Instructions for Examining Drafted Men

John Hartwell

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#1
Largely for my own convenience, I have transcribed the "Instructions for the Physical Examination of Drafted Men," and "Diseases and Infirmities, which Disqualify for Military Service" [From: Manual of instructions for military surgeons on the examination of recruits and discharge of soldiers: with an appendix, containing the official regulations of the Provost-Marshal General's Bureau, by John Ordronaux, United States Sanitary Commission, 1863]. The transcribed documents are the Official Regulations in the Appendix.

I have put them online here, for anyone who might find them of interest.
 

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#2
Man, if you have arthritis severe enough to restrict limb motion, they are supposed to knock you out with ether to confirm it. That's hardcore.

I think the weirdest disqualification is that you can't be taller than six four. Obviously rare at the time. I have several family members who could not have served.
 
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#3
Largely for my own convenience, I have transcribed the "Instructions for the Physical Examination of Drafted Men," and "Diseases and Infirmities, which Disqualify for Military Service" [From: Manual of instructions for military surgeons on the examination of recruits and discharge of soldiers: with an appendix, containing the official regulations of the Provost-Marshal General's Bureau, by John Ordronaux, United States Sanitary Commission, 1863]. The transcribed documents are the Official Regulations in the Appendix.

I have put them online here, for anyone who might find them of interest.
Examining recruits in "61-62" from : The Life Of Billy Yank" by Bell Wiley

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Leander Stillwell from Otter Creek, Illinois, Enlisted on 1/3/1862, age 18. On 2/5/1862 he mustered into "D" Co. 61st Illinois Infantry. He Re-enlisted on 2/1/1864. He was transferred out on 1/1/1865 to the Veteran Reserve Corps. Promotions: 1st Sergt, 2nd Lieut, 1st Lieut. After the War he lived in Erie, Kansas. Died in 1934. In 1920 he wrote in “The Story Of A Common Soldier.”


“The surgeon at that time was a fat jolly old doctor by the name of Leonidas Clemmons. I was about scared to death when the Captain presented me to him, and requested him to examine me. I reckon the good old doctor saw I was frightened, and he began laughing heartily and saying some kind things about my general appearance. He requested me to stand up straight, then gave me two or three little sort of “love taps”on the chest, turned me round, ran his hands over my shoulders, back, and limbs, laughing and talking all the time, then whirled me round to the front, and rendered judgment on me as follows : “Ah, Captain Reddish ! I only wish you had a hundred such fine boys as this one ! He's all right and good for the service.”


Charles A Barker of Quincy, Massachusettsenlisted enlisted on 10/9/1861 into Company “C” 23rd Massachusetts Infantry. He mustered out on 10/13/1864. On November 10, 1861, he wrote his parents : the examining surgeon felt his collarbones and said, “You have pretty good health don't you ?” when Barker replied affirmatively, the doctor remarked, “You look as though you did.” After inquiring if the recruit had fits or piles, the examiner marked him able for service.
 
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jackt62

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#4
What I know about medical examinations for recruits is that it was important that a man have all (or most of) his teeth so that he could rip apart the paper cartridge to load his musket with powder and ball.
 



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