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March 1960


Author Affiliations

Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health and Medical).

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(3):357-365. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290200001001

In the modern sense, and exclusive of Baron Larrey's personal accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, medicomilitary history began with the history of the Crimean War, which was published just two years after the war ended. It had a very practical purpose. Andrew Smith, Director General, British Army Medical Service, had resolved, soon after the war began, to prepare such an account. He had suffered "in the absence of all details calculated to instruct," and he was determined that "the doubts and indescribable anxieties" and "the many difficulties and perplexities" which had been his lot should not be the lot of his successors.

The history of the Crimean War, in spite of the widely different circumstances under which the war was fought, "gave direction" to all the efforts of the U.S. Army Medical Department in the Civil War and was the inspiration for the early planning of the history of that

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