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Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease

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Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses. The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bul Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses. The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bullets and artillery shells shattered soldiers' bodies, while microbes and parasites killed twice as many men as did the battles. Yet from this tragic four-year conflict came innovations that enhanced medical care in the United States. With striking detail, this nonfiction book reveals battlefield rescues, surgical techniques, medicines, and patient care, celebrating the men and women of both the North and South who volunteered to save lives.


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Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses. The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bul Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses. The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bullets and artillery shells shattered soldiers' bodies, while microbes and parasites killed twice as many men as did the battles. Yet from this tragic four-year conflict came innovations that enhanced medical care in the United States. With striking detail, this nonfiction book reveals battlefield rescues, surgical techniques, medicines, and patient care, celebrating the men and women of both the North and South who volunteered to save lives.

30 review for Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    More nonfiction books for kids and teens about the U.S. Civil War have been published than anyone could count, but Gail Jarrow manages a fresh take on the subject in Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease. The book clues us in to a surprising fact: twice as many soldiers succumbed to disease as died from being shot or stabbed on the battlefield, and this eventually led the U.S. to reexamine and improve healthcare standards. Three months after war began in early 1861, th More nonfiction books for kids and teens about the U.S. Civil War have been published than anyone could count, but Gail Jarrow manages a fresh take on the subject in Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease. The book clues us in to a surprising fact: twice as many soldiers succumbed to disease as died from being shot or stabbed on the battlefield, and this eventually led the U.S. to reexamine and improve healthcare standards. Three months after war began in early 1861, the First Battle of Bull Run yielded a huge casualty count, previewing the carnage of the next four years. The Northern army had every resource advantage in its fight to preserve the U.S. and end slavery, but the Confederate South was determined to hold on to their legal right to own slaves. Both sides required that soldiers be at least eighteen years old, but as the war progressed and the number of able-bodied men dwindled, clerics were willing to overlook the age of younger volunteers. For non-combat roles, even kids signed up; Johnny Clem joined a Northern regiment when he was only ten, and once had to kill a man in battle. The Union and Confederate armies wanted to put their best foot forward, but that's not always possible in war. In the 1860s, it was believed that miasma caused disease. Germ theory was years from being commonly accepted. Measles, smallpox, and other coronaviruses spread like wildfire in military encampments, causing bronchitis, pneumonia, and other conditions that killed weakened soldiers. Insects and parasites could be a death sentence too, transmitting malaria and typhoid fever. Faced with a shortage of qualified medical help, especially on the Confederate side, medical men relied on quinine, camphor, and opium to stave off a variety of ailments, but these had limited effect. Blood and Germs introduces us to many individual soldiers who took sick between 1861 and '65, most of whom died, though some became well again and went on to lead long lives. Before the war, nursing was not a profession in the U.S., but advocates such as Elizabeth Blackwell lobbied for women to act as nurses for sick and injured soldiers. A bit of comfort from a sympathetic woman could restore the will to live of men ravaged by injury and disease. Military innovations made war more efficient, but increased the potential for catastrophic damage. The "Minié ball", a type of musket bullet developed by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, was calculated to do maximal damage once it entered the human body, demolishing blood vessels, bone, and muscle. Most bullets extracted from Civil War soldiers were Minié balls, and keeping up with the destruction was nearly impossible. Union medical director Jonathan Letterman invented the triage system to sort which patients should be attended first, an innovation that brought him little acclaim during the war but eventually became the international standard. How ghastly was it to be a doctor or attendant at a Civil War battle? Under-qualified surgeons spent days in mobile tent hospitals after a major battle, amputating feet, hands, legs, and arms amidst a sea of delirious soldiers screaming and moaning. Some surgeons broke under the pressure, the psychological strain too much to handle. Piles of dead, bloody human limbs lay everywhere, and most patients died even after amputation; erysipelas, tetanus, and hospital gangrene often set in and killed a man after an operation. Women such as Sally Tompkins, Dorothea Dix, Susie King Taylor, and Kate Cumming took it as their calling to improve the quality of care at these hospitals, and their activism caused America to rethink its dismissive attitude toward nursing as a profession. Devastating as the war was, it helped usher