Surgeons who Gave their Lives in Service to the Suffering

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John Hartwell

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Dr Luther Vose Bell, M.D., L.L.D
Dr Luther Vose Bell was born in Francestown, New Hampshire, in December 1806, the son of N.H. governor and U.S. Senator Samuel Bell. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine (1823). Among his classmates at Bowdoin was a future governor and Senator from Maine, and a future President of the United States (Franklin Pierce). His contemporaries there included reformer Calvin Ellis Stowe (future husband of Harriet Beecher), and literary figures like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Bell later became a practicing physician in Londonderry, N.H. He was also house surgeon at the renowned McLean Asylum in Somerville, Mass. for some 20 years, where he championed the humane treatment of the mentally ill. During this period, he lost three of his seven children, and his wife, as well, in childbirth.

When the war broke out, Dr Bell offered his services to Gov. Andrew, and received a commission as Surgeon of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment. He did not reveal that at the time he was under treatment for a lung disorder. The regiment was organized at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor during May, 1861, mustered in on June 12th, and left the Bay State on the 29th.

The 11th first saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run, suffering serious casualties in heavy fighting at the foot of Henry House Hill. A week after the battle, Surgeon Bell found time to write to a friend:

The whole volume of military surgery was opened before me one Sunday afternoon, -- July 21 -- with illustrations horrid and sanguinary. ‘Sudley Church’ with its hundred wounded victims will form a picture in my sick dreams so long as I live. I have never spent one night out of camp since I came into it, and a bed and myself have been strangers, practically, for months.​
Yet I have, as you know, four young motherless children. Painful as it is to leave such a charge, I have forced myself into reconciliation by the reflection that the great issue under the stern arbitrament of arms is, whether or not, our children are to have a country.​
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Sudley Church Hospital, during the battle
In August, the 11th Regiment was attached to Hooker’s Brigade, Division of the Potomac, and Dr Bell was promoted to Brigade Surgeon. The first part of the fall was spent around Bladensburg, Md, picketing the shores of the Potomac above Washington. On October 27th, the regiment went into winter came near Budd’s Ferry, Maryland, on the Lower Potomac.

Surgeon Bell was a great admirer of Gen. Hooker, and the two became close friends. When Hooker was promoted to Divisional command, he insisted on Bell’s advancement to Division Surgeon.

Determined to do his duty to the utmost, Dr Bell was from the start painfully aware of his own questionable health. Indeed, his memorialist observed that “continuance in life, and especially with such a measure of bodily vigor as to qualify him for any active duties, was unexpected to himself.” But, as time went on, he seemed to grow stronger

Dr. Bell shared with his regiment the experience of various removals and camps; working with unabated zeal, and, evidently to his own surprise, enjoying, in spite of fatigue, and exposure to rough circumstances, a measure of health which he had not known for , years. He writes, Aug. 24, 1861, "My own health and spirits continue excellent. Some of my friends have prognosticated, that, when my zeal had cooled, there would be a reaction, under which I should wilt. As I never experienced any enthusiasm, of which I was conscious, beyond a plain, simple, every-day desire to discharge what seemed a duty, I never accepted their theory, and see no reason to do so now."​
But, life in a tent during the long winter was not the best place for a 55 year old with a questionable constitution. And, he did not pamper himself. “As
the damps and chills of autumn drew on, instead of allowing his horse to be tethered, as hundreds around him were, in the open night-air, he is careful to procure him a warm board shelter, while the owner sleeps under canvas only.”

On February 4, 1862, he wrote a long letter to a friend in Charlestown, Mass. “My continued health amazes me,” he reports, and affirms that “I do not contemplate leaving the service (health of myself and my children continuing) until this wicked Rebellion is forever quelled.” It was the last letter he would ever write.

