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There were 7,500,000 horses in the United States in 1861 and only fifty known graduate veterinarians, all of whom were schooled abroad and most were foreign born. That's the way it was on April 12, 1861, when the country split apart and the two nations embarked on programs of animal procurement, management, and medical care, the dimensions of which had never before been seen. As the rebellion raged, hundreds of thousands of horses and mules were processed through the remount systems of both sides. Demands on quartermasters, impressment officers, and medical care givers were staggering. Through all of this, the lack of an efficient veterinary service contributed significantly to the tragic loss of well over a million animals, most of which died in service from sickness and disease. "We came through the Civil War with but the faintest suspicion of veterinary service. In 1863 there were but six veterinarians in the Army. The wastage of horse life by disease in that struggle was enormous." Source: Baynes, E. H., Animal Heroes of the Great War
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