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Civil War
00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 426

Keeping soldiers encamped for extended periods exposed them to numerous camp illnesses.  So devastating were these sicknesses that for every soldier that perished in action two died behind the lines from sickness.  The most common illness was dysentery, an infectious disease marked by severe diarrhea.  One million cases were reported among the two million soldiers of the Union armies; the statistics were as bad or worse for the Confederates. 

A variety of medicines were prescribed, with the most common being a mixture of opium and castor oil.  Few of these remedies did any good.  Typhoid, malaria, and measles also took their toll.  No wonder soldiers uniformly agreed that “it scares a man to get sick.”  It was, ironically, often safer in combat rather than in camp situations for the average soldier.