He retired that night in his usual health, save that he felt slightly the symptoms of a cold. His attendant, Prentiss, ... in whose intelligence and fidelity Dr. Bell reposed great confidence, — sharing his tent with him, — rose long before daylight to write a letter. About four o'clock on the wintry morning of Feb. 5, under his canvas shelter at Camp Baker, two miles from Budd's Ferry, on the Potomac, Dr. Bell very suddenly announced to him that he was suffering in most severe distress, and must die if not soon relieved. He directed Prentiss to administer chloroform to him. His pain was in the lumbar region, and was so excruciating, that Dr. Bell was from the first convinced that his death was inevitable. He said he had never in his life before known what pain was. Prentiss proposed to go for Surgeon Foye, ... " No,'' said the sufferer: "you can do for me all that any one can." To the further entreaty of his attendant, pleading that he did not like to be alone with him while he was in such distress. Dr. Bell gave him permission to send for the surgeon. His pains continued for the six following days, and were made endurable only through the constant use of chloroform. On Tuesday, Feb. 11, his disease had reached the vital parts, and resulted in metastasis. The patient retained his full consciousness, and saw the end of earth close upon him. He calmly directed to whom telegrams should be transmitted as soon as he had ceased to live. In the afternoon. General Hooker and staff were present in the tent, and showed their profound respect and sympathy for the sufferer. The Rev. Henry E. Parker, chaplain of the Second Regiment of New-Hampshire Volunteers, — to whom... Dr. Bell often refers in his letters with warm approbation, — was with him as well.​

Surrounded by this group of friends, he calmly drew his last breath about nine o'clock in the evening.​

His remains were transported homewards under the charge of Chaplain Parker, and rested for a while in the library of his Charlestown home. On Monday, Feb. 17, the funeral was held, and Dr. Luther V. Bell was laid to rest in a peaceful evergreen grove, in Mount Auburn Cemetery in nearby Cambridge.
Sources:
Memoir of Luther V. Bell, M.D.. LL.D, (1863) by George E. Ellis (which details, with many anecdotes and letters, Surgeon Bell’s life both before and during his military service.)

A Discourse on the Life and Character of Dr. Luther V. Bell, (1863), by Isaac Ray

A Narrative of the Formation and Services of the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers (1893), by G. B. Hutchinson

Appleton's Cyclopedia

https://bullrunnings.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/dr-luther-v-bell-surgeon-11th-massachusetts-infantry-on-the-battle/
 

John Hartwell

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This thread is intended to tell the stories of Medical Officers: Surgeons, Assistant Surgeons, Hospital Stewards, perhaps, who lost their lives in consequence of their military duties. Some were killed by enemy action; many contracted one or another of the terrible diseases and infections that they had dedicated their lives to relieving. Occasionally, one might actually have brought the seeds of his own demise into the army with him.

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Dr. William Henry Heath, M.D.

The son of Douglas M. and Rebecca (Currier) Heath, William Henry Heath was born in Epsom, N.H., 19 March, 1829. Studied medicine with Dr. Edward Moore, of Boston, and graduated M.D., Harvard, in 1853. Commenced practice, in 1854, in Stoneham, Mass.

Early in May, 1863, Massachusetts Surgeon General, William J. Dale, received word of that both surgeon and assistant surgeon of the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, had been taken prisoner during Banks’ Shenandoah Valley campaign against Jackson. The regiment needed a replacement quickly.

Surgeon-General Dale sent a despatch to Dr. Heath, to come in to Boston. He went immediately. "Will you go to the Second for temporary service?" "Yes; when?" “This afternoon!” He had time only to purchase a valise and a suit of clothing; and, sending a "good-by" to his wife, whom there was not time to see, left for Virginia. [Reg. Hist.]​

Dr. Heath joined the 2nd at Bartonsville, near Winchester, Va. on June 3rd, and by July 27, he had agreed to accept permanent commission as 2nd Assistant Surgeon of the regiment, to rank as Lieutenant. The following April, he was promoted to Surgeon (Major).

In August, 1862, the 2nd Mass. became part of the 2nd Corps, and took heavy casualties at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. At Antietam, the regiment suffered 12 killed (including Col. Dwight) and 51 wounded (including Capt. Robert Gould Shaw). Although the regiment was not engaged at Fredericksburg, Dr. Heath served at the hospital in Chatham Manor.

