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

 

John F. Hurley, 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: John F. Hurley, M.D.

                                                                           

Charlestown, June 18, 1863.

  

Dr. Ruschenberger,

Surgeon U.S. Navy.

                                                               

In compliance with the regulations requiring a short biography of the candidate presenting himself for examination.  I therefore submit to the rule.  Born into this world about 10 o’clock P.M. January 29 inst. year 1838 in the city of Boston.  Attended the Primary and Grammar Schools until the age of fourteen.  I then removed to Troy, N.Y. where I entered an Academy preparatory to commencing my collegiate course.  I remained in the above institution two years.  And then became a student of Saint Marys College, Montreal, C. E. where I remained a period of four years.  The remaining interval of time, I spent in the College Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.  I then made a trip to Europe and resided in France almost fifteen months.  I commenced my Medical Studies in the fall of 1859 at the winter Session of Harvard Medical School, in connection with Dr. J. G. Blake of Boston as my medical preceptor.  Since that period I have attended the full courses required, namely the term of three years.  I am not a graduate, but will make application the sixth day of July next for my Medical degree at the Summer Session of the Medical Department of Harvard University.

                                                                   

Yours Respectfully,

John F. Hurley.

 

Dr. Ruschenberger.

Surgeon U.S. Navy.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Dr. John F Hurley is requested to write answers to the following questions.

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

                2.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of pneumonia?

                3.  Name the salts and officinal preparations which contain potassium?

                4.  Where the physical properties of hydrogen, and how was it obtained in separate state?

                5.  What is the office of the kidneys?

                6.  What are the peculiar characters of gunshot wounds?

 


Answers by Hurley:

 

1  It arises from the abdominal aorta + is a branch from the external Iliac Artery and pursues its course through the side of the pelvis and makes its exit at the pubis.  it gives off branches of the pudic and profunda arteries, extends down the thigh and finally becomes the popliteal artery.

 

2  Pneumonia is inflammation of the spongy tissue of the lungs.  There are different varieties of the disease according to the part In bald whether it be one whole lobe or lung or a part of both lungs whence it receives the name of double Pneumonia.  Where the air cells are affected, it is called vessicular [sic] Pneum.  And various other appilations [sic] according to the organ affected.  Their of three distinct Stages in Pneumonia, first that of congestion in which upon examination of the lung is found of a deepened colour.  it does not crepitate on pressure, and a frothy Serum is seen when cut into.  In the second Stage of the disease it is known by the term of Hepatization or Softening.  it is now of a reddish or grayish colour, absence of crepitation and denser than in first Stage.  The third Stage is call Suppuration.  it now presents a yellow appearance, it is very soft, abscesses are said to form in the long but I should think it of rare occurrence as the patient would die before the period of this stage.    Symptoms.  Begins usually with chill, difficult breathing, pain in the region of the chest + back part of the chest.  When the disease has fully declared itself there is viscid expectorations, occupying only a portion of the lungs and in good constitution I think the chances would be favorable.  There would be more danger when the both lungs were implicated.  In patients of a serofulous character it would be considered fatal.  Other alarming symptoms would be difficult respiration inability to lie down, night Sweats, dark expectorations and feeble irregular pulse.  It might be confounded with Bronchitis, Phthisis, Pulmonary oedema, and Pleurisy, it differs from the first namely Bronchitis from the pain not being so severe, the expectoration bloody but not rusty, no nights sweats.  The other diseases all have their own peculiar signs to distinguish them.  Causes.  changes of weather the most frequent cause, exposure to cold after the body has been heated, uses of the voice, violent exercise, poisons taken into the system, etc, it is also a very frequent attendant from Small Pox, Scarlet Fever, measles.  Treatment.  By bleeding, if the patient was vigorous.  cathartics, such as Pil Cath Comp, Sennae, Jalep etc.  opium, Ipecauanha, calomel, expectorants, syrup Scillae, Ipecac, morph Sulph, Senegas, etc, local applications, such as counter irritants to the chest for pain, cups, leeches oil Turpentines commencing generally at the beginning of Spring until the end of Summer, generally attacks men more than women. from the age of 20 to 35.  Although children are effected [sic] but another form of the disease. 

 

3.  There is the Chlorate of Potash, Acetate of Potash, Iodide of Potash, Carbonate, Sulphate + Nitrate, Salts lead [?] + copper.

 

4.  Hydrogen constitutes a fifth of the atmosphere.  it is a colorless tasteless gas highly inflammable and burns with a blue flame.  It is obtained by passing it through water I think + by evaporation. 

 

5.  The kidneys are the organs which carry and eliminate the urinary secretions + deposits. 

 

6.  Gun shot wounds vary exceedingly in their character.  They may bury themselves deep in the cellular tissue, or merely cause slight abrasions of the surface.  A great deal depends upon the kind of projectile used.  The point of exit is gently larger than that of entrance.  A person being struck, is said not to feel the effects for some time.  It generally leaves a wound pale + blue discoloration of the skin with the lips of the wound inverted.  it rarely unites by first intention, but is filled up by granulations.  On seeing a gun shot wound the first plan is to clean the parts and if the ball can be felt to extract if it at once if painful give ether to the patient.  After apply cold water dressing lint and in a few days when the inflammation has subsided put in [unclear].  There is generally little Hemorrhage.  Should the arteries and veins be lacerated, there remains no alternative but amputation.

                                                                                 

John F. Hurley.

Navy Yard Boston.

June 18th 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