Dr. Augustus Hawkeye Hamlin's Flying Hospital

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
balloon building.jpg

OK, a little misleading, " Flying Hospital " not such a literal concept plus this is a post-war image ( NYPL )- but it is French. Dr. Augustus Hamlin based his life saving, early ' M.A.S.H. ' , Mobile Army Surgical Hospital on a French model, ' Hospital Voyans '.

.As usual, looking for something else, got all kinds of distracted by an 1861 article- decided to dig. Cool stuff.

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We hear not - a lot of Lincoln's VP, Hannibal Hamlin. Nothing new, unless shoveled up as eventual President's VP's tend to devolve into trivia questions no one gets. Unsurprisingly, President Lincoln's Vice President's Hannibal Hamlin's brother generally isn't a blip on Historical radar. Blip? One of President Lincoln's Vice President's Hannibal Hamlin's brother's major achievements doesn't appear anywhere on Wiki-or anywhere else I can find.

Skipping the bio- easy to look up the Hannibal family from Maine. Anyway, transpires while the family may have had to live down a politician in the family ( we all have our crosses to bear, we had one too ), they did manage to balance things with Hannibal's brother- Augustus.

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Eventually medical inspector for the whole Union Army, Augustus Hamlin enlisted in the 2nd Maine. His staggering career took flight ( sorry ) from there- by his 1863 promotion out of the field and into over-seeing the whole medical corps his life saving stroke was an army mandate.' Flying Artillery ', swiftly moving batteries, is a familiar term- we hear little of Dr. Augustus Hamlin's ' Flying Hospitals '. Same thing- for wounded men. It was brilliant. You can't find a lot of it except by men who saw one.
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One of these articles erroneously refers to Dr. Augustus as the VP's nephew? According to other sources he was his brother, a nephew of the same name I ' think ' served in a Maine regiment? ( had no time to poke around in Hamlin genealogy )

From 1863- with surgery performed, brought to mind the famous M.A.S.H. units. Cool stuff. Civil War M.A.S.H.
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Still around in 1864- quite frequent mentions in those letters home published in most newspapers, dispatches by officers and medical officer reports.
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Omitting the rest of article- point is the Flying Hospital, like the Flying Artillery, got there first but at the other end of some battle- same concept, speed, efficiency, placement and getting down to business in order to be as effective as possible. What's a little head spinning is purpose- both flew, one to administer death, one to glue men together- with surgeons toboot.

Mother Bickerdyke with a head of steam going to bat for wounded has always reminded me an awful lot of Margaret Houlihan.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
To use an old Maine expression, favored (at least in the book) by Hawkeye Pierce, another Mainer involved in a M.A.S.H. Unit: "Finestkind!"
View attachment 211961
Hôpital Volante mule panniers, as used during the Crimean War.​

Ayuh. What it took years to discover was that Hawkeye wasn't a fictional character ( had no idea, I see you knew ) - I mean Hawkeye ' junior '. His first incarnation out of Cooper, sure, but not the doc drafted into Korea. Rats- now I forget where that source is, the one who served with the man.

Mule panniers! At least a much better idea than panniers of fashion. Read somewhere some of those things brushed bannisters on both sides when wearers climbed stairs.
 
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