The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 153
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its part in stimulating successful measures of preventive medicine
and hygiene. The remarkable results obtained in establishment
of an ambulance system are most completely and interestingly
described. One is shocked at the plight of Union wounded at the
second battle of Bull Run, some of whom lay untended on the
battlefield as long as seven days. The termination of the war,
however, revealed an ambulance system of striking efficiency.
Similar evolution of a hospital system is described.
The Confederate armies receive little mention, but one
assumes from Union casualty lists that they were much in evi-
dence. Doomed to slow starvation and increasingly inadequate
supplies they resorted to makeshift methods of necessity. Con-
federate surgeons at a prison camp in Chattanooga, denied dress-
ings by their captors, were forced to leave gangrenous wounds
open to the attentions of flies. The inevitable infestation with
maggots resulted. To their great amazement those soldiers
afflicted with this grave infection, as they considered it, proceeded
to improve rapidly. They had discovered accidently the beneficial
scavenging job done by maggots. This is indeed serendipity at its
best. While Union surgeons continued to discourage maggots in
every way possible, Confederate surgeons welcomed their
Two chapters are devoted to wartime surgery and the problem
of wound infection. One sees through the horrors and butchery
of the time a faint glimmer of those great surgical advances to
be made in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. War
always stimulates surgical progress. Dr. Adams covers the general,
subject of surgical treatment with great competence, and such
factual errors as appear are few in number and of no great
While the author states that little or no biography would be
included, the reader could have wished for at least a fleeting
glimpse of such men as John S. Billings, S. Weir Mitchell, and
William W. Keen, who gained such eminence in their respective
fields of bibliography, literature, and surgery. And for the sake
of a certain section of his readers, the author might have quoted
these words from Dr. Billings: "I feel disgusted and am utterly
hopeless as far as regards taking Richmond or beating Lee. ...
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/175/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.