Assistant Surgeon William Darrow
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry
William H. Darrow enlisted in the Fifth Iowa Infantry on July 1, 1861. Due to his medical training, this twenty-five year old recruit was made a Hospital Steward. Having proven himself in the field, he was appointed Additional Assistant Surgeon on April 30, 1862. (A Union regiment which frequently found itself in the thick of some of the war's most fiercely contested battles, could not have too many physicians.) On September 16, 1862, he was promoted to Assistant Surgeon, a position he filled until his mustering out on July 30, 1864 at the expiration of his term of service.
Following the war he practiced medicine in Columbus Junction, Iowa. During the war, the members of the regiment presented their Assistant Surgeon with a fine set of medical instruments, which for some unknown reason were eventually lost in the South Canadian River, Oklahoma. They presently reside in the personal collection of Dr Michael Echols who has posted an extremely informative site on the internet. The plaque on the case records is as a gift from "The Members of the Fifth Reg.t Iowa Infantry Volunteers as a small token of Esteem and Regard for the unwearied care and great skill with which he treated them when sick and wounded at New Madrid, Tiptonville, Fort Pillow, Corinth, Iuka, Corinth, Yazoo Pass, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, Vicksburg, Mission Ridge." It was presented to the doctor while the regiment was at Huntsville, Alabama.