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 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

2011 - "The sesqui-centennial of the Civil War" -  2015

The 150th Year Celebration

 

 Home page  |   Feedback & Contact Dr. Echols  |  SEARCH this site   |  Article Indexes   |   Medical Faculty & Authors

 Civil War Medical Books  |  Medicine Containers   |   1800's & Civil War Surgery Set Displays

Medical College Index - Lecture Cards  |  Civil War Medical Book Author-Title Index

Wanted to Purchase: Items like those on this website, including Civil War surgeon uniforms, medical books, CDV's, surgeon images, diaries, and related medical items ... Contact

Dr. Echols' partial list of Google books for Civil War Surgeon Research

 

 W. James Bruce, M.D.

U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Application

 

By Norman L. Herman, M.D., PhD.

The following is a dictated translation of the hand-written application to the U. S. Navy Examination Board during the Civil War by a civilian physician/surgeon for a position as a medical officer in the Federal Navy or for promotion to Assistant Surgeon by an Acting Assistant Surgeon.  The actual applications are in the possession of the author and presented to enlighten the general public and other researchers as to the education process before and during the Civil War, the personal history of the applicants, as well as to show their personal level of medical knowledge in answering the questions asked by the Navy Board of Examiners.  (Some applicants failed to pass and did not serve or served in the Union Army.)

This written presentation was first of a part of a two-part exam consisting of a written exam and an oral exam.   Many of these applications are rich with highly detailed medical content offering an interesting perspective on the medical knowledge and practices of the period.  A broad sampling of these exams is presented to give you a 'picture' of the type of applicant being examined and admitted to or rejected by the Federal Navy in 1863.   Much more detail on the individuals and their personal and naval history will be presented in a forth-coming book by Dr. Herman.

(The actual written exam photos are available, but not presented on these pages due to the size of the files.  An example of a hand-written exam is on the List of all Applicants page)

(The actual written exam photos are available, but not presented on these pages due to the size of the files.  An example is on the List of all applicants page)

If you have additional information or images for any of these doctors, please contact us.

A list with links to all applicants in this survey of U.S. Navy Applicants for 1863

Example of a handwritten exam given by the Navy Examination Board

 


Applicant:  W. James Bruce, M.D.

 

Boston Navy Yard.

April 4, 1863.

 

Sir:

       

It descending myself to you for examination as to my qualifications necessary to fill a Physician of an Acting Assistant Surgeon in the Navy of the United States, I would state, in compliance with the regulations, that I was born on the 18th day of April, in the year One thousand eight hundred + thirty two, in the city of Covington, + state of Kentucky.  What literary attainments I Have retained in the English Dept of Miammi [sic] University, Oxford, Ohio.  I read medicine three years + six months in the Office of Dr. W. C. Graves – a graduate of Virginia University.  I commenced taking lectures in St. Louis which were altogether Anatomical, under Prof.  McDowel.  In the following winter, (1855,) I received a course of lectures at the Louisville (Ky) institute the following winter I graduated at the Medical College of Lexington, Ky.  I in the practice the following spring + summer, in the city of New Port, Ky.  The following winter I attended the Commercial Hospital, in Cincinnati, then under the charge of Prof.  Blackman.  I then removed (having married the Yankee live) to the city of New Bedford, Mass.  Since the removal, which took place in 1859, I practiced in New Bedford, up to Jan.  1862, when, by the recommendation of Surgeon General Dale, I receive an appointment from the Navy Department has Act. Ast. Surgeon, + entered immediately upon the duties of my office, on board the U.S.S. Vuruna.

                                                                        

Very respectfully,

Your ob’t serv’t

W. James Bruce

 Present post office address, Middletown Ct.  [in a different hand]

 


Questions of the Board:

 

Acting assistant surgeon W. G. Bruce is requested to write answers to the following questions.

1.  What glands and glandular organs constitute the apparatus of digestion?

2.  Through what channels is effete materiel conveyed out of the organism?

3.  Name the officinal preparations of opium and the average dose of each?

4.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of flatulent colic?

5.  By what vessels is blood conveyed to the liver?

6.  What changes are produced in atmospheric air by respiration?

 


Answers by  Bruce

 

1.   The Maxilary [sic] glands, the various glands of the stomach, + the hepatic organs + glands.

 

2.   The Duodenum, Jejunum, Ileum, Ceocum [sic], that Colons, + the rectum, if I understand your question.

 

3.   Morphii Sulphati, Syr. Papav. Sommif., Opii Tint., Elix., Opii

Pillulae Comp.

 

4.   Pain, + tension of bowels, Eructations, Desire without its ability to evacuate the bowels, Discharges of wind.

 

5.  The hepatic artery + its branches

 

6.  Its oxygen is taken up by the blood in its passage, through the Capillaries, from the pulmonary arteries, to the pulmonary veins, when it is expelled from the lungs, changed into Carbonic Acid gas.

Remarks:-

   

I’ve not been able to look into a book, since the sinking of the late U.S.S. Varuna, + confess to a good degree of rustiness.

 

W. James Bruce.

Boston Navy Yard,

April 4 1863


A list with links to all applicants in this survey of U.S. Navy Applicants for 1863

Example of a handwritten exam given by the Navy Examination Board

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:

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

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