CPS Camps 48, 81, 83

CPS Camps 48, 81, 83

Additional RESOURCE information for CPS Camp/Unit Numbers 48, 81, & 83, arranged in Numeric Order. 

Compiled during April 2011 by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist at Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, for the CPS Memorial Website.



Capacity = 100 in Feb. 1943

In operation, 1942 (October) – ____

Located in

Newsletter “Second Mile” Vol. 1:1 (January 1943)

“NEWS: The regular camp assembly met, with perfect attendance, Nov. 12 for the first time under the leadership of Director Bowman. One of the important items of business was the setting up of a temporary camp council by electing a five-man committee to work with the Director, the assistant Director, and the chairman of the religious committee. The following were elected to man the committee: Byron Berkey, Dwight Reiman, Wilmer Fridinger, Elgin Weaver, and Paul Blough.

On Nov. 16, this temporary camp council met to work on organizational problems. The potent council, with the experienced members imploring the more reluctant, finally waded through the important preliminaries of camp organization. The spirit of democracy was prevalent in that the legislation of the campers is to be determined by the representatives of different interests via the activity committee heads; the committees, in turn, will be chosen by the assembly. 

Provisions were also discussed to take care of the representation of new men arriving in camp later than the date of council formation. It was further decided to limit the size of the council to approximately ten members, in order to prevent unwieldiness. At the end of the discussion a sub-committee was appointed, composed of Reiman, Berkey, and Fridinger, to incorporate the conclusions in a constitution or its equivalent.

Meanwhile, there are other signs of spontaneous organization. Some of the more prominent manifestations of activity interest have taken the following forms: a Bible study class under the religious committee; a ‘free for all’ weekly gathering of vocal enthusiasts, a group attracted by the idea of a camp publication, and other groups pending.

The constitution was presented to the General Assembly on Dec. 8, with only minor changes. It calls for a camp Council with representatives from each barracks and from each of several activity committees. It goes into effect on Jan. 1.

HISTORICAL RESEARCH AT ‘48’ by Ralph Leatherman: Camp #48 was formerly known as camp F-1, the first C.C.C. Camp in the Allegheny National Forest. It was abandoned in November, 1941. It was rumored at C.P.S. No. 16 last spring that what is now #48 would be a side camp, and 50 men would be transferred here during fire season.

 On August 15 about 15 fellows began to realize that there was more to the rumor. They soon started cutting weeds and grass here so one barracks could be seen from the steps of another. The roofs were tarred as well as the fellows that were applying it, and the barracks were scrubbed with lye. On September 15th thirty fellows from camp #16 came over to get this camp started. These were volunteers and they came with the understanding that they could go back to #16 when new men were assigned to #48. Some of the fellows had only been in camp three weeks, and some 14 months.

The first few days fifty percent of the men were ready to go back, but after cleaning up the place a little more, it seemed more livable, but ‘home was never like this.’

            The thirty fellows from #16 arrived in a couple of cars, and two Forest Service trucks. Mr. Potter, our project superintendent at #16 accompanied us to our new place of abode. Soon after docking at camp one of the trucks belched forth all sizes and shapes of card-board boxes, trunks, tables, desks, suitcases and other paraphennalia [sic]. After a hurried survey of the two barracks the piles behind the truck vanished, and under the watchful eye of Mr. Potter was quickly selected a place to set-up [sic] a bed.

The dirt in the Mess hall according to rumor varried [sic] from 1/16” to 2 ½” in thickness. However, the four experienced cooks soon had things under control and a steaming hot meal prepared.

About ten o’clock the lights went out on our first day in C.P.S. Camp #48, and Henry, our night watchman, took over to keep away Bears while the other 29 commenced their first shut-eye in the new camp.”

MEN AT WORK: The campers’ weekly forty-eight hours on work projects have thus far been spent rather diversely. Ultimately, however, most of the activities serve the purpose of forestry. The building of a camp bridge accounts for approximately 200 man-days. Moss enough has been gathered to keep most an estimated 700,000 trees during the early days following planting. A gravel pit crew and a stone quarrying crew are subordinated chiefly to a road building project, while a sizeable number of men work daily on the maintenance of forest roads in Elk and Forest Counties. Several local fire towers are manned in emergencies by C.O.’s.

A group of fellows are stationed at the Forestry Headquarters at Marienville; Seacrist, Shenk, and Fridinger are employed in clerical work while Berkey, Hoffman, and Blough are busy in various mechanical jobs.

The camp management is allowed to assign a certain percentage of men to camp overhead. No overhead job is more essential than cooking and that work is ably done by Paul Blough as head cook, with Dailey, Craun, Hasselrode, and E. Weaver as helpers. Richardson and Mathias do the many camp tasks that come under the head of Handyman, while Orpurt serves as Laundryman. Lee Weaver and Ray Speicher serve in the office as Property Clerk and Personell [sic] Clerk, while J. Heil is Dispensary clerk.

