Monday, May 31, 2010
Centreville Camp Hays 22nd May 1863
J. H. Brinton, M.D.
Curator of the Army Medical Museum.
In obedience to Yours from May 16th I proceded (sic) to Gen’l Abercrombie’s Headquarters in submitting your letter. I was informed that official orders from Gen’l Heinzelmann were received to let nobody pass outside the lines. The battlefield of Bull Run is 3 miles outside the lines. If I could get a permission from Gen’l Heinzelmann and an escort of Cavalry from Gen’l Stahl in Fairfax, I am sure to be recompensed by a rich booty of pathological objects. Please and furnish permission and an escort and I will immediately proceed to the Battlefield and take with me such men well acquainted with the locality and relative places.
After the engagement at Strasburg and the battle of Kross Keys (sic - Cross Keys) I had a little collection, but afterwards meanwhile my captivity in June & July last year they were lost. The cranium Dr. Baron mentioned is lost, but I hope that this loss will be repaired by another one I will send to you.
Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Servant,
Surgeon of the 39th Regt. N.Y.V.
P.S. Allow me to write you next time a letter, concerning views in composing the materials of a military museum which I would hazard to submit to you.
May 31, 1912.
Mr. Leo Hamburger
In reply to your of 21st inst. Enclosing copy of letter of 29th Feby., 1912, relative to the purchase of collection of medals, “Pestilentia in nummis” of the late Mr. Pfeiffer for $10,000, you are informed that there is no money available for this expenditure, and that your suggestion to find some prominent man who would be willing to purchase the collection and present it to the Museum is entirely impracticable.
Walter D. McCaw
Lt. Col. Medical Corps, U.S.A.
In charge of Museum & Library Division
Sunday, May 30, 2010
District of the Gulf,
Part of New Orleans La, Surgeon’s Office,
May 30th, 1885
To the Surgeon General U.S. Army,
On a recent visit to the exhibit of the U.S. Army Medical Department at the Exposition now in this city, I was more than gratified to find displayed therein, photogrpahs of skeletons of Sioux indians donated by me when a hospital stweard of the army on duty at Camp (now Fort) Robinson, Nebraska. If it can be conveniently done, I should be glad to procure copies of the photograps above mentioned and I shall greatly appreciate the favor.
At the time I made the last donation to the Museum Asst. Surgeon Otis (then Curator) promsed me that I should have a full and complete assortment of publications of the Surgeon General’s office, more particularly those relating to the Army Medical Museum. His subsequent illness and death prevented any action on his part and I imagine no record of his promises being made, the whole matter was forgotten.
Your obedent servant,
Samuel W. Richardson
U.S. Marine Hosp’l Service
(Formerly U.S. Army)
Care of Custom House
Five unmounted photographs of skeletons sent by mail June 8, 1885
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 738
United States Legation,
Bern, May 29th, 1895.
Hon. Edwin F. Uhl,
Acting Secretary of State.
In compliance with your instructions contained in Despatch (sic) No. 88 in relation to the purchase of articles for the Army Medical Museum as per request of the Acting Secretary of War, I have made arrangements with the Technical Division of the War Material Administration for the purchase of the articles desired by the Secretary of War. Some of them are on hand, others will have to be constructed, and it will probably be three months from this date, before they can be ready for shipment. In regard to some of the articles which are to be constructed the cost will probably be more than the estimates heretofore reported to the Department. I will not receive or send any of them until they are all ready for shipment.
I have the honor to be, &c.
James O. Broadhead.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Robert L. McNeil Jr., 94, dies; third-generation pharmacist marketed Tylenol
By Emma Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 26, 2010; B07
Tues 28th 
Haven't heard from home since I've been here - guess my mail has been misplaced or sent on over. Had a letter from Charlie today - he is well & still getting along O.K.
Hot and sultry up here - we are all feeling the heat, rains nearly every day.
We have all gotten our equipment complete now but the men are not fitted out yet - think we will be here several days longer, so write me care of Camp Merritt.
I put in for commutation of quarters this morning - claiming Mother as dependent - this will amount to almost $60 which I will send home every month for the household expenses. I also made an allotment of $100 per month to you to be deposited with 1st Nat'l Bank of McComb - this is to begin with June pay - don't think I'll need much more than $120 a month over there. When this begins to come in, let to go to pay my debt to you, then save the rest for me.
Miss Hodges is in New York - together with Misses Clark & almost 20 more of the Camp Shelby nurses all being fitted out for foreign service.
Have been over to New York several afternoons & evenings - we are allowed this - so we are back by nine a.m. - and must remain until after dinner - nothing to do here except paperwork - which I have very little to do, & inspection of the men to see that they do not develop any diseases.
I suppose I don't have to say that I see Miss Hodges when I go over - we went to hear John McCormack - the famous Irish singer, Sunday night at the Hippodrome - it was a benefit for one of the Catholic orphanages - he was great - you know he is called America's foremost and favorite singer & he deserves all the praise he gets.
Does Frances get an increase in her salary with this new increase the government ordered for R.R. employees? I don't see why she shouldn't.
