Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PR: National Library of Medicine Announces "History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium"

 What a great project.


National Library of Medicine Announces “History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium”


The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the release of its prototype History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium (, a search-and-discovery tool for archival resources in the health sciences that are described by finding aids and held by various institutions throughout the United States. A finding aid is a tool created by archivists to give information about the contents of archival collections. Finding aids provide contextual information about collections oftentimes with detailed inventories to help researchers locate relevant materials. NLM is the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health.


The resource crawls existing Web content managed by several partner institutions, provides keyword search functionality, and provides results organized by holding institution. Links point to the holding institution’s Web sites. Formats indexed consist of HTML, PDF and Encoded Archival Description XML. The project does not include content held in bibliographic utilities or other database-type information.


Crawls are conducted monthly to ensure information is current and to capture new content as it is released.


Current Consortium partners are:


NLM’s History of Medicine Division invites libraries, archives and museums which include in their collections archival materials related to the history of medicine and health sciences to join.


For more information about the project or requests to join the Consortium, please contact John P. Rees, Archivist and Digital Resources Manager, NLM, at




Letter of the Day: August 31

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1683


August 31, 1896


To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,

Washington, D.C.




I have the honor to report that during the month of August, 1896, I have been on duty in the Surgeon General’s Office, as Curator of the Army Medical Museum, in accordance with Par. 2, S.O. No. 153, dated Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C., July 7, 1893.


Very respectfully,

Walter Reed

Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Curator Army Medical Museum

Monday, August 30, 2010

Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs vol. 6 scanned and online

Here's the manuscript:
and the 1951 published version:
These scans are part of  OHA 104 - Artificial Manuscript [Atomic Bomb Material]

1866 Catalogue of the Medical Museum scanned and online for download

Letter of the Day: August 30

Hayward & Hutchinson,

424 Ninth Street, N.W.

Elias S. Hutchinson.

Washington, D.C., August 30, 1888


Dr J. S. Billings


Dear Sir:


While appreciating your kindness in sending to us for estimate for a cremating furnace, but as it is so much away from our line of work we cannot give it the necessary to make a close competitive estimate + respectfully return the plans with this.



Hayward & Hutchinson


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 29

N.D.C. Hodges, Publisher,
47 Lafayette Place.
New York, August 29th 1888.

Dr. John S. Billings.
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir,

A short time ago I returned from my trip to British Columbia. I have collected a considerable number of crania and skeletons – 86 of the former and 14 of the latter, but some parts of that province are not well represented in my collections. I should like to study the material contained in other collections, in order to ascertain the best results. Can you, please, inform me, whether and how much material there is in the Army Medical Museum from Southern Alaska (Tlinkit [sic Tlingit]), Queen Charlotte Islands and the coast of British Columbia, from Puget Sound and the Salish (Flathead) of the interior. I hope to have a chance to visit Washington this winter and trust, you will kindly permit me to examine the material in your possession. I should like to know, how much there is, in order to know, how long it would take, to go over it.

Yours very respectfully,
Dr. Franz Boas

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 28

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 906

641 Clay St. San Francisco California
Aug 28/95

Dr. Billings U.S.A.

D Sir

I have been collecting skulls for some years and have always found ready sale for them in almost any quantity to Proff Franz Boaz Clarks University Worcester Mass but unfortunately he has left and for the present is in Berlin. I have now on hand several very fine Flat Heads from Indians of this Coast and as they are not obtainable at any price except when rare chances appear of collecting them I am able to offer something rare to you and at a reasonable price which is $7.50 each. In case you would like to see one or two and are willing to pay freight both ways in case they do not suite I shall be happy to ship what I have to you on approval. I am the largest collector of Indian relics in America and your name was given to me by Dr. H.C. Yarrow.

Hoping to have the pleasure of a reply,
I am Resply
Nathan Joseph.

Washington D.C.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 27

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1661

August 27, 1896

Dr. H.R. Storer,
Newport, R.I.

Dear Dr. Storer:

I herewith send you description of medal of Freemason’s Hospital at Hamburg, which you desired:

Obverse: A female figure, seated, holding in outstretched left a palm branch over a hospital building; serpent wound around her right arm feeds from a cup held by a genius standing at the side of the figure. O Bergmann, Hamburg. In exergue: 1795-1895.

Reverse: Inscription in a wreath of two laurel branched tied by a ribbon: Zur Erinnerung | an das | 199-jaehrige | Bestehen | des Freimaurer - | Krankenhauses | zu Hamberg | 3. October 1895.

Bronze, size 27.

Please accept my thanks for the Newport Herald containing notice of Jenner memorials and also copy of “Memorials” reprinted from Jour. Am. Med. Assoc.

Very sincerely yours,
D.L. Huntington
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 26

12th U.S. Infantry,

Tompkins Square

New York

August 26th 1863


Surgeon J.H. Brinton U.S.A.

Washington D.C.




I send you by Express a few specimens of balls, extracted at Gettysburg, Pa. with an account of each case.


Also., a few spiculae of bone. It was my intention to leave them with you when in Washington but the matter escaped my memory.


You will hear from me whenever matters of surgical interest occur.


I remain

Very Respectfully

Your obt. Servt.

E. de W. Breneman

Asst Surgeon


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NY Times features Harvey Cushing's brain collection

We have a lot of similar brain collections  -
Published: August 23, 2010
Chunks of brains preserved at Yale exemplify the evolution of 20th-century American medicine.

Letter of the Day: August 25

War Department,

Surgeon General’s Office,

Washington, D.C., Aug 25, 1884


Asst Surg. W Matthews:

Asst Curator A.M.M.




In the portion of turkeys liver, contributed by Asst Surgeon Shannon U.S.A. and referred to me for microscopical examination, I find numerous nodules, a portion of which have undergone cystic degeneration of a peculiar character. They are neither carcinomatous or sarcomatous.


Very respectfully

Your obdt servant

J.C. McConnell M.D.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Museum exhibit featured in Washington City Paper

Wounded in Action at the National Museum of Health and Medicine By John Anderson on August 20, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 24

Fort Bridger, Utah

August 24th 1868.




