Twentieth Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine Intinerary Announced

Twentieth Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam October 5-7, 2012 Pre-Conference Event, October 4, 2012 Bus Tour of the Hospital Sites of the Antietam Battlefield Ramada Plaza Hotel, Hagerstown, MD

Civil War Medicine…it’s not what you think!  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!

Come learn the facts at the Twentieth Annual Conference on Civil War Medicine, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7, 2012, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Hagerstown, MD.  The National Museum of Civil War Medicine has assembled an impressive panel of prominent historians, authors, and medical professionals speaking on a wide variety of topics relating to Civil War medicine.

Highlights of the conference include eleven unique lectures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a Saturday afternoon bus tour of the hospital sites of the Antietam Battlefield.  Also included is a Friday dinner and a Saturday evening happy hour.  Back by popular demand is our Thursday evening pre-conference program. 

Conference attire is casual.  Period clothing is welcome at the Friday dinner and Saturday evening happy hour.

Conference registration and all lectures will be held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel.  Registration is Friday, October 5, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 4, 8 p.m.

Pre-Conference Event

Mummified Arm from the Antietam Battlefield and Other Museum Artifacts

In January the Museum received a mummified forearm that was found two-three weeks after the battle by a farmer plowing his field. The anonymous donation of the right forearm, with skin and hand attached, appears to have been torn from the soldier’s body by a bullet or artillery round.  As we tour the Antietam Battlefield, the examination of this arm will serve as an important reminder of the sacrifices that Civil War soldiers made for what they believed.   Learn the history of the arm and see other artifacts as well.

Friday, October 5, 1-5 p.m.

Ministering Men of America’s Civil War:  Nurses Providing Care

Chris Foard, MSN, RN

Male Civil War nurses have been neglected by many historians.  Their contributions have often been overshadowed by more recognized female nurses.  Mr. Foard will talk about the thousands of men who were at the forefront of caring for their wounded comrades and who performed nursing care on battlefields and in field hospitals.  The ministering men of the Civil War proved to be significant in the treatment and recovery of soldiers and have an equally-valued historical role as women nurses.

The Hospital Steward:  An Examination of his Role and his Relationship with Nursing

William T. Campbell, EdD, RN

A very important member of the Civil War medical team, whose role was often misunderstood, was the Hospital Steward.  Typically thought of as a pharmacist, the steward’s actual responsibilities were far greater.  Using primary sources, Mr. Campbell will examine the hospital steward’s roles and responsibilities and his relationship with nurses and nursing, proposing that the steward may well have been the first advanced practice nurse in history, far preceding today’s nurse practitioner by almost 150 years.

Trial by Fire – A Hospital Steward’s Story

Alan I. West

In early 1862 Daniel McKinley Martin traveled from his home in Pittsburgh to Wheeling, Virginia, to enlist in the 2nd Virginia Regiment, later known as the 5th West Virginia Cavalry.   Due to his experience as a drug store clerk, he became the Regiment’s hospital steward.  Using 230 of his letters written home, which have been recently transcribed into a book authored by the speaker, Mr. West will use Martin’s perspective and experiences as he accompanied his regiment through the wilds of western Virginia, to provide an original voice that illustrates the hospital steward’s role in Civil War medicine.

The Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederacy, 1898-1917:  The Last Repository of Confederate Medicine

Michael C. Trotter, M.D., FACS

                Organizing Confederate physicians professionally was undertaken four times.  In July 1898 in Atlanta, the fourth and successful attempt was made as the Association of Medical Officers in the Army and Navy of the Confederacy.    A concerted effort was made to remain a professional medical veterans association during the era of the Lost Cause.  In 1900 the Southern Practitioner became the official publication of the society, publishing the proceedings of the annual meetings and becoming a unique archive of Confederate medicine.   Dr. Trotter will describe the historical evolution of Confederate medical professional organizations, explain and contrast the Lost Cause mentality as it relates to Confederate medical veterans, and discuss medical care in the context of the Confederate health  care providers.

Saturday, October 6, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Effects of the Civil War upon Medical Malpractice Litigation in the United States

David A. Southwick, DO, and Michael J. Sacopulos, JD

Literature has been relatively sparse on the topic of mid-nineteenth century medical malpractice litigation.  Anesthetic, non-standardized medical practices and competing schools of medical practice set the stage for what has been accurately described as the “first medical malpractice crisis” in the United States.   Professional liability was an area of great concern for Civil War physicians and surgeons.   Because of the sheer magnitude of the claims and their impact on the profession, Dr. Southwick and Mr. Sacopulos believe that this is an area that deserves more investigation.  They will discuss the antebellum state of medical malpractice litigation; the war years:  civilian versus military claims of medical negligence; and binding up the nation’s wounds:  medical malpractice litigation in post war America.

Science, Disease and Representation:  Medical Photography and the Transformation of American Medical Practice during the American Civil War, 1861-1865

Shauna Devine, Ph.D.

