Civil War Hospital Ship

The U.S.S. Red Rover, a captured Confederate vessel, was refitted as a hospital ship.

Evolution of Civil War Nursing

The evolution of the nursing profession in America was accelerated by the Civil War.

The Practice of Surgery

Amputations were the most common surgery performed during the Civil War.

Army Medical Museum and Library

Surgeon-General William Hammond established The Army Medical Museum in 1862. It was the first federal medical research facility.

Civil War Amputation Kit

Many Civil War surgical instruments had handles of bone, wood or ivory. They were never sterilized.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Instructions for Using a Field Tourniquet

Surgeons and medical officers of the Civil War began to develop systems for managing the initial treatment of the wounded. They also instructed troops in emergency first aid.
Union surgeon Samuel D. Gross gave instruction on using tourniquets:
"When the wound is severe, or involving a large artery or vein, the bleeding may prove fatal in a few minutes. Hundreds of persons die on the field of battle from this cause. They allow their life-current to tun out, as water pours from a hydrant, without an attempt to stop it by thrusting the finger in the wound, or compressing the main artery of the injured limb.They perish simply from their ignorance, because the regimental surgeon has failed to give the proper instruction.
"Every one may put into his pocket a stick of wood, six inches long, and a handkerchief, with a thick compress, and be advised how, where, and when they are to be used. By casting the handkerchief round the limb, and placing the compress over its main artery, he can put at once an effectual stop to the hemorrhage. This simple contrivance, which has been instrumental in saving thousands of lives, constitutes what is called the "field tourniquet". A fife, drumstick, knife, or ramrod may be used, if no special piece of wood is at hand."

Civil War Operating Tables

By Cassie Nespor
From: The Rose Melnick Medical Museum
Operating tables of the early- and mid-1800s were very simple wooden planks that may have had restraints for the chest and extremities. These would have been necessary because surgery was done without anesthesia. These basic tables were made more for the surgeon’s comfort than for the patient. Operating tables or chairs would have placed the patient at a comfortable position for the surgeon to work.
As the types of surgery increased due to the use of anesthesia and antiseptic practices, the operating tables and chairs were designed to offer a variety of surgical positions. The table was divided into multiple sections that could be manually adjusted to achieve these positions. Foot rests, shoulder braces, and stirrups held the patient in place. Channels and basins for blood and pus were added.

Civil War Bandages

 All over America, women gathered together to make bandages for the soldiers. Their table linens, bedsheets, clothing and even draperies served as coverings for wounds. Newspapers frequently printed directions.
The April 27, 1861 issue of the "Flushing Journal" of Long Island New York, published the following:
"Bandages may be made from soft, pliable unglazed muslin. Unglazed muslin. Unbleached muslin of medium quality is as good as the more expensive bleached material. If bandages are made by sewing together firm old muslin the seams should be flat. The following table exhibits the length, breadth, and proportion in which bandages should be prepared:
    1st Length, 6 yds. Breadth 4 in. Prop. 2-10
    2d Length, 6 yds. Breadth 3 in. Prop. 3-10
    3d Length, 6 yds. Breadth 2 1/2 Prop. 4-10
    4th Length, 1 1/2  Breadth 1      Prop. 1-10
"These should be evenly rolled, into compact cylinders, the free end securely fastened with two pins, and upon it the length distinctly marked. The rollers should then be made into packages of convenient size, by turning the free end of one roller around the remainder."

A Confederate Hospital for Slaves

Transcribed by Thomas P. Lowry
(From an advertising sheet inserted into the May 1861 issue of "The Southern Planter, Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture and the Household Arts" published in Richmond, Virginia)
This hospital is situated near the corner of Main and 26th streets, and is admirably adapted in airiness, privacy and healthiness of position, to the purposes for which it has been instituted, namely: For MEDICAL, SURGICAL, and OBSTETRICAL treatment of SLAVES. The rules and regulations government this institution have already been published. A circular containing all particulars will be furnished those who may desire further information.
TERMS--Patients per week $5; less than a week $1 per diem; but the aggregate shall not exceed the charge for a full week. Patients attending the daily examinations, (not fit subjects for HOSPITAL CONFINEMENT.) charged the regular fee adopted by the profession at large. The above charges include board, medicine, medical attendance and nursing. Surgical operations charged according to rules of other Hospitals of the city. For further information apply to the Physicians resident at the Hospital, or to either of the undersigned Physicians and Proprietors.
Main St., bet. 3rd and 4th, or No. 130 Main st.
Exchange Hotel, or Grace st., bet 5th and 6th
Franklin Street below Ballard House
Resident Physician
Resident Assistant
Reprinted from "The Journal of Civil War Medicine", April/May/June 2007

Satterlee U.S.A. General Hospital

First of the Federal government's new Pavilion Hospitals

Satterlee Hospital, located in West Philadelphia, was one of the two largest military hospitals in the North, and the first of the Federal government's new pavilion hospitals.
Author and artist Frank Taylor described it in 1913 in his book, "Philadelphia in the Civil War".
"The site was then in the open country. The ground was about 90 feet above tide level, sloping into the valley of a small creek, thus receiving good drainage. The open portion along Baltimore Avenue was used as a parade, and after the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg was covered with tents for the wounded soldiers.
"The Administration Building occupied the center of the enclosure. The wards were furnished with 3,124 beds In addition to the hospital buildings proper quarters were provided for a host of surgeons, attendants, nurses, guards, musicians, cooks, printers and other essential employees.
"Much of the heavier, more trying work at this and other hospitals was done by male assistants known as 'contract men'.
"A good military band, under Prof. Theodore Hermann, provided daily concerts and music for the dress parades and dirges for the dead.
"Always hovering above their charges i the hospital wards were the Sisters of Charity, forty-two in number, under the orders of Mother Mary Gonzaga Grace. These nurses were not paid, but the Government reimbursed for their services the order to which they belonged."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Contraband Hospital

From the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Fugitive slaves, known as "contraband" worked for the Union Army as nurses, cooks, laundresses, and laborers.
Contraband Hospital, in Washington, D.C., a black-only facility, treated thousands of former slaves and black soldiers. The hospital hired nurses primarily from within the population of fugitive slaves and employed the largest number of black surgeons among U.S. military hospitals.
Contraband Hospital was one of the few medical facilities in Washington, D.C. to treat African Americans and broke the color barrier when it appointed Alexander T. Augusta surgeon-in-charge in May 1863.
PHOTO: Contraband who served with the 13th Massachusetts Infantry c. 1863-1865

