Medical Advances, Civil War

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Week 13: Medical Advances, Civil War


Read K – 3: Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross by Patricia Lakin

4 – 6:

  1. Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne AND
  2. Clara Barton’s biography from this site:

7 – 8:

  1. The Story of Clara Barton by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack AND
  2. This article on surgery before Anesthesia:
  3. This article on Anesthesia:  AND
  4. This article on Medical Innovations of the Civil War:  AND
  5. Read “Note”.  See below.

Note: The word “Anesthesia” comes from 2 Greek words meaning “Without Sensation”


      •  Who started the American Red Cross? (Clara Barton)
      • Describe what happened to Clara’s brother David and how Clara helped? (David fell and was injured; he became very weak and sick; Clara cared for him for 2 years until he recovered)
      • What was Clara’s first job? (teacher)
      • How did Clara help during the Civil War? (collected clothes, food, medicine, other supplies for soldiers, helped injured soldiers)
      • Was Clara’s work dangerous? (yes; she helped injured soldiers right at battle sites; one time a bullet shot through her sleeve and killed a soldier she was helping)
      • What was Clara’s nickname during the Civil War? (angel of the battlefield)
      • The American Red Cross helps what people? (victims of wars and natural disasters)
        Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
      • The discovery of what substance before the Civil War revolutionized Medical care around the world? (Anesthesia)
      • What were operations like before anesthesia? (agonizing pain; traumatic, many died from pain)
      • What does anesthesia do for patients? (causes them to fall asleep, feel no pain)
      • What is anesthesia made from? (ether)
      • What does the word anesthesia mean? (without sense)
      • Name 5 other medical innovations during the Civil War? (amputations, anesthesia inhaler, closing chest wounds, facial reconstruction, ambulances to ER)

Activities: K – 3: Pick 3 worksheets from this Disney American Red Cross booklet for your child to complete:
4 – 6: Clara Barton worksheets:
7 – 8: Complete these worksheets:
Then, consider the following:
• Medical attention on the battlefield (from Clara Barton & other nurses)
• Anesthesia
• Amputations
• Anesthesia Inhaler
• Closing chest wounds
• Facial reconstruction
• Ambulances to ER
Which of these do you consider to be the most important contribution to the Medical field during the Civil War? Explain your answer in writing on the back of one of the above worksheets.

Copyright April 8th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Art, Charlotte Mason, Civil War Era, Contests

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