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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Confederate Wounded and Withdrawal

By Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein
 
The care of the wounded was complicated by the Confederate withdrawal. The Southerners took as many of their wounded as they could in a train of 1,200 unpadded wagons that stretched for miles, traveling as rapidly as possible through mud and rain in order to avoid capture.
 
Many patients suffered severely from lack of food and water for thirty-six hours as well as from the pain caused by the lurching wagons. In addition, they had no medical care at ll since only guards and drivers accompanied them.
 
The 6,802 more severely wounded Confederates remained behind with some medical officers in field hospitals to the west of Gettysburg. The Union military and relief agencies provided supplies for their care as well as for the 14,193 Union wounded. Doctors on both sides worked themselves to exhaustion treating the wounded and performing amputations for four or five days.
 
 
Excerpted from: "The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine"

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