of his juniors will ever be gratefully remembered. Loyal and generous
to them, both in and out of season his willing strength was often called
upon and never in vain."
The reason for his retirement from the staff of the Hospital
has been explained variously. He was no doubt influenced
by his increasing deafness, as well as by the mental labor
necessary for him at his age to keep up with the rapid changes
in surgical methods. At that time abdominal surgery was
coming to overshadow all other branches of the art, and im-
provements in technique followed thick and fast. Already
well-to-do, there was no imperative reason why he should con-
tinue duties of an arduous nature. Then too his friend and
companion Bigelow was leaving the hospital.
Hodges' association with Henry J. Bigelow makes his ac-
count of the ether controversy almost official. It is entitled,
"The Introduction of Surgical Anaesthesia," 1891.
In the Massachusetts Medical Society he was Anniversary
Chairman in 1872 and delivered the annual discourse in 1886,
on "Undercurrents of Modern Medicine." He also read
"Modern Surgery" before this Society, and he wrote a life of
The man had sterling qualities ; he was active, steady, and
ambitious, with an opinion decisive, almost dogmatic; he was
blunt to brusqueness at times, yet always sincere and honest.
Of habit he was punctilious, and insisted upon the same qual-
ity in others, who came into professional or social relations
EMINENT ALUMNI 913
with him. Although modest to a degree he had a decided
and self-reliant manner which never failed him when needed.
He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard Col-
lege from 1878 until 1890, and was a member of the Amer-
ican Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Boston Society
for Medical Improvement from 1854. He retired from active
practice in 189 1, and died in Boston on February 9, 1896.
HARVARD MEDICAL MEN
IN THE CIVIL WAR AND IN THE
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 917
HARVARD MEDICAL MEN IN THE CIVIL WAR AND IN THE
As the Harvard medical student returns from his daily lec-
tures at the School, his eye may light upon an inscription
above the main staircase, high up, and he will read
In the Memory
Graduates and Members of the
Medical School of Harvard University
Who fell in the Army and Navy
of the United States during
the war of the rebellion.
Erected by the Class of 1869-70.
John Lawrence Fox
Charles Henry Wheelwright
Francis Miller McLellan
Samuel Lee Bigelow
Edward Hutchinson Robbins Revere
William Henry Heath
Samuel Foster Haven
Lucius Manlius Sargent
Ira Willson Bragg
John Edward Hill
Dixi Crosby Hoyt
018 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Henry Sylvanus Plympton
Edward Bromfield Mason
John Fletcher Stevenson
William Borrowe Gibson
Neil K. Gunn
Eugene Patterson Robbins
Henry Livingston Dearing
Oliver Dean Root.
At the left of the entrance to the Dean's office is a bronze
To the Memory of
Zabdiel Boylston Adams
1 829- 1 902
Surgeon 32nd. Capt. 56th Mass. Inf.
A faithful officer in the war
which preserved the Union and destroyed Slavery.
His companions in arms of the
Commandery of the State of Mass.
Military Order of the Loyal Legion
of the United States
Have here placed this tablet
Lex Regit Anna Tuentur.
The service to their country and fellow men, the hardships
and heroism, the honor to their Alma Mater, the lesson of
loyalty and devotion taught the generations by Harvard's sons
in the Civil War, have been told and retold. Our pride in
their achievements is as great as in the record of those ancient
Colonial Harvard Men. I shall tell here of those Harvard
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 919
men only who, as medical graduates or undergraduates, en-
tered their country's service. I shall not attempt to give a
complete record of each man's service. This has been done
already exhaustively, laboriously and sympathetically by oth-
ers.* A full record compiled from their books as well as from
other sources will be found in the statistical part of this work.
Let us follow some of the movements of the Union forces on
land and sea, noting the part taken by our Alumni.
A word as to the status of the Army Medical Department
at that time. The conditions in the army service during the
Revolution have been described in these pages. It will be
remembered how Washington called the attention of the Con-
gress to the unsettled state of affairs : "There is no principal
director nor any subordination among the surgeons; disputes
and contentions have arisen, and must continue until it is
reduced to some system." A reorganization of the Medical
Department resulted. Church's treason, Morgan's persecu-
tion for the shortcomings of the Congress, and Shippen's re-
organization of the service, are all a matter of history. The
summary of it is, that the war produced among us a number
of excellent military surgeons, creditable alike to their country
and to their profession.
