Monday, April 18, 2011

Research for Healing Hearts

I love reading about history, and especially US history. Healing Hearts, like the other books, is set in post-Civil War Montana territory. Until now I've featured only two minor characters who served in the war: Ned, a wounded Union veteran, and Doctor Rutherford, a minor character in all three books.

Rutherford was a Union surgeon. As he is the focus of my work-in-progress, I'm reading as much as I can find about Civil War medicine on and off the battlefield. I'm discovering excellent resources on the topic. One of my favorites is Louisa May Alcott's Hospital Sketches. As a young woman she was a Civil War nurse, and her writing style runs to delightful, even in it's early formative stages.

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine, by Schroeder-Lein is an excellent source of information on all things related to medical practice and history of the profession.

The story of Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross) is especially compelling. Check out the short version on Wikipedia at

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