whiskey

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#1
I have read a number of times the large amount of whiskey that was ordered by doctors. Apart from the obvious use as a pain killer (I thought that opiates were not uncommon) what else was it used for, apart from medical staff consumption. Was it used as an antiseptic before they understood these things?
 

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Mdiesel

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#3
I have read a number of times the large amount of whiskey that was ordered by doctors. Apart from the obvious use as a pain killer (I thought that opiates were not uncommon) what else was it used for, apart from medical staff consumption. Was it used as an antiseptic before they understood these things?
Couple of interesting articles I found:

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/13/20060113-085716-3727r/?page=all

"To halt disease, doctors used many cures. For bowel complaints, open bowels were treated with a plug of opium. Closed bowels were treated with the infamous "blue mass"... a mixture of mercury and chalk. For scurvy, doctors prescribed green vegetables. Respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis were treated with dosing of opium or sometimes quinine and muster plasters. Sometimes bleeding was also used. Malaria could be treated with quinine, or sometimes even turpentine if quinine was not available. Camp itch could be treated by ridding the body of the pests or with poke-root solution. Whiskey and other forms of alcohol also were used to treat wounds and disease ... though of questionable medical value, whiskey did relieve some pain."


http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/medicine/cwsurgeon/introduction.cfm
 
Joined
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#4
Couple of interesting articles I found:

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/13/20060113-085716-3727r/?page=all

"To halt disease, doctors used many cures. For bowel complaints, open bowels were treated with a plug of opium. Closed bowels were treated with the infamous "blue mass"... a mixture of mercury and chalk. For scurvy, doctors prescribed green vegetables. Respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis were treated with dosing of opium or sometimes quinine and muster plasters. Sometimes bleeding was also used. Malaria could be treated with quinine, or sometimes even turpentine if quinine was not available. Camp itch could be treated by ridding the body of the pests or with poke-root solution. Whiskey and other forms of alcohol also were used to treat wounds and disease ... though of questionable medical value, whiskey did relieve some pain."


http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/medicine/cwsurgeon/introduction.cfm
Good articles. So they were drinking it! The reference to prostitutes being called "hookers" after Gen Hooker is interesting.
 

Mdiesel

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#5
Good articles. So they were drinking it! The reference to prostitutes being called "hookers" after Gen Hooker is interesting.
Oh they were most certainly drinking it, after all the word Whiskey comes fro the Gaelic word for "the water of life", drinking it is what it's made for:wavespin:

As for prostitutes getting there moniker from Joe Hooker's last name, I believe that is debatable. Although I don't have a source readily available I believe the term might actually predate the American Civil War. Maybe someone can give us a little help with that one...
 
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#6
Oh they were most certainly drinking it, after all the word Whiskey comes fro the Gaelic word for "the water of life", drinking it is what it's made for:wavespin:

As for prostitutes getting there moniker from Joe Hooker's last name, I believe that is debatable. Although I don't have a source readily available I believe the term might actually predate the American Civil War. Maybe someone can give us a little help with that one...
Note the difference in spelling Scotland Whisky. Ireland and US Whiskey. The Irish immigrants must of caused my friends from the States to misspell the word in perpetuity.
It would be interesting to know if "hooker" can be linked to Joe Hooker as first use of the word. I was under the impression that it was how they would "hook" their arm in yours as you walked past in an attempt to drag in custom.
 

James B White

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#7
Good articles. So they were drinking it! The reference to prostitutes being called "hookers" after Gen Hooker is interesting.
The slang for "hooker" was much older than General Hooker, though his name was fortuitous. :D See this post: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/hookers-girls.71042/#post-431766

Alcohol was also considered a stimulant, so was given for that reason, though its harm was also recognized of course. For example: http://books.google.com/books?id=2FkQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA44
"Alcohol acts on the animal body as a powerful stimulus: as such, in a dilute form, it is used in the preventure and cure of disease. Its habitual and inordinate use is the cause of many serious affections, of a chronic character especially, as visceral obstructions, dropsy, & c."

It was also used as a cooling wash in cases of fever and inflammation due to the effect of the evaporation, but as far as I know, there wasn't generally a sense that it could clean a wound better than water.

For a few specific examples of whiskey used in cases during the war, one can search the Medical and Surgical History on google books: https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p...tle:"medical+and+surgical+history+of+the+war"
 

Mdiesel

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#9
Note the difference in spelling Scotland Whisky. Ireland and US Whiskey. The Irish immigrants must of caused my friends from the States to misspell the word in perpetuity.
Well Dave, in good conscious I can't speak for my Irish ancestors. Although my grandfather did like to say, "God invented Whiskey (no matter how you like to spell it) so the Irish wouldn't conquer the World." :smile coffee:

Having said that, I will admit my own occasional error in spelling to a small nip now & again :O o:
 
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#16
Whiskey/whisky nmemonics:
Here’s a quick way to remember how some of the world’s biggest producers spell their products:
  • Countries that have E’s in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy (plural whiskeys)
  • Countries without E’s in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky (plural whiskies)
http://www.thekitchn.com/whiskey-vs-whisky-whats-the-di-100476
I am just shooting from the hip but I recall why as an example Japan spell it as whisky is because they import the water from the Scottish highlands. Or is that why they can call it Scotch whisky. Cant remember exactly.
 

alan polk

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#17
Interesting topic. Does anyone know whether sutlers were allowed to sell whiskey to soldiers? I know they probably did, under the table, but are there any accounts where they were allowed to sell it to anyone in an army per military orders or procedures?
 
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#18
SOMETHING A BIT SPECIAL ABOUT ONE HOUR FROM WHERE I LIVE IN THE TASMANIAN HIGHLANDS.
Nant.png


What makes this whisky so special. It was the home of John Mitchel who had two sons. One was reputed to have fired the first "effective" shot of the CW. And was later killed at Fort Sumnter. Son number two was killed at Gettysburg. (Picketts charge I think) and was the father of a later New York mayor.
 



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