Dr. Oriana Moon

Confederate Physician

From: The Scottsville Museum

Oriana Russell Moon was the second child in the family of seven children born to Anna Maria Barclay (1809-1870) and Edward Harris Moon (1805-1853).  Oriana, often called 'Orie' by her friends and family, was born in 1834 and lived with her family at Viewmont, a 1500-acre estate on Scottsville Road.  Edward Moon was a wealthy merchant with business interests in Scottsville and Memphis, and a store at Carters' Bridge.  His wife, Anna, was equally wealthy and had inherited Viewmont with all of its slaves and furniture from her stepfather, John Harris
Their daughter, Orie, and her siblings grew up in an aristocratic Southern home, surrounded by books.  Orie's father was well-educated and a man with literary tastes.  He purchased an unusually large library for Orie, consisting of the leading histories, poetry, fiction, and scientific works of the time.  To supplement this exceptional library, Edward Moon hired the finest tutors for his children in literature, history, music, science, and religion.  At a time when society decreed that young Southern women of wealth be tutored privately and trained in such household arts as planning parties and finding a suitable husband, Edward permitted his daughters to choose their own pursuits.  Orie would become a medical doctor; her sister, Sallie Coleman, became a teacher; and her sisters, Lottie and Edmonia, famous Baptist missionaries to China.
For the first sixteen years of her life, Orie was an ardent and persistent reader, often so wrapped up in her readings that she refused to stop for meals.  Orie seemed to prefer mental nourishment to material food and craved learning.  She attended Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary in New York during the 1850-1851 school year.  Her father's books listed a sum of $1050 spent on Orie's education - an enormous sum for a woman's education in those days.  But Orie's education was not complete, as an interest in becoming a medical doctor surfaced at about age eighteen.
William Luther Andrews, Orie's son, wrote in his 1936 memoirs of his mother (Andrews, Barclay, Moon of Albemarle: A Love Story) that Edward Moon readily agreed that she should pursue a medical career.  However, Edward did not live to see her enroll and passed away in 1853.  A year later in 1854, Orie enrolled in the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania.  This medical college was started by Quakers in 1850 "to instruct respectable and intelligent females in various branches of medical science."  This commitment to women in medicine was a rarity, as the belief of that time was that women could not master the education or handle the rigors and indelicacies associated with the practice of medicine.  And Orie seized her educational opportunity with zest.  After writing her thesis on the relationship between cardiac and pulmonary diseases, Orie was awarded her Doctor of Medicine in 1857.
Orie probably recognized that she had embarked upon a controversial career.  Even in sophisticated Philadelphia, where she had received her MD, female students were banned from practicing at all of the hospitals, leading the College to set up its own clinic where they treated other women, the destitute, or, in some people's eyes, the fearless.  As William Luther Andrews wrote in 1936, Orie once wrote to a soon-to-be sister-in-law, "My dear, you must be very brave to marry a man with me for a sister."
In 1857, Orie returned to Viewmont.  A year later, her uncle, James Turner Barclay, decided to return to Jerusalem with his family for a second missionary tour as a Disciples of Christ minister, physician, and student of the Holy Land.  As her son retold the story in 1936, Orie was determined to join Barclay and assist him where possible by providing providing medical services to the Bedouins.  She sailed to Europe, carrying for protection a revolver with which she was an expert marksman.  In Turkey, while crossing the Bosphorus from Constantinople to Adrianople, Orie hired two boatmen to row her across the water.  In an incident she often retold in later years, Orie paid the two men an agreed-upon sum before they started rowing.  However, midway in the trip, the two boatmen threatened to turn back unless she paid them a second time.  Orie pulled out her revolver and barked the command "Go to Adrianople!"  So motivated, the two boatmen rowed with great speed, and when the boat touched the Adrianople shore, they fled with equal haste.  Orie proved to be a fearless American that even these Turks respected.
Arriving in Jerusalem, Orie felt an overwhelming sense of awe that she was treading on holy ground.  She had never been particularly religious, although she was well versed in the Bible and the history of the Holy Land and as a child was a regular attendee of the Scottsville Baptist Church that her parents largely built.  Orie's change-of-heart began during her voyage with the Barclays to the Holy Land and included serious religious talks with her uncle, Dr. James Barclay.  Shortly thereafter, Orie was baptized by Dr. Barclay in the Pool of Siloam.
Although we have not found primary evidence that Dr. Orie practiced medicine during her stay in the Holy Land, William Luther Andrews claimed that his mother told her children many stories about ministering to the Bedouins.  Outside the walls of the Holy City, Orie was known as "El Hakim" (The Doctor).  Due to scarcity of water and poor hygiene, the Bedouins frequently became victims of ophthalmia, a disease that lead to much childhood blindness.  Orie began a campaign of gentle persuasion to encourage the children to wash their faces.  Whenever Orie went through the David Gate of Jerusalem and approached the Bedouin tents, the cry went out ahead of her, "Run, wash your faces - El Hakim is coming!"  According to Orie's stories to her children, the improved sanitation she implemented helped bring relief to Bedouin children suffering from this eye disease.
In later years, Orie told her children that she soon learned enough Arabic to gain the confidence of the Bedouins and their compliance with her medical advice.  Several sheiks with harems camped near the Holy City asked Orie to tend to the sick among their wives and children.  While tending to the ill, she acquired a rich store of anecdotes and intellectual discoveries to embellish her conversations in the years to come.
Life among the Arabs for a young, attractive woman provided a fair share of dangerous experiences, too, and one in particular called for Orie to keep a cool head and an agile mind.  During one visit to a harem, its aging sheik took a fancy to the attractive American.  He suggested that Orie become part of his harem.  As the sheik and Orie sat across from each other on the carpets of his tent, the young doctor produced her revolver and laid it on her lap.  Looking the amorous sheik in the eye, Orie said to him, "I know you think you are doing me an honor, but among my people where a man has but one wife, your suggestion would be the greatest insult a married man could offer to a woman and, if I thought you realized the affront you have offered me, I would kill you.  Do not dare to ever again to even think of such a thing for, if you do, I will read your mind and I will kill you."  To everyone's surprise, the sheik made the most abject apologies and hastily retreated from the scene.
Orie told her children later that she recounted this adventure to her uncle, Dr. Barclay, who was far more aware of her danger than she was.  He insisted strenuously that she discontinue her visits to the Bedouin tents for fear that she might be kidnapped by the amorous sheik.  For the remainder of her Jerusalem stay, Orie visited the historic spots inside and outside the city.  In later life, Orie told her children that Sarah Barclay Johnson, her cousin, accompanied her on some of these visits.  Sarah was the daughter of Dr. Barclay and an artist, who loved sketching the unique scenes of Jerusalem. In fact, several of Sarah's earlier engravings of Jerusalem illustrated Dr. Barclay's 1858 book entitled, City of the King.    Finally after more than 14 months abroad, Orie Moon departed Jerusalem for her Virginia home in the Summer of 1859.