Mark King had served as Ass’t director, but left on November 29 to return to Camp No. 16. His place will be filled by one of the men trained at the school for Ass’t. Directors recently begun in Elgin and Washington.

ONES [SIC] SPARE TIME: The popularity of our fine recreation hall is quite in evidence by the large number of fellows who gather there each evening. One almost has to stand in line for a chance to play billiards. The Ping Pong tables are also in constant use….

The meetings of the Bible Study Class are well attended. A great deal of enthusiastic and thought-provoking discussion emanates from the weekly sessions of this group. An invitation is extended to those new men who have not yet been in attendance.

A chorus has been formed for the ‘artistic’ baritones, tenors and bases [sic]. Under the capable direction of Lee Weaver, this group in its two practice sessions has already shown signs of promise. Although the bases [sic] are quite often singing the baritone part, and the tenors making waltz times out of a four-four best, Weaver has not last heart. More power to him and his melodious crew!

            The corny ‘jam session’ in Barracks 1 are hilarious fun for the participants but a little nerve wracking for the poor guy who is trying to write his girl-friend a letter or catch a little early shut-eye…. Then there are the many bull sessions covering a wide variety of topics – the war, women, the week-end at home or the delightful anticipation of a well earned furlough.

With camp organization now under way, new outlets for those free moments [c]an be expected. Study Groups, Special Classes and maybe a shop . . . if we can get the equipment!

THE BOWMANS: A revitalized camp spirit became apparent with the coming of Director Bowman on Nov. 2. We had anxiously awaited his arrival and many were the questions about him among the campers during the weeks prior to his coming. He has come and we are more than satisfied. Now, instead of questions regarding our liberties, we hear enthusiastic comments about our new director -- ‘that Bowman man is really on the ball.’ We have been impressed with him as being a genuinely good fellow, with his vitality, his noble dreams for the camp, his thoroughly democratic procedures. We are filled with new confidence in our portion of the total C.P.S. program.

Mrs. Bowman, too, has made a real contribution. The gusto with which we consume her well planned meals is evidence enough that her ability as a dietician is not to be questioned. With food prepared in such abundance and of such high quality we really ought to ‘move’ in whatever camp activity we may be engaged.

The Bowmans are to be admired for their courageous spirit in coming into this rustic setting with two small children. However, Barbara, age 4, has shown no difficulty in making a good camp adjustment and has become popular with us all, and Carolle Sue, age six months, seems to be thriving on mountain air.

Mr. Bowman has had a varied experiential and educational background. He was graduated from Bridgewater College in ’34, and for the next three years he was a minister and teacher in North Carolina. He received his B.D. degree from Bethany in ’40, and from that time until the present, he served as pastor in the Mt. Vernon and White Hill, Va. Churches. During this period he was also District B.S.C. Representative. Mrs. Bowman is a graduate of Winthrop College for Women, S.C. After graduation she taught High School in North Carolina.

WEAPONS: Come forth and fight for peace! the bugle cries; drums call; there is mustering of men; the cannons speak. And other armies rise to fight for peace again. So shall it be until, with war flags furled, the nations forge at last for their defense the only weapons that can save our world – tolerance, and common sense.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 3: CPS Camp Periodicals, Box 11, folder “Camp 48: Second Mile, 1943 (Jan.-July)]


Newsletter “Second Mile” Vol. 1:2 (February 1943)

“AS THE SEED IS SOWN: ….Today in Camp 48 we have activities ranging from the purely skilled play variety to the more creative such as photography and manual arts. Classes varying from Animal Husbandry to Relief and Reconstruction. Discussion groups centering around New Testament Ethics to Techniques of Pacifism. Inspiration from the greatest of master composers through the medium of a goodly supply of fine records.

            Perhaps as a camp group we are still in an adolescent stage of development, but we have achieved some maturity. The various committees and camp government, all operating under the watchful and guiding eyes of our director, are to be commended. Let’s not relax, let’s keep growing.

Even healthy adolescents sometimes have growing pains: in the case of our camp, one of these is the adjustment to new work, especially if that work may imply violation of conscience.

Reluctance on the part of some men to work on timber stand improvement in which the thinnings may be sold as chemical wood, has led to a realignment of crews, one of which is now assigned to road work.

R.F. Hemingway, supervisor of the Allegheny Forest, visited the camp on February 10 to clarify the position of the Forest Service on this question. Beginning with what he termed a ‘belated welcome’ to the Allegheny Forest, he briefly summed up the provisions of the Selective Service Act, stressing the tolerance accorded to religious objectors, and pointing out the lack of definition of what constitutes ‘work of national importance.’ He then described the effects of thinning and pointed out why it was good forest management to conduct periodic thinnings.

He further noted the fire hazard and waste involved in letting thinnings remain in the forest, saying that such a practice would be indefensible from the standpoint of public trusteeship and common sense.

