Day 2 of the SCWH conference brought too many excellent choices for me to attend them all. I started the day with the panel that examined the Civil War on the border. While there isn’t enough room to go into the details of all 4 presentations here, I will say that I walked away with some new thoughts. Chief among them is that perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to rely on the borders of states to define “the border”. Also, when the enemy is “over there” localism and self-preservation becomes the motivating factor.
The second panel looked at religious aspects of the Civil War. Biblical foundations for neutrality in Kentucky were examined, preaching in Missouri & apolitical sermons, and northern religious views on the war. Such notions as political preaching and loyalty oaths for preachers as a violation of the separation of church & state and Northern preaching as a fusion of religion and politics were explored.
Medicine was the topic of the last panel I attended. Satterlee General Hospital in Philadelphia was the topic of the first paper. I didn’t realize just what a complex it was. In many ways it resembled a modern hospital and then some with a library, billiard room, but of course military barracks. The panel also looked at women working in Confederate hospitals and some of their experiences. The session ended with a presentation addressing reactions to and caring for those who lost a limb (or limbs) during the war.