View Full Version : Stretcher question

John Legg
08-08-2006, 07:10 AM

me and will eichler, have been trying to find info on civil war stretcher!

we want to construct at least 2 before perryville this year, but we dont have a whole lot of info!

if you have any info please send me a pm!

Thanks alot,

08-08-2006, 07:26 AM
Hi all,

First post on this board. To flush out what John said a little, we are looking to construct a couple period stretchers. Currently, we are leaning toward the Halsted pattern, due to the large number of them available during the war. I found a very good written description of them and a wood cut online at the Medical Museum in Frederick, MD's website.

I stopped in on a business trip but unfortunately there do not own an original. So now we're back to looking for either 1) photos of the litters/stretcher or 2) another pattern that someone knows of for the Union army.

Any info would be very appreciated.

We are looking to build good tools. To save the comments, for this time we have ruled out field improvising structures and are looking to build actual stretchers/litters.

Thanks for all the help in advance!


Will Eichler
Saginaw City Light Infantry
Historic Fort Wayne Coalition

08-08-2006, 09:39 AM
There was some discussion of this topic over on the AC (http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5296&page=1&pp=10&highlight=stretcher)a while back. It includes photos and an article on the the Halstead Litter and a detailed description of the 1861 Coolidge Ambulance Litters.

08-08-2006, 01:57 PM
Contact the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD specifically about stretchers - www.civilwarmed.org. The staff are extraordinarily helpful and generous in guiding interested people to available resources. They have an extensive library onsite as well that can be visited by appointment. I am a volunteer researcher there. The stretchers that are on display in the exhibit case in the Evacuation of the Wounded gallery are originals according to my guidebook.


Audrey Scanlan

08-21-2006, 09:49 PM

What a coincidence. I found addition relevant materials on this topic on a trip I just made to the archives at Walter Reed. Please see the scan at: http://www.thefieldhospital.com/ACW_stretcher01.jpg

John Novicki

08-21-2006, 11:38 PM

Thanks for the recommendation of the museum in Frederick. Their website has a great reference to the Halsted stretcher that formed the basis of our research. I will also say i was traveling home from a job and stopped by at 5:50pm (they close at 6). I asked to see on of the currators (being from Michigan I don't just get to drop in all the time). He took quite a bit of time and it was a great help, although they don't have anything more than is on the website.


WONDERFUL! Your file if very close, if not a drawing of an actual Halsted litter. The retracting handles are then only part of what is shown that doesn't sound right. I'll check the information I have. Like I said above, it's from the website of the Civil War Medical museum. Let me know if it would help you.

Best to you both,