Hunter Holmes McGuire (Oct. 11, 1835 - Sept. 19, 1900), surgeon, was born in Winchester, Virginia. He was the son
of a physician and surgeon, Dr. Hugh Holmes McGuire, and of Ann Eliza (Moss) McGuire. He was a descendant of Edward McGuire
of County Kerry, Ireland, who settled in Virginia in 1747. McGuire received his premedical education at Winchester Academy
and later studied at the Winchester Medical College, from which he received his diploma in 1855. The year following, he matriculated
at both the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, but was forced to return home because
of an attack of rheumatism. In 1857 he was elected professor of anatomy in the College at Winchester, but he resigned the
position after one session and went once more to Philadelphia, where he established a quiz class and pursued further studies.
John Brown's raid gave rise to such intense sectional feeling in 1859 as to lead to a mass meeting of Southern medical students
in Philadelphia and a resolution that they go South. McGuire was the leading spirit in this movement and assumed the expenses
of such of the three hundred students as could not pay their own way to Richmond. He resumed studies there and acquired a
second medical degree. He then went to New Orleans, where he established a quiz class in connection with the medical department
of the University of Louisiana.
When Virginia seceded from the Union, he volunteered as a private soldier and marched to Harpers Ferry. He was soon commissioned
as a medical officer, and in May 1861 he was made medical director of the Army of the Shenandoah, then under command of "Stonewall"
Jackson. Later, when Jackson organized the First Virginia Brigade, he asked that McGuire be made its surgeon. Thereafter he
served as chief surgeon of Jackson's commands until the latter's death. He was also his personal physician. Subsequently he
was surgeon of the II Army Corps, under General Ewell, medical director of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Ewell,
and medical director of the Army of the Valley of Virginia, under General Jubal Early. It is said that he organized the "Reserve
Corps Hospitals of the Confederacy" and that he perfected the "Ambulance Corps." The latter consisted of a detail of four
men from each company to assist the wounded from the field to hospitals in the rear. The men wore conspicuous badges, and
no other soldiers were permitted to leave the ranks during battle for the purpose of rendering aid. Just what constituted
the "Reserve Corps Hospitals of the Confederacy" does not appear from any available records. McGuire was always active in
securing the release of captured Union medical officers, and when he was himself captured by General Sheridan's troops in
March 1865, he was at once paroled and in two weeks released.
In 1865 he was elected professor of surgery in the Virginia Medical College, and served as such until 1878, when he resigned;
in 1880 he was made professor emeritus. He was actively connected with the establishment at Richmond in 1893 of the College
of Physicians and Surgeons, later named the University College of Medicine, and was its president and professor of surgery
at the time of his death. He also organized St. Luke's Home for the Sick, with a training school for nurses. He wrote a great
variety of articles, mostly upon surgical matters, but also upon such subjects as "Nervous Troubles Following Organic Urethral
Stricture" (Virginia Medical Monthly, October 1890), "Sexual Crimes among the Southern Negroes, Scientifically Considered"
(Ibid., May 1893), "Cases of Tuberculosis Cured by Cancrum Oris" (Kansas City Medical Record, April 1897), "The
Treatment of Acute Exudative Nephritis Following Infectious Diseases" (Bi-monthly Bulletin of the University College of
Medicine, March 1898). He also contributed to John Ashhurst's International Encyclopędia of Surgery (6 vols., 1881-86),
to William Pepper's System of Practical Medicine (5 vols., 1885-86), and to the American Edition of Timothy Holmes's
System of Surgery, Theoretical and Practical (3 vols., 1881-82).
Always an ardent Southerner, when in his later life his attention was called to the "efforts of Northern writers and their
friends to pervert the world's judgment and secure a world verdict in their favor," he at once undertook a campaign which
resulted in the appointment of a committee to examine the school histories in use in Virginia, in the reorganization of the
Virginia School Board, and in the condemnation of offending books. His account of the death of his own good friend, "Stonewall"
Jackson (American Medical Weekly, Jan. 6, 1883), is touching and beautiful in its simplicity and in the pictures which
it evokes so vividly. In 1866 he married Mary Stuart, by whom he had nine children. His death, after six months of invalidism,
resulted from cerebral embolism. Always an outstanding and honored figure in his community, McGuire was also the recipient
of many honors from his professional fellows. In Capitol Square, Richmond, a bronze statue of heroic size, which is a remarkable
likeness, perpetuates his memory.
[W. G. Stanard, The McGuire Family in Va. (1926); H. A. Kelly and W. L. Burrage, Am. Medic. Biogs.
(1920); The Clinic Bull., Sept.-Oct. 1910; Revue de Chirurgie, Nov. 1900; British Medic. Jour., Sept.
29, 1900; Medic. News, Sept. 29, 1900; Va. Medic. Monthly, Oct. 1877; Richmond and Louisville Medic. Jour.,
Oct. 1877; Dublin Jour. of Medic. Science, Nov. 1, 1900; New England Medic. Monthly, Jan. 1885; Trans. of
the Thirty-first Ann. Session of the Medic. Soc. of Va., 1900 (1901); Trans. of the Southern Surgic. and Gynecological
Asso., 1902 (1903); Annals of Gynecology and Pediatry, Nov. 1900; Pacific Medic. Jour., Nov. 1900; Jour.
Am. Medic. Asso., Sept. 29, 1900; Boston Medic. and Surgic. Jour., Sept. 27, 1900; N. Y. Medic. Jour., Sept.
22, 1900; Medic. Record, Sept. 22, 1900; Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Jan. 1923; the Times (Richmond),
Sept. 20, 1900.]
"Hunter Holmes McGuire."Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936.