With poorly trained staff, limited science and a mass of misery, regimental hospitals were often scenes of horror during the Civil War.
Military historian John Keegan in his new book writes about the conditions at a time when medicine was in a time of transition. Doctors new little about treating infections so common after wounds.
"The suffering was equally distributed between the two sides, and was felt particularly by those not present," Keegan writes. "The whole point of the war was to hold mothers, fathers, sisters and wives in a state of tortured apprehension, waiting for the terrible letter from hospital that spoke of wounds and which all too often presaged the death of a dear son, husband, or father."
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