The wood being sold, he said, could be used for fuel, for pulpwood, or for chemical wood; and by law it must be sold on the open market to the highest bidder. Some of the wood will undeniably be used for chemicals, wood alcohol being a principal product, and charcoal an important by-product. These may or may not be used in war industries.

Opening the meeting to questions, he was asked if the timber stand improvement would be conducted if there were no market for the wood; and he replied that it would not, due to the fire hazard and waste involved.

Road work, he said, while important, could not be done as efficiently in certain seasons as in others. No one asked if alternative work would continue to be provided for those men still unwilling to cut chemical wood, but provision is still being made.


Age Distribution: 19 men age 20; 16 men age 21; 11 men age 22; 7 men age 23; 8 men age 24; 10 men age 25; 9 men age 26; 6 men age 27; 3 men age 28; 4 men age 29; 1 man age 30; 1 man age 31; 1 man age 32; 2 men age 36; 1 man age 39; 1 man age 42

Church Affiliation: 82% Brethren; 4% Methodists; 3% Baptists; 3% Jehovah’s Witnesses; 2% Free Methodists; 1% Reformed Free Methodists; 1% United Brethren in Christ; 1% Episcopalian; 1% Faith Tabernacle; 1% Evangelical & Reformed; 1% Evangelical Mission Covenant.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 3: CPS Camp Periodicals, Box 11, folder “Camp 48: Second Mile, 1943 (Jan.-July)]


Newsletter “Second Mile” Vol. 1:4 (July 1943)

“OPPORTUNITIES [by Carlyle Frederick]: I have been asked to write a brief article on my first impressions of Camp 48, and an evaluation of some of the opportunities that camp offers. I will not go into detail describing the many conditions which make 48 stand high in its record; but rather I will try to point out three things which some people feel could be used in make 48 an even better camp. And you well know that the writer of this article is just as needy as anyone else in the drive to improve.

One of the outstanding impressions of 48 to me was the tolerance of beliefs and background. Non-prejudiced respect of all church affiliations, races, creeds, and basic views on daily living is one of the most improtant [sic] needs in the world. An excellent approach to the ideal is shown here in camp. However, some of us sometimes forget that not only the decisions made in the past, but also the decision made in the present – right here in camp – should be given this same tolerance. The very fact that there are many types of persons here, and that these persons have many differences of opinion, gives us great opportunity for outward, immediate expression of the extra-tolerant attitude pacifists should have, even in our daily activities and conversations.

Secondly, Camp 48 offers an excellent laboratory for self-improvement – in religious consistency, basic skills, and general education. All of us need more self-discipline, and here we have about the best opportunity we will ever have for forming the habits we know we should form and for learning the things we know we should learn. Excellent library material, evening classes, time for thought and personal devotions, and many other opportunities are all ours….

The third and last major opportunity I will mention is one that we all somewhat took in choosing CPS in the first place. We usually hear it referred to as ‘second Mile Christianity.’ It has been a positive part of our pacifist beliefs, we’ve tried to spread the principle to others, and even the title of our camp paper refers to it. And yet, most of us could do even better in our actually daily living of this belief. Our daily tasks may get tiresome and monotonous, yet we should use every opportunity to go beyond ‘minimum requirements’ in answering our calls. Then the memory will not be simply of having been ‘drafted,’ but rather of having ‘chosen’ or ‘volunteered.’

TOWARD OUR GOAL: When a group of men, voluntarily and without thought of credits or diplomas, will meet together in their free time for study, after a hard day’s work – it certainly is a good indication that they are on their toes and going places. It is a happy thought when we consider that the majority of the men at Camp 48 are doing just this. They are taking courses in Bible study, Spanish, Sweedish [sic], the arts, music appreciation, public speaking, first aid, singing, photography, and post-war reconstruction for home and abroad.

These men like to play baseball, volley-ball, tennis, and ping-pong; they like to go on hikes; they like to read good fiction – and they do all of these – but they are determined that the more serious things shall not be excluded. Rather, it is felt that each course may be a help in contacting more people and working with them, and, further, that these contacts will enable them to give better and more wide-spread testimony of their belief in active pacifism.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 3: CPS Camp Periodicals, Box 11, folder “Camp 48: Second Mile, 1943 (Jan.-July)]




Report of Visit to CPS Unit No. 81 by Charles F. Mitchell, Medical Office, January 4-5, 1944

“I received a very good impression of this special service unit. There are now about 56 men assigned here and more are on the way. All of the men except ten work on the wards, three of the then work on the institution farm, three in the boiler room, and the other four at various jobs. The living quarters are in two separate buildings; in one single men have individual rooms located in the wing of a residents’ hall, while in the other apartments are provided for married couples. There are thirteen married couples in this unit now and in addition there are three wives living in the town.

