American Civil War Surgical Antiques

Research and Identification

Civil War Era Surgical Sets, Surgeon's Images

Civil War Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

Established 1995    .     Dr. Michael Echols Collection

 

As seen in:  Warman's Civil War Collectibles, Antique Week, Northeast Antiques, Antiques & Collecting publications, and various TV programs

Inventory of medical supplies and books from Ward "H" at N.Y. Conesus Centre Army Hospital 1865

With the later Revised U. S. Army Supply Table for Medical Supplies

By Dr. Michael Echols

At the end of the Civil War, there was a directive to all hospitals to inventory and return supplies, surgical instruments, and library books to the Medical Purveyor. This communication is in the Medical and Surgical History of the War of Rebellion.

The following inventory is from Hospital Ward ‘H’, at Conesus, N. Y, 1865.  The inventory (consisting of books and medical supplies or instruments is drawn from the hand-written inventory.  The number in ( ) is how many books or items they returned to the Medical Purveyor in 1865.

"Of the 65,000 patients in general hospitals in June 1865, only 97 remained a year later. The rapid decrease in the number of patients led to a corresponding decrease in the amount of medicines and supplies needed for their care and in the number of facilities designed to shelter them.  Surgeon General Barnes was called upon to disband the ambulance corps; to close supply depots; and to sell or otherwise dispose of hospital transports, hospital trains, and general hospitals.

Some institutions were turned over to individual states for use as homes for wounded veterans, and others were returned to their original owners.  By the end of the fiscal year 1866 the Medical Department had received more than four million dollars from the "sales of old or surplus medical and hospital property." 

"Disposal of hospital supplies: ... General hospitals, hospital transports and railroad trains, ambulance corps, and a number of medical purveying depots, have been dispensed with, and all perishable articles of medicines and hospital supplies in excess of the requirements of a peace establishment have been disposed of by public sale at advantageous prices. The proceeds of old or surplus medical and hospital property amount to $4,044,269 59."   (History of the Civil War, by John W. Draper)

See: a receipt for sale of surplus government instruments and books to a former U. S. Army surgeon

See:  Medical Dept. printed list of Hospital Supplies received in Alexandria, Va., 1864

By the summer of 1866 only the depots at New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., remained open. " 1.

1. (Quotation above from WD, ARofSG, 1866, p. 1; ibid., pp. 2, 5; in RG 112, NARA: Ltr, Crane to McCormick, 18 Jul 1865, Entry 7, and Ltrs, W. C. Spencer to O. P. Morton, 16 Nov 1865, Crane to Conrad Baker, 25 Nov 1865, Spencer to J. M. Richard, 25 Oct 1866, SG to W. W. Corcoran, 9 Nov 1866, Entry 2, and Telg, SG to C. Baker, 17 Jan 1866, Entry 2.)  James A. Tobey, The Medical Department of the Army history

The following inventory list was assembled to document returned medical surplus supplies, in particular medical text books and instruments and general supplies to be returned at the end of the War.  This data shows exactly what was to be found in a military hospital at the end of the war.  The copies (From which I have chosen to omit the more mundane items like bed pans, plates, kitchen utensils,  towels, spittoons, etc.) are at the bottom of the page.

The importance of this information is in the documentation of what was actually kept in the hospital inventory, such as scarificators, stethoscopes, various medical text books, etc.  The presence of which, some have questioned having been present and used during the War.

See the list of books purchased by the Medical Department for distribution to the hospitals during the Civil War, which you can used to compare to the inventory list below.

Examples of books, medical instruments, or supplies in the scanned lists below

 

(A link indicates a (Page, example) will take you to that example in this collection )

 

Anatomy Grays  (1) Page 1

Surgery (of arteries) Powers (9) Page 2

Chemistry Towne's  (3)

Dictionary medical Dunglison's (5) Page 4-A

English Websters (3)

Dispensatory Wood & Bache (4) Page 9-A

Dungilson’s Medical Dictionary (5) Page 4-A

Webster’s English Dictionary (1)

Hygiene ? Wood & Bache? (6)

Pharmacy Parish (2)

Physiology Dalton’s (6) Page 5-A

Practice of Medicine, Woods (11) Page 5-A 

Practice of Medicine, Bennett (1) Page 9-A

Surgery, Principles of, Erichsen (6) Page 4 

Surgery, Principles, Smith, Stephen (2) Page 1 

Surgery, Gutherie Commentaries (2) Page 3

Regulations Army (1) Page 1

Therapeutics, Stiles or Woods (3) Page 3

Surgery Minor, Packard (1) Page 2

Longmore on gunshot wounds (1)

Toynbee on diseases of the ear (1) Page 9

Wilson on diseases of the skin (1) Page 9-A

Hospital Stewards Manual (5) Page 1 

Bartholow's Manual  (5) Page 3-A

Thomson’s Conspectus (2) Page 10

Hygiene (6) Page 3-A

Pharmacy, Parish (3)

Physiology Dalton’s (8) Page 5-A

Practice of Medicine, Watson’s or Woods (12) Page 8

Register of Surgical operations (2)

Blank books (26)

Case books (2)

Inkstands (12)

Meteorological Register (1)

Prescription book, hospital (2)

Prescription book, ward (2)

Register of patients (1)

Regulations Army (1)  Page 1 

Buck's sponge holders for throat (5)

Cupping globes assorted sizes (41)

Cupping tins assorted sizes (52)

Dissecting instruments assorted cases (6)

Pocket cases (incomplete)  (8)  example

Probangs (30)

Rubber cushions (6)

Rubber cushions with open center (11)

Razor and strop in case (3)

Scarificators (17)  example

Scissors (32)

Speculum for ear (2) example

Stethoscope (1) example

Stomach pump in case (9) example

Stomach tube (3)

Syringe, Davidson's self-injecting (10)

Syringe, hard rubber 8 oz  (7)

Syringe, hard rubber 4 oz  (9)

Syringe, Tiemann's universal (1)

Syringe, Hypodermic w/ 3 points (3)

Syringe, hypodermic, w/ 3 points (3)

Syringe, penis glass in case (11)

Teeth extracting instruments in cases (9)

Tongue depressors, hinged (9)  example

Tourniquet, field (15) example

Tourniquet, screw with pad (11) example

Trusses inguinal double (2)

Trusses single (15)

General operating cases (6)  example

Napkins for ophthalmic (33)

Splint sets (20)

Splints Smiths anterior (26)

Towels (778)

Blankets (2,735)

Bed sacks (877)

Pillows, hair (1,575)

Scales and weights, perscription (8)

Scales and weights, shop (4)

Spatula (17)

Spirit lamps (5)

Test tubes (24)

Thermometer and Hydrometer (1)

Thermometers (2)

Pill machines (5)

Medicine measuring glasses (12)

Measurer graduated (4)

 

Scans of selected hand-written inventory pages (pages omitted for common and kitchen supplies:

 

Revised U. S. Army Supply Table for Medical Supplies

Use these official tables to compare to the actual hospital inventory above

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Civil War Medical Collections 

 

Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865

Medical Lecture Cards:

Medical Faculty and Authors:

1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

INDEX

Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Alphabetical index of all research and study pages:

Index Page One  |  Index Page Two  |  ARTICLES INDEXES

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques