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October 13, 1900

Degeneracy in the Army.

JAMA. 1900;XXXV(15):961. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460410045016

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Chicago, Oct. 4, 1900.

To the Editor:  The American Journal of Insanity for July contains an article by Dr. Charles E. Woodruff on "Degeneracy in the Army," and remarks anent army musicians that "with the high musical sense there seems to be a liability of inferiority in some other ways, for they possess physical stigmata in far greater proportion than does the average soldier. They have to be managed by entirely different rules of discipline." What is true of army musicians is also true of musicians in state institutions for defective classes, etc. The most degenerate individuals of an institution are usually to be found among the members of the band. In many cases they are the most difficult to manage. A notable illustration is that of the band at the New York State Reformatory at Elmira. At one time more than two-thirds of the band were dressed in

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