As we celebrate the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, we can take a look back to the time of the war and the conditions during that time. According to research, more battles were fought in Tennessee than in any other state except Virginia. Another interesting fact is that there is a cross on almost every Confederate and Union grave because both sides were willing to die for God; both groups of soldiers believed that God was with them in that war. However, hospital facilities were horrible; bullets were made of soft lead and were the size of a human thumb. When a bullet hit, it would splatter, and cause a limb to be amputated if an arm or leg was struck. Any type of surgery could send a soldier into shock because the only anaesthesia was to get the person “dead drunk!” Also, when a soldier was killed in battle, the body was shipped home only if they lived close to the battlefield; if the dead soldier lived far away, the body was placed in a whiskey barrel and shipped later, or a family member could come and claim the body. Since whiskey was almost the only preservative, these barrels were filled with the liquid, in hopes that the body would last until it could either be shipped or family could claim it.
To see the full story, please pick up a copy of The Herald-News.