Upon arrival at Viewmont, Orie discovered that her company at social gatherings was in high demand.  To these gatherings, Orie brought exciting word of faraway places.  Her experiences among the Bedouins and in Jerusalem were a source of never ending interest.  Orie continued her medical practice as a woman's physician for her social circle and for the servants of the Moon family.  Her patients, many who would know no other doctor, championed their young female physician and sang her praises.  But among her male medical peers, there was an inclination to belittle Orie and sneer at the idea of a woman being able to acquire a medical education, let along to practice medicine.  When presented with Dr. Moon's diploma from the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia and her marked success with her female patients, some male physicians grudgingly accepted Orie as an unusual woman doctor.  However, despite much urging, Dr. Moon consistently declined to 'hang out her shingle' as a general practitioner.
Then the Civil War broke out in 1861, and Virginia seceded from the Union.  Like the majority of Albemarle families, the Moons of Viewmont dedicated all of their resources to the Confederacy.  Slaves and whites of the household spun, wove, and knit uniforms for the rebel soldiers.  Food supplies and rifles were contributed to the cause.  Orie Moon volunteered her medical services to the Confederacy in several letters written to General John H. Cocke between April and July 1861.  Following is Orie's letter to General Cocke dated 19 July 1861:
July 19, 1861
My most respected Friend,
Owing, I suppose, to our regular postal arrangements, your kind communication of Tuesday has just been received.
I have not as yet entered into service; neither shall I, without consulting you, if you will allow me that high privilege!  I have been willing and even anxious to be engaged in ministering to the wants of the sick, but after you so kindly proposed to take the matter in hand, I thought it would be better to wait and learn the result; and in the meantime assiduously to review my medical studies, hoping thereby to be better qualified for a medical attendant.
I have received my pages from some of the ladies of Charlottesville, to the effect that they had held a meeting to ascertain how many would be willing to nurse the sick, and "certainly counted on getting me; and that I must not leave the county."  But I have not as yet been addressed by the committee, and do not feel myself bound to them.
If it will not be too great an imposition on your time and generosity, I would prefer to have you make any arrangements for me you may see proper.
If the ladies of Richmond address me on the subject, I will enclose their communications to you.
Enclosed I send you some suggestions, which strike me as being good.  It embodies exactly any idea, and I intended to propose such a plan, if I had not been anticipated.
I would prefer to be in a Surgical Hospital where I would assist in the operations.
Please say to the authorities, that I will give the services of myself and servant gratuitously, if they are willing to incur our expenses for dwelling and board.  I will go anywhere or do anything they may see fit to assign me, if it is to follow the army and seek the wounded on the field of battle.
Yours with the highest regard
And Christian esteem
Orie R. Moon
In July 1861, Dr. Orie Moon, her mother, and brother hitched up the family carriage and drove to Charlottesville ten miles away.  Their journey was made to convert the family's ready cash and other marketable assets into currency or bonds for the Confederacy.  Excited citizens gathered on every Charlottesville street corner as Orie and her mother entered the Charlottesville Bank.  While Mrs. Moon discussed her financial situation with the bank president, Orie pondered the "Call to Arms" prominently displayed on the bank's walls.  The notice stressed the urgent need of physicians, surgeons, and nurses for the Confederate Army.  Dr. Orie turned to the bank president and asked, "Where shall I go to offer my services as a physician?"  He directed her to a nearby building.
It appears from available records that Dr. Orie Moon began about that time to affect a temporary appointment as a surgeon with the University of Virginia until General Cocke could secure a permanent position for her in a Confederate surgical hospital.  On 22 July, one day after the Battle of Bull Run, Orie received word to report to the Charlottesville General Hospital which included buildings converted for that purpose at the University of Virginia.  Soon the hospital overflowed with wounded from Bull Run and spilled over to private homes nearby.  In what appears to be a special arrangement with the University of Virginia, Dr. Orie was assigned a ward in this hospital as detailed in a letter written to General Cocke on 27 July 1861 by her sister, Lottie Moon:
July 27, 1861
Gen. John H. Cocke
Dear Sir,
My sister, having entered into a temporary engagement with the medical faculty at the University, has had a ward assigned her and is now there in the discharge of her duties.  The urgent demand for the services of all who had the will and the nerve to witness and relieve the suffering, rendered it impossible for her to remain idle.  Yet I am confident from having so often heard her express the desire, that she earnestly wishes to be nearer the scene of action and that she will shrink from neither difficulty nor danger in the discharge of duty.  If any arrangement could be made to that effect, I am sure that she would be much gratified.  The arrangement she has entered into with the surgeons at the University is only temporary, as she had determined to make no permanent engagement until she had heard further from you.
I regret extremely that I can find no copy of the letters you wished.  After looking over her writing desk, I have reluctantly concluded that she has either taken them with her, or destroyed them.  My mother will send a messenger to town with you letter, and I presume you will receive an answer in a few days.
Very respectfully,
Lottie Moon
As wounded from both armies poured into the Charlottesville General Hospital after the First Manassas confrontation, a letter appeared in the Richmond Daily Dispatch on August 1, 1861, describing the situation at that hospital and Dr. Moon's role there:  "The state of the hospital is most satisfactory.  The few cases of death are extremely cheering.  But one of the wounded has so far died; he was a Yankee and fearfully injured.  The largest number of wounded belong probably to the 4th Alabama Regiment, and there are also several young men of the Oglethorpe Light Infantry, from Savannah, and half dozen students from the University of Oxford, Mississippi, here.  By far the large majority of sick are down with the measles and will easily recover.  Among the more seriously wounded are also two Yankee captains from a New York Regiment."
"Thanks to the energy and zeal displayed on all sides, order begins to reign and system to prevail amid the immense number.  More physicians have arrived from other towns; among them Dr. Alexander Rives, late house-surgeon of Bellevue Hospital, New York; Dr. Moon, a young lady of the neighborhood, to whose skillful and experienced hands the care of a ward has been entrusted.  Other states, also are coming to the relief of their sons.  South Carolina ever ahead in all noble enterprises, has already taken measure to provide houses, provisions and nurses for her wounded or sick soldiers, and we doubt not that her example will soon be followed by others.  It is Virginia, however, who of course ought mainly to see to it that this truly grand institution should be kept up in a manner worthy of her name and of the noble men who are now tended by her sons and her daughters.  The benevolence of a single locality ought not to be overtaxed; the care of wounded soldiers ought not be left to private charity.  Nor should their religious interests be overlooked, and the appointment of a Chaplain would be a wise measure on the part of the Government, and be a great boon to more than a thousand men, led by sickness and death to think seriously of their soul's welfare."
Edward Warren, MD, author of A Doctor's Experience in Three Continents and formerly a Brigadier-General, Surgeon-General of North Carolina, and Inspector of the Army of Northern Virginia, looked upon female surgeons far less favorably than the author of the Richmond Daily Dispatch article.  Perhaps reflective of prevailing Victorian attitudes that the 'gentler' sex were created for matrimonial ends, Dr. Warren bluntly described his narrow views on female physicians in his 1885 book:
