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"Doc" Nelson
05-24-2007, 01:29 PM
If you were limited on the number of bottles of medicine you carried (say . . 10 bottles). What would you choose? Would you lean more towards the majority of them being stimulants? Or, a mixture?

I have a small pocket case with 10 bottles and, what I have is mostly stimulants. However, I do have 1 or 2 for treating things like "dysentery" (Dover's Powder) and, an "antacid" (Potassium Bicarbonate). The others are mainly "Opium Pills", "Silver Nitrate", "Laudanum", "Ipecac Pills", etc.

NoahBriggs
05-24-2007, 01:49 PM
If you read my post on Paynes Farm you will find my list of immediates I carried into the field. Well, my orderly carried them, but you get the picture.

I am now up to 28 bottles. When doing a dressing station it's laudanum, iodine, opium pills. The pocket won't hold more than that. On the march it's laudanum, blue mass and the ingredients for an effervescing draught.

hanktrent
05-24-2007, 03:22 PM
Do I have to answer on my own, or is it okay if I ask the surgeon general for help? ;)

According to Directions Concerning the Duties of Medical Purveyors and Medical Storekeepers, published by the Surgeon General's Office, 1863,"The medicine case for field service" contains

Chloroformum Purificatum, 6 1/2 oz.
Extractum Ipecacuanhae Fluidum, 2 oz.
Extractum Zingiberis Fluidum, 2 oz.
Liquor Ferri Persulphatis, 2 oz.
Pilulae Catharticae Compositae, 12 doz.
Pilulae Quiniae Sulphatis (3 grains each) 12 doz.
Pilulae Opii 12 doz.
Pills of Ext. Colocyn Comp. 3 grs. and Ipecac 1/2 gr., 12 doz
Spiritus Frumenti, 24 oz.
Tinctura Opii 2 oz.

That would be ten medicines. Included as additional supplies are:

Corks, No. 6
Ichthyocolla Plaster 1 yard
Lint. patent "A. super" 1/4 lb.
Medicine Glass No. 1
Muslin, Bleached, one yard wide, 2 yards
Pins, 1 paper
Roller Bandages, No. 24
Scissors, 1 pair
Silk for Ligatures, 1/4 oz.
Sponge, fine, small, 1 piece
Spoon, tea, tinned iron, No. 1
Towel, No. 1

For an illustration, Dammann's Encyclopedia Vol. I shows a "U.S. Army Medicine Case," p. 49, that holds those ingredients, if you go by the photo, not his transcription. He has it transcribed poorly, for example listing zinc instead of zingiberis.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

hanktrent
05-24-2007, 09:56 PM
Had a little extra time, so I thought I'd try to figure out the reasoning behind including these items. Your thoughts are welcome.

Chloroformum Purificatum, 6 1/2 oz. For surgery, obviously, though I wonder how often it was also used externally as an anodyne for rheumatic pains, or internally as an antispasmodic?

Extractum Ipecacuanhae Fluidum, 2 oz. For catarrh, I'd guess, since we seem to be missing Dover's Powders. I'm thinking its use as an emetic would be secondary in importance.

Extractum Zingiberis Fluidum, 2 oz. As a stomachic. Could be used for a blister plaster, but if that's so important, why not have mustard? And for a plaster, better to have a powder than a fluid extract.

Liquor Ferri Persulphatis, 2 oz. A tonic in dysentery and for anaemia. Makes sense.

Pilulae Catharticae Compositae, 12 doz. Wonder if Hammond went after these too? According to the U.S. dispensatory, they contain colocynth, jalap, calomel, and gamboge. Whew. Ain't no doubt what they do. The dispensatory recommends them specifically for bilious fevers, hepatitis, jaundice.

Pilulae Quiniae Sulphatis (3 grains each) 12 doz. Like the bugle call says, "Come and get your quinine." Beasley's 1857 Book of Prescriptions says "As a tonic in simple debility, and loss of appetite from atonic dyspepsia, quinine is unrivalled," and I'd guess there was as much of that as malaria.

Pilulae Opii 12 doz. For pain of course, and for diarrhea and dysentery and all the other things opium is good for.

