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Ainsworth, Fred Crayton (11 September 1852–05 June 1934), military surgeon and adjutant general, was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Crayton Ainsworth, a modestly prosperous businessman and machinist, and Harriet Carroll, a seamstress and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union activist.

During 1869 and 1870 Ainsworth attended but did not graduate from Dartmouth College. Upon returning to Woodstock, he studied medicine for three years, then enrolled in the medical school of the City University of New York. He graduated with honors in 1874, served a brief residency on the Bellevue Hospital medical staff, and then won an appointment as an assistant surgeon in the Medical Department of the U.S. Army. In November 1874 he reported to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for his first army assignment as a surgeon....

Article

Craik, James (1730–06 February 1814), physician and military surgeon, was born on his father’s estate near Dumfries, Scotland, the son of Robert Craik, a member of the British Parliament; the name of his mother is unknown. Little information about his early life is available. Although his parents were apparently not married, he was acknowledged by his father, who assumed responsibility for his education. After studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh, he joined the British army as a surgeon. Shortly after being sent to the West Indies, he resigned his position and sailed for Virginia in 1751. After a short period in the Norfolk area, he moved to Winchester, Virginia....

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James Craik. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B04995).

Article

Gihon, Albert Leary (28 September 1833–17 November 1901), naval surgeon, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Hancock Gihon, a physician, and Mary J. (maiden name unknown). He received his early education at the Central High School in Philadelphia and was the first student to graduate with an A.B. under its collegiate program. He graduated from the College of Medicine and Surgery in Philadelphia with an M.D. in 1852, at the age of nineteen. In 1854 Gihon was granted an A.M. by Princeton University....

Article

Marchbanks, Vance Hunter, Jr. (12 January 1905–21 October 1988), aerospace surgeon, was born at Fort Washikie, Wyoming, the son of Vance Hunter Marchbanks, Sr., an army cavalry captain, and Mattie (maiden name unknown). Marchbanks, Jr., was influenced by the military career of his father, who was both a Spanish-American War and World War I veteran. A childhood operation inspired his “passion” for medicine. Marchbanks operated on cherries in his backyard, opening them up, removing the stones, and sewing shut the incision....

Article

Mearns, Edgar Alexander (11 September 1856–01 November 1916), ornithologist, mammalogist, and army surgeon, was born in Highland Falls, New York, the son of Alexander Mearns and Nancy Carswell. He attended Donald Highland Institute in Highland Falls. When still very young, he grew interested in local plants and animals and planned a book on the natural history of the area, which he was unable to complete at the time. Many years later, in 1898, he did publish a fifty-page account of some of his conclusions as “A Study of the Vertebrate Fauna of the Hudson Highlands, with observations on the Mollusca, Crustacea, Lepidoptera, and the Flora of the Region” in the ...

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Edgar Alexander Mearns. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115922).

Article

Otis, George Alexander (12 November 1830–23 February 1881), U.S. Army medical officer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George Alexander Otis, a lawyer, and Anna Maria Hickman. His mother remained for some time in Boston after his father died in 1831 before returning to her native Virginia, and Otis attended Boston Latin School before entering school in Fairfax County, Virginia. He received a B.A. from Princeton College in 1849 and entered medical school at the University of Pennsylvania that same year, after spending the summer studying with a local physician. He married Pauline Clark Baury in 1850; they had two children. In 1851 Otis received both an M.A. from Princeton and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He then studied ophthalmic and general surgery in Paris, France, until the spring of 1852, when he returned to the United States and opened a private practice in Richmond, Virginia....

Article

Stitt, Edward Rhodes (22 July 1867–13 November 1948), naval surgeon and author, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, the son of William Edward Stitt, a merchant and former Confederate army officer, and Mary Rhodes. Stitt’s mother died in 1870, and Stitt was brought up by an aunt in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He attended a private school before enrolling in the University of South Carolina, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1885. He attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, earning a Ph.C. in 1887, then received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1889. He had already been accepted into the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and was commissioned an assistant surgeon....