Hoover Acquires the Papers of Major General Harry L. Gilchrist

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Major General Harry Lorenzo Gilchrist (1870-1943).

The Hoover Institution has acquired the papers of Major General Harry Lorenzo Gilchrist (1870–1943), a surgeon who during WWI served as the medical director of the AEF Chemical Warfare Division, which entailed frequent visits to the front and allied hospitals. After the Armistice Herbert Hoover, then director-general of relief for the Supreme Economic Council, personally asked President Woodrow Wilson to detail Lt. Col. Gilchrist and a unit of soldiers to anti-typhus work in Poland, whose eastern borderlands were beginning to suffer the ravages of this lice-borne epidemic, compounded by hunger and miserable living conditions. The acquired papers consist of materials on AEF delousing activities in France, correspondence and photographs relating to the anti-typhus mission in Poland (including a heartfelt letter of thanks from Chief of State Józef Piłsudski), articles written by Gilchrist on chemical warfare, and assorted letters and biographical materials from the latter part of his career.