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J.T. Darby

J.T. Darby

Confederate (CSA)


John Thompson Darby

(1836 - 1879)

Home State: South Carolina

Education: South Carolina College, Medical College of SC,
  U of Pennsylvania (Medical), Class of 1858

Branch of Service: Medical

Unit: Hood's Division

Before Sharpsburg

He attended South Carolina College and the Medical College of South Carolina before graduating with an MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia in 1858. He was an intern at St. Joseph and Philadelphia Hospitals, and then briefly practiced in Philadelphia before the War. He mustered as Surgeon, Hampton Legion Infantry on 12 June 1861 1861. He was appointed Surgeon, CSA, on 17 February 1862. In May he was acting Chief Surgeon, G.W. Smith's Division, and by September, Chief Surgeon, Hood's Division.

On the Campaign

From General Hood's Report:

Too much cannot be said of the members of my staff ... All praise is due Dr. [John T.] Darby, chief surgeon of this division, for his untiring efforts and skillful manner in caring for the numerous wounded.

The rest of the War

He was at Gettysburg in July 1863, where he established and ran the Plank Farm Hospital. In November 1863 he was sent to Paris, France, to procure artificial limbs, and while there he studied European medical techniques. He returned in April 1864 and was assigned to General Hood as Corps Medical Director. In July 1864 he was appointed Medical Director of the Army of Mississippi, serving in General A.P. Stewarts's Corps. He was paroled at Greensboro, NC on 1 May 1865.

After the War

He returned to Europe to study, and was a volunteer surgeon in the Prussian Army during the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. In 1868, while still abroad, he was elected chair of the Department of Anatomy and Surgery, University of South Carolina, and in 1870 resumed his own practice, in Columbia. In 1873 he moved to New York City and taught at the University of New York. He died relatively young at age 42, his illness "traceable to the introduction of septic matter into the system at an operation performed two years [before]."

References & notes

Basic information from the List1 and his obituary in the Maryland Medical Journal of 1 July 1879. Many service details from Hambrecht & Koste's unpublished database Biographical Register of Physicians who Served the Confederacy in a Medical Capacity (updated 1/2018), excerpted on his memorial page on Findagrave. The quote about his cause of death from his obituary in the New York Times of 11 June 1879. His picture from a photograph of unknown provenance, also posted on Findagrave, by Florence Keels.


12/16/1836 in SC


06/09/1879; New York City, NY; burial in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Cemetery, Columbia, SC


1   US War Department, List of Staff Officers of the Confederate States Army, 1861-1865, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1891, pg. 41  [AotW citation 17630]