Note from Steve

Steve   Williams

March   4   2010

Dr.   E.   Cook

Book   Review   #   3

History   of   Alabama

Author   Jack   Welsh

Two   Confederate   Hospitals   and   Patients   Atlanta to Opelika

This book   gives great in-depth information and analysis of Confederate medicine in the Army of

Tennessee using primary and secondary sources and individual patient records in a form not

previously available. There are over 200   diagnosis, approximately 17,000 patients for 12 states,

and more than 870 numbered and named units. The two hospitals under discussion originated in

Atlanta in the year of 1862 and moved to Vineville, Georgia, in 1864 before Atlanta fell. One

later moved to Cornith, MS to support General John .Hood. They both finally closed in Opelika,

Alabama in the year   1865. Effects of changing numbers of admissions, three major relocations,

small bed space, at times too few doctors, and the the disintegrating Southern railroad system are

detailed. Since the original data are derived from various primary sources with different methods

of recording and some incomplete records, the data and the methods of collecting and collating it

are described.

Use of individual patient s records allowed   the evaluation of   the Confederate Army of the   state

Tennessee disease patterns and patient dispositions. Patient care was also hurt   by frequent

changes in rules and regulations, and orders in response to military events. Prognostications, the

ability to predict

outcome of diseases and wounds, were required by the surgeons to carry out the various orders

determining patient disposition. This aspect of Civil War medicine has not been previously

discussed. Problems with comparing various published Civil War medical data with the present

material are examined.

Jack D. Welsh, is   from   Grand Island, Nebraska, and   an alumnus of the University of

Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine- Omaha. He...