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

 

Philon Currier Whidden, 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:  Philon Currier Whidden, M.D. 

 

Navy Yard Charlestown

Nov 24th/63

 

Dear Sirs:

 

I was born in the State of Illinois on the 21 of November 1839.  At the end of three years my parents removed to Dover New Hampshire, where at a suitable age I entered the public Schools.  Leaving them in my thirteenth year, I became a student at the Academy in South Berwick Maine, where I remained the greater part of four years. 

 

In January 1859 I commenced the study of Medicine under the tuition of Dr. T. H. Jewett of South Berwick, with whom I studied untill [sic] the commencement of the Winter Lectures at the Harvard Medical School, which I attended.  Soon after the breaking out of the war, I enlisted in the 13th Reg Mass Vol’s, and served in the ranks until the battle of Antietam, where I received a flesh wound in the calf of the leg, disabling me from further active duty.  At the beginning of the Summer School at the Medical College in Boston, I was sufficiently recovered to attend the course, and obtaining furloughs from time to time, I did so.  This brings me to the date of my application to you.

 

Your obedient servant

P. C. Whidden

10 Lindall Place Boston

 

Dr Ruschenberger U.S.N.                                        

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Mr. Philon C. Whidden is requested to write answers the following questions.

                      1.  What are the officinal preparations of opium: state the dose of each?

                      2.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of bronchitis?

                      3.  What are the indications of treatment in dysentery?

                      4.  What is the composition of atmospheric air?

                      5.  What parts enter into the structure of the knee joint?

                      6.  What are the physical properties of hydrogen?

 


Answers by Whidden:

 

1.       Tinc Opii                     Opii j ss Alcohol ij O

Dose x – xxv gtt   xix gtt contain j gr opium

Camph Tinc, Opium, Benzoic Acid j ʓ O l  Anise,

ʓ j  Clarified Honey ij   Camphor  ij ℈  Alcohol ij O

ss ʓ contains j gr opium  Dose xx ɱ to j ʓ

Acetum Opii, Nutmeg, Safron [sic], Sugar

vij gtt contain j gr opium  Dose v – x gtt

Pulv Ipecach [sic] et Opii   Opium Ipecach [sic] ad j ʓ

Sulph Potassa j ℥   x gr contain j gr Opium  Dose v-xv gr

Morphia       1/6 gr to j gr Opium  Dose 1/6 gr

Sulph Morph    "           "        "          "       "

Actas      "        "           "        "          "       "

 

2  Fever, Dry skin, Quick pulse, Pain in chest Cough, Expectorations at first slight and mixed with the air afterwards copious thick and in lumps Mucous Rales

 

3.  To clear the bowels of irritating matter  To check inflammation or irritation and diminish the secretion

 

4.  Oxygen two equivalents   Nitrogen one half   Hydrogen one and a half

 

5.  Bone the femur the tibia + fibulae

Cartilage lateral crucial Semilunar

Ligaments the lateral, crucial, sinovial [sic]

 

6 . Colorless gass [sic].  The lightest substance in nature Inflamable [sic]

 

Philon C. Whidden

Nov 24th 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