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John B. Lewis

JOHN B. LEWIS, M.D., HARTFORD: Surgeon and Adjuster Travelers Insurance Company.

John B. Lewis, M.D., whose personal record in the military service of the government throughout the late war of the rebellion is one of distinguished honor and efficiency, comes of patriotic and soldierly stock. His father (John) was a teacher at West Point, his grandfather (Benjamin) a soldier in the war of 1812—14, and his great-grandfather (Eleazur) a soldier in the war of the revolution. John B. Lewis was born in Suffolk County, N.Y., March 10, 1832. He was educated at Powellton Seminary, at Newburg, N.Y., and afterward pursued his professional studies in New York city at the University Medical College, where he was graduated March 10, 1853, on his twenty-first birthday. Shortly thereafter he located in Vernon, Conn., having formed a business partnership with Dr. Alden Skinner, and here for several years he had a full share of that laborious practice of medicine and surgery which falls to the lot of a country doctor.

At the outbreak of the war of the rebellion, and when the president’s call for volunteers occasioned the organization of Connecticut troops, he was offered a surgeonry by Governor Buckingham, and later he accepted an appointment as surgeon of the Fifth Connecticut Infantry, with rank from date of commission, July 3, 1861. He at once reported for duty with his regiment, which was then in camp at Hartford, and with the regiment left for the seat of war. The next spring he was commissioned by the president, brigade surgeon U. S. V., and ordered to report to Major-General Banks, department of the Shenandoah, and was assigned to the second brigade, Shields’ division. Soon afterward he was promoted to be medical director of the division, and remained in service in that capacity up to the time when the division was incorporated with General McClellan’s army at Harrison’s Landing, when he was assigned to temporary duty. The invasion of Maryland by General Lee occurred soon afterward, and, September 15, 1862, while in charge of a field hospital, he received orders to proceed without delay to the headquarters of General McClellan and report to Surgeon Letterman, where, during September 17th and 18th, he was on duty at the battle of Antietam.

This terminated his field service. A few days later he was assigned as surgeon in charge of United States general hospital No. 6, at Frederick, Md., and was in charge of this hospital until its discontinuance in February following. By command of Major-General Schenck, middle department, February 18, 1863, he was assigned surgeon in charge of U. S. general hospital at Cumberland, Md., upon which duty he remained until after the close of the war. While in charge of this hospital he also served a while as medical director of the department of West Virginia, and in such official position, in company with Major-General Crook commanding, visited and inspected the military posts and hospitals within the department.

 In his field service Doctor Lewis was present in thirteen skirmishes and battles, and during the same period was many times in charge of field hospitals. He was subsequently commissioned brevet lieutenant-colonel United States volunteers. He was retained in service after the close of the war, in order that he might have charge of the sale of the large property belonging to the government which had been used for hospital purposes at Cumberland; and when he had completed these duties he forwarded a written request to be mustered out "at the earliest date consistent with the interests of the service." By special orders from the War Department October 7, 1865, he was "honorably discharged out of the service of the United States."

In the latter part of 1865 he returned to Rockville, Conn., and resumed the general practice of his profession, remaining there about three years, when he removed to Hartford with his family, and soon afterward went to Europe. On his return in 1869, he entered the service of The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, as medical director for that company and in charge of its claims department. His time has ever since been occupied with the duties of that position to such an extent that he has wholly withdrawn from the general practice of his profession.

Doctor Lewis was married, in 1855, to Miss Mary K. Mann, daughter of Hon. J. N. E. Mann of Dedham, Mass. They have three children, a son and two daughters. The former, Dr. William J. Lewis, is also connected with the Travelers Insurance Company as its consulting surgeon.

SourceIllustrated Popular Biography of Connecticut - 1891 Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding Hartford Conn.  Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company 1891

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