National Museum of Civil War Medicine

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National Museum of Civil War Medicine
National Museum of Civil War Medicine entrance.JPG
Front doors of the museum
Established 1990
Location 48 East Patrick Street
Frederick, Maryland
Coordinates 39°24′50″N 77°24′34″W / 39.413889°N 77.409306°W / 39.413889; -77.409306
Type History museum
Website Official Website
Museum building
Sign in front of the museum

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is a U.S. historic education institution located in Frederick, Maryland. Its focus involves the medical, surgical and nursing practices during the American Civil War (1861-1865).


The museum, which was originally proposed by Dr. Gordon E. Damman, a private collector of Civil War-era medical artifacts, was incorporated in 1990 and first opened to the public in 1996.[1]The museum moved into its current location – a three-story 19th century brick building that was home to a furniture maker/undertaker operation during the Civil War – in October 2000.[2]


The 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) museum consists of five immersion exhibits that recreate aspects of Civil War medical issues: life in an army camp, evacuation of the wounded from the battlefront, a field dressing station, a field hospital and a military hospital ward. The exhibits incorporate surviving tools and equipment from the war, including the only known surviving Civil War surgeon’s tent, surgical kits, and items pertaining to veterinary medicine.[3]

In 2006, the museum, in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service, began operating the Pry House Field Hospital Museum at the Antietam National Battlefield.[4] The same year, the museum made its first foray into book publishing with the release of Robert G. Slawson’s Prologue to Change: African Americans in Medicine in the Civil War Era.[5]

The museum has organized annual national conferences on Civil War-era medicine for more than twenty years.[6][7]

In 2014, the museum opened the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office at 347 Seventh Street, NW in Washington, D.C.[8]


  1. ^ About the Civil War Medicine Museum at museum web site
  2. ^ "National Museum of Civil War Medicine Reopens Oct. 21 in Maryland". Civil War News. October 2000. 
  3. ^ "Museum of Civil War Medicine Examines How Medics Worked". Wheeling News-Register. September 10, 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  4. ^ Karen Gardner (May 25, 2008). "Pry House opens to public". Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  5. ^ Nicholas C. Stern (February 1, 2009). "Civil War author researches early African-American doctors". Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  6. ^ Karen Gardner (October 2, 2008). "Conference focuses on Civil War Medicine". Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  7. ^ Civil War Medicine Conference at museum's web site
  8. ^ Peck, Garrett (2015). Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet. Charleston, SC: The History Press. pp. 76–80. ISBN 978-1626199736. 

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