In reply to your communication dated January 14th 1868, concerning specimens for the Army Medical Museum, I will state that opportunities of observing the results of “injuries + surgical diseases of the lower animals” at this post are very limited + nothing has come under my observation since the date of your letter that could be contributed to the section of the Museum illustrative of the subject.


Large wild game such as buffalo, elk, deer, antelope +c, are not found in this immediate vicinity + such is very seldom indeed brought to the post.


As a consequence of the scarcity of game no bands of Indians camp near hear except during a short time in the early summer when they collect to receive annuities, + are soon off for their fishing and hunting grounds again. I have not known of the death of an Indian in this locality since I have been stationed at the post – hence have had no opportunity of collecting crania.


During the present summer I have obtained specimens of bows + arrows from three tribes that have passed through the post – the Shoshone, Bannack + Ute – the weapons will be sent to the museum by Express + it will be observed that there is much similarity in those of the three tribes – all of them roving over the country in different direction within 200 miles of the post. The bows of all are usually made of the bow of oxyokes obtained along the several emigrant routes through the country. When first obtained they are soaked in hot water until they become pliable, + are bent into their present shape, reversing the curve as found. The component curve in the middle of the bow is thus easily obtained. The front or outer part of the bow is then curved with shreds of tendons obtained from along the spine of their game – either deer or buffalo. This is securely fastened on, as will be observed, by glue, which the Indian makes from the hoof or horn of the game. The elasticity of the bow is increased in this way.


The strings they make of tendons also.


The specimen of the Shoshone bow is one of the finest I have ever seen both as regards finish and springs. The remark about the similarity of the bows will apply also to the arrows. Those of the Utes are shorter than the arrows of either of the other tribes + the feathers extend along a greater proportionate length of the arrow. The grooves along the arrows are not made of a uniform curvature, but with these three tribes, they will be found much more tortuous than on the arrows of the Sioux, Cheyenne + Arapahoes, who roam on the Eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. The grooves in their arrows are nearly straight. The object of these grooves is to facilitate the escape of blood while the arrow remains in the body of the animal.


The feathers on the arrows in these specimens, it will be seen, are fastened only at the extremities. On the arrows of some tribes they are attached the entire length of the feathers by glue.


The base of the arrow heads of these tribes are never bearded, + in some instances, as in the forwarded specimens of the Ute arrow, the slope of the base is in the opposite way, as if to facilitate its removal from the body. The Sioux, I am informed make their arrow heads more or less bearded. The round pointed arrows are used in shooting small games such as rabbits, birds, prairie dogs +c


The tomahawk sent is a weapon not often carried by the tribe from which I obtained it + the buck who had it, displayed it from his quiver more as an ornament than otherwise. These instruments are made in the East and sold to the Indians by traders. The specimen I forwarded is made to be used as a pipe, but it is of doubtful utility in that respect + seems not to have been used as such by the owner.


I send also a specimen of a Navajo arrow said to have been poisoned. A dark substance may be observed adhering to the arrow just above the head.


This description of the articles sent may not be desired but as it may not be entirely devoid of interest to yourself or to others, I have thought it best to give it.


The articles I have forwarded were purchased of Indians for cash to the amount of twenty-seven dollars. This may be regarded as an unreasonable expenditure for things of so little intrinsic value, but in consequences of the liberal prices they always obtain for every thing they sell at this post, I was unable to get them at a lower rate.


In the same package I send the bones of a fractured elbow joint from the accidental discharge of a gun loaded with eleven buckshot, the muzzle being within a few inches of the part at the time of the discharge of the piece. If a report of the case is desired I will be very happy to furnish it.


Very Respectfully

Your Obt. Servant

W. E. Waters,

Asst. Surg. U.S. Army


Bvt. Lt. Col. Geo. A. Otis

Asst. Surg. U.S. Army

Surgeon General’s Office

Washington, D.C.




Monday, August 23, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 23

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 875

August 23, 1895

Dr Lee, Jr.
Grass Lake, Mich.

Dear Sir:

In answer to your letter of the 21st inst., to Dr. J.S. Billings, U.S. Army, I would state that it is not customary for this Museum to purchase such specimens, and that the price offered by Dr. Billings, viz., $20.00 is considered its full value, as far as this Museum is concerned.

Very respectfully,

D.L. Huntington
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Army Medical Museum and Library.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 22

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1663

War Department,
Surgeon General’s Office,
U.S. Army Medical Museum And Library,
Corner 7th and B Streets S.W.,
Washington, D.C., August 22, 1896

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
Washington, D.C.


I have the honor to state that by reason of the regular and steady growth of this Library, the point has been reached when it will be necessary to provide for additional shelving for the security and preservation of the books deposited therein, as well as to prevent undue strain upon the building by properly distributing the increasing weight over a greater surface.

It is contemplated to add six iron book stacks, similar in size and design to those now in use, and which have proved to be satisfactory. I enclose a ground plan of the Library, on which is indicated the location on which these new stacks should be placed.

From preliminary estimates it is believed that the cost of these six iron book stacks with the necessary hard-wood shelves, will not exceed $6,000.00, and I would, therefore, respectfully suggest that Congress be requested to make the following appropriation:

Building for Army Medical Museum and Library: For six (6) stacks of book cases in Library Hall, including iron supports, stairs, and perforated gallery floors, and necessary hard-wood shelves, six thousand dollars.

The annual increase of books and medical literature is about 6,000 volumes, and the stacks herein estimated will furnish the requisite accommodation for the Library for a period of about five years.

I would request that the ground-plan of the Library Hall be returned to me.

