After a very eventful year of campaigning, the Confederate and Union armies wound down for the winter in the final month of 1863. The Army of the Potomac ended its Mine Run Campaign in early December, pulling back north across the Rapidan River. The army began preparing winter quarters in Virginia in the area between the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers at locations including Brandy Station, Kelly’s Ford, and Culpeper Courthouse. In Tennessee, reinforcements led by Major General William T. Sherman were closing in on Knoxville to relieve Major General Ambrose Burnsides’ besieged garrison, compelling General James Longstreet to withdraw from the area. Longstreet engaged in several minor actions in east Tennessee before finally settling into winter quarters in northeastern Tennessee near Greeneville.
While the major armies were quiet, action continued on a smaller scale. The Union bombardment in Charleston Harbor, particularly against Fort Sumter, continued. The fort was pounded by Union army and naval artillery, and despite heavy damage, continued to hold out. The always present naval blockade of the Confederate coast, cavalry raids and infantry skirmishes continued as usual. Continue reading “Fall Campaigns End, Armies go into Winter Quarters; Bombardment of Charleston Continues: December 1863” »
At halftime of the Ohio State-Indiana football game in Columbus on November 23rd, 2013, the Ohio State Marching Band put on a terrific tribute to the Gettysburg Address in honor of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech at the dedication of the national cemetery in Gettysburg on November 19th, 1863. Here’s the performance in it’s entirety:
When the Civil War began in 1861, medical science knew nothing about pathogens, antibiotics, or the causes of many diseases; surgeons at field hospitals reused surgical tools without sterilization, and many of the medications used contained toxic compounds. Yet against this backdrop, many wounded soldiers were successfully treated and went on to live productive lives. The exhibits at The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland show how soldiers were treated and how medical science advanced during this time of thousands of battlefield casualties and widespread suffering from diseases.
The exhibits in the National Museum of Civil War Medicine are not of the high tech variety; audio tapes at some of the exhibits are about as flashy as it gets. Instead, the exhibits include medical equipment of the time, photographs, written accounts, and nicely designed scenes complete with full sized mannequins, landscaping, camp equipment, and so on. These scenes depict various aspects of Civil War medicine, including hospitals, medical care in camp and on the battlefield, and battlefield evacuation procedures. Continue reading “Visiting The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland” »