Collection - Kedzie Family Papers

Robert Clark Kedzie was born to William and Margaret Kedzie on January 28, 1823, in Delhi, New York, and moved to Michigan in 1826 with his family. Graduating from Oberlin College in 1846, he was in charge of the Rochester Academy, Michigan, for the next two years. After the death of his first wife, Mary J. Knowlton, in 1848, he entered the University of Michigan Medical College, receiving his M.D. in 1851. Now married to Harriet Eliza Fairchild, he practiced medicine in Kalamazoo and Vermontville for eleven years.
On January 23, 1862, Kedzie, at the age of 37, was commissioned as an officer in Company S of the 12th Michigan Infantry and appointed as an assistant surgeon. He was captured by Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, and was compelled to care for wounded Confederate soldiers in addition to the Union wounded. After a few days, the Confederate surgeons brokered a deal to release the captive Union surgeons so they could return to Union lines and treat their wounded. After returning to his camp, Kedzie soon became very ill with dysentery. He was promoted to full surgeon on April 25, 1862, after the acting surgeon, Dr. George L. Brunschweiler, was forced to resign because he was consistently too drunk to carry out his duties. By this time, Kedzie was already aboard a hospital steamboat, the City of Memphis, traveling towards Cincinnati. He soon regained his health and caught back up with his regiment in Jackson, Tennessee, around June 21. Kedzie submitted his resignation in late September, citing poor physical health. Though his health soon bounced back, his resignation was accepted on October 8, 1862, and he was mustered out.

Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections