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John Shaw Billings. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library and Museum, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Billings, John Shaw (12 April 1838–11 March 1913), army medical officer, library organizer, and public health activist, was born near Allensville, Indiana, the son of James Billings, a farmer and storekeeper, and Abby Shaw. Despite spotty secondary schooling, he ultimately went to Miami College (Ohio), where he earned his B.A. in 1857. He was awarded the M.D. by the Medical College of Ohio in 1860. Billings remained with the latter institution for a year as an anatomical demonstrator, but after the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the U.S. Army as a contract surgeon. In 1862 he was commissioned first lieutenant and assistant surgeon and went on to make army service his career. Also in 1862 he married Katharine Mary Stevens; they had five children....

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Blunt, James Gillpatrick (21 July 1826–25 July 1881), physician, soldier, and politician, was born in Trenton, Hancock County, Maine, the son of John Blunt. Blunt spent his early youth in Ellsworth, Maine, but at age fifteen enlisted as a merchant seaman. Leaving the sea at age twenty, Blunt studied medicine at the Starling Medical College in Columbus, Ohio, earning a medical degree in 1849. He set up a practice in New Madison, Ohio, where he married Nancy Carson Putnam. In 1856 he migrated to the frontier, settling at Greeley, Kansas. There he continued his medical practice but soon became actively interested in politics, becoming deeply involved in the antislavery movement and aiding ...

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William Henry Forwood. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B012090).

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Forwood, William Henry (07 September 1838–11 May 1915), army medical officer, was born in Brandywine Hundred, Delaware, the son of Robert Forwood and Rachel Way Larkin (occupations unknown). He attended both private and public schools before entering the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his medical degree in 1861. He was commissioned as an assistant surgeon and first lieutenant in the Union Army Medical Department on 5 August of that year....

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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....

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Woodhull, Alfred Alexander (13 April 1837–18 October 1921), U.S. Army medical officer, was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Alfred Alexander Woodhull, a physician, and Anna Maria Salomons. Woodhull received an A.B. degree from the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) in 1856 and an A.M. in 1859, at which time he also received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania....

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Wright, Joseph Jefferson Burr (27 April 1801–14 May 1878), military physician, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; his parents’ names are unknown. He received an A.B. from Washington (Pa.) College in 1821 and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1825 to 1826. He married Eliza Jones, with whom he had three children; the year of the marriage is unknown....