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

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


May 21, 2015

Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Before the Civil War, the US Army lacked an efficient transport service for transporting injured soldiers away from the battlefield for treatment. An Organization Order issued by the Army of the Potomac in 1862 provided the framework for an Ambulance Corps headed by a captain for each army corps. One or more transport vehicles (initially carts and then four-wheel horse-drawn wagons) were assigned to each unit. The aim was to shorten the time interval that an injured soldier was exposed to battlefield conditions before being removed to an area where he could receive treatment. After the war, civilian hospitals quickly adopted the idea of horse-drawn ambulances, staffed with young hospital residents.[6,7,8]


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