Much love to all at home-
[Captain Otken made a notation on the reverse of the first page of the letter, regarding his pay and allotment]:
Captains salary $200
10% Foreign 20
Thursday, May 27, 2010
More good news......
I just learned that Jim Cameron (GPO's Promotions Manager, GPO) featured our book, Walter Reed Army Medical Center Centennial: A Pictorial History, 1909-2009 in his latest blog post on the "Government Book Talk" blog. Jim created the book blog about two months ago and has been showcasing different Government books each week. He has created a community of followers in the past few months that is growing with each post. Check out the link http://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/
This post also notes that our book was featured as one of Library Journal's (LJ) picks for Best Notable Government Documents, 2009!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Dr J.S. Billings
I have just returned from a trip into the interior and found your communication of March 26th last awaiting me. I have received the $168.00 you refer to, and feel very thankfull to you for the prompt payment. In my last expedition I was in quest of just such skulls as you refer to and was accompanied part of the journey by “Dr Green” of the “U.S.S. Alert” but the hunt was very unsuccessfull.
I again leave today for a more extended tour and may do better this time. It would almost be a pity to undo the mummies from their wrappings as it is of interest to know how some of the ancient Peruvians wrapped up their dead for burial. Nevertheless in the wrappings will be found some relicts of interest.
I intend to return to the U.S. within a year hence and will undoubtedly bring with me a variety of mummies there will be some in an Adamite state so if you feel inclined to hold on to yours until then we may make an exchange for some you like better.
The Medical journals you require will be extremely difficult to obtain as they were never printed in one printing house at a time that is were published first in place one then another. All the copies of “El Monitor Medico” can be obtained but they have the audacity to ask 1 Sol per copy for back numbers, over 60 cts of our money. I will look at all medical works about here as soon as time permits. In the meantime forward you a sample copy of “La Cronica Medica” a monthly published here to which if you have not already subscribed you will see the terms on the cover leaf.
You can rely upon me to serve you in any manner I can down this way. Again thanking you for your kindness – I am yours truly
[added to the bottom of the letter in pencil:] El Monitor Medico Want all prior to 1886, (i.e.) vol I
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library,
May 25, 1900
Dr. Jesse Lazaer
Actg. Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.
My Dear Doctor:
An order issued yesterday from the War Department, calls for a Board of Medical Officers for the investigation of acute infectious diseases occurring on the Island of Cuba. The Board consists of Carroll, yourself, Agramonte and the writer. It will be our duty, under verbal instructions from the Surgeon General, to continue the investigation of the causation of yellow fever. The Surgeon General expects us to make use of the laboratory at Military Hospital No. 1, used by Agramonte, and your laboratory at Camp Columbia.
According to the present plan, Carroll and I will be quartered at Camp Columbia. We propose to bring with us our microscopes and such other apparatus as may be necessary for bacteriological and pathological work. If, therefore, you will promptly send me a list of apparatus on hand in your laboratory, it will serve as a very great help in enabling us to decide as to what we should include in our equipment. Any suggestions that you have to make will be much appreciated.
Carroll and I expect to leave New York, on transport, between the 15th and 20th of June, and are looking forward, with much pleasure, to our association with you and Agramonte in this interesting work. As far as I can see we have a year or two of work before us. Trusting that you will let me hear from you promptly, and with best wishes,
Major & Surgeon,
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Rose Melnick Medical Museum - Medical museum exhibits offer a look at vintage equipmentBy Leonard Crist, TheNewsOutlet.org May 23, 2010.
May 24th. 1907.
Miss Olive Mason.
My dear Grandchild.
You wished me to tell you something about the assasination [sic] of President Lincoln, in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, on the evening of April 14th. 1865. (forty two years ago) at which time I was present in the Theatre. On the 13th. I had ridden to the City of Washington, on some business connected with the Ordnance Department, from near Winchester Va. where my Regiment then was, and on the evening of that day, Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the Army and Navy Building, was a blaze of glory with red fire, rockets, roman-candles, and bunting, in celebration of the surrender of the confederate General R.E. Lee and his army, which occurred on the 9th four days before. The Cities and Towns of the North, were also celebrating the same event with illuminations and great rejoicing. My friend, Captain Sweet and myself, took a carriage and drove along the Avenue, to see the illumination, and when we were near the Army and Navy Building, some one in the crowd, cried out, “there is General Grant”, and in a moment, our horses were unhitched from the carriage, and the men began to draw it along the street, cheering wildly for General Grant. In the uncertain light, they had mistaken me, for Gen. Grant, probably because I wore a beard something like his, and was in uniform. It was some time before I could make them understand they had made a mistake. My business would keep me in the City for two or three days, and so, on the evening of the 14th. I went to Ford’s Theatre, where the play was to be “Our American Cousin” – the principal actors, being E.H. Southern and Laura Keene. As it was known that the President and party would be there, the House was filled. My seat was in the centre of the Dress Circle, directly fronting the Stage, which gave me an unobstructed view of everything.
