The Medical Department of the Confederate Army was conceived in an emergency, organized with inadequate and poorly trained personnel, and confronted with a tremendous job in caring for the sick and wounded in battle. It is estimated that more than 600,000 Confederate soldiers were mobilized and that on the average each one fell victim to disease or received wounds approximately six times during the war. More than 200,000 Southern soldiers either were killed on the battlefield or died as a result of illness or wounds during the war.1 There were thousands of Union prisoners also who required medical care on the field or in hospitals. This was accomplished with less than 3,000 medical officers who served in the Confederate Army and Navy.
The background of medicine south of the Mason-Dixon line prior to 1861 placed the Confederacy at a considerable disadvantage with the North. The first medical periodical, The
CONFEDERATE MILITARY MEDICINE. JAMA. 1961;175(5):394-395. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040050050013