Pills of Ext. Colocyn Comp. 3 grs. and Ipecac 1/2 gr., 12 doz This combination doesn't show up in the 1851 US Dispensatory. But who needs calomel and tartar emetic when you've got this? Ext. Colocyn Compositum has colocynth, aloes, scammony, cardamom, soap and alcohol, making it "an energetic and safe cathartic." A little ipecac could only make the experience better.

Spiritus Frumenti, 24 oz. As a stimulant, and just because. Could also be used for diluting some of the fluid extracts.

Tinctura Opii 2 oz. Same as the pills of course, and in this form, I guess you could also combine it with the ipecac up there for catarrh, bronchitis, etc. like Dovers Powders.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Sgt_Pepper
05-24-2007, 10:08 PM
I'm having Latin flashbacks...

NoahBriggs
05-25-2007, 03:48 AM
Ad Hoc Lugii primum, in Spituum.

(If you hock first, you can spit.) :D

TimKindred
05-25-2007, 10:45 AM
Hank,

One of the things that Chloroform was also used for was to use either full strength, or diluted in water, to bathe badly blistered or raw and bleeding feet. This was still the case as late as WWII. where it was mentioned by Guy Sajer in his book "The Forgotten Soldier". He and his friend had literally worn out their socks, and were unable to procure more through the disintegrating German supply network. As a result, his feet had been rubbed raw by his boots.

Stopping at a field hospital, the doctor in charge examined them and ordered the nurse to bathe their feet in chloroform, and to then wrap the feet in bandages before sending them on.

One of the things the good Doc Nelson is asking about relates to the size of the bottles in his case. The amounts listed for the field case are rather considerable quantities, and the smaller glass vials in the roll up will hold maybe 1-2 ounces. More for use in a saddlebag or valise, etc.

One thing that stands out to me, from accounts I have read, is that certain medicines are still preferred, and I suspect that the "list of ten" above reflects the Army's acknowledgment of what was in practice at the time.

Syrup of Squill, Blue Mass, Opium, Whiskey, Ipecac and Iodine are nearly always mentioned as things "to have on hand". Baking soda and/or peppermint oil as well, although raspberry syrup makes a fairly good intrusion, especially among southern writers.

My own valise has Opium, Morphine, Blue Mass, Whiskey, Baking Soda and liniment.

These, combined with a small roll-up of instruments, sutures, some assorted bandages and a collapsible cup make up the immediate contents of my valise. I also carry an extra canteen with quinine.

I have the "knapsack toter", when available, carry the rest of the stuff. making certain to include a small container of Chloroform in the lower drawer, along with a couple sponges.

Respects,

"Doc" Nelson
05-25-2007, 12:27 PM
One of the things the good Doc Nelson is asking about relates to the size of the bottles in his case. The amounts listed for the field case are rather considerable quantities, and the smaller glass vials in the roll up will hold maybe 1-2 ounces. More for use in a saddlebag or valise, etc.

One thing that stands out to me, from accounts I have read, is that certain medicines are still preferred, and I suspect that the "list of ten" above refects the Army's acknowlegment of what was in practice at the time.

Syrup of Squill, Blue Mass, Opium, Whiskey, Ipecac and Iodine are nearly always mentioned as things "to have on hand". Baking soda and/or peppermint oil as well, although raspberry syrup makes a fairly good intrusion, especially amongst southern writers.

My own valise has Opium, Morphine, Blue Mass, Whiskey, Baking Soda and linament.

These, combined with a small roll-up of instruments, sutures, some assorted bandages and a collapsible cup make up the immediate contents of my valise. I also carry an extra canteen with quinnine.

I have the "knapsack toter", when available, carry the rest of the stuff. making certain to include a small container of Chloroform in the lower drawer, along with a couple sponges.

Respects,
Tim,
What I carry is a small leather medicine case that has 10 small bottles. The case is item #517, from Dixie Leatherworks. The bottles are approximately 3 1/2" tall by only 7/8" wide . . yes, they're small.

I have read Noah's AARs from 'Payne's Farm' and 'Winter 62' (I think that's the one). I was just curious what others carried . . or, if they were limited by the number and size of the bottles . . what would they carry (or, be the better choices for use). I apologize . . I'm having difficulty with words today, for some reason. I hope I haven't confused anyone :oops:.

So far, it's interesting to see what everyone usually carries or, uses out on the field during an event and why. I appreciate the responses so far :).