The war of 1812 proved the necessity of a recognized head
in the Medical Department, and in 1818 (May 14th, Act)
Joseph Lovell was appointed the first Surgeon General. The
second Surgeon General, Thomas Lawson, was successful in
giving a dignity and rank to the position of medical officers
such as they had not previously. It was thought a great step
in advance when in 1849, Latin, physics, practical anatomy
â™¦Francis H. Brown A. M. ; M. D. "Harvard University in the War of
Henry I. Bowdilch. M. D. in the " Roll of Honor of the graduates and
students of the Medical School," which work is in manuscript form in the
library at Cambridge.
920 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
by means of dissections, and actual clinical experience were
added to the requirements in the admission examination.
At the outbreak of the Civil War the army numbered
16,400, with a medical staff of 115, or .7 per cent of the whole
number of officers and enlisted men. In spite of this high
percentage of surgeons the actual number of those holding
positions of the higher grade was small. This had its evil
consequences and explains much of the suffering among the
wounded and the apparent inhuman negligence of those in
command. Medical officers had the right to criticise; they
might petition Congress ; they might suggest plans and urge
expediency for the relief of the sick and wounded, but they
could not command even the drivers of improvised ambu-
lances. The following letter will give some idea of the state
of the department in the early years of the War :*
" Surgeon General's Office.
"Sept. 7, 1862.
" Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
"Sir: I have the honor to ask your attention to the frightful state of
disorder existing in the arrangement for removing the wounded from the
field of battle. The scarcity of ambulances, the want of organization, the
drunkenness and incompetency of the drivers, the total absence of ambu-
lance attendants are now working their legitimate results, results which
I feel I have no right to keep from the knowledge of the department.
The whole system should be under the charge of the Medical Depart-
ment. An ambulance corps should be organized and set in instant opera-
tion. I have already laid before you a plan for such an organization,
which I think covers the whole ground, but which I am sorry to find
does not meet the approval of the general-in-chief. I am not wedded to
it. I only ask that some system may be adopted by which the removal of
the sick from the field of battle may be speedily accomplished and the
suffering to which they are now subjected be in future as far as possible
"Up to this date six hundred wounded still remain on the battlefield
in consequence of an insufficiency of ambulances and the want of a proper
* Taken with other material on this question from a series of articles
on the " Army Medical Department," Journal American Medical Associa-
tion, vols XLII, et seq.
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 921
system for regulating their removal in the Army of Virginia. Many have
died of starvation, many more will die in consequences of exhaustion, and
all have endured torments which might have been avoided.
" I ask, Sir, that you will give me your aid in this matter, that you will
interpose to prevent a recurrence of such consequences as have followed
the recent battle, consequences which will inevitably ensue on the next
important engagement if nothing is done to obviate them. I am, Sir, very
respectfully, " Your obedient servant.
"William A. Hammond, Surgeon General."
Hammond's description of the pitiable state of the six hun-
dred or more wounded soldiers on the battlefield of the second
Bull Run represents one extreme, while the conditions then
existing for the care of the sick and wounded in the Army of
the Potomac under McClellan may be accepted as the other
extreme. The contrast may appear infinitesimal, but there
was a step in advance. The Army of the Potomac was the
best appointed of all our armies. North or South. It had for
its Medical Director Jonathan Letherman, who at the age of
thirty-eight had just received his promotion to major when
McClellan's retreat after the seven days' fight gave him oppor-
tunity to put into practice that scheme for an Ambulance Corps
which has ever since been associated honorably with his name.
Letherman's plan was simple but effective. He secured volun-
teer officers and men. who with such ambulances as could be
procured were placed under the charge of the Medical Direc-
tors of the several corps. A distinctive uniform and some
simple drill were prescribed. This plan had its obvious de-
fects, for we know what was the relationship of the Medical
Department to the fighting department.
The line officers believed that their troops were there to
fight, consequently when a call was made for men for detached
service, such as ambulance duty, those men thought to l>e least
fitted for fighting duty were invariably detailed. The evil
consequences of this system need not be further traced. It
was the sort of system to be expected of a country unac-
922 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
quainted with the science of war. Let us be thankful that the
Army of the Potomac had some sort of an Ambulance Corps
in its seventeen battles, its two sieges, its many skirmishes and
minor engagements, during that eventful year of 1862. The
devotion of this untrained volunteer band deserves our pro-
found gratitude. The army surgeon in battle stands alone.