On May 21, 1862, Union Surgeon General William Hammond issued a circular letter directing doctors to send medical and surgical specimens to the new Army Medical Museum.  Physicians were asked to look for the seat of disease in organs and tissues, to study lesions and learn pathology.  Within this project, unique and interesting cases were documented through medical photography.  A topic about research and medical innovation, Dr. Devine will provide historical and epistemological reflection on the development of scientific medicine through the use of photography during the American Civil War.

Some on Planks and Stretchers:  An Overview of the History of Military Casualty Transport and the Establishment of a Fledgling Army Ambulance Corps on the Eve of the Battle of Antietam

Patrick M. Vance, MPH, CCHP

In the month before the Battle of Antietam, General McClellan issued General Orders No. 147 creating an organized ambulance corps in the Army of the Potomac.  Seventeen months later Congress, through Public Law No. 22, would create a Uniform System of Ambulances in the armies of the United States.  While these were momentous events, the realization of a need for an organized and disciplined method for handling battle casualties didn’t spring suddenly from the minds of a few gifted army planners.  Surgeons Jonathan Letterman in the Union Army and Samuel Stout of the Confederate Medical Service have been credited with changes in casualty handling that forms the foundation of systems still in place in armies throughout the world today.  Mr. Vance will discuss some of the precursors of the system developed by Letterman and Stout and the changing attitudes toward the collection and care of the wounded.

One Vast Hospital

The Reverend John W. Schildt, author of Antietam Hospitals – Dim and Flaring Lamps and NMCWM Board of Directors-Emeritus

A slide tour and discussion of the field hospital sites of Antietam—a prelude to the afternoon bus tour.

Bus Tour, Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

Islands of Mercy- Hospitals at Antietam

More than 100 farms, homes and churches were used for medical care during and after the Battle of Antietam.   John Schildt and Gordon Dammann, D.D.S., NMCWM Chairman/Board of Directors and licensed Antietam Battlefield Guide, will lead this off-the-beaten track tour.  See how the Letterman evacuation plan evolved.  Minimal walking.

Sunday, October 2, 8 a.m. – Noon

Military Medicine in the Wars of the Mid-Nineteenth Century

James F. Tent, Ph.D.

Dr. Tent will examine the military medical systems that were responsible for the care of soldiers in the Crimean War (1854-56), the War of Italian Unification (1859-60), the American Civil War (1861-1865), the brief Austro-Prussian War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71).  The sixteen year span of time was not long, but the evolution of military medicine in that brief time frame was by any standard revolutionary.  However, the picture was hardly one of uniform advancement and improvement.  There were many instances in which military care for combatants went retrograde, wars in which soldiers on the ground and their medical establishments refused to accept advances that would otherwise have save many lives.   Even so, the medical infrastructures that confronted the wars of the mid-nineteenth century had met a basic challenge.  They continued their steady advance in treating the soldiers who entered the hostile environment of the battlefield.

The Case Book of a Confederate Assistant Surgeon Trans Mississippi 1861-1865

Cynthia De Haven Pitcock, Ph.D.

Firsthand unpublished medical case book of a Southern surgeon in the Trans Mississippi Department.  Dr. Pitcock will discuss the hospital journal of Dr. Henry Dye, a young assistant surgeon in the Army of the Confederate States of America.  Dye’s journal invites study principally for two reasons:  first it clearly demonstrates the trend in American medicine toward pragmatic empiricism, away from the medicine-by-protocol of the eighteenth century, and Dye illustrated each of his cases with drawings and sketches of his wounded patients, with notes describing his methods of care as well as final outcomes. 

“That American Disease” Narcotic Use During and After the American Civil War

Philip S. Gibbs, M.D.

Recent work in the 1990s for the National Archives on Civil War pension records suggests that the use of narcotics for pain may not have been the cause of the massive addiction problem in post-Civil War America.  Dr. Gibbs will talk about the use and abuse of narcotics during the Civil War.  He will also cover the influence these Civil War experiences had on narcotic use up to the present, including how narcotics and companion drugs could have been utilized during the Civil War and are now used to augment pain management today.

Official Conference Hotel

Ramada Plaza Hotel

Located in Hagerstown, MD, the Ramada Plaza Hotel is in the historical district and close to the Maryland Theater.  Other nearby attractions include several restaurants, the Valley Mall, and Hagerstown Premium Outlets.  Regional points of interest also include its proximity to the Antietam Battlefield and the Pry House Field Hospital Museum.

This full-service hotel features the Fireside Restaurant & Lounge. A complimentary deluxe continental breakfast is served each morning and includes two hot entrees. Recreational amenities include an oversized indoor pool, a fitness center, and guest laundry facilities. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available throughout the Hotel.

All guestrooms feature coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards. Guestrooms are all non-smoking.  Kids 17 and under stay free.

Special conference rates are $79 Thursday-Saturday for a single king bed or two double beds.  Mini-suite for $89.   Mention the National Museum of Civil War Medicine (NMCWM) to receive the discounted rate.   Number of reserved rooms is limited.  Make your reservations early.  Phone 301-797-2500 for reservations.

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