Very respectfully,

D.L. Huntington
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum And Library Division.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 21

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 875

Grass Lake, Mich., Aug. 21, 95

Dear Doctor:

Your letter at hand, contents noted. Replying to same will state, These babies stand me a great many dollars, and the alcohol I have used and jar alone stands me over $25.00. They could not be any better preserved and they are very handsome babies. I claim them to differ from any on record. These babies I can present to a great many museums but they stand me to (sic) much money to do that. I have also had offers from museums, but they are all too small. By the way, the offers were all larger than yours. It would be impossible for me to set a price on these babies, but I know what they stand me, and I know they differ from all monstrosities on record. I feel that they ought to be worth what they stand me, and a great deal more. Hoping to hear from you soon, and trusting that we will be able to deal.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Lee, Jr.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 20

Central Branch, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

P.O. Address, National Military Home., Ohio, Aug 20th, 1883


Friend Billings

D. Sir


As our fraternal friend Dr. Otis has left us and I am not acquainted with the med. Officers in charge of the Med. Museum and as pathological specimens of interest are not infrequent here I expected to see you at the Cleveland Meeting and if the specimens are wanted at the Med. Museum I would try to get them to you.


Are they out of Sulphuric Acid in Egypt or why do they let so many die of cholera?


Yours respect.

H.A. Stephens


Dr. J.S. Billings

Surg. Gen. Office

Wash D.C.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bringing it all back home

One of today's Flickr posts is a shot from our backyard, so to speak.

CP 3160
Cp 3160 Post hospital, Fort Myer, Virginia.

This was in Arlington, VA. I'm sure the building is gone now though.

Letter of the Day: August 19

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 875

August 19, 1895

Dr Lee, Jr.
The Lake House,
Grass Lake, Mich.

Dear Doctor:

In answer to your letter of the 17th inst., in regard to the girl babies connected at sternum by bony union, I would say that such specimens are usually presented to this Museum, and only exceptionally purchased by it.

If the specimen is in perfect condition, and has been preserved in alcohol, I would be willing to give $20.00 for the same; if dry, it is not wanted.

If you will forward it on approval, you may box it carefully, marked Army Medical Museum, Cor. 7th and B Sts., S.W., Washington, D.C., and send by Adams Express, which has authority to receive and forward the box and collect freight charges here.

Very respectfully,

J. S. Billings
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Army Medical Museum and Library.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 18

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 8573


War Department,

Office of the Surgeon General,

Army Medical Museum and Library,



August 18, 1905.


Major Ogden Rafferty,

Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Fort Monroe, Va.




I have the honor to report the following as result of the bacteriological examination of four samples of water forwarded by you August 1, 1905, and received at this laboratory on the following day:


Sample A. Creek water, brought in claret wine cask, from New Market Creek, Hampton, Va.


Numerical count 459 bacteria per c.c.

1 c.c. of this water was added to each of 10 glucose bouillon fermentation tubes with the result that all of them contained gas on the third day of incubation. The amount varied from 20% to 60%.


Sample B. New Market Creek water, after treatment by electrolysis.


Numerical count 6491 bacteria per c.c.

Of ten fermentation tubes receiving each  1 c.c. o this water, five contained gas on the third day of incubation, the amount varying from 109% to 85%.


Sample C. Creek water, mixed with a typhoid culture and subjected to electrolysis for five minutes.


Numerical count 23141 bacteria per c.c.

All of the glucose bouillon fermentation tubes charged with 1 c.c. of this water, contained gas on the second day, varying in amount from 55% to 95%. No typhoid bacilli were recovered from this water after inoculating large flasks of sterile bouillon and then using the method of Conradi and Drigalski four days later.


Sample D. The same as sample C. strained through a layer of absorbent cotton.


Numerical count 18616 bacteria per c.c.

The ten fermentation tubes, charged in the usual way with 1 c.c. of this water, all contained gas on the second day of incubation. On the fourth day the amount of gas present ranged from 30% to 75%. All attempts to recover typhoid bacilli from this water resulted in failure.


REMARKS: The failure to recover typhoid bacilli is probably due to the well-established fact that this organism usually disappears from water containing ordinary bacteria within three or four days.


“A” is quite turbid, is tinted red and gives off the aroma of wine.


“B” shows a faint tint, contains a moderate amount of coagulum.


“C” is the most turbid of the set.


“D” contains a moderate amount of coagulum, but is perhaps the clearest of the four. It is possible that the tannin, or other substance in “A” has inhibited multiplication of the bacteria present in that sample.


“B” contained about one-third as many bacteria as “D”, and nearly four times as many as “C”. From the bacteriological standpoint “B” is the least objectionable of the four waters; whether this is due to the mode of treatment or some other cause cannot be well determined without an intimate knowledge of the details of the manipulations. Neither of the samples can be regarded as a good potable water.


Very respectfully,

James Carroll

1st Lieut., Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Curator, Army Medical Museum


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rare pictures of Japanese WW2 POW camps

A couple of rare pictures of Japanese WW2 POW camps for Allied soldiers are up on our Flickr site now - here's one of them - Camp Rules for Tsumori Prison Camp, Osaka, Japan

MAMAS D45-456-12-7

and Fire fighting apparatus, Yodogawa Prison Camp.

MAMAS D45-456-16-12

We have plenty more of these if there's any interest.

Letter of the Day: August 17

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 875


The Lake House

B. Teufel, Proprietor.

Grass Lake, Mich., Aug. 17 1895


Dr. Jno. S. Billings

Washington, D.C.


Dear Doctor


I have a monstrosity, which would add greatly to your selection and which I claim to differ from any on record, and which I wish to sell.  These are two perfectly form[ed] girl babes connected at Sternum by bony union only. Weith 15#, two (2) heads, four (4) arms – four (4) limbs and every thing usual, except connection. They are nicely preserved, and very handsome.


If you wish a better description I refer you to Dr. Martau (Prof. dis. of women) at Ann  Arbor. Hoping that the Museum is in need of such and trusting that I may hear from you in a few days,


I remain,

Dr Lee, Jr.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 16 - purchasing the Gibson collection

Richmond Va

Aug 16th 1868


Dear Otis


Yours of the 14th was received yesterday + I saw Dr. Williams as requested + will have the [accounts? ] made out tomorrow + sent on as requested. Was it Baxter or who in the devil was it that sent me under the frank of Senator Yates that resolution concerning the appropriation forbidding the S.G. to use any more money? I think if it was Mr B that he out to be fixed + I would be the one to do it if I could get a chance at him. I am on the track of some fossils, which I hope to get for you disentered (sic, disinterred) at Manchester some time since. If I can succeed in getting them they will be a prize for you in the way of exchange if for no other use. I only hope that I can get them.


I am still gunning after that spec[imen] of regeneration of Mt Culp bones – and on a new track just now. A “little brief authority” I think will fetch it, together with #40 or #50, more I can not tell you at present for fear that I might fail.


By the way before I forget it can I have some more of my pics printed at my expense if so I would like 1 doz of the large + 3 doz of the small recollect I want to pay for them. I wish that I had some news to tell you but have not.


Yours truly,



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 15

Shelton, Hanley, Staff. [United Kingdom]

Aug. 15, 1875

My dear Sir,

A long time is elapsed since I wrote you last, above a year now, and it is still longer since I received your polite letter on the subject of the craniological collection of your museum.

I have wondered whether the Congress had authorized the publication of the second Catalogue of Crania, which you told me you had prepared. I think you told me that the only reason for the delay of this important publication arose from the indifference of the Chairman of the Committee to which this subject was referred. I trust this strange and culpable indifference has at last been overcome, and that your Catalogue is now printed, or at least on the press. Pray tell me it is.

I some time since decided to put my “Supplement” to the press, and the whole is now printed except the preface and title page. The printers, who have a great deal of very important work to do, have delayed the compile thus for a long time, but I think it will soon be ready for distribution. It will contain some short account of about 300 skeletons and skulls which have been added to my collection since my “Thesaurus” was issued. Perhaps the most noteworthy of the additions consists of a fine skeleton of a Tasmanian man. This is now an extinct race, at least there is only one woman living. This skeleton struck me as so important an acquitision that I was induced to write a short memoir upon it, which was printed in English in the Transactions of the Dutch Society of Sciences of Haarlem for 1874. I am sorry to say that I have not a copy to send you, but you will find my memoir, entitled “On the Osseology and Peculiarities of the Tasmanians, a race of man recently become extinct,” if you refer to any of the Libraries in Washington which exchange with the Haarlem Society.

(Examining?) the recent accessions to my Collection I am sorry to say that there are no skulls of the Tribes of North America.

I regret that death should have deprived the world of Profs. Agassiz and Jeffreys (sic Jeffries) Wyman, both most excellent men. The latter was a good craniologist and would have done much for our Science had he lived longer.

I remain, yours faithfully,
J. Barnard Davis

Geo A. Otis, Esq.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 14

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 94

Specimens from Dr. R. B. Bontecou.

August 14, 1894

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
Washington, D.C.


Referring to the letter of Dr. R. B. Bontecou, of Troy, N.Y., dated August 8, 1894, herewith returned, I beg to report that the vials containing the so-called parasites have been received at the Museum, and the specimens have been subjected to careful examination. As I was unable myself to come to any conclusion concerning the nature of the specimens, I referred the matter to Dr. Stiles of the Department of Agriculture. I am to-day in receipt of a letter from Mr. Albert Hassall, of the Bureau of Animal Industry, who informs me that, with the help of Mr. Smith of the Division of Vegetable Pathology, he has determined that the so-called parasites consist of vegetable tissue, and that they are without doubt, seed of some kind. Transverse sections of the specimen show clearly a dicotyledonous arrangement, but owing to their altered condition it is impossible to say what seeds they really are.

Very respectfully,

Walter Reed
Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Forest Glen featured by Washington Examiner

The Forest Glen was featured by the Washington Examiner yesterday, but surprisingly they didn't mention the big new tourist attraction moving in - our museum in 2011. The building is starting to rise on a former parking lot.

Letter of the Day: August 13

Fort Riley, Kansas.

August 13th 1874


Ass’t Surg. Geo. A. Otis U.S.A.


Dear Sir,


On the 27th day of June last, Major Compton 6th U.S. Cavalry engaged in a fight with a band of the Kiowa Indians about forty miles south from Fort Dodge. Several Indians were killed in the engagement. I succeeded in procuring the skulls and a greater portion of the skeletons of two noted warriors slain. One, in particular, known in the tribe as “Cunning Jim”, a most notorious horse thief and desperado generally.


Do you receive such specimens into the museum? And if so, shall I ship by express? I made a special trip, sometime ago, to what was once called “Sheridan” then the terminus of the K.P.R.R. and not far from Ft. Wallace to obtain the remaining cervical vertebrae of the body from which I obtained the double Axis I forwarded you over a year ago but was unable to find the grave by reason of the head boards having been burned and carried away by hunters for fuel.


Do you also receive into the Museum such specimens as I enclose samples of  - I mean fossil remains of any or all kinds of animals?  No. 688 Sec. VI


Doctor I have another matter to broach which, perhaps, might better be done in another communication but I trust you will pardon me if it is too unofficious or asking too much trouble at your hands.


The Hospital Steward on duty at the Post, John McKenzie, is anxious to return East on duty, on account of his wife’s rapidly failing health since their arrival at this Post. Mrs. McKenzie is certainly and surely declining – the cause is obscure. I cannot think that it is a disease of nostalgia – although she is constantly entreating to return to their eastern home. From a robust woman, the patient has become so emaciated as to excite the comments of all. I suspicion incipient phthisis [ie tuberculosis] as there is a slight “hacking” cough, a result, however, I imagine, of some other more serious difficulty. The Steward has been in the service over thirteen years, and as the request is made at my hands, solely on account of his family, I have determined to present the case to you – feeling that your influence might procure him the consideration asked for. He is, moreover, an invaluable man in the Corps, and unless the change can be made for him he will be forced – although loathe to do so – to resign his position. If you will lend your influence towards consummating the change of station requested, I will consider it most decidedly, a personal favor as I esteem the Steward highly.


With Respect,

Yours Sincerely,

M.M. Shearer

A.A. Surg. U.S.A.

