World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hunter McGuire

Article Id: WHEBN0001709149
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hunter McGuire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Winchester, Virginia, Stonewall Jackson, Spotsylvania Court House Confederate order of battle, William Couper (sculptor), VCU Medical Center
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hunter McGuire

Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire (1835-1900) of Virginia, noted physician and educator

Hunter Holmes McGuire, M.D. (October 11, 1835 – September 19, 1900) was a physician, teacher, and orator. He started several schools and hospitals which later became part of the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in Richmond, Virginia. His statue sits prominently on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol. Nearby, the McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center is named in his honor.


  • Biography 1
    • Youth and education 1.1
    • Civil War 1.2
    • Post Civil War 1.3
  • Legacy 2


Youth and education

Hunter Holmes McGuire was born in Winchester, Virginia to a prominent eye surgeon, Dr. Hugh Holmes McGuire and his wife Ann Eliza Moss. Young Hunter was one of 7 children. He often accompanied his father, and studied medicine at the Winchester Medical College where he graduated in 1855. His continuing medical education in Philadelphia was interrupted by the onset of the hostilities which led to the American Civil War. He taught briefly at Tulane University in New Orleans before joining the Confederate Army in 1861.

Civil War

Dr. McGuire joined "The Winchester Rifles," company F of the 2nd Virginia Infantry, Confederate Army, as a private. However, his services were much more valuable as a doctor rather than a front line soldier. McGuire was made a brigade surgeon and was ordered to report to General Thomas J. Jackson at Harpers Ferry. Jackson initially scoffed at McGuire's youth, but the two became very close as the war progressed. Dr. McGuire treated General Jackson after the First Battle of Manassas, where the General picked up the nickname "Stonewall Jackson" following an exclamation by General Barnard E. Bee Jr. (who himself was killed during the battle).

In 1862, McGuire was promoted to the chief surgeon of Jackson's Corps, serving in the Army of Northern Virginia under its Medical Director, Dr. Lafayette Guild. In May 1863, Jackson was gravely wounded by friendly fire near Chancellorsville and Dr. McGuire amputated his left arm in a vain attempt to save his life. Jackson died of pneumonia a few days later. His last words were recorded by Dr. McGuire as: "Let us cross over the river and rest beneath the shade of the trees". The death of Jackson affected McGuire greatly. He would always remember Jackson with the deepest reverence and served as a pallbearer in Stonewall's funeral.

At the Battle of Gettysburg two months later, Dr. McGuire amputated the leg of General Isaac R. Trimble after Pickett's Charge. He later served under General Richard S. Ewell and General Jubal Early.

After the War, McGuire contributed to the original (first) of the Geneva Conventions, which is why the Boston Medical Journal said in his obituary that he had "humanized war."

Post Civil War

After the Civil War ended in April 1865, Dr. McGuire returned to Richmond, Virginia where he became chair of surgery at the Medical College of Virginia. He married Mary Stuart of Staunton, Virginia in 1867. They had nine children, many of who followed in his footsteps into medicine, notably Dr. Stuart McGuire. They maintained a summer residence just west of Richmond in Bon Air.

Dr. McGuire was president of the American Medical Association and numerous other organizations. He has been described as a brilliant administrator, a gifted teacher and orator, and also wrote prolifically.

He founded St. Luke’s Hospital and Training School for Nurses, helped found the Medical Society of Virginia, and in 1893, he started the College of Physicians and Surgeons, later University College of Medicine.

In 1893 Dr. McGuire was concerned by frequency of rapes of white women by negro males, and their punishment by lynching. He was also concerned by increasing insanity, malnutrition and tuberculosis among southern Negroes after the Civil War. In an open letter to a Chicago urologist, Dr. G.F. Lyndston, he sought a scientific explanation that might "result in some benefit to the Negro race." Dr. Lyndston replied that rape was not a perversion but a sexual crime, not genetically determined and not peculiar to any race, but one to which a lesser race would be predisposed by limited social inheritance and by stress of social disruption. He said remedies, education and racial amalgamation, would take generations to be effective. He condemned capital punishment and suggested castration of repeated rapists as a deterrent to criminals and to others. Neither Dr.McGuire nor Dr. Lyndston advocated any form of ethnic cleansing or eugenics.


Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire is immortalized by a statue by American sculptor William Couper placed on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol in 1904, which is 2 blocks from his beloved hospital. The inscription upon it reads:

Hunter Holmes McGuire, M.D., L.L.D. President of the American Medical and of the American Surgical Associations; Founder of the University College of Medicine Medical Director, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. An Eminent Civil and Military Surgeon and Beloved Physician. An Able Teacher and Vigorous Writer; A Useful Citizen and Broad Humanitarian, Gifted in Mind and Generous in Heart, This Monument is Erected by his Many Friends.

In 1913, his University College of Medicine became part of the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). McGuire Hall was named in his honor at that time. The following year, his son Dr. Stuart McGuire, was named president of the combined institution, a leading

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.