The Doctor is In

The Doctor is In - Stories


A Joyous Christmas Eve for John and Harriett Kennedy

  • Sumter County, Alabama

Word has been received of the birth to John and Harriett Kennedy of a fifth son, to be christened Nathan Blunt Kennedy. What a wonderful holiday for the Kennedy family of Sumter County, Alabama! Mother, the former Harriett Isler of Jones County, North Carolina, and child are said to be doing well. Little Nathan is welcomed into the family by brothers John, Thomas, Sidney and William, and by sister Jane.

A Place Of Their Own

  • Sumter County, Alabama

John Kennedy returned home today following a trip to Demopolis. In hand was a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office, as 159 acres of rich Sumter County farm land is now solely the property of Mr. Kennedy. Thanks to an Act of Congress, dated 24 April 1920 and entitled "An act making further provision for the sale of the public lands", Mr. Kennedy is now the squire of this estate.

Childhood In Alabama

  • Sumter County, Alabama

Life is good for young Nathan Kennedy, growing up in a busy home surrounded by his parents and six brothers and sisters. John Kennedy has created a wealthy and privileged lifestyle for his offspring, as his land, worked by more than 30 slaves, is now valued at $6000. Nathan's older brother John is a surgeon of repute and word is that Nathan may follow in his footsteps.

A Young Graduate, But What of the Future?

  • Sumterville, Sumter County, Alabama

Master Nathan Blunt Kennedy did indeed follow in older brothers John and Sidney's footsteps, and has returned home following graduation from the Universities of Virginia and Mississippi, the proud recipient of a degree in medicine. Dr. Kennedy studied medicine with brothers John and Sidney at the latter's clinic at Lauderdale Station in Lauderdale, Mississippi prior to returning to Sumter County. Parents John and Harriett Kennedy are very proud of their trio of physician-sons, but are more concerned with what they believe is the inevitable conflict looming ahead. If war breaks out, surgeons will be a very valuable commodity. And what of the rest of the family, and their beloved home, and their beloved Alabama...In the meantime, Nathan B. Kennedy, M.D., Physician and Surgeon, sets up his own practice in Sumterville.

Wedding Announcement

James H. and Sarah Lee Martin of Sumter County, Alabama are delighted to announce the engagement and upcoming wedding of their oldest daughter, Miss Susan William Lee Martin to Dr. Nathan Blunt Kennedy, also of Sumter County. Following the ceremony, the couple will return to Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi, where the groom is employed as a physician at the Lauderdale Springs Hospital.

A Growing Medical Practice In Uncertain Times

Dr. N. B. Kennedy is certainly a busy young surgeon, dividing his time between duties at Lauderdale Springs Hospital and his work with the Confederate sick and wounded. Although still a civilian, Dr. Kennedy has signed a contract with the Confederate Army to provide medical care to sick and wounded soldiers at the Lauderdale Springs hospital.

The Time is Now!

  • Mississippi

Word has been received that Dr. N. B. Kennedy of Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi and formerly of Sumter County, Alabama, has enlisted with the 27th Alabama Infantry regiment. Following his appointment as assistant surgeon, Dr. Kennedy will be stationed at the Macon, Mississippi hospital. We wish all the best to Dr and Mrs. Kennedy. Of note, the young couple is also expecting their first child. Mrs. Kennedy remains with family in Sumter County awaiting the glorious event.

A Child is Born

  • Sumter County, Alabama

Dr. and Mrs. Nathan B. Kennedy of Sumter County, Alabama have been blessed with the birth of their first child, Christine Martin Kennedy. Dr Kennedy is currently serving with the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment in Mississippi.

"Skill and confidence are an unconquered army."

  • Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

As many of our Southern Sons entered this war expecting a quick and glorious victory, it is soon evident that this belief is but fantasy. Dr. N. B. Kennedy, late of Sumter County, Alabama reports of the realities of his Army duties. While caring for the sick and wounded as Assistant Surgeon, 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment at numerous camps throughout Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and later stationed at military hospitals in Lauderdale Springs, Macon, Lockhart, and Meridian, Mississippi, Dr Kennedy has personally witnessed the massive human toll that war brings. Casualties are many and supplies few, "We are detached from our Brigade and I have no instruments whatsoever. If we should get into a fight, it would be impossible for me without a single instrument to perform the most trivial surgical operation."

"...incapable of performing the duties of a Medical Officer in the field..."

