previous next


Medical directors and officers.

The hardest task for a soldier is to remain quiet under fire without replying. Add to this the concentrated thought and delicate nicety of touch necessary to the treatment of mortal and agonizing wounds, and you have the task which confronted the army surgeon on the field of battle. During the first year of the war, before General Jackson had established a precedent to the contrary, they were also liable to capture and imprisonment. In war-time, army medical officers have many things to do beyond the mere treatment of the sick and wounded. Far-reaching health measures are in their hands. Vast hospitals must be organized, equipped, supplied, and administered, to which sick and wounded by the hundreds of thousands must be transported and distributed. There are subordinates to be enlisted, equipped, cared for, trained, and disciplined. No less than ten thousand medical men gave direct assistance to the Northern forces during the war. Under the agreement of the Geneva Convention, medical officers are now officially neutralized. This status cannot free them from the dangers of battle, but it exempts them from retention as prisoners of war.

Medical directors, army of the Cumberland, June, 1863

Dr. Blackwood (center) and medical officers in 1864 first division, ninth corps, army of the Potomac


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
T. J. Jackson (2)
Blackwood (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (2)
June, 1863 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: