The first program in our spring Civil War 150th Celebration is Civil War Medicine: Myth, Maggots, Minie Balls, Gangrene, and Glory Monday April 29th at 7PM in the Mary Baldwin room. Carolyn Ivanhoff, housemaster of Shelton Intermediate School returns to present this program.
Medicine in the Civil War was primitive compared to today’s standards. Doctors knew little about infection, blood transfusions, and sterilization. You were more likely to die from wounds sustained on the battlefield than to actually die on the battlefield. Men who knew they would need amputations would sometimes try to amputate the limb themselves, rather than have the doctor do it, knowing their chances of survival were about the same.
Hygiene in camps was almost nonexistent, and therefore disease could run rampant throughout the soldiers. Dysentery, smallpox, measles, and pneumonia were a soldier’s worst enemy, not the men whom they faced on the battlefield. Rations were insufficient and poor, water was not clean or filtered, clothing was tattered and ratty, and sanitation of waste did not exist.
Join us next week as Ivanoff educates us on what exactly it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War and how fortunate we are today to have the medical care we have. Registration is required for this event.