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

 

Benjamin F. Hamill, M.D. 

U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Application

 

By Norman L. Herman, M.D., Ph.D.

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: Benjamin F. Hamell, M.D.

 

I was born in the 16th day of June 1840 A.D. in the town of Camden, State of New Jersey.

  

Was sent to school when about eight years of age, my mother having taught me previously, and continued in school until I was sixteen years of age, when I was put into a wholesale Fish store, where I remained for two years, after which I again went to school and remained a year and a half, I then came home and commenced the study of Medicine.  While at school the last time I studied Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Latin and Music.

 

I commenced the Study of Medicine at Camden, N.J., under the preceptorship of Thomas F. Cullen M.D., attended two courses of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, and am a graduate of that school.

I have had little or no opportunity for the study or practice of Pharmacy, and the physical properties of drugs.

 

I was in Acting Medical Cadet in the Satterlee U.S.A. General Hospital, from July 1st 1862 to June 16th 1863, and after battle of Gettysburg, Pa. I was sent there as an Acting Assistant Surgeon U.S.A. where I remained until August 18th, when I came home sick, I was placed on duty at the Broad St U.S.A. General Hospital where I remained until October 18th 1863.

 

Benj F. Hamell

No 835 Arch St. Philad’a.

P.O. adress [sic] Camden, N.J.

 

Naval Asylum Philad’a.

October 22d 1863.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing by Dr. Benjin F Hamell.

1.  What are the accidents or injuries which require amputation of thigh?

2.  What are the best mode of controlling the circulation in amputation of thigh?

3.  What is flooding, how produced + how arrested?

4.  What is the structure + [unclear] of bone?

5.  Give an account of nux vomica, + its active principles, then physiological effects, uses etc? [sic]

6.  Enumerate the potash salts used in Medicine, giving their composition in symbols.  Give a prescription without symbols or abbreviation.

7.  Enumerate the cranial nerves + their functions.

8.  How was pneumonia diagnosticated from pleurisy?

9.  Give the fetal circulation.

 


Answers by Hamell:

 

1.  In compound fracture of the thigh with irreducible protrusion of bone, when the limb is short or torn nearly or completely off, when the principle [sic, correction marks in pencil] arterial or nervous trunk is cut or torn nearly or completely through, in tetanus resulting from a wound of the part, which will not yield to Medicinal treatment, in Gangrene where the line of demarcation is formed at or above the knee.

 

2.  The best mode of controlling the circulation in amputation of the Thigh is by pressure on the Abdominal Aorta.

 

3.  Flooding is a Haemorrhage from the internal surface of the Uterus, produced by the placenta becoming partially detached, and the orifice of the vessels supplying the placenta remaining patulous, also when the placenta has been removed and the Uterus does not contract and close the mouths of the vessels.  There are various methods of arresting it, viz: by friction upon the abdomen over the uterus, cloths sung [sic, correction marks in pencil] out of ice water applied to the vagina, by the tampon, Ergot given internally, Ice applied to the bleeding surface, and by friction upon the internal surface of the uterus with a lemon deprived of its rind.

 

4.  The structure of bone is compact and spongy, the compact tissue constituting the shaft of the long, and the external surface of the short bones, and the spongy tissue the articulating ends of the long and the bodies of the short bones.  Bone is composed of Animal and earthly matter, Gelatin, Phosphate and Carbonate of Lime, Phosphate of Magnesia and Soda.

 

5.  Nux Vomica is the seed of the Strychnos Nux Vomica, a plant growing in India, its active principle [sic, correction marks in pencil] is Strychnia, which is tonic in small doses, but in overdose produces death by spasm, it is used in paralysis and incontinence of urine.

 

6.  The salts of Potash are, the Citrate, Acetate, Tartrate, Sulphate, Carbonate And Bi-Carbonate.

        Recipe.

               Syrupus; Prunus: Virginianae: fluidunciae iijss

               Vinum: Antimonii: fluiduncia ss

               Extractum: Hyosciani: granumae XXV

               Misturae fiat. Signa. Cochlear Parvum Ter Die

 

7.  The Optic, supplies the retina, Olfactory, the nerve of smell, Motor-Oculi and Pathetic, the muscles of the eye, Facial, to the face, Pneumogastric, to the lungs and stomach, Pharyngeal, to the tongue, Portia Dura and Portia Mollus, to the ear, Trifacial, to the face and nose, Hypoglossal, to the tongue, and the Spinal Accessory to the muscles of the back.

 

8.  In Pneumonia and Plueritis, we have dullness on percussion.  In Plueritis the line of dullness changes by position, in Pneumonia it is not.

 

9.  The circulation is carried on between the foetus and mother by means of the Umbilical Vein and two Umbilical Arteries.  The Umbilical vein carries the blood to the right Auricle, from the right auricle it passes through the foramen ovale into the left auricle, it is then distributed throughout the system, the greatest quantity going to the head and little or none to the lungs, when it is brought back into the right auricle, passes into the right ventricle, and then is carried by the umbilical arteries back to the mother.

 

Benj F. Hamell

Candidate for the position of Acting Assistant Surgeon U.S. Navy

Naval Asylum Phil’a

October 22nd 1863.

 


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, Phthisis, Gout, Apoplexy, or 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 any thing 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.

                                                           

Benj. F. Hamell

Candidate for the office of

Acting Assist. Surgeon in the Navy

of the United States.

                                                   

U.S. Naval Asylum, Philad’a

October 22d 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