August 20: Joseph Janvier Woodward (1884)

During the Civil War, Lt. Col. J.J. Woodward produced several publications on war-related diseases. Dr. Woodward assisted and wrote reports on the autopsies of both Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. He also attended President James A. Garfield following his assassination. Woodward was a native of Philadelphia and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. With the outbreak of the war, he entered the army as assistant surgeon and spent most of his military career in the Surgeon General’s Office in Washington. At the end of the war he was placed in charge of the pension division of the office, of the medical collection of the Army Medical Museum, and of the preparation of the medical portion of the Medical and Surgical History of the War. Just before the end of the war, Dr. Woodward’s first child with his second wife was baptized at Epiphany.

In announcing Dr. Woodward’s death, the Surgeon General stated, “With such a record it is needless to speak of his zeal, his ambition, or his devotion to his profession, and especially to the reputation of the corps of which he was so bright an ornament.” At the time of his death, Dr. Woodward was a member and ex-President of the American Medical Association, a member and ex-President of the Washington Philosophical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Philadelphia.

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