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Friday, February 24, 2006

Civil War Health

From AMNews (subscription required), is the summary of a study of the post-war mental problems of Civil War veterans. Being a big Civil War history buff...
Dr. Silver and fellow researchers analyzed the military and medical records of 15,027 Union Army veterans from the Civil War. They looked at cardiac, gastrointestinal and mental illnesses during the soldiers' lifetimes. Confederate soldiers did not have a comparable database for study, but researchers suspect that those troops had similar problems.

Civil War soldiers were vulnerable due to close-up combat, bloody battles and other reasons, researchers said. For one thing, family members and friends were often assigned to the same company, and when there were casualties, survivors were left with few remaining friends.

[...]

Soldiers in military companies with larger percentages of fatalities were 51% more likely to have cardiac, gastrointestinal and mental diseases, the study showed.

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