Confederate Medical Equipment

The Confederate Medical Department fought a hopeless battle against disease and infection in a war in which twice as many soldiers died of disease as became battlefield casualties, and commonplace childhood illnesses became fatal epidemics, incapacitating whole regiments. On the surgical side, amputation was the accepted procedure for wounds affecting the arms and legs, while body wounds were considered inoperable, and usually fatal given the high incidence of infection. Fighting for a cause in which everything was in short supply, the Confederate surgeon's collection of instruments, medicines, and accessories was always pitifully limited. Most of it was imported, and all of it was precious. Needles and scalpels could mean men's lives in surgery, and primitive though the equipment may seem, it was all that stood between the soldier and the grave.

1 Field medical kit

2 Surgeon's valise

3 Regimental medical chest

4 Surgeon's shirt

5 Forage cap

6 Surgeon's frock coat

7 Medicine chest

Confederate Medical

Richmond.

Typical Field Surgery Kit

8 Medicine kit

9 Medicinal bottles

10 Medicinal bottles

11 Stretcher for casualties

12 Leather case of item 13

13 Surgical kit for major amputations including: several large scalpels; a bone saw; several tourniquets; two or three probes; two or three curved needles; thread and a pair of bone cutting pliers 14-15 Two medicinal saddlebags 16-17 Tourniquets

18 Surgical pocket kit

19 Surgeon's pocket drug kit

20 Field bandage supplied by a ladies aid group

21 Surgeon's traveling bags

Surgeon Field Medical Kit
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