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EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

The Source

Medical Service truck in air hangar, soldiers standing around it, Oita, Japan (4/1953)





Source home l Introduction l Connecting to Illinois l Places to Go and Primary Sources to See 
Toeing the Mark l Primary Sources in the Classroom l

Military Medicine

Created to be a source of information and inspiration for teachers as they incorporate Library of Congress digitized primary sources and resources into instruction by Teaching with Primary Sources at Eastern Illinois University.

Welcome to a new academic year and volume of The Source (formerly the Central Illinois Teaching with Primary Source Newsletter). There are a few changesnewsletter to the newsletter that we hope are beneficial to you. As in the past, each issue will have a central theme. The title page features an Introduction to the topic. We welcome your suggestions for topics. To support the idea that all history is local, Connecting to Illinois will showcase Library of Congress primary sources and information from various sources relative to our home state.

Place to Go and Primary Sources to See will share information about local sites that you can visit in Central Illinois to see primary sources and learn more about this month's topic. If you know of a site, please share and we will add it to the html version.

As our country commemorates the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, we have added an area to each issue making a connection between our topic and this period in history called Toeing the Mark. During the Civil War, toeing the mark meant to get the job done.

A goal of TPS is to provide resources to educators that support the use of Primary Sources in the Classroom. This section will feature Library of Congress Teacher's Page resources that relate to the topic and are available now. The Teacher's Page includes Lesson Plans, Themed Resources, Primary Source Sets, Presentations and Activities, and Collection Connections.

LOC.GOV offers a glimpse at sample resources from divisions of the Library of Congress site beyond the Teacher's Page. This area draws items from Thomas, Chronicling America, Wise Guide and many more collections found on the Library's homepage to access for further research and materials. The final pages provide thumbnails and citations for all primary sources featured in the issue - a primary source set for you!

About Teaching with Primary Sources

The Teaching with Primary Sources Program works with colleges and other educational organizations to deliver professional development programs that help teachers use the Library of Congress's rich reservoir of digitized primary source materials to design challenging, high-quality instruction.

Common Core Standards

This year we will be connecting to the Common Core Standards. To learn more about the Common Core Standards visit the Illinois State Board of Education Site.

  Connecting to Illinois

Illinois soldiers were not immune to the high death rates caused by disease during the Civil War. Illinois rankednewsletter fourth in the number of troops serving in the Union Army. With a large number of enlisted men, Illinois suffered a 30 percent higher loss of men than the Union; in proportion to the number serving. Southern Illinois lost the greatest amount of soldiers due to disease. The problems were the same for both the North and the South, filthy conditions with open latrines, animal waste, and garbage all placed too close to campsites. Soldiers from rural areas faced another problem; with crowded camps many soldiers contracted childhood disease such as measles, mumps and scarlet fever. Illinois saw great losses on the battlefields with nearly 35,000 troops dying in combat. Camp Douglas, located in Chicago, Illinois, was one of the longest continuous operating prison camps housed a total of 30,000 prisoners. Camp Douglas also had the greatest amount of deaths than any other Union prison.

newsletterThe frontlines were a dangerous place to be a surgeon. Drs. J.D. Haslett, Fifty-ninth Illinois and Horace Porter of Chicago, 105th Illinois were just two of the 40 surgeons the Union lost in battle. Away from the battlefield, Dr. Shubal York of Paris, Fifty-fourth Illinois was "murdered" by copperheads during the Charleston riot in early 1864.

When World War I began, Illinois answered the call by giving 351,153 men to the Army and Navy. That meant one out of every 12 soldiers in the Army was from Illinois. The Chicago Chapter of the American Red Cross sent four complete base hospital units to France. The first base reached France in June 1917 and immediately went into active service.

Illinois continued to provide medical support through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan by providing doctors, nurses and medical staff to help heal the wounded soldiers.

Places to Go Primary Sources to See

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Almost 3,000,000 soldiers served during the Civil War. Over 285,000 of them were Illinois soldiers who fought for the Union. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum presents Illinois Answers the Call: Boys in Blue. This exhibit pulls from the Library's vast collection of original Civil War photographs, artifacts, sheet music and letters. Artifacts are arranged into five groups. One group is called Dead and Wounded. The exhibit runs through December 2011. 

