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

 

Michael Freebern Gavin, 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: Michael Freebern Gavin, M.D.

 

I was born in the town of Roscommon (which town is the capitol of the county which bears the same name) Ireland, on the 12th of May 1843.  I received my primary education in the town of my birth.  I left my home in September 1856 and came to New York City where I remained for a brief period, after which I came to Boston where I have remained since.  I finished my education with a private teacher in Boston.

                                                                                             

Some time during the year 1859 I comminced [sic] the study of medicine, with a late Dr. T. R. Owens of this city under whos tutorship I remained until the late part of the year 1861:  I then comminced studing [sic] with Dr. John G. Blake of this city and entered the Harvard Medical College where I have attended three winter terms and one summer term in the so called Tremont Medical school of this city, during the interval between the ending of the winter term and the commincement [sic] of the same I have attended the Boston Dispensary and part of the time was assistant to the Surgeon of that institution.  It is my intention to graduate in the ensueing [sic] Spring.  I have also attended at the visit [sic] at the Mass. Gen. Hospital which take place daily: during the past three years I have attended all the operation which has

+ Dr. Cheever [at the bottom of the first page of the Bio sketch]

[page two] taken place at the Mass. Gen. Hospital.

 

Michael Freebern Gavin

P.O. Boston Boston,

Or,

M.  F. Gavin

Cor. Federal  Purchase

Boston, Sts

September 9th 1863                                             

  

[Board note in pencil]:

       Mr. Gavin was examine July 30, 1862 and rejected.  He has been a diligent student in the past 13 months, and is recommended for general character by Dr. O. W. Holmes.  He is a few months more than 20 years of age only; but has acquired a fair foundation for becoming an efficient and safe practitioner, if he may be judged by oral examination.

                                                                                  W.S.W.R.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Mr. M. F. Gavin is requested to write answers to the following questions.

             1.  What parts are concerned in the formation of the ankle joint?

             2.  What is chyle and how was it formed?

             3.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of dysentery?

             4.  Name one of each class of the materia medica? [sic]

             5.  What is chemical affinity?

             6.  What is Strychnia?

 


Answers by Gavin:

 

1.  The following named bones go to make the ankle joint; the tibia articulates with the astragalus as dose [sic] also that part of the fibula called the external malleolus, the bones are held in place by the ligaments of the ankle + covered with skin

 

2.  Chyle is a milky looking fluid and is formed from the food, it owes it is [sic] white colour to the minute division of the oily part of the food.  The peristaltic action of the stomach keeping the food continually in motion during digestion accounts for the minute division of the oily part of the food the chyle is the nurshing [sic] part of food

 

3.  Pain all over abdomen and increased in making [? unclear] stools; stools liquid and sometimes tinged with blood; generally the pulse is accelerated and the skin hot and dry; bowels very loose

 

4.  Cathartic Calomel in 10 grain. Jalep. Arterial sedative – Foxglove.  Diuretic all the Salts of Potassa: Diaphoretic Spts. Minderi and Spts. Nitre Dulc; Narcotic Opium,  febrifuge Sulphate Quin; vermifuge Spts Turpentin; emenagogue [sic] Myrrh; Tonic all the preparation of iron and bark; stimulant ammonia and its preparations

 

5.  Is the attraction which bodies have for each other

 

6.  Strychnia – is the active principle of the Nux Vomica.

                                        


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