The Civil War was a turning point in American history, and now you can explore this fascinating period of time through the National Library of Medicine (NLM) exhibit, “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” which opens September 16 at Falk Library. The exhibit focuses on disabled veterans and their role as symbols of the fractured nation.
Topics presented will include:
- The Horrors of War
Most soldiers, many of whom were teenagers, were unprepared for the realities of wartime and the scale of carnage.
- Maimed Men
Approximately three quarters of all operations performed during the war were amputations.
- Honorable Scars
Men disabled by the war were a major cause of concern for government leaders. Some worried about preventing idleness and immoral behavior, while others focused on the economic hardship veterans would face if they could not find employment after the war.
- The Empty Sleeve
A large proportion of disabled veterans did not wear artificial limbs, choosing to pin up an empty sleeve or trouser leg, making their sacrifice visible.
- Sacrifices Forgotten
The selflessness of soldiers fostered great respect in the years after the war.
While at the library, also visit the lobby display cases featuring an amputation kit, a post-mortem Civil War surgical set, and other relevant materials.
Please join us for these special events:
Tuesday, September 24, 6-7 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 1105
Jeffrey Reznick, PhD, chief of the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, will present, “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War.” Reznick has authored many publications covering various aspects of war, including soldiers with amputations and other disabilities. He will talk about Civil War disabilities and their impact following the war.
*A public reception to follow in Falk Library.
Tuesday, October 8, noon-1 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 3
Laura P. McLafferty, MD, chief resident for education, PGY-4 Resident in General Adult Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, will present, “Hurting for Home: Nostalgia in American Military Psychiatry from the Civil War to WWII.” McLafferty is the recipient of a 2013 Fellowship Award from the Association for Academic Psychiatry. Her interest in military psychiatry began during her 4th year in medical school. It was during this time that her paper earned the top research award from the C.F. Reynolds Medical History Society.
Please take time to visit this intriguing exhibit, which runs through October 26. For more information, e-mail Linda Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Parts of the article were reprinted from the NLM Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War Web site.
~ Linda Hartman