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Nature's Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia
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Nature's Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  18 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In the Shenandoah Valley and Peninsula Campaigns of 1862, Union and Confederate soldiers faced unfamiliar and harsh environmental conditions--strange terrain, tainted water, swarms of flies and mosquitoes, interminable rain and snow storms, and oppressive heat--which contributed to escalating disease and diminished morale. Using soldiers' letters, diaries, and memoirs, ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published November 4th 2013 by University of North Carolina Press
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Rea Redd
Jul 14, 2014 Rea Redd rated it it was amazing
Nature’s Civil War is both a medical history and an environmental history of eight months of military campaigns in Virginia. It offers the common soldiers’ perspectives on the environment and their feelings on how the natural environment is killing them. The Peninsula Campaign was fought in the midst of swamps and the Shenandoah Campaign was fought in what would appear to be a healthier environment of clear streams and rivers. The Shenandoah River Valley’s Eden is contrasted with the ...more
Edgar Raines
Aug 23, 2016 Edgar Raines rated it really liked it
Nature's Civil War shows its origin as a dissertation. Katheryn Shively Meier sometimes uses--overuses--academic jargon and was at times let down by her editor. That said, this is a must read. The author has pioneered a unique perspective on the conflict, examining the relationship between soldier views of the environment and their health. She examines two 1862 campaigns in detail, Jackson's Valley Campaign and the Peninsula Campaign. The author shows that the seasoning of soldiers was far more ...more
Ashley
Feb 20, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book that raises a lot of important questions. Shively Meier is clear at the outset that her book is more anecdote than statistically significant study. This honesty about its limitations makes the rest of this "ethnography of soldiers' health" all the more interesting.

After a quick discussion of pre-Civil War medicine and medical knowledge, Shively Meier turns to a lengthy examination of "self care" practices employed by soldiers (Union and Confederate). She also reconcept
...more
Rebecca
Mar 24, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
A really groundbreaking look at the way soldiers' health interacted with the environment, and the common soldier's view of health and medicine. For anyone who is interested in Civil War studies, this book opens up the field to a whole new perspective. It would be 5 stars if it wasn't a little difficult to read at times.
Marsha
Jun 12, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it
Great look at the physical and mental hardships of the Peninsula Campaign in 1862, and the diseases, depression, and exposure that haunted it. The only thing missing is discussion of the chaplaincy and their role in bolstering the emotionally impaired troops.
Georgiann Baldino
Jan 25, 2015 Georgiann Baldino rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A perspective on the struggles of common soldiers that is not available in other nonfiction books. The focus is on medical care, or rather the self-care that helped men survive when the quartermaster and medical departments failed to provide for them.
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