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Books, Journals, New Media
August 4, 1999

Civil WarGangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Civil War

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1999;282(5):491-492. doi:10.1001/jama.282.5.491

Gangrene and Glory is a title guaranteed to catch one's attention. This well-illustrated work deals with the years 1861 through 1865 of the American Civil War. The author's intent is to examine medical care available during the war and whether disease and its treatment (or lack thereof) played a significant role in influencing the ultimate outcome.

The magnitude and significance of the internecine struggle is fading in the memories of succeeding generations, and the book should provide a greater awareness of this national tragedy. To put it into perspective, the Civil War was responsible for the greatest number of casualties of any war in our nation's history. Despite a truly magnificent effort, including new documentation of medical activities, the exact number of battlefield deaths, wounded survivors, infections, and disease will remain unknown. It has been estimated by Rutkow1 based on wide research that the estimates in Table 1 are generally reliable.

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