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Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Surgeons' Uniforms


Dr. Murray

Robert Murray
Regular Army Surgeon

Dr. Murray is wearing a double-breasted frock coat, which is partly buttoned showing the closure. The buttons have a rim indicating that they are general staff type buttons, which are regulation for a surgeon. His shoulder straps are those of a staff major, the typical grade of a surgeon. Their fields should be the dark blue of a staff officer, although a rare surgeon may have worn green. His hat is turned so we do not see its insignia (if it even has one), but it should be a staff wreath with the letter U.S. in silver. His trousers should be dark blue with a thin gold cord. When he worn a sash it was a unique green color that was only worn by medical officers.

This photograph is identified as that of Robert Murray, who was one of 114 Regular U.S. Army surgeons on duty on the eve of the Civil War. With the onset of war Regular Army surgeons were called east and found themselves in charge of a chaotic, sometimes disorganized system swamped by ill and wounded soldiers. In the end the Medical Corps responded to the challenge and devised an efficient system of medical care. Dr. Murray served as Medical Director of the Army of Ohio, under Buell and Rosecrans.


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