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

 

 James Rufus Tryon, 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:   James Rufus Tryon, M.D.

 

U.S. Naval Asylum Phda

March 3d 1863. 

 

Gentlemen,

                  

Modesty at any other time, would protect allusion to a subject so on interesting as individual History – But as this requirement implies only a true in simple statement of facts I cheerfully acquiesce and give them accordingly.-

                       

I am now 25 years of age, being born in Coxsackie, Greene Co. State of New York, on the 24th of September 1837.

       

I have had good opportunities of education, some of which have been wisely improved, while others have been only enjoyed and neglected – After the ordinary Academical studies, entered the Sophomore Class of Union College and was graduated in 1858.  Since then my time has been principally occupied with a study of Medicine, matriculate immediately at the University of Pa. and received my diploma in March of 1861. – Soon after visited Europe and when in Paris, my endeavors were it to profit by the many professional advantages offered, and to improve in the language of the Country.  Since my return about a year past, have been performing the duties of an Act. Asst. Surg in the U.S.A. Hospital South + 24th St Phda, then under the charge of Dr. Hopkinson formally of the Navy; this position I still occupy being aware of the many advantages it offers for practical knowledge and experience, – all of which I trust are improved and prepared for future usefulness.

                        

Having always had the highest appreciation for the Naval Service, I present myself as a candidate for admission – conscious of many defects, but nevertheless hoping to be found qualified.

                                                        

I am Sirs with great respect

Your most obt Servt

J. R. Tryon

N.W. Cir 16ʺ + Spruce Sts Phda

 

To  President + Members of the Naval Medical Board

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing, by,  Dr James R. Tryon

1.  Describe vaccination (briefly) + the order of resulting phenomena.

2.  What are the symptoms + causes of necrosis?

3.  Write a prescription (Latin) for Sulphate Quinia, without symbols, or abbreviations.

4.  Define organic and inorganic chemistry

5.  What different systems (in anatomy) are there in the human body. [sic]

6.  What is physiology?

7.  What is Tartar Emetic?  How obtained?

8.  What are the symptoms and treatment of Nephritis?

9.  What is the course of the foetal circulation?

 


Answers by Tyron:

 

1.  It is the ordinary method pursued, for conveying a vaccine matter into the system, as a protective against Small Pox.- the operation consists in simply scarifying the arm and introducing the matter gently with the Lancet.- If it is to result favorably about the 2d or 3d day there'll be some itching and slight irritation about the point of contact – which gradually increases – until the well known vesicle, papule + scab are seen in succession - when it is at its height about the 8ʺ or 9ʺ day, there is generally some swelling and inflammation, a circumscribed redness frequently, + often enlargement of the Glands.-

 

2.  The symptoms of this disease depend somewhat upon its causes,- in some cases for example we have at its very commencement, severe pain, intense redness, great susceptibility at the slightest pressure – and frequently fever, in others we see comparatively good health, and at the same time a decided necrosis.- Its causes are as numerous as its symptoms, frequently from external injuries to the Bones – from deep seated abscesses destroying the periostium – from Gun shot wounds destroying a portion of the Bone itself + frequently its development from a scrofulous diathesis. –

 

3.  Recipes –

          Quiniae Sulphatis, Granua Sexdecum

          Aquae Fontanna [sic], Uncia Duo fluidum

          Acidum Sulphurica Aromatica.  Quantum sufficit.

          Miscae – Fiat in Solutio, Signa Cochleare parvum omni Bihorio.–

 

4.  It is that science which treats principally of the organization and changes of the Animal and Vegetable Kingdom – an organic substance consists of carbon – hydrogen – + nitrogen.  The inorganic relates principally to the Mineral world.

5.  There are 6 systems of Anatomy treated of in human body, viz.  Human Anatomy – Special Anatomy – Descriptive Anatomy – Surgical Anatomy – Pathological Anatomy – + Microscopical Anatomy. –

 

6.  It is the science which treats of the different organs and functions of body in a state of health.-

 

7.  It is the Tartrate of Antimony and Potassa – prepared by subliming together the Teroxide of Antimony and Potassa Bitart.-

 

8.  This Disease is recognized by severe pain in the side over the region of the Kidney – retraction of the testicle, a painful + difficulty micturation, with great restlessness, fever + furred tongue,-  The treatment consists of a few dry or wet cups (as the case may be) over the affected region – followed by warm of fomentations.  A mild diuretic may be given according to the nature of the Urine – and Dovers powder at night – sometimes a cathartic is necessary.  After the severer symptoms have passed Tr. Ferri Chloridi may be given as a tonic.–

 

9.  The Arterial Blood passes through the umbilical vein to the Liver – there after giving off one or two branches to its Lobes – continues through the Ductus Venosus – to the Ascending Vena Cava – through the Vena Cava to the right Auricle of the Heart – there guided by the Eustachian  Valve, through the foramen Ovale into the left Auricle – then to the left Ventricle where it is distributed to the Aorta to the upper Extremities.  The blood from the upper extremities is taken by the Supr Vena Cava to the right Auricle – thence to the right ventricle – then into the Pulmonary Artery but very little being needed on the nourishment of the lungs, its bulk passes into the Left Auricle – thence into the Left Ventricle where it is distributed to the Extremities.-  The blood is conveyed back to the Placenta by branches from the Iliacs.-

 

Very Respectfully,

Your Most obt Serv’t

J. R. Tryon —

March 4th 1863. 

 


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 or hemorrhoids; 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.

 

J. R. Tryon

Candidate for the office of  Asst Surgeon in the Navy of  the United States.

U.S. Navl Asylum Philada

March 2d 1862 [sic, apparent mistake]

 


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