No well laid plans are given him; no martial music leads him;
no cheers greet his return ; without a Grant, a Lee, a Sherman,
or a Sheridan as the ideal to which he may arrive, he must
stand always ready to rush into the fighting, and carry off
the wounded from the field. Hence we not infrequently find
him Unionist still, "fighting his battle" under a Lee, a John-
ston, or a "Stonewall" Jackson. The very qualities calcu-
lated to lead ordinary men on to deeds of heroism in the heat
of battle are expected in the case of a surgeon to give a quick-
ness and clearness to the mental faculties, to steady the hand
and to soften the voice of him whose right to higher grade
is refused "unless it can be shown that the skill and efficiency
of surgeons are increased by an increase of rank and pay."
Few chapters in American history are finer. To the reader,
curious in these matters, I recommend the huge collection of
data in the "Medical and Surgical Historv of the Rebellion."
I have abstracted for this chapter such facts in part as apply
to our own alumni. But a further word regarding the devel-
opment of the army medical department up to its present
standard : â€”
That ambulance system inaugurated in the army of the
Potomac proved its value at Antietam, Fredericksburg and
Gettysburg. Our experience proved the value of the two-
wheeled ambulance for one horse, and the four-wheeled am-
bulance for two horses, in spite of the opinions of the Eng-
lish, French, and Sardinian surgeons at Sebastopol that such
vehicles were impracticable for battlefields. Letherman's plan
was more or less the standard dining the Civil War, in battles
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 923
in which any attempt at ambulance work was undertaken. In
America neither the loss of over 575,000 men* nor the care
of 1,057,423 sick, nor the expenditure of $47,000,000 in the
Medical Department seem to have impressed the authorities,
and we find the detail system prevailing in the Army up to
1887. From that date a somewhat modern plan has been
carried out. An organization consisting of men specially
trained for such work, under the charge of non-commissioned
officers, was instituted in the army. In 1892 the Army Med-
ical School was established in Washington, a school which
has been very helpful in the advancement of medical science.
Then came the Spanish W T ar of 1898, at which time the Med-
ical Department consisted of 177 commissioned officers and
750 enlisted men, in a standing army of 25,000. The 250,000
volunteers brought their surgeons with them, â€” three to each
regiment, and three hospital stewards. The Hospital Corps
had to be made up by transfering men from the volunteer regi-
ments to the Regular Hospital Corps, no volunteer hospital
corps having been authorized.
The lessons of the military and sanitary inadequacy of this
system resulted in little improvement, as can be seen from
a study of the Act of February 2, 1901, on the reorganization
of the army. The recommendations of the committee ap-
pointed by President McKinley to investigate the conduct of
the War Department are instructive, and should result in fur-
ther improvements. Tt is interesting to note the opinion of
the late Colonel Dallas Bache, Assistant Surgeon General, on
the value of the field hospital, a factor of great importance in
the army medical department. He says :
" The division hospital, which is the logical unit for medical field serv-
ice, and will survive the new criticism, has created for itself a picturesque
reputation that is destined to make trouble. It has frames, floors, wire
mattresses, much bedding, and many conveniences. The hospital of ex-
* Union loss 279,376; Confederate loss 300,000.
924 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
perience is a lean, though active thing, by the side of this opulent hotel.
It is for nimble service, and often stripped to the simplest necessities,
waterproofs, blankets, and a chance concession for empty bed sacks. It
must often ignore tables of supply ; it cannot afford a superfluous ounce
of flesh or anything else. Its transportation must go for its canvas, stores,
clothing, utensils, and tools. Its intent is to cover barely, to receive the
sick and wounded, but not to harbor them long ; to be ready at an hour's
notice to move. Furniture would be as impossible as melodeons or lawn
mowers. Such a hospital must be manned. Its personnel are soldiers
first, and nurses afterward ; for it is for hard service, and meant for
fatigue, privation, weathers and confusion. It may be idle sometimes, and
acquire Spartan luxuries, but nothing but some overwhelming misery of
the sick should intrude an unaccustomed and alien attendance."
