Should I Stay or Should I Go It was freezing, feet and hands numb, stomach growling at me like a bear. I needed to leave. It was 1777, George Washington and his troops arrived at Valley Forge. It was “1 mile away from Pennsylvania” (Background Essay) and nowhere to really go, and no one really wanted to go.
The Civil War was filled with many diseases and deaths. Over 620,000 men lost their lives during this war; roughly two thirds of the casualties were caused by the lack of medical knowledge of many diseases. The remaining one third of the casualties was from the actual battle itself. The war became a turning point for many women interested in the medical field. The knowledge of medicine was the beginning of a new age during the Civil War, and the lack of it led to many gruesome deaths.
What does the Union assault scene at the beginning of the movie tell you about the ferocity of modern combat during the Civil War? War during the time period of the American Civil War was particularly brutal. When the union soldiers attempt to attack the entrenched confederate soldiers they try tunneling beneath them to detonate several kegs of gunpowder. When the actual assault begins, Inman is witness to one of his fellow soldiers being stabbed fatally with a bayonet.
A soldier dreaded being on the battlefield more than being in the field hospital, right…? Field hospitals were usually very, very crowded. There were never enough beds for everybody and people that couldn’t get a bed were laid outside of the hospital on the ground. Doctors were always overworked and went to the soldiers who needed the most help first. So, if you had a broken bone, chances are you would be stuck waiting for hours and maybe even days.
In the civil war novel Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen, within pages 52- 57, Nelson, a fellow soldier was wounded in the stomach. This made it difficult for him to fight or even breathe. Stomach wounds were known as untreatable injuries meaning that when a soldier got one they were practically left to die. When soldiers were super injured like in this situation and didn’t have enough strength to keep fighting, they had to be left on their own to die.
The Civil War and Modern Medicine The Civil War greatly contributed to modern medicine techniques by making astounding discoveries and changing medical practices to what we know today. Doctors, Surgeons, and Soldiers all had to face the hardships of the battle field and the consequences they encountered while being in the war zones. The most challenging oppression faced was the amount of contagious diseases that spread during that time. Though these illnesses were incredibly difficult to treat, they helped doctors learn how to treat them and how to avoid them.
The Battle of Shiloh started on April 6, 1862 and ended April 7, 1862. and was held in southern Tennessee. The Confederates army General was Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T Beauregard. The Union army Generals were Ulysses S. Grant and Don Carlos Buell. Before the war begun Grant found a spot on the Tennessee River and taught the new soldiers different techniques to survive the war.
With over 50,000 casualties, the Battle of Gettysburg is the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. The novel, The Killer Angels, portrays the story of the historical Battle of Gettysburg. The battle lasted from July 1, 1863 to July 3, 1863. Though only short battle, it was one of the largest battles of the American Civil War. These were the four most bloody and courageous days of the nation’s history.
It paved a new path for medicine to be later used in the future. During this time, 620,000 men died in the war and ⅔ were a result of disease. To prevent this problem, William Hammond created pavilions to allow ventilation throughout the hospitals and decrease overcrowding. It also helped in keeping the hospitals clean, in 1862 it was unknown that germs caused diseases and when the pavilions were created, they reduced the amount of diseases and decreases the amount of deaths. (Netzley).
As soon as the Civil War started, injuries increased and diseases spread at a rapid pace. Sickness spread to millions. In fact, disease caused 65% of deaths, while war injuries caused up to 100% (“Disease”). Abundant amounts of medical issues caused medical procedures to evolve at a rapid speed. The medical advancements during the Civil War led to future medical technologies and procedures.
When Hollywood is formulating a way to adapt history into a film, its accuracies and inaccuracies must be considered. The film Glory tells the heroic tale of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, starting with its formation and concluding with the assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. However, Hollywood romanticizes history in order to influence the viewer’s perception of historical events. The scholarship that has been read in class and the film Glory show the continued prejudice against African American soldiers, prevalence and significance of death and burial, and the immorality that war causes. The film contains many narrated letters from Captain Robert Gould Shaw to his family to inform them of the progress of the war.
In London during 1928, the physician Alexander Fleming, learned that a natural mold had the amazing capability to kill the staph bacteria. This new antibiotic was very intriguing to the armies of America and Britain. During past wars, wounds that had become infected ended up killing more soldiers than were killed by battle injuries. Between World War I, and World War II, the death rate from bacterial infections fell from a massive 18 percent down to less than 1 percent. Certainly bacteria saved lives.
“An Episode of War” depicts a soldier’s life during the Civil War Era immaculately. From the harsh meal conditions, to the overwhelmed realization of tragedy, it is realistically historical down to a point. It gives the audience some “backstage knowledge” of how the routine of a soldier in early American history actually was. Back then, during the Civil War where the story was set, there were not many treatments that didn’t later on result in amputation/infection, or even death. So, when the Lieutenant was shot unexpectedly and told to go to the infirmary, he knew no matter what the doctor told him to keep him remaining calm, something drastic was bound to occur.
Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) were widespread during the Korean War (1950–1953) Thus patients were immediately transported from the battlefield and wounds were managed within 2-4 hours from the injury. The standard practice of wound care for victims of the Korean War included antibiotic prophylaxis using penicillin and streptomycin, adequate wound debridement and delayed closure or wounds (23,30). Transportation facilities were refined even further during the Vietnam War (1959–1975) where helicopters were used for rapid transport of patients. Thus surgical wound care could be administered within 1 to 2 hours (30).