To What Extent Were Medical Advancements of the Civil War Beneficial?

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The goal of this investigation is to evaluate to what extent were medical advancements of the civil war beneficial? In order to assess this question from multiple perspectives of the topic, research is needed to further look into pre civil war medicine, diseases of the civil war, medical staff of the civil war, as well as the motivation behind advancements in medical technology. The pre and post-war periods of time will be considered in this investigation in order to make connections between the war and its affect on medical advancements. Acknowledging all aspects of the topic will give a holistic approach to researching, giving evidence, and in-depth analysis. Among the multitude of technological advancements made during this time period, this investigation will only be assessing those of medical relevancy. The two sources utilized for evaluation include Mary Gillett’s Office of Medical History - The Army Medical Department and _____ by, evaluated for their origins, purposes, values, and limitations. Summary of Evidence Prior to the civil war, medical knowledge was at its bare minimum, relying on the old world view, using the correction of imbalances of the body as treatment (Civil War Medicine). Religion also played a significant role in the treatment of the wounded, often relying on prayer and the “healing powers of The Lord” to get better as opposed to diagnosing and treating disease scientifically as we do today (Haller). These methods of healing were the primary views behind the typical approach to cure any injury or illness through bleeding a patient. During the devastation that was the Civil War, nurses and physicians learned through experience and exposure how to treat such traumas. This sparked the revolution of medi... ... middle of paper ... .... American Medicine in Transition 1840-1910. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1981. Print. Harris, Sharon M. "Civil War Surgeon." Dr. Mary Walker: An American Radical, 1832-1919. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2009. 32-35. Print. Heidler, David Stephen. "Medicine." Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Vol. 3. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 2000. 1303-309. Print. Schlager, Neil. "Medicine in Warfare in the Nineteenth Century." Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. 332-34. Print. Schultz, Jane E. "Coming into Their Own." Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2004. 113-15. Print. Wilbur, C. Keith. Civil War Medicine, 1861-1865. Old Saybrook, CT: Globe Pequot, 1998. Print.

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