A Modern Perspective of American Medical Care of Civil War Soldiers and African Slaves
This book, authored by RN Paulette Snoby, was interesting, though not the best written book I've ever read.
The somewhat choppy writing of the book does not detract from the information Ms. Snoby covers. She actually begins her telling long before the Civil War with Revolutionary War medicine. She discusses hospital, medical theories, innovations, experiments, common diseases, etc.
The first four chapters cover Antebellum medicine--primarily for whites.
The fifth through seventh chapters concern the Negro medicine--both plantation care and otherwise. (It is here that I had one particular caveat...even while in the midst of describing the care that the slave-owners took of their slaves, she simultaneously adheres to the common myth that slave-owners tended to be uncaring of their slaves bodies and well being. There is a bit of dichotomy here.)
The eighth chapter covers the soldier's medical care during the war while the ninth, and final, chapter sums up the advances and the sometimes accidental breakthroughs made during the war in the medical field.
All in all, I would not hesitate to recommend this book as a brief overview of the period's medical system.
Doctors in Gray: The Confederate Medical Service by H.H. Cunningham
I had no idea when I pulled this book off my "War Between the States" bookshelf what kind of a read it was going to be. I was therefore delighted to find that it was not dull and boring. The author has an engaging writing style and covers what could be an extremely dull topic in an interesting fashion. One aspect that I particularly liked was his use of first person accounts to add a little more context to things.
Granted, there were times I said to myself, "I think I need a medical dictionary!" or "What on earth is that? I need to look that up..."
He covered the formation of the Confederate Medical Service, including hospitals and how and by whom they were run. In addition, topics like prevalent diseases and their common treatments, surgery, and the means of supply procurement are covered.
Each chapter is written almost like a separate essay and there are a handful of illustrations.
All in all, I thought it a good book and would recommend it to any reenactor desirous of getting into the medical scene at Civil War reenactments (Surgeons, stewards, nurses, etc.) as it gives an easy-to-read background to the entire field. I found that it prompted ideas for further research and I think I shall keep it fairly handy for quick reference. (It also has an extensive bibliography which certainly may serve to be of use for further study.)
I picked up my slightly cigarette-smoke odored copy at a yard-sale several years back (along with a stack of other WBtS's related tomes), but a quick search of the internet reveals a variety of places at which to purchase it.
A Reformed Presbyterian girl who enjoys a good movie or a good book any ol'
Note: All images picked up online. No copyright infringment intended.