Surgeon 22nd Massachusetts

Few otherwise friendly and well-intentioned officers could inspire quite the terror in a soldier's heart that came from being approached by a surgeon after wounding, especially if, like this surgeon of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry, he happened to be carrying his surgical knives or bone saw. Yet considering the damage done by the bullets of the time, a soldier with an amputation still had a better chance of survival than he did with mangled flesh and bone, when he was far more likely to succumb to asepsis. This major, like other officers in staff and support services, wears the regulation uniform for his rank, in this case that of major. Only his sash differs, being green, and he would wear, when necessary, the special-pattern medical officer's sword. His shoulder strap also indicates his branch of service, being the letters "MS" in silver between two gold leaves which signify his rank. His tools and surroundings mark his trade more than anything else, however.


Above: A surgeon at work - but, here, probably for the camera.

22nd Mass Surgeon

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