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Fielding H. Garrison, M.D.
G. P. Putnam's Sons
HEN Dr. Billings died in New York, on March II, 1913, he was principally known to the metropolis and to many of the world at large as the Director of the New York Public Library and its upbuilder during the first seventeen years of its existence. The newspaper notices of his death, and even the obituaries in most of the medical journals, mentioned his military rank, his official connections at Washington and elsewhere, and a few other details, but little was said of the things for which he will be best remembered. He has been pronounced by a competent authority to be the most eminent bibliographer in the history of medicine; he planned and organized one of the greatest of medical libraries and some of the finest hospitals and laboratories of modern times. He was equally eminent as sanitarian and statistician, or as war surgeon and medical historian, and was, all in all, one of the ablest of civil administrators.
This account of his life and labors has been prepared as a memorial at the instance of his family and friends. While the records of his early life are meagre, the account given in his letters and notebooks of his experiences as a medical officer during the Civil War is, in some sort, a contribution to history. For, as the late Dr. Weir Mitchell once observed, no adequate record of the actual details of an army surgeon's daily life during that period has been published to date. Billings's journal gives us a vivid impression of the marches, battles, and engage