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Confederate Commando and Fleet Surgeon is the story of one of the Confederacy’s truly heroic figures.

It is ironic that the dust jacket of this book is illustrated with a picture of Farragut posing heroically as he sails up Mobile Bay, but that is about the only lapse in this belles-lettres account of a lesser known Confederate hero. It is interesting for its insight into the principled stand so many Southerners took at the opening of hostilities, for its description of the fervor with which they served and for its description of their post-war careers where they continued to serve. The knee-jerk dismissal of the Confederates as a bunch of rednecks doing nothing but letting loose Rebel yells is almost as offensive as the cloak of patriotism and respectability that so many northerners  attempted to cloak themselves with.

Confederate commando and fleet surgeon : Dr. Daniel Burr Conrad    Shippensburg, Pa. : Burd Street Press, c 2001 John W. Lynn Confederate States of America. Navy Surgeons Biography, Conrad, Daniel B. (Daniel Burr), 1831-1898 Hardcover. x, 197 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 189-193) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

As a young assistant surgeon. Dr. Daniel Burr Conrad of Winchester. Virginia, served on various warships cruising the Mediterranean and Car­ibbean Seas. Conrad described several of the ports that his ship entered and sites he visited. He also recounts in detail the Lepers Quarters in Jerusalem. In 1860 Conrad was aboard the USS Niagara when it carried the first Japanese legation to visit the United States back to Tokyo.

Arriving back in Boston Conrad learned of the opening of hostilities and refused the federal oath calling on him to take arms against Virginia. He was arrested, escaped and fled south to Winchester to defend his native state.

Dr. Conrad joined many of his pre-war comrades in the short-lived Virginia Navy but was assigned to thee Second Virginia Infantry Brigade and went by train to Manassas, still in the Confederate navy and served valiantly at the Battle of first Manassas.

Conrad then served at various posts including the naval detachment at Drewy’s Bluff from whence he went with the elite force comprised of Confederate marines and sailors that stormed a federal side-wheeler at New Bern, North Carolina. This commando raiding party, though unable to bring the USS Underwriter[sic] home as a prize of war was able to destroy her. For a more detailed account of this famous, but largely forgotten episode follow this link.

Dr. Conrad ended his Confederate career as a fleet surgeon at Mobile Bay aboard the CSS ironclad Tennessee, where be saved the leg of Admiral Franklin Buchanan. After the war Conrad returned to Winchester and later was superintendent of state hospitals in Virginia.


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