The 2nd also took a significant part in the battles of Chancellorsville (34 casualties) and Gettysburg (137 casualties). Working in the Division hospitals, Dr. Heath was kept very busy; and he stayed on at CampLetterman Hospital for two weeks after the Corps had moved on. During this time, says the regimental history, Surgeon Heath “served with great faithfulness and zeal, being distinguished as a very careful and skilful operator. ... He was to be recognized as one of the best surgeons and truest men in the corps.”

Late in 1863, the 2nd Mass. was sent West with the 12th Corps, to join the Army of the Cumberland. They played a significant role in the battles of Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, and Chattanooga. As part of Sherman’s command, they saw action at Kennesaw Mountain,and Peachtree Creek, before starting the siege of Atlanta.

It was here that Surgeon William Henry Heath’s health failed him “In consequence of his untiring attention to duty,” he had contracted “typho-malarial fever,” and was sent for treatment, to the Officers’ Hospital at Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

Faithful to the last, he worked when he should have rested. His disease proved fatal, andhe died at Chattanooga on, the 28th of August. One of the best surgeons in the army, "a faithful, conscientious, efficient officer, of superior qualifications," said the official report, "he wore himself out in" his country’s service. The regiment has met with no heavier loss in its experience." His last entry in his diary, made while sick in front of Atlanta, says,"Colonel Cogswell and other officers came to see me to-day." When he died, men of the Second, hardy and true, shed tears.​
Capt Charles F. Morse, wrote home on October 25th:
Poor Dr. Heath! He was one of the best men I ever knew, — a pleasant, genial, kind-hearted companion, and as good a surgeon as I have ever seen in the army; his loss has been felt throughout the whole division. He fairly wore himself out in the service; this whole summer he has been surgeon of our division hospital and principal operator, in which position he worked himself to death.​

Dr. Heath's body was sent home, to be buried in Stoneham, Massachusetts


Sources include:
The Record of the Second Massachusetts Infantry, 1861-65 (1867), by Alonzo H. Quint
Letters Written During the War, (1898) by C. F. Morse
Widow’s Pension File: WC38637 (available at fold.com)
 

JPK Huson 1863

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These are hard to read and won't get any better. They're awfully important, thanks for telling the stories, Jno.

Yet I have, as you know, four young motherless children. Painful as it is to leave such a charge, I have forced myself into reconciliation by the reflection that the great issue under the stern arbitrament of arms is, whether or not, our children are to have a country.
Whoa.
 
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John Hartwell

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[Naval Surgeons were very much at risk, too. There is, apparently, a likeness of Dr. Edward Augustus Pierson known,but it seems not to be online anywhere.]​
Edward A. Pierson, born on March 22nd, 1836, was the son of Charles T. and Harriet Coe Pierson of Newark, N.J. As a young man he studied medicine with a local physician, and in 1855 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He graduated, M.D., in 1858, and returned to Newark, establishing his own practice.

When the Civil War broke out, young Dr. Pierson secured a commission as surgeon’s mate in the First Regiment New Jersey Regiment. They arrived in Washington on May 10, 1861, encamping on Meridian Hill, before moving into Virginia on the 23rd, and occupying Arlington Heights. The 1st New Jersey was in reserve during the Battle of Bull Run, and not directly engaged. But Dr Pierson had seen enough of soldiering. “It will do to play soldier on 4 of July & other holidays,” he wrote his aunt after the battle, “but when you see a whole line of men mowed down by the raking fire of the batteries — why the poetry is all gone, and then comes the reality.”

Mustered out on July 31st, Pierson returned to Newark and resumed his medical practice.

By October, however, perhaps because of peer pressure, Dr. Pierson was seeking a new commission, this time for service in the Navy. In this he was successful. By the spring of 1862, he was serving as Acting Surgeon aboard the sailing frigate USS St. Lawrence.
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That vessel first cruised off the Virginia Capes then made for Hampton Roads, Virginia, arriving on March 6th. And was on hand two days later 2 days later when CSS Virginia sallied forth to challenge the Union fleet. Surgeon Pierson would write home his eyewitness account of the battle, and the May 12th fight with USS Monitor, and also of his own very close call. The St. Lawrence was being towed to a more advantageous place for her guns to come into play, when a shell from a rebel shore battery smashed into the surgeon’s quarters. It would have been his end, but he had just exited the cabin, and so escaped injury.