in an era of better healthcare outcomes. Blood and Germs is closer to being a fact book than a straightforward narrative, but there are a couple of consistent themes. Many of the war's medical horrors persisted because of blind trust in the healthcare establishment; people figured that doctors knew their profession and shouldn't be challenged, but that's not a smart philosophy. Doctors in the 1860s knew almost nothing of germs, infection, and treatment risks, yet actively opposed colleagues who dissented from prevailing opinion. Surgeon general William Hammond lost his job because of his independence of thought. "He told the army's surgeons to stop using calomel, because he believed mercury harmed the body. Today, we know that he was correct. But his decision was unpopular with the doctors who relied on the medicine. With political pressure against him, Hammond was forced from his position in 1864." The lesson? Doctors aren't infallible, and their opinions should constantly be challenged. Society shouldn't follow what anyone in the medical field proclaims based on credentials or reputation; we should demand they show their work and prove their claims, or we fall into the same old pattern that led to many unnecessary deaths in the Civil War. This takes us to the book's second main theme: even a horrifying experience like war can yield some good if we determine to learn from it. Pinpoint your mistakes, decide how to neutralize them, and do better next time. On a societal or individual level, this is the blueprint for wise living that serves as an example to others. Gail Jarrow wrote books about medical history and mysteries before Blood and Germs came out in 2020, so this brand of storytelling was old hat for her. I appreciate her insight into how doctors dealt with germs, disease, and injuries during the Civil War, but overall this book feels uneven; at times the writing feels distant and clinical, unlikely to intrigue young readers. At other times the descriptions and photos are almost too gruesome, showing piles of severed limbs and dead, decomposing soldiers on the battlefield. I'd rate Blood and Germs two and a half stars, and probably go for three if the central themes were emphasized more. This is a good book for kids already interested at an above average level in the Civil War, but reluctant readers won't likely get far past the blood-soaked front cover.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus One of the enduring conundrums of readers advisory I have is this: how do I get books about war to students without glorifying it? There are some students with an insatiable to desire to vicariously experience war, but even eleven year olds need to know that War is Not Good. This book is perfect. Jarrow, whose Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat, Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America and The Poison Eat E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus One of the enduring conundrums of readers advisory I have is this: how do I get books about war to students without glorifying it? There are some students with an insatiable to desire to vicariously experience war, but even eleven year olds need to know that War is Not Good. This book is perfect. Jarrow, whose Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat, Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America and The Poison Eaters all show impressive writing on medical topics, narrows on what is to me the most fascinating fact about the Civil War: sickness claimed more lives than violence. Diarrhea was one of the most common killers. Nothing takes the glory away from dying for one's country more than a discussion of the number of diseases that could cause this outcome. This is serious business. The Civil War affected so many families, and in addition to the fatalities among soldiers, there were men who came back in extremely poor health due to a huge number of causes. Jarrow used military records to try to break down the administration of health services, the statistics about various diseases, and to highlight individuals who died because of the war. She does mention that there are far more extant records of the Union forces, but that ratios are probably similar in the Confederate cases. I found it surprising that neither army seemed to have made plans for taking care of soldiers who were ill or injured. Granted, this was during a time where doctor's credentials were not as regulated, and also when there was no formal training of nurses, but basic hygiene was not really addressed. Latrines caused widespread disease, as did lice and lack of clean water. The vast majority of the nursing seems to have been carried out by societies comprised of women volunteers. It was also interesting that some of the soldiers were more susceptible to diseases because they came from small towns or rural settings, so had no immunity built up from being in crowds. This book is nicely organized, and well designed, with plentiful period photographs and illustrations. Famous figures, such as Clara Barton, are highlighted, but there are lesser known luminaries, like Mary Livermore, who fought for more sanitary conditions in military hospitals, as well. The end notes are very complete, there is a really informative timeline, and the glossary of terms is helpful as well. Readers who want heroic tales of combat might be disappointed in this, but the cover will draw them in, and they will read at least half of the book before they realize that they are deep into a discussion about scurvy. Students who want to research the Civil War for a history project will find this an invaluable resource about innovations in medicine, technology, and practices that came out of this time period. This is an essential book for middle school and high schools, especially when the Civil War is part of the curriculum.

