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YankeeSurgeon
10-24-2007, 07:55 AM
Hello everyone,

I just joined this group because I'm trying to create an accurate impression of an assistant surgeon for the Union army. I've been reading some primary source materials in digitized format (American and British books and journals); I recently completed a book titled "The Knife Man" about the 18th century Scottish surgeon, John Hunter and highly recommend it.) I'm a lawyer by profession (and I must confess that since I haven't found any medical reenactors/mentors close to the metro Atlanta I've actually thought of portraying a Union Judge Advocate officer but that doesn't seem like much fun!); I'm a former artillery officer but would categorize myself as one of those bookworms who has always been fascinated with military history, engineering and 18th and 19th century medicine and surgery. Additionally, my wife is a nurse and we wanted to reenact together.

Well, I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone and say that I'm very impressed with the information sharing that is going on here and I hope to learn as much as I can from all of the experienced medical reenactors. If any of you are in or near the metro Atlanta area, I would love to know so I can attend events and get involved with a unit.

Thomas Federico (aka, to my Southern friends, Thomas Frederica)

Jas. Cox
10-24-2007, 01:59 PM
Welcome. I cannot say I'm a fount of knowledge, but I will help when I can.

Jas. Cox (AKA Jim)

Marc
10-24-2007, 02:07 PM
Welcome. I cannot say I'm a fount of knowledge, but I will help when I can.

Jas. Cox (AKA Jim)

Jim,

I think most of us are not a fount of knowledge. I know myself over the years I am barely scratching the surface of 19th and 18th century medicine.

One of the great things about this forum is the sharing of knowledge and good discussions.

Jas. Cox
10-24-2007, 03:43 PM
Jim,

I think most of us are not a fount of knowledge.....

With the exception of Noah. :)

Jas. Cox
10-24-2007, 03:49 PM
Hello everyone,

I just joined this group because I'm trying to create an accurate impression of an assistant surgeon for the Union army.


Thomas Federico (aka, to my Southern friends, Thomas Frederica)

I should also say, "a Federal in Atlanta, gutsy." :-) I have a friend who lives in Acworth that is the office manager for a lawyer in Atlanta. And my mom is/was a nurse as are/were many of my aunts and cousins. That's why I chose to be an assistant surgeon.

funhistory
10-24-2007, 04:04 PM
Hello Thomas,

I, too, am new on the Forum, but I spent several weeks monitoring the conversations before enrolling. After experiencing several "ah-ha" moments, I realized that this was the place to be to exchange information and to share discoveries in the CW medical re-enactor community.

By profession, I'm an American social historian with additional graduate work in museum studies who was offered the challenge of creating a museum devoted to interpreting and exhibiting the history of the American funeral profession after thirteen years' work in local history organizations. After seven years' experience here studying medicine from the post-mortem side along with the gritty details of decomposition of the dead, our institution has launched into living history. Last Spring, we began demonstrating CW field embalming, and the public is far more receptive to learning about this side of war that I would ever have guessed. This Summer, I had spectators lined up with lawn chairs at three of six demos. The total audience for the six demos numbered 650 people. The Museum's web site is www.funeralmuseum.org We have some photos of the demos that I can post if I ever figure out how.

I'm here to learn from the other members of the Forum, but I am more than willing to share what we're able when it comes to embalming and funeral service before, during, and after the War.

Welcome from a fellow newbie!

Jas. Cox
10-24-2007, 04:34 PM
Hello Thomas,

... exhibiting the history of the American funeral profession after thirteen years' work in local history organizations. ... We have some photos of the demos that I can post if I ever figure out how.


Interesting site. I will have to check it out further sometime. I shot (photographed) a female mortician in SF once. Not practicing her craft however.

I asked Noah about posting images and he replied:

You can go to www.Imagecave.com , register, set up your folder, and load pictures there. Each picture will have next to something to paste into your message for a webpage, a box like what we use to post messages., HTML and one other. Simply copy one of appropriate links and paste into your message, ad ta da, your picture is posted.

Oh and a warning to the new people. Before you asked a question, do a site search to see if it's already been answered. That is a pet peeve of a lot of people on this forum. It doesn't bother me if it's been asked before, but one will get a lot of flack from others if it has been.

funhistory
10-24-2007, 05:34 PM
Thanks. I'll try as you suggest to get the images viewable through imagecave, OR I'll defer to my twenty-something assistant to do it properly!

"Doc" Nelson
10-24-2007, 11:16 PM
Hello everyone,

I just joined this group because I'm trying to create an accurate impression of an assistant surgeon for the Union army. I've been reading some primary source materials in digitized format (American and British books and journals); I recently completed a book titled "The Knife Man" about the 18th century Scottish surgeon, John Hunter and highly recommend it.) I'm a lawyer by profession (and I must confess that since I haven't found any medical reenactors/mentors close to the metro Atlanta I've actually thought of portraying a Union Judge Advocate officer but that doesn't seem like much fun!); I'm a former artillery officer but would categorize myself as one of those bookworms who has always been fascinated with military history, engineering and 18th and 19th century medicine and surgery. Additionally, my wife is a nurse and we wanted to reenact together.

