View single post by cklarson
 Posted: Sat Mar 7th, 2009 07:34 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 23rd, 2007
Posts: 111

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What reigment was your uncle in? I also had a ggguncle who died of wounds received at Stone's River. He was with the 36th IL who held the position near the RR tracks, I think, on the night of 12/31, serving under Sheridan.

He was captured and not returned to Union lines for a few days, so that could have made the difference in his survival, that is, proper medical treatment.

RE: wounds. Army doctors knew to sterilize wounds going back to Medieval times. They used either vinegar (which also stops bleeding) or wine. Frontier doctors also knew to use vinegar which was a staple for a number of conditions, including sunburn and fever. Microscopes were available, and doctore knew they were looking at germs, but didn't know what to associate them with. I think the real danger was surgery, as the contract surgeons just dipped scalpels in the same tub of bloody water. Nurses who were more likely to be home physicians knew better to keep things clean and ventilated. I've read a number of accounts of  nurses saving men's lives after doctors had given up on them. Let us also remember that discouragement and other conditions can complicate the patient's survivability: how long he's lain on the field or been taken prisoner, heat and cold, dampness, etc.


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