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

 

William Thomas Kemp, 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 a hand-written application for the position of assistant surgeon to the U.S. Navy medical department board of examiners during the Civil War. The exam includes a personal biography and his answers to questions submitted by the board during 1863. This is just one of ninety three handwritten exams for Assistant Surgeon in the Union Navy in this presentation.ctual 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: William Thomas Kemp, M.D. 

                                                                   

Philada. April 20th 1863.

   

Medical Board of

U.S. Navy.

 

Gentlemen,

                                                     

 I have I was born on the 5th day of April 1841 near St. Michaels, Talbot County, Maryland.

            

My education at school was a plain English one, with addition of two years study of Latin.  My classical and scientific information is small.  I have read some little of Natural History.  I am not acquainted with any of the Modern languages.

            

I began the study of medicine at my place of birth, with Dr. W. N. Pindell of that place, who is now all an Act. Asst Surgeon in the U.S. Navy.  I attended two courses of lectures at the University of Maryland where I graduated on the 7th of March last.

            

I had the use of a splendid Medical library at my disposal.  During the past summer I was on the U.S. Gunboat Patroon as Surgeons Steward under my Preceptor.  I returned home the first of September 1862 and enter one of the Government hospitals in Baltimore as Act Cadet.  I held this situation until the first of November, when I entered the University of Maryland.  During my stay as Cadet my opportunities for observing the practice of Medicine and Surgery were splendid.

             

My address in Philadelphia is:  N. W. Corner of Richmond and Palmer Sts.  When at home, St. Michaels, Talbot County Maryland.

 

With high respect, your Obt. Servt.

Wm Thom Kemp.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing, by Dr Wm J. Kemp

1.  What is fracture, + what is the rationale of cure?

2.  What is Hydrocele, and how is it diagnosed?

3.  What is flooding, + how was it arrested?

4.  What is the composition of the Atmospheric air?

5.  Who discovered this composition?

6.  What is the composition of water?

7.  Write a prescription for an active cathartic pill, containing two vegetable and two mineral substances – without the use of abbreviations.

8.  What is the pathology Ascites?

9.  What is the portal circulation?

 


Answers by Kemp:

 

1.  Fractures is solution of continuity of bone by violence, if the extremities are held in apposition by mechanical means, the surrounding structures trow [sic] out plastic lymph which envelops the bone gradually becoming converted into bony texture.  As recovery takes place, this Callous as it is called, gradually contracts.

 

2.  Hydrocele is a collection of liquid in the cavity of the tunica vaginalis, it fluctuates upon handling, does not disappear upon the patient assuming the recumbent position, by the patients coughing it does not receive any impulse like hernia; it is slightly transparent by holding a candle behind it.

 

3.  Flooding is a profuse hamorrhage [sic] from the uterine vessels, the arrest depend upon circumstances, sometimes by bloodletting, by the administration of Sedatives and Astringents, by the application of cold, and by the tampon.

 

4.  The air is composed of oxygen and nitrogen

 

5.  I do not remember the discoverer.

 

6.  Waters composed of oxygen and hydrogen.

 

7.  Rx

           Hydrargyri Chloridi Mitis,  gr xii.

           Pulvis Rhei,     . . . . . . . . . . . .

           Pulvis Colocynthidis . . . . . .  ano grxii

           Marsa Hydrargyri, . . . . . . . .    grxi

           Fiat pillula sex.

           Signa. two pills at a dose.

 

8.  When the portal vein becomes obstructed or the liver diseased, or obstruction elsewhere to the return of venous blood, effusion may take place in the cavity of the Abdomen this constitutes Ascites.

 

9.  The portal circulation is the return of blood, through the portal veins, to the liver from the Chylopoietic viscera.

 

 

Wm T. Kemp

 


Certificate of Physical Capacity.

       

I declare on honor that, my health is, at this time 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.

 

Wm Thom Kemp.

Candidate for the office of

Asst Surgeon in the

Navy of the United States.

 

U.S. Naval Asylum                    

Philada

April 20th 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