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

 

Josiah Howell Culver, 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: Josiah Howell Culver

See the Wade and Ford surgical set owned by Josiah H. Culver, 1863

I was born in the town of Brookhaven, county of Suffolk and state of New York on the 10th day of September 1837.

 

After assuming a common school education I spent two years and six months at Clinton Academy in Easthampton Long Island.  I there studied Latin, read Caesar and Virgil.  I began Greek and went through the Greek reader.  I also studied Algebra, Geometry, Natural + Mental Philosophy, Rhetoric, Chemistry and Meteorology.

 

In the beginning of spring of 1857 I commenced the study of medicine in Brookhaven with Dr. E. P. Jarvis.  And the autumn of the same year I entered the University of New York Med. Dep’t. and took my first course of lectures; in the spring returned to Brookhaven and continued for a year under the tuition of Dr. Jarvis.

  

In March 1859 I went to New York again and became a pupil of Dr. P. A. Aylette.  I attended the spring, summer and autumn courses of lectures at the University and visited Bellevue + New York hospitals daily.  I spent the next winter in New York and graduated at the University of New York in the spring of 1860.

I then went into private practice at Huntington L. I.  While in practice I compounded and put up my own prescriptions.  Last August I was examined by a medical board in New York and was admitted as an acting assistant surgeon in the army.  Since that time I have resided in the United States General Hospital David’s Island New York where I have been treating gun-shot wounds, typhoid fever, diarrhœa dysentery and other diseases incident to soldiers.

  

I am staying at the La-Pierre house in this city.

My address is U.S. Hospital David’s Island New York.

Josiah H. Culver

 

Naval asylum Philada

March 4th 1863.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

 Questions in Writing to be answered, by Dr. Josiah H. Culver

 

1.  What are the symptoms, cause + treatment of Internal Hemorrhoids?

2.  Describe the mode of tying the umbilical cord.

3.  Write a formula, (Latin) for compound Cathartic pile, without symbols, or abbreviations.

4.  Name four preparations of iron.

5.  What is the pathology and treatment of Arthritis?

6.  Diagnosis and prognosis in Diphtheria.

7.  What are the great organs of the circulation.

8.  What is the great sympathetic nerve.

9.  What is chemistry.

 


Answers by Culver:

 

1st.  The symptoms of Internal hemorrhoids are pain and a burning sensation above the anus, a feeling of weight or tension in the groin and testicles.  During defecation there will be an increase of the pain with tenesmus and if the disease be of long duration the hemorrhoids will be protruded as soft vascular tumors; there will also be hemorrhage of a bright red color.  Sometimes the hemorrhage is the first symptom.    The most frequent cause is constipated bowels, congestion of the liver or anything which obstructs the portal circulation will produce it.  A violent attack of dysentery may cause it.

    

The treatment consists in regulating the bowels by laxatives, by which a mixture of sublimed sulphur + bitartrate of potash is one of the best.  Daily injections of ice water are beneficial, also astringent injections, as solutions of acetate of lead or sulphate of zinc.  After each evacuation from the bowels, if the tumors are protruded, they should be washed, anointed with on ointment of powdered galls and opium, and returned into the bowel.  If these means fail to effect a cure, the hemorrhoids should be extirpated by means of the ligature or écraseur.

                                          

2nd.  After the child has been expelled from the mother and breathes, the cord should be examined to ascertain if it may contain any portion of the bowel.  It should then be tied tightly at the distance of three or four inches from the abdomen with a piece of tape or other cord with a double reef knot.  The cord is then divided on the distal side of the ligature.

                                              

3rd.  Recipe

                   Hydrargini Submuriatis    grana decem

                   Pulveris Rhei                    grana quindecem

                   Extracti Nucis Vomicur    granum anum

Misce, fiat in pillulis sex.

                                               

4th.  Tinctura Ferri muriatis

        Ferri Sulphus

        Syrupus Ferri Iodidi

        Ferri Sesquicarbonas

                                               

5th.  Arthritis is on inflammation covering the cartilages of incrustation and lining of the cavities of joints; this inflammation may extend to the fibrous tissue surrounding the joint.  The results of the inflammation is an effusion of serum within the cavity of the joint.  Plastic material is seldom effused into a joint.  If the disease be not checked suppuration may follow, together with ulceration of the cartilages of incrustation and caries of the extremities of the bones.

 

Arthritis should be treated by keeping the affected part at perfect rest in an elevated position.  A saline cathartic should be given an [sic] the patient put upon low diet.  Leeches must be applied to the joint followed by evaporating lotions or warm fomentations as may agree best with the patient.  After the acute symptoms have subsided, a succession of blisters may be applied to the joint and then it may be painted over with Tincture of Iodine.  Iodide of potassium with Syrup of sarsaparilla may be administered internally.

                                               

6th.  The principle diagnostic symptom in Diphtheria is the diptheritic exudation which forms on the tonsils and posterior surface of the fauces.  This exudation is of a dirty grayish color.  It is soon cast off and the mucous membrane is seen dark and bleeding.  The exudation is soon renewed however to be again thrown off, and this process is frequently repeated.  Meanwhile the diptheric deposit spreads.  It extends down the larynx to trachea into the lungs; through the oesophagus into the stomach and bowels, and upward into the nasal cavities.  I have seen it on the conjunctiva in cases where I believe every mucous membrane in the body was affected by it.  The discharge from the nose and the mouth have a gangrenous odor.  The pulse is very frequent and feeble, and there are the general symptoms of blood poisoning.

 

The prognosis is very grave unless the disease be seen by the physician in the very beginning and in some epidemics of the disease, many of the cases will die under any treatment.

                                               

7th.  The heart, systemic arteries, capillaries and veins, and the pulmonary arteries, capillaries and veins.

                                               

8th.  The great sympathetic nerve is a chain of ganglia, composed of gray, granular, nervous material, situated upon the vertical column.  These ganglia are connected with each other, and with the cranial and spinal nerves by filaments of white medullary matter.  They give branches to all that great nervous plexuses.

                                               

9th.  Chemistry is the science which treats of the relations which the ultimate atoms of matter bear to each other, and of the laws which govern them.

 

(Signed)

Josiah H. Culver.

 


Certificate of Physical Capacity

 

I declare on honor that, my health at this time is good and robust; and to the best of my knowledge and belief, I am free from any accidental or constitutional defects, and without any predisposition to Epilepsy, Phtisis, Gout, Apoplexy, or any chronic disease of any kind.

      

I am not at present affected with varicocele, disease of the urinary organs, hernia, hemorrhoids; nor am I aware that there is anything hereditary in my constitution which would hereafter be likely to incapacitate me for the arduous duties of a medical officer of the navy.

     

All my organs of sense are without imperfection.

                                                    

Josiah Howell Culver,  Candidate for the office of Assistant Surgeon in the navy of the United States

 

U.S. Naval Asylum          

Philada 

March 3rd ,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

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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