Photographs and Medicine of the Civil War, August 26 and 28

Posted Aug. 14, 2014, at 3:35 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Camden Public Library, Atlantic Avenue, Camden, Maine

For more information: 207-236-3440;

The final two speakers in the “Maine and the Civil War” series at the Camden Public Library will be Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth on August 26 and Dr. Richard Kahn on August 28. Mr. Shettleworth will give an illustrated talk on “Maine Civil War Photography” at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 26. Dr. Kahn will present “A Union Physician Discusses Civil War Medicine,” accompanied by some of his collection of medical devices from the Civil War era, at 7:00 pm on Thursday, August 28,.

The Civil War was a defining moment in state and national history. More than 70,000 Maine men and women participated in the four year conflict from 1861 to 1865, with approximately 10,000 losing their lives. The widespread use of photography on both the home front and the battlefront recorded many aspects of the war. Through 150-year old images, Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. will explore how the war impacted Maine within the state and on the battlefield.

Dr. Richard Kahn draws from the unpublished diary of a Maine hospital steward and several case studies, including a display of some of his collection of nineteenth century medical gear. Kahn says, “I lived in Union, Maine for 35 years — and therefore I can speak as a Union physician! I will be discussing general medical problems in the Civil War that might be subtitled ‘Minie balls and microbes.’ I’ll use actual medical case histories of Maine soldiers; as an example I will refer to George B. Noyes, a Bowdoin/Medical School of Maine man who becomes hospital steward. Finally, I will discuss several case histories of injured men who were cared for by Walt Whitman and whose pathological specimens exist and will be shown,” he continued. “I’ll also exhibit some medical instruments and books about Civil War medicine.”

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