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Foreword

Table of Contents

FOREWORD

In the preparation of this volume, the author has accomplished the difficult task of combining entertainment with instruction. History, served in the usual way as a mere chronicle of dates, places, persons, and happenings, is essentially dry reading--but Colonel Duncan has vivified his characters and dramaticized their doings. By masterly description, by extracts from contemporaneous letters, and by cullings from official documents--all dressed up in attractive literary style--a procession of the ancient medical worthies who presided at the birth of our Nation is made to pass lifelike in review before us.

They move against a background that includes military situations and political conditions, as well as the state of medicine and surgery of the time. And as they pass, there seems a steady sequence of great professional figures that are outstanding--not only of great doctors but of great doctors who become great generals in the field and great statesmen in the forum.
   
Every medical officer should read this book, not only for its historical value, but for the personal pride that must come to him from belonging to a Corps that from its very beginning has wrested  honor and distinction from adversity. Civilian practitioners will likewise have a pride of membership in a profession that for more than a century and a half has sent of its best, in every emergency, for beneficient and humanitarian work under the colors. Both alike are under a heavy obligation to Colonel Duncan for the vast amount of study and unwearying effort that must have been given in a preparation of this interesting and absorbing historical record.

E.L. MUNSON,
Brig. General, Med. Dept.