Medicine and the American Revolution
How Diseases and Their Treatments Affected the Colonial Army
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About the Book
Nearly nine times as many died from diseases during the American Revolution as did from wounds. Poor diet, inadequate sanitation and sometimes a lack of basic medical care caused such diseases as dysentery, scurvy, typhus, smallpox and others to decimate the ranks.
Scurvy was a major problem for both the British and American navies, while venereal diseases proved to be a particularly vexing problem in New York. Respiratory diseases, scabies and other illnesses left nearly 4,000 colonial troops unable to fight when George Washington’s troops broke camp at Valley Forge in June 1778. From a physician’s perspective, this is a unique history of the American Revolution and how diseases impacted the execution of the war effort. The medical histories of Washington and King George III are also provided.
About the Author(s)
Oscar Reiss, M.D.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 
Table of Contents
1. Army Medicine 3
2. Leaders of the Medical Department 51
3. Smallpox and the Canadian Invasion 81
4. Disease and Medical Care in the Navy 117
5. Syphillis and the Loss of New York 153
6. Dysentery and the Prisoners of War 165
7. Typhus and the Army Hospitals 183
8. Valley Forge and Scabies 193
9. Malaria and the Southern Campaign 205
Appendix: The Health of George Washington and King George III 219
Book Reviews & Awards
“detailed”—The Patriot Resource; “a unique history”—Reference & Research Book News.