Title page for ETD etd-02092007-102013


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ballou, Charles F.
URN etd-02092007-102013
Title Hospital medicine in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War : a study of Hospital No. 21, Howard's Grove and Winder hospitals
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robertson, James I. Jr. Committee Chair
Adriance, Thomas J. Committee Member
La Berge, Ann F. Committee Member
Keywords
  • History 19th century
  • Virginia Richmond
  • Hospitals
Date of Defense 1992-05-05
Availability restricted
Abstract
Neither the Union nor the Confederacy was prepared to care for the massive numbers of sick and wounded which occurred at the onset of the Civil War. While their surgeons benefited from the knowledge gained during the Crimean War regarding the cleanliness of military hospitals, the isolation of infection, and the use of the new general anesthetics, no facilities for their use existed in America.

The Confederate Chief Surgeon, Samuel Preston Moore, had no entrenched medical bureaucracy to battle. By early 1862 he had formed a well-organized medical department and had many hospitals operational.

His surgeons shared the problems of their northern colleagues: ignorance of the cause of infection, inadequate training, and untrained hospital personnel to care for the sick and wounded. What the South did not share with the North was alack of resources which was intensified by a naval blockade.

This narrative thesis uses records from three Richmond hospitals of 1862-1865 to reveal the problems faced by all hospital personnel, and to address the question of responsibility for the high rates of hospital morbidity and mortality which occurred. It is technically oriented to give both physicians and laymen insight into the day to day triumphs and tragedies of these men and women who worked under nearly impossible conditions.

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