But for most of 1862, the sixty gun vessel was stationed at Key West Florida, patrolling the eastern Gulf for blockade runners. The south Florida heat and humidity did not agree with the young doctor, however, and late in the summer Pierson contracted Yellow Fever, and was ordered to Philadelphia on medical leave. It had been another close call, but gradually, he reestablished his health.

Shortly after Christmas, 1862, Pierson was assigned a new post as Surgeon aboard the Unadilla-class gunboat USS Penobscot. Stationed off the North Carolina coast, the vessel participated in the ever-tightening blockade of the Confederacy.
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There seems to be no extant photograph of USS Penobscot.
She appeared much like this, the USS Lackawana,
another Unadilla-class gunboat

The New Jersey Historical Society is home to a collection of Dr. Pierson’s papers: including many wartime letters, and two diaries covering May 1861 to February 1863, as well as other documents. Unfortunately, these have not been published, except in snippets, but just a sampling from the NJHS catalog of Manuscript Group #317 Edward A Pierson Papers Papers, 1796-1872, gives us a taste of what this archive contains:

Folder 3: Edward A. Pierson, Letters Sent, April-December, 1862 (22 items). Letters describe; anxiety at Hampton Roads over the Merrimac, the Merrimac challenging the St. Lawrence (May 8), the battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor (May 12); description of Key West, Florida, blockade activities; service as member of the Medical Board of Officers; capture of a blockade runner from England bearing 155,000 Ibs. of powder, bullets, and other war supplies; an attack of yellow fever; awaiting orders in Philadelphia; relocation to North Carolina; conditions in Norfolk, Va.​
Folder 4: Edward A. Pierson, Letters Sent, January-May, 1863 (14 items). Letters describe: reassignment to Penobscot’; life aboard the gunboat; exchange of fire with rebels on shore; violence against an African American aboard the vessel and punishment of the offender; medical assistance from a “contraband” who formerly served a doctor in Wilmington, N.C.; loss of the steamer Columbia and the rescue of half its crew; arrival at Norfolk for repairs; a trip to Washington, D.C.; naval movements off Newport News, including sketched map of disposition of vessels in York and James River; rumors regarding Hooker’s campaign and its implications for the defense of Washington, D.C.; daily life on blockade duty.​

On May 22nd, 1863, the USS Penobscot was in pursuit of a large blockade runner, presumed to be English, making a run for Wilmington, N.C.

“The Penobscot got pretty close to her, banging away constantly until opposite, or nearly so, to Fort Fisher, which opened fire on her, and one shot, a ‘Whitworth,’ went into the steerage, killing the Surgeon, Dr. Edward A. Pierson, and wounding the surgeon’s steward badly. (Letter from USS Sacramento to the Newark Daily News, June 5)​
The young surgeon (27 years of age), died at his post of duty. His remains were returned to his native Newark, and lie in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
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lelliott19

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John Boursiquot Fontaine - Surgeon & Medical Director JEB Stuart's Cavalry Corps
He had served as Medical Director of JEB Stuart's Cavalry Corps and treated thousands of wounded soldiers. He was a skilled surgeon and saved many lives, but he was unable to save some of them - including his own brother and General JEB Stuart. While performing his duties, Dr. Fontaine was mortally wounded Oct 1, 1864 near Petersburg. He was 24 years old. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-surgeon-killed-in-action-john-boursiquot-fontaine.134440/#post-1537938

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Thomas Jones - Asst Surgeon, 36th/37th Pa Infantry (8th Reserve)
Perhaps the only surgeon killed during the Civil War in a "friendly fire" incident. Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, 36th Pa. inf. (8th Reserve) enlisted June 1861, appointed surgeon 37th Pa. Inf. (8th Reserve) Sept., 1862, until his death May 15, 1864. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/union-surgeon-killed-in-friendly-fire-incident.129758

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Dr. Samuel Everett - Surgeon 7th IL Infantry
Chief Surgeon for General Prentiss. Killed in action at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6. 1862. First Union Medical Officer killed in battle. Enlisted April 29, 1861; honorable muster out July 29, 1861. Surgeon 10th IL Inf July 31, 1861; Brigade Surgeon of USV, Sept. 14, 1861. Killed in action at Shiloh on April 6, 1862. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/dr-samuel-w-everett-first-surgeon-killed-in-civil-war.132874
 

John Hartwell

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Dr. James B. Bellangee had a successful practice in Franklin Township, New Jersey when the war broke out. It was not until early in 1862 that he applied for and received a commission as Assistant Surgeon of Volunteers.

