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

 

Rufus Payne Sawyer, 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:  Rufus Payne Sawyer, M.D. 

                                    

Boston Navy Yard Dec 26/63

                                                  

Mr. Ruschenberger

                                                                                                  

Dear Sir

                                                                  

I was born at Gray, Maine on the first day of October, Eighteen Hundred and Forty.  Received a Common School Education at Town schools and Fryeburg Academy.  Attending school untill [sic] May of Eighteen Hundred and Fifty nine, When I commenced the Study of Medicine under the instruction of Dr. I Chandler of Lowell Maine.  I read three years in the office of Dr. I Chandler and attended three courses of Lectures at Bowdoin Coll. Medical School where I received my Degree in May Eighteen Hundred and Six-two.  In August of that same year I settled at No. Fryeburg Maine and have practiced there since with the exception of Attending two partial courses of Lectures.

                                   

Very Respectfully

Your most Obedient servant

R. P. Sawyer M.D.

Post-office address _ No. Fryeburg Me.

 

[Board note in pencil, drawn finger-pointing hand at note]:

Note:  Has a good deal of mental character.  His calligraphy is not indicative of this candidate’s information which is above the average.    He has gone to Fryburg a few days prior to reporting, in order to close some private business

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Dr. Rufus B. Sawyer is requested to write answers to the following questions.

                1.  Name the officinal preparations of potassium, and state the therapeutic uses and dose of each? [sic]

                2.  What is meant by the term “chemical affinity”?

                3.  What are the surgical means of relieving retention of urine?

                4.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of scarlet fever?

                5.  What is chyle; by the functions of what organs is it formed?

                6.  Where does the portal vein arise?

 


Answers by Sawyer:

 

1. Iodid [sic] of Potassium usefull [sic] in the Rheumatic + Scrofulous Inflammations, and in the Tertiary symptoms of Syphilis, and as a denobstuent [sic, ?], both locally an [sic] internally, in Morbic Groths [sic] and Adventitous [sic] tissue.  Dose 5 to 10 grs.

b  Nitrate of Potash.  Arterial Sedative.  Cooling Diaphoretic, Diminishing the Plasticity of the Blood, hence a Powerfull [sic] Atiflogostic [sic] in Sthenic Inflammations with hot dry skin and Frequent, quick, and hard pulse.  Dose 3 to 10 grs.

c  Acetate of Potash particular usefull [sic] in Acute Rheumatism. Dos [sic] 3 to 10 grs.

d Sulphate of Potash used in preparation of Dovers Powder, mostly for mechanical division of the other constituents, possibly aiding in the Diaphoretic action of the Medicine.

 

2.  Chemical Affinity, is that Power which causes the union of two Elements to form a Homogeneous Compound

 

3.  Warm Bath.  Introduction of Catheter, Puncture of Bladder

 

4.  By the Rash, from other Eruptive Fevers by the appearance of the rash, and the period of incubation

 

5.  The Chyle is the food after having undergone the process of Digestion, and is formed by the functions of the Stomach, Liver, Duodenum and Pancreous [sic].

 

6.  The portal vein arises from the Chylo-Poyetic visera [sic]

 

R. P. Sawyer M.D.

Boston Naval Yard 

Dec 26/63

 


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