Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War
By Guy R. Hasegawa.
From the publisher: Most studies of modern chemical warfare begin with World War I and the widespread use of poison gas by both sides in the conflict. However, as Guy R. Hasegawa reveals in this fascinating study, numerous chemical agents were proposed during the Civil War era. As combat commenced, Hasegawa shows, a few forward-thinking chemists recognized the advantages of weaponizing the noxious, sometimes deadly aspects of certain chemical concoctions. They and numerous ordinary citizens proposed a host of chemical weapons, from liquid chlorine in artillery shells to cayenne pepper solution sprayed from fire engines. In chilling detail, Hasegawa describes the potential weapons, the people behind the concepts, and the evolution of some chemical weapon concepts into armaments employed in future wars. As he shows, bureaucrats in the war departments of both armies either delayed or rejected outright most of these unusual weapons, viewing them as unneeded or unworkable. Nevertheless, many of the proposed armaments presaged the widespread use of chemical weapons in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Especially timely with today’s increased chemical threats from terrorists and the alleged use of chemical agents in the Syrian Civil War, Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War expands the history of chemical warfare and exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2012
Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs
By Guy R. Hasegawa.
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.
Edinborough Press, 2009
Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine
Edited by James M. Schmidt and Guy R. Hasegawa
From the publisher: Correcting the pervading myths of Civil War medicine perpetuated by Hollywood dramatizations, this exploration covers how the sick and wounded were treated on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. These essays show, for example, that there may actually have been too few rather than too many amputations, that there were many advances in the understanding and treatment of diseases and wounds of the nervous system, and that new surgical techniques were used to treat battlefield injuries once thought to be certainly fatal. These topics and more are treated by experts in their respective fields, including medical education, science, invention, neuroscience, and mental health.