Alex Sareyan devotes all his time to administrative duties except eight days a month. These eight days he devotes to publishing the hospital magazine “Scribe.” This magazine is published monthly and is prepared by both patients and employees. It is very apparent that Alex is able to become acquainted with regular staff members and to interpret the unit to them through this means where otherwise he would have little if any entrée. David MacAllister is assisting Alex one day a week and four days at the end of the month beginning this month and he began last month assisting in preparing the monthly reports.

On the morning of 1/5/44 Alex introduced me to Doctor Leak and in the brief chat that the three of us had it was obvious that Alex has an excellent relationship with Doctor Leak and that the latter gives Alex a great deal of responsibility. Doctor Leak expressed the feeling that the unit was running smoothly and he had no criticism to offer.

One of the administrative problems Alex faces is that of transfers to the unit from the camps. Recently men have been arriving without advance notice as to their date of arrival. This causes great confusion in the orientation program as all new men are assigned to the receiving wards and if too many come in at once, there are more than are needed on this particular ward. It is possible to take two new men a week, but if more than this come in, it gives the impression to regular employees that the hospital is getting flooded with CPS men. The orientation program lasts for about three weeks after which the men are assigned to a regular ward service. The difficulty so far as advance notice about new men is concerned has been with CPS No. 76 particularly….

In the line of group activities the emphasis has been upon developing better relationships with the other employees in the hospital rather than setting up an isolated social group. A plan originated by the CPS Unit has been taken over by the hospital administration wherein a meeting of all employees including the CPS Unit is held once a month at which time speakers are brought in on various topics. The next meeting is one in which David MacAllister will tell about his work with the Indian and demonstrate some Indian songs. A number of the men have volunteered in the sea-sickness experiment being conducted at Wesleyan University.

….I had the impression that practically all of the men are satisfied with the work, the living arrangements and with life in general at the unit. I believe that the men have a great deal of confidence in Alex Sareyan and work through him very well in problems involving work and relationships with the hospital administration.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 63c, folder “Middletown State Hospital (#81)”]


AFSC Office Memorandum to Claud Shotts, NSB, from Huston Westover, April 24, 1944

“For your information Dr. John R. Paul of the School of Preventive Medicine at Yale University is undertaking some jaundice research with the help of 20 volunteers from the Middletown CPS Unit #81. Half of the men are controls who are not innoculated [sic] with the disease. Of the ten who are exposed to jaundice, only three or four are expected to become ill. If illness occurs, it will probably consist of ten to fourteen days of hospitalization followed by two weeks of convalescence.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 63c, folder “Middletown State Hospital (#81)”]


Memorandum to Paul J. Furnas from Alex M. Burgess Jr., M.D., May 2, 1944

“On the above –mentioned dates [April 19-20, 1944] I had the opportunity of a twenty-four hour overnight visit with C.P.S. Unit #81. I do not believe it worth while [sic] to report in great detail, but would like to make a few remarks, particularly concerning the medical aspects of this unit.

In general, I find the hospital to be a relatively progressive well-run institution which seems to be carrying out as good a program as is possible under present conditions of manpower shortage. The men in the unit seem to be getting as good medical care for themselves as can be expected, rather better than in many institutions of similar type…

The two assignee physicians in this unit appear to be fairly well satisfied at the present time. Dr. Wherry in particular seems to be taking advantage of his opportunities. One notes, however, a general impression that the hospital is not taking the best advantage of their training and abilities as yet. I believe, however, that as time goes on they will inevitably make themselves very effect members of the hospital staff.

It’s also worth adding, I think, that Alex Sareyan appears to be doing an excellent job as Assistant Director of the unit and is giving careful handling to the medical administrative problems with which we have to deal.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 63c, folder “Middletown State Hospital (#81)”]


Letter to Milt Bergey, CPS Unit No. 83, from Dave McAllester, CPS Unit No. 81, September 8, 1944

“Let me just state my apologies for being so slow in answering you and go on to answer your questions about public relations and job time in order:

1)      There has been no great change around here in past weeks in our public relations. If anything the townspeople are getting used to us. The ‘junior commandos’ aren’t yelling at us much of any. I should say our relations within the hospital are pretty much o.k. too. In the sense that things might be heading up to an open blow-off I should say our public relations are anything but serious at present. We’re steaming along on an even keel with more positions of responsibility being given to CPS men all the time.

2)      The population of Middletown is about 26 thousand. There are eight or nine wives down town working in all kinds of jobs, from university jobs to defense plant jobs. We’ve had no trouble with townspeople because of wives in town, that I know of.

3)      We have just been given another man full time for office work. That makes us two and one-half for a unit of 75 men. I happen to be the half-man, as I also get out the hospital paper and do personnel work with the time that’s left. It has been our hope to get me more time by having help from our new office man, but as he’s going to be elected by the Unit I’m not sure how much he’ll be able to do until I see who he is.

