Book ID: CBB001213174

Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (2013)


Humphreys, Margaret E. (Author)

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 2013
Physical Details: 400 pp.
Language: English

The Civil War was the greatest health disaster the United States has ever experienced, killing more than a million Americans and leaving many others invalided or grieving. Poorly prepared to care for wounded and sick soldiers as the war began, Union and Confederate governments scrambled to provide doctoring and nursing, supplies, and shelter for those felled by warfare or disease. During the war soldiers suffered from measles, dysentery, and pneumonia and needed both preventive and curative food and medicine. Family members---especially women---and governments mounted organized support efforts, while army doctors learned to standardize medical thought and practice. Resources in the north helped return soldiers to battle, while Confederate soldiers suffered hunger and other privations and healed more slowly, when they healed at all. In telling the stories of soldiers, families, physicians, nurses, and administrators, historian Margaret Humphreys concludes that medical science was not as limited at the beginning of the war as has been portrayed. Medicine and public health clearly advanced during the war---and continued to do so after military hostilities ceased.

Reviewed By

Review Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein (2018) Review of "Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War". Pharmacy in History (pp. 152-153). unapi

Review Wintermute, Bobby (2014) Review of "Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War". The Journal of the Civil War Era (pp. 323-326). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Hasegawa, Guy R.
Schmidt, James M.
Douglas D. Scott
Lowry, Thomas P.
Smith, William Mervale
Smith, George Winston
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Journal of Military History
Stackpole Books
Pharmaceutical Products Press (Haworth Press)
University of Pennsylvania Press
Edinborough Press
University of Virginia Press
Medicine and the military; medicine in war
Physicians; doctors
Nurses and nursing
World War I
Letterman, Johnathan
United States
Virginia (U.S.)
North Carolina (U.S.)
Pennsylvania (U.S.)
Southern states (U.S.)
19th century
20th century, early
United States. Army

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