Book Review: Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine


by James M. Schmidt and Guy R. Hasegaw, editors

Roseville, Minn.: Edinborough Press, 2009. Pp. x, 182. Illus, tables, notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN: 978-1-88902-036-5

Essays on the state of medical services during the Civil War, edited by two experienced students of medical history.

In this volume, Schmidt, most recently author of the very well-received Lincoln's Labels: America's Best-Known Brands and the Civil War, science writer Hasegaw, and six other specialists in medical history, look at various aspects of medical training, science, and services during the war.  The essays cover medical education in the Confederacy, with a focus on the Medical College of Virginia, medical developements as reported at the time by Scientific American, amputation and its consequences, medical and surgical innovations in the South, wartime developments in the control and treatment of various diseases, the problems associated with injuries to the urogential system, Confederate pharmacological efforts, the influence of the war on the development of neurology, and the long-term physical and psychological consequences of combat on the veteran, this last a problem that still presents difficulties for the delivery of medical services.

An important addition to the literature on medical practice during the war, and one that written so that it is understandable to the layman.

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   

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