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Fw: How did wives find out abt Civil War soldier's death?

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  • Jewelle Baker
    Hello Group.... ... Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:46 PM Subject: Re: How did wives find out abt soldier s death in the Civil War? Civil War Creates American
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31 12:22 PM
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      Hello Group....
      "Gleaned" the below Civil War info for your perusal. Read on:

      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:46 PM
      Subject: Re: How did wives find out abt soldier's death in the Civil War?

      Civil War Creates American Demand for Embalming

      The Civil War created a need for embalming in the United States as loved
      ones sought to have the bodies of their fallen sons, brothers and fathers
      returned home for burial. As such, embalming was done in military camps
      before shipping a body home.

      “President Lincoln took a great interest in embalming and directed the
      Quartermaster Corps to utilize embalming to allow the return of Union dead
      to their home towns for proper burial,”
      Following the Civil War, embalming fell out of popularity. Most people died
      in their home towns where ice could be used to preserve the body until
      burial. Another reason for its falling out of fashion was that there were
      too few undertakers who could do embalming.

      *Embalming Surgeons and Undertakers*
      During the early part of the Civil War it was the Embalming Surgeons that
      performed the embalming procedure. Many of the men were military
      surgeons. However, there were also a large number of civilian surgeons
      that took up embalming and became embalming surgeons. They realized the
      monetary benefits to the profession and saw this as a way to increase
      there fortunes. Most of the embalming surgeons were honest men. There
      were many reports however, of many unscrupulous embalming surgeons out to
      take advantage of soldier and family alike. Toward the latter part of
      the War there were reports of a few undertakers beginning to embalm both
      at home and on the field of battle. Of the tens upon tens of embalming
      surgeons practicing during the War years, very few are heard of following
      the War. It is then that the undertaker begins to see the potential and
      the obvious extension of embalming into the undertaking profession.

      The embalming surgeon was a Northern phenomenon. To date there seems to be
      no documentation that there were Southern embalming surgeons. When one
      looks at the circumstances surrounding the onset of this new trade, one
      can understand why it was not until after the War that embalming moved
      into the South. Dr. Thomas Holmes, the "Father of Modern Embalming", was
      from New York, his protégées were all Northerners, the chemicals were
      developed, patented and manufactured in the North. During the beginning
      of the War, Washington was the center of all that happened with the
      military. The embalmers flocked to Washington until they became such a
      nuisance that they were run out of the city. From then on, those with the
      drive to either make money or help the troops and their families, moved
      nearer the battlefields or field hospitals. The South had neither the
      knowledge nor the resources to enter into this new embalming trade. This
      is not to say that there may not have been an occasional Confederate
      soldier or officer embalmed by a Northern embalmer and sent home, but this
      was by no means a common occurrence.
      Read more at Suite101: Early American Embalming Methods: The Civil War
      Helped Develop Methods to Preserve the Dead Suite101.com
      <http://jim-rada.suite101.com/early-american-embalming-methods-a63870#ixzz1qeHLCGBN>

      http://jim-rada.suite101.com/early-american-embalming-methods-a63870#ixzz1qeHLCGBN

      Read more at Suite101: Early American Embalming Methods: The Civil War
      Helped Develop Methods to Preserve the Dead Suite101.com
      <http://jim-rada.suite101.com/early-american-embalming-methods-a63870#ixzz1qeGytzgQ>

      On Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM, Gerald Gieger wrote:
      >
      > A Question that I never saw answered - there was no embalming.
      > Most were wrapped in a blanket and buried. those fortunate enough to be
      > interred in a Cemetery were marked but the identities usually got
      > lost...Many were placed beside each other in a Trench and covered, like
      > at Shiloh. At Vicksburg, the Federals were buried in the NMP,;
      > >Confederates were buried in the City Cemetery if their remains could be
      > found. At Franklin, where 9 Confederate Generals were killed, many were
      > buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery after the fighting ceased...the
      > armies moved on

      >> > Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:40:31 -0400
      > > Subject: Re: How did wives find out abt soldier's death in the Civil
      > > War?>
      > > My ancestor Egbert Hicks (formerly Hixon) of the 124th Ohio apparently
      > > died in Tennessee (maybe Columbia, TN) about 22 Nov 1864. I don't know
      > > how his wife found out, especially since he didn't "officially" die in
      > > battle or in a hospital. Someone in his unit wrote to her saying that
      > > Egbert was last seen sitting on a railroad platform looking very sick.
      > >
      Very interesting ..... Thanks to Alice and her friends for above
      information.
      Jewelle


      jewelle@...
      jewellebaker@...
      GenealogyPITT Co NC Friends In Research
      (Serving all Eastern/Coastal NC Counties)
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