Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War - Traveling Exhibit from the National Library of Medicine: Home

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Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

September 16, 2013 - October 23, 2013

Attendance is free and open to the public.
(Some historical battlefield and medical images and materials in the exhibit may not be suitable for pre-teen or grade school age students.)

Civil War veterans courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

The perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses are richly documented in the history of 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.

More than three million soldiers fought in the war from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery, which saved lives by sacrificing limbs. Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War explores the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict.

Photos and text courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

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Grand Opening

Photos from the Exhibit.

grand opening

grand opening

NLM exhibit