Civil War Medicine Quiz: The People and Innovations That Changed Medicine

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


May 21, 2015

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Ulysses S. Grant is usually considered to be one of the outstanding Civil War generals, winning decisive battles that eventually ensured victory by the Union forces. Grant smoked as many as 10 cigars a day, and he also drank, sometimes becoming intoxicated while on duty. These habits undoubtedly contributed to his biopsy-proven squamous cell cancer of the tonsil, diagnosed in 1884, several years after stepping down from the Presidency. The tumor spread rapidly, and he died a year later. Because of an ill-advised investment, when Grant became sick, he was nearly destitute. To provide much needed income, Grant's close friend Mark Twain promised to publish his autobiography, which Grant wrote while dying from throat cancer. It was an immediate best seller, providing welcome financial support for Grant's widow after his death.[5]


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