Military Medicine: Does Rank Matter?

Last week at Gazette665’s Fourth Annual Civil War History Conference – 1864: Fighting To Survive – I had the opportunity to teach about the ’64 Shenandoah Valley Campaign but with a twist. Militarily and medically! I’d been planning this presentation for a year and drawing on my studies of primary sources to build a new look at Civil War medical history.

This month on the blog for our Friday post I wanted to share some thoughts and research I’ve been doing “on the side” about Military Medicine across different eras. I promise not to get too “gory and gross” (as my mom would call it).

We’ll kick off the month with some thoughts about rank and if/when/how this has affected survival rates, digging back into medieval history and then moving forward on the timeline.

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1862: “A Thread Of Red That Looked Like Blood”

Water was what I wanted and I believe, had the whole army been firing at me I would have gotten my canteen filled. Our regiment was going on a run when they crossed this little stream. It was only about a foot from bank to bank, dirty and black by the many feet that had accidentally trod into it. I stopped and scooped out a hole in the mud and put my canteen in to fill it. While doing this, another regiment passed over me and I was cut off from our. I didn’t seem to care. Continue reading

1862: “Near Manassas Junction”

September 1, 1862

…We were engaged with the enemy at and near Manassas Junction Tuesday and Wednesday, and again near the battle-field of Manassas on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; in all of which God gave us the victory. May He ever be with us, and we ever be his devoted people, is my earnest prayer. It greatly encourages me to feel that so many of God’s people are praying for that part of our force under my command. The Lord has answered their prayers; He has again placed us across Bull Run; and I pray that He will make our arms entirely successful, and that all the glory will be given to His holy name, and none of it to man. God has blessed and preserved me through His great mercy. On Saturday, Colonel Baylor and Hugh White were both killed, and Willie Preston was mortally wounded… Continue reading