Museum open for business on Friday, Aug 13

Yesterday's power failure was apparently caused by the utility, so we've got lights today and will be open as usual at 10 AM. The Archives is closing at noon because I'll be speaking on the museum at the Society of American Archivist's Government Records section.

Museum branding project preliminary sketches

very enthusiastic about the opportunity to work on this project,  
please leave comments. arigato

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aug 12: Museum closed this afternoon

A bad early morning thunderstorm flooded parts of the building, including the entrance to the archives, but thanks to my co-workers, nothing was damaged as they moved books out of the way. No important collections were ever in danger. At lunchtime the power went out, and the building was closed for the day. Hopefully we'll be open again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 12


REEVE 001551-1 Anatomy, comparative. Opossum skeleton, Australian, front view. [Bones.]

United States National Museum
Washington, D.C.
Aug 12/85.

Dear Sir.

I trust that you will kindly overlook the delay in calling for the balance of skeletons transferred from the Army Medical Museum to the U.S. National Museum. This delay arose from several causes, the principal being lack of accommodation – until recently at the U.S.N.M. Then too I have but one assistant to do all the osteological work and the arranging of specimens in the Museum. Trusting that I may have caused no serious inconvenience I remain

Very respectfully

Frederic A. Lucas.
Ass’t. Dep’t. Comparative Anatomy

W. Matthews M.D.
Asss’t Surgeon U.S.A.


REEVE 001561-1 Anatomy, comparative. Ornithorynchus, duck-bill mole, side view.


REEVE 01558-1 Anatomy, comparative. Salamander from Japan, sirboldia maxima[?], side
view. [Bones.]

"Faber Hour" Weekly Drop-In Sketching Sessions

 “Faber Hour” Weekly Drop-In Sketching Sessions


When: Every Thursday in August and September, beginning Thursday, August 12, 2010 (tomorrow!)

Time: 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


Cost: Free!



The National Museum of Health and Medicine

6900 Georgia Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20307


What: Join the National Museum of Health and Medicine each week for “Faber Hour.” Hermann Faber was an Army Medical Museum illustrator during and after the Civil War and is widely known for his meticulous anatomical sketches. “Faber Hours” are drop-in sessions for persons interested in spending directed attention on anatomical, historical or art objects in the Museum. “Faber Hours” will be led by a Museum staffer with a background in medical illustration. Free, no reservations necessary. Bring a small sketchbook and pencils.



NMHM  is located in Building 54 on the campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Limited visitor parking is available in the driveway in front of the museum. Additional free parking is available throughout the campus on weekends. Adults are required to present photo ID to gain entry to Walter Reed.


For more information about this program, visit or call 202-782-2673. For specific information about directions and parking, visit


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A blast from the (recent) past: Windows 1996

It’s been a while since I last wrote. I have been working on creating a different layout for the Awesome (or was it Exciting?) Intern Project. The computer that we have running the web site program runs on Windows 1996. That took me back a few years. Fourteen I believe – pause and take a short trip down memory lane.

Back to the topic at hand: The Awesomely-Exciting Intern Project. The project is going well, it seems like every thing that I am currently doing is related more to the design of our site (and how to manipulate the program used to create it) than the information on it. But I like designing and fiddling with programs, so its fun. The most challenging part since Rebecca left has been figuring out the new program. I think the buttons gave me the most trouble. All I wanted to do was make a back and forward button to make the site cyclical, or at least add another “table of contents-like button menu” (which I eventually did figure out how to do). But before I figured it out, I had tried the “just-copy-and-paste-pages-in-attempts-to-make-links-to-everywhere-that-the-page-should-be-linked-to” method (this method does not work). I was tempted to give up on the program and just write a (very) basic HTML coding for the site, and no, I didn’t consider looking at the giant user’s manual Liz gave me. Where would the fun have been in that? My next challenge will be figuring out how to get rid of the blue background on some of images we are using with Photoshop.

I usually have an image. I can’t show you the site so far and Liz has moved her Wednesday Lunch Time Art to Thursday afternoons, but I do have the organic structure of Vitamin A that I drew. That doesn’t really count does it?

Letter of the Day: August 11

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 99


August 11, 1894


Dr. Wm. C. Woodward,

Health Officer, District of Columbia,

Washington, D.C.




I beg to report that a careful bacteriological examination has been made in the Laboratory of this Museum of a sample of water received on Monday, August 6th, from the well corner of Sixth and O Streets, N.W.


All plates made from this water contain numerous colonies of faecal bacteria. Two of the organisms have been carefully worked out, and one is identified as the Bacillus Coli Communis, -- the other as Lactia Aerogenes.


As the result of the bacteriological examination I am of the opinion that this water is of bad quality.


It is probable that a further report will be submitted concerning this water during the coming week.


Very respectfully,


Walter Reed

Major and Surgeon, U. S. Army,

Curator Army Medical Museum.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 10

Fort Brady, Mich.

Augt. 10th. 1875.


My dear Doctor,


Having returned from the cruise which I had determined upon making when I last addressed you - I hasten to give the result of my labors. I left on one of the Canadian Steamers on Thursday, the 1st Inst., for Killarney, 150 miles from Ft. Brady on the north shore of Lake Huron. I there hired a Mackinac boat + two men + started for my hunting ground – an island called “Dead Island”, 45 miles East of Killarney, near the north of French River, in the extreme north east of Lake Huron. I reached Dead Island at 9 a.m. on the 3rd, after an exciting sail of 18 hrs. from Killarney – the coast is rocky + dangerous, +, as there are no lighthouses, the nocturnal portion of our journey was somewhat hazardous. The rocks extend many miles into the Lake, some just under water, + it is difficult to keep clear of them, with a small open sailboat. We had many narrow escapes, + if any accident had occurred, help is so remote that one wd [ie would] surely starve on one of these barren rocks before being discovered. However my men proved themselves skillful sailors, + we suffered no serious mishap.


I then commenced my explorations. Dead Island is situated 8 miles east of the north of French River, + about 2 miles from the mainland. It consists of one huge granite rock, flat + irregular in shape, being perhaps 3/2 of a mile across it, covered here + there with spruce + some underbrush – tamarack +c: it is rather pretty but a very lonely spot being seldom visited even by the Indians, + far removed from any line of travel.


