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J Natl Med Assoc. 2005 Jan;97(1):106-9.

Alexander Thomas Augusta--physician, teacher and human rights activist.

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  • Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. hmbutts@aol.com


Commissioned surgeon of colored volunteers, April 4, 1863, with the rank of Major. Commissioned regimental surgeon on the 7th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, October 2, 1863. Brevet Lieutenant Colonel of Volunteers, March 13, 1865, for faithful and meritorious services--mustered out October 13, 1866. So reads the tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery of Alexander Thomas Augusta, the first black surgeon commissioned in the Union Army during the Civil War and the first black officer-rank soldier to be buried at Arlington Cemetery. He was also instrumental in founding the institutions that later became the hospital and medical college of Howard University and the National Medical Association.

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