Surviving the American Civil War: An Interactive Patient Database

23 October 2017


To celebrate the release of Medical Services and Warfare: 1850-1927, Adam Matthew Digital is providing free access to the interactive Civil War patient database Surviving the Civil War available to explore for 30 days from 24th October 2017.

Surviving the Civil War
is an interactive feature that utilises the impressive Frederick Patient List created by Terry Reimer at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, from whose collections diaries, correspondence, and other primary source material relating to the American Civil War is included in Medical Services and Warfare.

With entries recording more than 9,800 soldiers hospitalised after the Battle of Antietam from both Union and Confederate armies, through the database it is possible to review the scale of injury and illness over six months of admissions, chart typical treatment times and outcomes, and read details from individual cases.

Amputee soldiers at Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D.C. © U.S. National Library of Medicine. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

The Battle of Antietam is known as one of the bloodiest battles in the American Civil War, and was a slim victory for the Union Army – despite their superiority in numbers – ending the Confederate invasion of Maryland. Five days after the battle, President Lincoln felt sufficiently emboldened to issue his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, decreeing that every person held as a slave in the rebel states would be “then, thenceforward, and forever free”.

Surviving the Civil War therefore has many interesting facets for a researcher to explore from this pivotal moment in the conflict, from comparing the numbers of Confederate soldiers admitted and their mortality rates relative to Union counterparts, to exploring how rank impacted the type of injury sustained and the prevalence of illness in the months after fighting ceased.

As well as filters enabling browsing and refining within this large database, Surviving the Civil War includes graphic interpretations of the information, facilitating visual comparisons between armies, injuries and outcomes, among other parameters. Watch the video guide to get started, and explore this fascinating resource.

Medical Services and Warfare
includes a huge range of primary source material including hospital registers, personal correspondence from nurses and soldiers, and military orders and administrative papers from the American Civil War. Material has also been carefully selected from other conflicts including the Crimean and First World Wars to enable compelling comparative research and to reflect the progress of medical practice and innovation through the conflicts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Every document is tagged with extensive metadata including topical keywords and themes to enable researchers to quickly search for content and refine results.

General Hospital no. 4, Frederick Maryland: Lutheran Church. © Photograph by Steven A. Mallory, 1999. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

Medical Service and Warfare: 1850-1927 is available now. For trial access to the full resource and price enquiries, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Author

Hannah Phillips

Hannah Phillips

I am an Editor and have been with Adam Matthew Digital since October 2012. I have worked on a range of fascinating projects including American Indian Histories and Cultures, World's Fairs and Medical Services and Warfare.