Many histories have been written about medical care during the American Civil War, but the participation and contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons and hospital workers have often been overlooked. Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine looks at the men and women who served as surgeons and nurses and how their work as medical providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender.
The exhibit explores the life and experiences of surgeons Alexander T. Augusta and Anderson R. Abbott, and nurses Susie King Taylor and Ann Stokes as they provided medical care to soldiers and civilians while participating in the fight for freedom. Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries opens the door to this rarely studied part of history and brings a voice to those that have remained silent for nearly 150 years.
The four year civil war claimed the lives of approximately 620,000 out of the three million who fought, and countless others received severe debilitating injuries. The 150th Anniversary observation serves to remind us all of what was at stake: the preservation of the fledgling union and the resultant freedom of millions of men and women enslaved by the Confederate states.
The traveling exhibition, developed and produced by the Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine, tells the unique story via archival images and historical documents from the period. Visit the exhibit at the Abbeville Branch of the Vermilion Parish Library from July 2, 2012 through July 30, 2012.