Some time after the play had begun, the Presinent’s [sic] party entered their box, on the second tier, and as they did so, the whole audience arose and cheered wildly, until the President came to the front of the box, and bowed. The play proceeded until the third act, and while the curtain was dropped for a moment, on one of the scenes, a shot was heard in the direction of the President’s box. Immediately, a man was seen to hurriedly make his way through the President’s box, with a dagger in his right hand, and jump over the rail, onto the stage, about twelve feet below. As he did so, the spur on one of his boots caught in the draping of a flag on the front of the box, and caused him to strike heavily on one foot, and fall to the floor, but he quickly sprang up, and running to the centre of the stage, threw his right hand aloft, still holding the dagger and exclaimed “Sic semper Tyrannis” (which means, Thus always with Tyrants). He then ran across the stage and passed out of sight, at the side entrance. As he jumped from the box, I knew something was wrong, and my impulse was to stop him with a bullet, and I reached for my revolver. It seemed I never regretted anything so much, when I found I had left it at my Hotel. For a minute, a long one it seemed, the people appeared to be dazed, as at some terrible calamity, and then some men jumped over the foot-lights and followed the man with the dagger, and some clambered up to the president’s box to see what was the matter. After a moment, one of them came to the front of the box and announced that the President was shot.
Then cries arose from all parts of the audience, of “catch him”, “bring him on the stage and cut him in pieces”, “kill him” “hang him”. Just after this, Laura Keene, stepped from behind the curtain and said “Wilkes Booth has done this”. She had recognized him as he ran across the stage. In a few minutes the President was carried along the corridor, back of the seats of the Dress circle, down the stairway, and across the street to a private house, where he remained until the following morning, when he died. As he was carried out of the Theatre, the blood from the wound in his head, dropped along the floor, and many of the people dipped their handkerchiefs in therein to preserve as a sacred souvenir of the beloved President. As I left the Theatre, the sound of the news of the terrible tragedy as it passed from lip to lip, could be heard as it extended in ever widening circles from the Theatre as a centre, like the sound of a coming of a mighty tempest, rolling on and on, until it had covered the whole country from the Lakes to the Gulf and from ocean to ocean. Next morning, the black emblems of mourning began to cover the Capitol, the other public buildings, and private residences, and as the sad news reached the Cities and towns of the North, the same thing was done, until the sable pall of unuterable [sic] sorrow seemed to hang over and envelope the land. Business was generally suspended, and the people went about with solemn faces and hushed voices, as if waiting for some even more terrible and impending stroke of Fate.
Never before, and never since, has our country been plunged into such widespread and desolate sorrow; and may the time never again come, when the happy and prosperous people of our beloved America, shall be overshaddowed [sic] with such poignant and heart-wringing grief.
This may give you some idea of that woeful period in the life of our country, and afford an added interest in your readings of its history during the years of the Great Civil War.
Hoping to see you very soon on my return trip from the Jamestown Exposition, I am as ever-
Your loving Gran’Pa.
Henry W. Mason
Sunday, May 23, 2010
23 May 1963
Mrs. Ruby M. Taylor
Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School
McElderry and Caroline Streets
Baltimore 5, Maryland
Dear Mrs. Taylor:
The Medical Museum of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has an exhibit on human reproduction that should be of interest to your biology classes. The exhibit shows a series of normal embryos and fetuses. A study is presently being conducted on the abnormal specimens, but they will not be on display for several months.
It is hoped that your students will derive much benefit from the embryology, anatomy and other medical exhibits.
John W. Sheriden
Colonel, MSC, USA
Saturday, May 22, 2010
[May 22, 1918]
Got two letters from you this week and that sweet card. Also had a couple of letters from Charlie. Didn't get the first letter you and sister wrote, guess they went on over. Dr. Williams is not in N.Y. now- is up in Conn. [Apparent] hasn't his last naturalization papers so can't get in the army.
Met one of my old college friends on the street in N.Y. yesterday afternoon, he is also in service now.
Very hot up here, humidity is great so we feel the heat very much but at that it is a great deal cooler here than in N.Y.
Got my "commutation of quarters" O.K. - am enclosing check for $230 - Use $60 of this for household expenses & tell sister to put the balance on what I owe her. We have had our final physical exam & everything preparatory is finished now and tomorrow morning, we go to the Port of Embarkation & we will be allowed to write no more letters until we get on the other side. I will leave cards here at the port that will be mailed as soon as we arrive safely over there.
Didn't get out to Camp Dix or Mills - would like to have seen Dr Johnson and Archie B.
Capt Sanderson is the man here that I was with in Camp Shelby.
This big drive doesn't look very favorable but I hope they will be able to stop the Germans before they get much farther.
Well, little Mother of mine, altho I'm going far away across the seas, the day never dawns but what I think of the mother and sisters back home and I hope and pray that some day I can come back once more.
I'm proud of the fact that I'm in this war, proud of the work the Medical Corps & Red Cross is doing and I'm trying to do my full share - hoping that when it is all over and peace comes once more, that this old world will be a better, cleaner place to live in. Goodbye - to you and the girls - all the love in the world and a kiss for each of you.
Capt. L.B. Otken M.R.C.
U.S.A. Base Hospital #22
American Exp. Force
New York N.Y.
