Tarnished Scalpels: The Court-Martials of Fifty Union Surgeons

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9780811716031: Tarnished Scalpels: The Court-Martials of Fifty Union Surgeons

Foreword by Robert K. Krick, 8 b/w photos 6 x 9 "Amid the flood of Civil War books that washes over us each year, Dr. Thomas Lowry's works have long stood out for their brilliant research, originality, and insight. Now, with his accomplished co-author Dr. Jack Welsh, he has produced a work as fascinating to the average reader as it is useful to the specialist. Tarnished Scalpels offers us a richer portrait of our greatest war's reality than could any other ten books on the subject. These are tales of folly, fear, and shame, well told by men who understand both medicine and good writing." -Owen Parry, author of Faded Coat Of Blue As in his previous book, Tarnished Eagles (0-8117-1597-3), Thomas Lowry-this time with Jack Welsh-brings to light the various misdeeds of Union officers. In this new book, the authors examine the relationship between the principles of the medical profession and the often byzantine regulations of the army. As a result, the courts-martial in this book primarily fall into two categories: failure to practice proper medicine and failure to follow the procedures and administrative rules that govern army life, with some overlap. As usual, Lowry peppers many of these accounts with his dry wit, but he also offers penetrating analyses of the problems faced by many of these doctors, who often were forced to work under intolerable conditions. Thomas Lowry, a retired psychiatrist, is the author of several books on the Civil War, including the controversial The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War (0-8117-1515-9). Jack D. Welsh, professor of medicine emeritus at University of Oklahoma, has written for and edited many medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine. He is also the author of Medical Histories of Confederate Generals and Medical Histories of Union Generals.

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From the Author:

The usual, and unfair, view of a Civil War surgeon is that of a drunken quack, sawing off legs as the victims scream in pain. The vast majority of Civil War doctors served with dedication, as described in the early chapters of this book. The few miscreants who appear in this book are instructive examples of when men do stray from the narrow path of rectitude.

About the Author:

I lament the September 2012 death of my co-author. Dr. Welsh was a brilliant teacher and clinician, as well as an astonishingly dedicated Civil War researcher. My own medical training began in 1954 and the years since then have exposed me to a wide variety of locales and stories. My patients included a survivor of the Russo-Japanese war and a Chinese woman with bound feet. Our in depth study of Civil War doctors showed them to be skilled surgeons with excellent understanding of anatomy. I came to realize that I would have done no better , given the limitations of medical knowledge in the 1860s.

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Lowry, M. D. , Thomas P. ; Welsh, M. D. , Jack D. ; Krick, Robert K. (Foreword by)
Published by Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, U. S. A. (2000)
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Book Description Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, U. S. A., 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. The Civil War surgeon faced a unique challenge: to answer to two very different authorities. On one hand, he was bound to uphold the principles of medical tradition, while on the other required to obey the regularions of the army. Not every doctor was able to rise to the challenge of these dual responsibilities and many Civil War surgeons ended up facing official sanctions for their alleged medical and/or procedural failures. Undoubtedly, some of these surgeons were guilty of negligence, perhaps even worse. But the great majority did their duty. Even those who fell short raise the question: Could we, with the same challenges and the same limited knowledge, have done better? With appendices and index. ; 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 003139

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Thomas P. Lowry, Jack D. Welsh, Robert K. Krick (Foreword)
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