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Angel's Glow at The Battle of Shiloh

Discussion in 'Medical Care of the Civil War' started by JohnW., Mar 15, 2017.

  1. JohnW.

    JohnW. Sergeant Major

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    Courtesy of Civil War Rx
    Posted: 14 Mar 2017 04:24 PM PDT

    From: americancivilwarstory.com
    Battle_of_Shiloh_Thulstrup.jpg

    At the Battle of Shiloh a strange phenomenon took place which came be known as Angel's Glow...



    During the night, as men lay in the mud, muck, and rain, too wounded to crawl to safety, something strange began to happen...

    Some men's wounds began to glow faintly!

    For no apparent reason open, bloody wounds were giving off a faint greenish blue glow...

    Spooky, right?
    ***edited for copyright reasons*** by jgg

    Image: Battle of Shiloh - April 6-7, 1862
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2017

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  3. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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  4. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    I read this story recently in "Aftermath of Battle: Burial of the Civil War Dead". It is fascinating, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed there was a 'logical/scientific' explanation for something that must have seemed 'miraculous' at the time...still it did take more than a century for someone to come up with the explanation! I believe that there was an unusual showing/sighting of the Northern lights at the same time...which to my mind, and no doubt the soldiers, too, makes the event even more remarkable. It also makes you wonder why this was the only battle where such a phenomenon was seen...
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  5. amweiner

    amweiner Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    I read about this recently as well. Really interesting stuff! I can't help thinking about the poor guys laying in the mud, horribly wounded - this probably freaked out those still conscious enough to be aware of what was happening.
     
  6. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    No doubt Confederate and Union wounded 'glowed' alike...these are the moments where division becomes meaningless, and you just hope to get out alive.
     
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  7. Podad

    Podad First Sergeant

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  8. JohnW.

    JohnW. Sergeant Major

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    The REALLY neat thing is that the "glow bugs" actually killed off the harmful bacteria. Without them the losses from gangrene and other nasties would have been even more horrible.
     
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  9. Allie

    Allie Captain

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    The only problem is that there seem to be no contemporary accounts of the occurrence. It appears to have been invented long after the fact. If anyone can provide a source from a witness, please do.
     
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  10. Kip124thNY

    Kip124thNY Corporal

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    Interesting information, I had not heard of Angel's Glow.
     
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  11. TomP

    TomP Corporal

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    Thank You!

    Oh please let this thing just disappear.....
     
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  12. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Searched but I can't find any contemporary accounts, it does seem that the field hospitals also witnessed the strange blue light effect so I guess if any written account does exist then its likely to be mentioned in their medical reports/notes. Would they have given the Photorhabdus Luminescens a medical name other than 'Angels Glow' and where would you find field hospital notes and reports, if they exist.
     
  13. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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  14. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Maybe Hathitrust or LoC, both abound with various reports, accounts, diaries and journals. Some are official, some private, published post war- surprisingly some of the latter were still in the 1860's. Point there would be, if anyone found a description of this occurring, written either in an official account or by a combatant shortly after the war, it lends veracity.
     
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