CS Medical Department

Welcome to the CSA Medical Department

It is pleasure to be the commander of the CSA Medical Unit, and to be a member of SoSkAn. The CSA Medical Unit consists of myself, Tulsa McLain, as Commander, Terry Hurley as hospital steward, and Angela Nurse whose role in the CSA Medical Unit is to support the regiment and treat the wounded during any battle that takes place. The CSA Medical Unit has various items of medical equipment for display which the public can view at SoSkAn shows.

Anybody wishing to become a valued member of the CSA Medical Unit please get in touch via face book or tulsa.mclain1@sky.com

The role of the CSA Medical Department was the same as the USA Medical Department in that they treated the injured from both Confederate and Union armies. CSA Medical personnel wore a green sash the same as USA Medical personnel. this prevented them from being attacked as both sides recognisedx the need for medical intervention.

The American Civil War had been raging since 1861 (starting with the Battle of Fort Sumter), and would ultimately claim between 750,000–900,000 lives. The American Red Cross was founded in the wake of the American Civil War by Clara Barton, known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her selfless service providing aid and supplies to sick, wounded, and hungry soldiers irrespective of their allegiance during the conflict.

The American Red Cross has a long tradition of supporting the implementation of international humanitarian law and raising awareness of the legal limits in war. Today, the American Red Cross is guided by a Congressional Charter which mandates the organization continue its historic mission working to strengthen the rule of law and alleviate the suffering of victims of disasters and armed conflict wherever they may be found.


Most limbs which included complicated open fractures were amputated, and the surgeons were renowned for their speed and efficiency in this area. Some surgeons were able to carry out very successful re-sectioning of long bones, but most would not operate on penetrating belly or chest wounds, particularly in the field. Complications of surgical cases included the development of infection and gangrene, but in general survival rates were good. Anaesthesia had been used routinely in operations since 1846, and was given in the form of Ether (primarily in the North) or Chloroform (preferred in the South) although Nitrous Oxide was preferred by dentists.


More men died of disease than conflict injuries during this period, with contagious diseases such as measles and chest infections claiming many thousands of lives. Poor living conditions and poor food lowered immune systems, and contributed to additional suffering and death from dysentery, malaria, and fevers. The majority of medical treatments were based on traditional and herbal medicines, with many doctors making up their own prescriptions, although some interesting ingredients, such as Mercury, lead and other heavy metals were used for certain conditions. However, by the end of the conflict drug companies had developed methods of mass production of certain standard medications in response to the volume of medications needed to treat large numbers of the sick, both military and civilian.

Some notable members of the Confederate States Army Medical Department 



Samuel Preston Moore, Confederate Surgeon General

When South Carolina seceded from the Union, Samuel Preston Moore resigned his commission as surgeon in the US Army and returned to Little Rock to open a private practice. Soon after returning to Arkansas Moore began receiving requests from Jefferson Davis to join the Confederate army. Moore accepted the position of acting surgeon general on July 30, 1861 and was confirmed by the Confederate Senate in November of that same year

Among the more notable achievements of his tenure as surgeon general was the organization of the Confederate Medical Department and the establishment of examining boards for surgeons and assistant surgeons.


Colonel Julian John Chisolm, Surgeon

With the outbreak of the Civil; war in April 1861, Chisolm treated wounded at the battle of Fort Sumter. He was appointed the rank of surgeon on September 20.1861 and was given the first commission as a medical officer to be issued in South Carolina. Chisolm was the author of “A Manual of Military Surgery, for the use Of Surgeons In the Confederate States Army; with an Appendix of the Rules And Regulations of The Medical Department of the Confederate States Army”, published by . Richmond, Va., West & Johnston, 1861. This manual can be read online at https://archive.org/details/manualofmilitar00chis