The place where the Indians are buried is on the north east side, of the island, on an elevated ridge of rock – their remains have been collected together, covered with birch-bark, + then small rocks heaped on the birch-bark. These small rocks I am sure had never been disturbed, for they were moss-grown + every thing indicated they had thus lain for ages – or rather years. I removed the stones with my own hands (my men were so superstitious that I cd [ie could] not induce them to assist me) + discovered any quantity of minute fragments of bones (human) – too small I am sorry to say to be of any value – there was not a perfect skull – time + the elements had almost made an end of them. I gathered two parietal bones – one frontal - + one half of the vault of a cranium, which is fractured near the parietal eminence + looks like a wound from a tomahawk. I also secured a few other bones, a knife, two old iron pots, + a small glass vial, marked “King’s Essence Peppermint” on the glass – apparently showing that event took place during the reign of an English King. This vial doubtless fell into Indian hands from some Hudson’s Bay Co. Post.


I was fearfully disappointed in not obtaining more bones, having heard accts. Which justified me in supposing that I might almost fill my boat. It was very interesting examining the place, but you can imagine my feelings after getting nothing at the end of such a long journey.


I had a tedious sail back to Killarney, head-winds +c. 90 miles in an open boat on these waters is quite enough for one trip.


I have many more places to examine thoroughly + trust that I will, before the close of the season, make a good bone-harvest even yet.


Will you please tell me if there are any birch-bark curiosities in the Museum. I wd [ie would] like to send a few specimens of our Indian work here, if there are none.


Yrs. Faithfully,

J.T.H. King


P.S. I will send which bones I now have immediately.


Dr. G. A. Otis

U.S. Army

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our Public Affairs Specialist's Dad works at National Archives

Melissa J. Brachfeld is the Museum's Public Affairs Specialist, and her father is in the business too, and featured in this article, as is my old friend Mitch Yockelson -

Guardians of the nation's attic
The National Archives keeps watch over 10 billion historical records. And its treasure hunting team keeps watch over collector shows and EBay for the scraps of valuable history that have been stolen.
By Faye Fiore, Los Angeles Times
August 8, 2010

WAMU's Metro Connection on museum exhibit

Wounded in Action: Art at Walter Reed
August 6, 2010

Two new art shows have opened at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C. and at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. It's all part of a traveling exhibit called 'Wounded In Action' put on by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Ginger Moored reports...

The Wounded in Action art exhibit is on display at Walter Reed and the University of Maryland in Baltimore through November 11th.

Letter of the Day: August 9 (2 of 2)

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 88


August 9, 1864


WJ McGee,


Smithsonian Institution,

Bureau of Ethnology,

Washington, D.C.


Dear Sir:


Your letter of August 8th, addressed to Dr. Billings, now in Europe, has been referred to me for reply.


We will be pleased to receive the triple trephined skull referred to for deposit in the Army Medical Museum, and would state that the specimen will be at your service at any time for further examination.


Very respectfully,

Walter Reed

Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army,

Curator Army Medical Museum



Letter of the Day: August 8 ( 2 of 2)

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 88


Smithsonian Institution

Bureau of Ethnology

Washington, D.C., August 8, 1894.


Dear Sir:


Your inquiry of the 14th ultimo concerning the triple-trephined skull found near Cuzco by Dr Maneul A. Muniz and designated by him for presentation to the Army Medical Museum has been received. This skull, together with other specimens in the Muniz collection, remains in the Bureau pending the receipt from Dr Muniz of photographs of drawings of certain other trephined crania in Cuzco; when it is the purpose to prepare a detailed description of the entire collection for publication in one of our annual reports. Until advices are received from Dr. Muniz, it is inexpedient to fix a date for the final disposition of the collection; but should you feel anxious to have this specimen at an early date, I will undertake to put it in your hands by the end of the present month with no condition than that you will afford facilities for further examination in the Museum should occasion arise.


Yours with respect,

WJ McGee



Dr. J.S. Billings,

Deputy Surgeon General,

U.S. Army.

Letter of the Day: August 9 (1 of 2)


Camp Letterman

Gen’l Hospital

Near Gettysburg, Pa.

Aug. 9th/65


Dear Doctor,


I have numerous specimens for you – have put them in ale barrels with some whisky + chlorinated soda upon them + have buried barrels and all in the ground. What shall I do with them? We will have more every day for a month to come.


Truly yours

H.K. Neff

Surgeon 3rd Div.

Gen’l. Hos.


To Surgeon Brinton


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 8 (1 of 2)

The life of a crack Civil War surgeon was less glamorous after the war.
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 94


82 Fourth St.
Troy, N.Y.,
August 8, 1894

Surgeon General, U.S. Army.


Pardon the liberty taken in sending you by mail this day, a small package directed to Museum of Surgeon General’s Office, containing four small phials of a strange parasite, great numbers of which have been voided from the bowel of a young lady patient whom I was attending for injury to the spine. Bloody and slimy evacuations occurred, presumably from having much of berries. Oil and terebinthin was administered for some days; masses of transparent jelly was voided, and in a few days these bodies were voided with each evacuation, but more especially after taking turpentine and oil. The patient is about twenty years old, of small, slim stature, and light weight; there is no abdominal tumor, distention or pain, but a feeling of fullness and oppression in the left hypochondrium. The nervous system is much upset. Flushings alternated with cold clammy extremities and frequent paroxysms of voluntary respiration; for the past five days since some calomel and santonin was administered for a few nights no perfect specimens have been voided; but the jelly like substance with fragments of the spiders continue to be voided. When the objects were first voided before the administration of the santonin they were noticed to move, and the appendages which had for some time while in water a tremulous, vibrating movement.

If consistent please inform me what the animal is. I am unable to find in the books any description of them, and greatly oblige,

Your obedient servant,
R. B. Bontecou, M.D.

