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Federal (USA)

Assistant Surgeon

Joseph Ruff Gibson

(1838 - 1910)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Education: Medical Department, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1862

Branch of Service: Medical

Unit: 4th United States Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was 23 years old and lived with his parents and siblings in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, PA. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon, USA on 16 April 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with the regiment at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was honored by brevets to Captain and Major for his war service in March 1865.

After the War

He continued in Federal service and was brevetted again, to Lieutenant Colonel, for his actions during a cholera outbreak at Harts Island, NY in September 1866. At the US Census of 1870 he was post surgeon at Fort Stanton in New Mexico Territory. He was promoted to Major and Surgeon on 19 March 1877 and in 1880 was at Fort McHenry in Baltimore with his wife and 4 small children. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Surgeon General, US Army on 28 June 1894, then at Fort Snelling, MN, but was afterward on sick leave. He retired on 15 November 1895 and his retired rank was raised to Colonel in April 1904.

By 1900, and to his death at age 72 in 1910, he again lived in Philadelphia.

References & notes

His service from Heitman.1 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860-1910, and the General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania (1917). His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Helen Trenholm Holmes (1849-1928) in 1873 and they had 5 children.


01/02/1838; Philadalphia, PA


11/02/1910; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 454  [AotW citation 29118]