Account book for the medical practice of Dr. V. B. Corey, West Point, Illinois, 1860-70. V. B. Corey.
Account book for the medical practice of Dr. V. B. Corey, West Point, Illinois, 1860-70
Account book for the medical practice of Dr. V. B. Corey, West Point, Illinois, 1860-70

Illinois Civil War Physician

Account book for the medical practice of Dr. V. B. Corey, West Point, Illinois, 1860-70

West Point, Summer Hill, & Nebo, Illinois: 1860-70. Small folio, approx. 230 pages; original half sheep over marbled boards; some rubbing; the handwriting neat and legible but occasionally faint. A biographical typescript has been laid into the account book from which much of the following information comes, and most is borne out by sketchy on-line sources. V. B. Corey was born in Pen Yan, Yates County, New York in 1828. He left home at age 14, and learned the shoemaker's trade which he followed until the age of 20 after which he began studying medicine in the office of Dr. Andrew F. Oliver in Pen Yan. In 1854 he came to Quincy, Illinois and practiced with Dr. John Parsons. Being a strong Republican and a Union supporter, he enlisted in August 1862 in Company C, 118th Illinois Volunteer Infantry to serve for three years. He was appointed Hospital Steward of the Regiment, and at the Battle of Champion Hills in Mississippi he was detailed to act as Assistant Surgeon, which position he continued to hold until the Regiment was mustered out in 1865. He also saw action at Chicksaw Bluff, Mississippi, Arkansas Post, and Vicksburg. Dr. Corey kept a diary during his stint as hospital steward during the Civil War, and for it achieved brief fame when the diary was published after the war, and that "thousands of readers" had contacted him for information about family members who had not returned. (We are told in the typescript that the publication was "the American magazine" but I cannot corroborate that.) After the war Corey returned to Quincy, and thence to West Point, Illinois, and later Nebo and Monument, Illinois. This volume is the account book of his practice in West Point, and Nebo, Illinois beginning in 1860, but because of his stint in the 118th 1863-65, the account book includes only a handful of entries during 1863, none during 1864, and only begins making entries again after October 1865, the month in which the 118th was mustered out, and Corey returned home. The years 1860-63 occupy 83 pages in the ledger, and 1865-70 occupy 147. The account book continues through his move to Summer Hill in 1867 and to Nebo in 1869. In each entry, Corey lists the name of the patient, the amount charged, and the service rendered. He charged between $1.00 and $1.50 for a visit and $.50 for medicine. Delivery a baby cost $7.50, while "lancing a boy's thumb," only 50 cents, and "treating girl's eyes," $1.00. A visit to Corey for the occasional lancing or setting of broken bones cost a little more. Like many country doctors, Corey was often paid in kind; the numbers of pounds of butter, potatoes, or mutton, were dutifully listed. One apparently chronically ill patient, Anthony Brown, supplied Corey's table with dozens of pounds of beef and even more bushels of oats. Laid in are 5 holograph bills for various medical services by Corey. Item #54574

Price: $1,250.00

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