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Ron

Third civilian casuality at Shiloh

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The third civilian casualty at Shiloh occurred when a lady came down to Shiloh on a steamboat about the time of the battle and quickly volunteered to help with the wounded.  Mrs. Anna McMahon worked in a hospital set up at Pittsburg Landing.  She worked about one week and came down with measles.  This disease was present in the camps and Mrs. McMahon suffered for five days and then died.  Her friends and workers buried her on the banks of the Tennessee River where three large trees were.  In respect to her, they placed a crude wooden headboard on her grave.  In the haste and disorganized state of affairs at Shiloh, there may have been additional deaths but none have come to my attention.  I have posted these three civilian casualties when I read about them but cannot do so any further.  It may take up too much space on the Discussion page.  Instead, I will wait to post any further when several are reported and combine them.  I believe that there were more deaths among the medical corps of both armies and civilian volunteers, both local and those coming other states caused by infections and disease through contact with the ill and wounded soldiers..

Ron

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I think this gets into semantics.  I have always considered someone to be a "casualty" if they were killed outright, or mortally wounded in combat.  To die of disease, well, is to die of disease.  That does not put them in the "casualty" category to me.  Just a thought, could be wrong, open to the input of others if I am right or wrong or etc.  Always willing to learn or change understandings based on facts and evidence.

There were lots of soldiers that died shortly after Shiloh of disease.  I have seen some refer to these as "casualties".  But, again, they did not die in, or as a result of, combat.  Just a thought.............

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Stan

Thank you for your response however I don't quite agree with you.  Yes, there is a normal definition of the word "casualty" but the combat during the Civil War far exceeded a normal or a narrow definition.  The armies and importantly, the medical services were not prepared for the fighting of this scale.  They were not equipped to handle the vast flow of wounded caused by the battles.  This includes the rear hospitals as well as the front line field surgeons and medical orderlies.  The inflow of wounded into very limited resources (front line services) on top of the greater numbers of the many wounded already in the field hospitals only created more agony.  Since the emergency care for the wounded prevented medical care for the sick means that they became in peril as much as the wounded from the fighting.  THE MEDICAL STAFF COULD NOT DENY CARE TO THE SICK.  THEIR CONDITION IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS A WOUNDED SOLDIER.  Patients from these different sources just helped to overwhelm the medical staff.  A supporting example is the army chaplains who also were overwhelmed in their duties but they tended to and helped patients regardless of their case history, battlefield and sick. 

The medical services of both sides were equally overwhelmed by the great inflow of wounded and sick.  They were not prepared for the huge numbers of wounded as they were for the sick.  REMEMBER, FOR EVERY BATTLE DEATH WHO DIED OF BATTLE WOUNDS, THREE DIED OF ILLNESS.  Sickness was the big killer during the American Civil War. 

Ron       

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