Dr. Jerome Walker's papers discuss the United States Sanitary Commission, its creation, and its role during the Civil War. The papers also discuss Walker's meeting with Abraham Lincoln at the field hospital in City Point, Virginia.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains an enlistment card for Walker, 1864; an account of his experiences working in a hospital during the Civil War; and a history of the United States Sanitary Commission. The account of his work in the hospital describes in detail the physical, emotional and psychological impact of combat upon soldiers during battle and in the field hospitals. Other subjects he discusses include the role of women in the Union hospitals, aid societies, and "colored" troops as they became more invested in the outcome of the Civil War. He describes meeting Abraham Lincoln and showing him the hospital. His history of the United States Sanitary Commission describes how and why the Commission was started, the development of health and safety practices on the battlefield and in Union field hospitals, and emphasizes the role of the Commission in providing more organized health care, food delivery and preparation, and transportation throughout the Union forces.
The collection is organized into a single series.
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1864-1917, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Jerome Walker was born to Ferdinand and Elmira Walker in New York in 1846.
Walker was attending medical school at Columbia Physicians and Surgeons when the Civil War broke out in 1861. He enlisted in the Union Army 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac and served in the newly formed United States Sanitary Commission. He met and guided Abraham Lincoln through the field hospital at City Point, Virginia.
After the war, Walker married Helen Eliza Oakley (1844-1909) in 1868 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The couple had five children: Hobart Alexander Walker in 1869, Randall Oakley Walker in 1871, Amy Francis Walker in 1876, Lucy Margaretta Walker in 1878, and Allan Lee Walker in 1882. Walker continued to practice medicine in Brooklyn, New York and wrote a number of articles for medical journals. During the period in which these papers were written in the 1880s, Walker lived with his wife and children in Brooklyn, New York.
Walker's wife Helen Eliza Oakley died in 1909. After becoming widowed, Walker became a boarder in the Ziegler household, later moving to the Love household as a boarder in the 1920s. Both homes were in Brooklyn. Walker later died in June of 1924, in Kings County, New York. He is buried in a family plot at Green-Wood Cemetary in Brooklyn, New York.
Donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History in 2016 by Cathy Jean Walker, Dr. Jerome Walker's great-granddaughter.
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.