Swamp Doctor: A Union Physician's Civil War Story

Overview

William Mervale Smith, surgeon of the 85th New York Volunteer Infantry, faithfully kept a diary of his Civil War experiences. Smith's introspective musings cover matters both professional and personal, from the horror of battle and the almost equally terrible politics of war to his deepest longings and questions about love and spirituality. While some diarists wrote self-consciously, anticipating eventual publication of their words, Smith's entries, as author Thomas Lowry explains, "are of such a personal and ...
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Overview

William Mervale Smith, surgeon of the 85th New York Volunteer Infantry, faithfully kept a diary of his Civil War experiences. Smith's introspective musings cover matters both professional and personal, from the horror of battle and the almost equally terrible politics of war to his deepest longings and questions about love and spirituality. While some diarists wrote self-consciously, anticipating eventual publication of their words, Smith's entries, as author Thomas Lowry explains, "are of such a personal and self-revelatory nature that we can reasonably conclude that he wrote to himself alone, as a sort of spiritual exercise of self-communication."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811715379
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Foreword xiii
Introduction xv
Chapter 1. The Gathering Storm 1
Chapter 2. The Peninsula 10
Chapter 3. An Ignoble Retreat 40
Chapter 4. Norfolk to New Bern 62
Chapter 5. The Battles of Kinston and Goldsboro 88
Chapter 6. Between Battles 103
Chapter 7. The Doctor Is Examined 131
Chapter 8. With Muffled Oars--The Siege of Washington 147
Chapter 9. The Final Days 171
Chapter 10. The Next Thirty-Nine Years 188
Chapter 11. Commentary 195
Appendix A McClellan and Cowardice 199
Appendix B Dr. Smith's Examination Papers 203
Appendix C Ships Named in the Diary 211
Appendix D Dr. Smith's Descendants 217
Appendix E Federal Misbehavior at Suffolk, Virginia 221
Appendix F Dr. Smith's Report on the 85th New York 225
Suggested Reading 227
Index 229
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