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.S. Poe

    Make no mistake, while this incredible piece of nonfiction is geared toward a young adult audience (high school, I assume), adults of any age would enjoy and benefit from reading this title, especially if you have an interest in medical history, U.S. history, or to be more exact, the lack thereof of practiced medicine during the Civil War. Gail Jarrow's writing is very accommodating for a younger audience—she keeps it simple, straightforward, provides statistics, and an extremely comprehensive gl Make no mistake, while this incredible piece of nonfiction is geared toward a young adult audience (high school, I assume), adults of any age would enjoy and benefit from reading this title, especially if you have an interest in medical history, U.S. history, or to be more exact, the lack thereof of practiced medicine during the Civil War. Gail Jarrow's writing is very accommodating for a younger audience—she keeps it simple, straightforward, provides statistics, and an extremely comprehensive glossary and bibliography that would undoubtedly be invaluable for any students using Blood and Germs to write papers or study for tests. Her facts and data comes from multiple well-researched sources and experts in their fields, including various museums and institutions, libraries, online resources (that students can utilize), as well as personal journals, newspapers, and letters written by soldiers and non-combative alike between 1861 - 1865. And again, while this book is intended to make an incredibly complex and heartbreaking time period in history more approachable for younger minds, I used it for research into my own projects and found it to be worth every penny and then some. The layout of the book is astounding. It's absolutely beautiful and full of period photographs featuring battlegrounds, soldiers, ambulance crews, surgeons and their teams, nurses, and more. Gail includes photographic examples of what now-vaccinated diseases looked like (again, these are mostly dated photographs, and thusly in black and white) so that student or adult alike can understand the true horror of smallpox, for example. There's also pictures of prison camps, doctor's surgery kits, and some more graphic photos, especially in the chapter on field hospital amputations. (By graphic, I do mean the brutal reality of the war. Gail does not sugarcoat the truth, which I find to be incredibly important.) But in those pages, she also touches on the history of prostheses, and shows these designs in action for survivors of the war. One of my favorite parts of the book is that she takes extra care to humanize the statistics, and says in the final pages, that it was important to her that readers see these names as people. She wanted to include where they were from, how old they were, where/what they did if they survived the war, and she went above and beyond to research their lives for this added element. Gail includes several biographies on women who served in secret, as well as those who took on nursing—so many later dedicating their lives to the empowerment of women through education, dress reform, and the right to vote, which I think is a great way to encourage readers to delve into another important time in history. She also includes information (and sadly, obviously, it was not as well documented) on the black men and women who served freely on the Union side, or those kept as slaves on the Confederate side. It is vital to stop and read these biographies amongst the pages of disease, famine, war, and death. I wish this book had been published when I was in high school. I think it's truly a gift to current students and should be assigned reading in a US history classroom. It's informative, truthful, insightful, and I think a door-opening book for those who might one day go on to become historians or work in the field of medicine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I wish