Friday, May 21, 2010
148 years ago, a forward-looking medical man in a position of authority authorized the creation of the Army Medical Museum. Here's something I wrote about the creation of the Museum-
Like much of the rest of the country, the Army Medical Department was unprepared when the war began on April 12, 1861. As J.J. Chisolm wrote in his preface to the Confederate Manual of Military Surgery, "Most of those who now compose the surgical staff were general practitioners whose country circuit gave them but little surgery, and very seldom presented a gunshot wound. Moreover, as our country had been enjoying an uninterrupted state of peace, the collecting of large bodies of men, and retaining them in health, or the hygiene of armies had been a study without an object, and therefore without interest". America's last major war had been the much smaller conflict with Mexico thirteen years earlier which began in 1846 and lasted until 1848. As a result, most doctors, whether career military officers or newly-enlisted civilians, had almost no experience with gunshot wounds, especially those made by the newly-developed Minié ball. Minié had developed a conical bullet that came out of a rifled barrel; this high-speed bullet caused a significantly worse wound than the older soft lead ball.
Although, contrary to popular belief, physicians did use anesthesia during the war, medicine had not yet made the great advances now taken for granted. Since germ theory did not exist, bacteria and viruses were not recognized as the cause of disease. Anti-sepsis would not be practiced until the decade after the war. Blood typing did not exist and so transfusions were extremely rare. William Roentgen would not discover x-rays for another 30 years. Penicillin and antibiotics were 80 years in the future. Medical education was extremely simplistic, and the familiar modern hospital-based training would not be instituted until after the turn of the century. Amputation was a common treatment for a wound of a limb, although surgeons tried excision (removal of the damaged bone) more frequently - sometimes causing more problems than if they had amputated. The Department had no ambulance corps. It was not until the second year of the war that Dr. Jonathan Letterman developed a standard procedure for removing the wounded from the battlefield. To address some of these problems, Drs. William Alexander Hammond and John Hill Brinton created the Army Medical Museum.
Surgeon General William Hammond
By the end of the spring of 1862, Surgeon General William Hammond's plans for revising the Union Army's Medical Department were beginning to get underway. Secretary of War Stanton had not liked Hammond's aged predecessor, Clement Finley, and had forced him to retire. Hammond had then been appointed, regardless of seniority, to head the Medical Department on April 25, 1862. His appointment was due to the Sanitary Commission's pressure on Stanton for an younger, energetic Surgeon General who could revitalize the department.
At the height of his authority in May of 1862, the newly appointed Hammond had begun making changes in the Medical Department. Most importantly for the study of medicine and eventually its history, Hammond committed the resources of the Department to forming a museum, which would use its collections and the records of the Surgeon General's Office to compile a medical history of the war. Only a few weeks after taking over the Medical Department, Hammond established the Army Medical Museum, the first federal medical research facility. By creating the Museum, Hammond essentially began government-funded medical research which is now seen as such a basic part of the role of government. As Dr. J. J. Woodward, whom Hammond assigned to the Museum, pointed out years after the war:
The establishment of the Army Medical Museum was undoubtedly
suggested by a most pressing need experienced at the
commencement of the late war. There were at that time but
few persons in the United States who had any experience
whatever of military surgery, and there was no place in he
country to which the surgeon about to devote himself to the
military service could turn for definite information or
guidance beyond what he could obtain from foreign works. It
was natural that conscientious men, many of whom had never
seen a gunshot fracture in their lives, should feel a grave
regret that there was no place where, before assuming their
new responsibilities, they could obtain a more realistic
knowledge of the details of military surgery than they could
possibly gather from books and pictures alone." (Woodward,
Lippincott, p. 241)
Hammond issued several orders to implement his ideas. These were published in the form of "circular letters" which were intended to be passed through the Department until everyone had seen them. In Circular No. 2, issued on May 21, 1862, Hammond specifically stated "Medical Directors will furnish one copy of this circular to every medical officer in the department in which they are serving."
This circular established the Museum, stating:
As it is proposed to establish in Washington, an Army
Medical Museum, Medical officers are directed diligently
to collect, and to forward to the office of the Surgeon
General, all specimens of morbid anatomy, surgical or
medical, which may be regarded as valuable; together with
projectiles and foreign bodies removed, and such other
matters as may prove of interest in the study of military
medicine or surgery.
These objects should be accompanied by short
Each specimen in the collection will have appended
the name of the medical officer by whom it was prepared.
Shortly after the initial circular letter was issued, Hammond recalled Dr. John Hill Brinton from duty on the western battlefields. Brinton's orders were extremely laconic, telling him only to report to Washington for special duty. Brinton arrived hoping to receive one of the newly-created medical inspectorships, a job for which he felt well-qualified. Instead, he was assigned to the examining board for surgeons, placed in charge of the Museum, and told to prepare the surgical history of the war. Hammond's Circular No. 5, issued on June 9th, formally created The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion and placed the responsibility for accomplishing it on Brinton and Dr. J.J. Woodward. Brinton was assigned the Surgical part and Woodward the Medical.
Staff of the Army Surgeon General's Office after Hammond and Brinton's departure.
Now, almost a century and a half later, the Museum's fortunes have ebbed and swelled, a great pathology institute grew out of it as did the foundations of the National Library of Medicine, and we're about to embark on yet another move, this time to Forest Glen, MD where a new building is about to be started for us.
