Finally, Samuel P. Moore, M. D., in an address delivered at Richmond, Virginia, October 19, 1865, published in the city papers of the following day, said, ‘The Confederate medical officers were inferior to none in any army’; and in another paragraph: ‘Although there were many capital medical men in the medical corps, yet, from the easy manner by which commissions were obtained for medical officers appointed to regiments, many were supposed not to be properly qualified. It was therefore deemed advisable to establish army medical boards for the examination of medical officers already in service, as well as applicants for commission into the medical corps. These boards were to hold plain, practical examinations. The result was highly satisfactory.’ In Tennessee, more than one instance can be mentioned where a good and well-qualified practitioner, on application to Governor Harris for a position in the medical corps, was by him urgently and earnestly advised and entreated to remain at home, as he would be needed there, because, as quite a number of his colleagues were to be found in the rank and file of the assembling soldiery, in addition to a full complement in the medical corps, the old men, the women and children, and the slaves at home must be cared for as well as the ‘boys’ in the army. This measure prevailed in other States, and in only a few instances of rare emergency, that could not by any means have been avoided, and then only for a brief period, was there any dearth or scarcity of medical officers in the Confederate army, in the field or hospital. Some States began organizing their troops before affiliating with the Confederacy, as in Tennessee. The medical officers received their commissions from the secretary of state, after examinations, both oral and written, by an army medical examining board appointed by the governor of the State. The medical examining board at Nashville was headed by Dr. Paul F. Eve, a teacher of surgery of wide experience, and a surgeon of both national and international reputation. His colleagues were Dr. Joseph Newman, who had served with the Tennessee troops in the war with Mexico, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of a large clientele in Nashville during the intervening years, and Dr. J. D. Winston, also one of the leading practitioners of the capital city of the State. Boards of like character were serving the western division of the State at Memphis, and at Knoxville, in the eastern. When the State troops, then organized, were transferred to the Confederate States, they were recommissioned by the Secretary of War of the Confederacy, on recommendation of the surgeon-general, after examination and approval by the army medical examining boards of the Confederate army. As other troops were subsequently organized, they were supplied with medical officers who had passed a satisfactory examination before a Confederate army medical
When I attended lectures in Philadelphia more than half a century ago, the number of students in the two schools there (the University, and the Jefferson) was a little more than one thousand, more than half of whom were from the Southern States. Of these latter, a majority were bachelors of arts, or had received a classical education. The Southern States in the slaveholding sections were, therefore, prior to the war well supplied with educated and chivalrously honorable surgeons and physicians. Such were the men who served at the bedside and in responsible positions in the medical corps of the armies and navy of the Confederacy.The Southern practitioner, vol. XXIV, p. 437.
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