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Gettysburg Field Hospital, 1863
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Gettysburg Field Hospital, 1863
Photograph courtesy of Confederate Relic Room and Museum, Columbia, South Carolina

This photograph shows the spot where Dr. Simon Baruch of the 3rd South Carolina Battalion, Kershaw’s brigade, surrendered the field hospital at Gettysburg to the Union advance guard on July 5, 1863. Born in Schwersenz, Posen, Baruch had emigrated from Prussia in 1840 and settled in Camden, South Carolina, where he worked as a bookkeeper for store owners Mannes and Marcus Baum, natives of Baruch’s hometown. The young Baruch studied medicine first in Charleston, and then in Richmond, Virginia. In April 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate army and, “without even having lanced a boil,” as he later told his children, was appointed an assistant surgeon.

Also noted on the photo is the Black Horse Tavern, where the division hospital was set up. There Baruch spent two days and two nights treating wounded soldiers while the battle raged. When Robert E. Lee retreated, Baruch was ordered to remain with his patients and spent another six weeks treating his men at Gettysburg, after which he was taken to Fort McHenry in Baltimore as a prisoner of war. In October 1863, Baruch and other Confederate doctors were exchanged for Union medical personnel, and in December of that year he reported once again for duty.

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Last updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2019