1st District of New York,
May 21, 1903
To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
Referring to your letter of the 20th instant, relative to the delivery of alcohol, I would respectfully state that the U.S. Storekeeper stationed at the distillery will deliver the alcohol on receipt of the duplicate permit issued by the Hon. Secretary of the Treasury to your office. I would therefore suggest that you have the said permit properly receipted, per instructions on the back of the form, and forward same to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department of the East, to be presented by his agent at the Columbus Distilling Co., 450 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, this district.
Edward P. Jordan
Collector of Internal Revenue
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 8352
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library,
May 20, 1905
To the Surgeon General,
(Through the Officer in charge of Museum & Library Division).
I have the honor to ask the Commanding Officer of the U.S. General Hospital at Fort Bayard, N.M. to be requested to have prepared and forwarded to the Army Medical Museum, from time to time, as they can obtained, a series of specimens preserved by the Kaiserling method for the purposes of showing, in their natural appearance, the various lesions of tuberculosis and any other interesting pathological condition that may be encountered at post mortem examination. Such a collection would be of great interest and value, and the number of specimens should be large, in order to show the variations occurring in lesions essentially the same. It is desired to illustrate tuberculosis of all the tissues and organs, including the brain, meninges, bones, serous membranes, testicles, etc.
Kaiserling’s method is published in the work on Pathological Technique, by Mallory and Wright, and it requires only care and a little practice to insure success. Sections through organs should usually not be more than an inch in thickness, and for the purpose of identification a small parchment tag, bearing a number in India ink, should be stitched to each specimen. A number of specimens could be shipped in the same container and they should be accompanied by a brief note of the findings at autopsy, stating also whether from the clinical point of view the case was acute, subacute or chronic.
First Lieut, Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum
Surgeon General’s office,
Museum & Library Division,
May 20, 1905
Respectfully forwarded recommended.
Col. Asst. Surg. Genl. U.S.A.
In charge of M&L Division
George Tiemann & Co.
67 Chatham Street,
Corner New Chambers Street,
New York City, May 20, 1884
We fear we must have made an error in calculating. We calculated 2000 cubic centimeters being a trifle more than 3 1/2 pints. The light bag, when measured, holds just 3 ½ pints & you state that it held only 11 c. centimeters.
Would you not kindly inform us, how many pints a 3000 c.c. & 2500 c.c. is equal to? We calculated 5 ¼ pints for the 3000 & 4 2/5 pints for the 2500 c.c. The workman can make the instrument better by having it in pint measurements.
Is the above calculation correct? As soon as we receive an answer, we shall immediately make them & send them on. Is the tubing in the one (returned) large enough, or would you like it larger?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
This week's Library Journal includes its most recent edition of "Notable Government Documents for 2009." The Walter Reed Centennial book that Mike and I and several others worked on is included in this list. What an honor.
This is what they say:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center Centennial: A Pictorial History, 1909–2009. ed. by John R. Pierce & others. Borden Inst. 2009. 279p. illus. maps. SuDoc # D104.2:W17/8. GPO Stock # 008-000-01020-0. ISBN 978-0-9818228-3-9. $35.
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and its predecessor, Walter Reed General Hospital, have treated millions of active and retired personnel from every branch of the military. This collection of photographs and text pays tribute to the center's legacy.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Museum has a stamp (or philately) collection, although not much has been done with it in recent years. Here’s two new additions to it – cancellations attempting to raise funds for medical charities
The 1952 appeal for the American Cancer Society seems early, inasmuch as a ‘war on cancer’ hadn’t been declared yet. The American Lung Association is known for putting out its Christmas Seals and we have a fairly good collection through the middle of the last century.
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1476
Surgeon General’s Office,
U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library,
Corner 7th and B Streets S.W.
Washington, D.C., May 18, 1896
To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
I have the honor to report that the roof over the Library room of the Army Medical School is in a very leaky condition. The roof, originally of concrete, began to leak some six years ago. It was then overlaid by a board and tin roof. The boards have become rotten, the tin is riddled with holes in many places, and the whole superstructure should be replaced by a new one, to be paid for from the Museum appropriation.
I enclose herewith an estimate of the cost of the repair, viz., $85.00, which I consider very reasonable, and as the work should be done at once, and before rainstorms do further damage, I would respectfully request that I be authorized to accept Mr. Yeatman’s offer, which I herewith forward. To prevent the rotting of the boards in the future, Mr. Yeatman purposes to put in five ventilators to allow the circulation of air between the concrete and the new roof.
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army
In charge of Museum and Library Division
May 18 1896
Geo. M. Sternberg
Surgeon General, U.S. Army
Monday, May 17, 2010
Surgeon General’s Office,
Washington, May 17th 1869
The Surgeon General “approves” of your sending anything you can spare and deem best to convey to Russia.
It is desirable to foster the ‘fraternal’ relations which now exist between the “subjects of the Czar” + ourselves.
Very truly yours,
Camp Gaston, Cal.
May 17, 1878
Surgeon General U.S.A.
I have the honor to enclose herewith a Receipt for a package I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster for shipment to you, for the Army Medical Museum.
