Wednesday, January 22, 2014
In reading Ch.4-6 of Marrow of Tragedy I was introduced to the specific ways that the USSC improved conditions in battlefield medicine, ways they were criticized for it, and how the Union improved their general hospital. In the first chapter, It was surprising to hear such deficiencies as a lack of an ambulance service on the battlefield. To think soldiers would be stranded for numerous days before they received care is a nasty thought. It was interesting to learn that for the amount of work they did the sanitary commission functioned through donations rather than official government funds. Being organized like a charity, the USSC faced problems of running a volunteer-based system and eventually had to pay their workers; however, with the significant amount of women participation, the fact that only men were paid is a testament to this era's disregard for women's' rights. It was interesting to see how the hospital carried over to post war times and how briefly they lasted immediately after the war. Even after all the innovations in the general hospital, the importance of home care was still highly prioritized by the postwar patient. I look forward to learning how the hospital became the primary place of healing in America.