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Dr. Aeneas Munson, Revolutionary War Surgeon

April 26, 2017

Here is a fun story of a distant cousin through my second great-grandmother, Henrietta Munson Woodington:

Captain Thomas Munson > Ensign Samuel James Munson, Sr. > Captain Theophilus Munson > Benjamin Munson > Dr. Aeneas Munson > Dr. Aeneas Munson

Dr. Aeneas Munson

Dr. Aeneas Munson

Aeneas Munson, son of Dr. Aeneas and Mary (Shepherd) Munson was the oldest of nine children born to the couple. Born 11 Sep 1763, he graduated from Yale and immediately became a Surgeon’s Mate during the Revolutionary War.

From The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut:

“Surgeon’s Mate of Webb’s Continental Regiment, March, 1779; transferred to 4th Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; transferred to 3d Connecticut, 1st January, 1783; retained in Swift’s Connecticut Regiment, June, 1783, and served to November, 1783.

Yale and her honor-roll in the American revolution, 1775-1783 provides the following account of Aenea Munson’s service:

Very soon after graduation or September 1, 1780, Munson was commissioned Surgeon’s Mate in Col. Swift’s Seventh Connecticut Continental Line. During the winter of 1780-81 his regiment was hutted with the Connecticut Division on the Hudson, opposite West Point. In June following he was detached to assist Surgeon Thacher, of the Massachusetts Line, in Col. Scammell’s Light Infantry corps, which, after engaging in one or two sharp skirmishes in Westchester County, marched in August with the army to Yorktown, Virginia. There it took a leading part in the siege, and in after life, Dr. Munson had many incidents to tell of the operations and surrender. Returning north he rejoined his regiment, which in 1781-82 was the Fourth Connecticut, under Col. Butler, with Dr. Timothy Hosmer as Chief Surgeon. Remaining in the Highlands, he served until the disbandment in June, 1783.

The TIME magazine article from which his picture above is taken, an article written by Elizabeth D. Herman online reports: (July 3, 2013)

Faces of the American Revolution

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-9-42-05-pmThe TIME magazine article lists Dr. Munson as having left medicine for a successful life in business. The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, Volume 8 holds the possibility of a different career option after the war.

President Dwight of Yale College wanted to establish it as a University. His vision was to have

four departments of Philosophy and the Arts, Theology, Law, and Medicine.  But his death in 1817 came before he was able to carry out his plans. Only the Medical School had actually been organized. This began in 1813 with a faculty consisting of Aeneas Munson, Nathan Smith, Eli Ives, Benjamin Silliman, and Jonathan Knight. All were eminent men and the School “attained immediately an enviable reputation and marked success.”

Dr. Aeneas Munson lived a full and courageous life, making a difference in the Connecticut colony as it became a state.

  1. Kurt Schlanker permalink

    This is so cool!

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