War is not a pretty place, and when you are sick, it is even uglier. During the Civil War, the care of our soldiers was not always met in the best or sanitary conditions. But, the doctors did the best they could with what they had. Sometimes men that were not trained had to take the responsibility to care for the sick. Homes that were once plantations were quickly turned into makeshift military hospitals.
Here are some links that will help you learn more about the medical aspects of the Civil War:
- Civil War Medicine
- Civil War Links: Business and Economics, Government and Political Science, Government: Presidents and Politicians,Medicine, and Religion, will need to scroll down to find Medicine
- American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques
- Cyndi’s List for Civil War Medical & Hospitals
- Civil War Medicine
- National Museum of Civil War Medicine
- The Battle of Bentonville: Caring for Casualties of the Civil War
- Caring for the Men
- Civil War Hospitals, Identifies 155 Civil War hospitals, their location, bed capacity, and surgeon in charge.
- Civil War Era Woman Physicians
- Civil War Medical Images
- Surgery & Tools During Civil War
Here are some books that you might find helpful:
Civil War Medicine by C. Keith Wilbur: "The Civil War created both crises and opportunities never before imagined by the medical professional. Doctors of the time were not prepared to deal with the staggering number and nature of wounds inflicted. And often, absolute necessity mothered many inventions, from new surgical instruments to the logistics of providing ambulance service on the battlefield. The brutal reality of the war pushed doctors to a new level of medical and surgical knowledge. In Civil War medicine 1861-1865, Dr. C. Keith Wilbur takes you on a detailed and fascinating tour through the medical history of this bloody and devastating war. Hundreds of illustrations, combined with well-researched and engaging text, tell the tale of the challenges presented to physicians with each new battle and the often-heroic ways those challenges were met. Discover and learn: how outmoded theories hobbled doctors in the field; the stories of the women who first entered a 'man's army' as nurses; the details about the field hospitals, from the different kinds of bandages used to the diseases and wounds the doctors treated; and details of the day's surgical practices, medications, and anesthesia (or lack thereof)."
Gangrene & Glory: Medical Care during the American Civil War by Frank R. Freemon: “This unusual history of the Civil War takes a close look at the battlefield doctors in whose hands rested the lives of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers and at the makeshift medicine they were forced to employ. A medical doctor and a credentialed historian, Frank R. Freemon combines poignant, sometimes horrifying anecdotes of amputation, infection, and death with a clearheaded discussion of the state of medical knowledge, the effect of the military bureaucracy on medical supplies, and the members of the medical community who risked their lives, their health, and even their careers to provide appropriate care to the wounded.Freemon examines the impact on major campaigns - Manassas, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Atlanta - of ignorance, understaffing, inexperience, overcrowded hospitals, insufficient access to ambulances, and inadequate supplies of essentials such as quinine. Presenting the medical side of the war from a variety of perspectives - the Union, the Confederacy, doctors, nurses, soldiers, and their families - "Gangrene and Glory" achieves a peculiar immediacy by restricting its scope to the knowledge and perceptions available to its nineteenth-century subjects. Now available for the first time in paperback, this important volume takes a hard, close look at a neglected and crucial aspect of this bloody conflict.”