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modesty and integrity of character. He acquired the entire confidence of all his associates, and was beloved by his friends with a peculiarly strong affection. A man of great gentleness and fearlessness, he was also a man of much practical sagacity. His counsel was always wise, and his rare manliness gave unusual weight to the opinions which he expressed. He devoted the prime of his early manhood to the service of his country, and though he died unwounded, it was as complete a sacrifice as though he had fallen on the field of battle.
There are, in an army, positions and duties, which are not brought prominently into view, but which are especially necessary for the efficiency of all military operations. It is not often that the medical department receives particular notice, or the highest commendation. The glory of war is supposed to belong to illustrious deeds on the field, rather than to patient fidelity in the hospital. Yet whoever rightfully values the character of genuine faithfulness and true heroism, must acknowledge that the medical officer who thoroughly performs his duty, is filling one of the most important positions that can be named. The post of the Surgeon is not always one of great danger. It does not usually require personal exposure to the missiles of death, but it does demand the most watchful care, a wise discretion, and most scrupulous and, at times, laborious fidelity. The preservation of the health of an army while lying in camp, the proper treatment of wounds after a battle, and the recuperation of strength after exhausting labors and marches, are certainly duties of the greatest consequence. The commanding general is indebted for the effectiveness of his military movements, more than he may sometimes think, to the silent and unobtrusive labors of his corps of Surgeons. The health of the soldiers is necessary to their morale, and their morale is an essential element for their achievement of victory. Physical and moral feebleness is the sure condition of defeat.
The Ninth Corps was fortunate in its medical officers. Doctors Church, McDonald, Rivers, Harris and Dalton, were all men who were skilful in their profession and trustworthy in
their character. Doctors Rivers and Harris were engaged in the war through almost its entire course. They served under General Burnside when he was Colonel of the First Rhode Island, and they continued with the Ninth Corps during their subsequent terms of service. Doctor Harris was taken prisoner at the first battle of Bull Run, having preferred to stay with the wounded to following the retreating army. He remained a captive until the sick and wounded prisoners of the First and 2d Rhode Island were beyond the need of his services, when he was released on his parole. Having accomplished an exchange, he was appointed Surgeon of the 7th Rhode Island, and in that capacity joined the Ninth Corps. He served with the Corps until the close of the war, passing through the several grades of brigade and division Surgeon, until he became Medical Director. In every position, he exhibited the characteristics of a remarkably diligent and devoted officer. A former experience in the Russian army in the Crimean campaign gave him a great advantage in his profession, and enabled him to be of the utmost service in every position which he filled. He retired to civil life, bearing with him the esteem and confidence of all his associates.
Dr. Rivers served from the commencement of the war until near its close, as Surgeon of the First Rhode Island, of the 4th Rhode Island, of the third brigade in North Carolina, of the third division of the Ninth Corps; as acting Medical Director of the corps, as Surgeon at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, and of the Department of the Ohio; as Surgeon in chief of Kautz's cavalry division during the campaign of 1864. He proved himself an able and efficient medical officer. After finishing his term of service, he resumed the practice of his profession in Providence.
Dr. Dalton entered the service as Surgeon of a New York regiment, and served in the Peninsular campaign under General McClellan. He continued with the Army of the Potomac, gradually rising in rank and in the confidence of his superior officers, until, in the autumn of 1864, he was assigned to
duty in the Ninth Corps as its Medical Director. A gentleman of great skill and wide attainments in his profession, a man of a high and honorable spirit, a genial companion, and a faithful officer, he won largely upon the respect of his brother officers, and left the service with the kindest expressions of interest and friendship from all his companions in duty.
Since the close of the war, Doctors Church and McDonald have fallen victims to disease. William Henry Church was born in Angelica, Alleghany County, New York, June 6, 1826. His father was Hon. Philip Church, and his grandmother was a daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Educated at Canandaigua and Geneva, he chose the profession of medicine, commenced the study in 1846, graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the spring of 1849, and entered upon practice in the city of New York in the year 1851, with every prospect of abundant success. He was appointed Surgeon of Volunteers August 3, 1861, and, upon the organization of the North Carolina expedition, was assigned to duty as Medical Director of General Burnside's army.
