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

 

Samuel DeHaven Smith, 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:  Samuel DeHaven Smith, M.D.

        

Not having any certificate from my parents, not knowing it was required I shall have to give my owne [sic, correction marks in pencil] statement of time, and place of birth.

        

In the upper portion of New Castle County, state of Delaware, in sight of where this state, corners with Meryland [sic, correction marks in pencil], and Pennsylvania.  I was born on the 23d of October, in the year 1839.

                 

My education was obtained at a privet [sic, correction marks in pencil] school keep [sic, correction marks in pencil] by a Mr.Terrell, who resides in Chester County Penn. and which consisted of the following branches of mathematics, Mensuration, Geometry, Plain [sic, correction marks in pencil], and spherical Trigonometry, Surveying, and Algebra, with Batany [sic, correction marks in pencil] and [W. S. W.] Ruscenburger [sic] series of Natural History, excepting Conchology, and Entomology, with other branches incident to Academis [sic, correction marks in pencil] education. 

 

In Augus [sic, correction marks in pencil] 1859 I commensed [sic, correction marks in pencil] the study of Medicine, with Dr. Lowber of Newark, with whom I studied for two years, and then entered with Prof Leidy, since which time I have been in the City persuing [sic, correction marks in pencil] my studys [sic, correction marks in pencil] in his office. I have passed the requisit [sic, correction marks in pencil] examination, and shall receive the degree of Doctor of Medicin [sic], on next Saturday.

 

I have not persued [sic, correction marks in pencil] the modern languages, and have but little practical knowledge of pharmacy, only what I obtained in being an office student, my knowledge of the physical property [sic, correction marks in pencil] of plants are [sic, correction marks in pencil] limited to our course of lectures, and the practice of medicine and Surgery to the same, and the Clinical course of two turms [sic, correction marks in pencil] at the Penn Hospitle [sic, correction marks in pencil].

 

Samuel D Smith

City address University of Penn. 

My residence is Newark, New Castle Co. Del

Naval Asylum Phila  

March 10th 1863              

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing, by Dr Saml. D. Smith.

1.  Give a brief description of the Operation of Castration.

2.  Write a prescription (Latin) without symbols or abbreviations for a compound infusion of senna.

3.  What is it differs between furunculus or boil, and Carbuncle.[sic]

4.  What is meant by the term “law” as used in medicine and the other natural sciences?

5.  What is or was the “Unguentum Armarium”?

6.  What is animal heat and how produced?

7.  What are the causes and symptoms of Cholera?

8.  What is Belladonna?  how used?

9.  What are the causes and pathology of Scorbitus?

 


Answers by Smith:

 

1.  Plase [sic, correction marks in pencil] the pation [sic, correction marks in pencil] on his back; administer an anasthetic [sic, correction marks in pencil], a combination of chlorofor [sic, correction marks in pencil] and Either [sic, correction marks in pencil], and then make and insision [sic, correction marks in pencil] coresponding [sic, correction arrow in pencil] with a longer and lower portion of the Testical [sic, correction marks in pencil], and then with cair [sic, correction marks in pencil] dissect up the detachment of the Dartos muscle from the external coating of the testical [sic, correction marks in pencil], and divide the Vas Defferance [sic, correction marks in pencil], Spermatic artery, and veins taking cair [sic, correction marks in pencil] to Ligate the artery and not include the nerve.  Then bring the wound together, and keep down the inflemmation [sic, correction marks in pencil] by cod [sic, correction marks in pencil] water dressing, Leaches [sic, correction marks in pencil], cups etc, with proper attention to the constitution of the patient.

 

2  I cannot write the Latin without symbols or abbreviation, as required in second question

 

3  The difference between a furuncul [sic, correction marks in pencil], and anthrax, are we have furuncls occuring [sic, correction marks in pencil] in any part of the body, while anthrax has a predilection for the back, and neck.  The former is mor [sic, correction marks in pencil] superficial, and is not charactorized [sic, correction marks in pencil] by so much paine [sic, correction marks in pencil], and swelling, and soon points to discharge its contents, which may be followed by others, owing to some slight contamination of the systom [sic, correction marks in pencil]; while in Carbuncle we have a depraved state of the blood. The swelling is slow, paine sevier [sic, correction marks in pencil], and after a time we have several vescicals [sic, correction marks in pencil] appearing, underneath which, we have a black gangrean [sic, correction marks in pencil] mass, which if not properly treated, may slugh [sic, correction marks in pencil] out in time.

