Exhibit explores experiences of disabled Civil War veterans

Laupus Library will host the traveling exhibition “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” beginning Jan.14 in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery located on the fourth Floor of Laupus Library.

“Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” explores the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict.

The perspectives of surgeons, physicians and nurses are richly documented in the history of Civil War medicine, which highlights the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded during wartime. Yet the experiences of injured soldiers during the conflict and in the years afterwards are less understood.

More than three million soldiers fought in the war from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery, which saved lives by sacrificing limbs.

Artifacts from The Country Doctor Museum will also be on display during the exhibition, including a surgical kit, crutches, prosthetics, bone saw and medicines from the Civil War era.

Chris Grimes, a local Civil War medicine reenactor will visit Laupus Library on February 11, 2019.  From 1-3:30pm, he will offer informal demonstrations of various Civil War era medical instruments on the 2nd floor.  At 4:30pm, he will present a talk entitled Jonathan Letterman:  Father of Battlefield Medicine in the 4th floor gallery.  This event will complement the Life and Limb exhibit.

The exhibit will be on display until February 25 and is open to the public during business hours or call 252-744-2219.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and curated by Dr. Manon Pary.

Developed promotional resources are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Read more about the exhibit here.