Research Subjects: Eyewitness Accounts

British Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars: Medical Department

By Robert Burnham

The Medical Department of the army consisted of an Inspector of Hospitals, a Deputy Inspector of Hospitals, Physicians, Staff Surgeons, Apothecaries, Dispensers, Assistant Staff Surgeons, and Hospital Assistants. A division would have a staff surgeon. In the infantry battalions and cavalry regiments would have a surgeaon and assistant surgeon assigned to them.

Anonymous. "Marshal Beresford" published in William Maxwell's Peninsular Sketches; by Actors on the Scene Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 1998. Two Volumes; 389 and 399 pages.

Notes: Vol 2; Pages 337 -343. Provided medical assistance to Marshal Beresford after he was wounded at Salamanca.

Bell, Charles. A Surgical Artist at War: the Paintings and Sketches of Sir Charles Bell 1809 - 1815. Michaek Crumplin and Pete Starling (ed.). Edinburgh: Royal College of Surgeons, 2005. 96 pages.

Notes: Contains 60 color paintings of wounds suffered by soldiers during the Corunna Campaign of 1809 and the Waterloo Campaign of 1815.

Blackadder, Henry. "Letter to Charles Bell" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume IV: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2012. Pages 239 - 240

Notes: was a hospital assistant.

Boggle, John. "Letter to Charles Bell, dated 12 August 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume IV: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2012. Pages 238

Notes: was a staff surgeon.

Boutflower, Charles. The Journal of an Army Surgeon during the Peninsular War Staplehurst: Spellmount; 1997. 193 pages; ISBN: 1-873376-85-5

Notes: With 40th Regiment August, 1809 November, 1812; served as the 4th Division (Hill’s Division) surgeon from November, 1812 May, 1813.

Bradley, James B. "A Night in the Peninsular War" published in William Maxwell's Peninsular Sketches; by Actors on the Scene Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 1998. Two Volumes; 389 and 399 pages.

Notes: Vol 2; Pages 187 - 204. Assigned to a hospital in Castello Branco.

Broughton, Samuel D. Letters from Portugal, Spain & France 1812 - 1814. Stroud: Nonsuch, 2005. 192 pages.

Notes: was a surgeon in the 2nd Life Guards Regiment, November 1812 - July 1814.

Burroughs, George Frederick. A Narrative of the Retreat of the Army from Burgos in a Series of Letters with an Introductory Sketch of the Campaign of 1812 and Military Character of the Duke of Wellington Cambridge: Ken Trotman Military Monographs; 2004. 59 pages.

Was the assistant surgeon of the Royal Dragoons. First published in 1814.

Collier, Charles. "Letters to Charles Bell, dated 5 and 20 August 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume IV: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2012. Pages 230 - 235

Notes: was a staff surgeon.

Crumplin, Michael. Guthrie's War: a Surgeon of the Peninsula & Waterloo. Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010. 203 pages.

Notes: was a surgeon in the 29th Foot from 20 March 1806 to 4 January 1810; staff surgeon from 4 January 1810 to 16 September 1813; Deputy Inspector of Hospitals 13 September 1813; served in the Peninsula from July 1808 to January 1810 and January 1811 to April 1814. This book is a heavily editted compilation of Surgeon Guthrie's articles on his experiences as a military surgeon in the Peninsula. It is a rarity in that it covers the medical aspects of his work, rather than his personal life during the time.

Davy, John. "Letter to Mrs. Fletcher, dated 26 July 1815" and "Extracts from 'Some Notices of My Life'" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume I: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2010. Pages 217 - 222.

Notes: was a hospital assistant.

Dent, William. A Young Surgeon in Wellington’s Army: the Letters of William Dent. Old Woking: Unwin Brothers; 1976. 68 Pages.

Notes: was an assistant surgeon; in 2nd Battalion 9th Foot August 1810 - November 1812; in 1st Battalion 9th Foot December 1812 - April 1814; served in North America 1814 - 1815.

Draper, Thomas. "Letter dated 21 June 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume VI: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2014. Page 226

Notes: was a staff surgeon

Finlayson, Donald. "Letter to William Somerville, dated 25 June 1815" in in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume III: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2011. Pages 215 - 221

Notes: was an assistant surgeon in the 33rd Foot.

Finlayson, George. "Letter, dated 26 June 1815?" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume III: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2011. Pages 222 - 223

Notes: was a hospital assistant.

