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History of Medicine

This guide features resources specific to topics in the History of Medicine. For general History research and resources see the U.S. History and World History guides.

Secondary Source Books

Primary Source Books

Databases from Binghamton University Libraries

Doctors and Surgeons

John S. Billings (1838-1913) built the Library of the Surgeon General's Office, now the National Library of Medicine. This link will take you to several books about him that can be requested from InterLibrary Loan. 

John H. Brinton (1832-1907) was a brigadier surgeon in the Union Army. He was the first curator for the National Museum of Health and Medicine. A brief biography can be found here and his personal memoirs can be read here. 

Napoleon B. Brisbane (1837-1878) was a surgeon in the 2nd Ohio Cavalry Regiment. Two letters he wrote his siblings in 1864 can be found here.  

John J. Chisolm (1830-1903) was a Confederate surgeon. He wrote A Manual of Military Surgery, for the Use of Surgeons in the Confederate Army. This brief biography from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine has additional resources. This page from the Waring Library at the Medical School of the State of South Carolina has images from A Manual of Military Surgery, as well as links to the four editions of the manual. 

Joseph Jones (1838-1919) was a Confederate Surgeon. A Biographical Sketch can be found here from the National Library of Medicine. An inventory of his papers at the Special Collections at Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University Libraries can be found here. 

Oriana Russel Moon (1834-1883) became a doctor in 1857. She volunteered her services to the Confederacy. This page from the Scottsville Museum includes a biography as well as letters. This biography from the Library of Virginia includes additional sources. 

Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) is the only woman to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor. She was the first female U.S. Army surgeon. Her biography from the National Women's History Museum can be found here. More photos can be found here from the National Library of Medicine. Information about her Medal of Honor can be found here. 

Edward Warren (1828-1893) held several positions in the Confederate Army. A biography and additional resources can be found here from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, via NCPedia. 

Isaac White (1837-1889) Confederate Surgeon. A brief biography can be found here. Letters, mostly to his wife Mary Virginia Day White can be found here from Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives. 

John A. Wyeth (1845-1922) Confederate Surgeon. His autobiography, With Sabre and Scalpel: the Autobiography of a Solider and Surgeon can be found here. 


Clara Barton (1821-1912) was a Union Army nurse. She ran the Office of Missing Soldiers after the war and also established the American Red Cross.

  • Several primary sources are available from the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum here. 
  • Many books from the library can be found here. 
  • Books from the library about the American Red Cross can be found here. 
  • Her collection of papers from the Library of Congress can be found here. 
  • Her testimony about Andersonville Prison can be found here. 

Phoebe Yates Pember (1823-1913) was a Confederate hospital nurse. Her autobiography can be found here and her letters can be found here. 

Capt. Sally Louisa Tompkins (1833 - 1916) was the first commissioned woman by Confederate Army. She opened Robertson Hospital in July 1861. A brief biography and images can be found here from the Mathews County Historical Society. 

Books at the Library