Nine of the 192 Union military hospitals during the Civil War circulated newspapers edited and printed by convalescents. The horrors of wound infection and amputation were reported in the words of surgeons, nurses and patients. Sermons cautioned against drink, tobacco and profanity while stressing patriotic sacrifice. Those who experienced the war wrote about it in simple narratives, and these are extensively quoted.
Convalescent life was painful and terrifying. Bedridden for months with fever and festering wounds, disabled veterans wondered who would respond to their needs. Who would hire them? Who would marry them?
This book covers the founding and development of nine hospital newspapers, each fully explored for such topics as patriotism, politics, religion, satire, romance and marriage, battlefield experience and treatment of prisoners of war.