ALS ASSISTANT US SURGEON GENERAL DR. C. H. CRANE (ONE OF LINCOLN’S DEATH-BED DOCTORS)

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Item Code: 1054-2222

Dated “November 29, 1864.” Addressed to “Surgeon Robt. Murray, USA/ Medl. Purveyor/ Philadelphia, PA.” 1 page, in ink, w/ printed letter-head - “Surgeon Generals’ Office/ Washington City, D.C.” Letter exhibits fold-marks and slight soiling at the margins, minor edge chips, else VG. In the text, Dr. Crane warns of a rebel plot against the Philadelphia medical works. As follows:

“Sir…The War Department having notified this Office that “a rebel plot exists to burn the Government Medical Works in Philadelphia,” the Surgeon General directs that you take every possible precaution to protect the Laboratory, Medl. Purveyor’s Warehouses and other buildings under your charge. You will call upon the Military Authorities to furnish you with the necessary guards for this purpose, and you will enjoin upon you private watch-men the utmost vigilance/ Very respectfully/ Your Abdt. Servt./ By order of the Surgeon General/ C.H. Crane/ Surgeon U. S./ Army”

Dr. Crane (1823-1883) was educated at Yale, and served in the Seminole War, and later on, during the Civil War, became Medical Inspector of P.O.W.s. At the war’s end he had the distinction of being one of five surgeons present at President Lincoln’s death bed (the others being Dr. Charles Leale, R.K. Stone, J.K. Barnes, and Charles Taft, whose sister Julia had played with the Lincoln boys, Tad & Willie, at the White House.) Crane later became U.S. Surgeon General, with Brevet Brigadier General rank. He died in 1883.

An interesting letter, warning of a Confederate attack on the Philadelphia Medical Works, written by a prominent Army doctor, later present at Lincoln’s deathbed in the Peterson House in DC. Solid collectible. In protective sleeve w/white card backing. Accompanied by a modern copy of a photo of Dr. Crane.  [jp]

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