Spokane County Library District staging Civil War exhibit

Staff Writer

Spokane County Library District is staging an exhibit that explores experiences of disabled Civil War veterans who served as a symbol of the fractured nation and a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict.
The exhibit at the North Spokane Library running until May 19 and entitled “Life and Limb: The Toll of the Civil War,” takes a look at the experiences of injured soldiers during the conflict and in the years afterwards. These experiences are less well known than the perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses of that time, which are richly documented in the history of Civil War medicine with highlights of the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded during wartime.
As Americans sought to put the memory of the Civil War behind them, they increasingly ignored the plight of aging, disabled, and impoverished veterans.
The library exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Accompanying the exhibit will a presentation and question-and-answer session led by members of the Washington Civil War Association. The program “Civil War Medicine, 1861–65: Immediate & Long Lasting Effects on Victims” will be held at North Spokane Library on May 3 at 7 p.m.
The audience can observe Union Army personnel in a brigade field hospital with the Army of the Potomac, where they discuss what has been seen and learned about medicine since the spring of 1861.

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