He was posted to the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, which was the setting for the tv series”Mercy Street,” in which the “Dr. Jeddediah Foster” character in was, in fact, based very loosely on Dr.Bellangee. The story was largely inspired by the memoirs of nurse Mary Phinney,Baroness Olnhausen. Although there is no Dr Foster in nurse Phinney’s posthumus Adventures of an Army Nurse in Two Wars, Dr Bellangee is mentioned several times.

Working together at Mansion House, they formed a mutual appreciation of each other’s skill and dedication. And, then the Doctor was promoted to full Surgeon (June 14, 1863), and sent to take charge of the new Mansfield General Hospital in North Carolina.

Not long after Dr. Bellangee left, Nurse Phinney, on leave in New York, received a letter:

...my old ward surgeon, Dr. Bellangee, [who] was now in charge of a large hospital at Morehead City, N. C, asking me, and also the same friend, to come there. We decided to take the latter place. We had a tiresome passage from New York to New Berne, and were glad to get on shore. New Berne seemed pleasant, and I would gladly have stayed there; but Dr. Bellangee was waiting to take us at once to Morehead City, where his hospital was established. He had done wonders in the short time he had been there. Eight barracks had been built, each containing about seventy-five beds, some of them already fitted up. This was certainly the best hospital I saw in the war. We had an excellent steward who provided most liberally, and we had everything the sick and wounded could ask for. Dr. Bellangee was a martinet about the hospital, seeming to be always everywhere. His skill in surgery was wonderful, and his care unceasing.​
The usual, arduous, exhausting, terrible work of an army general hospital in wartime went on. Dr Bellargee going from ward to ward continuously, sometimes doing the most menial tasks, when help was needed. Then, late in the summer of 1864, Yellow fever struck, and spread across the state with epidemic speed.

Nurse Phinney writes a friend in New York:

MOREHEAD CITY, October 5, 1864.
The news from New Berne grows worse each day, and sick men are continually being brought here; but I have not time to look after those in my ward now; Dr. Bellangee claims me first and all. ... He is medical director of this department, and so far the only surgeon who has escaped; but ... he is worn to a skeleton. ... The fever grows worse; God only can help us. I’m dreadfully blue and exhausted, I can scarcely get upstairs to bed after my work is done...After Friday, this port is closed to all except gunboats. There is no doubt that Wilmington is to be attacked; so now God only knows when I shall get home. The quarantine is twenty days, even for letters, in New York; so I fear you will be very anxious about me.

Then, on October 14th:

I don’t know how I can tell you the mournful news of our dear friend’s [Dr. Bellangee’s] death. My last letter was hopeful of his recovery; but an hour after it had gone he was taken worse and suffered more than I am sure any poor mortal deserved. I can hardly remember the particulars now, it was so pitiful to us all. He suffered constantly, notwithstanding quantities of chloroform, till three in the morning, when he died; his screams will never be forgotten.
... will never be forgotten.
 
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ErnieMac

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Assistant Surgeon Edward Hutchinson Robbins Revere was a grandson of Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere and an 1849 graduate of Harvard Medical School. Revere established a successful medical practice which he maintained until the War broke out. Offered the position of Assistant Surgeon in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry (the Harvard Regiment) in which his brother was then the Major, Revere took up his duties in mid-September 1861 near Poolesville MD. A month later the 20th was engaged in the Battle of Ball's Bluff during which he was captured and held prisoner in Richmond until released on parole in February 1862. Revere returned to his regiment in time to serve in the Peninsula Campaign and at the Battle of Chantilly outside Washington D.C.

