A Walk Through The Field Hospitals, Antietam, September 1862

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JPK Huson 1863

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antietam sherrick house and yard.JPG

The shattered Sherrick property, house, outbuildings and barn were filled with wounded by the time Alexander Gardner arrived three days post battle.
antietam sherrick barn.JPG


Intent is only to give a September, 1862 eye witness view of post battle Antietam, Maryland. Overwhelmed, understaffed Army medical staff did their best against the bloodiest day in the ACW. Help was slow arriving and too late for more men than we can know who died in appalling conditions. Clara was making her frustrated there with her first wagon loaded with compassion. I'm still looking for accounts by the doctors there- if ever Medals of Honor were deserved for stepping up in crisis, we've missed quite a few. They were at Antietam.

This Pennsylvania delegation's account is worth reading, honest. It's what we did to each other. Sorry it's so long- truncated versions seem dismissive.

Remember descriptions of death's noxious smell at Gettysburg? Writer arriving on the battlefield smelled it before seeing the carnage. They'd come through Hagerstown first, visiting those hospitals. It didn't prepare them for Antietam.
hosp 1 smell before seeing.jpg


hosp 1b dead horses.jpg


hosp 1c shot wounds.jpg



hosp 1d wound described.jpg


hosp 1e number men.jpg


hosp 1e weeks in hosp.jpg

" Brick house hospital ", Sherricks?

And Dunker Church-
hosp 1g dunker.jpg

It's a very long, nearly full page article, all tough reading. Found more on the straw hut hospital at Smith's barn in yet another- will post tomorrow.

antietam straw smiths 3.JPG


IMO it's too easy discussing ' Gettysburg ', ' Fredericksburg ', ' Cold Mountain ' and Antietam without remembering what war was. Each of these wounded soldiers would have scrambled emergency codes in any trauma center and ER in the United States in 2019. They died or lived at Antietam packed and piled wherever space could be found or created.

Lest we forget.
 
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Seduzal

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Thanks for sharing this amazing article and photos. It much have been a mess of body’s, bloody men wounded and dead all in the same area. The smell of death was everywhere.
Never seen those straw hut hospitals before. Looking forward for tomorrow’s updates.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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I'm wondering if the "brick house" hospital wasn't the Pry House? Though technically they also used the barn. They put 700 men in the barn alone.
 
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Arioch

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What publication was this, please?...I'd like to keep it and cite it for future references.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Thanks for the post. Sod covered tents it appears to be what was used

Yes, read an account by someone who'd been there. Taking a page out of history someone thatched those huts. It must have been around harvest time- plenty of hay and straw at hand. It's both horrifying and fascinating browsing around these images. Fence rails, a musket here and there went for tent poles. Looks like sometimes just blankets.
antietam smiths low tents.jpg


I'm wondering if the "brick house" hospital wasn't the Pry House? Though technically they also used the barn. They put 700 men in the barn alone.

Ah! Thank you! That makes sense. And seven hundred. You read those numbers without really thinking about it- what seven hundred wounded men in one barn would look like. Same thing, every barn, shed, summer kitchen and house in proximity. It's what always gets to me at Gettysburg- all the barns and houses we walk past that were there 150 years ago were packed with wounded men. All of them. Tough to fathom.
 
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