Showing posts with label Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Show all posts

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Letter of the Day: January 22

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 461

January 22, 1895

Mr. Michael H. Curlin,
538 Congress St.,
Portland, Me.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of the 18th inst. in regard to the excised portion of the tibia has been received.

The specimen has been described in the Catalogue of this Museum published in 1866, and a detailed history of the case, with a woodcut of the specimen has been given on page 453 of the Third Surgical Volume of the History of the Rebellion. As all these records would be vitiated by allowing the specimen to go out of the Museum, it is deemed impracticable to grant your request.

Very respectfully,

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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Letter of the Day: December 18

T. Sinclair & Son
Lithographic Establishment.
506 & 508 North St.
Philadelphia Dec. 18th 1883

Dear Sir:

In reply to your communication of the 17th inst., we have to say that the illustrations for 10,000 copies of Parts 1.2.3 Surgical volume and Parts 1 and 2 Medical volume would cost at the rate of one dollar per volume, or about $50,000 in all.

Very respectfully yours
Thos. Sinclair + Son

Surgeon General U.S.A.
Washington D.C.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letter of the Day: April 6 (2 of 2)

The sketchbook Young provided is still in the Museum


Cincinnati Ohio

April 6 1866




Since I saw you last August, I have been very much engaged in arranging my business and getting settled again in civil life which together with a separation from my drawings and notes has prevented me from completing and forwarding the drawings of gunshot wounds for exchange for photographs of specimens in the A.M. Museum as agreed upon at that time. The original was sketched hurriedly, and at periods more or less separate, and it appeared at the time, I entered into the arrangement with you, a comparatively slight task to reproduce them. But when pressed with other affairs, I have found them more tegious [ie tedious]  than I had anticipated. The originals were necessarily rough but I thought at the time they generally gave fair representations of the subjects which they were intended to illustrate.  And now with better opportunities for more perfect finish, I have found it very difficult to depart from the original sketches in this respect and retain the true characteristics of the lesions that were presented in the rough originals.


I have selected injuries of the soft tissues, instead of those of the bones, as what I have of osseous structures, would be but a repetition of what you have such an abundance. The histories accompanying them are brief  from the character of the wounds, the short time we had them under our care, and the difficulty of hearing from them after leaving us. I also have been unfortunate in losing many of my notes of great interest to me upon many of the subjects. But I hope they will meet your anticipations.


Will you please be kind enough to inform me when and how if it be possible I can procure a catalogue of the A.M. Museum, also of the wood cuts, which, I understand are being prepared by the Dept. Having taken great interest in all matters of surgery during the war, I still feel a desire to procure all I can pertaining to it, that may reasonably come within my reach. And thanking your for the extreme kindness you have shown me heretofore I remain truly


Yours, most respectfully etc


D.S. Young, late,

Surge 21st Regt, O.V.Vs [Ohio Veteran Volunteers]


Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Archives collection scanned

They are the cartes-de-visite of Medical Museum specimens. Labeled and arranged by specimen number, they were used as illustrations in the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (online and downloadable from the Internet Archive). Taken by museum photographers William Bell and E.J. Ward. There are a little over 700 of them.

Here's an example:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Letter of the day: February 1

These prints were needed for the second edition of the Medical & Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion.

Surgeon General’s Office
Washington City, DC
February 1, 1868

Baron von Egloffstein,
Superintendent Heliographic Engraving Company
135 West 25th Street
New York City


The two impressions of the plate representing the surgeons railway car of the hospital train of the Department of the Cumberland were duly received and submitted to the Surgeon General. I have also to acknowledge your communication of the 30th ult., announcing the transmission of these proofs, and asking for my criticism thereon.

I regard the work as a very satisfactory copy of the drawing. Much of the engraving appears to me to be done by hand, but it is immaterial how it is done provided so good work can be furnished at the same price as lithographic work.

For an edition of 5020 prints of a similar plate, done by lithography, this office has heretofore paid one hundred dollars, the paper being furnished by this office.

I am instructed by the Surgeon General to request you to send a proof on the thin paper. I herewith transmit, and also a statement of the price at which you can furnish 5020 prints, the paper being furnished.
I am, Baron,
Very respectfully,
Your obt. Servant,
By order of the Surgeon General,
[George A. Otis]
Ass’t. Surgeon, U.S. Army

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Meanwhile, over on our Flickr site

Logbook of Woodcuts for Publications (MM 8590)
Kathleen's put up some pages I was surprised by on our Flickr site. We've had some logbooks from the 19th-century scanned, but I didn't remember that the logbook of woodcuts had the actual Civil War woodcut prints pasted into it. Very cool. These are for the Medical and Surgical History again.

It looks like we're wrapping up the year with slightly under a million views - 906,255 at the moment. Or maybe 1,165,674. We've never been quite sure of how they measure.

Army Medical Museum mention in American History


I was pleased to find the Civil War history, the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion by the Army Medical Museum on display in an exhibit on images in books, "Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustration" by Smithsonian Institution Libraries. The exhibit is at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What was 'black tongue?'

We got a research inquiry today asking ‘what was ‘black tongue’ which threw me for a moment as I’d never heard of it. Fortunately my predecessors recorded information about it.

Black Tongue was a common name for erysipelas – see the two attached documents from the Medical & Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (3rd Surgical vol.) in the footnote starting on the first page. gives an overview and you can see why it would be a dangerous disease before antibiotics.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This was a bit of a surprise* when it was pointed out to me, but I'll be there.

National Archives
9th and Penn Ave, NW
Tuesday, October 27, at 11 A.M.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Civil War Medicine
Archives specialist Rebecca Sharp and reference librarian Nancy Wing discuss The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865. This published source contains details of Civil War medical and surgical procedures, and information about individual patients. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, October 29, at 11 a.m.)

This one looks relevant too:

Tuesday, October 6, at 11 A.M.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Documenting Death in the Civil War
John Deeben, genealogy archives specialist at the National Archives, explores death records created during and after the Civil War by the War Department, examining how they documented personal circumstances of soldiers’ deaths in various situations, including the battlefield and military hospitals and prisons. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, October 8, at 11 a.m.)

*The Army Medical Museum (ie us) wrote the book and we retain original records and specimens that were used to compile it.**

**We also scanned it for you all.