receiving ships in numbers proportionate to the necessities of the case.
Surgeonís stewards to rank next after master-at-arms [who was the leading petty officer of the vessel], and surgeonís stew- ards are never to be discharged without the consent of the officer appointing them or their successor, except by sentence of a court-martial (U.S. Navy Regulations, 1865).
An order of the Navy Department dated 8 December 1866 reads in part:
The designation of persons serving as surgeonís stewards is changed to that of Apothecary, and they will be appointed for duty in the Medical Department of the Navy, ashore and afloat, in the same man- ner as surgeonís stewards have theretofore been appointed. A candidate for examina- tion and first enlistment as apothecary must be a graduate of some recognized col- lege of pharmacy and must be between 21 and 28 years of age (U.S. Navy Regula- tions, 1896).
About the year 1873, the title of male nurse was changed to that of bayman.
The surgeonís division shall consist of all junior medical officers of the ship, the apothecary, and the baymen. Baymen shall be given a course of instruction on board the receiving ship or at a naval hospital before being drafted for service on a sea- going ship. Baymen [formerly called nurses] are personal attendants on the sick (U.S. Navy Regulations, 1893).
The Hospital Corps came into existent as an organized unit of the Medical Department under the provisions of an act of Congress approved 17 June 1898. This act provided for appointment to the warrant rank of pharmacist and established the following ratings:
1. Hospital Steward (chief petty officer)
2. Hospital Apprentice First Class (third class petty officer)
3. Hospital Apprentice
Under this act, the Secretary of the Navy ap- pointed 25 senior apothecaries as pharmacists. These original 25 are rightfully referred to as the charter members of the Hospital Corps. The dean of these was Cornelius OíLeary, who was credited at date of appointment with almost 38 years of service as an apothecary.
In 1900, during the Boxer uprising in China, the first member of the Hospital Corps was awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation reads in part:
ďStanley, Robert, Hospital Apprentice, USN in action with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China during the battles of 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period and in the presence of the enemy, Stanley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.Ē
Stanley retired from the Navy on 1 February 1939 with the rank of Chief Pharmacist and died on 15 June 1942. A total of four Medals of Honor were awarded to hospital corpsmen prior to World War 1.
An act of Congress approved 22 August 1912 provided that pharmacists, after 6 years from date of warrant and after satisfactorily passing prescribed examinations, should be commissioned chief pharmacists.
The Hospital Corps was reorganized by an act of Congress approved 29 August 1916. This act is considered of sufficient importance to quote in part:
Hereafter the authorized strength of the Hospital Corps of the Navy shall equal three and one-half percentum of the authorized enlisted strength of the Navy and Marine Corps, and shall be in addi- tion, thereto, and as soon as the necessary transfers or appointments maybe effected, the Hospital Corps of the United States Navy shall consist of the following rates: Chief Pharmacist, Pharmacists, and en- listed men classified as Chief Pharmacistís Mates; Pharmacistís Mates, First Class; Pharmacistís Mates, Second Class; Phar- macistís Mates Third Class; Hospital Ap- prentice, First Class, Hospital Apprentice, Second Class; such classifications in enlisted ratings to correspond respectively to the enlisted rating, Seaman branch. *** Provided, That enlisted men in other rating in the Navy and Marine Corps and