Born in 1828 in Virginia, Dr. John Claiborne completed his medical studies in Philadelphia in 1851. That same year he set up practice in Petersburg and served later as a House of Delegates representative and senator in the Virginia state government.
In 1862 Claiborne was ordered to establish a hospital in Petersburg for treatment of wounded soldiers and was made surgeon in charge. By the time of the siege he was the executive officer in charge of all military hospitals in Petersburg. The system in the city included seven hospitals at first but by the time of the siege they were consolidated into two buildings on the western side of Petersburg to avoid the shelling from the east.
Shortly after the war Claiborne's first wife died and he eventually remarried and raised another family. He continued to practice in Petersburg and died in 1905.
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