"I met also for the first time that rara-avis in the field of Southern medicine, a female physician, in the person of Miss Moon, a native of Albemarle County, Virginia, and a graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia Female Medical Collge of Pennsylvania was renamed woman's Medical College in 1867).  She was a lady of high character and of fine intelligence, and, though she failed to distinguish herself as a physician, she made an excellent nurse, and did good service in the wards of the hospital.  Unfortunately for her professional prospects, she fell in love with one of our assistant surgeons and compromised matters by marrying him and devoting himself to the care of her own babies - like a sensible woman.  Imagine if you can, the position of the young lady with much of native modesty and refinement in her composition, in a hospital of wounded soldiers, and with only medical officers as her companions, and you will have eliminated a most potent argument against the inappropriateness of a woman becoming a doctor.  In my humble judgment, no one possessing a womb or endowed with the attributes of femininity ought to dream of entering the ranks of the medical professor and Dr. Moon's experiences at Charlottesville teaches a lesson in this regard which her aspiring sisters would do well to heed and appreciate."
"The possibility of matrimony and the probability of maternity - the ends for which women were created - raise a barrier in the pathway of those who would enter upon the domain of medicine, which they should regard as nature's protest against their intrusion.  In a word, women were made not to administer drugs nor to amputate limbs nor to engage in the arduous and exciting 'incidents' of a doctor's career, but to fill the sacred role of sister, wife, and mother - to render home happy, and to sustain, cheer and comfort men in the struggle of life."
Doctors, however, who worked beside Dr. Orie in the Charlottesville General Hospital grew to respect her medical skills and dedication.  In a 1913 letter written by Dr. Peter Winston, who ran a ward next to Dr. Orie, he described her as a young woman who did 'efficient service at the bedsides and in the surgical wards."  The scenes of suffering in the University hallways were terrific, but Dr. Orie stopped from her patients' care only long enough to get a few hours of rest a day.
When the Civil War broke out, John Summerfield Andrews, a 23-yr. old practicing physician in Memphis, Tennessee, arranged his personal affairs and headed to Manassas.  He arrived there a few days before the Battle of Bull Run and joined the same Alabama regiment in which his brothers, Robert and William, had enlisted.  During that battle on July 21, 1861, Billie Andrews was among the first of the Alabamians to fall as a grape shot ripped through his body.  Billie's brother, John, caught him as he fell and carried his body back to a safer spot at the battlefield's edge.  Billie died quickly, and later would be buried in an unmarked grave on the battlefield.  His brother, John, went back to the fight.
A few hours later, a minie ball wounded Robert Andrews in the hand, and John helped his brother back to a sheltered spot that became a field hospital.  When Confederate General Bee visited the hospital, he immediately commissioned John as a surgeon and put him in charge of the wounded men of the 4th Alabama Regiment.
After the battle's conclusion, the Confederate wounded were taken to Charlottesville via Culpeper.  At the Charlottesville General Hospital, Dr. John determined that Robert's medical condition was grave.  Research in Charlottesville General Hospital and 4th Alabama records indicate that his hand wound was the least of his problems as Robert suffered from intestinal bleeding associated with a typhoid fever infection.
Robert's condition grew worse, and it became apparent that unless something miraculous was done quickly, he would soon die.  John asked for another surgeon to examine his brother, and Dr. Moon was called in.  When John looked up from his seat at his brother's bedside, he was astonished to see a young woman about 24-years old, 5'4" in height with chestnut hair and blue eyes that seemed to look through a person.  She wore a simple but expensive dress and displayed a calm and medically competent manner around her patient.  John quickly noted that when her face lit up with a smile, sunshine came into the room.  There by his wounded brother's bedside, Dr. John Andrews met his future bride, Dr. Oriana Moon.
The two surgeons surrounded Robert Andrew's bed, and after a thorough examination, retired to an adjoining room for consultation.  In the absence of anesthetics and with the patient's fever, Dr. Moon advised against surgery, fearing it would hasten the end of this young soldier.  John agreed that Dr. Moon's approach was best, that the operation should be deferred.  They packed Robert's chest with ice to reduce his fever and provide more favorable conditions for the operation, should it appear feasible.  During the night, Robert's condition improved slightly and then worsened.  Two days later, Robert died.
On their way from Robert's death bed, another staff member remarked to Dr. Orie that his death was an unusually sad case.  When she asked 'why', her colleague recalled Billie Andrews' death and burial at Bull Run a few days earlier.  Now because of financial reasons, John's brother, Robert, must likewise fill a grave far from his home and family.  These thoughts deeply impressed Dr. Orie, and as she possessed ample funds, she decided to tender Dr. John Andrews a loan to finance Robert Andrews' last trip home to Florence, Alabama.
When John Andrews returned to his post at the Charlottesville Hospital later in the summer, he learned that illness had forced Dr. Orie to give up her Ward.  She had returned to Viewmont where she was being cared for by her mother and family.  At his first opportunity, John hired a horse and rode the ten miles to Viewmont, intending to repay the loan and check on Dr. Orie's health.  He tarried several days at Viewmont before returning to Charlottesville where he discovered he had been installed as Physician to the Ward previously run by Dr. Orie Moon.  John also installed himself as physician to Dr. Orie, who would be confined to bed for more than a month.  Dr. John's visits to Viewmont multiplied and their friendship took on a deeper meaning.  John requested leave to get married, and on November 28, 1861, John Andrews and Oriana Moon married at Viewmont in Albemarle County.
In November 1861, John also sought and was granted leave to seek reassignment in Richmond.  Daily, these hospitals received wounded soldiers from Charlottesville and other areas of Virginia.  Every medical person was needed.  However, military records do not show John resurfacing in Richmond until late January 1862.  On 1 February 1862, he appeared before a medical review board in Richmond where he was declared unsatisfactory as a surgeon.  John resigned his commission the same day.  It appears that John and Orie continued living at Viewmont, where Orie turned her medical attention to her family.  The Andrews' first child, Henry Horton Andrews, was born on 30 October 1862.
In May 1863, Henry Horton Andrews died from croup, and on 1 October 1863, Orie's second son, James Barclay Andrews, was born.  With their family growing, the Andrews moved from Viewmont to the Bel Air estate, located along the Hardware River, approximately three miles from Viewmont and a short distance from Mt. Ayr, the home of John and Mary Moon, who were Orie's uncle and aunt.  On 9 February 1865, Orie gave birth to a third son, William Luther Andrews.
