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

   Civil War Era Surgical and Medicine Textbooks

Authors: Golding Bird, William Senshouse Kirkes, Richard Barwell, Thomas Watson, Robert D. Lyons, Alfred S. Taylor, Edward Hartshorne, Edwin Maxon

Page Eight

The following medical and surgical texts were used immediately before or during the Civil War.  They are a window into a medical education as it was presented to the students and surgeons who served in the War.  There were a multitude of medical colleges in the late 1850's and 60's, as well as publishers who sold text books from American, English and French authors.

Urinary Deposits, their Diagnosis, Pathology and Therapeutical Indications, (1845), by Golding Bird, M.D.

Bird (1814-54), a British physician, "described oxaluria (1842), wrote an important book on 'Urinary Deposits' (1844), and was a pioneer in static electro-therapy (1841-49)"[Garrison,p.629].

Additional information on Golding Bird, M.D.

Publisher Lea's 1846 display ad about this author

First American edition 227pp.,32pp. pub. catg. 33 text illus. of microscopic views


Manual of Physiology, (1859), by William Senhouse Kirkes, M.D.

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1865 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogues

KIRKES, WILLIAM SENHOUSE MD, Demonstrator of Morbid Anatomy at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.  A MANUAL OF PHYSIOLOGY.  A new American edition from the third and improved London edition.  With two hundred illustrations In one large and handsome royal 12mo volume leather, pp 586 $2.00. 

This is a new and very much improved edition of Dr Kirkes well known Handbook of Physiology.  It combines conciseness with completeness and is therefore admirably adapted for consultation by the busy practitioner. Dublin Quarterly Journal.  Its excellence is in its compactness its clearness and its carefully cited authorities it is the most convenient of text books. These gentlemen Messrs Kirkes and Paget have the gift of telling us what we want to know without thinking it necessary to tell us all they know. Boston Med and Surg Journal.  For the student beginning this study and the practitioner who has the leisure to refresh his memory this book is invaluable as it contains all that it is important to know.  Charleston Med Journal, 1861

There are illustrations of the development of the embryo and many other illustrations of anatomical references. There is a great index in the back that list every subject. Medical, Anatomy Physiology

Publisher Blanchard & Lea's 1861 display ad about this author

A Treatise on Diseases of the Joint, (1861), by Richard Barwell, M.D.

Book is bound in paper covers for use at the publisher's office.

The first of three books Barwell wrote on orthopedics, the other two being: On the Cure of Club-Foot without Cutting Tendons, and on Certain New Methods of Treating Other Deformities (1863); and The Causes and Treatment of Lateral Curvature of the Spine (1868). Barwell's "conservatism . . . showed in his Treatise on Diseases of the Joints . . ., in which he stressed the function of the epiphyseal plates and the risks of retardation of growth from knee-joint resection in youth" (Le Vay, History of Orthopaedics, p. 129). Peltier, Orthopedics, a History and Iconography, p. 243. Barwell's "chief attention was devoted to orthopaedic surgery. . . . For the treatment of club-foot he advocated instrumental methods, and opposed excessive adoption of tenotomy by the so-called subcutaneous surgery then prevailing.

Publisher Blanchard & Lea's 1861 display ad about this author.

 1861. Softcover. 1st Edition. 8vo. vii, 463 pp.


Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Physic, (1858), by Thomas Watson, M.D.

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1864 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogue

First published in the Medical Times & Gazette, 1840-42, Watson’s famous lectures appeared in book form and formed the most important treatise of medicine for a quarter century. Watson wrote in a fine style, and his book was reorganized as a sound guide to clinical medicine. Watson suggested rubber gloves for antisepsis; he also instructed his students to wash their hands in a solution of chloride of lime before assisting at deliveries." Garrison and Morton. Thomas Watson studied at Cambridge and later became chair of the principles and practice of medicine at King’s College. Watson served as president of the Royal College of Physicians for five years and also was Gulstonian and Lumleian lecturer.

Blanchard & Lea's 1858 display ad about this author



Doctor posing with a copy of Watson's book.  The 2 cent stamp on this CDV dates it to 1863, taken by G. L. Hurd, Providence, R. I.


