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Title:Medical care during the American Civil War
Author(s):Freemon, Frank Reed
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burton, Orville Vernon
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery
History of Science
Abstract:This work examines medical care during the American Civil War. The medical departments of the opposing armies had much in common. Both were organized along the same structural lines, that of the old U.S. Army. Northern and Southern doctors possessed the same base of medical knowledge. Both medical services expanded from a small nidus of experienced military physicians to a huge system of general hospitals, caring for thousands of sick and wounded soldiers. Using collated medical statistics, this work compares the results of medical efforts by the North and the South and concludes that the Medical Department of the United States Army was superior to its counterpart of the Confederate States Army.
Northern medical care continued to improve throughout the War. Despite massive efforts at improvisation, Confederate medicine deteriorated after 1863. The North enjoyed an abundance of medical supplies; most important was the anti-malarial drug quinine. This abundance, compared to the relative paucity available to the Confederacy, provides a partial explanation for the superiority of Northern medical care. A more important difference between Northern and Southern medicine involves leadership at the highest levels. The vigorous direction of Union medicine by Surgeon General William A. Hammond helped keep Northern armies healthy. The leadership of Confederate Surgeon General Samuel Preston Moore was dignified but less effective. Ironically, when the War ended, Moore remained as the honored chief of Confederate medicine, while Hammond had been dismissed from the Union army because of a court-martial conviction on trumped up charges.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Freemon, Frank Reed
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236462
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236462

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