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"Doc" Nelson
02-26-2009, 11:20 PM
While searching today, I came across a photo of Assistant Surgeon David Culbertson of the 43rd Indiana Infantry. In this photo, it shows his shoulder strap with what appears to be, an unusual insignia in the center of the field.

To me, it almost appears to be a caduceus. It doesn't look to be the typical "MS", as some medical officers would have in the field of their straps (as in the 2nd and 3rd photos). One thing that caught my eye was, the distance from the Captain bars to the actual insignia in the field. If you compare it to the straps with the "MS", the distance looks to be greater than those with the "MS".

Now I know, that not all uniforms nor, uniform accessories were regulation. There were many "non-regulation" uniforms, insignia, equipment, etc. that came to be during the War Between the States. However, the overall shape of the insignia is what seems to be strange to me. I'm just curious. Would anyone care to share your thoughts?

http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/indiana/civilwarex/CulbertsonDavid.jpg

Below are a couple of period photos with the "MS" shoulder strap

http://howardlanham.tripod.com/linkgr3/link159c.jpg

http://www.old-picture.com/civil-war/pictures/Surgeon-Holston-001.jpg

bgent
02-27-2009, 12:34 PM
researched this counld it be? source winpedia

Symbolism of Regimental Insignia: The design of the shield is based on the shield of a historical heraldic device probably first used in 1818 by the Army Medical Department. The white stars on a blue background and the red and white stripes represent the United States flag of 1818. The green staff entwined with the serpent, originating in mythology, is symbolic of medicine and healing. Green was the color associated with the Corps during the last half of the nineteenth century. Symbology of the crest of the coat of arms: The colors argent and gules are those associated with the Army Medical Department. The cross and the wreath are adapted from devices authorized for hospital stewards and other enlisted men when the Hospital Corps was established in 1887. The seven stars emphasize the elements of the organization: Medical Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, Army Specialist Corps, and the enlisted medical specialist. The motto, "TO CONSERVE FIGHTING STRENGTH," reflects the medical mission.

The staff of Aesculapius is a rod, or staff, with only one serpent encircling it and without wings; symbol of medicine and emblem of the American Medical Association, which was changed to 2 because the pair of snakes coiled about each other bears some resemblance to the structure of DNA, the double helix, which was discovered in 1953

Origionally, it is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology and with healing the sick through medicine. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology.
The rod of Asclepius (also known as the rod of Asklepios, rod of Aesculapius or asklepian[1]) is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology[2] and with healing the sick through medicine. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. The Rod of Asclepius also represents the constellation Ophiuchus, also known as Ophiuchus Serpentarius, the thirteenth sign of the sidereal zodiac.

"Doc" Nelson
02-27-2009, 03:16 PM
Yeah I understand, but looking at the photo closer, it appears to possibly be the Caduceus, not the Asclepius. The Caduceus is the same thing as the Asclepius, just with wings added.

But, if in fact that's what it is, I would think that the straps are reversed? The wings, going along with other departmental straps (with the departmental insignia in the field), should be facing towards the back of the individual, not the front??

Again, I'm just curious.

bgent
02-27-2009, 03:48 PM
perhaps the picture was printed backwards the double healix with wings i dont believe was present til 1900

Marc
02-27-2009, 06:35 PM
To me it just appears to be the backside of the captian's bars with nothing in the middle.

"Doc" Nelson
02-28-2009, 01:15 AM
To me it just appears to be the backside of the captian's bars with nothing in the middle.
You need to look again. Compare the insignia with the Captain's bars on the front end of the strap. There is a difference.

hanktrent
02-28-2009, 09:40 AM
I thought like Marc, that it was the back of the bars, with nothing in the middle. They're not identical, but it could be a damaged area.

So here's my question. Is the rectangle the normal size? Or how far back does it go? Or is the design in question supposed to be instead of the bars at the back?

Note how little space there is between the front bars and the MS in the other photos. In the photo in question, there's not much room for the front bars, a space, a centered design, another space, and the back bars.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Marc
02-28-2009, 09:40 AM
You need to look again. Compare the insignia with the Captain's bars on the front end of the strap. There is a difference.

Have the picture move his left shoulder forward a bit.....my poor eyes

"Doc" Nelson
02-28-2009, 11:24 AM
Have the picture move his left shoulder forward a bit.....my poor eyes
LOL . . I wish I could.

"Doc" Nelson
02-28-2009, 11:39 AM
I thought like Marc, that it was the back of the bars, with nothing in the middle. They're not identical, but it could be a damaged area.

So here's my question. Is the rectangle the normal size? Or how far back does it go? Or is the design in question supposed to be instead of the bars at the back?

I thought that as well. But, as I increased the size of the pic, there appears to be a bit of distance from the insignia (or whatever it is) to the back side of the strap, as you can see the end over his shoulder. And, as I enlarged the photo, that when I began to think that, it may be the Caduceus. Still, I have no idea.


Note how little space there is between the front bars and the MS in the other photos. In the photo in question, there's not much room for the front bars, a space, a centered design, another space, and the back bars.
That's what caught my eye. I thought it was odd. Well, the way it looked compared to straps with the "MS" in the field. Or, any other department insignia straps for that matter. If this is an insignia, it doesn't give a whole lot of room between it and, the Captain bars on the back on the strap either.

Still, an odd photo. One that has intrigued me, thus so far.

2RIV
03-01-2009, 10:43 AM
After playing with the photo on my Mac, I think (90% sure) that the gent in question has very large MS shoulder boards. When I magnified and cleaned up the image, I could distinctly make out what looked to be the first 1/2 of a letter M (possibly N). Also, if the shoulder boards were as long as they look (to me) then te MS would be centered on them. It looks like the fellow had very narrow shoulders with very big straps.