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Medical Practices in the Civil War

Recommended Reading, "Battlefield Medicine," Civil War Journal

I was giving a school presentation recently and a student asked me what was my favorite of the books that I have written. I had to answer that it was this one--even after ten years, the story of medicine during the Civil War is one that still draws me. I have now accumulated enough new information that I could easily write a second volume on this, including the account of the Civil War surgeon who was the first doctor to care for Abraham Lincoln after he was shot. I remain fascinated by the stories of the wounded soldiers and the horrors of battlefield medicine, but I remain most intrigued by the idea that these doctors and nurses, in spite of the horrible conditions, still did medical research using the care of the soldiers as an opportunity to improve medical care for everyone. The medical advances that came from this war still affect treatment of people today. And the lessons learned about disease, about the safety of anesthesia, about the design of hospitals revolutionized medicine as it had been practiced before the war.
It is never a surprise to me when students (and even adults) tell me that this is their favorite of my books--since it remains mine also!


"This book is packed with fascinating information. It is crammed with facts about wounds, medical personnel, disease, instruments, surgery and anesthesia. ... It elaborates on how amazing it was that anyone had the strength and energy left to fight, given the terrible conditions and level of disease in the army camps. ... Highly recommended." Reviewer" Sherri Forgash.

A typical after battle scene as the soldiers await medical help and transport.