Staggering numbers of sick and wounded soldiers placed unprecedented demands on the practice of medicine on both sides during the Civil War. This lecture describes the state of medical science in the 1860s and its application in Virginia during the war, mostly on the Confederate side. It also assess the complicated issue of care on the battlefield, transportation of patients to fixed general hospitals, and the role of sanitation.
Dr. Adrian Wheat practiced medicine for many years as an army surgeon and helped found the Society of Civil War Surgeons. Most recently he advised the museum on surgical topics for the exhibition An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia (now available to view online). This lecture was cosponsored with the Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Introduction by Paul Levengood)