22nd Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine

October 2, 2014 – October 6, 2014 all-day GMT0
Kennesaw State University
Thomas Frezza
301-695-1864, Ext. 1011

22nd Annual Conference on Civil War MedicineClick Here Register Now

Atlanta, GA

Double Tree by Hilton, Atlanta-Marietta

2055 S Park Pl, Atlanta, GA 30339, TEL: 770-272-9441

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine has assembled an impressive panel of prominent historians, authors and medical professionals to speak on a wide variety of topics at this year’s Conference.  Come learn something new at the Twenty-Second Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 3-5, 2014, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Atlanta–Marietta, Georgia.

Highlights of the conference include seven unique lectures on Friday and Sunday, and a Saturday bus tour of the hospital sites in Marietta and a tour of the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield. Also included are a Friday dinner and a Saturday evening happy hour.

If you wish to register for conference events separately please call 301-695-1864, Ext. 1011 or e-mail tom.frezza@civilwarmed.org, availability is limited. All conference fees and lectures-only fees include a $50 non-refundable booking fee.  We are unable to offer refunds for cancellations made after September 1, 2014.  Please note registration closes Friday, September 26, 2014 at 5:00pm

Registration Fees*

All- Inclusive

NMCWM Members         $300

General Adult                   $355

À la carte   (Limited Availability)

Friday & Sunday Lectures $240

Friday Dinner Guest             $65

Atlanta Bus Tour                $ 55

Saturday Happy Hour         $ 55

*Registration Fees increase September 15, 2013


Conference Lecture Schedule


Friday, October 3, 1:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Saint Simon’s Island Antebellum Plantations: The Role of the Plantation Mistress and Medical Care of the African Slaves

Paulette Snoby, RN

            This topic is important to this forum since it includes a cultural discussion of Antebellum plantation architecture, the role of the plantation mistress as care-giver of the slaves in the Old South and several of the diseases specific to slaves dwelling in the Georgia rice plantations. The masters and their sons of these plantations participated in the Confederacy, their homes were occupied and many destroyed by Union troops, and many slaves found their freedom with the arrival of those troops. The discussion will include a description of the two slave hospitals that were known during this time period. Their ruins have been photographed and will be shown.  Names of those plantation mistresses who we know cared for their slaves will be detailed and supported with bibliographical information.


Civil War Medicine–the Hollywood Version

Dr. Gordon Dammann, D.D.S.

            A controversy that exists even today is: “Was the movie as good as the book? (and vice versa).”  We can take this element of debate into Civil War medicine. Do movies tell a true story of the medical practices during the war? We will discuss six movies and the impact on the viewer’s impression of medical practices of the time. We will analyze the good, the bad, and the ugly as depicted, and their relevance to the true story of medicine.


Blood Transfusion and Intravenous Fluid in the Civil War Era

Dr. Robert Slawson

            Trauma and shock were major killers during the American Civil War and treatment methods were inadequate. They would remain so for another 50 years. By World War II, it would be realized that the introduction of fluids and of blood into the circulatory system could result in saving innumerable lives. Sadly, this knowledge and these techniques were not present during the Civil War. However, although seldom realized, much scientific work had been done in regard to these practices, and basic theories and processes had been developed. This presentation tells a little-known story of the early work in the field of blood transfusion and intravenous saline injection.


Smallpox and Control in the Civil War South: The New Science of Bacteriology and the Rise of Public Health Practice 

Shauna Devine

            Smallpox was the most political of the public health diseases in the nineteenth century—epidemics were routinely blamed on the failures of the physician, the failure of the public to be vaccinated, or the propaganda of the anti-vaccinationists. By 1861, American physicians understood that smallpox was contagious; however, they did not understand the process of contagion or the immunizing process. Nevertheless, both the Union and Confederate medical departments had compulsory vaccination policies for all soldiers. This talk will examine the vaccination crisis that took shape during the American Civil War, and increased in the 1870s as smallpox became epidemic once again, owing to the susceptibility of the new immigrant population.



Saturday, October 4, 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Bus tour of the hospital sites in Marietta and a tour of the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, lunch on your own in Marietta.


Sunday, October 5, 8 a.m. to Noon


“To Encourage and Build Up”: The General Duties and Place of the Civil War Chaplain in Regiment and Hospital

George Munkenbeck

            The Civil War demonstrated the need for an American military chaplaincy.  In hospitals, on large posts and in the field, these soldiers of God lived St. Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians to “Encourage and Build up.” They worked hard and often took great risks to provide comfort to those who were their charges. With command support they served God and Country and laid down a tradition of service that still inspires. This program will emphasize their service in support of the medical personnel. This is not a religious program, but rather a look at the chaplaincy.

Clothing the Union Army

Mavis Slawson

            Clothing all of the hundreds of thousands of men who became volunteers in the Union Army during the Civil War required considerable expertise and experience. After a shaky start in the process, the Quartermaster Corps worked diligently to provide uniforms. The mechanism by which this was accomplished is poorly understood by most people. This presentation will take the mystery out of the process and show how the Quartermaster Corps under Montgomery Meigs managed to provide a reasonably well-clothed army for the war.  


Civil War Ballistics

George Wunderlich

            In 2005, a series of ballistics studies were begun for the History Channel. Those studies found that, in addition to the injuries caused by permanent and temporary cavitation caused by the flight of the bullet, other factors may have existed that increased risks of infection and increased mortality and morbidity by the introduction of foreign matter into the wound. This lecture will look at those factors in a series of calibrated ballistic gel studies looking at ballistic lubricants, uniform and accoutrement fragments and uniform “dirt” as possible risk factors in Civil War bullet wounds. 

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