Thomas Lee Doster Papers

1857-1907 [bulk 1863-1865]. 3 folders (59 items).MSS. COLL. #2


The Doster Papers concern physician Thomas Lee Doster of Union County, North Carolina. The collection includes items relating chiefly to Doster’s education in South Carolina and New York and his service as hospital steward in the Confederate Army.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into three series: Confederate States of America, Educational, and Miscellaneous.

Provenance: This collection was loaned to the Museum in 1981 and assigned accession number L1981.119.2. The originals were photocopied and returned to the owner in 1988.

Processing: This collection was processed by Karen C. Carroll with the finding aid completed in August 1983.


Thomas Lee Doster was born in Union County, North Carolina in 1836. He graduated from the New York City University in medicine in 1859 and went back to Union County as a physician. On April 9, 1862, he enlisted in “Captain Charles M. T. McCauley’s Company,” which mustered in at Salisbury, North Carolina. The group was mustered in a second time in May in Wilmington and designated as Company C, 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery. Doster was appointed hospital steward. Until December 1863 the unit performed garrison and provost duty in and around Wilmington. They then moved to Ft. Caswell and later Ft. Campbell (Brunswick County). In July 1864, Doster was assigned to the Medical Director at Wilmington. He later served in the Piedmont and surrendered at Greensboro. He practiced medicine in South Carolina until 1907.


This collection consists of photocopied items relating directly to Private Thomas Lee Doster. The bulk of the materials relate to his service in North Carolina during the Civil War. The major Civil War autograph is that of Samuel Moore, Surgeon General of the Confederate States of America. The Civil War items are of an official nature, including orders, transfers, quartermaster accounts, pay and clothing records, etc. Also included is Doster’s oath of allegiance (September 4, 1865) and his parole (May 3, 1865, from Greensboro). The material relating to his education is from the University of New York (Medical School) and the Medical College of South Carolina. A North Carolina land grant was awarded Doster in 1879 and is signed by Zebulon B. Vance and James A. Eaglehard (Secretary of State). Unfortunately the collection includes no personal correspondence. Two cased photographs of Doster were returned to the donor.


1. Confederate States of America.  31 items.  1863-1865.

These include applications for furlough; a request by Doster (which was later denied) to appear before the examining Board to be appointed Assistant Surgeon; miscellaneous orders; pay and clothing accounts (January 1864, March 1865); orders dealing with Doster’s service in the Smallpox Hospital in Wilmington; transportation orders; and Doster’s pardon (from Greensboro) and his oath of allegiance. A particularly interesting letter is from Samuel Logan to Doster at the City Garrison Hospital, Wilmington, North Carolina, February 20, 1865. It gives Doster orders that “should the enemy advance upon the position your hospital now occupies, or our Army retreats,” Doster was to save all medicines, bedding, and the instruments and report to Logan. Any non-ambulatory patients were to be left and the syphilis cases sent to the General Hospital. Also included in this collection is a Zebulon Vance proclamation to cease hostilities, issued from Greensboro on April 28, 1865.

2. Educational.  25 items.  1857-1859.

This series includes nine admission tickets for lectures at the Medical College of South Carolina (1857-1858) on topics such as chemistry, anatomy, and obstetrics. Many tickets are autographed by the lecturer. Twelve tickets are included from the University of New York, Department of Medicine (1858-1859) on topics such as surgery and midwifery. A small notebook lists some of Doster’s personal expenses for 1857 while a student. Also included is the handwritten copy of a medical diploma from the University of the City of New York, 1859 (without signatures).

3. Miscellaneous.  3 items.

A land grant in Union County to Doster from the State of North Carolina, signed by Z. B. Vance (1878); a miscellaneous note; and a certificate allowing Doster to practice medicine in Cherokee County, South Carolina (1907).


11Confederate States of America