The Civil War Has A Tremendous Death Toll

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The Civil War had a tremendous death toll. In fact, it had more deaths than any of the previous wars combined. At the time, it was thought that the soldiers in battle died from the wounds or amputations they received. The true cause of death came from disease. These harsh conditions were contributed by unqualified doctors and non-sterile equipment. During the Civil War, the true issue was not only the wounds received in battle but the infectious diseases that ultimately led to the soldier’s death. When this was discovered, doctors knew some action needed to take place. Hospitals and sanitation standards were improved. The Civil War contributed to an evolution of medicine and how to combat victims plagued with disease. Twice as many…show more content…
A Steward’s job entailed dealing with minor injuries such as scrapes, bumps, and cuts not deep enough for surgical interaction. On the occasion, they would pull teeth and distribute medicine to the soldiers who needed help with pain management. If the Steward completed his duties in a good fashion, he would be allowed to step in and help with more serious cases such as amputations in hope that one day he would become a qualified surgeon. Since amputations were performed so frequently, it did not take much time in order to become qualified. These short “internships” through the Civil War proved to be ineffective as surgeons lacked knowledge in all aspects of the medical field. The diseases soldiers tended to face were small pox, measles, mumps, dysentery, and so on. The list is endless. Dysentery was by far the most lethal during the Civil War (Civil War Diseases 1). There was a 75% chance that if a soldier was injured, an amputation would occur (Civil War Medicine 1). This led to a tremendous death toll due to the bacteria into the wound. There were plentiful reasons as why a soldier contracted these diseases other than a gunshot wound. These reasons included, poor physical upon entering the army, the doctors lack of knowledge when it came to medical information, terrible hygiene, disease causing parasites, and lack of the basic necessities for survival. As you can see, this is a recipe for failure and death. For example, in order to
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