Civil War Medicine

A Southern Woman's Story: Life in Confederate Richmond

By Phoebe Yates Pember

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Phoebe Yates Pember penned the story of her time as chief matron at Chimorazo Hospital in Richmond shortly after the Civil War.

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Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine

By Ira M. Rutkow

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"...surgeon and medical historian Rutkow argues that it is impossible to grasp the realities of the Civil War without an awareness of the state of medicine at the time. The use of ether and chloroform remained crude, and they were often unavailable--so many surgical procedures were performed without anesthesia, on the battleground or in a field hospital. This meant that "clinical concerns were often of less consequence than the swiftness of the surgeon's knife." Also, the existence of pathogenic microorganisms was still unknown, as was disinfection. From the soldiers who endured the ravages of combat to the government officials who directed the war machine, from the good Samaritans who organized aid commissions to the nurses who cared for the wounded, this book presents a story of suffering, politics, character, and, ultimately, healing."
(From the publisher's description)

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Civil War Medicine: 1861-1865

By C. Keith Wilbur

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A good choice for getting a grounding in the subject or school reports. Many illustrations.

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Civil War Medicine: Care and Comfort of the Wounded

By Robert E. Denney

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First-hand accounts from letters, journals, reports, and diaries from both sides of the conflict tell the story of the struggle to treat the wounded in the Civil War. Items are arranged chronologically from January 1862 to October 1865. Includes black and white photos.

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Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs

By Alfred Jay Bollet

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Bollet compares Civil War medicine to that used during the Crimean War (shortly before) and during the Franco-German War (immediately after) and comes to the somewhat surprising conclusion that the Americans were doing extremely well compared to their European counterparts. Lengthy and with many statistics.

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Doctors in Blue: The Medical History of the Union Army in the Civil War

By George Worthington Adams

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Considered a classic work on the medical history of the Union Army, Adams account has many fascinating statistics and tells the story behind them. For example, only 1/3 of the 300,000 Union soldiers who died during the Civil War were killed by the Confederate Army. Disease took the rest. Also available: Doctors in Gray.

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Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Civil War

By Frank R. Freemon

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A very readable work that looks at both sides of the conflict and particular areas of interest: Medicine at Sea, Stonewall Jackson Struck by Friendly Fire, The Introduction of Women Nurses, and more. Many photos.

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Hospital Days: Reminiscence of a Civil War Nurse

By Jane Stuart Woolsey

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This gathering of memories from 98 Union nurses was first published in 1895.
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Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862

By Natalie Babbitt and Laura L. Behling

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The care of the sick, wounded, and dying during the American Civil War was a complex endeavor that brought ordinary men and women into contact with the terror of the battlefield. Hospital Transports is a compilation of letters and other papers written by physicians and nurses serving aboard the Union hospital steamboat Daniel Webster in the summer of 1862. The text details sleeping arrangements, cooking and feeding schedules, medical practices, and the incorporation of liberated slaves from the Lee plantation into the daily work of the ship. Clearly described are the emotional, visceral reactions of the corps of medical personnel who, as their ship makes its way along the Potomac picking up casualties, question the philosophies at the root of war, and the metaphysical questions concerning the definitions of life and death.
This eBook was originally published in 1863. Click here for more information on how to access eBooks in our collection.

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In Hospital and Camp: The Civil War through the Eyes of Its Doctors and Nurses

By Harold Elk Straubing

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Nurses' and doctors' own words add an additional poignancy to a history which often relies on statistics and formal reports. Includes selections from Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman, both of whom served as nurses.

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