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

 

J. Homer Darling, 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)

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: J. Homer Darling, M.D.

 

Sir,

I was born in the town of Cambridge Vt. July 25, 1838.  I had the advantage of common school until fourteen years, then for two years advantages offered at Northfield Academy Northfield Vt. after which I spent one year as clerk in a Drug Store before commencing the study of Medicine in June 1855 with Dr. H. H. Darling then of Charlton Worcester Co Mass.  I attended my first course of Medical lectures at the Castleton Med. Col.  Castleton Vt in the Autumn of 1858.  My second course in Spring of 1859 graduating in June of that year.

  

Since graduating I have been in practice with Dr. H. H. Darling in East Douglas Mass. for about one year and alone at Rindge N. H. two years, and in the Army as Asst.  Surgeon 57th Rgt. Mass. Vol. Mil. eight months.  My opportunities for seeing practice I think have been very fair.

                                                              

Very Respectfully

J. Homer Darling

 

W. S. W.  Ruschenberger M.D.                         

Surgeon U.S.N     

 Boston Mass

 

Navy Yard Boston Ms

 Dec. 2d 1863

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Doct. James H. Darling is requested to write answers to the following questions.

            1.  What is chyle, where and how was it formed, and what is its use?

            2.  Name the officinal preparations of potassium, with a dose and therapeutic use of each?

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

            4.  What parts enter into the composition of the knee joint?

            5.  What are the symptoms and signs of pneumonia?

            6.  Define the terms “temperature”, “latent heat” and “specific gravity”?  [sic]

 


Answers by Darling:

 

1  Chyle formed during the process of digest by the action of the gastric juice, the pancreatic secretion and bile upon the ingesta.  It is found in the duodenum and thoracic duct.  It contains the nutrition material, and is used to make blood.

 

1 [sic] Nitrate of Potassa.  An arterial sedative, diuretic, Dose from three to ten grains

Chlorate of Potassa also an arterial sedative, and has been thought to have peculiar power as in oxidizing    agent   Dose from five to fifteen grains   Iodide of Potassium.  An alterative and a diuretic  Dose from five to twenty grs.    Carbonate of Potassa use only as an eschoratic [sic].

Bicarbonate of Potassa uses as an antacid in acidity of the stomach and poisoning by acids is also slightly diuretic.  Dose from one half dram to two thirds or more drams.

Bitartrate of Potassa Diuretic Dose half dram

 3  Oxygen is taken from the atmosphere, carbonic acid is formed in the lungs and thrown off at every expiration.

 

 4  The Femer [sic] at its lower extremity, the Tibia, the Patella, the external and internal lateral ligaments and the Crucial ligaments.

 

 5  Short, quick respirations, dull pain in some part of the chest usually lower part of one side; headache, feverishness quick strong, sometimes wiry pulse, scanty, high colored urine.  Physical signs dullness on percussion over affected portion of the lung, and perhaps increased resonance over healthy portion.  Auscultation Crepitant rale in first stages, later bronchophony and bronchial respiration.

 

 6  Temperature the word used to express the condition of heat or the absence of it.  A body may contain heat, while below the temperature of the atmosphere which may be called “latent” and under certain circumstances will show itself.  Specific gravity the weight of a gas compared with the air, atmospheric or solid bodies with water.

                                               

J. Homer Darling

Navy Yard Boston Ms.

Dec. 2d 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