Friday, April 22, 2005

Book about Civil War Amputees

North Carolina Office of Archives and History Historical Publications
4622 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4622

Contact: Frances W. Kunstling
Phone: 919-733-7442
Fax: 919-733-1439

Amputations constituted roughly 75 percent of all operations
performed during the Civil War. A new book from the North Carolina
Office of Archives and History examines the state's extensive program
to supply and fit its Confederate amputees with artificial arms and

Phantom Pain: North Carolina's Artificial-Limbs Program for
Confederate Veterans
, by Ansley Herring Wegner, surveys amputation's
place in Victorian medical science and the problems faced by disabled
veterans as they returned to civilian life. In this pioneering study
Wegner compares North Carolina's artificial-limbs program with those
of other former Confederate states. She concludes that North Carolina
was among the most progressive of the southern states in supporting
its disabled and maimed Confederate veterans.

After discussing the several types of artificial limbs patented by
inventors during the Civil War and its aftermath, Wegner explains the
response of recipients to their new limbs. While some of them
adjusted to the prostheses, others suffered from residual problems
associated with stumps that never healed properly. Many veterans
reported phantom pain from the amputated region.

Phantom Pain includes a useful index to records in the North Carolina
State Archives related to Civil War amputees and artificial-limb
recipients. The paperback volume is illustrated with pictures of
surgical instruments, artificial limbs, and veterans with their

Phantom Pain (261 pages, paperbound, illustrated, index) costs $15.00
plus $5.00 for shipping. North Carolina residents should include 7%
state sales tax. The book can be ordered from: Historical
Publications Section, Office of Archives and History, 4622 Mail
Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4622.

For credit card orders call (919) 733-7442 or use the Historical
Publications Section's secure online store at


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