The package contains a four-legged chicken. It was hatched from an egg of a common hen and was born alive. Mrs. Williams, a soldiers wife, told me yesterday forenoon that one of her hens had during the night, hatched out a chicken with four legs which was still alive and doing well. I at once went with her to see it. We found the feathered quadruped but it was dead. I do not know whether it was killed by accident, or whether its malformation was incompatible with a continuance of its life. It must have lived several hours at least.
I have not examined any of the viscera but have left all untouched. I have placed it in Alcohol, having first filled the alimentary canal with Alcohol, so far as I could by introducing a tube into the throat and allowing as much to run in as would do under a hydrostatic pressure of about one foot.
This specimen may not be rare or valuable but it is the first of the kind that has fallen under my observation.
Your Obt. Servt.
Asst. Surg. U.S.A.
A note on the envelope said the Museum's anatomist discarded it.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
May 16, 1893
Lamb, Dr. D.S.
Sternum showing attachment of eight cartilages on left side.
From Barbara Lippert, white, single, age 30 years, who was left handed. Died March 10, 1893. Necroscopy by Dr. Lamb, Mar. 11, 1893, for Dr. Amelia Erbach.
See Photographs Nos. 83 & 84 N.S. A.M.M.
Specimen received May 16, 1893
May 16, 1898.
Capt. Paul Clendenin,
Asst. Surgeon, U.S. Army.
Key West Barracks, Fla.
I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt, on this day, of a fragment of shell with pieces of cloth removed from the chest of Manuel Rivas, wheelsman of the Spanish Steamer, "Guido", and a few cigarette papers found in his pocket. The Surgeon General desires me to thank you for this interesting contribution, the first received at this Museum from the present war.
Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Saturday, May 15, 2010
May 15, 1905.
To the Surgeon General,
(Thro' the Officer in charge Museum & Library Division, S.G.O.)
I have the honor to request that in order to facilitate the proper transaction of business a telephone be installed in the room adjoining the office of the Curator.
On the numerous occasions when it becomes necessary to use the telephone in communicating with the War Department, the Attending Surgeon's Office, Washington Barracks, Fort Myer, the various hospitals or physicians in the city a messenger must be sent from the floor below and the descent must be made to the same floor to reach the telephone from which the message comes. This involves a loss of time that could be remedied by the installation of a telephone with a new number to insure direct communication.
1st Lieut., Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum
A note on the reverse:
May 16, 1905
Respectfully returned to the officer in charge, Museum and Library Division, Surgeon General's Office, with the information that the Secretary of War has decided that the number of telephones in use in this office cannot be increased. If, however, the officer in charge thinks the placing of a telephone in Lieut. Carroll's room will be of more importance to the service than where they are now located, one of them now in use can be removed to his room; otherwise, no further action will be taken upon this application.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Caney River Oil Co.
Chas. F. Craver, Pres.
M.W. Miles, Vice Pres.
James A. Sharp, Secy.
Arthur H. Craver, Treas.
Our Oil Lands are in Chautauqua Co., Kansas
Monett, Kans. 5/14 '05
Army Medical Museum
I have in my possession the back bone of a large mare that died on my premises here about three years ago - presumably from being poisoned - which back bone is rigid throughout its entire lengty from coccyx to first vertebra of the neck. There are occasional markings showing where the vertebral joints should be & the scars at junctions of the ribs are at the usual intervals, also an occasional part of rib is in place.
It has been broken into two parts - one from coccyx forward is (32") in length & the next piece is 8" in length. - This break is at the marking of a vertebral junction, but it plainly shows that the whole length of 40" was in life rigid & one solid piece. The mare of whose skeleton this is a part was well known this this vicinity - as being an animal of great strengths and value & during her lifetime exhibited no peculiarities that would suggest anything abnormal in her structures. Do you care to investigate this case & would this specimen possess any monetary value? Kindly reply to me at Monett, Chautauqua Co. Kan.
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library
May 20, 1905.
Mr. W.H. Harp
Referring to your letter of the 14th inst., in regard to the diseased spine of a mare, I would state that this Museum possesses several specimens of this kind, "spondylitis deformans". I would be pleased to add your specimen to the Museum collection but would not care to pay for it, except the express charges for forwarding.
Col. Asst. Surgeon General, U.S.A.
In charge of Museum & Library Division.
Edge Hill, King George Co., Va.
May 14, 1895
The Army & Navy Medical Museum,
Gentlemen in charge:-
I enclose you a root that was plowed up by a farmer in this county a few days ago. I am unable to determine what it is. I shall be very glad if you will kindly inform me what it is, etc. The farmer said there was nothing growing above the ground. He found three of the roots together, one of them was about 3 times as large as the one I send.
Any information you can give me will be highly appreciated.
Yours very respectfully,
(Signed) F.F. Ninde, M.D.