TimKindred
05-26-2007, 12:01 PM
Jim,

I'm familiar with that item. I've got their stand-up bottle case. It's a nice display piece, but unless you have a medical wagon to haul your stuff, it's sadly not too practical to carry around. Your choice is batter in that regard.

I personally just use a selection of their bottles, plus some others I have of different sizes. It's tailored to what the impression will call for. I use the philosophy that, if I am in the field with the regiment, or whatever unit I'm assigned to, then I am the first line of treatment, meant primarily to deal with very small-scale stuff on the march, or, in combat, to stabilise them until they can be evacuated by whatever means to the division hospital.

Now, if assigned to a hospital or other large receiving facility, then the impedimentia will, of course, change. There again, depends upon what function(s) I am assigned to perform.

Respects,

hta1970
08-20-2007, 11:18 AM
I am trying to reconcile some differences in terms used in the Confederate Medical Regulations with those I have seen used here.

Perhaps someone can help.

Alcoholis - It is listed distinctly and separately from brandy (spiritus vini gallici) and whiskey.

Aluminis - Is this the same as alum?

Liquoris ammoniae - Is this simply aqua ammoniae?

Saponis - Is this the same as sapo?

Tincture veratri viridis - Is this the same as veratrum veride ext.

NoahBriggs
08-20-2007, 12:33 PM
Alcoholis - It is listed distinctly and separately from brandy (spiritus vini gallici) and whiskey.

Right. That's the equivalent of isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

Aluminis - Is this the same as alum?

Yes.

Liquoris ammoniae - Is this simply aqua ammoniae?

Gut feeling says no. If "Liquoris" is included I am wondering if it's a tincture, or some other chemical stabilizer. Someone better than I could reply to this one.

Saponis - Is this the same as sapo?

Yes. Soap. Appears to be a liquid version and not necessarily a solid lump.

Tincture veratri viridis - Is this the same as veratrum veride ext.

Yes.

TimKindred
08-20-2007, 01:14 PM
Comrade,

To expand upon Noah's statements, my search revealed 3 entires for "Liquoris ammoniae", all of which seemed to deal with it's use in either a lotion or an ointment applied topically for skin ailments of various sorts.

In each case, the "Liquoris ammoniae" was included as a PORTION of the recipe, rather than used alone.

As the war ramped up, and some medical bases became difficult to obtain, powdered licorice root was added to the Southerm pharmacopia. It was used in several manners, including tinctures and ointments, and included with various recipes.

However, two of the sources I found which list "Liquoris ammoniae" are both pre-war, so it was definately in use for several years prior to our intended period.

Respects,

hta1970
08-20-2007, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the help and advice.

In Chisolm 1864 edition, he mentions a few drugs to be carried in the hospital knapsack which I haven't found or have missed.

Muriate tincture of iron

Paregoric

Acetate of opium and lead pills

Perchloride of iron

Also would a bottle of morphine for allaying pain be the same as Morphiae sulphatis?

Thanks!

TimKindred
08-20-2007, 02:24 PM
Harry,

"Morphiae sulphatis" is the correct name for the powder or pilled version of morphine. Although normally in a powder form, it was occasionally produced as a pill which could then be either easily reduced to powder by gentle pressure, or dissolved in a liquid for injection (ala the "7% solution", etc). These pills were of a fixed dosage so that one pill, crushed or reduced, provided a single common dosage. They were NOT swallowed, however. It was just one method of measurement making it easier on the doctor to give the correct amount.

FWIW, it was Doctor Chisolm who first advocates injecting morphine solution for pain relief. His reasons are two-fold. One, it provides a faster infusion in the system, thus hurrying the onset of relief, and, two, it increses the efficiency of those stocks at hand since the injected solution provides faster and much greater relief than the stand, erlier, method of simply rubbing the powder into the open wound.

Paragoric is still used today. I would reccomend that you take a list of these items down to your local pharmacy and have them help you out as well.

Respects,

hanktrent
08-20-2007, 02:29 PM
Alcoholis - It is listed distinctly and separately from brandy (spiritus vini gallici) and whiskey.

Right. That's the equivalent of isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

Nitpick... But wouldn't it be ethyl rather than isopropyl?


Liquoris ammoniae - Is this simply aqua ammoniae?

The 1851 US Dispensatory lists Liquor Ammoniae and Aqua Ammoniae as synonyms, prepared from muriate of ammonia, lime and water, in order "to obtain a weak aqueous solution of the alkaline gas of ammonia."


