The Outbreak Of The Civil War Essay

1657 Words Mar 10th, 2016 7 Pages
More Americans have died during the Civil War than any other war. 620,000 soldiers died in the line of duty. Two-thirds of these didn’t die from wounds. They died from diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. Civil War medicine was not yet advanced enough to connect a lack of hygiene with an influx of disease. Lack of hygiene in hospitals and camps also contributed to the spread of disease. Placing a latrine downstream away from the clean water supply was sometimes also overlooked. Disease spread more quickly due to the foul water supply. The main killer during the Civil War, was dysentery. Victims of dysentery got severe diarrhea with passage of mucous and blood. This one disease accounted for 45,000 deaths in the Union army and 40,000 deaths in the Confederate army. That is 95,000 deaths in total from this one disease out of the 620,000 deaths from the whole war. That is 15% of all the deaths during the Civil War from one disease. Treatment for dysentery varied on who the doctor was and what supplies were available to the physician. One man who was admitted into a Philadelphia hospital for a complaint of a three month case of chronic diarrhea was treated with opium, aromatic sulfuric acid, and silver nitrate. All of these substances are harmful and toxic to the body. The man died two weeks after being admitted. Typhoid was the next biggest killer during the Civil War. Roughly 35,000 soldiers from each side of the war died from this disease. Typhoid is an intestinal…

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