May 15, 1895, original transmitted with root to Hon J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
May 13th 1872
George A. Otis
Ass’t Surgeon, U.S. Army,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Pursuant to your request of the 10th ult. I prepared for transportation to the A.M.M. the specimen in the case of Private James Casey, Comp. “D” 3rd Cavalry, whose left foot was amputated by Syme’s method, but the A.A.Q.M. at this post, being unaware of any authorization in the premises, referred the matter to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department, from whom, as yet, no instructions have been received. Will you, therefore, please inform me by what authority specimens are forwarded to the A.M.M. by the Q.M. Department and whether, in the absence of any such authority or custom in the Q.M. Department, specimens should be forwarded to the A.M.M. by express, at the expense of the Medical Department.
Your Obedient Servant
Asst. Surgeon U.S. Army
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Cavalry Depot, Jefferson Barracks, MO
May 12, 1880
To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army
I have the honor to report that I have forwarded to your office, in a box containing “Hospital Records” a tin can, containing a specimen of ulcerated rectum, inverted. A full history of the case to which the specimen relates, will be found in the Report of Sick and Wounded of this Depot for the month of April 1880.
Your Obdt Servt
Edward P Vollum
Major and Surgeon, US Army
Blacksmith Herman Schunke – E – 6th Cavalry
Medical Section A.M.M.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
New Exhibit at NMHM: "Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements" through Veterans Day
"Wounded in Action:
An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements"
Now through Veterans Day 2010
Home from the War by Joseph Pearson
“Wounded in Action,” an exhibit of art works inspired by experiences with the wounds of war, opened at NMHM on May 7. This is the first major national installation for “Wounded in Action.”
The exhibit is in two parts: approximately half of the installation is here at NMHM while the rest is installed at the University of Maryland Baltimore Health Sciences/Human Services Library and Southern Management Corporation Campus Center.
"Wounded in Action" is produced and organized by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Read the NMHM news release:
Learn more about “Wounded in Action” online at http://www.woundedinactionart.org/
Messrs J.B. Colt & Co.
115 & 117 Nassau St.
New York, N.Y.
Your letter of the 8th instant and the box containing the transparency were received yesterday. I have examined the metallic frame, but I prefer the wooden frame shown by your agent, and which I consider more suitable for our purpose. Before sending the transparencies, you will please have them carefully examined to see that they are in perfect condition. I notice that on the transparency received yesterday and which I have this day returned to your address by Adams Express, are a number of defects or blemishes; the pictures will be exhibited in the Museum hall and will be seen by many visitors and closely scrutinized, and it is therefore necessary that I should have them in the best possible condition.
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division
The letter above was in response to this one:
James B. Colt. Charles Goodyear.
J.B. Colt & Co.
Self Focusing Arc Electric Lamps, Projection Lanterns, Lantern Slides
P.O. Box 2773.
115 & 117 Nassau Street, New York, New York.
May 8th, 1897.
Dr. D. L. Huntington,
Surgeon General's Office,
War Department, Washington, D.C.
We express you to-day one of the transparencies mounted in a metallic frame, which we think is to be preferred to the wooden frames our representative showed you when in Washington. These frames cost considerable more apiece than the wooden ones, but as they will be on permanent exhibition in the Medical Museum, we think we are justified in going to this extra outlay, as the attention of people who are interested in them will be called to the complete manner in which they are protected by these metallic trimmings. We wish, of course, to submit the sample to you before we send on the complete order, which will be about week after next.
Of course, there will be no additional charge to you for the frames, as we assume this extra expense ourselves.
Trusting to hear from you at your early convenience, we are,
J.B. Colt & Co.,
May 11, 1897, transparency returned
Monday, May 10, 2010
Washington, May 10, 1875
Dr. George A Otis,
Army Med. Mus.
We have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of the Indian scalp referred to in your letter of the 4th of May. This will be placed in the Ethnological Museum of the Institution in connection with other objects of a similar character.
Truly yours etc
This is in reference to these two letters:
May 4, 1875
I am instructed by the Surgeon General to acknowledge the reception, through your headquarters, of a communication from the Seminole Negro Scout “Avann (?) his + mark Parino,” transmitting an Indian scalp and also a ferrotype picture of the scalper. These specimens have been numbered 703-704 Sect VI, (Miscellaneous Section) of the Army Medical Museum for transfer to the ethnological cabinet of the Smithsonian Institution.
I am, General, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
George A. Otis,
Asst. Surgeon, USA
August, USA, Brig. General C.C.
Commanding Dept of Texas
San Antonio, TX
May 4, 1875
I have the honor to transmit for the ethnological cabinet of the Smithsonian Institution, in accordance with the arrangement between the two Museums, an Indian scalp with a ferrotype of the scalper, received by the Surgeon General with the letter copied on a succeeding page.
I am, Professor,
With the highest respects,
Your obedient servant,
George A. Otis
Asst. Surgeon, USA
Henry, Professor Joseph
Sunday, May 9, 2010
U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 22
Friday, May 9th 
Your letter & the girls' came yesterday, glad to hear from you of course.
Sent the girls some post cards today & a picture I had made to Sister.
Has rained up here the last few days & has been real cool again. Had a letter from Charlie yesterday, sorry I can't go by Washington and see him. Got my commission all right & sent it on to Frances to put with my other papers.
Find this a nice lot of men, majority of them are Masons & everything is very congenial. Had a nice letter from Dr. Lee this morning, I wrote him shortly after I got here.
