Civil War Medicine

Research and Publications on Civil War Medicine by Guy R. Hasegawa

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Honorable Mention, Civil War Monitor Best Civil War Books of 2012

"Scholars, teachers, and serious students of the American Civil War most definitely should read this book." - Journal of Military History


Mending Broken Soldiers:

The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs

    by Guy R. Hasegawa

Published by Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL)

ISBN: 978-0809331307

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Southern Illinois University Press


From the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists:


"...should be a required read for practitioners who work with veterans with limb loss....The books's educational value cannot be overstated." (full review)


From Civil War News:


"Overall,  this is a highly recommended book on an obscure topic, a story of ingenuity and caring, and a heroic tale of people solving a problem that had never been contemplated before the carnage of the Civil War." (full review)


From Civil War Book Review:


"[Hasegawa's] well-written book is the only full-length treatment of artificial limbs in the Civil War....Hasegawa tells a compelling story. The reader of his work alternates between sadness at the suffering of so many Americans and amazement at their courage." (full review)


Bloggers' reviews:


"As with all of Guy's research and writing, the Bibliography is evidence of thorough archival research; the illustrations in the book are outstanding! This is an EXCELLENT book! Highly recommended!" (full review)


"Well documented, with a full set of end notes and extensive bibliography, this is a well researched book that anybody with an interest in Civil War medicine or technological advances to come out of the war would be wise to read and have on their shelves. Highly recommended!" (full review)


"Guy Hasegawa has done a fine job of presenting both descriptive and analytical histories of the Union and Confederate wartime limb replacement programs. Mending Broken Soldiers is an excellent addition to the related historiographies of Civil War medicine, commerce, and technology." (full review)


". . . chock full of good stuff all in answer to a question which perhaps you never actually considered – how did governments and industry satisfy the explosion in demand for artificial limbs brought about by the Civil War?" (full review)

From the publisher:


The four years of the Civil War saw bloodshed on a scale unprecedented in the history of the United States.  Thousands of soldiers and sailors from both sides who survived the horrors of the war faced hardship for the rest of their lives as amputees. Now Guy R. Hasegawa presents the first volume to explore the wartime provisions made for amputees  in need of artificial limbs—programs that, while they revealed stark differences between the resources and capabilities of the North and the South, were the forebears of modern government efforts to assist in the rehabilitation of wounded service members.

Hasegawa draws upon numerous sources of archival information to offer a comprehensive look at the artificial limb industry as a whole, including accounts of the ingenious designs employed by manufacturers and the rapid advancement of medical technology during the Civil War; illustrations and photographs of period prosthetics; and in-depth examinations of the companies that manufactured limbs for soldiers and bid for contracts, including at least one still in existence today. An intriguing account of innovation, determination, humanitarianism and the devastating toll of battle, Mending Broken Soldiers shares the never-before-told story of the artificial-limb industry of the Civil War and provides a fascinating glimpse into groundbreaking military health programs during the most tumultuous years in American history.


From experts in Civil War medicine:


“One of the great medical and humanitarian accomplishments of the Civil War was the way mutilated soldiers were given a way to get back into society by way of artificial limbs. Dr. Hasegawa’s scholarly and well-researched book takes the reader from the crude beginning of the artificial-limb program of both the North and the South to a system whereby so many men were helped to a new life. It is especially relevant today as we help our 'wounded warriors' with new products and devices that enable them to have a productive and active life. Everything has a beginning, and what was begun in 1862 was the precursor of our efforts to mend the lives of our military men and women today. I highly recommend this work.”—Gordon E. Dammann, D.D.S., founder and board chairman, National Museum of Civil War Medicine

“Dr. Hasegawa’s book is an interesting, detailed description of the personalities and the medical and administrative problems that arose during and after the Civil War because of the need to supply artificial limbs to soldiers and sailors. Many remarkable characters, several who were amputees themselves, rose to the occasion, and artificial limbs became available to injured soldiers all over the country. The book illuminates this rarely mentioned aspect of the care needed by wounded men as a result of the war. I highly recommend it.” —Alfred Jay Bollet, M.D., author of Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs

“A number of technological innovations occurred during and shortly after the American Civil War. Among these were significant improvements in artificial limbs and the means of providing them to soldiers who needed them. Dr. Hasegawa has thoroughly researched the subject and shown how clever design and creative use of the available materials transformed artificial limbs from crude devices such as peg legs to lightweight, strong, multifunctional prostheses. He also tells of the social and political revolution that provided the means to pay for and distribute them, usually at little or no cost to the maimed soldiers. In my opinion, this book is the definitive reference on Civil War artificial limbs.” —F. Terry Hambrecht, M.D., senior technical advisor to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and former head of the Neural Prosthesis Program, National Institutes of Health (U.S.A.)


"Mending Broken Soldiers is a must have volume for those seeking information on a little studied aspect of the terrible conflict that gripped this nation....Well written, easy to read, with extensive notes and bibliograpy section, Mending Broken Soldiers is highly recommended." - Peter J. D'Onofrio, Ph.D., President, Society of Civil War Surgeons