American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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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

Medical Cadets during the Civil War


Medical Cadets



In an act approved August 3, 1861, entitled "An act for the better organization of the military establishment," a corps of medical cadets, to be attached to the medical staff' of the Army, was provided for by the following section, viz:

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That there be added to the medical staff of the Army a corps of medical cadets, whose duty it shall be to act as dressers in the general hospitals and as ambulance attendants in the field, under the direction and control of the medical officers alone. They shall have the same rank and pay as the military cadets at West Point. Their number shall be designated by the exigencies of service, at no time to exceed fifty. It shall be composed of young men of liberal education, students of medicine, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years, who have been reading medicine for two years, and have attended at least one course of lectures in a medical college. They shall enlist for one year, and be subject to the Rules and Articles of War. On the fifteenth day of the last month of their service, the near approach of their discharge shall be reported to the Surgeon-General, in order, if desired, that they be relieved by another detail of applicants.

In accordance with the provisions of this section, notice was given that examinations of candidates for admission into this corps would be held in the cities of Washington and New York by the Army Medical Boards there in session. Of a great number of applicants 66 were found to be qualified for examination, and were invited to appear before the boards; of this number 48 were approved by the examiners and were appointed, 7 failed to present themselves, 1 declined an appointment niter having been approved, 7 were rejected, not coming up to the standard required, and 3 are awaiting examinations for the remaining vacancies.

All of those appointed are now actively employed; they have been found to be of great service in the field and in hospitals, increasing the efficiency of the medical department by an intelligent assistance, and gleaning for themselves an amount of knowledge impossible to be attained by the study of their profession in civil life, except at the cost of the labor of years.


As no provision is made by the act for the subsistence of medical cadets, it is therefore respectfully recommended that they be allowed one ration each per diem. There is also no allowance of camp and garrison equipage for their accommodation in the field. They should have the same as is now allowed subalterns of the Army. It is respectfully recommended that this deficiency be supplied.

In view of the advantages derived from the employment of this body of young men and the increased comfort that can be afforded by their means to the sick and wounded of our brave Army, it is respectfully recommended that fifty more cadets be added to the corps, to be appointed <ar122_636> in the same manner and to enjoy the same privileges and emoluments as those already in service.


Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



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

Medical Faculty and Authors:


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

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Please request permission before commercial use or publication of any content or photos on this site and credit any use with:  "American Civil War Surgical Antiques"   All content and all original photography on this Web Site is copyrighted 1995 - 2015 and may not be used on any other web site or in commercial print without the expressed e-mail permission from Dr. Arbittier:  Contact   All rights reserved. 


Students doing reports or projects are welcome to use the content of this site without permission, but credits would be appreciated.


Please note: information on this site may not be normally referenced as this is an active and long-term educational research project.  Personal notes may not be properly cited for publication.  Various articles are digitally reproduced under the 'fair-use act' of the copyright laws and are intended for educational purposes only.  Many citations are from Google digital 'books' and can be traced backwards via a search of a unique string in the citation.


 Arbittier Museum of Medical History Tour:   1 | 2 | 3


Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016