This recent Thanksgiving holiday was quite busy for me. In addition to spending time with friends and family for the traditional dinner, I also took a trip back to my alma mater, Virginia Tech, to attend the big football against the University of Virginia. If you are not familiar with these colleges, they are big rivals. If you are not familiar with college football, Virginia Tech has beaten UVA in the big rivalry game for the past ten years.
Once inside, we headed to the ... read more
This weekend I took some artifacts out to the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office in Washington DC. While we do have the space open to the public on weekends, we’re still raising funds for display cases and a security system for the building. Until then, we cannot put any long-term artifact displays there. I was able to take a few artifacts out for a specific tour though.
A group of teachers from around the country came to the CBMSO with a tour from Brightspark Travel. On their tour they ... read more
I recently went on a short trip to New Orleans. Though I was not there on business, I certainly found some things which reminded me of the work I do at the museum. I suppose this isn’t surprising once you learn that New Orleans is sometimes referred to as America’s greatest outdoor museum!
I was with a group of friends, and we only had a couple of days to explore the city. We made the most of our time there, and enjoyed the history, the local street music and ... read more
Everyone here at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine was saddened last week to learn of the passing of Elizabeth “Bettie” Delaplaine. She was one of our museum’s benefactors and artifact donors, but more importantly, she was an avid supporter of our museum and staff members.
In memory of Bettie, I would like to feature a few of the artifacts she donated to the NMCWM over the years.
You can ... read more
Sometimes when you work at a small museum, you participate in projects which may not seem to relate to your job description. Recently, plans were made to add some Halloween-themed items to the NMCWM’s front window. There are no artifacts displayed in the window though (I wouldn’t put any there in all that direct sunlight!), so at first this didn’t sound like a very curatorial duty. It became one as soon as one of the museum’s mannequins was involved though. Technically, I am also ... read more
Since the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek is in just a few days, I thought this week I should feature an artifact from that battle. It may not be what you expect though!
Normally when you hear a surgical procedure mentioned, there’s an associated image of a surgical table and an operating room. However, surgeons on the battlefields during the Civil War didn’t have these luxuries. They had to improvise with the supplies they could find in the immediate area. Fashioning ... read more
It’s time to take a look at another one of my favorite artifacts!
I discovered that Dr. Ritter wrote a book to accompany his medical chests, "A Medical Manual and Medicine Chest Companion". Though it pretty much starts as an ad for his product, this book also contains a list of the medicines in the chest along with their uses and dosages, “recipes” for some of the remedies of the time, and a guide for treating various ailments.
Here’s what Dr. ... read more
If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll probably remember that I’ve been working on putting together a display for the trunk bed of Clara Barton’s which is on loan to us from the American Red Cross. Though it took just a bit longer than expected, it is finally out on display! The case which housed the Clara Barton exhibit here at the NMCWM was too small for the trunk bed to be displayed open, so I had to do a little rearranging first.
I ... read more
I’ve been working on a big project here at the museum for the past couple of months, and I can finally share it with you. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine’s artifact collection is now online! I’ve been advocating for this feature for a couple of years now, so I am very pleased to see it finally available to the public. Now anyone who wants to find out about a particular artifact at the NMCWM can simply search for it online. This should be a great help to students, educators, re-enactors, ... read more
One of the NMCWM’s recent donations is an original plate taken from the “Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” which is also referred to as the “War of the Rebellion Atlas.” This atlas was published by the Government Printing Office in Washington D.C. in 1895, and was compiled by Captain Calvin D. Cowles of the 23rd U.S. Infantry. It was published in 36 volumes, and contained 175 plates of maps, illustrations, and technical drawings from both ... read more