Tincture veratri viridis - Is this the same as veratrum veride ext.

I think the "ext." would indicate an extract, which would indicate it was stronger than the non extract. Question is, would it be a fluid or solid extract? Fluid extracts were relatively new, introduced to the US Pharmacopoeia in 1850, according to the 1851 US Dispensatory, and in that book, always carry "fluidum" after their name, so "ext" alone would imply solid. Don't know if the default changed over the next fifteen years, but my gues is that the tincture would be a liquid and the extract would be a stronger solid or powder, both starting from American Hellebore.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

NoahBriggs
08-21-2007, 04:02 AM
Harry,

Look up the 851 US Dispensatory on Google Books, and also to cross-reference, Baesley's 2900 Prescriptions, which lists all kinds of ingredients and their effects.

2nd_mi_johnny
01-12-2008, 09:23 PM
If you were limited on the number of bottles of medicine you carried (say . . 10 bottles). What would you choose? Would you lean more towards the majority of them being stimulants? Or, a mixture?

I have a small pocket case with 10 bottles and, what I have is mostly stimulants. However, I do have 1 or 2 for treating things like "dysentery" (Dover's Powder) and, an "antacid" (Potassium Bicarbonate). The others are mainly "Opium Pills", "Silver Nitrate", "Laudanum", "Ipecac Pills", etc.

That all depends on what all I would have been issued. Granted that as suplies depleated and got used up many men in the service had to get... creative to say the least. For example, Opium was not readally handy, alot of the time. So I would not bother carrying them.. I might carry a bottle of "rum," or possibly some breed of 'cheep alchohal' The other a treatment for Disentary, or an Antacid I'd probably carry, as much as I could of Dieretics, and the like. One or two bottles would likely be reserved for home learned medicines, such as birch or pine tea, Molasus and vineger (Which was also a poor excuse for 'improvized whiskey.' but when putting together a medical kit, one would be well to remember that alot of the things that we know are good to have for triage in the field, the surgeon general concidered to be a luxury reserved for officers and people with political clout, that was often held back at the main hospital. The medics and Stewarts out at the field hospital would not have had it because it was too valueable, and the field hospitals were allways at the risk of being over run.

John Knecht IV
Hospital Stewart 2nd Michigan Medical
Private Hudsons Battery

2nd_mi_johnny
01-12-2008, 09:41 PM
Pills of Ext. Colocyn Comp. 3 grs. and Ipecac 1/2 gr., 12 doz This combination doesn't show up in the 1851 US Dispensatory. But who needs calomel and tartar emetic when you've got this? Ext. Colocyn Compositum has colocynth, aloes, scammony, cardamom, soap and alcohol, making it "an energetic and safe cathartic." A little ipecac could only make the experience better.

This one may have Also been utalized for the 'curing of deseases of ill repute.' (IE Vanarial Deseases.. or the 'clensing of a soldiers infected area')

2RIV
01-13-2008, 02:03 AM
I would look at the multi use of drugs. Opiates are great, they relieve pain, decrease the symptoms of respiratory ailments (they decrease heavy coughing, but they also decrease respirations, need to watch that), and they work great at decreasing bowel motility. I would also carry the bicarb as nausea is a common side effect of opiates, and would work well in combination to treat increased bowel motility in its various forms.

NoahBriggs
01-14-2008, 05:50 AM
That all depends on what all I would have been issued. Granted that as suplies [sic] depleated [sic] and got used up many men in the service had to get... creative to say the least.

Yes, but one of the benefits of being Federal is filling out requisitions to restock on supplies, which should be revealed in both paper and physical inventories.

For example, Opium was not readally [sic] handy, alot [sic] of the time. So I would not bother carrying them..

I'm curious to know what your sources are for that statement. Not picking on anyone; I am curious. Civil War Pharmacy by Michael Flannery and Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs both address the supply situation for North and South. Both concluded access to opiates was pretty easy and it was unlikely to run out. The two gov't manufaturing labs - Astoria and Philly - cranked out several hundred pounds of opiates over the war years.