Revere's final action was at Antietam on September 17, 1862. The 20th Massachusetts was part of Sedgwick's Division in Sumner's II Corps, part of the spearhead of Sumner's attack into the West Woods. Revere was observed at his usual location during a battle, slightly behind the front lines tending to wounded troops. It was reported that he stood after tending to a soldier and fatally struck by a bullet. His body was recovered after the battle and returned to Massachusetts for burial.

https://books.google.com/books?id=2pwIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=edward+hutchinson+revere&source=bl&ots=yA_Z5e8hwu&sig=ACfU3U1o6iBFqyaiUXb560I3lcZli4J-Kg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjZkMbf2YriAhUBTawKHZKIB9Y4ChDoATAHegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=edward hutchinson revere&f=false
 

John Hartwell

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Robert Montgomery Smith Jackson of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, received his doctorate in medicine from the Jefferson Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1838. After his graduation, he was appointed Pennsylvania’s Assistant State Geologist and served in that capacity for five years. It was during this period in his career that Jackson married Mary Herron of Fayette County, Pennsylvania on October 12, 1843.

Following the completion of a geological survey, Jackson began the practice of medicine in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, where he remained for the next ten years before moving to Allegheny Mountain. With a charter from the Pennsylvania Legislature, Jackson there created a sanitarium named the, “Alleghany[sic] Mountain Health Institute” where he practiced medicine until the start of the Civil War. It was there that Senator Charles Sumner went to recuperate from the caning he received at the hand of Preston Brooks.

Upon the outbreak of the war, Governor Curtin granted Jackson a commission as a surgeon assigned to the 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry. He served with the 3rd Regiment from April 20 to July 30, 1861. In August of 1861, Jackson was examined by the Pennsylvania Medical Board and granted a new commission as a surgeon with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He served as their surgeon from September 9, 1861 until March 1, 1863, when he was discharged to accept promotion

On February 19, 1863, Jackson was appointed to the United States Volunteers Medical Staff and, on April 2, he reported to the Surgeon General for duty. And on April 11 of that year, he was ordered to report to Major General Burnside for duty in Cincinnati, Ohio. From May 31, 1863 through July 1863, Jackson was reported as being on duty as the Medical Director of the 23rd Army Corps in Lexington, Kentucky. He served in the same position in Knoxville, Tennessee beginning in August 1863. But, the following January (1864),he became Medical Director of East Tennessee, and, from February 1, the Acting Medical Inspector for the Department of the Ohio.

In June of 1864, Jackson was transferred to the Department of the Cumberland and was placed in charge of Hospital Number Three on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.

… [Dr. Jackson] was attacked with Diarrhoea accompanied with Hemorrhoides on the 8th day of January 1865, while discharging his duties as surgeon by reason of exposure incident to his position, ... he was Consequently Confined to his rooms and while thus confined was attacked with a violent fit of Pneumonia, of which he died on the evening of the 18th of Jany 1865 [deposition in Pension File WC105782]​

Dr Jackson’s wife, Mary, had died in 1862, and their 14-year-old daughter, Jennie, benefitted from his pension.



NOTE: The Penn State Libraries houses the Robert Montgomery Smith Papers, summarized as:
This collection of personal papers includes correspondence, geological field notes, maps, surveys, reports, military orders, pamphlets, clippings and photographs about Jackson's service in the First Pennsylvania Geological Survey and as surgeon in the Sumner case (1856) and as a Civil War surgeon in Kentucky and Tennessee. Notably includes material for his book, The Mountain (1860), in which he write about establishing the Alleghany Mountain Health Institute and correspondence with Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Henry Furness, Theodore Parker, Charles Sumner and Henry David Thoreau.​

The complete catalogue here: https://www.medicalmuseum.mil/assets/documents/collections/archives/jackson_collection.pdf
 
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Patrick H

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Dr. William Quarles died June 17, 1861, in the First Battle of Boonville, Missouri. He was with the Missouri State Guard, but I honestly can't tell you if he went with them as their surgeon and physician, or if he simply felt he should join them as a soldier. He was among the first physicians to die in the conflict. I am also clueless about the significance of the anchor on his monument stone.

