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Medicine cup

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The number of soldiers who died from sickness, disease and infection outnumbered battlefield deaths in the Civil War (1861-1865). A surgeon who lived to see the medical advances of the 20th century marveled at the primitive state of army medicine in the 1860s. "We operated in old blood-stained and often pus-stained coats...we used undisinfected instruments...we knew nothing about antiseptics and therefore used none." The courage and fortitude of Union and Confederate soldiers began on the battlefield and continued in the hospitals. Menander Patrick of Massachusetts brought this medicine cup home from the South, a reminder perhaps of comrades who never returned.


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