 

4  Law has refferance [sic, correction marks in pencil] to the condition through which substance act, or in other words it is guiding principle, acting through substances that certain defenite [sic, correction marks in pencil] results, are obtained.  As in illustrated in the condition of life, which requir [sic, correction marks in pencil] a germ, oxygen, heat, and blastiema [sic, correction marks in pencil] arterial the guiding in formation of which may be said to be, the laws of life

As to its intent in science, it has referance [sic, correction marks in pencil] to gemeral [sic] condition, which are subservient to it, and in fact owes their purpos [sic, correction marks in pencil] to an end or perticular [sic, correction marks in pencil] object to it.  As the law of gravitation is the principle by which the univers [sic, correction marks in pencil] is keep [sic] in motion, and the condition by which all things tend to the Earth Center.

 

6  Animal heat, is that Temperatur [sic, correction marks in pencil] by which the body is keep [sic, correction marks in pencil] at a standred [sic, correction marks in pencil] heat, and is not influanced [sic, correction marks in pencil] by the surrounding atmosphear [sic, correction marks in pencil].

It generaly [sic, correction marks in pencil] take [sic, correction marks in pencil] place in the capillaries, and is owing to the chemical changes, depending on disintegration of the tissues, forming new compounds; forming effete matter, and the reconstruction of the tissues, but most of all on the nonnitrogenized compounds.

 

4   Cholera depends on eight peculair eppademic influanc [sic, correction marks in pencil], the natur [sic, correction marks in pencil] of which like all eppademic [sic], is not knowing [sic, correction marks in pencil], but is generally supposed to depend on a anamaleual [sic, correction marks in pencil].  The first symptom of this diseas [sic, correction marks in pencil] is Cholerain [sic, correction marks in pencil], the looseness of the bowles [sic, correction marks in pencil], and which seems [sic] to stamp all diseases that maybe prevaling [sic, correction marks in pencil] at the time with this peculiary, After a time we have neuralgie [sic] in legs, back, with cramps in the abdomen, with irritabl [sic, correction marks in pencil] stomach followed by vomiting, a low weak puls [sic, correction marks in pencil], and then the most stricking [sic, correction marks in pencil] symptom of the diseas [sic, correction arrow in pencil], is the rice color discharges which consist of the Serum of blood, and epithelum [sic, correction marks in pencil] of intestine, and likewise the vometing [sic, correction marks in pencil] of the same material.  The tempatur [sic, correction marks in pencil] of body becomes reduced, as low as 90 Fah, under the tongue and pulsation absent in the extremitys [sic, correction marks in pencil], and cool and finely [sic, correction marks in pencil] the patient succumbs to the diseas [sic].  The first cases as always the most fatle [sic, correction marks in pencil].  The surfice [sic, correction marks in pencil] in the last stages become very much rinkled [sic, correction marks in pencil].

 

5.  The ansur [sic, correction marks in pencil] I do not remember it by ever knew

 

8  Atropia Belladonnan [sic, correction marks in pencil], or deadly nightshade is a herpashus [sic, correction marks in pencil] plant, growing in Europ [sic, correction arrow in pencil] and likewise found in this Country, it attaines [sic] the height of one to two feet, of rank green leaves and black shining berries.

It containes [sic] a principle called atropin, it [sic] a nerve sedative, and is used to fulfil [sic, correction marks in pencil] such indication, also to dilate the puple [sic, correction marks in pencil], and externaly [sic, correction arrow in pencil] in form of Emplartrum Belladonna, in neuralgy etc; and Endermically in rhumatism [sic, correction marks in pencil] and teatnus [sic, correction marks in pencil].  The extract maid [sic] from the empisated [sic, correction marks in pencil] juice of the of green leavs [sic, correction marks in pencil], by the action of dilute alcohol, dos [sic] from to one or two gr.  Their [sic, correction marks in pencil] is the infusion, and tinctur [sic, correction arrow in pencil] that is officinal

 

9  Scurvy is caused from the wont [sic, correction marks in pencil] of vegetables, more aspecially [sic] the Crucifers [sic, correction marks in pencil] as mustterd [sic, correction marks in pencil] etc.  It a blood diseas [sic, correction arrow in pencil] showing itself in the swelled condition of the gums, and the great tendency to Hemmerrage [sic, correction marks in pencil], and of petica [sic, correction marks in pencil] an infusion of blood in spots bemeath [sic, correction marks in pencil] the cutical [sic, correction marks in pencil]

 

S D Smith

 


  

I declare on honor that my health is at this time good and robust, 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 or hemorrhoids [sic]; nor am I aware that there is anything 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.

 

S D Smith,

Candidate for the office of Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. Navy

                                                

U.S. Naval Asylum Philada

March 4th 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