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Additional Resources

Black and white photograph of a newspaper article. The appearance of a colored man in the room wearing the gold leaf epaulettes of a Major, was also the occasion of much applause and gratulation with the assembly. The individual thus distinguished was Dr. A. T. Augusta, who received an assistant Surgeon's commission last week from the Secretary of War. He is a native of Virginia, and graduated at Trinity College, Toronoto, Canada.

The Evening Star,
April 17, 1863

Courtesy District of Columbia Public Library

K-12 additional readings

Curator's bibliography

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K-12 additional readings:


Carnegie, Mary Elizabeth. The Path We Tread: Blacks in Nursing Worldwide, 1854-1994. New York: National League for Nursing Press, 1995.
The Path We Tread presents a history of the involvement of people of African descent in the nursing profession in the US, the Caribbean, and Africa. (Grade level: 9 -12)

Covey, Herbert C. African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008.
Covey lists many of the herbal, plant, and non-plant remedies used by African American folk medicine practitioners during slavery. (Grade level: 9-12)

Cox, Clinton. Black Star: African American Healers. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2000.
Black Star: African American Healers contains a collection of biographies highlighting the achievements of African American medical professionals from Colonial times to present, offering readers inspirational stories of nurses, researchers, and doctors of color beating the odds to achieve success in the medical field. (Grade level: 6-9)

Darraj, Susan Mauddi. Mary Eliza Mahoney and the Legacy of African American Nurses. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publications, 2004.
The author chronicles the life and times of Mary Eliza Mahoney, who became the first professionally-trained, African American nurse in the U.S. in 1879, founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908, and, worked as a suffragist. The book also examines the impact of the first African American nurses on the profession. (Grade level: 6-12)

Ferris, Jeri. With Open Hands: A Story about Biddy Mason. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2002.
With Open Hands is the biography of Biddy Mason, a former slave who worked as a nurse in the Civil War Era, was the first African American woman to own land in California, and became one of the richest women in Southern California, buying and selling numerous properties between 1866 and her death in 1891. (Grade level: 3-8)

Haskins, Jim, ed. Black Stars of Civil War Times. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley, 2002.
Black Stars of Civil War Times profiles prominent figures in African American history from the Civil War Era. Those featured include Dr. Alexander Augusta, the first African American U.S. Army surgeon, featured in Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries . (Grade level: 3-8)

Hayden, Robert. Eleven African-American Doctors. Connecticut: Children's Press, 1992.
Hayden presents the achievements of eleven African American physicians and medical educators whose contributions helped raise the country's health standards from the late 19th century to the present day. Daniel Hale Williams, the first African American cardiologist, and Jane C. Wright, an oncologist and researcher who was the first woman to be elected president of the New York Cancer Society, are amongst the luminaries profiled. (Grade level: 3-8)

Higginson, Thomas. Army Life in a Black Regiment. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, an army colonel commissioned to head the first regiment of emancipated slaves during the Civil War, recounts his team's struggle with political and physical hardship in his memoirs. (Grade level: 5-12)

Taylor, Susie King. The Diary of Susie King Taylor, Civil War Nurse. Edited by Margaret Gay Malone. New York: Benchmark Books, 2004.
Susie King Taylor describes her experiences as a Civil War nurse and teaching former slaves in schools throughout Georgia. Susie King Taylor is the only African American woman to publish an account of her experiences during the Civil War. (Grade level: 5 -12)

Redkey, Edwin S., ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Here is a collection of 129 letters written by black soldiers in the Union army during the Civil War to black and abolitionist newspapers. The letters describe combat and quotidian life in encampments, and tell of the men's hopes for equal rights and fair treatment in the future. (Grade level: 5-12)

Smith, Margaret Charles. Listen to Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1996.
This is the biography of the oldest midwife in Alabama, a well-respected community health practitioner. Through conversations with a researcher, she recounts methods used over time and birth stories, as well as how 1976 state legislation ending the practice of midwifery has changed the face of community healthcare. (Grade level: 9-12)

