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Inscribed Medical Manual From Two Physicians Killed in Battle

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Item No. AR2976BR Categories , Tag


This is an outstanding piece of medical history! Published in 1855, this is a medical book titled “Intestinal Obstructions” written by Dr. Samuel Havens and presented to Dr. Lucius Sargent.  Samuel was educated at Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1852. He went on to Boston Medical College, where he received his degree as Doctor in Medicine in 1855. He studied two years in Europe where he made a specialty of diseases of the eye. He practiced for a short time in Boston, but went to Worcester in 1858. An accomplished author and physician, he would muster as an assistant surgeon with the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in August, 1861. Promoted to surgeon in July, 1862, a short five months later he would be killed during the Battle of Fredericksburg. His superior officer, Surgeon Sherman, wrote of his conduct at Fredericksburg: “Witnessing his self-exposure at the battle of Antietam, I had, as Medical Director of the Second Division, detailed your son, in a written order, in event of battle, to repair to the division hospital, and giver his services there instead of the field with his regiment. When I communicated this order to him, he evidently felt disappointed. He expressed a strong choice to go wherever his regiment went; and when the column to which the Fifteenth Massachusetts was attached was about to pass over the bridge in front of Fredericksburg, he was expostulated with, and reminded of the previous order; but he asked as a special favor to be allowed to go with his regiment, and said that as soon as the fight was done he would return to the hospital and remain there.”. He would be struck in the leg by an artillery shell on the 13th which resulted in the amputation of the limb and he succumbed to the shock the same day. Lucius M. Sargent, an 1857 graduate of Harvard Medical School, was an accomplished draughtsman and was appointed the first artist of the Massachusetts General Hospital. At the beginning of the war, he would muster as a surgeon with the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteers but would be discharged for a promotion to captain of Company H., 1st Massachusetts Cavalry in October, 1861. Ordered to the Army of the Potomac, and participated in the battles of Kelly’s Ford, Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville and would be wounded at Aldie, Virginia in June, 1863. Lucius would be promoted major in his former regiment, January 2, 1864, lieutenant colonel, September 30 but would be killed in battle near the end of the year at Bellefield Station, Virginia. His remains were brought to Boston, and interred Dec. 21, 1864, with military honors, in the Forest Hills Cemetery. This is inscribed inside the front cover in period ink “Dr. L. M. Sargent with the regards of  S. F. Haven Jr”.  Wonderful piece!

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