Monday, July 29, 2013

Military Monday ~ Dr. Homer Clark Waterman – Assistant Surgeon in the Civil War

Homer Clark Waterman

This is a photo of Dr. Homer Clark Waterman, my maternal 2nd great-granduncle. He was born on May 18, 1827 in Troy, Athens, Ohio to Asher Waterman and Bathsheba Paulk.

Homer married Sarah Ann D. Rathburn on October 6, 1850 in Meigs County, Ohio. They were the parents of four children:

  1. Lillian F. Waterman (1854-1931)
  2. Helen M. Waterman (1860-1930)
  3. William Rathburn Waterman (1867-1946)
  4. Mary E. Waterman (1869-1893)

On October 15, 1862, at thirty-five years of age, and with a wife and two young daughters at home, Homer entered the Civil War. He had recently graduated from a medical college in Ohio.

Homer started his Civil War service as 2nd Assistant Surgeon in the 4th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered into duty as Assistant Surgeon in the same regiment on January 24, 1863. He served in this regiment until October 8, 1864, when he was honorably mustered out at Wheeling, West Virginia.

I assume he went home at this point. I can just imagine the joyous reunion he had with his wife Sarah, and two young daughters, Lillian and Helen.

But he wasn't home for very long, because on January 4, 1865, he was commissioned by the Governor of West Virginia to serve as Assistant Surgeon of the 2nd Regiment West Virginia Veterans Volunteer Infantry. He served in this regiment until the end of the war. He was mustered out of service at Clarksburg, West Virginia on July 16, 1865.

Interestingly, Homer's grandfather, and my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Luther L. Waterman, was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. Both Luther and Homer must have beheld horrific scenes while serving on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

According to the United States, 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War,2 Homer served in the Civil War for two years, nine months, and nine days.

Waterman, Homer Clark - 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War

Not only was Homer a physician, he was also elected Coroner in two different counties. He also served as the Treasurer and Justice of the Peace of Salisbury township and served as School Examiner of Meigs County for six years. Homer was also a Mason.1

Dr. Homer Clark Waterman passed away on March 5, 1893 in Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio.

More about Dr. Homer Clark Waterman's life in future posts.

Thanks for reading!


© 2013 Copyright by Jana Last

1 Dr. Homer Clark Waterman's Civil War Pension File
2 "United States, 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jul 2013), Homer C Waterman, 1890.
3 Obituary from Zanesville Daily Courier, dated March 6, 1893. Transcription courtesy of - Meigs County News For The Year 1893 – As stated on the website, "These pages contain transcriptions of news items published in Meigs County newspapers. They were transcribed from microfilm copies of the originals or from the originals themselves."


  1. Hmm, now I'm wondering if there is an 1890 Census of Confederate Soldiers and Widows.

    When I first looked at the photo, I thought Homer was old (must be the beard), but on studying it, I bet he was still quite young.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      I wish I knew when this photo was taken. Homer entered the Civil War when he was 35 and saw it through to the end of the war. And since Homer is wearing what appears to be a military uniform, I imagine he's somewhere between 35 and 40 years old.

      If he does look older than his years, I'll bet that the war may have prematurely aged him. He must have seen such horrible things.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Homer had an honorable professional life. I've just been re-watching Ken Burns' documentary, "The Civil War." Homer had to have courage do to a surgeon's work in that war.

    1. Hi Mariann,

      I can't imagine how difficult life was for a surgeon during the war. The conditions must have been deplorable and the injuries and illnesses Homer had to deal with must have been horrific!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Having just recently written about a Civil War ancestor myself, I had to come over and read all about Homer Waterman. What a story! And what a beard! Seriously though, I can't even imagine what a difficult job he had attending to war casualties. It's very admirable. I look forward to reading more about him!


    1. Hi Erin,

      Thank you for coming to my blog to read about Homer! I agree with you that the job of caring for the sick and wounded must have been so incredibly difficult for Homer and the other doctors during the war.

      I checked out your blog post about your Civil War ancestor. It's great!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. A whole family line of war physicians - pretty amazing! I love the photo.

    1. Hi Sally,

      It is rather interesting that Homer took after his grandfather in that he also became a physician.

      Thanks for stopping by!




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