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John Hartwell

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Dr Bartow Darrach. Born in Pennsylvania on 21 March 1831, was son of James Darrach (Yale 1827), who, though not a medical graduate, became Superintendent of New York City Hospital. Bartow studied medicine at Philadelphia, 1849-52. He hada practice in Illinois when he was commissioned as Surgeon of the U. S. Volunteers on October 4, 1862. One source identifies him as “Surgeon General of the 3rd Corps, General Sherman’s Division”. Newspaper death notices report he died of disease on July 14, 1863, “at the post of duty” in Vicksburg, Miss.

Yale University Library has the “Darrach Family Papers,” which include 125 of his letters (unpublished).
 

John Hartwell

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Dr. William Quarles died June 17, 1861, in the First Battle of Boonville, Missouri. He was with the Missouri State Guard, but I honestly can't tell you if he went with them as their surgeon and physician, or if he simply felt he should join them as a soldier. He was among the first physicians to die in the conflict. I am also clueless about the significance of the anchor on his monument stone.

View attachment 306452
The anchor is the symbol of "Hope." That and the Cross together make the message pretty clear.
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John Hartwell

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Dr Charles H. Cleaveland
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From Pension file of Persis A. Cleaveland, widow WC138254:
The Surgeon General's statement:

Surgeon General reports that the above named officer made a contract with Col. R. C. Wood Asst. Surg. Genl. U. S. A., dated Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 19/62. Was at Jefferson Hospital, Memphis Dec. 21/62. At Church Hospl. Memphis Sept. 63 & was assigned to duty at Jackson Hospl Memphis Nov. 9/63. And died Dec. 9/63 of Billious Pneumonia at Memphis Tenn.

Statement of Dr, John G. T. Holston:

J. G. T. Holston, being first duly sworn according to law to wit:
"I was late Surgeon of Vols. U. S. Army, with the rank of Major. I was stationed for a long time at Memphis, Tenn., being there from August, 1863 to May A. D. 1864. I was the Medical Inspector of Hospitals at that point during the period mentioned. I was well acquainted with Charles H. Cleaveland, late Act’g Asst. Surgeon in charge of the Gangrene Hospital at Memphis, Tenn. He was a most laborious and efficient officer and [illeg] devoted to his profession and his duties in his office at Memphis. He had charge of the Gangrene Hospital and it is my impression that he fitted it up. His labors were very severe. I frequently inspected that hospital and had an opportunity to observe him in his management thereof.
"Some time in November or December, 1863, Dr. Cleaveland was taken sick with Gangrenous Pneumonia and after a few days died from the effects of said Disease. I called upon him during his illness and made a diagnosis of his case and came to this conclusion. I think the opinion was entertained by the Medical officers generally who examined the case at the time. It is my opinion that his disease was [illeg] by his long continued exposure in his office as Surgeon in Charge of the Gangrene Hospital, together with the constant inhalation of the fumes of Bromine and Gangrenous matter, either of which would have been sufficient to produce the disease. The Bromine was used by him in the treatment of the gangrene amongst the patients in his hospital."
John G. T. Holston
Sworn to and subscribed
this 14th day of December, A. D. 1869.


NOTE: The 50-bed Gangrene Hospital, aka the Adams Hospital, was located in the First Baptist Church. Groundbreaking experiments there in the use of bromine to treat gangrene, were crucial in reducing the deadly effects of the infection.
 
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Ben Jacques

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Sep 8, 2019
Location
Stoneham, MA
This thread is intended to tell the stories of Medical Officers: Surgeons, Assistant Surgeons, Hospital Stewards, perhaps, who lost their lives in consequence of their military duties. Some were killed by enemy action; many contracted one or another of the terrible diseases and infections that they had dedicated their lives to relieving. Occasionally, one might actually have brought the seeds of his own demise into the army with him.

View attachment 306082 Dr. William Henry Heath, M.D.

The son of Douglas M. and Rebecca (Currier) Heath, William Henry Heath was born in Epsom, N.H., 19 March, 1829. Studied medicine with Dr. Edward Moore, of Boston, and graduated M.D., Harvard, in 1853. Commenced practice, in 1854, in Stoneham, Mass.

