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

 

Archibald C. Fowler, M.D. 

U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Application

First of Two Applications by Fowler

 

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: Archibald C. Fowler, M.D.

To Surgeon Ruschenburger, U.S.N.

                                                              

I was born on the 8th day of February 1838, in the town of Mishawaka, St. Joseph Co, Indianna [sic].  When 9 months old my parents moved to Duchess Co in New York, where I resided until 19 years of age.  After preparitory [sic] course at Amenia Seminary, Duchess Co N.Y.  I entered as a student in the Clinical department of Union College, situated in Schenectady, N.Y. from which school I graduated at 22 years of age.

                

I have been a student in the Medical department of Harvard College two years and five months, and as there is a summer session of the school, have had no other medical instruction.

                    

I have resided for the past five years in West Medford, Middlesex Co Mass.

Very Respectfully

A. C. Fowler

 

Naval Yard, Boston.                                             

 Feb. 3rd, 1863.


Questions by the Board:

           

Dr. A. C. Fowler is requested to write answers to the following questions.

                1.  What are the causes and symptoms of acute dysentery?

                2.  How is concusion [sic] distinguished from compression of the brain?

                3.  What is the origin, course and distribution of the femoral artery?

                4.  What is the composition of atmospheric air, and what changes are affected by its respiration?

                 5.  Name the officinal preparations of mercury in common use, with a dose of each? [sic]

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

 


Answers by Fowler:

 

      1.     Fatigue, and subsequent exposure to the effects of cold and wet.  Malaria with or without the accompanying effects of fatigue, cold, and moisture.

 

The irritation of undigested matter is a cause of dysentery, though more frequently a cause of diarrhoea.

  

Confinement of a number of persons in a small poorly ventilated room, especially if the excrementitious matters are not removed.

        

Bad food, as sour, worm=laten rice [sic], etc meats either putrid or in the commencing stage a putrifaction.

Symptoms.  At first a looseness of the bowels, with or without pain, from an increased secretion of the mucous membrane; soon, however, the frequency of the discharges increase, usually to 10 or 12 in 24 hours, though there may be as many as 30 or 40.  The discharges are small and consist of a watery fluid mixed with flakes of mucous; and occasionally with blood.  Towards the latter part of the complaint there is sometimes found small quantities of pus.  The desire to “go to stool” is frequent, and the act of defecation attended with great straining and tenesmus.  The pulse is gently accelerated, and weaker than usual.  Tongue furred, and there is an anxious expression of countenance + a peculiar pinched appearance of the alae of the nose.

 

2.   Concussion is sudden violent; it is a shock. 

Compression may or may not be sudden; is produced by a blow or tumour.

Concussion [unclear] the whole brain –

Compression gently affects a portion.

Compression is produced at the injured part.

Concussion may be the result of injury to a portion of the brain remote from the injury to the skull.

 

3.  Arises from the external iliac, at Poupart’s ligament, and pursues a course represented, as near as possible, by a line drawn from a point midway between the anterior superior spine of the ischium, and the symphisis pubis to the internal condyle of the femur, supposing the knee to be bent + turned outward.  It lies in the angle formed by Pouparts lig’t, at the base, the Sartorius, adductor longus + pectinsus, at sides.  The artery terminates in the Popliteal, at the perforation of the tendon of the adductor magnus – It is accompanied in its course by the internal sphenous vein + saphena nerve.  The vein lies on inside of the artery at its upper part, but turns under and gets to the outside + the lower half of its course.

 

4.  Oxygen (1/5th) Nitrogen (4/5th) aqueous vapour + a trace of carbonic acid.  Respiration consumes the oxygen and furnishes carbonic acid, + aqueous vapour.

 

5.  Hydrargyrum Chlor. Mite, Calomel – gr i to gr. 2

Pilulae Hydrargyri – gr 1 to grs 3

Unguentum Hydrargyri – grs 8 to 10 rubbed under armpits

Unguentum Hydrargyri Nitratis (leitr**i [unclear] ointment).

 

6.  The specific gravity of a fluid, is determined by an instrument with a bulbous extremity and a graduated stem; the depth to which the instrument falls, in comparison with its fall in water, is the Sp. gr. of the fluid.

Latent heat is the sensible heat of a body.

                                                                  

A. C. Fowler

Navy Yard, Boston, Mass.

February 3d, 1863.

 

[Board comment in pencil] totally deficient in Materia Medica. 

 


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