A DOCTOR'S LIFEThe Post's surgeon lived here. In addition to treating the sick and injured, the post surgeon was himself a commissioned officer, in charge of enforcing proper sanitary measures. The regular inspection of living quarters, the water supply, cooking, and sanitary facilities came under his authority. The doctor and his staff not only served the needs of the military personnel, but often cared for the sick in the surrounding area. For soldiers and civilians alike, accidents and diseases, rather than battle wounds, were the major problems.
All in a Day's Work
In 1856, Dr. Alex Hasson, assistant surgeon at Fort Ridgely, wrote about a patient with a dislocated shoulder:
The patient was brought to the hospital somewhat drunk and in great agony, and being a powerful man, was almost unmanageable. Without the induction of anesthesia, all attempts at reduction... would have been attended with great risk of aggravating the original injury.... A towel strongly charged with chloroform, partly through persuasion and partly by force, was applied to his mouth and nostrils, and almost in a moment he lay senseless and relaxed.
Minnesota Historical Society