SIGNED CDV SEATED VIEW UNION ASSISTANT SURGEON WILLIAM CARROLL

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Item Code: 2022-281

¾ length seated view; subject wears single breasted frock coat with standard 1st Lieut. shoulder straps, worn by those serving in a staff position, clearly visible;  partially buttoned vest; and pants with stripe along edge.  Horizontal separation near bottom of the image has a modern tape repair on the reverse. BM: W. l. Germaon’s Atelier, Philadelphia.  Signed in period ink, though partially obscured by the modern tape repair: “Respectfully Presented / Wm Carroll / Asst. Surg. USV”.  CDV mount is trimmed along upper edge, minor scattered soiling; minor damage at lower left corner of mount.

Staff duty encompassed a number of important posts in the army that not only had status attached to them, but the dubious honor of getting shot at without being able to return fire. Assistant Surgeons ranked as first lieutenants on the medical staff. The regimental surgeon might choose to remain at a regimental, brigade or division field hospital. Assistant surgeons, however, might be assigned to follow an advancing column of troops headed into the fight with a few assistants and a team of stretcher-bearers.

William Carroll, born in Ireland in 1835, emigrated to the US with his family in 1838; originally residing in Philadelphia, the family moved to Keene, Coshocton County, OH.  After serving a 3 year apprenticeship in harness making in Pittsburgh and working as a saddle maker in Ohio, Carroll moved to Philadelphia in the late 1850’s to attend Jefferson Medical College. After graduating in 1863 he enlisted in the Union Army and was appointed as an Assistant Surgeon in the US Medical Staff Volunteers with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In the latter stages of the war he was in charge of 2,000 wounded CS soldiers at City Point Hospital in Virginia. He was promoted Major by Brevet on 3/13/65. In 1866, upon promotion to Captain, he was appointed as the quarantine officer for an army camp in South Carolina. After combating a cholera epidemic there, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel by Brevet on 8/22/66.  Following the war he resided in Philadelphia where he had a medical practice for many years. He died in Philadelphia on 5/3/1926 at the age of 91, and is buried in Keene Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Ohio. According to his obituary in the Coshocton Tribune, he was well acquainted with President Lincoln, and spoke with him for the last time just one week prior to the assassination.  Further biographical info may be found online in the Dictionary of Irish Biography.  [ld] [ph:L]

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