MG 154 - DeWitt Collection

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Scope and Content

Collection consists of the medical papers of Dr. William R. DeWitt and contains correspondence from 1862-1867; a printed copy of a lecture concerning "Local Anaesthesia," by Dr. F. Richardson; the announcement of the establishment of a Health Department by the city of Charleston, South Carolina; monthly medical reports, February and March, 1866; reports of the Quartermasters Department, 1867; and the special order mustering Dr. DeWitt out of service, August, 1867.


Dr. William Radcliffe DeWitt, b.1827, d.1891, was educated at the Harrisburg Academy and graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed assistant physician of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Asylum, a position he held for seven years. He then traveled in Europe to study medicine and returned to Harrisburg to set up his practice of medicine. But he was appointed by President Buchanan to the marine hospital at Honolulu. When the Civil War broke out he was named surgeon-in-chief of the First Division, Fifth Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac. After the war he held positions of chief medical officer stationed at Charleston and Louisville. In 1869 he resigned his commission and returned to Harrisburg to practice medicine. Ill health forced him to abandon his practice in 1874 and move to Florida where he became active in community and church affairs. He was married to Susan Spangler of York in 1865 and had one son.

Date(s): 1862-1867

Extent: 3 folders

Creator: Dr. William R. DeWitt