Harry G. Becker
Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Edythe Huffman, Mar. 2013
Harry G. Becker was born Oct. 22, 1905, in Kampsville, IL, his parents being Henry and Lillian (Ansell) Becker. He was graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1933, served his internship at the Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Chicago and his residency in surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center from 1946-1950. He served on the staffs of Methodist, Winona, St. Vincent, Community and Wishard Memorials Hospitals. He was also an industrial physician for the Allison Transmission. He served in World War II starting Sep. 30, 1946 and later joined the Army Reserves, becoming the commander of the Army Reserve 337th General Hospital at Fort Benjamin Harrison in 1952, retiring in 1965 as a colonel. He received the Reserve Officers’ Association’s (ROA) Distinguished Service Citation and was responsible for the creation of the ROA’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Services, Washington, D.C. Dr. Becker was associate professor in surgery four years for Indiana University School of Medicine and was named Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus in 1975. He received the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governor Otis R. Bowen in 1980 and was named a Kentucky Colonel. He died Jan. 19, 1996 in Indianapolis and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Dr. Becker’s wife, Thora, predeceased him, and he was survived by his daughter Nancy Sargent, 3 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
“Becker, Dr. Harry G.” (1996, Jan. 20), Indianapolis Star, p. C9.
“Becker, Harry G.” Social Security Death Index. Mar. 22, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“Becker, Harry G.” U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006. Mar. 22, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“Becker, Harry G.” Family Tree of Amy Carroll. Mar. 22, 2013.
The collection consists of a 30 page typed, hand-corrected photocopy of a speech presented to the Civil War Round Table, 29 pages of speech and a 1 page listing of names of sources, including Dr. George Worthington [Whittington] Adams, H.H. Cunningham, Otto Eisenshiml [Isenshimel], and Bruce Catton, some of whom he quotes extensively.
The author begins with a brief definition of medicine. He mentions that the soldiers were faced with two medical problems; war wounds and diseases in camp. Dr. Adams said that wounds accounted for only one third of the federal troop deaths, unlike the Mexican War, when disease killed ten men for every man killed by the enemy. Dr. William A. Hammond, Surgeon General for a time, instituted many reforms, including a hospital with an extremely low mortality rate but was dismissed and went into private practice, proving the medical value of his progressive ideas. Based on the poor record and low expenditures for medical supplies and services, public demand created the United States Sanitary Commission, a boon for federal soldiers. Dr. Becker speaks extensively about the types and consequences of various wounds and medicines, briefly of medical war practices in other countries, and the difference in medical practices and availability of surgeons, medicines and medical supplies between the South and the North. The politics of medicine (what was done medically, who did it and the money to pay for it all) was dictated to a large extent by the President and Congress. Hospitals and medical laboratories are mentioned.
Manuscript material CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in its entirety. Photocopies and/or digital reproductions (i.e. scans, digital photographs) cannot exceed 25% of a COLLECTION or FOLDER within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Please check with the Manuscript Librarian for possible alternatives.
Folder and Item Listing:
Folder 1. “Medicine in Civil War”
2-12-1968 Speech “Medicine in Civil War”
Size of Collection: 1 folder
Collection Dates: 2-12-1968
Provenance: Harry G. Becker, 2-13-1968
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None
Collection Notes: None
MA BA 5-7-2013