Tuesday, April 19, 2011
April 19, 1897
Dr. A. H. Davidson,
Your letter of the 5th instant, to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army has been referred to me for answer. The statistics of anaesthesia in the Federal army during the late war will be found on p.891 &c. of the 3rd Surgical Volume of the Medical and Surgical History of the War. Anaesthetics were employed in no less than 80.000 cases; in 76.2% the agent was chloroform, in 14.7% ether, and in 9.1% a mixture if ether and chloroform. Thirty-seven (37) cases of deaths from chloroform were reported and four (4) from ether.
There is no report of the Hyderabad Chloroform Commission in the Library. We have a report of the second Hyderabad Commission, which was published at Bombay in 1891, but it is one of the books which are not usually loaned from the Library.
Very truly yours,
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1523
609 Third St.,
June 8, 1896.
Surgeon Walter Reed, U.S.A.,
Curator Army Medical Museum,
In reply to your letter of June 5, 1896, enclosing an extract from the Report of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia on the subject of vivisection, I would say that a very wonderfully distorted, inaccurate and false description has been given of work conducted at the Army Medical Museum some twenty years ago. Those who were practically engaged in the Microscopical Division should know better than any one else the character of the work that was performed, and that all animals experimented upon were under the influence of an anesthetic. One who was not in any manner connected with the Microscopical Division of the Museum, as was the case with Dr. L.E. Rauterberg, could draw upon his imagination very satisfactorily, and write a vivid description of what might have been done with animals, the remains of which he saw under alcohol in specimen jars. I, however, testify that at no time during my connection with the Army Medical Museum, from about 1870 to the end of the year 1895 have any experiments been performed upon animals in which an anesthetic was not used, unless some of the ordinary inoculation experiments, which are practically painless, nor were animals kept in a mutilated condition.
Dr. J.C. McConnell