July 17: Alexander Yelverton Peyton Garnett (1888)

Dr. Alexander Y.P. Garnett’s distinguished medical career included being chair of Clinical Medicine at Columbian University [George Washington University], a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospital, president of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, and president of the American Medical Association. A native of Essex County, Virginia, Garnett studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After passing his examination before the Naval Medical Board, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Navy. On a cruise to South America, he met the woman who subsequently became his wife, Mary Wise, the daughter of the U.S. Minister to Brazil. Later while stationed at Washington, Garnett resigned his position in the Navy and began his career as a civil practitioner. About this time, he first became associated with Epiphany. His second child, Maria, was baptized at the church in 1851.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Garnett’s sympathies were with his native state of Virginia. He left Washington for Richmond, where he remained until the close of the war. He was appointed Surgeon General of the Confederate Army, and placed in charge of two hospitals. He was the physician of General Robert E. Lee and family, as well as to the families of Generals Joe Johnston, Hampton, Preston, Breckenridge, and of many members of the Confederate Cabinet and Congress. Following the war, Dr. Garnett returned to Washington where he returned to active practice and lecturing and apparently re-associated himself with Epiphany. Following his death, Dr. Garnett’s funeral was at the church before his interment at Rock Creek Cemetery. Later his wife and oldest son were buried from Epiphany as well.

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