We did have the PR reason for restrictions thrown at us to some extent by our former Superintendent. He’s had a restrictive policy all the time not only with us but with the whole hospital personnel. Now we have a new and much more liberal man and CPS men have begun to be used to much better advantage. We felt that the PR talk was just rationalization by the former man to suit his own ends and we’ve had no ill effects from the new liberal policy.

I sincerely hope this isn’t too late to help you in your own problems. If I can give you any more information please let me know and I will get to it right away.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 57e, folder “Unit #81: Correspondence”]


AFSC: CPS Memo to Camp Directors & Unit Assistant Directors from Paul J. Furnas, March 14, 1945

“In conference yesterday between AFSC and Selective Service System, the latter made no decision concerning the status of CPS Unit #81, Middletown, Conn., and the recommendation by the AFSC that Selective Service assume sole administration of the Unit.

The AFSC, however, informed Selective Service that it does not consider itself any longer to have any relationship with CPS Unit #81, and that it has withdrawn its sponsorship entirely.

The AFSC has no objection to temporarily continuing to channel records and reports of the Unit to Selective Service.

In a series of personal interview by the AFSC with 80 individuals in the Middletown Unit, it was learned that of 30 men who wanted the AFSC to continue sponsorship of the Unit, 12 men desired to transfer to AFSC camps and units.

Accordingly, the requests for transfer to AFSC camps or units of these 12 men who desire to remain with AFSC-CPS will be submitted in the near future for authorization by the Selective Service System.

Selective Service expressed no interest in replacing these men by others in AFSC camps or units who have indicated they would desire transfer to CPS Unit #81 if it were administered solely by Selective Service.

It is impossible to anticipate the direction of further development of this situation or Selective Service’s eventual decision in the matter. Possibilities that have been considered by Selective Service are: (1) closing the unit, (2) replacing the present personnel by new personnel, thereby creating a new unit at Middletown sponsored by another agency, (3) direct administration of the unit by Selective Service System.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 63c, folder “Middletown State Hospital (#81)”]


AFSC: CPS Memorandum #510 to Camp Directors and Unit Assistant Directors from Louis W. Schneider, March 7, 1945

“As you know, the majority of men in CPS Unit #81, Middletown, Conn., in November 1944 indicated that they desire the AFSC to discontinue sponsorship of the Unit. Since we recognize that we are dependent on the volunteer nature of our relationship with me for our effectiveness in administrative activities, we indicated to Selective Service System at that time that we wished to turn the Unit over to sole administration by Selective Service System. Since Selective Service was not prepared to assume sole responsibility for the unit, a temporary arrangement was worked out for the appointment by the hospital of an assistant director for the Unit from the staff of the hospital, thus relieving the AFSC of responsibility to handle the transmittal of reports, transfer requests, etc., temporarily.

Neither the State of Connecticut, Selective Service, or the AFSC are satisfied with the present arrangement. We have there again requested Selective Service to assume sole administrative responsibility for the unit. Whereas Selective Service has reminded us of its earlier statements not to take over any single camp or unit from us, but to take all of them or none, this matter of the Middletown unit is being held open for further discussion. Before holding this discussion early next week we should like to assemble certain information for presentation to Selective Service which will enable us to recommend strongly that Selective Service relieve us of all administrative responsibility for CPS Unit #81.

If Selective Service System should assume sole responsibility…, the same administrative pattern would be followed as in the three existing government camps. The AFSC could have no relationship with the unit except (1) to submit to Selective Service the applications of men from AFSC camps or unit who might desire to transfer to the Middletown Unit, and (2) to share in the provision for dependency needs of individuals in the unit….”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 63c, folder “Middletown State Hospital (#81)”]


Letter to Ken Morgan from C. Robert Chapman, December 6, 1945

“….Is there anyone in the AFSC office who believes and will admit that CPS has been a failure? I am really quite overjoyed that the Friends are at last pulling out, but my faith in you will not be entirely restored until such an admission is made. I say this humbly as a fellow sinner, for I can recall to my distinct displeasure having a letter of mine published in the Christian Century, defending CPS against some of its radical critics….”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 57e, folder “Unit #81: Correspondence”]


Capacity = 25 men (& 12 wives) present in 1944

In operation, 1943 (Feb.) -

Located in a valley two miles north of the city of Warren. The hospital utilized one large and eight smaller buildings for housing @1200 mal and 1300 female patients. Ratio of male attendants to patients was @one to nine.


“One Man’s Opinion on the C.P.S. Unit at Warren State Hospital” by Floyd Greenleaf, ca. 1944

“One of the first questions I felt obliged to ask myself concerned my activities at the hospital was whether the work was satisfying my desire to be doing something constructive and worthwhile. Was there opportunity enough present at this time to permit a backward glance from the future which would give us a feeling of a good job well done?

