How Did The Civil War Affect Health

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With over 620,000 deaths, the American Civil War was definitely one of the bloodiest wars in history. The battles between the Union and the Confederate troops raged on from 1861 to 1865 and ruined the lives and families of countless people. There were prison camps that tormented their prisoners, animals that were used until death, and diseases that ran rampant throughout the soldiers’ barracks. An average of 504 people died every day due to battle, which is actually a record (Civil War by the Numbers). Countless problems were faced by almost everyone that was a part of the battles, and by those who were only affected in second-hand ways. The Civil War was responsible for many things, including impacting the health of people, animals, and the land soldiers traversed. While it may have done wonders for the social aspect of America in terms of progression, one…show more content…
Constant exposure to death and disease took their toll, as well. Disease would spread deadly and fast due to poor sanitation and the close quarters soldiers were put in. For example, there were over 1,300,000 cases of diarrhea among Civil War soldiers, and 34,000 of those cases ended in death. In addition to that, surgeries and amputations were responsible for a great deal of death as well, with over 20,000 soldiers dying post-surgery (Civil War 150 Interactive). Much of the death was a result of the fact that surgeons were not knowledgeable on subjects like hygiene or how bacteria spreads. They would use dirty instruments and would neglect to wash their hands between patients, which would cause the patients’ wounds to become infected. There were outbreaks of measles, malaria, small pox, pneumonia, and camp itch, which was spread by insects. In addition to bugs and doctors spreading disease, there was also the fact that garbage was everywhere around soldiers’ campsites, having been dumped just inside camp boundaries in an attempt at
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