H. H. Cunningham’s Doctors in Gray remains the definitive work on the medical history of the Confederate army. Drawing on a prodigious array of sources, Cunningham paints as complete a picture as possible of the daunting task facing those charged with caring for the war’s wounded and sick.
Of the estimated 600,000 Confederate troops, Cunningham claims that 200,000 died either from battle wounds or from illness―the majority, surprisingly, from illness. Despite these grim statistics, Confederate medical personnel frequently performed heroically under the most primitive of circumstances and made imaginative use of limited resources. Cunningham provides detailed information on the administration of the Confederate Medical Department, the establishment and organization of Confederate hospitals, the experiences of medical officers in the field, the manufacture and procurement of supplies, the causes and treatment of diseases, and the beginning of modern surgical practices.