DEBRIS OF BATTLE: The Wounded of Gettysburg. The battle at Gettysburg left an army of 21,000 wounded on the battlefield. In pursuing Lee's retreating army, Meade had elected to take the vast majority of his surgeons, medical supplies, and ambulances with him. They could only be saved by an enormous amount of aid from the private sector--and quickly.
There were those who came to help and those coming to search: wives, mothers, fathers not knowing for certain if their wounded loved ones were still alive. . . There were those who came to profit, including many morticians. . . Then there were the relic hunters, seeking not just personal mementos but quantities of bullets, bayonets, and other items than could be hawked on city streets. . . Good people scurried frantically to see to the wounded and dispose of the dead. The merely curious came in legions in Sunday finery just gawk and stare, gasp and exclaim at the ghastly sights afforded by an actual battlefield, but had no inclination to assist in any way. A deeply moving, fascinating and wonderful book. 244 pages. Photographs.
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