Civil War Surgical Kit by Charles Baker of London – Possibly ID’d to Confederate Assistant Surgeon William Bellinger


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Civil War Surgical Kit by Charles Baker of London – Possibly ID’d to Confederate Assistant Surgeon William Bellinger – This Civil War surgeon’s kit was made by the British surgical instrument and optical maker, Charles Baker. Baker, born in 1821, continued his family’s business, which had been founded in London, around 1765, at 244 High Holborn St.  Baker took over the business in 1851 and apparently prospered from the sales of high-quality microscopes and surgical instruments and accessories; several of the scalpels retain Baker’s stamp. This kit is housed in a finely crafted, figured mahogany case, with the typically British, gilded brass, reinforcement corners. The lock escutcheon remains in place, and an inset, gilded brass, shield escutcheon is on the exterior cover – it reads:

Dr. W. F. Bellin.

It appears that the entire last name of the physician was too lengthy to fit on the escutcheon, as indicated by the period at the end of the name “Bellin.” Research indicates that William Bellinger, an Assistant Confederate Surgeon, received his medical degree, in 1860, from the South Carolina School of Medicine. William Bellinger, a resident of the state of Florida, enlisted in the 5th Florida Infantry, initially at the rank of Sergeant, in March, 1862. We feel that Bellinger may have been the war period owner of the kit; although the middle initial engraved on the kit (“F”) apparently was not Bellinger’s, we have had numerous war period items where middle initials do not conform with period records. Bellinger, born in Florida, in 1836, initially served as a Hospital Steward, at Howard’s Grove Hospital, in Richmond, starting in July, 1863. After a short period, at the rank of Hospital Steward, Bellinger was ordered to report, at the rank of Assistant Surgeon, in November, 1863, for duty at Confederate Hospital No. 21, in Richmond. He would later return to Howard’s Grove, to work in the Smallpox sector. In February, 1864, Bellinger was appointed as an Assistant Surgeon in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. In May, 1864, Dr. Bellinger was assigned to duty at Hospital No. 7, in Raleigh, North Carolina. After the war, Bellinger would return to Florida to practice medicine, later working as a merchant, until his untimely death, in 1883.

This kit remains in excellent condition and is only missing a few instruments. It is a two-tiered kit, with an internal, removal instrument tray; the kit retains large tissue scalpels with checkered, ebony handles, small tissue scalpels with plain ebony handles, a large tourniquet, a bullet extractor, various probes, two scalpel guides, two trephining instruments with checkered ebony handles, a chain bone saw with checkered ebony handles, an ebony handled bone amputation brush, a large bone saw with a checkered ebony handle, as well as other small instruments, and a packet of suture thread. The kit is lined in red velvet. This is one of the nicest and more complete kits we have had.

Measurements: L – 14.5”; W – 7.5”; D- 3”

William Houston Bellinger

Residence was not listed;

Enlisted on 3/5/1862 at St Marks, FL as a Sergeant.

On 3/5/1862 he mustered into “G” Co. FL 5th Infantry

He was discharged for promotion on 9/1/1863

On 9/1/1863 he was commissioned into CO Medical Dept

(date and method of discharge not given)


* Surgeon 9/1/1863


Other Information:

born in 1837

5th FL Infantry

Organized: on 5/14/62
Mustered Out: 4/9/65 at Appomattox Court House


From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
Apr ’62 Jul ’62       Dept of Middle and Eastern Florida  
Aug ’62 Sep ’62 Pryor’s Longstreet’s 1st Army of Northern Virginia  
Sep ’62 May ’63 Pryor’s/Perry’s Anderson’s 1st Army of Northern Virginia  
May ’63 Apr ’65 Perry’s/Finegan’s Anderson’s/Mahone’s 3rd Army of Northern Virginia  



The 5th Florida Regiment was organized in 1862, and  mustered

into service with J. C, Hately as Colonel; Thompson B. Lamar as

Lieutenant-Colonel; B. F. Davis as Major; Capt. W. H. Baker as

Quartermaster, and Capt. R. W. Reed as Commissary.


The companies were commanded by Captains:

A. Z. Bailey (Co. A)

Garrant Vanzant (Co. B)

W. D. Bloxham(Co. C)

A. J. Lee (Co. D)

John W. Hollyman (Co. E)

John Frink (Co. F)

W. J. Bailey (Co.  G)

W. T. Gregory (Co. H)

Sam A. Spencer (Co. I)

Richmond N. Gardner (Co. K).

Immediately upon its organization the Regiment was ordered to

Virginia, where it joined the 2nd Florida, being assigned to

Pryor’s Brigade; with which it took part in the Second Battle

of Manassas and in the Maryland campaign and won distinction at


After the return from Maryland the 5th was brigaded with the

other Florida regiments and became a part of Perry’s Immortal.

brigade, surrendering at Appomattox Court House with but 6

officers and 47 men, the only representatives left for duty at

that time of a magnificent regiment.


