Pamplin Park offers dose of Civil War medicine

Pamplin Historical ParkPamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is hosting a special weekend event focused on medicine and medical advancements in the antebellum era and the Civil War on July 14-15, 2018.

Daily between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm park visitors will be able to see period demonstrations highlighting military medicine and medical advancements used on and off of the battlefield and learning how pharmaceuticals played a role in prevention and treatment of diseases.

The American Civil War saw seven out of every ten soldier fatalities caused by disease rather than battlefield injuries. The lack of cleanliness and sanitation certainly added to the deaths as American poet and Civil War nurse Walt Whitman described one hospital as “quite crowded, upstairs and down, everything impromptu, no system, all bad enough, but I have no doubt the best that can be done; all the wounds pretty bad, some frightful, the men in their old clothes, unclean and bloody.”

Dysentery, typhoid and pneumonia seemed more dangerous than enemy bullets. Those soldiers who were injured in battle typically had to endure amputations, to remove shattered limbs. Even then, only about seventy-five percent of them would survive the operations and fevers that followed. In spite of this, one surgeon defended the volume of amputations by stating, “I have no hesitation in saying that far more lives were lost from refusal to amputate than by amputation.”

This event allows visitors the chance to learn about these struggles of sick and wounded soldiers and about the men and women in medical services who cared for them.

These special weekend programs and those usually offered daily at the Park are included with regular paid general admission. Individual general admission is $1.00 from now through Labor Day (September 3) 2018 as part of the Park’s $1 Days of Summer.

One of “Virginia’s Best Places to Visit” according to the Travel Channel, and designated as a National Historic Landmark, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, Virginia offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. The Park has four world-class museums and four antebellum homes. The Park is also the site of The Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865 and America’s premiere participatory experience, Civil War Adventure Camp. For more information, please call 804-861-2408 or visit

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