A consistently engaging overview of Civil War medicine in its every aspect. Based on careful research and mastery of an abundant literature, Marrow of Tragedy provides a powerful depiction of a subject revealing of a dynamic and increasingly complex American society. -- Charles Rosenberg, Harvard University If there is one study that shows us the significance of sickness in the Civil War, and the attempts to define and counter it, this is it. With admirable scholarship and an eye for key turning points, Humphreys has written a compelling history of the war's medical costs and achievements. -- Steven M. Stowe, Indiana University Full of fresh perspectives, thoughtful insights, and judicious re-assessments, this sweeping synthesis by an outstanding historian will fundamentally change the way we think about Civil War medical history. For scholars and general readers alike, Marrow of Tragedy is a must-read book. -- James C. Mohr, University of Oregon
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Understanding Civil War Medicine2. Women, War, and Medicine3. Infectious Disease in the Civil War4. Connecting Home to Hospital and Camp5. The Sanitary Commission and Its Critics6. The Union's General Hospital7. Medicine for a New Nation8. Confederate Medicine9. Mitigating the Horrors of War10. A Public Health Legacy11. Medicine in Postwar AmericaAfterwordNotesIndex
Margaret Humphreys is the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, a professor of history, and a professor of medicine at Duke University. She is the author of Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War, Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States, and Yellow Fever and the South.
An immensely readable synthesis of what [Humphreys] terms 'the greatest health disaster that this country has ever experienced.' * The News & Observer *
Humphreys' work accomplishes several tasks. It puts mid-nineteenth century health care through a prism of military concerns, civilian responses to war, medical science, and women's environment. It offers clear and concise depictions of individuals and their vendettas, such as military officers embracing or not tolerating civilian efforts. Marrow of Tragedy presents a compelling story of Americans, civilian and military, struggling together to do acts of mercy and create better environments during an era of brother against brother bloodshed. * Civil War Book Review *
In many ways, Marrow of Tragedy is likely to remain the definitive general medical history of the war for years to come... The book has high production values and makes one of the most important contributions to our understanding of that so-called third army of the Civil War-disease-and the efforts of those on both sides of the MasonDixon to fight it. It needs to be read by specialists and nonspecialists alike and should find a place on the shelf of every academic library worthy of the name. * Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences *
Margaret Humphreys has made a significant contribution to the literature of Civil War medicine and of medicine in general by sharply focusing on rear-echelon military healthcare. She adroitly uses primary and secondary sources to explain the implications of such innovations as hospitals, nongovernmental organizations, reforms in sanitation, and the employment of women as nurses and other healthcare workers. For anyone interested in war and medicine, Marrow of Tragedy shines a bright light on previously unexplored aspects of the Civil War and their impact on American society. * Michigan War Studies Review *
Through each chapter, Humphreys challenges our understanding of mid-nineteenth-century American medicine... Humphreys has done an outstanding job presenting a comprehensive picture of the stat of health care before, during, and in the years following the Civil War... Marrow of Tragedy is a valuable contribution to the literature of the history of medicine during the Civil War and should be read by anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the time period. Margaret Humphreys is to be commended for work well done. -- Michael C. Hardy * Blue and Gray Magazine *