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Robert A Mosher
06-18-2007, 03:09 PM
I'm currently puzzling over the latest offering from Atlanta Cutlery Corps (and not just about why they keep sending my their catalogue when I don't recall ever buying anything from them). But the latest catalog features a replica "Civil War Hospital Corps Knife" supposedly based upon an issue work knife suitable for personnel setting up field hospitals, clearing brush and small saplings, "but it could serve as a weapon in a pinch." The pictured replica is described as just under 17 inches long overall with a 12 inch long and two inch wide blade. The handle appears to be cylindrical in shape with a brass end cap and a brass cross blade guard that appears to also recieve the tang of the blade. The blade is more rounded or curving and resembles a small sword more than a Bowie knife.

I cannot find any reference to or image of such a knife in Echoes of Glory or any other reference I have on my shelves.

Can anyone either substantiate or deny the existence of such a knife?

Curiously yours,
Robert A. Mosher

TimKindred
06-18-2007, 03:24 PM
Robert,

It's a post-war knife.

From the official Army Mrdical Corps webite here;

http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil/enlisted_history.asp

I quote:


On 1 March 1887, the Hospital Corps was finally established. "New Chevrons" denoting the ranks of the hospital stewards were introduced similar to the chevrons worn by all NCO's in the Army. Hospital stewards wore full sized chevrons that had three stripes below and one on top with a Red Cross in the center. Acting hospital stewards wore the same chevrons except for the stripe on top. Privates of the Hospital Corps wore the "white arm band with a Red Cross" and this date is considered the "Anniversary of the Hospital Corps". GENERAL ORDER 29

After one year of service with Hospital Corps, privates were eligible for appointment as acting hospital stewards. After one year of probation and passing of another examination, they could be appointed "Permanent" hospital stewards. In its first year some 600 privates transferred to the new corps, with only 24 passing their examinations and promoted to acting hospital stewards.


To ensure that the privates of the newly formed corps had the necessary skills to perform their duties, "Companies of instruction" were established in 1891. Under this concept, infantry drill regulations were integrated with medical training in the areas of anatomy and physiology, nursing, pharmacy and first aid. The were also rotated through the post hospital. The "Hospital Corps Knife" was issued as standard uniform equipment and used for making litters or small triage areas in the field.

Some yahoo on ebay keeps selling copies of a 'CW Medical Bowie", etc, used for "loppinjg off limbs" as well. Also beware of butcher's knives and saw combos being foisted off as amputation saws. Francis Lord mistakenly attributed a common butcher's saw/knife as an amputation saw in his collector's encyclopeadia, and these things have been passed off as such since then.

Respects,

Robert A Mosher
06-18-2007, 03:36 PM
Tim -
Thanks for the information, it was principally a matter of curiousity. On the field, I stay as far away from the surgeon's tent and the surgeons as I can!

Robert A. Mosher

NoahBriggs
06-18-2007, 07:07 PM
On the field, I stay as far away from the surgeon's tent and the surgeons as I can!

You had no problems ingratiating yourself with the casualties at Mount Zion as we processed them at the field-dressing station. :p

Robert A Mosher
06-18-2007, 07:55 PM
On the field, I stay as far away from the surgeon's tent and the surgeons as I can!

You had no problems ingratiating yourself with the casualties at Mount Zion as we processed them at the field-dressing station. :p

That was Mr Carleton, Army Correspondent, - Private Mosher is rarely if ever seen near the surgeon's tent!

Robert A. Mosher