American Medical Biographies/Wood, William Maxwell

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Wood, William Maxwell (1809–1880)

The father of this surgeon-general of the United States Navy, was Gen. Wood, a prominent merchant of Baltimore, who had come to this country at a very early age. His son William, the eldest of eight children, was born May 27, 1809, went to the Bel Air Academy, Harford County, Maryland, and graduated in medicine at the University of Maryland in 1829. He at once entered the medical corps of the navy and served as surgeon in four wars, the Seminole, the Mexican, the Chinese and the Civil. As surgeon on board the Minnesota, he witnessed the famous battle between the Merrimac and Monitor. He was commissioned medical director and surgeon-general of the navy May 21, 1871, and retired March 3, of the same year.

He died at Owing's Mill, near Baltimore, March 1, 1880. Gen. Wood wrote "Wandering Sketches of People and Things in South America, Polynesia, California and Other Places Visited During a Cruise on the U. S. Ships Levant, Portsmouth and Savannah," (1849); and "Fankwei or the San Jacinto in the Seas of India, China and Japan" (1859); "A Shoulder to the Wheel of Progress" (1849); "Hints to the People on the Profession of Medicine" (1852), besides numerous essays and lectures.

Trans. Am. Med. Asso., Phila., 1882, vol. xxxiii, p. 610–613.
N. Y. Med. Rec., 1880, vol. xvii, p. 273.
Appleton's Cyclop. Am. Biog., 1889.