National Museum of Civil War Medicine

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

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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