Saturday, June 8, 2013

Civil War Medicines

Gettysburg and Mechanicsburg are commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.  Mechanicsburg was the Northernmost point the Southern Gents reached before they were called back to a skirmish in Gettysburg.  Our Mechanicsburg Museum Association is hosting a variety of programming on the Civil War including this one by Historian Sammi Lehman on  Medicines of the Civil War.  Cedar was chosen to be the volunteer for the bandaging demonstration.  

 Her presentation included the facts and information on Medical Doctors but also included information that farm boys and country doctors would have had on using herbs and plants as poultices, decoctions and teas.
 
It was a well researched and balanced presentation with lots of hands on information and an interesting display.

 Below is a pill roller and tile to measure the pills you make. Mix the herbs with fat, lard or beeswax and roll into a pill.
 War time always leads to advancements in technology and in medicine.  During the Civil War, they began to use horse tail hair for sutures but boiled it first to wash off the horse poop and to make it more supple.  This lead to a major advancement in the germ theory. 

Another program on Civil War Medicine and Battlefield Triage will be presented by Sammi Lehman at the Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg on Saturday, June 29th.  Click here for additional information.

2 comments:

Angela McRae said...

How very interesting! I'm especially intrigued by the comment, "War time always leads to advancements in technology and in medicine." Never thought of it that way but I can see you're right. (Thank goodness *something* good can come out of it.) There have been lots of local programs observing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War down here as well, but I don't think I've heard of anything like this program. Wish I could have been there!

Marilyn said...

Now this would have been a fascinating lecture, one I have enjoyed.