Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

History of Medicine

About   |  Collections   |  Exhibitions   |  Research Tools   |  Copyright   |  Get Involved   |  Visit   |  Contact


Binding Wounds and Pushing Boundaries presents the following instructional resources for educators in K-12 as well as in higher education institutions. The resources provide examples of how the rich content and primary sources in the exhibition can be used in a classroom. They are developed as instructional suggestions that an educator may adapt in whole or in parts as she or he deems most appropriate for the students' interest and academic goals.

Green horizontal line

Black and white photograph of William P. Powell, Jr. in a military uniform August 1863, seated with his elbow and hat resting on a table beside him. Courtesy National Archives, Washington, D.C.
William P. Powell, Jr.,
August 1863
Courtesy National Archives,
Washington, D.C.

Lesson Plans Blue arrow pointing right

African American Surgeons and Nurses in the U.S. Civil War and A Potent Remedy: African American Surgeons and Nurses of the Civil War Era are lesson plans prepared for upper elementary and high school classes, respectively. Each lesson plan contains background information, relevant academic topics, national standards, learning outcomes, step-by-step procedures, and all instructional materials that include several historical primary sources.

The lesson plans have been developed in collaboration with the following classroom teachers, who reviewed and provided valuable comments for finalizing the lessons. These teacher reviewers are Terence Nickie from Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies (Boulder, CO), Scott Allen at Monarch High School (Boulder, CO), and Janet Collier at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital (Washington, D.C.).

Green horizontal line

Black and white illustration of an African American man assisting an army medical officer with an injured soldier on the battlefield. Courtesy Harper's Weekly.
Harper's Weekly,
August 20, 1864

Courtesy Harper's Weekly

Higher Education Module Blue arrow pointing right

Obstacles and Opportunities: African Americans' Medical Work in the American Civil War is a module developed in association with the Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries traveling exhibition. The module is written for college and university professors who teach the history of the American Civil War, the history of medicine in nineteenth century America, African American history during the nineteenth century, women’s history in the nineteenth century, and the general history of the United States during that period. The module assumes a general familiarity with nineteenth century history, especially of the Civil War, but does not assume specialized understanding of the history of medicine or specific medical knowledge.

This module is authored by Margaret Humphreys, Ph.D., M.D. who teaches the history of medicine, public health, and biology at Duke University, and is an editor of the Journal of the History of Medicine.

Green horizontal line

Black and white photograph of the tented hospital Ward 1 at Smoketown Hospitala through the front open end with patients in beds and a female nurse tending to patients. Courtesy Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester Medical Center and Robert Zeller.
Smoketown Hospital,
Antietam, Maryland, 1863

Courtesy Edward G. Miner Library,
University of Rochester Medical Center
and Robert Zeller

Online Activities Blue arrow pointing right

Curator's Pick and Looking into History highlight several historical primary sources that you can examine closely to aid in your exploration of the roles and contributions of African Americans in the Civil War Medicine.

Green horizontal line

Black and white photograph of a newspaper article. The appearance of a colored man in the room wearing the gold leaf epaulettes of a Major, was also the occasion of much applause and gratulation with the assembly. The individual thus distinguished was Dr. A. T. Augusta, who received an assistant Surgeon's commission last week from the Secretary of War. He is a native of Virginia, and graduated at Trinity College, Toronoto, Canada.
The Evening Star,
April 17, 1863

Courtesy District of Columbia
Public Library

Additional Resources Blue arrow pointing right

This is a bibliography of additional readings of several fiction and non-fiction titles, web resources, and scholarly publications.

Last Reviewed: April 3, 2012