Dr. Church served with General Burnside when in command of the Ninth Corps, of the Army of the Potomac, and of the Department of the Ohio. Highly valued and always trusted, he shared the tent of his commanding general while in the field. In this intimate relation, he became more like a confidential friend and adviser than a subordinate officer. His physical health was never strong, and it was seriously impaired by the hardships and privations to which he had been exposed. On the 26th of October, 1863, he was obliged to resign his commission as Medical Director of the corps. General Burnside's estimate of his character and value of his services can be understood by the language, which he used in accepting Dr. Church's resignation. In an order dated December 5, 1863, the commanding general said, that he could not "part from an officer who has been so long prominently associated with him, without some public expression of his acknowledgment of the laborious and important services, which Dr. Church has per
formed. Identified with the staff from its earliest organization, he has shared its fortunes in the many scenes of danger and trial through which it has passed, and when the occasion required, has been always ready, in addition to the manifold duties of his department, to perform those of an aide in the field, until impaired health has compelled the tender of his resignation."
In February, 1864, Dr. Church visited New Orleans, and in October, 1865, he went to Europe, with the hope that a change of climate would restore his health; but the hope was vain. He died from hemorrhage from the lungs at Pau, in the south of France, September 27th, 1866, leaving a large circle of friends to mourn his untimely decease. The singular fidelity with which he performed every duty, the manliness of his character, and his engaging and amiable disposition attracted towards him all who came within the range of his influence. The members of the original staff were bound to him by peculiarly strong ties. Not only had he been their comrade in duty and danger, but he had also sustained towards them the tender and close relation of a family physician.
Dr. John E. McDonald succeeded to the position vacated by Dr. Church, and diligently performed its duties during the time of his connection with the corps. Dr. McDonald was of Irish parentage, and exhibited through life those traits of generosity, enthusiasm and adventurous daring, which have at all times distinguished the character of his countrymen. In boyhood, he attracted the attention of Dr. Elliott of New York, who manifested great interest in him, took him into his office, and was instrumental in giving him a medical education. He accordingly graduated in 1854 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. After his graduation, he devoted himself to the treatment of the eye, became favorably known, secured a very lucrative practice, and excited warm hopes of future distinction in the profession.
Dr. McDonald entered the service as Surgeon of the 79th New York, and went through the campaigns in South Carolina
and with the Ninth Corps, in which that regiment bore a distinguished part. He was appointed Surgeon of Volunteers April 13th, 1863, and still continued on duty with the Corps, manifesting a decided skill and effectiveness in the posts of brigade and division Surgeon and Medical Inspector. He came east with the Corps in the spring of 1864, and passed through the campaign of the following summer, making for himself an honorable record. The exposures of the service, and the unwonted labors that fell upon the medical department of the army, wore upon and weakened his health, and in the autumn he felt compelled to seek a less exhausting duty. He was accordingly relieved from active service in the field, and was assigned to the superintendence of a general hospital at Philadelphia. At the close of the war, he returned to the practice of his profession. But having acquired a taste for army life, he decided once more to enter the service. He was examined for the position of Surgeon in the regular army, secured the appointment, and immediately began his work. Assigned to duty at the West, he was stationed at Jefferson barracks, St. Louis. The advent of the cholera in the summer of
1866 put upon him severe burdens, which he took up with his accustomed energy. But his toil overcame him, and he fell a victim himself to the pestilence from which he was endeavoring to save others. He died, leaving behind him the memory of a true, brave and devoted man.
No narrative of military operations during the rebellion would be complete, without notice of the labors of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions. To the former, particularly, not only our own country, but also the entire civilized world is indebted for help in the elucidation of the great problem of alleviating, if not preventing disease among large bodies of men. It is well known that armies are depleted by other causes than casualties in battle. The Sanitary Commission undertook the task at the very outset, of ascertaining and providing for the needs of the soldiers in camp and on the field. The object was to preserve the health and the strength of the armies which