There is a real need for attendants at this hospital. Now that there is a C.P.S. unit here the need is more apparent in the women’s wards; and while we are at it let us take our hats off to the wives of the C.P.S. men (my own included). There are ten wives here (two more on the way) and it has made us all proud to see them face the problems of this new life and work (fearful because it is so darkly unknown) with courage, spirit, and an invaluable sense of humor.

Warren, to my layman’s eyes, seems to be a very fine institution of its kind. Its equipment is modern; the techniques humane and progressive. Never-the-less, there is plenty of room for the exercise of the pacifist belief. On the whole, most of the workers treat the patients without unnecessary roughness and the hospital officials are openly against manhandling, but I have seen more than one disturbed patient choked into submission.

Generally speaking, I feel that I am doing significant work here; fulfilling an need, assisting mentally ill people through the power of love, and helping to prove that C.O.s are not slackers and that they can do a job well. As far as organized opposition to war and planned pacifism are concerned, the most I can say is that we are making a witness as pacifists by being recognized C.O.s in wartime. I think the fact that we are recognized C.O.s is our strongest contribution to the pacifist movement. I feel we are being recognized – definitely by the high officials of the hospital, more and more by our co-workers, by the townspeople, and stretching a little, by the country in general.

What we do, how we live, and who we live and work with is a more entertaining topic if not as important. Perhaps a brief trip through a day will help to orient you.

At 5:30 A.M. we are sleeping soundly (Oh, precious sleep); at 5:45 A.M. an alarm clock goes off (if you are fortunately enough to own one). According to the universal custom, the alarm is shut off and you drop back to sleep. At 6:00 A.M. you are blown out of bed by WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! --- WHOOOOOOOOOO!!! Of the steam whistle…. The somewhat dazed ‘you’ is dragged out of bed by sheer will power, the bathroom gurgles and splashes and the first thing you know you find yourself in the congregate dining hall swearing up and down to anyone who will listen that you solemnly promise that you will get to bed early tonight.

Seven-o-clock and you glance through the log of the ward to see how active the patients have been during the night. A quick trip around to say good morning to the patients, and acquaint yourself with the new arrivals. Then follows the daily routine of breakfast, bed making, mopping, polishing, cleaning, bathing, admission of new patients, treatments, etc. against a steady background of bed pans and urinals. You soon get used to the smells and disagreeable sights.

Feeding time is always interesting and active. Many patients are so distracted that they can’t concentrate upon a business of eating so they have to be fed – often it takes one person to hold the patient and one to manipulate the food. Some refuse to eat in spite of all urging or attempts at spoon feeding. These patients are tube fed – a process which sounds a great deal worse than it is.

Occassionally [sic] patients become so disturbed that they have to be placed in what is called a ‘cold pack.’ This is a type of hydro-therapy much similar to a prolonged hot bath. The patient is wrapped in cold wet sheets in such a way that it is very difficult for him to move. The pack is finished up with a blanket and the patient looks very much like a mummy. Naturally if the patient is resistive it requires three or four people to make the pack. The pack is cold, of course, for the first five minutes or so, but then the patient warms up and begins to perspire. The pack is supposed to be very soothing and the patient usually sleeps although sometimes patients are so active that packs have little effect. Generally speaking, the cold pack is an excellent treatment. It prevents the patient from hurting himself or others and does not have the ill effects that narcotics have. You might say that the pack replaces the out-moded [sic] straight jacket which is never used here. Incidentally, a doctor’s order is necessary before a man can be placed in [a] pack.

In the afternoon we go outside, provided it is a pleasant day, where we play horseshoes, volley ball, soft ball, and sit in the sun and absorb vitamins.

Warren is noted for its pioneering in the field of occupation therapy. The outside superintendent tries to find a job for each patient as soon as he or she is able to work. He considers each case with the idea of affording the opportunity of a successful experience and thus increasing the confidence of the patient in himself. Some of the patients work on our many farms, others care for the grounds, work in the laundry, printing room, sewing room, etc.

We finish work at 5:30 (before dinner) two or three times a week and the rest of the time we are through by 7:00.  We have a day and a half off a week and 17 days vacation.

Our educational opportunities, accommodations, and recreational facilities deserve a little comment I believe.

The hospital has provided an excellent series of lectures and demonstrations which, so far, have been of great service to most of us in our work. It is interesting to note that the hospital has not offered these classes to other attendants not in C.P.S. Similar classes are being planned for the wives of C.P.S. men and there is also a plan afoot for advanced studies in related subjects.

The bachelors live in a beautiful new building where four or five men share a modern and commodious room. There is a beautiful drawing room on the first floor and four bowling alleys in the basement.

The married people live either in a single room with a private bath or have a suite of two rooms and a community bath. All the rooms are modern and in good shape. Linen is supplied and your laundry done free.

We have found the food plentiful and well prepared although there are the usual scattered complaints about this meal or that dish.