I could give more stars than the five. What an amazing book!! By far the best book I've read by this author. We all know how important the Civil War has been to our country's history but WOW I learned a lot from this book. Trigger warning - it is a pretty graphic and gory book. There are pictures of damage done to men's bodies from bullets, cannonballs and disease. And descriptions of battles and aftermaths. But the amount of information doctors, nurses, and others learned from trial and I wish I could give more stars than the five. What an amazing book!! By far the best book I've read by this author. We all know how important the Civil War has been to our country's history but WOW I learned a lot from this book. Trigger warning - it is a pretty graphic and gory book. There are pictures of damage done to men's bodies from bullets, cannonballs and disease. And descriptions of battles and aftermaths. But the amount of information doctors, nurses, and others learned from trial and error made such advances in medical practices. Because of things learned during the Civil War we have ambulances and EMTs, and we have trained nurses. Not to say we wouldn't eventually have had these things but we had them during the war and because of the war. I read at the end of the book that this will be part of a series and I can't wait to see what other books I will be reading and the events that took place in our history. Read these books by Gail Jarrow, you will love them and learn so much. I put this book in the I've been here in a previous life shelf because, like Mt. Everest, I feel I've been here. I have such a pull to certain places and times and the Civil War is one of those times. I can't look at pictures of soldiers without feeling the sadness and being a part of it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Jarrow doesn't pull any punches about what the book is about, the book is literally all about the battle wounds and disease from the Civil War-- specifically from blood and germs. With a lot of pictures that are fairly standard Civil War photos from the likes of men like Brady, there are additional pictures with the raw experiences of the soldiers including gangrenous wounds, women who pretended to be men, the surgeons (also known as the doctors) who worked on them, how the primitive ambulance w Jarrow doesn't pull any punches about what the book is about, the book is literally all about the battle wounds and disease from the Civil War-- specifically from blood and germs. With a lot of pictures that are fairly standard Civil War photos from the likes of men like Brady, there are additional pictures with the raw experiences of the soldiers including gangrenous wounds, women who pretended to be men, the surgeons (also known as the doctors) who worked on them, how the primitive ambulance wagons pulled by horses were added with additional springs to help avoid more pain for the soldiers. Jarrow works through many diseases that have been eradicated since the Civil War and explains what the symptoms were, what they thought it was caused by before they realized what it was really caused by which is super helpful to understand from the perspective we have in 2021, including soldiers heart, now known as PTSD. She's a straight shooting author who gets to the point and I respect her craft for that reason. The book is eye-catching from the cover to the internal layout.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    In another story from the history of medicine, Jarrow focuses on the horrific death rates, diseases, and medical procedures of the American Civil War. Complementing the vivid narrative are ghastly photos of amputated limbs, gangrenous sores, and corpses. Jarrow makes excellent use of primary sources, including quotes from diaries and memoirs of soldiers, doctors, and nurses from both the Confederate and Union sides. Gruesome and fascinating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Bange

