Thursday, April 28, 2011

Letter of the Day: April 28

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 01441

April 28, 1896

Lieut. R. S. Woodson
Assistant Surgeon U.S. Army,
Fort McIntosh, Texas.

Dear Doctor:

It required the mounting of several slides of the sample of sputum referred to in your letter of April 22, 1896, before we found any tubercle bacilli. On the third slide we were fortunate enough to bring two of them into the field. These appear so characteristic in shape and staining that I am willing to say that there a few tubercle bacilli in the officer's sputum. On account of their very great scarcity, and of the fact that you would not probably again stumble on these two bacilli, I have refrained from sending you the slide.

Upon receipt of this letter I would be obliged to you if you will obtain another sample of the early morning sputum, and let us confirm, if possible, our diagnosis.

I will see what i can do towards preparing for you some bacteriological mounts. If you have not already studied the pathological changes found in tissues under the microscope, I feel like saying that you would not be able to obtain much information from pathological slides. One has to be trained in this particular work. I trust that you appreciate my meaning. I shall be glad at any time to do what I can to promote your microscopical studies.

Very truly yours,
Walter Reed
Surgeon, U.S. Army,

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