Elliott Carr Cutler's Journal


Elliott Carr Cutler at the American Ambulance Hospital, 1915
From the Photographic Scrapbook of Geraldine K. Martin

Purchased for the Boston Medical Library through the Franc D. Ingraham Fund, 1999






Elliott Carr Cutler, a graduate of the Medical School in 1913, published his journal of his experiences with the Harvard University Service, describing wounds from shells and bullets, the first use of poison gas, and compound septic fractures.  

He included an epilogue cautioning against the horrors of war and the possibility of the United States entering the conflict:

I came home to find even my own people wondering if we had better not get into it. What, I beg of you, could we benefit or anyone else? What gain can be worth the price? … It is so much worse that the veriest hell one can imagine, you, who have not heard or seen it at first hand cannot conceive even the fairest possibilities… Though I believe myself personally not to be a coward I would accept many a slight and insult in quiet restraint rather than enter into such a maelstrom, for my reason depicts the futility and my sight and hearing have taught me its horror.

Despite his reservations, Cutler returned to France once the United States entered the conflict, working at Base Hospital No. 5, and would then also serve in World War II.



Elliott Carr Cutler (1888-1947)
A Journal of the Harvard Medical School Unit to the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, Spring of 1915 / by Elliott Carr Cutler. [S.l.] : [s.n.] 1916?

Gift of Dr. Cutler to the Library of Harvard Medical School, 1920

The passage displayed, from April 30, mentions Cushing's use of magnets to remove shell fragments along with rumors of the employment of gas in warfare. 

The full-text of Cutler's account of the Harvard Service in Paris is available in the Medical Heritage Library at: 


The American Ambulance Hospital in Paris
Elliott Carr Cutler's Journal