Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Franco-Prussian War photograph

I found this photograph while pulling materials for researchers. The title of the file caught my eye as it seemed unexpected to find information/materials from the Franco-Prussian War in the HC & A. The photograph came to OHSU by way of a donation from Hubert F. Leonard, MD. The picture is of a base hospital during the Franco-Prussian War 19 July 1870 – 10 May 1871 (specific location unknown) showing the nurses, doctors and patients. The man wearing the hat with the beard in the front near the bed is John Mark Bruner, MD, the uncle of the Hubert F. Leonard. The date of the photograph is given as 1870 with no month.

Based on some Web research (Google Books, Wikipedia), I found that there were basically three standard types of war hospital; the Regimental, Division, and Field General. The Regimental was small and dealt with soldiers showing the first signs of illness. The Division hospital had a staff surgeon and treated the wounded, whereas the Field General hospital took all the wounded it could especially cases which required complete removal from the Front to the Rear.

Small wooden structures (as seen in the photograph) and tents were the most common structures used as base and field hospitals due to other already standing structures being targeted by artillery.

The base and field hospitals dealt primarily with battle wounds, common illnesses, gangrene and pyaemia.

-- Max Johnson, HC&A Student Assistant


Sara Piasecki said...

A lovely debut--welcome, Max!

Chris Shaffer said...

I concur, nice post and welcome!