Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862

SUNY Press
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The care of the sick, wounded, and dying during the American Civil War was a complex endeavor that brought ordinary men and women into contact with the terror of the battlefield. Hospital Transports is a compilation of letters and other papers written by physicians and nurses serving aboard the Union hospital steamboat Daniel Webster in the summer of 1862. The text details sleeping arrangements, cooking and feeding schedules, medical practices, and the incorporation of liberated slaves from the Lee plantation into the daily work of the ship. Clearly described are the emotional, visceral reactions of the corps of medical personnel who, as their ship makes its way along the Potomac picking up casualties, question the philosophies at the root of war, and the metaphysical questions concerning the definitions of life and death.
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About the author

Laura L. Behling is Assistant Professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College and the author of The Masculine Woman in America, 1890–1935.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2012
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Pages
170
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ISBN
9780791483657
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Medical / Medical History & Records
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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With this beautifully illustrated photographic history, the acclaimed author of Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs has taken his expertise one step further and illuminated this history in images.

Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History is an extensive collection of never-before-published photographs taken during the Civil War. It provides a visual encyclopedia of medical facilities, individual surgeons, and other medically related phenomena, accompanied by a text describing the main features of Civil War medicine.

Although there are many books containing photographs of the Civil War, this is the first to cover medical treatment facilities in this era. A perfect gift for Civil War buffs, historians, and medical history enthusiasts, the text of this beautiful picture book also gives a complete overview of the medical experiences of the Civil War. The books extensive collection of individual Civil War surgeons displaying their uniforms and equipment will be of especial interest to Civil War reenactors, and its depiction of existing pre-war structures converted to hospitals will fascinate those interested in contemporary architecture. A major strength of the book is its large number of Cartes de Visites, or photographs of individual surgeons, which descendants of Civil War participants often collect. Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History covers all the main features of Civil War Medicine, including:

Confederate aspects of Civil War medicine Contemporary prominent medical educators Civil War hospitals and hospital stewards Field hospitals
Surgery, dentistry, and embalming Nursing With hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History is an essential addition to any enthusiasts collection.
The contemporary perspectives - fiction, first-hand accounts, reportage and photographs - found in the pages of this collection give a unique insight into the experiences and suffering of those affected by the American Civil War. The essays and recollections detail some of the earliest attempts by medical professionals to understand and help the wounded, and look at how writers and poets were influenced by their own involvement as nurses, combatants and observers. So alongside the medical observations of figures such as Silas Weir Mitchell and William Keen, you'll find memoirs of writers including Louisa May Alcott, Ambrose Bierce and Walt Whitman. By presenting the wide range of frequently traumatic experiences by writers, medical staff, and of course the often ignored common foot soldiers on both sides, this volume will complement the older emphasis on military history and will appeal to readers of the evolution of medicine, of the literature the time, of social anthropology, and of the whole complex issue of how the war was represented and debated from many different perspectives. While a century and a half of developments in medicine, social care and science mean that the level of support and technology available to amputees is now incomparable to that in the mid-nineteenth century, the insights into the lives and thoughts of those devastated by psychological traumas, complex emotions and difficulties in adjusting to life after limb loss remain just as relevant today. Phenomena explored in the book, such as 'Phantom Limb Syndrome', continue to be the subject of medical and academic research in the twenty-first century.
Well Satisfied with My Position offers a first-person account of army life during the Civil War’ s Peninsula Campaign and Battle of Fredericksburg. Spencer Bonsall, who joined the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward, kept a journal from March 1862 until March 1863, when he abruptly ceased writing. Editors Michael A. Flannery and Katherine H. Oomens place his experiences in the context of the field of Civil War medicine and continue his story in an epilogue.

Trained as a druggist when he was in his early twenties, Bonsall traveled the world, spent eight years on a tea plantation in India, and settled in Philadelphia, where he worked in the city surveyor’ s office. But in March 1862, when he was in his mid-forties, the lure of serving his country on the battlefield led Bonsall to join the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward.

Bonsall enjoyed his life with the Union army at first, comparing bivouacking in the woods to merely picnicking on a grand scale. “ We are about as jolly a set of old bachelors as can be found in Virginia,” Bonsall wrote. But his first taste of the aftermath of battle at Fair Oaks and the Seven Days’ Battles in Virginia changed his mind about the joys of soldiering— though he never lost his zeal for the Union cause.

Bonsall details the camp life of a soldier from firsthand experience, outlines the engagements of the 81st, and traces the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Peninsula Campaign. He records facts not available elsewhere about camp conditions, attitudes toward Union generals and Confederate soldiers, and troop movements.

From the end of June to late October 1862, Bonsall’ s illness kept him from writing in his journal. He picked up the record again in December 1862, just before the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in which the Union suffered a staggering 10,200 casualties and the 81st Pennsylvania lost more than half its men. He vividly describes the bloody aftermath. Bonsall’ s horse was shot out from underneath him at the battle of Gettysburg, injuring him seriously and ending his military career. Although he was listed as “ sick in hospital” on the regiment’ s muster rolls, he was labeled a deserter in the U.S. Army records. Indeed, after recovery from his injuries, Bonsall walked away from the army to resume life in Philadelphia with his wife and child.

Published for the first time, Bonsall’ s journal offers an unusually personal glimpse into the circumstances and motives of a man physically ruined by the war. Seventeen illustrations, including some drawn by Bonsall himself, help bring this narrative to life.

The Resource Handbook for Academic Deans, Third Edition

This thoroughly revised volume is written by and for academic administrators. Each chapter explores a particular challenge or issue that has been identified by the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) members as most relevant in their role as academic leaders, then provides practical step-by-step guidance that can help deans navigate even the toughest of situations.

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American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) is a nonprofit individual membership organization dedicated to the professional development of academic leaders. ACAD’s mission is to assist these leaders as they advance in careers dedicated to the ideals of liberal education.

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