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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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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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Reed, Walter (13 September 1851–23 November 1902), U.S. Army medical officer and bacteriologist, was born in Belroi, Virginia, the son of Lemuel Sutton Reed, a Methodist minister, and Pharaba White. After a year as an undergraduate, Reed entered medical school at the University of Virginia in 1868 at the age of seventeen; when he received an M.D. in July 1869, he was the youngest to receive this degree in the school’s history. After a year of study at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City, he earned a second M.D., although this degree was not officially awarded until he turned twenty-one. In 1871, after a brief time on the staff of the Kings County Hospital at Brooklyn, he accepted a residency at Brooklyn City Hospital and then served as an assistant sanitary officer for the Brooklyn Board of Health....