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

 

 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

 

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

 

Edwin Howard Vose, 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:  Edwin Howard Vose, M.D.

 

Navy Yard

Charlestown Mass. 

Nov 30, 1863.

 

Dear Sir:

 

Wishing to obtain an appointment as Acting Assistant Surgeon in the Navy I make the following statements concerning my birth, education and opportunities for Learning.  I was born at Robbinston in the state of Maine on the 20th of August 1838. My education has been for the most part obtained in the town school of the place of my birth, excepting one year when I attended the Academy at Calais, taking a course of Latin and Greek with the idea of entering College.  This I gave up and after sometime spent as clerk, I commenced the study of Medicine.  I entered my name with Dr. JA Holmes and Dr. Charles Edwan, at Calais and have studied under that their direction till this time.

 

During the time since entering my name which I omitted to state was in the first of April 1861 I have attended one course of Lectures at the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College, and am at present attending the Lectures of the Medical School of Massachusetts at Harvard University, where I have been for about four weeks.

My opportunities for practice or seeing practice have been in visits with my instructors to their patients. in attending to patients at the office + at their houses to some extent and in assisting at surgical operations such as are to be performed in a practice among a population of about 12000.  Among these were a number of amputations, extracting tumors etc.            

 

I had the opportunity of performing many of the operations of Minor Surgery myself, and have had a little obstetrical practice.   My means having been very Limited, I have not been able to enjoy as much of the advantages of lectures + cas [sic] I could wish, being obliged in a great measure to depend on my own energies to obtain my education.  In addition to these opportunities have been those afforded by examining recruits for the Army, and some practice in the treatment of Venereal disease.  Such has been my education thus far.

 

Yours Very Resply

Edwin Howard Vose

Calais Maine

 

Dr. W.S.W. Reschenburger, }                   

Surgeon U.S.N. }

 


Questions by the Board:

 

                      Mr. E. Howard Vose is requested to write answers to the following questions.

                      1.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of colic, and what are the indications of its treatment?

                      2.  Name the officinal preparations of iron with a dose of each?  [sic]

                      3.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of fractured femur?

                      4.  What is the function of the pancreas?

                      5.  Name the bones which form the cranium?  [sic]

                      6.  What is the composition and weight of atmospheric air?

 


Answers by Vose:

 

Ans. 1.   Colic        

The symptoms of Colic are usually, a feeling of Malaise and uneasiness in the bowels sometimes extending to the stomach, with perhaps some nausea though not constantly, soon followed, often suddenly by severe griping pains in the region of the umbilicus, gently occurring spasmodically.  With this there is often distention of the bowels by gases, and usually constipation to a considerable degree.  These are followed in many cases by retching and vomiting with eructations of gas, and bile is thrown off in considerable quantity.  The points which distinguish it from Enteritis or Peritonitis are, the comparatively circumscribed area of pain and the fact that in colic the pain is more of a spasmodic character and is relieved by pressure, which in Enteritis or Peritonitis it is aggravated by the slightest touch.  The decubitus is also varied while in Enteritis the patient almost invariably lies on his back with the legs flexed on the body.

     

The indications of treatment are to allay pain and spasm, correct the secretions and obviate the constipation.  Hence Opium combined with Hydrag sub mur, or followed in a short time by an active cathartic.  Sometimes relief is afforded at once by a stimulant emetic, if there is offending matter in the stomach.

 

Ans. 2.     Preparations and doses of Iron.

1.       Ferrum per Hydrogen,                       Dose,  gr V  ad.  ℈j

2.       Ferri Ammoniata                                   "      gr ij   ʺ    V

3.           ʺ    Ferrocyanasata [sic]                     "      gr ij   ʺ    V

4.           "     Carbonas                                       "      gr V   ʺ    ʓss

5.          ʺ     Phosphas                                       "      gr iij   to   vj

6.          "      Citras                                            "      gr iij   to   X

7.          "      Sulphas                                         "      gr j      ʺ    V

8.          "      Tinc. Muriatis                               "      gtt V     "  f ʓss

9.          ʺ     Iodidi Syrupi                                 "      gtt X    "  f ʓj

10.      "        Sol. Per Sulph.                              "      gtt j     "    ij

 

Ans. 3.    Symptoms of fractured fever.

    There are [sic] shortening of the limb produced in the length of the bone itself.  Loss of power of walking or moving the limb.  Swelling over the point of fracture and crepitus heard and felt on moving the ends of the bone upon each other,    also preternatural motion in the bone, between its articulations, and usually inversion or eversion of the foot.

 

Ans. 4.     Function of the Pancreas.

This gland is known to be a secretory gland, and produces a thin light colored secretion which is poured into the duodenum near the opening from the biliary ducts.    The use of the secretion is to modify the chyme and aid in its change into chyle.  It is supposed to have a solvent power over the fatty matter passed through the alimentary canal, rendering them more capable of assimilation in the system.

 

Ans.  5.   Bones of the cranium.

            1.  Os. Occipitalis.           2nd    Ossa parietalia.

            3.  Ossa Temporalia.        4.     Os Sphenoides

            5.  Os. Ethmoides

 

Ans.  6.    Composition of Atmospheric Air.

             Nitrogen           about                71 parts in 100.

             Oxygen                ʺ                    29    ʺ      ʺ    ʺ

             With some carbonic acid and watery vapor.

             100 cubic inches weighing       31.5 + grains.

                                          

Edwin Howard Vose

 

Navy Yard, Boston.               

Nov 30th 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