THE PEAVINE RAILROAD

Camp Illnesses

The men faced nuisances around them such as gnats, ticks, stinging bees, Poison Ivy, chiggers and occasionally larger danger such as snake bites, some from poisonous snakes. There was always the worry of trees falling out of control, train derailments with casualties and infections such as gangrene from severe cuts.

The camps were also smelly and damp places to live. Sometimes the menís clothes did not have enough time to dry before they reused them again for the next day causing bouts of winter fever or Pneumonia.

There was also the danger of human waste infections sweeping through the camps if drainage got into drinking water such as camp fever better known as Typhoid fever which caused diarrhea.

Other illnessí that the camps feared were flu, brain fever, small pox, members croup, consumption, cholera and yellow fever or malaria which was transmitted by mosquitoes. These deadly dangers could wipe a camp out in a matter of weeks. To help control mosquito bites in the field, the men built smudge pits (piles of damp grass set afire) to smoke the mosquitoes away.

Yellow Fever or better known as "fever "n" ague" to the loggers, started with fatigue and aches and pains and hot and cold chills with high fever. Bed rest and a cold compress to the forehead and chicken broth were the recommended remedies. The campís first aid kit contained only cotton cloth bandages and liniment. When the patient began going in and out of consciousness, the doctor was called in to give the patient bitter powders. Under a doctors care, the patient usually pulled through. The camp had its own doctor, Dr. Jordan. He was furnished with a house there. It was a simple house made of vertical planks, plain for a doctor, but nice for the day. Dr. Thomas E. Bales from Caney Branch was in close vicinity to the camp also and Dr. Matthew Doak, who began practice in 1857, from Camp Creek Community could be called on, if needed. Among the doctors duties at the camp were dressing fractures, stitching up cuts and sometimes maybe even caring for a sick or injured animal at the camp.