E. A. Hammond


John Bemrose, a young pharmacist’s apprentice from Lincolnshire, England, began his long sea journey to the United States in August 1831. He disembarked in New York harbor in late September, and shortly afterwards, on November 1, he appeared at an army recruiting post in Philadelphia and accepted a five-year enlistment in the United States army. He was eighteen years old at the time. His slight acquaintance with the field of medicine was sufficient to obtain for him an assignment as hospital steward and surgeon’s aide and an early transfer to garrison duty in St. Augustine. As hostilities between the United States and the Seminole Indians intensified, Bemrose found himself late in 1835 in the field of military operations in central Florida. He was one of the very few medical assistants present at the Battle of Withlacoochee, the opening engagement of the war, on December 31, 1835.