Civil War Laid Foundation For Modern Combat Medicine

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (June 22, 2013)--As gunfire ravaged the bodies of tens of thousands of soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg, military doctors responded with a method of treatment that is the foundation of modern combat medicine.

Union Army Maj. Dr. Jonathan Letterman, who’s considered a pioneer of battlefield medicine for his Civil War innovations, realized that organizing the medical corps was a key for any battle.

In 1862, he began to create an ambulance corps and three tiers of field hospitals.

Now, 150 years later, more than 5,500 military members and emergency responders attended history courses run by the Museum of Civil War Medicine that are designed to get people to think about how decisions get made in combat or crisis.

Some of the classes are taught on battlefields at Gettysburg and Antietam.


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