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Smallpox Island

Smallpox Island

In the winter of 1862, a serious epidemic of smallpox broke-out among Confederate prisoners in a Union prisoner-of-war camp in Alton, IL.  Rather than run the risk of infecting residents of Alton, prison officials moved the sick prisoners to Sunflower Island, out in the middle of the Mississippi River.  Not surprisingly, it became a place where men went to die.  Smallpox Island is a good indicator of the understanding Civil War-era medical personnel had regarding sanitation, infection, and…

In the winter of 1862, a serious epidemic of smallpox broke-out among Confederate prisoners in a Union prisoner-of-war camp in Alton, IL. Rather than run the risk of infecting residents of Alton, prison officials moved the sick prisoners to Sunflower Island, out in the middle of the Mississippi River. Not surprisingly, it became a place where men went to die. Smallpox Island is a good indicator of the understanding Civil War-era medical personnel had regarding sanitation, infection, and…

General William Tecumseh Sherman death mask, 1891 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

General William Tecumseh Sherman death mask, 1891 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Took me three times in three months to get through it, not because it wasn't interesting. But worth the view. The greatest American victory will be the civil war we avoid.

Took me three times in three months to get through it, not because it wasn't interesting. But worth the view. The greatest American victory will be the civil war we avoid.

Robert E. Lee's burial place-Lee Chapel in Lexington, VA. His faithful horse…

Robert E. Lee's burial place-Lee Chapel in Lexington, VA. His faithful horse…

Cemetery Gun: The gun, which the museum dates to 1710, is mounted on a mechanism that allows it to spin freely. Cemetery keepers set up the flintlock weapon at the foot of a grave, with three tripwires strung in an arc around its position. A prospective grave-robber, stumbling over the tripwire in the dark, would trigger the weapon—much to his own misfortune.

Cemetery Gun: The gun, which the museum dates to 1710, is mounted on a mechanism that allows it to spin freely. Cemetery keepers set up the flintlock weapon at the foot of a grave, with three tripwires strung in an arc around its position. A prospective grave-robber, stumbling over the tripwire in the dark, would trigger the weapon—much to his own misfortune.

Col. Isaac Avery was mortally wounded as he led his brigade up the slope of Cemetery Hill. As he lost consciousness, he scrawled a last, jumbled message to his subordinate...

Col. Isaac Avery was mortally wounded as he led his brigade up the slope of Cemetery Hill. As he lost consciousness, he scrawled a last, jumbled message to his subordinate...

Samuel Weaver supervised the exhumation of Union soldiers from the battlefield and surrounding communities so that they could be reburied in Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. Here he is in Hanover, Pennsylvania, supervising the removal of bodies from the cemetery at the Trinity Reformed Church near York Street. Samuel Weaver is the shorter person on the far right with the long beard and notebook in his hand. The building with the cupola in the background is the Hanover Public School Building.

Samuel Weaver supervised the exhumation of Union soldiers from the battlefield and surrounding communities so that they could be reburied in Gettysburg’s National Cemetery. Here he is in Hanover, Pennsylvania, supervising the removal of bodies from the cemetery at the Trinity Reformed Church near York Street. Samuel Weaver is the shorter person on the far right with the long beard and notebook in his hand. The building with the cupola in the background is the Hanover Public School Building.

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