    As she has done in her other books about how sickness and disease affected daily life of people in the past, this time Jarrow explains and humanizes how and why so many soldiers and sailors lost their lives during the American Civil War. Jarrow does an outstanding job of balancing stories about both the North and the South, even though most of the records kept by the Confederate Surgeon General were burned in Richmond. Heavy use of primary source photos of specific people and battlefields and ill As she has done in her other books about how sickness and disease affected daily life of people in the past, this time Jarrow explains and humanizes how and why so many soldiers and sailors lost their lives during the American Civil War. Jarrow does an outstanding job of balancing stories about both the North and the South, even though most of the records kept by the Confederate Surgeon General were burned in Richmond. Heavy use of primary source photos of specific people and battlefields and illustrations from publications of the time, bring the stories down to a very personal level. Sidebars with more detail about the diseases, medications and medical treatments, the role of women and young boys on/off the battlefield, and the rise in importance of nursing as a result add great depth. A timeline of the war, glossary of terms, suggested websites for more information, extensive research notes, and an index round out the backmatter. Jarrow mentions in her author's note that this is the first of her "Medical Fiasco" series. I can hardly wait to read the others! Having visited many Civil War sites, there is always a display about this topic - usually displaying a surgeon's kit and/or wagon with medications. The clear explanations and photographs serve to deepen one's knowledge of this area of war. A must to include on reading lists for units of study on the Civil War. Highly Recommended for grades 7-adult.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    Long form nonfiction is gaining in audience, publisher support, and range of topics. In this case the focus of research, text, archival photos, and sidebar content is squarely on providing an honest portrait of the state of medicine and absence of today's knowledge, resources and treatment options in the Civil War years. When the television series M*A*S*H was running, the gap between current medical practice and the circumstances just thirty years earlier was an important storyline throughout th Long form nonfiction is gaining in audience, publisher support, and range of topics. In this case the focus of research, text, archival photos, and sidebar content is squarely on providing an honest portrait of the state of medicine and absence of today's knowledge, resources and treatment options in the Civil War years. When the television series M*A*S*H was running, the gap between current medical practice and the circumstances just thirty years earlier was an important storyline throughout the entire run. In even the passing of those few decades it was hard for people to imagine how primitive and limited the choices were while trying to save victims in a war zone. In this case, the gap between modern science and mid-nineteenth century reality is 160 years. That incorporates the limitations of transportation, communication, and accommodations for basic food and shelter. I have a bit of a medical background, a fairly strong historical background, and even so I felt my jaw dropping on every page. The carnage and death of the war itself is horrific, but the percentage of deaths that resulted from lack of modern medical care is immeasurable. Even so, what trained and untrained people were able to accomplish to save lives, some limbs, and increase survival is even more jaw-dropping. As is sometimes the case, I felt that this book's well-told and detailed depiction of those years teaches readers a great deal about modern science and resources by the clear depiction of the state of medicine in that time and circumstances. Well-named, well-written, and unforgettable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    I would say this book is decent at best. I grabbed this book at my library because the cover seemed interesting ; moreover, as I read through the book, the pictures/art style was very pleasant. However, once all the fat and bones of the book are stripped away and you're just left with the meat of the book, it ends up being very little. Literally most of the book is little snippets from someone's life under a picture of them, and almost all of the author's summaries of their lives are the same th I would say this book is decent at best. I grabbed this book at my library because the cover seemed interesting ; moreover, as I read through the book, the pictures/art style was very pleasant. However, once all the fat and bones of the book are stripped away and you're just left with the meat of the book, it ends up being very little. Literally most of the book is little snippets from someone's life under a picture of them, and almost all of the author's summaries of their lives are the same thing: "{Name} was born in {Place} and fought in the {specific battle}, where he got {injury} and died later"; imagine this but expanded to like a paragraph or two. Over and over. With all this in mind, I did learn some things from this book. For example, diarrhea took the most lives in the Civil War (out of the other possible diseases). Germ theory wasn't a thing during the war, so doctors came up with interesting theories for how disease was spread and contracted (for example, miasma caused malaria). I also found it interesting how the top surgeons made improvements to the medical field as a whole in more ways than just simple sanitation (changing ambulances from two-wheeled gutbusters to more stable vehicles, spacing out hospitals, etc.). Overall, I don't regret reading this book, but I wouldn't say I'd recommend it for someone who wants to take a serious academic dive into this subject.