The original of the above letter was sent informally to Surgeon Walter Reed U.S.A. by Surgeon Charles Smart, U.S.A. by direction of the Surgeon General, with the request that an examination be made of the parasite.

J. F. Longhean

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 7

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1642

August 7, 1896

R. H. Cooper, Esq,
City Clerk,
Palatka, Florida

Dear Sir:

Your letter of August 5th inquiring in regard to an examination of the water used for drinking purposes, etc., at Palatka, is received.

We will endeavor to make the desired examination, and inform you of the result.

Please forward to the Army Medical Museum about a gallon of the water referred to. It had better be sent in a glass demijohn which has previously been thoroughly cleaned, rinsed with boiled water and then with alcohol, the latter being allowed to evaporate. The water should flow directly into the demijohn from the source of supply in order to avoid contamination from any substance whatever. The cork stopper should be charred in the flame. The sample should be sent at once by express in order that it may reach here as soon as possible.

D.L. Huntington
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division

Friday, August 6, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 6

Fort Custer, M.T. [Montana Territory]

Aug. 6th, 1880.


Major G. A. Otis,

Surgeon, U.S.A.


My dear Sir;


I have just received your “List of the Specimens in the Anatomical Section of the U.S. Army Medical Museum.” I notice on p. 118 that the Museum has only two crania of Crow Indians.


I think I can obtain a number of specimens of this tribe for you, and also one or two complete skeletons. 


If you will send me, from time to time, similar catalogues you may publish, I will gladly supply any deficiencies in my power.


Besides the skeletons of mammals and birds sent you recently from Fort Shaw, I have already a number of species new to the collection, that I have obtained in this locality, but as I am constantly adding to them I will not forward them at present.


I am, Sir,

Very truly yours,

James C. Merrill

Capt. + Ass’t. Surg. U.S.A.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More on Eakin's Gross Clinic

The NY Times ran a good article on what the restored painting and its exhibit are like -

Deft Surgery for a Painting Under the Scalpel
Published: July 29, 2010
An exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows Thomas Eakins’s “Gross Clinic,” an 1875 masterpiece that has recently been restored.

In the article, Rosenberg discusses the paintings history especially the initial public hanging of it:

The current show’s first gallery contains photographs and ephemera from the Centennial Exhibition, a world’s fair that included the first historical survey of American art. Much of this material is filler. (Do we really need to see the shareholders’ certificate or Eakins’s exhibitor’s pass?) More to the point are the interior shots of the exhibition sites, which show how “The Gross Clinic” made its debut.

The selection committee found the painting too visceral for the main art show, a stuffy, salon-style affair in Memorial Hall, but with help from Dr. Gross, Eakins was able to display it in a model Army-post hospital elsewhere on the fairgrounds. Photographs show “The Gross Clinic” prominently featured at the end of a long row of beds, framed by dark curtains.

Here's a photograph of that "model Army-post hospital" which featured exhibits on military medicine, and was partially curated by Dr. J.J. Woodward.

001 Hospital front view
1876 Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, Army Medical Department Exhibit - 001 Hospital front view

005 Hospital ward 1 from southern end
1876 Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, Army Medical Department Exhibit - 005 Hospital ward 1 from southern end. [Note the beds with mosquito netting, the enlargements of photomicrographs on the side walls and especially The Gross Clinic painting by Thomas Eakins on the far wall.

Anatomy exhibit at National Gallery of Art

This looks really interesting -

The Body Inside and Out: Anatomical Literature and Art Theory
Selections from the National Gallery of Art Library
July 24, 2010–January 23, 2011

Here's the info from their website and a link to the brochure:

The humanist movement of the Renaissance introduced new realms of possibility in the arts and the sciences, including the study of anatomy. Many artists witnessed or participated in dissections to gain a better understanding of the proportions and systems of the body. Artists and physicians also worked together and formed partnerships—Leonardo and Marcantonio della Torre, Michelangelo and Realdo Columbo, and perhaps most famously, Titian and Andreas Vesalius—where the artist's renderings of the anatomist's findings were reproduced and dispersed to a scattered audience through the relatively recent innovation of print.

This exhibition, featuring outstanding examples of anatomy-related material from the collection of rare books in the National Gallery of Art Library, offers a glimpse into the ways anatomical studies were made available to and used by artists from the 16th to the early 19th century. On view are detailed treatises on human proportion and beauty by artists and scholars including Albrecht Dürer and Juan de Arfe y Villafane; drawing and painting manuals by Leonardo, Jean Cousin, and others, which include chapters on proportion and anatomy; and adaptations of anatomical treatises tailored to the needs of working artists by Roger de Piles and Johann Daniel Preissler, among others.

Letter of the Day: August 5 (2 of 2) - malaria?

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1642


Office of R.H. Cooper,

City Clerk.


Palatka, Florida, Aug 5, 1896


The Curator Army Medical Museum

Washington DC


Dear Sir


The City Council of the City of Palatka desires to as-certain whether you subject a sample of water to an analytical or microscopic examination which will determine whether the water is the cause of a considerable amount of malarial sickness which is prevailing in our City at the present time.


If this can be done please inform me of the cost and the amount of water it will be necessary to transmit. The water in question is that which is used for drinking and general purposes throughout the City.


Yours respectfully

RH Cooper

Museum lunchtime talk today

Lunchtime Talk: Technology in Rehabilitation at the Military Advanced Training Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

When: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

What: Rehabilitation of Wounded Warriors is enhanced by state-of-the-art technology employed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Housed within the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) is the Center for Performance and Clinical Research (CPCR). The CPCR consists of a Biomechanics Lab and a Virtual Environment Lab. The technology is used to provide objective information about how a patient walks, balances, and reacts. The team of care providers uses the data to design, modify, or assess rehabilitation programs.

Bring a lunch and listen to Barri L. Schnall discuss her experiences working with Wounded Warriors using these innovative technologies.

COST: FREE! Bring your lunch!

WHERE: Russell Auditorium, NMHM, Bldg. 54 on WRAMC.

Questions? Email or (202) 782-2673.

