Thursday, March 27, 2014

Civil War Water Filter


As shown in Lord's Civil War Encyclopedia, these are the two metallic parts of a "water filter" sold privately to soldiers.

The foul, often brackish waters near large numbers of encamped men often bore highly-deadly diseases like dysentery which lead to intense, chronic diarrhea, dehydration and frequent death. In fact, more men died from disease during the Civil War than battle!

Knowing the risks of drinking water, troops were lulled into a sense of false security by purchasing these filter sets in tin cases. The soldier was supposed to place the larger filter end into the stream or pond, drawing water up through a charcoal filter by sucking on the smaller mouthpiece. A mesh tubing connected the two, but has since rotted away while it was still underground. This was located near Fredericksburg along with two others.

It is said that soldiers' eyes bugged out like frogs as they vainly tried to suck water up through these. While the concept was good, it is unfortunate that the microbes culprits were small enough to pass beyond the charcoal!!! Men died in spite of their filters.


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