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Bernard John Dowling Irwin Papers 1850-1936
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Biography

Biographical Note

Bernard John Dowling Irwin was born in Ireland and emigrated to the United States while still a boy. He graduated from New York Medical College in 1852 and began his service in the U.S. Army as a surgeon in 1855. In February 1861, while stationed at Fort Buchanan, Arizona, he led troops against Chiricahua Indians at Apache Pass. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and gained the nickname "The Fighting Doctor" for his gallantry. During the Civil War, Irwin introduced the use of tent field hospitals at the battle of Shiloh in 1862. After the war he served as post surgeon to various posts in the American West. In 1892 he was appointed Assistant Surgeon General of the Army. He retired in 1894.