  • Big Black River, Mississippi

While so many have been maimed or killed in the actual battles, many more have died from disease. Dysentery, measles, small pox, pneumonia, typhoid fever and malaria are one's constant enemies. Dr. Kennedy himself has fallen ill, diagnosed with Phthisis Pulmonalis, a disease of the lungs causing a chronic and bloody cough and severe fatigue. He has requested and received a transfer back to the Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi "healthy hospital".

"For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail."

  • Macon, Mississippi

Army life continues for Dr. N. B. Kennedy, late of Sumter County, Alabama. When not caring for our gallant young men wounded in battle, Dr. Kennedy must yet attend to routine chores, such as providing for the needs of his horse.

The Good Doctor is Stricken...Again

  • Macon, Mississippi

As the war drags on and death and destruction continues, word is received of the condition of one of Sumter County's own. Dr. N. B. Kennedy has had an unfortunate relapse and is once again incapacitated by a hemorrhage of the lungs. While serving at Lonng's Division Hospital in Macon, Mississippi, Dr. Kennedy has requested and received a 30-day medical leave.

Local Family Welcomes New Member

  • Sumter County, Alabama

Dr. and Mrs. N. B. Kennedy are pleased to announce the birth of a son, to be christened Chester Lee Kennedy. Mother and child are said to be doing well. Dr. Kennedy is currently serving as Assistant Surgeon with the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment in Mississippi, while Mrs. Kennedy and their daughter Christine remain with family in Sumter County, Alabama.

On the move again

  • Macon, Mississippi

Dr. Nathan B. Kennedy, a Sumter County native, has been reassigned to the hospital at Lockhart, Mississippi, following the closing of the facility in Macon, Mississippi.

Difficult times

  • Lockhart, Mississippi

The despair of the Confederacy is becoming evident. Rations, uniforms, boots, guns, bullets- all are lacking. A terrible shortage of medicine and those trained in its administration leads to even more suffering and death. Petersburg, Virginia is under siege and in but a few short weeks, Atlanta will fall to General Sherman. Our own brave Sumter County lads continue to fight, though most have not been paid in months. The Provisional Army of the Confederate States is in tatters, as the end of all we know seems perilously near.

The End is Near

  • Uniontown, Alabama

The failure of a peace conference between Vice President Stephens and Mr. Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia means the war will go on, though there is little will and even  fewer of our gallant lads left to fight. Only General Lee's Army at Petersburg and Joe Johnston's forces in North Carolina remain to fight against Northern forces now numbering 280,000. Our own N. B. Kennedy, Assistant Surgeon with the 27th Alabama, struggles to save lives at the Confederate hospital at Uniontown, Alabama. Most will die of disease and infection now, as there is little in the way of rations and medicines available to treat the suffering masses.


  • Meridian, Mississippi

It has been a few short weeks since General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House in Virginia and Joe Johnston at Durham, North Carolina. Abraham Lincoln is dead and it seems the Northern States are bent on revenge. However, word has been received that many Sumter County natives are finally headed home, having received their Parole of Honor in Mississippi. Our own Dr. N. B. Kennedy is expected home in the coming weeks. We hope he will reestablish his medical practice here, as so many are in dire need of medical services following a prolonged period of war and want.

Life goes on

  • Ponchatoula, Louisiana

Sumter County's own Dr. Nathan B. Kennedy of Ponchatoula, Louisiana has recently sent a letter to loved ones here. He and his family are doing fairly well in Louisiana, having survived the difficult times following the The War. Since leaving the service in 1865 , Dr. Kennedy and family moved to Gaston, Alabama, then in 1867 returned to Meridian, Mississippi, the location of his last days of military service, and just last year arrived in Ponchatoula. Dr. Kennedy has had some difficulty regaining his former health and vigor since suffering from a rather serious lung condition while serving with the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment in Mississippi. His family continues to grow, as a new member, Miss Sallie Hattie Lee Kennedy, was welcomed on January 15th of this year. The family is considering relocating to Texas, as it is hoped that the dry climate there may help to alleviate Dr. Kennedy's ailment.

"Gone to Texas..."

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Hillsboro is pleased to welcome to our little hamlet a new physician and his family. Dr. Nathan B. Kennedy, his wife and two young children have arrived from the New Orleans area. Dr. Kennedy, a well-schooled and experienced surgeon, graduated from the University of Louisiana back in '60 and is veteran of the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment, having been in charge of the officer's hospitals at Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi and Uniontown, Alabama. Dr. Kennedy expects to set up his practice at the Windsor Hotel.

