Charles C. Byrne – Brigadier General, United States Army

Charles Christopher Byrne of Maryland
Appointed from Maryland, Assistant Surgeon, 23 June 1860
Major, Surgeon, 28 July 1866
Lieutenant Colonel, Surgeon, 29 Mar 1889
Colonel, Assistant Surgeon General, 4 December 1893
Retired 7 May 1901
Breveted Major and Lieutenant Colonel, 13 March 1865, for faithful and meritorious service during rhe war.

An Illustrated History of the State of Washington, by Rev. H.K. Hines, D. D.,
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1893

Charles C. Byrne, M. D., is Medical Director of the Department of the
Columbia, with headquarters at Vancouver barracks, Washington. He was born in
Baltimore county, Maryland, May 7, 1837, only son of Charles and Emeline (Cole)
Byrne. His father was of Irish birth and was a distinguished member of the
medical profession. He came to America in 1818, and settled in Baltimore, where,
in 1830, he married Miss Emeline Cole, who died in 1839. Three children were born to this union, of whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest.

The family removed to Florida in 1844, and remained there until 1852, when the father died and the family scattered.

Charles C. began his literary course of study in Columbia, South Carolina, and finished it at Mount Saint Mary’s College, Maryland, in 1856. He at once began the study of medicine, under the guidance of Professor Richard McSherry, of Baltimore, an eminent practitioner of that city, and took his degree of M. D. in 1859, after having spent one year at the Baltimore Infirmary as resident physician.

Immediately following his graduation from this institution (the University of Maryland), he took tip a post-graduate course at the University of Pennsylvania, where he had most valuable experience in the hospitals of the city of Philadelphia, and listened to the lectures of some of the ablest medical men of the country. In June, 1860, after passing successfully the very rigid examination required, he became a medical officer of the United States army, and was at once assigned to duty in Texas, where he remained until early in the following year, when the State of Texas seceded from the Union.

Surgeon Byrne, together with the troops with whom he was serving, was captured by the rebels under General Van Dorn in May, 1861, at Saluria, Texas. He was immediately paroled, but was not exchanged until August, 1862. In June, 1861, Surgeon Byrne established and organized a large military hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, which remained in operation until the close of the war.

About the first of October, 1862, he was assigned to duty in the office of the Surgeon General of the Army, at Washington, District of Columbia, a position he held until April, 1863. He then took charge of the Armory Square general hospital in Washington city. After a few months, owing to the demand for the services of medical officers with the troops at the front, Surgeon Byrne was assigned to duty with the Army of the Cumberland, then fronting the enemy in the State of Tennessee. He had charge of a hospital of 1,200 beds at Chattanooga, where he ministered to the wounded from the battle-fields of Chickamauga, Mission Ridge and Sherman’s Atlantic campaign. After the capture of Atlanta, Surgeon Byrne was placed in charge of the military hospitals in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, where he treated many of the soldiers who were wounded in the battle of Nashville, which took place in  December, 1864, and where he remained until the end of the war.

Since 1865 Surgeon Byrne’s duties as a medical officer have called him to various quarters of the United States; he was one year in Florida and afterward spent four years in Little Rock, Arkansas; in 1870 he went to Willets Point, New York, where he continued until 1875; Dakota was next his home for a brief period, and then four years were passed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. In 1880 he was assigned to duty at Angel Island, California, and at the end of sixteen months was transferred to Benicia Arsenal, California; in 1885 he was appointed Attending Surgeon at the United States Soldiers’ Home at Washington, District of Columbia; at the end of five years he was ordered to duty at San Antonio, Texas, and in February, 1891, he was appointed Medical Director of the Department of the Columbia, with station at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.

Dr. Byrne was married in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in October, 1876, to Miss Henrietta P. Colt, a connection of the Colt family made noted throughout
the world as inventors and manufacturers of fire-arms.

General Byrne died in 1921 and was buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.  His wife, Henrietta Colt Byrne (1848-1914) is buried with him.


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