Clara Barton of the Red Cross waited in Tampa for permission to go to Cuba in order to bring medical supplies and care for wounded soldiers.
During the war with Spain, 1,563 trained women served as contract nurses. Women served in all the geographic areas where troops were sent--Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii--on the three hospital ships used during the war, as well as in camp hospitals in the United States. (Military medicine in the Spanish-American War * Author(s): Alfred Jay Bollet)
After the Spanish American War, the face of nursing and especially army nursing changed. The soldiers’ deaths from disease ushered in major health reforms including the 1901 establishment of the Army Nurse Corp.
LTHOUGH hostilities lasted only four months, the Spanish-American War led to significant reforms in military medicine. The failure to
protect the health of American soldiers who had never been near
a battlefield became a national scandal. Why was typhoid fever, a
preventable disease, the major killer of the war?
...secondary camps to which troops had been transferred in
an attempt to rid the commands of typhoid fever (Camp Poland,
Knoxville, Tennessee; Camp Wheeler, Huntsville, Alabama; and the
temporary encampment at Fernandina, Florida).
(Fever and Reform: The Typhoid Epidemic in the Spanish-American War)
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They are picnicking in Spring 1898, awaiting permission to take relief supplies to Cuba.
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Florida became the setting for much of the preparation for the war. American volunteers stayed in Jacksonville, Tampa, Key West, and other locations around the state as they prepared to leave for Cuba. Ships were sent from Key West to blockade the island nation. Other ships left Florida ports to carry troops and supplies for the brief war.
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The rattlesnake appears to be a large diamondback, with 11 buttons on its tail.
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Photographed in June 1898.
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