Brooke dispatched troops to inspect homes. A sanitary corps was established. Sewers and streets were cleaned. Water sources were bettered. Both private and public structures were disinfected.
The military governor made sure that such conditions didn't recur. He declared rules and imposed fines and punishments for all who failed to comply.
One of Brooke's subordinates was Leonard Wood, a trained surgeon who had won the Medal of Honor for bravery during the wars with the Apaches. He also served as personal physician to Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley. In Cuba, he was the commanding officer for the eastern part of the island. From July to December, 1898, Wood's command distributed 25,000 rations daily. The number leaped occasionally to 50,000.
Other commanders adapted Brooke's proscriptions to the needs of the people in their districts. For example, in Matanzas, near the center of the island, General Wilson distributed food and animals needed by farm families.
One of Brooke's failures during his two-year term as military governor is that he did not replace the Spanish bureaucrats that remained on the island following the Treaty in Paris. Brooke was inclined to agree with the Spanish that the Cubans made better subjects than rulers. It was an attitude that I found eerily similar to the French who left Chinese police, imported by the Japanese conquerers, in Vietnam following World War II. Just as the Chinese reminded the Vietnamese of their subjugation, Spanish officials were an irritant to the Cubans, and a serious flaw in Brooke's administration of the island.
Although Brooke's administration of the island lasted just two years, it was considered the first generation of American paternalism in Cuba. The second generation would be administered by his replacement, Leonard Wood.