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No. 59

Dr. Alexander T. Augusta

President Abraham Lincoln gave Dr. Alexander T. Augusta a Presidential commission in the Union Army in October 1862. On April 4, 1863, he received a major's commission as surgeon for African-American troops. This made him the United States Army's first African-American physician (of a total of eight) and its highest-ranking African-American officer at the time. He was also appointed to lead the Freedman's Hospital in Washington, DC in 1863, becoming the first black hospital administrator in U.S. history. Thereafter he joined the faculty of Howard University’s medical Department and became the first African American to serve on the faculty of any medical school.