Showing posts with label amputation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amputation. Show all posts

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 13

Fort McPherson, Nebraska
May 13th 1872

George A. Otis
Ass’t Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.


Pursuant to your request of the 10th ult. I prepared for transportation to the A.M.M. the specimen in the case of Private James Casey, Comp. “D” 3rd Cavalry, whose left foot was amputated by Syme’s method, but the A.A.Q.M. at this post, being unaware of any authorization in the premises, referred the matter to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department, from whom, as yet, no instructions have been received. Will you, therefore, please inform me by what authority specimens are forwarded to the A.M.M. by the Q.M. Department and whether, in the absence of any such authority or custom in the Q.M. Department, specimens should be forwarded to the A.M.M. by express, at the expense of the Medical Department.

Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant
F.W. Elbrey
Asst. Surgeon U.S. Army

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Letter of the Day: April 21 - one half-barrel

U.S.A. General Hospital,

Beverly, N.J.,

April 21st 1865




I have the honor to transmit herewith Express Co.’s receipt for one half-barrel containing Anatomical Specimens. Reports of both cases (amputation at the hip joint) were forwarded several days ago with the Quarterly Report of Surgical Operations, in which the cases from whom the specimens were obtained are represented by Hospital Numbers 665 & 1955.


Very respectfully

Your Obdt Servt

C. Wagner,

Asst Surgeon USA

Comdg Hospital



Curator of the Army Med Museum

Surgeon General’s Office

Washington DC

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Letter of the day, April 4

Is it just me, or is this adding insult to injury?

Surgeon General’s Office
Washington City, D.C.
April 4th, 1866.


I am directed by the Surgeon General to request you to furnish this office with the following information in regard to the amputations performed on your left leg.

The name of the Surgeon who performed the first operation in July 1864. The causes which led to the 2nd operation. The date of said operation, and the name of the Surgeon. The date of your discharge from the service, and the present condition and amount of usefulness of the limb.

Very respectfully,
Your obedt. servant,
By order of the Surgeon General,
George A. Otis
Surgeon & Bv’t. Lt. Col U.S. Vols.

N.G. Frost,
Late Pvt. Co. “G” 32 Me. Vols.
Norway, Me.
East Cambridge, Mass.
Thro: Adj. General of Maine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Letter of the Day: March 3 (2 of 2)

Brooklyn, Mar. 3. 68


My dear Doctor,


Your favor of the 29th Ult. Is just received and I feel greatly obliged to you for the advice you have tendered me in reference to Francis, of which I shall avail myself.


It is a pity that the examining surgeons of Brooklyn have been ill-chosen. None of them enjoys reputation or public confidence, and Burdick belongs to the eclectic school of quackery. I doubt very much whether one of them is capable to realize the actual condition of the patient. However I will assist in the matter and see that justice is meted out in the premises.


The specimen you refer to is at your disposal and will be sent with the others, if you deem it worth your while to add it to the museum. I am however, unable to furnish you with the items of the case to which I paid no attention when at Fortress Monroe.  Dr. Bontecou of Troy N.Y. may be able to furnish you with the desired information, for he was the medical director of the Hygeia Hospital at the time. The specimen intended for you I shall send at my swiftest leisure.


Very sincerely yours

Louis Bauer


Geo A. Otis, M.D.

Lieut. Col.  & Asst. Surg. U.S.A.


PS In what way will I send it so as to incur no expenses.



Letter of the Day: March 3 (1 of 2)

Camp Verde, A.T. [Arizona Territory]

March 3rd 1871


Asst. Surgeon G.A. Otis, U.S.A.

Curator, Army Medical Museum

Washington D.C.




In answer to your letter of January 30th requesting specimen in the case of Pvt. Kinnear, I regret to state that the specimen cannot be procured; it was buried with the intention of being forwarded to the Army Med. Museum if desired, but the coyotes unearthed it, and no trace of it can be discovered.


Pvt. Kinnear was an unfavorable subject for operation, having received treatment for chronic dysentery for six months previous to the accident, he was also addicted to the use of alcoholic liquors.


The accident occurred about four miles from the Post, and he was not seen by the Doctor until four hours subsequent to the injury.


On examination, the knee joint was found to be seriously involved, the inner condyle fractured, and the soft parts badly lacerated, his condition was bad; the operation was delayed for some time to enable him to recover from the shock.


Amputation was performed, the lateral flap method, he did not completely rally from its effects, he died ninety-nine hours after, from the conjoined effects of shock hemorrhage and pyaemia.


Very Respectfully,

Your Obt Sert.

A.F. Steigers

Act. Asst. Surg. U.S.A.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Letter of the day: January 22nd

Here’s a letter showing both how the Museum expanded its interests and influences after the Civil War, and how the photographic collection grew. By the way, this was a very rare operation even through the Civil War. When a surgeon performed one, the case was named after him.


Surgeon General’s Office

Washington City, DC

January 22nd, 1868




I am instructed by the Surgeon General to acknowledge the reception of your interesting letter of the 20th inst. A photograph of the patient on whom you operated eighteen years ago, and who has so long survived so dreadful a mutilation, would be a very interesting addition to our collection. In a few days, I will send you a picture we have secured of Dr. Morton’s patient taken nearly a year after the photograph from which the plate in Circular No. 7 S.G.O., 1867, was copied.


I should be glad to secure a picture of your patient of about the same size. The expence (sic) will be defrayed from the Army Medical Museum Fund.


Please instruct the photographer to print four or five copies and to send them with the negative to me at the Army Medical Museum, No. 454, Tenth Street, Washington, together with the bill.


The Surgeon General is much gratified that you and other surgeons of practical experience, in the operation of amputation at the hip-joint, commend the report he has published on the subject.


I am, Doctor,

Very respectfully,

Your obt. servant,

By order of the Surgeon General:


[George A. Otis]

Ass’t Surgeon, U.S.A.

Curator Army Medical Museum


Dr. Washington T. Duffee

N.E. corner of 18th & Wallace Sts.

Philadelphia, Penna