Question of the Week: 8/3-8/9/20

This feels like a season of innovation, especially at ECW as we’re getting ready for a Virtual Symposium this year.

What’s your favorite innovation from the Civil War?

12 Responses to Question of the Week: 8/3-8/9/20

  1. The system of evacuation of wounded from the battlefield devised by Jonathan Letterman

  2. The use of the railroad to move men and supplies rapidly in a way with strategic implications..

  3. Use of the telegraph as a means of strategic, operational, and tactical communication. Civil War was one of the first (if not THE first) conflicts to use the telegraph for military purposes. The United States Military Telegraph Corps supposedly facilitated upwards of 6.5 million messages throughout the war. Easy to see how that volume of communication contributed to the war’s conduct and outcome.

  4. Aerial ‘reconnaissance’ via balloons, which of course would expand upon the development of aircraft in the 20th Century.

  5. The expertise on the treatment of battlefield wounds. That, along with the field of anesthesiology, were the contributions of United States, to world Medicine.

  6. All of the above, since everything I thought about someone else got first. Good work, all.

  7. Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office. Upon discovering there was no ONE point of contact to determine the location or fate of missing soldiers, Clara Barton set out to create it. Through the operation of that office, she determined the fate of over 20,000 missing soldiers, helping to bring closure (and eligibility for pension) to their families. Clara Barton’s work became the foundation for the American Red Cross.

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