The latest post in the "Medical Professionals at King's Chapel series features Dr. Edward Hutchinson Robbins Revere. A grandson of famed patriot Paul Revere, Dr. Edward H.R. Revere lost his life during the American Civil War at the Battle of Antietam. You can read the full post to learn more about Revere's life by reading more after the break or visiting our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Edward H.R. Revere, a grandson of Paul Revere, was born on July 23, 1827 in Boston. As a young man, Revere graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1849 before spending a year abroad, continuing to study medicine in Paris, France. After returning to the states, he married Laura P. Jordan, and the couple had a daughter. Revere worked as a doctor and surgeon in private practices, until 1861, when he joined the Union Army early in the American Civil War.
Just over a month after enlisting in the 20th Massachusetts Regiment, Revere found himself as the only medical officer on the battlefield at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginia. Revere was unable to escape being captured by the Confederate troops, and spent the next four months a prisoner of war. Despite imprisonment, Revere continued to provide medical care in a time of crisis when he was able to provide medical attention to sick and wounded prisoners in Richmond, Virginia. He was released during an exchange in February and returned to his regiment.
Almost a year after joining the military, Edward H.R. Revere found himself the Battle of Antietam in Maryland on September 17, 1862. That day was the single bloodiest day in American history. While attending to a wounded soldier on the field, Revere was shot through the chest, and died almost immediately. A letter sent to his family after his death, expresses his sacrifice and bravery: “The example that he set to devotion to the men of his regiment, at the sacrifice of his own life, is one that has rarely been set, and cannot fail of a wide effect...Massachusetts may well be proud of her surgeons as of her soldiers.”
Revere grew up worshipping at King’s Chapel alongside his parents Joseph Warren and Mary Robbins Revere, who married at King’s Chapel in 1821. His father was responsible for recasting the church’s bell in 1816 after it had been damaged beyond repair. After Revere’s death, his body was quickly brought to Boston, and his funeral was held at King’s Chapel on September 23, 1862 before being laid to rest at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Revere is the only medical professional on King’s Chapel’s Civil War memorial who served in that capacity during the war. When the memorial was dedicated, the Reverend Henry Wilder Foote describes Revere as:“The merciful surgeon of whom his fever-patients, in the wards where he and they were fellow-prisoners, said, ‘When he same, sunshine came with him, and when he went away, darkness followed,’ under whose care, in that house of doom, not one man died, during three weeks that he was with them, though previously they had died five or six daily.”
King's Chapel History Program
Dive deeper into King's Chapel's 337 year history on the History Program blog.