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 William Alexander Hammond

William Alexander Hammond

Birth
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA
Death 5 Jan 1900 (aged 71)
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 1, Site 465
Memorial ID 4892 · View Source
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Civil War Union Brigadier General. He was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and received his medical degree from the University of the City of New York in 1848. He entered the United States Army in 1849 as an assistant surgeon, serving in the West and at West Point. In 1857 the American Medical Association commended his work on nutrition. He resigned from the army in 1859 to accept a professorship of anatomy and physiology at the University of Maryland. At the outbreak of the Civil War he rejoined the army at the bottom of the list of assistant surgeons, having lost his seniority. As inspector of camps and hospitals, he gained the attention of the United States Sanitary Commission for his excellent work at a time when the army medical service was in a disastrous condition. With the assistance of the sanitary commission he was appointed Surgeon General with the rank of Brigadier General. He brought efficiency, order, and reform to the chaotic army medical service, which had been overwhelmed by battle casualties and sick soldiers because of outmoded procedures. Wounded soldiers were often left lying on the field for days only to find themselves finally placed in makeshift hospitals with little or no care provided by the army medical service. He created a general hospital service and was instrumental in the introduction of an efficient Ambulance Corps. He also established the Army Medical Museum and started the systematic collection of data about all soldiers in the army that became the basis for the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. On September 3, 1863, he was sent on inspection duties leaving the Washington office in the hands of Colonel Joseph K. Barnes, who later would become Surgeon General. In 1864, however, he clashed with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton over the direction of the army medical service. As a result, he was court-martialed and dismissed from the army on a petty charge for alleged irregularities in the distribution of liquor contracts. His administration of the medical service had been efficient, and his innovations reduced some of the horrors of the war for Union soldiers. Vindicated after the war, he was restored to Brigadier General on the retired list.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 21 Mar 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4892
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Alexander Hammond (28 Aug 1828–5 Jan 1900), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4892, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .