January 24: Richard Hoffman Coolidge (1866)

After study in New York City, Richard Coolidge passed the army board examination with great credit and was commissioned Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army. He was 21 years old. Dr. Coolidge saw service in the Mexican War. While attached to the Surgeon General’s Office in Washington, he was called upon to care for dying president Zachary Taylor. During the Civil War, Coolidge rendered valuable service on the battlefields of Bull Run and Gettysburg.


A religious journal of the day recorded reaction to Dr. Coolidge’s death in 1866 like this. “His brethren will remember him as one of the most accomplished in the large exercises of their noble vocation. They will always associate with his name what is unselfish, kind-hearted, and high-toned in principle. But it was as a humble servant of Jesus Christ that his life shone with richest luster. With him religion was not a sentiment, but a life.” The register of the Church of the Epiphany records the burial of Richard H. Coolidge, M.D., age 45, at Washington Parish [Congressional] Cemetery. His tombstone reads, “Asleep in Jesus.”

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