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

 

Walter H. Wentworth, 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:  Walter H. Wentworth, M.D.

                                                            

I was born a town of Stockbridge Berkshire county Massachusetts.

                                  

I entered Williams academy Stockbridge at the age of eleven years, having obtained in knowledge of the fundamental studies at the select school of M. Warner in the same town.  On airing the academy at took up the study of latin [sic] algebra and geometry consecutively.  I continued at this academy until I was fifteen and was then sent to the Spencertown Academy in the town of Austerlitz New York.  At the later [sic] institution I continued with my all studies until I left it to commenced study of Medicine.

                      

I have not studied any of the branches of Natural History nor am I acquainted with any of the modern languages.

 

I commenced the study of Medicine with W. H. Barnes M.D. of Austerlitz N.Y. between the 18th + 19th years of age.  I attended my first course of lectures at the Albany Medical College.  I next went to New York and spent two years in the study of medicine.  In this time I attended the medical and surgical cliniques at the Bellevue Blackwells Island and New York Hospitals as well as those of my college and the Demilt Dispensary and attended two full courses of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  I graduated at the last mentioned college March 12th 1863.

                                  

I had no opportunity for the practice of pharmacy nor for observing the physical character of drugs except in the Materia Medica cabinets of the colleges I have attended.  For observing the practice of medicine and surgery I have had good opportunities as above indicated.

               

Philadelphia address Ashland House Arch St. near 7th St.  Post Office address Spencertown Col Co N. Y.

 

Walter H. Wentworth

 

To the Examining Board 

of candidates for the Commission of Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Navy.     

Philadelphia March 26th 1863.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Questions to be answered in writing, by,  Dr. Walter H. Wentworth.

1.  What are the symptoms + treatment of paronychia?

2.  Describe the operation of Laryngotomy.

3.  What are the terminations of inflammation?

4.  Describe Diosma + its uses.

5.  What is the pathology of Bright's disease?

6.  Write the officinal name of four preparations of iron (without abbreviations).

7.  What is Chloroform?

8.  What are the sources of animal heat?

9.   How was venous, changed into arterial blood?

 


Answers by Wentworth:

 

1  Paronychia Symptoms and Treatment.  The symptoms of this affection are a deep seated and throbbing pain in the affected part with swelling and tenderness.  There is often some constitutional excitement.

Treatment.  The only treatment that gives permanent relief is incision deep down to the affected part.  After this poppy leaf fomentatious and poultices may be applied to relieve pain.

 

2d  Operation of Laryngotomy.  This operation is performed low down.  The surgeon commences by dividing the integument and fascia first.  He next goes down upon the larynx avoiding arteries that may lie in the way.  After it is reached an opening may be made into the larynx and the breathing tube introduced.

 

3d  Terminations of Inflammation.  The terminations of inflammation succinctly stated are resolution, suppuration, ulceration, formation of false membranes, effusion serum into the cavities and mortification.

 

4th   Diosma and its Uses.  I am unacquainted with this by the above term.

 

5th   Pathology of Brights Disease.  This disease is accompanied by two different states of the kidney viz: the large fatty or granular and the small contracted or fibrinous kidney.  Early in the disease the kidneys in both forms are congested.  In the latter stages the large kidney becomes fatty and the blood vessels present a stellate or arborescent appearance.  In the other form of disease the kidney becomes hard and contracted.  The contraction seems to be owing to a chronic inflammation and thickening of its proper capsule as is the case with the capsule of Glisson in cirrhosis.  The casts (sediments) that occur in this disease are owning to disease and disorganization of the lining membrane of the uriniferous tubes and to the coagulation of blood effused into them.

 

6th  Four preparations of Iron. Limatura ferri, ferri carbonas, protoxide of iron and sesquioxide of iron.

 

7th  What is Chloroform?  It is the terchloride of formyle.

 

8th  Sources of Animal Heat.  This is something that is not well understood yet I believe.  Inever [sic] heard anything about it in the lecture room.  We know that in cold climates man requires much more food and that too of a more oily character, therefore being the more nutritious, than he does in a warmer climate.  This increase in quantity and difference in quality is required to keep up the animal heat to its normal standard, more doubtless be required in the cold and in the warm climate.  This being so the source of animal heat would seem to be the blood and indirectly the materia alimentaria

 

9th  Blood changed from Venous to Arterial.  The blood is change from venous to arterial by the process of osmosis through the moist mucous membrane which lines the air vesicles.  The venous blood being brought to this membrane and the atmospheric air being drawn into the air cells the carbonic acid contained in the venous blood escapes by exosmosis into the air vesicles and is replaced by the oxygen of the air contained in the air cells by endosmosis.

                                                                           

Walter H.Wentworth

Naval Asylum, Philada 

March 27th 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.

                                 

Iam [sic] 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.

 

Walter H. Wentworth

 

Surgeon in the Navy of the United States

U.S. Naval Asylum                        

Philadelphia

March 26th 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