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Alexander Thomas Augusta
Birth: Mar. 8, 1825
Norfolk City
Virginia, USA
Death: Dec. 21, 1890
District Of Columbia, USA

Civil War Union Army Surgeon. The first African American surgeon in the U.S. Army. Highest ranked black officer during the Civil War and the first black to hold a medical commission in the Union Army. From Norfolk, Virginia, as a young man Alexander Augusta first made his way to Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked as a barber. He began his study of medicine with private tutors and next applied for admission to the University of Pennsylvania. Though access was denied, a professor was impressed with Augusta and brought him under his guidance. The threat of slavery forced him to leave for Canada. In 1856, Augusta was accepted to the College of the University of Toronto. His Bachelors of Medicine degree was awarded by Trinity Medical College. After establishing a successful private practice in Canada, in 1862 Dr. Augusta returned to an America on the verge of Civil War. Pressed into service in 1863, Augusta became the first black surgeon in the U. S. Army. He was commissioned a major in the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops on April 14, 1863 as the (then) highest ranking black officer. Only seven other blacks were named army surgeons, and all except Augusta were attached to hospital in Washington. Soon two white assistant surgeons complained to President Lincoln about having to report to a black officer. Lincoln then appointed Augusta to as executive-in-chief of Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Augusta soon petitioned Senator Henry Wilson for payroll assistance. He successfully argued that as a medical examiner he deserved more than the $7.00 per month normally given to a black enlisted man. Senator Wilson agreed and pressured the Army paymaster in Baltimore to apply the appropriate pay rate for his rank. In March of 1865, Augusta received the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, the first black ever to gain this stature. Afte r discharge in 1866, Augusta continued private practice in Washington, D.C., and played a key role in establishing the Howard University Medical School in Washington, were he taught for several years. He retired from Howard University in 1877 and continued to practice medicine until his death. Lieutenant Colonel Augusta received full military honors with burial at Arlington National Cemetery. (bio by: Curtis Jackson) 
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 1, Lot 124A, map grid G/33
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 18, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 22770
Alexander Thomas Augusta
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Alexander Thomas Augusta
Added by: Wendy McIntosh
 
Alexander Thomas Augusta
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
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- Wendy McIntosh
 Added: Dec. 13, 2014

- Tom Carroll
 Added: Sep. 1, 2014

- Nadia K. Orton
 Added: Apr. 15, 2014
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