New York might have been his birthplace, but York County was where Dr. Henry Palmer saved the lives of soldiers during the Civil War at the U.S. Army General Hospital.
Palmer's papers from his work as chief surgeon at the hospital in York during the Civil War will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the York County Heritage Trust.
The exhibit, "Sawbones to Saviours: Civil War Medicine at Penn Common," will be open to the public Friday at the Trust's Historical Society Museum, 250 E. Market St., York.
A traveling exhibit from The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg will also be featured. It's called "More Deadly than Bullets: Illness and Disease in the Civil War."
A diorama of the hospital, which was located in what is now Penn Park, will also be on display. The diorama belongs to the Nursing Department of York College and was originally commissioned by the York Hospital School of Nursing.
Palmer's papers contain original quartermaster records for the hospital that was in York from 1862 to 1865.
They include requests for supplies, quarterly returns for clothing and equipment, clothing rolls and receipts of soldiers' effects, which were given to their families after death.
From the hospital's opening on June 27, 1862, until it closed in late July of 1865, the staff treated more than 14,000 patients and saw only 193 deaths.
How it started: The hospital was converted from a barracks that was built by the 6th New York Cavalry as winter quarters on Penn Common in 1861 and 1862.
Instead of tearing the barracks down, the sturdy construction and proximity to the railroad made it ideal to convert into a hospital ward. Many of the patients came from overcrowded field hospitals in Virginia.
Palmer was born in New York but settled in Wisconsin before being commissioned as a surgeon of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry in 1861. He came to York in 1862.
Palmer helped to establish activities to keep the wounded soldiers occupied and sustain morale, according to a York County Heritage Trust news release.
The "Sawbones to Saviours" exhibit runs through November. For more information, visit www.yorkheritage.org.