Civil War Surgery manual by Frank Hamilton, M.D.

  Civil War Surgery by Frank Hastings Hamilton, M.D.

(The following are the personal edited research notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or may not be completely documented)

A Practical Treatise on Military Surgery by Frank Hastings Hamilton, MD, 1861

The Hamilton text book is a part of this Civil War book collection

Topics: surgery instruments in the early days of the Civil War

The following excerpts are from a rare first edition on military surgery published by Bailliere Brothers publishing of  New York in 1861.  Dr. Hamilton was a military surgeon, lectured at Bellevue Hospital in New York, and was the author of medical books.

See: Civil War Surgical Manuals for additional information on Hamilton as well as a lecture ticket for his course on surgery.

See: Civil War education of medical doctors at Bellevue Hospital 1864-65

The hardcover book is over 230 pages which goes into great detail about every eventually from the of selection of recruits to field craft and surgery.   I have copied only a few pages to illustrate the items Dr. Hamilton suggests a surgeon should carry to war. 

The intent is to illustrate the medical and surgical items one might expect to find being used by a Civil War surgeon.  If you have a surgical set which is missing certain items, you may be able to track down what that item was by looking at this list of expected items for a given set.

Photo courtesy of Trent Valley Archives, Peterborough, Ontario

Click photos to enlarge

You may wish to print each page to view the details

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In the United States army each Regimental Surgeon is allowed for three months service:

1 Sponge holder for the throat Buck's 8 Cupping Glasses 8 Tin Cups for the same purpose 6 Thumb Lancets in cases 1 Spring Lancet 1 Set of Pocket Instruments 12 Whalebone Probangs 4 Scarificators 1 Set of Splints major Welch's 1 Stomach Pump and case 4 Enema Syringes of which 1 Davidson's 1 Hard Rubber 6 oz 8 Glass Penis Syringes 8 India rubber Penis Syringes 1 Set of Teeth Extracting 1 Tongue Depressor on a hinge 8 Field Tourniquets 2 Spiral Tourniquets Petit's 6 Hernia Trusses


AMPUTATING 1 Capital Saw 1 Metacarpal Saw 1 Capital Amputating Knife 1 Medium 1 Small 1 Large Catling 1 Small 1 Scalpel 1 Tenaculum 1 Artery Needle 1 Forceps 1 Bone 1 Spiral Tourniquet 12 Surgeon's Needles 1 Mahogany Case brass bound 1 Gutta Percha Pouch


TREPHINING: 2 Trephines 1 Scalpel with Raspitor I Hey Saw 1 Elevator 1 Brush 1 Mahogany Case brass bound


GENERAL OPERATING: 1 Metacarpal Saw 1 Trocar 1 Ball Forceps 1 Gullet 1 Artery 1 Dressing 2 Scissors straight and 1 Artery Needle with 4 12 Surgeon's Needles 1 Tourniquet 1 Small Amputating Knife 1 Catling 3 Bistouries 1 Hernia Knife 3 Scalpels 1 Cataract Knife 1 Needle 1 Tenaculum 1 Double Hook 6 Steel Bougies silvered double curve Nos 1 and 2 3 and 4 5 and 6 7 and 8 9 and 10 11 12 6 Wax Bougies Nos 2 4 6 8 10 3 Silver Catheters Nos 3 6 9 6 Gum elastic Catheters Nos 1 3 5 7 9 11 2 Mahogany Cases brass bound 1 Gutta Percha Pouch


EXSECTING: 1 Bone Forceps Liston's 2 Bone Forceps sharp assorted 1 Bone Forceps for sequestra 1 Chain Saw 1 Chisel 1 Gouge 1 Lenticular Knife 2 Spatulas protecting 1 Trephine small crown 1 Ecraseur 1 Mahogany Case brass bound 1 Gutta Percha Pouch


POCKET: 1 Large Scalpel 1 Small 1 Artery Forceps 1 Bull dog Forceps 1 Curved 1 Dressing 1 Needle 1 Sharp pointed Bistoury 1 Probe pointed 1 Long Probe pointed Bistoury 1 Straight Scissors 1 Knee 1 Flat curved Scissors 1 Gum lancet 1 Tenaculum 1 Tenotomy Knife 1 Abscess Lancet 1 Exploring Needle 1 Exploring Trocar 1 Seton Needle 1 Spatula 2 Probes 1 Director 1 Double Canula 1 Comp d Silver Catheter 6 Surgeon's Needles 1 Artery Needle 1 Morocco Case

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Above is a list of medical items suggested to be carried by the field surgeon

Field surgeons: from the National Archives

Civil War related medical books currently in this collection

 See a Wade and Ford Civil War Surgeon's surgical set

Civil War maker labels as found in 61-65 sets