Howard’s Grove Hospital

The Grove was originally a popular Richmond picnic-recreation area. It was taken over by the Confederacy at the outbreak of the War as a drill and bivouac point for the first incoming troops to arrive in Richmond. It was converted into a hospital area by the construction of buildings for ward and utility purposes and opened in June 1862.

Howard’s Grove Hospital occupied area now confined by the City streets of Mechanicsville Turnpike in the east, Coalter street in the west, Redd Street on the north, and Q Street (extended) on the south; and having an extension east of Mechanicsville Turnpike to 19th Street with T Street on the north and Fairmount Avenue on the south. An annex was located between 21st and 23rd Streets, T Street, and the ally south of Fairmount Avenue.

Having a capacity of 659 in December of 1862, it was quickly expanded to over 1800. Employees averaged 85. A portion was set aside for the isolation of smallpox cases, both military and local civilians.

Howard’s Grove Hospital had its own laundry, bakery, storehouses, water supply, and recreational facilities. It had a total of 62 buildings.

Howard;s Grove Hospital was partially subsidized by the City of Richmond. The Surgeons-in-chief (in order of their service) were Dr. James Bolton, Dr. T. P. Temple, and Dr. P. M. Palmer.

It continued as Union Small pox Hospital after the City’s occupation.

Howard’s Grove Hospital was named for the family (Howard) that originally owned the property.

General Hospital #21
General Hospital #21 was also called Gwalthmey Factory Hospital, Gwathmey Factory Hospital, Gwathney Factory Hospital, Maryland Hospital, and C. S. M. Prison Hospital. It was probably the former tobacco factory of R. A. Mayo Company, later Gwathmey Tobacco Company, which was a large six-storied, brick building.

The hospital opened before June 1862 with a capacity over 700 and 65 employees. It was used for a smallpox epidemic in December 1862, before these sufferers were moved to Howard’s Grove Hospital. It had 600/700 Union wounded prisoners in May and June 1864. A straw vote for President by these men on November 9,1864 was Lincoln 154, McClellan 300. Dr. George William Semple was the surgeon-in-charge.

The hospital was used for a short time by Federal occupation forces.

From Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond by Robert W. Waitt, Jr., Official Publication #22 Richmond Civil War Centennial committee, Richmond, Virginia 1964.

North Carolina Hospital No. 7 – Raleigh, NC

The first state hospital was established at the old State Fairgrounds off of New Bern Avenue and was headed by Raleigh surgeon E. Burke Haywood. It was called the Fairground Hospital until it was officially taken over by the Confederate government in August of 1862. On August 1, 1862, the hospital was renamed Confederate States Hospital at the Fairgrounds and was later called General Hospital #7.

In June of 1862, the second Confederate State Hospital opened with the name General Hospital #8. The unfinished main building for the anticipated Peace Institute served as the brick and mortar for this hospital.

The third hospital was the Pettigrew Hospital, or Hospital #13, which opened in 1864. This hospital was located on the southwest corner of New Bern Avenue and Tarboro Road in Raleigh.

5th Florida Infantry Regiment


5th Florida Infantry Regiment
Active 1862 – April 9, 1865
Country Confederate States of America
Allegiance Confederate Florida
Confederate States of America
Branch Confederate States Army
Type Regiment
Role Infantry
Part of Army of Northern Virginia
Engagements American Civil War

The 5th Florida Infantry Regiment served in E.A. Perry’s Florida Brigade alongside the 2nd and 8th Florida. Perry’s Brigade served under Anderson’s Division of Longstreet’s First Corps, of the Army of Northern Virginia.

They fought in the Battles of Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Antietam from August–September 1862. Colonel David Lang took command of the Florida Brigade and led them at Fredericksburg in December 1862 and Chancellorsville in May 1863. Under Col. Lang’s command the Florida Brigade fought at Gettysburg in July 1863. They were attached to Picket’s Division, and took part in the famous attack on the Union center on the third day. The 5th Florida were the only unit in the brigade to not lose their regimental banner in the battle.

After the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania in 1864, the Brigade was joined by the victors of the Battle of Olustee, the 9th, 10th, and 11th Regiments. General Joseph Finegan, the famous commander of Florida forces at Olustee, took command of the Florida Brigade, then known as “Finegan’s Brigade”.

In the last year of war the Florida Brigade fought at Cold Harbor in June 1864 and Petersburg during the winter. The Florida Brigade retreated with the Army of Northern Virginia and surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. By the time of surrender, the regiments were the size of modern-day platoons or companies. The 2nd, 5th, and 8th surrendered 68, 53, and 32 men respectively. The 9th, 10th, and 11th surrendered 124, 162, and 23. Most of the 11th had been cut off in the Army’s retreat and had previously surrendered.

Engagements and Battles