Articles

Fort Detrick leaders seek lessons from Harpers Ferry

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By Megan Eckstein, Frederick News Post, March 24, 2011 Step back in time 150 years, and Harpers Ferry was the equivalent of today’s Fort Detrick. Instead of housing pivotal biodefense assets, it housed a major federal arsenal. The town centered on government workers and the contractors and ancillary businesses that followed. The town was strategically [...]

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National Museum of Civil War Medicine Honors African Americans that served in the Civil War

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For Immediate Release:October 14, 2010Contact: Adele Air(301) 695-1864education@civilwarmed.org                                                                         National Museum of Civil War Medicine Honors African Americans that served in the Civil WarWith Lecture and New ExhibitBinding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine Frederick, MD – The National Museum of Civil War Medicine honors the history of the African Americans that [...]

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White middle and upper class women were the majority component of the hospital relief workforce North and South.

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Patriotism aside the majority of women serving in union and confederate hospitals were working classes, and they were paid for their work as cooks, laundresses, matrons, waitresses, seamstresses, chambermaids, and the occasional nurse.  In Southern hospitals alone at least 20% (if not more) of the hospital personnel were slaves hired out by their owners to [...]

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Civil War Tourism Just Got Easier

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Civil War tourism just got easierOriginally published September 15, 2010 By Karen Gardner News-Post Staff  SHARPSBURG — A public-private partnership formed on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is aimed at bringing some of the 1.5 million annual visitors to Antietam National Battlefield to Civil War sites in [...]

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Anesthesia did not exist during the Civil War

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Gaseous ether and chloroform were both widely available and there therapeutic impact was well known in Union and Confederate medical services.  Major surgery was carried out using these anesthetics if they were available.  It is estimated that greater than 90% of all major surgery was carried out with anesthetics.

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Biting the bullet

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Early anesthesia techniques required patient restraint because the agents available affected the excitement phase of anesthesia causing the observed motor movements and patient vocalizations.  Patient’s only appeared to be awake based on their vocalizations and movements.  Effectively administered anesthesia provided a safer intra-operative and post-operative surgical experience.

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19th Century doctors were poorly trained

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While it is true 19th Century medical education was simplistic compared to our standards today medicine then was one of the few professions requiring a student to complete a formal medical curriculum dealing with specific elements of medical knowledge.  Many 19th Century physicians also completed an apprenticeship with a skilled physician, and if time and [...]

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Most military surgeons were political appointees or worse

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FACT:  By late 1862, early 1863 Union and Confederate medical services went to great lengths to examine (oral and written) their previously commissioned and new surgeon candidates.  Higher standards were set for surgeon and assistant surgeon and by early 1863 most of the men practicing as military surgeons or contract civilian doctors were suitably skilled [...]

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