Dr. Robert R. McMeens, who served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War, was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Columbus on Thursday, November 2.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1820, Dr. McMeens received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1841, and migrated to Tiffin, Ohio shortly thereafter. He settled in Sandusky in 1849. During his medical practice in Sandusky, he treated many of the victims of the several cholera outbreaks that struck the city (in 1849, 1852, and 1854). (A report he wrote on cholera for the Ohio State Medical Society in 1857 is excerpted in Peeke's book, A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, available in the library.)
As a soldier, Dr. McMeens served as a surgeon in the Mexican War of 1846-48. Back in Sandusky, in 1851, he founded and commanded the Bay City Guards, a local militia. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, Dr. McMeens returned to active duty, again as a surgeon, in the Third Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He died while serving at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky on October 30, 1862. The Firelands Pioneer of January 1888 quoted a letter written by a fellow surgeon on the day after Dr. McMeens' death: "He has fallen while nobly working at his post; although suffering greatly from disease, he refused to abandon his work, and performed several important surgical operations only a few hours before his death."
Sandusky resident Dr. Robert Bartholomew, who was instrumental in garnering this recognition for Dr. McMeens, accepted the award in Dr. McMeens' honor at the induction ceremony.