I might carry a bottle of "rum," or possibly some breed of 'cheep [sic]alchohal' [sic]

The attitude of "cheap alcohol" may have been part of popular conception of your typical "backwards village Doc" during the era. There is, however, a specific definition of medicinal alcohol. Again, citing Flannery and Bollet, medicinal alcohol was typically weaker than your average bottle of whiskey. It was used as a stimulant to counteract the symptoms of shock, and was also used to mask unpleasant flavors, such as quinine. another type of alcohol was used as the preservative in tinctures. Certain types of medicinal sherries and brandies were an option for diarrhea.

The other a treatment for Disentary [sic], or an Antacid I'd probably carry, as much as I could of Dieretics [sic], and the like.

Not sure what that sentence means. Most hospital packs would be loaded up with painkillers, bandages, splints, suturing materials and other "first-aid" items. Maybe a couple of astringents like alum powder to act as a styptic.

One or two bottles would likely be reserved for home learned medicines, such as birch or pine tea, Molasus [sic] and vineger [sic] (Which was also a poor excuse for 'improvized [sic] whiskey.'

Again, can you cite a source for that statement? Molasses and vinegar cut with water is haymaker's schwitzel, which is in fact, the proto-Gatorade I mentioned in my longer response to your first query. (I've made some, and I did not get drunk. It does a great job of perking me up when cutting hay out in the field at New Market. I lean heavily towards more honey than vinegar.)

but when putting together a medical kit, one would be well to remember that alot [sic] of the things that we know are good to have for triage in the field, the surgeon general concidered [sic] to be a luxury reserved for officers and people with political clout, that was often held back at the main hospital.

That's not what I have read. See the supply discussion above. Also, what's a "main hospital"? The field hospital? The depot hospital? The general hospitals around NY and Philly? Which surgeon general declared certain medical supplies for the well-connected only? The only thing I can think of is William Hammond banning mercurials as more destructive than therapeutic with his Order #6 and angering a lot of the medical corps in the process.

The medics and Stewarts [sic] out at the field hospital would not have had it because it was too valueable [sic], and the field hospitals were allways [sic] at the risk of being over run.

Being overrun is a legitimate concern, indeed. I'm not sure what "it" is. (I'm guessing it's the reference to opiates.) If a hospital was captured then the staff were often treated as neutrals and allowed to keep on working. Depending on who owned the field by the conclusion of the engagement the hospital's supplies would go to the victor. The captured should have been allowed to keep their personal kits and materials, but everything else was legitimate spoils of war.

I forgot the title but I have the book at home. It's about a steward who was captured at Chicakmauga and spent a lot of his time being shunted from POW camp to POW camp. On occasion he is detailed to run the camp's dispensary. It's a good read so far, and the first section is a pretty good example of how hospital staff were treated by their initial captors.

Muskets and Medicines by Charles Johnson is available on Google Books. Just finished reading it. Mostly about the Vicksburg, Red River and some Texas campaign, but Acting Steward Johnson provides some insight to a field hospital in action and how the heirarchy worked out in the field, as opposed to on paper. Highly recommended as a primary source.

As you can see, broad blanket statements don't seem to work in historic research, and information is subject to peer review and revision. Does this mean you are wrong? Absolutely not. If you can back up your statements I'd be interested in learning more. Does this mean I am correct? Nope. Even a cursory glance in this folder will reveal conversations and discussions where I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

We have a terrific and overly talented bunch here, yourself included. Like I said before, drop on in sometime.

2nd_mi_johnny
01-14-2008, 09:48 AM
A large part of my research came from my mentor in the field Elise Parker, but the coment about the medical suplies and who got the use of what and for what reasons were from the Michigan State library. Now I will digress that I have only been researching for a year (Because to be honost I've only been researching for about two years... Before that potraying a steward was just something you didn't see all the time and I could help people) The thing about Vinigar and Molassus used as a whiskey actually came from something I read about George Washington that after a battle he wanted to drink a salute with his officers after a successfull battle (Which If I recall correctly it may have been the battle of Valley Forge) But lacking whiskey he was forsed to dilute Molasice in viniger to substatute. The mixture was either bad, or too strong on the Vineger and it acted to give ever one invalved a case of the runs that bordered on debilitating. Also what I meant by the 'main hospitals' were the depot hospitals, the ones that were where the patients were moved from the field hospitals to at first possibility. I thank you very much for all the helpfull insite you've offered. I understand you are not picking on me as your coments have offered insite and sorces. they have not at all seemed snippy or catty, simply a polite viering in the proper dirrection.