A Medical History of the Civil War


Civil War buffs will enjoy the stories and history told by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. Unlike other Civil War museums, this one approaches the sugject matter from a strictly medicinal point of view and tells the story of the conflict on the battlefield through the eyes of the nurses and doctors who treated Union and Confederate soldiers. There are interactive educational programs throughout the museum including exhibits, seminars, and lectures that tell the story of the war. The museum considers itself the "premiere repository of exhibits and artifacts devoted to the technological and procedural advances made in the medical field between 1861 and 1865.''

The museum's theme, "Divided by Conflict, United by Passion,'' also encapsulates the feeling surrounding Civil War history. There are over 1,500 artifacts incuding surgical instruments, pharmaceutical bottles and containers, medical knapsacks and panniers, prosthetic devices, stretchers and litters, and dental tools. Also included in the collection is a table that was used for amputation, a practice very common when wounding occurred in Civil War battles. There is a Union Army Hospital flag, and the original volume of the famous medical book "Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion.''

Educators will be pleased with the variety of materials available for them to incorporate into student lessons. The museum also offers school tours and field trips, complete with a corresponding curriculum that will enhance the visit. Even a child completely uninterested in history will be interesed in the real life tools and equipment that was used on the Civil War battlefield. The museum brings to life the history of the earlier days of the country, and children with an interest in medical science will be thrilled with their ability to recognize the development of early tools into the modern materials of today.

Memberships for the museum are available and offer admission at a discounted rate. Adult admission is $6.50. Students and members of the military are $6.00, and kids age 10 - 16 can get into the museum for $4.50.The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 - 5:00 pm and Sundays from 11 - 5:00 pm. There are internship opportunities and the museum holds a variety of special educational events including conferences, lectures, and fundraisers. Those who would like to become more involved should consider one of the museum's internship or volunteer opportunities.

When your trip tour of the museum has ended, be sure to pay a visit to their on site gift shop. The shop offers a variety of collectibles, apparel, logo items, information packed books, educational resources, and multi-media items that can be used for months and years to come. Children will love reliving their experience to the museum, and continuing to learn about the tools and objects they were able to view on their tour. Whether you are an educator looking for a way to bring lessons about America's Civil War to live, or a person who participate in re-enactments, or someone who just takes an interest in medical developments, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine will intrigue and educate you.

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Apr 7, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
Question: Where can I find examples or information about the flags that Dr. Letterman had made up, at his own expense, for Corp Hospitals, and Medical Directors of the Army of the Potomac?

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