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

 

A. Sumner Dean, 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: A. Sumner Dean, M.D.

 

Boston Navy Yard

Nov. 23.  1863

 

Surgeon  W. S. W. Ruchenberger.

 

Sir,

    

I was born in Foxboro, Massachusetts, March 31st 1837.  My education has been academic chiefly, although in part rec’d at the Bridgewater Normal School

   

I commenced the study of medicine in March 1862 under the direction of L.  Dickerman M.D.  I had previously read medicine but not under a preceptor.

  

I am not a graduate.

   

My opportunities for the practice of Medicine and Surgery were those offered by a country practitioner – together with the advantages confered [sic] by the Medical School – I have attended two full courses of Medical Lectures at Pittsfield Mass.

 

A. Sumner Dean

Post Office Adress [sic]  oxboro,  Mass.

                                                                                               


Questions by the Board:   

 

Dr. A. Sumner Dean is requested to write answers to the following questions.

                  1.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of typhoid fever?

                  2.  What are the phenomena of respiration?

                  3.  What are the officinal preparations of sodium?

                  4.  What is chemical affinity?

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

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

 


Answers by Dean:

 

1.  We observe in the promontory stage of typhoid fever in the first place depression of lassitude – the patient has for some time been feeling badly – a heavy feeling in the head, pains in loins, twitching of the muscles – subsultus tendenum – the bowels are usually constipated –   during this stage the symptoms are nearly those of simple, accidental fever – but later we observe the more characteristic symptoms of typhoid fever, to wit the symptoms of enteric disease together with the eruption, which signs are considered pathognomonic

 

2.  The process of taking air into the lungs and expelling it again constitutes respiration  –   During inspiration oxygen, the life-giving element is inhaled this combines with the tissues of the body and carbonic acid a deleterious compound is formed which is thrown off during ex halation [sic] Although the lungs are in the central portion of the body, still the effect of the respiration processes is felt in the distant parts, through the agency of the circulatory apparatus.

           

3.  The officinal preparations of Sodium Chloride of Sodium; Carbonate of Soda; Bicarbonate of Soda; Bitartrate of Soda and Potash; Sulphate of Soda;

 

4.   “Chemical Affinity” is the attraction which ixists [sic] between the particles of matter and by the union of these particles a new compound is formed, for example the nonmetallic chlorine unites with the metallic base Sodium and a new compound Chloride of Sodium is formed.

 

 5.  As the basis of the knee-joint we have the bone of the thigh, the femur and tibia these bones have ther [sic] articular extremities tipped with a layer of cartilage the bones are first united by the lateral ligaments which are much stronger than the posterior.  The anterior ligament is formed by the tendinous expansion of the rectus muscles which pass over the joint on a bursa – Patella – and are inserted into the tibia – this joint has a synovial membrane reflected from the articular cartilages -

 

6.   By “temperature” is meant the condition of the atmosphere in relation to heat.

        

By "specific gravity”   is meant the absolute weight of a body as compared with that of distilled water – or rather the loss of the weight of a body suspended in water compared with the weight of the water displaced the weight of distilled water taken as the basis of comparison.  By latent heat is meant that which cannot be indicated by the thermometer.

 

A. Sumner Dean

Nov.  23  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