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Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War home

Decorative dividing line

The perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses are richly documented in the history of American 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. Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War focuses on disabled veterans and their role as symbols of the fractured nation.

Black and white photograph of five men, each with an amputated leg, dressed in Civil War-era military uniform and holding wooden crutches.Explore the experiences of Civil War veterans in the online exhibition, use education resources in middle-school, high-school and undergraduate classes, take a closer look at Civil War-era texts in Digital Documents, or find out if the traveling exhibition is coming to a library near you.

Pictured on the right: Soldiers at Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D.C., 1860s
Courtesy National Library of Medicine