This is unusual opportunity for recreation. Besides the bowling, there are nine tennis courts. The surrounding countryside is scenic and ideal for bike riding or hiking. We have found our bikes priceless both for recreation and as a means of transportation. A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I biked to Jamestown for a pair of shoes – a round trip of 42 miles. We were tired when we finally got home, but the shoes have been worth their weight in gold to my wife.

The town of Warren is only three miles away (we have walked it occasionally) and there is an eccentric bus that wanders back and forth between the hospital and the town. There are some good stores in the town and you are usually able to fulfill most of your needs provided the war hasn’t eliminated the supply (we spent three hours one day looking for a can opener).

Individually the morale of the C.P.S. group here is high. Most of the fellows and their wives are satisfied with the progress they are making as pacifists and humanitarians and as attendants in a mental hospital.

Collectively there has not been much activity since I have been here. This can probably be attributed to the long hours and stagger system of days off. However, I certainly hope that the future will find us more active as a pacifist group. We are isolated here to a certain extent; we hear little about the war, rationing, or race riots. I cannot help but feel that we should be discussing and planning more. Perhaps the greatest contribution we can make, as I have mentioned before, is to do such a good job here, through the exercise of love, that people will begin to see the power and value of this method of solving problems.

One of the lecturing doctors brought out to us the other day in class how important attendants were as therapeutic agents in our hospitals and how difficult it was to secure state funds for more personnel. Buildings and equipment – Yes! More help – Unnecessary!

Would it not be a significant side contribution if the C.O.s, through their publicity, brought the light of this truth to the administrators of the public welfare!

This report is not exhaustive; I have merely attempted to anticipate some of your questions. I have tried to be accurate, but please remember that I have only been here a little over a month and that I am not a doctor or psychiatrist. I would appreciate any comments and look forward to hearing from the boys in the camps, in other hospitals, and from interested people outside of C.P.S.”



Untitled report by John H. Carter (Assistant Director), January 28, 1944

“…I shall attempt to state certain details and general aspects of our life at Warren State Hospital, so that you may more quickly have some information.

Judging from the discussions at the Regional Conference of Middle Atlantic Hospital Units and from the report of a similar conference held for the New England Hospital Units, I think that our unit ranks with the very best in regard to: our living conditions, sick care, need for our presence, types of work, cooperation in regard to the work with the hospital administration, and training of new men in the unit. The hospitals which have a slight edge on us in these matters are those which have an eight hour working day. Public relations both within the hospital and with the outside are, I should judge, above average. We have the usual ‘griping’ and personal discontent with which we are all familiar. Our shortcomings, I think, belong in the realms of Educational Programs, unit solidarity, group recreation, and a certain division and/or misunderstanding between the married couples and some of the single men. We have ourselves to blame for these last items, and they present challenges to anyone who comes.

The Men’s Work:

a)      Ward work –

We have breakfast and arrive on the wards at 7:00 A.M. and quit at 7:00 P.M. one day and at 5:30 P.M. the next. Supper is on our own time after the short days. The time off is on a progressing scheme, -- if you have Monday afternoon and all of Tuesday off one week, you have Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday off the next week. When your half day comes on Friday afternoon, you have all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. The hospital has been extremely good in arranging schedules so that husband and wife are off together.

As yet we have none of our men on the most active and disturbed ward, and only one or two have had duty in the building where the greatest number of incontinent, bed patients are located. In general, we are placed in the medical, receiving wards and on wards which house the working patients. If our unit is increased, the idea is to have C.P.S. men run the most disturbed ward also.

b)      Outside work:

Those of us who work on the outside have shorter hours. We have breakfast before 7:00 A.M. and quit at 5:00 P.M., eating supper on our own time. To make up in part for these hours, the outside attendants take the patients to the weekly movie (approx. 5:45 – 7:30) one week and to the dance (approx. 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.) the next. These evening activities occur in the ‘winter’ season. During the summer the outside attendants are on duty Saturday afternoons when an outside recreational program for the patients is held. Furthermore, we have to chase run-away patients any time day or night. This duty has not proved irksome, especially since credit is given for time so spent.

At 7:00 A.M. the outside attendants go to the patients’ dining room to supervise the patients as they come thru the cafeteria and while they are eating. At 7:30 the attendants go to their assigned wards where they stay until they gather up their work crews. These groups run from about 9-20 patients. They do all sorts of work – farming, coal hauling, greenhouse work, vegetable peeling, lawn mowing, gravel digging and washing, canning, snow shoveling, picking up scraps around the buildings, and many other types of work as the need arises. The work crews are brought in at 11:00 A.M., taken out again at 1:00 P.M. and returned to the wards by 4:00 P.M. This gives the patients six hours of work per day. When the attendants are not with their men, they are either in the patients’ dining room or on the wards. Many prefer this type of work, since one has greater responsibility and freedom in relation to the patients. Attendants are usually required to work on the wards several months before being allowed to have a group of patients outdoors.