A busy practice for a busy man

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Our own Dr. N. B. Kennedy of Hillsboro, formerly of Sumter County, Alabama, is a very busy gentleman. Highly regarded as a most-skilled surgeon, Dr. Kennedy can usually be found in his office at the Windsor Hotel, unless he is riding his rounds to visit ill or injured Hill County citizens. When not tending to his patients, he is a passionate author, with numerous contributions to scholarly medical journals to his credit. He is also an accomplished scientist, having recently discovered the use of the injection of carbolic acid for the removal of hemorrhoids and carbuncles. Hill County is fortunate indeed to have a gentleman of his skill and talents living in our midst!

A death in the family

  • Hillsboro, Texas

It has been learned with much sadness of the death of Master Robert Lee Kennedy, infant son of Dr and Mrs. N. B. Kennedy of Hillsboro. The child was but 8 months old, having been born on June 21 of this year past. He will be laid to rest in the city cemetery. Mrs. Kennedy is in seclusion, although Dr Kennedy's medical duties will not allow him much time for grief. The child was the second of the doctor and his heart-broken wife to pass prematurely. A daughter, Christine, was lost some years ago.

The Life of One Physican in 1880s Texas

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Dr. N. B. Kennedy of Hillsboro, Texas might not be considered the typical Texas doctor. Dr. Kennedy is quite an active fellow, dividing his time between his family, his medical practice and numerous community and profession activities. Dr. Kennedy has been instrumental in the formation of the Hill County Medical and Surgical Association. He is also a published author, contributing to numerous professional medical journals. A member of the Texas State Medical Association and the American Medical Association, Dr Kennedy is most interested in the care of those devastated by the effects of intoxicants, and also supports the development of a state system of health and hygiene. He is a civic-minded soul, involved in all phases of community life, including education and roads and transportation. As a former surgeon and officer in the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Dr. Kennedy is involved with the local Confederate veteran's group.

"Alcohol from a Medical Standpoint"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

The following article written by Dr N B Kennedy of Hillsboro is found on page 5 of the Dallas Weekly Herald.

A great honor

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Local residents will be very pleased to know that our own Dr. Nathan B. Kennedy has been included in a new book that relates the history of Hill County. His biography can be found on pages 364-368 of "A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas", printed by the Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago.

"Good Templars"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Dr. Kennedy is a member in good standing of the International Order of the Good Templars, an organization that promotes the ideals of Temperance, Peace and Brotherhood. This article can be found on page 1 of the Dallas Morning News.

"A War Relic"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

A letter mailed thirty-one years ago was delivered to Dr Kennedy yesterday. See the Dallas Morning News, page 3.

"Encyclopaedia Britannica"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

In an article to be found in the Dallas Morning News on page 7, Dr. Kennedy examines and defends an entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica discussing the realities on the Antebellum southern United States: "While it says some harsh things against the south it gives a true and glowing history of its wonderful progress and development."

"Hill County Medical Men"

  • Hllsboro, Texas

Dr. N. B. Kennedy of Hillsboro has been elected to the post of secretary of the Hill County Medical and Surgical Association. Read about it in the Dallas Morning News, page 6.

"Was Rather Ghostly"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

In an interview recorded in the Dallas Morning News on page 3, Dr. Kennedy relates a lively tale of an encounter with a "ghost", which occurred while exploring a large cemetery in Richmond, Virginia as a young man.

"Hillsboro Budget"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

"Dr. N. B. Kennedy of this city is in favor of a railroad from here to Sabine Pass." Dr. Kennedy discusses his rationale in an article that is found in the Dallas Morning News on page 3.

"An Old Prayer Book"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

"Dr. N. B. Kennedy of this city has quite a curiosity in the shape of an Episcopal prayer book printed in England by Edward Blunt and William Barrett, May 30, 1613." To read about this extraordinary book, see page 3 of the Dallas Morning News.

"Medicos' Banquet"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

Dr. N. B. Kennedy read an original poem, "Hillsboro", at the banquet of the Hill County Medical and Surgical Association last night. For more about the festivities, see page 7 of the Dallas Morning News.


  • Hillsboro, Texas

(Hillsboro Mirror, Volume XVIII No 8 Pg 1 Wednesday August 11, 1897)


He Was an Old Citizen, a Prominent Physician and a More Than Ordinary Man

From Tuesday's Daily.