Letter of the Day: August 5 (1 of 2)

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 851


August 5, 1895


To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,

Washington, D.C.




I have the honor to inform you that the articles of equipment of the Sanitary Corps of the Spanish Army, presented to this office by the Spanish Government, have been received, thinking that you might wish to make a suitable acknowledgement either by letter or exchange.


The articles received are:


1 Ambulance Knapsack (Mochila de ambulancia.)

1 Ambulance Dressing Case (Bolsa de ambulancia.)

1 Field Litter (Camilla de Campana.)

1 Litter Bed (Camilla-litera.)

1 Chair for carrying wounded (Silla-sueca.)


The value of the outfit received, according to the Spanish catalogue, is 353.28 pesetas, or about $70.65.


Very respectfully,

J.S. Billings

Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,

In charge of Army Medical Museum and Library.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 4

Phila Aug 4th 1863


Dr. Brinton


Dear Sir


Enclosed please find statement of account against the Medical Museum, if we should received the amount at the present time, it would be a great benefit, as business is very dull and we are obliged to pay accounts as they become due. We shall take it as a favor if you will have the account put in train for being paid.


Yours truly


James W. Queen & Co

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Museum Lunchtime Talk, Thurs., 5 August, 12p-1pm: Rehabilitation Technologies at the MATC/WRAMC

Lunchtime Talk: Technology in Rehabilitation at the Military Advanced Training Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

When: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

What: Rehabilitation of Wounded Warriors is enhanced by state-of-the-art technology employed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Housed within the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) is the Center for Performance and Clinical Research (CPCR). The CPCR consists of a Biomechanics Lab and a Virtual Environment Lab. The technology is used to provide objective information about how a patient walks, balances, and reacts. The team of care providers uses the data to design, modify, or assess rehabilitation programs.

Bring a lunch and listen to Barri L. Schnall discuss her experiences working with Wounded Warriors using these innovative technologies.

COST: FREE! Bring your lunch!

WHERE: Russell Auditorium, NMHM, Bldg. 54 on WRAMC.

Questions? Email or (202) 782-2673.

Letter of the Day: August 3 - Milan medical museum?

Washington August 3 1867


My dear Doctor


Among a large number of interesting Medical & Surgical works recently received by us from Milan was the enclosed little pamphlet which if you have not already seen it may interest you as begin on very small scale what you are doing on a very large. Please return when done with and oblige


Your truly

S.F. Baird


Dr. Otis USA

Army Med. Mus.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 2

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 74


August 2, 1894


Dr. S.P. Kramer,

Professor of Pathology,

University of Cincinnati,

Cincinnati, Ohio.


Dear Sir:


In the absence of Dr. Billings who is in Europe, your letter of July 31st has been referred to me for answer. An application has already been made by another party for the loan of the Kymograph, and this request is now awaiting the return of Surgeon General Sternberg to the city. The draughtsman of the Museum is at present on leave and will not return until September 1st. If in the meanwhile, you will indicate explicitly what part or parts of the instrument you would like drawings made of I will gladly comply with your request as soon as our draughtsman returns.


Very truly ours,

Walter Reed

Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army

Curator Army Medical Museum.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 1

Fort Union, N.M. August 1st 1867

Dear Doctor,

I received on my return your very kind letter dated July 10th, for which accept my thanks. I was with Genl. Getty at Nascruces (?) Ranch, some 50 miles from here, holding an Indian council of Utes + Apaches when an express brought news of the death of Dr. + Mrs. McGill and of the cholera in a Battalion of the 38th U.S. Inf. En route for N.M. and thus near Fort Syon some 250 miles from this post. The Genl, at my request gave me an order to prevent the spread of the disease and to care for those sick. I got safely at this camp near Iron Springs, C.T. riding night + day, found that the report of the deaths of poor McGill + wife was only too true. There had been 29 cases with 9 deaths, poor McGill’s being among the last. He lost his wife, carried her remains back over 30 miles to a Fort (Fort Paulford) to bury there, returning the command had moved on 20 miles, and he stayed with his escort at the camp of the day before. In the morning as the officer in charge of the party was about moving, he told him “he was sick, he thought he had the cholera, and that it would kill him to move him.”

The next day at illegible he was dead. He died, poor fellow in an army wagon with only his servant and a Sergt + 3 colored soldiers with him. His last words the Sergt. told me was “Bury me by my wife’s side.” He had lost all interest in life after the death of his wife and seemed glad to die. I have told you what I was able to collect while I remained with the command which was only a few days – only long enough to know its condition with enough to report the proper means to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease – or danger of contagion. Dr. Kimble as act asst surg is with it now. I saw while there a prolapsed anus which I think would measure 10 inches across. The mass would not go in a large hat. If possible I will make a cast of it and send it to you. I will send in a day or two some specimens put up in cotton and small bottles, by mail, and also the cases you desire. I am very busy having turned over to Dr. Peter, and getting ready to leave. Setting out +c I saw in a Washington Chronicle that my leave had been granted. If so I shall leave for France from New York in November. I have been thinking of resigning but not quite made up my mind. I have got many friends and some surgical influence in New York and Drs. Bush DuBuois Snidely + Matts all advise me to settle there at once and offer me on my fathers ack[nowledged?] many favors. Still life is short and I do not care to take the trouble of settling without my constitution gets somewhat illegible. Please excuse the illegible of the above. Drs. McKee, P?, Huntington, are well. On Sunday I am off on a trip of two or three hundred miles thro’ the mts to look at a copper mine + some gold diggings with Genl. Carlton and will illegible + put in quarantine the donkeys and then arrive illegible 20 miles of the post. Remember me to Dr. Crane, Woodward, illegible, Curtis and any other friends and believe me with kind regards

Yours Sincerely,
H.A. DuBois

Bvt. Lt. Col. Geo A. Otis

PS If you have been abroad please give me your advice. I go for health and to study surgery, medicine, + chemistry. Would it not be well for me to get Dr. Barnes to give me a letter of introduction. Is such a thing usual. I forgot to say that the cholera stopped in the negro command just after crossing the Arkansas.