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Monday, June 3, 2013

Gettysburg: The Army of the Potomac's Medical Staff Arrives

By Alfred Jay Bollet, M.D.
 
Most of the medical personnel, as well as a large part of the army, arrived after the fighting had already started, thus they had no time to make preparations.
The flood of wounded started while the meager supplies were still being unpacked. No tents were available for field hospitals, so both sides commandeered homes, churches, barns, the railroad station, and even covered bridges for this purpose. Each evening after the fighting subsided, stretcher bearers and ambulances collected the wounded; each morning, before the fighting began at dawn, all the wounded (both Union and Confederate) within Union lines were receiving care. This was an unprecedented achievement, and it was accomplished during the largest battle that has ever been fought on American soil.
Excerpted from: Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs
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