Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/22

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HORXKR


HORNER


month, suul nitions. He has donned his uniform, m;uU« after the re^rulation of the surgeon and physician-jienorul, Dr. James Tilton. of Dehiware. Whatever may have l>een the professional exeellences of the surpeon and pliysieian-jreneral, his siirtorial quahfications wore not very hrilliant. The tlress was coal-bUick, which, from the readiness it shows dirt, was found in the service of the liospital and eamp the most unlit that could have In'en selected.

•The coat was single-breasted, with staniling collar, a Rold star on each side, short-waisted and pigeon-tailed; the nether garments were tight. Picture the slight frame of the new-fledged surgeon's mate thus arrayed.

"At first it was thought very fine, but it was soon found to attract an attention in the streets that did not consist of admir- ation; and when he arrived in camp it had acquired for the surgeons, from their fellow-officers and soldiers, the soubriquet of "Crows." In a short time, the off- spring of the physician and surgeon- general proved an abortion. The sur- geons, in disgust, threw it aside, and each dressed after his own fashion."

Horner joined the army on the Niagara frontier September 25, 1813. He at once had orders to take charge of the transportation of seventy-three invalids from Lewistown to Greenbush. There was considerable difficulty in transporta- tion, and while on the Mohawk near Little Falls the boats used in transporting the invalids grounded.

After delivering up his command at Greenbush, Horner went to Philadelphia, attended the medical course at the Uni- versity during the w^inter and graduated in April, 1814. He then returned to the Niagara frontier as surgeon. He had severe experiences during the campaign, for the attack on Fort Erie, on the fourth of July, and battle of " Chippewa," on the fifteenth, filled the wards of the hospital with wounded. Between sixty and seventy fell to the share of Dr. Horner. The battle of Bridgewater, on the twenty-fifth of July, in which the British


were defeated, swelled his list to one hundred a n d seventy-five wounded and sick.

Notwithstanding his incessant occu- pation with very inadequate assistance in dressing the wounded and prescribing for the sick, he kept notes and records of his cases, many of them of great interest. The results were published in the " Med- ical Examiner" in 1852.

After the conclusion of peace, Horner resigned from the army and went to War- renton, Virginia, where he practised for a short time. He soon tired of this. "Flesh and blood," he writes, "could stand it no longer; often have I paced with rapid and disordered steps my little office, agitating in the most painful state of mind my future fortunes."

After some indecision as to what to do, Horner finally decided to remove to Phila- delphia. He had received a small legacy from his grandmother, which he convert- ed into cash before he left. On arriving in Philadelphia in the winter of 1815-16 he attended lectures at the university and devoted much time to reading works on medicine and to dissection. His en- thusiasm for anatomy had meanwhile attracted the attention of Caspar Wistar, at that time professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. In March, 1816, Wistar offered Horner the position of dissector at a salary of five hundred dollars. The offer was at once accepted. The connection formed with Wistar ripened into personal friendship and warm regard.

On the death of Wistar in 1818, John Syng Dorsey, nephew of Philip Physick was appointed to the chair of anatomy. Dorsey appointed Horner as his demon- strator and placed the dissecting class with all its emoluments in his hands. Dorsey died soon after his appointment and the chair of anatomy passed to Dr. Physick. Physick continued Horner as demonstrator on liberal terms and in 1820 he was made adjunct professor of anatomy and appointed professor when Dr. Phy- sick resigned in 1831.

In 1820 he married Elizabeth Welsh of