The Role of Photography

Have you ever heard the saying “I learn something new every day”?  I had to hire the best roofing contractor Homewood AL has to offer because of the recent storms in the area. He was using a drone to take photographs of my roof and apparently he is a novice photographer on the side. I told him about how my side project is to research and write about the Civil War and he mentioned that it wasn’t until the Civil War period that photography was used to capture iconic war images of battlefields, armies, and the difficult times of that era.  This conversation with him sparked my curiosity about the use of photographs during the Civil War, so I decided to research the subject a little bit further.

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The Battle of Antietam

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars in all of American history.  Of all the battles fought during the war, the Battle at Antietam was one of the bloodiest battles.

The Battle of Antietam, which is also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862.  In that one single day in September, almost 23,000 soldiers died, were injured, were captured, or were reported missing.  It was an unforgettable day in American history, as it is remembered as the single most bloody day ever on American soil.

The Battle of Antietam was the first battle fought on Union territory during the Civil War.  Neither the Union nor the Confederate armies are said to have “won” this particular battle, due to the large number of casualties and injuries on both sides.

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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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Welcome to the Civil War History Hub.  There is a lot of information to be shared about this significant event in the history of the U.S.  Check back soon for more content!  In the meantime, you can watch this video that recaps the Civil War: