Monday, November 05, 2012

Noteworthy and Now In Paperback---The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine, Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein. M.E. Sharpe Publishing, 200812, 419 pp., 16 illustrations, chronology, bibliography, index, softcover, $34.95.

This history of Civil War medicine in encyclopedia form offers 200+ A to Z entries on people, medical terms, disease, wounds, treatments, hospitals and volunteer organizations. Both Battles of Manassas, Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Chickamauga, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Shiloh have entries listed in the table of contents. Other battles, such as Olustee, are found in the index. Clearly written, well annotated, and concisely organized, this one volume encyclopedia is reminiscent of Mark Boatner's Dictionary of the Civil War and Terry Jones' Historical Dictionary of the Civil War.

Schroeder-Lein's work encompasses the most recent scholarship on the medical aspects of the war. There are usually three or more bibliographic notes for each entry along with usually five or more 'See Also' links. The chronology runs twelve pages and the bibliography spans fourteen. The reading level is accessible to the high school student who has a desire to learn new medical terms such as hydrotherapy, allopath, varioloid, and quotidian.

From the table of contents there are entries such as  'medical historiography, 'The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion', Hunter Holmes Maguire and Silas Weir Mitchell; from the index the terms libraries, nuns, nursing schools received attention are covered as topics

Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein received a PHD in history from the University of Georgia and is the author of Confederate Hospitals on the Move: Samuel H. Stout and the Army of Tennessee. She has assisted in the editing of the Andrew Johnson Papers and is currently the manuscripts librarian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Previously published in 2008 as a hardcover at $104.95, the book was beyond the means of most readers. Now $34.95for the softcover edition, American Civil War buffs and reenactors seeking the a greater depth and breadth of what historic characters knew should add a copy to their personal library.  For supporting members of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and reenactors of Civil War medicine,  the book to be essential. Once you have it your hands, it is likely that you will be spending quite a bit of time in 'The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine.

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