On the outbreak of the Civil War, William Johnson Dale
(M. D. '40) was summoned by Governor John A. Andrew
of Massachusetts at 11 A. M., April 16th, 1861, to aid in
despatching troops to Washington. Dale was appointed Sur-
geon-General of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, with
the rank of colonel, June 14, 1861, and in December of the
same years he was made Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., which
rank he held until the close of the war. Dale had general
supervision of all matters connected with the Medical Staff,
and the care of the sick and wounded sent home. He also
had the appointment of agents for the care of Massachusetts
soldiers at various stations, was charged with furnishing vol-
unteer surgeons; and with the pay, discharges, furloughs,
pensions, etc., of Massachusetts soldiers.
At the first blood-shed on the 19th of April, 186 1, George
F. Shattuck was present as lieutenant in the 6th Massachu-
setts Volunteer Militia. He returned to Harvard for his
M. D. degree in 1862. It is worth noting that the Faculty of
the Medical School voted (Nov., 1861) "that the time a
medical student is engaged in the army be allowed to him as
equivalent to the same period passed with an instructor, pro-
vided that he can procure a certificate from the surgeon of
the regiment to which he is attached, that he has constantly
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 925
been occupied in the discharge of his professional duties."
John P. Ordway (M. D. '61) claims to have performed at
Annapolis the first surgical operation of the war, 23rd April,
1861.* In the fighting prior to the first Bull Run, we find
Augustus P. Chamberlain (M. D., '55), at Big Bethel, Vir-
ginia, and John E. Hill (M. D., '60), at Centreville, Virginia,
where he received wounds which caused his death on Septem-
ber nth, 1862.
John F. Head (M. D. '43) was Chief Medical Officer at
West Point on the outbreak of war, and after serving for
two years in other departments was returned to West Point
in 1864. He was brevet lieutenant-colonel U. S. A. at the
close of the war.
At the first battle of Bull Run many Harvard graduates
were participants. Zabdiel Boylston Adams (M. D., '53),
who afterward served through the Peninsula Campaign, was
at the siege of Yorktown, in the battles of the Wilderness,
Fair Oaks, Seven Days' Fight; and with Pope, Burnside,
Hooker, and Mead in all their greater battles. Reenlisting
as first lieutenant in November, '63, he was in the Wilderness
with Grant, and after being wounded he experienced the hor-
rors of Gordonsville, Lynchburg and Libby prisons. Again
reenlisting in '65, he commanded his regiment at the battle of
Petersburg, where he received his fourth wound. The Legion
of Honor made no mistake in dedicating a tablet to this physi-
Francis LeBaron Monroe (M. D., '61) followed the Army
of the Potomac in all its engagements until July, 1864.
William A. Hatch (M. D., '67), enlisting as a private, won
promotion to lieutenant, captain and major, in the Peninsula
and Virginia campaigns, and at Fredericksburg,
* On the 15th of April, 1861, in saluting the flag at Fort Sumter before
evacuation, one man was killed, and three men wounded by the premature
explosion of a gun. Brown, p. 266.
926 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Benjamin E. Donham and Samuel L. Morse, both graduates
of the Medical School, class of '68, served as privates at Bull
Run, Morse being among the wounded.
Israel T. Hunt (M. D., '70) served as Hospital Steward
after Bull Run, with Sherman in his South Carolina expedi-
Elisha Hopkins (M. D., '54), reentered the army in 1862
as Assistant Surgeon, and served at Baton Rouge, Port Hud-
son, Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek.
Silas A. Holman (M. D., '55) enlisted 15th June, '61, and
was appointed Surgeon to the 7th Massachusetts Volunteers.
His list of battles includes a continuous service from the Penin-
sula campaign to Cold Harbor; and he was brevetted Colonel
in March, '65.
Charles M. Carleton (M. D., '61) was Surgeon in the 18th
Connecticut Volunteers, and Acting Brigade Surgeon at the
defense of Baltimore.
Henry C. Dean (M. D., '61) served as Surgeon with New
York regiments from 1861 to June 6th, 1865, and with these
regiments saw war in all its horrors.
Edward P. Morong (M. D., '54), entered as Surgeon to
the 2nd Maryland Volunteers, June, 1861, and resigned as
brevet lieutenant-colonel in March, 1866.
George H. Oliver, of the same class at the Medical School,
volunteered as Assistant Surgeon in the 118th New York
Regiment, and resigned January 1st, 1865.
Joseph D. Mitchell (M. D., '50) was in the South Carolina
campaign of 1862, and served until 1868.