  10. 5 out of 5

    This

    Adults, please do NOT turn away because this nonfiction book was written for young adults. I find YA nonfiction to be some of the best nonfiction around--clearly written instead of sleep-inducing, with helpful photos and illustrations, and not talking down to the reader. This book, focusing on the US Civil War's medical history, takes a well-considered look at not just the horrors (Those amputations! Not washing hands nor equipment!) but also underlying issues (where to place ambulance wagons for Adults, please do NOT turn away because this nonfiction book was written for young adults. I find YA nonfiction to be some of the best nonfiction around--clearly written instead of sleep-inducing, with helpful photos and illustrations, and not talking down to the reader. This book, focusing on the US Civil War's medical history, takes a well-considered look at not just the horrors (Those amputations! Not washing hands nor equipment!) but also underlying issues (where to place ambulance wagons for the quickest and safest retrieval of the wounded, not knowing about bacteria & infection). Jarrow states up front--and reiterates it later--that most records are from the Union side since Confederate records were often lost when offices were destroyed. Still, you can tell she has endeavored to give a balanced portrayal--even though much of the information was similar for both sides. Teens will love the gruesome photos (don't use the book as mealtime reading) but don't skip past those. As Jarrow says, she wanted to give faces to the story and not just names and numbers. Jarrow is a worthy historian for teens along the lines of Russell Freedman and Jim Murphy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book was a fascinating, yet gruesome and sometimes gross look at medical doctors and their techniques, as well as the microbes, diseases and injuries that the soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War sustained. I think the gross out factor will definitely appeal to older boys, though really anyone with an interest in American History or the history of medicine will be intrigued as it was very well-researched for a children's nonfiction book. I first became interested in Civil War me This book was a fascinating, yet gruesome and sometimes gross look at medical doctors and their techniques, as well as the microbes, diseases and injuries that the soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War sustained. I think the gross out factor will definitely appeal to older boys, though really anyone with an interest in American History or the history of medicine will be intrigued as it was very well-researched for a children's nonfiction book. I first became interested in Civil War medicine while visiting the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia while I was going to undergrad there, though while I was in high school my dad took us to a lot of battlefields around Virginia and Maryland because he is a history buff. I would love to have the opportunity to go the National Civil War Medicine Museum in Frederick, MD someday. Highly recommended for ages 10+, 5 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Everything I never wanted to know about the bloody and infectious side of the Civil War is explored in this book. It may have been written for teen or middle grade readers, but it certainly was eye-opening to me. The author does not back down from the gory details and includes plenty of photos that bring the text to life. Younger readers interested in the Civil War (or how doctors ever figured out how to keep soldiers alive after wounds inflicted during battles) will really appreciate the materi Everything I never wanted to know about the bloody and infectious side of the Civil War is explored in this book. It may have been written for teen or middle grade readers, but it certainly was eye-opening to me. The author does not back down from the gory details and includes plenty of photos that bring the text to life. Younger readers interested in the Civil War (or how doctors ever figured out how to keep soldiers alive after wounds inflicted during battles) will really appreciate the material within the pages of this book. The extensive bibliography and links to related sources are fodder for anyone wishing to go further into the topic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Salamah

    Excellent book about medical practices during the Civil War. Some gruesome stuff that led to some of the advances in medicine that we have today. I really liked the biographical information of the real life people who lived through the Civil War. It made it more realistic seeing their images and knowing their names. Jarrow includes both sides, the North and South, as well as people of color and women in her biographies. Even though it's very detailed may be more appropriately for middle school s Excellent book about medical practices during the Civil War. Some gruesome stuff that led to some of the advances in medicine that we have today. I really liked the biographical information of the real life people who lived through the Civil War. It made it more realistic seeing their images and knowing their names. Jarrow includes both sides, the North and South, as well as people of color and women in her biographies. Even though it's very detailed may be more appropriately for middle school students.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    An engrossing account of the bloody Civil War, beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run. Fascinating stories of soldiers on both sides of the war are given, including those of female undercover soldiers and children as young as ten years old! The real threat to soldiers, though, was disease brought by bugs, contaminated water, and living in close quarters. Jarrow's narrative captures the intense battle between two opposing armies as well as between men and sickness. A riveting read! An engrossing account of the bloody Civil War, beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run. Fascinating stories of soldiers on both sides of the war are given, including those of female undercover soldiers and children as young as ten years old! The real threat to soldiers, though, was disease brought by bugs, contaminated water, and living in close quarters. Jarrow's narrative captures the intense battle between two opposing armies as well as between men and sickness. A riveting read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Wow, so much information, detail, and personal stories are included in this book. I've always found the advancement of medicine to be intriguing, especially when we are talking about a couple hundreds years worth. It is amazing how many died from treatable disease or who suffered needlessly. This is an extremely interesting book for anyone interested in Civil War battles or early American medical treatments. Wow, so much information, detail, and personal stories are included in this book. I've always found the advancement of medicine to be intriguing, especially when we are talking about a couple hundreds years worth. It is amazing how many died from treatable disease or who suffered needlessly. This is an extremely interesting book for anyone interested in Civil War battles or early American medical treatments.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Calinda

