Medical Photographs from the Civil War

Death from Disease

Re-enacting Photographs

Hint & Tips for Healthy Re-enacting


Medical Photographs from the Civil War

Ambulance Drill of the 57th New York Infantry - 1864

Amputation Being Performed in a Hospital Tent - Gettysburg, PA, July 1863

Convalescent Soldiers and Others Outside Quarters of the Sanitary Commission Home Lodge - Washington, D.C., April 1865

Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac and Staff - Warrenton, VA, November 1862

Embalming Surgeon at Work on Soldier's Body

Field Hospital after the Battle of June 27 - Savage Station, VA, June 30, 1862

Field Hospital of the 1st Division, 2nd Corps - Brandy Station, VA, February 1864

Group of Sanitary Commission Workers at the Entrance of the Home Lodge - Washington, D.C., June 1863

Group of Surgeons of the Army of the James - Fort Harrison, VA, April 1865


Hospital for Federal Officers- Nashville, TN, 1864

Hospital Stewards of 2nd Division, 9th Corps - Petersburg, VA, October 1864

Hospital Tents in the Rear of Douglas Hospital - Washington, D.C., 1864 May

Nurses and Officers of the U.S. Sanitary Commission - Fredericksburg, VA, May 1864

Patients in Ward K of Armory Square Hospital - Washington, D.C., August 1865

Patients in Ward of Harewood Hospital with Mosquito Nets Over Beds - Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sanitary Commission Building and Flag - Richmond, VA, 1865

Wagons of the Sanitary Commission and a Crowd at the Landing - Belle Plain, VA, 1864

Ward in the Carver General Hospital - Washington, D.C.

Workmen in Front of the Ambulance Shop - Washington, D.C., 1865 April


Wounded Soldiers Being Tended in the Field After the Battle of Chancellorsville - Near Fredericksburg, VA, May 2, 1863

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Death from Disease

Of the 618,000 deaths on both sides during the Civil War approximatly two thirds (414,000) were the result of disease. From the Records of the Union Army the different diseases and the fatalities from them are listed below.

Cases Disease




Continual Fever
Typho-malarial Fever
Acute Diarrhoea
Chronic Diarrhoea
Acute Dysentery
Chronic Dysentery

Delirium Tremens


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Re-enacting Photos

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Hint & Tips for Healthy Re-enacting
By Ian Morris

Over the past couple of years both before & during my stint as Regimental Hospital Steward and first aider, I have observed a few problems with health that with a bit of forward planning can be eased. Heat exhaustion and other problems on the field

Hot summers? Yes they can happen and 2000 was a prime example, remember Hale Carnival, we had quite a few go down due to overheating, but the heat can be deceiving, take Stanford Hall in 1999, very hot on the Saturday for the skirmish in the woods with the trees holding the heat in. In these cases remember to drink plenty of water, both before going on the field and on the field, ALWAYS make sure you take a full canteen with you on the field. Avoid drinks like coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks during hot weather as theses can cause dehydration, if you want a warm drink tea will quench your thirst better than coffee. Keep an eye on you neighbour/partner on the field, if you or they are feeling thirsty take a drink as soon as possible, any dizziness or feeling unwell at all, tell some one then they can get you help, there are a lot of members with fist aid training in some form or other, if you are unwell go down and stay down don't try to be a hero, someone will come and see to you. If you need urgent attention shout or wave your hand about. When filling your canteen if you are uncertain about the water quality use bottled water. One of the other problems that has occurred is that people have not eaten enough before going on the field, remember you could be expending a lot of energy running around the field wearing a wool uniform. If you have any medical problems e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart problems etc. please don't keep it a secret, carry a card in your cartridge box detailing any problems and let your regimental commanding officer or a friend in the regiment know, this information will be kept confidential by the officer/NCO in charge but will need to be available to the first aider in case of emergency, it only needs to be a piece of paper of small note book with your details in, remember it could save your life. Also if you feel unwell before going on the field, stay in camp, there is always some one back in camp that can keep an eye on you. Remember it's only a hobby. Another problem I have come across is people getting bits of paper & powder dust in their eyes, this is usually caused by people dropping the paper from their cartridge down the barrel of the musket and on firing it disintegrating and blowing in some ones eye. Please just tip the powder down you barrel. As another safety precaution remember don't stand or march in front of the artillery and keep an eye open for ground charges. If you carry a bayonet on the field make certain that it cannot drop out of its scabbard accidentally.


Care around the camp.

Remember to take care around the camp fire, never grab a hot kettle or pan with bare hands the handles get very hot and can cause quite a bad burn, always use a glove. Never put an empty kettle over the flames always fill it up first. All chopping of wood should be done in a clear area away from others, keep a special lookout for children coming close to you. Never let young children play with an axe, if you are uncertain how to use an axe safely, ask someone to teach you. Always wear boots when chopping wood preferably steel toecaps, and always 'ground' the blade in a lump of wood or put the axe carefully away when you have finished using it. NEVER sit on the floor chopping at a piece of wood with an axe; one slip could slice through an artery quite easily. When cooking always make sure that the food is cooked through properly, boil the water thoroughly if you are uncertain about it, I know quite a few of us have had upset stomachs at one time or another.


Taking care of an infantryman's most important piece of equipment. Your feet

Remember after the long battles at Eastnor Castle last year, all everyone wanted to do was soak their feet in a bucket of water. A few precautions beforehand can help stopping you getting blisters, always make sure that you boots are the correct size, leather boots need care to help preserve the natural suppleness of the leather, always use the correct dubbing and polish for them. It is best to wear 2 pairs of socks the inner cotton and the outer wool, a bit of talcum powder in you socks will help keep your feet cool. If you get your feet wet or they sweat a lot, remove your boots and socks when you get back to camp and dry your feet. If you get a blister don't pop it, cover it with a clean dressing or if it's quite a bad one see your fist aider.


If you have anything to add to this or any suggestions please contact me.

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