Author talk:Hunter Holmes McGuire

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Hunter Holmes McGuire, physician and surgeon, was born in Winchester, Frederick county, Virginia, October 11, 1835. His father was Dr. Hugh Holmes McGuire, also a physician and surgeon, who was a general practitioner of medicine in his community; and his mother's maiden name was Ann Eliza Moss. She was her husband's first cousin, their mothers having been daughters of Colonel Joseph Holmes, an officer of the Continental line and county lieutenant of Frederick county during the war of the American revolution. Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire was named after his great-uncle, Major Andrew Hunter Holmes, an officer of the United States army, who fell at the battle of Mackinaw. The Colonial ancestor of the McGuire family in Virginia was a major in the British army, who came to America from the town of Enniskillen, in the north of Ireland.

Dr. McGuire's academic education was received at the Winchester Academy, where his father had attended school before him. His early medical training was had at the medical college in Winchester, which the elder McGuire, in association with other physicians, had established, and for many years prior to the war between the states was attended by many students. He was graduated from this school in 1854 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. From 1856 to 1858 he filled the chair of anatomy in the Winchester Medical College, going in that year from Winchester to Philadelphia, where he conducted a "Quiz Class" with Drs. Pancoast and Luckett. At the time of the John Brown raid he led a movement among the students which resulted in many of them leaving Philadelphia and coming to Richmond. Later he went to New Orleans to practice his profession; but upon the breaking out of the war in 1861 he returned to Virginia and enlisted in the Confederate army. Very soon after his enlistment, he was made medical director of the army in the Shenandoah Valley, under "Stonewall" Jackson, and served under Jackson with distinguished ability as medical director until the death of the latter at Chancellorsville. After Chancellorsville, Dr. McGuire served with no less distinction as medical director of the Second Army Corps until the close of the war. While surgeon-general he inaugurated the custom of exchanging medical officers and hence anticipated by several years the action of the general conference.

In 1865 Dr. McGuire settled in Richmond, Virginia, and was elected to the chair of surgery in the Medical College of Virginia, a position which he continued to hold until 1878. In 1883 he founded St. Luke's Home for the Sick, with an attendant training school for nurses, which growing far beyond its original dimensions, was removed in 1899 to a commodious building erected for the purpose, in the western part of the city of Richmond, and which continues to be a very prominent institution in the medical and surgical life of that city. In 1893 Dr. McGuire, in conjunction with other associates, founded in Richmond the University College of Medicine which has been highly successful from its inception, and established in connection with it the Virginia Hospital. Of both college and hospital he became the president and in the college faculty he was also the clinical professor of surgery. He was one of the founders of the Medical Society of Virginia in 1870, and after serving for a number of years as the chairman of the executive committee he became in 1880 its president.

Many honors in the medical and surgical world were conferred upon him during his career as physician and surgeon. In 1869 he was made president of the Richmond Academy of Medicine. In 1875 he became president of the Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States. He was president of the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association in 1889; and in 1893 he became vice-president and in 1896 president of the American Medical Association. He received the degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of North Carolina in 1887, and the same degree from Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1888. He published various papers on medical, surgical and cognate subjects in the medical journals, among them an account of the wounding and death of "Stonewall" Jackson, whom he attended He contributed to Ashursts' "International Cyclopaedia of Surgery" (1884); Pepper's "System of Medicine" (1885-87); and to the American edition of Holmes' "Surgery."

Among Dr. McGuire's most notable achievements was his inauguration jointly with Captain John Cussons, of Glen Allen, Virginia, of the movement in the South against the use in the schools of partisan and mendacious text books dealing with the history of the war between the states, a movement which has finally resulted in the elimination of the many objectionable histories, and their substitution by books in which the southern viewpoint of the history of that tremendous time has been adequately presented.

Dr. McGuire was a Democrat, though neither a politician nor a partisan. His biography has been published in Appleton's "Cyclopaedia of American Biography," and a vivid account of his life and career is detailed in the oration delivered by Major Holmes Conrad, late solicitor-general of the United States, upon the occasion of the presentation to the commonwealth of Virginia at Richmond, on January 7, 1904, by the Hunter McGuire Memorial Association, of a bronze statue of Dr. McGuire, which stands in the capitol grounds not far from the statue of "Stonewall" Jackson, which was presented to Virginia by an association of English gentlemen.

Dr. McGuire married, December 9, 1866, Mary Stuart, daughter of the late Alexander H. H. Stuart, of Staunton, Virginia, a distinguished statesman of his generation in Virginia, and the first secretary of the interior under the administration of President Fillmore. Children of Dr. Hunter Holmes and Mary (Stuart) McGuire: 1. Stuart, born in Staunton, in 1867, a physician, resides in Richmond, Virginia, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. 2. Hugh Holmes, a physician, resides in Alexandria, Virginia. 3. Mary Stuart, wife of Dr. William Edward McGuire, of Richmond, Virginia. 4. Frances B., wife of W. G. Davis, of Norfolk, Virginia. 5. Anne Moss, wife of William L. Clay, of Savannah, Georgia. 6. Hunter Holmes, a resident of Keyser, West Virginia. 7. Margaretta Holmes, wife of Rev. R. C. Montague, of Elkins, West Virginia. 8. Margaret Cameron, wife of Arthur Gordon, of Savannah, Georgia. All of the children with the exception of the eldest was born in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. McGuire, the father of these children, died September 19, 1900.

Source: Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume IV.

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McGUIRE, Hunter Holmes, physician, b. in Winchester, Va., 11 Oct., 1835. He is the son of a physician, and was educated at Winchester academy, and studied medicine at the Medical college of Virginia, the medical schools in Philadelphia and New Orleans, and Winchester medical college, from which he received his diploma in 1855. He practiced first in Winchester, holding the chair of anatomy in the Medical college from 1856 till 1858, when he removed to Philadelphia. In the beginning of the civil war he enlisted in the Confederate army, was soon promoted to the post of medical director of the Army of the Shenandoah Valley, and was afterward medical director of the 2d army corps. In 1865 he was elected professor of surgery in Virginia medical college, Richmond, which chair he held till 1880. In 1885 he was made professor emeritus in that institution. Dr. McGuire organized, in connection with his large general surgical practice, St. Luke's home for the sick in Richmond, with a training-school for nurses. He was president of the Association of Confederate medical officers in 1869, and of the Virginia medical society in 1873, vice-president of the International medical congress in 1876, and of the American medical association in 1881, and president of the American surgical association in 1887. The University of North Carolina in 1887 gave him the degree of LL. D. He has published in medical journals various papers, an account of the circumstances of the wounding and death of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, whom he attended. He has contributed to John Ashhurst's "International Cvclopsedia of Surgery" (1884); William Pepper's "System of Medicine" (Philadelphia, 1885-7); and the American edition of Holmes's "Surgery."

Source:Appleton's "Cyclopaedia of American Biography," Volume IV.

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