From: civilwarbuff.org, 6-2004
Many of you may remember that Dr. Bill J. Gurley spoke to us in 2002, on his first book "I Acted from Principle:" William Marcellus McPheeters, M.D., Confederate Surgeon in the Trans-Mississippi Theatre.
Or perhaps you heard him speak at the SCV ceremony in Helena on the reburial of the Fagan Six earlier this year. If you have heard him before then you remember that he is a dynamic and passionate speaker on things to do with the Civil War. If you have not hear him before then you are in for a real treat.
This year Bill will preview his new book "Yankee Bullets, Southern Blood.” It is a transcription and annotation of the medical casebook of Dr. Henry M. Dye. Dr. Dye was a surgeon from Plano, Texas that served in Arkansas from 1862 until the war's end. His descriptions of medical facilities in Little Rock and other parts of Arkansas are one of the few that exist.
The majority of the original journal is comprised of detailed descriptions of patients that Dye treated while serving in various hospitals throughout the state. The most remarkable are those from the hospital at Princeton, AR following the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry.
Not only does Dye identify each patient as to name, rank, and unit affiliation, but also he provides detailed anatomical descriptions of the wounds and how they were.He also draws pictures of each case. Many of the pictures are quite detailed, and the originals were even in color.
Some of the methods Dye used were well ahead of their time. The journal sheds new light on the practice of medicine in the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department and dispels the idea that all Civil War surgeons were merely glorified butchers.
Dye practiced state-of-the-art medicine and approached his profession from a perspective as physician/scientist; something the typical Civil War scholar wouldn't expect from surgeons serving in the backwaters of the Trans-Mississippi Dept.
Bill is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, with the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. This year he received the UAMS Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Most Outstanding Faculty Award. A 1989 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Memphis, with a Doctorate in Pharmaceutics; he has numerous publications related to his field of study.