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This is the archive for April 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Since 1880 he’s guarded his post day and night, through barren winters, interminable summers, the first signs of spring, and as the last leaves have swirled and danced in the November wind to the ground. His eyes are ever watchful, surveying the countryside, musket ready by his side, all part of a standing order to keep safe those who began their sleep at Antietam or in hospitals that stretched from Boonsboro to Sharpsburg. He rises above all of us and the markers that lay at his feet. 4,776 markers. 1,836 nameless, lost forever to those who loved them. As he first saw his own light in the mind of his creator James G. Battersson and took shape and form from James Pollette’s chisel, he rises 43 feet into the sky, where his head can graze the arc of morning sun, ever faithful to those forever reposed and now returned to dust.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008


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During my last road trip I made a return visit to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. The first visit occurred shortly after the Museum opened, so long ago I can’t even remember the year (2000, I think, maybe), and before they moved to their present location at 48 East Patrick St. There have been so many changes they’re too numerous to mention, but if you’re ever in the neighborhood of the Antietam battlefield add the museum to your itinerary.

Rather than writing up a review of museum though, I thought it might be more fun to play a game based on information culled from the NMCW. So put on your thinking caps and lets play Jeopardy!

I’ll take “1858 Medical School Final Exam” for a hundred.

Answer: The Inferior phrenic; celiac; superior mesenteric; middle suprarenal; renal; gonadal; lumbar; inferior mesenteric; median sacral; and common iliac

Question: What are the branches of the abdominal aorta?

“1858 Medical School final exam” for 200.

Answer: Erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes

Question: What are the constituents of the bloods?

Same category for 300

Answer: But Ms. Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies

Question: What are the conclusive signs of pregnancy?

Answer: 42

Question: What was the number of medical schools in the United States at the outbreak of the Civil War?

Answer: The Medical College of Charleston (in 1824)

Question: What was the first medical school established in the South?

Answer: August 2, 1862

Question: When was the Union Ambulance Corps established?

Answer: 4,000

Question: What was the number of six mule team wagons that entered the Wilderness with the Army of the Potomac during the Campaign Against Richmond?

Answer: 44,558

Question: What was the number of Union deaths attributed to diarrhea?

Answer: 12

Question: How many pounds of oats or corn did a horse eat per day?

Answer: 15

Question: How many gallons of water did a horse drink each day?

Answer: The techniques included pushing on the chest and waving a fan near the nose.

Question: How did they wake a patient after administering anethesia?

Answer: 8 to 15 minutes

Question: How long did it take surgeons to perform an amputation?

Answer: 83 per cent

Question: What was the percentage of patients shot in the hip who died following surgery?

Answer: Half and of the women, 75 per cent.

Question: How many of the attendants, nurses, matrons, laundresses, or cooks at Chimborazo hospital were black?

Answer: Fortress Monroe

Question: Where was Seminary Hospital located?

Answer: 10 to 40,000

Question: How many Union dead were embalmed?

Answer: 94 per cent

Question: What was the percentage of all recorded wounds caused by a Minie ball?

Answer: In the arms or legs

Question: Where did 70 per cent of all gunshot wounds occur?

Answer: Clara Barton

Question: Who was the Detroit Free Press referring to in 1912 when they said “She was perhaps the most perfect incarnation of mercy the modern world has known”?

Final Jeopardy. The category is Civil War Chaplains.

Answer: 14 out of 165

Da, da, da, da, da, da, da
Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da
Da, da, da, da, da, da, da
Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da

Question: What was the number of black regiments that had black chaplains?

And you, whoever you are, who probably cheated by looking up the questions on the Internet, are our new Jeopardy champion. Congratulations! You’ll return next time to defend your title. Until then, remember that mules only consumed nine pounds of oats or corn per day. making them more cost efficient than horses.

Friday, April 18, 2008

As promised pictures of current exhibits at the Smith Center, the starting point for a tour of the Lincoln Cottage. Hurry, because this exhibit ends April 30th. No, you won't have to use your imagination beginning May 1st, as the Center will have a brand new exhibit on display. A side note, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is projecting 40,000 visitors will tour the Lincoln Cottage before the end of the year. Again, if planning a visit get your tickets in advance. A link, if needed, is provided at the end of The Lincoln Cottage Outside and In.

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