The Civil War was a vital event that occurred in America’s historical consciousness and in order to understand the medical aspect of the war, first defining exactly what the war was about is fundamental. According to Dixon, the Civil War transpired in 1861-1865 and it was essentially about the “uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states.” Significant battles occurred in Chickamauga, Shiloh in Tennessee, Fredericksburg in Virginia, and Antietam in Maryland, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and Atlanta in Georgia. Moreover, how did the Civil War impacted medicine raised important points to be considered such as the disease-causing viruses that plagued the soldiers? Also the conditions the soldiers faced while undergoing treatment. Additionally, the post-war aseptic methods the care providers employed while treating the soldiers, if any was implemented at all.
We all know the saying “There is strength in numbers”, and this applies in the case of the Civil War, the bigger your army, the bigger the chance you have at victory. Casualties were at an all time high and the Union and Confederacy scrambled to protect their troops. The Civil War’s staggering number of casualties accounted for calculated tactics, the troublesome lives of civilians and the emergence of proper medical practice in a race to win, and in doing so caused an abundance of trauma for almost everyone in the nation.
A soldier dreaded being on the battlefield more than being in the field hospital, right…?
Soldiers in the Civil War faced many hardships compared to other wars the United States has fought in or been involved. The Civil War, the deadliest war in the history of the United States, consisted of many gruesome casualties and deaths as well as triumphs and downfalls. Other time periods did not have to deal with the hardships other US troops had to face. The Civil War was fought in the United States between the North known as the Union, and the South known as the Confederacy. The United States was fighting itself and forcing the citizens of the United States to pick and choose a side. According to intensive research by Digital History, a soldier was thirteen times more likely to die in the Civil War than the Vietnam War. Soldiers were
I have a very large of dying from the sicknesses getting passed around. I overheard General George Washington say that around 3,989 soldiers have gotten sick by February (Busch 147). And that 2,500 deaths have come from sickness (Busch 147). Frostbite and Smallpox have played a big part here at Valley Forge. Frostbite has gotten many people’s limb taken off.
A very well remembered time of warfare was during the battle of Gettysburg leaving casualties of 7,058 fatalities and 33,264 wounded. The Confederacy lead by Robert E. Lee and the Union carried by George Meade even saw some of their best soldiers get injured. In the book the Killer Angels by Michael Sharra, the civil war would go on to diminish the mental and/or physical health of many men along with minimal health care, such as Dick Garnett with an injured foot, Lew Armistead who was shot and killed, and a boy suffering from a gunshot through the cheek. To begin with, on
River crossings, accidents, weather, and drowning, starvation, dehydration and Indian attacks caused most deaths. However, the main cause of death, by far, was disease. An estimated amount of six to ten percent of all pioneers became ill in some form. Around thirty thousand of the three hundred fifty thousand people on the trail suffered from a disease. The main illnesses were cholera, dysentery, mountain fever, and measles.
During the Civil War, it is said that almost 180,000 Black Soldiers served in the Union Army. The families of these soldiers would camp in nearby makeshift villages to be near their husbands, sons and fathers. The soldiers assisted them the best they could by share food and clothing from their military rations. Nearly 40,000 Black Soldiers died during the course of the war with 30,000 due to infections and diseases. Although Blacks were giving the chance to fight for their freedom, they were still not looked as equals.
With the lack of food, many saw the development of skin sores, ulcers, diarrhea and dysentery. As the POWs acquired those diseases it became difficult to maintain hygiene. They also acquired cholera from contaminated water, cholera caused severe diarrhea and dehydration. “Another disease was beriberi which is a severe vitamin B1 deficiency. Symptoms include pain, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, vomiting, strange eye movement, mental confusion, difficulty walking, coma, and death.
Although it was a bloody war, disease was the number one cause of death due to all the unsanitary equipment being used. Not only did the cleanness of things factor in the deaths caused by disease, but so did the knowledge of the people back then. They were not familiar with bacterial transmission, so not much was done to keep things sanitary. Luckily, today we have way better technology, knowledge and medical equipment. If it wasn’t for the Civil War and all the people who put their lives on the line, the world wouldn’t be how it is
Hardship is an endeavor no person yearns for, and logically it’s fathomable why we’d steer away from difficulties. However, one can only value what they have when they’ve survived the unimaginable, because without hardships we’d be oblivious to the triumphs in life.
This would then boost the slaves in the South to runaway and join the Union and their cause, which was not hard considering the cause was to free them and bring the Union back together. Within those four years was the bloodiest war in history. More men had died in the Civil War than any other war put together. The Union had 1,566,678 casualties and the Confederacy had 1,082,119 (Doc B). If the Civil War had not occurred, neither would have the Reconstruction era.
The Civil War The Civil War was the deadliest war in American history with over 600000 American deaths reported. This war was fought to keep the Confederate States from leaving the Union. The Union won because they had a telegraph system and had more resources. The effect of the Union victory has had a large impact on society.
Endemic Typhus, was one of the most common diseases spread in concentration camps; killing many, including Anne Frank and her sister, Margot. Usually taking place in areas with poor hygiene and cold temperatures, it is also referred to as "jail fever. " The bacteria that causes this disease is spread from rats to fleas to humans.