Early in May, 1863, Massachusetts Surgeon General, William J. Dale, received word of that both surgeon and assistant surgeon of the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, had been taken prisoner during Banks’ Shenandoah Valley campaign against Jackson. The regiment needed a replacement quickly.

Surgeon-General Dale sent a despatch to Dr. Heath, to come in to Boston. He went immediately. "Will you go to the Second for temporary service?" "Yes; when?" “This afternoon!” He had time only to purchase a valise and a suit of clothing; and, sending a "good-by" to his wife, whom there was not time to see, left for Virginia. [Reg. Hist.]​

Dr. Heath joined the 2nd at Bartonsville, near Winchester, Va. on June 3rd, and by July 27, he had agreed to accept permanent commission as 2nd Assistant Surgeon of the regiment, to rank as Lieutenant. The following April, he was promoted to Surgeon (Major).

In August, 1862, the 2nd Mass. became part of the 2nd Corps, and took heavy casualties at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. At Antietam, the regiment suffered 12 killed (including Col. Dwight) and 51 wounded (including Capt. Robert Gould Shaw). Although the regiment was not engaged at Fredericksburg, Dr. Heath served at the hospital in Chatham Manor.

The 2nd also took a significant part in the battles of Chancellorsville (34 casualties) and Gettysburg (137 casualties). Working in the Division hospitals, Dr. Heath was kept very busy; and he stayed on at CampLetterman Hospital for two weeks after the Corps had moved on. During this time, says the regimental history, Surgeon Heath “served with great faithfulness and zeal, being distinguished as a very careful and skilful operator. ... He was to be recognized as one of the best surgeons and truest men in the corps.”

Late in 1863, the 2nd Mass. was sent West with the 12th Corps, to join the Army of the Cumberland. They played a significant role in the battles of Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, and Chattanooga. As part of Sherman’s command, they saw action at Kennesaw Mountain,and Peachtree Creek, before starting the siege of Atlanta.

It was here that Surgeon William Henry Heath’s health failed him “In consequence of his untiring attention to duty,” he had contracted “typho-malarial fever,” and was sent for treatment, to the Officers’ Hospital at Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

Faithful to the last, he worked when he should have rested. His disease proved fatal, andhe died at Chattanooga on, the 28th of August. One of the best surgeons in the army, "a faithful, conscientious, efficient officer, of superior qualifications," said the official report, "he wore himself out in" his country’s service. The regiment has met with no heavier loss in its experience." His last entry in his diary, made while sick in front of Atlanta, says,"Colonel Cogswell and other officers came to see me to-day." When he died, men of the Second, hardy and true, shed tears.​
Capt Charles F. Morse, wrote home on October 25th:
Poor Dr. Heath! He was one of the best men I ever knew, — a pleasant, genial, kind-hearted companion, and as good a surgeon as I have ever seen in the army; his loss has been felt throughout the whole division. He fairly wore himself out in the service; this whole summer he has been surgeon of our division hospital and principal operator, in which position he worked himself to death.​

Dr. Heath's body was sent home, to be buried in Stoneham, Massachusetts


Sources include:
The Record of the Second Massachusetts Infantry, 1861-65 (1867), by Alonzo H. Quint
Letters Written During the War, (1898) by C. F. Morse
Widow’s Pension File: WC38637 (available at fold.com)
I'm new to Civil War Talk, but am writing a column about Dr. Heath, Civil War surgeon from Stoneham, Mass. Could you please tell me, who is the author of the above post? I would like to credit the author, as well as Quint and Morse in my columns. Thank you.
 
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John Hartwell

Major
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Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
I'm new to Civil War Talk, but am writing a column about Dr. Heath, Civil War surgeon from Stoneham, Mass. Could you please tell me, who is the author of the above post? I would like to credit the author, as well as Quint and Morse in my columns. Thank you.
Hello, and welcome to CWT, fellow Bay Stater. I am the poster in question. It was put together principally from the three sources noted. Please be sure to cite https://civilwartalk.com/.

I will message you with a little more.

cheers!

jno
 
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