Less than a month later, General Sheridan's Union soldiers marched through the area enroute to Scottsville in early March 1865.  Sheridan's goal was to destroy the canal and any foodstuffs and material that would aid and abet the Confederacy in the closing days of the Civil War.  Orie and John moved their two sons back to Viewmont as Union soldiers approached Viewmont and looted the country.  Orie's sister, Lottie, gathered and buried the family silverware and jewelry until the troops passed by.  So excited was Lottie that she was unable later to point out where she had buried the Moons' valuables.  Uncle Jacob, a trusted Viewmont servant, loaded a wagon with all of the bacon, flour, and food the family could spare from immediate use and drove it into a dense forest in Fluvanna County, nearly 20 miles away.  After Sheridan's men had marched through the area, Uncle Jacob returned to Viewmont with the precious food intact.
The Andrews stayed put at Viewmont as Lee surrendered at Appomatttox on 09 April 1865.  By the War's end, the Scottsville area of Albemarle was economically devastated by Sherman's four-day raid in the region, and a physician with a growing family like the Andrews probably could not depend on his patients' full payment for his medical services.  In 1869, John Andrews' family in Alabama assured him that there was a physician's position for him in Florence, Alabama, and advised John to move south with his family.  Orie and her youngest son caught a train in Charlottesville for Florence while John and their eldest son drove a wagonload of their possessions to Florence.
John soon realized that the Florence area could not pay much more than gratitude for his medical services.  In early 1870, he purchased a small tract of woodland in Hardin County, Tennessee, for a few gold dollars and built a rough board dwelling of two rooms for his family.  Orie and their two sons moved into this humble house in the Tennessee wilds later that year.  Although accustomed to far more comfort, Orie accepted her new situation with quiet dignity, a friendly disposition, and a desire to help her neighbors.
According to William Luther Andrews, his family lived near a small village of 300 Negroes, whose long days in the cotton and sugar cane fields left them little time but much interest in learning about Jesus.  The missionary spirit was aroused in Dr. Orie's heart.  Orie chose the beautiful oak grove in front of her house as an open-air church and decided to tell the story of John 3:16 to these villagers on the following Sunday.  She readied the grove for her congregation by having wood slabs cut as seats.  When the grove was ready for her ministry to begin, Orie sent word to the village that the 'Doctor's Wife' would tell the story of Jesus on Sunday.
A large number of villagers attended her Sunday service and over the next few Sundays, they learned to sing and pray under Orie's tutelage.  She also urged them to a better life - to be all that they can be.  Orie continued her Sunday services all summer, which according to her son, William Luther, gave rise to another heroic episode in his mother's life.  Unfortunately, as Orie was leading her flock to God, a local group of Ku Klux Klan just across the river took exception to this 'white from the north' whom they believed was inciting the black people to rise against them.  One summer's evening, the KKK decided to teach this lady doctor a lesson via a whipping.  They rode to the river and hailed the ferry to come pick them up.  When the ferry owner learned where the men were headed and for what purpose, he drew his teenage son aside and told him to quietly ride hard to Dr. Orie's house to warn her.  As his son rode off, the ferryman readied his ferry slowly to cross the river.
As it happened, John Andrews had been called away from home to attend to a mother giving birth that evening.  His wife and two young sons were left at home without friends or protection.  The ferry owner's son arrived at Orie's doorstep and gave her his father's message, "Dad says for you to run to the woods and hide from the KKK - he will try to hold them until you get away!"  Orie promptly responded without fear, "Tell your dad to put them across the river and tell them my doors are not locked, but I am armed and the first person who enters my house will be carried away."  She immediately prepared for the expected attack, but none came.
When Dr. John returned home after daylight and heard the story, he rode at once to the ferry to learn more from his friend, the ferryman.  The man told John that he had succeeded in dissuading the KKK from carrying out their intended mission by vouching for John, whom he knew to be a Mason.  He added that the Andrews were Virginians, not Northerners, and both had served the Confederacy.  Further the ferryman avowed that Dr. Orie's work among the blacks was entirely religious and that the reports the KKK had been given about Orie were erroneous.  The ferryman's arguments prevailed and nothing further was heard on the matter.
Thanking the ferryman profusely for helping his family in their time of need, John returned home greatly relieved.  However, he felt it best that Orie's ministry with her congregation should be discontinued, not only was it best for their family's well being, but also for that of the black villagers.  Some radical white people in the area were kindling ill feeling about their black neighbors.  Thus Orie gave up her ministry and turned her concentration back once again to her family and providing medical treatment to her female neighbors as needed.
In 1870, the U.S. Census shows Dr. John and Orie Andrews living in Hardin County, Tennessee, with two living sons, James Barclay and William Luther.  Their personal property and real estate holdings totaled $1200.  Another son, Edward Moon Andrews, was born on 4 February 1871, but died on December 7th.  In 1872, the Andrews moved on to Waterloo, Alabama, where a physician was needed and Orie's ministry welcomed.  Orie also gave birth to two more sons, Samuel Bryant Andrews (1872) and Isaac Moon Andrews (1874).  And it was in Waterloo, while visiting her sister, Orie, that Lottie Moon decided to go to Tenchow, China, as a missionary for the Southern Baptist Church.
In their three years at Waterloo, the Andrews family moved three times.  Their patients lived in poverty and could not pay their physician for services rendered.  Possessing a chronic heart ailment, Orie's health suffered under the strain and was confined to bed.  John despaired for her life.  Orie's siblings urged the family to return to Viewmont where the Moons' happy childhood days had been spent.  This suggestion was very well-received by John and Orie, who hoped to restore Orie's health by making the trip in stages in a covered wagon.  John disposed of all of their furniture and shipped their books, clothing, and a few small trunks of keepsakes via railroad to Virginia.  He also purchased four mules and a new wagon with canvas stretched over the bows and a bed with springs in the wagon's rear.  With a small supply of food for travel, the Andrews began the 6-week trip back to Virginia in 1874.
The family settled down at Viewmont with Orie tutoring her sons in the library filled with the books her father had purchased for her many years before.  Five months of the year, the boys hiked 5 miles to Church Hill, the home of their Uncle Isaac Moon who taught a public school there.  Whether at Church Hill or at Viewmont, the Andrews children attended their lessons to learn rather than to be amused.  When not working on their lessons, the boys roamed the woods, set traps for hares and possums, and helped with corn planting in the nearby fields.  Many friends and associates of John and Orie came to visit, and their Moon family kin were always welcome.  Another son was born to the Andrews: Owen Merriweather Andrews (1875).  Time passed quickly and joyfully at Viewmont.
In 1879, the heirs of Anna Marie Barclay Moon, Orie's mother, decided to dispose of her estate and divide their mother's property or its proceeds among them.  Thus the Andrews found they must move on again, this time their new home was on Henry St. George Harris' farm in Buckingham County, Virginia.  In 1880, another son, Frank Moon Andrews, was born to John and Orie.  Perhaps due to the rigors of child birth, Orie's health again worsened.  Within the year, the Andrews moved to Norwood, Nelson Co., Virginia, where they rented a farm belonging to a Mr. Brown's estate.  Dr. John found an active medical practice in Norwood and also planted corn in his fields along the James River low grounds.  During the Spring of 1881, however, torrential rains fell and caused the James River to sweep away all of the Andrews' crops.  The Andrews once again 'moved on', returning this time to Scottsville.

