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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Henry H. Smith, M.D.


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Name: Henry H. Smith

A.B. 1834, A.M. 1837, M.D. 1837

Assistant in Demonstrative Surgery, 1849-1855

Professor of Surgery, 1855-1871

Emeritus Professor of Surgery, 1871-1890

Renowned Surgeon

Surgeon General of Pennsylvania
Cause of death: pneumonia
Death date: Apr 11, 1890
Place of death: Philadelphia, PA
Birth date: Dec 10, 1815
Place of birth: Philadelphia, PA
Type of practice: Allopath
States and years of licenses:PA, 1881
Medical school(s): University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, 1837, (G)
Other education: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1834
Journal of the American Medical Association

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

Penn Biographies

Henry Hollingsworth Smith (1815-1890)

Photograph of Henry Hollingsworth Smith, Professor of SurgeryHenry Hollingsworth Smith was born in Philadelphia on December 10, 1815, to James S. Smith and Lydia Leaming. Following in his father's footsteps, the younger Smith enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania in 1830 as a member of the Class of 1834. Four years later he earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts (A.B.). During his undergraduate years, Smith was a member of the Philomathean Society. Following graduation from the College, Smith enrolled in the Medical School where he earned the degree of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) with the Class of 1837.

After commencement from the Medical School, Smith traveled to Europe where he continued his medical studies in London, Vienna, and Paris. Upon returning to the United States, Smith served as a resident physician at Pennsylvania Hospital.

During his medical career Smith was on the staff of numerous Philadelphia Hospitals, including St. Joseph's Hospital, Philadelphia Episcopal Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Blockley Hospital. He also returned to his alma mater, first as an assistant in Demonstrative Surgery in 1849 and, six years later, as a Professor of Surgery - a position he held until 1871 when he was named Emeritus Professor of Surgery.

During the Civil War, Smith served under another former Pennsylvania student, General George McClellan. Smith was charged with setting up and organizing Union Army hospitals and was also named Surgeon General of Pennsylvania, a position he held in 1861 and 1862.

During his distinguished career, Smith wrote a number of books and journal articles on the practice of medicine. He was a fellow in the American College of Physicians, the President of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Medical Societies, the Chair of the Surgical Section of the American Medical Association, and the Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Medical Congress. He also received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from Lafayette College in 1885.

He was married to Mary Edmonds, the daughter of William Edmonds Horner, a Professor of Medicine at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Henry Hollingsworth Smith died in Philadelphia on April 11, 1890.

SMITH, Henry Hollingsworth, surgeon, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 10 December, 1815. He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1837, and at the medical department in 1839, spent the subsequent eighteen months in study abroad, and on his return settled in practice in Philadelphia. He became a surgeon to St. Joseph's hospital in 1849, surgeon to the Episcopal hospital soon afterward, one of the surgical staff to Blockley hospital in 1854, and was professor of surgery in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania from 1855 till 1871, when he became professor emeritus.

At the beginning of the civil war he was appointed to organize the hospital department of Pennsylvania, and at the same time made surgeon-general of Pennsylvania. In this capacity he contributed much to the efficiency of the medical services of the Pennsylvania reserves and other state regiments. At the first battle at Winchester, Virginia, he originated the plan of removing the wounded from the battle-field to large hospitals in Reading, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and other cities, and established the custom of embalming the dead on the battle-ground. He organized and directed a corps of surgeons, with steamers as floating hospitals, at the siege of Yorktown, and served the wounded after the battles of Williamsburg, West Point, Fair Oaks, and Cold Harbor. After thoroughly organizing the department of which he was in charge, he resigned his commission in 1862, and has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession.

Dr. Smith is widely known as a medical author. His publications include " An Anatomical Atlas," to illustrate William E. Horner's" Special Anatomy" (Philadelphia, 1843); " Minor Surgery" (1846) ; "System of Operative Surgery," with a biographical index to the writings and operations of American surgeons for 234 years (2 vols., 1852) ; " The Treatment of Disunited Fractures by Means of Artificial Limbs" (1855); "Professional Visit to London and Paris" (1855); "Practice of Surgery" (2 vols., 1857-'63) ; and numerous surgical articles in medical journals; and he has translated from the French Civiale's "Treatise on the Medical and Prophylactic Treatment of Stone mid Gravel" (Philadelphia, 1841), and edited the "United States Dissector" (1844), and Spenser Thompson's " Domestic Medicine and Surgery" (1853).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright 2001 VirtualologyTM

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


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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: 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:

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016