Category Archives: Medicine

Medical Challenges of the Civil War

Confederate and Union armies both experienced many, many injuries and casualties of their soldiers during the Civil War.  Medical supplies were minimal and medical advancements were slow.  However, medical personnel learned many things during the Civil War and new techniques emerged throughout the years during the Civil War.

Following individual battles of the Civil War, medical personnel were greatly challenged with the huge numbers of injured soldiers.  Knowledge concerning sanitation and hygiene was not commonplace prior to the Civil War.  Doctors reportedly used the same medical instruments on multiple patients and would simply wipe the instruments off with a towel between procedures, such as amputations.  Doctors, also, did not yet recognize the importance of washing their hands between patients.  Due to this lack of sanitation, diseases and infections spread rapidly among soldiers.  During the early years of the Civil War, medical personnel learned to improve their sanitation standards in order to slow down the spread of diseases and infections.

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