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.
It took me forever to read this fairly slim volume, but due to my Lyme/Mold induced concentration issues not the dullness of the book.
Rev. J.L. Underwood's The Women of the Confederacy is a most interesting book. I would actually classify it as a compilation for the majority of the short articles and stories were actually originally written for various publications and many by persons other than Rev. Underwood.
The purpose of the book was to extoll the virtues of the Southern women, as well as give some historical background and some insight into the cause to which they sacrificed so much. I think that the purpose was executed quite well.
I would certainly recommend this book for those interested in War Between the States history. I got my copy from Sprinkle Publications a few years back at conference prices, but I have also discovered it here on Project Gutenburg.
Burke Davis' 1957 biography on Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart was a fantastic read.
Mr. Davis quotes extensively from first hand accounts of Stuart's life, some of whom were as colorful themselves as was the general. The writing style is highly engaging and keeps one turning the pages.
Through this book, I got a picture of JEB Stuart as a man who was extremely quick on his feet--both in battle and in wit. He had a tremendous sense of humor as these short excepts will demonstrate:
In one skirmish Stuart's troopers captured a Federal captain and took him to headquarters, where Jeb questioned him:
There are multitude of other short one-liners of similar sort that left me laughing and wondering how anyone can be so quick on their feet.
Stuart, for all his flirtation with pretty young ladies, was completely devoted to his wife and children.
Most importantly, the general was a man of firm Christian faith--a faith which rivaled that of Stonewall Jackson and Lee. He was fearless in battle for he confessed that no harm would befall him unless such was God's will.
These are a few of the observations I came away with concerning the man himself.
Mr. Davis naturally spends a deal of time on the actual conflicts that Stuart was engaged in, but never do they become dull or boring. He keeps the reader attached to the narrative...I appreciate how he draws from multiple sources, both Confederate and Union, for different views and perceptions of events. If I am allowed a rabbit trail here, I find it highly amusing at times the vast discrepancies between Southern and Northern battle reports. Both sides frequently claim the victory and tell of the foe's flight and disorganization as though the other were mere cowards. Interesting, but not necessarily surprising, I suppose.
All in all, I would recommend the book; it seems to me to be a very level-headed account, written by a man who perhaps had Southern sympathies (I never could quite tell). Because I enjoyed this one so well, I look forward to reading Burke Davis' biography of General R.E. Lee (which I was recently delighted to find amongst some books I had packed away).
"With a Pelham on each flank, I think I could whip the world." ~~ General "Stonewall" Jackson's tribute to the gallant chief of J.E.B. Stuart's Horse Artillery.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for multiple reasons: 1) it is self-consciously Christian; 2) it's about a Confederate hero whom I knew nothing about; 3) it has to do with artillery. I have a 'thing' for artillery, frightening as it would be to be in front of it in action.
As I mentioned above, I had never heard of "The Gallant Pelham", so I learned quite a bit. In addition to that, this educational book gave me a greater insight into particular aspects of the campaigning in Virginia from 1861 to early-1863.
My only "complaint" with the book might that the writing style is somewhat choppy--however, as that does not detract from the quality of the information, I really will not complain about it. A child could read this book without getting lost and bogged down in technical details. It's clear and while somewhat rambly, quite an interesting read.
I found, as I read, that I was drawn to the noble character of Major John Pelham--who was, by all accounts, as calm and fearless in battle as Stonewall Jackson himself.
So, if you do not have this one on your shelf and you have an interest in War Between the States history...or even just artillery geniuses, I recommend getting 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.