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        Civil War Disease and Wound Infection

        Before war in the twentieth century, disease was the number one killer of combatants. However, recent studies show the number of deaths from disease was close to 750,000. Crowded conditions, poor hygiene, absence of sanitary disposal of garbage and human waste, inadequate diets, and no specific disease treatments was a formula for disaster.

        Infection was the curse of the wounded soldier. No matter how slight a wound, once the skin was broken the chances were good that a deadly bacterial infestation would lead to drastic therapies, multiple operations, amputations and frequently death. Hospitals were filled with patients slowly healing over months and then a secondary infection would take hold.

        Hospital Ward, Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, VA

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Disease Ward, Harewood US Army General Hospital, Washington, DC

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Emaciated Soldier Daniel Rich, Co C 10th Veterans Reserve Corps

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Recuperating from Typhoid Fever, Michael Ashen, Co H 9th New York Cavalry

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Chronic Dysentery, Aaron Parker, Co D 1st Maine Cavalry

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Blind from Infectious Ophthalmia, Otis Hemenway, Co H 10th Veterans Reserve Corps

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Large Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, VA

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Gunshot Wound of the Left Hand with Secondary Infection, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Gunshot Wound with Infection and Swelling of the Right Arm, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Superficial Gunshot Wound of the Right Thigh with Infection Causing Erosion of Femoral Artery and Death, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Gunshot Wound Right Hip with Infection, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Infection Treated with Antiseptic, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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        Erysipelas of the Right Arm After Amputation of the Thumb, Surgeon R.B. Bontecou

        Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

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