CLIPPED SIGNATURE OF ARMY OF THE POTOMAC SURGEON

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Item Code: L14884

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Blue slip of paper meas. approx. 3.25 x 1.00 inch and bears the signature of “JOHN J. MILHAU.” Signature is in ink and is very strong.

An on-line biography of Milhau reads as follows:

Civil War Brevet Brigadier General. Milhau was born in France in 1828 and was educated in New York after his family settled there in 1830. He studied medicine and graduated from the College of Physician and Surgeons in New York City in 1850. In 1851 he was selected as Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army and in the same year was a part of the Utah expedition, followed by additional expeditions including the expedition against the Snake Indians in 1855. In 1856 while in Oregon he was the first person to record the Coos and Lower Umpqua language while stationed at Fort Umpqua.

When the Civil War broke out he was appointed Medical Inspector of the Army of the Potomac. In 1862 he was named as the Medical Director of the Third Army Corps. During his early service in the war he was present at the siege and capture of Yorktown, Bull Run, the seven days fight, Seven Pines and the battle of Williamsburg. Near the end of 1862 he became the Medical Director of the hospitals in Frederick, Maryland and the next two years acted as Medical Director of the Fifth Army Corps. During these years he performed his medical duties as a result of the battles of Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station and the Mine Run expedition and Petersburg.

Near the end of 1864 he suffered from exhaustion and was transferred to New York. After the war he served as Medical Director of the Third Military District, Department of the South. In December of 1864 he was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel for gallant service in the performance of his duties outside Richmond. Several months later he was brevetted Colonel for gallant service during the war. On September 28, 1866 he was brevetted Brigadier General for distinguished service at Hart's Island, New York during the cholera epidemic, being the only surgeon who remained to administer to the inmates. After the assassination of President Lincoln he was chosen as a guard of honor to guard and protect the President's body.

He died on May 8, 1891 and was buried in Cavalry Cemetery, Woodside, New York.

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