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Assistant Surgeon George Ranney

Date of Award: April 24, 1901
Conflict: Civil War
Branch: U.S. Army

Assistant Surgeon George Ranney portraitGeorge E. Ranney, a young and educated recruit, enlisted as a private under Capt. H.A. Shaw, and assisted him in the recruiting of the 2nd Michigan Calvary. However, his knowledge of medicine soon transitioned him to become the third Hospital Steward. Due to the vast influx of thousands of new recruits, which imposed strenuous conditions for surgeons, Ranney was temporarily assigned the duties of an assistant surgeon.

Overworked and exposed to many illnesses, Ranney fell too ill to complete his duties and was forced to leave the service. Upon his return a few months later, he was unanimously appointed to the position of 2nd Assistant Surgeon, and returned to his former company. Ranney earned the reputation for nerve and self-possession; after many of his fellow combatants witnessed him perform an amputation in the middle of the battlefield, because the surgeon admitted that he could not work under such conditions.

Citation: “At great personal risk, went to the aid of a wounded soldier, Pvt. Charles W. Baker, lying under heavy fire between the lines, and with the aid of an orderly carried him to a place of safety.”

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