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    Description

    Civil War Surgeon David Merritt Archive. The collection is dated between 1825 and 1882, though most of the letters and documents are dated from the 1870s. Many of the items relate to Merritt's service as surgeon for the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry.

    Dr. David Merritt (1830-1888), a native of Canada, graduated from the Pennsylvania Medical College in 1851. He enlisted as a surgeon in the U.S. Army in November 1861 and was commissioned a major in the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry. During his military career, he treated the wounded from many battles, including Pocotaligo (1862), the Siege of Petersburg (1864), Cold Harbor (1864), and Drury's Bluff (1864). He contracted malaria and resigned his position with the 55th Pennsylvania in August 1864. After recuperating, he became a surgeon in Hancock's Veterans. Following the close of the war, he was mustered out in 1866 and went to Philadelphia to practice medicine.

    This collection contains one wartime letter, dated February 9, 1862. Written to Merritt's father from "[Head]Quarters of the Surgeon 55th Reg." at Hilton Head, South Carolina, the letter contains drawings and a description of the surgeon's uniform. Also included is a three-page manuscript written by Merritt entitled "Brief History of Service of D. Merritt M.D., Applicant for invitation to appear before the Medical Examiners Board", which offers details of his military service. His twenty-page manuscript "History of the 55th Regiment of Pennsylvania Vols." is also included, along with a "correct copy" of the Interior Department's document granting Dr. Merritt a military pension.

    The archive also contains many post-war medical-related items, mostly associated with Merritt's medical practice in Philadelphia in the late-1860s and early-1870s: Merritt's business card, medical office cash book accounts, records of births delivered by Merritt from 1866 through 1871, official Philadelphia birth lists for several months in 1872, birth certificates for both of Merritt's children (1864 and 1871), tax assessment records, various letters, and much more. Some of the later correspondence deals with Merritt's requests for a pension. The archive also contains several manuscripts that Dr. Merritt prepared specifically for his parents, such as a nine-page "Statement of Amounts received monthly and yearly Pecuniary results of the practice of Medicine, Surgery, & Obstetrics by David Merritt, M.D." Other various pamphlets and imprints, such as "An Inaugural Address Introductory to the Course on Institutes of Medicine in the Jefferson Medical College, Delivered October 12, 1868", are included. The archive has been well-cared-for and merits deeper research.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    26th Saturday
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