When the news flashed over the city this morning that Dr. N. B. Kennedy was dead, it could hardly be credited for everyone remembered seeing him on the streets yesterday apparently hale and hearty. He appeared to be in his usual health and spirits and there was not a suspicion of any kind that that his hours were numbered and fast running to the end.

He ate supper last night as heartily as ever and at nine o'clock took his customary bath, and did not complain of any pains until about ten o'clock, when he had an attack of colic and was troubled with it for several hours. He took a dose of morphine but being sick at the stomach he threw it up.

At 11 o'clock he got up and went downstairs and staid (sic) awhile, going back to bed near one. At one o'clock he called his daughter, Mrs. Hattie Carrico, and had her to give him an injection of morphine, and she gave it as directed. He immediately fell over on the bed and died instantly.

Dr. B. H. Vaughn was hastily summoned, but he found that life had been extinct several minutes before he arrived.

Dr. Kennedy's death is supposed to be do to heart disease. For years he has had what the physicians call weak heart, but there was no real heart disease detectable. The morphine that he took last night they say was eminently right and proper.

He will be buried in the city cemetery at 10:30 tomorrow morning by the Knights of Pytheus, of which he was an honored and useful member. He was 59 years, 8 months and 15 days old.


Dr. Kennedy was more than an ordinary man, and in many respects a remarkable one. He was for years one of the leading physicians of this county, and was the life of the Hill County Medical and Surgical Association.

He was born in Sumner county, Alabama, Dec. 24, 1837, and was a son of John and Harriet A. Kennedy. His parents were both descendants of ancient and honorable families, his mother being a daughter of Major John Isler, a gallant revolutionary soldier.

Dr. Kennedy was given the benefits of a splendid education and graduated at the University of Virginia in 1860, with the degree of Master of Arts.

He studied medicine under Dr. S. P. Kennedy of Lauderdale Springs, Miss., both at the University of Mississippi and of Virginia, and was a graduate M.D. from both institutions.

He undertook the practice of medicine at Sumterville, Ala., but in March 1861, he joined the confederate army, enlisting in the 27th Alabama regiment, where he received the appointment of assistant surgeon. He was in field service for some time, but was later put in hospital service at Lauderdale Springs, Miss., and at Uniontown, Ala.

He remained in the service until the war closed in 1865. He then located in Gaston, Ala., and remained there until 1867. He then moved to Meridian, Miss., and remained there until 1869, when he removed to New Orleans, La. In 1871 he came to Hillsboro, where he resided until the time of his death.

He identified himself with all the medical societies in his reach, and was a frequent contributor to medical journals. He assisted in organizing the Hill County Medical and Surgical association, and was several times president of it. He was a member of the State Medical association, and was an honorary member of the Society of Science, Letters and Arts of London.

He also found time to turn from his medical studies to belies lettres (sic), and wrote a number of short poems, some of real poetic merit. Altogether he was one of the most accomplished men in the county.

He was married to Miss Susan W. L. Martin in 1862. Four children were born to them, two of whom are dead, and two, Chester M. Kennedy and Mrs. Hattie Carrico, living.

The remains of Dr. N. B. Kennedy were laid to rest in the city cemetery this morning. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. C. T. Booth, of Fort Worth, a close personal friend of the family. His remains were taken in charge by Hillsboro Lodge No. 48, Knights of Pytheus, of which he was an honored and useful member, and gently laid to rest. The burial service of the Knights at the grave, was very impressive. The following were the pallbearers: Knights J. L. Slatten, J. B. Scofield, J. B. Coble, R. W. Hunt, J. O. Turner, C. H. Miller, J. C. Kirksey and L. M. Morehead.

A large crowd of friends assembled at the hotel and followed his remains to the cemetery to pay the last respects to him.

" the last respects to our deceased brother Knight N. B. Kennedy"

  • Hillsboro, Texas

"...aged 59 years, 8 months and 15 days."

"A more than ordinary man" is laid to rest

  • Ridge Park Cemetery, Hillsboro, Texas

The final resting place for Dr. Nathan Blunt Kennedy, Physician & Surgeon, 1836-1897.

    Shouldn't the Act of Congress be 1820 instead of 1920?

      I like how you wrote this like a "diary" of your ancestor's life. Very good reading. Thanks for sharing. Melinda P.