George T. Stevens papers  1864
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Biography

Stevens, George Thomas, 1832-1921

Rank : Asst. Surgeon, Surgeon

Regiment : 77th New York Infantry Regiment (1861-1865)

Service : 1861 November 23-1862 October 4 (dismissed by order of Secretary of War) 1863 February 16-1864 December 13

George Thomas Stevens was born in Essex County, N.Y., on July 25, 1832, the son of Congregational minister Chauncey Coe Stevens and Lucinda Hoadley Stevens. After receiving a medical degree at Castleton (Vt.) Medical College in 1857, Stevens set up practice in northern New York state, and entered into the quiet life of a country doctor. On April 17, 1861 -- only two days before Lincoln issued a call for troops to crush the southern rebellion -- Stevens married Harriet W. Wadhams, daughter of William L. and Emeline Cole Wadhams of Wadhams Mills, N.Y. The couple had two children, Frances Virginia and Charles W., who later followed his father into medicine.

By the end of 1861, Stevens was persuaded to leave his new wife to enlist as assistant surgeon to the 77th New York Infantry. In a down and up military career, Stevens was dismissed from the service in October, 1862, probably for illness, but reinstated on February 16, 1863, becoming commanding surgeon of the regiment. He spent the next two and a half years as operating surgeon of his division and served a stint as medical inspector for the 6th Corps. He longed for appointment as surgeon general of the state upon his release, but was afraid it would go instead to some political crony.

After the war, Stevens returned to private practice in Albany, N.Y., working as surgeon at Albany Hospital and gaining an appointment as professor at Union University. In 1880, he moved his practice to New York City, where he gained recognition as the developer of a number of optical and surgical instruments. In 1883, he was awarded the highest prize awarded by the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine for his treatise, Functional Disorders of the Nervous System. Stevens also gained notice as an author, writing his war memoirs, botanical guides, and numerous medical treatises and articles. He died in New York City, January 30, 1921.