American Medical Biographies/Adams, Zabdiel Boylston

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Adams, Zabdiel Boylston (1829–1902)

Dr. Adams was the son of Zabdiel Boylston (Harvard College, 1813) and Sarah May Holland Adams. He was born in Boston, October 25, 1829, and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1849 and from the Harvard Medical School in 1853. He practised in Roxbury, a part of Boston, until the Civil War, when he volunteered his services to Governor Andrew. In May, 1861, he was commissioned assistant surgeon in the Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, his first service being at Washington, where he arrived the following July. He was at the siege of Yorktown with the Seventh Regiment in the spring of 1862, and was also at Williamsburg and Fair Oaks. On May 26, 1862, he was commissioned surgeon of the Thirty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, joining the Army of the Potomac. He was at Harrison's Landing for two months and subsequently on the Rappahannock. He was at Antietam, Fredericksburg and the second engagement at Bull Run, and served under General Burnside in his "mud march." He was with his regiment at Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, and Gettysburg. Because of an affection of the eyes he resigned his commission as surgeon of the Thirty-second. Regiment, August 4, 1863. On January 12, 1864, he re-entered the service and was commissioned captain of Company F, Fifty-sixth Regiment, and with that command participated in the Wilderness engagements, where he was twice wounded, one shot breaking his leg. He was taken prisoner and confined at Lynchburg for three months, when he was transferred to Libby Prison, being released on parole a month later. While in confinement, he was commissioned major by Governor Andrew, and in December, 1864, he was discharged for disability contracted in the service. At his own request he rejoined his regiment in February, 1865, and took a prominent part in the assault on Petersburg in April, 1865. Then he returned to Boston and resumed practice, shortly after removing to Framingham.

He married Frances Kidder, of Boston. His widow, a daughter, Frances, and a son, Z. Boylston Adams, M. D. 1903, survived him.

Dr. Adams was a member and had held office in the Middlesex County and Framingham medical societies and other medical organizations. He was identified with the Framingham Hospital and numerous other institutions and had been for twelve years before his death medical examiner of the Eighth Middlesex District.

His death, on May 1, 1902, at the age of seventy-two, was due to a fall over the Metropolitan Water Works dam at Southboro, Mass.

Dr. Adams was an ardent advocate of vaccination and still believed in the use of the lancet in the treatment of some forms of sthenic pneumonia. He was an old-fashioned doctor and a characteristic representative of a passing generation.

Bull. Har. Med. Alumni Asso., July, 1902.
Boston Med. and Sur. Jour., vol. clxvi.