Well, I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone and say that I'm very impressed with the information sharing that is going on here and I hope to learn as much as I can from all of the experienced medical reenactors. If any of you are in or near the metro Atlanta area, I would love to know so I can attend events and get involved with a unit.

Thomas Federico (aka, to my Southern friends, Thomas Frederica)

Thomas,
First off . . WELCOME!!!! :mrgreen:

Second, please don't think that, just because you don't have a mentor that, you cannot portray an Assistant Surgeon or, even a Surgeon. Shucks, when I first started out, I didn't have a mentor. All I had was reading material and, this forum ;). Thanks to folks such as Noah Briggs, Tim Kindred, Nicky Hughes and Hank Trent . . I got off the ground.

I agree with Marc. I'm still relatively new to my impression (only 2 years). I'm now digging deeper into period medical manuals. Prior to that, I had only focused on 1 or 2 areas (i.e. bullet wounds, etc.). So, as far as period knowledge, I'm taking in everything I can. So, I'm still a newbie too ;).

If you'd like, you can "pm" (private message, look up in the top right corner of the forum, where it says "Welcome, YankeeSurgeon") me with your email addy and, I'll be more than happy to "shoot" you plenty of links. Or, you can just shoot me an email at: click here (jimmy_nelson@insightbb.com)

Don't fret over getting a whole bunch of stuff now. Start with your uniform. From there, work on what you can. If you can afford to, look at purchasing an Ed Archer Pocket Surgical Kit. I think Ed is running a sale of pocket kits???, you may check out his website to see for sure. As for buying "stuff" . . be careful of what you buy on places such as eBay. I know I've been burned and, there have been many others too.

As for your particular impression . . figure out what kind of events you'd like to attend and, what kind of imrpession you would like to "take on". From there, the possiblities are boundless. And, HAVE FUN!!!! :grin:.

NoahBriggs
10-25-2007, 09:54 AM
Oh and a warning to the new people. Before you asked a question, do a site search to see if it's already been answered. That is a pet peeve of a lot of people on this forum. It doesn't bother me if it's been asked before, but one will get a lot of flack from others if it has been.

Not as doom-laden as it reads at first. Here is how I see it. New folks will ask questions. They have to, in order to clarify and to learn. We all did at one point or another. I do not have a "fountain of knowledge", and I'll admit when I am wrong or don't know. (You can tell I don't work as Fox News talking head.)

The peeve is how the questions are asked. If this conference got the following:


hi iam writing a paper for shcol I looking for niformation on cw amps. if anyone cantell me how its done i'd Be greatful. thx

I find that post difficult to take seriously. Bad spelling, homophonic errors, never even bothered to sign the name. Not even an initial. This tells me the person wants as much info spoon-fed to him, and I get the sneaking suspicion he'd just copy and paste our responses into his project with no credit to us. It screams laziness. What's a "cw amp."? Just for the sake of boredom I might reply with something sarcastic on electro-magnetic quack devices, because I thought he referred to amperes.

Let's look at sample Two:


Hello,
I have recently become interested in Civil War medicine. I am too old to be playing with guns anymore, so I volunteered to be the surgeon for my unit, the Fifth Hawaii Infantry Volunteers. I am a charter boat pilot by trade.

My friend (and the first sergeant of my unit) and I have a bet - he says that anesthetics were not used during the war because they were uncommon or not available. I read somewhere they are available and have been for some time. I am not that computer literate, though I am learning. I am wondering if you could point me to some sources that show anesthetics were available and used.

Ryan G.
aka "Alohadoc"

Also a new person, with an equally basic question, but I'd take his post seriously. The clincher for me is the phrase "could you point me to some sources", which says to me he is willing to look on his own, he just needed a hand sorting through the mass of available information. (Let's face it; it can be confusing.) "I read somewhere" says he has read a previous source but forgot (or did not know) to make a note of it. He signed his name, too, and the post is composed in a way he thought about what he wanted to write.

The fact that funhistory and yankeedoc took the time to introduce themselves, state how long they have been lurking, offer info as well as receive it means that "dumb questions" from either of them, aren't. Ergo I am stepping in line with the rest of the crowd to welcome both of them onboard here, and look forward to chatting shop.

I am Noah Briggs, non-expert, BS, P.GM (Professorship in Garbage Mindology) Instant Farb Irritant (Just add research), and I'm also a medical history junkie. (rumble of "Hi, Noah"s from the back of the room.)

PS: Flip a mental coin 50% chance that Tim Kindred will be along up to two posts after this one, with his own rant on poorly asked questions and those who abuse our generosity.