which a few days longer come to tho top when their backs split open and the mosquito comes out and flies away.

The malaria mosquito is domestic like the chicken and lives around in houses hiding in the grass, bushes or dark corners and comes out to bite at night.


When a settlement is abandoned the malaria mosquito moves away also. She rarely flies far from home and is not found much beyond 500 yards from a house. She lays her eggs in running clear water preferably, but she will accept water in hollow trees, between the leaves of lilacs or air plants or in vases of flowers, or in cisterns and water butts.llow fever mosquito is domestic like the house cat. She hangs around the house and rarely flies as far as the next house even, preferring to travel on a visitor's coat. She will bite in the day time and will lay her eggs in any little collection of water in the house, the eaves, trough, the water barrel, old tin cans or bottles, pitchers, vases or the refrigerator drip.

The Dengue mosquito is a marsh and town mosquito. She flies far and well and will breed in any sort of water, even brackish.

To kill mosquitoes--

Catch them in the house; empty all water from tin cans, old barrels, etc; cover with wire all cisterns and water barrels; fill in all puddles and drain off marshes; put oil in pools and streams, choke the wrigglers; cut down grass and bushes around houses.

Chapter 2