Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Photos from the Past

Andrew Flint Sheldon

A native of Wayne of Wayne County, Dr. Sheldon was born in Huron, New York October 27, 1830. He received his early education at the district school and Red Creek Academy. Andrew briefly studied medicine under Dr. E.W. Bethume of Huron before going on to the medical department of the University of New York where he received his M.D. in 1853. Returning to Wayne County, Dr. Sheldon practiced medicine in Williamson until the outbreak of the Civil War. He was commissioned as assistant surgeon in August 1861 with the 7th Regiment New York (Black Horse) Cavalry, remaining with them about six months then a month with the 78th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry. He became executive officer in the medical director's office on General Wadworth's staff, who was the Military Governor of Washington, D.C. He held this position held for the next 20 months. When he left the army at the end of the war, he was in charge of Campbell General Hospital.

Following the war, he practiced medicine in Pultneyville, New York until 1880 when he was elected County Treasurer. Following nine years as treasurer, Dr. Sheldon set up practice in Lyons where he remained until his death in 1914.

Dr. Andrew Sheldon is credited with the development of the hospital tent while he was attached to the medical director's office. He was unable to obtain the necessary funding for the project so he paid for the first tents out of his own pocket. He ran into opposition due in part to the rise in popularity of the pavilion style hospital, a more permanent barracks-like building. The French government sent a commission which recommended the adoption of Sheldon's hospital tent as a model for their use, the only one to receive this high distinction.

The Wayne County Historical Society has in its collection a large medical kit that was given to Dr. Andrew Sheldon by Abraham Lincoln. Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Sheldon were present at Lincoln's Inaugural Ball as well as in the theater when he was shot. The Society also has the cape that Mrs. Sheldon Sheldon wore on both occassions.

Photograph and information submitted by Jerry Orton, on behalf of Kathi Marshell, Wayne County Historical Society, Lyons, New York.


Andrew Flint Sheldon

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