Joseph L. Mulford was 31 years old when he joined the 48th New York on 24 July 1861. He was commissioned as surgeon on 5 September of that year. He served wih the regiment until 20 September 1864.
The first surgeon of the regiment was Joseph L Mulford M.D.; he was practising medicine at Matawan, N.J., when the war broke out; he enlisted with the Forty eighth New York, and was commissioned surgeon in October, 1861, to rank from the preceding 5th of September. He was with the regiment on the Port Royal expedition, and indeed throughout its career until the fall of '64. Often he was assigned to the staff of brigade commanders, and at one time he was division surgeon. He was especially skilful in surgical operations, and the most of our desperately wounded men at Morris Island and at Fort Wagner came under his kindly care. He was engaged in operating upon and attending the wounded after the battle of Cold Harbor for four days and nights without rest; indeed after every battle the boys who had the misfortune to be wounded found relief at Surgeon Mulford's hand.
In the fall of '64 he accepted a staff position, and was assigned to duty at the hospitals at the headquarters of the general army corps for the winter. In the succeeding May he was sent to New Berne, N.C., and placed in charge of the Foster General Hospital; thence he was sent to Greensboro, N.C., receiving his final discharge August 25, 1865. While holding his staff position he was often in charge of steamers used for conveying the wounded to Hampton, Norfolk, and Washington among others the steamers Matilda the Thomas Powell and the George Washington operating day and night
The foregoing brief record is a poor and inadequate account of the great and invaluable service which Dr Mulford rendered to the Forty eighth Regiment. After the war he settled in New Brunswick, N.J., where he practised his profession successfully until 1880, when his health failing, he was given a contract as acting assistant-surgeon and spent three years with the army in Texas. In the summer of 1883 he returned North with restored health and is now 1885 practising his profession in New Brunswick, N.J., and in New York City. - from The History of the Forty-Eight Regiment New York Volunteers in the War for the Union (1885)
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