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

 

Abian H. Light, 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: Abian H. Light, M.D.

             

Preliminary Letter.

 

I was born two miles from Lebanon, Lebanon County, State of Pennsylvania, on the 30th of January 1840.

I attended the Lebanon academy until I became seventeen (17) years of age, during which time I studied the common school branches, some Latin, and Greek, and the minor Mathematical branches.

      

I commenced the study of medicine in eighteen hundred and fifty-eight in Lebanon, with Dr. C. Dorsey Gleninger.  Attended lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated at said school in 1862.

  

My opportunities for making myself acquainted with Pharmacy, and the physical property of drugs is limited.

 

I had an opportunity of observing the practice of Medicine and Surgery in the Military hospitals, and also in the field.

 

My address in Philadelphia his No 1125 Chestnut St.  And when home Lebanon P.O. Lebanon Co. Penna

                                                        

Abia H. Light, M.D.

Naval Asylum

January 23d 1863.

 


Questions of the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing, by Dr. Abijah H. Light

1.  What are the stages of Pneumonia, and the symptoms of each.

2.  Describe the membranes to placenta + cord.

3.  Write a prescription (Latin) without symbols, or abbreviations, for a cough mixture, with directions for use.

4.  What are the relations of the common carotids?

5.  What are the symptoms and treatments of gangrene?

6.  How are wounds of the Intestines to be treated?

7.  Give the mode of making Sulphuric Acid the rationale of the process, and the properties of the acid_

8.  What is senna?  give the Source, commercial varieties, properties, preparations, uses etc.

9.  What is the general distribution of the sympathetic nervous system and its function?

 


Answers by Light:

 

1st.   Pneumonia is divided into three stages.

Symptoms of a 1st Pain in the affected side, or in both sides if there exists inflammation in both lungs.

Cough, hot skin, and quick pulse. 2nd Stage – cessation of pain, dullness on percussion, rusty sputa and pulse weaker.  3rd Stage – The air vesicles become closed.  Upon auscultation You find hurrid [sic] respiration, The blood becomes improperly oxygenated, and the circulation will be imperfectly performed, consequently a slow and weak pulse, and prostration of the patient.

 

2nd.  The placenta is composed of three coats or membranes, viz: acidium, liquor amnii, and coroid, they also envelope the cord.

 

3rd.  Rx  Surupus Scillae compositus – an ounce.

              Syrupus simplex, Six drachms

              Tinctura opii camphorato.

              Spiritus aetheris nitrici. ao half an ounce.

               M: ft:      Sig: cochleare parvum ter, vil quartum in die.

 

4th.  Common or Primitive Carotid arise on the right side from the innominate, and on the left from the arch of the aorta.  It goes through the anterior triangles of the neck, lies close to the sterno cleido mastoideus, (which is the line for ligation) the jugular vein on the inside and the par vagum on the outside, They are enclosed in the one sheath.  It gives off the internal and external Carotid.

 

5th.  Symptoms of Gangrene – There is a want of vital action, the part becomes cold and almost insensible to the touch, it presents a vivid, blueish [sic], or blackish appearance.  Treatment – nourished the part – stimulate, – and if the amputation is necessary, amputate.

 

6th  Wounds of the intestines are to be treated thus: place the patient in bed and keep quiet, the bowels are to be kept as easy as possible, The wounds are to be closed if convenient, prevent the escape of faeces into the abdomen, should there be peritonitis treat it antiphlogistically, or general principles.

 

7th.  Acidum Sulphuricum (SO3) Lake sulphur, oxygen and water – apply a gentle heat.  The hydrogen will go off, the oxygen will go to the Sulphur, and the sulphuric acid will be formed.  Properties A clear straw coloured liquid – taste pungent – Tonic, astringent, or esclerotic. And in large doses poisonous.

 

8th.  Senna,  Leaves are used.  It is a cathartic.

 

9th.  Sympathetic nerves are distributed to different parts of the body, and viscera or organs, thus one organ will sympathize with another, the brain with the stomach, uterus and stomach etc.

 

A. H. Light, M.D.

 

Naval Asylum

January 25th 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