The Civil War surgeon faced a unique challenge: to answer to two very different authorities. On one hand, he was bound to uphold the principles of medical tradition, while on the
other required to obey the regularions of the army. Not every doctor was able to rise to the challenge of these dual responsibilities and many Civil War surgeons ended up facing official sanctions for their alleged medical and/or procedural failures. Undoubtedly, some of these surgeons were guilty of negligence, perhaps even worse. But the great majority did their duty. Even those who fell short raise the question: Could we, with the same challenges and the same limited knowledge, have done better? With appendices and index.
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