Date of Award

2017

First Advisor

Erin McMullin

Second Advisor

Rebecca Fiske

Abstract

My intent with this thesis is to outline and discuss the ways that battlefield medicine has developed over the past two and a half centuries of American history. By using four wars as landmarks—the American Revolution, the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II—as well as offering a comparison with modern combat care, I have traced the development of several key aspects of battlefield medicine: triage and transport, guns and gun-related wounds, and aftermath care. In addition, several other areas are discussed in relation to specific wars, such as medicine and race relations in the Civil War and chemical weapons and treatment in World War I and World War II. I further discuss the way that battlefield medicine is intrinsically related to the development of civilian medicine, in order to more fully underline the way that medical advancements during combat are crucial to the ongoing evolution of the discipline at large.

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