Sunday one of the Doctors carried me up to his summer home on a little lake about thirty miles north of here. There were six Drs. & their wives out there, all belong to the Base, We went up in auto's [sic]. Had a nice ride and a great dinner then drove back in the evening. It is a beautiful country, lots of small lakes - say a mile or two long and one half to one mile wide. The rich people from here have their summer homes along the shores & it certainly is beautiful.
Twelve of us had to act as pall bearers in a military funeral Monday for Lt. Col. Daum[?], an aviator killed in a fall at Dayton, Ohio.
We are all impatiently awaiting orders to leave here - we expect them before the week is out. Oh, yes, about that wool helmet. All those things [were?] given me when I got here - furnished by the Red Cross, helmet, muffler, gloves, socks, toilet kit etc. so if you have made that one, send it to Charlie he probably hasn't one.
Miss Hodges wrote that a new major had arrived to take Major Crawford's place but Maj. Crawford hasn't been ordered away as yet.
I see where a lot of drafted men are going to Shelby - so they will have lots of work at the Hospital there now.
Col. Baylis wired me congratulations when my commission came, so I wrote & thanked him a few days ago.
Sister wanted to know if [I] was on the surgical service - yes. There will be [illegible] men on the medical service over there, as practically all the cases are surgical.
Much love to all at home.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Fort Union, N.M., May 8th 1879
To the Surgeon U.S.A.
I have the honor to inform you that I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster at this post, one box containing the heart of Leander A. Case, late Corporal of Co. “F” 15 Infantry, who died at this hospital April 14th 1879 of paralysis of heart. For history of this case see 3rd page of monthly reports of sick and wounded for April 1879.
Enclosed please find Quartermasters receipt for the box.
Your obt. Servt.
Asst. Surgeon U.S.A.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Coins, Stamps, etc.
787 & 789 Broadway, N.Y.
Collections quickly catalogued
At Special Rates.
May 7, 1890
My dear Sir,
I am Sir Very respectfully Yrs
Dr. J.S. Billings
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Fetus, third trimester. Unable to determine what specimen demonstrates. [Upon request, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology could not provide any corresponding documentation for this case.]
Charges against watchmen in S.G.O.
Surgeon General's Office,
Washington, May 6, 1895
Lieut.Colonel J.S. Billings,
Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
In charge of Museum and Library Division,
Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D.C.
A respectable looking German woman called upon me this morning and stated that she is the wife of Frederick Neujahr, a Watchman at the Army Medical Museum. She complains that her husband neglects to give her any portion of his pay and treats her badly; that he spends his money in dissipation, and that he brings alcohol from the Army Medical Museum to drink at home. She also charges that William McCoy, a Watchman at the Museum, is a drunkard, and that he and Neujahr spend their money at Ruppert's Saloon.
You will please investigate as to the truth of these charges, and if the men referred to are improper persons to be employed in the responsible position of Watchman, they should be discharged.
Geo. M. Sternberg
The first follow-up letter:
Army Medical Museum
May 7, 1895
In the matter of complaint against the night watchmen Wm McCoy and Fred. Neujahr I have the honor to report that for the past eight months while I have been on duty as Superintendent of the Museum and Library Building I have known them both as careful and efficient watchmen. Both are punctual in their attendance and I have never seen either of them under the slightest influence of liquor. The woman who lodged the complaint against Mr Neujahr, and who pretends to be his wife, tried to gain admittance to the building at night and was refused by Mr McCoy. She then threatened that she would report him for drunkenness. She called again this morning in company with a man, both being very much under the influence of liquor, and I considered it my duty to request them to leave the building and to tell them that should they persist in their endeavor to gain admittance in their present condition, I should have them arrested.
(sgd) Michael Flynn
The second follow-up:
Mus and Lib Bldg
May 8, 1895
Sent Col. J.S. Billings
I enclose the report of Mr Flynn, the superintendent in the matter of complaint against watchmen McCoy and Neujahr. Both have been on duty in this office for over 20 years and no complaint has ever reached me as to drunkenness on the part of either. Mr. Neujahr denies the charge of having taken alcohol. The bulk of this article is kept locked in the store-room, which is not accessible to Mr Neujahr, and on inquiries in the laboratories of Drs Gray and Hodge, where generally a small quantity is kept for immediate use, I learn that they have not missed any. I am informed that the complaining woman has frequently figured in the Police court.
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1463
May 6, 1896
Major W.G. Moore,
Superintendent Metropolitan Police,
I beg to return herewith, per Messenger, the package which you left this morning for examination, and to report that in addition to the larger stain on the front of the garment I have been able to find two other stains, both of which gave, under the microscope, blood corpuscles resembling in many respects human blood corpuscles.
Surgeon, U.S. Army
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1457
Headquarters of the Metropolitan Police,
District of Columbia,
Washington, May 5th 1896
Dr. Walter Reed,
Curator U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library,
I beg to make my grateful acknowledgements for your prompt compliance with my request of May 3rd, and to assure you that you will find me willing and ready to serve you whenever it may be in my power to do so.
Very respectfully & obediently yours,
Major & Sup’t. Met. Police