In 1882, John and Orie rented Old Hall, the Beal family home at the corner of Byrd and Harrison Streets.  There the two doctors opened the First Sanatorium of Southside Albemarle and began active practice with children and women as their patients.  They had more clients than they could accommodate, and so greatly did their work tax Dr. Orie's strength that she was forced to quit the practice in December 1883.  John soon realized that his beloved Orie was dying. 

In the early morning of December 24, 1883, Dr. Oriana Moon Andrews died of pneumonia, and, at her request, she was buried on December 26th in the Scottsville Presbyterian Cemetery (now Scottsville Cemetery).  This exceptional woman, who held a medical diploma from an accredited college of medicine and traveled abroad to the Holy Land and Egypt, was laid to her final rest having positively affected and been cherished by many people during her brief life on this earth.  Oriana Moon Andrews was truly a woman ahead of her time!


Alexander Thomas Augusta, M.D.

The first African American physician to receive a commission in the Union Army

By Robert G. Slawson, M.D., F.A.C.R.
Reprinted from: The Journal of Civil War Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, April/May/June 2003

The first African American to receive a commission in the [Union] Army was Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta. Dr. Augusta was born free in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 8, 1825, and became interested in medicine. He actually journeyed to California searching for gold to finance his training.

When he was unable to gain admittance to an American medical school, Augusta moved to Canada. In 1860 he was graduated from Trinity College of Medicine, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and worked at Toronto General Hospital.

After activation of United States Colored Troops, he applied for and was granted a commission. In April 1863, Dr. Augusta was commissioned Surgeon with the Seventh Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops. He was initially assigned in charge of a hospital in Washington. When two white Assistant surgeons arrived and complained that they could not work under a colored officer since no one else was, Surgeon Augusta was reassigned to examine recruits in Baltimore. Most of his work was apparently examining recruits and in inspection of the camps of colored troops.

When war commissions were terminated in November 1866, he continued to work as a contract surgeon for the army until March 1867. In July 1867, for “faithful and meritorious service”, he received a retroactive promotion to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel to date from March 1865 through separation.

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember

Born on August 18, 1823, Phoebe Yates Levy grew up as the fourth of six daughters of a prosperous and cultured Jewish family in Charleston, South Carolina.

Immediately after the outbreak of the Civil War, Phoebe's husband, Thomas Pember, died of tuberculosis. Moving from South Carolina to the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia, Phoebe received an offer to serve as matron of the Chimborazo Military Hospital from Mrs. George W. Randolph, wife of the Confederate Secretary of War. Phoebe reported for duty in December 1862. 

The Chimborazo Hospital was reputed to be the largest military hospital in the world at that time. A sprawling institution located on the western boundary of Richmond, Chimborazo began receiving patients in 1862 and was eventually expanded to 150 wards. Each ward was a separate one story building thirty feet wide and one hundred feet long housing approximately forty to sixty patients. Only one surgeon was assigned to each division. A total of 76,000 patients had been treated at Chimborazo by the end of the Civil War.

The pain, suffering and death at Chimborazo from battlefield casualties was greatly compounded by severe shortages of personnel, medicine, food, and equipment. Primitive facilities, unsanitary conditions, and undeveloped scientific knowledge of medical treatments added to the tragedy and pathos.  

Operating in this atmosphere of misery and despair, Phoebe Yates Pember dedicated herself to doing everything possible to relieve the suffering of the soldiers, administering medication, assisting surgeons in operations (frequently without anesthetic), patching wounds and caring for patients. Often, Phoebe simply served as a final companion to the dying - writing letters, reading stories, playing cards, holding hands, praying, talking.  

At the conclusion of the war, Phoebe Yates Pember wrote her memoirs of the hardships of life in Confederate Richmond, including her experiences as matron of Chimborazo Hospital. First published in 1879, A Southern Woman's Story is rated by Civil War historian Douglas Southall Freeman as "the most realistic treatment of the war" ever published.

