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    [Civil War]. Dr. Francis J. D'Avignon Medical Manuscript. A total of 77 pages, 7.75" x 9.75", circa January 1865, titled "The state of our fellow soldiers taken prisoners. Their treatment by our ennemies [sic]." The report, requested by Dr. Elisha Harris of the Sanitary Commission, includes records of the soldiers D'Avignon treated while imprisoned by the Confederate Army, and an account of his experience in the hospitals in Petersburg. At least 500 soldiers have been identified, including the time of their imprisonment, when they were taken to the Federal Hospital, their rank, injuries, etc. Letters to and from D'Avignon to other surgeons he worked with have also been copied as evidence. Although much of which has been recorded is transcribed by a copyist, D'Avignon did provide an introductory letter and a final summary for the report. He finished the manuscript with the following, in part:

    "I have written several letters to surgeon Page, and he has occasionally answered. I have lost them & therefore cannot produce them. Enough, however, has been showed to convince us of the low condition, the awful situation, the cruel treatment our men have to endure, when they are taken prisoners. My statement is only the repetition of the other sufferers who have experienced the horrors of rebel prisons. The reason of so much crowding in the hospital was the earnest work of the Rebel authorities. Because, about the second day of August, after the mine explosion, before Petersburgh [sic], about one hundred & fifty wounded of our soldiers were brought to us for treatment. This lot of wounded men were looked upon by the Rebels with a great deal of hatred & with an earnest desire to degrade them. For this object, General Henry A. Wise, commanding the First Military District, issued an order to mix the negroes with the white soldiers...I can safely state that this arrangement was a cause of destroying the life of our soldiers."

    In addition to this report, D'Avignon sent three pages of amendments (8" x 10") dated January 31, 1865, to Dr. Elisha Harris. Included are corrections or omissions for thirteen soldiers who D'Avignon treated.

    Dr. Francis J. D'Avignon (1807-1867) was originally from Point Oliver, Canada. He practiced medicine in Canada before coming to the United States and serving as a surgeon with the 96th New York Volunteers in the Union Army. On May 16, 1864 he was captured by rebel cavalrymen and brought to Petersburg. There, he was confined to the hospitals, many of which were repurposed tobacco factories. He was eventually transferred to the African Church which had been converted into the "Yankee Hospital", where he cared for his fellow soldiers until his release. He died two years after this report, at the age of 59.

    Condition: Documents range from good to fine. Light toning along the edges on all. Some paper loss has occurred along the edges and corners in places. The January 31 letter has light foxing at bottom margin, and small tears at top and bottom edges. Writing is clear and provides great historical content.


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    19th Thursday
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