The Pearson Museum
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine ranks as one of the fortunate few medical schools to have a history museum on its campus. Since its official dedication in 1980, the Pearson Museum has been not only a repository for the display of medical and scientific artifacts, but also a classroom for sharing the heritage of healing with faculty, medical students, and the interested public. Under the administration of the Department of Medical Humanities, the Pearson Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the history of medicine, health care, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy from all cultures and eras, but with particular emphasis on the Midwest and the Mississippi River basin. 

Military Medicine  

The cost of war in terms of human suffering is immense. Treating the wounded helps drive development ofnewsletter new medicines and medical treatments. Military medicine has advanced with each war. Medicine during the Revolutionary War was crude. With no governing body to review, doctors chose their own therapies from their limited education. Many of the remedies such as bloodletting, which was the practice of removing blood from a patient, killed more people than it saved. During the war there was little the colonial doctors could do for the soldiers. They could set broken bones, perform amputations and attempt surgeries without anesthesia,newsletter but with contaminated water and unsanitary conditions the results was often death.

Limited medical resources during World War I create a triage system. A doctor would evaluate the soldier's condition and brief medical history. This information was used to determine when, where and what treatment was best for the patient. Soldiers experience immense trauma during war. World War I saw thousands of soldiers with neurological overload called shell-shocked; today this is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Diagnosing shell-shock led to numerous new treatments. This was the first time military medicine treated the mind and mentality of soldiers. The use of X-rays became a more common procedure in the hospitals and frontline of World War I. This lead to increased use in radiology for civilian medicine after the war.

newsletterBlood is a necessity for saving lives in a war zone. The increased need for blood during World War II resulted in the process of blood banking. Blood could be donated in the United States where the components of whole blood were separated and frozen. The blood was then shipped to hospitals on the frontlines and used for lifesaving transfusions.

The importance of antibiotics to fight infection was recognized during World War II. Sulfanilamide powder was an early antibiotic and popular during World War II but was not very effective and could further contaminate the wound. By 1943, orally administered penicillin quickly became the favorite anti-infection medicine of combat doctors.

The helicopter became an important resource during the Korean War. Terrain was rough and roads were newsletternonexistent which made evacuating casualties difficult by automobile. The military developed an Army Medical Aviation Service known as MEDEVAC. More than 19,000 casualties were evacuated by helicopter. Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals were another life saving discovery of the Korean War. MASH unites were place close to the frontilnes offering wounded soldiers treatment as quickly as possible. which gave them a better chance of survival. The MASH units were the first in the world to use the Kolff-Biegham artificial kidney machine. The system cleans waste products form the blood of patients suffering kidney failure.

newsletterTraumatic bleeding is a major cause of death of soldiers on the battlefield and can kill a soldiers within ten minutes. Today, a new bandage made from chitin that are found in shrimp shells, can stop heavy bleeding. The chitin in the bandage attracts red blood cells causing them to clot.

As technology of war grows so must military medicine. With advancements in weapons and warfare, military medicine must continue to find cures and new techniques to save the lives of our soldiers and in the process also save civilian lives.  

Toeing the Mark

newsletterWhen the Civil War began, no one could predict that nearly 200,000 men would lose their lives on the battlefield. This number cannot compare with the major cause of death during the Civil War, illness. Nearly double the amount of men died of sickness than on the battlefield.

People did not understand the connection between unsanitary conditions and illness or infection. Unsterilized instruments, doctors that didn't wash their hands, and surgical sponges passed from one surgery to the next only being rinsed out with water was a majornewsletter problem. The Sanitary Commissions and other relief agencies fought for cleaner conditions in camps and medical treatments. As the war progressed, fewer lives were lost of illness because of these efforts.

Transporting wounded and dead soldiers from the battlefield was chaotic. There was no organized system to take these men to the field hospitals for treatment. In some cases, days passed before the wounded and dead were removed from the battlefield, improving the chance of infection or death. In 1862, Surgeon General William A. Hammond appointed Jonathan Letterman, an army medical director, to develop an efficient method of evacuating wounded soldiers. Letterman's ambulance system is the basis for the ambulances of today.

