One of the most famous members of the 13th Mississippi was Dr. Simon Baruch, a young surgeon, who transferred to the 13th from the 3rd South Carolina Battalion in August 1864—though just why he transferred, and to the 13th, I haven’t been able to find out. (See UPDATE below)
He was not especially notable during the war (except for a medical paper he wrote while in a Union prison: on bullet wounds, according to one source, or bayonet wounds, says another) and the details of his service are often contradictory. He does seem to have been captured twice, having been ordered to stay behind to care for the wounded, including after Gettysburg.
Much of his fame was post-war, particularly due to his famous son, financier Bernard Baruch, an adviser to presidents from Wilson to Truman. I suspect the young surgeon was not the 13th’s only Jew, though I haven’t found any proof of others yet. (See this UPDATE from the archives.)
“If a band struck up ‘Dixie,’ Dr. Baruch would jump up and give the Rebel yell, much to the chagrin of the family. A man of usual reserve and dignity, Dr. Baruch nevertheless would let loose with the piercing yell even in the Metropolitan Opera House.”
Baruch apparently placed this item in the May, 1910 edition of Confederate Veteran magazine:
“Simon Baruch, 51 W. Seventieth Street, New York City, who was assistant surgeon of the 3d South Carolina Battalion, desires to obtain the address of the surgeons who after the battles of Boonsboro (South Mountain), Md., and Sharpsburg, Va., were sent to be exchanged on the Steamer Louisiana from Baltimore to Fortress Monroe, and thence to Acker’s Landing in September, 1862, also the addresses of any of the one hundred and six surgeons and fifteen chaplains who were ‘detained’ at Fort McHenry after the battle of Gettysburg. Dr. Baruch was among those ordered by General Lee to ‘remain until further orders’ in charge of the wounded after these battles.”
UPDATE: In her 1991 bio of Baruch, Simon Baruch, Rebel In The Ranks of Medicine, 1840-1921, author Patricia Spain Ward says Baruch published a paper on bayonet wounds (comparing them to Minie bullet wounds) in the Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal in July, 1864. I’ll have more on her description of the paper’s conclusions in a subsequent post.
Meanwhile, Ward also says that Baruch was “assigned” to the 13th by the Confederate medical directorate after he was promoted from assistant surgeon to full surgeon. She says he had previously been assigned to the 3rd South Carolina, in Kershaw’s Brigade (which was in the same division as the 13th), apparently because he was a resident of Camden, SC.