To Kill and to Heal: Weapons and Medicine of the Civil War
Union and Confederate soldiers died by the thousands in the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. And behind the scenes—in pitched tents, temporary field hospitals, and semi-permanent medical facilities—men died in even greater numbers of wounds and disease. Fully two-thirds of Civil War deaths resulted not from battle but from disease. How so many lives were saved and so many more lost is the story told in To Kill and to Heal: Weapons and Medicine of the Civil War, an exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum that runs through November 30, 2013.
To Kill and to Heal opened on May 11, 2012, about a month after the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the first Civil War battle with massive casualties, a harbinger of the human destruction the war would bring.
Large images of battlefield scenes provide a backdrop for numerous artifacts, including an original Civil War hospital flag; a field stretcher; a door used as a surgical table; weapons; a tree trunk with an embedded artillery shell from the Battle of Chickamauga; various medical and surgical tools, including an amputation kit; a crude leg prosthesis; a drum carried by a wounded soldier; and original letters, journals, drawings, clinical photographs, and medical records.
Paid admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is required to view the exhibit. Admission prices are $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $6 for children. A special admission rate of $5 is available to those who want to visit only To Kill and to Heal.