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Remembering Camp Purnell on the Severn for wounded WWI soldiers to convalesce

Remembering Camp Purnell on the Severn for wounded WWI soldiers to convalesce

One-hundred years ago this weekend, the U.S. Army formally established in Anne Arundel County a convalescent camp for recovering soldiers wounded in World War I.

The camp was made possible by the noted Baltimore surgeon and gynecologist Dr. Howard Atwood Kelly (1858-1943), with strong ties to Bel Air, who offered the Army use of 160 acres he owned along the Severn River about seven miles north of Annapolis.

The site, situated along the river between Whitney Point and Bluff Point in current day Severna Park, was named Camp Purnell for Maj. Harry S. Purnell (later Lt. Col. Purnell), commander of the U.S. Army General Hospital No. 2 that had been established at Fort McHenry in...

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