Battlefield Medicine

Our Army Nurses, 1897

“As I went around with the doctor to see the patients I noticed his arm, which was unbound. The loosely hanging flesh looked very dark, and the bone could be seen. I thought it was gangrene, and asked the doctor if they would not have to amputate again in order to save his life; but received no answer. I showed that I was green by speaking to a doctor in that manner. He was a young cadet, put there for practice…and it was very hard for them to submit to being treated by one who did not know his business. The same wash-basin and sponges were used for all and as a result gangrene got into the wounds, and that with the colds made quick work of most of them.”

Elizabeth Wheeler, in Our Army Nurses, a collection of memoirs of Civil War nurses, compiled by Mary Holland in 1897.

Amputation kit

Amputation kit used by Dr. Benjamin Cobb in the Civil War. From the History of Medicine Collection.

Amy Morris Bradley, undated

Nurse with the United States Sanitary Commission, 1860s. From the Amy Morris Bradley Papers.

Powell House Hospital, undated

Photograph of Powell House, a makeshift army hospital. From the Amy Morris Bradley Papers.

Soldiers and their medical conditions, 1863

Record book kept by Amy Morris Bradley listing Union soldiers, their regiments, their diseases, and their outcomes. Kept at her "little sanitary hospital," 1863. From the Amy Morris Bradley Papers.

Scrapbook kept by Amy Morris Bradley

Scrapbook opened to a photograph and a copied letter by Amy Morris Bradley, Dec. 31, 1863. The photograph shows a U.S. Sanitary Commission Relief Station, and includes Bradley in a plaid dress. From the Amy Morris Bradley Papers.

Title page from A Manual of Military Surgery, 1863

A Manual of Military Surgery, prepared for use by the Confederate States of America. Richmond: Ayres & Wade, 1863. Full text available from HathiTrust.

C.S.A. hospital notebook, undated

C.S.A. Hospital Department Surgical Notebook, undated

Medical supplies receipt, May 1864

Receipt of Medical and Hospital supplies turned over to Asst. Surgeon James E. Logan, 14th N.C. Troops, by Surgeon J.W. Tracy, 25 May 1864.

From the James Wright Tracy Papers, 1863-1894.

Letter from E.T. McCutchan to Dr. J. Tracy, 1864

Letter from E.T. McCutchan about her wounded son to Dr. J. Tracy, a surgeon, 22 May 1864. On the reverse of the page is a separate letter from McCutchan to her son.

From the James Wright Tracy Papers, 1863-1894.