My husband’s family is replete with medical professionals, so my eyes and ears perk up any time I see a pool of medical records. This one naturally caught my eye.
Civil War UNION Surgeons Database
The Indiana University School of Medicine has begun compiling a database of Civil War Union Surgeons from multiple sources and has made them available online in their Union Civil War Surgeons database. They are quick to point out that it is a work in process and to check back often, however, as of January 25, 2013, they have 8,777 names in the database. That’s one heck of a beginning if you ask me!
What You’ll Find
Each entry provides the following information:
- Date and Place of Birth
- Date and Place of Death
- Rank and Regiment
- School Attended and Year
Some even include obits and other narratives, for example:
Dr. Abbett, who went as a volunteer surgeon under the direction of Governor Morton, to Nashville, during the late battles in that vicinity, has returned after a an absence of four weeks. The doctor at Nashville was ordered to report at Franklin. In the latter place he remained twelve days, working hard. He says that we have there three hundred wounded, and the rebels one thousand seven hundred, scattered around in extemporized hospitals. From Franklin he was ordered to Spring Hill; and from there to Columbia, where he found the 23rd Corps. At Pulaski, his next point, he saw encamped the 16th Corps. Many wounded, both Federals and Confederates, were distributed among the farm houses in this vicinity. At Lexington, Alabama, he overtook the 4th Corps. The Doctor reports all of our boys in fine condition, considering the rough and tumble to which they have been subjected. But he tells a sad thing about the treatment which our wounded are alleged to have received at the hands of the rebels after the battle of Franklin. The graybacks no only robbed our suffering men of their clothing, but, in their fiend-hate, knocked many of them in the head with axes. He states this on the oft-repeated testimony of the Union inhabitants of the place. Undoubtedly, this story of rebel barbarity should be received with some abatement; but if the half be true, we have another bloody comment on the boasted chivalry of the South. If it be true, the name of Hood , with that of Forrest and Quantrill, should occupy a chief place in Satan’s role-call of murderers.
Source[ Indianapolis Daily Journal Source_Date[ January 14, 1865
From there you can extend your research into their birth family, their education experience, and, of course, their military contributions.
If you haven’t found your Union Soldier or you think he might have been a surgeon, check here. It’s a free database, and it is simple to use.
By the way, the same organization has compiled another database of 19th and 20th Century Indiana Surgeons! So if your ancestor hailed from Indiana and may have pursued a medical career, here’s an ideal place to look for more information. You can find almost 19,000 (!) records here. These, too, occasionally include obits or other narratives.
Here’s a unique, hidden treasure if you’re looking for ancestors, who cared for the sick and injured.