USA: Death and Dying in the American Civil War

Lots of people died in the civil war. If you didn’t die, you would go to a hospital, where they did nasty things. They amputated, the hospital conditions were bad, and there were lots of infections.

The hospitals weren’t very clean at all, because most officers didn’t discipline it at all.

The cure for inflammation was to increase the rations of the sick soldier, and make him ride a horse. Another cure for it was to use leeches to suck about 15 ounces of blood out if him. If a limb had to be amputated, the doctors would use saws that looked like hack saws or solid saws.

They had lots of different kinds of ambulances in the civil war. The first kind had four wheels. The newer ones had two wheels. They could hold four wounded soldiers. One design was with two baskets on each side of a horse to carry wounded soldiers. The ambulances went in long trains. The doctor’s knapsacks were really just big filling cabinets, but they had medicine in them instead of files. Other knapsacks they had were just big. One wagon was invented that had four beds, one on top of the other. It didn’t work because it was too top-heavy. Even newer ambulances were mostly full of medicines, and could fit few soldiers in them.


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