A Southern Woman's Story also became a landmark work in women's history through Phoebe Pember's vivid descriptions of the difficulties encountered by one of the first women to enter the previously all male domain of nursing.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke

"Cyclone in Calico"

While [Dorothea] Dix was gathering her forces in Washington, Mary Ann Bickerdyke was taking matters into her own equally dedicated hands in Galesburg, Ill. A 45-year-old juggernaut, Bickerdyke personified Dix’s ideal nurse. Before the war, she had received training in botanic and homeopathic medicine and had been engaged in private-duty nursing. Recently bereaved by the untimely death of both her husband and young daughter, she felt divinely called to spend her remaining life relieving human suffering.
On a Sunday in June 1861, Bickerdyke listened as her pastor, Edward Beecher, brother of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, told of the need for volunteer help in the military camps in nearby Cairo, Ill. When the congregation asked her to accompany a load of food, clothing and medical supplies to Cairo on behalf of the church, she was ready. Except for short visits, that was the last her two young sons saw of her until the end of the war.
When Bickerdyke saw the poor condition of the hospital in Cairo, she took a room in town and immediately began a determined cleanup effort that quickly spread to the other five military hospitals in the area. Although he granted her a grudging welcome at first, Dr. J.J. Woodward, a surgeon with the 22nd Illinois Infantry, later praised Bickerdyke as’strong as a man, muscles of iron, nerves of finest steel; sensitive, but self-reliant, kind and tender; seeking all for others, nothing for herself.’
Throughout the war, ‘Mother’ Bickerdyke moved from one trouble spot to another, acting on her belief that bodies healed best when they were bathed, placed in clean surroundings and fed well. She evinced a special concern for enlisted men and stopped at nothing to get supplies that would bring comfort to her ‘boys.’ She begged food from any viable source, raided government supplies–often without permission–and commandeered boxes of delicacies sent from home to healthy soldiers. Many times, when government rations were waylaid or ran out, she found a way to feed the troops. Her tireless zeal earned her the nickname ‘Cyclone in Calico.’
In the early period of her service, Bickerdyke held no authority other than semiofficial status granted occasionally by Union Army officers. Her manner, however, was so forthright and compelling that she was rarely questioned. When one surgeon dared to ask where she received permission to do what she was doing, Bickerdyke retorted she was given orders by ‘the Lord God Almighty. Have you anything that ranks higher than that?’ Later, she was named a Sanitary Commission agent.
In spite of her brusque and aggressive behavior, Bickerdyke gained the friendship of a few high-ranking officers, among them Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. Toward the end of the war, when someone complained about Bickerdyke to Sherman, he commented that she was the only person around who outranked him, and he suggested the complainer refer the matter to President Abraham Lincoln.
On one occasion, when she was besieging Sherman at an inopportune moment, the oft-prickly general asked whether she had ever heard of insubordination. Bickerdyke responded in an equally testy manner: ‘You bet I’ve heard of it….It’s the only way I ever get anything done in this army.’
She demonstrated that point one day when troops passed one of her hospitals en route to battle at Corinth, Miss. When Bickerdyke invited the captain to halt his exhausted men so that she and her staff could feed them, he refused. As he led the men on, a deep voice cried, ‘Halt!’ The men slowed to a stop, confused. Their bewilderment was replaced with glee when a group of women led by Bickerdyke quickly served them soup and coffee and gave them bread, fruit and fresh water to take along on the march. By the time anyone realized Bickerdyke had given the spurious order to halt, all the men had been served and sent off with the only food they were to see for two days. A formal reprimand brought no firm promise of reform from the unrepentant Bickerdyke.
Major General John ‘Black Jack’ Logan also crossed paths with Bickerdyke, meeting her for the first time late one night after a battle. While lying in his tent, he observed a lone figure with a lamp crisscrossing the battlefield and sent an orderly to bring the person in for questioning. Bickerdyke explained that she could not rest until she was satisfied that no living man remained on the field. The story was picked up by the press and contributed to her folk-hero status. After that incident, Logan often confided in her, called on her to provide for his men, and ordered her to ride at his side at the Union’s gala victory parade in Washington after the Confederate surrender.
As matron of many temporary field hospitals, Mother Bickerdyke often crossed swords with surgeons and other staff members. In some cases, her complaints to superior officers brought disciplinary action; other situations she resolved in her own way. She reserved special vengeance for anyone she suspected of snitching supplies or delicacies she had set aside for the sick and wounded. Once, after repeated warnings to kitchen workers, she decided to set a trap. She cooked some peaches, secretly spiked them with a potent but harmless purgative, and left them to cool while she worked elsewhere. Soon, agonized cries from the kitchen attested that she finally had made her point.
Bickerdyke drafted anyone within reach of her voice to help with the endless labor. Healthy soldiers and camp visitors were either bribed with hot meals or badgered into service. When gentlemen from the Christian Commission came to restore wounded souls, she suggested that they would have a better chance of success if they began with wounded bodies.
Formerly active in the Underground Railroad, Bickerdyke respected blacks and often sought their help. Many contrabands cheerfully worked hard for her, and, in turn, she fought for their fair treatment and taught them skills they could use later in postwar America.
Bickerdyke was equally effective on her occasional speaking forays for the Sanitary Commission. One day toward the end of the war, she was telling the ladies of Henry Ward Beecher’s church in Brooklyn how she had bound the stumps of new amputees with old cloth bags when she had nothing better. Suddenly, she asked the startled women to rise, lift their dresses, and drop one of their many petticoats to the floor. The collected garments filled three trunks, and within a few weeks, Bickerdyke was using the petticoats to bandage the terrible sores of prisoners released from Andersonville in Georgia.
When the last Illinois man was discharged, Bickerdyke resigned from the Sanitary Commission to devote the rest of her life to her family and to charitable deeds. She died in 1901, and a sturdy freighter named for her carried on her work in the 20th century by ferrying Spam and sulfa drugs to American servicemen isolated on Pacific islands in World War II.

Dr. Alexander Henry Hoff

Memoir of Alexander Henry Hoff
18 December 1822-19 August 1876
The following memoir of his father was read by Colonel John Van R. Hoff, U. S. A. (retired), at the graduating exercises of the Army Medical School, May 31st, 1912
Alexander Henry Hoff, Bvt. Col., U. S. Volunteers, Captain, Medical Corps, U. S. A., in whose memory the memorial medal was founded, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., December 18th, 1822.
The family of which he was scion settled in Somerset County, New Jersey, during the early Colonial period. His father was the Rev. Brogan Hoff, a graduate of Rutgers College, and a• minister of the Dutch Reformed Church; his mother, Caroline Clay, of an old Delaware family.
Alexander passed his childhood and youth in his native city, received his education there and took his degree in medicine at the Jefferson Medical School with the class of 1843; Professor J. K. Mitchell, the father of Dr. Weir Mitchell, being his preceptor.
Upon graduation in medicine, Dr. Hoff was appointed interne in Blockley Hospital and later became house physician. During this period he acted as demonstrator of anatomy at Jefferson. Even then he had a decided leaning towards things military and passed his examination for appointment in the Medical Corps of the Army, but his father so vigorously opposed his entering the service that he declined the appointment.
Dr. Hoff settled in New York State and soon established an extensive practice, but his interest in military matters continued. He was for a number of years examining surgeon of recruits at Albany, and in 1854-56 was Surgeon General of the State. He married a daughter of the late General John S. Van Rensselaer.
Deeply imbued with the principles of the Republican party, a lover of his profession and with his military tendencies, it is not to be wondered at that he was among the very first to offer his professional services to the country in 1861. He was assigned as Surgeon of the 3rd N. Y. Vols. and soon had his baptism by fire at the affair at Big Bethel, where a lantern was shot from his hand.
In August, 1861, Dr. Hoff was commissioned Brigade Surgeon of Volunteers, and during that war filled many positions of trust and responsibility. He was the director of the fleet of floating hospitals on the Mississippi river and the originator of the modern hospital ship.
So incessantly was he occupied that he had little time to record his extensive professional experience, but such records as are available bear witness to the fact that he was abreast of the best professional thought of that day.
Reporting on the sick received aboard the hospital steamer D. A. January in October, 1862, he said: “Most of them are suffering with diseases of the intestinal tract; however, in the last two loads there has been more intermittent and remittent fever, complicated with flux. Whether this is a necessary complication, caused by the influences of climate, or depends upon mistreatment, is a matter of much importance. The history of the cases, so far as they can be obtained, points strongly to the treatment as a considerable factor.”
Surgeon Hoff held that the excessive use of mercurial preparations under field service conditions, resulting in the salivation of 50 per cent of the cases, was unjustifiable, particularly as no apparent good followed in cases which, with their discontinuance, often yielded to proper diet alone. Speaking of prophylaxis of malaria he reported: “I cannot say that I am in favor of the whiskey ration even as a vehicle for the administration of sulphate of cinchona.” His report on the misuse of mecurials [mercurials] was largely instrumental in having these remedies stricken from the field supply table.
Dr. Hoff's predilection was towards surgery, but his views were conservative. For example, he contended that the then accepted practice that gun shot fracture of the humerus with wound of the brachial artery imperatively demanded amputation, was not justified and warmly advocated attempts to save the limb.
Regarding primary amputation at the hip joint for gun shot injury he thus expressed himself: “Out of more than a hundred thousand sick and wounded soldiers transferred under my direction while connected with the hospital transportation department, no case of the kind came under my observation, and of the seventeen thousand transported on the hospital steamer D. A. January, under my immediate supervision, I saw no such case. * * *. The day after the battle of Shiloh I had occasion to make several amputations at the upper third of the thigh, just below the trochanter. These cases were all transferred to the general hospitals at St. Louis and were apparently doing well four days after the operation, but, I think they all ultimately died.
I received very few patients on board the hospital transports who had undergone amputation very high up in the thigh, and among the large number of applicants for artificial limbs who came under my observation while stationed in New York City upper third stumps were great rarities. I am inclined to think that not more than ten in a hundred, if as many, survive amputation in the upper third.” Based upon his observation and experience, Dr. Hoff believed that the results of primary amputations lower down did not encourage us to expect much from amputation at the hip joint, a far more formidable operation.
His conclusions were justified by the statistics of the Civil War; but how different the story today. I saw six cases in which amputation had been done at the hip joint, in a single Russian hospital, during the war in Manchuria, all of whom were well on towards recovery.
The history of the hospital boats on the Mississippi river forms a very interesting chapter in Surgeon Hoff’s military record, which is set forth all too briefly in the Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War.
In the beginning there were no boats at the disposition of the Medical Department. In order to clear the front of even a single sick or wounded soldier, it was necessary to apply to the Quartermaster of the Army. This official, naturally, gave preference to his immediate duties and the demands of his own department in the way of transportation; so, even when a boat was secured and partly filled with sick and wounded, it was frequently delayed until the demands of other departments were complied with. The necessities of the ill and injured, at that period of the war, says its medical historian, were apparently of secondary consideration, and the medical officer who exerted himself in their behalf, alike in the interests of humanity as well as military efficiency, was regarded as seeking a personal favor. Surgeon Hoff was the active factor in resolving this situation. His cry for more means of transportation for the sick and its control by the Medical Department was finally heeded.
In 1864 the subject of this memoir was transferred to New York City as Medical Director of Transportation, where he had charge of the receipt and distribution of the sick transferred from field and other hospitals east of the Alleghanies. Utilizing the experience gained in the West, he planned and supervised the arrangement of the ocean steamer J. K. Barnes, the first ship built in this country for hospital purposes, solely.
Nor were his duties here devoid of personal danger, for the attitude of some of the “people” at that period was not kindly towards soldiers, even though sick or wounded.
During the unloading of a hospital boat at one of the city wharves the sick were set upon by the rabble. Surgeon Hoff, who was supervising the debarkation, went to the rescue and got into the midst of a desperate fight, which left him with a broken leg.
March 1st, 1866, he was honorably mustered out of the Volunteer army and given the brevet of Colonel for faithful and meritorious service.
His taste for military life, which had manifested itself in the beginning of his professional career and became fixed by his experience during the Civil War, led him to renounce the brilliant prospect that civil practice offered and he determined to remain in the Army. After an examination which placed him fourth in the very large class of that date, he was commissioned Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army, with rank of Captain, May 14th, 1867.
He accompanied the first troops sent to Sitka after the purchase of Alaska from Russia, was assigned as Medical Director and served there two years, then two years in San Francisco Harbor, and in 1872 was assigned to duty at Governor’s Island, N. Y. In 1874 he was detailed as recorder of the Medical Examining Board and remained on this duty until he died, August 19th, 1876.
He was modest to self effacement, faithful to his duties as physician and soldier, seeking only the reward of service to humanity embodied in the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” May Colonel Hoff’s example be to you all an emulation, stimulating you to higher effort and greater result in the service of your country and humanity.


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