The Beauregard mill
|Intercommunality||Loire et Vignoble|
|Area1||18.64 km2 (7.20 sq mi)|
|• Density||29/km2 (76/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||58164 / 58400|
|Elevation||148–188 m (486–617 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
In 1918, during World War I, a field between the towns of Mesves-sur-Loire and Bulcy was the site of a huge American Army hospital. In November, 1918, there were 20,186 patients and a total of 38,765 wounded and convalescing soldiers spent time at this temporary hospital. As many as 140,000 Americans were stationed in the area in 1918 so the it had a major American presence.
This site, close to the Loire River, was one of two huge American Army hospitals during WWI (the other being in Mars-sur-Allier). It was selected because it was a safe distance from the battle lines in northeast France (Mesves is about 200 km south of Paris); further, it is located on a major rail line to Paris, making it accessible).
Today, Mesves-sur-Loire is a farm town surrounded by grain fields to the east (where the hospital used to be located) and vineyards to the north and south. The vineyards are within the Pouilly Fume district, the famous wine town of Pouilly-sur-Loire being located just 5 km to the north. The general area is known as La Nievre and lies within the larger region known as Burgundy.
There are numerous passenger trains running to and from Paris along the rail line with the closest stop being in the medieval town of La Charite, just 8 km to the south. There is also a new highway, A-77, which parallels the rail line and runs to the outskirts of Paris. So, while Mesves is quiet, it is easily accessible from Paris.
When entering Bulcy, just 3 km to the east of Mesves, the street sign identifies the street name as Rue du Camp Americain. That is the only visible signage reminding one of the huge US Army hospital that served so many wounded service men during WWI. The fields have been totally restored and are full of crops during the growing season.
At the 1999 census, the population was 547. On 1 January 2004, the estimate was 621.
- INSEE commune file.
- Le Camp hôpital américain de Mesves-Bulcy by Francois Turcol (in French), Les Annales des Pays Nivernais (ISSN 0153-7121), ZI des Chamonds, PB 40017, 58641 Varenne-Vauzelles Cedex, 2008.
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