Fitzpatrick, Nicholas. "Letter to Marshal Beresford dated 1 November 1811" in The Texas Papers: a Collection of Peninsular War Letters, Written by Various Senior British & Portuguese Officers held at the Woodson Research Centre, Rice University, Texas. edited by Gareth Glover. Godmanchester: Ken Trotman, 2010. Pages 46 - 48

Notes: Was a surgeon in the Royal Artillery. Letter was about the trouble he had finding appropriate billets for two wounded Royal Engineer Officers, Captains Edward Mulcaster and Peter Patton.

Hennen, John. "Letter to Charles Bell, dated 6 September 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume IV: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2012. Page 237

Notes: was a staff surgeon.

Henry, Walter. Surgeon Henry's Trifles: Events of a Military Life Hayward, Pat (ed.). London: Chatto & Windus; 1970. 281 pages.

Notes: was an assistant surgeon in the 66th Foot in the Peninsula 1811 - 1814; Saint Helena 1817 - 1821.

Hering, John Frederick. Journal of an Officer in the King's German Legion Cambridge: Ken Trotman; 2000.

Notes: was a medical officer. Served in Hanover, the Baltic, and the Peninsula from 1809 - 1811, with the1st KGL Hussars. Served in Sicily with the 7th KGL Battalion from 1811 until late 1815.

Hume, John R. "Letter by Staff Surgeon John Robert Hulme Discussing the Wound Sustained by General Alava' in Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo: the Letters and Journals of Lieutenant Colonel the Honourable James Stanhope 1803 to 1825. Gareth Glover (ed.) Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2010. Pages 223 - 224

Notes: Letter was to General Thomas Graham and dated 22 April 1813. John Hume was a staff surgeon assigned to Wellington's HQ.

Hume, Robert. "Memoirs" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume I: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2010. Pages 213 - 217.

Notes: was a deputy inspector of hospitals; oversaw the care of Sir Alexander Gordon.

James, Isaac. "Letter to His Brother, dated 29 June 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume I: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2010. Pages 223 - 224.

Notes: was a hospital assistant.

James, James H. Surgeon James's Journal: 1815 Vansittart, Jane (ed.). London: Cassell; 1964. 175 pages.

Notes: Was Assistant Surgeon.

James, John H. "Waterloo Letter" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume I: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2010. Pages 6 - 11.

Notes: was Assistant Surgeon.

McGrigor, James.  Sir James McGrigor: the Scalpel and the Sword. Mary McGrigor (ed.). Dalkeith: Scottish Cultural Press, 2000. 320 pages.

Notes: Flanders in 1794 - 1795; West Indeis 1795-1796; Egypt 1801; Walcheren 1809; was the senior medical officer in the Peninsula January 1812 - April 1814.

Neale, Adam. Letters from Portugal and Spain; Comprising an Account of the Operations of the Armies under Their Excellencies Sir Arthur Wellesley and Sir John Moore from the Landing at Mondego Bay to the Battle of Corunna. London: Phillips, 1809. 2 vols.

Neale, Adam."The Spanish Campairgn of 1808" in Memorials of the Late War. Vol. 1. Edinburgh: Constable, 1831. Pages 143 - 215

Notes: was a physician in General Anstruther's Brigade.

Roche, Jordan. "Letter to Charles Bell, dated 17 August 1815" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume IV: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2012. Pages 235 - 237

Notes: was a staff surgeon.

Slow, David. "Letter to His Sisters" in Gareth Glover (ed.). The Waterloo Archive Volume VI: British Sources. Barnsley: Frontline, 2014. Pages 37 - 38

Notes: was the regimental surgeon of the Royal Horse Guards at Waterloo.

Whympeer, William. "Assistant Surgeon William Whymper, Coldstream Guards". David Rogers (ed.) Waterloo Journal. Spring 2017. pages 30 - 34

Notes: was in the 1st Battalion at Talavera. He was being one of the medical staff who stayed behind to take care of the sick and wounded after the British retreated from Talavera in 1809. He was taken into captivity by the French, but escaped five months later. The bulk of the article is a letter written about his experiences caring for the wounded and the treatment that they received at the hands of the French.

Wooldridge, John M. Letters from Spain:  being Some Correspondence from John Mogg Wooldridge of Cholwell in Somerset, Surgeon in the Army of the Duke of Wellington during the Wars in Spain 1809-1814. Bristol: Merchant Venturers' Technical College School of Printing; 1941.  16 Pages.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2013; last updated August 2017.

 

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