Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South by Brian MillerEmpty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South by Brian Miller

Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South

byBrian Miller

Paperback | March 15, 2015

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The Civil War acted like a battering ram on human beings, shattering both flesh and psyche of thousands of soldiers. Despite popular perception that doctors recklessly erred on the side of amputation, surgeons labored mightily to adjust to the medical quagmire of war. And as Brian Craig Miller shows in Empty Sleeves, the hospital emerged as the first arena where southerners faced the stark reality of what amputation would mean for men and women and their respective positions in southern society after the war. Thus, southern women, through nursing and benevolent care, prepared men for the challenges of returning home defeated and disabled.

Still, amputation was a stark fact for many soldiers. On their return, southern amputees remained dependent on their spouses, peers, and dilapidated state governments to reconstruct their shattered manhood and meet the challenges brought on by their newfound disabilities. It was in this context that Confederate patients based their medical care decisions on how comrades, families, and society would view the empty sleeve. In this highly original and deeply researched work, Miller explores the ramifications of amputation on the Confederacy both during and after the Civil War and sheds light on how dependency and disability reshaped southern society.

BRIAN CRAIG MILLER is associate professor of history at Emporia State University. He is the forthcoming editor of the journal Civil War History and the author of John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory and The American Memory: Americans and Their History to 1877.
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Title:Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War SouthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 15, 2015Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820343323

ISBN - 13:9780820343327

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Editorial Reviews

Miller has written a truly exceptional book that offers keen insights into the impact of amputation on soldiers, medical officers, women, and the state. This reader cannot find any major criticism of the book as it stands, for the author has written the book that he set out to write and has done so in a compelling and graphic manner. . . . Empty Sleeves stands as an excellent addition to the field and truly expands our understanding of the complex issues that arose from wounds and wounding in the American Civil War. - Ryan W. Keating - The Journal of Southern History