The dental profession had gained some standing during the two decades that preceded the Civil War. In the secceding Confederate states, for example, there were about 500 dentists. Jefferson Davis, while serving as Secretary of War under Pierce, was an advocate for a dentistry corps. Perhaps this is why the Confederate Army had a dental program, while a similar idea by the Union Army was rejected by the War department. Confederate Surgeon General Moore was also
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could be full surgeons with all the pay and benefits of a surgeon. Medical director William A. Carrington, CSA, commented that dentists "plugged, cleaned, and extracted teeth", in addition to "adjusting fractures of the jaw and operating on the mouth". Another, Richmond dentist Dr. W. Leigh Burton, commented that his days were filled of "twenty to thirty fillings, the preparation of cavities included, the extraction of 15 or 20 teeth, and the removal of tartar ad libitum!"