It has often been said that the Civil War hastened the development of modern medicine in the United States, mainly because conditions were so unsanitary and disease such a problem during that conflict. Among the many medical innovations that occurred during the Civil War was the first U.S. Navy hospital ship, which entered service on this date in 1862. Purpose of the ship was to treat wounded soldiers whose injuries had taken place at nearby battles, some on land and others at sea. About 620,000 men, 360,000 Northerners and 260,000 Southerners, died during the Civil War, a number that exceeds the total number of fatalities in all other wars America has fought in. About a third of those who died on either side did so because of battle wounds. Physicians, nurses and volunteers tried to treat the wounded within 48 hours.
Copyright InteliHealth, Inc., 2011. All rights reserved.