Civil War Medicine on Film: Gone with the Wind (1939)

This is the first part of a series entitled “Civil War Medicine on Film,” a look into the ways medical care is depicted in Civil War films. Check out the link to the whole series here. Based off of Margaret Mitchell’s acclaimed Civil War romance novel about Georgia belle Scarlett O’Hara and her journey through love and war, the 1939 epic…

Waterborne Hospitals in the Peninsula Campaign of 1862

By early 1862, Major General George B. McClellan settled on a strategy to capture the capital of the southern Confederacy at Richmond, to transport his 120,000-man Army of the Potomac from Alexandria to Urbanna, Virginia via the Atlantic Ocean and advance 50 miles west to Richmond. On March 9, Confederate General Joseph Johnston pulled his…

The 118th Pennsylvania is Attacked by Yellow Jackets

On a hot, late summer afternoon in 1862, the newly-formed 118th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the Corn-Exchange Regiment, conducted initial field training at Camp Union near their hometown of Philadelphia. With nearly one thousand new recruits in battalion for drill, the regiment marched down a slope near their encampment, fully equipped with the regimental band and…

Becoming Hardened to Horror as a Surgeon

The nature of the Civil War surgeon’s work was harrowing, marked by bloodshed, gore, suffering, torture, and death. In the Overland Campaign of 1864, this was especially true as nearly 100,000 men became casualties of war in less than two months of near-continuous combat. On May 24, 1864, during the Battle of North Anna, Surgeon…