Jonathan Letterman's Cruelty During The American Civil War

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CIVIL WAR MEDICINE The American Civil War was known for its cruelty– its harsh weapons and tactics produced the highest causality rates in any American conflict. Over 600,000 Americans were killed in the conflict. the Civil War actually marked a turning point in medicine – not only on the battlefield, but in the country as well. Most of the war show patients taking a drink of Whiskey or biting a belt or strap while doctors did their business. In fact, chloroform was standard issue for every doctor. The chloroform allowed for the doctors to successfully amputate with the patient unconscious. Union Medical Director Jonathan Letterman made a system of diagnosis and care that still exists today. Letterman’s system called for triage near the…show more content…
Each doctor received what amounted to barrels for storing water for sanitary purposes. By doing a lot of surgeries, doctors gained a lot of experience not only in dealing with war wounds, but also in their knowledge about the vertebrae, spine, and head. While men were in battle, women filled the need for bodies in the hospitals. It is estimated that 3200 women served as nurses. They risked their lives leaving home to work in the cesspools of infection. They lived separately from the soldiers and only made $12 a month. While many women are nurses today, their service in the war began their integration into the work force over the next 100 years. But in medicine, women nurses soon became commonplace. George Wunderlich, executive director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, called the conflict, “a watershed that really changed all medicine to the point where it could never completely go back to the way it was before. the large numbers of casualties necessitated the need for more advanced medicine and forms of care to help the soldiers survive their wounds. Most did survive the wounds but not the
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