A Treatise on Fever, (1861), by Robert D. Lyons, K. C. C., Professor of Practice of Medicine

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1864 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogue

Additional information on Robert Lyons

This textbook takes on significant importance in consideration of the effect Yellow Fever had on the deployment of troops during the Civil War.  During the summer months, the troops were not deployed to the hot and humid areas which were prone to mosquito infestations and the resultant spread of Yellow Fever or other insect borne diseases.

LYONS ROBERT D,  K.C.C.,  Late Pathologist in chief to the British Army in the Crimea.  A TREATISE ON FEVER or selections from a course of Lectures on fever being part of a course of Theory and Practice of Medicine.  In one neat octavo volume of 362 pages extra cloth $2.00.  

We have great pleasure in recommending Dr Lyons work on fever to the attention of the profession.  It is a work which cannot fail to enhance the author's previous well earned reputation as a diligent careful and accurate observer.  British Medical Journal, March 2 1861.  Taken as a whole we can recommend it in the highest terms as well worthy the careful perusal and study of every student and practitioner of medicine.  We consider the work a most valuable addition to medical literature and one destined to wield no little influence over the mind of the profession.  Med and Surg Reporter May 4 1861.  This is an admirable work upon the most remarkable and most important class of diseases to which mankind are liable. Med. Journal of N. Carolina, May 1861

Publisher Blanchard & Lea's 1861 display ad about this author


Philadelphia Blanchard and Lea 1861; Covers general fever, synochal, typhous, typhoid, typhoid fever of Crimea, yellow fever, more. ; Large 8vo 9" ; 362 pages. First Edition.

Poisons in Relation to Medical Jurisprudence and Medicine, (1859), by Alfred S. Taylor, M. D.

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1864 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogues

"In laying the present work before the profession, the desire of the author has been to give a more extended view of the subject of TOXICOLOGY than he has hitherto been able to introduce into his MANUAL OF MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE" (Preface, p. v). "Taylor's interest in forensic medicine led to his appointment to the first chair of medical jurisprudence at Guy's in 1831. . . . It was the first chair in that subject in London and Taylor held the post until he retired in 1878. . . . His two major works, Elements of Medical Jurisprudence (London, 1836) and Poisons in Relation to Medical Jurisprudence and Medicine (London, 1848), became standard works during his lifetime because they systematized legal principles and court rulings so skillfully with toxicological data and anatomical and pathological findings" (annotation to Heirs of Hippocrates 1693). See Garrison-Morton 1738 for Taylor's 1836 Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, which evolved into his Manual. See Nemec, Highlights in Medicolegal Relations no. 389.  See Garrison Morton-1738

Publisher Blanchard and Lea's 1859 display ad about this author

Medical Jurisprudence, (1861), by Alfred S. Taylor, M.D., F.R.S., edited by Edward Hartshorne, M.D.

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1865 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogues

See additional information on Edward Hartshorne, M.D. 

During the civil war Hartshorne was on duty as Acting Assistant Surgeon, in the field, after the battle of Antietam, and for one or two years, as attending or consulting surgeon, to the McClellan, Nicetown and other Army Hospitals in or near Philadelphia. He was actively engaged in the organization of the Philadelphia branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, during the war, being Secretary of its Executive Committee. He was Secretary of the First National Quarantine and Sanitary Convention, which met in Philadelphia a few years before the war.

"It is a cornerstone of English medical jurisprudence of the 19th century . . . [and] brought Taylor recognition throughout the world as a leader in legal medicine and toxicology" [Nemec Highlights in Medicolegal Relations #389]

From the publisher, Blanchard and Lea 1861 display ad about this author


A Treatise of  the Practice of Medicine, (First edition, 1861), by Edwin R. Maxson

A copy of this text book is listed in the 1865 Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogues

Publisher: Lindsay & Blakinston, 1861

Edwin R. Maxson was a lecturer at the Geneva, N.Y. Medical College.   Also, Typhoid or Enteric Fever—(abortive Treatment.) By Edwin R. Maxson, M. D., A. M., LL. D., Syracuse, New York.

 Owner signature: Jno. W. Hutchinson, Phila., Pa.  1870

Continue to:  Page 9

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See information on Medical education and lecture cards during and before the Civil War

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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

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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016