William Alexander Hammond's transformation of the Army Medical Department during the American Civil War



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The American Civil War represents the second real test of the United States Army Medical Department (AMEDD). Despite the necessity of medical providers in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812, a permanent medical department was not established until 1818. The first test of the department came during the US-Mexican War of 1846-1848. However, most experiences gained during the conflict did not translate into lessons learned in preparation for the Civil War. Historically, the department was woefully understaffed, and the manpower challenges were compounded when many surgeons left the army when their state seceded. These factors combined to result in a department that went through tremendous growing pains during the Civil War. Ultimately, the processes and procedures established during the Civil War laid the foundation for current operations. The Civil War also represents the AMEDD’s transition, under William Alexander Hammond’s leadership, from a pre-professional to professional, learning organization.



Hammond, William A, Lawson, Thomas, Tripler, Charles, Finley, Clement, Finlay, Clement, Barnes, Joseph K., Letterman, Jonathan, Stanton, Edwin, US-Mexican War, American Civil War, United States Army, Medical Department, Medical Logistis, Medical Operations