The Women’s Work:

a)      Ward work –

Since I have no real first hand experience in this field, I must pass on the impressions given me by my wife and other women. In general, the work for the women is more difficult than for the men. First, the women patients are more difficult to handle. Second, the shortage of help is greater on the women’s side than on the men’s side. Third, their working day is almost without exception from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. The women are made to feel their position as attendants more than are the men, because the men are allowed to do more specialized, medical work. This is logical as the women are frequently working under R.N.s, whereas the men almost never are.

As I look at it, the work is not very difficult or trying for the men, but the women do have a harder job. The hours present the greatest burden for both sexes.

b)      Outside work:

The outside program is not as complete for the women as for the men. There are, however, a few jobs for women in the Occupational Therapy department with shorter hours and about $15.00 less pay. These openings are filled, and the trend is more and more to use women on the wards rather than expand the O.T. program.


The women start at $61.50 per month, and we [men in CPS] receive $15.00 per month. We all get maintenance, of course. Since the women are regular employees, they buy their own uniforms and shoes.

Accomodations [sic]:

The married couples have rooms in either the Married Couples’ Building or in the so called Stone Building cottage. In the married building we have a room, closet and bath room with tub. The rooms vary slightly in size but are approximately 14’by 16’. The building is relatively new and very comfortable.

The Stone Building cottage is a wing of the admission building. There is one vacancy here. The wing has two floors and accommodations for four couples. Each couple has two small rooms, shares the bath room with one other couple, i.e. bath room with tub and shower on each of the two floors. So far, only C.P.S. coiuples are living in the cottage.

The single men live on the third floor of a new building, two to four to a room, with central toilets, showers, etc.

Men send their laundry to the hospital laundry, and the women do most of their washing themselves, uniforms excepted.

In the above I have tried to be fair, so that the wrong impression will not be given. We were all favorably impressed when we came here from camp after we had heard the hospital described by two hospital men, Dr. Israel, Supt. and Joe Gardner, Outside Supervisor.”



Note re: Incident, March 15, 1945 by Jacob Cohn

“My wife, Ateret, and I were taking a walk about 9:30 PM. We had arrived in front of Mr. Hudson’s house, and had begun walking towards the pump house, on the sidewalk. We noticed car lights behind us. They went off, and then on again. We had walked about ten steps when the car pulled past us. We saw about 4-6 men standing on the running board. I shouted hello, and got some reply, but Ateret and I, as soon as we saw them stopping, thought only to run. We dashed up the walk towards Dr. Israel’s house, they behind us, shouting curses. I heard one distinct sentence, “Why are you running?” We stopped all of a sudden, and so did they. I looked around and saw about a dozen, the leader was tall and thin, and wore a red sweater. We paced on, towards Dr. Israel’s house, and they turned around.

In the clear light of reason, we could not definitely say what this gang’s purpose was. Next day, though, rumors came back that this ‘Junior Commando’ gang, or ‘CO Hunters,’ had beat up Chapman and had chased the Cohns.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 57d,  folder “Unit #83: Activities & Education”]


Planning Committee Meeting Minutes by J.H.C., June 7, 1944

“….Cecil Thomas, co-director of the Race Relations School now in progress at Camp Kane (C.P.S. #16), was here on Wednesday. He urged more intervisitation between our Unit and Camp Kane. Specifically, he said they would be glad to bring over two Negro campers to help us in our discussions of Race. The Planning Com. Decided to wait until we had our mtg. on Race Policy before we invited them here.

Soft-Ball Game: Cecil Thomas asked if we would like to play a team of Kane campers some evening. We thought we would; so, we are looking into the matters of players, the field and the best night, etc. They would come here about 6:30 P.M. some evening and return that same night….

Unit meeting to discuss Racial Discrimination in C.P.S. to be held on Friday, June 23rd. Berd presiding and Woodard to present points of view to start things off.

During the past three Pl. Com. Mtgs. We have had some fine discussion of vital questions. This meeting was no exception. After a brief period of silence Ed Whiteway spoke of a concern which had been sharpened by the reading of Vera Brittan’s book Massacre by Bombing. My interpretation of the questions discussed might be: Is our witness of our stand and philosophy at all commensurate with the vastness of the suffering and destruction as depicted in the above book? Are our goals of small stature? Too small? Too large? What can we do about it? This does not attempt to cover the subject, nor does it suggest the fine presentation Ed gave of his idea. The main idea in saying anything is to indicate that the discussion group this Friday under the leadership of Dick Woodward will bear, in some measure, upon these points.”

[American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service Records (DG 002), Section 1: CPS Administration, Box 57d, folder “Warren State Hospital (Unit #83): Steering & Planning Committees – meeting minutes, 1944 (Feb. 4) – 1945 (July 25)”]