newsletterThe first stop for a wounded soldier depended upon his injuries. If a man's wounds were not severe, they went to the field dressing station. After being bandaged and treated they returned to the battle. Soldiers requiring surgery or more extensive treatment were taken to the field hospital. Here, doctors with little medical education and little knowledge of treating gunshot sounds would work to save a soldier's life. The surgeries most performed were amputations. This addressed a difficult injury quickly by removing the limb the soldier's chances of survival increased. With the availability of anesthesia, surgeons attempted new procedures. The birth of reconstructive surgery was a medical milestone of the Civil War. If a soldier died, arrangements were made to send him home and he would be embalmed. Prior to the Civil War,newsletter newsletterembalming was not widely practiced but allowed bodies of fallen soldiers to be home for proper burial. It is estimated that up to 40,000 soldiers were embalmed during the Civil War and as a result, embalming became more accepted and a common practice. The role of nurses was another development of the Civil War. Doctors and surgeons were overwhelmed with wounded soldiers and had little time to care for patients after treatment. With most men fighting for their cause, this caregiver job was filled by women. In her diary, Louisa Alcott explained the duties of a Civil War nurse as "serving rations, giving medicine, and sitting on a very hard chair with pneumonia on one side, diptheria on the other, typhoids on the opposite, and a dozen dilapidated patriots, hopping, lying and lounging about." Nurses performed these duties and many more for 40 cents a day.

One of the most well known advocates for wounded soldiers was Walt Whitman. The famous poet's brother was a member of the Fifty-first New York Infantry. He fought at the battle of Antietam, the Civil War's newsletterbloodiest battle where more than 23,000 men were killed, wounded or missing. Whitman described the field hospital at Antietam in his hospital notebooks. Walt Whitman began volunteering at Washington D.C. war hospitals in 1862. He visited hospitals daily and developed personal relationships with many of the wounded soldiers that he tended.

Each new medical challenge the Civil War created brought doctors and surgeons one step closer to a new era of modern medicine. Anesthesia became a specialty, the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery grew immensely, and doctors developed the techniques to treat nerve injuries and chronic pain, marking the beginning of contemporary medicine. 

Primary Sources in the Classroom

The Teacher's Page - The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to helpnewsletter teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.

Lesson Plans - Teacher created lesson plans using Library of Congress primary sources.

newsletterCivil War Photographs: The Matthew Brady Bunch. Students become reporters, assigned to sort through photographs and find one that will bring the war alive for their reader.

newsletterCivil War Photojournalism: A Record of War. This lesson will analyze Civil War photographs and explore how and why the American Civil War was photographed.newsletter

Themed Resources - Exhibitions, special presentations, lesson plans and other materials gathered from throughout the Library of Congress for selected curricular themes.

newsletterThe Civil War. Examine different points of view from both the Union and Confederacy through poetry, music, images, letters, maps and other primary documents. Hear former slaves tell their stories and read first-hand accounts by Civil War women.

newsletterWars and the Homefront. Gain insight into wars by studying maps, letters, and historic newspapers. Consider women's roles during the Civil War and World War II. See film clips of the Spanish-American War, the first war to be captured on film. Listen to recordings from World War I and the 1920 election. Analyze Ansel Adam's photo documentary of life at Manzanar to deepen understanding of Japanese internment.

Presentations and Activities - Presentations look across the American Memory collections to investigatenewsletter curricular themes. They include historical background, helping to tell the story behind the theme. Activities offer an interactive "hands-on" experience and focus on a specific optic rather than themes. They require teacher direction, but invite students to participate.

newsletterAmerican Memory Timeline: Civil War and Reconstruction, Soldier's Stories. These documents tell the stories of the Civil War soldiers. Why they joined, the suffering of being a prisoner of war, and others give a glimpse into how the Civil War was fought.

Collection Connections - Historical content and ideas for teaching with specific Library of Congress primary source collections.

newsletterA Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment: Selections from the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers. This collection documents the Civil War experience of Tilton C. Reynolds through letters describing battles, and day to day experiences.newsletter

newsletterPoet at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned Walt Whitman Collection. Students can use Whitman's notes from his hospital visits to understand what it was like to live at the time of the Civil War, to serve in the army, and to be at an army hospital. 


newsletterVeteran's History Project - The Veteran's History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessiblenewsletter the personal accounts of American war veteran's.

newsletterMilitary Medicine. This is the starting point for veteran's stories on military medicine, from doctors, nurses, medical support and more.

Military Medicine: Nurses. The ideals that a nurse carries into any wartime hospital are challenged by the daily arrival of bodies broken in battle. Every personal experience - camaraderie with fellow nurses, relations with superior officers, romantic entanglements - is magnified by the intensity of a  profession that demands courage, compassion and above all, composure.

Military Medicine: Medical Support. In any war, there never seem to be enough doctors and nurses, which isnewsletter where the medical support personnel often come in. Some fo them are trained in basic medical procedures and are often the first to reach a wounded comrade, applying the necessary treatment to stop the bleeding, to ease the pain, and perhaps save a life.

