The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Southern Diarists

Is this possible? How could people endure such pain?

Today, with our knowledge of modern medicine and our knowledge that suffering can be prevented or ameliorated, we might not be able to withstand the pain the way these men did. But to them, having grown up in a world full of dangers, having seen kith, kin, or neighbors die from any number of illnesses, men and women of the 1860s were hardened to handle pain. When we first encounter a vignette like that presented by Mrs. Pember, we tend to doubt, but when we read many others, by nurses and doctors from all parts of the country, we realize that this was the social code.


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