Venezia, Mike. Charles Drew: Doctor Who Got the World Pumped Up to Donate Blood. New York: Children's Press, 2009.
The book presents the story of Charles Drew's groundbreaking work in the 1930s and 1940s collecting, processing, and storing blood; which paved the way for the first blood drive and the establishment of America's biggest blood bank. (Grade level: 3-8)

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Banks, Sara. Abraham's Battle: A Novel of Gettysburg. New York: Athenium, 1999.
A freed slave joins the ambulance corps of the Union Army when he sees the violence of the Civil War approaching his home in Gettysburg. (Grade level: 4-8)

Bearden, Romare. Li'l Dan the Drummer Boy. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.
Li'l Dan, a boy recently freed from slavery by the Civil War, uses his beloved drum to save the black Union soldiers who informed him of his freedom. (Grade level: K-3)

Forrester, Sandra. Sound the Jubilee. New York: Dutton Juvenile, 1995.
An 11 year old slave girl flees her master's house with her family to find freedom and land on Roanoke Island during the Civil War. There, she teaches other self-freed slaves to read, and learns about herself in the process. (Grade level: 5-9)

Fritz, Jean. Brady. New York: Coward-McCann, 1960.
A young white boy learns that his father is helping runaway slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, and participates in a secret effort to transport an escaped slave boy to safety. (Grade level: 4-8)

Hansen, Joyce. I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly Away: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl. New York: Scholastic, 1997.
12 year old Patsy, an awkward girl who still lives on the plantation where she was a slave prior to the Civil War, keeps a diary of the changing times following the emancipation of slaves. (Grade level: 6-9)

Hansen, Joyce. Out from This Place. New York: Walker, 1988.
Easter, a slave girl who has fled from her master, joins a group of runaway slaves making their way to the islands off the coast of South Carolina, where the promise of paid plantation work awaits. She must decide whether to stay on the island once she gets there and wait for her friend who joined the Union Army, or head to Philadelphia for the opportunity to go to school. (Grade level: 6-9)

Hansen, Joyce. Which Way Freedom? New York: Walker, 1986.
Two young slaves during the Civil War, Obi and Ester, flee their plantation, but must leave behind a younger companion to do so. Obi and Easter's relationship is tested as they deal with their guilt over leaving a friend behind and are captured by Confederate soldiers. (Grade level: 6-9)

Hopkinson, Deborah. From Slave to Soldier. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2007.
A runaway slave boy joins the Union Army to fight for his freedom and proves himself to the regiment by handling a mule team. (Grade level: 1-3)

McMillan, Ann. Chickahominy Fever: A Civil War Mystery. New York: Viking, 2003.
Narcissa Powers, a Civil War nurse, and Judah Daniels, a former slave and herbal healer, uncover the causes behind mysterious events surrounding an outbreak of infectious disease at a hospital overrun by wounded soldiers. (Grade level: 6-12)

Pinkney, Andrea. Silent Thunder: A Civil War Story. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 1999.
In 1862 Virginia, a young slave girl, learns that she must keep quiet about her newly acquired ability to read and other things that give her joy, in order to protect herself from the cruelties of slave life. (Grade level: 5-9)

Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books, 1994.
An injured, 15 year old, white Union soldier, Sheldon "Say" Curtis, is rescued and nursed back to health by Pinkus "Pink" Aylee, an African American Union soldier of the same age, and Pink's family. The boys forge a bond evading capture by Confederate soldiers. (Grade level: K-4)

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Web Resources

African American World offers interactive games to teach youths about prominent figures in African American history, allows visitors to send e-cards with fun facts, and features opinions shared by kids around the country on various topics. (Grade level: 3-8)

African American Registry: Thomas W. Burton chronicles the life of Thomas William Burton, a doctor, poet, and administrator or a medical organization in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The African American Registry offers information on other prominent African American figures through time, including Alexander T. Augusta, featured in "Binding Wounds." (Grade level: 6-12)

Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians presents the many ways in which women doctors have influenced and enhanced the field of medicine through the biographies of extraordinary women in the field, including many African American female physicians. (Grade level: 3-12)

"Lessons from African-American Midwife Traditions" is an NPR broadcast in which Kristal Brent Zook, a professor at Columbia University, talks about the contributions of African American midwifery to current medicine. (Grade level: 9-12)

Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons celebrates the contributions of pioneering, African American physicians who have educated generations of surgeons and broken racial barriers in the medical field. (Grade level: 6-12)

Susie King Taylor, The biography of highlights the achievements of a Civil War nurse, author, and educator of former slaves. (Grade level: 6-12)

The following several websites offer information on careers in health in the U.S. uniformed services:

Army Health Care is the U.S. Army homepage's section on medical careers such as medical training and professions.

Careers in the Military offers comprehensive information on military careers, including descriptions of professions, information about educational requirements and opportunities, and lists of comparable civilian occupations. The website organizes its information according to "job families," which can be accessed through the drop down menu at the top of the page. The health related job families presented are Health Care Practitioners (e.g. dentists, nurses, general practitioners, etc.), Medical and Clinical Technologists and Technicians (e.g. pharmacists, radiological technicians, medical laboratory technicians, etc.), and Environmental Health and Safety (e.g. emergency management officers, environmental health and safety specialists, etc.)

Navy Health Care is the U.S. Navy's website on medical careers where they provide information about medical training and professions.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, located in Bethesda, Maryland, provides post-graduate medical training to uniformed service people; and is comprised of the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing. On the USUHS homepage, you can find information on admissions and academics, and apply to the university.

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps consists of medical professionals who respond to health crises and national emergencies, and devise and implement disease prevention and health improvement programs domestically and globally. You can access career information and apply for the Commissioned Corps on their homepage.

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Curator's Bibliography:

African American Surgeons and Nurses

King, Lisa Y. "In Search of Women of African Descent Who Served During the Civil War Union Navy." The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 83, No. 4, Autumn 1998.

Lamb, Daniel Smith. Howard University Medical Department: A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir. Washington, D.C.: R. Beresford, 1900.

Newby, M. Dalyce. Anderson Ruffin Abbott, First Afro-Canadian Doctor. Toronto: Associated Medical Services, Incorporated and Fizthenry & Whiteside, 1998.

Roca, Steven Louis. "Presence and Precedents: The USS Red Rover during the American Civil War, 1861-1865." Civil War History, vol. 44, Issue 2, June 1998.

Schultz, Jane E. Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Slaney, Catherine. Family Secrets: Crossing the Colour Line. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, 2003.

Slawon, Robert G. Prologue to Change: African Americans in Medicine in the Civil War Era. Frederick, MD: National Museum of Civil War Medicine Press, 2006.

Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006. Available online via the New York Public Library. (accessed 10/01/2010)

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Civil War Hospitals

Alcott, Louisa May. Hospital Sketches. Boston: J. Redpath, 1863.

Freemon, Frank R. Gangrene and Glory. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1998.

Green, Carol C. Chimborazo, The Confederacy's Largest Hospital. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2004.

Holt, Thomas, Cassandra Smith-Parker, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. The Story of Freedmen's Hospital, 1862-1962. Washington, D.C.: Howard University, 1975.

Jaquette, Henrietta Stratto, Letters of a Civil War Nurse. Cornelia Hancock, 1863-1865. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

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Dammann, Gordon E., and Alfred Jay Bollet. Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History. New York, NY: Demos Medical Publishing, 2008.

Franklin, John Hope, and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Black Family and the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Keckley, Elizabeth. Behind the Scenes or Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House. New York: G.W. Carleton & Co. Publishers, 1868.

King, Wilma. The Essence of Liberty: Free Black Women during the Slave Era. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006.

Redkey, Edwin S. A Grand Army of Black Men. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

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