Military Medicine: Doctors. In an enterprise founded on destruction and killing, military doctors have a uniquely constructive mission. They must mend their own comrades' wounds and if possible, send them back to fight, even if it risks further injury. Doctors rarely carry a weapon and in most instances are exempt from being fired on. That doesn't always protect them from danger.

The Healers. They are charged with the mission of undoing the damage of war. The process starts with corpsmen, working along the frontlines to treat the wounded, risking their own lives in the process. Itnewsletter continues in the field hospitals and then father away from the battlefield, in the convalescent facilities, staffed by tireless and resilient doctors and nurses. No job in any hospital is preparation enough for the relentless task of dealing with the wounded and dying of war.

newsletterAmerican Memory - American Memory provides free and open access through the internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.

newsletterBuilt in America. This online presentation of the HABS/HAER collections includes digitized images of measured drawings, black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, photo captions, data pages including written histories, and supplemental material.newsletter

newsletterCivil War Treasure from the New York Historical Society. The materials in this online collection are drawn from twelve archival collections housed at the New York Historical Society. Pictorial items include 731 stereographs, and over 70 photographs from an album, 178 sketches from three different collections, 304 posters, 29 etchings of caricatures, and almost 500 envelopes with printed or embossed decoration related to Civil War events and personalities.

newspaperThomas - Thomas was launched in January of 1995, at the inception  of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public.

S.1894. A bill to designate the foundation for the advancement of military medicine.newsletter

H.R.-2614. Foundation for the Advancement of Military medicine Act of 1983.

newsletterWise Guide - A monthly web magazine of historical highlights and fascinating facts from the Library of Congress.

newsletterApril 2005: Real MASH Units. Learn about the veteran's who served in real MASH units through the Veteran's History Project.

newsletterNovember 2005: Angel of the Battlefield Clara Barton. Learn about Clara Barton and her connection to the Civil War. 

newsletterApril 2009: Get to the Choppa! For nearly 60 years, helicopters have played an increasingly important role in American combat operations.

newsletterMarch 2011: On a Divine Mission
. Nurture the living. Care for the wounded. Honor the dead. These are the core competencies of military chaplaincy - a critical, yet often overlook, form of military service.newsletter

newsletterPrints and Photographs - The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings.

newsletterCivil War Glass Negatives & Related Prints. This online collection provides access to about 7,000 different views and portraits made during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and its immediate aftermath.

newsletterDrawings (Documentary). The Documentary Drawings category includes more than 3,000 drawings made between 1750 and 1970. Eyewitness sketches made during the U.S. Civil War are the most frequently used images.

newsletterMiscellaneous Items in High Demand. The "Miscellaneous Items" category consists of more than 80,000 descriptions of individual images from a variety of the Prints & Photographs Division's photographic, print, drawing, and architectural holdings.

newsletterPictorial Americana-Medicine. Selected images from the collections of the Library of Congress.

newslettersExhibitions - Discover exhibitions that bring the world's largest collection of knowledge, culture, and creativity to life through dynamic displays of artifacts enhanced by interactivity.newsletter

newsletterWomen's War Relief. Hospital slippers for the sick and wounded soldiers of the Union.

newsletterCivil War Sketch Artist. Alfred Waud was recognized as the best of the Civil War sketch artists who drew the war for the nation's pictorial press.

newsletterClara Barton. Twenty years before founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton came to the aid of soldiers fighting in the Civil War.newsletter

newsletterWalt Whitman and the Civil War. Learn about the notebooks Walt Whitman kept as he visited wounded soldiers in Washington area hospitals.

newsletterAndersonville. One of the reasons Clara Barton became famous was her efforts to identify dead and missing soldiers.

newsletterChronicling America - Search America's newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

newsletterToday in History - Each day an event from American history is illustrated by digitized items from the Library of Congress American Memory historic collections.newsletter

March 11: Sherman Captures Fayetteville. Find out how women on the homefront helped Civil War soldiers.

May 31: Walt Whitman. Learn more about the Whitman Hospital Notebooks.

August 27: A Case of Yellow Fever. U.S. Army physician James Carroll allowed an infected mosquito to feed on him in an attempt to isolate the means of transmission of yellow fever.

November 29: Daughters of the Transcendentalists. Louisa Alcott served as a nurse during the Civil War, keeping a journal later published as Hospital Sketches. 


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