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March 31, 1900


Author Affiliations

Surgeon-General of Illinois National Guard; Lieut.-Colonel. U. S. V., and Chief of the Operating Staff with the Army in the Field during the Spanish-American War. CHICAGO.

JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(13):769-773. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610130001001

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War has always been and always will be a great national calamity. The deliberate, legitimate killing of men on the field of battle has remained as a necessary evil and continues to receive the sanction of the most civilized peoples when it becomes necessary to protect the rights of nations, tribes or individuals, and to diffuse liberty and humanity by a contest of arms.

Under the influence of modern civilization the legitimate causes for war are becoming less and less from one century to another, and warfare itself more and more humane. The battlefield itself is rapidly losing its barbaric aspects and is assuming the scene of a dignified, manly contest between the armed forces representing the casus belli. Personal ambition, the spirit of revenge, religious fanaticism, individual and national greed, which so often have provoked war in the past, seldom suffice now in inciting nations to a resort to

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