    Gail Jarrow gives the reader a look into the reality of 19th century wartime medicine that cuts deep with visceral emotion mixed with medical fact (maybe too deep for the squeamish or faint of heart). Suitable for uppper-middle-grade or middle school audiences, but intersting and enjoyable for all ages. See my full review at Compass Book Ratings: http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev... Gail Jarrow gives the reader a look into the reality of 19th century wartime medicine that cuts deep with visceral emotion mixed with medical fact (maybe too deep for the squeamish or faint of heart). Suitable for uppper-middle-grade or middle school audiences, but intersting and enjoyable for all ages. See my full review at Compass Book Ratings: http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Solid and informative, but it didn't have the narrative throughline that would have made it unforgettable. Also, I was expecting to be more grossed out, but instead was saddened by the relentless cruelty of was. So many people dead in so many ways, often because of ignorance or carelessness, all in a war fought for the right to enslave other people. Solid and informative, but it didn't have the narrative throughline that would have made it unforgettable. Also, I was expecting to be more grossed out, but instead was saddened by the relentless cruelty of was. So many people dead in so many ways, often because of ignorance or carelessness, all in a war fought for the right to enslave other people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Norell Hedenstrom

    An account of the diseases and injuiries that resulted from the Civil War and medical response. Advance in medical records, emergence of the nursing profession, and changed attitudes toward hospitals were some positive outcomes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shella

    One if my favorite nonfiction authors for middle schoolers. If you have a child not really interested in nonfiction- highly suggest books by this author. Impeccably researched, fascinating topics, and high quality text features. This is the first in a trilogy about medical fiascos.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Alison

    Easy read and well cited. Loads of photos and interesting stories to pique the readers interest. It’s aimed at middle/high school readers but is interesting enough to pick up and read by anyone with an interest in medical or American history.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is definitely as well written and well researched as any other Gail Jarrow book. I just personally have less interest in war than in the topics of some of her other books, so it wasn't my personal favorite. I would still recommend it to teens who like learning about war or medical history. This is definitely as well written and well researched as any other Gail Jarrow book. I just personally have less interest in war than in the topics of some of her other books, so it wasn't my personal favorite. I would still recommend it to teens who like learning about war or medical history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wagner

    Great informational text about medicine and the Civil War. I found both the images and the short biographies that go with them to be engaging and put a face and name to many of the concepts discussed in the book. Another great read by Gail Jarrow!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    It's not bad, be prepared for some gruesome photos that hammer home the message. I'm not sure who I would give this to, but I think Gail Jarrow does a good job of telling interesting stories. (and making me want to wash my hands 50000000 times) It's not bad, be prepared for some gruesome photos that hammer home the message. I'm not sure who I would give this to, but I think Gail Jarrow does a good job of telling interesting stories. (and making me want to wash my hands 50000000 times)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clare Lund

    Extremely well done nonfiction... I just get queasy reading about all the disease and battlefield surgeries and death. Ages 10 and up, but need to have an interest in the topic (and a strong stomach too).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tam I

    Read an ARC. Excellent high Interest narrative non fiction. Great for middle.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Reading for School Library Journal

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Connelly

    This book was well researched but it was a little hard to stomach especially with a very graphic pictures

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Connelly

    Well done non-fiction on a Civil War topic that is not dealt into much pictures very graphic

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane White

    Informative nonfiction book. It reads well and the photos add to what is presented in the text.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is a book not for the weak of heart. I didn't have time to read it, so I scanned it instead. It shows some of the aftermath of war. So many young lives were changed forever. Most pictures are in black and white, which is a blessing considering some of the gory pics you will find. This is a book not for the weak of heart. I didn't have time to read it, so I scanned it instead. It shows some of the aftermath of war. So many young lives were changed forever. Most pictures are in black and white, which is a blessing considering some of the gory pics you will find.

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