Isaac G. Cole (M. D., '65) was a private and Hospital
Steward from 1861 to 1865, and was well " trained " for his
Samuel A. Green (M. D., '54) the first medical officer from
Massachusetts for the three years' enlistment, was Assistant
Surgeon at Bull Run; he was in the battle of Roanoke Island.
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 927
after which he was instrumental in having laid out at Roanoke
a cemetery consecrated to the Union dead. He served in the
North and South Carolina expeditions, was at the siege of
Fort Wagner, and later instituted smallpox hospitals at St.
Augustine and Jacksonville. He shared the humiliating fate
of Butler's command at Bermuda Hundred, and ended his
military career at Richmond.
Augustus C. Hamlin (M. D., '55) went from Bull Run
and Yorktown to the Army of Virginia, where he was Sur-
geon-in-Chief of the Flying Hospital in the battles of Cedar
Mountain. Sulphur Springs, and second Bull Run. In the
following year he took part in the assault on Fort Wagner.
Jansen T. Paine (M. D., '62) volunteered in the 6th
Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, April 15, '61, as Assistant
Surgeon. He was at Bull Run. Reentering the army after
the expiration of his three months, he served with the 31st
Massachusetts at Baton Rouge, Port Hudson and in the Red
River Campaign. He finished his service as Surgeon in the
2nd Louisiana Volunteers.
Edward R. Cogswell (M. D., '67) was a private in the
44th Massachusetts Volunteers, and won a sergeancy at Kins-
ton and Whitehall.
Edward N. Whittier (M. D., '69) served in all the greater
battles of Virginia from the first Bull Run to Petersburg in-
clusive. He also took part in the battles of Winchester, where
he was wounded, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek.
Henry Bryant (M. D., '43) was in the battles of Winches-
ter and Bull Run. Bowditch says : " Dr. Bryant was one of
the ablest of the hospital surgeons that left Massachusetts.
His Hospital at Washington, D. C, was a model of neatness,
and unequaled for its thorough discipline. He gained great
reputation. He died at the West Indies while engaged in
natural history researches about a year after the war ended."
Samuel Kneeland, of the same class at the Medical School.
928 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
was in the battles of Newbern, Kinston, and others of the
North Carolina expedition of '62. Later in the war he had
charge of hospitals at New Orleans and at Mobile. He left
the service brevet lieutenant-colonel U. S. Volunteers.
Joseph W. Clift (M. D., '62) joined the 6th Corps in Vir-
ginia immediately after graduation, and was present at most
of the engagements of that Corps up to November, '64.
Edward Russell (M. D., '62) joined the 26th Massachusetts
as Assistant Surgeon in July. '62, taking part in all the en-
gagements until mustered out November, 1865. His last year
of service was with the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry.
William Nichols (M. D., '62) served as Assistant Surgeon
and Surgeon from April, '62, to September, '65. His regi-
ments were the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteers and the 3rd
Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.
Another future graduate with the 2nd Massachusetts Vol-
unteers was Curtis E. Munn (M. D., '66). He was with the
1st Massachusetts Cavalry and the 27th Massachusetts Infan-
try prior to joining the Second.
Andrew J. Thompson (M. D., '61) was Medical Director
on General Davidson's staff, and was attached to the 8th New
John S. Emerson (M. D., '55) was Surgeon in New Hamp-
shire regiments from 1862 to 1865.
Joshua B. Treadwell (M. D., '62) entered the army as As-
sistant Surgeon in the 45th Massachusetts in October of the
year of his graduation from the Medical School, and was with
his regiment in those early battles. He served four months
with the 5th Massachusetts in '64, and with the 62nd Mas-
sachusetts and 54th Massachusetts Volunteers during '65.
William Thorndike (M. D., '57) served with two regi-
ments that saw hard service," the 34th Massachusetts Volun-
teers and the 39th Massachusetts. His service runs from
August, '62, to June, '65.
HARVARD MEN IN THE WARS 929
George A. Stuart (M. D., '66) was a private and later a
Hospital Steward, and saw much active service in the 9th
and 32nd Massachusetts Volunteers in 1861-62, and later in
the 39th Massachusetts Volunteers in '64 and '65.
Samuel P. Fowler (M. D., '74) was a sergeant in the 8th
Massachusetts in the nine months enlistment of '62.
Frederick H. Thompson (M. D., '70) was with the 10th
Thomas J- W. Kennedy (M. D., '46) was Hospital Steward
with the nth Massachusetts Volunteers.
McDowell's defeat at the first Bull Run roused the national