Civil War Medicine Exhibit on Display Through February 25

Laupus Library is hosting the traveling exhibit Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War. This exhibit will be on display through February 25, 2019 in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery, Fourth Floor, Laupus Library.

“Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War” exhibit.

From the National Library of Medicine description, “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 well-known.

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

Artifacts from The Country Doctor Museum will be on display alongside the National Library of Medicine panels. Some featured items include: a surgical kit, crutches, prosthetics, a bone saw, and various medicines from the Civil War era.

Jonathan Letterman. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections.

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 traveling exhibit.

The exhibit is available during the business hours posted here, or call 252-744-2219.

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

For more information about the exhibit, visit the NLM website or contact Layne Carpenter at or 252-744-3181.

Developed resources reported in this promotional material 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.