Columbus DaVega and The Floating Hospital
Columbus DaVega, M.D., n.d.
The Floating Battery at Charleston, S.C.
Interior of the Hospital
One of the few South Carolina physicians with battlefield experience was MCSSC alumnus, Dr. Columbus DaVega, who was born in Charleston on December 23, 1830. After graduating from the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in 1852, he traveled to Europe where he was recruited to serve as a field surgeon with the Russian Army in the Crimean War (1853-1856). At the end of that war, he returned to Charleston and entered private practice. During the Civil War, DaVega designed and served as surgeon on a hospital attached to a floating battery built to attack Fort Sumter from the water. The hospital was a one-story wooden structure outfitted with ten beds and medical supplies to treat soldiers wounded aboard the battery. In 1863, when Federal troops began their bombardment of Charleston, Dr. DaVega left for Columbia where he continued his medical practice. He died in Charleston on July 14, 1882 and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Coming Street.