Frontier Medicine at Fort Davis and Other Army Posts: True Stories of Unglamorous Maladies

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In the nineteenth century, when dying young was a fact of life, a routine bout of diarrhea could be fatal. No one had heard of viruses or bacteria, but they killed more soldiers on the frontier than hostile raiding parties. Discover how an industrious laundress could earn more than a private, how a female army surgeon won the Medal of Honor and how a garrison illegally hanged a local bartender. Baseball injuries were considered to have happened “in the line of duty” and twice resulted in amputations at Fort Davis. From a headless burial to cocaine toothache drops, historian Donna Gerstle Smith proves that the true stories hidden in the Wild West’s medical records are a match for its tallest tales.
ISBN: 9781467152464
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Texas
Images: 70
Pages: 192
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Donna Gerstle Smith worked for the National Park Service for almost three decades as a park ranger and park historian. Her fascination with history began while researching for her master’s degree thesis on nineteenth-century medicine at frontier military posts. Inspired by reading old letters, journals, army medical records and other primary source materials, she found them to be priceless windows for looking into the past.
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