Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Smith:
Civil War Army Surgeon
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Brigadier General Joseph R. Smith was an outstanding surgeon in the Northern Army of the Civil War. He was to become the Surgeon General.
He was born on April 8, 1831, in Madison Barracks, New York. He graduated from the University of Michigan. Smith was appointed as an Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army, in 1854.
From 1854 to 1859, he was kept busy taking care of the wounded in the many campaigns against the Cheyenne Tribe and other hostile Indians.
In 1861, Smith made the hospitals in Georgetown and Washington, D.C., ready to take care of the many wounded from the Battle of Bull Run.
He was appointed as Acting Surgeon General with the rank of Lt. Colonel, in 1865. His was appointed as brigadier General before he retired.
Smith was a delegate to the International Medical Conferences that were held in Philadelphia.
He was a founder of the New York Post-Graduate Medical School Hospital.
Smith was a Fellow of the American Academy of Medicine. He wrote many article for medical publications. He was involved with many community organizations.
He died on April 18, 1831, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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